Every functioning system, be it living or non-living, relies heavily on the performance of one major component. For us, it is our heart. For an electric mountain bike, it is its battery.
Whether you want to ride your electric bikes uphill or use them for your daily commute to work, your plans circle back to one major question:
How long will your electric mountain bike’s battery last in one charge?
The electric mountain bike’s battery duration depends on its battery type, battery usage, the rider’s profile, and how the electric mountain bike is ridden.
This article will shed light on the factors that affect an electric mountain bike’s battery life. It will also elaborate on the different riding and battery care practices that can positively affect a battery’s life.
How Long Will Your Electric Mountain Bike Battery Last?
Mountain bikes have always been popular among adventure seekers in many parts of the world. Ever since electrical battery assistance has been added to these bikes, mountain biking’s popularity has been increasing.
With many brands now offering electric mountain bikes, the only question that remains is how long these batteries will last per charge and overall.
An electric mountain bike’s average battery range is 30-50miles or 3-5 hours. This means an electric mountain bike will usually cover that much distance in one charge. An electric mountain bike’s average total life span is 4-6 years.
Certain factors can affect both the battery’s range per charge and its overall battery life. This means if two same-sized electric mountain bikes travel the same riding track, it is highly unlikely that both the batteries will run out of charge at the same time.
The factors that affect an electric mountain bike’s battery range and life include:
- The capacity size of the electric mountain battery
- The combined weight of the electric mountain bike and its rider
- The electric mountain bike’s tires
- The mountain biking practices used
- The terrain where the electric mountain bike is ridden
- The weather conditions
- The electric mountain bike battery charging practices and battery care
What Factors Determine How Long an Electric Mountain Bike’s Battery Will Last?
1. Battery Capacity and Size
The battery capacity shows how much charge or electricity a battery can store. The bigger the battery size, the more charge storing capacity it has.
A battery that has a higher capacity has a higher range. This means its battery will last for a longer distance and duration.
Since electric mountain bikes are designed for rougher landscapes, their batteries are bigger and have higher power than regular e-bike batteries.
The table below shows the different electric mountain bike battery capacities and their respective ranges Bosch offers.
|Capacities (Wh)||Ranges (miles)|
2. The Total weight
Electric mountain bikes are significantly heavier than regular bikes. An average electric mountain bike weighs between 16kg and 38kg. Heavier electric mountain bikes need higher capacity batteries.
When coupled with the weight of the electric mountain bike, the rider’s weight puts stress on the battery and motor. This means more battery charge would be used to ride the bike if the rider is heavy.
Consequently, the heavier rider’s electric mountain battery would not last as long as the lighter rider’s battery would.
Carrying heavy luggage will just add more weight and further amplify these effects. For maximum range, a heavy rider should never go for a light weight electric mountain bike.
3. The Electric Mountain Bike Tires
Electric mountain bike tires need to be strong enough to withstand the harshness of the terrain, the changing accelerations, and the bike and rider’s weight. Because of this, electric mountain bike tires are wider and larger.
If the tires of an electric mountain bike are not the right fit for the bike (for example, smaller), they would add stress to the electric mountain bike’s battery. If the bike’s tires are not properly inflated or are worn-out and old, the same would happen.
An electric mountain bike with such tires would not make it that far, and the battery would get discharged earlier.
4. How the Electric Mountain Bike is Ridden?
Certain riding practices can damage a bike’s battery capacity, reduce its range and affect its total life. Similarly, some riding practices can do the opposite.
- Riding the electric mountain bike frequently at high speeds and changing accelerations exerts stress on the battery. This damages the battery’s range per charge and reduces the total battery lifespan.
- The battery will get discharged quickly if a rider goes up a steep slope while its EMTB is in a high gear. This will also reduce the battery’s lifespan.
- The battery range and lifespan will drop if the rider relies heavily on its electric mountain bike’s battery and motor instead of pedaling.
- If the electric mountain bike battery is not well protected from debris, rocks, and the sun, then the battery will age. This means, its range and total life span will be reduced.
- The electric mountain bike or its battery submerged in water will seriously damage it. All e-bike batteries are designed to be water-resistant and not waterproof.
As a result, the range will decrease, and the battery might even die way before time.
- If the rider continues to ride with damaged, worn-out, or deflated tires, the battery life will also be decreased.
- If the rider makes many stops and hits the brakes too frequently, the battery capacity and range are reduced. In the long run, this also decreases the life span.
5. The Riding Terrain or Track
Electric mountain bikes are specially designed to go on harsh landscapes. However, they too have their limitations. If a rider continues to purposefully ride the electric mountain bike over rocks and slopes without slowing down, the bike’s tires and batteries are both affected.
The lithium-ion battery’s liquid gets heated up too quickly, and the battery’s charge gets exhausted before time. The tires’ damage also eventually leads to the battery exerting more stress and having its overall range reduced.
6. The Weather Conditions
Riding an electric mountain bike when it is too hot will heat its battery liquid even earlier. This would keep the electric mountain bike’s battery from taking the bike too far.
