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Folding Electric Bikes Are Brilliant. Here’s Why

There’s never been a better time to get a folding electric bike. As a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and convenient mode of transportation, they’re perfectly suited to urban living. In this post, you’ll see how much better a folding e-bike makes it to commute, run errands, and generally get around town.

 

Getting Around Town Is No Sweat

Riding an electric bike is a great way to burn off excess calories without breaking a sweat. Pedal away as much as you want to get your heart pumping; when you need to take a break, simply let the electric motor do the work. You’ll especially appreciate this every time you commute or ride to a social event as you won’t need to shower or change clothes when you arrive at your destination.

 

 

 

 

You’ll Be Riding Up That Hill With No Problems

You shouldn’t have to choose between struggling to pedal up a hill as your legs and lungs beg you for mercy or getting off and walking your bike up, which can be a hassle in itself. Your e-bike’s motor can power you up hills; you’ll also have a less strenuous ride when you’re carrying your rucksack, bags of groceries, or anything else you need to transport by bike.

 

 

 

Get Up To Speed Easily

There are times you need to accelerate from a dead stop quickly to keep up with traffic, both on roads and bike lanes. Your folding e-bike’s motor takes care of this for you instantly, giving you added peace of mind at intersections. Additional power can also benefit you when you need to overtake – just as long as you’re doing so with total awareness of what’s going on around you. After all, with extra speed comes extra responsibility!

 

 

 

 

How Convenient

Lightweight and foldable, yet incredibly durable, folding electric bikes are easy to store and carry. If you need to use public transport during your travels through town, you can quickly fold up your e-bike and carry it on with you. Because it takes up no more room than a large piece of luggage, your folding electric bike is far less of a bother to transport than a regular bike. 

When you get to your destination, you can keep your bike with you and store it without obstructing others. This beats locking it outside or putting it somewhere that’s going to annoy the people you live or work with. Since you can store your foldable electric bike indoors, you don’t need to worry about bike thieves taking off with your ride – in essence, your bike comes with a built-in security system. 

 

 

 

No Room Too Small

For the growing number of people living in micro-homes, storage space is a serious issue. No matter how small or big your home may be, your folding electric bike helps you maximize your available space. You can store it pretty much anywhere – in a closet or corner, under a table or bed, or on a balcony or a hook in the foyer.

 

 

This advantage extends to car storage – when you want to take your e-bike with you on a road trip, fold it up and pop it in the boot. You no longer have the hassle of affixing your bike to a roof rack or folding down the back seat to fit your bike into your car. Bringing your own foldable electric bike also spares you the expense and risks of renting a bike during your travels.

 

 

Become An Eco-Road Warrior

Well, maybe not a warrior, we just like the way that sounds. The point here is that more bike riders mean less air pollution. Folding electric bikes are as environmentally friendly to ride as push-pedal bikes. They also happen to be a convenient, healthy, and fun way to get around.

 

 

 

Explore Your Options

To get a better idea of how much a folding electric bike can bring to your life, check out our Furo X. This popular e-bike fuses style, performance, and practicality – plus an abundance of extra features – to give you a riding experience that experts are raving about. If you’re looking for something that’s even lighter but still a dream to ride, take a look at our eTura.

 

 

 

 

We’re always available to answer your questions and help you choose the right folding electric bike for your needs, so get in touch with us.

Why Owning an Electric Vehicle Is Better Than Sharing

Dockless electric bikes and scooters are becoming a common part of the urban landscape in cities all over the world. It’s easy to see why – they’re a cheap, convenient, and ecological way of getting around town. However, dockless electric vehicles are less than ideal for frequent riders. This may already be painfully obvious to you if you use them every day for, say, commuting to and from work.

For regular use, there are several good reasons why you should buy an e-bike or e-scooter. In this article, we’ll show you the advantages ownership has over hiring. 

 

You’re Safer on Your Own E-Bike or E-Scooter

You’ve always got a good idea of what condition your electric bike or scooter is in. You know when its battery needs charging and you can tell when a part needs fixing or replacing. 

You don’t have that knowledge with a shared dockless vehicle. You’re always at risk of hiring a ride that prematurely runs out of juice or has broken or defective parts, potentially causing serious injuries or worse. Ownership of an e-bike or e-scooter gives you far more peace of mind than a vehicle you just grab off the pavement.

 

Sharing is Not Caring

There’s no debating that dockless electric bikes and e-scooters are an environmentally friendly mode of transportation – as long as we’re talking purely about riding. This benefit loses some of its lustre when we look at dockless operations as a whole.

Consider this: how do all those electric scooters and bikes get relocated, repaired, and recharged? The answer transforms them from being sustainable to climate-unfriendly: vans, trucks, and cars. Every day and night, bands of gig workers drive around picking up and transporting e-scooters and e-bikes, increasing traffic congestion and polluting the air. Buying an electric bike or scooter won’t make this issue disappear overnight, but it certainly won’t make it worse.

