Category Archives: E-bike Tips

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

Rear motor system for 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


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.


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.

What is the e-bike weight limit, and what do they weigh?


The e-bike weight most manufacturers recommend is a maximum combined weight of around 275 pounds for a rider, gear, or cargo on the bike. Though cargo bikes are meant to carry people and big loads these bikes 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.

What is the e-bike weight?

A Specialized Creo SL is a lightweight e-bike

There are not many truly light electric bikes around, and those that usually sacrifice power and range. This will probably change as battery technology improves. Full-sized electric bikes currently weigh in the order of 50 to 60 pounds (about 22-25 kg). That is with the weight of the battery and motor included. If weight is a concern, you may want to consider a smaller style of electric bike like an e-folding bike.

A Gocycle G4 white 01 is a folding bike.

The weight of the battery goes up as the voltage goes up, but the capacity (range of the battery) goes up, too.

How much weight can an e-bike bear?

It’s not just about how much weight your electric bike can carry it is also about how you use that weight. If you plan on riding with your significant other on a double-seat model, make sure your battery’s volt to amperage ratio can accommodate both of you.

The good news is that many models are dual-suspension or have shock absorbers built into their frames, so bumps and potholes won’t cause as much damage if you go over them at high speeds. Plus, there are plenty of ways to make sure you stay safe while riding an e-bike: wear a helmet, avoid busy streets and never ride one when it’s dark out without proper lighting.

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

An electric bike is a significant investment, and we think buying an e-bike from a brand that offers a warranty is a wise decision. Similarly, patronizing a local bike store with a reputable brand of e-bike you might be interested in will give you access to any help, advice, or repairs you may need. Hopefully, covering any work, you may need with the warranty that came with the e-bike you purchased.

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.

After test riding, talk about e e-bike warranty before purchasing.

An e-bike warranty matters

Whether the e-bike you are looking at purchasing is $1500. or $10,000, with a warranty, you can rest assured that your investment is protected. On average, an e-bike will last around seven to ten years. That number can be higher or lower depending on the type of bike and how you use it. If you keep your e-bike well maintained, it can last well over a decade. However, various parts like batteries, chains, and tires will need to be replaced periodically, even with proper care.

For the motor and the controller, one year is the absolute minimum, and two years and more is more reasonable to expect. A lithium battery should last three to five years if it is well maintained. A warranty will usually be between 12 to 24 months.

According to Electric Cycle Guide, a general rule with Li-Ion batteries is:

  • 1 year’s worth of warranty is asking for trouble
  • 2 years gives some peace of mind
  • 3 years more or less covers the battery against premature failure.

Buying  an e-bike online

You can find many types of e-bike brands online.

Buying over the internet, which usually means a direct-to-consumer brand, gives you the most e-bike options, usually at the best price (maybe?). But, buying direct has three potential issues you should be aware of.

  • Does the e-bike have a warranty period
  • Do they give you a recommendation of where to take the e-bike for servicing, regardless if there is a warranty or not?
  • And third, will any shipping or setup costs be absorbed in the online savings?

Buying on the web is gaining promise as many direct-to-consumer companies selling e-bikes have even been developing servicing networks. They are contracting with a local bike shop or van service for their setup and repairs in your area. And some companies will even bring a test vehicle to you before you buy.

Read up on the warranty before you buy

As with any purchase, read up on the warranty before you buy. A reputable e-bike company will have warranty information on its website. A quick search on social media for any company will give you an idea of what type of customer service you can expect. If you have questions about your e-bike, social media is a great place to reach out to find the answer. You can send a private message or search through social media posts also.

Is an e-bike eco-friendly?

Yes, e-bikes are eco-friendly, like a standard bicycle.

Electric bicycles are undoubtedly good for the environment as they use electric power (along with human power) to push them forward. If one charges the battery using green solar energy, e-bikes become 100% environmentally friendly and good for the environment.

From ice adventures, getting out to an ice fishing hot spot using e-fat bikes can extend the winter fishing season or other shoulder season activities.

e-fat bikes can provide winter sports enthusiasts a fun alternative

From ice adventures, getting out to an ice fishing hot spot using e-fat bikes can extend the winter fishing season or other shoulder season outdoor activities. These are topics the “godfather of ice-fishing,” Minnesota native, Dave Genz will cover at the E-Bike Challenge Minneapolis, this weekend.

If the idea of using an electric bike or electric fat bike, called an e-bike had piqued your interest, you are in luck. Coming to Minneapolis, the E-bike Challenge is March 23–24, 2019. On Saturday, March 22nd, at 2 p.m. Dave will be on stage with John Schaubach, from Crosby, MN. The two of them will share their story using e-fat bikes, in the True North. Covering the adventures of John’s winter fat biking experience up near Cuyuna that led to the eventual use of a pedal assist fat bike for ice fishing.

At their Saturday presentation, learn from Dave how by using an e-bike he has discovered many advantages for ice fishing, with the motorized fat bike. Like his intro video, demonstrates, the pulling power of an e-fat bike makes it easier to haul sporting gear in off-road terrain situations. So, during early winter or late in the season when the ice isn’t thick or safe enough for an ATV or truck, Mr. Ice Fishing got to thinking. There has got to be a better way to reach distant hotspots with his lightweight, portable shelter and other gear? And the electric assist fat bike solved his problem which he will share.

Recently Dave and John completed a side-by-side comparison of a traditional fat bike to a pedal assist fat bike. On stage, this coming Saturday they will share their findings, many fun stories of adventure and successes.

Mark your calendar and page through the pre-event E-bike Challenge Guide to prepare your questions when looking at the latest e-bike models. Then, get a feel for the bike or bikes you like the best at the Challenge’s indoor test track.