Which driving mechanism should my electric bike have?l

Blog: November 2017

When you are going to buy an e-bike and you know for what you want to use it, the second thing to consider is: Which driving mechanism is right for me? In my case I found out in a special way:

In my father's family, the idea prevails: “The best is an objective fact.” This was clearly visible when I went to visit my grandmother, my uncle or my aunt. Everyone had the same cupboards, the same tables, the same chairs and the same crockery. After all, if one person had found out what was best, you no longer had to figure it out yourself.

My father had figured out which electric bicycle was the best: The Flyer. Not only this bike was the best, but also the shop (Rein Veenendaal) where he bought the bike was the best. That I wanted to try out a Sparta was eventually turned a blind eye, provided I went to Rein Veenendaal afterwards. But first I had to try out his Flyer. Nice bike as a regular bike, but my goodness, what happened when I turned on the support? I kept getting little pushes. Very annoying. As if one foot was supported and the other not. Support on-off-on-off…..The Flyer wasn't the best for me.

However, I found the Sparta E-motion (Sparta's own type of support) very pleasant, good support, great city bike…..but too few gears for a nice recreational bike (M8).

A Sparta with derailleur was a lot of fun, but very top heavy, all the weight was in the back. So much so that I felt the steering wheel vibrate when driving fast. It was also not available with the E-motion system. As a result I also got pushes at the higher support, just like with the Flyer.

What drive mechanisme is right for me?

There are three different drive mechanisms:

  1. Rotation-based support (turning the pedals around)
  2. Support based on the pressure on the pedals
  3. Support by a combination of the top two

The advantage of the rotation mechanism is that you need little force. As long as you get the pedals a full turn, you will be supported whether you put pressure on the pedals or not. The disadvantage of this system is that you can have the feeling that the bike is cycling away with you instead of the other way around. The extent and speed to which the system supports you (and therefore runs off with you) can often be adjusted personally these days. Ask about this at the bike shop if you feel that the bike is cycling away with you instead of the other way around. (a.o. E-motion from Sparta is a rotation system, Stella also has a variant of this system)

If you don't want full support, option two is probably a good option for you. You can easily decide for yourself how much support you want and you have to work (give pressure) for your support yourself. The more pressure you put on the pedals, the more support you receive.

However, if you have an abnormality in one of your legs that allows you to put less force or move one leg less, this system is less suitable (e.g. Flyer, Bosch).

Today, many bicycles consist of a combination of both systems (including Ion, Stella). How these are combined differs per brand and often per model. The only way to find out what suits you best, is to try it out.

Visit a test center near your home (make an appointment) and try out the models of your choice. Be well informed. If you have chronic pain, I can recommend that you visit a test center several times, both on a good day and on a bad day. Dose the number of bicycles you try out in one day. The bikes are not perfectly tailored to you and that can be exhausting (just like trying on shoes).

Off to Rein Veenendaal (the bikeshop). I have to agree with my father. Great shop. After my story with the "push of the flyer" he indicated that I probably have a difference in strength in my legs. I'd never thought of this before, but it turns out he's right. My right leg is significantly less strong than my left leg. “But don't worry, we will find a suitable bike for you.” That's an attitude I really appreciate. Not just selling a bike, but really seeing what suits me with an attitude that there is always a bike to be found. That made me very happy. But the Flyer was definitely out of my reach. The Flyer brand only works with a pressure system (2) and that doesn't work for me. That is why I liked the Sparta Emotion better, with a rotation system (1), a difference in power in the legs does not matter.

Next week you can read what bike I choose and why.


bike, e-bike, electric bike

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