Maximizing Your E-bike’s Battery: Tips to go a Long Way in Just One Charge

Batteries are one of the most critical components of an electric bike. They are the sole reason why you enjoy every bit of your e-bike’s riding experience. Notably, e-bike batteries are expensive and are diverse in production. Most users have complained of not getting the best of batteries; even with the popularity of lithium-ion batteries.

So, how do you maximize your electric bike’s battery? How do you make your e-bike go much farther with a single charge? All these are possible questions you might need an answer to as an e-bike owner. This article will explain to you several ways in which you can easily maximize the range of your e-bike battery.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

 

How to maximize your battery range

First and foremost, before embarking on a long ride, make sure your battery is fully charged. Sometimes, you can easily forget to charge your battery after a tough day at work. Make charging your e-bike battery a priority. It saves you a lot of hassle on the road. Other tips that can help you maximize your e-bike battery range include

Pedal harder and smoothly too

Pedalling is necessary, but we still need to emphasize more on it. One of the best ways to sustain your e-bike battery is by pedalling hard and smooth when necessary. For instance, you may be required to run a few errands with little power left in your battery.  

You could easily limit the assist-mode setting, reduce the throttle usage and pedal harder to compensate your battery. With that, you can get your e-bike home easily without draining the battery completely.

Another great tip is to pedal hard at the appropriate time. Accelerating right from a stop consumes a lot of energy, and that always affects the battery’s range. If you pedal hard while moving your e-bike off the line, it’ll help in prolonging your battery range.  Also, climbing hilly places often requires a lot of energy. Therefore, pedalling a bit harder while ascending will help improve your ride range.

A smooth and proper pedalling technique will prolong your battery range. Choose the right gears and reel your feet as opposed to hitting hard on the pedals. Note, using a low gear during steep climb puts less load on the motor system and the battery. Also accelerating to top speed from zero puts a serious workload on the battery and therefore reduces your e-bike battery range.

Wind resistance is capable of draining your energy and also battery strength. To maximize your battery range, ride and pedal a bit slower. This will limit the effect of wind resistance on your e-bike battery. Now that you’ve understood the pedalling techniques, you should enhance your riding too. Flow-through different turns rather than hitting them hard. This helps you fight against wind resistance, improving your battery range. 

Consider getting a backup charger and battery

If you have a lengthy commute to run errands or work, you may need to spin more range out of your battery than usual. To navigate such a scenario, you could easily get another charger at work to recharge your battery during the day.

If you have a ride route or long trip that you like to do often, you may consider getting a backup battery for added convenience. Additionally, some electric bike manufacturing companies offer an option to purchase a second battery to maximize your range. For better ideas, you can make an enquiry from your e-bike manufacturer or your local shop for more information.

Related article: How should I charge my e-bike?

Use tyres suitable for your commute

For electric bikes, rolling resistance is a vital factor in determining the range you will get from a single charge. This is because of the tyre width, tread pattern, pressure, and tyre compound. In choosing the best tyres that suit your riding environment, it’s ideal to experiment with pressures to get an efficient balance.

Also, higher pressures will generate less resistance to rolling but may affect control of the bike. Notably, the introduction of solid and semi-solid tyres targeted at combating punctures makes riding experience easier. This can potentially improve the rolling resistance while increasing the battery’s range.

Additionally, the right tyre for your commute will make a huge difference in how much energy is needed for your commute.  Low-pressure tyres can make your e-bike a bit slower. For major cities in Canada – such as Toronto, and Ontario, we will recommend a tyre pressure of 50-60 psi. Avoid over-inflating your tyres. It can easily lead to a rough and slow ride. You wouldn’t want that to hinder your morning commute.

Always carry out checks on your battery

Always take proper care of your battery. Adequate maintenance of batteries can easily improve the battery’s lifespan and also enhance the range. Electric bike batteries are better stored at room temperature.  Batteries don’t do well with hot or cold temperatures.  

Generally, it is better to charge your battery regularly to keep it in good shape. If you’ll not be riding your e-bike during the winter, store your battery at about 30% to 60% capacity. A fully charged battery is at risk of discharging faster.

Also, endeavour to recharge your battery every two (2) months if not in use. It helps to keep the battery safe and active. Avoid leaving your battery pack plugged for more than 24 hours.

Electric bike batteries should not be left in hot sunshine, nor stored above 30˚C temperatures. Rather, it is better to store your battery pack in a cool and dry place within the range 5˚C to 20˚C. They are like your smartphone battery. They need a lot of maintenance and proper care. 

As electrical resistance increases, lower temperatures will reduce the battery range for a single charge. Apparently, there is little or nothing you can do about it. You can only maintain the battery by avoiding cold or hot temperatures.

If you have been using your e-bike battery for a while, it is most likely to deteriorate little by little. This means that it will not give you the same range anymore. That means your battery pack is old and it’s nearing the last phase of its charge cycle. We will recommend replacing your battery with a new one once the range gets too low. Our experts can help you with choosing a suitable battery for your e-bike.

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

Use the regenerating brake feature

There are some e-bike systems that come with a regenerative braking feature. This feature turns the motor system into a power generator to put a little charge in the battery during braking. Usually, this is activated by an installed sensor on the brake levers – mostly the rear brake lever. 

Please take note that the total amount of charge generated during this process is still unknown. However, charges regenerated can vary with the braking period.

Use the right mode at the right moment

If you ride your electric bike around all day in turbo mode all day, you’re bound to exhaust all the power on the battery. You can be sure your battery isn’t going to last all day. If you’re going out for a few hours or more, then it is better to switch through the e-bike’s speed modes. This is better for maximum effectiveness and complete fun.

Although modes and naming vary by manufacturer or system, you can go through the user’s manual for more information. While riding on busy roads, faster sections of trail, and connections; use the mid and lower settings.

For rough route and climbs, hit the turbo. Also, some e-bike systems provide on-screen power supply readings, but sometimes, riders find it hard to keep track while tackling challenging terrain. Try to monitor your bike’s power settings as much as possible. This will help you manage your bike’s batteries. 

Always ride with less weight

Machine and rider weight is perhaps the most critical factor affecting the e-bike battery range. While there are no instant fixes for your weight, reducing your backpack weight by removing unnecessary stuff will be helpful.

The significance is most notably during climbs. In this process, the motor system and the battery are working hard to drive you. This is unlike riding on flatter routes, where the motor system and batteries are only working to maintain rider speed. Either way, riders with less weight will always get more out of a single charge.

Ride a variety of terrain

Lots of hilly climbs and the rough single track will diminish your battery strength in fewer kilometres than flowing turns and gradients. As much as possible try to vary the kind of terrain you ride your e-bike on. 

Do not jet wash the motor system or battery

Unlike other e-bike parts, you should not point a jet wash at an e-bike battery or motor. A little spray of water directed at your battery terminals will limit corrosion potential. This will disrupt your battery’s energy transfer systems, decreasing its functionality and ultimately, its range.

Always apply grease on your chain.

Applying grease on your electric bike chain will enhance your pedalling efficiency. Most especially if your e-bike has a motor system that kicks start through the bike’ cranks. 

It will improve your e-bike motor system effectively too.  After applying the grease on your e-bike chain, leave it for a few minutes before wiping off the excess with a clean rag. An efficient motor system consumes less power and therefore increases your bike range. 

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

How to take care of your Electric Bike Battery

To take care of your e-bike battery correctly, the first thing to do is to dismiss some myths that are prevalent. Nowadays, 80% of all manufactured electric bikes come with lithium-Ion batteries. You do not have to discharge modern lithium-ion batteries down to zero (0%) to keep them active and healthy.

Also, charging your battery always and leaving it fully charged is terrible. If a single charge is enough to take you down to work and back, avoid charging while at work. It is better to charge the battery on getting home when its power is at 10% to 20%. This will enhance the overall performance of the battery and also maximize the battery’s lifespan.

Avoid leaving the battery unused for a long period.

Batteries need to be put to use regularly. This enhances their ability to keep a charge. Keeping your e-bike battery idle for extended periods will reduce the battery effectiveness. 

Also, avoid leaving your battery completely dead. The internal battery regulator needs a little juice to do its job correctly. Therefore, if the battery is totally drained, the regulator will not be able to work and might damage the battery.

Charging your battery correctly

  • While charging your e-bike battery, do not stay away from it for too long. Although original chargers often do a good job regulating surges, it’s ideal to always check on your battery while charging.
  • Avoid charging the battery with a fast charger when possible. Fast charging often shortens the battery lifespan.
  • As a good charging habit, always plug the battery pack into the charger first before connecting the charger to the mains. After charging, unplug the charger from the mains before disconnecting the battery pack from the charger.

Finally, ensure you charge your electric bike batteries before storing them. However, do not charge the battery to 100 percent. Charging the battery to 100 percent and leaving it unused will reduce the overall performance of the battery. It is ideal to keep it at about 60% to 80% charge. If you cannot set the voltage level, then go for a little ride after fully charging your batteries and you should be good.

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

 

Summary

All of these tips should help you maximize the range of your electric bike with less effort. Recall that electric bike batteries are expensive and replacing them can be challenging. So, it is better to maximize your e-bike’s battery lifespan the easy way and enjoy your riding experience. However, if you have the money and also want to enhance your electric bike battery range, you can easily get a backup battery. Our experts can help you buy the best battery for your e-bike. Contact us

Related article: How to choose the right battery for your electric bike

 

Using an E-bike in Toronto: Safety Tips and Precautions

Today, e-bikes are more popular than ever. E-bikes are famous for being more accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, and also for diabetes patients. However, with more people switching to riding electric bikes, there has been an increase in the number of e-bike casualties. It is therefore vital to learn how to stay safe as an e-bike rider in Toronto.

A recent statistic shows that the rate of accidents suffered by electric bikes users increased by double between 2016 and 2017. About 70% of these victims were found to be older adults, most especially men ranging from age 65 to 75 years.

Even though e-bikes are fun and functional, improper usage can result in accidents and bad injuries for the owner. However, with our safety tips and precautions, riding your e-bike in Toronto can be a safe leisure activity.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 Electric bikes are virtually the smallest type of vehicles on the road. As a cyclist, it is vital to be actively conscious of other road users. Make sure you understand how to ride safely without being a danger to yourself and other road users. It is appropriate for you to learn to handle an e-bike the right way. 

Electric bikes are often heavier than conventional bikes. They also attain higher speeds. This makes obstacles and corners a more dangerous prospect. As an e-bike owner, there are few safety tips and precautions you should always remember before going out to ride every day. This article will tell you all about them.

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

Safety Tips and Precautions for Riding in Toronto

Here are the safety tips and precautions you should always put into consideration while riding on the road in Toronto.

Always make yourself visible

A typical issue with traffic is that most drivers find it challenging to look out for e-bikes. Mostly, this is because e-bikes zoom by with an additional power supply behind their motor. Your e-bike moves faster than other motorists can react. Therefore, to make sure you are noticed, you should attach a bell and lights to your e-bike for easy visibility.

It is advisable to give other road users a polite and distant warning to create awareness for your passage. A bell can help you do this. 

Your choice of cloth can also reduce or improve your visibility. White and yellow colours stand out best at night; while dark colours are difficult to see at night. 

Using lights, pedal reflectors and reflective material on wrists, ankles, heels, clothing, and helmets help others see you easily. 

Pay closer attention to traffic flow

Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic while passing your route. Although, every cyclist should always stay alert and active while riding, it is more crucial for e-bike riders due to the extra speed. Paying close attention helps you react faster to any traffic issues that may arise.

Most drivers who are not conversant with e-bikes may not expect you to reach a speed of 20mph on the road. Their ignorance can be counteracted if you pay close attention. Avoid distractions while riding on the road.

Related article: How to use Google Maps to create your cycling routes

Use your brake earlier

Brakes are essential to e-bike users because of the extra power supply and speed. Even if you are using the lowest gear assistance, an e-bike will add about 50watts to your pedalling. This means you have to slow down earlier than usual while approaching a bend or stop signs.

