Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is an electric bike?
What are electric bikes used for?
Is an electric bicycle difficult to ride; is it safe, does it look unusual?
What different styles of electric bike do you supply?
Can I ride up hills and against strong headwinds?
Are electric bikes heavy? Can they be transported on a car bike rack?
Can I fit panniers, a child seat or a trail buggy etc to an electric bike?
If I wanted to, could I use it as a conventional bicycle; without power assistance?
Is it safe to leave it in a public place?
Can electric bikes be taken on trains?
What is the law regarding electric bikes?
Do I require a licence, road tax, MOT or insurance?
Do I need to pedal?
How does the optional throttle work?
Are cycling helmets a legal requirement?
What range can I expect from a full charge?
How fast will it go?

Do electric bikes have normal gears and brakes?
What happens when I use the brakes under powered assistance?
What are the running costs?
What are the different battery types and which is best?
What is the expected life of the battery?
How long does it take to charge the battery?
How can I tell how much charge is left in the battery?
Does the battery recharge when pedalling or freewheeling?
Can I still charge the battery if I take my electric bike outside the UK?
Can I charge the battery from a car or leisure 12v supply?
Where are the battery and the motor located?
Can I upgrade to a different battery type later?
How powerful is the motor?
What is the torque sensor and how does it work?
Is there any carrying space?
What is included; is any assembly required?
What should I do if my electric bike develops a fault?
What about servicing and routine maintenance?
Do you supply spare parts and accessories?
Got a question thatís not been answered here?
What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is fundamentally a conventional bicycle that uses a battery powered electric motor to assist the rider.

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) is the term used to describe the two main types of electric bicycle, these are known as ‘Pedelecs’ and ‘E-bikes’:

  • A Pedelec gives power assistance automatically but only when the rider is pedalling. If the rider stops pedalling the power assistance will stop too.
  • An E-bike gives power assistance on demand at any time, including when the rider is not pedalling. Power is usually controlled by a switch or throttle on the handlebar.

Some EAPCs are hybrids that provide the benefit of both E-bikes and Pedelecs with power assistance on demand as well as via a pedal controlled sensor.

Currently in the UK (unlike the rest of Europe) E-bikes and hybrids are permitted although they must conform to additional motor vehicle type approval before they can be sold in UK for use on the public road (our electric bikes already conform to this). In the rest of Europe (where the motor must not propel the vehicle when the rider is not pedalling) only Pedelecs are allowed; with E-bikes regarded in the same way as mopeds. For this reason the majority of EAPCs available are Pedelecs.

As standard our new electric bikes are supplied in Pedelec form; but with the addition of the optional throttle can also provide power assistance on demand as a Pedelec / E-bike hybrid.

 

What are electric bikes used for?

Pretty much everything you’d use a conventional bike for – with the obvious exceptions of particular cycle sports (although we’re seeing more rallies and events just for electric bikes). As a clean, green and enjoyable way to travel electric bikes offer a serious alternative to other forms of transport whether you are commuting, nipping to the shops or just out for a leisurely ride. They are the perfect way to get around when camping, caravanning or for use with a motor-home. They are also being used commercially, Royal Mail for example are using electric bikes developed by Urban Mover for postal deliveries. To learn more about the advantages of our new electric bikes please see our feature on the benefits of electric transport by clicking here.

 

Is an electric bicycle difficult to ride; is it safe, does it look unusual?

Most owners of electric bicycles agree that they are actually easier to ride than conventional bicycles. Certainly having power assistance when you need it most can be a safety advantage, for instance, if you are on a busy road junction with a steep incline facing you – you will now be able to pull out of that junction in a faster and much more controlled manner than you did previously on a conventional bicycle.

Operation is very straightforward simply using the pedals, brakes and gears just as you normally would; the power assistance is controlled automatically or by using the optional twist grip throttle. With a small amount of practice it really is as easy as riding a bike!

All our electric bicycles are supplied already fitted with the complete set of safety accessories (reflectors, mudguards and a bell) as required by British Standards.

You certainly won’t feel overly conspicuous or self conscious riding any of our electric bicycles which look just like modern conventional bicycles to the casual observer.

 

What different styles of electric bike do you supply?

As an approved dealer for Urban Mover electric vehicles we offer the full range, including folding, city bikes, shoppers, step-through and mountain bikes – click here to view the full range.

 

Can I ride up hills and against strong headwinds?

Yes. Two of the main advantages of our electric bikes are that they literally flatten hills and increase your average speed when tackling inclines and headwinds. By providing a reasonable amount of pedal assistance you will be able to tackle anything from a 1 in 10 (10%) gradient to a 1 in 7 (14%) gradient without difficulty. As a new convert to electrically assisted cycling you will be amazed at the ease that your new electric bike can tackle some of the most arduous journeys.

