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Charging ahead: what you need to know about buying, or renting, an e-bike in Australia | Cycling

Recently, changes may have been seen in towns and cities as roads, shared paths, bike lanes and paved roads are relatively new and host electric bikes, a very popular type of vehicle. ..

You’ve probably delivered one takeaway food, or you’ve seen vibrant red or purple bikes appearing on the streets of the city and rented under the new dockless share bike scheme. ..

More and more Australians are buying electric bikes for themselves.

“Globally, this epidemic isn’t unique. Australia has a lot to catch up with,” said Matt Turner, founder of retailer 99Bikes, on Guardian Australia, citing high penetration in Europe and New Zealand. Talk to. “There’s still a car culture here, but e-bikes are changing the realization that people who have abandoned cycling can make longer journeys in one, quick and easy.”

Despite its global situation, Australia’s electric bike sales statistics are impressive. With shops in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, 99 Bikes doubled year-over-year sales between 2019 and 2020.

“Since 2018, sales of electric bicycles have skyrocketed by 131% nationwide. Between April and December last year, sales in some regions almost doubled to 220% nationwide. “I did,” says Turner.

These sales are expected to double again in 2021. In some small independent stores, supply cannot meet demand and some models have a waiting list of up to one year.

The most obvious explanation for the explosive growth in popularity of electric bicycles is the Covid-19 and related results. That is, the desire for people to get out, travel shorter distances and avoid public transport.

But that alone is not a complete story. Electric bike sales have peaked in the last 8-12 months, but the bike network Alexander Miller has been 5-7 in the past as the once clunky and exorbitantly expensive products are lighter and cheaper. It is said that the annual sales trend continues to increase. ..

Accessible vehicle

One of the new customers of electric bicycles is Jacqueline Baril, 31, from Perth.

The first motivation for the purchase was to save money. She says she can save on bus commuting costs by riding a $ 1,500 electric bike every day for a year.

“It’s great. You can make a 24km round trip without bike fitness. I can ride the city 3-5 times a week. I’ve never done it on a pedal bike.”

Baril is one of the predicted influx of fresh women into Australia’s bike lanes as cycling shakes its slightly aggressive “MAMIL” (Middle-aged Lycra) image.

Annual counts estimate that the Bicycle Network estimates that only a quarter of cyclists are women.

For Baril, e-bikes have a unique appeal to female commuters, especially in the warm climate of Australia. “I don’t want to get sweaty, terrible, and completely sneak. Due to the long hair and makeup, I have to leave an hour early to take a shower at work. I have to worry about electric bikes. No. Just change your shoes for sneakers! “

It also benefits people with injuries, low fitness levels, long commute times and hills, people carrying luggage such as shopping and children, and even regular cyclists on hot, stinking days. Brings.

In addition to this, the recent installation of new bike lanes from the Pro Cycling Council and the infrastructure to guide people to two wheels have also been improved.

Try before you buy: Share Bike Dockless Rental Scheme

Electric bike rentals hope to shake the unlucky track of Australia’s past dockless shared bike rental schemes.

Miller specifically names it “oBike disaster”. On the other hand, “it was nice to see private companies offering public cycling options,” he says. However, the problem arose because “we came in too early, without much publicity before we arrived.” Some have been thrown into rivers and trees, but it’s difficult to do with a 30kg electric bike.

Lime’s electric bike outside the beachside bather’s pavilion. Photo: Russell Gregory (Good Cycle)

Australia’s largest dockless rental share bike fleet is run by Lime. Confusingly, they are red, not green. This is because Lime acquired Uber’s red “jump” fleet in June 2020.

Lime operates in 27 cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Christchurch and Auckland. It was launched in Melbourne and the Gold Coast in December 2020 in Sydney, where about 1 million trips took place in June 2020.

We plan to introduce electric bicycles in Brisbane in the middle of 2021.Brisbane Council too Introduction Unique electric bicycle rental scheme.

Hiring a “premium quality” lime power bike costs $ 1 to unlock and 45 cents per minute to ride a bike.

This is far superior to Beam, a brand new, cheap competitor on the market. In February, we launched 250 purple electric bikes on the streets of Sydney with no unlocking fees. They take 10 cents per minute to ride. There is a free charge if you keep your dockless bike in place, or a convenient fee of $ 1 if you park outside. If this market test is successful, they hope to expand to Australia and New Zealand in the coming months.