Also, it’s appropriate to look out for crossing signs and other traffic signs. This will typically help you to use your brakes early and swiftly before you get to them. Also, always make sure to familiarize yourself with the workings of your brakes. This will help you to assess the safest and perfect time to start applying your brakes.

Always check your speed

Most new e-bike users often make the mistake of using the fastest pedal-assist setting immediately they set out. It is okay to be enthusiastic about your new ride, but it is far safer to take it slow. It’s easier to learn how to enjoy your new ride with low speeds before switching to the turbo mode settings.

Mounts and Dismounts

Most teen riders and older adults find it challenging to mount and dismount their e-bikes. Sometimes due to mobility issues. Older adults with weak physical strength may not be able to mount an e-bike easily. Also, due to the weight of e-bikes, mounts and dismounts can cause severe injuries to teens and older adults.

E-bikes have an extra 20-plus pounds of weight compared to your conventional bikes. This can cause them to flip over during dismounts, leading to injuries. Before purchasing your e-bike, make sure you’re buying an electric bike with a comfortable frame that supports easy mounting and dismounting. An electric bike with a step-through frame is an ideal type that offers easy mounting and dismounting with fewer struggles.

Related article: Remove speed limit: can you derestrict an electric bike?

 

Safety requirements for e-bikes in Toronto

To ride an e-bike on Toronto’s public roads, below are the safety tips and operation requirements to be put into consideration:

  •   E-bike operators and passenger must always use the designated bicycle or motorcycle helmets.
  •   Electric bikes must not weigh more than 120 kg (includes the weight of the battery and the bike).
  •   All passengers and riders must be at least 16 years of age.
  •   All electrical terminals must be covered completely.
  •   The minimum diameter of the wheel should not be less than 35mm.
  •   An e-bike should have at least two (2) independent braking systems consistently working. Also, every e-bike should have the requirements for motor-assisted bikes that apply force to each wheel. It must also be capable of bringing the e-bike, while moving at a speed of 30km/h, to a full stop. The brakes should be able to stop the e-bike within nine (9) metres from the point of application.
  •   The motor system and battery must be well attached to the vehicle to prevent them from moving or falling while riding.
  •   There should be no form of modifications to the motor system. Especially changes capable of allowing the motor to exceed a power output and speed above 500Watts and 32 km/h respectively.
  •   Do not detach the electric bike permanent label. 
  •   Your electric bicycle must come with an attached notice, written in both French and English. Mostly from the manufacturer stating that the e-bike complies with the federal definition of a power-assisted bike.
  •   The electrical terminals on the electric bike must be entirely protected at all times.

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

Government Rules for Cyclists

The government of Toronto has laid down safety regulations to keep cyclists safe. They include:

What to wear

Always avoid loose or flying clothing capable of getting caught up in the chain, or wheels, and other moving parts of the bicycle. Wear comfortable wind-resistant clothes with layers and breathable spaces. 

Wear an approved helmet as a safety precaution. Use a helmet that fits correctly. Make sure it has an ANSI, Snell, and CSA, ASTM British Standard or Australian Standard sticker. You can also use an element which shows that the helmet meets legislated rules and regulations.

Additionally, according to the Highway Traffic Act 104, e-bike users around 16 years and below must wear an approved helmet or risk getting a fine of about $75.

Riding on the sidewalks

Cyclists between the age of 15 years and older may not lawfully ride e-bikes on Toronto’s sidewalks. If you are cycling carelessly, you may be fined up to $90. If you’re riding on the sidewalk, you may be fined $60.

Electric bike riding at night

To make yourself visible to other road users at night, wear reflective fabric or light-coloured clothing which glows in the dark. Also, you must use e-bike lights from a half-hour before sunset to a half-hour after sunrise. 

At night, always use white front lights and a rear red light or reflector. In the Highway Traffic Act 62, there is a $30 fine for improper electric bike lighting.

E-bike riding during summer

When riding in the rain during summer, to safeguard your skin against sunburn, always wear sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, make sure you wear sunscreen that is waterproof and has an SPF of about 15 or higher.

Always attach a water bottle to your electric bike to avoid dehydration, especially during humid and hot weather. Also, to maintain proper equilibrium, avoid carrying things on the handlebars. Wear your riding gloves made of fabric or leather to have a proper grip for brakes and also to protect your hands always.

Plastic water bottles tag along easily on the frame of your bicycle. Ideally, you should take one bottle of water every 15 minutes. 

Riding your e-bike in the rain

If you’ll be riding in the rain, extend the braking distance and wear fluorescent clothing to enhance visibility. Also, avoid riding through puddles, which may hide glass, potholes, or other road hazards. It is also ideal to avoid the center of the road where oil drop forms.

Related article: Riding your e-bike in the rain: All you need to know

Cross streetcar tracks safely

Streetcars and railway tracks can be risky. If you cross at the wrong edge, you can suffer a nasty fall. Make sure to navigate through roads at right angles, even while passing cracks or channels in the pavement.

Always shoulder check and convey your intentions to road users behind you. Read the following for more safety tips on crossing streetcar tracks safely.

  • Always slow down whenever you’re crossing streetcar tracks.
  • Stop pedalling, place your cranks in a position horizontal to the ground, move your weight away from sitting on your saddle. Then, make use of your arms and legs for balancing.
  • You’ll be able to absorb the bumps more by using your arms and legs rather than bouncing on your seat.
  • If riding over the tracks is not comfortable for you, maybe due to multiple tracks at an intersection, traffic, or awkward track angle, don’t. Endeavour to pull over to the curb, dismount and cross the intersection as a pedestrian.
  • Also, streetcar tracks often become more slippery when wet. Apply caution while riding in the rain or in winter weather to avoid an accident. 

Stopping or passing behind buses

By the general road law, you can only pass buses on the right. When they stop to let-off or pick-up passengers, you must stop at least two (2) metres behind the rear door. Also, you must wait until all passengers are off the footpath before passing them.

Avoid riding your E-bike after drinking

Generally, drinking and driving on the highway is a criminal code offence with charges laid under the criminal code of Canada.

From the criminal code, e-bikes are classified under motor-vehicle and riding your e-bike under the influence of alcohol can get you fined for impaired driving. If guilty, the offender would be subject to criminal code penalties. This may include jail time, a fine and a driving restriction.

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

 

Personal Safety for Riding your Electric bikes in Toronto

To ensure your personal safety, follow these tips.

Stay vigilant

As a good rider, you need to know what is going on around you. Foresee what will happen down the road.

Always be predictable

You are predictable when you ride in a straight line and also while signalling your intentions to change direction or position. Riding in a straight line gives the traffic around you time to predict your actions. 

Always ride one (1) metre away from the curb, and never in the gutter. Also, always stay out of the way of possible opening doors while approaching parked cars.

Understand the concept of using a shoulder check

Check behind yourself regularly, most notably before switching position on the road. This helps you to know what is happening behind you and prevent collisions.

Show the correct signals

Convey your intentions to other track users with hand signals. Do not signal unless you check behind – it may not be safe yet. Via eye contact, dangling your bell or using your voice, you can maneuver your way through.

Stay conscious of large vehicles

Do not ride in the driver’s “blind spot”; they may not be able to see you while trying to make a U-turn. Ensure you retain enough distance in front or behind any large vehicle to ensure the driver sees you. If you can’t see their eyes, the driver probably can’t see you.

As an e-bike rider in Toronto, staying safe demands concentration, vigilance and focus. Make sure to adhere to the rules outlined above. That is the best way to be sure that your biking experience is a safe one. 

Electric bikes are more prone to crashes because of their higher speeds. Therefore, when you’re out zooming on your electric bike, always take caution and keep standard safety tips in mind. Observe speed limits and be wary of other road users. Stay safe out there!

Related article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

Buying an affordable electric bike conversion kit – all you need to know

Electric bikes are the latest innovation in the world of transportation. With all of the positive reviews surrounding the use of e-bikes, it is only normal to want one of your own. However, do you know that you don’t exactly have to buy an e-bike if you already have a regular bike? With a simple conversion kit, you can convert your bike into an e-bike and spend way less money too? We know, technology is a wonder.

Related article: An In-depth Comparison: Electric Bike vs. Regular Bike

Whether you own a mountain bike, a hybrid bike or regular bike, you can remove all of the roadblocks and challenges that stop you from owning an e-bike. With a simple, affordable conversion kit, you can add a drive unit and a powered wheel to your e-bike and start racking up those hills with electricity-powered assistance. 

One question remains – where do you buy an electric bike conversion kit in Canada? This is one question that many of our readers seem to ask. To this end, we have prepared this article for you. This article will show you where to buy an electric bike conversion kit, the types of conversion kits available for your purchase and how to choose the best one for your specific needs.

 

Where to buy an electric bike conversion kit 

Electric bike conversion kits are a recent invention. You would expect that they would be hard to procure. However, the reverse is the case. The best news is, they are affordable too. Here are a few places where you should be able to purchase the best electric bike conversion kit for your bike in Canada:

E-Bike accessories shop 

Do you have a store that is renowned for providing e-bike riders with the best accessories out there? Then, the chances are high that they also offer electric bike conversion kits to interested buyers. This is one of the best channels you can pursue in your quest for an electric bike conversion kit. Most likely, they will be able to offer you neighbourhood friendly prices too. 

We highly recommend going in person to an e-bike accessory shop near you. That way, you can even take your bike with you. You’ll be able to get hands-on advice on the best affordable conversion kit for your bike. If you are lucky, you will be able to get it installed on the spot too. It’s really simple. Head into one and enjoy the thrill of an electric-powered bike. 

Online e-bike dealers 

The joys of online shopping. Today, there is almost no good or service that you can’t purchase online. E-bike conversion kits are not left out. There are reputable e-bike websites that specialize in the sale of an e-bike, e-bike accessories and best of all, conversion kits. It’s simple, just visit their websites, browse through and select the best electric bike conversion kit for your needs.

Buying an affordable electric bike conversion kit online is highly recommended. First of all, there is always a variety of models to choose from. These online stores offer hundreds of e-bike conversion kits ranging from the affordable to the luxurious. 

Another merit of shipping with accredited e-bike online stores is that you can get advice from experts. A simple email or a call to their contact number can open up a line of communication that will guide you to buying the best e-bike conversion kit. 

Additionally, you can be sure that you are getting the real deal. As long as you are doing business with a reputable and accredited online store, you are good to go. Additionally, stores like this offer warranties on their products. 

Online merchants 

The internet is a huge place, remember? There are tons of huge online shopping merchants that offer electric bike conversion kits for sale. If you are looking for a good deal and the best prices, you can check out huge merchants such as Amazon. 

These businesses offer quick delivery and top-tier services. The only downside to buying a conversion kit on sites such as Amazon is the lack of professional advice. 

Basically, you are on your own. There are thousands of conversion kits to choose from; you’ll just be doing the choosing on your own. Keep reading to find out how to choose the best conversion kit for your bike.

Related article: How to Install an Electric Bike Conversion Kit

 

Types of Electric Bike Conversion Kits

There are different types of conversion kits out there. Sometimes, this makes buying one for your bike a chore. However, if you know the different types as well as the chief selling points of each type, your job becomes considerably more straightforward. 

Powered wheels are the most common form of e-bike conversion kits. They are a functional, practical solution if you are looking to convert your bike. All you need to do is swap out one of your bike wheels for this powered wheel which can come in different forms. A powered wheel also comes outfitted with a unique hub that holds the motor, gears and battery. 

Common forms of e-bike conversion kits include:

Front Motor

This e-bike conversion is the easiest to install. It has zero hassles and fewer requirements than you would expect. It is ideal for you if all you need is a basic e-bike conversion that is compatible with standard frames and best of all- affordable. Also, it puts most of the weight of your new e-bike on the front wheel. This is a nice touch as it boosts your balance and stability while riding. Best of all, it works like an all-wheel vehicle.

