Category Archives: E-bike Tips

What is the right type of e-bike for me?

With the popularity of e-bikes on the rise, many questions regarding electric assist bikes are surfacing at HaveFunBiking, com. Many of these questions covered below emerged earlier this year at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis and now at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Of the ten most asked questions, one of the first usually asked is what does an e-bike cost? Then it’s about the best battery/motor combination for your riding style and eight more that you can read about below.

Different types  of e-bike displays in the Eco-Building at the MN State Fair

Top 10 questions asked when selecting an e-bike.

1. What does an e-bike cost?

Has the idea of using an electric bike, called an e-bike, piqued your interest? If so you are in luck, the E-bike Challenge is coming to Minneapolis, MN.

Has the idea of touring by e-bike piqued your interest?

There are many variables when buying an electric bike, including the speed of the bike, distance, uses, weight (of the bike and battery), warranty, number of times you can charge the battery, and whether there is e-bike financing. Along with a good warranty, the quality of standard parts on the electric bike can increase the price from $2,000 to $6,000 or more. Plus, the added expense of having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability.

See more information on the cost of buying an electric bike here.

2. What are the payment options?

Enjoy the Micro-Mobility experience for hauling cargo or kids.

To get an electric bike that will fit your needs over the next two to five years, find out if the bike shop or bike manufacturer (if buying online) offers no- or low-interest loans, often for six to 36 months. Some lending institutions, like Affinity Plus, offer low-interest bicycle-specific loans and let you borrow 120% of the cost of the bike to allow you to buy accessories like helmets, locks, baskets/panniers, lights, etc.

See more information on financing here.

3. Does an e-bike come with a warranty, and how can I insure the bike?

Many bikes come with limited or full warranties. Typically, e-bikes may come with a 2-year warranty on parts, motors, and batteries. Some brands/companies have a 5-year, “no questions asked” comprehensive warranty. So, read the warranty before buying. A reputable e-bike company will have its warranty information on its website.

A warranty should be a part of the purchase price.

Insuring your bike is also recommended. Check if your car, renter’s, or homeowners insurance can bundle an e-bike into your policy. If not, look at an insurance company that often covers theft and collision protection, similar to automobile insurance, for your e-bike. Many companies, like AAA and Velosurance, even offer roadside assistance for bicycles and e-bikes.

For more information here on warranties and insuring an e-bike.

4. What are the different types and speeds of e-bikes?

There are two types of motors, the wheel hub type and a center crank model pictured here.

There are as many types of e-bikes or elect-assist bikes available! First, ask yourself, is your primary use for commuting, hauling cargo, off-road riding, touring, or riding in winter conditions? Once you know what your primary use will be, check out the nationally defined classifications below and your state DOT statutes for e-bikes:

  • Class 1: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph allow for throttle assistance.
  • Class 3: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, with a maximum speed of 28 mph.
    Most states consider e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph “bicycles that can use all non-motorized bike routes.”

See more on the types and speeds of e-bikes here.

5. What’s the battery’s range and life before recycling?

A centerpost battery for an electric bike

A center post battery mount is standard for many electric bike models.

The general rule with a 36 volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. On low assist, you might be able to get 60 miles or more on a single charge. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge the battery when it’s near empty. Then ride your e-bike a lot and charge it often.

Recycling your battery: Call2Recycle is helping e-bike owners recycle their batteries. On the right side of their website, please type in your zip code to get a list of places that will recycle your e-bike battery when it’s time to replace it.

For a more in-depth look at how volts x amps = watts can give you an approximate range, click here.

6. What is the weight limit of an e-bike, and what do they weigh?

There are many sizes and types of e-bikes and trikes to test ride.

Most manufacturers recommend a maximum combined weight of around 275 pounds for a rider and gear & cargo on an e-bike. Cargo bikes are meant to carry small people or big loads and can accommodate riders + gear up to 400 pounds or more. Typically, e-bikes can handle total weights more than described by manufacturers’ specs. However, it may result in reduced range or increased maintenance and might require more repairs on bike parts like wheel spokes.

Most e-bikes weigh between 30-65 pounds, and the batteries weigh anywhere from five to 15 pounds. The weight of the battery goes up as the voltage goes up, but the capacity (range of the battery) goes up, too.

For more on weight limits and restrictions, click here.

