Comparison of electrically assisted bicycles (EAB)

The use of electrically assisted bicycles (EAB) by young and old has become popular in France. The EAB is a fast, reliable and ecological urban mobility solution. Some models are connected for an even more intuitive riding experience. TheeBike or smart bike is very popular with communities. As a result, the supply of connected bikes has diversified to meet the demand.

There are other EAB models on the market. While they effectively address urban mobility issues in various metropolises, the choice is not always obvious. Each machine has its own characteristics. It is important to understand the differences for optimal use in everyday life. We present a comparison of EABs, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each solution.

Quels sont les différents types de VAE ou eBike ?-1

Electric city bike

What do you need to know about the electric city bike? The electric city bike has been designed for urban travel. The bike can be driven at a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Beyond that, it is only the road profile or the pedal stroke that determines the speed. The speed is also explained by the fact that the electric city bike allows you to bypass traffic jams during rush hour to get to work on time. Another positive point is that the cyclist does not have to exert much effort. It is thus sure to arrive at its destination without sweating.

The electric city bike also has some drawbacks that should not be taken lightly. It is heavier than a conventional bicycle. A difference of more than 10 kg, even 15 kg, depending on the model. This is all the more problematic when it comes to carrying the EAB at arm's length to store it in the trunk of the car or to climb stairs. Another negative point of the electric city bike is the fact that it is limited to 25 km/h. This is not ideal. This is not ideal for performance. Other models of EAB are more suitable.

Electric mountain bike (MTB)

A mountain bike is a machine designed for use on rough terrain, off paved roads. Because of its ruggedness, the mountain bike is very popular with trail riders. It is also a model adapted to thrill-seekers. The mountain bike has given its name to an endurance sport that brings together several disciplines. The electric ATV is gaining more interest because it has made it possible to extend the use of the ATV to a wider audience. With electric assistance, anyone can climb or ride very steep roads.

However, weight can be a barrier to using an electric ATV. In addition, while the placement of the battery on the down tube of this electric bike lowers its center of gravity, it loses handling. As the tube becomes wider and the turning radius increases, resistance can be felt at the handlebars, which is not conducive to good handling in turns. Hairpin turns become more difficult to take, even for the most experienced, without putting a foot down.

Electric mountain bike (E-bike)

The electric mountain bike can be used in built-up areas as well as outside of built-up areas, on paths that are not too rough. To go to work, to ride downhill in the countryside or to negotiate dangerous curves in the mountains, this type of EAB will do the trick. This mobility solution is also an economical alternative: people who own an electric VTC are not obliged to invest in another model of EV.

However, the use of an electric VTC is not suitable on very rough roads. Its tires, generally smooth, do not allow a good adherence of the machine on the ground, which implies, in this context, a bad road holding. Moreover, the electric VTC is not really suitable for sport use. For regular use in the mountains and for competition, it is preferable to opt for an electric mountain bike.

Folding electric bike

An electric bike can be folded. What are the advantages of a folding electric bike? Its main advantage is its portability. It can be transformed into hand luggage to be carried everywhere. Indeed, a folding bike can follow the owner in all his travels, by train, car or plane. The other advantage is that the folding electric bike is often designed in a modern and trendy way with clean lines. It is unmatched in terms of aesthetics.

The folding electric bicycle does not have only advantages. Among its limitations, we can cite :

  • poor handling on rough trails;
  • sensitive and fragile components;
  • Difficulty in finding suitable and less expensive replacement parts.

Weight is also a major drawback, especially when used as a secondary means of transportation.

Compact electric bike

A compact electric bike is a bike whose dimensions have been reduced. It has a minimalist structure with folding or removable pedals combined with a pivoting and height-adjustable stem. The compact nature of the electric bike allows it to be 20 to 30 cm shorter than a conventional EAB. A shorter length can make all the difference when it comes to storing the bike in the trunk of the car.

Despite the progress made, it is clear that there are limits to the use of a compact electric bike. If comfort is an absolute priority for the cyclist, the compact bike is certainly not the most adapted answer to his need for mobility. Another disadvantage of using a compact electric bike is that they are not equipped with a luggage rack, which does not offer the possibility to integrate a child seat.

Quels sont les différents types de VAE ou eBike ?-2

Electric cargo bike

Electric cargo bike: what is it? It is an electric bicycle designed to carry loads. There are all kinds on the market: two-wheeled, three-wheeled, with large or small wheels, with or without a transport box, front or rear. They are classified in 3 categories, namely :

  • two-wheeled: the electric bike has two small wheels of 20 inches with front loading. The wheel is no longer in front of the handlebars. The movements of the bicycle are possible thanks to a system of return by linkage;
  • scooter: this is the most common type of electric cargo bike. The bike is equipped with three wheels whose location depends on the model and country of origin. On this model, the load transport can be placed at the front or at the back;
  • longtail electric bike: here, there is no cargo box, but a long luggage rack located at the rear. This explains the elongated shape of this model of electric cargo bike. It can be equipped with larger wheels or a mix of wheel sizes and styles.

Some models of electric cargo bikes, especially the longtail bike, are more stable and maneuverable than others. However, the footprint of the cargo bike is not to be overlooked. It needs space to be parked.

Connected bike or smart bike

Connected bikes or smart bikes are equipped with interesting technologies. They are equipped with a sound alarm system, motion detection, real-time geolocation and are able to provide data to improve the safety of cyclists. Connectivity also has the advantage of improving the lifespan of an electric bike. The device is configured to provide information on the status of various parts. This allows the rider to identify problems and plan repairs before a breakdown occurs.

Other benefits of the connected bike include:

  • the ability to interact with a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection;
  • the ability to set up the bike on the smartphone;
  • a fall detection system;
  • Optimization of travel time;

In addition, the integration of various options for athletes on the connected bike is a major advantage. This allows them to track their performance in real time. Because of its many advantages, the smart bike costs more than other models of EVB (cargo, mountain bike, VTC, city bike, etc.). However, the investment is well worth it.

Electric footbike

The footbike is halfway between a scooter and a bicycle. This EAB, equipped with two large wheels and a platform to place the feet, is versatile. It can be used in built-up areas as well as in the countryside, on uneven paths. On flat ground, on slopes or even on hills, the footbike requires little effort to move. The electric model offers the same advantages, plus a more intuitive ride thanks to the electric assistance.

The problem is that the electric footbike can be difficult for beginners. But, after a few sessions, you can hit the trails, making sure you have good posture on the downhills. Standing still is also seen as a disadvantage by some riders. Maintaining balance can lead to muscle strain and cramping.

In conclusion, it is important to choose the right model of electric assist bike for a unique riding experience. The ideal model of EAB should be adapted to the use that the cyclist plans to make of it. Other considerations include the rider's posture preferences, equipment needs and the type of electric assist(effort sensor, rotation sensor, speed sensor, cadence sensor, etc.).

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