 

Are electric bikes heavy? Can they be transported on a car bike rack?

Our electric bikes are among the lightest available at less than 20kg total weight; with strong, corrosion-resistant all aluminium alloy frames and high performance ultra-light batteries.

With the battery easily removed the overall weight is reduced to just 18kg, making them even easier to transport on most types of car cycle racks. As with any bicycle always check compatibility with your chosen type and make of cycle rack.

 

Can I fit panniers, a child seat or a trail buggy etc to an electric bike?

Yes, generally you will be able to fit these sorts of accessories although additional weight will reduce battery range. As with any bicycle always check compatibility with your chosen type and make of accessory.

 

If I wanted to, could I use it as a conventional bicycle; without power assistance?

At less than 20kg with the battery in place and just 18kg without the battery our electric bikes are light enough to be ridden without any power assistance including with the battery switched off, depleted or removed altogether. However, once you’ve experienced electrically assisted cycling you won’t want to go back!

 

Is it safe to leave it in a public place?

Always lock your electric bike securely when leaving it unattended just as you would with a conventional bicycle using a quality approved cycle lock. For peace of mind policies are available to insure your electric bike against theft and third party liability. Check out www.cycleguard.co.uk.

For extra security and convenience an integrated rear wheel lock is included as standard on all Urban Mover electric bikes. When secured, this immobilises the rear wheel thus preventing your electric pride and joy from being ridden away! In addition the batteries in our electric bikes are locked in place and can only be removed using your key.

 

Can electric bikes be taken on trains?

Yes, our electric bikes can be taken by train and are treated in exactly the same way as conventional bicycles. For added convenience our folding electric bikes are treated as ‘luggage’ by most rail companies when folded (just like their non-electric counterparts). A carry bag or cover is advisable when carrying a folded electric bike on trains but is essential on Underground trains (particularly in the central London area) and on buses – you can order a carry bag directly from us with your electric folding bike or by clicking here.

 

What is the law regarding electric bikes?

To be classed as a bicycle under UK and EU Law, an electric bicycle must meet the following criteria:

  • The bike (including the battery) must not weigh more than 40kg without the rider (60kg for electric tandems and electric tricycles). Our electric bikes weigh no more than 20kg.
  • In the UK the maximum continuous power rating of the motor must not exceed 200W (250W for electric tandems and electric tricycles). However under harmonised European legislation those in the UK are able to enjoy a maximum of 250W for an electric bicycle.
  • The power assisted top speed is limited to 25kph (15.5 mph).
  • The electric bike must have fully functioning pedals.
  • The rider is aged 14 or older.
  • The motor must stop when you stop pedalling - applicable only to the rest of Europe outside of the UK; within the UK models that provide power assistance on demand via a throttle or switch can currently be used on the road without pedalling.

In complying with the regulations above, an electric bicycle is not considered a motor vehicle and therefore does not require a licence, third-party insurance, road tax, registration plates and a motor cycle crash helmet.

All our electric bicycles comply with these criteria enabling you to enjoy riding them on the road just as you would ride a conventional non-powered bicycle.

 

Do I require a licence, road tax, MOT or insurance?

No, in the UK Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles are classed as bicycles so you will not need a licence, road tax, an MOT test after 3 years or insurance. For peace of mind policies are available to insure your electric bike against theft and third party liability. Check out www.cycleguard.co.uk .

 

Do I need to pedal?

As standard our electric bikes provide power assistance automatically when the rider is pedalling; if the rider stops pedalling the power assistance will stop too. Power assistance on demand (including when the rider is not pedalling) can be provided by the addition of the optional throttle which we can supply. You can supplement the battery power at any time by using the pedals, for example on steep inclines which will increase the range of the battery.

 

How does the optional throttle work?

The optional throttle provides direct progressive power via the twist grip accelerator up to a maximum speed of 17.5kph (10mph). Use of the throttle will override the variable pedal assist mode (VPAC). When using the direct power throttle mode, the range of the battery is greatly reduced compared to using VPAC in purely pedal assist mode.

The optional throttle is available separately as a retrofit kit on all Urban Mover models – note that when purchased with a bike the throttle will not be pre-fitted. It is fitted by swapping the battery indicator on the handlebars for the new twist grip throttle. A new charge indicator module is integrated as part of the new throttle unit on the right hand side of the handlebar.

Note: Currently in the UK (unlike the rest of Europe) use of the throttle is permitted on public roads provided the electric bike conforms to additional motor vehicle type approval (our electric bikes already conform to this). In the rest of Europe (where the motor must not propel the vehicle when the rider is not pedalling) use of the throttle is not allowed on public roads.

