Can electric bikes reduce transportation expenses?

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Beautiful Vancouver. There is something different about this city. The feel, the vibe, and the people. It’s hard to explain and describe. This feeling cannot be felt by those who visit for a few days, drive through the city on a road trip or watch an online video.

The weather is idyllic, the activities are endless, and the experience is one that someone is not soon to forget.

This experience has been enhanced by the ability to travel the many spots with an electric motorbike. They are faster than your average bike, do not cause any pollution and the electrical circuit of the bike allows you to ride without feeling fatigue which is not the case with a traditional bike. 

If you have purchased a bike from Epic Cycles and live in Vancouver, we have taken the opportunity to compile a one-day guide of best spots to ride through within the city. So, take a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy the read

 

THE MORNING

It’s best to wake up bright and early so that you can maximize your time during the day. When you are ready to embark on your journey on your electric bike, here are a few places that we recommend visiting:

  • Get a dose of caffeine from Gastown. “Gassy” Jack surely did Canada a favor opening the first saloon in the neighborhood, which led to the entire area being named Gastown!
  • Among a flurry of restaurants and shops, Water Street has arguably the city’s finest café, Milano Coffee Roasters. This is our first stop to get a hot cup of coffee to start the day!
  • Ride, shop, and explore. Gastown is a very bike-friendly area that gives us an opportunity to explore the many shops in Water Street to our heart’s desire! Check out Oak + Fort, a highly recommended shop that offers minimalistic yet sophisticated clothing.
  • Enjoy the view from the city’s highest spot. The Vancouver Lookout at Harbor Centre is the highest location in Vancouver, giving you a panoramic view of the entire city. It’s an amazing spectacle as you get to see the North Shore Mountains, Gastown, shipping port, and the downtown area all in a 360-degree glance!

Pass through Coal Harbor in the direction of Stanley Park. This is arguably the most enjoyable bike path that connects you through the Waterfront and Coal Harbor. If you’re looking for a hotel in this area, the Fairmont Pacific Rim is definitely a solid recommendation.

 

THE AFTERNOON

The perfect afternoon at this point will not have the rain clouds rolling in. If it is perfect, let’s bike on!

    • Brunch in West End. Continue along the bike path we told you about, and you will soon reach the hot West End. For brunch, we highly recommend the Acacia Fillo Bar. Here you can eat some of the most scrumptious traditional Bulgarian dishes.
    • Relax at English Bay. Now that you have satisfied those taste buds, hop on your bike and ride to English Bay Beach for some well-earned relaxation. Take some time to enjoy the cool breeze and the serene views!
    • Continue along the beach to Kitsilano. There’s something about a beach-side ride that is incredibly romantic. When riding beside the English Bay to Kitsilano, you will cross over the historic and beautiful Burrard Bridge. So, please satisfy some more serenity pangs there!
    • Satisfy your bike cravings. Kitsilano is another family-friendly spot in the Oceanside area, with its own array of shops. Among them is a bike shop that is well worth a visit. Here you can buy more gear, pump your tires, or just have a chat with the bike experts. If you do visit it, you won’t be disappointed — we promise!

 

THE EVENING

After the perfect afternoon, here’s to a perfect evening! This is definitely the time to be near the ocean or you will miss the perfect sunset.

  • Experience Granville Island. Granville Island is a reflection of Vancouver itself and the place to be for anyone wanting that unique Vancouverite feeling. You’ll find everything that is unique to the city here. From seafood to live musical and artistic performances, you will want to lock up your bike and just enjoy what this place has to offer you. You can also buy locally forged items here.
  • Enjoy the skyline: Now that you are satisfied, what you need is a relaxing view of the enticing Vancouver skyline. For this, we recommend you take a slow, relaxing ride along the South False Creek Seawall. You will come full circle when you get back to Gastown, where you started out.
  • Dinner in Chinatown: What better place to have dinner than in Chinatown! When you are in this neighborhood, check out Bestie for their mouthwateringly good European delights. God knows you will love them after such a long ride!

There aren’t many cities in the world that are as loveable as Vancouver. However, there is a condition if you plan on falling in love with this city: you will only truly fall in love if you experience it while out for a ride!

 

Electric Motorbikes are rising in popularity due to their inexpensive upkeep, ability to travel short distances at reasonable speeds and avoid contributing pollution into the environment. However, E-Bikes are relatively new which means there are a lot of questions surrounding their usage, maintenance and upkeep. This is why we published this blog that addressed the top 7 questions that were presented to us.

We at Epic Cycles hope to provide you the ability to purchase a motorized bike as we sell everything from Electric Scooters, Magnum E-Bikes, and Stromer Bikes which can be purchased and shipped anywhere in Canada.

Please don’t hesitate to sign up for our news so that you can remain updated on the latest news, and giveaways. Also, make sure to check us out on social media as we are always up to something! 

E-bikes in Vancouver: Best Battery Type for Your E-bike

For most riders looking for a powerful boost from their ebike, they tend to think about the motor. While the motor is definitely an important part of what puts the ‘e’ in your e-bike, the battery might determine performance even more. Your battery will tell you how much power you can store, how quickly energy can be transferred, and how long you can ride your ebike with max pedal-assist on. 

Here we’ll look at important ebike battery terminology and types of batteries that are best for your e-bike. 

Understanding Ebike Battery Terminology 

Unless you are already experienced with buying bike batteries or you work in a technical field that deals with energy, there are likely some battery related terms that need an explanation. 

For example, to be considered a street-legal ebike, your bike should have a battery motor output of no more than 500 watts of power. But what do 500 watts mean for speed, pedal-assist capabilities, and capacity? For that matter, what are watt-hours? Volts? Amps? 

Here we will give straightforward explanations of these terms to help you understand the role each plays in how your battery functions:

Amp (A): An amp is what we measure electricity in. In terms of a battery, amps indicate the amount of electricity flowing through the battery. 

Volt (V): A volt is what we measure electromotive force in. Electromotive force, simply put, is a transfer of energy. Volts push amps through the system. The more volts your battery has, the faster it can transfer energy. With a higher voltage, you will be able to experience a quicker start at the get-go but your battery can also deplete more quickly when maintaining that speed. 

Watt (W): Watts are a measure of power, which is the amount of energy that can be transferred in a given unit of time. We find this number by multiplying Volts times Amps. For example, if you have a 48V 10A battery then it can generate 480 watts. 

Amp – Hours (Ah): Ah shows us the amount of current that your battery can transfer in an hour. For example, our Magnum Metro+ Low Step comes with a high-performance 48V, 13Ah battery. This means that the battery can provide 13 amps of power for one hour or 6.5 amps per hour for two. 

Watt-Hours (Wh): Watt-hours is where battery knowledge really starts to come together.  Wh is found by multiplying Volts X Amp-Hours. This measure indicates how many watts can be transferred in a single hour. For our 48V 13Ah battery, we get 648Wh. 

The Metro+ also comes with a 500W motor. To determine how long you can operate your bike at maximum pedal-assist mode, you simply divide your 648Wh by 500W. When we do this, we see we can get around one hour and 20 minutes of riding time using the bike’s max assist mode. However, if we use half the assistance, we double that to 2 hours and 40 minutes of riding time. 

