Electric Bike FAQs

Welcome to A2B electric bike world.  Here we aim to provide you with answers to all your 'About e-bike' questions. Covering everything from technical, performance to what do I wear and what's the difference between an e-bike and traditional bicycle. Do get in touch with us if you have a question we have missed out.

Helping you to redefine your journey...A2B.

1. What is an electric bike?

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are a relatively new, environmentally friendly, easy and fun mode of transport.  E-bikes are not merely bicycles with motors, but have integrated motors whilst retaining the ability to simply be pedalled by the rider.   The motor's there to ease the burden of pedalling when you choose, making it easier to go up steep hills or cycle into headwind, and it will help you cycle further, with less effort, than you could on a regular bicycle.

They are classed according to the power of the electric motor, and therefore vary by country. However, general classification is dictated by whether the e-bike’s motor assists the rider using a pedal assist system, commonly known as a pedelec, whereby the motor is regulated by pedalling, or by power-on-demand where the motor is activated by a throttle.

A2B’s range includes both classes of e-bike, so that you can choose one that completely meets your personal needs whilst also meeting the legal requirements in your country. 

In those countries that allow, e-bikes can reach up to 45km/h, and are called speed pedelecs. A2B’s Shima e-bike, which reaches this speed and is the fastest in our range, is a popular choice in these markets.

Electric bikes are perfect for all ages and abilities in:

  • Increasingly congested, polluted urban environments – our e-bikes are agile yet sturdy, and produce a low carbon output
  • Hilly terrain – mountainous/hilly areas and rural destinations  
  • Urban cities – e-bikes provide a fast, flexible commute.
2. What is the difference between an electric bike and a traditional pedal bike?

E-bikes have all the features of a ‘normal’ bike, with the added benefit of a motor and propulsion system which gives you extra power when you need it.  The electric bike motor is rated for 250W output, normally regulated to up to 25km/hour.

Easy to ride, e-bikes have gears that are operated in the same way as on a traditional bicycle.  The exception is the most sophisticated bike in the A2B range, the Entz, which allows you to set your cadence and the bike automatically and silently changes gear for you.

You decide how much power you want to engage by choosing your level of pedal assist.  The A2B premium range features regenerative braking, charging the battery as you engage the brakes.

An advantage on all bikes are the built in lights which work automatically so no need to worry about batteries on this important safety feature.

Many people rely on an e-bike as their main mode of transport, allowing them to arrive at their destination refreshed and without needing a shower and change of clothes.

3. What are the benefits of e-bikes?

E-bikes are incredibly smooth to ride and really take the stress and strain out of cycling, whether you journey by bike or cycle as a hobby.

Safety
The extra power allows you to do things regular bicycles can’t - the extra speed and acceleration means you can get away from junctions at traffic lights easily, perfect for the stop-start-stop-start city commute, and match the speed of surrounding traffic reducing the chances of an accident.  The power means you can also concentrate on the traffic around you more, and stay safe. That’s why they used by police forces.

Health Benefits
The health benefits of electric bikes are significant.  Riding an electric bike is good exercise, in fact better exercise than a regular bike if it encourages you to get out more on it, which most e-bikers do. Riding an electric bike is so exhilarating that it’s easy to forget you are exercising, like playing sports. You can get out for an inspiring 100 mile ride, something that very few people able to do on a regular bike. 

Explore Further

A whole new world of destinations becomes available, enabling you to reach places that would normally require a strenuous hike, or car, to get to otherwise.   You can plan longer and more ambitious rides, choosing to use your own pedal power on the way if you wish, knowing you can cruise home with more support if you need it. An e-bike also assists you when carrying heavier loads than you would normally cycle with, making your journey easier and more comfortable.

E-bikes open up a whole world of possibilities even for those who are not 100% physically fit.  An A2B Obree recently completed the challenging Lands End to John O’Groats ride in 10 days ridden by a sufferer of crohns disease.  A pretty remarkable feat for both bike and rider.

Commuting
For commuters, the motor makes light work of the cycle to work meaning you don’t arrive a sweaty mess, don’t have to pack a spare change of (creased) clothes and don’t have to shower at either end. This saves you a lot of time and hassle.  Folding e-bikes are the commuters dream, light, portable yet powerful enough to get you to your destination cool, calm and on time.

On longer journeys, an electric bike means you don’t tire so easily so you’re more alert and arrive at your destination quicker, ready for the day ahead.   E-bikes really are the best and fastest way to travel.

Environmental

E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles as they emit no combustion by-products.   Even taking into account the environmental effects of manufacture, e-bikes will have significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles and are environmentally desirable in an urban environment.  They have the added benefit of improving traffic flows as travel faster than bicycles and can over time reduce overall traffic volumes.

A2B bikes were awarded ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’ by the respected Extra Energy ratings body.  

