Different Gearing Systems Explained 0
We offer a wide range of Electric Bikes for diverse uses and users. Within all the brands we sell there are different models featuring different specifications and price points. Included in that specification, are a choice of gearing options. Below, we have detailed what each gear system is and how they work.
The idea of gearing is simple: when we turn the pedals, that energy gets sent to the rear wheel making the bike move via what is normally called a drive train.
Using a ratio of bigger and smaller cogs, when input is transferred from your feet to the drive chain, those different configurations help to get you moving swiftly and efficiently, and of course with some added eBike assistance too!
Electric Bikes by law in the UK have to be pedalled to enable the assistance. On the majority of them you will still find some type of drive chain as gearing systems are still needed and they can help refine the assistance the bikes give.
Pedals, chains and cogs have been on bikes for almost 200 hundred years, the derailleur shifter on your handlebar works to push the chain up or down over a set of gears or sprockets to change the gearing ratio, helping the rider to go faster or climb easier. The standard derailleur is usually the lightest and cheapest of the gearing systems, and on some mountain bike applications can give a huge range of gears. The downside of derailleur gears is that the moving gearing system is open to the elements and can be at risk of damage if the bike falls over or could be hit by debris while being ridden off road and at risk of corrosion being exposed to the elements (a very Brighton issue). Because of the price and the big gearing ratios, this system is most common on entry level bikes or most mountain bikes where climbing off road requires a big range of gears. Another thing to remember about derailleur gears is that the bike has to be pedalled to change the gears.
Single speed systems are the simplest of bike gearing. The main reasons for using a single speed drivetrain are to keep the bike as simple as it can, and in a flat city/ commuting situations one gear can be an advantage. The compromise of only having one gear is that when starting off a lot of effort is needed to get up to speed. When you're then at cruising speed, you're stuck with that same gear ratio so are limited to how fast you can go before you spin out the pedals. Plus, when that inevitable hill comes along things can become tricky, but this can be partly negated by electric assistance.
Internally geared hubs
Like the Sturmey Archer hubs of old, the internal gearing system or hub gears work by shifting a set of cogs and gears inside the hub to give a select number of gear ratios. By keeping all the cogs and moving gearing parts inside the hub all you need is a single drive chain component like a chain or carbon belt, which keeps costs down. More important though is that because all the moving parts are safely tucked away, they’re protected from damage, dirt and corrosion (especially important in the coastal conditions of Brighton!), and the hub needs minimal maintenance. One thing to consider with internally geared hubs is that with the convenience of having everything neatly tucked away inside the wheel hub is that they can be slightly heavier and more complex if something goes wrong, however issues are quite rare. With internally geared hubs one of the benefits are that you have to stop pedalling to shift the gears meaning that you can change the gears while stationary.
Two specialist internally geared hubs that we do are the Enviolo and Rohloff hubs.
Enviolo is unique as it uses a clutch type of system which basically means that it doesn’t have any steps between each gear. As you rotate the grip shifter, on its display you have a little person on a bike that moves into an uphill position to show that the bike is in an easier gear and a flat position showing that you're in the higher gear. Having the ability to change while on the flat, Enviolo is a great system for someone that struggles with the complexity of traditional gears. You can even move away from changing the gears yourself completely by choosing the Enviolo Automatic gear system. This uses input from Bosch to intuitively change gear for you, leaving you with nothing to do but enjoy the ride!
Rohloff is the crème de la crème of internal gearing systems. Traditionally favoured by the round the world bike tourers. The Rohloff speed hub has 14 stepped gears, much more than any other hub manufacture and is known for being extremely reliable with a huge gearing ratio. On Bosch based systems the hub is shifted electronically meaning that the hub perfectly shifts every time with the added bonus that there is no risk of cable stretch affecting the smooth operation of the gears. Additionally with the electronic shifter, the gears are changed with the push of a button meaning there’s no twisting of the wrist. A consideration of the Rohloff hub is that with all these amazing features the hub itself is one of the heavier on the market, but that’s unnoticeable when being ridden in any level of assistance.
If you have a particular gear system you are interested in having on your eBike, we are very happy to talk about what models feature your preference!
