ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT EBIKES IS RIGHT HERE!
Why stick to 350W – 500W once others offer 1000W, 3000W, or 6000W electric bike systems?
Besides by-law limitations for street legal maximum 500W power, there are many engineering and safety reasons behind sizing a motor power on a bicycle– no matter if this is a factory made bicycle or a retrofit conversion project.
- 3000W, 1500W, 1000W, 750W motors are not street legal and are too powerful and heavy for bicycles. Typically we offer high power motor system for students or R&D projects, not electric bicycle applications. Putting a 4L engine on a Toyota Matrix is just a waste of money and resources. This engine will break the transmission shortly and the car does not provide a satisfactory drivability on small wheelbase and small tires.
- 250-500W is the optimum power you can expect a reasonable weight, speed, range, durability and safety on a bicycle. Knowing that an aerobic pedaling power by a regular cyclist is between 70W to 200W helps us understand 500W is like 5 people pedaling power.
You may read or see exciting reports or videos about 1000W to 6000W electric bikes, however this will not last long on those bikes. Biggest motor is not always the best.
How do I decide between buying an electric bike or a conversion kit?
Buy the electric bike if:
- you have found the right fit with a reasonable price..
Get the conversion kit if:
- You already have a sound bicycle (might as well save some garage space)
- You want to save on the price of the bicycle as well as
With the conversion kit, you can set it up yourself or see a bike mechanic for extra support.
Is it hard to ride the bike when the battery is empty?
Can I use the ebike in the rain and snow?
The system is rain proof. It’s good for rain or snow, however we advise against water jetting. Most importantly, do not park in the rain or snow.
Can I put my eBike on a car rack?
Yes. Our products typically add 6-7Kg (13-16 lbs) to the weight of a bike. You also have the option to remove the battery, eliminating 3-4kg of the weight, when putting your electric bike on a car rack.
Will your e-bikes run without pedaling by use of throttle?
For most versions, yes. Please check products specification.
Should I completely drain the battery before charging?
Not at all! Unlike traditional Nickel based batteries, Li-Ion battery has no historic effect on charge and topping up the battery after each use gives a better life condition.
How long does it take to recharge the battery?
Approx 3.5-8.5 hours depending on the battery capacity using standard chargers. We may offer quick chargers which doubles the speed of charge.
Does the electric bike recharge by pedaling?
No, it is not possible to recharge the ebike by pedalling yet. The reason is because regeneration demands heavy push to pedal, which is exhausting. Regeneration only makes sense when you use the kinetic energy of a bike in breaking or descending a downhill, which at best it can increase the range by 10%. The idea of regenerative braking doesn’t work well on bikes because unlike cars the mass/aerodynamic loss ratio is too small.
What maintenance is required for electric bikes?
Usually there is no scheduled maintenance requirement for e-bikes other than simple physical protections and keeping batteries fully charged after each use.
How costly is a replacement battery?
The Li-Ion battery is quite costly. The number of cells in a typical ebike battery is 40-50 units; almost 10 times more than a laptop or 50 times of an Iphone with similar quality and specs. Battery is almost half of the cost of a conversion kit or 1/3 of an average complete electric bike.
How long does the battery last before it needs to be replaced?
We offer Li-Ion battery packs which are well engineered and protected with BMS (Battery Management System) for longest possible life. The cells used in our battery packs are A-grade LG, Samsung or Panasonic branded cells which have strict quality control and maintain their quality and performance for long. The technology and quality of cells are similar to what Tesla is using for their cars. There is a calendar life as well as cyclic life on the battery cells which is about 6 years and 800 full charge/discharge cycles. If using daily, you can expect about 20000-30000Km before the battery capacity shrinks to less than 50% which we consider as dead.
How far can I go on a single battery charge?
The range depends on many factors such as weight, road conditions, bicycle, weather, level of assist, and amount of muscle power being used. In general our system:
- Maintain 40km average range
- Minimum compatible battery capacity is over 100km range (if used on level 1 assist)
You will be guided through the right battery capacity for your particular case if you inquire.
