Do you have questions about e-bikes and how they work?
Learn more about commonly asked e-bike questions.
Do I have to pedal?
YES – you need to pedal when you are riding an electric-assisted bicycle. Electric-assist systems amplify your pedalling power – simply put: no pedalling, nothing to amplify.
However, there are throttle-operated systems and pedalling is not necessary.
How fast does it go?
Electric-assist bicycles are governed at 32km/hr and they won’t assist beyond this point – but just like any other bicycle you can always pedal harder and go faster.
Can I make it go faster?
As mentioned above: you can always pedal harder and faster beyond the governed 32km/hr. Never use “speed tuning” devices or applications as this will void your warranty and might compromise the entire system.
Do I need a “driver’s” license?
No license (or registration) needed, just like any bicycle. According to ICBC, the rider must be older than 16 years of age and respect the rules of the road.
What accessories are compatible?
Common accessories like fenders and racks will fit most of our e-bikes, and many already come equipped with such features! Panniers, baskets, handlebar bags, trailers, bells - anything that works on a regular bike works on most e-bikes we have in stock.
Can I ride in the rain/snow?
YES – motor and battery are waterproof if not modified or “adjusted”.
Can I wash my e-bike?
YES – gently! Never use a pressure washer, this can push dirt into bearings and can contaminate your brake rotors. A "hose treatment" and a good wipe-down is usually all that is necessary.
How heavy is an e-bike?
E-bikes can weigh 23kg/50lbs and more; for comparison, a full-suspension mountain bike is about 13kg/30lbs.
How heavy is the battery?
Most systems have similar battery sizes and the Bosch battery, for example, weighs approx. 2.5kg/5.5lbs.
How heavy is the motor?
Mid-drive motors weigh approx. 4kg/9lbs.
Can I put my e-bike(s) on a car rack?
Yes - make sure to stay within your car rack's weight limit per bike (e-bikes are heavier than normal bikes) and properly secure the bikes. Always take off the battery and your bike computer (if removable), especially when using public transit racks.
Most brands offer e-bike specific racks.
What is the advantage of mid-drive motors?
This configuration keeps weight centered and low for predictable handling and improved ride quality.
What is the advantage of hub-driven motors?
Rear hub motors are lighter weight and often more affordable than mid-drive systems.
How many assist modes do e-bikes have and why are there different levels?
Bikes equipped with Shimano STEPS or the Hydrive system have three levels of assist, and Bosch systems provide four levels of power assist. Riders don’t always need the same amount of assist. Using less assist increases battery life, while the option to use more is always there for acceleration or climbing hills.
How far can I go?
General range is between 32-160km – based on the power mode/assist level – depending on terrain, and other riding conditions such as wind, tire pressure and the weight of any cargo you may be transporting. Bosch has a handy e-bike range calculator that will help you estimate range for specific riding conditions.
How does an e-bike charge and how long does it take?
The battery charges like any personal computer or cell phone. Plug the charger into a wall outlet and connect the charger to the battery. Most e-bikes don’t require you to remove the battery to charge, but it’s always an option. Lights on the side of the battery indicate when it is completely charged. It takes approximately 3-5 hours for a full charge, depending on the state of the battery prior to charge and which charger is being used.
How long does the battery last?
That depends on mileage, usage, terrain, and so on. If you are riding fairly flat terrain pushed by a nice tail wind you will experience a more extended range of the battery than climbing up mountains with heavy head wind every day.
Can I buy a new battery and how much is it?
Batteries these days offer high energy density, extensive mileage, long service life and easy handling. A new battery starts at ~$1000, depending on performance.
Due to the technological progress in the e-bike sector, costs for batteries may change over the course of the next few years. The price quoted above provides a rough point of reference only.
Does the battery recharge while riding?
No, the efficient motors used by Trek, Electra and Norco are not regenerative. Most regenerative motors provide a negligible amount of energy back to the battery, and sacrifice a lot in efficiency.
What's a watt hour?
A watt hour is a measurement of battery capacity. Think of it as the “size of the gas tank.”
What is the lifespan of an e-bike battery?
In general, with regular use, an electric bike battery becomes less efficient after 3 to 5 years.
Where should I store the battery in the winter?
If your e-bike lives outside or in an unheated garage/shed you should take the battery inside (for charging or storing over night) when temperatures drop below zero (Celsius). If you are putting your e-bike into hibernation over the winter – store the battery inside at room temperature at about 30-60% charged. That optimizes battery life.
Will the lights still work if the battery is dead?
Yes. The battery management systems stop the motor from drawing power when the battery’s capacity reaches a certain point, but there is still ample power available to operate the lights..
Can I lock the battery?
Yes, the battery is locked to the bike and a key must be used to remove it.
What if I lose my battery key?
Keys for batteries are serialized and can be ordered either through ABUS directly (Bosch) or contact us and we are happy to help.
Can I buy a new motor and how much is it?
A new motor (mid-drive/hub) involves about the same costs as a new battery/power pack – $1000 and up.
Due to the technological progress in the e-bike sector, costs for motors might change over the course of the next years. The price quoted above provides a rough point of reference only.
What's the warranty?
Like most bikes, the frame is usually covered by a limited lifetime warranty. Bosch offers a warranty of 2 years or 500 cycles, and Shimano offers a warranty of 2 years or 1,000 cycles for the battery, Hydrive offers a warranty of 2 years
What service is required?
Maintenance is generally the same as with any other bicycle. Lithium ion batteries perform better at room temperatures and battery life depletion may occur if left outside in extreme temperatures, so we recommend storing them indoors.
Where can I get my e-bike serviced?
We can service any Bosch, Shimano and Hydrive systems. Just get in touch and we'll keep you rolling.
*Please note that not all of the information provided above reflects the current state of the industry (pricing, systems, performance), since technology in the (e-)bike industry is constantly evolving. We are trying to stay up to date as best as we can.