New riders, those thinking about getting an e-bike and experienced electric bicycle owners all have questions about these machines. Part bike, part motorized vehicle, e-bikes continue to impress people with their capabilities to help people ride farther and faster. At the same time, misinformation makes some people suspicious of these bikes. Get your facts straight so you can make an informed opinion about electric bikes, and share this information with others to help them to do the same.
These common e-bike questions cover the basics of what e-bikes are and how they operate. If you have never ridden an electric bike before, start here to learn the fundamentals.
1. What Is an E-Bike?
E-bikes have an electric motor to help you move faster, pedal easier and tackle hills without problems. Some models' motors kick in when you pedal. Other models have a throttle you can use to have the motor drive the bike without moving your feet.
To earn the classification of an electric bicycle instead of a moped or other motorized vehicle, e-bikes cannot have motors that exceed 750 watts, which is one horsepower. The motor must stop operation once you hit a specific speed based on the bike's class.
The motor uses a battery for emission-less, silent operation. A controller shows your speed and the wattage of the engine's output. Thanks to their ability to run without an internal combustion engine, e-bikes run cleaner than motorcycles and can make riding easier for you than traditional bikes.
2. Do You Have to Pedal an E-Bike?
In most cases, you must pedal an electric bike to propel it forward. Two types of motor assistance exist, depending on the model you have.
Pedal assist engages the motor as long as you keep pedaling the bike. Throttles turn on the motor, whether you move your feet or not.
Some bikes have a pedal-assist feature that feels more like a traditional bike. If you have never ridden an electric bike before, you may prefer ones with the more natural feeling of pedal assist. These bikes, such as our RipCurrent, include a torque-sensing monitor on the pedals that triggers the motor when you reach a specific effort level.
3. How Fast Can an Electric Bike Go?
Electric bikes' speed depends on how fast you can pedal. However, the motors must cut out at certain speeds. For example, the CampScrambler has a top speed of 28 mph with pedal assist, making it a class 3 bike. You can go even faster with the off-road-only HyperScrambler, which tops out at 35 mph.
4. What Type of Battery Do Electric Bikes Use?
While older electric bikes used lead-acid batteries, today's models use rechargeable lithium cells. These batteries give more power with less space.
5. How Far Can You Go on an Electric Bike?
The range depends on the battery pack and model. Base models with a 13-amp-hour battery capacity will go around 45 miles per full charge. Premium models with the 52-volt, 19.2-amp battery will get around 70 miles per charge. Our Hyper Scrambler 2 electric bike has a dual battery option. You could get more than 100 miles per charge if you have a secondary battery. For example, the CampScrambler can travel between 22 and 45 miles on a charge, while the RipCurrent S can go between 33 and 67 miles.
How you use the motor also makes a difference. Most bike summaries will include a range at certain speeds you will get per battery charge.
Read more: Juiced Bike Battery Packs and Range
6. Are Juiced E-Bikes Hub-Driven or Mid-Driven?
Our electric bikes are all rear hub-driven. Hub-driven bikes can handle up to a 15% hill grade in pedal-assist mode and are suitable for most general commuting. Plus, they’re easier to maintain, so you get more bang for your buck with hub drives.
7. Who Can Ride an Electric Bike?
The good news about electric bikes is how easy they are to ride. Anyone can ride an electric bike, but very young children may lack the coordination to control the extra speed. Check with your state laws about whether your children can ride an electric bike.
If your area does not have specific regulations for minimum age, use your best judgment about your child's ability to ride an e-bike. You may need to have your child as a passenger on models equipped for a second rider before you can trust them for riding alone.
8. Do You Need Any Training to Ride an E-Bike?
E-bikes have an intuitive operation. For pedal-assisted bikes, the motor kicks in to help you pedal depending on the torque you apply to the pedals. Torque-controlled motors may have a twist or thumb control on the handlebars to allow you to turn on the motor at will. As long as you can ride a regular bike, you can handle an e-bike.
9. Can I get a workout on an E-Bike?
Definitely. How much depends on the person. If you ride a road bike 100 miles per day, it might not feel like a workout like it will to everyone else. But it also depends on how much pedal assist you use, what kind of terrain you’re negotiating, and the wind against you. The S pedal assist level on our bikes stands for sport mode. It gives you more assistance but you also have to keep that consistent pedal up to get the higher level of assistance. And then to get your top speed in race mode, you still want to pedal hard. You can also set it down to eco mode and power the bike mostly with your legs.
