Riding an e-bike: an “electrifying” experience in every respect

People & Partners

Riding an e-bike: an “electrifying” experience in every respect
June 2017

The first time I rode an e-bike was in Copenhagen on a tour of the city centre that I wanted to visit while optimizing times for getting about. A long rack of white bikes, all in a single row along the street that goes along the Frederiksholm canal, in the heart of the city, seemed to be the best solution for my needs.

The touch screen positioned on the handlebar showed me (in my language!) all the essential steps to unhook the bike from the parking lot, how to pay for the hire and travel around the city, thanks to accurate maps at all points of the capital city. In fact, all these procedures proved to be easier than getting used to the pedal-assisted system, which I had never tried before.

The electric motor, mounted on the carrier at the rear of the bike, made the bike much heavier than I expected and just as I was wondering how such a difficult bike to handle could be useful, I started to pedal automatically. Well, after the first complete revolution of the pedals, what I didn't expect happened: a sudden jolt forward made me shriek like a frightened little girl!

Luckily, immediately afterwards, the bike began to speed along with a gentleness and delicacy that immediately made me feel at ease: all I had to do was to adjust the power transmitted to my legs and let myself be carried by the pedal-assisted system. Therefore, I was able to enjoy the beauty of the Danish capital city in total comfort.

Nevertheless, this occasion made me reflect on how often the incorrect use of a means of transport is connected, in particular, to the lack of knowledge about its features and the regulations that, inevitably, govern its movement. So I got informed and discovered that pedal-assisted e-bikes, also called pedelecs, have a battery-powered motor that is activated by revolutions of the pedals and can reach a maximum speed of 25 km/h.

European Directives are very explicit on this: beyond this maximum level an increase in speed depends on the effort of the cyclist. Therefore, to keep safe it would be ideal to limit the full power of the battery-powered motor for use in more complicated situations, such as approaching steep slopes or when you are particularly tired. For all the rest, it is better to rely on the ability of your legs and breathing! The most common difficulty encountered by those who ride an e-bike for the first time is what I also experienced: the sudden jolt forwards.

So you need quick reflexes to keep the bike upright without risking ending up on the ground in the middle of the traffic. It is also essential to pay special attention in particular conditions, for example when riding over slippery paving, where tram lines exist or if it rains, since the higher speed than a normal bike could lead to hazardous falls.

When you use an e-bike on a daily basis and cover more or less the same routes, it may be useful to fit it with a shock-absorber saddle support, especially if the road is uneven, as this will make your journey more comfortable. The saddle is also important when you use an e-bike every day: in fact, the technical features, ergonomics and design of saddles changes according to the bike to which they are attached, since they need to adapt to the different type of pedaling and posture required. Over the last two years, Selle Royal has been investing its efforts and energies in researching a new product that meets the needs of electric bike owners. Designed in collaboration with a leading international design studio, it will soon be unveiled to its many admirers.

At this point, we are only curious to know what it is, so…keep posted!!!

Comments 0