Bringing the Numbers Together 

Let’s say we have two batteries with the following ratings:

Battery A) 10Ah X 48V = 480Wh 

Battery B) 15Ah X 32V = 480Wh

They have the same Wh rating so we should expect them to perform similarly, right? Yes and no. Remember Ah is a measure of the battery’s capacity. This means that battery B has a higher capacity but bike A has more volts which is a measure of how fast energy can be transferred. Therefore, bike A can give you that nice, fast boost of speed because it can transfer energy more quickly. However, bike B will give you a longer sustained riding time.  

Technically, you could use bike A’s energy more sparingly and get a similar riding time as bike B, but you would be missing out on the best part of a high-performance ebike. Another way to look at it is that bike A can be used for a sprint or a marathon while bike B is really only good for a marathon since it can not give a fast boost of speed. 

Pros and Cons of Types of Batteries for Your Ebike

Here we will take a brief look at the 4 main types of ebike batteries. However, lithium-ion has become the go-to choice in the industry. When choosing the right battery for your bike, you will likely be choosing between different types of lithium-ion batteries while also taking volts, amps, watts etc. into consideration. 

Lead Acid

While lead-acid batteries can be useful in certain devices that do not require much power output, they typically do not work well for an ebike. Along with having poor power output, they are also extremely heavy. Additional weight on an ebike can drain your battery faster and affect performance. The only real advantage of this type of battery is that it is extremely cheap compared to other types but it will also wear out faster./

Nickel-cadmium

Nickel-cadmium is more durable, has greater capacity, and is lighter than lead-acid. However, it still cannot outperform a lithium battery, drains quickly and, more importantly, cadmium has been found to have detrimental effects on the environment. If you can even find this type of battery, avoid it. 

Nickel-metal Hydrid

Nickel-metal offers some improvements over the two previous battery types but they are also being phased out of the industry due to significant issues. Like nickel-cadmium, the hybrid has a high rate of self-discharge meaning it will lose its charge even when you are not using it.  They are also more expensive without offering much additional benefit.

Lithium-ion

Lithium-ion batteries offer an improvement in nearly all aspects compared to the above examples. They weigh less, perform better, have superior capacity, and hold their charge more easily. However, that does not mean they are not without their issues. Certain safety measures and electrical components must be built-in to ensure the batteries do not overheat. 

This downside can be easily managed when you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging and storage. You should also not attempt modifying your bike or battery to achieve greater than recommended speeds. 

There are 3 types of lithium batteries for ebikes: Lithium Manganese batteries (LiMg204), Lithium Cobalt batteries (LCo), Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries (Li-pol). The LiMg204 typically has the greatest longevity making its higher price tag worth it as you will not have to replace it as often.

The LCo is a slightly older technology that still works well though it may not last as long as the LiMg204.  Finally, the Li-Pol has the unique advantage of not requiring any liquid which makes it more stable than other lithium batteries. 

Why Quality Counts 

When choosing an ebike battery, this is a situation where you do not want to settle for the cheapest options. While there are decent economy batteries to be found, a higher quality battery is likely to cost you less over time. 

Typically, when an ebike battery is cheaper it means that it is made of cheaper components that are not rated for as many cycles. A cheap, off-brand battery is more likely to start malfunctioning sooner by not holding a charge as long, not reaching full capacity, or outright expiring. As batteries are the most costly and vital part of your bike, you will get more value by investing in a higher quality model.

Help Finding the Right Battery for Your Ebike

Still not sure what the right battery for your ebike is? The Epic Cycles team are dedicated ebike riders who can offer advice and recommendations based on your riding personal preferences. Browse our selection of ebike batteries or contact us at 416-305-2111.

Best Ebikes to Buy in Vancouver 2020

Ebikes are fast becoming a preferred mode of transportation around the country and the world. Environmentally-friendly, a good source of exercise and a safe way to commute while social distancing, ebikes are a great investment in your health and the planet. As both seasoned cyclists and people new to bikes have taken greater interest, cities are creating more bike-friendly infrastructure and manufacturers have been able to add more features and value to ebikes. Vancouver residents in particular can benefit from the cities more than 300km of bike paths.

With decreasing costs and bikes built for a range of uses and abilities, there is something new and exciting for everyone in the lineup of best ebikes to buy in 2020. Here we’ll look at top ebikes in 2020, why Vancouver is a great city for cycling and what you should look for in an ebike to suit your specific needs. 

Best Budget Option

Forever Electric Road Bike

Some riders shy away from electric bikes due to cost, but many ebikes are similar in price to quality traditional bikes and have greater functionality. This is true for the Forever Electric Road Bike which comes in under $2,000 CAD.  

Features:

Ultra-Lightweight: At just 42 lbs, this bike is easy to lift and carry for most riders. This makes it ideal for both commuting in your hometown and taking it with you on adventures. 

Sleek Design: The Forever Electric’s sleek design is accomplished with a battery that is deftly hidden in the down tube.  This not only enhances the streamlined design it also makes it nearly impossible to tell it is an electric bike at first glance. 

Frame Type: A high step frame creates stability without the bulk.

Color Options: Orange and Silver 

Top Speed: 25 Km/hr

Estimated Range Per Charge: 30 to 40 KM

Cost: $1,999 CAD

Best Uses: Commuting in urban settings 

Best Value Folding Ebike

Magnum Classic II – Low Step Black

Built on 5th generation German engineering, the Magnum’s electrical system and seamless folding capability make it a reliable, portable vehicle. While it’s easy folding is one of this bikes’ most attractive features, it has even more to offer. The low step design makes this ideal for riders of all abilities while the powerful 500-watt motor ensures you can power through any commute. 

Other Features Include

  • 6 Levels of Pedal Assist: Choose how much or how little electric assistance you want while riding. This will allow you to customize your riding experience based on your ability and the terrain.
  • Cargo Room: The Magnum includes a rear carrier to store a tool kit and other essentials. 
  • Wide Gel Seat: Stay comfortable even during longer rides with the included wide gel seat.
  • Adjustable Height: Easily adjust the height of your seat with the quick release seat post.
  • Portability: The Magnum’s folded dimensions easily fit in most car trunks and make this bike easy to store. 

Top Speed: 32 KPH

Best Uses: Commuting / Urban / Suburban

Available Colors: Black with Blue Accents, Black with Orange Accents, White with Blue Accents, White with Orange Accents

Best Luxury Ebike 

Stromer ST5 Limited Edition

The award-winning Stromer ST5 is in a class of it’s own offering cyclists comfort, speed, distance, cargo options and everything else you could want in an ebike. While the ST5 may have more features than most riders absolutely need, it is undeniable that all the bells and whistles do make for a great riding experience and add functionality. 

Top Features Include:

  • 3G connectivity: Get all the info you need about your location, trip and stats through ST5’s on-board computer. You can also connect to your bike through a smartphone app.  
  • Range: Ride up to 180km on a single charge. This is more than double what most other bikes offer.
  • Superior Components: Stromer ebikes are crafted with only the finest materials to ensure you get a seamless design that is as beautiful as it is durable and functional. This includes the Ergon custom SMC40 Sport Gel seat for added comfort, and the Shimano Di2 rear derailleur, which shifts gears electronically and with precision.

