E-Bike, which one to choose: E-Mtb, city or racing electric bike

E-Bike, which one to choose: E-Mtb, city or racing electric bike

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Imagine going to work like every day, half an hour to travel 5 km in urban traffic and the same amount to find parking; obviously there and back. Something is wrong with your quality of life and perhaps if you are reading this post it is because you too are looking for information to buy yours. e-bike / electric bicycle of which you have heard so much especially in recent years but of which you still have little understanding characteristics, types and methods of use.

In particular, regardless of the different and heterogeneous reasons from which your need originates, the question that I hypothesize most of you will be asking is: "What kind of e-bike or electric bike is best for me?"

The bicycle represents the archetype of "green" means of transport precisely because of its practicality and ecological vocation in respect of the environment; the new market for e-bike , that is pedal assisted bicycles, does nothing but accentuate this vocation because it has allowed not only one classic two-wheeled mobility without engine but is partially replacing ed integrating the mopedwhich are polluting and more expensive to maintain under various profiles (insurance, license, helmet, etc.). Support in different situations (in urban centers but also off road for the practice of sports activities in the mountains and for trekking on asphalt, dirt roads as well as for traditional road cycling) and ease of use make electric bikes not only the means of the future but also of the present.

In the next paragraphs of this mini guide dedicated to e-bikes we will deal with various issues:

What is an e-bike or pedal assisted bicycle

E-bike broader term than pedal assisted bicycles, EPAC (Electric Pedal Assisted Cycle) orPedelecs, are defined by Directive 2002/24 EC as vehicles equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having nominal power continuous maximum of 250W whose nutrition is progressively reduced and finally interrupted when the vehicle reaches 25 km / h or sooner if the cyclist stops pedaling.

  • Pedalec25: this is thethe only recognized bicycle category by Italian law. From here it follows that there are no homologation obligations or specific prohibitions other than those in force for traditional bicycles.
  • S Pedalec / Speed ​​Pedalec: in reality the concept of electric bicycle is broader; there are models equipped with engines with a power greater than 250W and able to go even above 25 km / h or in which the use of the motor is independent from pedaling that bring some electric bicycle models closer to electric scooters or motorcycles (the law equates them to these), with the consequent obligation of approval required by law. These are the S-Pedalecs, a version of an e-bike with an engine that can reachup to 45 km / h, rearview mirror, horn and kickstand. The S-pedalec must be approved *, registered and insured like mopeds. Those who use them, in addition to being obliged to have a driving license or to use a helmet, must be at least 16 years old, are obliged to respect the speed limits (which applies to all vehicles) and make sure that the characteristics of the spare parts correspond to those indicated in the vehicle registration document.

* Note: for those interested in the homologation categories, you can read the relevant legislation (2002/24 EC) which defines its homologation categories: L1eA (power up to 1000KW and 25km / h) e L1eB (power up to 4000KW and 45km / h); for the second category it is assimilated in toto to mopeds, for the first they are considered to be equated with reduced performance mopeds. In Germany, Pedalec45 with power up to 500W and 45km / h and e-bike45 with a limit of 45km / h and accelerator are also considered electric bikes and not mopeds; in the USA, on the other hand, the maximum assisted pedaling speed is 20 miles, the equivalent of 32 km / h and the engine power can reach 350W.

Motors and batteries for e-bikes, the importance of types and weight distribution

Before going into a classification of needs and therefore of the types of pedal assisted bikes, we need a brief examination of the various pedal assist systems (the system is mainly composed of: engine, batteries, electronics and sensors) that you want to use or that you think might be more valid.

As for the types of motorization, there are two basic ones: motors in the hub (front or rear) or central motors (inside the frame or in the pedals).

  • The central engine today it is the most used for medium-high range bikes; it is equipped with an integrated electronic card and a transmission that pushes directly on the bicycle pedals. As we said before, it is often located in place of the pedal board and works with a torque sensor that senses the cyclist's effort on the pedals: on the basis of the developed algorithms, it then distributes the power up to the legal limit of 25km / h. The advantages of the central engine they are mainly to be found in the reduction of unsprung masses, if the bicycle is amortized. In fact, they are the typical engines of e-mtb or electric mtb; the efficiency of the transmission is not optimal as well as that of the engine which, however, using the gears, is able to transmit adequate torque values ​​to the rear wheel. Electric bike motors catch up power torques ranging from 55 up to 90/100 Nm (with an addition of weight on the bike variable between 3 and 4.5 kg) and are constantly evolving; the main reference producers are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, Panasonic, Bafang, Fazua, M1-Spitzing and are constantly working to improve battery life and driving feel.

