Should You Buy an Electric Bike? Your Questions Answered!


几个月前我们发表了一块标题:我应该买一辆电动自行车? Here's everything you need to know to get started! It generated quite a bit of interest, as well as some additional questions about electric-bikes (apparently that piece didn't literally cover一切)。所以今天,我们正在回答首席执行官和联合创始人鲍里斯·莫德克维奇的主要帮助之前未答复的最佳问题Evelo电动自行车公司("producing stylish and comfortable e-bikes for the 99% of people who are not cyclists"). He regularly writes about the electric bike industry on his blog atBehind the Scenes

Lets get started:


A: Absolutely. It’s actually the great paradox – people something think that electric bikes are for people who don’t want to exercise, but actually the exact opposite is true.


The electric bikes makes riding accessible for the 99% of the population who are not regular cyclists already.

一旦你轻松地骑行 - 无论他们住的地方还是他们的身体能力,你都会发现人们经常开始骑自行车,因为他们总是知道他们可以安全地到达目的地,即使它是丘陵或他们累了。请记住,他们仍然踩踏整个方式 - 但他们调整他们想要的艰难或容易。

我看过很多人的反馈lectric bikes became a gateway to cycling in general. They may initially use the electric bike with a lot of assistance from the motor, but as they build up their strength and stamina, they reduce the level of assist or turn it off completely.

Electric Bicycle EVELO


Q: What is your opinion about allowing ebikes in places where "motorized" vehicles are not allowed, such as bike trails?

I think that is a great example of policies and rules being made without trying to understand the issue behind them.

• to address safety concerns

Let’s address all of those one by one:




Pedestrian safety concerns about electric bike. Although the concerns around what would happen if a pedestrian is stricken by an electric bike rider are valid, they miss an important point.

规则时,政客们一起把避署ctric bikes with heavy, motorized scooters.

However, a real electric bike looks, feels and handles like a traditional bicycle. It does weigh a little more due to batteries and motor (e.g. 55 pounds for an electric bike vs. 35 pounds for a regular bike). However, when the weight of the average – 170-180 pound rider is taken into account – the overall difference negligible.

In reality, an electric bike would cause the same damage if a pedestrian were stricken as a traditional bicycle traveling at the same speed. And remember – electric bikes are limited to traveling at a maximum of 20 mph, which is comparable to the speed of a regular bike.

I believe that many of the rules addressing this are made in response to accidents involving unlicensed electric scooters, not true electric bicycles. However, due to poor understanding of the options on the market, electric bicycles are misplaced in the same category.



By law electric bikes are limited to a maximum speed of 20mph. This is comparable to the speed you can achieve on a traditional bike. In fact, most road bikes can go well above that.



This means that the results of a crash involving an ebike will be similar or milder than those involving traditional bicycles.
The important thing is to practice common courtesy and rules of the road. Don’t ride against traffic or on sidewalks. Don’t run red lights. Give right of way to others when it’s proper. I am a firm believer that regular cyclists and those riding electric bikes should learn to share the road and be more accepting of each others’ choices.

Q: Should eBikes be allowed in cities like New York?


Electric bikes have been subject of much controversy in New York City for a number of years.

由于曼哈顿的食品交付人员展出的骑行行为差,而且使用踏板车的电动自行车骑在人行道上或抵抗交通,因此围绕电动自行车的许多问题开始提出。这种自行车几乎没有运行踏板,其简单地避免必须将它们注册为机动车辆。它们很大,沉重, - 如果他们被使用不当(即人行道上的骑行) - 可能是危险的。

Unfortunately there are still many misconceptions about the electric bicycles among the population and politicians who tend to make no distinctions between scooters with electric powerful electric motors weighing 100-200 or more pounds and bicycles with small electric assist motors. These misconceptions are what caused e-bikes to have a poor image in New York City as a consequence.

In 2009, electric bicycles have been banned from the streets of New York City. The ban, however, was generally not enforced and existed primarily on paper. There's been an interesting article on that subject inNew York Times

Thishappened again in 2011and then in mid-2013.