7. How do I maintain an e-bike, and what if it needs to be repaired?

Just like a regular bicycle, do an ABC (Air, Brake & Chain) check each time before you ride to maximize your e-bike investment. On average, you should schedule a tune-up every six months or every 1,000 miles you have ridden. To protect your warranty, check their recommendations for service, as they may differ.

If you’re buying an e-bike online, see what sort of repair service or online support the company provides, or make sure your local or favorite bike shop can fix the electrical components of the e-bike you are selecting.

For more information on maintaining our preparing an e-bike, click here.

8. Can I ride an e-bike in the rain or snow?

Electric assist bikes work well year-round.

Electric bikes, like most standard bicycles, are water-resistant and can be used in any weather. Though, you may need some accessories (like rain gear or studded tires) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. Bring in your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside in the winter at any time.

Click here for more information on riding an e-bike in rain or snow.

9. How do I keep an e-bike safe and secure?

To protect your e-bike investment, consider using a U-lock with a cable lock when locking your bike outside (also recommended for indoor storage). Consider having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability.

For more information on securing your e-bike, click here.

 

The perfect place to test-ride the model you like before purchasing.

 10. What else should I do before purchasing?

A test ride should be part of the plan indoors or out before purchasing.

Have fun and test-ride the e-bike(s) you want to focus on. One of the essential parts of buying an electric bike is taking the model(s) you are most interested in for a test ride. Similar to buying a car, a test riding the e-bike will help you finalize your decision once you have narrowed the selection down. Visit several bicycle shops that carry the e-bike brands you are most interested in. To answer the most basic question, which e-bike do, I love the most?

So put on your bike shorts and helmet and test riding an e-bike:

  • Does the bike climb hills the way you need it to
  • Will the e-bike fit you the way you would like it to
  • And finally, is the quality and functionality what you expected while riding?

Now that you are back from your test ride, does the e-bike you like the best fit into your budget, and does it have a warranty? An electric bike is a significant investment, whether $1,500 or $10,000. So, with a warranty, you can rest assured that your investment is well covered. For more information on scheduling a test ride, click here.

Have fun on your new e-bike. We would enjoy hearing about your experiences here at HaveFunBiking!

With an e-bike, it’s easy to bring along your faithful friend or haul cargo.

For added security e-bike insurance is a wise add-on

If you have recently purchased or looking at buying an electric assist bike, e-bike insurance is a wise consideration. First, check your car, renter’s, or homeowners insurance and see if the e-bike can be bundled into your existing policy. If not, look at an insurance company that often covers theft and collision protection, similar to automobile insurance, for your e-bike. Because e-bikes are a relatively new trend, there aren’t many insurance companies on the market. There are a few companies that also offer roadside assistance for bicycles and e-bikes.

The Importance of E-bike Insurance

From an insurance standpoint, electric assist bicycles pose a unique challenge. Most assume their homeowner’s or umbrella insurance policies extend to their e-bikes. As this is true for “human-powered” or pedal bicycles, adding a motor to the bike makes it a “motorized vehicle.” This might exclude it from coverage on standard homeowners, renters, or umbrella policy. Where you might need an insurance policy designed for the e-bike.

A good e-bike insurance policy brings added comfort.

It’s risky for your e-bike to be uninsured, and a stand-alone electric bicycle insurance policy will fit your specific needs. This will not only protect your assets but will protect your e-bike investment if it is damaged or stolen.

A good policy should offer the following protections:

  • Property coverage to protect your electric bike if it is damaged in an accident or stolen
  • Medical coverage for the bicyclist (yourself) in case of an accident
  • A Liability clause covers any injury or property damage that you might cause to another person in case of an accident.
  • And, Underinsured motorist insurance,
Please note. Unlike other types of insurance, liability insurance policies pay third parties and not policyholders.

Roadside assistance for your e-bike may be available

What do you do when stranded on the side of the road with a flat bicycle tire and can’t fix it? If you have a roadside assistance policy, they will pick you up and transport you to your home or bike shop. Along with AAA, Velosurance is another company that offers roadside assistance for bicycles and e-bikes.

An added prevention measure to keep your e-bike safe

Bikes, in general, are stolen often, but for a thief, stealing an e-bike is the crown jewel. With e-bikes normally, a more significant investment here is some bicycle theft prevention ideas to consider. To protect your e-bike investment, consider using a U-lock with a cable lock or bike lock alarm. You could also take the bike inside a building with you or use a mobile bike storage locker for storing your e-bike. There are also some modern ways with GPS tracking devices to help you retrieve your bike if stolen.

