10 Electric Bike Myths Busted
With electric vehicles continuing to enter the mainstream, many misconceptions continue to float around about electric cars, eBikes and electric scooters, mopeds and motorcycles
From battery safety, to questions on their range, we break down some of the most common myths surrounding electric bikes and put them to rest.
The batteries will explode or catch fire
While you may hear horror stories about e-bikes catching fire, such incidents are rare and only occur if the battery or motor isn’t stored properly or charged incorrectly. Most e-bikes sold in the UK come from reputable manufacturers and retailers and are designed to meet the UK’s strict safety regulations and are generally safe. We sell from Qwic, Coboc, Raleigh who have excellent standards of safety.
E-bikes manufactured in China and sold online often do not meet those regulations and are at greater risk of having a faulty battery. It's always best to buy an e-bike from a well known brand and to ensure that they meet industry standards.
Be sure to use the correct charger, too, that is paired with the manufacturer's battery in the correct way, then you’re unlikely to have any issues.
They’re only for the older generation
Data suggests you’re more likely to see a middle-aged person riding an e-bike: in Europe the average age of an e-bike rider is 48. But don’t let this put you off. Electric bikes provide an unrivalled level of freedom, while the electric assist can help those that can’t ride a conventional bike. The last 2 to 3 years actually shows the UK average age is dropping dramatically.
Using an e-bike is cheating
Perhaps the most prevalent myth is that using an electric bicycle is cheating. Cheating people out of Strava QOM/KOMs? There is an option to tell the app it was an 'e-bike ride' if you're that bothered. But perhaps, instead of 'cheating', we should be thinking of this motorised assist as 'enabling'. An ebike enables you to go further more often.
Better still, electric bikes are very fun to ride, easy to use and good for those who want to get some exercise without sweating. There are plenty of uses for an electric bike in every age demographic.
They require a lot more maintenance than an unassisted bike
Beyond the battery and motor, electric bikes aren’t dramatically different mechanically to a normal bike. If you ride more than an unassisted machine then the maintenance requirements will increase, but for the majority of riders it won’t be a challenge to look after your two-wheeler.
Motor and battery systems are a little more complicated to deal with than the normal components on a bike, so these are best checked by the manufacturer or a bike shop technician. If in doubt, give us a call.
The battery range is poor
The distance you can travel on a single charge can vary significantly from bike to bike, and rider to rider. Range for an e-bike is around 20-70 miles, with large batteries offering the most mileage.
While you won’t be able to get the same range as an electric car, you’ll still get plenty of rides out of your e-bike before you have to plug it in. And if one battery isn’t enough then you can always carry a spare and swap them if you’re e-bike has a removable function.
You can’t use them in the rain
A rather annoying myth that gets regularly banded around is e-bikes wet weather usage. Most people assume that because it has a battery onboard it will combust if a mere droplet comes into contact with its frame.
Electric bikes are more than fine to ride in the rain – and snow – because all the important components are sealed to prevent water ingress. In fact, every bike comes with an ingress protection (IP) rating which can help to determine if you should be avoiding downpours and puddles or not.
It’s worth noting that e-bikes are water-resistant and not waterproof, so while it's ok to go for a jaunt in the rain, we wouldn’t suggest tackling any fords or puddles the size of a reservoir.
E-bikes are heavy and difficult to ride
Sure enough, an electric motor and battery does add extra pounds to a bike, but the whole point of these additions is to take away the difficulty.
Cargo bikes, such as the Urban Arrow range, are a good example: they have longer wheelbases and are typically heavier than a normal bike, which makes them even harder to ride, especially when pulling away from a junction.
Equip a cargo bike with a motor and all that extra effort required on a conventional bike is taken away, and you can have a more enjoyable ride. And there’s more good news, too, because both e-bike motors and batteries are becoming lighter.
Enabling people who might not usually ride a bike to get out on two wheels, thus freeing up space on our overcrowded roads. The fact is that electric bikes enable freedom, they can help people to socialise, and conquer roads or trails that they might otherwise have avoided. Instead of telling people that they're cheating, we should be encouraging them.
There are plenty of electric bikes out there with a hefty price tag, but more affordable machines are now entering the market.
Thanks to improvements in e-bike technology, and more people adopting two-wheeled machines, prices of e-bikes have now come down. This means you can buy a good commuter for under £1000. - Like the Raleigh Stow-E-Way.
This might still sound like a lot of money, but when you consider the financial benefits of an e-bike compared to a car then they make complete sense.
You won’t get fit using one
Of course, an electrically assisted bike will help you travel further with less effort. But it's worth noting that an e-bike is limited to a top speed of 15.5mpg – or 250W of power – and once you pass that threshold it's up to you to keep going. And you’d be surprised how soon you can get up to speed on an e-bike, especially on flat terrain.
And while an e-bike will give you that extra assistance, it doesn't mean you don’t need to go faster or ride harder. And let's not forget that when you run out of charge, you’re having to drag home the additional weight of an empty battery.
You need insurance and tax to ride them
Most e-bikes sold in the UK are limited to 15.5mph and are fitted with pedal assist for the motor to work. Known as electrically assisted pedal cycles or EAPCs, they don’t need to be taxed and you don’t need insurance or specific licence to ride them. They fall under the same laws as a regular bicycle and you can ride them anywhere.
Check out our range of eBikes here