BikeChain-City Cycling
BikeChain-City Cycling


All You Need For City Cycling

City biking is becoming ever more popular. Commuter and e-bikes have some clear advantages - who doesn’t love saving money on public transport or beating a traffic jam? And then there’s sneaking health benefits into your daily commute, a triple win. But best of all is getting out for a leisurely ride with some friends, you can’t beat fresh air and adventure. To get ready for your next adventure, whether work-day, weekend, long or short - we have you covered.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a road bike and a commuter bike?

A commuter bike is designed to help transport you from A to B, along with everything you need for your day, safely, in comfort, and with the option to carry extra cargo such as bags and baskets.

A road bike on the other hand is designed for riding as a sport, with a focus on helping you go as fast as possible and for as long as possible, with very little option for extra cargo and compromised comfort for aerodynamics.




What bike accessories do I need for commuting or for my e-bike?

To keep you safe you’ll need a helmet and lights. To help you stay hydrated you’ll need bottle cages and bottles. To carry your shopping, laptop, spare clothing and the like, you’ll want bag/s or a basket to help transport these safely. Putting your cargo onto the bike instead of your back helps lower your centre of gravity, take stress off your back, and help keep you cool on your ride!




What do you wear on an electric bike?

If going for a short leisurely ride, good news! You can wear whatever you like. For longer commutes or rides, we recommend wearing a lighter weight, breathable and flexible garment. Adding a pair of padded cycling specific undershorts is also an easy way to add some extra comfort to your ride. If it’s raining, we recommend a waterproof but breathable jacket and over-trousers, the BBB Delta Series is perfect for this, and even has a waterproof over-short if you prefer.




What kind of helmet do I need for an electric bike?

There are helmets specifically designed for e-bikes, such as the BBB Indra, these are designed to help keep you safe whilst also protect you from the elements. Having a more enclosed helmet offers a greater level of protection from the elements, whilst still keeping you cool on a hot day with internal venting. /




E-Biking

E-biking is one of the fastest-growing categories in the world, with estimates that the e-bike market will reach US$52.36-billion (yes, billion!) by 2028. This form of riding may have suffered from dubious PR in the early days (wrongly associated as cheat-riding, more on that later). However, it is most certainly now a mainstream sport and loved by millions worldwide. If you’re considering getting an e-bike, then get ready for some of the most fun on two wheels that you can imagine! Here we’ve compiled everything about e-biking that we think you will want to know. However, our e-bike-loving team is here on hand to answer any specific questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to fire away! 

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What are e-bikes?

They are not a fundamental shift from your typical bike. They feature all the usual suspects you’d expect on a bicycle - two wheels, frame, seat, handlebars, drivetrain etc. However, a small battery sets them apart in a big way. Indeed, this one modest addition makes one heck of an impact. On most bikes, you will find the battery located above the rear wheel or in the bike's centre over the pedals. 


How do e-bikes work? 

Using a torque sensor, the motor triggers when you pedal. It senses the amount of power you’re transferring into the pedals and reacts in proportion to this. So, the harder you pedal, the more the motor helps you. It’s like that mate who just innately knows when you need a little more TLC! 


How long do e-battery bikes last?  

If you’re talking about the actual life of a battery, then expect anywhere from two to four years. It comes down to the quality of the battery itself (it’s why we always recommend [Bosch](https://www.bikechain.com.au/promo/bosch), one of the best in the market), how much you use it and how well you care for it. There are a few things you can do to care for your bike battery and help prolong its life: 

  • Don’t store the battery fully charged or fully depleted. It’s a bit like goldilocks in that somewhere in the middle is just right. 
  • Avoid discharging lithium-ion batteries to zero per cent. You might end up doing this every now and again on an extra-long ride, but don’t make a habit of it. Instead, top up the battery fairly regularly and use them when they’re in the discharge cycle’s top half. 
  • Don’t get your battery hot because lithium does not like sitting around in the sun. As such, always find a shady spot when you’re out and about, stopping for coffee or a meal. Equally at home, be sure to store it in a fairly cool and dark place so it can sleep soundly and give you its very best performance next time around. 

    Are e-bikes and pedal-assist bikes the same thing?

    Yes, they are largely the same thing. You might also hear the hybrid term ‘pedelec’.  


    How fast are e-bikes? 

    By Australian Law, e-bikes must not exceed 250 watts of maximum continuous power via pedalling and reach a top speed of 25km/h. The added power from your body can, and probably will, enable the bike to achieve much greater speeds. However, unassisted, it cannot legally exceed 25km. 