Color: Stealth Green

Frame Type: High Step

Warranty: 2-Year Comprehensive

Speed: Top speed of 45km

Ebikes Vancouver: A City Built for Ebikes

We’ve looked at the best ebikes to buy but why is Vancouver one of the best cities for cyclists? 

Ebikes in Vancouver are particularly popular due to our bike-friendly paths and laws. In fact, Vancouver was ranked in the top three most bike-friendly cities in Canada, second only to Victoria. Vancouver earned this rating because of these bike-friendly features: 

  • Over 300KM of dedicated bike paths*
  • Recent reconstruction efforts have taken bikes into consideration and ensured paths are well maintained. 
  • Many streets and bridges now include bike paths
  • Vancouver scored a 79/100 on Bike Score which means the city has adequate infrastructure to make biking convenient for most commutes.

*Before heading to a bike path, check local laws to ensure ebikes are allowed on the trail. Typically, as long as you have a Class 1 ebike (a bike that is pedal assist only and with no throttle) you should be safe to ride on any path that allows cycling. 

Choosing the Best Ebike in Vancouver for You 

While exploring a list of best ebikes to buy is a great jumping off point for finding an ebike, it is also important to choose a bike based on your personal needs and preferences. For example, the most superiorly designed ebike with the best features will not serve you well if it does not have the cargo space you need or a riding position you find comfortable. 

When you buy an ebike in Vancouver, consider these factors for finding the best ebike for you:

  • Frame Type: There are two main frame types: high and low step. Both have advantages. A low step bike is much easier for some riders to mount and dismount as they do not have to lift their leg over a center bar. However, a high step design allows for a lighter frame. This is desirable for maximum speed and portability. 
  • Where You Will Ride Your Bike: Many new riders will often get excited about features that will help them go faster and travel over all terrain types. However, some features simply are not necessary if you plan to use your bike for commuting versus off-roading. 
  • Comfort and Speed: While there are plenty of fast bikes that are also comfortable to ride, bikes built for speed typically will have smaller seats, a high step frame, and require a less ergonomic riding position. For casual riders, a bike built with comfort in mind and ergonomic seating may be preferable compared to a bike built for speed.  
  • Your Personal Ability: Riding an electric bike is similar enough to a traditional bike that if you have ridden one, you should be able to ride the other. However, if you are new to cycling, you should test ride a few bikes to make sure you are comfortable. 

Where to Buy an Ebike in Vancouver

Epic Cycles sells all the top ebikes in 2020. We are a local Canadian team of avid cyclists helping to match riders with the best bikes for them. When you shop with us, you get personalized care from a hometown shop. We are here to answer your questions and perform ongoing maintenance for your new bike.

Learn more about Epic Cycles’ commitment to giving you the best riding experience by visiting our Vancouver location or contacting us today.

5 Winter Tips to Preserve Your Electric Bike Battery

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Do you want to know the secrets to ensure your electric motorbike’s durability and longevity? Do you want to know the best tips to continuously enjoy your daily rides with your Magnum E-Bike? The secret is actually very simple. If you can properly preserve and maintain your battery, you can enjoy your Electric road bike for many years to come.

 

Imagine enjoying this bike year-round!

 

It’s noteworthy to mention that Electric road bikes, or e-bikes, have been around for a while now. There are documents that confirm that inventors had filed for patents in the early 1900’s for a motorized bike as a form of transportation!  

However, we know that Electric Motorbikes have evolved over the years and so have their machinery and parts. This has resulted in Lightweight Electric Bikes that are far more efficient, sophisticated, and functional. Regardless of the technological advancements within the industry, the battery remains the heart and soul of the bike!

While there are many suggestions on the best batteries for motorized bikes, but a post was necessary on how to preserve the battery during the upcoming cold winter months where the temperate is frigid.

In this post, we are going to break down the four tips that help to sustain a long and healthy battery

 

1. Clean your bike before storage

Before storing your Electric Road Bike for winter, it must be cleaned properly as it will sit for a few months and any leftover residue will remain on the bike for the duration of winter. Since the bike is electric you must avoid any high-pressure washer system for cleaning purposes, as it can wedge dirt and other material into areas of the bike, which could damage certain electrical components.

A damp cloth with water to wipe down your bike is enough to clean any stains and remove any dirt. While wiping down the bike, ensure that you use a lubricant for the chain after each wash.  

This step is very simple but often overlooked as leftover salt and water stains on the Magnum bike could wreak havoc as it can cause metal parts to corrode as the motorized bike sits inside a storage unit or garage during the winter. Imagine purchasing a beautiful Sun Ron Electric Bike and having it corrode due to leftover water or salt. That is certainly not a pretty picture!

Also, if you plan to store the motorized bike in an outside shed, we would highly advise a rust preventative adhesive on the spoke nipples any other exposed metal.

 

2. Cold is your worst nightmare

While we completely understand the desire to ride your electric bike during the winter months as an alternative to a car, unfortunately your bike does not share the same sentiments. The reason is that the battery does not fare well in temperatures below zero. Therefore, our advice is not to put your bike through this. Believe us, your bike’s battery will thank you for it!

If you would like to drive your bike during the wintertime, we have already written an article last year which highlights how to ride your bike while maintain a high level of safety. 

Related article: Are Ebikes Accident-Free: Tips For Ebike Safety

 

3. Keep your battery inside

It’s generally understood that the storage facility/garage environment for the batter of your electric road bike should remain above zero. However, another safer alternative is to take the battery inside when winter hits.

The reason is that ideal temperatures for storage facilities should be between 5 – 20 degrees. If you cannot maintain this temperature, there is a good chance that your battery will cause issues and even possibly create a potentially hazardous situation for you when recharging it for the first time after a long winter.

 

4. Do not let it get wet!

This is probably the most obvious advice but necessary to repeat. If you find certain days during the winter that provide the opportunity to ride your E-bike and the weather turns into snow or a wet drizzle, avoid allowing the bike coming in contact with water or any other liquid, as this can damage the electronic circuit.  

This can result in a potentially dangerous situation. Although most of a bike’s parts are water-resistant, precautions must be taken to avoid the situation altogether. Useful measures include avoiding all bodies of water (even small puddles) and rain. If you cannot avoid certain wet conditions, make a habit of checking your bike for any dampness and wet gravel or debris, after each time you ride during wet/snowy conditions.

 

5. Store your battery correctly

Do not leave your fully charged battery in storage. If you have to store it, remember to keep the battery at about three-quarters of its total capacity. The reason for this is because leaving it fully charged can shorten its range, especially over time. There are certain bikes in the market that have a lower storage voltage setting which you can switch on to take advantage before storage. An alternative to this if your bike does not have that setting is to take the bike out for a nice long ride after it has been fully charged and before placing it into the storage.

The exact battery range before storage is not important but the point to remember is to avoid storing your E-bike when the battery is drained out as it may become difficult to recharge the battery to its maximum duration, due to the climate conditions in the winter months.

In Canada we experience winter for about 3-4 months per year and the lengthy winter means that you should check up on your bike every 2 months. If you notice the battery indicator has dropped to a dangerously low level, you give a quick charge to bring it back to ideal storage. If a battery indicator is not a feature on the bike, an alternative is to charge the battery for 30 minutes every 2 months.