Dockless electric bikes and electric scooters don’t last long. A 2018 study indicated that, on average, electric scooters have a lifespan ranging from just under 29 days to nine months. Operators tend to discard rather than reuse them, increasing their negative impact on the environment. As the owner of an e-vehicle, you’re more likely to maintain it to maximize its lifespan. When you’re ready to get a new e-scooter or e-bike, you can always resell your previous one rather than just hauling it off to the dump.

 

Owners Don’t Have Abandonment Issues

Perhaps the biggest problem with shared dockless bikes and scooters in the urban clutter they create. A large number of riders are simply leaving them anywhere: across sidewalks, in front of doorways, on lawns, in car parks, in rivers,… really anywhere. Unsurprisingly, this inconsiderate behaviour is infuriating city residents all over the world, giving shared e-scooters and e-bikes a kind of social stigma.

When you own a vehicle, you’re not going to just park it wherever you want – doing so could result in a fine, theft, or vandalism. Buying a folding e-bike or e-scooter has the added benefit of portability, so you can keep it with you wherever you are, without creating obstacles for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

 

Ownership is Cheaper in the Long Run

If you’re just riding every now and again, a shared vehicle is cost-effective. On the other hand, daily use over the course of a year could easily end up costing you more than a brand-new e-scooter or e-bike. Best of all, you don’t have to share your vehicle with a bunch of strangers.

Let’s do the math, using the pricing of a shared Lime bike. You pay £1 to unlock a bike then 15p per minute until you lock it back up. In the UK, commuters who cycle spend 44 minutes per day travelling to and from work. So we’re now at £7.60 per day. Using an average of 253 working days per year, this comes out to £1,922.80 annually. 

For just £77.20 more, you can get our Furo X folding electric bike, saving yourself nearly £2,000 in e-bike rental fees every year!

We don’t have shared e-scooter figures yet, but we’re sure that owning our popular Fuze electric scooter would save you as much, if not more, money.

To learn more about our folding electric bikes and scooters, pricing, and the benefits of owning over sharing, feel free to get in touch with us!

E-Scooters to Become Legal for Road Use in the UK

As our cities set out on the road to coronavirus recovery, we’re seeing a growing acceptance of electric scooters. In the UK, the public has become more supportive of e-scooters, and the government is revising road traffic regulations so councils can set up trials in their cities. 

Here’s the latest on the UK government’s e-scooter plan, which should help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution low and prevent overcrowding on public transport. This is great news for e-scooter riders across the country. Let’s take a look at the progress that has been made recently.

 

E-Scooter Trials Get the Green Light

The UK is catching up with several European governments that have embraced e-scooters as a means of reducing car usage. The COVID-19 lockdowns have made the benefits of micro-mobility abundantly clear, as Hamish Stewart, the organiser of London Car Free Day points out:

“During the crisis, we have seen lots of people realising that they don’t need a car to make short trips and the decision to accelerate e-scooter trials will provide another non-polluting way for people to travel safely and take the pressure off public transport.”

To determine the impact that more widespread use of electric scooters will have on road traffic, air quality, and pedestrian safety, 30 city councils are planning pilot projects. The potential reduction in congestion and pollution is high as 60% of car journeys in the UK cover a distance of merely one to five kilometres. The results of coronavirus-related restrictions support this assumption, as we’ve seen a massive decrease in vehicular traffic and air pollution has dropped by up to 60% in parts of the country.

Based on a government consultation, the regulatory framework of the pilot programmes states that:

  • E-scooter riders can use public roads, cycle lanes, and tracks
  • E-scooters are exempt from vehicle registration
  • Riders must be at least 16 years old and hold a driver’s license
  • Riders require insurance
  • Riders are not legally required to wear helmets
  • Top speed: 12.5 mph (20 km/h)
  • Maximum e-scooter weight: 35 kg

Stay on the Road

The same consultation emphasizes that electric scooter use in the UK should only take place on roads (with the obvious exception of motorways) and in cycle lanes. The reasoning behind this is that e-scooters and bicycles travel at similar speeds.

It goes without saying that e-scooters are not permitted on pavements. This is a serious concern among pedestrians, especially in European cities that are coming to grips with an overabundance of rented electric scooters. Only responsible for riding and parking will result in successful trials and nationwide adoption of these eco-friendly vehicles.

 

The Benefits of E-Scooter Ownership

While the pilot projects in the UK are for rented e-scooters, there are numerous advantages that come with owning an electric scooter. Currently, one of the most important benefits is that you’re eliminating the risk of coronavirus infection. Shared e-scooter companies are doing their best to sanitize their fleets, but they’re also advising you to wipe the handles and wash your hands before and after riding, and wear gloves – all things you don’t have to think about when you’ve got your own e-scooter.

