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Facts and Questions

Legislation
Laws and regulations across the globe vary from one country to the other in terms of motor limitations, throttle, speed, standards. We have decided to meet them all to offer maximum security to our range.

In Europe, the European text 2002/24/CE clearly states that an e-bike must :
1. Only be conditioned by pedaling and motor assistance should cease as soon as pedaling stops.
2. The assistance has to stop when 25 Km / h are reached. Motor power must not exceed 250 watts.

Two standards are to be met in Europe to get the sales authorization: EN 15194 and EN 14764 standards. One for the electrical part, one for the bicycle part.

In New Zealand: Flying Cat e-bikes are conforming to AS-NZS 1927-2010 which underlines the pedal bicycles and safety requirements. (Supersedes AS/NZS 1927:1998). For more information also read: AS 2142 Reflectors for pedal bicycles, AS 3562 Lighting equipment for bicycles, ISO 4210 Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles.


Do I need to pedal to make it start?
Yes, the electrical assistance will only start when the sensor monitors a movement on the crankset (more or less ½ cycle). It is compulsory in Europe. To that extent, we have decided NOT to equip our e-bikes with a throttle (that would make the e-bike a Moped). You just use the assistance when you need it.
For more security, as older riders can sometimes feel less confident at traffic lights, we have added a 6km/h power button that provides help like a starter would do.


Am I still under assistance when I stop pedaling ?
NO. As soon as you stop pedaling, the motor stops.

Can I cut the assistance ?
YES
. You can use your Flying Cat e-bike as a traditional bicycle. When the power is off on your controller, there is no assistance. We recommend you not to use the assistance downhill or on flat roads if you don’t need it. You will then be able to cover more distance with your battery.

What is the autonomy / range of the battery?
Thanks to Lithium-Ion technology (the lightest and efficient on the market) and the 36 V / 10 Ah our e-bikes are equipped with, you will be able to ride between 50 and 80 kms depending on your weight, roads conditions and wind. If using the assistance nonstop, you will cover no less than 45 kms and no more than 70 kms. You can also “play” with the three levels of assistance on the controller: Low, medium, high.

Do I need to wear a helmet?
In New Zealand YES. And quite honestly the law should be the same in Europe (not compulsory there at the moment). For security purposes, make sure you choose a safe and adequate helmet. Our retailers will help you choose one that suits you.

Do I need a driving licence, registration or an insurance to ride my Flying Cat e-bike?
NO. In Europe, legally your e-bike is considered as a regular bicycle as long as the motor does not exceed 250w. 200w in Australia.
In New Zealand, it has to be below 300w. Our Flying Cat e-bikes are equipped with 250w motor so that they can meet both Europe and New Zealand regulations. As long as the motor is below 300w it is legally still a bicycle. Our e-bikes all comply with both EN 15194 and EN 14764 standards.

Can I use my Flying Cat e-bike on cycle paths?
YES, as your Flying Cat E-bike is considered a traditional bicycle.

Can I ride my Flying Cat e-bike under the rain?
YES, as we have tightly protected the electrical components. All our e-bikes are weatherproof. We ask you NOT to cross deep water ponds or streams in order to avoid submersion of the motor (not waterproof). We also recommend regular hose to clean your bike rather than a high pressure equipment.

Is the weight of my Flying Cat e-bike a handicap ?
An e-bike is heavier than a regular bicycle. (as you add a motor, electrical components, and battery weights).
The excess of weight is largely compensated by the assistance provided.

Do not compare apples and pears. It is wrong to compare the weight of a bicycle with the weight of an e-bike as we have here two different products with different riding experiences even though usage remains almost the same.


Is it difficult to ride a Flying Cat e-bike without assistance?
NO: Flying Cat e-bikes rear brushless motors are mounted as freewheel. It will not slow your progression down (no resistance or friction). Motor will be in a stationary mode when not in use. The cumulated weight of motor + battery can be compared to the weight of a few kilos on your back rack or front pannier.
Should you run out of battery during your cycling journey, there should be no problem for you to ride the bike back home. Running out of battery should not happen though, as our controllers are equipped with an indicator exactly like your car fuel gauge.

Will the Flying Cat e-bike bring me to the top of the hill?
Ah, this famous hill on the road to work or home that once convinced you not to ride your bike !!!! It will soon be a bad memory…
We have tested the Flying Cat range on Thomson Road in Napier, Houghton Bay Rd in Wellington for instance. Try it, you’ll be surprised !!! We won’t sell you Baldwin St in Dunedin … even though… :)

Our e-bikes are equipped to help you through 8 to12 % hills.
Beyond a 12% steep hill, your speed will largely be reduced but assistance will still be on.


How long does it take to charge the battery?
A complete charge lasts 5 hours. Charger cuts off at the end of the charge and can be left on all night for instance.

