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FAQ Electric

Electric Bikes Basics

Some of the e-bike models we stock have a manufacturer-claimed range of up to 190km.

The actual distance you can ride on a single charge will vary according to several factors, including the size of the battery, your weight, how much or how hard you pedal, how hilly it is, headwind/tailwind, air temperature etc. So it is possible to use up a battery charge over a much smaller distance.

We explain this in a little more detail below. You can also get an excellent overview of how this works using this nifty range calculator made by Bosch.

For information about factors that may affect your e-bike range, click here.

In New Zealand, the legal power output for a road-going electric bike is 300 watts. We mainly carry Shimano and Bosch Electric Mid drive systems, which usually provide assistance up to 32km/h. However, some of the models from Benno and Riese & Müller can also get up 45km/h before the speed cuts off.

There are systems available that can go much faster, but the bicycle must be registered to go on public roads. We believe electric bikes should make the ride more enjoyable but not necessarily more exciting. If you are looking for a high power unit to take off-road we can point you in the right direction.

Choosing the right motor is a matter of what suits your bike and what suits your riding style. Here are some factors for your consideration. 

Mid drive motor

As a result of their massive improvements in recent years, we currently only carry Mid-drive systems, and here are a few of the reasons why.

A mid drive system has the advantage of driving through the bicycle gears. This allows for a greater torque control and speed range. Great for people who want a bike that responds like a regular bike. The conversion kits can fit to a wider range of bikes. Think of it as the “manual” system.

  • More responsive to rider input, more assistance control
  • More dynamic riding, gear changing needed for best performance.
  • Motor weight is kept central in the frame, improving weight distribution.
  • Suits bikes with internal hub gears.
  • Suits all wheel sizes.
  • Keep original wheels.
  • Additional wear on chain and sprockets.

Hub motor

Previously, hub motor systems were the standard, as they were the first electric bike systems to hit the road, Nowadays, as a result of vast improvements mid drive systems, they have been largely phased out by most bicycle companies.

A good quality hub motor system can have good acceleration and high top speeds. This comes as a trade off to having a motor system that is less responsive to rider pedaling input. You could think of it as the “automatic” system.

  • Involves a custom built rear wheel, making kits less compatible.
  • External cables, making puncture repairs more difficult.
  • More weight in the rear wheel, leading to worse handling.
  • Easy twist and go use.
  • Keeps original gears.
  • No additional chain wear.

    An e-bike is a bicycle with electric motor to help you along. You ride it much like you ride a normal bicycle, but with less effort.

    E-bikes can come in many styles, from commuter bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes, and everything in between. Our focus is on urban and cargo bikes, used for commuting, transport, or pleasure. To that end, we stock bikes that have a focus on quality, are beautiful to look at, and will last a long time.

    An e-bike motor works by automatically switching on the (quiet) motor when you pedal. There are two different types of motor: motors that are in the crank and motors that are in your rear hub. Both types have their pros and cons - it all depends on the type of riding you're planning on doing. 

    As a rule, crank motors provide a more authentic bicycle experience. This is because the motor senses how much power you are putting into the pedals (using a torque sensor), and responds proportionally (that is, the harder you pedal, the more the motor helps you). This makes you feel like you have extra strong legs! Crank motors tend to be more responsive than wheel hub motors, and allow the bicycle to roll more freely without the additional drag of a motor in the hub. We stock several e-bike models with crank motors made by Bosch and Shimano. 

    Wheel hub motors have been around for longer and offer a simpler design. Most wheel hub motors do not sense how much power you are making with your legs, so they will generally be either ‘on’ or ‘off’. Due to the placement of the motor in the rear wheel they also make changing punctures more difficult, and make the bike handle less like a regular bike due to less balanced weight distribution. Due to these and other reasons, we no longer stock hub based electric systems.

    All of our e-bikes allow you to adjust how much power you want, or to switch off the power altogether and ride it like a non-electric bike.