What are the running costs of electric bikes?
- Our motor/controller system is maintenance free.
- Batteries have approx. 80$/Year depreciation on average.
- Average power consumption is about 1KWh/100km, taking 1KWh 10cents then the power cost of 100km will be about 10 cents!
Who uses electric bikes?
Electric assist bicycles (ebikes) are meant to enhance a range of performances on regular bikes without destroying the spirit of conventional human powered and clean riding. Ebikes are for those:
- Looking to travel quicker and further on their bike
- Ride their bikes more frequently without physical stress
Our ebikes can also potentially be used as a fully powered vehicle, motorized in the absence of pedalling, for those who have certain health conditions that may make pedalling difficult. Age restrictions depend on each province.
How fast can electric bikes go?
We have ebikes capable of 57km/h, however the legal max speed setting to be on the street is at 32km/h. The controller will cut-off assist beyond 32km/h to comply with the law. 350W systems gives the maximum street legal performance on ebikes, however 500W gives a better performance on hills.
Do I need a license to ride an electric bike on the road?
Vehicle licenses and liability insurance are not required in the US and Canada, including the street legal ebikes and conversion kits offered by EBikeBC.
What do the regulations say about using electric bikes?
General electric bicycle’s regulations in North America state that e-bikes:
- Are limited to 500 W output (in some areas it varies 750W and 1000W)
- Cannot travel faster than 32 km/h (20 mph) on motor power alone on level ground.
- Require an approved helmet.
Generally, they are considered vehicles (like motorcycles and pedal cycles), and are subject to the same rules of the road as regular bicycles as a result. Regulations may or may not require an interlock to prevent the use of power when the rider is not pedaling.
The vehicle must be equipped with a mechanism that either:
- Allows the driver to turn the motor on and off, or
- prevent the motor from turning on or engaging before the MAC attains a speed of 3 km/h
The motor must disengage when the operator:
- stop pedaling, or
- release the accelerator or
- apply a brake.
- The motor cannot be gas-powered.
What do parameters like Ah Wh (Watt-Hour) mean for ebikes?
It’s the energy capacity of battery. Wh=Ah x V. For example a 48V, 8.8Ah battery gives you 48V 8.8Ah = 422.4Wh energy which ideally means you can draw 422W power for 1 hour. The equivalent battery in 36V standard will be about 11.7Ah
What do parameters like Ah (Ampere-Hour) mean for ebikes?
It’s the current capacity of the battery. The maximum current the battery can be discharged at continuously for 1 hour. For example; you can draw 10A continuously from a 10Ah battery for 1 hour or 5A for 2 hours.
This is a parameter that gives you a range. However, the energy density of a battery should be measured by Wh(watt-hour) if you are comparing battery systems of different voltage. Ah increase when using higher capacity Li-Ion cells or using more Li-Ion cells in parallel in a battery pack.
What do parameters like V(Volt) mean for ebikes?
Power equals Voltage by Current:
- The higher the voltage, lower current is necessary to get the same amount of power (P=VI).
- The voltage should be managed by compromising safety and current rating of component.
This is a parameter which is set based on electrical characteristics of the motor/controller and wiring.
- Voltage has no mechanical effect on the ebike performance.
- Having a higher motor or battery Voltage does not translate a higher performance or higher range by itself.
- Voltage in Li-Ion battery is a matter of number of cells in series.
Battery Voltage will not be constant and varies based on SOC (state of charge) a complete charged battery voltage is about 42V when it is nominally 36V and battery voltage is about 30V when the battery is considered complete depleted.
What do parameters like Power W (Watt) mean for ebikes?
The amount in Watts shows the power (P) of motor. The power is important for riding faster both on flat or slope. There is a rated power definition for electric motor, which is the nominal power that the motor is designed to work to deliver efficiency and long life. Usually maximum or peak power is higher than the rated power. For example EbikeBC 350W geared hub motor can deliver up to 500W power at standard controller setting.
How costly is the replacement of Li-Ion batteries?
