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    How Do You Choose an E-Bike?

    How Do You Choose an E-Bike?

    Riding an electric bike, often known as an e-bike, for the first time can feel like gaining a superpower. That's because pedal-assist e-bikes expand your two-wheel options: you can keep up with stop-and-go traffic, tote kids or freight more easily, arrive less sweaty at your destination, or simply enjoy a little extra oomph on trips that might have seemed too far or too mountainous otherwise.


    E-bikes are first classified in the same categories as traditional bikes: mountain and road, as well as specializations such as urban, hybrid, cruiser, cargo, and folding cycles.

    Understanding the Different Types of Electric Bikes

    Electric bikes are classified into classes based on their level of motor assistance, mostly for regulatory purposes. A important decision point is determining which type of e-bike you require:

    Class 1: The motor only activates while you pedal and stops assisting at 20 mph.


    Class 2: Has a pedal-assist mode with a top speed of 20 mph as well as a totally throttle-powered mode.


    Class 3: Is exclusively pedal-assist (as opposed to class 1), however assistance continues until you reach 28 mph.

    The majority of novice riders begin with a class 1 e-bike. Class 1 motorcycles are the least expensive and, from a regulatory standpoint, the most widely approved. One can be ridden on city streets as well as various bike lanes. This type of e-bike is beginning to be permitted on regular mountain-bike trails, though access is not ubiquitous, so always double-check first.

    Class 2 e-bikes are usually permitted in the same areas as class 1 e-bikes. Because both classes have a top speed of 20 mph for motor assistance. Because REI does not sell class 2 bicycles, this article will concentrate on class 1 and class 3 bicycles.

    Commuters and errand runners choose Class 3 e-bikes. They are faster and more powerful than class 1 motorcycles (and cost more). The benefit of improved performance is that you can keep up with traffic more efficiently. They can also climb higher and carry greater weights. The downside is that you won't be able to ride on most bike routes or mountain bike trail systems.

    Before deciding on an e-bike class, look into the access rules. All of the following access information comes with the proviso that regulations, licensing, registration, age limits, and land-management requirements are always changing. Check out People for Bikes' state-by-state guide to e-bike rules across the country for a state-by-state guide to e-bike legislation across the country. Also, check with local cities and land management in the areas where you intend to bike.

    Can You Use an E-Bike in the Rain?

    Can You Use an E-Bike in the Rain?

    It’s officially the fall season, which means that rainy days are going to become more and more frequent. 



    You may be wondering if it’s safe to drive your e-bike in the rain— and the answer is yes. However, there are some extra precautions you have to take to ensure full safety when doing so.


    Here are some things you should consider when riding your e-bike in the rain.



    2. Avoid riding through water that’ll submerge your e-bike’s battery and motor. Your batter is especially prone to shorting out if submerged for any length of time, so make sure to avoid big puddles and flooded water. And most importantly, don’t leave your e-bike outside in the rain.

    1. Take care to drive extra cautiously. Being more cautious with where and the way in which you ride your e-bike in the rain sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s a point that can never be too emphasized. The roads are far more slippery, visibility can be poor and there are also likely to be unexpected objects on the roads. 


    The key things to be more cautious with are: 



    • Speed. Riding more slowly than usual gives you time to anticipate and avoid potential problems, plus helps you stop quickly if you need to. 

    • Braking. It always takes longer than usual when its wet so brake early and brake smoothly to avoid locking up your wheels and skidding. 

    • Angles eg. try not to lean into corners or ride up gutters and driveways on an angle. Try to keep as much of your tire rubber on the road as possible.

    • White lines and metal tracks and potholes. Very slippery in the wet. Also look out for places where there may be oil or petrol, mud and leaf matter on the road and avoid. 

    • Deep puddles and potholes. If there is or has been running water it’s hard to know what’s in them or whether they have changed. For example, walk across a creek if you have to (and can) vs ride. Best to not even try it if it’s fast-flowing water. 



    3. Use the right gear. 


    We're talking about things such as: 



    • Safety gear. For example, lights and high-vis clothing. A helmet is mandatory anyway but it has the added benefit of keeping water out of your eyes if it has a visor. Clear glasses or goggles are recommended too. 



    • Tire pressures. Lowering your tire pressures so you have more traction in the wet can be a huge advantage. Aim for lower to mid pressure, depending on how much load you are carrying. See this article on tire maintenance for how to check recommended tire pressures. 



    • Weatherproof gear. Having mudguards in the wet can help keep you and your bike clean. (There are lots of good removable options if you don't like to normally carry them so feel free to ask us.) Furthermore having waterproof panniers to hand and some spare ziplock or silicone bags can help protect your valuables, especially if you tend to travel with things such as laptops and tablets. 

    3 Reasons Why You Should Ride an E-Mountain Bike

    3 Reasons Why You Should Ride an E-Mountain Bike

    Sure, we love taking our mountain bikes out on the weekends to ride our regular, local trails and sometimes even trying out some new scenery. But have you ever thought about taking your ordinary mountain bike riding to the next level? In other words, have you considered trying an electric mountain bike?

    E-mountain bikes are awesome because they give you a little extra power that especially comes in handy when your legs begin to tire out. Don’t underestimate how much that extra bit of power can help you and your experience mountain biking— especially for those harder trails. If you’re considering giving an e-mountain bike a whirl but have never tried an e-mountain bike for yourself, we suggest you go for it.

