E-bikes, also known as electric bikes or pedal assist bikes, are fairly new to most people. They are also one of the fastest growing categories of bicycles, and are rapidly changing lives.
Deciding which electric bike is right for you can be an overwhelming task, so we’ve put together a guide to assist you.
An E-bike is a bicycle equipped with a battery, motor and controller. These bikes have all the typical parts of a regular bicycle, plus these items. When you turn on the pedal assist feature, and start pedaling, it will give you additional pedaling power. A bike in “pedal assist” mode will only give you the additional power when you are pedaling. Most have low to high settings, depending on how much pedal assist you desire. You can change this as you are riding, when you desire more or less assistance. This assistance ranges from a low setting of about 20% of pedaling power, to settings where the bike is doing most of the work, and everything in between. Some units also have a throttle, allowing them to move on their own without pedaling. There are even some bikes that are throttle only.
The first thing to remember is that even though E-bikes have a motor, we are still talking about bicycles. They are not scooters. One of the most frequently asked questions concerning E-bikes is their speed. Most electric bikes will help propel you to either 20mph or 28mph. We will get into the different classifications of E-bikes later.
Can it go faster than the motor supports?
Yes, sure. It can go as fast as you can pedal, but the motor stops supporting you when you reach the max speed limitation. With an E-bike, you have the power to reach a speed that is suitable for your way of riding, whether that’s faster than the motor supports or at a speed that’s lower than the maximum motor support speed.
Yes! It's all up to you and how much exercise you want to get on your ride, and there are several options to challenge yourself physically. First of all, most of our models have different power settings, so you can customize your motor assistance and get exercise just as you would on a regular bicycle. With the pedal-assist feature, the motor engages only when you pedal, which allows you to elevate your heart rate, while also enabling you to ride and exercise longer, explore more places, go faster, and easily tackle steep NWA hills.
Empower yourself to get as much exercise as you want with your E-bike.
And… If you prefer, you can also empower yourself to simply have a good time and enjoy the ride without any sweat. In our experience, our customers who get an e-bike tend to ride more often and go on longer rides than before - all while having more fun. In short, they’re getting in much better shape than without an E-bike.
Yes, you can still pedal and get home safely after your battery runs out, just like riding a regular bicycle.
|Class 1||20 mph||no|
|Class 2||20 mph||yes|
|Class 3||28 mph||no|
Class 1: A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
Class 2: A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph.
Class 3: A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph, and is equipped with a speedometer.
Where can I ride my E-bike?
For Northwest Arkansas, pedal assist bikes are allowed on the paved trails and mountain bike trails. Bikes are not allowed to be operated in “throttle only” mode in these areas, and must be used in the pedal assist mode. For roads, you can ride them wherever you ride a regular bike.
Check out this guide from People For Bikes, on laws and regulations for all the states.
All electric bikes have:MOTOR: This is what provides the boost when you’re riding. There are motors with more or less power, some are located on the rear hub (wheel) some are located between the pedals. Generally speaking, those bikes with motors at the rear hub are less expensive. Also, more of the weight is at the back of the bike instead of centered near the middle. This is primarily only a factor when mountain biking.
For the most part, it’s just like riding a bike!
This varies a lot. You’ll see bikes that say their batteries are 350wh, 500wh, 600 and so forth. What does this mean? Essentially, the bigger the battery, the farther it will go on a single charge. Also, some motors pull more power than others. We have bikes that will get you anywhere from about 30 – 90 miles on a single charge. How far also depends on where you are riding and how much pedal assistance you need. I.e. one bike set on high, and riding lots of hills may only get you 30 miles on a charge, but will get you say 90 using it on low on flatter roads.
We think you do! Many of those who scoffed at E-bikes not long ago, are some of their most avid riders today. Electric bikes are enjoyed by beginning to advanced riders, and everyone in between. When they first came out, many people thought riding an e-bike was “cheating”. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Here’s who we see riding them:
Yes, both our Rogers and Springdale stores have e-bikes for you to try. We do not have every make or model, but we will have enough different models for you to get an idea of what you like. Take one on a test ride and work with our Outfitters at the stores, to figure out what is the best bike for you. As always, every bike we sell comes with a 30 day test ride, so if you decide you got the wrong bike, bring it back and swap it out for a different model.
You can send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit one of our stores, or set up a physical test ride or phone consult here.
We essentially categorize electric bikes in the same categories as other bikes: Mountain Bikes, Paved Trail / Hybrid bikes, or Multi-Surface / Adventure type bikes. There are also trikes (3 wheels). All these bikes differ by the surfaces you can ride them on, maximum speed, and technology. You’ll also see bikes with skinny to fat tires, and different frame styles.
Maintenance of an e-bike is mostly the same as a standard bike. You can still ride in all weather conditions (even when wet outside). The same as a regular bike, you should never power wash it. The chain still needs cleaned and lubed and other components need checking regularly.
Battery: This is important. Lithium batteries do not like being at 100% all the time, and they really do not like being at 0%. 0% can ruin the battery. If you’re storing the bike over the winter, make sure you keep the bike charged up, as we don’t want you to be sad come spring when your battery doesn’t work. On the other hand, don’t feel you have to have it fully charged all the time. Batteries like being around 80%. Many people charge when their bike drops below 50%.
No, it is just like owning a regular bicycle.
Electric-bikes are heavier than non-electric bikes. Typically, about 15 – 30 lbs heavier than a standard bike. For that reason, they mostly can be transported in pickups or on tray style hitch racks. Trunk mounted racks are not typically capable of carrying an e-bike. Even the hitch racks where the bike hangs from arms, cannot support an E-bike. Many take the battery off when lifting the bike, as this can save 7-10 lbs. If you’re opting for one of the bikes with really fat tires (3” or more) not every bike rack will transport these models. Not sure what rack to get – ask us.
Click here to view our rack selection. Look for one that will support bicycles of at least 60 lbs.
Not at all. We only carry brands that meet our quality standards. We’ve seen a lot of e-bikes in the shop that were purchased online and so many times, they were at or near the cost of bikes we carry, with inferior parts, frames, etc.
We have e-bikes starting at $1,200 and going up to nearly $8,000, and we will work with you to make sure the bike you are buying meets your needs. Different riders, types of terrain and types of riding require different bikes. Some just want to ride around the neighborhood, while others want to mountain bike the most technical trails in the area.