See more on “What’d the right type of e-bike for me.”

What’s an e-bike battery’s range and its life cycled?

Estimating the distance your e-bike can travel per charge is called range. This is an important specification to pay attention to when comparing a specific e-bike battery with your desired riding style. For example, if your commute involves steep climbs, you don’t want to run the battery low halfway up the hill. Without power (volts), an e-bike can be an uncomfortable mode of transportation that demands more energy for the cyclist to pedal. So the range of an electric bike generally depends on the following.

The e-bike battery’s range is volts x amp-hours = watts

Here a center mount e-bike-battery is storing the watts for the range

Most e-bikes now come with Lithium-ion batteries that typically last for over 1,000 complete charge cycles. Maybe more with these helpful tips, as the battery is generally a third of the cost of an e-bike. To get the right battery, think volts x amp = watt-hours. Volts are the “force” pushing an amp through the system. The higher the voltage, the more energy the motor can move. This is perfect for quicker starts or climbing hills. The amp hours (AH) measure the volume of the electrons. Figuratively, the AH measure describes the flow of the electric current going to the motor.

Has the idea of using an electric bike, called an e-bike, piqued your interest? If so you are in luck, the E-bike Challenge is coming to Minneapolis, MN.

Here the e-bike battery is mounted on the back rack

Now, multiply the volts by the amps, and you will get the true measurement to feminine the range you can expect from a full charge. h

Here is a general guide listing some of the sizes to the riding distances you could expect under ‘normal’ riding conditions on a full charged battery:
· 36V 10.5Ah battery  – 16 to 32 miles (26-51 km)
· 36V 17.5Ah battery  – 25 to 52 miles (41-85 km)
· 48V 10.4Ah battery  – 21 to 42 miles (34-68 km)
· 48V 14Ah battery –     30 to 56 miles (45-90 km)
· 52V 10.5Ah battery –  23 to 46 mph (37-74 km)
· 52V 17.5Ah battery –  40 to 76 mph (61-122 km)

Please note: the above distances can vary greatly depending on conditions (on the riders weight or rider, accessories, and cargo being hauled, along with the hills, temperature, and wind). Still, they might be helpful as a rough rule of thumb to compare against manufacturer claims.

E-bike battery cost

Speaking of batteries, replacing them, or riding with a second battery can cost you around $250 to $550. The price mainly relies on the amount of Wh or energy stored in the battery. Currently, that’s not bad since you only need to replace your battery(s) every three to five years. The more well-maintained the battery is, the longer it’ll last.

What are the different types and speeds of e-bikes?

Referred to by most as an e-bike, an electric assist bicycle refers to a motorized version of the traditional bike. With three general classifications, the speeds of e-bikes vary. Compared to a regular bicycle, which relies totally on your pedal power. The electric motor assists your pedaling efforts allowing you to go farther using less energy and having more fun. The only downside to an e-bike is the added cost of the electrical system, motor, and battery lifespan. When buying an e-bike, also consider how far you’ll be riding between charges. And whether you can charge the bike’s battery at regular intervals.

A folding is ideal for commuting and touring.

Different types and speeds of e-bikes

You can use an electric bike as you would use a conventional bike. Take it on a casual city ride. Use the bike to commute to work. Or on long cross-country trips. Use the electric motor’s power to help you tackle or ascend hills by combining electric energy with mechanical gears. It is like you are mainly always riding on flat terrain.

E-trikes are also an option

Once you have defined how you will use the bike and the model you prefer, you will have to choose which of the three e-bike classifications best fits you.

Class 1: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum speed of 20 mph

Class 2: e-bikes also have a maximum speed of 20 mph but allow for throttle assistance

Class 3: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with no throttle and a maximum speed of 28 mph.

For more information about e-bike speed and the best classification, best for you see the Bosch Guide here.

What you need to know if considering e-bike financing

Now that you have selected an electric assist bike, you may want to know if e-bike financing is an option. And should you finance all or part of the purchase to get the right bike that will fit your needs over the next two to five years? With the growing popularity of electric bikes, many lending institutions are now offering attractive financing for electric bikes. Yes, and some manufacturers are currently offering 0% financing. So do a little more shopping for the best loan rate that fits you.

Should you consider e-bike financing?

Called “point of sale finance,” this type of loan is a relatively new offering in the market. It allows consumers to spread their purchase price over several months through a financing offer accepted at the time of checkout. The phrase “buy now, pay later” holds true here. Typically, but not always, the rates offered at a local lending institution or bike shop are lower than you would see using a credit card.

