E-Bike FAQ

How much do e-bikes cost? The cost of each electric bike varies. Good-quality folding styles can be purchased for approximately $1400 to $1500.  Normal adult-size bikes can be purchased from about $1800 onwards. What are the different types of e-bikes? There are basic model differences in e-bikes depending on the style of the frame, seat, and handlebars. Some bikes provide a comfortable upright seating position while others have straight handlebars and a more bent forward riding position. Another important difference is the size and position of the motor and battery.  Most bikes today have the motor mounted in the hub of the rear wheel. A few have the motor mounted in the hub of the front wheel but most manufacturers consider this poor design for a two-wheel vehicle. Major improvements in technology and performance now has the motor mounted in the frame near the pedal crank. Mid motor drive offers several advantages over rear hub positioning, especially for climbing hills as the motor is able to utilise the mechanical advantage of the gears. How long does it take to charge the batteries and how far can I travel before needing to recharge? Depending on the battery size and how fully discharged the battery is, charging time can be between three and six hours. When the power runs out, e-bikes can be pedalled without assistance from the electric motor. The ampere-hour rating of the battery determines range per charge in kilometres. The range of the bike—how far it will travel on a fully charged battery—varies depending on the speed, weight of the rider, hills, head wind, etc. It can vary from 30km for a 10 amp/hr battery to 55–60km for a 16 or larger sized battery. What maintenance is required? Maintenance is no different than for any bicycle. Checking brakes, tyre pressure, general tightness of mounting hardware, and chain lubrication are normal for any bicycle. How fast can e-bikes go? Top speed of most e-bikes is in the range between 25 and 35km/hr. Some will go even faster. What common problems do I need to be aware of? The quality of components such as brakes, wheels, tyres, and the derailleur or hub gears are important to consider. The electronics are quite similar among all brands of bikes, including the most expensive. Spending more does not necessarily buy better quality. What happens if the bike gets wet or if it rains? The bikes are generally waterproof. Although you can ride it in the rain, avoid riding through water higher than the bottom of the frame. Do I need a licence? The Land Transport Regulations say if the motor is “more than 300 Watts”, it is classified as a moped and must be licensed, and the rider needs a driver’s license.  300W or less and it is a bicycle and does not require a license. Remember, choosing a good manufacturer is important. Simply paying $5000 to $6000 more does not guarantee a quality e-bike. Look for a quality dealer who knows about e-bikes and can support you if any issues arise.
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