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!

Top eBike Brands For Sale At the eBike Store In Portland

In our last post, we put together a quick breakdown of the various eBike styles we carry here at Portland’s original and premier electric bike store, The eBike Store. From comfort and mountain eBikes to electric road bikes and eBikes with extra cargo space, we’ve got folks in Portland covered. Keep in mind we also have eBike parts and accessories, which were two sections we didn’t have time to highlight in detail in our previous post!

Today’s post ties in well with our last one; we’ll be highlighting the top electric bike brands we have available, along with what you should know about each brand. Let’s get going!


Benno eBikes are known for their marriage of simplicity and functionality, sacrificing neither for the other one’s sake. Designed to be practical (with superior cargo solutions, more gears, and a sporty yet comfortable ride), there is a lot to like about choosing a Benno electronic bike!


Gazelle has been producing bicycles for over 125 years! In that time, they’ve become known for their ability to construct a high-quality, comfortable, and lightweight bicycle design. Featuring low step-through frames and ease-of-use, we recommend looking into Gazelle comfort eBikes if you’d like to prioritize ensuring your next eBike trip around Portland is a pleasant one.


Raleigh Electric bikes are all about having fun. From 1887 to the present, they have a passion for going beyond mere practical function and want to make sure that everyone who gets on a Raleigh eBike will have a blast! Consider a Raleigh Electric bike for their eco-friendliness and travel efficiency as well.


Also known as Turbo E-Bikes, Specialized Electric Bikes expertly blend speed and style through their pioneering pedal assist motor, stylish design, and advanced electronics. Get up to 27.9 mph with some Specialized Turbo eBikes!


Stromer eBikes are known for their innovation and performance. Whether you are interested in the ST1, ST2, ST3, ST5, or any other of their electric bike models, the strength of their eBikes is found in their electric and mechanical components, software, and overall system integration. You’ll notice the quality the moment you start riding a Stromer!


Tern offers unique body styles and a brand that is truly committed to building a sustainable future based on their vision that the bicycle is the ultimate high-efficiency vehicle. They are a company that always strives to be sustainable, even in the finest details. For example, they minimize packaging, reduce the use of harmful chemicals such as chromium, and beyond.


Yuba is the proud maker of electric cargo bikes. They are a worldwide brand with a worldwide vision of bringing eBikes with storage space to all four corners of the globe. You don’t have to be a courier to find the value in owning an eBike with cargo space — whether it’s for groceries, children, or otherwise!

Come See Us Soon!

No matter which of these brands might catch your eye online, it’s about finding the one that fits best with your lifestyle. We’ll be happy to work with you to make sure you get the best of both worlds regarding comfort and function. Give us a call or stop by soon!

Highlighting The Range Of Electric Bikes We Carry In Portland

Welcome back to the official blog of The eBike Store, Portland’s original and premier eBike shop where you can rent electric bikes, shop for eBikes on sale, and even get eBike tours of Portland!

In posts of the past, we’ve taken the opportunity to write about a wide range of topics, from why getting an eBike is the perfect 2019 resolution to composing a beginner’s guide to eBikes in Portland. We’d encourage you to check these posts out if you are looking for a little inspiration and know-how from Portland’s eBike experts (that’s us!). But for the purposes of today’s post, we’ll be breaking down the different types of electric bikes we carry — available for both purchase and rent. We offer electric road bikes, mountain eBikes, comfort eBikes, eBike parts, eBike accessories,  and much more.

But before we dive straight in, we’d briefly like to tell you about the Portland eBike tours we offer at The eBike Store!

eBike Tours In Portland

Whether you are a local or a tourist, most all of us know that Portland is famous for bicycling. The rise in cycling’s popularity might be attributable, in part, to Portland’s growing traffic issue — it’s starting to feel more like Los Angeles than the Pacific Northwest! — but there is also something inherently natural about riding around the city with its beautiful layout and rolling hills.