Adding a few accessories to the bike purchase

First, check with your local bank or credit union, like Infinity Plus, to see if their bicycle-specific loan program fits your budget. Some programs allow you to borrow 120% of the bike’s cost to buy accessories (helmets, locks, baskets/panniers, lights, etc.).

Do they offer attractive loan packages that you like at the bike shop or through the bike manufacturer online? Interest rates can vary from 0% to rates up to the double digits. It usually depends on your credit rating for the rate you will qualify. If your credit score is not high enough, you may have to pay a certain amount of the purchase down or a higher rate.

In our opinion, here at HaveFunBiking, the 0% or slightly higher rate can make a lot of sense, assuming that the payment isn’t burdening your financial situation. On the other hand, if you only qualify at a higher rate, it might be better to wait and save up for your electric bike. Unless you’re using the electric bike to commute to a job and can justify the added monthly cost.

Why are there so many variables to pedal-assist e-bike costs?

You may want to compare all kinds of features and components when looking at e-bike costs. First, consider the style of the e-bike you like. Will the bike help fulfill your transportation needs to justify the investment? Next, are there options for the battery and motor size, the warranty, and the weight? With that information gathered, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $9,000, with some high-end carbon fiber models running as high as $15,000. So, look beyond price and the following questions.

What components on the electric bike make up the e-bike costs?

To help those just learning about e-bikes, we hope this article will help you justify the investment and fit your needs. Once the type of e-bike you are interested in is in sight, the next thing to consider is the motor and battery size options. Also, to rationalize the investment and cost, review the accessory components, including the display, throttles, PAS sensors, gearing, racks, etc.).

1. The Electric Motor

From a fundamental perspective, the motor on an electric bike transfers electrical energy into mechanical energy. All electric bike models use either a center or hub drive system. A crank/drive motor is located between pedals. With a hub motor it can be incorporated into the rear wheel, front, or both. The motor type plays a major role in the bike’s price, ride quality, and overall performance.

Center motor system for an electric bike
A CENTER CRANK/DRIVE MOTOR SYSTEM ADDS MORE TO THE E-BIKE COST

Rear motor system for an electric bike
REAR HUB MOTOR SYSTEM ON AN ELECTRIC BIKE

Depending on how you will use the e-bike, a mid-drive motor generally accelerates faster, climbs better, and has a higher top speed but costs more. One more variable of the cost is the motor’s watt size. Depending on the model, your options may include either 250 watts, 350 watts, or 500 watts size, and here in the U.S., 750 watts is not uncommon.

2. The Battery

Before looking at the battery cost for the e-bike model you like, another question to ask yourself is, how far (range) will I ride regularly?

Because the battery is a large portion of the bike’s purchase price, it’s vital to consider the range or miles you can expect between charges. Having a general idea of the range will be very helpful in degerming the battery’s capacity. A very common rating is 36 volts and 10.5Ah. On this type of battery rating, you can get 20 to 40 miles per charge, depending on your riding style and how much you pedal. That’s an excellent baseline to start your selection for the battery.

Front motor system for an electric bike

HERE IS A BATTERY CONNECTED TO A FRONT WHEEL MOTOR HUB

General battery sizing guide to answer some of your e-bike questions

Here is an available guide listing some of the battery sizes to the riding distances you could expect under ‘normal’ riding conditions on a full charged:
· 36V 10.5Ah battery  – 16 to 32 miles (26-51 km)
· 36V 17.5Ah battery  – 25 to 52 miles (41-85 km)
· 48V 10.4Ah battery  – 21 to 42 miles (34-68 km)
· 48V 14Ah battery –     30 to 56 miles (45-90 km)
· 52V 10.5Ah battery –  23 to 46 mph (37-74 km)
· 52V 17.5Ah battery –  40 to 76 mph (61-122 km)

*Please note: The above distances can vary greatly depending on the rider’s weight, hauling cargo, hills, temperature, and wind. And a rough rule of thumb to compare against manufacturer claims.

Battery Cost

Speaking of batteries, replacing them, or riding with a second battery can cost anywhere from $250 to $550. The price mainly relies on the amount of Wh or energy stored in the battery. Currently, that’s not bad since you hopefully only need to replace your battery every three to five years. Remember, the more well-maintained the battery is, the longer it’ll last.

Is a Warranty a part of the e-bike costs?