Although, you should know that since all of the weight is distributed to the front wheel, it makes steering a heavier choice. Also, it is recommended that you don’t use this conversion kit on a light road bike. The motor may produce more torque than your bike can handle. To put it succinctly, the top features of this e-bike conversion kit can be described as:

  • Zero hassle 
  • Easy to install 
  • Suitable for all bikes 
  • Improves weight distribution and balance 
  • Simulates the experience of driving an all-wheel vehicle.

Rear Motor

Power wheels that are designed for the rear of your bikes are more difficult to install. However, they have impeccable traction that makes them perfect for uphill travel. If you are going to be travelling off the road or commuting regularly, this is recommended for you.

Installing the pedal at the back of your bikes distributes the weight toward that end of your bike. This may take some getting used to, so you should definitely get ready for that. Also, you may have to change your cassette and derailleur if your bike is equipped with a standard hub gear. The features of a rear motor can be summarised into:

  • A tad more complicated to install
  • Improved traction 
  • Perfect for riding on steep inclines
  • Good for off-road travel 
  • The power emanating from the back wheel improves your riding experience 
  • The heavy rear wheel may take some getting used to

Mid-drive motor

This kind of motor is installed smack dab in the middle of your bike near the pedal cranks. That way, the motor that comes with your conversion kit can provide much-needed speed and strength. It is a great option for uphill riding. The only snag is you need to have adequate technical skills to be able to install it properly. 

Also, these conversion kits are usually placed low, improving the stability of your bike. However, this placement location leaves them to damage from rocks, debris and other obstacles — not a great choice for off-road riders. 

Summarily, the chief talking points of a mid-drive motor include:

  • It provides top-notch power assistance and speed 
  • Can be used efficiently with gears 
  • It wears down your chain and sprockets faster
  • Requires advanced engineering skills to assemble 

Friction drive

Friction drives are not very popular, but they deserve a mention. Usually, they are installed at the back of your bikes with a bolt attached to your bike frame. Installing a friction drive requires a lot of parts and extra tinkering with your bike. This is why they are not widely used. 

Also, they can cause issues with weight distribution, sometimes totally offsetting the weight of your bike. To use a friction drive conversion kit, you have to first attach the motor and rollers to the wheel of your bike. The friction produced drives your bike. This is not ideal as it reduces your bike range and efficiency. 

The talking points of a friction drive include:

  • Affects your bike weight 
  • It is not efficient for longer commutes
  • Requires additional tinkering 
  • Requires extra parts

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Choosing an Electric Bike Conversion Kit

Now that you know your options for choosing an electric bike conversion kit, the next step is to choose the best one for your bike. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly as it will literally decide how much you enjoy your “new” electric bike. If you are confused with the best conversion kit for your needs, your answer to these questions will help you come to an informed decision. 

  • How long is my daily commute?
  • Will I be travelling on smooth or rough terrain?
  • What is my budget like?
  • How much weight do I want to add to my bike?
  • Do I want to alternate between biking with and without a motor smoothly?
  • Do I want to tinker with my bike or do I want a conversion kit that is simple with fewer parts?
  • Do I want to travel at fast speeds?

Using your answer to these questions in tandem with the information in the previous section, you will be able to come to a decision on the best conversion kit for your e-bike. 

With an electric bike conversion kit, you no longer have to worry about buying a new e-bike. Alternatively, if you feel like you don’t want to go to the trouble of converting your regular bike, you can buy a new e-bike too. Our Canada experts can help you choose the best e-bike that fits your style and best of all, your pockets. Contact us today!

Related article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

How should I charge my e-bike?

Do you want to enjoy riding your e-bike? You can enjoy a leisurely ride around the neighbourhood or hit the challenging bike trails on your daily commute. To be able to achieve this, your e-bike components must be in perfect working condition. There is one main component that you need to take proper care of to enjoy your e-bike – your e-bike battery.

As an e-bike owner, charging the most crucial component of your e-bike should be a top priority to you. This is because the battery determines how fun your riding experience will be and the range at which you can go with one charging cycle. If you want to keep your e-bike’s battery in good shape, keep reading this article.

So, how do you charge your e-bike? To charge your e-bike battery, detach the battery pack from your e-bike, and make sure it is switched off.  Then connect the e-bike’s original charger to the mains outlet; plug the charger to the battery, and switch-on the plug.

As easy as it may seem, there are factors to consider for the proper charging of your e-bike battery. Also, there are ways you can improve the battery’s lifespan and efficiency with little but consistent effort.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Charging Your E-bike’s Battery

Charging most e-bike batteries vary depending on the battery itself and the manufacturer. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines you can follow, which will help you get the most out of your battery.

Every e-bike comes with a battery pack. The battery pack can be described as more like a battery house. Also, your e-bike comes with a port through which you can slot-in the charger for easy connection with the battery. The port attachment can vary from one place to another, depending on the manufacturer’s choice. However, the ports are usually attached to the back of the e-bike seat or in the middle of the e-bike.

Generally, electric bikes often come with a charger consisting of a two-cable power supply port. One end is attached to the cable connecting the mains, and the other end is to be connected to the battery. If you are a gamer, this is reminiscent of your Xbox-one power supply port.

Also, every e-bike charger comes with an indication light – often red LED while charging and green LED to indicate a complete charge. Therefore, once your e-bike battery is low on the power supply, take the battery out and put the switch off. Then, plug the battery cable in, connect it to the mains, and switch on the mains outlet.

Related article: How to choose the right battery for your electric bike

 

Tips to note when charging your e-bike

Few factors affect battery performance and thus, the range of your e-bike. Riding pattern, terrain, tyre pressure, temperature, and user weight are important factors that can affect the performance of your bike. Also, time is a factor to be considered when discussing battery health. Over time, all batteries degenerate whether you use them or not. 

The question remains, how do you extend your battery life? This can be done by charging your e-bike battery the proper way and following recommended charging practices. Below are vital tips that show you how to charge your e-bike:

Charge your new battery pack for 12 hours

After buying a new battery for your e-bike, be sure to charge it for at least 12 hours. This initial long charge helps to put the battery in good shape directly out of the box. Also, it provides enough current flow in all the battery cells.

Always charge your battery regularly

Most e-bikes make use of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries last longer with regular usage and charging. Generally, you should not allow your gadgets to get fully drained before charging. This rule applies to e-bikes. For the most part, it is better not to let your e-bike’s battery get completely drained before the next charge.

Instead, always try to recharge your e-bike’s battery once it’s about 30% to 60% power remaining. Some battery experts suggest an occasional complete discharge, maybe around every 25 to 35 charges. Otherwise, always use the 30% to 60% rule. Also, you should always get out and ride regularly. This is because most batteries require regular usage. Apart from the apparent physical benefits, using your bike regularly ensures that you charge your e-bike’s battery frequently.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Always avoid extreme temperatures. We can’t say this enough. Cool or moderate temperatures are best for your e-bike battery. Every e-bike battery feels the same way you feel in hot temperatures. 

So, to extend your electric bike battery’s lifespan, avoid hot sunny rides, most especially while charging. During every charge, the battery should be placed in an environment that is not too cold and not too hot. It is better to maintain a temperature of about 60°F to 70°F while charging.

Watch closely while charging

While charging your e-bike battery, avoid staying far from your charging point. Do not leave the e-bike battery connected to the charger for too long – think about 13hours and above. Always avoid overcharging the battery. Overcharging the battery can deteriorate the battery’s effectiveness faster.

Overcharging your bike’s battery can create a situation whereby the battery will undergo self-discharge to about 95% capacity. The charger then tries to recharge it back to 100%, with continuous charging. This period of minor discharges and constant recharging can create a weak charging cycle and deteriorate the battery. You can use a reminder or timer on your mobile device to remind you to unplug the battery from the mains outlet.

Do not store an empty battery

Occasionally, you may need to go on a long trip, and the only choice is to store your e-bike battery. Perhaps the distance for your trip is farther than your e-bike range. Or maybe you don’t want to bike the distance. There’s no harm in that. However, do not store the battery at 0%. Always endeavour to store the battery at about 40% to 60% of its full capacity.

Note the time it takes to reach full charge status

Charging duration for every e-bike battery depends solely on the battery size or capacity. However, most e-bike batteries take about two (2) to six (6) hours to reach full charge status. Also, always keep in mind your e-bike’s battery recharge rate.

For a recharging rate of 15miles per-hour of charging, the battery with a 30-mile range will take up to 2hours to charge. However, a battery with a 100-mile range taking 4 hours to reach full charge will have a recharge rate of 25miles per-hour charging. 

Where to charge your battery

Since most e-bikes are rechargeable via mains outlet, it is possible to charge the battery anywhere with access to a power outlet. As long as there is enough space to hold your bike while charging it, you are good to go. Also, make sure that your charging area is devoid of water and fire hazards. 

Safety is important!

Charging while pedalling

Some e-bikes possess a feature that allows charging while you’re riding. This is done when you apply the brakes, and it’s capable of extending the battery life to about 10%. Nevertheless, this can make pedalling your e-bike more difficult and also increase the cost of your e-bike.

If you are not sure about how long your electric bike will last on a long journey, get an extra battery for a better experience. This will help you to eradicate any worries about running out of battery while riding.

Related article: How to prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery

Conclusively, there are other measures you should always follow before charging your electric bike battery. For one, you should always avoid charging a battery that is leaking or damaged. Also, make sure to use your battery’s designated charger. Most batteries feature a built-in management system that prevents overcharging, excess voltage, and excess current. This set of systems works perfectly only when you are charging the electric bike battery with the charger designated for it.

 

Can I charge the battery up to 100%?

For most e-bikes, a lithium-ion battery is a standard feature. Lithium-ion batteries are good, and there is no harm in unplugging the battery early. There is also no harm in charging your bike up to 100%. We will give you a quick insight into how your e-bike charging works. When your e-bike batteries are charging, they charge in two (2) cycles. The first cycle is where the battery charges quickly and it replenishes about 90% of the charge capacity. Therefore, unplugging the battery at this point means you have “charged” the best part of the battery.

However, not all e-bikes have a built-in indicator. On one end, newer e-bikes use a display screen system to indicate battery level. On the other end, older e-bikes are not built with a battery level indicator. If you are using an older model, there is no harm in charging your bike up to 100%. Just be sure not to overcharge it!

 

Is an E-bike battery Replaceable?

An e-bike’s battery is replaceable at any time. E-Bikes are structured to allow you to remove the battery for easy charging. It is also ideal for an e-bike owner to have a spare battery for longer trips. Additionally, you can replace your e-bike battery if your battery gets damaged or loses its efficiency. Check out our article on choosing the best battery for your e-bike. 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

How Can I Increase the battery range to go further?

Generally, there are various ways in which you can increase your e-bike battery range to go further on a trip. The best shot you can have at increasing the range is to use a low-assistance mode. If your pedalling rate is more than the battery’s work rate,  it will last longer.

Another option is using the right gears at the right time. High gears make it easier to ride the e-bike at higher speeds while lower gears make lower speed travelling easy. Therefore, you should try changing the gears to suit your current situation on the road. Also, changing the gears sooner rather than later improves your riding experience with less power. 

For instance, imagine approaching a stop sign, and you refuse to change the gears before getting there. Getting back to top speeds will drain your battery very fast and might be difficult.

Also, always take note of the power requirement on your e-bike.  Power requirements increase aggressively as you increase your speed. This means that when you ride your e-bike at high speed, your battery will drain faster. On the other hand, riding at a low speed will help you prolong your e-bike battery’s range. An excellent way to counter draining the battery at higher speed is to select a low gear with a low-assistance mode.

 

What is the Lifespan of an E-bike’s battery?

Generally, most e-bike batteries last for up to 500 complete charging cycles before the battery loses its significance. This number isn’t a hard limit. Some batteries allow up to 1200 full charging cycles. However, with a pedal-assist e-bike, and depending on how you ride and the battery capacity, you can have about 30,000 miles before your battery starts to give out. 