 

Conclusion:

Electric Motorbikes are rising in popularity due to their inexpensive upkeep, ability to travel short distances at reasonable speeds, and avoid contributing pollution into the environment. However, E-Bikes still require guidance for best practices to safely store them during the winter.

We at Epic Cycles hope to provide you the ability to purchase a motorized bike as we sell everything from Electric Scooters, Magnum E-Bikes, and Stromer Bikes which can be purchased and shipped anywhere in Canada.

Please don’t hesitate to sign up for our newsletter so that you can remain updated on the latest news, and giveaways. Also, make sure to check us out on social media as we are always up to something! 

Owning an Ebike in Vancouver: How Long Does it take to Charge?

Ebike ownership gives you the freedom to hit the open road while also getting exercise and being kinder to the environment. While an e-bike does provide freedom and flexibility in the way you travel, many new riders are concerned about how long it takes for an ebike to charge. The short answer is that most ebike batteries will gain a full charge somewhere between 2.5 to 8 hours. 

However, there are several factors that will affect how long your battery takes to charge including its capacity and where it is in its life cycle.  Knowing how and when to charge your bike can ensure it is ready to ride when you are. 

Here we will look at what you can expect from your battery’s charge time when owning an Ebike in Vancouver along with tips to care for your ebike battery.  

Understanding Ebike Watt-Hours and Battery Capacity 

One of the biggest factors in how long your ebike will take to charge is the battery’s watt-hours. Watt-hours (Wh) are a measure of your battery’s power capacity. More Wh means that more energy can be stored from a single charge. How far you can ride on a charge will also be determined by the terrain, total weight on the bike and if you are using pedal assist. However, for the purposes of battery charge time, greater capacity equals longer riding time. 

Wh is determined with a simple formula: Volts (V) x Amp Hours (Ah). Charging time will further depend on your battery charger’s current.

Determining Full Charge Time: Without going into a tedious lesson on energy calculations, we can look at the example of the Blue Rev Ultra. The Blue Rev has a 48V battery and a choice of a 14.5Ah, 17.5Ah, or a 21Ah Lithium Ion Cell. 

The 14.5Ah comes with a 2 Amp (A) charger while the 17.5Ah and 21Ah come with a 3A charger. To determine how long each battery will take for a full charge we divide Ah by A. With this we see that the 14.5Ah battery will take around 7.25 hours for a full charge, the 17.5 will take around 6 and the 21Ah will take 7. 

Partial Charge Times: When you know a full charge takes 7 hours, you can then calculate roughly how long it will take to charge your battery with a partial charge. For example, if your battery takes 7 hours for a full charge and is currently at 25%, you can expect your battery to charge for 5 to 5.5 hours to reach full capacity.

Is More Battery Capacity Worth It? 

Batteries with larger capacities are heavier and more expensive, but are they worth it? More often than not, yes they are. 

When we look at the Blue Rev we find that the smaller capacity 14.5Ah battery will travel an estimated 50-90Km while the 21Ah will travel 100-140km. You will get almost double the riding distance for the same time charging. 

More importantly, a battery’s life is measured in cycles. A single full cycle is when all power is drained and, subsequently, fully recharged. Lithium batteries, the best option for ebikes, are typically rated for around 1000 cycles.

If one cycle is one full charge then that means a smaller 14.5Ah battery that travels a max of 90Km per charge will give you a maximum of 90,000Km of distance over its lifetime. Reaching this max distance will be determined on how you ride your bike and if you stay to mostly flat, easy terrain.

In contrast, the 21Ah battery will take you a minimum distance of 100Km per charge. Over the course of 1000 cycles you would travel 100,000Km. You could achieve this distance even if you were to take on terrain that is rougher and has steeper inclines. If you rode on mostly smooth terrain, this number could be as great as 140,000Km. 

Note on Life Cycles: Even if a battery is rated for 1000 cycles that does not mean it will spontaneously stop working as you attempt to charge it for cycle 1001. Instead, most batteries will start to lose their ability to charge gradually. It may take longer to achieve a full charge or you may find your battery stops charging at 80% or so. Similarly, the distance you will be able to go is not an exact number but the above examples are based on industry averages for batteries.

How to Help Your Ebike Battery Last Longer

Fully Charge a New Ebike Battery Before Riding: The temptation to take your ebike out for a ride when you have a new battery is strong. Trust me, the Epic Cycles team understands this feeling. However, if you can hold off and give your battery a chance to fully charge, you can look forward to better battery life for your battery’s lifespan. For that first charge, you could leave your battery on the charger for up to 12 hours. 

Keep Your Battery Cool but Not Cold: Ideally, your battery should be stored and charged in conditions that are between 0 and 20 degrees celsius. Higher than 60 degrees or lower than -10 and you will start to degrade the battery. If you do accidentally have your battery in an extreme temperature, wait for it to cool down/warm up to an appropriate degree before attempting to charge it. 

Time Your Charges: While charging your battery fully can be good practice, you should not leave your battery hanging out on the charger for days or weeks on end. When you do this, your battery will continually lose around 5% of its charge before the charger will step in to replenish. Each one of these short charging cycles will start to count against your total life cycles.  

Store Your Battery Correctly: A stored battery is still vulnerable to the elements and charging issues. When you need to store yours, make sure it is in a dry, cool area. Ideally, store it separate from your bike frame. Additionally, a battery should not be stored fully drained. Instead, it should be kept at around 40-80% of its full capacity. 

Note that a battery will start to lose charge even if you are not using it. You should check your battery’s level once a month in storage to make sure it has not dropped too low. Turn on your battery’s “storage” mode if it has one. Storage mode slows the drain of the battery.  

Should I let My Ebike Battery Run Down Completely? 

For the most part, you should aim to charge your bike when it gets down to at least 60% and before it reaches 30%. It used to be common to recommend that batteries be fully discharged before recharging but technology and this advice have changed. Now, you can let your battery run out on occasion without causing harm, but you should not aim to do this.  

Can I Charge My Ebike Faster?

Yes, but you probably shouldn’t. Higher amp chargers are sold and they can speed up charging time but they also generate more heat. Excess heat is one of the fastest ways to degrade your ebike battery.  

When Should You Replace Your Battery 

As we looked at before, even when a battery is only rated for 1000 cycles, it can still continue working but possibly not as efficiently. Unless you are experiencing problems with your battery (i.e. it is not holding a charge or will not take a charge) you should be able to continue using it safely.

However, most batteries will last a maximum of four years and most will be closer to two years.  The closer you get to the maximum the more likely it will be that your battery will malfunction. If you have an older battery and plan to take a long ride, it would be good to replace it beforehand. This is because the older battery is more likely to malfunction and lose its charge quickly, leaving you without power during your ride.

Will My Ebike Still Work When the Battery is Dead? 

In Canada, road-legal ebikes are required to have pedals and no throttle. While this limits speed, it also means you can operate your ebike like a traditional bike by powering it manually. When an ebike includes a throttle, fuel source, or weighs over 120kg it is considered a different class of vehicle and you may need a license, insurance and other requirements. 

