The first electric bicycle arrived on the scene in the late 1890s, thanks to Ogden Bolton Jr. They’ve changed plenty as our technology advances, but many of us don’t understand the nitty-gritty.
For example, how fast do electric bikes go? And can you leave them in the rain? If you’re bursting with similar questions, don’t fret. We’ve got your back.
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about e-bikes.
1. What Are the Benefits of An E-Bicycle?
Electric bicycles have many benefits! Here are a few examples.
The main difference between a conventional bicycle and an e-bike is that electric bicycles have a motor. With an e-bike, you can avoid traffic by using bike routes while maintaining a higher average speed than a regular bike.
Climbing Hills Becomes Fun
There’s nothing more disheartening than seeing a steep hill looming before you when you’re riding a bicycle. All that disappears with an e-bicycle. All you need is to kick in higher assist and you won’t break a sweat as you ascend even the steepest of hills.
Save the Joints
If you’re suffering from joint pain, then hopping on a conventional bicycle sounds like a nightmare. E-bicycles, however, make bike riding fun as there’s less pressure on knees, hips, and other joints.
Leave the Car At Home
The convenience, speed, and ease of an electric bike make a tempting case for ditching the car.
A study by Portland State University showed e-bicycle owners ride more frequently and farther than on their traditional bikes. They also reap the benefits of driving without the hassle of finding a parking space!
2. What Are the Different Types of E-Bicycles?
Electric bicycles fall under three classes, as listed below.
This type of e-bicycle has a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling (therefore no throttle) and stops giving assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 miles per hour.
Most new riders start with a class 1 e-bicycle as they’re more affordable and most universally accepted. It’s possible to ride these bicycles on any city street and bike paths.
E-bicycles in this group also have pedal-assist mode up to 20 miles per hour and a purely throttle-powered mode. They’re known as a “low-speed throttle-assisted electrical bicycle” and don’t give assistance after the bicycle reaches 20 miles per hour.
These e-bicycles are solely pedal-assist and are equipped with a speedometer. They also have a motor that offers assistance when the rider is pedaling but stops when the bicycle reaches 28 miles per hour.
3. Are E-Bicycles Legal in the UK and Are There Any Requirements?
UK legislation is similar to the EU’s, which may change depending on Brexit. But, for now, you can have e-bicycles that have pedal assistance and an electric motor that won’t assist you when you’re travelling more than 15.5 miles per hour.
It’s important to note that the power can’t exceed 250 watts. But you can ride your e-bicycle on any cycle path and everywhere else bikes are allowed.
In the UK, you must be over 14 years old to ride but you don’t need a license and you don’t need to register it or pay vehicle tax.
4. What Is a Pedal Assist Bike?
If you’re used to cycling, then a pedal-assist bike works wonders. Pedal-assist is a mode on your e-bike that provides power from the motor so you can pedal easier and move quicker.
When you turn the mode on and choose your level of assist, the motor gives you a certain level of power output as you pedal.
5. What’s Throttle Mode?
The best electric bike also has throttle mode if you don’t like the idea of a pedal-assist bike. You can turn the throttle to activate the electric bicycle motor so the bike moves.
6. How Fast Do Electric Bikes Go?
Because of UK speed restrictions, electric bikes can only go up to 28 miles per hour.
7. How Far Can Electric Bikes Go?
Most electric bicycles can go 20 to 30 miles depending on riding conditions, such as headwinds and terrain. It also depends on how much power you’re providing and how much weight you’re carrying.
8. Can I Charge the E-Bicycle By Pedaling?
There are e-bicycles that have this feature but it requires a large amount of pedal power. You can also find e-bicycles with regenerative braking that will charge the battery as you brake, similar to electric cars.
9. Are E-Bicycles Loud?
Surprisingly, no! The motor turns on when the rider pedals and only then you can hear a low hum.
10. Can You Ride An E-Bicycle If the Battery Runs Out?
There may be a time when the battery runs out, but, luckily, you can still pedal and get home safely. However, note that electric bicycles are heavier than conventional bicycles, so they will be a bit more difficult to ride.
11. How Much Do E-Bicycles Weigh?
Electric bicycles can range from 45 pounds to 60 pounds while a conventional bicycle weighs 28 to 29 pounds.
12. Can I Leave My E-Bicycle Out in The Rain?
The motor and battery are well-sealed so they’re protected from the rain. But, if you are transporting your bicycle on the back of the car and it rains, place the bike or battery inside the car.
Think of driving at 70 miles per hour in a downpour, with an exposed battery. It’s like pressure-washing your battery, which is far more intense than riding your bicycle in the rain.
We Hope You’ve Learned From these Questions!
As electric bicycles continue to soar in popularity, it’s no wonder we’re left Googling questions like “How fast do electric bikes go?”. Although they may be a whole new world to cyclists, e-bikes are easy to manage and a great way to get your daily exercise.
Are you hoping to make the switch to an e-bicycle? If so, we’d love to chat. Take a browse through some of our favourite electric bikes.