 

Are cycling helmets a legal requirement?

No, not in the UK but we always recommend that you wear a cycle safety helmet when riding any type of bicycle.

 

What range can I expect from a full charge?

Battery range is notoriously difficult to specify with any degree of certainty since it depends on many factors (some listed below) so please regard this and anything else you read on the subject as a guide only.

For our Urban Mover electric bikes fitted with Li-ion (Lithium-ion) batteries you can expect a maximum range of around 35km (22 miles) in pedal assist mode and around 14km (8.5 miles) when using only the optional throttle (where fitted) without any pedal assistance.

Factors that decrease the battery range are:

  • Extremes of temperature
  • Heavy load (rider, baggage, parcel rack, panniers, trailer etc)
  • Headwinds, hills and rough terrain
  • Repeated stop-start
  • Adverse weather conditions e.g. Snow, wind or rain will add to the load on the battery due to weakened traction conditions.
  • Using the throttle only (without pedalling) – this can decrease the range by more than 50%

 

How fast will it go?

In the UK and the rest of Europe, the legal maximum assisted speed of all Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC’s) intended for road use is 25kph (15.5mph). They can of course be pedalled above this speed. Our electric bikes are equipped with a state of the art sensor that monitors and maintains the top speed of the bike automatically. As a legal requirement the motor will not assist if you pedal above 25kph (15.5mph). Outside the EU, this law varies from country to country and state to state.

 

Do electric bikes have normal gears and brakes?

Yes, all our new electric bikes are fitted with high quality Shimano Tourney 6 speed derailleur gears operated by the latest Shimano TX51 thumb shift gear change; and with alloy Tektro® V-Type brakes front and rear for superior stopping power.

 

What happens when I use the brakes under powered assistance?

The brakes on all our electric bikes are equipped with an in-built safety switch that automatically disconnects motor power under normal braking; so you can slow down and stop safely without the motor working against the brakes.

 

What are the running costs?

The cost of mains electricity to fully charge the battery is about 5p. Compared with the equivalent cost for petrol this equates to over 450km per litre of fuel or about 1,300 mpg!

Other than this there are no other significant running costs. You should carry out basic maintenance and servicing as you would with a normal pedal cycle; however the electronic components of the bikes are sealed units (motor, sensors etc) and therefore require no specialist servicing during their lifetime other than routine lubrication or cleaning as directed.

 

What are the different battery types and which is best?

Rapid advancements in battery technology have resulted in the availability of several different types of rechargeable batteries for electric bicycles. Due to the closing price gap between NiMh (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries and the higher performing Li-ion (Lithium-ion) batteries we now offer Li-ion from Panasonic as standard across our entire range. Li-ion provides 20% more range and 50% longer life than NiMh but is only half the weight.

For more information about electric bike batteries please refer to our Electric Bike Buyers Guide.

 

What is the expected life of the battery?

Battery life is measured in the number of complete charge>discharge cycles and is dependent on treatment – observing manufacturer’s recommended charging and storage practices will ensure optimum battery life.

Our Panasonic Li-ion (Lithium-ion) batteries have a life of up to 600 cycles – that’s over 12,000km or more than 7,500 miles.

As with all rechargeable batteries, optimum depth of discharge is reached after a number of complete charge>discharge cycles; battery life will also degrade with age. You can order replacement or additional spare batteries directly from us by clicking here.

 

How long does it take to charge the battery?

Our Li-ion (Lithium-ion) batteries take around 4 to 6 hours to fully charge; with part-charging proportional to the full-charge time. The batteries can be charged on or off the bike; indoors or outdoors but must be protected from the weather and extremes of temperature while charging. Once the battery is fully charged the digital battery charger will automatically go into ‘trickle charge’ mode to protect the battery from overcharging.

 

How can I tell how much charge is left in the battery?

A charge indicator mounted on the handlebars provides a ‘fuel gauge’ view of the remaining battery charge.

 

Does the battery recharge when pedalling or freewheeling?

Although the electric motor does recharge the battery the benefit is negligible. You would have to cycle or freewheel miles against the resistance of the motor to achieve even a few metres of extra range. This regenerative effect is achieved purely because motors and generators share similar physical properties and so should not be considered a design feature. The advantage though is that you do preserve the battery significantly by pedalling.

 

Can I still charge the battery if I take my electric bike outside the UK?

All Urban Mover electric bikes use chargers that operate on mains voltages automatically from 110v AC to 240V AC (50Hz to 60Hz) and output 24V-26V to charge the bikes battery. If you take your bike with you to another country where the mains voltage differs from that in the UK, the charger will still function normally. You will of course need to use the appropriate mains plug adapter.

