Which eBike Motor suits me best?

There are 2 main types of electric bike motors – ones which fit into a wheel (the motor can be in the front or rear wheel)  or ones where the motor is connected to the pedals of the bike. These are referred to as “hub-drive ebikes” or “mid-drive ebikes” respectively. 

Which style suits you best will depend on your purpose, your budget and your rider confidence and/or skills. 

Purpose – if you are considering an electric bike for recreation, commuting, trekking or just short trips to the shops, the type of electric bike may be important to you. A hub-drive electric bike is a great entry into riding with pedal assistance (the motor turns on when you pedal and the motor power turns off when you stop pedalling)  and suits relatively easy recreational and commuting riding but is less suited to varied terrain, trekking or rougher path surfaces or for those riders who want a more natural and responsive feel. Understanding your purpose and the areas in which you wish to ride is an important starting point to appreciating which type will suit you best. 

Budget – with electric bikes, you generally get what you pay for. Prices comprise a combination of motor performance, braking system, gearing type, battery capacity and design. Branding also plays an important part in the overall cost of an electric bike. Big brand names often command higher prices due to their prestige, but this may not always reflect performance. 

Generally-speaking, a hub-drive will be less expensive than a mid-drive. Our hub drive bikes go up to around $2500. Design and engineering-wise, fitting a motor into a wheel requires the motor itself and the spokes to be laced into the wheel but the rim does not need to change necessarily and the frame of the bike does not need to be redesigned. For this reason, a hub-drive electric bike is often at least $1000 cheaper than a mid-drive and sometimes much more than that. If you are on a budget, a hub-drive is a great starting point.  

Most folding electric bikes are hub-drive based and this helps keep these bikes in the lower-end of the budget range. Our hub-drive motors fitted to off-the-shelf electric bikes are generally either factory branded or Bafang sourced. Other suppliers fit a range of hub-drive motors such as Electra and NCM. Our conversion motors are either Bafang or torque-based Tong Shen brands. Both torque and voltage impact overall cost for conversions. 

The brand also affects the budget of the electric bike and the brand of the motor is part of this equation: we stock both Bosch (German) and Bafang (Chinese)  mid-drive motors fitted to our off-the-shelf electric bikes. Bafang motors have high-torque performance as standard (M400 80Nm, M420 80Nm) whereas Bosch offer a range of performance depending on budget and purpose. Active Line (45Nm) is their entry level motor and the performance increases with motor type (Active Line Plus (55Nm), Performance Line (65Nm), Performance Line CX (85Nm) and Cargo Line (85Nm)). Not all Bosch motors are the same and the higher the performance, the more expensive the motor. “Nm” stands for Newton Meters and is a measure of the torque or rotational force that the motor can produce. The higher the Nm the better the bike will be at hill climbing.  Note that the battery capacity does not change the torque or power of the motor, the capacity affects the range or distance that you can go on the bike.  

Rider confidence and/or skills – most hub-drive electric bikes operate using a sensor which detects whether the pedal cranks are turning. The cadence sensor does not measure the force or speed that you are pedalling,  it just detects if the pedals are rotating. As an example, when riding on the flat, with the bike set to the maximum power assistance level (PAS level) you can pedal slowly and the bike will try and pull you along at 25kph, regardless if you pedal fast or slow. Note that all legal electric bikes are limited to 25kph with power assistance and the motor power stops when you stop pedalling. The bike can go faster than 25 kph (eg if you are going down hill ) but if you try and pedal faster than 25 kph you end up with a heavy mechanical bike as the power will turn off. 

For some riders the disconnect between how hard and fast you are pedalling and the motor power can be disconcerting and riders who wish for a more natural experience may prefer the logical connection exhibited from a mid-drive whereby the more you push on the pedals, the more response the motor will provide, given the level of power assistance range selected.  

In part, the suitability also links back to the purpose of the ride. If you are wanting to go on steeper hills, a rider on a mid-drive who is willing to put in effort will immediately gain that reward from the motor. Where terrain changes rapidly, such as on a rail trail when crossing creeks, the need to quickly change from downhill to uphill or trying to negotiate potholes or sandy, loose surfaces it  is harder to manage and control on a hub-drive compared to a mid-drive. Mid-drive responsiveness helps on varied terrain whereas a hub-drive is easy on flatter and more consistent cycleways. It does come down to the confidence and skills of the rider and where they are riding. 

