Electric bikes are an expensive investment. You might want to ask some questions to learn more about them before, during, and even after buying.
Here are some 18 questions that often come to the minds of electric bike enthusiasts:
Getting an Electric Bicycle
1. Why Would I Choose an E-Bike Over a Regular Bike?
Riding any bicycle is fun. But having electrical assistance makes the ride more enjoyable. Ebikes make it easy to conquer hills, and any person, young or old, can ride them. Besides, they are faster, put less pressure on your joints and muscles, and more!
2. How Much Does an Electric Bicycle Cost?
Like any other item on sale, you’ll always get what you pay for. You can get an electric bike from as little as $300 to as high as $10,000. The price largely depends on the ebike’s salient features, like its model and the quality of its components, especially the motor and the battery.
3. Are Electric bikes here to Stay, or Are They Just a Passing Fad?
Electric bikes are here to stay—get used to that fact. Their sales have been booming since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to continue increasing exponentially soon.
So, it’s safe to ditch your car and motorcycles for electric bikes; they will soon transform urban transit!
4. Should I Try a Bike Before I Buy?
Please take this advice home: do not buy any electric appliances or high-valued motorized things without getting a feel of them. Abort any dealer that doesn’t offer free rests!
To truly understand how the electric bike fits and operates, you must hop in the saddles and do a few spins. Some bike manufacturers and sellers may even rent out the bike to help you settle on the experience and capabilities you want before buying it.
So, be open to your salesperson and learn about your options.
5. Where Can I Buy an Electric Bicycle?
The ebike-buying landscape is a little more complex than standard bikes because they are more expensive, and many things can go wrong if you are not careful.
Buying an ebike from a direct-to-consumer manufacturer is the best way to get expert service, lower prices, better deals on warranties, and customization to suit your needs.
However, if you are considering shopping online or in bicycle shops, choose reputable retailers and be sure to check the warranty on offer and if their after-sale services seem legit.
6. What’s the Best Electric Bike?
This question has no universal answer. The best type of electric bike depends on your individual needs.
If you like adventures, electric mountain bikes will be the best pick. If you want the flexibility of transport and storage, go for electric folding bikes. Commuter ebikes will be best for commutes to and from your place of work.
Using an Electric Bicycle
7. Is Riding an Electric Bicycle “Cheating”?
Only if you think it is :)
See, 'just' because an electric bike provides motorized assistance doesn't mean your pedalling effort is insignificant.
The power you put into pedalling an electric bike and the bike’s power output is simultaneous, which is quite comparable to conventional bikes. So, riding an electric bike is not cheating!
8. Can I Get Exercise From an Electric Bike?
Yes! E-biking is an excellent form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. Let no one tell you otherwise.
You can choose the amount of exercise you want to get from your electric bike by adjusting the level of assistance. On pedal-only mode, you get to exercise fully like someone riding a conventional bike. The same goes for pedal-assist mode, only that you get minimal assistance from the bike.
Charging, Batteries & Range
9. How Far Can My Ebike Go on a Single Battery Charge?
A typical electric bike will have a 50-100 km range depending on the road conditions, how much power the rider is putting into pedalling, and the amount of weight exerted on the bike (you + cargo).
You can get more range if you are riding on smooth/paved surfaces, you ride on the pedal-only mode or pedal-assist mode, you are lighter, and you are not carrying heavy loads.
10. What Should I do if My Ebike’s Battery runs out?
Please don't forget that electric bikes are traditional with added electric motors and battery features. If your battery gets depleted, you can pedal your ebike like a conventional bike or adopt any of these charging tips.
11. How Long Does It Take an Ebike Battery To Be Fully Charged?
From flat, a typical electric bike battery will take 2-4 hours to charge to 100%. This time can vary depending on the battery size.
However, it's a good practice to avoid charging the battery to 100% and discharging it to 0%. It’s recommended to discharge up to 30% and recharge up to 80%.
12. What is the Cost of Charging an Electric Bike?
Charging costs depends on your battery’s voltage and capacity, with the electric rates being constant depending on your local state.
On average, charging ebike batteries costs 4-12 cents. However, the higher the battery voltage and ampere-hours, the higher the charging costs. This article may teach you how to calculate the cost per charge of your ebike battery.
Climate and Weather
13. Can I Ride My Ebike in the Rain?
Of course, you CAN!
Electric bikes can get wet—we don’t deny that. However, most of them are waterproof! So, riding or parking them in the rain is perfectly okay.
You can learn more tips about riding an ebike in the rain here.
14. Are Electric Bikes Good for the Environment?
Because of the lithium-ion batteries, electric bikes are zero-emission motorized vehicles, so they do not contribute to air pollution.
Most electric bikes are also noiseless. Or if their motors occasionally make some ‘whining’ noise, the sound may not be utterly intolerable compared to those made by motorcycles running on petrol fuel. Therefore, with ebikes, there is no sound pollution.
15. How Much Is Carbon Footprint Reduced by Riding a Bike?
Electric bikes release 40 to 140 times fewer pounds of greenhouse gases on a single charge compared to a 30mpg gas car. Therefore, replacing short car trips with electric bikes could save 50% of carbon emissions.
Legalities around Electric Bikes
16. Do I Need a License To Ride an Ebike on the Road?
No, you don’t need to have a special license to cycle an electric bicycle. However, it’s good to note that electric bikes are considered an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (EAPC). Therefore, they may be subject to specific regulations beyond which you’ll need a license to operate the bike.
In the UK, owning a throttle-only ebike with over 250W power output is illegal unless you register it as a motor vehicle. In Canada, it’s illegal for a class 3 electric bike to have the throttle mode. The US hasn't put any legal restrictions on ebikes yet.
17. Where Can I Ride an Electric Bike?
In most countries, electric bikes are treated as traditional bicycles. Meaning you can ride an ebike virtually anywhere you'd ride a regular bike, be it on bike lanes, trails, paths, or even on busy roads.
18. Will I Have To Pay Insurance for My Electric Bike
In most states, it's not a legal requirement to cover your electric bike because they don’t have powerful engines like cars and motorcycles. So, it would help if you checked with your local laws.
Nonetheless, if you want to protect your investment against theft and malicious damage, you may want to consider taking that insurance.