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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is the difference between a pedelec and an e-bike?
A1: There are currently two types of electric bike available on the market. The type made by Gepida is the pedelec, an acronym of pedal electric cycle. As the name suggests, a motor responds to the pedalling motion but stops when the rider stops pedalling. In other words, pedalling is assisted by a motor. The amount of additional power the motor provides is dependent on the pedalling force of the driver as measured by a sensor. This system is similar to power steering in cars.
Unlike the pedelec, an e-bike is an electric bike that can move forward without the rider pedalling. Speed adjusted using either a button or a throttle grip. The force exercised by the driver and the power delivered by the electric motor have no influence on each other’s performance. This allows the throttle and pedals to be used simultaneously, something that is not possible with a pedelec. A similar system is also used in mopeds.
Q2: What is the law regarding electric bicycles?
A2: In the EU, laws governing pedelecs are the same as those for regular bicycles as the power delivered by the motor is less than 250 Watts and there is pedal assistance only until a speed of 25 km/hour has been reached. As a result, no driving license, registration or insurance are required. There is also no obligation to wear a helmet, although this is highly recommended.
The e-bike, on the other hand, comes under a different category to a regular bicycle as it can move forward independently of the pedals. Riders of e-bikes must therefore be insured and wear a helmet.
Q3: Who invented the pedelec?
A3: The first pedelec was created in 1998 by the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha.
Q4: How does a pedelec work?
A4: An electric bicycle uses a hub motor directly inside the rear wheel for maximum battery-efficiency. Most electric bicycles use a 250 Watt motor capable of delivering speeds of around 25 km/hour. Gepida pedelecs use the Yamaha PAS electrical system, which includes an on-board computer to regulate power based on pedal pressure. The motor and battery are attached to the crank mechanism to ensure optimal weight distribution.
Q5: What are the advantages of lithium-ion batteries against other batteries?
A5: There are four different battery types suitable for electric bicycles. SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries are similar to those found in cars. Nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries are more lightweight than SLAs, but no longer comply with strict environmental regulations. Batteries containing nickel metal hydride (NiMH) produce more power than NiCd batteries and are also considerably lighter. The most advanced battery on the market is currently the lithium-ion battery, which delivers more power than any other type. The lithium-ion battery used in the Gepida Pedelec has a power rating of 8.2 Ah, can be charged in around four hours, weighs just under 2 kg and has a lifespan of 800 loading cycles at constant capacity.
Q6: What cleaning and maintenance does the pedelec require?
A6: The battery in particular must be treated with some degree of care. We recommend allowing it to cool off after cycling and before charging. Although the latest battery chargers indicate when the battery is fully charged, it is advisable to charge the battery for a little longer as the final phase always takes slightly longer. As a rule of thumb, when the charger first shows a full battery, it is actually only 90% charged.
You should also try to store the battery at room temperature, avoiding extremely cold or hot conditions. It is best to allow the battery to discharge completely on first use as failing to do so can reduce its future performance.
Gepida pedelecs are resistant to rain and wind and can therefore be washed with water. However, some caution is advised when cleaning the battery and electrical system as water penetration can effect battery performance. More detailed information is provided in the owner’s manual that comes with your Gepida pedelec.
Q7: What makes pedelecs so environmentally friendly and cost-effective?
A7: As pedelecs use rechargeable batteries instead of fossil fuels, they are extremely environmentally friendly and efficient. Costing just €0.05 per 100 km, Pedelecs are the most economical form of mechanically powered mobility.
Q8: Where can I charge my battery?
A8: The Gepida Pedelec contains a removable battery and a special Yamaha PAS charger for use in any power socket. The battery needs approximately four hours for a full charge, enough for around 50 km to 70 km of mixed use and more than 90 km in ECO mode. Factors effecting the range of a full battery include the weight of the rider, cycling style, the frequency of stops and starts, tyre pressure, the mode selected and the weather.
Q9: How long is the warranty period on Gepida pedelecs?
A9: Gepida electric bicycles come with a 2-year warranty, during which time your dealer will replace parts and make repairs free of charge.