In short, there seems to be a trend - every couple of years a new fine or a law gets passed which results in a lot of media coverage discussing the status of the electric bicycles in New York City.

However, at this time, there are two bills currently working their way through the New York Senate and Assembly that will eventually define and legalize electric bicycles in New York State and therefore New York City.

One can be found这里。另一个可以找到这里

These bills, when passed, will define and fully legalize electric bicycles in New York City as long as they meet the federal guidelines which state that an electric bicycle is to be classified as a bicycle and not a motor vehicle (therefore enjoying all of the same privileges as traditional cycles such as no license requirements to operate one, no insurance or registration requirements and an ability to be ride them on the bike paths) as long as it conforms to the following rules/specs:

• Has functioning pedals;
• Does not exceed the speed of 20 miles per hour;


通过去除关于电动自行车的所有这一混乱,它会使它朝着正确的方向成为一个巨大的一步,因为它将成为一个全新的人口部分 - 生活在丘陵地区的那些,或者太远,或者只是骑自行车恐吓 - 开始骑马。


Electric Bicycle EVELO



A: Electric bikes are heavier than their traditional counterparts. There’s no way around it.

To understand the difference, you can imagine a regular mountain bike that weighs around 30 pounds. Then you’d have to add a motor, battery and controller that would add up to another 30 pounds or so, so the complete package would be around 60 pounds.

However, there are a few ways to get around it!

如果您的电动自行车有油门,则一个技巧很棒。当你上楼梯时,只需将自行车放在你正在走路的方向上,从而轻轻地使用油门 - 结果,自行车将几乎爬上楼梯本身,有一些指导。

Another trick is to remove the the battery from the frame. It takes a second and reduces the weight of the bike by almost 10lbs – in which case the difference is much less noticeable.

We’ve also seen a lot of people keep their electric bike in the building’s basement or storage room – just removing the battery and taking it upstairs for charging.


Q: Are there any benefits to buying an eBike vs. making one yourself?

A: Besides saving countless hours figuring out and building an electric bike? Absolutely!



Electric bikes are still a fairly new product and while the maintenance required is fairly small, things can still go wrong. Being able to call a customer service toll free number and get answers to your questions 7 days a week is very helpful.

Q: Are there ways to try an ebike before you buy one?

A: Of course. While rare, bike shops specializing in ebikes are starting to pop up across the country. Unfortunately they are still few and far in between and their inventory is usually limited to just a few brands. However, they are a good place to start.

Some companies will also connect you with their existing customers, so you can meet, ask questions and test-ride a bike from a real customer.

If, after a test ride you are convinced, you should continue your search on Google. Compare brands, and make a short list. Then, make 1-2 calls to the customer service departments or open a sales ticket and see how quickly they respond. It’s important that you get a response within a day or two because it’ll be a pretty good indicator of how quickly they’ll respond if things go wrong down the line.

Customer reviews are also a great way to evaluate bikes you have no physical access to. Only consider brands that are reviewed often and for the most part get positive reviews. When looking at the reviews, dig in to see the specific things that people highlight. If something seems unclear or concerning, bring that up with the company.


Q: Do electric bikes break more often than regular bikes?

A: Electric bikes do not break more often than their traditional counterparts. On a typical electric bike, 80% of all of the components are standard bicycle components anyway – remember it’s still a bike.

Most of the components that make up the electric part are fairly maintenance free nowadays. There aren’t a lot of moving parts in an average electric motor. The modern brushless motors can have very few parts that can wear out (such as brushes on the older brushed motors). The batteries from good quality manufacturers such as Panasonic, Samsung, and others, can last for years with just a bit of care.


Again, big thanks to Boris Mordkovich, CEO & Co-Founder ofEvelo电动自行车公司("producing stylish and comfortable e-bikes for the 99% of people who are not cyclists") for sharing his expertise with TreeHugger. If you want more from Boris, check out his e-bike blog:Behind the Scenes