Do you have questions about e-bikes and how they work? Learn more about commonly asked e-bike questions.
Do I have to pedal?
YES – if you are riding an electric-assisted bike. Electric-assist systems amplify your pedalling power – simply put: no pedalling, nothing to amplify.
There are systems, however, which are throttle-operated and pedalling is not necessary.
How fast does it go?
The electric-assist is governed at 32km/hr and won’t assist beyond this point – but just like any other bicycle you can always pedal harder and go faster.
Can I make it go faster?
As mentioned above: you can always pedal harder and faster beyond the governed 32km/hr. Never use “speed tuning” devices or applications as this will void your warranty and might compromise the entire system.
Can I ride in the rain/snow?
YES – motor and battery are waterproof if not modified or “adjusted”.
Can I wash my e-bike?
YES – gently! Never use a pressure washer and never “shower” your bike from the side. This can push dirt into bearings and can contaminate your brake rotors. A good wipe-down is usually all that is necessary.
How heavy is an e-bike?
E-bikes can weigh 23kg/50lbs and more; for comparison, a full-suspension mountain bike is about 13kg/30lbs.
Can I put my e-bike(s) on a car rack?
Yes, but make sure your rack’s weight limits are not exceeded (e-bikes are heavier than normal bikes) and you can properly secure the bikes. Always take off the battery and your bike computer (if removable), especially when using public transit racks.
Some brands, like Thule, offer e-bike specific racks.
How far can I go?
General range is between 70 and 150km – based on the power mode/assist level used – depending on terrain, and other riding conditions such as wind, tire pressure and the weight of any cargo you may be transporting.
How long does the battery last?
That depends on mileage, usage, terrain, and so on. If you are riding fairly flat terrain pushed by a nice tail wind you will experience a more extended range of the battery than climbing up mountains with heavy head wind every day.
Can I buy a new battery and how much is it?
Batteries these days offer high energy density, extensive mileage, long service life and easy handling. A new battery (Bosch, Specialized Turbo and similar) starts at $1000, depending on performance.
Due to the technological progress in the e-bike sector, costs for batteries may change over the course of the next few years. The price quoted above provides a rough point of reference only.
How heavy is the battery?
Most systems have similar battery sizes and the Bosch battery, for example, weighs approx. 2.5kg/5.5lbs.
How heavy is the motor?
Mid-drive motors weigh approx. 4kg/9lbs.
Do I need a “driver’s” license?
What does warranty cover – and for how long?
Depending on the manufacturer warranty can differ between the actual bike frame and the electric system. Bosch, for example, offers a 2-year warranty on battery/motor if serviced by a certified Service Centre.
What is the lifespan of an e-bike battery?
In general, with regular use, an electric bike battery becomes less efficient after 3 to 5 years.
Where should I store the battery in the winter?
If your e-bike lives outside or in an unheated garage/shed you should take the battery inside (for charging or storing over night) when temperatures drop below zero (Celsius). If you are putting your e-bike into hibernation over the winter – store the battery inside at room temperature at about 30-60% charged. That optimizes battery life.
How long does it take to charge the battery?
A full charge can take between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the system. The Bosch system, for example, takes about 2 hours to charge an empty battery back to 50%.
Does the battery recharge while riding?
NO – not if you are riding an electric-assisted bike.
Some systems do rejuvenate a little power when braking or downshifting – very minimal, however.
Can I buy a new motor and how much is it?
A new motor (mid-drive/hub) involves about the same costs as a new battery/power pack – $1000 and up.
Due to the technological progress in the e-bike sector, costs for motors might change over the course of the next years. The price quoted above provides a rough point of reference only.
Can I turn my old bike into an e-bike?
You should always consult a bike shop and certified mechanics to add a conversion kit to your old bike! Never do it yourself.
*Please note that not all of the information provided above reflects the current state of the industry (pricing, systems, performance), since technology in the (e-)bike industry is constantly evolving. We are trying to stay up to date as best as we can.