4. Folding electric bikes

See our folding bikes here: Kuo and Kuo+

More and more savvy commuters are turning to folding bikes to take the strain out of commuting.  At A2B we’ve gone one better and introduced the light, yet highly durable folding electric bike – the Kuo.  The highly portable Kuo, and Kuo+, conveniently folds down and is the lightest model in the A2B range making it the perfect electric commuter bike.

The Kuo is lightweight, small and stylish enough to accompany you anywhere ensuring you arrive at your destination fresh and unstressed.

Folding bikes first came to light a few years back but were a little flimsy initially.  Design improved and now with folding electric bike technology the commuter has a pleasant and efficient alternative to the typical commute.

The Kuo+ is predominantly an electric commuter bike and places short on storage, however, this model does still handle hills incredibly well when the rider uses both the Kuo+ propulsion system and their own pedalling. 

Its portability also means it’s perfect to fold up and stow away on holiday getaways, including caravan and boat trips or a day out in the country.

How fast can a folding e-bike travel?: the Kuo+ can reach speeds of up to 15.5 mph (25 kmh) in UK and Europe and up to 18.7mph (30kmh)  worldwide, however you are able to pedal faster. The bike will assist you up to 40km (25 miles) although the distances vary depending on the weight of the rider and riding conditions.

5 How reliable are e-bikes?

A2B e-bikes are very reliable.  Our new ‘Made in Germany’ range are built to last featuring a ‘Y’ frame design which is known to be extremely sturdy. So confident are we of these bikes durability we offer a 5 year warranty on the frame.   The component parts are carefully chosen for their suitability for type of use.  Users are encouraged to prolong the life of their battery by charging it efficiently and scheduling regular services from a local dealer.

Our new eSocialBike app, which receives information direct from the bike, helps generate essential diagnostic information on the bike’s condition. This tells the user how to use the bike more effectively and alerts them to any issues, increasing reliability and efficiency on compatible models.

6. Electric bike technology

Those unfamiliar with electric bikes are often surprised in the huge variations in performance and feel that are on offer.

When you are comparing traditional bicycles it is quite easy to read the specification and look at the bikes to see what the differences are and where your money is going.   With electric bikes many of the most impressive features cannot be seen or heard, they are sophisticated electronic components that work seamlessly. 

Electric Bike Motors

e-bike motors are rated for 250W output, normally regulated to up to 25km/hour, dependent on the country legislation.   The performance of an e-bike is a combination of battery, motor composition, quality of component parts, efficiency of the system and the controller which regulates the power output of the motor.  The higher quality the bike, the smother the ride.

A2B e-bikes boast the latest technology and high quality component parts.  Many of our bikes are designed and built in Germany with the new Entz, Ørsted and Obree models all featuring “state of the art” technology.

Interactive Technology

Additional technical components in A2B bikes include the eSocialBike app – a sophisticated on-board electronics tool that provide maintenance, navigation, troubleshooting and social interfaces.  The A2B eSocialbike can run diagnostics and gather maintenance data allowing dealer and owner to quickly identify and solve hardware issues fast.   The app provides live battery maintenance information to the rider and dealer via Smart phone.  All designed to improve the bikes performance, efficiency and prolong the battery lifespan.

The social component allows the rider to map journeys, track performance and share experiences through social media sites via a Smart phone.

The A2B eSocialBike is unique in that it fits into the battery so is available on past A2B models via a battery upgrade.

7. The future of electric bikes

We continue to be are the forefront of e-bike design and technology.   The future of e-bikes lies in the sophistication of the performance management and social connectivity

The A2B eSocialBike not only provides vital diagnostics but is able to communicate directly with a dealer to alert to any potential issues and parts requirements as well as informing the rider as to how to achieve the best battery performance.  This clever chip enhances the social aspect of your journey through route sharing with friends, connectivity to social media as well as calculating your environmental credits.

8. Electric bikes legislation

In Great Britain, if you’re 14 or over you do not need a licence to ride electric bikes that meet certain requirements, and they don’t need to be registered, taxed or insured.

The law in the UK requires electric bicycles to reduce the power supplied by the motor as the bike's speed approaches 25km/hour (15mph). This doesn't prevent you to going faster than that, but you're going to have to do it under your own steam as the motor will stop helping you (switch off) once you hit the top legal speed it's allowed to operate at.

Electric bikes meeting the requirements are called ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). They can be 2-wheeled bicycles, tandems or tricycles.

The requirements are:

  • the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it
  • the electric motor shouldn’t be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15mph
  • the bike (including its battery but not the rider) must not be heavier than 40 kilograms (kg)
  • the motor shouldn’t have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts
  • the bike must have a plate showing the manufacturer, the nominal voltage of the battery, and the motor’s power output

Where you can ride an e-bike
If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it’s classed as a normal pedal bike. This means you can ride it on cycle paths and anywhere else pedal bikes are allowed.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules