Electric Bikes Frequently Asked Questions
A: An electric bike is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor which assists in pedalling, which makes riding easier and prepares the rider to cross larger distances with ease.
Q: Where the power in electric bikes come from?
A: Every electric bike motor requires a battery to get the running power. Batteries in most E-bikes are made of lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride. These are similar to laptop batteries - lightweight powerful and long lasting.
Q: How far can an E-bike go?
A: Entry-level electric bikes have ranges which can be anywhere from 25 to 35 miles at maximum. Premium bikes can offer up to 120 miles of assisted pedaling. However, if you apply a greater level of assistance, batteries will drain faster and the range will be somewhat shorter.
Q: Can I keep pedaling when the batteries die?
A: Sure. This is one of the major advantages of E-bikes over electric scooters or motorcycles. You can keep pedaling home or anywhere else where you can recharge the battery. The presence of an electric gear does not make the bike much heavier than a conventional bike.
Q: Are electric bikes legal?
A: Electric bikes are legal almost everywhere, but there are differences between States. The US Electric Bike Act generally recommends E-bikes to be used and legally treated as common bikes. Unfortuntely, some states, such as New York, have laws which regard to an E-bike as to any other motor vehicle. It means you will need registration and insurance. You will be able to use these on public streets and roads, but E-bikes are still prohibited from use on bike paths and trails.
Q: Do electric bikes require some special maintenance?
A: Electric bike maintenance is not much different to maintenance of a common bicycle: You will need to do annual tune-up to adjust and lubricate mechanic parts. After several years you will notice that the battery life became much shorter, and you consider replacement once in two to five years, depending on how often you recharge it.
Q: What are the running costs of owning an electric bikes?
A: The initial, procurement costs can vary greatly. Prices of electric bikes range from as little as $1,200 to beyond $10.000. Mid-range electric bikes cost between $2,500 and $3,500. Fuel costs are the best part: The amount of power the battery consumes for charging on a monthly basis will cost you no more than ten bucks. Electric bikes require little maintenance. There are no fluids beyond a standard bicycle chain lubricant and no filters to wear out and replace. As stated above, electric bikes are very pleasant regarding maintenance. Legal costs of owning an electric bike depend on the state of your residence.
Q: Can I ride electric bikes when it rains or snows? Are E-bikes waterproof?
A: E-bikes are highly water resistant and can serve you well even in severe weather conditions. You should however avoid leaving your electric bike parked outside during rain or snow without making sure sensible parts such as the controller, display or the battery pack are covered.
Q: How to care for my electric bike properly?
A: Electric motion kits on your E-bike are relatively sensitive, so you shall never apply power jets of water to it. Depending on how often you ride it, your E-bike will need cleaning from once in a week to once in a month. Before doing any cleaning or maintenance task on your E-bike you need to remove its battery. The battery itself can be tenderly cleansed with a damp cloth. Do never use pressure washers and power jets. These things can damage sensitive electronics and wiring and would remove too much chain and crank lubricant. It is important to wash the bike straight after a ride and let it dry completely before you could reattach the battery.
Q: Does the battery recharge while I am pedaling, braking or going downhill?
A: No, most electric bikes do not recover energy from mechanical motion for a simple reason: energy losses would be huge, the amount of energy saved would be much lower than the effort invested. Some of the most expensive bikes in the market may recuperate some energy from braking or coasting, but it would never justify the cost of the required equipment.
Q: What should I choose: an electric bike or a motor kit?
A: It depends on your preferences, whether or not you possess skills to install a motor kit on a bike and whether your existing bike is good enough for installing a kit onto it. Most electric bike motor kits of today come with a rear wheel around its hub-centered motor, so consider replacing the existing rear wheel on your bike. Overall installing the kit onto a bike might be a hassle for many among us, even when all the required tools come in the kit box. If in trouble, you should seek professional assistance, but if you?re skilled enough, you will be able to save considerable amounts of money