Purchasing an Ebike Battery and Charger

To maximize your battery’s life and get the best riding experience, you need the right battery for your bike and the right charger for your battery. At Epic Cycles we sell top-rated ebike batteries that our team personally uses and stands by. Whether you need a brand new bike or a replacement battery or charger, we’re here to offer our experience and full catalogue of ebikes and ebike accessory. 

What is the Cost of Buying an Ebike in Vancouver?

Ebike popularity has exploded in recent years for many reasons, not the least of which is the cost advantage compared to driving a car. They are also environmentally friendly, provide good exercise and can make your commute a lot more fun. Even those who do not replace their car entirely with an ebike will see the advantages of getting more exercise and saving on fuel costs. 

The initial cost of an ebike can vary greatly depending on the model, quality, battery, motor and other features. Some ebikes can even approach the cost of an economy vehicle. Though this initial cost is high, you will still spend far less on maintenance and fuel. Ebikes also do not require a license or insurance which is another cost savings. 

Here we will look at what you can expect to pay for an ebike, maintenance costs and how this stacks up compared to an automobile. 

Initial Cost of an Ebike 

Most ebikes will cost somewhere between $2000 and $6000. You can find plenty of features and high-quality within this price range. However, higher end bikes can reach up to $10,000 and beyond. In this higher range you can often expect a longer lasting battery, extended warranty, and greater range among other advantages. 

Ultimately, what you pay will also depend on how you plan to use the bike. For example, a casual rider taking their bike out a few times a week will pay less for a bike than someone who needs a reliable daily commuter bike. Someone who plans to go off-roading or take extended trips with a bike will likely need an even more expensive and durable model. 

What Affects Cost?

Battery: A battery is the most expensive individual component of your bicycle with quality batteries costing upwards of $700. However, this is an area where quality counts. When you have the option to get a higher-quality battery with your bike, it is almost always to your advantage. Cheaper batteries will degrade faster and not provide the same performance. While their initial cost may be a few hundred less, you will need to replace them sooner.

Motor Power: Less power (watts) means less expense but your bike’s motor power can significantly change your riding experience. The less power your bike has, the slower it will be to accelerate. This is important to keep in mind if you plan to ride your bike in hilly areas as less powerful engines will struggle.  

Parts and Materials: There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to an electric bike. The more expensive your bike, the more likely these parts are to consistently work smoothly and provide a better riding experience and durability. However, again, you do not necessarily need the top of the line bike for most standard riding. If you plan to stay in urban areas with smooth pavement, a lower quality bike will still perform well and last for many years. It is only when you plan off-roading and extended rides that you will need to look more closely at this aspect of your bike.

Economical Conversion Kits 

If you already have a traditional bike and can’t decide if you should upgrade to an electric one, you may be able to convert your current one. While old conversion kits could be difficult and require technical know-how, the Magnum Bikes R2 Conversion Kit is the fast, easy way to convert your traditional bicycle. 

Coming in at $1,350.00, the conversion kit is several hundred dollars cheaper than even the most economical ebikes. As a bonus, you will not have to figure out what to do with your old bike once you experience how much more fun an ebike is. 

With this kit, you get everything you need to electrify your riding experience including:

  • 500W 8FUN motor with complete rear wheel which is available in either 26″, 27.5″ or 29″
  • 48V/ 13Ah battery for an extended range
  • LCD display with informative multi-function readout
  • Electric Brake Levers, Thumb Throttle, Pedal Assist Sensor
  • Rear Battery Carrier Rack with Integrated Controller Box
  • Complete, easy to follow instructions 

Cost of Maintaining an Ebike

Just like with owning a car, there are expenses even after you have paid for your ebike. However, they are significantly less than what a car would cost: Some common maintenance, repair and replacement costs you may encounter include:

Replacement Battery: A battery is the most expensive individual component of your bike. Most bike batteries will run around $700-$1000 though some can approach $1500. How soon you need to replace your battery will depend on how often you ride, the initial quality of the battery and how well you maintain the battery. However, all things considered, most batteries will last at least two years but rarely more than four. 

Replacement Tires: Most tires will need to be replaced after 3,000 to 5,000 km of riding. You will know that replacement is needed when the treads are worn down and when the tire does not hold pressure. Ideally, you should replace the tires before this happens and causes further damage or injury. Fortunately, replacement tires are only around $50 to $60 per tire. 

Tune-Ups: Regular tune-ups are essential for maintaining your bike’s safety and extending its longevity. Ideally, you should perform a tune-up every 800 km or ever 6 months, whichever comes first. 

If you are new to bike ownership, performing a tune-up yourself can prove difficult and possibly more expensive than a professional job. At Epic Cycles, we offer tune-up services that include a 21-point inspection, tire inflation, brake adjustment and much more for under $80.  

Annual Cost: Cost will vary for each rider. While we can pretty easily predict how long tires or a battery will last under normal conditions and regular use, it is harder to estimate potential repair costs and maintenance. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $300 annually to maintain your bike. 

How Much Can You Save?

A recent study showed that Canadians spend between $8,600 and $13,000 annually on car ownership.  Compare that to an ebike’s average yearly costs of $3000 or less and the cost advantage is undeniable. With a bike you do not need insurance or fuel plus repairs and other maintenance will be cheaper. You could, in theory, buy a new high-end bike every year and still not approach the yearly costs of a car. 

Even if you only plan to use your bike part time while keeping a car, you can still see cost advantages. By using your bike more often, you will reduce wear and tear on your car. You will also use less fuel.  

Non-monetary Advantages

Exercise: By replacing all or most of your commuting with bike travel, you can burn hundreds of extra calories. Depending on your fitness goals, your morning commute could replace the time and money you spend on the gym. 

Time Savings: While a bike is inevitably slower than a car, it can save you time if you need to commute through traffic. On a busy road, your compact ebike can take advantage of a bike lane or squeeze through traffic where a car cannot. 

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: As a zero-emissions mode of transportation, an ebike reduces the strain on the environment. If more people used both traditional and electric bikes, we could see a significant improvement in the environment. Additionally, this would also mean less traffic for people who are on the road which translates to less stop-and-go type driving that uses more fuel. 

Choosing the Right Ebike to Fit Your Needs and Budget 

Unsure of what kind of bike you need? Epic Cycles is here to help. Browse our complete electric bike catalogue or contact us today!

Ebikes in Vancouver vs Regular Bikes: Which Should You Buy

The increasing popularity of bikes and ebikes has hit a new high as people seek exercise and transportation that allows for social distancing. But what’s better: a traditional or ebike? In Vancouver, we have many bike-friendly features good for both types. However, which is right for you may depend on how you plan to use it.  

Here, we will compare the features of both traditional and ebikes in Vancouver to help you decide which is right for you. 

Exercise

One of the big advantages of ebikes is that they allow you to go further and faster with less effort. The electric pedal assist function that makes an ebike an ebike will let you go up hills with greater ease and reduce strain on your legs throughout your ride.

Will you still get a workout on ebikes? In Vancouver, like most areas, there is a variety of terrain. Your ebike will make it easier to pedal up hills and other areas, but that does not mean you won’t have to work at all. You will still burn calories and work the same muscles you would on a traditional bike, but will likely find yourself enjoying an even longer ride. 

