Electric bikes are all the rage today, but it’s been a long process. The industry has been quietly building steam for decades. As the mileage and power efficiency of e-bikes improves, knowing whether you can tailor your speed to your nerves’ liking becomes more poignant.
Most e-bikes allow scalable motor assistance. Primarily equipped with three pedal-assist levels, each level has a maximum output. You can use your e-bike controls to adjust the load to be as little as you want. E-bikes equipped with throttles also have adjustability and can let you go slow.
It’s becoming increasingly important to determine what electric bikes can achieve and whether they are as safe as manufacturers claim them to be.
Below are some answers to the common questions we might all have regarding e-bikes.
Are You Able To Go Slow On An Electric Bike?
Contrary to most people’s perception, you can fine-tune your e-bike’s speed. There are different assistance levels that the pedal-assist modes provide. Ordinarily, there are three: an eco through turbo mode, each mode providing up to a set percentage of assistance.
The lowest level can standardly offer 40 to 60 percent of pedaling assistance, and you can control how much help you want.
Can You Limit An Electric Bike’s Speed?
Yes, you can! Most electric bikes allow you to limit their maximum speed to 20 mph for yourself or your kids, who yearn for an adrenaline rush—making it easier to give one as a gift to a child.
You should also be able to go into the e-bike’s settings on the bike’s console screen and adjust the maximum pedal assistance parameter. Settings should help set the e-bike power assist at speeds more conducive for riders uncustomed to high speeds.
Why Are Electric Bikes Limited To 15.5 Mph, 20 Mph, or 28 Mph?
The speed of e-bikes comes down to how your local laws classify them. In general, 15.5 mph is the recommended maximum speed for e-bikes in the UK, and 20 mph is as much as Uncle Sam will tolerate in most places.
While lawmakers are scrambling to catch up to this emerging market, 15 mph is the placeholder as it’s understood to be the average speed unassisted cyclist typically maintain.
One of the main goals for most e-bikers is to have an easier time riding and not a faster one, so 15.5 mph or 20 mph is already plenty.
These speeds are achievable on the first two e-bike classifications. 28 mph pedal-assist or throttle is usually the maximum for class 3 e-bikes where they are allowed. 28 mph is probably pushing it for most people, considering that class-A mopeds are only allowed 40 mph in New York and require a license.
Are Electric Bikes Safer Than Normal Bikes?
Electric bikes aren’t safer than unpowered bikes. There’s simply no evidence to support the claim. Still, they are not as dangerous as you might believe.
The non-profit health care system, Scripps, recorded what some brain trauma surgeons had to say about injuries from e-bikes. The medical consensus was that e-bikes could cause much more damage if their brakes subsequently fail to bring the bike to a stop because of their added mass.
You also don’t want a 60 to 80-pound object to fall on your leg. But these doctors also said that they hadn’t seen a substantial difference in the injuries they get from conventional bike riders.
E-bikers defend that these bikes are equipped with better and more potent brake systems than the dying rim brakes we grew up using on our mountain bikes.
This is a valid argument. But, no brake system can deny Newtonian mechanics: the larger and faster a vehicle is, the more difficult it is to stop safely.
Is Riding An Electric Bike Scary?
It depends. These e-bikes have the potential to open doors to some serious harm, but most people push similar 15-mph speeds that they’d be pushing on unpowered bikes.
In this regard, e-bikes aren’t scarier than riding your regular bike. The added benefit is that you stay fresher for longer, which could help faster reaction times and avoid everyday cycling hazards.
Can You Get An Electric Bike For Cheap?
Do your homework, and you can find an excellent second-hand e-bike for a fraction of its original price. First, ensure that the bike is one that it is a product from a manufacturer with a good track record for building long-lasting e-bikes.
Even with plenty of miles, it should still perform and have quality parts that last for longer than it was owned by the previous owner and longer than you’re planning to use it.
It’s also prudent to test-ride the e-bike beforehand and treat it as if you were buying a motorbike. See if the e-bike and its components have received adequate care.
Ensure that the battery is in good condition and that it was used often and kept in a warm and well-ventilated space for the short to medium intervals it wasn’t used.
