Q. Why should I choose an electric bike?
A. Electric bicycles are a fun, environmentally friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective means of transportation. They have all of the benefits of cycling, but with the added benefit of an electric motor that can take up the slack if you start to get fatigued. Even if you don’t worry about getting tired out on long rides or when riding into the wind or up steep hills, the motor can help extend your effective range. When the motor is helping you, it makes it easier for you to pedal, or you can let the motor do all the work entirely. And if you run out of battery power or experience any motor issues, you can simply pedal the bicycle like a bicycle. Light and maneuverable, electric bicycles can go places cars and even motorcycles cannot.
When you look at the price to fuel them (by paying for electricity) compared to the price of gasoline or that of public transportation, electric bicycles are very cost-effective and cheaper than almost any other form of commuting. Supplement your commute with an electric bicycle on those days when the weather allows and you will definitely reduce your travel expenses significantly. Adding extra activity to your daily routine will also produce health benefits associated with increasing your level of physical activity, too. And bicycling is a great low-impact exercise that is accessible even to people who might have some physical issues depending on their individual situations. Every way you look at it, choosing an electric bike as a means of transportation, or just to ride for fun, can really add a lot to your life. That’s why we spend so much time doing electric bike reviews and providing electric bike news. Our ebike reviews are devoted to getting you into the electric bicycle that is right for you.
Q. How are your electric bike reviews conducted? Are your ebike reviews objective?
A. Our e bike reviews are as objective as we can make them, yes. Every electric bike review here at ElectricBikeUniverse.com is conducted with an eye toward helping you, the ebike consumer. We look all over the Internet for other reviews and reports where relevant, we aggregate electric bike news, and we spend our time going through video sharing sites looking for hands-on data about electric bikes. Basically, we’re always looking to bolster our electric bike review information and electric bike news with the benefit of other people’s experience. That’s why we have a forum here at the site, too; we want ebike users to be able to confer with each other and share experiences.
Q. Where do you get your electric bike news from?
A. Our electric bike news comes to us from a variety of sources. We spend a great deal of time going through the Internet looking for more electric bike news and ebike review information. We also get tips from people who have direct experience with various ebikes, and those who work in the industry who have information they wish to share. If you have some electric bike review or electric bike news information to share, please do contact us and let us know. We would be very interested to hear from you.
Q. Are electric bikes street legal? Do I need a special license?
A. Electric bicycles are interesting in that they occupy a very special niche in transportation on our public streets and thoroughfares. Provided they are regulated so as not to exceed certain speed limitations, you can ride an electric bike almost anywhere. We know of only a few places where electric bikes are not street legal (such as in New York). Everywhere else, you can ride most electric bikes on the street without any sort of special license or credentials. Beyond a certain speed and power limit, the vehicle would be regulated like a scooter. But electric bike manufacturers know this and regulate the power of their electric motors, if necessary, to keep the speed within legal limits for unregulated vehicle traffic. That means that with only a few exceptions, your electric bike will be street legal. No special license or other credentials are required.
Q. Why can’t my electric bike go faster?
A. Your electric bike’s motor determines how fast your electric bike will go. While most manufacturers rate their electric motors for a certain maximum speed, that speed is based on the weight of the rider. Heavier riders will put more drain on the motor and reduce that top speed. Lighter riders will put less strain on the motor and might even be able to exceed that speed… or they would if the top speed of the electric motor were not regulated. Limitations are placed on the electric motor of an e bike for two reasons. One is to keep the electric bicycle within legal limits so it is not regulated like a scooter or motorcycle. The other is to keep the electric motor from running at its full output, which is bad for the motor. The ideal speed for a motor to run is less than the top of its range to reduce strain on the motor itself. To produce a reliable electric motor for maximum travel distance on an electric bike, therefore, it makes sense to limit the motor so that when you are cruising “full out,” you are actually not pushing the motor to its maximum. This results in a more reliable motor with a longer useful life. It also helps prevent prematurely draining the battery.
Q. How far can my electric bike go?
A. Your bicycle can go as far as you are able to pedal it, but the electric motor can only take you as far as its charge lasts. Every manufacturer is different, so look at the statistics provided by your electric bike’s manufacturer to determine what its general range and time to battery depletion is likely to be. These figures may not accurately represent what you will see from your electric bicycle, however, depending on your weight, how fast you push the bike when you use the motor, the terrain you are traveling, and other factors. The best way to determine the range of your electric bike’s motor is to test the bike out yourself and see what average travel distance you get out of it. Then you can plan your rides accordingly.
