There are those travellers who want to take a bicycle along
for themselves or their children when holidaying in their
caravan, camper trailer or RV.
Bicycles are a great way to keep the kids occupied, keep fit
or to run those quick errands to the shops.
Make sure you understand the
road rules and be very careful in traffic. Compulsory third
party insurance is not required as a bicycle rider but if
you have a crash involving another person or their property
you may be financially liable for any damage or injury you
Types of Bikes
There are the conventional touring
or road bikes, mountain bikes,
triathlon bikes, BMX bikes, folding bikes as well as electrical or
power assisted bikes.
Mountain bikes are normally strong and robust to withstand
use off the bitumen or bike tracks. They are sometimes
called dirt bikes and usually of robust construction and
come with a thicker more nobly bicycle tyre.
As the name suggests these bikes are able to be folded to
enable them to be more compact for travel. A number of these
types of bicycles will fold up small enough to fit in the
boot of the car. The folding procedure varies between makes
and models. To some extent the size of the folding bikes
will also vary between big wheeled and small wheeled bikes.
So, take some time to research and determine which folding
bike is best for you.
The bicycle seat and handle bar heights are normally
adjustable and in some makes and models the length of the
folding bike is also adjustable within a range. Be sure to
check the model you choose will withstand the rider’s
A few brands and their features are:-
- have a range of folding mountain bikes. The manufacturer
claims the bikes have an aircraft grade aluminium frame,
shimano gears and rear coil suspension.
these are one of the folding bikes designed to change the
frame length rather than fold. The length may be reduced or increased by a
telescopic tube secured by two quick release clips and it
does not require any tools to get it into motion. The
wheels come in 16 inch or 20 inch, it has a Shimano RevoShift grip shift changer, front and rear brakes, rust
resistant frame as well as a small rear carry rack,
kickstand, bell and reflectors. The seat and handlebar
heights are adjustable. A carry bag is also available.
The 16 inch weighs 12.5 kg (27.55 lbs) and the 20 inch
weighs 13.86 kg (39.55 lbs). Their website indicates a new
range will be available soon.
If you were to put the rear passenger seats down on a
Toyota Landcruiser GXL two bikes would fit neatly inside the vehicle.
this company has a good range of folding bikes using
patented Dalloy Aluminium.
The features vary between the
various models available. The manufacturer claims they use
high quality materials and components such as stainless
steel spokes and frame latches. The Dahon 'Mariner D7"
model is a step through folding bike weighing 12.4 kg (27.3
lbs) with 20" aluminium wheels and 7 speed Shimano RD-TX35
Folding bicycles are available from Camec, caravan stores,
on-line bicycle stores and ebay.
Electrical power assisted bikes -
What is a power assisted or
An electric bicycle
is a bike with an integrated electric motor used to
assist its propulsion. They may be referred to as
e-bikes or booster bike. Pedelec is now a term being
used in Australia as we have adopted the EU
For a 'Pedelec' or
electric bike to be legal in Australian the power
assisted bicycle must comply with the European
Committee for Standardization EN 15194. The
electric bike should be certified by the
manufacturer as complying with this standard (label
affixed to frame), the motor must be electric, the
maximum continuous power output cannot exceed 250
watts, the rider must peddle to access the power
(may operate up to 6 km/ph without peddling) and the
power must cut out when the pedalec reaches 25
km/ph or sooner (if rider stops pedalling).
Electrical or battery driven bicycles
often come with a battery charger you can plug into your
household standard power point. The weight of the bike
is likely to vary depending on the size of the battery.
Battery types available may be Sealed Lead Acid (SLA),
Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) and Lithium Iron Phosphate
(Li-FePO4). The main differences are weight and price.
Some electric bikes now have lithium-ion battery packs
with 8Ah-14Ah capacity and voltage from 24V-37V and
range from 200W-250W. You can expect the batteries to
last for about 500 charges and replacement batteries
cost somewhere between $395 - $550.
Conversion kits are available for
existing bikes and add anything up to about 27 kg in
weight. Have a look at dillenger.com.au for information
on their products.
The performance of an electric bicycle
can also depend on a number of factors such as the type
of terrain, battery size, weight of the rider and any
bags, wind conditions and correct tyre inflation.
Zuma Power Products in Wollongong NSW
supply a folding electric bike with a top speed of 25 kph
and a range of 30 – 50 km. The folding electric bike
features, disc brakes front and rear, 12 inch coloured
alloy wheels, adjustable handle bars and seat height and
will withstand a maximum load of 110 kg. The gross
weight of this folding electric bike is 22kg without the
battery and the net weight is 36 kg with the battery.
It folds to 78cm x 36cm x 60cm.
Are electrical bicycles
legal in Australia and do they require registration?
Generally, in Australia, there are two categories of power
assisted bicycles legal on our roads -
- power assisted bicycles (power
controlled by a throttle or accelerator) with up to 200 watts of
- power assisted bicycles (power
controlled by the rider using pedals) with no more than 250
watts of continuous power that meets the definition of a pedelec
It is legal, under current Australian road regulations, to
ride either a purpose-built powered bicycle or a modified
electric pushbike where you would normally ride a bicycle
provided the engine output is 250 watts or less however,
powered speed is restricted to 25 km/h for safety reasons. You must
also be 16 years of age or over.
You are required to wear a bicycle helmet and the helmet
must comply with Australian Standards. The power assisted
bicycle is exempt from registration and CPT (compulsory
third party) insurance but the bicycle must have a working
at least one working brake,
bell or horn and a red reflector on the rear. If you are
riding at night there must be front and rear lights fitted.
In some states, it is illegal to ride a
bicycle that has an internal combustion engine (eg:
diesel or petrol motor attached) on roads or road
related areas (such as paths).
Since 1 October
2014, in New South Wales all petrol-powered bicycles
have been banned on roads, footpaths, shared paths and
Further information is available from your state or
territory Road Traffic Authority or Transport Authority.
Where can I get an
The Electric Bicycle Co P/L of Cheltenham, Victoria,
Australia is an importer/distributor of a large range of
electric bicycles and supply the "Hurricane Conversion Kit'
for existing bicycles. Melbourne Electric Bicycles, St
Kilda, Victoria also supply electric bicycles.
Electric bicycles, including folding models, are also
available from Rotary Bicycles Australia who have
distributors in a number of states.
Some electric bicycle brand names or suppliers are
Dahon, Powabyke, Optibike and Urban Mover. Electric bicycles may also be purchased from online bicycle stores
as well as ebay.