With eBikes being very new and somewhat unfamiliar to many in Canada, we've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we hear all the time at the shop. Take a look at what's written below and if you still have questions, don't hesitate to contact anyone of our four locations across the GTA or drop us a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the point of an electric bike? Electric bikes add power to your pedal power enabling you to do more with a bicycle and have more fun! For many people eBikes help them:
Ride faster when compared to a conventional bike. You may be surprised how quickly you can get around even compared to a car. With an eBike you can avoid traffic using bike routes, maintain a higher average speed than a conventional bike, and then park (for free) extremely close to where you are going.
Enjoy riding uphill and into headwinds because the electric assist helps you along. Don’t sweat it; ride with higher assist to get to work quickly and with no sweat. Then ride home with less assist to get a workout if you want.
Safety. Safely get through intersections by being able to accelerate quickly from a stop.
Save the joints. eBikes can make bike riding fun again by making putting less pressure on knees, hips, and other joints.
Enjoy the ride together. You may have a riding partner that rides at a different speed than you. An eBike can even out the pace for both of you.
Leave the car at home. The convenience, the ease and the speed of an electric bike make it an alternative to an automobile more often than a regular bike. A study by Portland State University shows that eBike owners ride more frequently and farther than when they relied on their traditional bike.
Have more fun! Riding a bicycle is already fun and when you add electric assist it becomes even more fun. Notice how many people come back from an eBike test ride with a huge smile on their face!
Can I Test Ride and eBike? Absolutely. We feel that nothing compares to actually getting out and feeling the wind in your face when is comes to eBikes. To truly understand them, you really need to experience them. Feel free to drop into anyone of our four locations across the GTA - No appointment is necessary.
Looking to extend the Test Ride? We can rent you an eBike for the day ($75/day). Take it to your favourite roads, paths and routes... and get a true sense of the capabilities. Upon your return should you decide to purchase an eBike, we'll then waive the rental fee.
How fast can they go? Most electric bikes in the Canada will provide you with assist up to 32kph.
Why can’t they go faster? The intent of an electric bicycle is to be very similar to a conventional bicycle and that includes the speed that it can travel. If eBikes provided higher power assisted speeds then they would be regulated like a scooter/motorcycle which requires registration, licensure, insurance, etc. In addition, this would limit where eBikes can be ridden.
Bicycles and electric bicycles are great vehicles because they do not require registration, licensure, insurance, and there are so many places they can be ridden.
How far can they go? Most electric bikes have a range of 50 to 100km and that depends on the riding conditions (hills, headwinds, etc.), how much pedal power you are providing, and how much weight you are moving (yourself + cargo). You can get eBikes with more range but they are generally more expensive and weigh more because of the larger battery pack. We are also noticing that as this technology matures and evolves the ranges are increasing exponentially. Quick tip: charging your battery at work will help to increase your daily range.
How much power do they have? Generally electric bikes in the Canada will range from 250 watts to 750 watts. 750 watts is the maximum power to still be a considered a bicycle and that equates to 1 horsepower.
How long does it take to charge the battery? Most electric bike batteries will fully charge from empty in 3 to 6 hours depending on the battery size. Be sure to check out our Blog post for "Tips on keeping your eBike battery health".
How much does it cost to charge the battery? In general it will cost $0.03 to $0.10 to charge an electric bike battery pack. This will depend on what your local electricity supplier charges. With this in mind, most employers will not mind if you charge your battery at work.
Throttle or Pedal Assist, Which is Best? It depends on your riding preference. Some people like throttle because it allows them to cruise along with or without pedaling. Pedal assist adds assist as soon as you start pedaling and people who are used to riding conventional bikes tend to prefer this system. Some eBikes in the Canada have both throttle and pedal assist so you may not have to choose between the systems. If you have to choose between them, make sure you spend a significant amount of time riding both systems to determine what works best for you.
How much do they cost? Electric bikes range in price from $500 to $10,000+ but the average price range for quality electric bikes is $2,000 to $4,500.
I currently ride a conventional bike, why would I need an electric bike? You may find that adding an electric bike to your lineup of bikes expands what you can do with a bicycle. For instance, with an electric cargo bike you can take the kids to school, commute to work, pick up groceries, and enjoy a nice bike ride at the end of a long work day. Remember, you can never have too many bikes.
Also, you may know of family and friends that currently don’t ride a bike but would enjoy riding an electric bike. eBikes can “level the playing field” so that couples and/or friends of different riding ability levels can enjoy riding together.
Overall, the more people on bikes, the better!
Can you get any exercise on an electric bike? Absolutely! You decide how much exercise you want to get by adjusting the power assist level on the bike.
One strategy is to commute to work with higher assist so you arrive with minimal to no sweat and then use a lower assist when riding home to get more of a work out and unwind from a long day.
How much do they weigh? Generally electric bikes range from 45 pounds to 60 pounds. Of course there are the exceptions on both sides of that range. It is important to note that given the power of the eBike, once to are riding and under pedal-assist, you will hardly notice the weight of the bike.
Special thanks to the folks at the Electric Bike Report for compiling much of this list.