The modern bicycle was invented in 1817 and has been used worldwide ever since. Bikes are nimble, efficient, and a low-cost way to get around but they do have their limitations since they rely on the rider’s power. How far the bike goes depends on how far the rider can go.
Riders can go much longer, much more efficiently with electric bikes. Electric bikes (eBikes) use a motor and battery to help propel riders further than they ever thought they could go on a bike – but how far is far? How far can electric bikes go?
Let’s find out what type of ranges you can expect from eBikes and how different power modes can affect your ride’s length. With the right knowledge you’ll be sure to find an eBike that goes as far as you need it to and then some.
The Longest Range eBikes
If you want to take on all-day journeys you’d never be able to accomplish on a conventional bike, an eBike is the way to do it, but how far can electric bikes go?
At the top end, eBikes have a range of approximately 120 to 150 miles. There are eBikes with rages of 200+ miles but their prices make them impractical for 99% of eBike riders. The Raleigh Centros boasts 140 miles on a single charge of their 500W battery while the QWIC MN7 VV claims a range of 130 miles.
Though there several eBikes with ultra-range capabilities, the bulk of eBikes in today’s market range anywhere from 30 to 100 miles. Most eBike riders will never need to go more than a few miles at a time let alone more than 100.
Even with range ratings, how far your bike can go is not definite. How long the battery lasts depend on wind resistance, trail difficulty, and more but the main factor in your ride’s distance is the eBike’s power mode.
Three Power Modes of eBikes
Full Throttle – Full throttle, aka full power, means the motor will move the eBike regardless if you’re pedaling. With full throttle you can rest while the bike does the work. Full throttle helps you not kick your own butt on long commutes and is ideal for eBike riders who want to get dozens of miles out of their ride without overtaxing themselves.
Full throttle takes the work away from the rider, but uses the most battery compared to other riding modes. The more full throttle mode you use, the quicker your battery will run out.
Pedal Assist – Pedal assist is a power mode where the motor engages only when the rider is pedaling. The term is self-explanatory – the bike assists the pedaling so you’re not slogging through hills or nasty terrain strictly on your own power. Pedal assist is useful for riders who like to move the bike by their own power but enjoy breaks in the action to rest or make it through difficult areas.
Pedal assist uses motor and battery power but because it only engages when you’re pedaling, it will not use as much juice as full throttle mode resulting in longer ride times.
Manual Mode – Sometimes you want the exercise of pedaling the bike yourself which is accomplished in manual mode. Manual mode relies on the rider’s power instead of the motor and battery. In manual mode an eBike is just a bike and can be ridden indefinitely. Manual mode is used to save power on long rides or for exercise, though an eBike’s weight and frame make manual riding more difficult than conventional bikes.
Getting the Most Distance from Your eBike
High quality eBikes can go over 100 miles on a single charge but most modern eBikes provide rides ranges of approximately 30 to 100 miles. No matter what the bike advertises as its range, the more power assistance you use and elements you’re against – the shorter your ride will be. Consider how much power you’ll use, how much you’ll ride on a single charge, and your budget to help find the right range, the right price, and the right eBike for you. When you’re ready to buy an eBike in Denver or anywhere in the US, visit Volta Cycles for the best deals and selection on electric bikes.