Given the fact that Portland’s countryside is full terrain changes, it’s difficult for folks who aren’t in extraordinary shape to be able to enjoy riding through the city without it feeling like the first Crossfit session of your life. Take it from us, you do not want to feel like that when trying to enjoy Portland’s attractions!

That being said, you can combine the best of both worlds (one where you get to see Portland up close and the other where you aren’t covered in sweat while you do it) with the magic of the eBike! We offer a variety of loops for you to choose from:

  • Downtown Portland & Washington Park Rose Garden Loop
  • Springwater Corridor & Sellwood Loop
  • Central Eastside & Mt. Tabor Park Loop
  • N. Portland, St. John’s, & Cathedral Park Loop
  • South Waterfront & Pearl District Loop

Our Portland eBike tours are led by local guides who live in Portland and love what they do. We offer small, private groups of six or less for a truly intimate and personalized experience. Tours are between two and three hours in length, and you can even request a custom tour so you can see exactly what you’d like to! Keep in mind that all participants must be a minimum of 18 years old. Be sure to check out the eBike tour resource, linked above, to find details and meet your Portland electric bike tour guide!

Shop The eBike Store In Portland

As promised, the rest of today’s blog will be all about highlighting our various eBike styles!


We offer a range of comfort eBikes, for both sale and rent. From the Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 to the 2018 Gazelle Arroyo C8,  these bikes are designed to help the rider feel relaxed. No matter where you are, you’ll feel like you are touring the French countryside going from winery to winery — that’s how pleasant our comfort eBikes will make you feel!

Mountain eBikes

Next up is electric mountain bikes, of which we are currently offering three eBikes: Specialized Turbo Levo FSR (Large); Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Large (XL); Raleigh Tokul IE. All three are on sale, and all three will open up a world of unbelievable mountain eBiking for just about anyone!

Electric Road Bikes

If you are considering buying an eBike for your work commute, consider our electric road/hybrid bikes. We offer a range of brands to choose from, with a wide variety of prices to match most budgets as well.

Electric Cargo Bikes

The final category we’ll be making note of is that of eBikes with cargo room. You don’t have to be a courier to make use of some extra storage, especially if you are planning to use your eBike as an “A to B!”

Come See Us Soon!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into the Portland eBike tours and the range of electric bike styles that we have available at The eBike Store. Come see us soon or give us a call at your convenience!

Why Getting An eBike Is The Perfect 2019 Resolution

E-bikes are fun! My wife and I dropped into this store to check out an e-bike for my mother in law. Robert gave us a tour of his shop and we had a great time! We each ended up riding 3 different bikes. All of them were comfortable, easy to ride, and FAST! The prices, while not cheap, were very reasonable considering you can ride one of these bikes to work every day, beat traffic, and never pay for gas, vehicle maintenance, or parking. Definitely worth the investment in my opinion. If you haven’t tried riding an e-bike recently, do it! They’re fun!” – Colin S., Five Stars, Google Reviews

We are firmly into 2019 ladies and gentlemen, and that means it’s time to reevaluate every minute detail of our lives in the spirit of self-improvement. Some of us take a month of sobriety to clear our heads and get in touch with ourselves, while others want to shake off their winter season layer of insulation in order to get back into shape. Still others of us might go a different route, perhaps involving the taking up of a new hobby.

Maybe you’ve made all three of those exact resolutions, maybe none of them apply to you. But either way, the fact remains you’ve made your way to this eBike blog with a title that concerns getting an eBike as a New Year’s resolution. That tells us you have some degree of interest in trying out an eBike for the first time.

If that describes you, we want you to know that fills us with joy! We are passionate about eBikes for sale and for rent. As Colin S. put so well in his glowing review of The eBike Store in downtown Portland (that’s us!), there are plenty of reasons to see if riding an eBike might be the perfect 2019 resolution. To name just a few of the top of our heads:

  • It’s something to do while you are doing your best to have a “sober January”
  • While not physically exhausting, riding an eBike does offer fitness benefits
  • It might be that new hobby you’ve been looking for! See hidden gems of Portland that you never knew existed while getting some fresh air with your friends or family!

