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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions about eBikes

We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions about electric bikes, laws, and usage. If you find that you have additional questions, please contact us or stop by The eBike Store.

How far can I go on an eBike?

Range can vary quite a bit depending on factors like: type of bike, terrain, elevation changes, rider effciency, and the level of assist.

Every electric bike we sell at the eBike Store in Portland can go 12-30 miles on a single charge.  Most of our eBikes can get up to 40-50 miles on a single charge. Some of our eBikes can intigrate more than one battery, and are able to go over 100 miles.

Are eBikes legal?

Yes! eBikes for sale are governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). An Overview of the CPSC’s requirements are:

  • Cannot propel a 170lb rider more than 20 mph on level ground without pedaling
  • Must have operable pedals
  • May not exceed 750 watts
  • Must meet other CPSC requirements for bicycles

How eBikes are driven are governed by state law. Here is a brief overview of Oregon eBike Law:

  • eBike riders must wear an approved bicycle helmet
  • Not legal to use the motor on a sidewalk
  • Electric bicycle riders must be eligible for a driver’s license (16 years of age, license not suspended or revoked)

The Oregon Dept of Transportation has a handy little sheet that clearly outlines the legal framework of electric bicycles.

Can you make my eBike go wickedly fast?

Yes, we can. However… we will not!

Please do not ask us to overvolt or otherwise modify your eBike to exceed 20 mph. First off, we have yet to have a customer who has (on their own) overvolted their electric bike to go above 25 mph and avoided a hospital visit within their first 6 months of doing so.

That’s right, every customer we know who has broken the speed requirement for their eBike has injured themselves. Secondly, if we did the modification and someone injured themselves, they might sue us, and it simply isn’t worth losing our eBike shop for a few dollars.

How long does it take to charge my eBike?

Charge times depend on the eBike’s battery capacity (rated in Amp Hours, Ah) and charger output (rated in Amps)

A 10Ah battery with a charger that has an output of 1A will take 10 hours to complete a full charge. That being said, most of the bikes we sell can be charged in less than five hours.

Can I recharge my electric bicycle by pedaling or breaking?

There are a few eBike models that have this capability. However…

  • eBikes with regen require a direct drive motor which are not able to freewheel when pedaling without battery assistance
  • The amount of energy "regenerated" is generally less than 5% of a fully charged battery. This bonus is negated by the extra effort, and added weight, of the direct drive motor.
  • Electric bicycles are far more efficient than cars because they do not have 1,000 lbs. or more of mass & associated momentum that can be converted back to electricity
  • Historically, the process of regenerating electricity has created a slight vibration that has loosened spokes and vastly increased maintenance costs. (At $.005 of regenerated energy per battery charge it will take some time to pay off a $35/wheel re-tensioning)

Do I have to pedal?

For electric bikes, pedal-activated (AKA pedal-assist) bikes require pedaling to engage the motor, whereas throttle-activated bikes do not.

eBikes come in 3 Classes.  Class 1 provides pedal assist not past 20mph.  Class 3 provides pedal assist not past 28mph.  Class 2 provides pedal assist not past 20mph, OR not past 28mph, but also includes a throttle activation of the motor.

We have many models of all 3 classes here at The eBike Shop.

Is financing available?

Yes! We partner with Synchrony Financial (Formerly GE Capital) to be able to offer you financing at ZERO PERCENT INTEREST for 12 months* on purchases over $1500.

The process is simple:

  • Come into The eBike Store to select your perfect eBike
  • Bring a valid State Issued ID
  • Bring a credit card or other form of ID (must have expiration date)
  • Fill out the one page online application.  We can email you the link and fill out at home if you (takes about 5 minutes)
  • Synchrony Finance responds with the amount of credit they are willing to extend to you within 2 minutes
  • Ask us for additional details!

*On approval of credit

How do I charge my eBike?

Each electric bicycle comes with a charger that uses a standard household plug. It is rare that an eBike battery costs more than $0.12 per charge.

How do I care for my eBike?

When you purchase an eBike from us, we set a side a block of time to go over all the best practices for maintence, but here are a few key tips: 

  • Keeping the Lithium ion cells at a charge state of between 20% - 80% will significantly extend the life of the battery.  It's absolutely fine to charge to 100% before a ride, but it's best if the battery dosn't sit for a long stretch at a super high or low charge level. (the same is true of  your cell phone and lap-top, by the way.)
  • For long term inactivity, get the battery to a charge state of around 50% and store in a dry, moderate temp location (between 45 -95 degrees F) out of direct sunlight.
  • Regular maintenance of the mechanical aspects of the bike will keep it rolling for years. We recommend bikes get service every 800-1,000 miles. (a stich in time saves nine.)

Can I travel with my eBike?

Yes! We are hoping that is why you bought it! However, if your eBike has a Lithium-Ion based battery, it is best not to fly as Li-Ion Batteries are considered hazardous materials and can land you a $50,000 fine if you try to bring it on an airplane.