GEARS : e-Bike FAQ

eBike FAQs

 

Gears Bike Shop has been interested in all things eBike since 2015. And while this may not be that long ago, in the world of advancing technologies, we’ve already witness a great deal of change and evolution.

 

During this time, we’ve invested not just in product, but (equally important) we’ve also invested in the training of our technical teams. Our technicians regularly attend service seminars with our various vendor and eBike components suppliers, to ensure Gears remains at the forefront of this rapidly changing industry. Training is coupled with investment in proprietary tools and diagnostic equipment to properly service what we sell.

 

  • Bosch
  • Brose
  • Specialized
  • Yamaha
  • Giant
  • Shimano
  • Panasonic
  • Ebikemotion

 

There are always numerous questions that people have when it comes to electric bicycles. We may not have all of the questions covered below but we have provided answers to quite a few. If you have more questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you and answer any further inquiries.

 

Who likes to ride eBikes?

 

Potential eBike users: aging baby boomers, cyclists who would ride to work but may not due to a lack of showering facilities in their workplace, urban commuters, students, RV and Camping enthusiasts, families wanting to ride together, and much more! Core fitness riders, urban corporations, retirement communities, resorts, rental shops, schools, corporate campuses, delivery people, the physically challenged, those without a driver’s license and most any eco-friendly fun seeker are all the places and/or the people that you will see riding eBikes in the near future! Who rides an eBike…? Everyone.

 

Are people really using eBikes?

 

YES! It’s estimated over 20,000,000 eBikes are sold annually worldwide. In some European Countries eBikes represent close to 30% of bicycle sales. The U.S. has not experienced the same sales rates but it is definitely growing there and will be a significant factor in the bike industry. The U.S. market is approximately 80,000 units, but the real big news is that in Europe, where this category is available in most bike shops, it is already well over 1 million units per year.

 

Why do eBikes use Lithium Ion batteries?

 

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries represent the very best in current battery technology. They are long lasting, light weight, and provide more power. The Electric Vehicle Industry as a whole has embraced Li-Ion batteries as the best power source for eco-friendly transportation!

 

Do I need to “break-in” my batteries?

 

Yes, the batteries used in our eBikes will need to have a “break-in” cycle consisting of ~ three discharge/charge cycles before they will reach optimum performance. This involves three complete discharges and three complete recharges. After this initial “break-in” cycle the batteries will have maximum possible performance and less line voltage fluctuations under load.

 

How long does it take to charge a discharged battery?

 

Depending on battery capacity and charger output, batteries will typically take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to charge. Li-Ion batteries take 70% of their charge in the first 1-2 hours.

 

How long will my batteries last before needing replacement?

 

Average battery life depends on use and conditions. Even with proper care, rechargeable batteries do not last forever. Li-Ion batteries will last about 700+ cycles before losing significant capacity. A partial charge/discharge counts fractionally against those numbers; running the battery down halfway then recharging it completely uses up one half of a charge cycle.

 

How do I differentiate between the battery and motor options available?

 

The best way to understand the battery/motor combination is to ride the eBike.While battery and motor specification is important, the ride-ability of the eBike and the ability of the power system to provide the rider with usable power is the real test. Higher wattage and higher voltage usually result in higher performance, however, the type of motor and how the battery and motor work together can be

as important.

 

eBike motor and battery options are rated using the following terms:

 

Volts – A measure of the strength of the electric power. Most eBikes are 24V, 36V, or 48V.

Watts – A measure of power output, the way motors are rated. Most eBikes are 250 to 500 watts.

Amp Hours (AH) – A measure of battery capacity.

Watt Hours – The total energy in a battery (V x Ah)

 

What maintenance do eBikes need?

 

eBikes can be ridden in pretty much the same conditions as regular bike. They are fine in the rain or snow but shouldn’t be ridden under water! The batteries should not be stored in extreme temperatures and if inactive, the batteries should be charged up (to top off their energy level) every 90 days

 

What Servicing and Support is available?

 

Our eBikes use standard bike parts, so much of the servicing can be done easily by a bike mechanic. If there is a problem with the eBike components, the motor, electronics and handlebar controls are simply replaced. If you need support, simply contact us at any GEARS Bike Shop, and we will assist you in attaining replacement parts.

 

How are electric bikes controlled?

 

PAS – Pedal Assist or Pedelec

 

When you pedal in this mode, the system senses your speed, cadence and/or torque, depending on the bicycle, and adjusts motor speed to match. You also have multiple power modes, from eco-to turbo. Turbo mode will use more battery power than eco-mode, but you’ll get more of a boost! On throttle equipped bikes, using the throttle in the PAS mode will give you a significant boost. PAS yields the best range and rider experience. It gives the rider the “magic carpet ride” everyone loves!

 

TAG/POD

 

Twist And Go/Power on Demand. On most throttle equipped bikes, a simple twist of the throttle will have the eBike rolling. No need to pedal. On certain off-road models, the throttle is for start-up power only, and will give you a boost of around 8mph to get you rolling into the FUN of pedal assist mode.

 

How important is Motor wattage?

 

Motor wattage is only one part of the story. A well engineered eBike balances motor power, battery specs, and user controls to give the rider a bike that is efficient and provides sufficient power for their needs.

 

What is the mileage range?

 

It depends on many factors: terrain, wind, temperature, rider weight, tire pressure, and rider input. Under normal conditions and rider participation, one can expect 20-40 miles per charge for the average eBike.

 

How fast will an electric bike go?

 

Legally, an eBike cannot exceed 20mph under motor power alone. All our eBikes conform to this regulation. Certain models are equipped to go 28mph in pedal assist mode due to the rider’s added pedaling contribution.

 

 

Do electric bikes have regenerative braking?

 

Some do, but in reality, the charge generated is less than 10%. You’d have to have some very long downhill terrain or drag while pedaling to make a noticeable, charging contribution.

 

Ontario Ministry of Transportation eBike FAQs

 

For more information on the definition of eBikes, rules, regulations and licensing in the Province of Ontario, please visit

www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/e-bike-faq.shtml#top