• F.A.Q.

    What is an Ebike, Why are they so awesome, and Where can I ride them?

    What is an Electric Bicycle?

    An electric bicycle, or E-bike, is a bicycle with an electric motor integrated into the frame or wheel. They ride like bicycles, not motorbikes, and they ride where bicycles ride without need for license, registration or insurance. Electric bicycles come in all styles and sizes just as regular bicycles do.

    Many E-bikes have small motors, having less than 300 watts (3 old light bulbs!) of power, yet they have the ability to help power you up the steepest of hills. You can get fit and lose weight riding an e-bike (see our health benefits section).

     

    An electric bicycle can change the way you commute, taking away both the stress of cycling and the excuses you would normally create not to ride! Furthermore, the level of your assist can be changed on the go so you can put as much effort in, or get as much power out as you like!


    Depending on local laws, many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles. This allows E-bike riders to use bike paths, bike lanes, and shared use pathways.

    Whats the big deal?

    50% of all trips in the US are less than 3 miles, and Currently 1% of all trips are by bicycle. If we could increase this by 0.5% (one out of every 200 trips!) across the country, we would save 462,000,000 gallons of gasoline annually.

     

    Whether you are bicycling, or E-bicycling, getting your car off the road has enormous benefits for your health, your wallet, and the world around you.

     

    The weekend of Los Angeles' "Carmageddon", air quality improved 83%. Air pollution in the region dropped 25%. That was one weekend of 20-30% less traffic.

     

    Check out some of the research on how E-bikes help in the fight against climate change.

     

    University of Washington Conservation Mag.

    Green America
    Riding An E-bike to Save the World

    Legality

    As long as your E-bike has a motor less than 1000w and is limited to 20mph (28mph with PAS!), then it is legally considered a bicycle by Oregon state statute 814.405.

     

    This means as an E-bike rider you have all the same rights as other cyclists.

    Unless specifically prohibited by signage or local statute, you can ride your E-bike anywhere you could ride a bicycle barring pedestrian sidewalks not on shared use paths.

     

    For a quick guide, click here!

     

    Health Benefits

    Suprisingly, E-bikes are as beneficial as regular bicycles for maintaining health. Even though an E-bike has electric assist, E-bike owners generally travel further and more often by bicycle. Owning an E-bike, you will find that there are less excuses for not using your bike; hills and wind no longer have you at their mercy!

     

    Here's a great article dismissing all those haters who claim e-bikers are cheaters:

    http://electricbikereport.com/electric-bike-cheating/

     

    Many rides can be accomplished on an electric bike as quickly as in a car. Charging an electric bike costs only pennies a day, and parking, fuel and car insurance costs are eliminated. An electric bike allows you to travel farther than a conventional bike and requires no special training. One charge of the battery will let you ride for at least 20 miles on most bikes without pedaling and much further when you do, with some E-bikes touting ranges over 100miles!

     

    Check out some of the research and projects involving E-bikes and their health benefits around the world

     

    New York Times

    Portland State University
    European Journal of Applied Physiology

    E-cycle Sharing Project

    University of Tennessee

    I have trouble cycling. Why are electric bicycles a better option?

    As long as you find an E-bike that fits you, and can balance while moving, an Electric Bicycle is an amazing way to get you moving. The extra power provided can be as little or as much as you need. If you are unsteady on 2 wheels, any trike or recumbent bicycle can be converted as well!

    Conversion Options

     

    The average cyclist generates about 150w of power consistently, compare that to the available power of a 250w, 350w, or even 750w electric motor. This means that anyone can ride up a hill, through headwinds, or long distance, the electric assist allows you to travel where you want undeterred by physical limitations.

     

    Additionally, electric assist allows the stress of a bicycle commute to fade away. If you're tired, turn up your PAS, if you're feeling frisky, turn it off and ride your bike normally!

    I'm already into Bicycling, why do I need an E-bike?

     

    An electric bicycle opens up possibilities you might not consider on your bicycle, such as groceries, going out to a movie, picking up the kids, or an extra 5 mile detour on the ride home.

     

    E-bikes level the playing field, allowing people of all cycling levels to ride together. Be careful though, if you put your friend on an E-bike and you don't have one, you're in for a hard ride!

     

    Lastly, E-bikes are just fun. Watching someone get on an E-bike for the first time is always a joy. E-bikes are not a replacement for your road bike or touring bike. They are bicycles that are practical enough to replace cars. An electric bicycle puts the human experience back into your commute.

     

    See what this cyclist had to say after his first test ride!

    We are a proud supporter of GEARS: http://eugenegears.org/

  • How does it work?

    You pedal, it senses you pedaling, it helps, you go "whee!"

     

    Really, most bikes are as easy as

    1. Turn on the battery/display

    2. Select PAS level

    3. Ride your bike.

    Does it charge when I pedal?

    No, our bikes use a different kind of motor, called a geared motor. This allows you to pedal normally even when the motor is off, without any added resistance

    How do I charge it?

    All E-bikes come with chargers that look like laptop chargers. One end goes in the wall, one end goes in your bike!

     

    Many batteries can be charged away from their bike as well.

    Charging time from empty - 4-6 hours

    Are they waterproof?

    No, they are, however, weather-proof

     

    The difference is that while they are perfectly safe to ride in any weather, we do not suggest submerging the components or washing them with a hose!

    Do I have to pedal?

    On bikes with Throttle options, no.


    We do suggest that any ride involves an effort to pedal your bike. With an e-bike you are not forced to struggle against the pedals, but instead may focus on just keeping your body moving, and letting the motor help!

    How far do they go?