If the weather is too cold, and the rider gets the electric mountain bike going without warming up the battery first, the battery’s capacity would be damaged. This would affect its range If a rider continues to purposefully ride the electric mountain bike over rocks and slopes without slowing down, then the bike’s tires and batteries are both affected.
Water damage during heavy rain can also reduce the battery’s range and lifespan. Riding against the direction of strong wind would require more battery energy. This practice would deplete the battery earlier.
7. Battery Care and Charging Practices
This is probably the most important factor determining your battery’s range, performance, and total life.
Charging the battery to a complete 100% is alright; however, overcharging can damage the battery’s ability to store charge. Battery engineers suggest that all lithium-ion batteries should be charged up to a 20%-90% range.
If the discharge falls below or goes beyond this range, the battery capacity is reduced. In the long run, the battery life decreases significantly.
Suppose a rider uses a battery charger not made by the original manufacturer. In that case, the electric mountain bike battery might get exposed to a charge amount it is not designed for. A surge of electric charge could fry the battery, while a low charge could increase the total charging duration.
Leaving the electric mountain bike plugged in for more than a day will degrade the battery cells before time. Furthermore, leaving the battery discharged for days is also equally bad for the battery’s range and life.
If the rider immediately plugs in the already hot battery after a ride, extreme overheating would damage the battery cells and decrease their range and life.
Suppose the rider does not cover the battery with a bike fender when riding the electric mountain bike on extremely rugged terrain. In that case, the chances of the battery getting hot or overheated are high.
How to Optimize Battery Life and Usage?
Irresponsible riding practices and battery neglect would reduce the battery’s capacity, range, and life. Similarly, the right practices and battery care would help you optimize battery life and usage.
Below are some tips and professional advice that would help you improve battery usage to make it last longer.
Correct Your Battery Charging Practices and Routine
All lithium-ion batteries are advised to be charged in a certain way to optimize their usage. When you first purchase an electric mountain bike or a battery, charge it to a 100% level. After that, always keep its charging level between 20% and 90%.
Avoid discharging a battery completely. Every electric mountain bike has a limited number of charging cycles. Every time a battery is fully discharged, its capacity is reduced. This reduces the electric mountain bike battery’s range and lifespan.
Do not leave the battery plugged in for too long, as overcharging will damage its battery life. Similarly, refrain from leaving the battery discharged for too long.
Refrain from constantly driving at higher speeds. Accelerate only when necessary. It will protect your battery’s range and bike’s tires while also keeping you safe.
Pedal more and use the battery and motor assistance when you need to catch a breath. Not only will it be a healthier practice, but will also keep your battery from running out too quickly.
Weight has a huge impact on how long your battery can keep going. Try to avoid carrying unnecessary luggage on riding trips and shed some extra body weight. If doing either of the two is hard, refrain from getting a lightweight electric mountain bike.
Electric mountain bikes are designed for rough, adventurous terrains but do not push your bike beyond its limitations. Not only will you damage your electric mountain bike, but it will also lower the battery’s range and lifespan.
Also, when the weather is too extreme, make sure you take care of the battery. If it’s too cold, warm up the battery before hitting the road. Or if the sun is too sharp, pedal more and protect your battery with an insulating casing or a bike fender.
Lastly, always keep a bike tire pump close and check the conditions and pressure of your tire before leaving for the road.
Read the Battery Instructions Manual
Whether you buy a new electric mountain bike or just a new battery it is bound to come with a detailed instructions manual. Read it!
The guide will explain how and when to charge your battery, and how to take care of it. The manual will also clearly highlight the ‘Do Not Do’ practices.
Only Use the Original Company Charger
Your electric mountain bike will always come with its specific battery charger. Do not damage or lose it.
It is designed to meet your bike’s battery needs perfectly. An outsourced battery charger might fry your battery or just keep it from reaching a full charge.
Additional Ways You Can Take Your Electric Mountain Bike Further
Mountain biking is a sport that will always use need energy. Here are some ways you can ensure your electric mountain bike makes it as far as possible.
- Keep an extra interchangeable battery;
- Invest in installing a dual battery system in your electric mountain bike;
- Invest in a range extender;
- Use a lightweight electric mountain bike, if you can.
Related electric bike articles:
- How to Transport an Electric Bike
- What Is a Hybrid Electric Bike?
- How To Lock An Electric Bike
- Can I Get an Electric Bike on the Cycle to Work Scheme?
- How Does an Electric Bike Motor Work?
- Electric Mountain Bike vs. Dirt Bike
- How Steep A Hill Can An Electric Bike Climb?
Electric mountain bikes have revolutionized the world of biking sports worldwide. These bikes have the strength and power of a regular mountain bike while having additional electrical assistance to aid their riders.
The electric mountain bike’s battery range, capacity, and lifespan will depend on many factors. The battery’s size, the total weight the battery has to power, and the riding practices are just some of these factors. The right riding style and proper battery maintenance can optimize your battery life and range. Click here to read about the electric biking laws in the USA.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.