    Here are 3 reasons why you should try riding an e-mountain bike:

    More Power, More Speed

    This is probably the most obvious reason why you would go ahead and try riding an electric-assist mountain bike. You can ride at higher speeds while expending less energy than on a regular mountain bike. Isn’t the sensation of speed one of the greatest aspects of riding a bicycle? You’ll be amazed at how much faster you can travel on an e-mountain bike.

    Go the Distance

    More speed equals covering more ground in a given amount of time. For example, say that you’re limited to a one-hour ride this weekend. If you’re only able to ride 10 miles of trail on your regular mountain bike in that time, you’d be able to enjoy an estimated 12 to 15 miles in that one hour of time on your e-mountain bike. Now calculate how much more overall time you’ll have to ride and explore your favorite trail system.

    More terrain equals more trails, and more trails traveled equals more fun for you.

    Smell the Roses

    Covering more range is one of the best benefits of an e-mountain bike. It allows you to cover more ground in a finite amount of time in comparison to your standard bike.

    The added assist of the electric motor also means that you can cover your normal riding distance with far less energy. Rather than huffing and puffing to use all of your energy in order to wrap up your ride before a deadline, you can save some energy enjoy your trail and absorb the scenery around you.

    How Much Do E-Bikes Cost?

    How Much Do E-Bikes Cost?

    E-bikes are actually quite affordable. The price of the electric bike you want to buy will depend largely on the type of riding experience you want and the quality of that experience.

    If you’re looking for an electric bike for quick jaunts, you might spend less money than if you need one for extended daily commutes. Need an eBike to go trail riding? Then you’ll have to buy an electric bike with more durable components – stronger frame, fatter tires, more robust motor.

    There are many companies out there manufacturing electric bikes now. And each company sets its own prices. As you explore your options, you’ll soon get an idea of what you can expect to pay for an electric bike.


    But there are other cost considerations with buying an electric bike.


    Consider the Maintenance Cost

    Electric bikes tend wear out just like a traditional bicycle. But they have far more components in them that can wear out. Motor. Battery. Motherboard. If you are going to use this as your main means of transportation, it will need adequate maintenance to last. Here is a quick list of some of the things you need and the cost.

    A tune up every six months (or after 500 miles) is recommended. That can cost anywhere between $75 to $100.

    Patching a flat tire costs between $10 and $20, depending on the severity of the fix.

    Brake adjustments will cost $20-35.


    Some of our electric bikes use a maintenance-friendly design. Our EB8 features power line quick disconnects, making it easier for bike shops to perform general maintenance.

    Since the most common repair is fixing a flat tire, keep the necessary tools and parts so you can do it yourself. Again, this is where our EB8’s quick-disconnects will come in handy. You won’t need to find a special eBike shop with a certified electrician just to change the tires. You can easily do it yourself.


    Consider the Cost for Charging an E-Bike

    One recurring cost associated with electric bikes is the cost of charging the battery. It’s a common question. And it’s one that is easily calculated, if we do a bit of math.

    Find the battery voltage and amp hour rating of the eBike. Use those numbers to get watt hours. For example, a 36V 10Ah battery has 360 watt hours, or 0.36 kilowatt hours (kWh).

    Check your local electricity prices. Electricity prices vary widely from state to state, but the average cost per kWh in the U.S. today is roughly 13.45 cents per kWh.

    How To Safely Ride an E-Bike

    How To Safely Ride an E-Bike

    Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage that most of us experience some time during our childhood. Learning to ride an e-bike is a slightly different story. Despite the similarities between the two, riding an electric bike can is largely a different experience than that of a normal bike. The differences lay in the e-bike’s pedal-assist nature and its electric motor.


    Sure, at the end of the day, electric bikes are bikes— but they do have some major differences. It's a major purchase and a new, fun experience. It's worth making the choice, but you want to make sure you learn to ride in the safest way possible. 


    Here are some tips on how to safely ride an electric bike. 

    Start Off Slowly 

    Electric bike riding is a different experience due to the different speeds involved. Not everyone who rides a bike regularly takes the time to learn about the speeds electric bikes are capable of. 


    This is especially the case in the US where class III bikes can go up to 26mph, but this is also true at slower speeds. Even if you’re riding at a speed that you feel comfortable with, it's one thing to pedal hard and start going fast, but it's a very different thing to have a motor push you to speed quickly with little work on your part. 


    Different types of bikes have various solutions for delivering power. Make sure to read up on what to expect. Some e-bikes feel very similar to regular bikes. Torque-based sensors usually deliver that more natural feeling. Even if that's the type of bike you’re riding, it's still a smart idea to start at a low assistance level, so that you experience a ride not too different from what you know. 


    Understand How Your Brakes Work

    E-bikes are heavy compared to traditional bikes. The extra weight combined with more speed makes braking something you really need to focus on. You’ll want to ensure that you have an understanding of how the brakes on your e-bike feel and which brake part does what. 


    Make sure you understand what kind of brakes you have on your e-bike. It's a good thing to keep in mind when shopping, but you should take a look once you own the bike. Mechanical disc brakes stop due to the cable pulling the calipers closed. There is a physical connection to the brake lever and the harder you pull, the stronger your braking power will be. On the other hand, when it comes to hydraulic disc brakes, the only connection between the caliper and lever is fluid.