Please make sure you ask about what the warranty is for the bike you’re interested in. Be aware the coverage can vary for different parts of the cycle. Buying an electric bike is a significant investment. The warranty length is usually a good indicator of the quality of the bike and the company standing behind it. A 12, 24, or 36-month warranty on parts, motors, and the battery is reasonable to expect from most manufacturers (with no exclusions for regular use).

We hope these facts and options will open up specific questions you might want to ask when visiting the dealer and choosing your bike.

E-bike assistance after hip or knee surgery

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Recovering from hip or knee surgery can be fun when adding an electric-assist bike to the post-rehab process. After my second hip replacement and talking to others with hip and knee procedures, the e-bike made the rehab process easier. I achieved full-joint motion and an active lifestyle after surgery and physical therapy (PT). Especially with the improvements in electric bike technologies in the last few years.

The Tern HSD p-9 E-bike I used for my rehab.

This time, I used an e-bike from Tern Bicycles that helped me keep a comfortable cadence regardless of the terrain. A massive help in low-impact exercise to aid both the hip and knee rehabilitation process.

Incorporating an e-bike into your post-rehab process

Using an e-bike in the post-rehab process can be a great exercise. Ask your doctor or physical therapist if it is suitable for your specific condition. Then, once you move on a stationary bike, add some light resistance with an outdoor e-bike. Usually, within four to six weeks post, this will help improve the strength around the joint(s) you had replaced. Your therapist can help you determine the right amount of resistance settings when it’s time to convert to an e-bike. Just remember, if you are feeling any abnormal pain, inform your therapist and decrease the resistance or stop.

Going from a stationary bike to an e-bike in the post-rehab process

Using the Tern e-bike in my post-rehab schedule.

During my hip rehabilitation, I talked to several physical therapists at Twin Cities Orthopedics. They all recommended using a stationary bicycle for two to three weeks to help reduce the swelling. For a knee replacement, you may need to wait an additional week or two before starting to ride outdoors.

After six weeks of using a stationary bike and a regular walking regimen, I was able to start riding my bike outside.

From a stationary trainer to an e-bike outdoors

Once your physician clears you to start riding, take it slow and stop if you feel any sharp pain. Most e-bikes allow you to control the amount of electric assistance you use to gain a steady pedal rhythm or cadence. Start with the highest pedal assist level in a low gear and gently spin. This will ensure that you don’t stress your rehabilitated joint. As you progress, you can gradually decrease the level of assistance for a more robust workout.

The advantages of using e-bikes as compared to other activities

As you can see in this video, riding an e-bike after knee replacement surgery provides the perfect balance to make a complete recovery. This is because a bicycle can strengthen your muscles and increase your mobility without putting too much strain on your joints when exercising. With the pedal assist of electric power, the e-bike requires less physical intensity and allows you to retain an average cadence level to heal faster.

Finding the perfect gear for cadence

There are many e-bikes to choose from when selecting the right one.

Finding the perfect e-bicycle that allows you to pedal comfortably after surgery can be challenging. We all have a natural cadence pace, and the body performs best as the bicycle’s crank spins with steady yet comfortable resistance. The goal of an e-bike is to allow you to shift gears and motor speed to allow you to pedal at a stable and comfortable pace even as the topography changes.

Plus, stopping, starting, or accelerating with an e-bike maximizes your chances of a full recovery and a rapid return to regular activity.

Electric bike technologies will improve the post-rehab process.

As I mention above, e-bikes are continuously changing for the better. After replacing my right hip in 2014, very few e-bikes are available on the market. At the time, they either came with a front or rear hub motor.

Look for an e-bike with reputable parts and a 3 to 5-year warranty.

Now, with mid-drive motors mounted directly into the crank, you have a balanced power movement from the pedals to the drivetrain. The Tern HSD E-bike with a class 1 Bosch motor system was perfect for my recent hip post-rehab process. Thanks to Perennial Cycles, in Minneapolis, for their assistance.

Some added e-bike buying tips for the post-rehab process.

After talking to others who have used an e-bike in the post-rehab process, here are a few more suggestions when looking for an e-bike that fits your needs and budget:

  1. Make sure the e-bike has a dropper seat post (especially for knee rehab), as adjustments will need to be made throughout the rehab process
  2. Also recommended is having a riser or adjustable handlebar setup, so you sit upright instead of leaning forward
  3. Use a non-slip pedal – a Chester pedal with pins works excellent and allows you to quickly dismount to move your foot to the ground and stabilize your balance.