You’ve also got an awareness of the condition of your e-scooter that you don’t get with a rental. As its only rider, you’re aware of its performance, so you know when a part needs tuning or replacing. Rentals may be sturdy, but you still have no idea how much wear and tear they’ve been through.

Additionally, ownership may be seen as more socially acceptable. Rentals are seen at best an amusement for tourists, at worst the source of an American phenomenon that’s been dubbed “scooter rage”, which has prompted city residents to throw rented e-scooters into rivers. You can easily store our Fuze anywhere, including your home or office, so you’re not contributing to the piles of rentals that are taking up pedestrian spaces.

 

This is Great News for Electric Scooter Riders

We at FuroSystems will be keeping an eye on the progress of the pilot projects. Hopefully, their success will bring this sustainable, environmentally friendly mode of transport into mainstream acceptance, and help keep the UK’s roads clearer while lowering pollution levels. Watch this space for the latest news about the e-scooter trial, as well as advice on electric scooter use and maintenance.

Why Folding Electric Bike Sales Are Booming in 2020 

Our city streets have gone electric. If you’re living in an urban centre or been to one recently, you’ve probably noticed the increasing number of eco-friendly vehicles like folding electric bikes and scooters zipping to and fro. This boom shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as conditions are ideal for growth.

We’re going to see a lot more electric bicycles on the roads; Deloitte predicts that global ebike sales will skyrocket to 130 million over the next three years. There are many factors contributing to the rapid, and ongoing, growth of the personal transportation industry. We’re going to take a look at a few of the more significant ones.

 

Electric Bikes Make It Easier to Get Around in The New Normal

The novel coronavirus has forced us into “The New Normal”, where “normal” means lockdowns, remote working, social distancing, and facemasks. COVID-19 has also prompted a surge in bicycle sales in part because they make it easier to adhere to social distancing rules.

With an electric bike, you save yourself the stress of sharing public transport space with other commuters. In addition to minimizing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, commuting on an ebike also means no more cheek-to-jowl rides on crowded busses or subways during peak hours. 

 

 

Governments Are Making it Better to Bike

To reduce traffic congestion and air pollution that comes with population growth and increasing urbanization, our governments want us to cycle.

To encourage us to ride our bikes in town, all levels of government are investing in cycling infrastructures, with a focus on creating dedicated lanes. For instance, the UK has committed £250 million to the construction of new bike lanes and safer junctions. With a budget of €300 million, Paris is building 400 miles of pop-up bike lanes and transforming the city’s biggest cross-city through route into a bike-only highway. Local governments are also offering subsidies and other ebike incentives to drive adoption and push eco-friendly initiatives.

These programs and incentives have helped spur electric folding bike sales globally, especially in Western Europe, the US, China and Singapore. 

 

electric bikes and exercise

 

Clean Transportation for Clean Air

Even without the threat of coronavirus and other airborne illnesses, more people are enjoying the fresh air and personal space they get when getting around town on an electric bike. While “fresh air” doesn’t immediately come to mind when talking about urban centres, lockdowns have resulted in less congested streets, which has caused a drop in pollution levels.  

The rise of the electric bike can also be attributed to more environmentally conscious consumers. As they reduce their personal carbon footprints, they’re preserving the huge improvements in air quality that cities across the globe have experienced during COVID stay-at-home orders and business closures.

 

A Quicker, Cleaner, More Comfortable Commute

With all the improvements cities are making to their cycling networks, commuters have even more reasons to buy eco-friendly folding electric bikes. If, like most of us, you travel to and from the office during peak hours, bike lanes keep you out of gridlock, enabling you to travel more quickly than you would in a car or bus.

More commuters also see the value in riding a bike that is less physically demanding. As an e-cyclist, you put in less effort than a regular cyclist, so you’re not going to arrive at work sweaty and in need of a shower and a change of clothes. On commutes where the motor does all the work, you simply need to expend a few seconds of energy unfolding and folding your electric bike at the start and end of each ride.

 

Electric Bikes Are for All Fitness Levels

The opportunity to enjoy the health benefits of cycling at a comfortable pace, regardless of fitness level, has also contributed to the ongoing surge in ebike sales.

Because they require less physical effort to use than a normal bike, electric bikes make cycling appealing to those who might be concerned about overexerting themselves. So if you feel like you could be in better shape, a folding electric bike is a great way to start exercising. You can let the motor do the work when you need to, such as when you’re going uphill, riding into headwinds, or transporting something heavy.

 

Electric Bike Technology Keeps Getting Better

Continuous innovations are also helping drive new and upgrade electric bike sales. The lithium-ion batteries that power them are lighter, cheaper, and more powerful than ever. Many use the same cells used in the Tesla Model S, and some include a USB output so you can charge your smartphone, tablet, or any other device while you’re riding. 

