What is An eBike? An Easy Primer Before You Buy or Rent One.

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In this age of technology, it may not surprise you that 2-wheel bicycles have gone electric. But what is an eBike, exactly?

You’ll learn that, along with all the essentials you need to know about safety, licensing, and buying an e-bike in the primer below. Then, there’s no telling the places you’ll go!

Ebike on Trail Cover | Enjoy Travel Life

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn all about electric bikes, including:

Ready to learn? Keep reading for all the important details.

About Electric Bikes

The world seems to be in love with heavy duty electric bikes right now.

After all, more and more brands and styles are hitting the market. 

And what’s not to love? They use electric and human power to move forward, making them an eco-friendly mode of travel. That’s even more so if you charge the batteries using green solar power.

Plus, they are super fun!

Many current cyclists or long-dormant riders understandably have questions centered around transitioning to electric dirt bikes and street bikes.

Are there constraints to buying and riding e-bikes? As a consumer, doing a little research based on your riding needs and local laws will provide answers as to where can you ride bikes legally and safely and the best places to buy them.

But we hope to answer many of your questions below in this easy ebike primer.

What is An eBike? | Electric Bike Basics

Electric Bike Local | Enjoy Travel Life

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are any of a particular bicycle that houses an electric motor and a battery to propel the cycle or assist a cyclist’s pedal efforts. 

That is why these machines are also called “assisted bikes.”

Most are designed for either casual or performance street riding. 

They are a great option when you’re traveling if you want to cover a little more ground than on foot, but still thoroughly explore the route.

E-bikes are also great for local expeditions.

However, in recent years the industry has seen the advent of mountain-bike style machines, such as the Intense Tazer Pro Build dirt bike. It’s manufactured for recreational or hardcore trail (off-road) riding. These cycles also can transport you efficiently down paved roads to get you to the hard stuff. 

Related: Should You Opt for an E-Trike for Adults Instead?

Electric Bikes 101: Guide To Riding Safely

Safety Helmet for E bike | Enjoy Travel Life

You should approach riding a new e-bike much as if you were a novice rider of any two-wheeled machine. You must learn as much as possible about the bike’s controls and performance extremes while also assessing honestly your own capabilities. 

You’ll want to invest in a good helmet, for starters. 

You might also consider wearing long sleeves and pants and covered shoes to protect your skin from road rash should you take a digger when you start out.

A powerful e-bike can easily generate speeds that require you to gain new skills over time to manage the bike safely. 

One of the better features of most electric bikes is that of variable-assist control: You can choose how much boost to dial in. Start with a minimal assist, and increase that rate as your riding abilities increase.

Can You Ride an Electric Bike Without a License?

For the most part, low-powered electric bikes do not require special licensing or insurance to ride. Higher-powered bikes may require a motorcycle license to operate.

Be sure to investigate the licensing rules specific to where you’ll be riding, as it varies. 

How Far Can You Go on an E-Bike?

Twin Electric Bikes | Enjoy Travel Life

You can expect the riding range of the average e-bike to be somewhere between 25-100 miles (40-160 km).

Admittedly, that’s some pretty good ground to cover in a day!

This range all depends on:

  • Size of the battery
  • The rider’s weight
  • Type of terrain
  • Your speed
  • and other factors

On a small battery like you might find when you rent a city e-bike, you can easily cover 25-75 miles (40-120 km) between charges. 

Or, you can invest in one of the best rated electric bikes which offer additional extended ranges and other innovative features.

Are Electric Bikes Expensive?

Electric City Bikes | Enjoy Travel Life

It depends. 

You’ll find the cost to buy an electric bike ranges from about $400 to more than $8,000 in the US. 

But, keep in mind that the lowest-priced ebikes may not meet all your needs. So, for a quality bike, you’ll want to budget between $1,500 – $4,000 to get a decent electric bike.

If you’re thinking of renting an e-bike, the rental fee all depends on location.

Some cities in the US rent by the hour and other cities average $10/day. (In some instances, you can even pick the bike up on one side of town and drop it off in another. How convenient is that?)

If you’re planning a trip abroad and hope to rent an electric bike, you’ll want to do your research the cost of renting an ebook in your destination ahead of time. (FYI, Europe tends to be a little higher for e-bike rentals.)

Then, you can add that cost into your transportation budget for the trip.

Other Considerations

As amazing as electric bikes are, you’ll want set some realistic expectations.

  • Electric bikes can be heavy to transport if you’re not riding – between 38 and 70 lbs (17 – 31 kg). 
  • You’ll need to charge the battery, which can take 3-6 hours, and more the first time you use it.
  • Like any piece of machinery you own, if something needs a repair, it can be pricey.

None of these are deal-breakers for the convenience and pleasure of the joyride, though!

