One of the primary advantages of electric bikes is that they can go faster than regular bikes. As they are speedier, they also cover more considerable distances in shorter periods. So, the question is, what is the range of an electric bicycle? This depends on the model and features of the e-bike and where it’s being driven.
With an electric mountain bike or e-MTB, you can go much further with the same amount of leg power. If you’re planning to buy an e-bike, you’ll notice that manufacturers tend to cite very different range ratings for seemingly similar e-bikes.
So how can you tell an e-bike’s true range? There are many factors you can consider to determine this.
The absence of a hand throttle on an e-bike can also influence its range. Throttles are ordinary in e-bikes sold in America and many other countries. However, this feature may not be common in e-bikes in the European Union.
In addition, to pedal assist, utilizing a hand throttle is quicker to drain your e-bike’s battery, thus reducing range.
How far an e-bike goes on a single charge can be influenced by the weight and speed of the rider, the type of terrain where the e-bike is ridden, and wind conditions.
Specific Factors Affecting E-MTB Range
- The load of the rider and gear
- Average speed the e-bike is traveling on
- Tire pressure of the bike
- Wind pressure
- Hilly or smooth terrain
- The rider’s riding position
- The temperature outdoors
- The type of tires your e-bike has
- How much are you pedaling
- The age of the battery your e-bike has
- The type of battery installed in your e-bike
Estimating E-MTB Range
To calculate your e-MTBs approximate range, begin by calculating its battery capacity. This can be measured in Watt hours (Wh). You must divide the battery’s watt-hour by the ebike’s average efficiency number. You can calculate this in WH/Mi or Wh/km, whichever you prefer.
Putting this into numbers, you can approximate that if you ride 500 to 750W e-bikes with a throttle at an average speed of 20mph on slightly hilly terrain, your range could reach around 25WH/Mi or 15.6WH/km. This means an e-bike running on a 48WH battery would provide 19 miles of range.
Pedal-assist e-bikes are always higher in efficiency. If you ride a pedal-assist e-bike at 15 to 18mph, you’ll get around 15Wh/mi or 9.4Wh/km on the medium pedal assist. So, pedal assist on an e-bike with a 480Wh battery will give you 32 miles of range.
You can also adjust these numbers as it fits you. For example, you will get a lesser range if you weigh more. If you weigh less, you will get more range. This is because if you have more weight, your bike will use more energy as you accelerate, especially while going uphill.
Riding on a flat surface, you will also get a better range. If you are riding on hilly terrain, you will get lesser numbers.
What if You are a Strong Pedaler?
Many riders prefer riding e-bikes in mid-level pedal assist mode. However, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you can stick to pedal assist level one, and your e-bike efficiency will increment drastically.
However, it is not recommended to do this every day unless you are a very fit cyclist or you can tire yourself out too much.
Factors Affecting Range Explained
Simply put, the formula to calculate range comes down to how much energy your e-bike has vs. how much energy you spend traveling one mile. Calculating an e-bike’s range is similar to calculating how many miles a car runs per gallon.
Many characteristics affect this number. There are no guaranteed miles or number of hours that you can travel per charge.
But if your e-bike has a bigger battery, it will give you more power and take you further. The age of the battery also matters.
As your battery ages, it won’t be able to hold much charge as a brand-new battery would. If you feel your electric bike’s battery isn’t getting great mileage anymore, consider replacing it.
Ebikes also come in several different classes. These classes have varying pedal capacities. The pedal assist mode on an e-bike gives you the advantage of combining your power with the power generated by the motor.
This will help you save battery juice while riding the bike. If you rely on the power generated by the motor entirely, your battery will run out much faster.
Knowing the specific features of your e-bike will help you use your bike better. You must understand how the e-bike works and how you can control speed. You should know the maximum speed you can ride the e-bike in your state.
For example, if you live in New York, your maximum speed limit is 20mph, or if you live in Texas, your limit is 28mph.
A great way to stay informed about your bike’s features is to go through your bike’s user manual. Some manufacturers also include the user manual in the bike’s package. You can also request a one-on-one consultation if you purchase your e-bike from a store.
Once you know what class your e-bike falls in and your bike’s features, you can make your battery power last longer.
Electric Bike Tires
The bike’s tires do not directly reflect its speed but are still vital to consider. If your tire does not provide enough stability or support, your e-bike can slow down. If the bike’s tire is too wide, it won’t be flexible enough to ride on the road.
It’s also very important to regularly maintain your tires. Also, if you are a frequent rider, ensure your e-bike components are working well.
