Forget mopeds or scooters as today it is possible to buy a much lighter and more efficient bike which is powered other than by pedal power alone. These lighter bikes have light electric motors and are therefore called e bikes or electric bikes and they are rapidly becoming very popular. Not only are these e bikes much lighter than mopeds or scooters, perhaps half or even just one third the weight but they are also far less noisy when in use as the electric motor only softly hums when in use. Three components are added to a bike to make it electric, a motor of course and a battery to power that motor but it also has a control in order to control the mode the motor is used in. It is usual that the motor will have three modes, including pedal only in which case the motor isn’t in use. The other two modes are pedal assist and motor only. In pedal assist mode, the motor will only switch on when the pedals are in use whilst in the motor only mode, the motor will remain on regardless of whether or not the pedals are turned. Obviously it is in the motor only mode that the battery will run out of charge earliest but in this mode, without exerting any effort at all, a rider will be able to obtain speeds of up to 20 MPH and will be able to travel as far as 20 miles before the battery needs to be recharged. In the pedal assist mode, the motor is providing extra power to the pedals and so the speed obtained will very much depend on how much effort the rider puts in to the pedalling but, in this mode, the rider may be able to travel up to 40 miles without having to recharge the battery. These are estimates based on a 250W motor being used but more powerful motors are available but they of course will require more battery power and so will need for the battery to be recharged more frequently. There are of course different types of battery that can also be used but the above estimates are for a quality battery which may only need to be recharged or as little as 4 hours to become fully recharged. Although other batteries may provide a charge for as long as the quality batteries, they may need a far longer time to fully recharge.
The motors or the electric bicycles can be located in one of three places, either of the hubs on the front or rear wheels or in the centre of the bike where it connects to the drive chain. Often people find that when the motor is attached to the drive chain, it provides a more bicycle feel where as with the motor attached to the front hub, the bike feels like it is being pulled and when attached to the rear hub, feels like it is being pushed.