Note that if you have fitted the optional throttle this may have to be removed or deactivated before you can legally ride an electric bike in most other European countries. If you are intending to use your electric bike outside the UK we recommend that you check local laws relating to their use before you leave.

 

Can I charge the battery from a car or leisure 12v supply?

Yes, you can charge your electric bike battery from a 12v car or leisure battery in a car, boat or caravan using a mains inverter of at least 500 watts. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Where are the battery and the motor located?

The removable battery is located in a secure housing between the seat tube and the rear wheel; positioned to have a neutral effect on the centre of gravity. All Urban Mover batteries have a patented locking side release mechanism for ease of removal and added security.

The motor is integrated into the rear wheel hub. This provides superior traction and handling over other motor configurations including friction drive and front mounted hub motors.

 

Can I upgrade to a different battery type later?

Yes, the different battery types available within each range of electric bicycles can be used interchangeably; if, for example, you wish to upgrade from a NiMH battery to Li-ion (Lithium-ion) at a later date. When upgrading to a different battery type you will also need to purchase the appropriate battery charger. You can order replacement or additional spare batteries and chargers directly from us by clicking here.

 

How powerful is the motor?

In the UK (and Australia) the high torque brushless motor has a maximum continuous power rating of 26V 200W. For the rest of Europe and the USA this is 26V 250W. Peak power output to meet demand will exceed this. For more information about motors and peak power output please refer to our Electric Bike Buyers Guide.

 

What is the torque sensor and how does it work?

The unique torque sensor now fitted as standard to all Urban Mover power assisted bikes has many benefits to the rider as listed below:

  • Greater control when using pedal assist mode – especially on level terrain
  • Greater low speed control
  • Extends the range of the battery because it only provides the power that the rider demands at any given time

The torque sensor converts the pressure that the rider puts onto the pedals, into progressively variable power to drive the high torque brushless hub motor. This means that on flat ground the rider may only need 25%– 40% assistance and then when the rider encounters gradients or headwinds, the torque sensor automatically senses the additional pressure that the rider is putting onto the pedals and the motor will assist up to 100% dependant on rider requirement. The torque sensor is crank mounted and works automatically with the battery and the hub motor in variable pedal assist mode (VPAC).

torque sensor

 

 Is there any carrying space?

Most of our electric bikes come complete with a rear alloy parcel rack and have the option of rear side panniers. Please check individual product pages for details.

 

What is included; is any assembly required?

Your electric bike will be supplied with battery pack, battery charger and full documentation plus any options you have ordered (toolkit included with selected models). For safe and compact shipping, our electric bikes are supplied about 90% assembled and will need to be set up before you can begin riding – this involves mounting and tightening the front wheel and mudguard, pedals, saddle and handlebars. Brakes and gears are pre-set in the factory but will need to be checked and if necessary adjusted before riding. If you are not confident about setting up the bike yourself your local bicycle shop will be able to advise you of their costs for doing this for you.

If you prefer, we can deliver your electric bike fully assembled (including any optional extras) with brakes and gears set up, inspected and with the battery conditioned and ready for use. Our charge for this is £50 and is available within 50 miles of our base in Woking, Surrey. To request this service please call us on 08456 170 485 or email us at sales@powarider.com – please include the postcode of your delivery address.

 

What should I do if my electric bike develops a fault?

All our new electric bikes are supplied with at least 12 months warranty against manufacturer's defects (up to 5 years for the frame). For product Warranty and Guarantee details please see our Terms and Conditions. If your bike develops a fault please contact us immediately at priorityservice@powarider.com.

After the warranty period we recommend that repairs and fitting of replacement parts is performed by a qualified cycle repairer. In most cases your local bicycle shop will be able to advise you of their costs for performing this work or if you prefer to arrange a back-to-base repair simply email us at sales@powarider.com with your requirements.

 

What about servicing and routine maintenance?

The electronic components (e.g. battery, charger, motor, throttle, sensors and controller) are sealed units and therefore require no specialist servicing during their lifetime other than routine lubrication or cleaning as directed by the accompanying documentation.

You should carry out basic maintenance as you would with a normal pedal cycle. In most cases your local bicycle shop will be able to advise you of their costs for servicing the conventional parts of the bike (e.g. tyres, brakes, gears, forks, wheels, suspension, headset etc).

 

Do you supply spare parts and accessories?

Yes, we supply accessories and a full range of spare parts for our electric bikes including replacement batteries and chargers – all with free UK mainland delivery. Check out our spares and accessories by clicking here or just email us at sales@powarider.com with your requirements.

 

Got a question that’s not been answered here?

We’re always happy to hear from you and we’ll do our best to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours, simply email us at info@powarider.com.

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