Frequently Asked Questions
What is an e-bike?
Also called an electric bike, an e-bike is simply a bike with an integrated electric motor that can be used to power it. Some e-bikes have powerful motors that can fully power the bike without needing to push the pedals, while other motors are limited to propelling the pedals to lessen the effort in pedaling.
It retains the basic functionality of its pedals which makes it different from an electric motorcycle.
What are the different types of e-bikes I could buy?
There are basically three broad categories of e-bikes:
Pedelecs – These are E-bikes with electric motors that only work when you are using the pedals. The motor assists you in pedaling based on your preferred level of motor assistance level (low, mid, high).
It’s a great choice for those who love biking but needs a considerable amount of assistance with the pedals.
Power on Demand – Users of power on demand e-bikes have a greater control with the bike’s motor since one can activate or deactivate the motor even without pedaling. This type of e-bike has a motor that can independently power the bike without the use of pedals. You can also control the level of pedal-assistance the motor gives to your pedals.
Speed Pedelecs – It’s the type of e-bike you’d go for if you are looking for a fast and furious biking experience. It’s designed to maximize the speed the bike can tap from the power of your legs and the power of its motor. It can go beyond 20 mph and it does NOT have a speed-controlling mechanism that limits the speed of the e-bike to a default speed limit.
How fast can e-bikes go?
E-bikes can travel at a speed of at least 15 mph, a figure that’s close to the average speed of a car in town (18mph).
Should I buy an e-bike?
You should buy an e-bike if you actually need a bicycle with a motor that offers pedal assistance.
E-bikes are great modes of transportation which require you little effort as compared to sweating yourself over pedaling a regular bike.
It’s also great if you are into conquering steep hills without the herculean struggle of pedaling your way up. You should buy an e-bike if you find its pedal assistance feature useful.
Will I get electrocuted if I ride an e-bike in the rain?
It’s 100% safe to ride an e-bike under the rain. While most of them are water-proof, it is still ideal to keep your e-bikes dry as much as possible.
Are e-bike batteries rechargeable?
Yes. Your e-bike batteries can be recharged like your mobile devices.
How long do e-bike batteries typically last?
It depends upon your battery’s wattage. The bigger its wattage, the longer it can last. Also, the level of motor assistance you are using also affects the amount of time a battery can last.
How many miles can an e-bike travel from a single charging session?
Typically, e-bikes can travel 25-70 miles in between charging sessions.
What type of motor should I choose for my e-bike?
It depends upon where you will use your e-bike. If you are biking on a plain terrain, a front motor will do just fine. However, if you are using it to bike along steep hills, a mid or a rear motor is best recommended.
Law Regulations on E-bikes
Do you need a license to drive an e-bike?
No, you won’t need a license to drive an e-bike. E-bikes are classified as a bicycle under federal law as long as it does not produce more than 750 Watts of power and does run at a speed not more than 20 miles per hour.
Manufacturers usually have a built-in restrictor in your e-bike so it follows the federal speed limit by default.
However, if your e-bike happens to have exceeded the federal restrictions, you may have to register your e-bike like any other motor vehicles. Click here to read about e-skateboards.
Can you drive an e-bike if you have a DUI record?
No, you cannot drive an e-bike if you have a DUI record.
Are e-bikes legal in New York?
No, riding an e-bike is considered illegal in New York.
What are the e-bike regulations in EU?
E-bikes are exempted from laws governing regular motor vehicles as long as it has a speed capacity that does not exceed 15 miles per hour.
In the UK, you are not required to have a license to drive an e-bike but you must at least be 14 years old.
How much do e-bikes cost?
It usually depends upon the quality of e-bike you are looking for. The cheapest types cost about USD 300 or less but the most durable one’s fall in the USD 1000- 3000 range.
Mid priced e-bikes usually have a decent motor and bike built but you might encounter a few drawbacks on either of these two components given the price cut.
What makes e-bikes expensive?
The battery and specialized motor which propels e-bikes are two key things which make e-bikes expensive.
The better the quality of these two components, the pricier an e-bike becomes.
Is it economically wise to invest in an e-bike?
E-bikes are considerably a great substitute to vehicles. Assuming the distance you will be traveling is fairly manageable, an e-bike is an economical mode of transportation you can enjoy.
It does not need a fuel and the maintenance cost of an e-bike is way cheaper than that of an actual vehicle.
E-bike Brands and Product Recommendations
What are the best e-bikes I can buy in 2017?
