As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, modes of transportation have also undergone significant changes. Among these changes are the growing popularity of electric bikes, particularly pedelecs, s pedelecs, and e-bikes. They use a rechargeable battery-powered motor to assist the rider’s pedaling, providing a boost of power that makes cycling less strenuous and more enjoyable. In this article, we will explore the differences between these types of electric bikes and help you choose which one is right for you.
What is an Electric Bike?
An electric bike or e-bike is a bicycle that uses an electric motor to assist the rider’s pedaling. They typically come with a rechargeable battery, a motor, and a controller that regulates the motor’s power output. Electric bikes can be pedaled like a regular bike, or the motor can be used to provide a boost of power when needed, making cycling more comfortable and less strenuous.
Electric bikes are eco-friendly and an excellent alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. They are cheaper to operate, require less maintenance, and are an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
The Three Types of Electric Bikes
There are three types of electric bikes: Pedelec, S Pedelec and E-Bikes. Each type has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at each type in detail.
|Type of Electric Bike||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Pedelec||Lightweight and easy to ride; Range up to 80 km on a single charge; Affordable||Limited to 25 km/h; Not suitable for high speeds or steep hills without pedaling|
|S Pedelec||Faster than Pedelecs; Range up to 100 km on a single charge; More powerful motor ; Maximum speed up to 45 km/h||More expensive and heavier than Pedelecs; May require a license or registration in some countries|
|E-Bike||More powerful and designed for off-road use; Can handle rough terrain||More expensive and heavier than Pedelecs and S Pedelecs; May not be legal for on-road use in some countries|
Pedelec: The Classic Choice for Everyday Riders
Pedelec, short for “Pedal Electric Cycle,” provides electric assistance only when the rider is pedaling, making it an eco-friendly and fitness-oriented choice. Pedelecs are designed to make your ride smoother and more enjoyable by taking the edge off challenging terrains and long distances.
A Pedelec’s motor assistance is limited to 250 watts, providing a gentle boost to your pedaling efforts. This level of assistance is suitable for casual riders and commuters looking for a bit of help on their daily journeys. They are lightweight, easy to ride, and have a range of up to 80 km on a single charge. However, they are not suitable for people who want to cycle at high speeds or climb steep hills without pedaling.
Maximum Assisted Speed
The maximum assisted speed of a Pedelec is capped at 15.5 mph (25 km/h). Once you reach this speed, the motor assistance will disengage, and you’ll rely solely on your pedaling power. This speed limit is ideal for urban riding and ensures that Pedelecs adhere to most local bicycle regulations.
Pedelecs exclusively feature pedal assistance, meaning the electric motor kicks in only when you’re pedaling. There is no throttle control, so you’ll still get some exercise while enjoying the benefits of electric assistance.
S Pedelec: A High-Speed, High-Power Upgrade
S Pedelec, or “Speed Pedelec,” takes the standard Pedelec concept and cranks it up a notch. With increased power and speed, the S Pedelec is perfect for those who crave a faster, more exhilarating ride.
The motor assistance on an S Pedelec is significantly more potent, offering up to 500 watts of power. This extra boost makes tackling steep inclines and maintaining higher speeds a breeze. They are faster than Pedelecs and have a range of up to 100 km on a single charge. However, they are more expensive and heavier than Pedelecs.
Maximum Assisted Speed
S Pedelecs boast a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph (45 km/h), almost doubling that of traditional Pedelecs. This increased speed is particularly appealing to commuters looking to cut down on their travel time.
Control Options and Regulations
Like their standard Pedelec counterparts, S Pedelecs only provide pedal assistance and do not have a throttle control. However, due to their increased speed and power, they often come with additional regulations and requirements, such as mandatory helmets and insurance. In some regions, they may be classified as mopeds or motorcycles, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with local laws.
E-Bike: Versatility Meets Electric Power
E-Bikes encompass both Pedelecs and S Pedelecs but also include models with throttle control. This added feature allows riders to cruise without pedaling, providing a more leisurely and accessible experience for a broader range of users.