Are Electric Bikes Expensive?
Electric bikes are generally more expensive than the bikes we’re familiar with riding. The price ranges between $1000 and $3000 for every day and appreciable-quality e-bikes.
However, this price tag can go to the $10,000 ballpark, a price we’d previously only seen on bikes used by staunch cyclists.
Do People Go Faster On Electric Bikes Than They Would On Traditional Bikes?
Studies have shown that e-bike riders can attain slightly quicker average and maximum speeds than traditional cyclists.
However, the difference is not significant enough to warrant all of the comments from lawmakers and concerned bystanders.
A study on some e-biking riding behavior shows that traditional riders bike at an average speed of 15 mph in natural settings. In comparison, e-bikers go roughly 3 to 5 mph faster.
Can You Use An Electrical Bike Like A Normal Bike?
That’s a resounding yes! Many e-bikes allow riders to use them without pedal assistance mode. In addition, they usually enable riders to use the bikes even after the battery has died.
Whether class 2 or 3, electrically-powered bicycles can be operated without engaging the throttle.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Weigh?
Current e-bikes typically weigh more than heavy conventional bikes. For example, E-bikes commonly weigh over 40 pounds, and it’s normal to see some e-bikes being over 60 pounds.
The weight of the battery pack and motor and the necessity for sturdier frames and larger tires for support is the largest culprit for this weight.
To put this weight issue into perspective, the accepted maximum weight for the beefiest mountain bikes with shock systems is around 40 pounds. The general weight of mountain bikes is between 20 to 30 pounds.
Is Riding An Electric Bike Easier Than A Manual Bike?
It takes about the same skill to ride both types of bikes. Electric bikes have the added benefit of assisting new riders with keeping their balance, like having someone push you from behind to help your ride.
Plus, e-bikes could help to gear your motor memory into quicker action. Because practically all e-bikes engage pedal assistance from the moment you get rolling once you’re pedaling.
Is Going 20 MPH On Electric Bike Too Fast?
Manual bike speeds range from 12 to 18 mph. So, as long as you’re taking all the necessary precautions, like regularly checking vehicular, pedestrian, and manual cyclist traffic, 20 mph should be reasonable. It’s fast enough while not being slow.
Do You Need To Pedal On An Electric Bike Constantly?
You don’t need to be constantly pedaling on e-bikes. You can even rest your feet on the pedals when tired, as most e-bikes come with a freehub.
But, constant pedaling will extend the bike’s battery life.
You should supplement your e-bikes to power up challenging inclines or if you want to maintain your speed.
However, in most situations, you can put little toil behind your pedaling, especially if you familiarize yourself with the different assistance levels provided by your bike’s pedal-assist mode.
Do You Need An E-bike License Or Permit To Ride?
It’s different for every country around the globe. For example, in the US, most states don’t require registration and licensing for e-bikes, except for six states.
Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, and North Dakota. These states haven’t passed specific e-bike laws and, by default, classify e-bikes as motorized vehicles that must be registered and licensed.
Alabama and Alaska form part of the states with some e-bike laws in action but still require licensure.
Which Are Currently The Best Electric Bikes Right Now?
The e-bike market has as many e-bike options to shop for most people as the conventional bike market.
Unfortunately, it takes work to claim outright that one specific bike rules them all, depending on your budget and what you plan to use it for.
Some recent notable mentions include the Trek FX-2 and the Rad Power RadRunner. The FX-2 Trek FX-2 should satisfy most people in the market for an e-bike.
The RadRunner can do the same for people who want a bike to run errands on and the most value for the entire family.
Electric bikes are the perfect way for cyclists of all levels to join in on the fun. The electric components make it easy to control the speed, battery life, and power while providing a smooth ride.
Plus, electric bikes are comfortable and easy to ride with lighter frames and larger tires. So they make it easier for riders of any age to get started.
Whether you’re looking for a bike for leisure rides or weekend errands, it’s crucial to find the right one that fits your needs!
So do your research before buying and make sure you know the bike’s features and whether it will meet your needs.