The Basics of Electric Mountain Bicycles
Batteries and Charging
Most electric mountain bicycles are powered by rechargeable batteries, which include some type of control. The types of batteries used in e-bikes include sealed lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, lithium-ion polymer, and lithium-ion batteries. Their performance is affected by the amount of assist they provide, their weight, and how many cycles they can withstand before degradation occurs. Some models are also capable of over-voltage charging.
Classes of Electric Mountain Bicycles
The biggest difference between Class I and Class II e-bikes is that Class I e-bikes provide the motor boost only when you pedal. The boost ends after 20 miles per hour. Class II e-bikes have a throttle for when you don't pedal. They are generally comparable to analog bicycles, and can be used in the same places as their analog counterparts. However, they can reach speeds of up to 28 miles per hour.
Advantages of Electric Mountain Bicycles
The main advantages of an electric mountain bicycle over a traditional bicycle include reduced car trips, cargo carrying, and environmental concerns. Those who own an e-bike report fewer car trips, and their average distance is higher than the average driver. In addition, many people love the ease of riding an electric bike without the need to change clothes or sweat. Lastly, an e-bike can be fun for both young and old, as there is no need to stop and get out of your bike.
Although the regulations of e-bikes differ from country to country, there are certain common ground across the globe that e-bikes must meet. For example, the European Cycling Union has introduced a new circuit for e-bikes. The UCI has included an e-bike competition in the 2019 World Mountain Bike Championships. The world's best off-road e-bike rider will be awarded the rainbow jersey.
As a new way of transportation, electric mountain bicycles have begun to enter the mainstream. Major bicycle manufacturers, as well as dozens of smaller ones, are making e-bikes. In fact, major automobile manufacturers are not far behind. Ford, for instance, backed an electric bike-share program in San Francisco and rebranded it as Lyft in 2019. GM and Uber are also making e-bikes a hit. They are a great option for transportation, and cities are searching for new ways to ease traffic.
Electric mountain bicycles are similar to standard bikes except that they contain a small electric motor for assistance. Pedal-assist e-bikes allow riders to control the amount of power they use, while throttle-on-demand e-bikes require no pedaling. The motor activates only when you pedal - allowing the rider to control the amount of assistance they use. However, throttle-on-demand e-bikes stop providing assistance once the rider reaches a certain speed.
Although the federal government regulates the first sale of e-bikes, states will ultimately determine whether these vehicles are legal to operate. In addition, state legislatures are likely to grapple with regulating e-bikes. Because many states consider them separate from motor vehicles, they are subject to different regulations. Many state laws do not allow them to operate on multi-purpose trails, bike lanes, or sidewalks. They require a license and may have a variety of other burdensome requirements.