Electric Bike FAQs, Answered Once & for All

Today’s blog is going to be a little bit different than our usual posts. Typically, we’ll hone in on a particular eBike brand, cover some eBike safety basics, or highlight where the best place in Portland to rent or buy an electric bike would be. 

In contrast, today’s all-electric bike shop blog is answering frequently asked questions about electric bikes. How do we know which questions are being asked with frequency? How did we compile this list? How do we get all of the answers? Sadly, these questions didn’t make the cut on our list, so we won’t get the opportunity to answer them.

All About eBikes

See what we did there? Clever us. In all seriousness, we hope you enjoy our attempt to answer common questions about electric bikes. What’s more, we sincerely hope you find a handful of answers to be practically beneficial too! Now, without further ado, let’s get to the promised question-and-answer session. 

Is electric bicycling exercise? 

It depends! You’ll find that answer to be the case with many things — both in this blog and in life more generally. You have options with eBikes; you don’t have to pedal if you go with a throttle-activated electric bike. However, there are also pedal-activated bikes which require pedaling in order to engage the motor. Either way, you can always help the motor out if you want to get a bit of exercise on your ride. Then again, if you are commuting to the office and don’t feel like spending the day drenched in sweat, that’s on the table too, and that’s the beauty of the electric bike!

Are electric bikes suitable for people with disabilities?

Again, it depends; on both the bike itself and the nature of the disability. For instance, individuals who have full use of only one arm or leg are likely to be good candidates for a multitude of throttle-activated eBikes. Then again, paraplegics might need a more specialized model for their electric bike. 

Can electric bikes go uphill?

Yes! Of course they can! Plus, it’s much, much easier to go up a steep hill on an electric bike than with a traditional bike. It may not be as fast as you like, so feel free to help your motor out a bit if you want to arrive at your destination a bit more quickly. 

Can you pedal an electric bike? 

As we mentioned above, you can always pedal your electric bike if you’d like to up your velocity. And this is a great way to get exercise while being sure you don’t wind up exhausting yourself in the act. 

How far do electric bikes go?

In our Portland electric bike shop, every electric bike we sell can go between 12-30 miles on one charge alone. Some models can go further due to their higher-capacity batteries. Others come with two batteries, doubling the distance you are able to travel. 

How do you charge an electric bike?

You just like, plug them in, man…In all seriousness, it’s not a complicated process. Now, you should probably know that charge times vary depending on the bike’s battery capacity (rated in Amp Hours) and charger output (rated in Amps). For instance, a 10Ah battery with a charger output of 1A takes roughly 10 hours to fully charge. However, most electric bikes we sell at The eBike Store will charge in less than five hours. 

Are eBikes legal?

In Oregon, yes! eBikes are governed by the CPSC, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some notable requirements include the following:

  • 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

Can you ride an eBike in Oregon any way you want? 

No, you may not. Oregon eBike law includes certain stipulations about how riders must ride:

  • eBike riders must wear an approved bicycle helmet
  • It is 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)

What is a hybrid electric bike?

This is a term that causes confusion, even among seasoned eBike riders. Some say that hybrid electric bikes refer to the combined effort of motor-power and pedaling, which makes us infer that pretty much any kind of eBike can function as a “hybrid.” Another school of thought purports that it’s the type of bike that is a combination of road and mountain bikes. 

How fast can I get my eBike to go?

You might have heard about people “overvolting” their eBike, which is a hip way to refer to modifying your eBike to go over 20 mph. We have several thoughts on this matter. First, we have never seen a customer who independently overvolted their electric bike, traveled over 25 mph, and didn’t wind up in the hospital within the first half-year of doing so. That leads us to our second thought, which is, don’t overvolt your eBike! 

Safety (and liability) reasons lead us to want no part in modifying electric bikes, so you’ll need to go elsewhere to get your adrenaline fix! As they say in Poland, “not my circus, not my monkeys.” 

Can you save money buy using an electric bike?

There are myriad ways riding an eBike can save you money. For one, you cut down on gas money. Putting fewer miles on your car will also save you on repairs and the eventual replacement you don’t want to think about any time soon. Additionally, it’s a cheap form a recreation, you don’t have to worry about parking or tolls, and you don’t need a gym membership when you have your trusty electric bike by your side! We could go on, but we think you get the idea…

Which electric bike is best?

Excellent, difficult question! The fact of the matter is that different brands offer different benefits. That’s why we offer a wide range of electric bike brands at The eBike Store, including:

  • Benno
  • Gazelle
  • Norco
  • Specialized
  • Yuba
  • Tern
  • And more!

Where can I find electric bikes for rent?

We offer the chance to rent eBikes at The eBike Store in downtown Portland! Plus, when you rent an eBike from us, you get a discount on your purchase, applying your rental fee (up to $198( toward te purchase of any new eBike that’s valued over $1600. Keep in mind that all of our electric bicycle rentals include a helmet, bike lock, and a charger, if needed.

Where can I find Portland eBike tours?

The eBike Store is proud to partner with Portland Adventure Tours to provide private eBike tours of Portland. Tours are led by a knowledgeable guide who was a former Portland spokesperson. If you want to explore Portland like a Porlander without worrying about the hills, distance, or fitness elements, this is a great option!

Where can I buy an electric bike near me?

We think you already know the answer to this question, but just in case you’ve been daydreaming while reading this blog, the answer is at The eBike Store in downtown Portland — Portland’s original and premier electric bike shop! 

But we do more than sell and rent bikes. We also have an eBike service/repair shop. Here’s a review we recently received which highlights the level of excellence we seek to bring to each customer and their electric bike:

“Wow! Service/repair shop is great!” 

Jeff and Herbert(?) exceeded my expectations in value, expertise, & time sensitive repair of a throttle problem on a GenZe that other shops were reluctant to tackle. Their communications were clear and respectful of my input (I’m easily intimidated by tech) and my (thin) wallet. Thanks!” – Nick G., Five Stars, Google Reviews

Is financing available at The eBike Store?

You better believe it is! We are proud partners with Synchrony Financial, which makes it possible for us to offer financing at 0% for a year on any purchase over $1500 (on approval of credit)! It’s a simple process:

  • Come into The eBike Store to select your perfect Portland 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 application (takes about 5 minutes)
  • We will input your form onto Synchrony’s website
  • Synchrony Finance responds with the amount of credit they are willing to extend to you within 2 minutes
  • Ask us for additional details!

Shop Now!

We hope that you’ve found one, two, or a handful of these answers to be helpful. Whether you are looking for a simple tour in downtown Portland or you are ready to take your eBike riding to the next level, we’d love to hear from you at The eBike Store.

Located on 809 N. Rosa Parks Way, we are open seven days a week. We’d love to hear from you and make sure that you get the best electric bike for your unique needs. Stop buy or shop online at your convenience!

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