    Do e-bikes charge while you pedal? 

    A small number of electric bikes charge whilst you pedal; however, the majority does not. So you will still need to remember to take the battery off the bike and recharge it when you’re done. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise on your next biking adventure (when the battery runs out - see below). So, in short: the motor is in output mode when you pedal, not recharge mode. 


    What happens when the battery goes flat on an e-bike whilst you’re pedalling? 

    OK, you want to avoid this happening! The first sign of a flat battery will show on your LED display - lights will go out, and nobody will be home! Your gearing will remain in whatever gear the bike was in when the battery went flat. If you’re somewhere in the hills, then let’s hope that was granny gear. With any good fortune, you will be out riding with a [mobile battery charger](https://www.bikechain.com.au/s?query=battery%20charger), and all you will need to do is find a socket. If you were headed into the mountains, then hopefully, you left prepared, with a fully-charged spare battery in your pack (remember that tip!). 


    How long does it take to charge an electric bike battery?

    If it went right down to zero, expect anywhere from 3.5 - 6 hours. 


    Can e-bikes go without pedalling?

    Yes, they can. However, as mentioned, they cannot exceed more than 25km/h as per Australian Law. 


    Is e-biking cheating?

    This has to be one of the most enduring misnomers about this category of biking. Boy, oh boy, this is not cheating! You can’t race an electric bike alongside a conventional bike and expect an even race, sure. Furthermore, entering an electric bicycle into a non-electric bike race will see you disqualified before your first cadence. But to suggest that e-bikes don’t give you a workout is so far from the truth. They make pedalling easier, granted, but they don’t stop the fact you are still pedalling. You can push yourself as hard as humanly possible on an electric bike and get the workout you want. You can take it up Alpe d’Huez, and you will still feel like you’ve achieved one of the biggest physical challenges of your life. Indeed, this study showed that eMTBers average heart rate was 94% of that of conventional riders. There’s not much in six percent…! 


    What are the top two advantages of electric bikes?

    Pedalling is easier (but it’s still pedalling) 
    This is a particularly significant benefit for commuters (see below) and people with injuries or ageing who still want the thrills of a good session on the bike. That Alpe d’Huez moment we mentioned earlier might be an extreme example. Still, even just that painful hill near your place becomes a lot easier to tackle when backed by battery-operated power! Maybe you want to book a cycling holiday to Europe, but you’re worried about your fitness level? It’s way less of a problem if it’s an e-biking holiday. 

    Commuting is faster 
    This was a huge contributor to the boom of electric bikes sales during the pandemic. With so many people having to avoid public transport, bikes were rediscovered. And e-bikes specifically were recognised as a means of getting workers to and from the office without looking like they’d had a sweaty gym session along the way. Moreover, it means those living further away from work don’t have to spend as long commuting, whilst those who live closer to work can probably afford to hit the snooze button a few more times! 


    What are the top two disadvantages of electric bikes?

    More expensive than convention bikes 
    If you’re comparing apples with apples, then an e-bike will always cost more than a conventional bike purely given it has one more significant feature, the battery. However, as this sport has become more popular, pricing has become far more affordable.

    Heavier than conventional bikes 
    Yes, e-bikes are heavier than conventional bikes, probably up to around 40 or 50%. But they’re still way lighter, quieter, and better for the environment than motorbikes or scooters! 

    Are there e-bike specific helmets?

    Whilst in Australia all helmets are required to pass the thorough AS/NZ standards, not all helmets are designed the same. The BBB Indra helmet, for example, was designed from the ground up in accordance with the NTA-8776 standard to meet demanding e-bike testing requirements in Europe. The result is an excellent commuter helmet that offers up to 40 per cent more protection when compared to conventional helmets. The double in-mould shell helps further increase the Indra’s strength and durability, whilst the Venturi ventilation system helps airflow through the helmet and keep you cool on your daily commute.

    You can carry more!

    With the added assistance of the e-bike, you can now consider adding a basket, bag or bags to your bike allowing you to stop at the shops on your way home, carry your laptop and change of clothes with you, or even take your furry friend along for a Sunday cruise at the park. We recommend the Basil range of bags and baskets, designed from the home of everyday cycling, the Netherlands.


    Contact us about all your electric bike enquiries

    Do you have more questions about e-bikes or, indeed, Bosch? We’d be happy to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us! 



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