Most Common Electric Bike Questions
We receive a lot of questions about e-bikes. While we welcome them, the team thought it would be a great idea to write down the most frequently asked questions.
If there is a question below that has not been answered, please give us a call at 844-My-Bike1 (844-692-4531) and we will be happy to assist you.
What is an electric bike?
Think of an electric bike as a conventional bicycle that also had a battery, motor, and mode of acceleration.
What does the W (Watts), V (Volts) and Ah (Amp Hours) mean and why do they matter?
One analogy to understand is to compare with a car:
Volts: would be horsepower affecting speed and acceleration- higher volts increase acceleration helpful for reaching higher speeds. Typical Volts are 24,36 and 48. My Extreme Bikes are all 48V.
Amp hour: Gas tank affecting the range of each full charge. Standard is 10amp hours. The larger the amp hours the longer you can ride. Ours models are 10 and 14 ah.
Watts- the engine size affecting the power output- the higher the watts the higher the power of engine, ideal for heavy loads and climbing hills. Watts typically start at 250 and up to 1000. My Extreme Bikes are 500 or 675 (sustained)based on model.
What is the top speed of an electric bike?
Typically, electric bikes travel upwards of 20 miles per hour, but some can go faster based on wattage and conditions such as terrain and weight of rider.
How long can an electric bike travel?
An electric bike's distance is ultimately dependent on their battery capacity. We typically say to expect an average of 25 - 40 miles on a bike.
How do I charge my battery?
You can charge your My Extreme Bike battery on or off the bike. Your battery will have a charging port, often closed off with a cap to help prevent debris and dust from getting into the port. Charging the battery is as simple as charging a phone. Flip open the cap, insert the charger, and plug the charger into the wall.
How long does it take for a battery to charge?
Charging your electric bike battery depends on its capacity, but a good estimate is 4 - 6 hours from an empty battery to full.
Can I ride an e-bike as a regular bike - without the electric power?
Yes. And it is easy to switch back and forth. For example, you might want to use the power only when you are going up hills by using the throttle on the handlebar.
Do I have to pedal?
It depends on the bike. Some e-bikes allow you to operate by simply turning the throttle without pedaling like all models of My Extreme Bike. Even for e-bikes that have a throttle, you'll need to pedal when going up long, steep hills, although you won't have to pedal hard. Pedaling is more fun, extends the range of your battery, extends the life of your motor, and extends your own life too.
How many charges can I get out of a battery?
If you usually use your e-bike in pedal-assist mode, combining both pedal power and electric power, you can expect to go 10,000-30,000 miles before replacing your battery. That is a lot of miles on a bicycle.
How much electricity does it take to charge a battery?
Depending on the capacity of the battery it will cost you about 5-8 cents for a charge that will last you 20-80+ miles.
What is the difference between Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 electric bikes?
This system of classifying electric bikes is being adopted by several states as a means of regulating electric bikes. The classifications are as follows:
· Class 1 - is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling (thus no throttle), and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
· Class 2 - is a bicycle equipped with a throttle that can propel the bike up to a maximum of 20mph with the rider pedaling and may also have the ability to achieve up to 20mph with the rider assisting, without the use of a throttle. All My Extreme Bikes are Class 2.
· Class 3 - also known as a "speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle," is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
Do I need a license or other requirements?
Typically, would not need a license based on Watt size if 750 or less (and some states are higher). To view your state licensing, age, helmet and other requirements please visit www.peopleforbikes.org/electric-bikes/state-laws
What about leaving my electric bicycle out in the rain?
The motor and battery are sufficiently sealed to be protected from the rain. However, we do suggest that if you are carrying your bike on the back of a car and rain is in the forecast, that you place the battery inside the car. Driving 70mph in a downpour with the battery exposed is like pressure-washing your battery.
Where can you ride electric bikes?
In many areas, you can ride electric bikes as you would a normal bicycle. For some states, they have restrictions. We suggest looking at People For Bike's page on the latest e-bike updates in your state.
In most states:
· Any bike lane on the street.
· Shared use paths that are reserve for bicycles and pedestrians
· For state parks, you can ride on paved trails that allow bicycles, but check with the individual park’s management for their rules for unpaved trails. It varies from park to park.
· Any trail where motor vehicles are permitted, such as unpaved forest service roads.
Is servicing an e-bike any different than a regular bike?
Look at an e-bike as being comprised of two groups of parts – mechanical and electric.
· Mechanical parts are the same parts that you’ll see on non-electric bikes. Servicing mechanical parts can be performed at any bike shop.
You might find that your bike parts might wear a little faster than on a non-electric bike – especially brake pads, chains, and tires. But that’s because most people put many more miles on their e-bike.
There is some basic maintenance that you can do on your own, like keeping your tires properly inflated and lubricating your chain.
· The electrical parts don’t require any maintenance. If you do run into a problem with an electrical part, you’ll want to go to a shop that has some expertise in servicing e-bikes.
While not really a maintenance task, you do want to make sure that the battery keeps some charge in it. If you don’t, it might discharge to a point so low that you can’t charge it anymore, thus killing your battery – an expensive mistake to make.
Maintenance on an electric bike is similar to that of a regular bike. There are certain items to look at every trip while others may only need to be looked at once a year. Tire pressure, brakes, and chain should be checked before every ride.
The 5 Must-Do's for Electric Bike Maintenance
The unfortunate reality is that once snow hits, many bikes are stored in garages or sheds for months. Most people would believe that the best time to get your bike prepped for a new year of riding is as soon as the snow melts and it is reaching 50 or 60-degree days. There are items you can do prior to the snow melting to maximize your electric bike’s performance.
1. Inspect Tire Pressure & Condition
When a bike sits in the garage for months, the change in temperature can have tires lose pressure over time. When inflating your bike tires, pay attention to the maximum tire pressure (found on the tire sidewall) as well as your riding conditions, weight, and terrain. Also, look at your tires. Are there any threads poking through or any indication of needing a replacement? If you have any questions about your tire’s condition, take your bike to a local bike shop.
2. Inspect Frame Condition
When looking for defects, inspect components, such as the rims, spokes, saddle, rails, and clamp. Also, check the pedals to make sure that the cranks are on tight and spin smoothly.
3. Inspect Your Brakes
Ensure that the front and rear brakes are working properly. If you find the brake lever is pulling against the handlebar grip, then it is time to adjust the brake cable. This can be done at your local bike shop; otherwise, you can adjust them yourself.
4. Clean Bicycle and Chain
One of the dirtiest areas is the chain. The chain is a major component to a bicycle, so keeping it clean can increase longevity and performance. To clean your bike, we suggest using a cleaner like Finish Line Super Bike Wash for your bike frame and finish line dry lubricant for the chain.
5. Inspect Battery Charge
Over the winter, your bike battery should have stayed at 40 - 80% charge. If it is below that amount, charge the battery back to the 40 - 80% level. Once you are ready to ride, you can then you can fully charge your battery.