Beam bikes are slightly less seamless than lime bikes. Although gearless, lime bikes have three speed gears.It’s worth noting that Beam was the first to offer it at APAC because of its safety focus (probably the first rider). Accident insurance cover For micromobility shared services sector.

Buy one

The most common purchase is a road electric bike, which is perfect for commuting. Off-road versions of mountain biking and sand bikes are also available. If you need an electric bike to carry luggage such as shopping or passengers such as children, a cargo bike is the best choice.

Prices range from approximately $ 1,200 to $ 10,000. Matt Turner of 99Bikes states that the $ 3,000 vehicle is probably the best value for road bike users. These batteries last a long time and typically cover 65-100km until they need to be recharged.

However, some customers are happy with the cheaper rates. Valil knew that he needed a step-through bike with a chain guard to be able to ride his bike in work clothes. She also bought baskets, back racks, removable batteries, and additional parts such as gears, bells, and locks if the battery ran out for $ 1,500.

Choosing the right bike

You may be confused Number of brands to choose – Even Dyson has entered the market. The reputable e-bike brand is similar to traditional cycling brands such as Trek, Giant, Specialized and Reid.

The Most Affordable Pedal Comet ST Electric Cruiser Bike on the Market
The most affordable pedal comet ST electric cruiser bike on the market. Photo: 99 bikes

99 Bike Turner Pedal Comet ST Electric Beach Cruiser Bike ($ 1,299) For entry-level electric bikes Cube ($ 3,399) With their commute range Norco Scene VLT ($ 3,999) “Something different with a little” cool element “made for comfort and zippers in the city.”

Tom Reynolds, a cycling expert and former communications manager at Cycling Australia, said: Wrecker Range (from $ 2,198): “I love aesthetics and features. They are a very cool and very commuter / city based electric bike range.”

Bicycle NSW’s Bastien Wallace, on the other hand, likes the “feel, composition and performance” of. Dedicated electric bicycle (From $ 4,800) – However, it is not the price. “I can’t afford it and can’t store it because … it’s too heavy.”

Lekker's Jordaan + eBike sells for $ 2398
Wreckers Jordaan + eBike, The retail price is $ 2,398. Photo: Wrecker

Going to the cheapest retailers will sacrifice performance, range, components, and battery life, she says, but if they meet Australian standards and are well maintained, it’s no more dangerous. must.

The maximum legally permitted motor is 250w, and only pedal assist motors are permitted in Australia. Step on the pedal to activate the motor.

There are three types of motor placement: rear wheels, front wheels, and mid drive. Turner says middrive is desirable. “The motor is where the pedals are, so you get the most seamless feel of the motor to help you pedal.” The charger comes with the bike and comes with a book-sized block with a cord that plugs into the wall. It contains. It is removable on some models.

According to Wallace, considerations such as how the bike is stored, operated, and charged can limit the model you choose.

All professionals agree that going to a professional bike store for good old customer service and test rides is preferable to buying online.

From an affordable point of view, some shops offer some buy and some rent schemes.

But is it worth the wait to buy if range and availability are likely to improve next year? According to Wallace, supply is currently outpacing supply, but it may be worth ordering now and waiting for two reasons. First of all, most bicycles or components are from China, so supply may be delayed for some time. Second, “most of the unavoidable costs are lithium batteries, so it’s unlikely that prices will drop significantly,” she said.

If you have insurance, make sure you have insurance for theft or personal injury. Your household insurance may also cover you. And if you want to take the plunge, invest in a decent lock. These are attractive stolen items.

safety

According to experts, the legal limit for a motor to power an electric bicycle in Australia is 25 km / h, which is not dangerous.

According to Wallace, New South Wales bikes are highly encouraged for electric bikes, but warn consumers not to be fooled into buying modified kits to make their bikes run faster.

“These exceed the capacity that the motor should be able to operate in warm climates,” she says. “Lithium battery overload can overheat the battery. This happened in Adelaide and caused a wildfire for the user.”

As with all bikes, the route you choose is important. “These separate bike lanes make me feel very safe,” says Barril. “They make a big difference.”

Gary Nunn is a regular contributor to the Guardian. twitter: @ garynunn1



Charging ahead: what you need to know about buying, or renting, an e-bike in Australia | Cycling Source link Charging ahead: what you need to know about buying, or renting, an e-bike in Australia | Cycling

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