Hop onto an e-bike
The popularity of electric bicycles (e-bikes) continues to soar in the U.S. If you’re thinking of hopping onto this two-wheeled trend, here are some things to know:
It looks like a regular bike. An e-bike mostly looks like a conventional bicycle. The key difference is that it is equipped with a battery-assisted electric motor to provide an extra boost while riding, especially when riding uphill.
You have options. Whether you enjoy challenging off-road bike trails or a leisurely cruise around the neighborhood, there’s an e-bike for you. The classes of e-bikes are:
- Class 1: Known as a pedal-assist e-bike, the motor only operates when you pedal and it turns off at 20 mph. Most new riders start with this class bike. It is the most affordable, starting at about $1,000.
- Class 2: Is the same as class 1 but adds a throttle.
- Class 3: Also like class 1 but the motor continues to help up to 28 mph.
Riding range will vary. Riding range differs depending on the class of bike, size of battery and how much unmotorized pedaling you’re willing to do. On average an e-bike can go around 30-60 miles on a charge which all depends on the number of hills, amount of pedaling, speed, and size of the battery. A mounted monitor on the bike’s handlebar will let you know when the power is running low.
Recharging is easy. Most e-bikes feature a removable battery that can be quickly recharged using a standard household outlet. Charging typically takes three to five hours from empty. Large-capacity batteries will take longer.