E-Bikes offer varying levels of motor assistance, with some models providing up to 750 watts of power. This range in power output allows riders to choose the level of assistance that best suits their needs and preferences.
Maximum Assisted Speed
The maximum assisted speed for E-Bikes varies depending on the specific model, typically ranging from 20 mph (32 km/h) to 28 mph (45 km/h). This variability provides a wide array of options for riders, from leisurely cruising to speedy commutes.
E-Bikes stand out for their versatility in control options, offering both pedal assistance and throttle control. This dual functionality makes E-Bikes particularly suitable for individuals with mobility issues or health concerns, as they can opt for throttle control when pedaling becomes challenging. However, it’s essential to note that using the throttle control increases energy consumption and may decrease the overall range of the E-Bike.
Pedelec, S Pedelec, and E-Bike: Delving Deeper into the Differences
Pedelecs, S Pedelecs, and E-Bikes are three types of electric bikes that differ in terms of their motor systems and overall capabilities.
|Specification||Pedelec / E-Bike||S Pedelec|
|Motor assistance without pedaling||No, only starting assistance up to max. 6 kph||No, only starting assistance up to max. 6 kph|
|Motor output||Max. 250 watts or 500 watts (Switzerland)||Max. 4 kilowatts or 1 kilowatts (Switzerland)|
|Motor assistance||Up to max. 25 kph||Up to max. 45 kph|
|Push assistance||Up to max. 6 kph||Up to max. 6 kph|
|Child seat/trailer||Child seat up to max. 17kg or 7 years Trailer allowed (max. 2 children)||Trailer and child seat prohibited|
|Bicycle lane||Can/must be used||No (different regulations apply depending on the EU country)|
|Insurance/license plate required||No||Yes (different regulations apply depending on the EU country)|
|Wearing of a helmet||No||Yes (suitable protective helmet, different regulations apply depending on the EU country)|
|Driver’s license required||No||At least class AM|
|Age limit||No age limit
14 years old (Switzerland)
|From 16 years|
As the table shows, S Pedelecs have a higher motor output, a higher maximum assisted speed, and may require a driver’s license, insurance, and a suitable protective helmet. Additionally, child seats and trailers are prohibited on S Pedelecs.
However, Pedelecs can be used on bicycle lanes and do not require insurance, license plates, or a helmet. There is no age limit for Pedelecs, while S Pedelecs are restricted to riders aged 16 years or older.
The main differences between Pedelecs, S Pedelecs and E-Bikes are the following:
- Motor System: Pedelecs have a pedal assist system that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling. Pedelecs S, on the other hand, have both a pedal assist system and an acceleration system that allows the rider to control the power of the motor without pedaling. Electric bikes also have a throttle system, but the motor power is not limited. It should be noted, however, that in some countries, legislation requires that electric bicycles have a maximum power output of 250 watts.
- Speed Limitations: Pedelecs are limited to a maximum speed of 25 km/h. S Pedelecs can reach a maximum speed of up to 45 km/h. E-Bikes typically have no speed limitations, but in many countries, they are limited to a pre-programmed top speed and the electric motor won’t assist you when you’re travelling more than 25 km/h (15.5mph). Check the regulations in your country before purchasing an electric bike to ensure that it meets legal requirements.
- Power Output: Pedelecs have a motor power output limited to 250 watts. S Pedelecs have a more powerful motor, usually with a power output between 250-500 watts. E-Bikes have the most powerful motor, with a power output of over 500 watts.
- Range: The range of an electric bike refers to the distance it can travel on a single charge. Pedelecs have a range of up to 80 km, while S Pedelecs can travel up to 100 km on a single charge. E-Bikes usually have the longest range, with some models capable of traveling over 160 km on a single charge.
- Price: The price of an electric bike varies depending on the type and features. Pedelecs are generally the most affordable, with prices starting at a few hundred dollars. S Pedelecs and E-Bikes are more expensive, with prices ranging from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars.
