Everyone can now enjoy cycling in Oisans!
Forget their image!
No! E-bikes are not just for lazy people and the elderly!
E-biking is a new sport in its own right – a new way of cycling that enables you to go further, for longer. The iconic and very demanding climb up to Alpe d’Huez, for example, can at last be enjoyed by people of all sporting abilities! And if you want to give your legs a workout, simply reduce the pedal-assist; it’s as easy as that!
Before dismissing electric bikes, you need to try one!
How do they work?
E-bikes, also known as “pedelecs”, are not mopeds. They are real bicycles with pedals, fitted with a booster system that can supply 90% of the energy needed. You need to pedal and not just push on a button!
A smart sensor detects your pedalling force and then provides the extra power required. In other words, if you don’t pedal, you’re not going anywhere!
European law limits the speed of pedelecs to 25 km/hour – anything more will require leg power!
Who are they for?
E-bikes are great for all cyclists who dream of riding over the most stunning and difficult mountain passes, without having to undergo regular, tough training. They are ideal for all those who dream of conquering the iconic “cols” featured in the Tour de France, as well as for those who want to spend time cycling with an enthusiast in their family. For teenagers, husbands, wives, the young and the not-so-young, for enjoying a ride with the family “pro”, for sharing the experience of riding a mythical route with the whole family or a bunch of friends…
E-bikes democratise cycling routes and the sport of cycling. In short, they are perfect for sharing unforgettable moments.
The technical side
Each bike is different… and so is its battery and motor. Features vary from one model to another. The rental outlet will give you an overview of your e-bike’s technical characteristics and help you to choose a suitable cycling route.
Basically, there are 4 modes, generally labelled Turbo, Sport, Eco and Off.
- Turbo: maximum boost and maximum consumption. You hardly have to provide any additional power.
- Sport: significant boost, but less than in Turbo mode. Ideal for lighter weight riders.
- Eco: the battery supplies 30% of the energy and your legs provide the rest.
- Off mode: self-explanatory!
Charging the battery
Depending on the length of the ride, you may be taking the battery charger with you. When you stop off for a drink or a taste of Oisans produce, simply plug the battery into the mains (220 V) and you’re off again! It takes between 1½ and 4 hours to fully charge a battery and the cost is very reasonable: just 5 centimes per hour for recharging a 300W battery.
How long does the battery last?
This depends on your weight, the wind and the boosting you require. If you ride at 25 km/h using the Turbo mode, the battery would last for an hour. In Eco mode, you can ride at least 50 km. You could, for example, easily ride up to Alpe d’Huez from Bourg d’Oisans with a full battery. Also remember that these bikes are lighter than they used to be, so even if the battery is completely dead, you can still pedal, even though it will feel heavier than for a normal bike!
Ask the people renting out the bike if your chosen ride is feasible. They will know all the local routes, as well as the technical capacity of their bikes.