Read more: Yes You Can Still Get a Workout on an Electric Bike
10. Why Should You Get an E-Bike?
Electric bikes offer several advantages over other forms of transportation. They give you more exercise compared to motorcycles or mopeds, which don't require pedaling. Compared to those other motorized vehicles, e-bikes run cleaner and quieter since they do not have fuel-burning engines.
If you live in a hilly area, electric bikes are perfect for helping you climb steep inclines. They also are useful for helping you reduce the effort you put into your commute. You can bike to work and arrive less sweaty and tired, thanks to the help the motor gives you in reaching desired speeds.
If you want a greener, cleaner and healthier way to work, you should look for an e-bike.
Laws regarding electric bikes vary depending on where you live. You may need to check your state laws before mounting up on your e-bike to avoid getting a ticket.
1. Are E-Bikes Legal?
E-bikes are legal to own and ride in many parts of the United States. However, some states have restrictions on the type of e-bike you can ride and where you can use it.
Not all states have laws explicitly covering e-bikes. Only 33 states legally define what an electric bike is. Other locations classify e-bikes as motorized vehicles in the same class as mopeds.
Of the states that define e-bikes, many places break down the definition into three classes. Classes 1 and 2 both max out their speed at 20 mph when the motor kicks in. The only difference between these classes is whether the rider must pedal for the motor to turn on. Class 1 requires pedaling, while class 2 bikes can run without the rider pedaling. Class 3 e-bikes reach 28 mph with help from the motor.
These classifications make it easier for states to distinguish which e-bikes have legal use and which models have restrictions. For example, in Tennessee and California, class 3 bikes cannot ride on bike paths, but local jurisdictions have the option to allow e-bikes on paths.
2. Do I Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding?
Whether the law requires you to wear a helmet and whether you should are two different questions. In some cases, state laws base their bike helmet laws on the bike classification system. For example, Michigan and Colorado require all under-18 riders of class 3 bikes to have helmets. On the other hand, in California, Tennessee and Ohio, all riders of class 3 bikes must wear helmets.
To be safe and legal, always wear a helmet wherever you ride. E-bikes move faster than regular bikes, and because you don't have to pedal on some models to reach those speeds, you may not realize how quickly you are riding. Getting into a collision at such speeds could be fatal. Wearing a helmet protects your head and your life.
Does the law require you to wear a helmet? The answer depends on where you live and the type of bike you ride. Should you wear a helmet when riding an electric bike? For optimal safety, the answer is always.
3. Is There an Age Limit for E-Bikes?
Age restrictions on electric bikes depend on where you live. Arizona, Wyoming and Idaho allow anyone of any age to ride e-bikes of all three classes. However, these states are exceptions. Other states prohibit young riders, especially from faster class 3 bikes.
Class 3 bikes have strict laws surrounding them because these bikes reach the fastest speeds. Those under 16 cannot ride these bikes in Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Connecticut and Illinois.
Utah requires anyone under 14 to have a parent's supervision if riding an e-bike, but it prohibits those under 8 years old from riding all electric bikes in any circumstances, even with parents nearby.
There is no upper age limit for electric bikes. Be sure you can safely handle the bike, because these bicycles weigh more than non-motorized bikes.
You may not think of any questions about your e-bike until you start to ride it. At that time, concerns about the bicycle's operation may come to mind. If you already own an electric bike or want one, read through these questions and answers to ease your mind.
1. How Do You Charge an Electric Bike?
E-bikes have lithium batteries, similar to the one in your laptop. To charge these batteries, plug in the battery with a compatible charger and wait for a few hours until charging finishes.
2. How Long Does Charging an E-Bike Take? Can You Reduce the Time?
The length of time required to charge an electric bike battery depends on the battery's power capacity, measured in amps, and how quickly the charger sends power into the battery.
A standard charger sends two amps of power each hour to the battery. For a 13-amp battery, this standard charger will require 5.2 hours to charge the battery from 10 to 90%.
To find this number, take the amp rating for the battery and multiply it by 0.8, because you likely only put 80% of the battery's power back into it if you charge it from 20% to full power or from 10 to 90%. In the example, 80% of 13 amps is 10.4, because 13 x 0.8 = 10.4 amps.
Take this value and divide it by two if you have a standard charger. The answer is how many hours you need to get the battery charged 80% from where it started. Using this formula, we arrive at 10.4/2 = 5.2 hours.
You can reduce the charging time by upgrading to a faster charger. Fast chargers can send seven amps of power to the battery each hour. For a 13-amp battery, this shrinks charging time from 10% to 90% from 5.2 hours to 1.5 hours.