How much do pedelec and s pedelec cost?
The cost of a pedelec (electric bikeor e-bike with pedal assist up to 25 km/h) and an s-pedelec (speed pedelec with pedal assist up to 45 km/h) can vary depending on the brand, model, and features.
On average, a pedelec can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 or more. High-end models with advanced features such as long-range batteries, suspension systems, and lightweight frames can cost upwards of $5,000.
S-pedelecs are generally more expensive than pedelecs, mainly due to their higher-powered motor and additional features. On average, s-pedelecs can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more. Like pedelecs, high-end models with advanced features can cost even more.
Key Features to Consider When Purchasing an Pedelec or S Pedelec
When buying an electric bike, it’s important to consider key features such as your specific needs, battery life, motor power, and price. Taking these factors into account will help you choose an electric bike that is tailored to your individual requirements and preferences.
Your Riding Needs
When considering your riding needs, it’s important to think about the purpose of your electric bike. Do you plan to use it for daily commuting, exercising, or leisurely rides? This will help determine the type of electric bike you need. For example, if you plan to commute, you may want a bike with a comfortable upright position and storage options.
If you plan to use your electric bike for exercise, a pedelec may be a good choice as it still requires you to put in some effort. Also, consider the terrain you’ll be riding on. If you live in a hilly area, a bike with a more powerful motor and larger battery may be necessary to tackle steep inclines. Answering these questions will help you choose an electric bike that meets your specific needs and provides an enjoyable riding experience.
The battery and battery life are important factors to consider when choosing an electric bike. The battery is what powers the motor and provides the assistance needed to ride the bike, while battery life determines how far you can ride before needing to recharge the battery.
The type of battery used in electric bikes can vary, but most electric bikes use lithium-ion batteries due to their high energy density and long lifespan. Lithium-ion batteries are also lightweight and easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for electric bikes.
When choosing an electric bike, it’s important to consider the battery capacity, which is measured in watt-hours (Wh). A higher capacity battery will provide more power and longer range, allowing you to ride farther without needing to recharge. However, higher capacity batteries are also typically more expensive and heavier.
Electric bikes can come with a range of motor powers, typically measured in watts (W). Lower-powered motors (around 250W) are best suited for flat terrain and more leisurely rides, while higher-powered motors (around 750W) are better for off-road riding and steeper terrain.
The speed of an electric bike can be impacted by the motor power. Generally, higher-powered motors can provide faster speeds, but it’s important to note that there are legal limits to how fast an electric bike can go. For instance, in the United States, electric bikes are usually restricted to a top speed of 20 mph when using the motor. Meanwhile, in France and the UK, the legal limit for electric bikes is 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which means that the motor assistance stops once the bike reaches this speed.
The display controller is the interface between the rider and the electric bike’s motor system. It allows the rider to see important information such as speed, battery level, and distance traveled. The controller also allows the rider to adjust the level of pedal assist or throttle power, depending on the type of electric bike.
There are several types of display available, including LCD and LED. LCD displays are the most common and provide basic information such as speed, battery level, distance traveled and estimated range. LED displays are simpler and show only basic information such as battery level. OLED displays are the most advanced and provide more detailed information, such as .
Weight and Frame
The weight and frame of the electric bike is a crucial factor to consider as it can impact the bike’s handling, stability, and overall performance especially if you plan to use the bike for commuting or travel. A lighter bike is easier to transport and maneuver, while a sturdy frame can handle rough terrain and heavy loads.
It is important to consider your own strength and ability to handle the weight of the bike. Additionally, if you plan on transporting the bike, either on a car rack or by carrying it up stairs, the weight of the bike is an important consideration.
Brakes and Gears
The brakes and gears are essential components of any bike, and it’s crucial to choose a bike with high-quality brakes and gears to ensure your safety and comfort when riding.
- Rim brakes are the most common type of brake on electric bikes. They are affordable, lightweight and easy to maintain. However, they can be less effective in wet or muddy conditions and can wear out over time.