The motors in the hub as mentioned, they can be divided generally between anterior and posterior:

  • The front hub motor it is the simplest one because it does not have to integrate any attachment to the sprocket set which is located on the rear wheel. The disadvantage of the front hub motor is instability both when running and when braking, especially in the wet due to the location of its traction.
  • The rear hub motor it is more complex because it has to integrate part of the bicycle transmission; often the frame is dedicated and larger than 20mm precisely to make room for the entire sprocket + electric motor system; this symbiosis with the traditional transmission makes it a safer and more stable solution when driving with a motor (braking, descending, cornering and driving in general). Examples of manufacturers are Bafang, Heinzmann, Cristalyte, Sparta.
  • The i "all in one" integrated rear hub motors: practically a single rear hub component with motor, battery, electronics and sensors. The versatility of this solution (light and wireless) allows you to transform the traditional bike into an electric one, but with attention and compatibility to be verified with respect to the "native" electric motor bike such as the width of the forks, the type of brake and gearbox, etc. …). Not all "kits" to transform the bike into electric are compatible. Producers in this area are Zehus, Flykly but also Ducati energia for a couple of years now.

The batteries they can be located in different places; first of all they can be integrated in the supporting frame which is the most advanced solution in this sense (even if beauty often clashes with little practicality and management), otherwise they can be arranged outside as in the luggage rack (typical of an e-city bike) or in the triangle. In the future, the evolution will lead to smaller and smaller batteries that can be allocated at reduced prices either under the seat or in the support tube of the frame under the bike (as is done with the bottle) so that it can be detached and charged with extreme practicality and lightness.

E-bikes and electric bikes for every need: city, folding, mtb, trekking and even racing

After a due examination of the engine component for e-bikes, the time has finally come "Identify" with one or more in a group or category of probable users precisely so as not to make the mistake of perhaps choosing a good product but at the same time far from our real needs. The e-bikes are equipped with a display on the handlebar, which allows you to know the battery level, speed, distance traveled and other useful information; through the remote control it is possible to choose the level of assistance. In this regard, the market has equipped itself to supply various types of e-bikes through the following product ranges:

  • City E-bike / City Bike with pedal assistance: City e-bikes have a classic city bike line and its main peculiarities relate mainly to the following features and accessories: frame with low step to get on and off frequently, the possibility of front and rear luggage racks to carry office bags, backpacks o shopping bags, mudguards and possibly child seats.

It is aimed at those who use it daily on the road for work or travel in comfort: office workers, mothers or fathers with child seats, retirees, housewives, students. An advantage to discover with the city e-bike? Imagine you are struggling with the urban fabric: the difference in speed between a traditional bike and an electric one is particularly sensitive in some moments such as the departure at traffic lights, wriggling from traffic jams and dangerous intersections, things that can be done with a traditional bicycle but with a certain shrewdness and creating discontent (unjustified in any case) in motorists who often see cyclists as slow and bulky.

  • Electric Folding Bike: in recent years, a particular bike has also taken hold from us, the so-called "folding" or "folding bike" of which we obviously also have the pedal assisted version. Like its sister without assisted support, the "folding" in the e-bike version also has its main features: small footprint, small wheels for better transport and very light frame; to these must be added the batteries and a system of wires and wiring to allow disassembly without disconnecting the various parts.

Who is it for? Electric folding folders are ideal for mixed routes in the city where you may need to get on and off public transport or encounter several architectural barriers. They can be stored in a small space inside the offices. They are also suitable for commuters who have to travel home, train, station, university work; the main advantage is cleanliness and ease of travel. Arriving at certain times of the year at work, at university, or as clients without a trace of sweat and within a reasonable time allows us to arriving in order but less stressed, and makes us more independent.

  • E-bike race or Electric racing bike: the target studied for the pedal assisted racing bike is substantially aimed at those who want to tackle challenging climbs with less effort, regaining the enthusiasm to keep up with the younger or more trained. The advantage lies almost exclusively in high mountain routes precisely because the 25 km / h limit for a traditional racing bike would otherwise be achievable without any effort on the flat. The advantage of the e-bike is that some of us could not tackle 10 km climbs with slopes without this type of help depriving ourselves of the pleasure of a walk through the Alpine or Apennine passes. It is not true as many argue that no effort is needed, on the contrary one must pedal and adjust the load of the engine effort; they can be used for long, repetitive workouts and to calibrate gaits. An ebikeon averagemanages to travel up to approx200 km in ideal conditions and up to about 1500/2000 meters in altitude (one Stelvio or two climbs of 10Km at 10% gradient) with a recharge in a variable timefrom 2 to 4 hours.