Here is an estimated cost of brand new battery packs or refurbishing the battery with new LG, SAMSUNG or Panasonic cells and BMS:
|Voltage & Capacity
|Estimated Price in C$
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
|18650 LG or Panasonic
How can you repair my existing dead battery ebike?
We will have various solutions for older ebikes battery replacement; either by installation of cased battery packs or refurbishing the existing battery case. You need to send us the existing battery and charger so that we test and refurbish with a similar or better capacity and performance using 18650 Li-Ion Cells from LG or Panasonic.
All the battery packs are protected by BMS for over current, under voltage, charging over voltage, cells voltage balance to ensure the safety and durability of the battery pack.
How costly is the repair of a broken old electric bike?
Repairs will be charged on an hourly rate of 75C$. We will let you know the rough estimate in advance. We will also keep open communication throughout the entire process to ensure the services and replacements kept in budget.
I have an ebike with broken motor or controller; can you help me replace one only?
Basically all generic BLDC motor controllers should match one another; however there is no protocol for wiring and connections. One should figure out the wiring pin by pin if a wiring diagram is not available. There is always a way to put the broken motor or controller back to work; we should work out the lowest cost with better result.
Are the hub motor kits compatible with disc brakes?
Yes. All hub motor kits have disk brake standard 6 bolt pattern mounting flange.
Is there a scheduled maintenance on hub motors?
No, Motors are considered maintenance free unless something happens.
How do I check which battery fits on my bike’s frame?
First of all check the mounting place alternatives on your bike. The lower center of gravity is a big advantage. You'd better to measure all the dimensions on your bike frame and then the battery you are choosing from the same page for the battery information to check if the battery fits in to the desired space.
What is the difference between 350W vs 500W?
350W provides 60Nm and 500W peak power enough toques and power for your 10% uphill climbing in pedal assist mode for an 80Kg rider. Don’t expect an ebike climbing up hills fast without pedaling. 500W provides 80Nm enough to climb 15% grade for 80kg rider and power up to 750W. You will have more performance using 500W. Select 500W if you need more climbing ability, higher acceleration, and speed; note that more is not always better since it drains the battery more quickly and is slightly heavier.
How does the Hub motor versus mid drive work when not using the boost?
The geared hub motor has a clutch inside which engages the motor when motorized. The geared hub motor also has free wheels for when the motor is not providing a torque. The brushless geared hub motor does not have any drag when used as a normal bike; it feels just like 2 free ball bearing.
The mid drive motor (crank motor) provides a boost to the crank torque. The power is transmitted by the chain to the rear freewheel. The bike transmission gear ratio affects the torque and speed. Also the freewheel sprocket lets the wheel freely roll with no drag.
What would you suggest for the control system? LED or LCD?
LED shows the charge level, On-Off and Level of assist selection.
LCD has lots of features and settings including:
- Speed, Distance, Time, ODO, Charge, level of assist, battery Voltage, real time power, ambient temperature, security password, cruise control, back lighted, headlight control, power limit setting, speed limit setting, etc.
One important advantage of the LCD version is that the system has a diagnostic feature which shows the error code in case of a failure. That makes it much easier for you and us to resolve the technical problems while installation or operation.
What brand of motor do you use in the Hub motor kit?
A: 500W Hub motors are a customized version of MXUS XF15. 350W hub motors are an upgraded version of MXUS XF07. The motors and controllers have been redesigned and enhanced for North American standards and usage.
What tire size does the rim coming with hub motor take?
The rim we use is an oval section black double walled alloy rim, stronger than regular rims using 2.6mm chrome spokes. The rim has pad brake tracks and the wheel supports both rim and disk brake. The tire can be 20in, 24in, 26in, 27.5in, 28in-700C-29er by 25mm or 1in up to 2.3in
Can I convert my front brakes to disc, mechanical or hydraulic?
Typically, yes. The hub should be Disk compatible but you will need to check to see if the front fork can support the disk brake calipers.
Would the rear hub motor compliment with the R35 kit?
Yes. All batteries can technically be substituted for all motors as long as they are all the same voltage. The capacity needs to meet the motor power demand.
