How far can I go on one battery charge?
This depends on the technology of the bike, the capacity of the battery, the usage type and the terrain. It will typically be between 30 km on electricity only and 90 km under mixed use and good conditions with a typical 15 Ah battery. If range is a critical point, you can opt for a Kalkhoff bike with "Impulse" motor which will give you support for up to 205 km on one charge.
When do I have to replace the battery and what are the costs?
A battery usually lasts 4-7 years under regular use. A replacement costs between 600 and 1100 NZD.
Does the bike recharge the battery when I am pedaling or braking?
No. The benefit of this is marginal, and there are drawbacks, so there are only very few brands on the market which offer this feature, and none of them is currently available in New Zealand. You simply recharge them at home by plugging it into a normal power socket.
How heavy are the bikes?
Between 14 and 26 kg depending on the model.
Are they allowed on the Hauraki Rail Trail?
Definitely yes, as long as they are street legal (max 300 W).
Do I need a license to ride them?
No. You should be able to ride and keep your balance on a normal bike though.
How much are they allowed to carry?
Typically 100 - 120 kg depending on the model. In saying that, we have also models with 130 and 150 kg weight tolerance
What is the difference between a cadence and a torque sensor?
The cadence sensor reacts to rotation and switches the support on when you are pedaling, to a levels you have chosen. The torque sensor reacts to the pedaling pressure and adapts the amount of support accordingly: the more pressure, the more support. The torque sensor is sometimes preferable to couples when one partner rides an e-bike and the other one a "normal" bike, because the dosing of the support is finer adapted to the needs. If you are riding alone or along another e-bike rider, this is of less importance. Also, the torque sensor makes the bike more effective and increases the range. 9. Does it matter where the motor is situated? The motor can be in either wheel or in the middle (crank). I personally like both rear wheel and mid drives. Front wheel drives can be difficult on steep hills as there is little weight on the front wheel, and when you change direction there can be a "pulling" feeling. The mid drive is the trend of most of the industry. It connects well to the torque sensor and helps balancing the bike out. It has disadvantages as well as it puts more strain on the chain. The rear drive feels quite sportive, but it makes tire change a bit cumbersome as a cable goes into the rear hub.
What do I respond if people say that I am cheating?
Ask them whether they are riding a bicycle at all. If not, just smile at them with empathy (or sympathy). If they do ride a bicycle, ask them how often they have used it in the past year. If they haven't, this is either the end of the conversation or just the beginning. If they are keen riders, show admiration for them and explain that riding an e-bike is your way of doing the same thing. If they behave patronising, ask them to explain the benefits of non assisted bikes over e-bikes. They will have a hard time doing this, as the only thing they can do is brag about their fitness. You may also explain that for you, the bike is a means of transport and social life, and not meant for competing with others.