Technological advances also include safety and comfort features that are important to riders. For instance, integrated wireless turn indicators, bright front and rear LED lights, and onboard computers give you peace of mind and convenience that help ensure a great riding experience every time you hit the road.

Advances in the construction of the bikes themselves have also increased their appeal. E-bikes made of carbon fibre are both lightweight and robust. Easy to fold, unfold, carry, and store, folding electric bikes are especially popular among RV owners and people who live in small spaces.

 

 

Electric Bikes Are Trending, Not Trendy

E-bikes and other modes of electric personal transportation are riding a rising wave of popularity. With increasing awareness of the benefits they bring to air quality and quality of life, more people are opting to get around town on folding electronic bikes. Governments are giving us even more incentive to become a part of this rapidly growing trend.

While the tech is improving, ebikes are getting more affordable. For instance, our Furo X offers premium features at an accessible price. If you’re looking for something even smaller, our eTura is an ultra-compact folding electric bike that you can carry and store pretty much anywhere. If you’d like help choosing your ebike, we invite you to get in touch with our helpful team!

Electric Delivery Bikes: The Future of Logistics?

Delivery bikes have become a common feature of our city streets. Ideally suited to densely populated urban areas, bikers deliver everything from takeaways to medical supplies. The addition of an electric motor only serves to increase their functionality, and the likelihood of them being an integral part of tomorrow’s logistics system. In this post, we will outline the role of eBikes in modern urban areas, and the advantages they hold over current methods of transport. 

 

The problem with vans 

In spite of a decline in private car ownership, urban congestion has increased over the last decade.

David Brown, CEO of Go-Ahead London (one of the companies that manage the capital’s buses), stated that traffic has increased by 14% across UK cities. This is likely a result of the rise of the ‘light commercial vehicle’; according to The Guardian, van journeys have increased by 25% in the past decade, due in part to a boom in online shopping. 

 

And they’re not just clogging up our roads, but also our lungs. Statistics from the Department of Business, Transport, and Industrial Strategy show that in 2018, the average emissions for vans were 262gCO2/km compared to 140gCO2/km for a diesel car, and 154CO2/km for a petrol car (ref. 1)  

 

Greener, free-flowing roads 

 

It’s clear, then, that vans are bad news. eBikes, on the other, could be the solution. Not only do they take up less space on our roads, but they also don’t emit greenhouse gases.

 

They’re also more than capable of dealing with the delivery capacity of vans. The Bicycle Association reports that as much as 30% of van deliveries could be shifted to eBikes right away, and this is only going to increase with changes in how cities are designed and how delivery companies operate. Rather than having large, out-of-town distribution centres, many online retailers will have smaller warehouses that are closer to densely-populated areas (Amazon already does this). The future of inner-city logistics is therefore likely to be built on a ‘micro’ network, with orders being fulfilled and delivered at a short distance from where they’re actually placed – ideal for electric delivery bikes. 

 

Saved costs 

 

Those opting to use electric bikes for their deliveries will also save money. Aside from not having to pay certain costs (including petrol, insurance, and license fees, to name just a few), eBike riders don’t have to stump up the ‘congestion charges’ that are imposed in various cities around Europe. It’s also worth noting that eBikes can be significantly cheaper to buy than vans and other modes of delivery transport, and are often quicker to repair. 

 

Flexibility 

 

Electric bikes can be used for delivery across numerous sectors. A study by The University of Antwerp has highlighted all of the possible market segments of e-cargo bikes for more sustainable distribution in the future: 

  • The gig economy – To deliver app-based services such as those provided by Deliveroo, JustEat, and UberEATS. 
  • Courier services – To deliver individual packages from A to B, for a single client. 
  • UCC partner – As mentioned, to deliver packages from urban consolidation centres (UCCs) to nearby consumers. 
  • Postal – To fulfil postal deliveries, working as subcontractors or integrators of services. 
  • Service vehicles – To act as the principal means of transport for small-scale service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, or bike repair technicians. 
  • Delivery services – To deliver the products of SMEs, such as flower shops, bakeries, and grocery stores.

 

Electric bikes have multiple uses. Alongside helping to improve our commutes and keep us fit, they can actually be used to deliver items to our homes and workplaces. As a cheaper, greener alternative to vans and cars, and more in-line with the way cities are developing, electric delivery bikes are only going to become more popular in urban areas. 

 

If you’re looking for the next generation of electric delivery bikes, then consider FuroSystems. Inspired by the precision engineering of aeronautical design, our ebikes offer unrivalled performance and riding experience – whether they’re being used for work or play. The Furo Sierra can take on mountain paths as well as city streets, whilst the Furo X is one of the lightest folding eBikes on the market. 