I have a rack mounted already. Would the R35 or R50 work?
Rack battery in R series can be mounted to your existing rack, however you need to drill some holes or make some support for that.
Can I use the e-bike at freezing temperature like -30C?
The battery will warm up once it’s in use, however you will need to cover the battery to keep warm if it is left in -30C. The battery performance will drop down if the cells temperature reaches below 5 degrees Celsius.
After 5 hours charge, the LCD display is still showing half battery. Is something wrong with battery or charger?
The display charge indicator has a lagging system so that it’ll stabilize in cases of voltage fluctuations.
- Switch the bike ON
- Ride for 10-15 sec, and the bars will show full.
At no load condition ~42V is fully charged ~32V is fully discharged. You can estimate the charge level almost linearly in between. For example, 37V is half way. The best way to see the accurate charge level of the battery is to page the screen by clicking the power button twice. The battery Voltage will show up at the bottom of the screen.
Do we have to install the brake cut-off sensors?
It’s not a mandatory by regulations to install brake cut-off sensors. The sensors are for emergency incidents in cases when you brake abruptly – they’ll cut off the motor’s power. With pedal assist systems, you may not be as quick to squeeze the brake levers. In regular brakes you may need to have this as a double safety feature. Hydraulic brakes are typically powerful enough to stop you if a panic happens.
You can try your ebike without them, and you can try your ebike without installing the cut-off and decide if you need it to be installed.
How does these geared motor perform when un-powered and using as regular bike?
Our geared motors have an internal clutch which is automatically released when motor is not in use. Therefore unlike Bionx, which has a slight cogging torque and noise, there is no drag or noise at all when freewheeling.
Are the conversion kits on this website, noisy?
Generally when ebike motors are in use, there will be a slight noise. Noise occurs when you’re switching controls, partially because of the gears and magnets are cogging against each other, which is inevitable. The gears are made of Nylon, and have increased its width by 20% compared to the original design. This is to help diminish the gears from backlash and from wearing out.
The level of motor noise also varies by how fast you’re going and the weight of cargo you’re carrying. However, the noise is not as loud as a mountain bike driving on pavement with 2.1inch thick tires.To minimize the electric switching noise, our geared hub motors have a higher rotational speed so that the cogging noise is less noticeable. Check out what our motors actually sound like from our customers’ videos.
Why should you go for a front hub motor?
- 95% of our customers choose front hub motor because it’s easy to install and maintain.
- They perform better on slippery roads, even on snow.
- Compared to a rear hub motor, you’ll save the headache of visiting a bike mechanic to place in spacers and the derailleur adjustment.
Our 350w and 500W geared hub motors are only 2.7kg and 3.3kg. There is no gyro effect on the handling; unlike direct hub motors which are bigger and heavier. We have up to 9spd freewheels in stock. You can order us the rear wheel with the freewheel of same number of speed. (freewheel price is extra)
Does your hub motor fit thru-axle forks?
A: We do not have a hub motor which can be installed on thru-axle forks at present. We are hoping to develop such motor in near future.
Is it dangerous to have the motor on the front fork?
That depends on whether you’ve done your due diligence.
Here are the reasons why hub motor fail, and why forks, regardless from steel or alloy, break:
- Forcing the axle into the drop out and causing pre stress.
- Inappropriate order or direction of washers or locking washers.
- Insufficient bolts torque or not providing a proper nut seat on grooved alloy dropouts.
- A cracked, defective or old fork
- Loose or defective headset
If your motor is poorly installed or your bike isn’t maintained properly, you’ll bound to have horror stories about hub motor failures. Having said this, converted ebike should be inspected more often than regular bikes. (They’ll go faster and for longer distances too!) The amount of torque in the street legal hub motors is not enough to break the fork dropouts.
Yet, we don’t recommend motor installation on Carbon fiber forks no matter rear or front.
Is it necessary to modify the fork drop out?
Dropouts are usually 9 to 10mm considering the paint coat and filing 0.25mm or 0.5mm. Either sides is sometimes necessary and OK.
