What are the existing models? What does the law say? Which cyclist am I? What should I pay special attention to? Can I try out a bike before buying it? So many questions and, we hope, answer with the following tips.
Might as well get rid of the first question right away: 25 km / h or 45 km / h? To simplify it a bit, two types of electrically assisted bicycles are shared today on the market: the “classic” and the “fast”. From Little Dragon E bikes you’ll get what will be perfect for you!
BICYCLES WITH ASSISTANCE UP TO 25 KM / H
“Classic” electric bicycles, which benefit from assistance up to 25 km / h, are considered “light mopeds” within the meaning of Swiss law. Young people from 14 years of age have the right to use such a bicycle if they hold a category M driving license (mopeds). From 16 years old, the license is no longer necessary.
BICYCLES WITH ASSISTANCE UP TO 45 KM / H
These so-called “fast” bikes are considered mopeds. They require a moped license plate and a sticker to be renewed each year. They must also be fitted with a rear-view mirror.
To ride a fast electric bike, you must in all cases hold a driving license (at least for category M).
SO, “CLASSIC” OR FAST?
Depending on the intended use, your choice will fall into one of the two above-mentioned categories. Rather a “fast” bike for your daily journeys on flat ground, for use as a commuter or urban cyclist. For some, a “25 km / h” will be sufficient even in the plains or in the city, where it is sometimes difficult to go faster without certain ease on the handlebars.
IS WEIGHT IMPORTANT?
The weight, certainly important of these electric bicycles, remains a rather secondary criterion, except in the event of a breakdown or of exhausted battery… It can also be a more important criterion if you have to transport the bicycle in staircases or take it in certain trains without access to the platform.
THE BATTERY: MAINTAIN IT, EVEN WHEN STOPPED
Without a “memory effect”, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have become widespread and are present on all quality bikes. They offer a significant autonomy, which obviously varies according to their capacity, measured in watt-hours (Wh) and also great ease of use and maintenance. On most bikes, the battery can be easily removed, making it easy to charge on a separate charger. Some bikes allow you to easily install a second accumulator, for extended outings, while benefiting from a weight-contained bike the rest of the time.
EQUIPMENT TO MATCH
With bikes that are heavier and easily faster than unassisted bikes, special attention should be paid to the equipment, especially the brakes. These are most often discs, with a hydraulic system. On mountain bikes and the fastest models, large discs, with a diameter of 200mm and more, and a four-piston caliper system will guarantee foolproof stopping power while remaining easy to dose.
A TRAILER FOR THE CHILDREN?
Children’s trailers are authorized for light mopeds, but also for so-called “fast” electric bikes. Electric bikes can carry a maximum of 3 children – 2 in the trailer and 1 in the child seat.
TEST BEFORE YOU BUY
Nothing like an essay to make your final choice, beyond theoretical arguments and technical specifications. Do not hesitate to get on one of the many bikes tested in Ciclissimo stores.