Electric Bike Frequently Asked Questions
How far will an electric bike go on a single charge?
That depends on a lot of things, including rider weight, how much pedaling you’re doing, how many hills and how steep, wind, and so on. For example, a rider of average weight (not more than 200 lbs) riding on flat ground can travel about 15 miles per charge while using very little to no pedaling. In pedal assist mode (PAS) that same rider can travel 10 miles or more per charge on the same bike. Now let’s take another example, under the same conditions, a rider of 120 lbs will likely travel 20 miles pedaling and more than 35 miles using the PAS system.
How does an ebike work?
All ebikes are supplied with a key. Once the key is turned to the On position (assuming a battery is installed), the rider can twist the throttle to start riding the bike or start pedaling to engage the pedal assist system. Turning the key will also lock the battery to the bike, so no one walks off with it.
Do electric bikes require a license, registration, or insurance?
No. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) electric bicycles with operable pedals, an electric motor of 750 watts or less, whose maximum speed is no more than 20 mph are not classified as motor vehicles. Electric bicycles are therefore treated as standard bicycles in the US, with all of the laws surrounding standard bicycles (check local or state law for any regulations in your area).
How fast can I ride?
In the United States the maximum speed for all electric bicycles under power of the motor is regulated by law at 20 mph. However is you pedal along with the motor you can go much faster. You can modify the power system to go faster, but you void your warranty, make your bike illegal, and risk burning up the electrical system, so don’t ask us how to do this.
Does the battery recharge when I pedal?
No, in order for the motor to recharge the battery, it would have to create resistance which would make it too difficult to pedal without the motor. Unfortunately physics doesn’t work in our favor.
What is Pedal-Assist?
The Pedal-Assist Mode (PAS) operates when you are pedaling the bike and progressively adds electrical power to the motor. The faster you pedal, the more power is applied. PAS mode significantly increases battery range as compared with using the throttle alone. This mode can be turned on and off by a switch on the handle bars, or turning off the key to the off position. All our bikes come equipped with PAS.
Can electric bikes be ridden with the electric assistance off?
Yes. Electric bikes can be ridden just like regular bike when the power is off. To turn off the electrical system just turn the key to the off position. If you plan on not using electric assist at all you can remove the battery to save some weight.
Is there drag when pedaling with the electric assistance off?
Not really. There is a very slight drag that is not really noticeable when pedaling most ebikes when the electric assist is off. This is due to the small amount of mechanical resistance in the hub motor.
How does the throttle work?
All bike models are equipped with a twist throttle. The throttle operates like a motorcycle throttle. The more you twist the grip on the handlebars, the more power is applied.
Can I choose which power assist system to use?
The throttle is operational as long as the key is turned on. Depending on the model, the power assist is always on when the key is turned on or has a switch on the handle bars to turn pedal assist on and off. Empowered Ebikes has a switch to turn off the pedal-assist feature and still be able to use the throttle. On E-Wheels models the pedal assist and throttle is always activated as long as the key is turned on.
Will rain or temperature affect my electric bike?
Rain is no problem. They will handle a very heavy rain just fine and not experience a short circuit. There is also no risk of being electrocuted on a wet bike. You may experience a decrease in range when riding in extremely hot or cold weather. The chemistry of the battery works best in temperatures between 32-90 degrees Fahrenheit. They will work in freezing temperatures but the colder it is, then the less charge the battery can hold.
Why would I want a three wheel tricycle?
The best reasons for a tricycle are stability and storage capacity. Tricycles are inherently stable and don’t require the rider to keep balance. They also carry a can a huge amount of stuff compared to bicycles. They have large front and rear baskets able to carry up to an additional 150 lbs.
Why would I want a folding bike?
Folding bikes take less space. They can fit in the trunk of a car, or a smaller apartment or cubicle. In addition, you can bring your folding bike easily on a bus, train, or boat. Some people choose folding bikes so when they commute to work they don’t have to worry about leaving their bike chained up outside where it could be stolen or vandalized.
Are folding bikes safe?
Completely. The integrity of a folding bike is the same as a standard bike. We have never heard of a hinge opening or breaking while riding.
How long does it take to fold a folding bike? Is it Hard?
They are simple and quick to fold. It takes us less than 30 seconds to fold them. Usually, there is one latch in the center of the frame, a latch to slide down the handle bars, and the pedals fold.
What types of batteries do you offer, and what is the difference?
All our bikes are equipped with lithium batteries, which are light weight and long lasting. The Lithium batteries are called LiMn (which is what is on most bikes) or LiFePo4 (on some higher end models). Some of our e-bike conversion kits use sealed lead acid batteries (SLA). What’s the difference between the batteries?
- LiMn Lithium Manganese (on most bikes also called Lithium Ion): Light weight, lasts about 1000 recharge cycles. No memory effect. 7-8 year shelf life.
- LiFePO4 Lithium Iron Phosphate: Light weight, and lasts about 1500-2000 recharge cycles. No memory effect. 7-8 year shelf life.
- SLA Sealed Lead Acid: Heavy, lasts about 500 recharge cycles. 3-4 year shelf life.
We carry most replacement batteries upon request, or we will direct you where to get a new one if you need a replacement. They usually cost around $200-$400.
How should I charge the battery?
To achieve the longest life from your battery it is best to charge the battery after each use or at least once daily if used every day. It should also be charged once every month if not used for a long period of time. All bikes come with smart chargers which stop charging when the battery is at capacity, so it is okay to leave you bike plugged in at all times.
Can I remove the battery and does it lock in place?
Yes, the battery simply slides out from its mounting rack when the key is turned to the unlock position (the same key used to turn on the bike). When the key is turned to the on or off position, the battery is locked to the bike so no one can steal it.
Will my electric bike go up hills?
Yes, the electric motor can overcome moderate hills no problem. On steep inclines it may require some pedaling, but the motor allows for the same pedaling effort as riding on a flat surface.
What sort of maintenance is required on an electric bike?
It is important to take good care of your Ebike, as you would with any other high quality item. You must keep it clean and dry, and keep the battery charged. You should take it into a bike shop (or do yourself) periodically for lubrication and tune-ups. Make sure your brakes are in good condition and properly adjusted and replace brake pads when they wear down. Always keep tires properly inflated to maintain maximum battery range. It is also suggested you bring your rear wheel into a bike shop after the first 150 miles to have the spokes tightened.
What if I need a replacement part?
We have most replacement parts available for the bikes we carry. Contact our friendly support team and ask if the part you need is available. If we do not have that part available we will usually direct you to somewhere where you can buy it.
If you have any other questions, call us at 305-209-4411.