When you think your battery isn’t fully charged, it is recommended to top it up. This has no incidence on your battery life span. On the contrary, Lithium Ion batteries like to be charged on a regular basis. The more charges, the more power your battery will have. There is no memory of charge on Lithium Ion battery, so no need to fully charge and discharge on first use. (Furthermore, we test, charge, discharge, re charge each battery twice before it gets on our bikes).

Please charge your battery once a month should you stop using the e-bike during winter for instance. 6 months not recharging your battery will lower its capacity and may result in a dead battery.


Should I buy a second battery when acquiring a Flying Cat e-bike?
Life time of a battery is between 500 et 1000 cycles. So NO, do not buy a spare battery if you are going to use it 3 or 4 years down the road.
A stored brand new battery will empty itself (even though adverts say different).
Please note that after 4 years of use, your battery capabilities will drop. Their lifetime is 5 years more or less depending on use and care.

What if I stop using my Flying Cat e-bike for 6 months?
As a bicycle, not to worry about anything.
As an e-bike, the only care has to be the battery. Please give it a full charge once a month. Also store your battery in a room over 5°c.
It is a vehicle that needs very little maintenance. The little maintenance that it needs can be done by almost anyone. Apart from charging the battery and checking the brakes there really is very little to do to keep it in good conditions.

How about Spare parts and Servicing?
Our e-bikes all undergo individual testing. Because we want them as reliable as possible bike wise and electrically wise, we only use well-known brands for our parts. Furthermore, we use parts that are not supposed to break such as 2.5 mm spokes. Our experience, brand image and notoriety in Europe allow us not to repeat errors done when launching a new product. All our electrical spare parts (controllers, sensor, cables, motors, batteries) are available in New Zealand. All our bike parts can be found in any retailer shop in the country. Should you need replacement spokes, we have them too.

You are the owner of a Flying Cat e-bike. Servicing should not worry you. Your product is a bicycle equipped with electrical assistance and a motor. Any retailer or bike shop in NZ is able to service your e-bike or provide you with the needed spare part. On the electrical side, our system has been studied for easy repair and that too can be done very easily by your bike shop.

For service and repairs, please note that Flying Cat NZ Ltd recommends you to bring your e-bike to the dealer you bought it from as another workshop might not be experienced to fix an eventual electrical problem.


Can I charge my battery in a campervan?
Our chargers only work on 220 volts. One can easily buy tension converters 12v/220v that can be plugged in the campervan. Campervans, caravans, boats owners are in important part of our customer base in Europe.
SO YES, you will be able to charge your battery in your campervan.

What are the benefits of riding a Flying Cat e-bike?
While many buy e-bikes mainly to help reduce their carbon footprint, the world has since found many more good reasons to ride one. Here are 10 of the top reasons we have found. We would like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Environmental: Reduce your carbon footprint. - An electric bike helps keep urban pollution to a minimum. Use the car a little less and enjoy the bike a little more.

Commuting - Arrive fresh at work, without the sweat, especially if you employer doesn't provide you with shower facilities. It effectively means you don't need to carry lots of spare clothing around and not having to shower can help by saving you extra time on your journey. One of the biggest headaches with driving a car is that you have to find a place to park. More often than not the most convenient parking is not exactly where you need to go. If you are going to the city the chances are it is also quite expensive. The same can be said for public transport. The closest station or bus stop is not always exactly the most convenient place for you. A bike will normally get you exactly where you need to go - or at least a lot closer than the conventional alternatives. As long as you have chosen an electric bike with a lightweight (i.e. Lithium Ion rather than Lead Acid) battery, the chances are you can carry the bike up stairs to get to where you need to go.

Tackle hill-climbing with ease - Flatten those hills! An electric bike makes it much easier for you to climb hills.

Shopping - You can leave the car at home, it saves fighting for a car parking space or incurring parking charges. Plus, the extra assistance of an electric bike is a real benefit when carrying a few bags of heavy groceries home.

Keep up with town traffic - An electric bike can help you quickly set off from junctions or a standing start. This helps you keep up with other road users, improving your safety on the road. An electric bike may not be faster than a car in terms of absolute speed, but if you take into account the time you spend finding a parking spot, putting money in the meter, and sitting in traffic jams it all makes sense. An electric bike may not solve everyone's problem but for those who need to commute relatively short distances across urban areas in peak hour it may be worth considering.

Low cost – This is the most obvious reason according to us. There is no licence required to ride an electric bike, or insurance or WOF. If you are thinking about a second vehicle but not sure whether you can justify the registration and insurance costs an electric bike might be the answer.
Best of all, you don't have to worry over the ever-increasing cost of diesel or petrol prices. An electric bike costs pennies to run. Example: Assume you have to commute 10 km to work every day - 70 km per week. Your car gets approximately 10 litres/100km. Petrol is about $2.10 per litre. You would use about $14.70 per week in petrol so that would be your saving in fuel alone.
This means it would take 36 months to cover the cost of an electric bike - if you were to factor in fuel alone. If you consider cost of purchase of a car, parking costs, tolls, insurance, registration, tires and general wear and tear the story becomes more compelling. This calculation is also based on having an electric bike as well as a car. If you are looking to replace a car then it's almost instant payback. Of course you do have to cover the cost of charging the battery, but that would only be around $25 in electricity for the whole year - almost negligible.

