Finding the perfect electric bicycle in Vancouver is now easier than ever with this how-to guide.
Vancouver boasts the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. At over 28 kilometres, the Seaside Greenway, including the Stanley Park Seawall, as well as Jericho Park and Kitsilano Beach are great areas for riding electric bicycles. Additional bike trails are available all along the downtown core, as well as the North Shore and Spanish Banks.
Electric Bicycle Information
Electric bicycles first appeared during the 1890s, but truly came into popularity during the 1990s in Europe, China, India, and North America.
Electric bicycles are very similar to traditional bicycles, with the addition of battery-powered electric motors to help propel riders forward.
Electric bicycles can travel at speeds of 18 to 22 mph and depending on the model, can travel for 15 to 60 miles on one charge. The miles depend on a variety of factors, including one’s weight, the weight of one’s cargo, terrain, and wind speed.
Electric bicycles often cost about 6 to 14 cents a mile to maintain, in comparison with over 50 cents a mile for automobiles.
Most electric bicycles run on lithium-ion batteries, which are durable, waterproof, and can be recharged on any sort of electrical outlet.
Vancouver Electric Bicycle Laws
In Vancouver, e-bikes can be used on protected bike lanes, and do not require insurance or licenses from riders. Driving on sidewalks or boulevards is strictly prohibited
Helmets are required by law.
Electric Bicycle Stores
Many of Vancouver’s electric bicycle stores offer in-store and online locations. In addition, many also offer electric bicycle repairs and stock parts with retail shops and dedicated warehouses. Many stores are available in Vancouver neighbourhoods, as well as North Vancouver, and further east in the Fraser Valley, including Langley.
Many locations now offer rentals as well, so do not hesitate to ask.
Types of Electric Bicycles
There are various types of electric bicycles on the market today.
- Motors – Firstly, electric bicycles can be divided into those with hub motors and mid-drive motors. Those with hub motors have drive systems on the rear hub of the wheel, while those with mid-drive motors have them near the pedals.
- Classification – Next, electric bicycles are classified as throttle assisted or an electric pedal-assisted. Throttle-assisted electric bicycles are perfect for riding on challenging and hilly terrain. In contrast, electric pedal-assisted electric bicycles offer riders the option of pedal-free throttle. This is great for individuals with chronic pain conditions.
- Classes -These types of -bikes are also often divided into classes. Class 1 e-bikes feature a motor that only kicks in when individuals pedal. Class 2 e-bikes have a pedal assist mode of up to 20 mph plus throttle-powered mode. Finally, Class 3 e-bikes are solely pedal assist similarly to Class 1. However, in Class 3 e-bikes, assistance continues up to 28 mph as opposed to 20 mph.
- Categories – They can also be broken down into categories, such as road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes, commuter/urban bikes, comfort, cruiser, fitness, all terrain, folding, and hybrid types.
Benefits of Electric Bicycles
Electric bicycles are great for various reasons, including the simple fact that they are quiet, non-polluting, and make cycling a great deal of fun!
Electric bicycles greatly simplify the transportation process. No type of insurance or license is needed to start riding. In addition, no money is spent on gas or following inconvenient and sporadic public transit routes. These will saver riders time and money,
Best of all, electric bicycles can even be used in the rain, a great option for those living in rainy Vancouver!
Electric bicycles are also great for keeping fit while having fun. Individuals are known to ride for longer and attempt more challenging terrain.
They also require less effort than traditional bicycles, making them a great choice for older individuals or those with chronic pain and joint issues.
Finally, electric bicycles are also environmentally friendly.
Costs of Electric Bicycles
The costs of electric bicycles varies, ranging from $2,000 CAD for lower end models to $4,600 CAD for mid-range and over $16,000 CAD for high-end, professional models.
Choosing the Perfect Electric Bicycle
Choosing the right electric bicycle is now easier than ever. By asking a few simple questions, one can ascertain the right type for one’s lifestyle and body. For example, is your e-bike primarily for recreation or exercise, commuting, or hauling children and passengers? Do you want your e-bike to be able to fold for easy storage? What is your height? Does your e-bike need to accommodate mobility issues, such as painful hips, knees, or back?
- Classes – Class 1 electric bicycles are recommended for newer riders, while Class 3 e-bikes are great for commuters and errand runners. When making a decision, keep in mind that Class 2 e-bikes are allowed in the same areas as Class 1 e-bikes.
- Battery Types – Riders should also choose the right sort of electric bicycle batteries. For example, lead-acid electric bike batteries (SLA) are cheap and easy to recycle. However, one disadvantage is that they do not last a very long time. In contrast, nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries have more capacity than SLA’s. They are also more expensive and more difficult to recycle. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) electric bike batteries are more efficient than NiCd’s, but are also more expensive. Finally, lithium-ion (Li-ion) electric bike batteries are the most popular. Approximately 90% of e-bikes use this type of battery. They last longest and generate a great deal more power than other types of e-bike batteries.
Some newer types of batteries include lithium-ion polymer (Li-pol) electric bike batteries, which can be molded into a variety of shapes, as well as lithium cobalt (LCO) electric bike batteries.
Choosing the perfect electric bicycle for use along Vancouver’s extensive bike paths is now easier than ever. Do not hesitate to contact an in-store or online retailer today.