Also, most e-bike manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty for every user. The replacement cost of e-bike batteries ranges from $500 to $800 depending on the shape and capacity of the battery pack.

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

 

What is the Cost of Charging an E-bike’s battery?

To charge your e-bike’s battery, the price varies depending on the cost of electricity in your area and the battery capacity. Assuming your e-bike uses a ten amps battery in an area where electricity costs $0.12 (per KWH).  The cost of charging your e-bike battery will be about $0.002 per mile, which is very cheap.

 

How do I Care for my E-bike’s Battery?

To care and maintain your battery in good condition, it is ideal that you store it in a cool place. For proper storage, a temperature of about 32-104°F, which is about 0-40°C is perfect. Most e-bike owners prefer keeping the battery out in the garage, which may be too hot. Instead, it is better to keep it in a cool place with an average temperature.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

Also, always watch out to avoid your batteries getting damaged by water or other liquids. Even though e-bikes are waterproof, always take precautionary measures before riding in the rain. It is also essential that you always use the charger supplied by the manufacturers rather than any other charger. Using another charger apart from the one mainly designed for the battery can damage the battery or reduce its lifespan.

Related article: Riding your e-bike in the rain: All you need to know

Charging your e-bike battery is the only way you are going to get to use it. Make sure that you inculcate safe and recommended practices into your charging habits. This is the only way to make sure that your e-bike battery lasts for a long time. Stay safe!

Related article: 10 Best Electric Bikes in 2019

How to choose the right battery for your electric bike

Batteries are arguably the most vital component of an electric bike. As a new or versatile e-bike user, we believe you are aware of the importance of an e-bike battery. However, there is a popular question that most e-bike users ask. How do you choose the right battery for your electric bike? How do you know which one is the best of all the varieties of available battery types? What type of cell do I purchase for my electric bike?

In this guide, we will answer all the questions bothering you. This article also contains information on the different types of electric bike batteries available for your usage. Additionally, we will let you know about the factors that you should look out for before choosing an electric bike battery. Keep reading to learn how to choose the best battery for your e-bike.

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

Basic e-bike battery terminologies

Before choosing the best battery for your e-bike, you have to be able to understand the terminology used to describe e-bike batteries. We will define a few terminologies. This will help you understand more about your batteries. 

Here is a list of the most common terms used when discussing e-bikes:

  • Amperes (Amps)
  • Ampere per hour (Ah)
  • Voltage (V)
  • Watts (W)
  • Watt per hour (Wh)

Amperes (Amps)

This is the unit of electrical current. It is an international standard unit. You can compare amperes to the size or diameter of a pipe with water passing through it. This would mean more amperes means a bigger pipe with more water inflow per second.

Ampere per hour (Ah) 

This is a unit of electrical charge, with dimensions of electric current against time. It is an indicator of the battery capacity. A battery of about 15Ah can discharge 1.5A for ten (10) hours continuously or discharge 15A for an hour continuously.

Voltage (V)

This is commonly known as volts. It is the electrostatic potential difference between two (2) conductors (Live and Neutral conductors). The best electric bike battery voltage reading is 400 volts. 

Watts (W)

 This is a standard unit of power. The higher the number of watts, the higher the power output from your electric bike. Also, one (1) watt is equal to one (1) voltage multiplied by one (1) ampere.

Watt per hour (Wh)

This is a unit of power per given time. It measures the total power output per given time. It is not like watts, which regulates the power output in a single moment. Think about it as speed and distance. For instance, if your car speed is in watts, then the distance from one place to another would be watt-hours. So, if your electric bike’s battery discharges at 100W for two (2) hours then, it has used up 200Wh.

Nominal voltages are sometimes applicable in electric bike volts measurement. This is because every cell in a battery can withstand a certain range of voltages.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Now that you know the basic terminology, we will explain the different types of e-bike batteries. From the onset, batteries have been the determining factor on how much fun and value you can enjoy with your e-bike. Below is a list of the most common electric bike batteries available in the market.

 

Types of Battery

  • Lead Acid
  • Nickel-cadmium
  • Nickel-metal Hydride
  • Lithium-ion

Lead Acid Batteries

These types of batteries are known for being very cheap. Most importantly, they offer less power output and are very heavy. They have less capacity when compared to other battery types of the same weight and size. Lead-acid batteries have three main uses. 

They are useful as backup power for immobile applications. They are also helpful for deep-cycle applications such as golf carts, scissor lifts, and more. Finally, they are useful as motor system starters in cars. They can also be used for electric bikes. However, their weight and power output means that we won’t be recommending their usage.

Lead-acid batteries are the heaviest batteries of all the types of electric bike batteries available. They are three times heavier than lithium batteries and two times heavier than nickel batteries. Also, lead-acid batteries have lesser battery capacity than nickel and lithium batteries. The maximum capacity of a lead-acid battery is half of both lithium and nickel batteries.

Nickel-cadmium Batteries

These types of batteries are strong and with proper maintenance can last for a very long time. Also, they offer more battery capacity when compared to lead-acid batteries and much less than lithium batteries. 

Additionally, Nickel-cadmium batteries have excellent load performance. They can withstand much pressure from the throttle. 

However, they have some shortcomings. They have a very shocking self-discharge rate. They can go as low by as much as 70% in 24hours after a full charge without usage. They have low power density.

Also, nickel-cadmium batteries are expensive, and the main component – cadmium is a dangerous pollutant. Nickel-cadmium batteries are typically going out of the market due to environmental safety and recycling issues. These types of batteries are not the right choice of battery for your electric bike.

Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries

Nickel-metal hydride batteries are better than the two preceding battery types – lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries. Nickel-metal hydride batteries can hold up to 45% more charge – even with self-discharge – than Nickel-cadmium batteries. Nonetheless, Nickel-metal hydride batteries do not have proper durability. They are unstable to maintain and charging them can be a complex venture.

Nickel-metal hydride batteries produce heat quickly, even with limited usage. This causes high-self discharge. Although the rate of discharge is not as high as that of nickel-cadmium batteries, it is not advisable for use with electric bikes.

In comparison with nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride batteries offer little improvement in range yet; they are more expensive. Although, they are more effective and productive than lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries.

In terms of market presence, nickel-metal hydride batteries are fast losing market value due to the presence of Lithium-ion batteries. They are considered to be too expensive with limited power output. Therefore, they are not ideal for electric bikes.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are automatically becoming the default battery for every electric bike available in the market today. The power of about 90% of electric bikes in the market. Lithium-ion batteries produce more power output for their weight than the other types of batteries. Most importantly, they are more durable and will last longer.

Also, there are three major types of Lithium-ion batteries. These types have a few differences. However, one thing in common; they all last longer.

On the other hand, they are small and require functional electronic components to prevent them from catching fire or self-destructing. However, none of this should be your concern. Manufacturers always have fail-safes in place to prevent accidents. However, it is still crucial for you to understand how to handle and maintain them properly. 

Though Lithium-ion batteries can be costly, we recommend that you purchase a Lithium-ion battery for your electric bike. They are the ideal type of battery for every electric bike – in terms of range, weight, longevity, and more. Below are the three kinds of Lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium Manganese batteries (LiMg204)

This is the latest type of Lithium-ion battery available. They possess good levels of durability and range. Also, manufacturers claim that they last longer than other Lithium batteries. It would interest you to know that this battery type is currently being used in some hybrid cars. 

Lithium Cobalt batteries (LCo)

This is another type of lithium-ion battery. It is a little bit older in the market than Lithium Manganese batteries. It is believed to have higher energy density than other lithium batteries. Additionally, it offers you maximum power, is light and reliable.

Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries (Li-pol)

This type of lithium battery is no different than other lithium-ion batteries in terms of weight, price, and range. Nevertheless, as a polymer, lithium polymers can undergo different moulding processes to bring out fantastic shapes.

They do not contain any liquids and requires less protective battery casing compared to other lithium batteries. This liquid-free feature means they are less vulnerable and provide more stability. Hence, they are ideal for use in low power applications – like electric bikes. 

For a pleasant riding experience with your electric bike, we recommend a Lithium-ion battery for you.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

 

Things to look out for before choosing a Lithium-ion Battery

In choosing a lithium battery for your electric bike, you need to consider the voltage and ampere ratings. This is important as it determines the range, durability, and power input of your battery.

Volts and amperes ratings are the two major talking points when choosing the right battery for your electric bike. You should know that selecting the wrong voltage/ampere rating can damage your e-bike or cause a fire outburst.

Voltage

Every electric bike has a unique input volt range. This means you can only power your electric bike with the exact voltage required to power it. You should not power your electric bike with a battery with a voltage that is more or less than the recommended range. This is necessary to avoid complications.

Using a battery with lesser voltage means you will not have enough power to significantly run your bike’s motor system. However, using a higher voltage can damage the sensitive electrical parts of the motor system. Most electric bikes accept nominal voltages – 36 volts or 48 volts. Generally, electric bikes come outfitted with a 18650 cell.

Lithium cobalt battery cells can hold up to 4.3v with a full charge and about 3.1v after discharging.

For example; if your bike has a lithium manganese cell, with a rating of 49volts and 13 cell clusters. Each cluster has an average voltage of 3.8v.

Here is how to calculate the average voltage of your battery;

3.8volts x 13 cells = 49.4volts or 49V average.

However, after a full charge; this “49v” average battery will hold 4.3v * 13 cells = 55.9volts.

As you discharge the battery, it will reduce every cell to 3.1v from 4.3v – minimum volts of 3.1v * 13 = 40.3v.

This average voltage range will help you determine if this battery is compatible with your bike. Voltages are converted to speed on your electric bike. If you choose a battery with higher voltage ratings within the motor limit, all things being equal, you’ll reach new top speeds.

Amperes

Amperes are virtually the measure of the flow of current at a specific voltage. In reality, the amperes are a measure of your bike’s torque. With more available amperes for your electric bike’s motor system, one thing is sure, more torque.

So, with your 49v 13Ah battery, your electric bike can peak at 68A with a continuous draw of 45A. 

However, most motor systems can only pull as much current as they need. Therefore, choosing a battery with a high current output will not damage your electric bike’s motor.

This means if volts are the “speed” in your e-bike, amperes are how fast your electric bike’s battery can deliver this speed. More volts naturally gives more speed. Also, a higher amperage rating means more speed per second or hour. This means the power you get from your electric bike battery will determine your torque.

Related article: How to prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery

 

To sum it all

Choosing the best type of Lithium-ion battery for your electric bike can be complicated.  However, lithium cobalt is outstanding, and it offers higher energy density than others. This doesn’t mean other types of Li-ion batteries are bad for your electric bike.

Lithium manganese batteries are more ecologically friendly and safer. Lithium manganese also offers a higher cell voltage than lithium cobalt batteries. However, the energy density of lithium manganese is 20% less than that of lithium cobalt batteries. 

Finally, lithium manganese also has extra advantages in terms of lithium-ion chemistry – including higher temperature performance and lower cost. Also, your budget is a big determinant of the kind of Li-ion battery you will buy. 

Choosing the best type of battery for your bike is essential. It’s the only way that you will be able to enjoy using your bike without any hiccups. We are available to answer any questions that you may have about electric bike batteries. Contact us today.

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

How to use Google Maps to create your cycling routes

Cycling does not have to be stressful. With an electric bike, you are set to enjoy an adventure as you commute. Electric bikes are also referred to as e-bikes. Their name is derived from the fact that there is an electric motor integrated into their functionality. This electric motor is used for propulsion. Today there are various designs and types of e-bikes.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

There are some e-bikes with a smaller motor, with the main aim of helping the rider with the pedal power. There are also some other bikes, with a more powerful engine that seemingly has a moped-style functionality. One thing is common to all types of bikes, you are going to need to get around. To do this efficiently, you need to learn how to create a bike route. 