 

References

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/726911/2018_methodology_paper_FINAL_v01-00.pdf (pages 38 and 54) 

 

Urban air quality after the lockdown: How eBikes can help

Over the past few weeks, the world has been on lockdown. Travel has been restricted, restaurants, cafes, and other public places are closed, and the streets are virtually empty. It’s a strange and stressful time for most of us, but there is one silver lining of being forced to stay at home. Less activity means less pollution, and the air quality of major cities has been drastically improved. Not only does this give the Earth a welcome respite, but it could also lead to a drastic change in attitudes towards emissions and our common modes of transport. 

 

Changes in air quality

 

In London, Birmingham and other large urban areas in the UK, nitrous oxide (NO2) and tiny particle pollution have dropped by approximately 33%, with some areas seeing drops of up to 50%. London’s air quality, in particular, is now at the lowest level since the year 2000 when the population was 2 million less than it is today! Nitrous oxide and tiny particle pollution are “the two air pollutants that have the biggest health impacts on people”, according to the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Poor air quality is estimated to cause 110 premature deaths every single day, and that’s just in the UK. 

 

It’s not just the UK that has seen improvements, the air quality in major cities around the world is strikingly better. Cities like Milan, New Delhi, and Jakarta are enjoying noticeably better air and clearer skies, which can be seen in these side-by-side images. Perhaps the most striking outcome is that the Himalayas are now visible from 125 miles away in parts of India for the first time in 30 years! 

 

Change in attitudes

 

These improvements in air quality show three things. Firstly, it very clearly shows just how polluting our current methods of transport are. Secondly, it shows that our cities (and the wider planet) can recover very quickly if we stop adding pollutants to the air. And thirdly, it shows that we need to seek alternative methods of personal transport for the masses because our current methods (specifically cars) aren’t sustainable in their current form. Something needs to change, for the sake of our lungs and our planet. It’s a sentiment that’s shared by Dr Benjamin Barratt of King’s College London

 

Electric bikes could be the solution we’re all looking for, and we aren’t just saying that because we make them! 

 

Electric bikes are an emission-free mode of transport, and they’re more accessible than regular bikes thanks to the motor’s assistance. Those who may not feel fit enough to complete their entire commute by bike, or those who may have felt vulnerable while cycling on roads, can now enjoy the pleasure of riding a bike without having to solely rely on their own power. 

 

 

Ebikes are still an excellent form of exercise, with studies showing that an ebike has a comparable effect on the rider’s heart rate and calories burned as a regular bike. With more people riding eBikes, there’ll also be less congestion in cities during rush hour (since a bike takes up far less space than a car). Not to mention how much cleaner the air can be, especially in major cities like London. You can read more about the benefits of electric bikes here

 

We hope that the recent improvement in air quality leads to a change in attitudes toward electric bikes. We hope that more people see the benefits of these brilliant machines, and what they can do for our cities and our health. 

 

If you want to be a part of the future of transport today, then check out our range of electric bikes. They’re all emission-free and road legal in the UK, making them the perfect way to get around the city. Our Furo X is one of the most powerful folding eBikes you can buy, making it fun, fast, and practical. Perfect for commutes, leisurely weekend bike rides, and everything in between. 

 

Electric mountain bikes vs Mountain bikes: What is the Difference?

 

 

 

 

The advent of electric mountain bikes has been a bone of contention within the mountain bike (MTB) community. Some people see using an electrically-assisted mountain bike as cheating, whereas others think they’re a great evolution in biking and that there’s room for both eMTB riders and MTB riders. Here we discuss some key differences between electric mountain bikes and traditional mountain bikes to help you decide whether you should buy one.

 

Target audience

Mountain bikes are aimed at a very particular niche. People who love cycling off-road, and those who are fit enough and experienced enough to ride over such dangerous terrain safely. It takes a lot of practice to get good, and it’s an exciting but also very gruelling activity. Electric mountain bikes aim to open up the activity to more people.
They’re aimed at those who are less experienced at cycling off-road, or perhaps older people who wouldn’t feel comfortable going off-road without some electrical assistance. Even experienced mountain bikers who are recovering from an injury can enjoy the benefits of an electric motor. It also opens up the activity for your friends and loved ones, who want to join you on your mountain bike adventures but aren’t able to keep up. E-mountain bikes lower the barriers to entry for mountain-biking so more people can enjoy it.

 

Do more with an electric mountain bike

Following on from the previous point, as well as allowing more people to take part in mountain biking, e-mountain bikes allow even experienced riders to do more than they otherwise could. With assistance from the electric, you can ride faster, travel further, and conquer tougher terrain. Peaks that were previously out of reach can now be reached, and steeper inclines are easier to ascend now you don’t have to rely solely on your own power.
Electric mountain bikes allow many people to do more within the sport of mountain biking than they otherwise could. Purists may see it as cheating, we see it as technology helping us to achieve more than we previously thought possible. Is sending an email “cheating” when compared with writing a letter by hand? Of course not!

