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Frequently Asked Electric Bike Questions

February 2021  

Electric assist bikes are getting more people out and riding more often. From making your daily commute more practical to being able to keep up with your fellow riders, electric bikes make riding easier- every mile of the way.

What is pedal assist?

Pedal assist is a percentage of assistance you get from the e-bike motor based on your chosen setting (eco, medium, high/turbo) combined with the amount of pedaling you put into the bike.  

What is the differences between motor types?

There are two types of e-bike motors:  

  • Mid-drive motors - Tend to be lighter and more efficient. 
  • Hub motors -  Used on certain models of e-bikes that can not use a mid-drive such as recumbents.

Motors can also have different wattage and torque outputs which determine the power of a given motor.   Batteries are usually paired to the motor systems.  The higher the watt or amp hours of the battery, the longer the battery range.  Some motor systems allow a larger battery upgrade to gain more range. 

Do I need a drivers license to ride an eBike?

Because eBikes are so new some states do not categorized eBikes separately from mopeds or gas powered bicycles. We always recommend that you check you state and city laws regarding eBikes. 

Where can I test ride an eBike?

Warning.  Once you test ride an electric bike you'll be hooked!   You can test ride an e-bike by Trek, Electra, Giant/Momentum, Riese & Muller, Tern, Yuba, and more at any of our store locations.  

What kind of battery maintenance is required?

Following your systems simple care instructions will help ensure the longest battery life.   Some examples include:

  • Charging the battery in a dry location at room temperature
  •  Storing the battery inside when the temperatures get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and above 68 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Removing the battery while cleaning your eBike
  • Removing while transporting your bike on a car rack
  • Having your battery inspected once a year by an authorized service team

How long does it take to charge an eBikes battery?

On average, most e-bike batteries take between 4 to 6 hours to charge from fully empty to fully charged. For more information about how to get the most out of your eBike's battery check out the video below.

What pedal riding modes do Bosch and Shimano electric bike systems provide?


Currently there are five different pedal assist drive unit models made by Bosch. Each features four levels of pedal assist: eco, tour, sport, and turbo. The power output at each support level vary from unit to unit. While pedaling, the drive unit will match your efforts by a percentage based the chosen pedal assist mode.


Shimano pedal assist systems feature three power assist modes and a walk assist mode. Shimano Steps City created for urban commuting features three modes Eco, Normal, and High. Shimano Steps MTB utilizes three modes Eco, Trail, and Boost.

How often should I have my eBike serviced?

Bring your e-bike for service once a year or every 500 miles, whichever comes first.  Servicing your e-bike on a regular basis can ensure that your chain and shifting components are working properly, the battery is functioning well,  and the software is up-to-date.   Proper maintenance is important so you can enjoy your e-bike for many years to come!