What's an eBike? Why should I care?

Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? Read here first then get in touch if you're still stuck.

What's an eBike?

An eBike is, at its most basic, a bicycle with an electric motor and a battery. This may not sound revolutionary but we promise you its amazing. Unless you are a hardcore cyclist you're probably not that keen to use your bike for day-to-day errands. You don't want to arrive tired and sweaty at that cafe date do you? Riding home from the supermarket into a headwind with your shopping doesn't sound great either, does it?

Flying around effortlessly with the wind in your hair, being able to stop and park anywhere, breezing up hills, cutting through headwinds, arriving at the restaurant fresh, sweat free, and full of energy, that sounds better, doesn't it? That's what an eBike will let you do.

Give one a go today and I'm sure you'll agree-not quite a magic carpet but pretty close!

Does pedaling an ebike charge the battery?

No. Why?

When you use an ebike, your pedalling effort goes straight to the road. Exactly like a standard bike.

Changing from one type of energy to another is wasteful

If you studied Physics you may remember this. A conversion from one type of energy to another will never be perfect. There will always be some loss. Basically something will warm up that you didn’t want to warm. If we took your physical effort and stored in a battery we’d inevitably lose some. Then if we took that energy in the battery and used it to turn a motor to push you along we’d lose some more. So you’d go less far than if you pedalled a normal bike.

Ebikes make cycling easier

If that’s true and ebikes do make cycling easier (it is true) then there’s no way your effort is going into charging the battery. Let your mains outlet do that for about 20 cents. Your effort goes into moving the bike. The energy in the battery goes into moving the bike. This means you get there faster, with less sweat and more smiles. You don’t worry about that big hill or strong wind. You get home with your shopping and a little exercise. You get to stop at any place that takes your interest regardless of parking restrictions. You get freedom.

How does an eBike work?

Its easy-as easy as riding a bike!

Get on, turn it on, pedal, grin. That's all you really need to know.

Ok, there's a bit more to it than that but not much.

When you start pedalling the bike's motor engages and gives you a push.

The same same as your laptop or phone, you need to charge your battery.

You can fiddle with the power settings if you want.

If you're a wannabe Evil Knevil there's also a throttle. But don't worry, unlike that farm bike you crashed as a 10 year old, these bikes cut the motor power if you pull the brake, even if you're still on full throttle.

How fast do your eBikes go?

This is almost always the next question after the first two. The answer's simple: As fast as you can go. But its not the point!

By law the motor can only help you to 32 kph, but its still a bike so go find a steep hill and try hard not to pull the brakes.

Done that? Still got all your skin and teeth? Good. Now to explain the real point and speed of these bikes. Unlike a normal bike, you spend a lot of your time at or near 30 kph and almost all of your time above 20 kph. So your average speed is much better meaning you'll get places quick. You'll notice it all the more if you're carrying a load. On a normal bike you'll slow a lot up hills but not on an eBike.

Around town they're usually faster than a car. No need to walk to and from where you parked the car-park your bike right where you want to go. Traffic? What traffic?! Like all bikes, eBikes cut through traffic like a hot knife through butter.

So, how fast is it? In the real world, really fast!

How far do eBikes go?

With a 12Ah battery our bikes will do roughly 60km on a charge.

This can vary a lot depending mainly depending on two things:

  • How much effort you yourself put in versus how much you get the motor to do.
  • How heavy the combination of you, the bike and your cargo are.

Niall is fairly fit and 80kg. He's done 60km on one of our 12Ah 250W town bikes on medium setting without running it out.

Our most traveled customer, John, regularly gets over 50km with his 12Ah 350W rear wheel conversion on a single charge. He never travels light and always uses full power!

What does it cost?

This varies depending on what you buy. Have a look at our Buy and Rent pages to get an idea. Another way of saying is:

What does it save?

You. Regular, light exercise has been shown to improve many things including life expectancy, quality of life, happiness and mental health.

Your neighbours. There are no emissions from the bike itself meaning you are not polluting your immediate environment.

The environment. To go a kilometer you use the equivalent of 0.0007875 of a litre of petrol. Your average car would go less than 10 meters on that. Yes, that's less than twice its own length! A Toyota Prius would probably manage an amazing 20m for that amount of fuel! Of course, because here in New Zealand our power is nearly 80% renewable you're doing even better than that.

Money. Oh, you care about that do you? Well here we go:

Depending on your power tariff it costs roughly 5 cents to charge the battery fully so that's roughly 0.08 cents for every km. A typical car costs 21 cents per km in fuel. Parking is free. So a trip into town for coffee by eBike would save you the cost of the coffee. Pretty good eh?

You don't need rego or a WOF. Depreciation and servicing are minimal. If you end up replacing your car with an eBike you'll save huge amount of money. See this AA calculation to see what I mean.

But one step at a time.. Get out and try an eBike for yourself first!

Ready to get started?

Hop on - test rides are free!

Rental fees are refunded from bikes or kits you buy from us.