Electric bikes are becoming popular these days, as more and more people are looking for a more sustainable way of life. E-bikes offer a safer, more accessible, cleaner, and cheaper way to commute. However, the one common question that always comes to people’s minds when discussing e-bikes is, are they reliable?
The answer is yes. With the development of technology, the bulky, inconvenient, and expensive e-bike machines with limited battery life are gone. The latest e-bikes are now lighter, more attractive, and more powerful.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about e-bikes. To hopefully help you decide on whether an e-bike is reliable and if it is an excellent investment for you.
What is an Electric Bike?
An electric bike also called an e-bike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor that assists with the pedaling or may replace pedaling when activated. If you want to know the pros and cons of an ebike, you can read our article about that.
E-bikes are defined and treated separately under the electric bicycle laws. Electric bikes use rechargeable batteries to power the motor. They can travel up to 25 to 32 km/h (16 to 20 mph), while expensive e-bikes, such as high-powered e mountain bikes, can travel up to 45 km/h (28 mph).
Depending on local laws, e-bikes are often classified as bicycles rather than motorcycles or mopeds, making them exempt from the more strict regulations regarding operating a more powerful two-wheeled machine, such as electric bike motors.
How do E-Bikes Work?
An electric bike is a regular bike equipped with an electric motor to assist pedaling or replace pedaling. A motor is attached to the bike and gets its power from a rechargeable battery that is also attached to the bike. The motor provides extra power so the rider won’t have to pedal full-load.
An e-bike can offer several levels of electric assistance to choose from. From a little push that makes it easier to scale a hill to the throttle assist power boost, that makes a steep slope easier and faster to climb. An e-bikes can achieve pedaling speeds that are not usual for a regular bike, which can help the rider travel much faster and further with the pedal assist.
The Different Types of Electric Bikes
The types of electric bikes are divided into three groups, depending on the motor used, location of the motor, and battery.
1. Motor Type:
The types of e-bikes that depend on the type of motor and the need to push the pedals are:
Throttle bikes: Are electric bikes with throttle mode or power-on-demand mode: There is no need to pedal in this type of bike. You just need when to turn on or off the motor.
Electric bikes with assistance mode: This type is also called pedal electric bikes or pedal assistance bikes. With this type of bike, the motor will start when you begin pedaling or speeding up to climb hills. You can also control the power because the motor will only assist you in pedaling become faster.
Electric bikes with throttle mode and assistance mode: These are rare types of e-bikes. With this type of e-bike, you pedal with the electric motor to increase the distance per charge.
The most common type of electric bike is the second type or the e-bike with assistance mode.
2. Motor Power
All electric bikes have a motor but a different power range, which is measured in watt hours. The power of an e-bike depends on the bike manufacturers and the country you are living in because each country has different e-bike rules and regulations.
3. Motor Location
Also called a “drive.” This is also important in determining which type an e-bike belongs to. Depending on the motor’s location, electric bikes are divided into two types:
Electric bikes with a hub motor
The motor is built on one wheel and transmits energy into it. Because bikes have two wheels, these bike types are divided into two other types; First, the geared hub motor or front-wheel drive. Second, the rear hub motor or rear-wheel-drive:
In mid-drive motors, the motor is in the middle of the bike in the pedals area. The motor does not transmit energy to the wheels but to the drivetrain or transmission. Riding mid-drive motor bikes will feel like you are riding a traditional bike.
Environment Friendly – An e-bike use electric motors and is considered more environment-friendly than motorbikes and other modes of transportation. E-bikes are one of the greenest and cleanest modes of transport because it does not produce pollution to the environment.
Less Operating Expenses – E-bikes are cost-effective compared to cars and motorbikes that use gas. The maintenance and repair costs of an e-bike are also much cheaper than motorbikes and cars.
Effortless Biking – Electric bicycles are battery-operated, so you do not need to be physically fit to ride. These bikes give an effortless and smooth drive, making them a great commuter bike.
Do not Emit Harmful Gases – E-bikes do not emit harmful emissions.
Less Regulation – You don’t need a driver’s license to ride an e-bike—also, no age limit, registration, insurance, and other testing requirements. With an e-bike, you can simply purchase and start riding them.
Faster and Quiet – E-bikes run faster and quieter. They are considered the best commuter e-bike by many enthusiasts.
Can Cover More Ground – An e-bike can cover 20-35 miles on average. It can even go more than 35 miles if it’s an electric road bike with 500+ watts of power. Using the pedal assistance will also help save electricity.
Disadvantages of an e-bike:
Here are the disadvantages of riding an e-bike.
Heavier – E-bikes are heavier than regular bikes because it comes with a motor and battery.
More Complex to Repair – An electric bike can be more complicated to repair than regular bikes. Fixing e-bike issues requires technical knowledge because it comprises complex parts.
Takes Time to Charge – Recharging the battery of an e-bike requires plenty of time as some bike batteries take hours to get fully charged.
Required Frequent Maintenance – With frequent use, some parts may wear out, requiring more maintenance than a regular bike.