Does it sound like an e-bike is for you? 

Then here are more details you’ll want to know.

Where To Find the Best E-Bikes

To help in your transition to electric riding, carefully consider the retailer you will shop, looking for the following criteria:

  • Desired bike-style availability
  • Purchasing advice
  • Bike fit support
  • Maintenance followup

The Associates at a good shop will show that they do not just want to sell a bike. They will also indicate they want to get you on the bike that is right for you and that they want you as a customer for life. 

Be sure to consider that message when looking at the best place to buy Tazer MX E-Bike machines, street-racing cycles or comfort electric bikes.

Where You Can Ride

E bike for Travel | Enjoy Travel Life

All the advice leads up to an important point: The type of bike you choose will likely depend on where you can use it, both geographically and regionally. 

However, various regions and municipalities, even within single states, may have their own ordinances. 

For example, some cities allow these bikes on all roads but may forbid access on specific recreational trails. 

EMTBs, or electric dirt bikes, are generally welcome on any trail that permits unassisted mountain bike riding.

Thus, you need to do your research before buying your first electric bike. Check permitted local restrictions and ask about planned changes. Then determine the type of e-bike that fits your needs and lifestyle, and you will find a ride that gives you pleasure for many miles. 

Final Thoughts on Riding An Electric Bikes

John F Kennedy once said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” Well, electric bicycles have (literally) amped up that pleasure.

After reading this article, you should now have a better understanding about e-bikes and all they offer – and be excited to ride!

Whether you plan to explore cities like Barcelona by bike, or traverse the wooded trails near your hometown on a staycation, you can bet that riding an e-bike will make it all the more fun.

If you like the idea of eco-friendly transportation like the electric bike, continue reading to learn other ways to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel here.

Don’t forget to save this article to Pinterest for later!

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18 thoughts on “What is An eBike? An Easy Primer Before You Buy or Rent One.”

  1. We actually have an e-bike and yes, it’s super fun. Love that it’s eco-friendly and doesn’t need gas. Thank you for the tips and I agree with you that it’s important to invest in a good helmet. Keep in mind that safety comes first.

    • Good to hear, Clarice! You make an excellent point about safety. I agree, it’s always the first priority.

  2. I haven’t paid attention to e-bikes when I was on vacation. But this post has opened my eyes to RV campers (we plan to do this in a few years) who don’t want to haul their car. They can always bring e-bikes for transportation in and around the RV campgrounds. What a great option!

  3. My initial thought about the electric bikes has been that why? Why not just use a regular bike to keep yourself in good shape. But over time I have started to think it would be nice to try it out. It could be a fun option to stay outdoorsy even on a trip too since you can do quite a distance with an e-bike. Maybe we will try them out on some kid free trip in the future.

    • Traditional bikes and e-bikes are great options when vacationing. I hope you give ebikes a try sometime. They really are a fun way to go!

  4. I haven’t used electric bikes yet, but I think it’s an excellent idea for sightseeing in the cities, town or parks. I want to try it as it’s an eco-friendly mode of travel, so it should be more popular. It’s great to know that low-powered electric bikes do not require special licensing, as I don’t have a motorcycle license.

  5. I have never tried riding on electric bike, but I have spent years commuting to the office on my own normal bike. I love cycling and I sometimes do hire bikes when I travel abroad. I remember the last time I hired a bike, and had to push it up the hill in Austria. I think that would have been a perfect path for an electric bike, especially when it started to rain. It would have brought me home much faster.

  6. We’re in the future right now! Who wouldn’t adore riding an e-bike? In addition to being a fantastic substitute for automobiles, it is also an excellent cardiovascular activity that can help develop strength and endurance. This is perfect if you want to travel faster and in better shape. Since they use rechargeable batteries instead of fuel, this is what I appreciate most about them: they are efficient and environmentally responsible.

  7. I can totally see why an e-bike can be fun thanks to you, and how good for the environment. There should be more inventions like that. The best part about it is that you can charge it with solar energy, which makes it very helpful. Just let it rest outside and charge with the sun’s radiation. I have tried the regular bike, but not an e-bike. It is time for an upgrade, I guess.

  8. This is such a helpful post Jackie. I really love the traditional bikes but have been seeing more and more e-bikes around. I’ve not yet tried one, but will take on board your tips when I do. I have to say they do look cool on the road!

  9. Good round-up on e-bikes. They are very popular in the touristic regions everywhere in Europe. I often work with tourism authorities in mountain regions. They told me that safety is a problem. People are able to ride into the mountains but cannot control the e-bike (as you know they are heavy) downhill. But I also agree e-bikes are superfun!

    • You make an excellent point, Natascha. Obviously, safety should be a consideration with ambitious mountain biking!

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