There is a fundamental difference between an electric bike and an electric motorcycle. An e-bike still maintains the feature of being pedalled. Once there is no need to be pedalled, it is simply an electric motorcycle. Electric bikes make use of rechargeable batteries. The lighter e-bikes are powered enough to travel up to about 25 – 32 km/h. More powerful e-bikes have enough power to run at about 45km/h.

Related article: An In-depth Comparison: Electric Bike vs. Regular Bike

The classification of the e-bikes is premised on the amount of power that can be delivered by the electric motors. It is also dependent on the control system, which is a factor of when and how the power of the motor is utilized. 

With regards to the motor system, the classification of e-bikes is dependent on whether the rider is assisted by a pedal-assist system or by a power-on-demand system. These systems can be defined as follows;

  • The pedal-assist system is one in which the process of pedalling regulates the electric motor. This system works to support the rider when he or she is pedalling. With this system, you are being assisted as you pedal. Hence, you put in less effort. You would also be able to cover more distance with less energy. 
  • In the case of the power-on-demand systems, there is an activation of your e-bike motor by what is referred to as the throttle. This throttle is somewhat like a handlebar that is featured on most scooters

As a result of these two types of system, there is a broad classification of e-bikes into three categories; 

  • Pedal-assist only: When an e-bike makes use of the pedal-assist system alone, it is referred to as a pedelec. Pedelecs are designed to be powered by low-power motors and offer a minimal amount of speed. So, you shouldn’t expect insane speeds from these bikes. 
  • Pedal-assist and Power-on-demand systems: There are some electric bikes with a combination of both features. They possess the pedal-assist sensors, as well as the throttle. Hence, you can either start your e-bike by either pressing on the accelerator or you pedal. Whichever way, you are good to go. 
  • Power-on-demand only: Bikes that make use of this system only, have their electric motors engaged, all by the push on the throttle. These bikes are generally more powerful than the pedelecs which makes use of the pedal-assist system. 

Irrespective of the type of e-bike you decide to use, you would never enjoy riding without a defined route. If you are to visit a new place, and you are oblivious of where to turn or where to go, there is every possibility that you wouldn’t enjoy your ride. Finding a route while riding is essential; it makes the job easier. This quick guide is set to help and teach you how to always find a route while riding. 

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

How to use Google Maps as an e-biker

Thanks to technology, the world has been easily mapped out, and you can get just about any direction on your smartphone. A leader in the mapping out of the world and central locations, right there on your smartphone is Google. The good news is, you can personalize your Google maps app to show only bike routes.

With Google maps, you can get directions to any location and know how long it will take you to get there. You can also know the directions, have a voice assistant lead you as you commute and just about many other features. One cool feature on Google maps right now is the bike route feature. This feature answers the question, “how to create your bike route?”

With the bike route feature, it is straightforward for bikers to navigate through cities. You can achieve this as a biker, through predefined routes, or you can create your bike route. First, let’s briefly look at how to use the cycling route feature of the Google maps. 

These cycling routes, as afforded by Google maps, is excellent for you if you are looking to exercise more and get environmentally conscious. It’s a convenient feature to get the most out of your electric bike. 

  • Visit maps.google.com or log on to your maps application on your device. 
  • Right there, you would see the “Get Address” icon. 
  • Input your current location into the box marked “A.”
  • Input your destination in the field “B.”
  • On a drop-down menu, you will see an option for bikes; you should click on that.
  • Subsequently, click on “Get directions.”
  • You will be shown different routes, all you need to do is to compare the distance and time. Then, pick the one that suits you the most. The various routes shown would surely have different pros and cons. 

Some routes will be safer while having a long distance. The longer route might be the one with the better terrain and may be less busy. You should duly consider your options and go with the directions that work best for you. 

However, if left to Google, a route that is not too steep and with a great terrain would be automatically picked for you.

 

Creating your bike route  

If you are in search of adventure and would want to have a route to remember on your next visit to the location, you can create a bike route. You can also create a bike route if you are looking to share it with your family or friends. The process of creating your bike route on Google map is simple.

The very first thing to do is to plan your e-bike ride. You can plan out your bike ride on your laptop or desktop computer. When you are done, you can have the route shared with your mobile phone. You can also create routes for your ride on your mobile. However, it would be less convenient than it would be on a laptop or a desktop computer. Follow these simple steps to create your own route:

Choose a starting point

You can make use of any browser you are comfortable with. However, it would be best to make use of Google Chrome. When you are logged on to Google maps, you need to set your starting point. You can choose the location where you would be starting your ride. In the box (sort of a search box), type in the name of the starting point. 

Choose your waypoints

You are surely going to want to pass through or visit some places on your way to your destination. Enter a couple of waypoints in the planning of your bike route. You would find a directions icon, click on that. 

There would be a change in interface. On this new page, you need to choose the cycling mode. Secondly, you need to switch the position of your starting point to the top. You can achieve this by clicking on the up and down arrow beside the search box. On doing this, your starting location is moved to the top of the list. 

When you are done with that, type in the name of a waypoint. You can add in as many waypoints as you want. All you need to do is to click on the “Add destination” icon. 

Change to the map view for bikes

When you are done with choosing your waypoints, go to the menu icon. You would see “bicycling,” click on that. With this, the map will be configured to feature information that is only specific to bikes. Once this is done, the map would seemingly change. There would be essential information on display — information such as; e-bike friendly roads, bike lanes, and alleys. 

Adjust your route

Next, you need to change your route. The route can be adjusted when you long press on any part of the route. Then have it dragged onto a bike lane or trail that is more suitable. 

When the route is changed, the Google app will automatically evaluate and calculate a new total distance. It would also give a metric that indicates the change in elevation. Since you will be using an electric bike, you do not need to worry about hills or high elevated roads. You will drive past them easily with the assistance of your electric motor.

Share

When you are done creating your route, you can then send it to your mobile phone (if you didn’t create it on the phone) or send it to your friends. 

Why you need a bike route

By biking around the city with your e-bike, you help yourself to remain physically fit. It also helps you to reduce stress levels. Biking is also known to have several cognitive benefits. However, riding in traffic seems to pose a danger to the health you are trying to maintain. Owing to this, there is a need for dedicated bike lanes. 

Bike lanes are protected boundaries that have been set aside for cyclists, separating you from the vehicular traffic. When creating bike lanes, different barriers can be used, which include; plastic posts, trees, or other plants. In some cases, cars that are parked along the road serve as barriers, which helps you ensure safety. 

Various cities have bike lanes on their roads, but there are some cities without them. Irrespective of the presence of bike lanes, you need to bolster your safety by creating your bike route. Navigating around the city, through the hustle and bustle of vehicles and motorcycles on the road, can somewhat be a daunting task. 

 

Essential concepts to remember

Below are essential concepts that highlight the need for you to learn how to create a bike route:

Safety

Having a predefined route will help you remain safe while you ride around the city. With the bike routes, you would be able to avoid cars, and take the most reliable possible path to your destination. 

You can never underestimate the need to create a bike route when you are out trying to get somewhere. You need to follow a bike route if you are going to avoid motorized traffic. This is a good move for your safety. It can be unsafe for you to pedal ahead amid cars and motorcycles; hence, the importance of the bike route. 

Visit all the places you want

If you make use of the suggested routes by the Google map, your journey is limited to where Google assumes is the best fit for you. Google Maps will recommend the most straightforward direction and routes with the best terrain. 

The route suggested is only aimed at helping you have an easy drive. However, if you are in search of adventure and hope to visit a couple of places before you get to your destination, you can always create your route. 

Shorter travel time 

With a bike route provided by Google maps, you can be sure of getting to your destination as soon as possible. The courses are crafted in such a way as to involve paths and shortcuts that help you get to your destination faster. 

You don’t need to go through main roads and trails to get to where you are going. Your bike routes will cut through alleys, streets, and other paths that will help you reduce travel time. 

Ease of navigation

This is an essential reason to have a service that helps you map your route while you bike. With a bike route, it is easier to maneuver and navigate through cities and other areas. Even if you are new to the area and don’t know your way around, your bike route will help make sure that you don’t get lost. Also, you will not need to ask for directions from busy people going about their dealings. You suddenly seem like a pro.  

Riding history

With a bike route service on your mobile phone, you don’t need to worry about forgetting routes you used to get to a particular destination. You can save the routes you have used, and make use of them again when needed. 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

Final Take

Driving an electric bike makes your cycling experience fun. With the bike routes created by Google map, you can enjoy more seamless navigation around the city. You can create your route and move around places you would want to see, on a single journey. By creating your route, you pack a bulk of wholesome experiences in one. Create your own routes and take your biking experience to a whole new level.

Related article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

Health Benefits of Riding an E-bike 

An e-bike (electric bike) is a bike powered by a battery. It is an electric motor that supports pedalling. In comparison with an ordinary bicycle, an e-bike with an equal amount of energy from the cyclist works at a higher speed. Hence, an e-biker like yourself will apply less energy to reach the same rate as the cyclist on a regular bicycle.

E-bikes often come in different sizes and shapes, just like a conventional pedalling bicycle. The only difference is that an e-bike includes a rechargeable battery; this makes it easier to use. E-bikes are capable of reaching a full speed of 16mph before cutting out. Also, with it, you can go faster than 16mph without motor assistance.

Many people often wonder, why should I buy an electric bike? E-bikes are the future. They help you reach your destination faster and with less stress. Aside from this, they also have a myriad of positive benefits for your health. This article will show you the positive benefits of an e-bike on your health.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

The need for electric bikes

Early research shows that the electric bike has a crucial role to play in dealing with the transportation challenges of different cities.  A few of the issues tackled by e-bikes include:

  • Injuries
  • Climatic change
  • Loss of life
  • Traffic congestion
  • Obesity
  • Road crashes

Although there are few differences between an electric and a conventional bike, many people regard electric bike as less suited for fun and exercises compared to ordinary bikes. 

However, there are some factors which affect the extent to which you can use an ordinary bicycle:

These are;

  • Your physical ability.
  • Your willingness to provide the energy necessary to reach your destination. 

Because of these, most cyclists tend to dodge locations or paths with a hill. They also tend to opt for routes with trips shorter than others. 

Enter e-bikes. The provision of electrical power assisting the rider comes in handy. No longer do you have to consider how far your trip is, you have a motor designated to help you. 

Also, bikes with power assistance have increased the cycling interest of older adults and those with physical disabilities.

Related article: An In-depth Comparison: Electric Bike vs. Regular Bike

 

Types of E-bikes

There are various types of electric bikes

They include:

  • Electric utility bikes
  • Electric folding bikes
  • Electric mountain bikes
  • Electric hybrid bikes and
  • Electric road bikes.

 

How do Electric bikes (E-bikes) Work?

For newbies to the e-bike scene, we will quickly provide you with a brief overview of how an e-bike works. 

An electric motorbike is partly human-dependent. It only assists electrically when you are pedalling. E-bikes often come in the form of a pedal assist or pedelec, which support the cyclist in riding. They also provide speed assistance up to 16mph. Some variations of e-bikes allow you to control the motor input via throttle or switch. 

A standard electric bike consists of a motor; which often sits on the frame of the bicycle or the front wheel. Although electric motors sitting at the front wheel produce less noise, bikes with this feature climb hills slower than those with motors on the frame. 

Also, electric motors sitting on the bicycle frame distribute weight better than those sitting on the front wheel. Mostly, because they are sitting in the center of the bicycle frame, they provide more efficiency in powering your bike. 

These new age bikes also include a battery, rechargeable through electricity or solar sources. Most of the cells are detachable while some are not. Also, these bikes are easy to use, and their batteries are rechargeable anywhere anytime to avoid inconvenience. 

When considering purchasing an e-bike with a non-detachable battery, it is crucial to ensure that you have enough space to charge your bike.

An electric bike often features hydraulic-type brakes because the battery weight and higher speed require extra stopping power. The tires are usually different than that of an ordinary (conventional) bike. They usually have an extra rubber layer. This layer offers you the more stopping power and provides more grip on the more solid frame.