Q. What if my electric bike breaks down?
A. Your electric bicycle’s manufacturer will provide you with details of a warranty, if any, should your electric motor stop working. The good news is that when you are riding an electric bicycle, if there are any issues with the electric motor, you are still riding a bicycle. That means you always have the option of pedaling where you need to go, even if you simply run out of electrical charge before you reach your destination. This is one of the things that is so great about electric bicycles, and why we devote so much time and effort to our e bike reviews and electric bike news. Electric bikes are safe, sustainable, fail-safe transportation. No matter where you go on one, you are still riding a bicycle no matter what.
Q. Which is the best electric bike?
A. There really is no “best” electric bike. There is simply the electric bike that is best for you. That will be a function of a variety of factors. These include the price of the bike versus your own price range, the style of the bike versus the way you intend to use it (do you want a beach cruiser, a mountain bike, a commuter city bike, a folding bike, etc.), and whether the bike shows good workmanship. Does the bike have adequate power for your needs? Does it come in the styles and colors that you want and like? All of these things are different from person to person. Some bikes cost more, but are a better value, than bikes that cost less but don’t provide you with the minimum feature set you require. The best electric bike, then, is up to the bike rider. We have a few models we are especially fond of, but the fact is, the best electric bike will be different depending on who you talk to.
Q. How much does an electric bike cost?
A. There is a huge span in prices for electric bicycles right now. There are affordable models that cost a few hundred dollars, and there are much more expensive electric bicycles that cost two, three, and even four thousand dollars (US) and then some. You can probably spend as much on an electric bicycle as you try to spend. While you generally get what you pay for, buying a more expensive electric bike is no guarantee that you’ll get the features and quality you want. Every electric bike is different, and every manufacturer offers a different compromise across cost, value, and features. When you shop for an electric bike, therefore, you must be prepared to spend at least a few hundred dollars, and you may need to spend more if you end up setting your sights on a high-end, high price model.
Q. How popular are electric bicycles?
A. Exact figures are a little difficult to come by, but it’s definitely true that there are more cyclists now than there have been in past years, and there are more electric bikes on the road than ever before. Electric bicycles are so popular right now, in fact, that crowdfunding campaigns for affordable electric bicycles continue to exceed their revenue targets. As more and more people take up cycling and electric bicycling, we will see even more support for bike paths and other cycling infrastructure from local and state governments. Cycling produces great low-impact health benefits and gets you where you need to go. It’s cost effective and sustainable environmentally. This makes it increasingly popular in our modern world. There is no better time than now to get into electric bicycles.
Q. What are the health benefits of electric bicycles?
A. The health benefits of electric bicycles are the same as those of manual bicycles. The increased amount of physical activity produced by adding an electric bicycle to your routine provides many benefits, from reduced risk of obesity to increased overall health. Bicycling is relatively low impact, so there’s less risk of strain on your joints when you choose bicycling as your means of transportation. And the increased activity, exposure to natural light, and improved sleep that bicycling can produce will have far-reaching health benefits for you and your longevity. Reduced risk of a variety of chronic ailments are all part of the benefits of cycling, not to mention the social benefits of getting out, riding, and enjoying the world around you. Becoming more active has many benefits to you as a person… and when you integrate cycling in your daily life, you naturally increase your activity levels.
Q. Can I build my own electric bike?
A. Yes, you can build your own electric bike. What is an electric bike, after all, if not a bicycle with an electric motor added that helps drive one of the wheels? We’ve been very interested to see the various electric bike designs that our fellow bike riders have come up with. That’s part of what makes electric bike review information, electric bike news, and ebike review aggregation so much fun. Now, we’re not going to tell you that building your own e bike is the simplest thing in the world, but it’s a lot less complicated than you might think. If you can’t afford to buy one of the commercially available electric bikes on the market, you might be able to afford building your own by converting a manual bicycle. It’s something to consider.
Q. Can an electric bike handle steep hills?
A. The power of your electric bike will vary depending on the manufacturer. The size of the motor and the size of the battery will be what determines your bike’s performance, but there is an important consideration. That is the weight of the rider. The lighter the rider, the better the bike will perform. Some electric bicycles have more powerful motors than others, which means they will take you up a steep hill, and into a powerful headwind, more easily than others. So yes, you can ride your electric bike up a steep hill, but how fast you do it
Q. Can I use my electric bike in the rain?
A. Yes, you can use your electric bike in the rain in most cases. The thing to remember, though, is that electric bicycles do make use of extensive electronics and of course batteries. That means high-pressure sprays of water or total submersion are not safe for your bike’s electronics. So while you can ride your electric bike in the rain, it wouldn’t be a good idea to take it through a car wash or drive into a lake or a pool with it. Use your head and protect your electric bike’s electronic components from immersion in water.