 

 

As a form of exercise

A criticism that mountain bike enthusiasts may have regarding electric mountain bikes is that they’re a less effective form of exercise. The claim is that the electric motor takes much of the strain away from the rider, thus making the activity less of a workout. The logic makes sense, but is this actually the case? A good way to test this is to compare the average heart rates of a person riding a mountain bike vs an e-mountain bike. One experiment did just that and found that the heart rates are almost identical, suggesting that both vehicles are an excellent form of exercise. Riders shouldn’t be worried about skimping on exercise if they choose an electric mountain bike over a traditional mountain bike.

 

Weight difference

The battery and motor of electric mountain bikes add considerable weight, so much so that they can be twice as heavy as traditional mountain bikes. You’ll certainly notice this when you have to carry or push the bike over rocks, a stream, or even up to some stairs. That being said, when you’re actually riding the bike, you’ll hardly notice the added weight thanks to the motor. The assistance provided will carry the lion share of the extra weight, so it’s effectively cancelled out. Also, the added weight may actually give you more stability and control when riding downhill.

 

 

Battery vs no battery

A natural concern that many may have in with regards to the battery life. With a traditional mountain bike, you only need to worry about your legs running out of juice. An electric mountain bike brings with it some more potential worries. What if you forget to charge it fully before setting off for a day on the hills? And what if the battery runs out while you’re miles from anywhere?
The truth is, ebike batteries are excellent nowadays, and they’re likely to last longer than you can! It may take some extra organisation to ensure your bike is fully charging before you embark on your journey, but it’s unlikely to run out of battery before you call it a day. Plus, if the worst should happen and your battery does die before you’re finished, it’s still a fully-functioning bike – you can just ride it home! You won’t have any assistance, of course, but you won’t need to push it by hand.
At their core, both mountain bikes and their electric cousins are very similar in how they’re used. While electric mountain bikes cater for a wider audience, there’s no need to see them as a “challenger” to traditional mountain bikes. There’s space for both in the world, and electric mountain bikes may act as a gateway to mountain bikes for some people. If you’re interested in buying an electric mountain bike, check out our very own Sierra. An extremely powerful, rugged yet comfortable e-mountain bike.

How old do you need to be to ride an electric bike?

For many people, riding a bike as a child is one of their fondest memories. The freedom, the speed, the excitement! The only thing that could possibly be better than riding a bike is riding a bike with an electric motor. Nowadays, it’s not just a childhood fantasy – electric bikes are real and becoming more and more accessible. However, before you go rushing to buy an electric bike for your child, it’s important to consider the legality of riding an electric bike at certain ages. Here we discuss how old a person must be to ride an electric bike.

 

Electric bikes are classed as Electronically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) by authorities. The current UK law surrounding EAPCs states that riders must be at least 14 years of age when using them on the roads. Therefore, it’s illegal in the UK for children under 14 to ride electric bikes.

 

People have considered ways to get around this law, such as by riding the ebike with the battery switched off. This, however, is illegal. Once a battery has been fitted to a bike, there’s the potential for it to be turned on and used, so children under 14 years of age still aren’t allowed to ride.

 

What about riding off-road, such as on bridle paths in the countryside? There’s currently no law regarding the use of electric bikes on bridle paths, but the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRE) states that there’s a tacit implication that people should comply with the road laws whilst on bridle paths.

 

Children under 14 are, however, allowed to ride electric bikes on privately-owned land, at the owner’s discretion. Private land isn’t subject to the Road Traffic Act, so this is one way to allow children to enjoy ebikes. We would recommend, however, that you use good judgement to determine whether it’s actually a good idea to allow your child to ride a power-assisted bike. Regardless of the law itself, there is a safety concern for young riders – ensure they’re skilled and responsible enough to ride, even if you do have permission to use private land.

 

Reason for the law

You may be surprised by this ruling, given that EAPCs are treated the same as regular, non-powered bikes in the eyes of the law. Children under 14 are allowed to ride bikes, so why not electric bikes? According to the Department for Transport, it’s all down to safety.

 

There’s a level of skill and responsibility required when riding a power-assisted vehicle, and the more powerful the vehicle, the more skill and responsibility required. The minimum age at which people can ride a moped is 16. “This was reduced to 14 years old for EAPCs” due to their lower power and less risk involved compared with mopeds (and other powered vehicles). Additionally, the youngest riders of powered vehicles are statistically the most at-risk of injury, so these laws are in place to protect young riders.

 

What is the punishment for riding an electric bike while underage?

Being caught riding an electric bike whilst under the age of 14 carries a fine under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively minor offence, but the fine is enough to make parents and guardians abide by the law.