Comfort 

While you may want to work up a sweat on a long weekend ride, you may feel differently if you are using your bike for a work commute. Opting for a traditional bike because it seems like a better workout will be far less appealing when you arrive to work with a sweat-drenched shirt. 

Ebikes in Vancouver will allow you to cycle comfortably to work through more of the year. In summer, turn on the pedal-assist to make sure you can make your commute with minimal effort and sweat. In winter, the pedal-assist will allow you to go faster, making the commute bearable even when the weather turns cold. 

Versatility 

Most importantly when considering exercise on ebikes vs regular bikes, remember you can always turn off the pedal assist. If you feel you are not getting enough of a workout on your ebike, you can pedal manually. Conversely, if your traditional bike is too hard to pedal, there is little you can do about it. 

Cost

You really cannot have a discussion about electric bikes without cost coming into the conversation. People often shy away from e-bikes specifically because of perceived costliness. But are ebikes really that much more expensive than traditional bikes? Yes and no. When contemplating ebikes vs regular bikes in terms of cost, consider these factors about why you should buy an ebike:

Ebike Costs are Reducing

Unlike many other products, ebikes are hitting a boom. As e-bikes become more popular, manufacturers are able to produce more bikes for less and pass on the savings. 

Ebikes Can Save you Money

While both traditional and ebikes can be used as transportation, an ebike’s ability to go further with less effort will allow you to use it for more tasks. When you combine an ebike with seat bags, you can easily use it for grocery shopping and other errands. A traditional bike may prove too difficult to take for a round trip to the store, especially with added weight. 

Traditional Bikes Are Not Always Cheaper

The truth is, there is a wide range of prices for both traditional and electric bikes. A high-end mountain bike can easily compare in cost to a similar quality ebike. 

What you pay will be determined by the features you want. Instead of choosing between ebikes vs regular bikes based on cost, consider what you want to use your bike for. If, for example, you want a bike exclusively for exercise and you are already in shape and/or a competent cyclist, a traditional bike may be for you.

However, if you want the versatility of being able to use your bike for transportation or you are not accustomed to cycling, an ebike will give you better options. Whatever money you might save on a traditional bike will not be worth it if it ends up sitting unused because it cannot meet your needs.  

Ebikes as Personal Protection Equipment

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause spikes in cases around the world, people are looking for socially distanced modes of travel. Bikes fit the bill perfectly. While traditional bikes are also included here, they do not allow for the same versatility as an ebike and will not let you avoid other transportation as easily.  

Speed

Speed between ebikes vs regular bikes is less of a differentiating factor than you might assume. While there are ebikes that are much faster than a traditional bike, these are not really ebikes and are subject to different regulations. 

To be considered as ebikes in Vancouver and be allowed on public roads, your bike will require pedals. Additionally, electrical assistance is only provided when you are pedalling. In other words, it cannot function like a motorcycle where the bike can operate without you pedalling. 

Most ebikes will not provide electrical assistance once you reach around 30KPH. Because of this, you may personally be able to ride your ebike faster than you would your traditional bike but it will still be within a similar range as a traditional bike. 

Consider your Personal Ability

One of the other advantages of ebikes that is often pointed to is that ebikes make cycling possible for more people. Since they reduce the amount of effort it takes to pedal, those who are older or have certain injuries can still enjoy the benefits of cycling without pain. 

Similarly, if you have never been a cyclist or have not ridden a bike of any kind in many years, an ebike may be ideal. Trying to start a cycling routine when you are not used to that kind of exercise can easily become discouraging. 

Many new riders find themselves giving up on cycling the first time they have to struggle up a hill without pedal assistance. With an ebike, you can start out with pedal-assist to get yourself acclimated then turn it off once you need a challenge.

Why You Should Buy an Ebike 

An ebike can provide exercise, an environmentally friendly alternative to other modes of transportation and can help keep you motivated to workout. However, the main reason why you should buy an ebike is that it suits your needs

Though cost is often considered first, that factor is becoming less relevant. Ebike prices are falling, making them similar in price to traditional bikes. They can also help reduce your other transportation costs and provide a safe, alternative mode of transportation. This makes ebikes a sound financial and health purchase for many riders. 

Where to Purchase Ebikes in Vancouver

When purchasing an ebike, buying local can be a huge advantage. This will make repairs and buying accessories easier. Also, you will have quick access to local experts. At Epic Cycles, we are committed to matching riders with the best ebikes for their needs and providing ongoing support. Shop our online catalogue or come visit us at our Vancouver location

Electric Bikes in Vancouver: Are they Safe?

Riding electric bikes in Vancouver is one of the greatest ways to experience both the urban areas and natural wonders of this region. However, are they as safe as they are fun and convenient? Overall, yes, ebikes are safe and do not put riders at any greater risk than other modes of transportation when you observe safety rules. 

Choosing the right bike for your ability, maintaining your bike, following the rules of the road and wearing proper safety gear go a long way to minimizing your risk of injury. Here we will look at top safety tips for electric bikes. 

Wear a Helmet

If you take only one bike safety precaution to heart, it should be the importance of wearing a helmet. According to a study from Public Health Ontario, wearing a bike helmet can reduce your risk of a head or brain injury by as much as 88%. 

Helmets are so important to bike safety that they are legally required for riders under the age of 18 in Canada. While adults are not legally required to wear them, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation “strongly recommends” them for all riders. 

Knee and elbow pads are not a legal requirement for any rider, but they can also greatly reduce the severity of certain injuries. While a helmet remains your most important piece of safety gear, consider these pads especially if you are wearing shorts and/or a sleeveless shirt while riding. 

Be Visible

Night riding offers an additional layer of safety concern. To mitigate this potential for increased risk, it is imperative that you have working lights and reflectors on your bike. You should have both a head and tailight secured to your handlebars and seat. Models like the SERFAS USL5 & USL5R offer several modes including high beam, low beam and flashing.

In addition to proper lights, you should also consider your night riding apparel choices. If possible, light colored clothing should be worn at night to give you the best chance of being visible to other drivers. 

Don’t Neglect Your Bike or Your Gear 

Caring for your safety gear and your bike is a crucial component of how to ride ebikes safely.  Something as small as an under inflated tire can greatly compromise your control over your bike. Here we’ll look at some of the most important ways you can care for your bike: 

  • Proper Tire Inflation: Each tire has its own ideal inflation level and there is good reason for this. When your tires are over inflated, this decreases contact with the road which can result in poor grip and balance. It will also make you more likely to have a blow out. In contrast, under inflated tires will have contact with the road but will slow you down. This can be especially dangerous on a busy, fast moving road. For proper tire inflation, always consult your bike’s owner’s manual.
  • Inspect Your Bike Regularly: Various parts of your bike such as the bike chain and brake pads should, ideally, be inspected before each ride. A worn down brake pad or a chain clogged with grime can cause serious problems on the road. For brake pads, make sure they are a minimum of 1.5 mm thick and listen for any noises while you ride. If you hear any kind of noises while riding, the brakes are likely the cause and should be addressed before you take another ride. 
  • Inspect Your Safety Gear: A proper bike helmet made of approved materials is built to take on great impacts. However, any kind of crack of weakness in the outer shell will compromise the integrity of its structure. Similarly, inspect the inner padding and chin strap to ensure they do not have excessive signs of wear. If the internal padding has worn down this means you have less protection and a looser fit. A chin strap that is even slightly frayed should be replaced as you do not want that small tear to turn into a large one while you’re on the road. 