Mid-drive electric motors are often considered better quality but that is not always the case. A hub-drive may be more appropriate if you have weakness in your lower limbs and are unable to use a lot of force to increase the pressure on the pedals. In these circumstances, a mid-drive may not be best for you.  

In terms of gearing, with the hub drive bike the motor is directly connected to the wheel rim, a smaller wheel will provide a lower gear (better for going up hills). With a mid drive bike the motor power goes through the mechanical gearing of the bike which helps when going up hills because the power you put in and the motor power are both going through the bike gearing. 

Another consideration when looking at the hub drives and mid drive bikes relates to changing of a trye. With a hub drive ebike the wheel with the motor in it cannot be quick release. The nuts holding the wheel on need to be done up very tight to ensure that the axle does not spin when the motor starts turning. This means that if you needed to change a tyre on the side of the road then you need spanners not just a standard bike tool kit. With a mid drive bike the wheel are “standard” bike wheel and in some cases can be quick release which require no tools to remove the wheel. This is something to consider if the bike will be used for trekking and other offroad riding where you may not have access to a full set of tools. 

Typically for the same battery capacity and the same riding terrain a bike with a mid drive will go further than a hub drive bike because you cannot “cheat” or take it easy with a mid drive. You always have to put some effort in to get the motor to turn on. With a hub drive you can take it easy by using a higher power level and pedalling slowly, this will use more battery power. 

Electric bike riders with a disability – If riding with a disability, electric bikes can be an ideal way to reduce the impact of your disability on the use of a bike. Electric pedal assistance can reduce the impact of fatigue, muscle weakness, endurance and temperature management. A hub-drive motor where the rider does not have to push too hard on the pedals is ideal for someone living with ankle, knee, hip weaknesses or restrictions. These bikes are often easier to offer balance support using adult stabiliser wheels or as a trike. 

If you are wishing to improve your strength and use not lose your muscles, a more natural mid-drive may enable you to control the power usage more easily so you can participate in a wide range of riding scenarios so you are able to ride longer, further and more frequently. We can also modify electric bikes to accommodate different seating requirements, braking strengths, handlebar configurations and pedal needs to suit your disability and offer you the best option to get onto a bike in a sustainable and regular way. As NDIS Providers, we often provide quotes for riders to access either hub-drive and mid-drive electric bikes as part of their NDIS plan. 

73-year young woman proves tricycling is for EveryBody  

In a small coastal town on the northern rivers of Tasmania, 20km east of Devonport, residents and tourists are intrigued by a spritely 73-year young woman seen riding an electric semi-recumbent tricycle through parks and along waterways.

When this news reached us, we couldn’t resist the temptation to sit and chat with this interesting woman and share her story with you.

Eighteen months ago, Dawn, a life-long resident of Port Sorell, was suffering with debilitating knee pain, finding it increasingly difficult and painful to walk. 

Determined to not let her sore knees get in the way of her love for the outdoors, Dawn looked into cycling.

Having never ridden a bicycle in her entire life, Dawn learnt to ride a two-wheeler. However, she felt unsafe, finding that it was too high for her to manoeuvre, stop and get off easily.

Being well aware of her age and the possible outcome should she fall from a bicycle, Dawn continued to search for a solution. After a short while, she came across semi-recumbent e-tricycles. Dawn was excited as she figured ‘three wheels have got to be better than two!’

Dawn’s first contact was with a company selling semi-recumbent e-trikes in Holland. She was told the trike would cost her $15,000, and that was before shipping costs. This was out of the question for Dawn.

Then, along came Blind Freddy eBikes in Brisbane, Queensland. Dawn found the staff at Blind Freddy eBikes to be very easy to deal with. She felt they listened to her needs and were committed to ensuring she was informed every step of the way and satisfied with her purchase. To top it off, the Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle was a third of the price of its overseas competitor, being a lot more affordable and accessible, being within Australia.

Dawn certainly lights up as she talks about her Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle. It has provided her with independence, a sense of overall well-being, and she can cycle without knee pain.

Looks like Dawn's not the only one who loves her semi-recumbent electric tricycle
Looks like Dawn’s not the only one who loves her semi-recumbent electric tricycle

Dawn particularly likes the fact that when she stops, she still has a seat, so there’s no risk of her knees collapsing underneath her as what might happen on a conventional bicycle.