- Disc brakes offer better stopping power than rim brakes and perform better in wet conditions. They also last longer than rim brakes and require less maintenance. However, they are heavier and more expensive than rim brakes.
- Hydraulic brakes offer the best stopping power and are the most durable type of brake. They are also self-adjusting, which means they require less maintenance. However, they are the most expensive type of brake.
When choosing an electric bike, it’s important to consider the type of riding you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll encounter.
When purchasing an electric bike, consider top brands such as Moma, Bicyklet, Moustache, Cube, Trek, Cannondale, Cowboy, and O2Feel for pedelecs and Riese & Muller, Moustache, Stromer, Klever, Fuell, and Haibike for speed pedelecs. Research and compare models to find the best fit for your needs and budget, and read reviews from other riders to gauge reliability and customer service. Choosing a reputable brand ensures enjoyable and reliable riding for years to come.
Price is an important factor to consider when purchasing an electric bike. E-bike or pedelecs can range from around $500 to $3,000, depending on the brand, features, and components. S-pedelecs, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive and can cost between $2,000 and $10,000.
Lower-priced electric bikes may have fewer features or a less powerful motor, but they can still provide a great riding experience. These bikes may be a good option for those who are on a budget or who are new to electric bikes.
Higher-priced electric bikes generally come with more advanced features, such as larger batteries, more powerful motors, and better components. They may also be made of higher-quality materials and have a longer lifespan. These bikes are a good option for those who plan on using their electric bike frequently or for longer distances.
How to Maintain Your Pedelec or S Pedelec
Maintaining your pedelec or S pedelec is essential to ensure it remains in good condition and lasts for many years. Here are some tips on how to maintain your electric bike:
- Keep the bike clean: Dirt and grime can accumulate on the bike, causing it to deteriorate over time. Use a soft brush or cloth and mild soap to clean the bike regularly.
- Check the tires: Check the tire pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the recommended level. This will help prevent punctures and extend the life of the tires.
- Lubricate the chain: Lubricate the chain regularly to prevent rust and corrosion. Use a bike-specific lubricant and wipe off any excess oil.
- Check the brakes: Ensure that the brakes are working properly and adjust them if necessary. Replace worn brake pads as soon as possible.
- Check the battery: Check the battery regularly and recharge it when needed. Store the battery at room temperature and avoid exposing it to extreme heat or cold.
- Check the electrical system: Check the electrical system regularly, including the motor and sensor. Replace any damaged components as soon as possible.
- Store the e-bike properly: Store the electric bike in a dry, cool place to prevent damage from moisture and temperature fluctuations.
Do I need a license to ride an electric bike?
It depends on the type of electric bike. Pedelecs and e-bikes that have a maximum speed of 25 km/h typically do not require a license, while S Pedelecs with a maximum speed of 45 km/h may require a license, registration, and insurance.
How fast can an electric bike go?
Pedelecs and e-bikes typically have a maximum speed of 25 km/h, while S Pedelecs can reach speeds up to 45 km/h.
How far can I ride on a single charge with a Pedelec, S Pedelec, or E-Bike?
The range depends on factors such as battery capacity, terrain, rider weight, and riding style. On average, a Pedelec can cover 30-60 miles (50-100 km) on a single charge, while S Pedelecs and E-Bikes typically have a range of 20-40 miles (30-70 km).
How long does it take to charge an electric bike battery?
Charging times vary depending on the battery capacity and charger used. A typical charge time ranges from 2 to 6 hours. Some fast chargers can reduce this time to as little as 1 hour.
How far can an electric bike go on a single charge?
The range of an electric bike depends on several factors, including the size of the battery, the rider’s weight, and the terrain. Generally, e-bikes can travel between 30-100 km on a single charge.
Can I ride a Pedelec, S Pedelec, or E-Bike in the rain?
Most electric bikes are designed to withstand normal weather conditions, including rain. However, it’s crucial to avoid submerging the battery and electrical components in water.