Batteries Weaken Over Time – As with any battery, electric bike batteries get weaker over time.
Are Electric Bikes Reliable Compared to Traditional Bikes?
Unlike traditional bikes, e-bikes are equipped with a battery-operated motor that assists you in pedaling. The motor will help you climb hills easier and also allow you to get to your destination quickly, making it more reliable than a normal bike.
The only drawback e-bike has over a traditional bike is the limitation of the battery. However, if properly maintained and charged, the battery can extend its life and allow you to travel smoothly and efficiently. The battery can also be charged anywhere, so don’t worry about running out of battery while biking.
What Is The Most Reliable E-bike?
There are many e-bike types, brands, and models out there. But if you purchase from a well-respected manufacturer, then you can be sure the components are of good quality, and the setup is correct.
E-bikes with mid-drive motors are the most reliable. Some of the best e-bikes you can buy for personal use or for an ebike rental company are rad power bikes like Rad Power RadCity, Aventon Soltera, Charge Bikes City, VanMoof S3, Biktrix Stunner X, Aventon Aventure, and many more.
Is it Safe to Ride an E-bike?
There are always risks associated with any activity that involves speed, traffic, and varying road conditions. Eclectic bikes are no exception. Riding or being around with an e-bike is comparable to the dangers of riding a regular bike. The safety features of an e-bike make it safe to ride in the following:
Electric bikes are water-resistant and are safe to ride in the rain. However, it is better to check with your manufacturer’s instructions for safety reasons before riding your e-bike in the rain.
Yes, you can definitely ride your e-bike in the snow. However, it is important to keep in mind that your bike’s battery is vulnerable to freezing and rusting. So clean and store your e-bike properly after riding it in the snow.
Electric bikes are equipped with the power to climb steep hills and take on challenging slopes better than a regular mountain bike. But it will take a little practice and ensuring you are using the right e-bike for climbing hills.
Is E-Bike good for fitness?
Electric bikes do not only provide a good workout, but they also appear to be an excellent form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise for people who are regularly engaged in this physical activity. E-bikes will make excellent commuter e-bikes and great exercise bikes.
How to Charge E-Bike Battery?
The charging time of your electric bike’s battery defers depends on the battery’s manufacturer. So take time to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the bike when you purchase it.
Electric bikes come with a battery charger and a bay to slot the charger and connect the battery to the bike. The ay is often placed in the middle or behind the bike’s seat. It can also be placed in different places and vary according to the type and brand of the e-bike.
Most electric bikes also come with a charger that comprises a power supply with slots for the two cables. On one end, the cable that connects to the main outlet can be attached, while the other end is for the e-bike battery.
You can also charge your e-bike’s battery in places such as bike shops, offices or workplaces, coffee shops, parks or campgrounds, schools, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, and other public or private places. Just make sure that you ask permission before charging your e-bike.
How Long Can an E-Bike Battery Last?
Usually, the average lifespan of a well-maintained e-bike battery is 3-5 years. The battery will weaken and lose some of its range over time. Most lithium-ion batteries are good for up to 1000 charges. Here are some tips on how to extend the lifespan of your battery.
Charge your battery after each use.
Do not expose your battery to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Avoid overcharging your battery. Most electric bikes will be fully charged in 3 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the battery.
On average, an e-bike can go anywhere between 25 to 50 miles. However, several factors, such as the battery power, types of tires used, pedal assistant system, terrain or weather conditions, and weight (for heavy e-bikes such as cargo bikes) can affect the reliability of your e-bike’s battery.
What is The Required Maintenance for an E-bike?
An electric bike comes with electric and non-electric parts that need regular servicing to perform efficiently. The total cost of owning an electric bike involves the electrical charging costs and the maintenance costs. If you are looking for an ebike under a specific budget, we have recommended ebikes here for under $2000. You can also try renting an ebike first to know if ebiking is for you.
The lifespan of your electric battery makes an e-bike more expensive to maintain than a regular bike. Unlike the regular bike, you need to charge the battery after each ride. Storing your battery properly by keeping it from extreme weather exposure will help extend its life.
Maintaining an e-bike is similar to that of a regular bike. You should keep your bike clean, lube the chain regularly (know how long it lasts and when you need to replace them), and check the tire pressure before each ride. Sometimes you need to adjust the brakes, derailleurs, and bearings and check the chainrings and cassettes for signs of wear and tear.
Electric bikes are a reliable mode of transportation that offers many positive effects on the life of many e-bikers and the environment. The continuous development of commuter e-bike technology has also made electric bikes more stylish, convenient, affordable, and a more reliable mode of transport.
However, to ensure that you have a reliable electric bike, make sure you purchase your e-bike from a trustworthy source. Another thing is to keep your bike clean, well maintained, and adequately charged, as things like dirt, rust, and negligence will affect the overall performance of your electric bike.
Andrew Strider is an electric bike enthusiast. He currently owns 5 electric bikes and is an active member of his local electric bike club where he is able to test many other models/brands a few times a month.
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