    Enjoy the post-rehab process with an e-bike.

 

Buying a new e-bike test ride tips before making a purchase

by John Brown,

The best way to find the right bicycle is to do some research on the web before an e-bike test ride and purchase. Then verify their size to your body and test riding your choices a lot at a bike shop. With so many choices, here are some tips to make the best use of your time while test-riding these bikes. Please read on for a complete list of suggestions to have fun and maximize your time on that next test ride.

Research plan before the e-bike test ride

Any good test ride begins with research. Like a regular bicycle, check out the latest e-bikes you would like on the websites of some popular brands. Please pay close attention to the prices of each e-bike and what it will buy you. Then, along with a  check of the standard components (number of gears, type of suspension, tire size, frame material, and brake type), also pay attention to the motor and battery size. Once you have gotten a general sense of what is available, you can plan a trip to the bike shop.

Pick a shop

Give a call to the shops closest to you and verify they have the models you want to test ride.

Before looking further, call a shop closest to you and verify they have the e-bike models you want to test ride.

Now with a few bikes on your target list, give your local or favorite dealers a call. If you don’t have a favorite shop, most brands’ websites have a dealer locator to help you find the closest shop. Call them to verify that they have the models you want to test ride. Not all shops can stock every possible model in every possible size. So call to ensure they have the right model in a size that is close to what you are looking for.

Make a date to test ride.

Check the weather and your schedule, then pick a good time to head into the shop. Keep in mind that shops and roads are less busy during the workweek. Therefore, Monday thru Friday is the ideal time to test ride bikes. If you need to go in on the weekend, call ahead and see when they are least busy and make an appointment if possible.

 

Bring your ID

When test-riding bikes, you are potentially borrowing thousands of dollars from the shop. Therefore, it’s expected for shops to ask for some form of collateral. At the minimum, bring your ID and a major credit card.

The test ride

Test rides don’t need to take hours, but a three-minute spin is rarely enough time to make a real impression. Expect to take at least 15 minutes on each bike, with more time spent on the first few bikes you ride. When riding, try to focus on how the bike accelerates, how easily it changes direction, and how stable it feels. A great way to do this is to pick a set route with some flat area, some climbs, and at least one good descent. Riding the same course with different bikes makes comparing them easier.

Narrow the bike selection down

Once you get a feel for a few bikes, you can start narrowing down your choices. I find it best to pick two and then ride them back to back, concentrating on fit and comfort rather than speed and stability. Have the shop begin dialing in your fit on these two bicycles to see which one really is the best for you. Once you have a bike that rides well and fits well, you are ready to buy.

Buy everything you will need

A bike that rides great is the key ingredient in a great bike ride, but it’s not everything. Remember that your new bike or e-bike may need things like a water bottle cage, kickstand, lights, and maybe clipless pedals, or a better fitting saddle. Consider all the situations you may run into on your new bike and buy the products you need to be prepared.

Hopefully, your next bike purchase will be fun and informative.

This Bike Pic Thursday, we caught this biker chick out having fun along the Minnesota River bottoms near Bloomington, MN.

Can I ride an e-bike in inclement weather?

Electric bikes, like most standard bicycles, are water-resistant and can be used in any type of inclement weather. Though, you may need some accessories (like rain gear or studded tires for winter) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. So bring in your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it if possible. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside in the winter at any time.

Riding an e-bike in rainy weather

This Monday mornings bike pic shows the wet road surfaces after another round of rain shower last night, hope you are staying dry!

STAYINGING DRY WHILE RIDING IN THE RAIN

An electric bike’s system, including the motor, battery pack, display, and connection points are usually designed with closed units to accommodate wet weather. This normally protects the electrical system from getting wet while riding in the rain. The key distinction here is that e-bikes are water resistant, but not waterproof. So for this reason it’s a good idea to avoid heavily flooded roads, streams, and deep puddles that could submerge your bike’s electrical components.

As different electric bikes might have different limitations and wade depths, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual or check with your manufacturer for the IP rating of your bike first. If you live in an area that experiences frequent wet weather, you’ll want to make water resistance a top factor in your purchase decision.