Some Of The Many eBike Benefits

In the past, we’ve written about what you should know before you buy your first eBike. And while we’d encourage you to take the opportunity to browse this handy resource if you get the chance, we thought it’d be more fun to dissect the aforementioned glorious review that Colin so graciously provided us with.

You Can Ride Them To Work

Who isn’t a fan of an easy commute? Well, for folks who have grown used to the comfort of four wheels, a heater, and the radio to keep them company during their morning commute, there might be something of a transitional phase that you’ll quickly shake off. But for cyclists who are looking for a way to bike to work without showing up with a sweat-soaked shirt (or having to change their clothes), riding an electric bike to work is worth your consideration!

eBike commuting is the perfect happy-medium between getting some physical activity and fresh air while not exhausting yourself with an intense workout before starting your workday. What’s more, you can avoid the standstills that come from with Portland’s gridlock traffic. As if that weren’t enough, you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot or paying for it! So it’s pleasant, physically beneficial, convenient, and affordable!

Environmentally-Friendly Transportation

We’ve used this statistic before, and we’ll probably use it again: if you ride an eBike for about 1,000 miles every year, you’d use almost 25,000 watt-hours of power. This is roughly the same amount of energy that is used to power a medium-sized air conditioner for 24 hours.

What’s our point? eBikes take very little power to run, especially when you compare it to the energy required to run a vehicle for hours each day. Gas-powered cars, as most of us know, contribute more than their fair share of emissions, contributing to significant environmental changes. If you’d like to get more “green” with an environmentally-conscious New Year’s resolution, here’s a great place to start!

Easy To Ride & Comfortable

The final aspect of Collin’s stunning five-star review is how he notes just how comfortable everyone in his party was when riding their eBikes. We’ve found that eBikes are as easy to use as they are comfortable, which should be music to the ears of folks worried if age might be a mitigating factor. The fact is, the eBike motor allows for just about everyone to be able to ride a bike wherever they please! Age, body type, and fitness levels don’t have to get in the way of something as amazing as riding an electric bike!

For these reasons and many others, a new eBike obsession just might make 2019 your best year yet!

eBikes For Rent In Portland

There are plenty of reasons to start shopping for eBikes for sale in Portland — and we are certainly The eBike Store for such enquiries — but why not see how you like it first? It’s much more cost-effective, and we’d be happy to set you up with all the knowledge you need to have a great trip around Portland! Browse Portland electric bike rentals if you want a bit more out of life in 2019!

A Few Interesting Facts (and Myths) about E-Bikes

The eBike Store in Portland is Portland’s first electric bike store. You’ll find that we introduce many a blog with that fact, mostly because we are very proud of it. But there is more to our e-bike store than simply being first to set up shop in Portland — we want to be the first and the best for our customers. That’s why we offer electric bikes for rent and for sale, in addition to offering eBike Tours and service, whether you bought your ebike at The eBike store or otherwise!

At the end of the day, we want to be the ebike community’s top resource in Portland and beyond. Between offering affordable prices on top electric bike brands and our commitment to outfitting anyone who walks through our doors with the best bike for their unique needs, we believe we are well on our way to accomplishing our goal of being an excellent resource for our community!

In keeping with that goal, we’d like to take the opportunity to offer up a few interesting facts about electric bikes in today’s post. Not only do we hope you find these tidbits interesting, but we think you’ll find them to be practical as well. Enjoy a few interesting, if not random, facts about e-bikes from The eBike Store. And be sure you keep reading if you enjoy the busting of myths; we’ll shed some light on some common misconceptions regarding electric bikes as well.

Electric Bike Facts

Below, we’ll start with a few basic facts about electric bikes and how people use them, before we dive into some little-known tidbits!