Electric Bike Frame
When purchasing an e-bike, choosing the right frame is important. The frame design of the e-bike and the material its constructed with affects its performance. It will also directly affect the bike’s load capacity, durability, stability, and shock absorption.
If you purchase an e-bike with the right frame, you will be more comfortable riding it. This will also able you to get a better range.
There are many different types of e-bike frames you can choose from. Let’s look at them in detail below.
Aluminum Ebike Frames
Aluminum e-bike frames are one of the most popular options. Almost 75-85% of e-bikes out there have aluminum frames. These frames are lightweight, affordable, and also easy to assemble. These frames provide excellent e-bike performance and are a great choice for casual e-bike cyclists.
Aluminum frames are also cost-effective and easily available. They form balanced and lightweight bicycles that are perfect for city commuting.
However, there are also drawbacks to aluminum frames. They can rapidly corrode, with signs of corrosion appearing within 3 to 5 years. Aluminum frames can also easily break if enough suspension support is not provided. They are also not a great option for rough trail rides due to their lack of shock absorption capability.
Steel Ebike Frames
Bike frames crafted out of steel once used to be quite popular. Over the years, they started to fall out as the quality of alternative frames improved. However, steel is more long-lasting than aluminum and can be instantly repaired.
It is also more resistant to shock. Steel e-bike frames are popular among cross-country cyclists due to their heavy shock-resistant shock-resistant capability. A highly durable option, steel e-bikes are also more cost-effective than carbon fiber and titanium.
The drawback of steel frames is that they are quite heavy. Few steel e-bikes are available in the market, so you might have to build one manually. These e-bikes are also very heavy, weighing up to 90 or 100 lbs, depending on size.
Carbon Ebike Frames
This is one of the most innovative options in the e-bike industry. Carbon e-bike frames are made from carbon fiber stuck together with a mold resin. No metal is involved in the process hence eliminating any chance of corrosion.
These e-bike frames are almost as long-lasting as steel and titanium frames. They are also lightweight and are available in many customized options.
The carbon density and impact also impact an e-bike’s performance, range, and overall feel. Carbon e-bike frames are one of the lightest in weight and are great for crafting an intricate design on the bike frame.
The drawbacks of carbon e-bike frames are that they are easier to break than titanium and steel. Due to being lightweight, they also require a stronger suspension. These e-bikes sometimes feel rougher and jerkier than bikes created from other materials.
Titanium Ebike Frames
Titanium e-bike frames are usually used for premium mountain e-bikes and cargo e-bikes. This material is also used to create customized e-bikes. Titanium qualities are similar to steel. This material creates one of the strongest e-bikes in the market.
Titanium is long-lasting and offers a lifetime warranty against corrosion and defects. Ebikes crafted out of titanium are usually expensive but worth the money due to their outstanding performance, design, and stability.
Titanium e-bike frames are also easy to repair and offer smoother rides even on more challenging trails. Another reason titanium e-bikes are costlier is that it is harder to integrate electrical wiring within the frame.
Which Ebike Frame Material to Choose?
Before deciding which e-bike material to choose, consider some necessary aspects.
Weight of Rider
If you are heavyweight and tall, you must choose an e-bike with a strong and sturdy frame. A carbon fiber e-bike would probably not be suitable as carbon fiber is lightweight and can break easily.
Buying a steel or aluminum e-bike would be more suitable. Similarly, a carbon fiber e-bike would suit you if you are lightweight.
Choosing a carbon fiber or titanium frame is suitable if you want to go for an electric mountain bike. A titanium e-MTB would be costlier and harder to find than carbon fiber e-bikes.
Before deciding which e-bike to go for, also consider your budget. If you have a tighter budget, aluminum e-bikes are probably the most affordable option. However, these ebikes are not the most durable option and usually don’t last more than five years.
Purpose of Your Bike
Also, consider the reason you need your e-bike for. An aluminum or carbon fiber frame e-bike will work well if needed for your daily city commute. These frames and lightweight and practical. They enable the rapid acceleration required to travel in a city.
If you want an e-bike for racing or cross-country commuting, a carbon fiber e-bike is a great choice. These e-bikes enable rapid acceleration and also offer excellent battery range. However, as stated earlier, they are best suited for lightweight cyclists rather than heavyweight ones.
What you decide to do with your electric bike will determine which e-bike frame to go for. You could use your e-bike for different purposes, such as tackling difficult terrains or exploring the city.
You should feel comfortable with your e-bike, whether it has a carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, or titanium frame to get an excellent range.
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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.