Tag Archives: e-bike insurance

Helpful tips to consider before purchasing an e-bike

With the popularity of e-bikes (electric-assist bicycles), here are some helpful tips and questions to ask when buying a bike. The top question we have been asked here at HaveFunBiking.com, along with the price of an e-bike, is how the new government rebate program works. What are the e-bike types and styles and battery/motor options available?

This is followed by the range or distance you can expect to travel on a charge, riding in rain and snow and maintenance tips. In conclusion, after reviewing the following tips, we suggest visiting several bicycle shops that carry electric-assist bicycles to narrow down the right bike for you. Ask them specific questions we have touched on here. Then, like buying a car, test-ride the e-bike you want.

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. An e-bikes cost, and what about the Minnesota Tax Credit

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

There are many variables when buying an electric assist bike, including the distance you can ride and how you will use it; the number of times you can charge the battery; its weight (bike and battery); the warranty; and whether you will need to take out a loan to finance the bike? Along with a good warranty, the quality of standard parts or upgraded parts on the electric bike can increase the price from $2,000 to $6,000 or more. Plus, having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability can increase the price.

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

What’s the skinny on the MN Electric-Assisted Bicycle Rebate

The Minnesota Transportation Finance and Policy bill included a new electric bike rebate program that takes effect July 1, 2024. In the 2023 session, four million dollars were appropriated for the 2024 and 2025 calendar years. This Rebate Program will allow $2 million to be used starting July 1, 2024. Then again, consecutively, 2 million dollars for 2025 will be available until June 30, 2026.

The credit maximum is $1,500, depending on your income. To qualify, an Individual must assign the credit at the time of purchase after July 1st with an eligible retailer that is in the rebate program. If you qualify, this will reduce the cost of purchasing an e-bike. For more information on the rebate, contact your local bike shop or see Minnesota Tax Changes.

2. Consider payment options to get the right e-bike

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 a no- or low-interest loan. Some lending institutions, like Affinity Plus, offer low-interest bicycle-specific loans and let you borrow 120% of the cost of the bike, allowing you to buy accessories like helmets, locks, baskets/panniers, lights, etc.

See more information on financing here.

3. Check the bike warranty, and then insure it

Many bikes come with limited or full warranties. Typically, e-bikes may come with a 2-year warranty on parts, motors, and batteries. Some e-bike brands have a 5-year, “no questions asked” comprehensive warranty. So, learn what sort of warranty is being offered before you buy. A reputable e-bike company will have its warranty information on its website.

A warranty should be a part of the purchase price.

It is recommended that you Insure your new bike. 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 for your e-bike, similar to automobile insurance. Many companies, like AAA and Velosurance, even offer roadside assistance for bicycles and e-bikes.

See more information on warranties and insuring an e-bike Here.

4. E-bike types and gear options

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

There are so many types of e-bikes available! First, what is your primary use for buying an e-bike? Is it for commuting, hauling cargo, off-road riding, touring, or riding in winter conditions? Once you know how you will use the bike, check out the nationally defined classifications below and your state DOT statutes for e-bikes:

  • Class 1: e-bikes are pedal-assist only, no throttle, with a maximum speed of 20 mph
  • Class 2: e-bikes with pedal assist and throttle, with a maximum speed of 20 mph
  • Class 3: e-bikes are pedal-assist, with or without a throttle, with a maximum speed of 28 mph.
    Most states consider e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph “OK to 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 is that a 36-volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge, with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo being less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. You may enjoy 50 miles or more on a single charge on low assist. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge it before it is close to empty.

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. Weight limits, and a size that fits you

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 reduce the range or increase maintenance, including wheel spokes repairs.

Most e-bikes weigh between 30 and 65 pounds, with the battery weighing anywhere from five to 15 pounds. The battery’s weight increases with voltage, but its capacity (range) also increases.

For more on weight limits and restrictions, click here.

7. Maintainance and your options to have your bike repaired

Like a regular bicycle, always start with an ABC’s (Air, Brake & Chain) check before you ride to maximize your e-bike investment. You should schedule a tune-up every six months or every 1,000 miles you have ridden. This will protect your warranty. Check the manufacturer’s service recommendations to what they specify.

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 select. Bikes with Bosch drivetrain systems are well respected and offer the following information for care and longevity. 

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

8. Riding an e-bike in the rain or snow

E-bikes work well year-round.

Like most standard bicycles, E-bikes are water-resistant and can be used in most weather conditions. You may need 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 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 at any time in the winter.

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

9. Keeping your new 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 public storage areas). Another anti-theft device to consider is a GPS track tag. Ask your local bike shop for their recommendations. Again, having adequate insurance coverage for possible damage, theft, and liability is wise.

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

 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 e-bike is taking the model(s) you are most interested in for a test ride. Like buying a car, test-ride 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. So grab your helmet and go for a test ride. Consider these questions while test-riding that new e-bike:

  • Does the e-bike fit the way I like it to
  • Do I feel comfortable on the e-bike climbing hills
  • And finally, is the quality and functionality over everything I expected while riding?

Now that you are back from your test ride, does the e-bike you like fit into your budget, and does it have a warranty? An e-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.

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.

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.