    The Range on an e-bike is extremely dependent on how you use it!

    If you use your throttle and do not pedal you will get SIGNIFICANTLY less range than if you use the PAS (Pedal-Assist) and keep the pedals going around. Most bikes will be labelled with these minimum and maximums.

    How fast do they go?

    E-bikes, or Pedelecs, are separated into 3 classes. In the USA, Class 3 Pedelecs are legal in most (46/50) states, and Class 2 (most of our bikes) are legal Nationwide

     

    Class 1 - Pedal Assist Only, 20 mph

    Class 2 - PAS and Throttle - 20mph

    Class 3 - PAS and Throttle - 28mph

    Can I take in in the bike lane?

    YES! Legally, Pedelecs are still bicycles! You are subject to all the same benefits, restrictions, laws, and regulations, and right of ways as regular bicycles.

     

    We suggest using bike paths when possible to stay away from traffic!

    Can I ride it without pedalling?

    Yes! Though we don't suggest it as the main mode of propulsion.

     

    Why not?

     

    During initial acceleration, if you are not helping the bike then the motor is pulling a high amount of current from the battery, which over time will lead to a faster degradation of battery life.

    On many of the bikes, simply keeping your legs moving can do wonders for your health and the health of the bike in the long term!

    The more you treat your e-bike like a regular bicycle, the better it will treat you!

    How do I keep someone from stealing my bike?

     

    Bike theft of e-bikes is very similar to regular bikes. The main deterrant to bike theft is locking your bike up properly. Most bike thieves will not spend the time (especially in the daylight) to cut through a properly locked u-lock and cable combination. If you have locked your bike and are not leaving it overnight – It's not worth the effort needed to steal it. We suggest getting a Kryptonite lock with an anti theft guarantee. That way even if the right theif with the right tools gets enough time to make away with your bike, you'll be reimbursed for it.

    How does it know I'm pedaling? Part 1/2

    The two main ways to track if a rider is pedaling are cadence and torque sensors.

     

    A torque sensor is usually an aluminum block with a strain gauge in it. This sensor actively monitors how much strain is being applied across the sprockets (gears) on the rear wheel. Other variations monitor the strain on the chain. Both methods provide a direct measurement of power, meaning that the bike knows how hard you are pedaling. Torque sensors are generally smoother and more responsive. The assist from a torque sensor is dynamic and changes as your force does.

    How does it know I'm pedaling? part 2/2

    The two main ways to track if a rider is pedaling are cadence and torque sensors.

    A cadence sensor is usually a small ring on magnets placed on the pedal crank (where pedals meet bike). As the crank is turned the magnets pass by a sensor. This type of sensor only knows that you are pedaling or not. Most bikes from Magnum, E.G. E-prodigy, and conversion kits will use this sensor. Cadence sensors are generally easier to manufacture, install, and replace. They are also dependable in that the assist is static and does not change, making it easy to predict

     

     

    Does an electric bike need gears?

    Yes! The more you help the motor, the longer the system will last! Using your gears efficiently is just as important as on a normal bicycle.

    Lower gears for steeper hills, higher gears for flatter terrain. Gear changing is important, and more helpful than most people realize.

     

    From a dead stop, changing gears 4-5 times to get up to speed is perfectly natural. At first it may seem excessive, changing gears after only 1 to 2 revolutions, but it makes all the difference in the world.

    How long do the batteries last?

    A lithium-ion battery can have a charge cycle lifetime of anywhere between 300-2000 cycles depending on chemistry, usage, and charging history. The batteries that we sell have an average of 500cycles in their "cycle life"

     

    A batteries "cycle life" is the time is takes to approach an initial 20% degradation. Battery packs do not die suddenly, but the runtime and charge capacity gradually shortens as they 'age'.

     

    Simply put,

    seasonal use, properly charged - 4-6 years

    regular use, proper charging 3-4 years

    regular use, careless charging -1-2 years

  • History of Electric Bicycles

    If you'd like to know more about electric bicycles you can ask us at the store or click here!

    Dec 31, 1895, the E-bike is born.

    It may have been heavy, but at 1000 watts It had power to spare!

    Electric bikes are nothing new. In fact, the first electric bicycle was patented at the U.S. Patent Office on Dec 31, 1895. This patent involved a rear hub motor rated at 1000w. While the design was good, weight and battery capacities held the idea back from widespread use.

     

    Over 100 years later, electric bicycles are only just beginning to reach their full potential.

    Pedal Assist is Born

    Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) change the E-bike market forever.

    It wasn't until the early 90's that E-bikes started becoming what they are today. With the addition of Cadence and Torque sensors, Electric bicycles became practical. Cadence sensors allow the motor to know how fast you are pedaling, whereas Torque sensors measure how much power you are putting into the pedals. These systems allow the motor to provide the proportional assist which makes your e-bike feel alive!

    Modern Motors

    100 years of advancement.

    Modern E-bike motors follow many of the same principles as the first patent, though many features have been added. As you can see in this cutaway of the Brose mid drive system many electrical components have been added such as a circuit board and motor controller which increase efficiency and power capabilities. Modern 250w mid drive motors like the Bosch, Brose, or STEPS systems contain more than enough power to climb the south hills.

    The Modern Commuter

    Form. Function, Embodied.

    E-bikes are quickly becoming the most energy efficient, climate friendly method of commuting. With the health benefits of a bicycle, shocking range capabilities, and low space requirements, a modern E-bike can easily replace a car for 90% of your journeys.

     

    Come ride an E-bike and see why we're so excited about them!

  • Our Blog

    Adventures, FAQ by the owners, Media appearances, and E-bike musings.

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