There are a few mthys out there when it comes to e-Bikes in this video. I'm going to clear some of them up so you can have all of the knowledge you need when it comes time to buy your e-bike.
I'd like to thank Specialized for sponsoring the video and loaning me two of their e-bikes the Turbo Vado and the Turbo Vado SL.
The first myth - E-bikes are like mopeds.
E-bikes,also known as pedelecs are not mopeds. That's why you don't need a license, insurance or helmet to legally ride one in the UK. What makes them different from a moped or other powered bikes is that they are pedal assist.
You must put in effort to make the bike go, and if they have a throttle also known as twisting go, they're not legal in the UKor Europe as an e-bike. So you do have to put an effort. How much will that depends on you and your e-bike.
These two specialized e-bikes featured in the video come with three assist modes eco, sport and turbo and the motors are different on each of these bikes, so the Turbo Vado SL has a two times assist so it will double your effort. And the Turbo Vado has four times assist, so it will multiply your effort by four times, if you have the e-bike set to max asssist level. Now, having the assist at the max level, of course, means you'll drain your battery faster.
The other notable difference from a moped is the maximum speed an e-bike is permitted to go with assist is 15.5 miles per hour or 25 kilometers an hour. Now you can go faster than this on an e-bike, but you won't be doing it with assist. So the assist will cut out when it hits that speed.
A well-designed e-bike will kick in and ramp up smoothly with no sudden surges of power, and when it hits the maximum speed, it will ease out rather than cut off abruptly and with quality e-bikes. Like these specialized e-bikes, the sensors will take care of everything and you just feel like you have stronger legs.
Lastly, the motor and e-bike can only provide up to 250 watts of continuous power. They can have more powerful motors than 250 watts, but that power can't be used continuously. The extra power is usually used off the start or when you hit a hill
to help you maintain your speed.
You can't get fit on an e-bike.
This one is a bugbear for me. As I mentioned earlier, you do have to put an effortin when riding any e-bike and you're moving your body. Both of these things contribute to your health.
E-bikes also make it possible for people with the injuries to continue cycling, and it's been proven that people who have e-bikes use them more often and travel further and all those extra miles add up. You don't need to be racing or pushing yourself hard to get the benefits from an e-bike, and it sure beats being sedentry in a car driving everywhere!
Like regular bikes riding an e-bike reduces your factors from diseases such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, some cancers, type two diabetes, and more. And that's in addition to the health benefits of getting insid on your bike.
E-bike batteries don't have good range.
Specialized e-bikes have been built from the ground up in-house so that they take all the best bits of cycling and just make you feel stronger while being as efficient as possible to get the most range out of the battery. Range anxiety is pretty normal, especially when shopping for an e-bike, but most quality e-bikes have plenty of range for getting you around town. I think you'll be pretty impressed with the range most e-bikes get, some getting 90 to 100 and more kilometers are now common.
Now a lot of things affect the range of a battery, including air temperature, the weight on the bike, the terrain, your riding, your tire pressure. So the best way to get a good idea of how much range your bike has is to use the Specialized Range Calculator app. Range caluclator
That way you can input all the information and it will give you a good idea of what you can expect in the real world on a bike.
And then there are things like range extenders, which the terrible Vado SL has available as an optional add on and should you run out of battery. E-bikes can be ridden without assist. In fact, the Turbo Vado SL weighs in under 15 kilograms, which is about the average weight of a normal bike. So it's pretty rideable even without assist.
Now when choosing e-bike, generally a battery with more watt hours will give you more range but that's when comparing like with like. The other thing about batteries and battery size the more watt hours are, the bigger the battery, the more expensive it is. And the battery does make up a big part of the extra cost of an e-bike. So that's worth keeping in mind.
E-bikes are complicated.
The mechanics of a bike haven't changed in about 100 years. There have an improvements, but they're still made up of two wheels, a crank pedals, a drivetrain and brakeseven with the addition of a motor and batteries.
They're still pretty simple and easy to maintain the battery and motor offe little complication. Charging is easy, and with apps like Mission Control, you can customize your battery settings on your phone, or you can keep things simple and just turn on your bike and ride. No phone needed.
They are big and clunky.
I think this Turbo Vado SL debunks that myth just on looks alone, the batteries integrated into the frame and you have to look pretty closely to notice the mid-drive motor. And it weighs in at just under 15 kilos, which is about the same way as a normal bike.
It's a nippy and nimble ride. It's so much fun. It just feels like you're riding a normal bike, but you've gotten stronger legs.
The Turbo Vado, while a little chunkier at 24 kilograms, fully equipped, the larger 2.4 inch pathfinder tires and suspension make for a smooth ride that can handle riding on road or off road. It is one of the most stable e-bikes I have ever ridden.
E-bikes are great for your health and the environment. They're fun to ride and cheap to maintain. And now that we've cleared up a few things, you should have no trouble choosing one of your own.
If you want to know more about these two fantastic e-bikes by specialized, check out their website or watch this video: