Have you ever wondered what questions to ask when considering an ebike? We’ve put together a few of the very popular questions here so you can be more educated. We appreciate those who research and end up with a great Ebike. Take a look at our top 10 below and see for yourself.
10 Answers to Your Questions About Electric Bikes
1. How does the pedal assist work?
Pedal assist is just that, it adds power AS needed, not all the time. Some people imagine the bike is pushing you around like a motorcycle and that you are pedaling for show. Not the case. Biking is an inertia game, and bikes are very efficient. Once you are going, it takes little energy to move a bike baring wind or hills. Our cruiser bikes use a pedal assist sensor called a cadence sensor. This basically measures the speed at which you are turning the pedals. It has 5 different levels, so if you are in level one, it is looking for a low pedal speed. When you are starting from a stop or hit a big hill and you drop below that speed, it will add power (incrementally not all at once) to get your pedal speed back to that low pedal speed. Once you are there, it’s all you! Pedal assist level 2 is a little faster and so on. We also offer a pedal assist 0 which is none at all and makes the bike just a bike!
2. How does the throttle work?
The throttle on electric bikes is like a gas pedal, push it and go! It’s simpler than most people imagine too. It does not require throttle mode on or off, it is just always waiting to give you a boost. Let’s say you are pedaling along in pedal assist 2 and want to make a green light. Just hit the throttle: you override the assist and get max motor output and speed up to make the traffic light (safety first of course!) One big difference in how throttles work is that some makers bikes only work while you are pedaling. This is for safety reasons. Ours is designed to work whenever you have the bike on, making it a little dangerous if you were to use it while not seated on the bike, but SUPER fun because you can use it to overcome the inertia from a standstill and not have to do the grunt-work. Imagine being at a stop sign and lifting your feet, pressing the throttle and then pedal when you get up to speed - as always STAY SAFE!
3. What if something goes wrong?
That’s a really complicated question, but a really good one. In most cases you will have “bike problems.” These are issues like a flat tire or a chain coming off or corrosion. All of these can be addressed by bike shops, or if you are handy with the help of YouTube (check out our channel here). It’s a little more complicated, AND YOU MUST ALWAYS WORK WITH THE POWER OFF, but it is in the capability of most folks who have done bike stuff. The second set of problems are “ebike problems” in most cases, we can find a local shop to work with you to repair as they love our support and parts availability , but if you don’t have one close, never fear, the company can support you 100% and fix most issues over the phone or with the help of our service library. All of the parts are modular, so we don’t have customers fix parts in the field, we just replace and then bring the defective parts back for rehab or recycle.
4. What is the delivery on a bike?
Another good one. This is a question that is answered day by day. Most ebike companies will get a projected date and relay that to the customer. This date is almost ALWAYS extended because of the world wide shipping situation. In the case of the company, we have stock piled parts and have plenty, we are just short on frames in our new colors, but that is changing too. Make sure when asking this question that you follow it up with, what is the chance that this will actually happen. In the case of Boogie, we always add lead time based on the most recent shipments – example supplier says ship in 90 days, 50 days transit. Today (3/30/22) we would expect 120 days for the product to be shipped and 90 days in transit. We would then add two weeks and make that our promise date. We would rather not take an order that causes customers pain. If we do get the order, we want to be able to deliver on time!
5. Should I buy now, or wait? Are the prices going down?
The answer is not as straightforward as you would think. The worldwide shipping situation is making EVERYHING much more expensive, but as of yesterday a tariff penalty on one of our major supply countries has been dropped, so we really don’t know. On the other hand, almost everything is going up and our shipping costs have gone up 10X since our first parts were shipped in 2020. Last but not least, ebiking is SUPER fun, that’s why we got into it. Buy now enjoy now, you won’t regret it!
