Sustainable electric vehicle (EV) solutions are nothing new to Australia. Electric cars, electric motorcycles and electric scooters have been a part of the country’s commuter and recreational landscape for a long time. The introduction of the modern electric bike, or e-bike, however, has completely transformed the expectations for EVs being both enjoyable and practical.
In less than a decade, e-bikes have evolved to become the first serious alternative to almost every other form of everyday motor transport. Dedicated road and mountain bikers, and courier services were among the first to recognize their advantages; and now, even Australia Post operates its own fleet of over 4,000 e-bikes.
The fact is, unlike other EV modes, people have embraced e-bikes as an affordable, congestion-free means for everything from getting to work on weekdays, to grocery-getting duties on weekends. If you know how to ride a bike, then you already know how to ride an e-bike; and upgrading one to ride even better is just as easy.
Parts For Electric Bike Performance
If you’re an e-bike owner who was originally captivated by their range and mobility, then it’s natural to want to know what can be done to make one perform even better. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of electric bike parts and accessories available to ensure that you can always get the best out of your e-bike. From variable speed motors that’ll give you snappier acceleration, to dual battery options that can allow you to ride twice as long, anything you need to make your e-bike a safer, more reliable, and better performer is only a click away.
When you’re considering what would be the best ways to upgrade your e-bike, it’s useful to keep in mind that, except for a few electronic components, it’s exactly like any other bicycle. The pedals, chain assembly, and cassette all function precisely as they would on an ordinary bike, and you’re still receiving the same cardiovascular workout that you’re accustomed to without pedal assistance.
The difference, however, is that with the pedal-assisted electric motor, you’re able to:
· Conquer inclines, obstacles and other navigational challenges easier;
· Overcome cycling limitations due to age, health, or other physical impairment; and,
· Travel greater distances faster and with less fatigue.
Understanding what your e-bike already does makes pinpointing how to upgrade it a lot easier. With that in mind, let’s take a look at those main electric bike components that allow e-bikes to distinguish themselves, so that when it’s time to make a performance upgrade, you can feel confident about finding everything you need to complete the job right here in Australia.
Better Electric Bike Drive Motors
There are two different types of e-bike drive motors: pedal-powered mid-drive motors, and throttle activated hub mounted motors. On pedal-assisted e-bikes, these compact, brushless units are restricted to a maximum of 250W output and a top speed of 25km/h to comply with Australian standards, but that doesn’t exclude upgrading to motors that feature:
· Full-automatic shifting for a better riding experience;
· More responsive shifting and better braking; and,
· Optimized pedal symmetry and stance (Q-factor).
These are ordinary drive unit upgrades. However, when they’re combined with other motor upgrades that can be made during regular maintenance, like new cog sets and gears, you can look forward to enjoying thousands more worry-free kilometres on electronic bike parts that are fully compliant with Australian Vehicle Standards.
Smarter Electric Bike Sensors
Electric bikes also have two different types of sensors: cadence sensors and torque sensors. Their job is to accurately determine how much power to apply to the drive unit based on either the speed or tempo you’re pedalling at, or the amount of force that’s being applied to the pedals.
Depending on whether your e-bike is equipped with an external cable sensor or rotor disc sensor that’s integrated into the drive unit, kits are available that’ll allow you to:
· Replace a defective or damaged sensor;
· Upgrade to a different type of sensor; or,
· Relocate the sensor to a different location.
You can also buy frame and axle-mounted data sensors that’ll individually measure your personal performance while you’re riding. These sensors don’t have any impact on the bike’s operation, but they do integrate with your bike’s other equipment to help you tailor your riding experience, including:
· Speed and cadence sensor modules. Allow you to send your riding data and stats directly to a wireless device, such as a Garmin, iPhone, or Android phone or fitness watch.
· Pedal, and pedal axle sensors. Electronic replacement pedals and pedal axles that also deliver calibrated training data via wireless to a pre-selected device.
· Paired sensors. Allows you to simultaneously synchronize speed and cadence information between two bikes at the same time.
Stronger Electric Bike Batteries
If not the most ubiquitous, then the battery is certainly the most crucial part of any e-bike. These IP-rated, lithium-ion power packs come in a variety of sizes, and the more watt hours (Wh) of capacity a battery has to offer, the longer you’ll be able ride. Regardless of whether your e-bike’s battery is a downtube-type or an externally mounted unit, you can choose from a huge range of long-life batteries options that’ll let you increase your battery capacity up to 630Wh, with the benefits of:
· 50% quick charging in 2.5 hours;
· 6 hour full charge; and,
· >60% capacity after 1,000 charges.
And if being able to travel longer distances is more important to you than a few extra kilos of battery weight, extended range, dual battery installations are also available. These auxiliary battery setups not only extend your total powered capacity by up to 208Wh – the equivalent of roughly two additional riding hours – but are designed to:
· Provide feed power for the main battery, even if the bike is stopped;
· Charge the main battery while riding, even when traveling above 25km/h;
· Charge in parallel directly from the power supply.
Of all the electric bicycle parts, you want to keep in mind that your battery is also the component that’s most sensitive to moisture, temperature, and other environmental extremes. No matter what kind of battery upgrade you undertake, you want to protect it as much as possible and disengage it when your bike’s not in use.
At the end of the day, from low friction drive chains to hydraulic brakesets, there’s a host of upgrades you can make to your e-bike. Some will invariably have a greater impact on performance than others, but if you want to get to the heart of performance you have to upgrade the electrics choosing from the range of electric bike parts and accessories available.
They can give your e-bike a real performance boost while keeping it compliant to the Australian standards. The best part is you don’t have to order the parts from Europe or anywhere else. They’re right here in Australia, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference an upgrade can make with your EV expectations.