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

The Health impacts of riding an e-bike

The effect of the e-bike in improving personal fitness and health is similar to that of the ordinary (conventional) bikes 

Specifically, overweight and individuals that do not exercise their body regularly can benefit from riding an electric bike. To achieve proper health benefits and increase physical activities, exercising the body is essential. 

Engagement in activities such as cycling, jogging, and active travel has proven to be effective in reducing the risk of certain diseases. Furthermore, using an electric bike improves your healthy lifestyle and increases your fitness levels. 

A few of the health impacts of electric bikes include:

Boosts your immunity

Regular cycling increases your immunity to diseases by up to 50%. It is more than just cycling. With an e-bike, you are cycling away from bacteria and germs. You are practically riding your way to a stronger immune system and consequently, good health. 

Improves your body’s metabolism

When done on a more regular basis, cycling improves your metabolic, psychological, cardiorespiratory, and physical fitness levels. 

Cycling is beneficial when it comes to lowering your blood pressure, fighting heart diseases, and also reducing your cholesterol levels. Since conventionally cycling can be stressful, with an e-bike, you can enjoy your cycling experience while boosting your body’s metabolism. 

Alleviates depression and reduces anxiety levels

Studies show that regular exercise can help reduce mild anxiety and depression. Riding an electric bike aids the release of endorphins, which causes a feeling of euphoria and happiness. To reduce the rate of depression with a healthy dose of fun, an electric bike is up to the task. 

Since an e-bike helps you cycle, you can take it out for a spin without a care in the world. Regular e-bike rides can help you gain confidence and reduce anxiety levels. 

Additionally, pedal–assist technology is the best shot at getting inactive people out on bikes and active again. It improves your cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Additionally, it is perfect for previously physically inactive people. 

Prevents Diabetes 

Recent research has shown that active commuting reduces your risk of suffering from diabetes (type 2). In fact, it can reduce the possibility of suffering from cancer. What better way to commute regularly than with an e-bike?

A recent study shows that cycling is more beneficial to diabetes patients than walking. The research suggests that diabetes (type 2) patients should use e-bikes instead of motorcycles and cars. This will improve cardiovascular and metabolic functions, improving their overall health. 

While electric bike users exercise at less intensity than those on conventional bikes; it is crucial to know that both offer typically the same health benefit. Also, an electric bike is preferable for long distance commute. 

Related article: Is the electric bike good for the environment?

 

General Benefits of an E-bike (Electric bike)

We are in the modern age and technology is taking over the crooks and corners of the world. The electric bike is not an exception. In every aspect, technology is improving with our day to day activities. Whether via renewable energy, fresh sporting, or exercising ideas, medicine breakthroughs; technology is taking over the present and the future. 

An electric bike is one of the many technological achievements in recent years. The existence of an electric bike confirms the fact that humans can burn less strength when riding a bicycle. 

Unlike the conventional bicycle, which has a host of physical limitations, an electric bike is beneficial to everyone. No matter who you are, an e-bike will always find a way to serve you. 

Below are the benefits of e-bikes:

Fast and flexible

The technology behind the design of an electric bike provides extra speed to cover a longer distance with less effort. 

It saves you from feeling pains after a long ride. It is flexible and meets all sorts of road requirements. This means they can be used on muddy, smooth, and rough terrain. Just charge your bike, and you are good to go. 

Health and fitness improvement

In the preceding section, we have outlined many of the health benefits that e-bikes hold. 

Riding an electric bike is as healthy and beneficial as riding an ordinary bike. It improves your mental and physical fitness levels. 

Cost savings

Using an electric bike rather than other means of transportation can save you money. 

Diesel and petrol are not cheap sources of energy. Occasionally, their prices may be affected by inflation. In times like this, an alternative means of transportation can help you cut down on expenses. 

With an electric bike, all you need to do is recharge and recycle your batteries without overspending. You can save thousands on fuel over a year.

Environmentally friendly

Global warming and climatic changes are becoming a severe issue in our society. Electric bikes emit little to no pollutants. This means they don’t cause pollution to the environment. This cannot be said of cars and motorcycles. 

An environment with more electric bikes than other vehicles and cars will be sure to experience improved environmental air quality.

The future of modern day transportation

Just like you have seen in your favourite movies; electric motors are gradually becoming the preferable means of transportation. There are electric cars in the market now, why not e-bikes?

With a more sexy and sleek design, electric bikes are not like your regular bicycle. Instead, they are swift and easy to ride. Additionally, they are complete with a design that suits all types of weather. 

Cycling assistance

With a rechargeable battery designed for pedal assistance, your e-bike has a motor that is capable of pedalling your bicycle while you regain your strength. It enhances and boosts your pedalling experience, which reduces the stress impact on your thighs and knees. There are some electric motors with unique in-built technology that can assist you during hill climbing.

It also gives ease of access to older adults with less strength or health issues. These innovative bikes help you to achieve longer rides with less intensity, unlike conventional bikes, which will always leave you sweaty. 

Related article: Are e-Bikes really Economic?

 

To sum it up

E-bikes are generally an accepted alternative mode of active travel. The innovative tech they work with means you can overcome most of the issues associated with other means of road travel. 

Recently, electric bikes are becoming a standard fixture in Canada and most of the European nations, with a global total of 48 million users. Electric bike usage is increasing due to both its commuting and leisure benefits. The increasing interest in electric bikes and a consequent increase in usage has improved the health and fitness levels of many people.

Electric bikes provide excitement, exercise, and a host of mental benefits. All of these benefits can help your day to day activities. There is no doubt about the fact that using an e-bike will improve your health and fitness. Enjoy the health benefits of an e-bike. Get one today!

Related article: The Best Electric Scooters and Bikes for You

Riding your e-bike in the rain: All you need to know

Imagine being out in the woods with your e-bike and the weather looks like it is about rain. This doesn’t mean you are stuck and can’t go anywhere if it starts raining. E-bikes, just like conventional bikes, are water-resistant. Even though they are not completely waterproof, they can withstand rainy conditions to some degree. Therefore, riding your e-bike in the rain is not a problem. 

Riding your e-bike in the rain is entirely okay. Electric bikes are capable of getting wet without any shortcomings, due to their water-resistance feature. Also, you will continue to feel complete safety and comfort riding in the rain as long as you take all the necessary precautions. As long as you can see in it, you can ride in it. 

An e-bike comes with components strong enough to make it endure biting wind or slippery roads. However, it is better to know how to handle your e-bike in rainy conditions or harsh weather. Thus, as an e-bike owner, it’s necessary to understand a few tips on how to ride your e-bike in the rain. 

Rain or harsh weather is not going to stop you. Most especially if you prepare yourself and your e-bike for the harsh weather or rainy conditions. Keep reading to learn more about how to handle your e-bike in raining conditions. We will also provide a tip that will make sure your bike is always protected even in rainy conditions.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Tips for riding your e-bike in the rain

It is necessary to understand every detail to avoid getting cold, wet or worse, damaging your bike. These tips will make sure that your experience in the rain is as comfortable and safe as possible. 

They include:

Waterproof Yourself and Your Stuff

The toughest part of riding your electric bike in the cold or wet weather is taking the first pedal stroke. Once you start riding, it becomes easier. However, it is also necessary that you remain dry and warm while riding your e-bike. This is where waterproofing yourself and your bike comes in. 

We will recommend that you wear a cycling hat while riding your electric bike in the rain. Cycling that fits under your helmet, and also has a brim to protect your eyes from getting in contact with the rain. Always have a wool hat with ear flaps on hand during rainy weather for wholesome riding experience. 

Also, you will need gloves. Gloves are essential, and they are often better when you have an extra one in your backpack. Have an extra one, especially if you will be riding for a long time in harsh weather. Gloves give your palm a comfortable grip on the throttle. Look for quality water-resistant gloves capable of keeping your hands dry and warm. 

It is crucial to balance your dressing with a rain-resistant coat or jacket. This is bound to make you sweaty and at the same time, keep you warm. You can try layering fleece, polyester, or wool fabrics for maximum comfort. If possible, waterproof shoes and rain pants should be worn to keep you as warm as possible.

Additionally, it is vital to keep your stuff dry while riding in the rain. For instance, say you are going out with your laptop and other electronic devices. Halfway to your destination, the rain starts to pour. You will need to keep your laptop and other electronics dry. This same goes for your electric bike. As you are aware, it comprises electronic components, which makes it an electric bike. 

It is essential to cover up some components with a water-resistance material. It is also vital to keep your other electronic gadgets safe and dry. For most electric bike owners, the most appropriate choice is a seam-sealed waterproof bag. Most importantly, using waterproof nylon capable of covering the e-bike’s electrical components is a good idea. 

However, to protect your other electronics, a shoulder bag, or a backpack is enough. It is ideal to have a few Ziploc bags at hand. An Android or iPhone will perfectly fit in a ziplock bag. Also, a small laptop will slot in perfectly in a sizeable rain-resistant backpack. 

Another alternative method of protecting your gadgets is covering your backpacks or shoulder bag with rain-resistant nylon. A bag well wrapped with nylons is safe from getting wet. It is also important to remember to wipe your electric bike after riding in the rain. This helps to avoid water droplets from sliding into the e-bike’s electrical components.

Apply Fenders

E-bikes and other ordinary bikes are usually resistant to rain. The drivetrain is capable of surviving water splashes. Also, the batteries are exquisitely designed to work efficiently even in rainy weather. However, that does not mean that you should be too quick to get your electric bike wet. Also, these safety features do not give you the liberty to allow debris and water from the road splash on your e-bike.

How do you protect your bike from the debris? With a fender. A fender is capable of protecting your bike from mud and water. A fender can either be metal or plastic. A plastic fender is ideal during rainy conditions when compared to a metal fender.

A metal fender is prone to rusting over continuous wetting and exposure. However, a plastic fender will only require proper cleaning before it is ready to protect you from the rain again. If you know you’ll be riding in a region with rainy weather or you’re a regular e-bike commuter, you will need fenders.

Reduce Your E-bike’s Tyre Pressure

Adjusting your tyre pressure is another way to enjoy a comfortable ride in rainy conditions. While you are riding on new pavement, your tyres may feel awesome at 100 psi. However, on a rough road, the tyres may roll faster at 90 psi.

In wet or slippery conditions, you need to reduce your tyre pressure to 10psi lesser to improve traction. This method is easy. Reducing the tyre pressure will allow the tyre to come in contact with the road more than usual. This will provide your e-bike with a better grip on the road to avoid falling.

Use Your Lights

While riding your e-bike in the rain, be aware that you’ll be sharing the roads with other vehicles. There are trucks, buses, vans, cars, scooters, and other cyclists like you trying to make it through in the rain. Just like you, each road user is dealing with riding and driving challenges that come with the rain. In all these hurdles, having lights and a good vision will be of help. You will be able to see and navigate in the rain.

In most places, the law binding e-bikes on roads require you to have front and back lights on your e-bike. Therefore, it is essential that you have reflection signs attached to your electric bike. Make sure to add reflective strips to your bike rack, fenders, handlebars, and helmet.

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

Look Out for Slippery Spots

During rainfall, gasoline and oil often rise to the surface of the road. This can make your regular asphalt a tad more unpredictable. Therefore, look out for slippery spots to avoid slipping and falling from your e-bike. Additionally, you should always try to avoid puddles or stagnant water. Most notably, the rainbow-like ones. Rainbow-like puddles are deemed to contain fuel and other slippery lubricants.

Always avoid road alignments – lines. Road alignments often become slippery in most raining conditions. Be aware that metal covers and grates are like ice, so always avoid them. Additionally, look out for debris. Sometimes, under rainy conditions, debris like fallen leaves can be as dangerous as lubricants on the road.

Always Slow Down and Apply Your Brakes Early

As much as riding in the rain can be fascinating, it is better to slow down as opposed to riding at faster speeds. This helps you to avoid accidents, which may be due to wet roads and poor visibility.