Riding an e-bike with ice and snow conditions

riding an e-bike fatty in inclement weather

Yes, you can ride your e-bike in the winter, in the extreme cold, snow, and icy conditions. Doing so will require a bit more maintenance, protection, and care.  With advancements in tire technology and clothing warmth there are fewer reasons not to take your electric bicycle out and enjoy the winter season. Any e-bike with can handle winter riding, but the wider the tire the better. Especially if studs can be installed on your bikes tire for icy conditions. That said, it’s important you follow the key points we have listed below to ensure you enjoy riding your ebike during the winter.

Use The Right Tire

Just like a regular bike that you might use for winter riding, the tires that came with your electric bicycle are great for most dry pavement riding , but not for winter. Manuvering a bicycle (with or without a motor) requires a tire that handle both ice and snow. Then add studs to that winter tires and have transform your e-bike into an amazing winter vehicle! Great riding on plowed roads and for hard-packed or icy conditions. If you have, or are looking at a fat tire e-bike for winter riding make sure to ask the dealer if studs can be added to the tires currently on the bike.

Battery Care

  • A centerpost battery for an electric bike

    A CENTER POST BATTERY MOUNT IS COMMON FOR MANY ELECTRIC BIKE MODELS

The general rule with a 36 volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. On low assist, you might be able to get 60 miles or more on a single charge. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge the battery when it’s near empty. Then ride your e-bike a lot and charge it often.

Before charging make sure your battery is in a room above freezing, otherwise you could harm the cells. It is no problem to ride the bike in below-freezing conditions (it doesn’t harm the battery), just make sure you let the battery warm up slowly before charging. When you are riding an e-bike in very cold weather, you will notice a drop in power and range. Don’t worry, this is normal and expected in riding an e-bike in the winter.

It’s good to get to know the battery life and performance in cold weather of your e-bike. If you intend to commute to work, or use the bike for a back country experience, test it out to determing the change in range with colder temps. And the steps you would take to ensure continued performance. For instance, purchasing a neoprene e-bike battery cover might be an option. Also if you stop midway on your jurney to warm up, bring the battery inside whenever you aren’t riding. This keep the temperature of the battery up an give you an extra bit of power!

Avoid riding through slush

Riding your electric bike through snow is not only possible, it’s super fun! (See Pedego video below for proof) What’s not fun is riding through slush. The watery, salty snow gets splashed up into your gears and can seep into hard-to-reach areas, causing rust to form. If you do have to ride through slush, be sure to wipe the entire bike down and lube the chain etc. afterwards and, if possible, store in a warm, dry location.

Don’t let winter pass you by, get your e-bike ready for some nordic fun!

E-bike-maintenance, and what if it needs a repair?

Just like a regular bicycle, doing an ABC (Air, Brake & Chain) check regularly can help you avoid any unnecessary repairs and maximize your e-bike investment. E-bikes aren’t a one-and-done kind of purchase. You’ll need to consider the maintenance costs or have a good warranty because repairs can a shocker.

E-bike maintenance and repair

Here are some general maintenance tips to help you avoid those costly repairs.

Regularly, do an ABC (Air, Brake & Chain) check

Before you go out for a ride, always remember your ABC’s

A is for air – check the tire pressure regularly

B is for brakes – are they soft have them adjusted

C is for Cranks, Chain, and Cassette – make sure they are clean and lubed.

Check = take a quick ride to check it all before you go on your next e-bike adventure!

Schedule a tune-up

Having an e-bike in good working order is a pleasure to ride

On average, you should schedule a tune-up with your local bike shop every six months or every 1,000 miles you have ridden. To protect your warranty, check their recommendations for service as they may differ.

A savings $$$ hint – bringing your e-bike in for a tune-up in the winter months is a good time to visit, learn, and get a good repair rate.

Other Maintainance costs

These tune-ups can range in cost depending on each e-bike’s condition, from $70 up to $250. This price can increase if they need to replace any worn components.

Having said that, maintenance costs don’t just stop there. A flat tire could cost you between $10 and $20. A tire replacement can cost up to $80 per tire. New tire tubes cost between $5 and $20.

Another maintenance factor worth considering is brake adjustments. Your brakes are likely to get misaligned from constant use. This repair can cost between $20 and $35. However, if you have a good relationship with a bike shop, some of the smaller charges may be waived, especially if you bought your bike from their shop.

What if my e-bike needs any major repairs?

First, if you have a warranty, it may cover those repairs. Then schedule a time to take it into your local shop.

If you’re buying an e-bike online, see what sort of repair service or online support the company provides. Then make sure your local or favorite bike shop can fix the electrical components of the e-bike you are selecting.