Frequently Asked Questions: Electric Bikes

How fast can I go?

If you’re relying on pedal power alone, you can go as fast as you are able to pedal, but generally, you can reach speeds of up to 25 km per hour with electric assist. Most electric bikes are rated up to 20mph by the manufacturer, but the actual speed will vary depending on the weight of the rider, the terrain and of course road conditions. Smaller riders are likely to achieve higher top speeds than larger ones, and you’re likely to go faster on flat terrain than uphill

Will my e-bike get me up that steep hill?

E-bikes are designed to be pedalled – they’re not motorbikes or mopeds. But the motor on an e-bike will allow you to feel as though you are being pushed while pedalling. This extra assistance is encouraging to those who would normally avoid regular bikes due to fear of not being fit enough to tackle those slopes. Studies have shown that people who have never owned or regularly ridden a conventional bike are now buying e-bikes to increase fitness.

How much money can I save running an e-bike?

According to RACQ research calculations, comparing an e-bike to a Toyota Prius (electric hybrid) you can save $100 per week. Compared to a Subaru Forester X2.5L you can save an estimated $150 per week. Compared to public transport, you can save around $50 per week.When you consider the inconveniences of a car, including parking, traffic infringement fines, maintenance, registration and insurance, an e-bike makes a whole lot of sense.

How long does it take to recharge an e-bike?

A full recharge usually takes around 3 hours, although some bikes have a quick-charge feature which means they can top up to 80% capacity in around 90 minutes. A typical single Lithium Ion battery will have a lifespan of up to 1,000 charges.

Are electric bikes safe?

Studies carried out in Germany, where e-bikes are hugely popular, found that e-bikes are actually safer than normal bikes. E-bike riders are able to keep up with traffic flow more effortlessly, and can accelerate to cruising speeds with less effort. Most e-bikes include automatic power cut-off features and safety components like circuit breakers and fuses to protect the operator.

Is it safe to ride my e-bike in rainy weather?

E-bikes are weatherproof, but not necessarily water-tight. They are not designed to be submerged, because if water seeps into the openings it could damage the bike. If you do plan to ride a lot in wet weather, it’s recommended that you have any openings sealed with silicone, and any exposed electrical connections covered with tape.

What’s the difference betweeh pedal assist and throttle assist?

Pedal-assist (pedelec) bikes require the rider to pedal to gain the advantage of the electric model. In simple terms, for a pedal-assist bike, no pedalling equals no power.

In contrast, an e-bike with a handlebar throttle, a simple flick of the switch or twist of the handlebar will propel the bike forward – without pedalling.

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