Is it safe to install motor on alloy or steel front forks?
Whether it’s made of alloy or steel, bike forks are designed for severe working conditions. They’re prepared for road shocks and hard braking. The amount of stress from motor axle torque is negligible compared to other loading scenarios. However, it’s your responsibility to inspect the fork and headset for any crack or defect to prevent risk of failure.
What do parameters like Torque (Nm) mean for ebikes?
Motor Torque is the characteristic which reflects the traction (thrust) and is important for climbing up hills.
- The traction force equals Torque divided by wheel radius (F=T/R).
- The more torque at the wheel gives you a higher grade-ability.
- The smaller wheel diameter gives a higher traction force or climb-ability with same motor torque.
The torque at the wheel for mid-drive motors should be calculated like this:
- Max Torque at Wheel for crank motors = Max Motor Torque x Number of rear cog teeth / Number of Chain wheel teeth
Are you a participating SCRAP-IT program for old car scrap incentives in BC?
Yes, initiate your paperwork and join us to find the right electric bike!
Do you offer event sales or off-season discounts?
Do you offer help, parts or repair service for electric bikes purchased elsewhere/ from other brands?
We will try our best to help. Technically we can replace, refurbish or repair Electric bike Li-Ion batteries of any brand. You need to share details such as Voltage, Capacity in Ah, shape and size of battery.
For motor and controller issues you need to contact us and share details. Sometimes the labor wouldn’t be worth and we might recommend parts replacement.
How can I compare electric bikes on your website?
We try to make the decision making process as simple as possible. You can start with style and look of the ebikes, then read through specs and options. Some products are customizable for some specs or features. In the end if you have special concerns, questions or comments before ordering you are welcome to Contact us.
Where can I find reviews published on your electric bikes?
You can find the reviews on each product's page scrolling down to reviews section and also some can be found on our home page when they are about the company.
What warranty do you offer on your ebikes?
It varies by product:
- Most e-bikes – 1 year bike & electric system. Also 2nd years motor/battery system optional for purchase 60C$
- Conversion kits – 1year free, 2nd year option 50C$
- Demo/Floor & pre-owned models - All demo, floor and pre-owned models have 3 months of warranty. extended year of warranty is available.
What TAX should I pay on my purchase?
- US buyers pay no tax, however might be charged duties for some made in Canada products due to regulation changes.
- Canadian buyers pay GST or HST, based on the province they live in.
- BC buyers pay Just the GST of 5% and they are exempt from PST for all ebikes and conversion kits. PST should be paid on accessories.
- QC buyers Pay QST-GST
- MB buyers Pay GST-PST MB
How long will my order take to arrive?
To US Destinations:
- Delivery in 6 — 8 days
To Canada Destinations:
- Local (British Columbia) — 3-5 days
- Canada central and West — 5-7 days
- Canada EAST — 6-8 days
How much is the shipping cost if I order online?
- Some products like conversion kits offer free-shipping throughout the US and Canada.
- A flat charge of 99C$ applies for Canada-wide delivery of electric bikes.
- Electric bikes to US may require up to 69C$ more; we will contact you in the event of such an increase in shipping cost.
- Parts and spares including sensors, controllers, batteries have a Flat 20C$ delivery charge for Canada and US. (Bulkier items like hub motor wheels may be more)
Where can I buy spare or replacement parts?
If the part is listed in our online parts store, you’re good to order from there. Otherwise email us about the parts, repairs or services that you require from here.
I can’t reach your store or dealers, what happens in the event of a problem?
Each product has enough literature and videos for owners guide, manual or troubleshooter which have been developed based on years of products’ after sales service experience. You will have access to us for assistance much easier than a local shop:
- Read website support and FAQ
- Share your questions and problem here.
- Email us
- Get an instant help form website live chat
- Call us (Pacific Time working hours applies)
- If required add Skype ID “ebikebc” to video chat. (Pacific Time working hours applies)
I can’t reach your store or dealers, how do I purchase?