  • Electric bicycles are legal. In case you were wondering about this, we’ll alleviate your fears right off of the bat. eBikes are governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission,  or CPSC, which states that eBikes are perfectly legal as long as they meet certain requirements. Among these stipulations are that electric bicycles must have operable pedals, may not exceed 750 watts, all rides must wear approved bicycle helmets, and many others.
  • Electric bikes for sale at The eBike Store here in Portland are equipped to go between 12-30 miles on just one charge. Keep in mind, however, that certain eBike models are able to go farther because they either have superior, high-capacity batteries or have multiple batteries.
  • You do not have to pedal on an electric bicycle. Pedal-activated bikes need to have pedaling take place in order to engage the motor, whereas throttle-activated electric bikes do not. If you have any questions about this distinction and what might be best for your goals, you should come on in the shop and we’ll be happy to help you!
  • Electric bike myth – eBikes are dangerous. Most every eBike out there won’t surpass 20 mph on its own. If you pedal to supplement the eBike’s propulsion, you’ll probably be able to go over 20 mph, but most people don’t have any issue controlling an electric bike while it goes 20 mph. And while we are certainly capable of “overvolting” or otherwise modifying eBikes to go over 25 mph, we have yet to encounter a customer who has independently modified their eBike and failed to make an appearance in the hospital within the next six months. Yes, there’s no exaggeration here — it’s virtually a guarantee that folks who break the speed limit on their bike will eventually injure themselves. Don’t be that person, your health is important!
  • eBikes are ridiculously eco-friendly, namely because they don’t produce harmful emissions the way vehicles with combustion engines do. To put this in perspective, has estimated that if you were to use your electric bike to take a 10-mile chunk out of your regular driving each week, you’d reduce your carbon footprint (CO2 emission) by around 500 lbs. Each year!
  • Electric bike myth – riding an eBike will cheat me out of some good exercise! For one, it just might do exactly that! Which, if you are trying to not get drenched in sweat on your way to work, might be considered a good thing. However, we want our readers to know that, on average, electric-bike owners tend to spend more time outdoors when compared to before they owned an electric bike. What’s more, research shows that electric-bike owners also get more exercise while riding their bikes than when they did prior to owning an eBike. Ultimately, personal experience has taught us that owning an eBike will typically help you get outside more. This a virtue in and of itself, but when you consider the fact that you can exercise as much or as little as you want to (in terms of pedaling) while on your eBike, it’s no wonder why people love their ebikes as much as they do!
  • The use of electric bikes is growing among a variety of demographics. In Portland and elsewhere, commuters are using eBikes more and more. But other sectors which have seen an increase in the use of eBikes include travel and tourism, teenagers who come from privileged families, leisure riders, and even everyday cyclists who could use a break from constant pedaling every now and then!
  • Most kinds of electric bikes are able to be recharged pretty much anywhere — no electric bike changing station required! You can plug the battery into any outlet. Plus, some electric bike models have removable batteries, which makes the charging process even less of a chore. Charging the battery of an eBike usually takes a few hours.
  • Electric bikes let people with varying degrees of fitness to travel together at leisure. Think about it, eBikes afford such a unique opportunity for groups of friends and families! Whether there is a member of your party with mobility issues, or perhaps you’d personally prefer to not soak yourself in sweat in an attempt to keep up with your semi-pro cyclist friends, you can all easily traveling together with the wonderful electric bicycle.

Shop The eBike Store in Portland!

Whether you are looking for eBikes for sale or rent, the final fact we’d like to leave you with is that you can find what you are looking for a The eBike Store in Portland. Browse our wide selection today!

Your Guide to a Safer Bike Commute Part 2

There are so many benefits to riding an electric bike to work or school.

From increased health and less stress to saving money and doing your part for Mother Nature, the benefits of riding an electric bike to work are endless. But there is one downside to a bicycle commute — it can be risky. There are a lot of people out driving on the road, especially here in Portland, but you’ll be glad to know that there are many things you can do to make your bike commute safer. Check out part one of this series to learn about the safety tips we’ve already covered, and keep reading to learn more.

#5. Attempt to make eye contact.

When you’re on a bicycle, it’s vitally important that you don’t just assume that a driver will see you or that a motorist will give you the right of way (even if you are supposed to have it). Also, don’t assume that a motorist will obey a red light or a walk signal. Never take a motorist’s awareness for granted when you’re on a bike. If possible, try to make eye contact with the driver so that you know that they see you.