Q. How long does it take to charge an electric bike?
A. The charging time for electric bike depends on the specific battery your electric bike incorporates, and the power of the charging source. Consult your manufacturer’s documentation to see what typical charging times for your electric bike’s battery might be. There is no way to predict from model to model what the charging time will be because they are all different. The good news, though, is that electric bicycle manufacturers recognize that you can’t use your electric bike if it’s sitting connected to a charger all the time. They’ll have taken this into account and designed their battery and charging system to recharge your e bike’s battery in a reasonable amount of time.
Q. What safety equipment should I have when using my electric bike?
A. To ride your electric bike safely is pretty simple. It’s a shame that we even have to mention this; we’d prefer to spend our time on electric bike reviews and electric bike news. The fact is, though, not everyone takes bicycle safety equipment seriously.
Safety for your Wave e bike is pretty simple. While kids today are not much different from kids a few years ago, it’s regrettable that in so many cases, necessary safety equipment is thought of as “not cool enough” to make the cut when kids outfit themselves for bike riding. Likewise, a lot of adults often think they are “too cool” for proper safety equipment. We would love to see you wear all the equipment that is appropriate to bicycle riding. There is no safety equipment you need for the Wave that you wouldn’t need for a completely manual bicycle. We do recommend that you wear a helmet, however, as this is a vital piece of safety gear. You might also consider elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves. Very few people actually get geared up in all this stuff just to ride a bike, but we do strongly urge you to wear a helmet regardless. It’s also a great idea to protect your eyes from UV radiation if you’re riding outside, especially for long periods of time, so be sure to wear 100% UV protection sunglasses when you ride. And any time you spend any extended period outside in the sun, we recommend that you wear sun block. It’s possible to get too much exposure to UV radiation even on cloudy days, so don’t think you don’t need your protection just because it’s overcast.
Q. Why are electric bikes so expensive?
A. Some electric bikes are very expensive. That’s definitely true. But there are other more affordable electric bikes on the market, some of which were only just introduced relatively recently. Right now, there are more affordable electric bike options on the market than there has ever been before. Simply put, it’s a great time to be shopping for an electric bike. Within reason, no matter what you are looking for and no matter what price range your budget fits, chances are pretty good you’ll be able to find an electric bicycle that is suited to what you are looking to pay.
Q. I bought an electric bike through a crowdfunding campaign. Is that a good idea?
A. Crowdfunding is a great way to bring a product to market. We evaluated a couple of different crowdfunded bikes, including the Sondors, the Storm, the Wave, and the Lady Wave. We were very happy with both of the Waves. We’ll let the reader make his or her own judgments about the crowdfunding campaigns for other bikes. It’s definitely the case that you are taking more of a risk when you go with crowdfunding for a new product over buying an established product. But with that added risk comes potentially greater gains. Crowdfunding is something you have to look at on a case by case basis. Do your research and look into the background of each campaign you are considering investing in. You may get a great deal on the latest electric bike, as long as you’re careful.
Q. Are electric bikes just for urban commuting?
A. Electric bikes are not just for commuting. Some types of electric bikes are better for some types of travel than others. A beach cruiser is better for off-road than a city bike, for example, but what you choose to do with your electric bike is really up to you. Evaluate the best applications for the model you are considering and then choose accordingly.
Q. Are most electric bikes imports?
A. These days, most electric bikes are manufactured overseas because almost everything purchased by Western consumers is manufactured overseas. Whether that makes your bike “imported” or not can sometimes be a matter of debate. The company selling your electric bike might be based in the United States, or it might not. If it matters to you, you can look into this on a case by case basis and buy the electric bicycle that you find to be most right for you. Regardless of the bike you buy, there’s a good chance that some or all of the components are sourced from overseas, even if the bike is assembled here in the United States. Unlike the market for cars (or how the market for cars used to be), it’s hard to make generalizations about the reliability of bikes manufactured here versus bikes manufactured somewhere else. We recommend looking through the electric bike review information and electric bike news posted here if you are examining a specific purchase.