6. What components really matter?
Batteries, motors and brakes. Most of the makers out there (other than the Sub $1200 market) are using quality bike parts, but the motor is the heart and soul of an ebike. ESPECIALLY if you opt to get a geared motor, buy from a name brand. The plastic gears are wear items and the higher quality the longer they will last. Also beware of the “creative” brand names of batteries. If you have never heard of them, they are probably a cheap Chinese cell. This allows makers to build MUCH cheaper bikes as this is one of the highest cost items. Panasonic, Samsung, and LG tend to be the leaders for good reason. Last but not least, the power of an ebike requires you to be able to stop. Make sure you get a quality name brand brake, if you don’t you might be REALLY sorry.
7. What class is your bike and where can I ride it?
SUPER complicated answer. Our bike is a class 2, although we can make a class 1 upon request (check out the class system here) That’s the easy part. In Wisconsin (where we are located and your bike is born of quality global components) if a bike is under 750W and has a max speed assist of 20MPH it’s considered a BIKE! In that case you can pretty much go wherever bikes are allowed with some very limited local exceptions. Unfortunately, it’s not like a car, each state has their own laws and a lot of municipalities have theirs. Check before you ride, and ALWAYS ride with courtesy and respect we’ve never had a problem when treating others like we would like to be treated.
8. How can I transport my bike?
Trailer hitch mounted racks are about the best way to roll out there. Unfortunately, as of the writing of this article they are VERY hard to find. You can see the ones we would recommend for our Cruiser Bikes here: Cars and SUV’s and RV’s (Recreational Vehicles.) The big things that these racks DO, is accommodate the weight of our bikes (60lbs with battery, 51 without), accommodate our wheel size (26” x2.125”) AND allow you to clamp the bike in place without a crossbar (traditionally on a “men’s” bike, not on step throughs.) You can find a lot of racks that will work and do a good job, be especially careful when selecting a RV rack as there is a lot of torque transmitted to the rack when it’s that far back from the rear wheels.
9. What accessories do you recommend?
Seats, seats, seats! Many companies put a standard seat on a $2000 bike, we start with a great seat, in most cases our premium seat will work VERY well for your bike, in the case of super long rides or overnights, you might want one suited exactly to your body shape (your anthropomorphics). In any event it’s your most used accessory, get it right! The grips and adjustability of your handlebars and seat will also make a big difference. Grips are often overlooked but can add a lot to the quality of your ride. Also if you plan on riding for errands something like a bag or a basket works nicely. If you want to carry and leave your bike, a basket is great because it can stay with the bike, for groceries or commuting the bag is easy to get on and off the bike to take your things with you. You might also want to lock your bike when you get to the destination so an quality lock is important. No lock will prevent the determined thief, so you will have to make a choice based on where you plan to leave your bike and for how long. Last but not least, we sell a lot of rearview mirrors, it’s a great addition. We always recommend riding a bit an seeing if you really need a phone holder, or a water bottle cage or not. At any rate, customize, it’s up to you!
10. What is the range / How long does the battery last?
The answer is we don’t know. There is probably a formula that could calculate your exact range for any ride, but there would be so many variables it would be too complicated to use. The answer is based on weight, battery capacity, and power used. The weight being moved is directly proportional to the life of the battery, so lighter loads can go farther. The battery capacity for our cruiser bike is 13.6ah or 17ah depending on which battery you pick. The power consumption is the real wild-card. Terrain is a big factor (going up a mountain will result in lower battery life) temperature plays a role (Lithium Ion batteries perform worse in very cold temps), but operator effort is the most important in determining range. We had one customer call up and say they got 28Miles out of a single charge using throttle only, we had another claim to have a full battery at 76 miles, and most famously our YouTube review by electrotek says we get less than 50 miles (pedaling at pedal assist 5.) We figure 50 miles for a 200lb rider at medium effort (PAS 1 or 2) on regular terrain. Clear as mud? A better way to answer this might be that you can ride for 3-4 hours at 10-13 miles per hour average speed on regular terrain. For most people 2 hours is really enjoyable, after that not so much. Battery range is really important if you have defined distances, but for the causal ebiker, it’s not as big of deal to have a 100 mile range as many companies hype would lead you to believe.
I hope this helps you further decode the mysteries of ebikes. As always if you have ANY questions, give us a call, we love to talk ebikes. If you are considering an ebike, we’d love for you to make it a cruiser bike.
Let us know how we can help!