Even if riding harder and quicker actually keeps you warm, you’ll want to avoid going too fast with your e-bike. A wet road and bad visibility mean you won’t have much time to react to puddles and obstructions while in fast mode. This can result in accidents and probably damage your electric bike.

The need for slow speeds is more pronounced for an electric bike as opposed to an ordinary bicycle. E-bikes with power-on-demand and pedal-assist are capable of maintaining high average speeds in every weather condition. Hence, take a little extra time to ride your electric bike in harsh weather conditions.

Applying your brakes means you’re slowing down, but it does more work when you use it early. When you ride your electric bike in wet weather, it takes more time to stop while applying the brake. You will want to slow down gently to avoid tumbling. 

The aim of adding a motor system to an e-bike is to give you – as the rider a new power source. Often, e-bikes allow riders to control the motor system power production and start time. This offers you a wide range of riding options; from pedal-assist, to full pedalling, and full motor assist. All of these options allow you to fine-tune every ride experience, providing fun and ecstasy. 

The extra power from the motor system demands that every e-bike operates with an efficient brake system. Most of the e-bikes include disc brakes instead of rim brakes which are often found in regular bicycles. A disc brake usually performs much better than rim brakes in the rain. Therefore, with more caution on the use of the disc brake on e-bikes, you’re bound to experience a safe ride. Just keep in mind that you need to apply the brakes early while riding your e-bike in the rain.

While Approaching Corners, Do not Lean

E-bikes can be fun to ride, but avoid hitting the corners hard like a pro, especially in the rain. Do not lean into corners while riding in the rain. Instead, apply your brakes slowly as you approach a corner. Choose a line that gives you easy turning without having to lean. This will make sure that more of your tyres are firmly on the road, offering you complete stability and balance. 

Protecting Your E-bike

Protecting your electric bike means that there are precautionary measures you have to follow.  Just like any other bike, improper care and exposure can damage your e-bike sometimes permanently. However, the casual trip in the rain cannot damage your electric bike.

If it is compulsory for you to ride your e-bike in the rain, always cover the display, if your bike has one. Also, try to dry and clean your bike as soon as you reach shelter. Monthly maintenance and chain lubrication is the right way to take proper care of your electric bike.

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

Other Facts to Note for Ease of riding in the Rain

Though it is a great pleasure to ride or play in the rain. It might not be too great for long if your electric bike is not well prepared for the wet conditions. Below are other facts to note before getting your e-bike wet.

Always Avoid Excessive Rain

While riding in the rain, always avoid staying in it for too long, especially in a heavy downpour. Electric bikes are costly, and damaging it over a little ride in the rain is not ideal. It’s always better to wait or avoid the rain altogether if it is too heavy. 

Use Precautionary Measures

Always apply dielectric grease to your e-bike’s electrical point of contact. This will ultimately prevent contamination and corrosion. This gives your e-bike an extra edge when it comes to sustaining its functions in wet conditions.

Always Dry the Battery after Riding in the Rain

Drying your e-bike battery is as essential as drying the electric bike itself. Even after a little ride in the rain, it is not ideal for your bike’s battery to stay wet. Take the battery out after every wet trip and clean it up with a dry towel.

 

Conclusion 

Finally, as much as you will enjoy riding your electric bike in the rain, it is vital that you go slow and take proper precautions. There is no outright law stopping you from riding your electric bike in the rain. However, to keep your bike working for a long time, apply all the steps above for maximum results. Stay safe – even in the rain.

Related article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

Choosing a mountain e-bike: All you need to know 

For most people, choosing a mountain e-bike can be stressful and at the same time, awkward. The confusing display of terminology and technology, not to mention the varieties of bike types available, can be mind-boggling. Nonetheless, your financial budget is the most crucial factor in choosing the best electric mountain bike. In getting a good mountain e-bike, there are many factors to be put into consideration. This guide will show you how to choose the best mountain e-bike, but first, we will discuss some facts about a mountain e-bike.

Related article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

 

What is a Mountain E-bike?

A mountain e-bike is a bicycle with electrical motor assistance designed to aid mountain riding. Just like other types of mountain bikes, mountain e-bikes have front-fork suspension. It also consists of center-drive, mid-drive, motors; all in a power pack

Older mountain e-bikes were outfitted with big and bulky hub motors; this is no more applicable. The mid-drive motor is lighter, improves balance, and also lowers your center of gravity. This improves your balance. 

A reasonable amount of mountain e-bikes comes with a battery pack of about 420(Wh) and 38 volts. A mountain e-bike can swiftly switch from using electric motor assistance to regular biking. Also, most electric mountain bikes have the same components as the regular mountain bikes. In some models, once the motor is at full power assistance, the bike provides support of up to a 3-fold power increment.

 

Mountain E-bike Motor Systems

In choosing the best electric mountain bike, you have to understand the various motor systems. This will help you decide the one that matches your style of riding. Also, you need to understand the different classes and types of mountain e-bikes. Follow this article, and we will put you through each step accordingly.

Mid-drive and Hub Motor system

The electric bike consists of two (2) different types of motor systems. These two (2) types differ with various parts, but the most common factor is the size and weight. The hub motors are the first and oldest type of motor system common with electric bikes. They are heavy and often cause weight imbalance for the riders. Mid-drive motor systems are light-weight, the best and safest type of motor system for mountain riding.

Hub motors are not advisable for electric mountain bikes. This is due to the imbalanced load distribution at the rear-end of the e-bike. In addition, hub motors are famous for overheating during or after a long mountain climb. 

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

Classification of mountain e-bikes

Mountain e-bikes are classified into three (3) different classes based on their power and range. They are;

Class 1

They are the most common class of mountain e-bikes. They require pedalling to trigger the motor regardless of the type of motor system. You are likely to search online for class 1 mountain e-bike types because they are the most common. Class 1 type bikes are also known as pedalec e-bikes.

Class 2

This type of e-bikes uses the throttle and can exceed 780 watts. Their maximum speed is 20 mph. They also have a hub motor system. Class 2 electric bikes are banned from most trails (due to the power output which causes throttle overheating).

Class 3

These are electric bikes that provide motor assistance up to 27 mph. These types of e-bikes are not common and are banned from use on class 1 trails. They are mostly used by commuters who ride rough terrain or rocky paths.

 

Do You Prefer a Cadence Sensor or Torque Sensor?

The pedal-assist mountain e-bikes vary with the amount of power they provide during pedalling. So, when you are riding fast, they offer more power, unlike when you’re riding slowly. Pedal-assist e-bikes calculate the amount of power to provide for you by using a sensor. This sensor can either be a cadence or a torque sensor.

Cadence sensors

They are cheap but less effective. They are very effective when you’re maintaining the same speed. Also, they release a large amount of power during a change in speed.

Torque sensors

They are most common with higher-end mountain e-bikes. They are more effective. They often give a more accurate and precise torque measurement. Also, torque sensors allow you as the rider to take overall control on the motor power.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Front vs. Dual Suspension

Mountain e-bikes can either have dual (at the front and the rear) suspension or front suspension. A mountain e-bike with a dual suspension will help you to move over a rocky path and bumps without much discomfort.

Using a bike with front suspension will also reduce the bumpy effect of rocky paths and bumps. Although, an electric mountain bike with front suspension won’t do you much good when the rear-end climbs over bumps. This can make your ride a little bumpy and uncomfortable.

It should be noted that a mountain e-bike with front suspension is less costly and can help you ride faster with less weight. Unless you aim to cycle more quickly, the dual suspension is better. A dual suspension mountain e-bike is capable of giving you smoother riding experience.

 

The Mountain E-bikes’ Brakes

To choose the best mountain e-bike, brakes are an essential component. Most electric mountain bikes come with a hydraulic brake which consists of 180mm disc rotors. Some brakes have a double piston, but we’ll recommend 4-piston calliper brakes (203mm rotors) for better stopping power.

 

The Motor System Power

A mountain e-bike’s effectiveness is basically due to the type of motor system it uses. This is a concept you have to learn to know how to choose the best mountain bike in Toronto.

With a more powerful motor system, your mountain e-bike is capable of riding on any trail at full speed. Also, you should note that a powerful motor system will lower your mountain e-bike’s range.

Mountain e-bike motors have a maximum size limit. This limit varies depending on your location. In the United States, for example, the motor system maximum limit is about 500 watts on average. This figure is the same for Toronto.

In considering the best mountain e-bike to purchase, think about your plans with the bike and consider the motor size. If you plan to climb hills, cycle swiftly, and don’t plan on going far, purchase the one with more power.

Also, electric mountain bikes have a speed limit. The speed limit varies based on the regulations in your locale. 

 

Do you want a Pedal Assist, Throttle or Hybrid?    

An electric mountain bike can either be a throttle-assist type or the pedal-assist type. The pedal-assist mountain e-bikes are the type where the motors work only while you are pedalling. Whereas, the throttle-assist type are the ones where the motors work immediately you push the throttle.

Also, throttle-assist types drain your battery very fast and are not beneficial to your fitness levels. With a throttle-assist e-bike, ascending difficult areas can be easy, but you may have some restrictions.

The pedal-assist electric mountain bikes are beneficial when you want to workout, build fitness, and also move around quickly. The adjustment level is also useful, and you can switch from low to high and back again. Pedal assist is ideal because it allows you to control the assistance level, which can help reduce battery consumption.

If you are finding it hard to choose which one to purchase, you can settle for the hybrid. It has both throttle and pedal assist options. Most people prefer the hybrid to others because it gives extra assistance via throttle and more range with pedal assistance.

 

How do you want Your Mountain E-bike to look like (Carbon frame or Aluminium frame)?

Your financial budget is the main determining factor in how beautiful your e-bike will look. Most electric mountain bikes with carbon frames are more expensive than aluminum models. A good mountain e-bike with a carbon frame can save up to 600g in weight and are stiffer. Also, carbon gives a sleeker design to the bikes and allows manufacturers to test different varieties of shining effect.

An aluminum frame does not give chance for much variety of design and can be risky in the event of an accident. Also, mountain e-bikes with the aluminum design are often heavier than those with a carbon frame design. However, the decision to purchase an electric mountain bike with a carbon or aluminum frame lies with your budget. Both types are extremely functional. 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

 

The Mountain E-bike’s Battery (Location, Range, and Replacement cost)

A mountain e-bike’s battery location can have a significant effect on the bike’s performance. Most mountain e-bikes often come with the battery located on the top of the bottom tube. However, new mountain e-bikes feature an in-tube battery which gives the bike a classy look and a low center of gravity.

Also, your bike’s battery can either be somewhere in the center of the main frame or above the rear wheel. Having the battery at the center will circulate the weight evenly but makes it tough to remove the battery. Whereas having the battery above the rear wheel will make removing the battery easier for you. However, it brings additional weight towards the back of the mountain e-bike.

To choose the best electric mountain bike, you must consider the battery range is. This means if the mountain e-bike you plan to buy has a range less than the distances you plan to cover, get a different bike. You can upgrade the battery if you already have one and the range is not convincing enough. Although long-range batteries cost more than the short-range ones, it is still preferable to increase your bike’s range with higher capacity batteries.

For 80kg weight, 500(Wh) battery is enough on forest roads and hilly gravels. This will give you about 45km in normal mode. Also, in turbo or fast mode, you will get about 35km of coverage. If you’re riding on a flatter land with few climbs, you’ll cover up to 55km in normal mode.

However, you should expect a lower range in reality. This is because the specified range is usually estimated under perfect conditions. 

When purchasing a mountain e-bike, it is crucial to consider the battery’s replacement cost. The most expensive part of a mountain e-bike is the battery. Most batteries last for 500 full charge cycles before depreciating. With this fact, you may need to replace your e-bike’s battery every few years. Wondering how to make sure your batteries last longer? Check our article on battery maintenance.

 

Your Mountain E-bikes’ Tyres

Mountain e-bike tyres are usually the essential component of the bike. They are the sole connection you have to the ground. Without proper tyres, you won’t enjoy your mountain biking experience.