The e-trike is close to the ground so it’s easy for Dawn to get on and off, and she says it has wonderful brakes and excellent suspension. Dawn also mentions that the battery life is very good but points out that even if the battery does run out, the e-trike is easy to pedal home.

Dawn rides between 15 to 20 kilometres every day, weather permitting, with her legs pedalling the whole way, and she can crank her e-trike up to around 30km/hr. She can’t say she likes the feel of the wind in her hair as she still needs to wear a helmet, but she does love the wind and fresh air on her face, albeit freezing cold some days.   

The paths along the beach and waterways are Dawn’s most popular routes, but some people have met her off-road, along bumpy gravel and rocky paths in the local national forest, of which the e-trike handles extremely well.

As Dawn rides around her beloved hometown, she is often stopped by inquisitive bypassers who are intrigued (and very impressed) by her clever mode of transport, often allowing serious lookers to have a quick try.

Dawn is so happy with her Blind Freddy semi-recumbent e-tricycle and her new-found freedom, she often finds excuses not to go home!

It was an inspirational time spent chatting with Dawn. There’s certainly no stopping her, and her story of determination and willingness to take on a new challenge can only be an encouragement to others. Thanks so much, Dawn… Keep Triking!

Blind Freddy eBikes stock a wide range of manual and electric bicycles and tricycles, suitable for anybody and everybody.

EveryBody eBikes – Our Roots

WHY SHOP WITH US?

Electric bikes come in many styles and sizes. We aim to provide something for every body – no matter your shape or size or your intended travel plans.

We specialise in folding ebikes for travelling and commuting, step-through and flat bar rides for around town or along the coast and three-wheelers to transport your shopping, your pets or just you.

We want to make it easier for everybody to be assisted and we stock a wide range of options for people with balance issues or living with disabilities. We aim to be inclusive and to offer as many choices as possible to get you on the road, the bike path or trail without having to spend a fortune.

We are a small, family owned business. Our passion is about riding and being outdoors, smoothing those hills to entice even reluctant riders back in the saddle and we do it without lycra and with good, old-fashioned service. Buy local, make a difference.

WHAT CAN EVERYBODY EBIKES DO FOR YOU?

We strive to keep our prices low without compromising on quality, function, appeal or serviceability. We stock ebikes designed and configured by our team and compliant with international standards (EN15194), imported directly to the store to keep costs down. We also stock locally distributed ebikes to extend our range and can order in specific models upon request. Our BF-branded bikes are exclusive to us and we are proud of the quality and reliability of our range.

Many want a bike which can handle our local conditions. Our ebike customers benefit from:

  • strong and light-weight frames made from low corrosive material to suit our coastal conditions and make handling easier
  • clear provenance of batteries supplied with genuine Samsung, Panasonic or LG cells and certified chargers for safety and peace of mind
  • great performance without a huge price tag, achieving over 50km riding and sometimes closer to 100km on a single charge
  • easy-mount designs in bikes and trikes to prevent riders the discomfort of swinging their legs
  • fewer punctures resulting from kevlar-shielded tyres
  • local servicing and a dedicated workshop stocked with spare parts, accessories and replacements to keep our customers on the road longer
  • an experienced team focussed on helping those new to e-bikes as well as the dedicated traveller, commuter or recreational rider
  • options for renting to try a range of bikes before making a big commitment (recreational, rent to buy, try before you buy)

We want you to enjoy riding, to take the challenge of riding more and for more reasons and to share that enjoyment back with the community which has provided the bike.  See you soon!

ANDREA AND RICHARD HERKLOTS, PROUD OWNERS OF BLIND FREDDY ELECTRIC BIKES

WHAT IS AN EBIKE?

For those who are new to electric mobility, an ebike is a manual bicycle with an electric motor which can assist when you are pedalling. This is known as pedalec and is a legal requirement in Australia. The assistance level can be selected by the rider and adjusted for the slope. The more power you use, the easier the hills will feel.

In Australia, ebikes must be restricted to 250W power for legal use on roads. Our bikes are typically powered by a 200W or 250W motor to tackle most terrain and fueled by a 36V 10.4Ah battery, so most people can ride for over 50km between charges.