Follow the Rules of the Road

Both traditional and electric bikes in Vancouver are not allowed on the sidewalk. While pedestrian safety is a concern, it is also safer for bike riders to stay on roads because there are less obstacles to navigate. In addition to staying off the sidewalk, follow these safety tips for electric bikes on the road: 

  • Choose Your Lane Position: If you can keep up with traffic, riding in the center of the lane is best. If you are going slower, stay to the far right of a lane as long as the lane is wide enough for another vehicle to pass you.  Choose the center if there is not enough room for another vehicle to safely ride along beside you. 
  • Pull Off the Road When Needed: If you are on a 2-lane road and have 5 or more vehicles lining up behind you, you should make a plan to turn off the road as soon as it is safe. 
  • Walk Your Bike at Intersections: This is not a legal requirement, but walking your bike across an intersection can give you more control over the situation especially at busy crosswalks where many people are crossing at the same time. 

Are Ebikes Safe for Children?

This is a bit of a trick question. Ebikes may be rideable for some children, but it is not legal in Canada. In order to operate an ebike in Canada, you must be at least 16 years old. 

Are Ebikes Safe for Seniors? 

Ebikes are often recommended for older persons who have mobility issues and other physical conditions because the pedal assist makes it possible for them to bike more comfortably with less effort.  When you choose an easy bike path and the right model of bike, seniors can safely ride electric bikes. In Vancouver, there are many bike friendly paths for seniors so this is less of a concern. 

However, when choosing a bike model, seniors are often best served by bikes that include a step-through or low step frame, like the Magnum Premium II Low Step Black which also includes a gel seat for maximum comfort. This is because many injuries on ebikes are not from crashes, but from falling when mounting or dismounting the bike. With traditional high step frames, there is a high bar to step over and this can be difficult for many people to clear their leg over. 

Note: It is important to note that the low step frame will tend to be heavier than the high step. Because there is no stabilizing bar in the center, the frame requires extra bulk to provide strength. If you are concerned with maximum speed and portability, the low step might not be ideal. 

Final Thoughts on the Safety of Electric Bikes in Vancouver 

Bikes, like any mode of transportation, are not without some risk. It is important to remember that an electric bike can go as fast as a car and you should take proper safety precautions each and every time you ride. However, when you wear proper gear and follow important safety tips for electric bikes, you greatly reduce your chances of serious injury. 

Have more questions about safe riding for electric bikes? In Vancouver, cyclists can visit our Epic Cycles dealers. At Epic Cycle, we love riding bikes and our knowledgeable team can help guide you to the bike that will give you the best and safest experience. 

Ebikes in Vancouver vs Regular Bikes: Which Should You Buy

The increasing popularity of bikes and ebikes has hit a new high as people seek exercise and transportation that allows for social distancing. But what’s better: a traditional or ebikes? In Vancouver, we have many bike-friendly features good for both types. However, which is right for you may depend on how you plan to use it.  

Here, we will compare the features of both traditional and ebikes in Vancouver to help you decide which is right for you. 

Exercise

One of the big advantages of ebikes is that they allow you to go further and faster with less effort. The electric pedal assist function that makes an ebike an ebike will let you go up hills with greater ease and reduce strain on your legs throughout your ride.

Will you still get a workout on ebikes? In Vancouver, like most areas, there is a variety of terrain. Your ebike will make it easier to pedal up hills and other areas, but that does not mean you won’t have to work at all. You will still burn calories and work the same muscles you would on a traditional bike, but will likely find yourself enjoying an even longer ride. 

Comfort 

While you may want to work up a sweat on a long weekend ride, you may feel differently if you are using your bike for a work commute. Opting for a traditional bike because it seems like a better workout will be far less appealing when you arrive to work with a sweat-drenched shirt. 

Ebikes in Vancouver will allow you to cycle comfortably to work through more of the year. In summer, turn on the pedal-assist to make sure you can make your commute with minimal effort and sweat. In winter, the pedal-assist will allow you to go faster, making the commute bearable even when the weather turns cold. 

Versatility 

Most importantly when considering exercise on ebikes vs regular bikes, remember you can always turn off the pedal assist. If you feel you are not getting enough of a workout on your ebike, you can pedal manually. Conversely, if your traditional bike is too hard to pedal, there is little you can do about it. 

Cost

You really cannot have a discussion about electric bikes without cost coming into the conversation. People often shy away from e-bikes specifically because of perceived costliness. But are ebikes really that much more expensive than traditional bikes? Yes and no. When contemplating ebikes vs regular bikes in terms of cost, consider these factors about why you should buy an ebike:

Ebike Costs are Reducing

Unlike many other products, ebikes are hitting a boom. As e-bikes become more popular, manufacturers are able to produce more bikes for less and pass on the savings. 

Ebikes Can Save you Money

While both traditional and ebikes can be used as transportation, an ebike’s ability to go further with less effort will allow you to use it for more tasks. When you combine an ebike with seat bags, you can easily use it for grocery shopping and other errands. A traditional bike may prove too difficult to take for a round trip to the store, especially with added weight. 

Traditional Bikes Are Not Always Cheaper

The truth is, there is a wide range of prices for both traditional and electric bikes. A high-end mountain bike can easily compare in cost to a similar quality ebike. 

What you pay will be determined by the features you want. Instead of choosing between ebikes vs regular bikes based on cost, consider what you want to use your bike for. If, for example, you want a bike exclusively for exercise and you are already in shape and/or a competent cyclist, a traditional bike may be for you.

However, if you want the versatility of being able to use your bike for transportation or you are not accustomed to cycling, an ebike will give you better options. Whatever money you might save on a traditional bike will not be worth it if it ends up sitting unused because it cannot meet your needs.  

Ebikes as Personal Protection Equipment

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause spikes in cases around the world, people are looking for socially distanced modes of travel. Bikes fit the bill perfectly. While traditional bikes are also included here, they do not allow for the same versatility as an ebike and will not let you avoid other transportation as easily.  

Speed

Speed between ebikes vs regular bikes is less of a differentiating factor than you might assume. While there are ebikes that are much faster than a traditional bike, these are not really ebikes and are subject to different regulations. 

To be considered as ebikes in Vancouver and be allowed on public roads, your bike will require pedals. Additionally, electrical assistance is only provided when you are pedalling. In other words, it cannot function like a motorcycle where the bike can operate without you pedalling. 

Most ebikes will not provide electrical assistance once you reach around 30KPH. Because of this, you may personally be able to ride your ebike faster than you would your traditional bike but it will still be within a similar range as a traditional bike. 

Consider your Personal Ability

One of the other advantages of ebikes that is often pointed to is that ebikes make cycling possible for more people. Since they reduce the amount of effort it takes to pedal, those who are older or have certain injuries can still enjoy the benefits of cycling without pain. 

Similarly, if you have never been a cyclist or have not ridden a bike of any kind in many years, an ebike may be ideal. Trying to start a cycling routine when you are not used to that kind of exercise can easily become discouraging. 