#6. Use hand signals when turning.

Making eye contact with drivers is ideal, but it’s not always possible. That’s why you should always use a hand signal when turning or changing lanes on your electric bike, even if you’ve made eye contact and you’re confident a driver sees you. But, even when you signal that you’re turning, don’t just assume that a driver will stop or slow down for you. Always keep your eyes open and make sure the coast is clear.

#7. Ride like you’re in a car.

Drivers are familiar with the patterns of other motorists on the road, so it’s in your best interest to ride your bike like you’re driving a car. What we mean by this is to always check and be aware of the traffic around you, make it a point to obey traffic laws and don’t weave in and out of traffic. Predictability equals more safety when you’re on the road.

#8. Make sure your bike is safe.

There are many aspects of your bicycle commute that are out of your control as far as safety is concerned, namely the behavior of motorists and other cyclists on the road. However, there is one big area that you have control over, and that’s the bike itself. It’s important that your bike is the right size for you, that it’s properly tuned up and adjusted, and that the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. At The eBike Store, not only do we offer a variety of electric bikes for sale, but we also provide tune-ups, maintenance and other services to keep your eBike in the best possible shape.

Riding an electric bike to work or school is a great way to get exercise, enjoy fresh air, reduce stress, save money and so much more, and we hope that this blog will help you enjoy a safer bike commute.

If you’re in the market for a high-quality eBike, there’s no better place to shop in Portland than The eBike Store. We offer a variety of eBike brands and types, including electric mountain bikes, electric road bikes and more. Shop with us today!

Your Guide to a Safer Bike Commute

An electric bike makes commuting anywhere and everywhere in Portland a breeze.

There are so many reasons to start commuting to work or school with an eBike. It’s much healthier for you, allows you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, saves money, reduces stress and more. The best part is that, with an electric bike rather than a standard bike, you won’t have to worry about showing up to work or school sweaty and disheveled, and you’ll get a little help getting up Portland’s biggest hills. The one downside to a bike commute is that it can be risky out on the road, but the good news is that there are lots of things you can do as a cyclist to stay safe.

#1. Always wear a helmet!

The number one thing you can do to keep yourself safe on an electric bicycle — or any bicycle — is to always wear a helmet. Just as you wear a seatbelt every time you get in the car, you should also wear a helmet every time you get on your bike because you never know when you’ll need it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of getting a head injury by a whopping 50 percent, so it’s well worth it.

#2. Use bike lights.

One of the biggest challenges for cyclists on the road is simply being visible to drivers. If you’re riding your eBike at night or under low-light conditions, the best way to be visible to drivers is to ensure that you have bike lights on both the front and back of your bicycle. Don’t settle for just any bike lights either; make sure that the lights you choose are bright enough to truly make you visible.

#3. Ride in the bike lane.

A bicycle is considered to be a vehicle, which means that the sidewalk is not an appropriate place for cyclists to ride. Many cyclists believe that the sidewalk is safer than riding in the bike lane, but that’s simply not true. For one, there’s likely to be a lot of other traffic in the sidewalk, including pedestrians and dogs, all of whom may probably aren’t expecting a bike. Additionally, drivers are expecting cyclists to be on the sidewalk, and if they’re pulling out of their driveway or parking lot, they may not see you if you’re on the sidewalk. Here in Portland, we’re lucky enough to live in a bike-friendly city that has plenty of bike lanes, and believe it or not, you’re better off using them.

#4. Keep your eyes in front of you.

While you should always check behind you before turning or crossing the street, for the most part, you should keep your eyes ahead of you, focused on where you want to travel. The vast majority of accidents involving cars and bicycles happen when drivers and cyclist cross each other’s path, most commonly when drivers turn in front of cyclists. Make it a point to watch the cars in front of you.

To find the perfect electric bike for your commute, shop with us at The eBike Store today. And to learn more tips for a safer bike commute, stay tuned for part two of this series.

