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Everything you need to know before you lease a speed bike

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Avoid the congestion and never have to search for a parking space. And if you can also use your speed bike to cover long distances without huffing and puffing too much, it’s an easy choice. A speed bike or a speed pedelec is a bike that can reach speeds of up to 45 kilometres per hour. But how do you choose the ideal speed pedelec? What are the rules for speed bikes? How can you cycle safely at a speed of 45 km/h? And how can you ensure that the parts last as long as possible? Cyclis helps you get on the road both literally and metaphorically. 

How do you choose a speed pedelec?
  • The distance to and from work determines which type of battery you need and, in turn, the price of the bike. Most brands offer a battery capacity of 500 Wh, but you can increase the capacity depending on your specific needs. A 1000 Wh battery can cover around 80 to 150 km. With an 800 Wh battery, you will cover around 60 to 100 km depending on the setting you use for cycling (e.g. the turbo setting uses more power). 
  • It is important that you consider the speeds you wish to reach. Do you want to cycle at 45 km/h or are you happy with a speed of 40 km/h?
  • The way you cycle will also determine your choice. Do you have to cover a lot of hills, for example? If you do, you will use more battery.
  • How often will you need bike maintenance? A belt needs less maintenance than a chain but there will be wear and tear during use (turbo setting).
  • In general, we advise you to do a test-run of at least 5 kilometres. Take note of the cadence (pedalling speed) and how fast you have to pedal to reach a speed of 40 km/h.
 
The most important rules for speed bikes
  • For each speed bike that is produced, the manufacturer provides the buyer with a uniformity certificate and an application to register a scooter or light four-wheeler. Once you have received these documents, you can register the bike with the Vehicle Registration Service (DIV). The bike will be issued with a small number plate of around 10 x 12 cm.
  • You must wear a helmet. A short guideline that you can apply: make sure that the temples and back of the head are protected. You must also be older than 16 and have a valid driving licence (AM or B).
  • According to the law, you do not have to have civil liability insurance for motor vehicles for speed bikes. As a cyclist, however, you are advised to always have this type of insurance. That is why Cyclis concludes this type of liability insurance for anyone who leases a speed pedelec.
  • On roads where a 50 km/h speed limit is in place, speed pedelec users can choose whether they use the cycle lane or the road itself. If the speed limit is higher than 50 km/h, they must use the cycle lanes. Speed bikes may travel at up to 45 km/h on cycle lanes unless stipulated otherwise, (e.g. in a 30 km/h zone). Road managers may ban or insist on the use of cycle lanes by using special signs.
  • Make sure you always have your documents with you: The original
    conformity certificate (COC), part 1 of your registration document, and
    your green card.

A specific sign with the symbol for a scooter and the letter P (speed pedelec) applies to users of speed bikes.

5 tips for safer cycling

  • As a speed pedelec user, you are just as vulnerable as a regular bike user. Follow the safety instructions that apply to regular cyclists. You will find a few useful tips below.
  • Always stay alert and never assume that a car driver has seen you. It is important to always concentrate on cycling and the roads. Never use your smartphone when cycling. Cyclists can avoid many accidents by being more aware of their vulnerability. You are advised to wear bright clothing, preferably reflective colours and reflective strips.
  • Always make sure you have adequate lighting.
  • Make other road-users aware which direction you are taking by signalling with your arm.
  • Finally, it is important to use your brakes in the right way. You should use the front brake gently at first, to stabilise the bike, and then the back brake to avoid slipping.

These tips should help you stay safe while on the roads.

How can I ensure that parts last as long as possible?

• The most important issue is changing gear. Do not start off in the highest gear, and change down a few gears if you have to move off from a standstill or after a corner.

• Clean and lubricate your chain and cog after every long journey or when it has rained. 

• Check your tyre pressure every month and pump the tyres up if necessary. A tyre that is not pumped up properly will generate a lot of resistance. The motor will have to work harder to achieve the same result and, in turn, use more battery. You will find the right tyre pressure detailed on the side of the tyre.

• Avoid cobbles as the uneven surface will loosen the screws on the bike. The electronic connections will be shaken too and spokes will be put under pressure. This can lead to wear and tear and repairs being required. 

• Check the brake blocks regularly. If they are worn, your braking will be less effective and the brake disc may become damaged.

Any questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact us on info@cyclis.be or call us on 011 730 115.

Choose your favourite speed bike at a bike shop near you.

Speed pedelec gebruiker
Marc Jozefczak
Cyclis employee and speed pedelec user

I ride a 2019 Stromer ST1X, with an 814 Wh battery and rear motor with derailleur. With this battery, I can easily cover the 40 km to work (there and back) in the turbo setting. The cadence is excellent. You need to adopt a sports position on this bike and that can be tricky for those who are not used to it. I easily reach speeds of 45 km/h if I put in the effort myself. It is great to ride my bike through the woods on my way to and from work. It really clears my head before I start my working day. When I cycle back, I can process the day’s events in my head and then enjoy the rest of the day when I get home.