WHY BUY AN ELECTRIC BICYCLE?
A fantastic mode of transport, the benefits of cycling are seemingly endless. It’s low-impact and can be as challenging or as leisurely as you wish, is proven to bring huge benefits to our societies, mental and physical health, and the environment and economy; not to mention the sheer joy that comes from exploring the world around you on two wheels.
Ebikes, or electric bikes, give you all of these things, but with a boost. Whether it's aiding a long commute, helping you to get back into cycling after a long break or injury, or setting off on an exciting journey, an ebike gives you an extra push when you need it.
Before delving further into how ebikes work, you may be wondering if this extra boost means that there are fewer health benefits available than riding a "regular" bicycle. This is in fact not the case – studies have shown that ebike riders are likely to ride more often and further than their non-powered counterparts*. The cardiovascular benefits of riding an ebike are like regular rides, as those who ride ebikes are more likely to gain higher speeds and greater elevations**.
HOW DO ELECTRIC BIKES WORK?
An ebike is a bicycle with a battery-powered motor providing electric pedal assistance. There are often different riding modes that you can set based on how much power you want to add to your ride.
Besides a pedal rotation sensor several high-end ebikes, such as the Brompton Folding Electric bike, also feature a smart torque sensor to measure the exact amount of pressure you put on the pedals to offer a smoother and more direct assistance. It adds power the more you pedal, meaning, for example, it helps when you’re going uphill and need to maintain your speed.
the motor provides.
If you wish to conserve the battery on your ebike – or even if you run out of battery on a long journey – you can simply lower the assistance level or even turn it off and pedal as you would with any bicycle.
Most ebikes display the battery level and assistance level on the bike itself. On a Brompton Electric, our lightweight folding ebike has its rechargeable battery, display and luggage integrated into one piece and can be easily connected to the specially designed front carrier block on the front frame of the bike with a simple click.
The Brompton Electric bike also has the perk of USB charging, automatic front and rear lighting and Bluetooth to connect to your device.
OWNING AN EBIKE
Do I need a special license to ride an ebike?
No; Ebikes that have a maximum continuous rated output power of 250W, assistance up to 15.5mph or 25km/h and only assist whilst the rider is pedalling are not subject to type approval, special insurance or license plate registration.
Are ebikes expensive to maintain?
The cost and frequency of maintenance for an electric bike is relatively low. Regular bicycle maintenance such as puncture repairs or brake adjustments can easily be done at home with standard bike repair tools. Ebike specific service or diagnostics will need to be carried out in a specialised store that has qualified staff, the correct diagnostic tools and software. A built-in systems diagnostics tool allows a mechanic to plug the ebike motor into a computer to quickly identify any issues. Brompton has a network of Accredited Dealers who have access to original parts and the latest training on Brompton Electric.
CAN I CONVERT MY BROMPTON FOLDING BIKE TO AN EBIKE?
When learning about electric bikes, you might have come across conversion kits. Conversion kits are third-party add-on kits that are retro-fitted to standard pedal bikes to provide electric power assistance. Adding an ebike conversion kit to your folding Brompton will invalidate the warranty on your bike.
Electric bikes need to meet strict legal and safety regulations for each market. Several Brompton frame parts had to be reinforced or altered to meet both the higher mechanical and electrical standards necessary. A CE mark on the battery or motor is not enough, and non-compliance can have a serious impact on liability and warranty.
The Brompton Electric folding bike was developed from the ground up by our skilled designers and engineers to meet these regulations. The Brompton Electric therefore has different mechanical standards to our non-electric bikes, which is the primary reason conversion kits cannot be fitted to a Brompton without invalidating the warranty. The Brompton Electric bike is made of a reinforced steel frame to support the weight of the battery and motor, as well as differences in cable management, all while retaining the iconic 3-way Brompton fold.
SHOP THE FOLDING EBIKE - BROMPTON ELECTRIC
* Source: Castro et al., Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2019)
** Source: Höchsmann et al., Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (2018)