The sales of electric bicycles are growing exponentially worldwide. Many are the users who have discovered a new way of getting around the city or even playing sports, thanks to the help of the electric assistance of these vehicles. Many reports indicate that already in 2016, almost 35 million units were sold, making it the best-selling electric vehicle in the world.
The US isn’t far behind this phenomenon. According to some reports, the sale of electric bicycles had increased by 56%. Also, in the 2018-2019 reports, it was stated that sales increased to 54.52% for electric bikes.
If you are one of the lucky ones who has an electric bicycle, here are some tips to make it faster and more efficient. But first of all, make sure that you don’t violate any regulations in the town where you are going to use your bicycle — always follow the basic safety precautions, and ignore the advice which you don’t consider relevant. Some of our tips are simple recommendations, while others touch on technical aspects of the bicycle that it is advisable not to modify if you don’t have the necessary knowledge.
1. Keep the Battery Charged
The more the percentage of charge the battery has, the higher its voltage will be. The speed of the electric motor of the bicycle depends on the voltage. Therefore, it is advisable to charge your vehicle as often as possible. If the bike is used to go to work, it is advisable to get a charger with you to start the return trip with the full battery.
2. Use a Battery with the Highest Possible Voltage
Even in the case of the best cheap electric bikes, the motor speed depends on the voltage. So it is advisable to replace a 36V battery with a 48V one. Before carrying out this operation, you should make sure the controller can handle this increase in voltage. This information is usually written on the capacitors or can be discussed with the manufacturer. Omitting this check may cause the driver to become unusable. In addition, it is necessary to change the battery capacity meter, since this measurement is made through voltage.
3. Change the Electric Motor
The higher the RPM rating of a bicycle’s electric motor, the higher the speed at which it can ride. The change of the electric motor can allow going from a speed of 30 km/h to that of 45-48 km/h.
4. Change Mountain Tires for City Tires
The correct choice of tires can allow up to 3 km/h more speed. Depending on the use to which the bicycle will be dedicated, it is convenient to adopt the tires. The mountain ones have an excellent grip, but their specific contact width and cleats are an inconvenience in urban routes — the smooth tires are much more advisable for calm rides. In the case of mixed-use, there is the possibility of riding with hybrid tires that can be used for all regions.
5. Increase Tire Inflation Pressure
The higher the wheel pressure, the lower the rolling resistance. Keeping the tires close to the maximum inflation pressure increases the speed. In exchange, comfort is lost since the irregularities of the terrain will be transmitted throughout the bicycle.
6. Adjust the Brakes
Poorly adjusted brakes can rub on the wheel rim, adding friction that will force you to make a greater effort and your bike — to slow down.
7. Get a Windshield
A windshield located on an electric bicycle can have a big impact on speed, adding up to 5 km/h. The aerodynamic effect of a windshield prevents the rider’s body from acting as a giant sail, as it curves the air around it very efficiently.
8. Bend Down
This action has the same effect as the windshield since the cross-section through the wind is reduced. In this way aerodynamics is increased, increasing your speed. Obviously, this strategy has two major disadvantages: discomfort and increased insecurity, so it is more advisable to use a windshield.
9. Keep the Battery Cool
An overheated battery lowers its voltage with a consequent impact on speed. For that reason, it is better to ensure that the battery receives enough air. Most electric bikes have adequate cooling, but those with the battery hidden in a bag can accumulate heat, which affects their speed.
10. Hack Your Electric Bike
If you have a legal electric bicycle, its speed will be limited to 25 km/h. Some electric bikes incorporate this limitation into the control software. One way to manage that is to trick the software by setting the wheel size parameters less than actual. Since the speed measurement is done by counting the turns of the wheel, the software will deduce that the speed is lower and will allow you to go faster. But all that, as we have already mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is better to be done according to the safety parameters and regulations.