There are a lot of e-bikes in the market with different sizes, specs, and styles.
Among the best of them are:
- Sondors ebike- This bike is powered by a 350W motor and has a maximum speed of about 20 mph. It looks really like your regular bike primarily because it’s motor is strategically hidden in its frame. This e-bike can travel up to 50 miles, a generous figure that’s enough to take you to reasonable distances free from the toil of hard pedaling. It’s averagely priced and it’s a perfectly functional e-bike with an innocuous design.
- Italjet Ascot – Italjet Ascot is definitely one of the most stylish and chic e-bikes in the market today. It looks like a hybrid between a normal bike and a vintage, macho motorbike in the 1920’s. There are lots of leather in its frame and almost every part of it (wheels, built, handles etc.) but is undeniably gorgeous. It’s is definitely an eye turner but it does come with a hefty price tag.
- Trefecta URB Speed Pedelec – This one has a more modern, techie appeal to its design and its specification also matches its appearance. It’s one of the fastest e-bikes out there and it boasts a powerful 4Kw motor. It can travel up to 100 miles in one charging and it can go as fast as 28 mph. It’s pricey but if you’re looking for an e-bike with a premium design and power, this is a great choice.
- Greyp G12H – The Greyp G12H is manufactured by Rimac, an established electric supercar manufacturer. This e-bike falls into the high-end category of e-bikes and its motor capacity is monstrous enough to compete with an actual motorbike. It has a 3kWh battery that can deliver up to 150 miles in a single charging session. It’s totally expensive but if you’re looking for an e-bike that has a strong built and a motor that is close to perfection, this Rimac creation is definitely one of the best things out there.
- Wave E-bike – The Wave E-bike is a great choice for those who are looking for something that is affordable yet stylish and sufficiently reliable. It’s laid back design is stylish and would especially appeal to those that are looking for a touring/get-away bike. It has a moderate road capacity which can deliver 26 miles from a single charging session but it can travel up to 52 miles if you give the pedals a little more push.
- Riide E-bike – Riide e-bike is a great bike with a not-so-powerful motor. It can only return up to 25 miles and is moderately fast with a speed of about 20 mph. It’s a great choice for people who travel in short distances.
- Tern Vektron – Its imported from Taiwan and is powerful enough to return 80 miles from a single charge. It’s also foldable and is quite easy to assemble. It’s a great choice for people traveling around the metro. It’s expensive but then again, quality built and powerful motors don’t come free.
Check out our best electric bikes 2017 reviews.
What are the best e-bikes that I can use for daily transportation?
- Raleigh Strada – Raleigh Strada are among the most simple yet stylish city bikes that are out in the market. It has a powerful motor system and a reliable brake. It’s greatly built and it’s one of the best deals out there.
- Scott E-Sub – The Scott E-Sub is a bit pricey but its silent Brose System 508 Wh is a great selling point for this e-bike. Its battery is also strategically placed in its frame so it barely looks like an e-bike.
- GTech – Its customized pedal assistance system which provides pedal assistance based on your rate of pedaling (calculated by an integrated computer in its system) is a great offer. By and large, it’s a low maintenance transportation bike so you won’t have to worry about additional costs in the future with this bike.
- Metro folding e-bike – It’s a little bit heavy but at least it’s foldable. It’s moderately powerful with a speed of 15 mph. It’s a sufficient e-bike for casual strolling in the metro.
- Giant Ease E+ – This e-bike boasts a proprietary Giant RideControl battery and display units. It has an aluminum frame and a fork combo. It has a top notch built and it’s worth considering.
Converting Regular Bikes into an E-bike
What is the fastest way I can convert my normal road bike into an e-bike?
There are a few different ways you can convert your normal bike into an e-bike. A few of them are enumerated below:
- You can attach a friction drive module in your bike. This friction drive module is comprised of rollers which propels your rear tire. These rollers derive their power from a typical battery which is found in most e-bikes. The good thing about this technology is that it’s very easy to attach the device to your bike.
- There are also mid-drive conversion kits which you can also attach to your regular bike. The bad thing about these kits though, is that they are also quite costly, especially if you are looking for reliable and durable e-bike parts.
Related Review & Buyer’s Guides
- Best Outdoor Elliptical Bikes 2017: ElliptiGO Arc 8 vs 11R & Zike Z600
- Best Longboards 2017 – Buyer’s Guide and Review (+Table)
- Best Electric Skateboards 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews