It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t like riding a bike. Bikes have been letting us enjoy the fresh air and move efficiently from Point A to B for decades – but they can be lacking. Not everyone enjoys pedaling up hills or slogging out a 10-mile commute on leg power alone but if you want the fun of bikes with a little extra help there’s a great solution in eBikes.
Electric bikes, popularly known as eBikes, have been around since the late 19th century but the recent addition of powerful, lightweight batteries and advances in engineering have made eBikes more efficient and affordable than ever. The modern eBike is the same as a standard bicycle but with a motor and battery that offers throttle, power assistance for peddling, or full manual mode.
Read on to answer the question, “what is an eBike?” Learn more about eBikes including how they work, and what to look for when purchasing an eBike.
How Does an eBike Work?
eBikes aren’t complicated. The modern eBike comes with a battery, typically lithium ion, attached to the frame of a bike. The battery powers a motor which can be located either in the bike’s pedal crank or its rear hub. When you’re tired or need assistance, you can use the bike’s motor to pedal for you.
The motor is powered by a controller which the rider can use to measure and track distance, battery life, throttle level, pedal-assist modes, MPH, and much more. eBike controllers can be programmed and adjusted to fit the individual rider and their needs. Everything else is standard bicycle hardware like gears, wire brakes, spokes, and more.
What Terrain Can eBikes Handles?
While eBikes are best suited for paved sidewalks, roads, and trails, eBikes can easily handle light dirt trails and gravel, ice, snow and wet surfaces-especially because most eBikes come with 4’” Fat Tires! When a small amount of air is removed from the tire, you will see that the tire has more surface grip on the terrain, allowing for more control. CYRUSHER is not really recommended for INTENSE mountain biking. Whether on loose, rocky terrain or under extreme conditions such as shredding down the mountain. trails but are not recommended for mountain biking, loose terrain, or other extreme conditions. eBike equipment is tough but susceptible to damage if the bike goes down. Make sure that no matter where you ride, properly clean your bike and all it’s moving parts after every ride and keep it maintained by a licensed eBike technician every 6 months to ensure proper function for many happy rides! You will also want to get your tires SLIMED*
*SLIME is a product your bike tech can put inside the tires to protect your tubes from punctures. While the tread is “wear resistant” no tire is Puncture Resistant. You WILL get flat tires-many types of weed in the US have thorns and goat heads. Keep extra tires on hand and be prepared!
How to Drive an eBike
Intimidation is something you do not need to worry about when operating an eBike. eBikes are simple to operate and easy to get the hang of. Flip the controller ON and simply use the toggles to control what the motor does. You are ALWAYS in control of how fast you’re moving and how much you’re pedaling. Use the bike in full MANUAL mode, use PEDAL ASSIST for 5 levels of help, a lot or a little or use FULL THROTTLE and let the bike to all the work. You have the best of all modes at your fingertips. When you are ready to stop the motor, just squeeze the brakes.
We’ve all seen viral videos of out of control dirt bikes and electric scooters. eBikes avoid those mishaps with an automated kill switch that’s linked to the bike’s brakes. When you squeeze the brakes, the power to the motor is instantly cut.
Can You Ride an eBike without the Battery?
Absolutely. eBikes use a motor with peddle assistant and throttle on demand. But if you feel that you don’t need help you can ride eBikes without a battery. We do not recommend this because keep in mind, eBikes are heavier than a traditional bicycle thanks to the, battery and motor, so it’s always recommended to ride with the battery in place just in case you need help up that hill…… No one wants to get off and push their bike.
What Can You Use eBikes For?
Commuting – Do you prefer sitting in traffic or zipping through local scenery? A daily bike commute is intimidating but an eBike makes things much easier. eBikes can let people who would otherwise use their cars commute up to several miles a day without exhausting themselves.
Pleasure – You can toss your eBike into the camper, truck or SUV (Folding Models) and enjoy something you wouldn’t normally experience on a traditional bike. Regardless of your path, you can cruise anywhere on your eBike and enjoy the great outdoors.
Exercise – Because you are in control of your eBike, you decide if you want an easy cruise, or turn your eBike into serious workout equipment. Anytime you ride an eBike you’re raising your heart rate and enjoying cardiovascular benefits.
Short Errands – The eBike is the perfect vehicle for short errands like running to the grocery store down the street.
Unique Benefits of eBikes
Health Benefits – Just 20-30 minutes of an eBike ride can boost your mood, increases your blood flow and endurance. Thanks to peddle assist, riders of all skill levels and ages* can enjoy the health benefits of eBikes from their first ride to their thousandth.
*Not recommended for riders under the age of 14
Lower Carbon Footprint – Choosing an eBike over your car is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and help the environment in your neighborhood.
Fun – eBikes are incredibly fun and exhilarating! You can ride eBikes around the neighborhood with your friends, use them to explore new destinations with family, or while traveling. The folding models are perfect for the camper or RV.
What to Look For When Purchasing eBikes
Customer Reviews – There are many new eBike companies, but some are undoubtedly better than others. Use online customer reviews to make a short list of manufacturers you’re interested in. Read both positive and negative reviews for the best feel of a company.
Great Customer Service – Interested in a particular eBike? Call and ask questions. Great customer service is normally a sign of high-quality bikes and staff.
Warranties – Like any other purchase, look for great deals on warranties and be sure to read the fine print.
Pre-Assembly – Some bikes come fully assembled, some partially assembled. Most will have to assemble some portion of their eBike but it’s more like assembling boxed furniture than mechanical engineering. Don’t purchase an eBike if you’re uncomfortable with its assembly level.
Online or Brick and Mortar – If you can, look at the bike in person before purchasing and give it a test ride. Purchasing at a brick and mortar is recommended though there are several reputable online outlets to purchase eBikes.
Enjoying Life with an eBike
eBikes will get you off the couch, provide exercise, commute more efficiently and help you enjoy the local sights and sounds around your community, among other benefits. If you have any intimidation about going up hills or making it back home when your exhausted, you will want a eBike! A bike that gives you the confidence and empowerment to climb hills or even become your daily commuter – you will want an eBike. Check out VoltaCycles selection of eBikes online or in person today. Contact us for more information and to schedule a test ride. We are excited to hear from you!