 

Electric bike age limits in Europe

How does the UK’s approach compare with the rest of Europe? Interestingly, there are no age restrictions on the use of ebikes in the EU. However, this doesn’t mean we recommend you take your child abroad to ride to their heart’s content. Exercise good judgement and ensure anyone under 14 years of age (or any age for that matter) is proficient and comfortable enough on a traditional, non-power-assisted bike before they upgrade to an ebike. Safety first!

 

The UK’s law against minors riding ebikes exists for a reason – safety. Electric bikes are tremendous fun and one of the best ways to get from A to B. They’re fast, emission-free, and a great form of exercise. Check out our very own Furo X, one of the most powerful ebikes on the market – you won’t find a better way to get around town.

eBike modifications – The do’s and don’ts

Once you’ve got your hands on a brand new electric bike, you’ll want to explore everything it can do. Whilst it’s already amazing straight out of the box, you might start tinkering around with it to get the ride you’re looking for. In this post, we tell you what to think about when proceeding to ebike modifications. 

 

eTuning 

The lithium batteries used for electric bikes pack a serious punch. Whilst they’re intended to only provide assistance as you’re pedalling, they’re capable of much more – but this doesn’t come without significant risk.

 

Manufacturers of eBikes limit the output of batteries to 250 Watts and place an automatic cutout on the motor assistance as soon as the speed of the bike surpasses 25 km/h (15.5 mph). 

 

Certain devices, however, are able to bypass these restrictions in order to reach higher speeds. One such device is attached between the wheel magnet sensor and the bike’s computer unit, and it essentially manipulates the speed at which the bike believes it’s travelling. This prevents it from cutting out at the legal limit of 25 kph and allows the motor to push the bike too much faster speeds. 

 

As fun as this might sound, there are a number of problems with this particular eMod. The first is that it’s illegal; electric bikes are currently classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) in the eyes of the law, and the speed limit of 25 km/h is a strict condition for this classification. Anything faster, and the bike would be classed as a scooter for legal purposes, with everything that entails – licences, insurance, safety etc. 

 

Tampering with the battery’s limits may also invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty. If anything else on your bike goes faulty and you’ve tried to tamper with the motor’s limits, then you won’t be covered. 

 

Our advice is – if it’s speed you’re looking for, pedal harder or have a go at an e-bike mountain trail. You don’t want to ruin your electric bike (or your criminal record!) by messing with the motor. 

 

Fat Tyres  

A much more doable modification is to add fat tyres to your eBike. If you’re a regular biker, you may have noticed these whilst out and about on mountain tracks. They’re thick, almost-comically large tyres intended to help the grip of the bike and make the ride feel more ‘floaty’. Although they were originally designed to help bikes ride over snow, they’ve gained something of a cult status these days – they seem to be as popular in the city as they are up in the mountains. In any case, they can be added to your electric mountain bike to help you duck and weave your way down those highland trails, or the rush-hour traffic. 

 

Gears 

Another aspect of your eBike you can customise is the gears. Whilst many out-of-the-box eBikes are perfectly fine to ride with the gear setups already installed (Furo’s Sierra has an impressive 9 speeds), there’s always the possibility to change it to suit your own riding preferences without comprising the assistance given by the electric motor. 

 

One idea is to change the gear ratio between the front and back of the bike. As a general rule, the more gears you have at the front, the harder pedalling will be but the faster you’ll be able to go. More gears on the back of the bike, on the other hand, makes riding easier in general, but harder in reaching faster speeds. Most eBikes will be able to handle either setup and the battery-powered motor will assist when needed. 

 

Alternatively, you could even transform your eBike into a fixed-gear bike. A hipster favourite around the streets of London, a ‘fixie’ relies on only one gear and has no freewheel. The result is a bike which has a minimalist look but can be more difficult to ride at times (especially uphill). With a little nudge from an electric motor, however, you can look cool and get from A to B without breaking a sweat. 

 

Once you’ve had your eBike for a little while, you might want to customise it to make it stand out on the road. If you’re looking to add a personal touch to yours, we’d recommend keeping away from the electric motor and instead focusing on other parts like the tyres and gears. 

 

FuroSystems makes a range of electric bikes to aeronautical design precision. Our eBikes offer commuters a fast, efficient, and green way to travel to-and-fro. Check out the Furo X – the first-ever full-carbon folding electric bike. 

 

Electric bike terminology explained: Jargon busting

The world of electric bikes is filled with jargon and it can all be a little confusing to those who are new to it. We hope to clear up some uncertainty by explaining the keys terms you’re likely to hear when researching electric bikes.

 

 

First off, not all electric bikes are created equal. There are a few different types of electric bike, and they have certain features that set them apart from each other.

