Electric bikes are continuing to rise in popularity among residents in urban cities, locals in rural areas, and tourists exploring vacation hotspots. They're convenient, affordable, environmentally responsible, and extremely user-friendly. However, ebike technology is still new to the marketplace, so there may be some confusion among consumers when it comes to deciphering how these devices work. “Do I have to pedal an ebike?” is a valid question, but the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. In fact, whether you must pedal an electric bike depends on the make and model of the bike itself.
Not all electric bikes are created equally. In fact they fall into 3 different class categories depending on certain features and speed. If you are looking to coast and cruise without exerting much effort, look for a class 2 ebike. Bikes featured in the class 2 category come equipped with a throttle on the handlebars, which may look like a lever or require a twist to start. Throttle ebikes are regularly referred to as twist-and-go or power-on-demand bikes, and unlike their class 1 and 3 counterparts, riders can completely rely on the motor of the bike to propel them forward when climbing hills or travelling across flatter terrain. If you change your mind and want to accelerate your activity level, there is a pedal assist option. The pedal assist feature means that your movement connects to the motor. Sensors on the pedals detect your speed and communicate with the bike’s motor. Many riders compare pedal assist mode to the feeling of receiving a push forward, which means riding requires less effort. The pedal assist option is great for riders with reduced mobility or individuals who are looking for more of a joy ride as opposed to a high intensity workout.
However, if you are riding a class 2 ebike, which features a throttle, you’ll want to be weary of battery consumption. Relying heavily on the throttle drains the battery of the bike, as the sole source of power is the bike’s motor. In contrast, electric bikes featured in categories 1 and 3 require pedaling to initiate motion. Class 1 ebikes are pedal assist only and are limited to a top speed of 20 miles per hour. Most high-quality electric mountain bikes are considered class 1, because they include pedal assist programming and reach lower high speeds in comparison to class 3 ebikes.While similar in nature to class 1, class 3 ebikes are the fastest of all the ebikes. When pedal assist mode is activated, riders can reach speeds of up to 28 mph. These bikes are most popular with experienced cyclists and advanced adventurers because they can travel further and faster than the other classes.
This may seem like a lot of information, so we’ll simplify the technical jargon and break it down a bit further. If you’re interested in travelling at a mild pace and don’t mind pedaling, a class 1 ebike is an excellent choice. If you’re willing to pedal a bit but want the option to take a break while relying on the bike’s motor for power and speed, a class 2 bike is the perfect pick. If you’re willing to pedal and you prioritize speed, a class 3 bike is the best companion for all of your travels. Overall, class 1 and class 3 electric bikes require pedaling, while class 2 ebikes do not; however, there are pros and cons to both choices. To determine which ebike is best suited for your needs, begin by assessing your fitness level, familiarity with riding, and location.
GOTRAX offers a wide variety of electric bikes so it is just a matter of finding the one that suits your needs and what you want to get out of your rides. Just remember to ride safely and don't forget to wear your helmet!
Ride Together. Ride GOTRAX!