eBike Buying Guide
How Are You Going To Use The eBike?
Commute, trails, haul stuff, carry your kiddos, other? We have many customers and they each have a different story about why they want to add an ebike to their recreation and transportation options. Is speed important to you? For commutes across town and the desire to keep up with traffic, a 28 mph bike may be the ticket. Keep in mind some of our bikes can serve more than one purpose with the right accessories!
Pedal Assist or Throttle
With a throttle it is a twist-and-go motorcycle type experience but you can pedal or not pedal. A pedal assist is an amplification of your own pedal power and you must be pedaling for the bike to move. The pedal-assist or PAS is more closely aligned with bicycle riding experience. eBikes are also divided among 3 classes:
CLASS 1: have a motor (max 750w) that assists while pedaling, up to 20 mph
CLASS 2: have throttles that don’t require pedaling in order to get a boost
CLASS 3: or “speed pedelec,” up to a 750w motor, it can assist up to 28 mph
Your Price Range?
We have bikes starting at $2000 and usually can find something to fit most price ranges. We haven't skimped on quality however. Every ebike that we offer has been vetted by us. We consider the quality of the frame and components, the balance of power and weight, comfort, ride, accessories and of course support and integrity of the manufacturer.
Batteries range from 250 to 700 watt hours. Very simply, the more watt hours, the longer your bike will run on a full charge.
Mid-Drive or Hub Motor
The motor can be either housed on the center bottom-bracket area (mid-drive) or in the hub of one of the wheels (hub drives). Currently the top motor manufacturers are only producing mid-drives due to bikes handling better when the weight is not in one of the rotating wheels. The advantage of hub drives is the lower cost.
Not to be confused with the battery, the wattage (the ability to power up a hill) can range for 250-1000 however, keep in mind that this a voluntary rating put on motors and may not be the best way to compare an ebike's power. We strongly recommend test-riding to accurately assess its abilities before making a decision only based on a number.
eBikes generate lots of curiosity and questions. Here are some of the most popular:
Q: I enjoy pedaling. Is an electric bike for me?
A: Absolutely. Our customers overwhelmingly prefer pedaling—but at their own rate. We offer bikes of different designs and capabilities to match rider levels and most expectations.
Q: Can I ride an electric bike in the snow and rain?
A: The drive systems of the quality bikes we sell are not affected by rain and snow.
Q: What is the average range on rides which include stop-and-go traffic and hills?
A: It depends on the level (and weight) of the rider and what the terrain of a typical ride may look like and we can provide a reliable estimate for you. The short answer is 15 to 30 real life miles on modest to moderate terrain riding on models with a single 9-10 Ah Li-Ion battery. If you need to ride about twice that then we recommend you purchase a dual battery model or carry a second battery.
Q: What's the life span of batteries?
A: The life span is obviously affected by numerous variables—such as battery specification, battery management system, percentage of drain per trip and wattage draw, i.e. how the bike is ridden (stop and go), by whom (weight and pedaling), where (hills, headwinds), how far, how often and charging protocol. A new generation batteries for Kinetic and the Giant Twist were introduced in 2008. There are now strong indications that these advanced Li-Ion batteries may eventually last 5 and beyond years for many riders.
Q: In such a new industry should I be concerned about products support & service?
A: Absolutely. Do make sure that your dealer or vendor provides competent and committed local service. Our own full service department was established in 2008. We give priority support to the owners of the bikes and kits they bought from us—and to do so expertly, promptly and flexibly.
Q: Which electric bike may be for me?
A: Let us know what your typical rides may look like and what your expectations are and we can explore whether an electric bike may be for you—and, if so, which models will work for you. We recommend scheduling a test ridewith one of our staff.
Q: Which bike is the best?
A: There is no bike that is universally 'the best' for every rider, ride and budget. The bikes we carry are what we have found to be the most durable and reliable and have excellent manufacturer support.
Q: What are the electric bike Laws in Oregon?
A: Electric bikes are rapidly gaining in popularity and state & local governments have put some guidelines in place. Laws and policies are changing and constantly updateing. See People for Bikes resource on the most up to date e-Bike Laws
Q: Where can I ride my eMTB?
A: eMTBs have access to all of the motorized trails in National Forests lands as well as those in BLM lands. See our Trail Information for maps and "Best of Oregon" rides. In addition, a local resource, Dirty Freehub has e-bike friendly gravel routes.
Additional eBike Care Resources