Seven Ways to Protect Your Knees When Cycling

Cycling is one of the most beneficial and fulfilling hobbies you can do. Not only is it lower impact than running, it is highly aerobic, raising your heart rate without putting as much strain on your body as other exercises. However, as with all physical activity, it’s important that you take the proper precautions to protect your well-being. By following these tips, you can ensure you ride your eBike without ending up with knee pain at the end of the day. Want to learn more about electric bicycles? Want to give one a test ride? Come to The eBike Store in Portland to see what all the buzz is about!

-Keep Your Knees Straight

The number one way people end up with sore knees after a bike ride is if they aren’t making sure their form is right. When you pedal, you should do it in perfect circles, with your knees aligned and straight. When your knees wobble or move to the side — both inwards or outwards — it places increased stress on the cartilage within your knees. It causes the cartilage and your kneecap to rub together, which can damage them and become quite uncomfortable. If you keep your pedaling as straight and circular as possible, you’ll minimize that stress.

-Keep a Decent Speed

Maintaining a decent speed is important when riding, as it helps you to keep a fluid motion when pumping your knees and legs. Experts have reported that pedaling under 60 RPM (revolutions per minute) can be dangerous. The recommendation is to stay above 80 RPM if possible. You can maintain this speed by ensuring you are in the proper gear, as that will help you avoid going faster than you’re comfortable with. This makes the pedal assistance provided by an eBike especially helpful, as it will help you keep a steady speed without putting increased strain on your knees.

-Be Aware of Your “Float”

This entry is mostly focused on people who ride with clip-in pedals, but it can make a great deal of difference. The “float” of your foot position should match the natural angle of your feet and ankles. If your legs are angled too sharply, tension will radiate throughout your legs, which increases the pressure placed on your knees as you ride. It’s recommended to keep your float under 4.5 degrees for the best results.

-Move Back a Bit

While we touched on proper form a bit in discussing your knee positioning, where you sit on your bike has an impact on your knees as well. When you ride too closely to your handlebars, it puts your knees at a more aggressive angle, leading to increased strain and pain. Sit a bit further back on your seat, make sure your feet are firmly and properly planted on your pedals, and you should notice an immediate difference.

-Try Kinesio Tape

If your knees are extra sensitive, be it from old injuries or other afflictions, it might be worth your time to try kinesio or elastic therapeutic tape. It attaches to your muscles and joints, helping to maintain proper knee alignment. Instead of traditional athletic tape, which can hinder movement, kinesio tape mimics skin, which gives you a wider range of movement and has been clinically proven to reduce pain. By opening up your range of motion, it allows your muscles and joints to stay in position in a more comfortable way.

-Know Your Limits

When you’re out for a ride, it can be easy to get carried away. When you don’t understand your limits, you’re likely to push yourself too hard and end up injured. This mentality has been touted for many years, with a lot of athletes being praised for “pushing through the pain”. The problem with that mentality is that pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. When you ignore those warning signs, you will exacerbate the problem, turning something small into a serious injury. If you’re feeling a serious pain, don’t try to tough it out. On an eBike, utilize the pedal assistance to take a break and rest your legs. Then, once the pain goes away, you’re free to start pedaling again.

-Stretch it Out

Whenever you’re going to be exercising or engaging in physical activity, it’s incredibly important to stretch before and after. This helps to loosen up your joints and muscles, preparing them for the activity. When joints and muscles haven’t been stretched, they will be tight and tense, making them more inclined to be injured. Some good stretches to do to prepare your legs for a bike ride include:

  • Lunging hip flexor stretch
  • Figure four stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Quad stretch
  • Kneeling quad stretch
  • Side lunge

You can see detailed instructions and pictures of these stretches here.

Starting to ride a bike is a fantastic way to get in shape and take control of your health. Your safety needs to be at the top of your list when starting to ride, so keep these tips in mind to avoid coming home with aching knees. Safety doesn’t start and end with your knees, though. It’s just as important to make sure you’re always wearing a helmet and that you know the rules of the road to ensure you are safe when riding around other cars and bicyclists. As you no doubt noted, many of the entries here brought up how an electric bike can help ease the strain on your knees. If you would like to learn more about electric bicycles, call The eBike Store today!