Many new riders find themselves giving up on cycling the first time they have to struggle up a hill without pedal assistance. With an ebike, you can start out with pedal-assist to get yourself acclimated then turn it off once you need a challenge.

Why You Should Buy an Ebike 

An ebike can provide exercise, an environmentally friendly alternative to other modes of transportation and can help keep you motivated to workout. However, the main reason why you should buy an ebike is that it suits your needs Though cost is often considered first, that factor is becoming less relevant. Ebike prices are falling, making them similar in price to traditional bikes. They can also help reduce your other transportation costs and provide a safe, alternative mode of transportation. This makes ebikes a sound financial and health purchase for many riders. 

Where to Purchase Ebikes in Vancouver

 

When purchasing an ebike, buying local can be a huge advantage. This will make repairs and buying accessories easier. Also, you will have quick access to local experts. At Epic Cycles, we are committed to matching riders with the best ebikes for their needs and providing ongoing support. Shop our online catalogue or come visit us at our Vancouver location

 

Electric Bike in Vancouver: Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Bike in Top Condition

Ebikes are a safe, environmentally friendly and economical mode of transportation, but are they easy to maintain? Absolutely. With proper maintenance tips for your E-bike, your electric bike in Vancouver will take you anywhere you need to go for years to come. 

Ebike maintenance can sometimes seem daunting for new riders. However, maintenance is often similar to a traditional bike but with a better return on your investment since ebikes are more versatile. It is also far easier and more affordable than car maintenance. Here we will look at how to care for your ebike including cleaning and storage best practices. 

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Your E-bike’s Most Important Parts

There are 6 primary components of your ebike that require maintenance and/or cleaning. These include: brakes, tires, battery, drivetrain and frame. Let’s look at what it takes to best care for your ebike parts: 

Brakes

If you only maintain one part of your bike, it should be your brakes. Remember, your ebike can travel at similar speeds to a car which makes your brakes critically important. To make sure your brakes can do their job, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Check your Brakes Before Every Ride: Wear and tear can appear suddenly. Visually inspect your brakes before every ride to avoid accidents and inconveniences. Look for a brake pad thickness of around 1.5 to 2mm. This is about the thickness of most coins.
  • Clean Your Brake Pads: Sometimes noisy brakes are due to a build up of dirt, oil or other debris. If your brake pads are still new and have enough thickness to them, try cleaning them to address noises. Take these steps to clean your pads:
    • Clean your hands or, ideally, use gloves to handle pads. 
    • Use a small cloth dampened with alcohol. 
    • Gently scrape away the top layer of the pad with a fine grit sandpaper.
    • Give the pads a final wipe with alcohol. 
  • Listen for Changes in Noise: Even with proper maintenance, wear can be uneven or a brake pad can be faulty. Along with a visual inspection before each ride, listen for changes. A squeaking, screeching or any other new sound can mean you need your brakes looked at. Finding a brake problem early can help you avoid more expensive repairs.

Tires

Inspect your tires for wear regularly and inflate them to their recommended fullness. Each tire will vary slightly and it is important you are as precise as possible. 

Both over and under inflated tires can prove hazardous and affect performance. You will find the proper inflation in your user manual. 

Battery

Maintenance tips for your e-bike battery are largely about how and when to charge your battery. As a general rule, you should never leave your battery on the charger nor should you let the battery run down to 0%. 

Even when you are not using your ebike, your battery should still stay partially charged. We will cover this more in the next section about maintenance during storage. 

Drivetrain

Caring for your ebike drivetrain is all about cleaning and lubricating the chain regularly. Start by inspecting the chain for any buildup of dirt, rust or abnormalities in the chain links.  Most of the time you will be able to spot clean your drive train with a small brush – a toothbrush will do the trick. 

For this, simply brush over any trouble areas and then apply a small amount of lube before wiping the area down, leaving a thin layer of lubrication. 

If you are riding your electric bike in Vancouver parks off the beaten path, you will need to perform cleaning tasks more often. While there are guidelines for the frequency of maintenance, your bike may need work more or less often. 

Every few months you will also want to fully remove your bike chain and soak it in a solvent. Then, wipe down the chain, reapply lubricant and reinstall it on your bike. 

Frame

Caring for your ebike frame will vary from model to model based on several factors including what kind of paint your bike has. However, all bike types should get a wipe down after going through mud, once they are dusty or before they go into storage. 

For most cleaning jobs, a sponge and bucket or a garden hose with a spray attachment are the best water sources. Power washers are typically not recommended. 

Note: Both the brakes and drivetrain can be cleaned with a brush but you should not use the same brush on both. Each part can become contaminated with dirt and oil from the other. Instead, have a dedicated brush for each. 

Caring for Your EBike in Storage

A big part of knowing how to care for your ebike properly is understanding how to store it. While an ebike can be ridden through most kinds of weather, long winters like we often get in Canada will make storing your bike a necessity. 

Here we’ll look at how to store your battery and frame to prevent corrosion and other issues that can occur when a bike is left idle. 

Cleaning Before Storage

Make sure your bike is dirt and moisture-free before storage to prevent parts from sticking and rusting before your next ride. To clean your bike properly before storing it, follow these steps: 

  • Remove your display and battery before cleaning
  • Follow a thorough cleaning regimen for wheels, brakes, etc.
  • Thoroughly dry your ebike. Drying is always important, but especially so before your bike is set to sit in storage. 
  • Prepare your battery for storage as covered in the next section.

Maintaining Your Battery in Storage

Caring for your ebike battery is an essential part of maintenance. Batteries are the most expensive component of your bike, and proper maintenance extends their viability. Follow these maintenance tips for your e-bike battery in storage:

  • Store your battery with a partial charge. A charge of 40% to 80% is ideal.
  • Do not store your battery with a full charge. This is better than no charge, but a partial charge is best.
  • Check your battery’s charge at least once a month to ensure it has not run down to zero. Letting your battery run down to zero, especially on a consistent basis, will reduce its lifespan and possibly prevent it from holding a charge. 
  • Your battery should be stored at close to room temperature or slightly on the cool side – below 20°C.
  • Do not keep your battery on the charger in storage. This can overcharge your battery and affect its ability to hold a charge. 
  • If your ebike battery has a “storage” mode, turn this on. This will help prevent it from losing charge quickly. 
  • Store your battery separate from the bike. Storing it on the bike will drain the battery more quickly and possibly limit your options on where you can store the battery. This is because while the battery needs to be at room temperature, the bike frame will not be harmed by a greater range of temperatures. 

When to Seek Expert Help for Your Electric Bike in Vancouver

Caring for your ebike is fairly straightforward once you know the steps. However, there are times when professional help is needed. This is especially true when your brakes are involved. 

Your brakes are the most important safety feature on your ebike and an expert can tell you if something like an odd noise just means you need new brake pads or something more. 

This will also save you money as catching a brake problem early usually means replacing a pad versus buying a whole new rotor. Simply put, when in doubt, have an expert check it out. 

This is why it is ideal to purchase your bike locally from a dedicated bike shop where you can find an expert who also rides and maintains an electric bike. In Vancouver, the Epic Cycles team not only sells ebikes, we are true ebike enthusiasts. For all your questions on how to care for your ebike and how to choose an ebike that’s right for you, contact us today!