For gravel roads and rolling hills, you don’t have to use mega wide or extra hard tyres. A 30 or 28-inch wheel is okay for such trails.  They also offer you better angles-of-attack. This means the bigger the wheel, the smaller the angle-of-attack required for the tyres to climb obstacles. These types of tyres make it easy for you to go faster on rough terrain.

Also, the tyre width depends mostly on the climate. During the rainy season, if your daily route is a bad terrain, then a tyre size of 28-inches is ideal. For the trails with wet and snowy terrain, it is ideal to get wide knobby tyres.

Also, you will have to choose between a tyre with a tube and tubeless tyre. Most higher-end electric mountain bikes come with tubeless-ready tyres and rims.

However, most bikes (conventional and electrical) come with tubes initially. If you are up to the task of changing tubes occasionally, then you can stick with the natural tube system. If you’re a serious rider, it is advisable to apply sealant on your wheels and switch to a tubeless system. The sealant will block up holes you may get from dangerous thorns and tree roots.

Knowing how to choose mountain e-bikes requires a lot of study and research. Some lower-end models are usually set-up for flat terrain and are not tubeless-ready. Also, mid-level to higher-end e-bikes’ models have longer suspension travel, are tubeless –ready. Tubeless-ready bikes are bikes that are active even after a tyre puncture.

Finally, you need to purchase a bike set up for the terrain you ride on the most. A short-travel full-suspension mountain e-bike is capable of climbing rough, long terrain rides, and gravel trails. Nonetheless, you may have to go a bit slower when coming down than compared with a long-suspension rig. Also, electric power systems for every mountain e-bikes vary, but most are about 250 Watts on average.

We know it can be challenging to choose the best electric mountain bike.  However, the info we have outlined above should help you make your choice without any issues. Better still, you can contact us for additional help. Mountain e-bikes are fun and hugely beneficial. Get one today!

How to prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery 

An e-bike (electric bike) is first and foremost a bicycle. It is just like a regular bicycle, but with a little difference which brings about the name electric bike. It uses the same components, geometrics, and designs like any other bike. However, unlike your generic bicycles, it includes an electric motor. This type of bike also has a rechargeable battery that provides additional power to the bike.

As an e-bike user, you may be wondering how possible it is to extend your bike’s battery life. Most e-bike users worry a lot about their battery lifespan. We are sure that you are not an exception. As the only power source for an electric bike, it’s evident that a good battery is essential for your e-bike.  In this article, we will explain in detail how you can prolong the lifespan of your e-bike battery. That way, you can enjoy using your bike for many long years. 

Related article: How an Electric Bike Works?

 

A quick look at your e-bike battery 

Most e-bikes use long-life lithium batteries directly from the manufacturers. Over the years, lithium batteries turn out to be better than other types of batteries. They are lightweight and compact (i.e., your electric bikes won’t weigh much). Also, the batteries can work effectively in any kind of temperature. This gives you an edge to enjoy your bike in different conditions throughout the season.

With a lithium battery, self-discharge is low (often about 5% monthly). They are easily rechargeable and non-toxic. Most importantly, with proper care, you can prolong your e-bike battery lifespan to as many as 1000 charging cycles. Follow the instructions and guidelines below to prolong your e-bike’s running time and lifespan.

The lifespan of your e-bike is a function of the total number of charge cycles. It is dependent on the total number of full charges (0-100%) the battery undergoes. This will determine how long it lasts before losing effectiveness. On average, lithium e-bike batteries can work an average of 30 miles with every full charge. With proper usage, your lithium battery lifespan is capable of reaching 1000 full charges.

Every electric bike possesses a total number of maximum charge cycles. This is the total amount of recharging cycles your battery can withstand before losing its capacity. The total number of cycles is written in your user manual. Once it crosses the maximum recharging cycles, expect a drop in performance. The battery will not be able to hold electric charges adequately anymore. 

 

Get familiar with your owner’s manual

An important concept that you need to take into account is your owner’s manual. To prolong the lifespan of your battery, it is important that you make your owner’s manual your friend. 

Before your first ride, make sure to read your e-bike manual. Even if you are a cycling expert, don’t assume you can figure it all out yourself. Most batteries are dangerous to your health if handled poorly. 

An electric bike battery often becomes less effective after 3 to 4 years of regular usage. You need to understand your e-bike’s charging and usage instructions. The only way to understand these instructions is by reading your manual. Read the owner’s manual properly before taking your first ride and stick to its battery maintenance tips.

Related article: How to Protect the Battery of Your Electric Bike

 

Maintaining your e-bike with proper charging practices 

Charging is the only way to use your e-bike and its battery. However, there are ways you can do this without affecting the lifespan of your battery. Here are some tips to make sure you charge and use your battery effectively:

Charge your battery fully before taking your first ride

Before going on your first ride with your new electric bike, make sure to charge the battery fully. Charging the battery for the first time can take up to 4-7 hours, but the wait is worth it. This will ensure that its lifespan is prolonged. 

Don’t wait until your battery is dead before charging it 

Do not wait until your e-bike battery is dead before recharging it. Waiting until your battery is dead before charging it reduces its charge holding capacity. It is always better to keep your bike’s battery fully charged. Even after a short ride, plug it in. However, if somehow you empty your battery, recharge it as soon as possible.

Always use the original charger

Do not match and mix chargers. Every charger has a specific capacity (input and output). Also, using a wrong charger for your e-bike can cause potential fire and explosions. Therefore, always endeavour to use your electric bike’s original charger.

Create a dry and safe station for charging

Recall that e-bike batteries can be dangerous if mishandled. A good way to prolong the battery life of your e-bike is to designate a dry and safe place (station) for charging your electric bike battery. A good option is to empty some space in the garage. Alternatively, if possible, you can charge your bike in an enclosed space outside your house. Always make sure your charging space is dry and safe.

Try Charging your battery slowly

Everyone loves a swift charge. The concept of charging your bike battery quickly may be appealing.  Nonetheless, electric bike batteries are more effective and last longer with a slow charge. As much as possible, charge only with your recommended chargers. 

Although, if you have to buy a new charger, do not purchase one with the high amperage ratings. Buy a charger with low amperage (about 2 to 4 amps). Better still, you can buy a smart charger that can switch between charging fast and slow charge effectively. 

Get familiar with your battery’s low voltage cut-off limit

Understanding your battery’s low voltage cut-off is vital. It will help you to better understand your electric bike battery’ behaviour. Most importantly, it will help you to prolong your e-bike battery lifespan. Often, low voltage cut-offs vary depending on the type of battery cells. Be sure to find out the recommended low voltage cutoff for your bike. 

Understand your battery’s high voltage cut-off limit

Make sure your charger’s maximum voltage is the same with the maximum recommended voltage for your battery. If you do not know the maximum voltage charge for your batteries, check the battery owner’s manual. Using a charger that is over the recommended limit can potentially lead to an explosion. In case of emergencies, always have a fire extinguisher that works on battery fires around your charging station. 

More charging tips that can improve the lifespan of your battery include:

  • Always check your battery periodically while charging it 
  • Avoid going to the charging station with water or other liquids.
  • Always check the humidity level in the charging station. High humidity is not suitable for electrical devices. 
  • Check the battery contact monthly and make sure to keep them clean. 
  • Always remove corrosion around the battery contacts and clean appropriately.

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Ways to Prolong the Lifespan of Your E-bike Battery

Making sure that your electric bike battery lasts for a long time involves more than just charging it properly and reading your owner’s manual. Other charging tips that you can follow include:

Turn off the bike after each use

Always remember to turn off your electric bike after using it. Even if you are out, or waiting to cross the lane, always turn off your e-bike. It saves your battery power and prolongs its lifespan. 

Make a pleasant environment for your battery

Extremely cold or hot temperatures will damage your battery’s performance. One of the best ways to prolong your battery lifespan is to make sure that the battery does not get too hot. 

High temperatures can affect your battery health. In fact, recommended temperatures for storing your battery sit between 31°F – 78°F. Always avoid temperatures above 104°F. Warmer temperatures discharge your battery faster and therefore result in needless recharging.

Most lithium batteries have lithium powder inside the battery cells. When heated up, the powder can lose electrical resistance. To be candid, cool temperatures are perfect for improving your battery lifespan. Most batteries with powder in their battery cells show increased electrical resistance in cool conditions. 

E-bike battery storage

If you are not going to use your electric bike for a while, design a plan for proper storage. Be sure to keep the battery and bike in a safe place. It is ideal to choose a fire-safe location. Also, you should know that most batteries will go flat, or self-discharge faster in idleness. This will happen even if they are at full capacity.

Try to store your battery when it has a capacity of 45% to 85%. This will reduce the self-discharge rates while preserving the battery. If your e-bike uses a smart charger, you can charge the bike up to 80%. If not, estimate your charging and use up about 30% to 50% after a full charge. 

Also, try to always keep the battery in a cool place. Additionally, if possible, charge the battery every five (5) to eight (8) weeks.

Do not Open Your Electric Bike Battery

Do you want to make sure your battery lasts longer? Don’t open it. In fact, there is not a single reason to open your electric bike battery. 

Your e-bike has a good structure which allows easy charging access without having to open the battery. Do not try to repair and do not try to examine the battery. Most batteries are combustible, and a little exposure to oxygen can make them explode.

This can result in a fire outburst that can cause damage to you and others. If your battery is faulty, contact your bike dealer or manufacturer. Return the battery for repair and replacement. Do not attempt to open the battery yourself!

Do not push too much

If you want to keep your electric bike battery healthy and in good shape, try not to push too hard or too much. An electric bike working too hard will drain your battery quickly and easily. Recall that discharging your battery often will only result in recharging often. Consequently, constant recharges and discharges will only reduce the bike’s battery lifespan. 

When you are riding at high speed, your e-bike consumes more battery. On the other hand, your battery will require less charging and last longer if you’re riding at a leisurely pace. 

So, while riding, always try to reduce your speed over time to improve your battery life. Also, always keep your throttle or pedal assist at the lowest comfortable use. It will help to prolong the lifespan of the e-bike battery.

Use the right ride mode at the right time

If you ride around in turbo mode every time, your battery is not going to last for long. If you are going out for multiple hours, switch swiftly between the various modes for great fun and maximum effectiveness. On hilly and rough paths, use the turbo mode. On faster and smoother paths, you can ride in low/mid settings (naming and modes vary with the system).

Some electric bikes offer on-screen power (input and output) reading; keep your power output reading in check always. Sometimes, these are sometimes difficult to keep track, especially while facing a challenging terrain. Try to get used to it. It will prolong your battery life in the long run. 

Always use the right tires

Sometimes, tire resistance to rolling is also a critical factor in getting the best out of your battery charge. Choosing the best tires is based on factors such as 

  • Tire width
  • Tread pressure
  • Tread pattern
  • Tire compound. 

While choosing the best tires that suit your riding, you should take time out to try different pressures for proper balancing.

Higher pressures may affect bike control but produce lesser rolling resistance. Note that some e-bikes are now using semi-solid and solid tires to combat punctures. The type of tire you use can increase your rolling resistance and reduce your bike’s battery lifespan.

Reduce your Weight

Sometimes, bike and rider weight is the most significant factor affecting battery range. Since there is no quick fix for your electric bike’s weight, always ride with a backpack that has minimal weight.

During hill rides, a backpack with a heavy load will consume more battery life unlike when you are riding on a flat surface. But either way, riding with a lighter backpack will always give you more battery life.

An electric bike battery with appropriate storage and maintenance as stated above can last up to three (3) to five (5) years. In the same vein, a battery without proper storage and maintenance may stop working effectively within a short period.

Electric bikes with little or less battery lifespan take the fun out of riding e-bikes. However, do not be dismayed, with our instructions and guidelines, you can make sure your battery lasts for a long time.

Don’t let your worries about battery life stop you from enjoying an e-bike of your own. Get one today! 

Related article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance