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Range Explained

How to Figure Out Electric Bike Range

The range of an electric bike is how far you can ride on one charge. The problem is how to assess electric bike range. All electric bikes are advertised as having a particular range. However, these advertised ranges are usually inaccurate. In fact, sometimes they are downright exaggerated, and may even be four times higher than the reality. It is nearly impossible for electric bike range claims to be totally accurate. There are too many factors that make it different from person to person.

Factors to consider:

  • How much the rider weighs;

  • What level of assistance the rider chooses;

  • The terrain they’re cycling over;

  • The amount of luggage they’re carrying;

  • How fast they go (1/3 faster = 1/2 the range);

  • How hard they’re pedaling;

  • How many times they stop and start (hill starts in particular will drain power);

  • Wind conditions;

  • Temperature (they will get about 15% more range from a battery on a warm sunny day than they would in winter);

  • Tire pressure (as with regular bikes, soft tires = less efficiency = less distance for power expended);

  • What kind of battery they’re using;

  • How old their battery is (batteries lose power over time);

  • Size of their bike motor (big motors are fun, but obviously they drain more battery power); and

  • How fast they’re going.

How to Figure Out Electric Bike Range

Most people will want to have the most powerful bike motor they can afford. But in fact, motor power only impacts how fast you can pull off, and how well you can get up hills. It does not necessarily impact how far you can go. The most important variable to look at in terms of electric bike range is battery capacity.

The size of the battery is directly analogous to the size of a car’s gas tank.

Battery capacity is usually measured in Watt-hrs. Watt-hrs = amp-hrs x volts.

Note: when you are looking at adverts for electric bikes, you may find some where battery capacity is simply stated in amp-hrs. This is insufficient, as it does not include the voltage, so it does not reflect the true energy capacity. So if a bike is advertised with a 36 volt battery, with a capacity of 9 amp hrs, then the true capacity of the battery is 9 x 36, that is, 324 watt hrs (written as 324 Wh).

Watt-hrs is important, because watt-hrs determine the range of your bike, that is, how far you can go.

For example:

  1. Bike A has a 24 Volts and 20 AH battery = 480 watt hours.

  2. Bike B has a 48 Volts and 10 AH battery = 480 watt hours.

  3. Bike C has a 24 Volts and 6 AH battery = 144 watt hours.

Bikes A and B have a similar amount of energy. If Bike A and Bike B have equal motors and riders, they will perform in a very similar fashion. The bike with the higher voltage battery will accelerate faster and climb better – but that will be at the expense of some of that energy. On the other hand, Bike C will not take you nearly as far.

Simply put, if you want an ebike that accelerates fast, climbs well, and can travel long distances on a single charge, then buy one with a battery that has high voltage and high amp hours. A battery with high voltage and low amp hours will shorten the distance you can travel on a single charge.

Also consider the issue of range with regard to the type of motor you are buying. For example, there is a good argument that mid drive motors get a better range than hub drive motors because they work synergistically with the gears.

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Nice Bike Heavy Duty for Bigger Guys

Was looking for a Bike that is built for Bigger Guys and found this one. Working great and price was great also. Plenty of battery life for a day of riding and really makes a difference on pedaling uphill.

Better than expected

I purchased 2 e-bikes from Electric Zip and I must say these are like my title line says... better than expected. I was and still am very impressed with the quality of these bikes. I ride it everyday with a smile and can't wait to take it for a ride. Being able to go 3 times farther than I would on a regular bike is a plus all in itself. When I saw all the buttons and LCD screen I thought it was going to be a little confusing. Not at all. Very easy to use and fun to shift gears and adjust the PAS. I had to make a few small adjustments on the front brakes but that was easy as well and you get a nice tool kit to do what you need. I love this bike and have told all my friends and co-workers about them and to buy them from Andrew at Electric Zip. And finally... talking about Andrew, he is the most responsive, helpful and caring individual. I trust his company and I trust these bikes.

1700 miles

Well had this bike almost a years now 1700 miles on it I ride it to work everyday I'm in iowa n it was below 0 for over a week n as long as I rode it to work which is 3 miles each way I had no issues I did have it inside at home and at work the only issues I've had seem to be with a few things having threads crossed and when I went to adjust them they became nonworking after one was brake caliper adjustment barrel was cross threaded and had to buy new one other was brake handle clamp was cross threaded and the bolt wouldn't come out n broke so need to buy new one now other than that no complaints

My new Camel

Received my new Camel a couple of weeks ago and am thrilled with it. I purchased an Elegance for my wife for Christmas and liked it so much I bought a Camel for myself. I had it assembled in a half hour. The bike is perfect for me. It's a smooth riding bike and is very attractive. I have neighbors looking at our bikes to potentially purchase for themselves.