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Alternative to buying an e-bike: the electric retrofit drive

23 days ago

5 minutes

Source: Pendix

E-bikes are popular but expensive. Recent studies confirm this. Electric retrofit drives, such as the Pendix eDrive, offer an alternative solution. They can be installed without major modifications and equip regular bicycles with the advantages of e-bikes.

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Germany, as shown by the SINUS Institute and BMDV’s 2023 Bicycle Monitor. According to the monitor, a quarter of respondents plan to purchase a bicycle or pedelec (electric pedal-assist bicycle) in 2024. Pedelecs, commonly referred to as e-bikes in Germany, are particularly favored, with 48 percent of potential buyers interested in acquiring such a bike.

The amount people are willing to spend on these bikes averages slightly over 1,400 euros, according to the study. However, there’s a catch: e-bikes are generally much more expensive. EY, a consulting firm, noted in its 2023 bicycle study that electric bikes in Germany are among the most expensive in Europe, averaging around 2,800 euros per e-bike. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t deter cyclists from opting for electric biking. After all, there are alternatives in the form of retrofit electric drives. These are typically not only cheaper than buying an e-bike but also offer additional benefits.

Electrical Upgrade for Your Favourite Bike

One example of such a retrofit drive is the Pendix eDrive. It consists of a gearless mid-drive motor and a battery. Both can be installed on almost all frame models and types of bicycles with a so-called BSA bottom bracket. The motor is directly built onto the bottom bracket, while the battery can often be mounted on the screw holes for the bottle cage. For those who swear by their existing bicycle but still want electric assistance, this provides a practical solution: your favourite bike can be transformed into an e-bike in a short time. The familiar riding feel and appearance remain intact, essentially just upgraded.

Move Further, Ride More Relaxed

With the additional electric assistance, several things change, including increased range and agility. Motors like the Pendix eDrive provide pedal assistance up to a speed of 25 kilometres per hour. This allows for tackling longer distances or hilly terrain without the rider becoming overly exhausted. The Pendix eDrive offers three different battery options, allowing for ranges of 37 to 240 kilometres depending on the model, external conditions, and riding style. Charging time with a 160-watt charger ranges from two to three hours.

Such a retrofit drive can also be adjusted to individual fitness levels. For example, the Pendix eDrive offers three modes, ranging from light, barely noticeable pedal assistance to up to 200 percent additional pedal power. This provides assistance in all riding situations, from leisurely rides on flat terrain to mountain crossings with steep inclines, loose surfaces, or strong headwinds. The optional app allows for further fine-tuning of assistance levels.

The bicycle remains a bicycle

If one wishes to engage in a more intense workout, the electric assistance can be deactivated at any time. Due to its gearless construction, a motor like the Pendix eDrive adds little weight when turned off, resulting in no significant pedal resistance. Additionally, the drive is completely silent, preserving the familiar feel of riding one’s own bike.

A retrofit drive can also help bring together people of different ages and fitness levels. With individual electric assistance, the entire family can ride together on a spring tour without anyone feeling overwhelmed or left behind, whether it’s grandparents or parents with children on child seats.

Support for Everyday Activities

A retrofit electric drive not only provides a more relaxed and sporty riding experience on family outings or off-road adventures but also offers support in everyday life. Those who frequently transport groceries or work materials by bike or take their children to daycare will experience relief and arrive at their destination more relaxed and less exhausted. A retrofit electric motor like the Pendix eDrive is suitable for cyclists of all ages.

Older generations, in particular, stand to benefit. Retrofitting without major changes to habits can provide them with greater participation and keep them mobile and active, whether running errands or pursuing leisure activities—hills, additional weight from bags, or long distances are no longer obstacles. Thus, the bike remains a constant companion in every stage of life.

Uncomplicated Enhancement of the Bicycle

In addition to the cost efficiency of the retrofit solution compared to purchasing a new e-bike, there are other economic aspects. The familiar bike experiences an increase in usability and resale value. There are also maintenance benefits. A system like the Pendix eDrive, with its gearless construction, is not only compact and lightweight compared to other designs but also wear-free and maintenance-free. This saves costs and ensures longevity. And if one eventually wants to exchange their current bike, transitioning to a new bike with the Pendix eDrive is simple.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a used bike that receives an upgrade through the electric motor. Numerous manufacturers integrate such solutions directly into their factory models. Additionally, at partner retailers, a regular new bike can be purchased and equipped on-site with a Pendix eDrive. While retrofitting the motor and battery is relatively easy for those with DIY skills, the manufacturer recommends safe and reliable installation by a professional dealer.

For more information on installation requirements, features, variants, and technical data of the retrofit motor, visit: https://pendix.de/edrive

About Pendix: Established in 2013, bicycle drive manufacturer Pendix is part of the Pendix Group. Since its introduction to the market in 2015, Pendix GmbH’s employees have focused on the development and marketing of products such as the Pendix eDrive, the hub motor Pendix eDrive IN, and the integrated mid-drive Pendix gDrive. The drives, components, and bicycles are distributed or utilized by more than 750 authorized Pendix dealers, 37 bicycle manufacturers worldwide, and 35 industrial customers. Pendix is driven by quality, sustainability, reliability, and smart technologies, aiming to deliver the best possible quality and make a contribution to the environment. Since 2022, Johnson Electric International AG has been the majority shareholder of Pendix GmbH.

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