Add a range extender to your EV for even longer trips
Electrically Assisted Bikes (EABs) sometimes have a limit for mountain bikers: their autonomy is not enough. In fact, as a general rule, it is possible to cover about 100 km with a full battery. This figure can, of course, be increased or decreased depending on many factors (mode used, weather conditions, condition of the bike path, riding style, etc.). Cyclists who wish to travel very long distances may find themselves shortchanged. Many of them will have to stop in the middle of their route to recharge their electric bike. Only those who have a range extender will not have this trouble. And for good reason! Thanks to the range extender, it is possible to recharge the electric bike in a simplified way. Explanations.
The EAB battery: a brief reminder of this key element of the electrically assisted bicycle
The EAB battery is a key element of the electric bicycle. Without it, the cyclist would simply not be able to benefit from pedaling assistance. Typically, when the bike's battery is fully charged, the rider can travel between 60 and 100 kilometers before having to plug it back in. However, as with a car, there are many factors that can affect the energy consumption of the battery:
- the capacity of the battery: inevitably, a battery with a low capacity will need to be recharged more regularly than one with a larger capacity;
- the electric assistance mode used (eco, normal, sport, turbo): a cyclist who uses the eco mode consumes less energy than one who rides constantly with the turbo mode;
- the difference in altitude of the route: the more slopes there are to climb, the more energy the bike consumes;
- the weight to pull: the more the bike is loaded, the more energy the battery has to use to help the cyclist move forward;
- the weather conditions : wind can increase the assistance mode;
- the length of the route: the more kilometers you ride, the more the battery will be used.
In short, long-distance cyclists may not have enough battery power to get from point A to point B. For this category of sportsmen, there are two main solutions. The first is to stop halfway through the journey to recharge the bike's battery. The second is to equip your bike with a range extender.
EAB: use a range extender to go even further
The range extender is a particularly valuable piece of equipment for cyclists who regularly ride several hundred kilometers. Here are more details.
What is an electric bike range extender?
A range extender is a kind of second battery to be installed on the electric bike. Thanks to this spare part, it is possible to make many trips without having to recharge the electric bike halfway. The range extender allows, finally, to gain several tens of kilometers of road thanks to more energy capacities.
The cyclist thus avoids the incessant stops to recharge his battery. He can also consider longer trips without having to worry about the state of his battery throughout the journey.
How does the range extender work?
The range extender is installed directly on the electric bicycle. Very often, it is installed at the frame level in order to favor weight distribution and not to unbalance the cyclist.
In the vast majority of cases, it is connected to the bike's main battery. It then acts as a power bank. If, during a trip, the cyclist were to run out of energy on his first battery, the extender would take over. It would recharge the main battery, allowing the rider to continue pedaling while receiving electric assistance.
The additional capacity granted depends on the model of the range extender (generally, it is around 250 Wh). However, it is possible that with the range extender, the cyclist is able to cover distances twice as long as if he/she had only one battery.
There are two different ways to refill the extender depending on the brand:
- in some cases, simply plugging the electric bicycle into the attached charger will charge the initial battery and the range extender in sequence;
- In other cases, you have to remove the extender and connect it to its own cable to charge.
Is it possible to install a range extender on all EABs?
It is not possible to install a range extender on all existing EABs. Some brands of bicycles (and especially some types of batteries) are not able to work together with a range extender.
For this reason, it is recommended that you find out more before making the expenditure. This step is also essential even for owners of EVs that accept range extenders. Indeed, the extender must be adapted to the brand of the motor.
In either case, it is generally necessary to count between 200 € and 1,000 € for the purchase of an EAB range extender. Then there are the costs of assembling the part. Sometimes it is necessary to hire a professional to do this job carefully.
The advantages and disadvantages of the range extender
Installing a range extender on your bike has its advantages, but also some disadvantages. Here are the advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of a range extender
One of the first advantages of installing a range extender on your electric bicycle is that it gives you more range. This allows you to ride more kilometers without having to recharge your bike. This option is ideal for cyclists who ride a lot or who wish to ride for very long distances.
It allows you to focus solely on your riding and performance without having to worry about thebattery's condition. The extender also allows you to recharge the battery less, which tends to preserve it.
The disadvantages of the range extender
Despite all these advantages, the range extender has some limitations. The first is its cost. Often, it is necessary to count nearly 1 000 € for the purchase of the part and its installation by professionals. This represents a substantial budget to be added to the price of the bike (which itself is sometimes already high).
Another negative point is that the part is not compatible with all brands of electrically assisted bikes. In addition, the range extender adds extra weight to the bike, which can affect the cyclist's performance. Ideally, it is better to choose a range extender that is as light as possible.
As you can see, the range extender can be a real asset for cyclists who want to ride for many miles. To extend their trips even further, they can also adopt certain additional measures: not to weigh down their bike (with passengers, bags, etc.) and to ride as smoothly as possible.
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