Electric Bike FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about electric bikes that The Bike Shoppe has answered for you. Hopefully, we can help make understanding E-bikes that much easier. Our goals is to clear up confusion and help you find the information you need to make informed purchases.
Why ride an E-Bike?
With an E-bike you can ride faster than a conventional bike, avoid traffic by taking bike routes, and then easily park for free close to your destination. Riding uphill or into the wind will no longer be a burden, and you can get where you’re going without breaking a sweat.
An E-bike allows you to take it easy on your joints! Enjoy riding again without straining your knees, hips or ankles.
No need to drive your car! Help improve local air quality and save on vehicle fuel and maintenance costs. E-bikes are a great way to commute as an alternative to a car or public transportation, and with extended range, many riders can go farther than they would typically go on conventional bike.
How fast do E-bikes go?
Class 1 and 2 E-bikes will assist up to 20mph. Class 3 E-bike models will assist up to 28mph (pedaling + motor). This allows you to get to where you’re going faster without being categorized as a motorized vehicle which would require license, registration, insurance, and may restrict your ability to ride on paved bike trails. Check out Utah's e-bike laws for more.
Can you still get good a workout on an E-bike?
Yes! Riding an E-bike actually makes your workout more customizable! You can adjust the power assist to suit the level of exertion you desire. You can get to work or to your meetings without breaking a sweat, but then get a killer workout on the way home! Studies show that heart-rate levels of cyclists on E-bikes closely parallels heart rate levels of traditional cyclists.
How much do E-bikes cost?
There’s a wide range of E-bike pricing. A quality E-bike will start around $1,500 and can climb well over $10,000. The average price range is between $2,000 and $5,000.
What range do E-bikes have?
Range can be difficult to accurately calculate because so many variables affect it. Rider weight, rider input, pedal cadence, tire size, tire pressure, assist level, battery size, outside temperature, and terrain are just a few. An average rider using the maximum assist level on difficult terrain may only get 15-20 miles before the battery dies, but that very same rider and bike could get over 70 miles under different circumstances. Some E-bikes support two full-size batteries and have a realistic range of well over 100 miles! Bosch offers a nifty range calculator that can help accurately calculate the range of your next adventure.
How much do E-bikes weigh?
Most quality mountain and hybrid-type E-bikes weigh between 45-55 pounds. Many road-type E-bikes come in at a lighter 35-45 pounds. In 2020, Trek is offering a road-specific E-bike that weighs under 30 pounds!
Can I ride an E-bike on trails?
It depends. Generally, any trail that is open to motorized use is also open to E-bikes. E-bikes are sometimes not allowed on non-motorized trails. When in doubt, consult the rules and regulations for your local trail system.
Can E-bikes be ridden with the electric assist off?
Yes, they can be ridden with the power off. However, for the heavier models a rider should expect significantly more effort required to pedal with the power off.
What types of E-bikes exist?
E-bikes span the variety of conventional bikes, from commuter bikes to cargo bikes to fat-tire mountain bikes.
What's the difference between throttle & pedal assist?
Throttle assisted E-bikes propel the bike whether the rider is pedaling or not, while a pedal assist provides extra propulsion only when the rider is pedaling. Class 2 E-bikes come with both options. Test rides are a great way to decide which option you prefer.
Do E-bike riders need a driver's license, insurance, or registration?
The State of Utah doesn't require a driver’s license, insurance, or registration for Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 E-bikes. These bikes cannot exceed 750W and 20mph (pedal-assist or throttle) or 28mph (pedal-assist only) on a flat surface.
What maintenance do E-bikes require?
Maintenance on an E-bike is similar to that of a traditional bike. The bike should be kept clean, the chain should be regularly lubed, and the tire pressure should be checked before each ride. Occasionally, derailleurs, brakes, and bearing units will need to be adjusted. Chains, chainrings, and cassettes should be regularly checked for wear. The Bike Shoppe performs all of these services for the same rates as traditional bikes.
Unlike a traditional bike, the E-bike has a battery that should be charged after each ride. The battery should be removed and stored indoors for long-term storage, and never stored in extreme heat or cold. A lithium-ion battery has a lifespan of approximately 1,000 charges. Chains and chainrings will wear out faster than a traditional bike because of the additional torque from the motor.
May children ride E-bikes?
Under Utah state law individuals under 15 are not allowed to ride an E-bike unless they are under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Utah state law does not allow individuals under the age of 8 to operate an E-bike under any circumstances.
What kind of batteries do E-bikes use?
Most use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which are lighter than lead acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have a lifespan of about 1,000 full charge cycles before needing to be replaced.
How long does it take to charge an E-bike battery?
Typically an E-bike battery can be charged from empty to full in 3-5 hours, but charging time can vary depending on the battery capacity and charger type.
When should the battery be removed?
Below is a list of scenarios when a battery should or should not be removed:
- Charging - No, it's unnecessary to remove the battery for charging
- Travel by car - Yes, the battery should be removed when transporting the bike on a bike rack. Store the battery inside the car.
- Travel by plane - Yes, the battery must be removed when flying and separately shipped to your destination.
- Washing - Yes, remove the battery to wash the bike. Use a damp cloth to clean the battery. The terminals should be cleaned occasionally then lightly greased. Do NOT clean with direct water contact.
- Winter storage - Yes, charge the battery to approximately 30-60% and store in a dry location at room temperature.