6 Financial Benefits of eBikes

Electric bikes have been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years and there are many reasons for it. One thing you might not know about is how much an eBike can save you. For that reason, today we’re going to look at six of the biggest financial benefits associated with getting an eBike. Need some help finding the perfect electric bicycle for your needs? Look no further than The eBike Store! Whether you peruse our online store or you stop by our brick and mortar location here in Portland, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

-Physical Health

You might not make the connection between your health and money, but they’re more intertwined than they appear. When you’re unhealthy, you end up spending a lot of time sick. Between missing work, doctors appointments, and medication, it can all add up. One of the reasons people get sick is because they have a lack of physical activity in their day-to-day lives. Most people commute to work in their car, and an increase in jobs spent at a desk in front of a computer adds to our increasingly sedentary lives. By trading your car for an eBike to commute, you’re getting the exercise you need to be healthy, saving you money in the long run. Another bonus? You’re not having to spend a bunch of money filling up your gas tank.

-The World is Your Gym

With how much exercise can improve your life, it can be an easy leap to make that you should just buy a gym membership. However, if you’ve ever had a membership, you know how expensive they are and how rarely they get used. With an eBike, the world becomes your gym. Not only will you get a great workout, you’ll do it out in nature, which is much nicer than being cooped up in a sweaty room with a bunch of strangers. With the added pedal assist feature of most eBikes, it also lets you take a break when you need to, which allows for longer, more fulfilling rides without getting too tired.

-Save Time

With the average American commute clocking in at 26 minutes and on the rise, the amount of time wasted traveling to work adds up. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money”, and that statement has only become truer in years since. Riding an eBike gives you a chance to bypass a lot of the problems that make your commute longer. Using the bike lane helps you avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic that’s so familiar to many daily drivers. With this extra time, some people have begun taking side jobs using their electric bike to make deliveries so they can get a bit of extra cash. That’s right. An eBike doesn’t just save you money, it can actually help you make money, too.

-Free Parking

Living in a big city can be truly wonderful, up until you have to look for parking. Not only do you have to park your car blocks away from where you want to go, you have to shell out for the parking machines. If you accidentally park somewhere you weren’t supposed to, or your meter runs out, you’re looking at a costly parking ticket. With an eBike, you never have to pay for parking again. All you need is a good bike lock and a sturdy bike rack and you’re all set. Saving cash without having to pay for parking adds up a lot!

-Affordable Upkeep

Cars are expensive, no matter how you look at it. Between spending a lot on it initially and how costly the repairs and upkeep get, you’re sure to be pouring a lot of your hard earned money into keeping it running. That doesn’t even factor in how much insurance and car payments are. An eBike has a lower upfront cost, which means even if you are making payments on it, they’ll be much less than what a car payment is. Additionally, it costs much less to keep your electric bike in good shape. Consider this — driving a car typically costs about 50 cents per mile, including gas, tires, and regular maintenance. In contrast, operating an eBike (including tires, battery replacement, maintenance, and electricity costs) comes out to just 18 cents per mile. While it might not seem like much, those cents stack up pretty quickly.

-Tax Incentives

With more and more emphasis being placed on reducing carbon footprints and adopting a green lifestyle, states have begun to offer tax credits to people who purchase eBikes. This is because eBikes help to reduce the overall pollution contributed by motor vehicles on a daily basis. It’s worth checking your state’s tax incentives to see if you can benefit from this new credit when tax season rolls around.

There are so many ways that an eBike can improve your life, but its financial benefits often get overlooked. We hope you’ve found this to be a valuable resource as you learn if an electric bike is right for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at The eBike Store. Our staff is passionate about electric bicycles and they have the knowledge to help you make an informed decision. We even offer eBike rentals here in Portland if you would like to give one a test drive to see for yourself. We hope to see you here soon!

