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Electric Bikes: Tips For New Owners

It’s always exciting to receive a brand new bike so you must be keen to get the first spin in!  Before you take out your new Furo X, here are a few tips to get the most out of it.

 

Speed limit

Legally, the UK legislation is based off European regulations, limiting the speed of electric bicycles to 15.5mph. The electric assistance cuts out automatically if the speed exceeds 15.5mph. However, you may want to change this speed limit if you use your bike in an area with different restrictions (for example, USA 19.8mph), or if you do not use your Furo X on public roads (for example on private property). All electric bicycles that meet these requirements can be ridden on any cycle paths and anywhere else that bikes are normally allowed without the need for insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

The different levels of assistance

The Furo X has 5 levels of assistance that can be adjusted via the onboard computer on the handlebars. In order to activate the assistance,  all you have to do is pedal for the motor to engage. Each mode offers a level of assistance that allows you to pedal with minimal effort.

  • Level 1-2 – economical mode
  • Level 3-4 – normal mode
  • Level 5 – maximum sport assistance mode

For those who wish to ride without electric assistance like a classic bike, you can lower the assistance level to 0 and the motor will disengage itself providing you with a natural riding experience supported by its gears and hydraulic disk brakes.

 

 

Ebikes are water-resistant

You can ride your electric bicycle in the rain as the battery and motor are protected by water-resistant cases, allowing you to ride in the rain without any danger.

However, you cannot completely submerge your electric bicycle, nor can you clean it with a jet wash as this can cause water to penetrate the seals. Instead, clean it with a sponge and warm soapy water. Remember to remove the battery when cleaning your bike.

 

How to boost your range

As a key element of your electric bike, there are tips to prolong the life of your electric bike battery:

  • Use your electric bicycle preferably between 15°C and 35°C rather than in temperatures inferior to 15°C.
  • Don’t wait until your battery is completely discharged before recharging it. This can increase its capacity from 500 to up to 6000 cycles. (Optimal longevity is obtained when the battery is charged to 75% and discharged to 25%).
  • The optimum storage temperature for Lithium-ion batteries is 23°C in a cool place and at 60% capacity.
  • Moderate your average speed and the intensity of your acceleration and deceleration.

The lithium-ion cells used in your battery will achieve 500 full charge cycles before reaching 70% of their original capacity. Following this, the decrease in capacity will be linear. As described above, charging your battery to 75% of its capacity and using it up to 25% of its capacity will greatly enhance its life. In this case, in order to maintain performance, it is important to conduct a full charge and discharge every 10 to 15 recharge cycles.

 

Lithium-ion battery etura Folding electric bike

 

It’s important to maintain your bike regularly

Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to prolong the lifespan of your bike and keep it running smoothly.

Check tire pressure, rims, braking and lighting for proper operation before each ride. Under-inflated tyres put more strain on the motor and therefore decrease your range. To optimise your battery life, be sure to regularly maintain your tire pressure, which should be approximately between 40 and 60 PSI. We also recommend that you have your bike serviced once a year at your local bike shop.

Be prepared for any eventuality and always carry tools and spare parts with you. Here is a list of the essential items you should have on hand during a bike ride to ensure that you can proceed to minor repairs:

  • a compact multi-functional tool
  • a puncture repair kit
  • a spare inner tube
  • a compact bicycle pump

 

Click to access the Getting Started Guide

Download your Owner’s Manual

Test our Range Calculator to anticipate your trips!

If you have any after receiving your Furo X, do not hesitate to contact us here

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 electric bike sales 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!

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.

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