Most electric assists allow to select a certain percentage of assist, which means you can choose between, for example, 50% to 300% assistance. At 300% assist, the motor will return three times the force you put into the pedal. In most countries, electric assists have a legal restriction and cut off at 25 kilometers per hour.
While a bike has only a frame, other human powered vehicles have a fairing surrounding them, and increasing the total weight. On flat terrain and in light slopes you barely notice a difference, but climbing a hill is a lot more difficult.
This being said, here are the main reasons to chose an electric assist on a hpv:
- If you live in a hilly area like I do, you will greatly appreciate the additional power supplied by the motor to get up the hill.
- Lacking strength or endurance is another reason to use an electric assist, specially when you start exercising after a long pause. After a while of cycling you will be able to use a lower percentage of assistance, which will liberate electric energy for other uses.
- I’m pretty sure the highest amounts of car runs are done to get to work. None will want to arrive sweaty at work, or to shower once arrived. An electric assist will actually allow you to pedal to work without getting exhausted, this means you’re ready to work straight away.
- An electric assist will also allow you to cycle faster than usual. Imagine you can cycle at 25 kph, with the same effort you usually use 15 kph pace!
- The fact that you increase your speed will save you time. Since I have a kid, I am time-bound: I can leave work at 11:30 and I have to be at the school bus’s stop at 12:10. Having an one kilometer long and 8% steep hill on my way home, I’m thankful for the time that the electric assist helps me save getting up the hill.