6 Tips for Keeping Your eBike Safe and Secure

While electric bikes have gotten more affordable over the years since their introduction, their price still makes them an investment that needs to be protected. To take care of your eBike, you might need to think through security a bit more than a standard bike would require. With that said, we’ve gathered six tips to help you keep your eBike safe and secure. At The eBike Store, we offer a wide range of eBike accessories, from locks and baskets to bags and helmets. Either stop by our shop in Portland or peruse our selection online to find the perfect accessory for your electric bike!

-Park in Public

It might be tempting to park your bike out of sight, but this makes it an ideal target for thieves. When they see something out of the public eye, it emboldens them to take it, as they know there won’t be witnesses to see them do it. Instead, choose a public place to park your eBike to deter thieves. Breaking a bike lock takes time and is much more difficult to do when there are a lot of people around. Avoid leaving your electric bike parked somewhere overnight, because even if you chose a highly-populated area, there will be fewer people watching at night, and the thief will have the cover of darkness to hide their efforts
When choosing a place to lock your bike up, stick to secure items where you can make it as difficult as possible to steal. Obviously, a bike rack that is solidly attached to the concrete will be your best bet. While a tree, street sign, or street light can be good options, you need to make sure your eBike can’t be lifted over the thing you attached it to. Parking meters are a bad option for this reason. A solid fence can work, but don’t choose a chain-link fence since it can easily be cut by an enterprising thief.

-Be Respectful

When choosing a public place to lock up your bike, it’s important to be respectful of people who will be walking by. Some spots may look good at first, but your bike might cause too much congestion in a high-traffic area. When your eBike is in the way of pedestrians on a sidewalk, it will put it in danger of getting knocked over and damaged. This is especially important to keep in mind when you’re locking up multiple bikes, as they can take up a lot of space.

-Lock Your Helmet

One of the ways you can make your bike more secure is by routing your bike lock through the vents of your helmet. Not only does that make it more difficult to break, it also keeps your helmet safe when you can’t bring it with you. While most people haven’t had their helmet stolen, it’s a good safety measure when you’re in an area where the risk of theft is high. It’s doubtful many people would really want to steal a used helmet, but it’s still a good idea to protect yourself and your things when you can.

-Detach Accessories

If your eBike has detachable accessories, it’s a good idea to remove them when you lock your bike up. Items like lights and displays are often easy to remove and small enough you can throw them in a messenger bag or backpack to take with you. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for how to carry items with you while you ride. Some locks come with an attachment you can install on your bike for easy storage, while other people use cargo bags or baskets. These items are helpful because they give you an option for storage so you don’t have to worry about juggling them while you ride.

-Different Locks

While it is definitely possible to use the same lock for all eBike security needs, you can use different ones for different situations. Use a sturdy, strong bike lock when you’re going to be parking for an extended period of time (like at work) to ensure its security. A lighter bike lock is a great option for short trips like errands, because you won’t be locking it up long enough for someone to steal it. This also reduces the weight you’re carrying on your ride, making for a more enjoyable trip. You can even keep your heavier lock at work so you don’t have to worry about hauling it back and forth every day.

-Serial Numbers/GPS Tracking

Beyond your standard bike locks, there are other security measures you should take to protect yourself and your property. The first of which is recording your electric bike’s serial number, which may be located on your bike at the rear wheel mount, seat tube, under crank, or head tube. When you have this easily accessible, you can provide it to the police in the event your eBike was stolen to make tracking it down much easier. Additionally, many eBikes have begun to add GPS tracking as an added security measure. Most of these programs are accessible through a smartphone or computer and show you exactly where your bike is on a map. If your eBike doesn’t have this functionality, it might be worth it to invest in an accessory to make tracking your bike easier.

It’s important to take the proper steps to secure your property and we hope you’ve found this to be a helpful resource. If you’re looking for a new, heavy-duty bike lock or you just want to see what kind of storage options are out there, check out The eBike Store’s selection. We carry eBike accessories and gear that will fit all of your needs. You can find more online or in our Portland storefront. We hope to see you soon!