E-bike FAQs

If you are looking into buying an electric bike and have questions such as how long does it take to charge an e-bike or do you need a licence for an e-bike, have a look at the following FAQs to find out.

What is an e-bike battery?

E-bike batteries are normally made of lithium compounds to make a Li-Ion battery, usually made up of lots of smaller 18650 size cells within a casing. The batteries should be cared for in the same way as mobile phone batteries, avoid heavy knocks or piercing the battery pack, and must not be left completely uncharged for long periods of time or they may eventually become incapable of holding a charge at all.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike?

From flat, it would take around 3.5-4 hours to charge a battery to 100% full but will be around 80% full. After 1.5 hours the battery automatically slows down its charging rate in the last 15-20%. Try to let the battery get to around a 30-40% charge before recharging. Most batteries are good for around 1000 recharges, so an E-bike is being used for commuting so a bike used for commuting 20 miles a day should last for around 7 years.

Why can't I have a full electric mode?

The legal definition of an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) or e-bike is an electrically assisted bike where an additional motor is fitted to supplement the cyclist. Fitting a bike with a full electric mode or a throttle changes the definition of the bike to one of an electrically-powered motorbike, where a license, insurance, road duty and MOTs would be required.

My motor keeps cutting out, is it faulty?

To define the difference between an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) and an electrically powered motorbike is a bike which can be powered solely by an electric motor the EU specified a speed limit of 15.5mph (25kph) before the motor cuts out and no assistance is given. If you exceed this speed when cycling, the motor will cut out. Most riders will normally cycle at around this speed, and as the sensors are sensitive to speed changes, it may give the impression of an intermittent fault with the motor as you go above and below this speed.

Do I need a licence for an e-bike?

In England, Scotland and Wales, no licence, insurance, road tax or MOT would be required for an e-bike. However, all of these things are required for riding an e-bike in Northern Ireland with a battery fitted, as well as a motorbike helmet.

Can I carry my e-bike on a bike rack?

E-bikes tend to be heavier than mechanical bikes (around 20kg) and only certain cycle carriers can support them. These are typically tow bar-mounted ones and you can find a full list of e-bike-compatible bike racks here.

Are you able to get spares for my e-bike?

We're able to get spares for the mechanical parts of the bike, such as the drivetrain chains, chain wheel, and derailleurs and for the consumable parts of the bikes such as tyres, tubes and so on. Depending on the electrical part which may need replacing, our colleagues may be able to fit this in-store. If there is a fault on the bike which can't be repaired in-store, the bike would be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.

Can I ride my e-bike in poor weather conditions?

Yes, all of our e-bikes are designed to handle any possible British weather! After a ride, we do recommend wiping the bike dry as required (specifically the electrics) and storing it indoors.

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