3. Can You Ride E-Bikes in the Rain?
E-bikes can withstand light rain. Keep in mind that they are water-resistant, not waterproof. You should protect your bike parts, so the bike continues to operate at its full capacity. Before you head out for a bike ride, check the forecast and use your best judgment if bad weather is headed your way. It's best to avoid heavy rainstorms to protect your electric bike.
4. Can You Still Ride an Electric Bike If the Battery Dies?
Since electric bikes have a standard bicycle as the core of their designs, if your battery dies, you can still travel. Pedal the bike as you would usually, but without the battery to run the motor, you will not get the benefit of motorized assistance until you recharge the battery.
5. How Can You Increase Your Bike's Range?
The range your bike gets with its motor depends on the battery and the motor's power. For example, the CrossCurrent X attains a range of 67 miles when you ride with the motor at medium speed. You can get more than 70 miles to a charge if you use the motor judiciously. However, the range drops to 33 miles when you keep the motor running to attain the fastest speed.
To increase the range you get, do not use the motor more than you need to make it up hills or to help you recover when you tire of pedaling. The less you rely on the motor, the more distance you get from each charge.
6. What kind of maintenance should I expect?
The majority of electric bike maintenance consists of pre-ride checks on your wheels. You should tighten any loose spokes and ensure the tire PSI is correct. Also, make sure you perform routine maintenance checks. You can expect to buy tire tubes and maybe swap out the battery.
Read more: Electric Bike Maintenance Made Simple
7. How Should I Store My E-Bike?
Ideally indoors. Your bike should be away from the humidity to keep up its high performance levels.
Read more: Riding and Storing your E-Bike During the Winter
Specifics of Bike Models
Like other bikes, e-bikes have different specs depending on the model. Whether you want a mountain bike or a commuter model will determine various options such as tires, durability, speed and more.
1. How Much Should You Spend?
The amount you spend on an e-bike depends on your budget. But you get what you pay for. If you want more features and fun from your electric bicycle, you will spend a little extra. We have prices ranging from the $1,899 CrossCurrent S2 to the ultra-premium HyperFat 1100 for $3,999. All these bikes come with longer-lasting 52-volt batteries and can reach at least 20 mph or faster with throttle only. Why settle for less when your investment in an e-bike will last for years?
2. What Type of E-Bike Do You Want?
The types of bikes we sell include those for adventurers and commuters. If you want a starter bike, check out our RipCurrent, which is a perfect ready-to-go bike you can try as soon as you take it out of the box and charge the battery. The CrossCurrent S2 and CrossCurrent X are ideal commuter bikes for getting to and from your work in urban traffic.
Our bikes with "Hyper" in their name, the HyperFat 1100 and the HyperScrambler, are both high-performance bikes for off-road use only. They reach the highest speeds and have the most robust designs to withstand the rigors of going off the beaten path.
3. What Are the Differences Among Juiced Bikes' E-Bikes?
Our e-bikes have multiple differences that set them apart from each other and the competition. We offer a range of bikes that include beginner models to off-road enthusiast options. Check out our concise page that gives you the specs on all our electric bikes. With this information, you can compare the specs of the bikes to find your perfect ride.
4. What Upgrades Should You Consider?
While our bikes come ready to ride, you can choose to upgrade to a fast charger that boosts charging speeds and dramatically cuts the time before you can get back on your e-bike.
For better performance on older e-bikes, consider upgrading from a 48-volt battery to a 52-volt one. Your battery will be more efficient while providing your bike with a little more power.
5. Are E-Bikes Hard to Set Up?
You can set up your electric bike by yourself or with the help of a partner. Juiced Bikes has assembly videos on our YouTube channel for every bike we sell.
Find more information about assembly on our Bike Setup page
6. Why Choose Juiced Bikes Over Other Brands?
We have the most control over our high-quality products. Tora Harris, founder and CEO of Juiced, designs the products, oversees production and has his hands on pretty much everything. That involvement is rare in the e-bike world. Juiced also gives you the best-quality e-bike for your money. Our bikes are customizable should you ever want to upgrade them later on.
Read more: The Juiced Advantage
Do You Still Have Questions About Your Ultimate Thrill Ride?
You may still have questions about electric bikes in general or a specific model. We have even more answers at our comprehensive Q & A page, which delves deeply into issues our customers have had on particular models, as well as our brand of performance-inspired innovation.
Check out our selection of e-bikes to learn more about what makes each unique. You can even compare all our bikes at a glance to find the one that's right for you.