Fequently Asked Questions
We are usually asked pretty much the same questions:
1. How far does it go on a charge? There are no standards for determing range so stated ranges on manufacturer's specifications can be grossly overstated. The truth is the answer is somewhere between 15 - 70 miles. Range is influenced by factors like speed, battery watt hours, motor watts, hill climbing, headwinds, starting and stopping, weight, tire pressure, throttle usage, how much pedal assist you are giving, etc. As a general conservative rule you can take the watt hours divided by 20. For instance a 36V battery with 11 amp hours has a rating of 396 (36 x 11) watt hours divided by 20 = 20 miles.
2. How long does it take to charge the battery? Usually about 2 - 5 hours depending on the battery and the state of charge.
3. How long does the battery last? All of our eBikes have lithium ion batteries and are rated at 500 - 1,000 full charges. Conservatively that is at least 10,000 miles. In otherwords you will probably not need to replace your battery for the life of the eBike.
4. Does the bike recharge the battery when riding? No, our bikes do not recharge during riding. There are some bikes with direct drive hub motors (Bionics, Vintage, Polaris, etc.) that will recharge during riding but it is generally believed that the benefit does not justify the extra cost and drag. EBikes are not like cars and the amount of current restored by regenerative braking is nominal.
5. How fast does it go? EBikes are typically rated at either 20 or 28 mph. This is based on current regulations in the USA. In Europe the regulation to be classified a bicycle is 15 mph.
6. How much does it cost? EBikes will usually cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 with the majority in the $2,000 - $4,000 range.
7. Who services the bike? Most bicycle components on a premium eBike are the same brands and models found on a conventional bike and can be repaired by any bike store. The electronic components are proprietary to the brand and should only be serviced by a qualified dealer of the brand of eBike being serviced.
8. Do I need a drivers license? No as long as an eBike falls under your State's specifications to be considered a bike by the DMV, no license, registration or insurance is needed.
9. Can I ride in the rain? Most eBikes are water resistant and can be ridden in light rain. They however are not waterproof and should not be submerged.
10. How much does it weigh? In general 40 - 65 pounds with most high quality eBikes in the 45 - 55 lb range.
11. Bikes are made for exercise - isn't an eBike cheating? The truth of the matter is that eBike riders actually usually get more exercise than conventional riders. This is because the eBike rider typically rides further, faster and more often than the average bike rider.
12. Can I ride the eBike without the motor? Yes you can ride all eBikes with the motor turned off. However some are easier to ride than others. Hub drive motors, especially direct drive hub motors have more pedal resistance than center drive motors. EBikes do weigh more than conventional bikes and this does make them less enjoyable to ride without a motor. If you want to ride like a conventional bike, we recommend putting the bike in it's lowest power setting. This will make the bike ride much like a conventional bike and extend the battery range dramatically.
13. Are eBikes safe? A recent study in Germany has shown that the accident incidence rate between conventional bikes, pedelecs and high speed pedelecs is almost identical. Also, with an eBike, riders are not as concerned with distance so it is more practical to take the longer but safer route. When planning your route, be sure to plan it out ahead of time on Google Bike Maps. For a good article on tips on bike commuting see: Momentum Magazine Bike Commuting Article
For a more detailed presentation of eBike information please visit our eBikes 101 page