 

Pedelec (or EAPC)

A Pedelec, otherwise referred to as an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) is what many people think of when they hear the term “ebike”. It’s a bike with a motor that assists the rider’s pedalling – it does not provide assistance unless the rider is pedalling. In the UK and Europe, Pedelecs are limited to a power output of 250W (we’ll discuss this unit later) and 15.5mph (25kph), meaning the motor will switch off if the bike exceeds this speed. They’re legal to ride, treated exactly like a traditional pushbike in the eyes of the law. Our Furo X is a perfect example.

 

S-Pedelec

An S-Pedelec is much like a Pedelec, the key difference being the speed at which the electric motor switches off. S-Pedelecs assist the rider up to speeds of (45kph) and have a power output of 500W. Given this high-speed capability, they’re not legal for general use. In order to use one in Europe and the UK, riders will need to register and insure the vehicle and possess a driving licence. And yes, the “S” stands for Speed.

 

E-mountain bikes

E-mountain bikes (E-MTBs) are simply electric mountain bikes. As a result, they’re hardier than other ebikes, with better suspension, different tires and braking systems, and additional weight-carrying capabilities. As long as they conform to the EAPC standards, they’re legal to ride in the UK and Europe. Take our very own Sierra as an example.

 

Twist & Go bikes

Twist & Go bikes are bikes that you do not need to pedal in order to make them move. Much like a motorbike or moped, you simply twist the throttle in order to go (hence the name). These aren’t road legal in the UK and are treated the same as motorbikes due to the lack of pedalling involved.

 

 

Electric bike terminology motor

 

The motor is a key component of an ebike. It’s the part that converts electrical energy, supplied by the battery, to mechanical energy. In other words, it uses the electricity supplied by the battery to help make the ebike move.

The following are terms that are closely associated with motors.

 

Power

Power is the rate of “doing work” or transferring energy over time. The more power a motor produces, the more energy it converts each second. To put it in context, more powerful ebikes are faster than less powerful ebikes because they produce more mechanical energy (or do “more work”) per second.

 

Watts (W)

Watts are a unit of measure used to describe the power output of a motor. The standard way of measuring power is in Watts.

 

Torque

Torque is the rotational power of the motor. The higher the torque, the more turning power the motor produces, and the better the bike is at assisting the rider. Torque is particularly important when travelling uphill.

 

Newton-metres (Nm)

Newton-metres are a unit of measure used to describe the torque output of a motor. In other words, torque is measured in Newton-metres.

 

 

Electric bike terminology battery

 

The battery is the other key component of an ebike. It’s the part that supplies electrical energy to the motor. The following terms are closely associated with batteries.

 

Lithium-ion batteries

While there are many types of batteries, most ebikes use lithium-ion batteries (including our ebikes). They’re a type of rechargeable battery that’s very lightweight for the energy it provides. Lithium-ion batteries can be found in a range of electrical devices, including smartphones and laptops.

 

Range

The range is simply the distance an ebike can travel one a single charge. The range of an ebike will be affected by the size of the battery, how efficiently it uses power, its weight, the terrain on which you’re riding, the incline, and even the direction and strength of the wind. We designed an online range calculator to evaluate the range of light electric vehicles.

 

Volts (V)

A volt is the standard unit of measure to describe electrical potential between two points. In other words, voltage is the energy per unit of charge. It’s the “push” that moves electrical charges from one point to another (giving us a current).

 

Watt-hours (Wh)

Watt-hours are the unit of measurement used to describe a battery’s capacity. The higher the Watt-hours, the higher the capacity of the battery, and therefore the greater the range of the ebike (as a general rule).

 

Amps (A)

Amps are the standard unit of measurement for current, which is the rate of flow of electrical charge. The higher the amps, the faster the flow of electrical charge.

 

Ampere-hours (Ah)

Ampere-hours is a unit of measure that describes the rate of the flow of current over time. It can be thought of as the amount of energy that passes a particular point in an hour and is often used to describe a battery’s capacity.

 

 

 

As well as the technical, scientific terms, there are a number of features that are common to most ebikes. It’s helpful to be aware of them when you’re researching which ebike you should buy.

 

Walk assist

Walk assist is a useful feature that helps riders to move their ebike around when they’re unable to ride, or help them to start riding. The motor accelerates the ebike to a speed of approximately 6kph, making it easier when walking with the bike or when you’re just starting to pedal. It’s especially useful when you’re setting off on an incline.

 

Regenerative braking

Regenerative braking is another innovative feature that improves the energy efficiency of an ebike. When braking, kinetic energy is lost as you slow down. With regenerative braking, the ebike will store this energy instead of allowing it to be lost. In essence, it charges the battery a little each time you use the brake.

 

We hope this guide is useful and helps you to make a more informed choice of an electric bike. Start by checking out our very own Furo X, one of the most powerful folding ebikes you can buy!

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