Pop-Up Shops 0
Most of you will be well aware of the Retail side of our Business however we we thought you might also be interested in some of the other activities we undertake. For example, in recent weeks we have been invited to run “Pop-Up Shops” in a number of the more enlightened Businesses locally. Including: EDF; Legal & General; The BSUH NHS Trust and the University of Brighton.
These Organisations are recognising that Employee health, both physical and mental, is of ever increasing importance. Many of the companies also find their Employees have parking and general transportation issues. Productivity can also be a factor, where some Employees spend valuable time getting to work stuck in congestion; struggle to find parking and arrive at work in a less than optimal condition.
Research shows that the typical acceptable commute distance increases from 3-5 miles on a legacy bike, to 10 miles on an Electric Bike. The same research shows that Electric Bike users typically cycle more often and go further – giving more even health benefit(s) than the legacy bikes.
The City of Brighton & Hove is thankfully one of the more advanced nationally from a Cycling perspective. We benefit from better infrastructure than many other authorities. (EG: Bike lanes; advance stop areas; Bikes go First traffic lights etc) and have higher rates of cyclists as well.
As well as the work with the local Businesses, Brighton & Hove City Council undertakes a personal transport planning session each year. Typically, this involves knocking on 10-15,000 doors of Residents, within targeted areas, to assess their transport needs; inhibitors; alternatives etc. For 2015/16 all of the “Travel Consultants” had the opportunity to ride our Electric Bikes and assess the Benefits for themselves, so they could speak with knowledge to the Residents and offer our leaflets.
You may have read elsewhere of our love for the South Downs National Park and the amazing cycling opportunities it offers. Electric Bikes Sussex are delighted to have been invited to join the Steering Committee of a “Park Wide Bike Hire” project that is underway – more about this at a later date.
Our Local Authorities; Universities; the NHS Trusts and lots of local Companies are all aware of the extensive benefits Electric Bikes offer and we at Electric Bikes Sussex are very pleased and proud to be invited into so many Sustainable Transport initiatives. It’s just so rewarding to see the positive reactions when people try the Bikes for themselves.
If you’d like to know more, or can help us spread the word further, please don’t hesitate to let us know – thank you.
Sussex Pedelec Club April Ride Out 1
As requested from the powers that control these things, the first Sussex Pedelec Club ride out of 2016 took place in gorgeous sunshine. Initially planned as a leisurely ride along the seafront, the attendees were not as numerous as expected and those present decided that an Off-Road ride over the South Downs was more desirable.
So off we headed, with a quick hop from the Marina to East Brighton Park, whereby we headed uphill – the first chance to be ever so grateful for the Electric Bike support, even on Eco mode. Cresting over the Racecourse we headed on the lovely new Bike Lanes across the back of Woodingdean and down to Falmer. From there, a lovely climb up through the Trees in Stanmer Park, with the suns rays glistening through the branches.
Continuing through the woods and fields running parallel with the road to Ditchling Beacon, it was remarkable just how beautiful some of the Trees looked. Crossing the road, but not riding on it, we descended through fields filled with Sheep and their new born Lambs into a Valley that housed the Farm. Back up the other-side on a long climb on the edge of a field, we joined the South Downs Way to the West of Ditchling Beacon.
Heading Westwards, and following the South Downs Way, with the occasional cyclist and hikers, we descended again. This time adjacent to the pristine greens and fairways of Pyecombe Golf Course. Crossing over the busy A23, the fumes and roar of the traffic reminded me why I switched from Road Cycling to Off-Road riding!
Onwards and upwards saw us reach the next summit, where we stood for a while, checking ranges, the performance of our respective steads and then continued down to Saddlecombe farm. Being Lambing season, their car-park was full and the Farm itself buzzing with activity. Crossing onto our final and steepest climb, heading up to Devils Dyke. It was at this point that I was so happy to be on an Electric Bike, as the climb sees many legacy cyclists walking.
My joy at the surrounding countryside, the glorious Spring weather and generally good mood, as I ploughed on up the steepest of hills was then interrupted by some ‘Gentleman’ shouting at me that I was ‘cheating’. Oh joy!! Somehow I resisted the burning temptation to have a pleasant conversation with such a nice chap and continued as though I hadn’t heard him. I was pleased that his comment to the next rider was encouragingly more positive, recognising that cycling on an Electric bike was better than pushing a legacy one.