Cover greater distances - More powerful batteries now mean that many bikes have ranges in excess of 50 kms enabling you to enjoy greater distances and explore our beautiful countryside with ease, and without having to worry whether you'll have to pedal all the way home.

Mature riders - Many older cyclists who have enjoyed cycling throughout their lives can continue to do so, especially if the knees are not what they once where! Remember hopping on a bike and going where you wanted to go without much of a thought about the hills you would have to climb to get there? If you haven't ridden a bike for a while, the hills are much harder than they look. An electric bike helps you to keep up the pace with the ones you love. If your spouse is a fitness freak - and you are not - it means you won't be left behind. If your energy levels cannot keep up with those of your kids or grandkids an electric bike will help you to give them a run for your money. An electric bike also helps you with the extra confidence you need to be able to ride those longer distances. There is always that extra burst of energy that comes in handy if you are trying to cross a busy road, or to avoid obstacles while pedaling up a hill. You are never too old to ride an electric bike.

Health and fitness - You are still getting exercise benefits when using an electric bike, as you are still pedalling. The motor on an electric bike assists the human effort. Many bikes now offer the facility to adjust the level of assistance you receive enabling you to get more or less help from the motor. Plus - especially for commuters - you can always turn off the assistance to burn off extra energy on the way home. Some use their e-bikes as a traditional workout for about 10 to 30 kms, they then turn the assistance on to come back. The reality is that you cannot help but pedal - it's the natural thing to do on a bike - however the pedaling is more like the effort of an easy walk than a demanding uphill bike ride. You get the workout, not the hassle of it.

No driving licence - If you no longer have a licence, perhaps due to ill-health, age or maybe a driving ban, an electric bike can get you back on the road - legally.

They're fun! - We mustn't forget that owning and riding an electric bike is great fun. That's a good enough reason in itself.


Please explain the different types of batteries?
There are 4 types of commonly used batteries:
Lead Acid:
Pluses: Not expensive, solid, no memory of charge.
Minuses: Low energetic density, very Heavy (8 to 10 kg), high daily discharge (1% a day), efficiency loss if battery too long uncharged.

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-cd):
Pluses: Inexpensive, solid.
Minuses: Memory of charge, Cadnium is somtimes banned by some country’s laws, nowadays technologically outdated, complicated to recycle.

Nickel Métal Hybrids (Nimh):
Pluses: Good energetic density, no memory of charge, no pollution if well recycled.
Minuses: fragile because does not allow over charging, need to use efficient and expensive chargers, high daily discharge, reduced lifetime.

Lithium ion (Li-on):
Pluses: High energetic density, low daily discharge (5 % per month), no memory of charge, weight (between 2,5 and 3 kgs), ease of use, 500 to 1000 charge cycles.
Minuses: Price (but in terms of value for money/ capabilities, the price isn’t a problem anymore).


Can we charge the battery while pedaling?
NO, even though some brands make it their main Selling Point ! The amount of resistance you need to create a useful amount of energy is important. The use of a dynamo system only gives the battery a 3 to 4 % charge (As technically it only charges when you use the brakes or going downhill).
Furthermore your battery would not appreciate repeated and interrupted high intensity peaks and would therefore have a shorter lifetime.

Are e-bikes for lazy people? Is this type of bicycle for elder people only?
You will probably hear this from people using their cars to go runs close by errands… Ironic!

Who cares, the answer can be YES, I am lazy and enjoy my ride with assistance. But it can also be NO I am not lazy, my bike is heavier than yours therefore I workout more than you do.!

Does riding a bike mean To Suffer?
Average e-bikes riders’ age is 42 years old. Gets you from A to B, as any other transportation mode.


Why aren’t there more e-bikes in the city?
This is just the beginning of the phenomenon. The first e-bikes were heavy (lead acid batteries and no aluminium frames). It wasn’t a pleasure to ride them. Now, good e-bikes such as the Flying Cat brand, all use Lithium Batteries and Aluminium frames.
Another reason was long the price of the e-bike. Flying Cat policy is to sell our e-bike at the most accessible and competitive price as possible.
New Zealand has a great cycling culture. But many baby boomers can’t ride a bike anymore so expect to see more and more in the streets.
Flying Cat NZ Ltd
Head Office: 12, Ewan Place - Taradale - Napier - NZ
Join Us : PO BOX 7351 - Taradale - Napier 4141
T. +64 (0)6 844 1747
Mob. +64 (0)21 147 1660

 
 
 
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