Electric and Cargo Bikes

Electric Kick Scooter

Electric Cargo Bike
This is a brief guide about Electric Bikes, or converting your current Bike to become electrically-assisted by using a conversion-kit which enables you to keep your existing bike. There are links here to Bristol Electric Bike Dealers, and links to 'Cargo Bike' suppliers for those interested in buying, modifying or using their bikes as load-carriers, or children-carriers.

(1) Electrically powered bikes can be used by anyone over 14 years-of-age, and you do not require any form of licence, insurance or other qualification to ride one.

(2) The current maximum output motor for legal use on the highway, cycle-paths, or shared use paths, is 250 watts. CLICK HERE for more detailed info. Outputs more than this, typically 500 watts, 800 watts or 1,000 watts are for off-road use only, which basically amounts to private land, as 'Green Lanes' in the Countryside are still considered as 'Public Highways'.

(3) You can either buy a new Electric Bike, or have a conversion-kit fitted to your existing bike, either by a dealer, or D-I-Y, to keep your current treasured bike. This is normally done by removing one of your wheels, and fitting a wheel with a hub-drive in it's place. See list of conversion kit suppliers below.

(4) The simplest and lowest cost conversion, is to replace the front wheel with a wheel which includes a hub-motor, and a battery which is mounted somewhere on the frame, some wiring, and a form of throttle (accelerator) mounted on the handlebars soon puts you on the road. Conversion kits can be installed by local dealers, or if you are competent you can D-I-Y, but it's quite likely you'll need some spare screws, cable-ties, fixings, and plenty of patience etc.

(5) A rear-hub conversion kit involves more work, and sometimes loses you gears, but it has advantages in that it's almost hidden and the weight is over the rear (normal) driving wheel.

(6) A central motor drive, commonly called a 'crank-drive' which is normally set just below and between the pedals has even better weight balance, and has the advantage that it drives the chain, and so is more efficient at steep hill-climbing, as you have the opportunity to change down the gears, (like you would in a car), whereas the hub-drive rotation speed slows down and subsequently produces less torque. Here's a link to a video of a crank-drive Electric Bike being ridden up Park Street in Bristol, demonstrating how changing down through the gears will allow it to pull right to the top without any pedal-assistance, albeit slowly - http://youtu.be/ab6fBUEQfWE - Click HERE for even more info.

Electric Bikes Forum on the "Pedelec Forums" - www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum

Electric bike sales in Bristol . . .

Atmosphere Electric Bikes (Hotwells) - www.electricbikes.org.uk
Bristol Bicycles e-Bike - http://www.bristolbicycles.co.uk/content/ebike.php
Cycle Shack (Temple Meads area) - www.bristolcycleshack.co.uk
Electric Bike shop (Coldharbour Road / Redland) - www.theelectricbikeshop.co.uk
Electric Transport shop (Clifton / Redland) - www.electricbikesales.co.uk
CycleLife (Broad Plain opp Gardiners) - www.raleigh.co.uk/bikes/electric - 0117 925 5084
Halfords Electric Bikes (sales at several branches now) - www.halfords.com
Really Useful Bikes (north Bristol) - www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk

Cargo Bikes (as these often go hand-in-hand with Electric Bikes)

Really Useful Bikes (north Bristol) - www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk
Bristol Pedal Revolution - www.bristolpedalrevolution.co.uk - (make your own)
Robin Mather (Bristol) - www.headsetpress.co.uk - (also builds Cargo bikes)
Cycles Maximus - (Bath area) - www.cyclesmaximus.com
Dutch-bikes (Cambridge) - www.dutchbike.co.uk
Practical Cycles (Preston) - www.practicalcycles.co.uk
Yuba Cargo Bikes - www.yubabikes.com - (available via ''Really Useful Bikes'' link above)

Convert your Bike to a Cargo Bike - www.biketrailershop.com/cargo-bike-kit

Electric Trikes report (not UK, but still useful) - www.electricbikereport.com/electric-trikes

Conversion kits (keep your own bike)
CycloTricity - from 300 - https://www.cyclotricity.com/uk/custom.html - (this is the units which I always use)
Electric Bike Conversions - from 400 - www.electric-bike-conversions.co.uk - (same unit as Cyclotricity)
Conv-e - 700 - www.conv-e.co.uk
OXYDrive - 700 - www.oxydrive.co.uk/electric-bike-kit/index.html
A list of conversions - (maybe not up-to-date) - www.atob.org.uk/electric-bikes/electric-bike-conversion-kits

Online Electric bike sales that have been recommended to me, with a good reputation and reliability . . .
Cyclotricity - www.cyclotricity.com
Woosh bikes - www.wooshbikes.co.uk

Second-hand (or new) Electric Bikes advertised on 'Bristol Gumtree' - http://www.gumtree.com/search?q=Electric+Bike

Electric bike loans
Organised by the various local authorities around Bristol - www.betterbybike.info/loanbikes

The Cycle-Scheme - tax free bikes via your employers - www.cyclescheme.co.uk

Electric bike legislation in the UK - www.atob.org.uk/electric-bikes/electric-bike-legislation-uk

Electric bike World Championship races on Park Street, Bristol - Videos - www.youtube.com/2013+Electric+Bike+World+Championships+Bristol

Carrying Electric Bikes on vehicles - www.electricbikereport.com/electric-bike-racks-for-cars

Other cycling links . . .
Bristol by Bicycle - www.bristolbybike.blogspot.co.uk
Electric Bike reviews - not UK based, but interesting reading anyway - www.electricbikereview.com
Please email - trevor@busker.me.uk - if you spot any any errors.
Web-page by Trevor George ... Hotwells, Bristol, UK.