BLIND FREDDY ELECTRIC BIKES IS AN UNUSUAL NAME

The name was a carry-over from the previous owner’s venetian blind cleaning business! He started building electric bikes on the side and soon it became a passion which took over his other work activities, but the name remained.

Although the name predates selling bikes, it has grown on us and our customers and is now synonymous with open, honest and helpful advise and a good range of good quality bikes at a reasonable price.

THE ACCIDENTAL CYCLISTS! – AN EXPERIENCE BY CUSTOMERS CATHY & STEVE

I had never thought of riding a bike, but at the beginning of 2020, I decided to investigate this foreign concept!  I stumbled across Blind Freddy’s website and it was by far the most enticing for the nervous, hoping to be cyclist!Nothing was too much trouble for Blind Freddy owner Andrea to explain, and she was completely unperturbed by our lack of cycling knowledge and genuine fear of getting on a bike!  I had spotted the e-trike range online and was keen to look more at these.  On a test ride on the trike, I was very nervous, very slow, but all the time Andrea was so encouraging and helpful.  She even adjusted the seat to one that was seriously like sitting on a comfy couch!

 We left having purchased an e-trike and also a folding e-bike with stabilisation wheels for my husband, who had never ridden a bike in his life before!  We decided, while it looked most unusual, at least we were on our way to learning to ride!  We found the least busy bike ways in Brisbane and our confidence quickly grew!

 Andrea and Richard have a great approach and serious expertise which means they help you select just the right bike for you, they won’t sell a bike until you are safe enough riding it, and they are so encouraging and supportive, and all of this sets them apart from any other bike shop.  They allow you the time to try different bikes and make the whole experience fun and super supportive.About six months after having the trike, I was on a mission to buy a bike!  Back to Blind Freddy’s and Andrea suggested the Lekkar Jordaan e-bike, which has been the perfect bike for me.  While I still ride the trike often, I also really enjoy being on the bike!  Never did I think we would have any need for a bike rack, however we have one now, and we are trying out so many of the great bike paths in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

While purchasing a bike or trike is a substantial purchase, it has worked out much cheaper fo bus than previously purchased (and sometimes poorly used!) gym memberships.Steve has progressed now to a Roma e-bike, and is loving his upgrade on the recommendation of Andrea and Richard.

 A trip to Blind Freddy’s is such a wonderful experience – not only do you get personalised service, but you are assured of getting a bike that is right for you, considering your lifestyle and your ability, be it as a seasoned cyclist or conpletely lacking in any bike riding experience as we were!  Plus they have the best ever range of accessories for you bike!  They are full of helpful tips to get the most out of your bike and they are genuinely interested in ensuring you have fun while cycling!  The best customer service while you shop in the best bike shop – Blind Freddy’s!

– Cathy & Steve— Andrea HerklotsTagged: carefreecommunitytestimonial

GET ON YOUR BIKE! HALCYON LAKESIDE’S “BIKIE GANG” STAR ON LOCAL TV

Local television news crews report on the ‘Halcyon Hooligans’, watch Channel 7’s coverage, by clicking the play button above, and Channel 9 here.

The look of “pure joy” on Sandy Chadwick’s face when she started riding her e-bike around Halcyon Lakeside was the inspiration for more than 30 other homeowners to buy their own.

“When the pool closed during lockdown, I knew I had to get some exercise on another way and the second I got my bike, I was on it all the time and then everyone wanted one,” she said.

“Everybody said that when they saw me riding, the look of pure joy was the incentive for them to go and buy one themselves.

“It went around the place so fast and now we have at least 30 to 40 people who are now the owners of an e-bike.”

While not an official group, homeowners from Lakeside’s “bikie gang” as they are affectionately known, can be found riding around the community or around Parklakes II.

Sandy said her arthritis and double knee replacement means it is difficult for her to walk for long distances comfortably, so she needs a low impact exercise which supports her joints.

“I always ride around the community and then outside of the gates around the lakes at least twice a day,” she said.

“It has given me my legs back and the freedom to just get up and go, which has been very powerful for me.”

Sandy said she bought her four-wheeler bike, which does have a motor but also needs to be pedalled for it to move.

“I can use the “assist” feature on different levels but I do need to pedal or the bike will stop,” she said. “I like that I have to pedal as it has helped my leg strength and my fitness, but the most amazing thing is the freedom I feel.

“It’s given me my life back.”— Andrea HerklotsTagged: community