Who is it for? The pedal assisted racing bicycle is the ideal solution to your problems deriving from small motor difficulties or from the age that no longer allows you to be as agile and competitive as you would like or how you were or, more simply, due to lack of time in the train regularly given the reduced times due to work. But also to share a passion with those who do not have the same level of athleticism; if you are an amateur cyclist you could be accompanied by your wife or husband (or even by your less trained friends) entrusting them with an e-bike so you could train staying together but with different goals

  • E-Mtb or Electric Mountain Bike: a novelty that is conquering younger and younger audiences: very valid “green” alternatives to motocross bikes, allow lovers of extreme nature to venture on otherwise prohibitive paths. High-performance, lightweight and cushioned frames, central motors to optimize weight distribution and uphill support, ergonomic on-board computers that can be activated without taking your eyes off the track; electric mountain bikes meet the needs of those who want adrenaline and fun in contact with nature. Mountain Bikes equipped with an electrical system may vary in structure and geometry depending on use. Mtb frames are generally designed forCross Country, Marathon, All Mountain, Enduro and Downhill, proportionally to the increase in the excursion of the forks we will have a greater distance of the electric motor from the ground.

Who is it for? To young and more or less young people who love nature and want green alternatives to motocross bikes that allow them to venture without problems on rather tough and competitive paths and routes; the help of e-bikes can make longer journeys and outings while keeping traditional cardiovascular training intact. Fun now within everyone's reach.

  • E-trekking / Cycle tourism: indicated for those who want combine everyday urban use with long walks outside the city or real small trips lasting several days. Lighter frame, lithium battery to guarantee autonomy even after many hours of pedaling; wheels also suitable for dirt roads, shock absorbers and design studied for long distances. Trekking Bikes are increasingly establishing themselves on the market thanks to their versatility which makes them an exceptional middle ground between a city bike and a mountain bike.

Who is it for? With e-bikes, cycle tourism has become within the reach of almost everyone: traveling a kilometer or differences in height above the average of personal abilities or standards makes these vehicles an ideal tool for all members of the family.

Conclusions and latest tips

If you want to give us new food for thought on the subject e-bikes, electric bikes and sustainable mobility write to us and we will eventually integrate and develop new topics of interest. Finally, below I provide you with some links to better carry out a targeted search on Amazon, the e-commerce site where you can also buy numerous e-bikes of the types I told you about in this article at excellent prices and with the usual guarantee. "Satisfied or refunded".

Let's now highlight how to best perform a targeted search. By following the links you will find an abundant assortment ofelectric bikes, e-bikes of different brands and types so that you can evaluate the individual product sheets with all the features and prices.

Electric bikes


  • Whistle
  • KTM
  • Focus
  • Torpado

E-City Bike and E-Folding

  • Nilox
  • Moma Bikes
  • Lombard
  • whites
  • Atala
  • Kawasaki
  • BMW
  • Malaguti Bike

Finally I close by giving you the numbers and scope of the e-bike phenomenon that I myself was able to touch with my hand inlatest edition of Eicma (cycle and motorcycle show), where the pedal assisted bicycle has gathered many new followers among the professionals and above all among the public and the increasingly large space dedicated to dedicated pavilions testifies to this.

These are the words of Andrea Dell’Orto, President of EICMA S.p.A. : “Pedal-assisted mobility is now a consolidated reality worldwide. And in this scenario, our companies also contribute to being protagonists: not only in production, but also in the entire supply chain in terms of components, planning, design and patents. The market is experiencing tremendous growth: only last year Almost 150 thousand e-bikes were sold in Italy, equal to more than 19% compared to 2016and also the numbers for this year are very positive and confirm the growth trend recorded last year ".

Other related articles I wrote on IdeeGreen that might interest you are:

  • Child bike seat: legislation and advice
  • Tips for winter cycling clothing
  • Folding bike: buying guide for the best folding bike
  • Bike and Cycling Glasses: guide and models
  • Bike and Cycling Helmet: guide and models
  • Tires, tubeless and tubular: guide and bike tire sizes
  • How to clean and lubricate the bike and chain

Curated by Tullio Grilli

Video: TOP 9 ENDURO EMTB - Best Ebikes for 2021 (May 2022).