Determined not to let the “non-informed” detract from our ride, we stopped to photograph the Bikes at the top of the hill. The South Downs really are spectacularly beautiful, especially with The Spring sunshine casting shadows into the valleys. From Devils Dyke, we followed the bike path back into Hove and descended for the final time through the Three-Corned Copse to Hove Park. All participants happened to live in Hove, so at this point we dispersed back to our abodes – although a pleasant ride back along the seafront to the Marina would have finished the circular route nicely.
For this ride, I chose one of our Demo Bikes: The 2016 Sduro AllMtn Pro. It has an amazing specification, including the electronic rear suspension, provided by Rock Shox. If “Auto” is selected, the Bike adjusts the firmness of the suspension and rebound rate automatically. The best thing I can comment is that it just worked. The bike told me we had completed just under 30 miles, which included numerous hefty climbs, on some fairly soft’ish terrain. I was mightily impressed to see that there was still a good deal of battery remaining after finishing my ride.
With the all-round capabilities of the bike, the great weather, good company and the amazing South Downs as a backdrop, this was a highly enjoyable ride. Bring on the next one.
The Nyon System 0
What is Nyon?
Nyon is the top of the range display system that Bosch developed to interface with Bosch powered electric bikes. It integrates with the battery and motor and provides data to control the Bike and inform your ride.
What’s so special about Nyon?
Many factors make the Nyon system special. Firstly the Nyon display is bigger and clearer than the standard Intuvia system and it has a lot more features! For example Satellite Navigation ability, a Fitness Trainer, the ability to link to your Smartphone (including charging), it also gives comparative data to demonstrate the financial and ecological benefits of cycling, compared to a car.
Also included are all the features of the Intuvia system and more, on a wider, clearer and easily customisable display. Below we go in to more detail on each of these features.
Navigation + Maps
Nyon has many features, some of which are ‘standard’ on most Satellite Navigation systems, including Points of Interest. But Nyon goes much further and integrates with the eBike. This enables it to offer you eBike specific choices. EG: It can show you on a map a prediction of how far you can travel based on your previous riding style and the assistance level you are in (as shown in the image). You can also select your destination with Fastest; Shortest routes, but also an eBike friendly ‘Scenic’ route option.
Also new for 2016 you can decide if you want mountain bike routes or not! These all help you find fun off road routes. Or you can even upload your own routes from Google and save particular routes you have liked in the past, making it easier to have that same enjoyable ride again and again!
The Fitness training feature measures your exercise intensity with calories burnt, based on your cadence and pedaling force (power output)! It also connects with a variety of different heart rate chest straps via Bluetooth. You can then monitor and analyze the data on your smartphone, computer or on the display itself.
The Nyon Fitness trainer captures the data even if you’re not on the fitness display, which it then compares to historic data and provides a ‘training effect’ status. This evolves depending on your activity. It then shows if you are ‘over-reaching’, maintaining your fitness or improving your fitness etc.
There is an App that allows you to connect your smartphone to your Nyon display via Bluetooth, even displaying incoming text message as you’re riding, if required. You can charge your phone from the Nyon as well! Also on the app you can analyse previous riding data, upload destinations and routes or even create your own eBike assistance levels!
Money Saving Feature
Not content with giving you Health data, the Nyon system also shows the Financial benefits of cycling. It calculates this by comparing your cycling data with average Motoring Costs per mile. You can view this as a total since purchasing the bike, or over a year, month or week. Everyone knows that you save money by cycling instead of driving, now the Nyon shows you how much!
Adding further to the Health and Financial benefits, Nyon also offers some Environmental data. This feature shows you how many trees you have “saved.”
How does it do this? It predicts the amount of CO2 you would have emitted by driving and calculates the amount of trees that would have been affected therefore working out how many trees you’ve saved by cycling!
As some of you may know the Intuvia display (the standard Bosch display unit) has some handy features such as range, trip distance, clock, top speed, average speed, trip time and an overall distance. The Nyon display has all of this on a bigger and clearer unit plus other features such as an altitude line indicator, a measurement of your pedal power in watts and even more! All this helpful information clearly displayed in front of you at a glance!
Which eBikes have it?
The Nyon display comes as standard on some of the high-end Haibike XDuro models. All Intuvia or Purion models can also now be retrospectively upgraded. Contact us for more information on 01273 625060.