- EbikeBC is an online store and service center. You can select and order online your desired electric bike. You can inquire e-bikes to help you select the right e-bike.
- If you know the system and components which fit on your bicycle, you can select and configure your conversion kit and order online. You can inquire conversion kits to help you recommend the right kit configuration.
Parts or Repairs:
If the part is listed in our online parts store, good to go; otherwise email us for the parts, repairs or service you require..
Can I try the ebike before ordering?
You are most welcome to come by and test ride various versions. If you are located within the BC Lower mainland or in areas where an EbikeBC dealer is within reach, you can contact us in advance.
What’s the difference between a cheaper ebike and a more expensive ebike that goes up to $10,000?
Battery cells brand, depreciation, and production date is a big deal. There is a calendar life on Li-Ion batteries; you don’t want to surprise yourself with a dead battery which costs 50% of the value after a year or so.
Li-Ion battery packs can be quite cheaper and more dangerous if not being manufactured under certain standards, qualifications or inspection. There have been many catastrophic battery explosions in Canada and the US in the past year due to poor quality battery packs that have been supplied under famous brands like Panasonic. You might like to pay more for digital and display features, brand names, high end bicycle components especially for suspension mountain bikes; however the weight, durability, performance and the quality of motor/controller/battery will not vary much.
How much should I spend with you to get a reliable commuter electric bike?
We believe in good quality and safe products. It is proven that you will not be able to find high quality grade, service, warranty, or performance if you are looking at a motor/battery system under $1100, or an electric bike under $1800. Geared hub motor electric bikes range from $2000 to $3000. These meet bicycle parts and electric system standards, and are considered as reliable.
If using a high brand mid-drive motor system such as Bosch, Shimano, etc. you need to make sure not to trade the bicycle quality with the motor brand in lower price bracket.
Where are your electric bikes and motor system made?
Our geared hub motor/controllers in our conversion kits are designed in Canada based on North American requirements. The frame and bicycles are made in different countries including China, Taiwan and Canada depending on the brand. Our company supervises the quality control over production lines for safety and quality assurance. The Li-Ion batteries are from Japan or Korea, and the packs are manufactured in Canada, Hong Kong or China, depending on the model.
Which electric bike is best for me? How do I choose the right product?
- Find the right bicycle type for your physical shape and kind of application (Mountain bike, hybrid, upright, step-thru, cruiser, recumbent, Tandem, Delta trike, recumbent trike, etc.).
- This should be concluded by you with the help of your health advisers. We can give you some guidelines by looking at various electric power assist systems.
- If you are new to ebikes, the best way is to let us choose what’s right for you. Contact us for more details.
- Know which bicycle frame and style you’d like. This will get us one step closer to choosing which motor system is best for you:
- Mid-drive system:
- The best power system for mountain bikers, and for full suspension bikers who do rock jumping.
- The motor drives the crank independent from the pedals. The power adds up with pedaling and transmitted to the rear cogs through the bike’s chain or belt. The motor is attached to the frame and the wheels are light.
- There are retrofit able versions of mid-drive motors which can be installed on existing bike bottom bracket. Don’t use such system unless you really want to do mountain biking or concern about the weight of wheel.
- Note: Power through transmission always reduces reliability and durability of the e-bike, no matter what quality motor you purchase.
- Mid-drive system:
- Bosch, Shimano STEP, Yamaha, Brose, are the most famous crank motor brands known today. You can only get these motor integrated with an electric bike’s frame and not as a retrofit. The price on these systems is high and they have some performance limitations due to increase reliability and enhanced safety.
- Hub motor system:
- The best option to go for urban rides.
- If you need a reliable commuter or pleasure ebike for city or trails.
- The motor is in the center of the wheel.
- Are lighter, more reliable, durable, and maintenance free. (Read this article for more details)
- Hub motor system:
- Friction motor:
- Small high speed motor with a rubber pinion which spins the tire by friction
- We don’t think this can be a solid electric bike solution due to the high noise, lack of freewheeling, wearing tire, low efficiency and range and low reliability.
- Friction motor: