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How Long Do Electric Bikes Last?

Electric bikes are the future of green transportation. They have an integrated power motor that augments human beings.

With advancements in technology, electric bikes have gained popularity due to their eco-friendly nature and cost-effectiveness[1]. They enable you to go farther, faster and provide you with an effortless riding experience. These bikes usually come with various modes primarily designed for user convenience, including pedal assist and throttle mode.

One of the common questions in people’s minds is, “How long are these electric bikes going to last?”

Of course, longevity and battery life depend on the person’s usage, but one still feels assured for long term usage as these bikes are a huge investment.

Regular Bike and Electric Bike- What’s the Big Difference?

There are mainly two distinguishing features that stand out, including the motor and the battery. These components are the most crucial components from a functionality point of view. Without these, an electric bike would be a mere regular bike.

When we talk about how long electric bikes last, the answer primarily depends on these components’ lives.

How Long Does An Electric Bike Motor Last?

Electric bikes consist of a small integrated power motor, which determines your bike’s delivery of power. These motors have a unique working mechanism wherein they convert electrical energy to mechanical energy.

Usually, a motor is the only part of an electric bike that lasts longer than any other part, but the longevity depends on an individual’s usage.

But the bike doesn’t require the motor’s constant operation, and the engine performs the conversion mechanism only when the rider pushes down the pedal.

The motor also doesn’t carry any weight and thus remains in a safe place compared to the other parts. But this doesn’t eliminate the need for proper maintenance of the motor.

You can expect a direct drive motor with regular maintenance to last up to even 10,000 miles. Other motors can also come close to that distance.

How Can We Take Care of The Motor?

The general question that arises in buyers’ minds is, “How can we take care of the motor?”

You will get your answer by going through the following tips:

Regular Oiling

The motor is designed to provide propulsion via magnetism. For the same reasons, it is ideally placed at the front or rear wheel of the bike.

However, the motor doesn’t consist of any moving parts, so you may not need to oil it regularly.

The part which is affected the most is the direct-drive hub. It often comes in contact with moisture and adverse weather conditions and thus gets affected by rust and overheating.

It may not be practical every time, but the motor should be kept dry to prevent rusting. Also, you should adequately calibrate the motor to avoid overheating.

Geared hub vs. Direct Drive Motor

On average, any bike motor would require replacement after having ridden 3000 to 10,000 miles. In some cases, a geared hub can prove to be more long-lasting than the direct-drive hub as the former spins faster and delivers more power.

How Long Does The Battery Of An Electric Bike Last?

Irrespective of the usage, the batteries have their own in-built lives. They eventually get worn out by losing their capacity after some time.

Three types of batteries are most commonly used, including Lithium Batteries, Nickel Batteries, and Lead Batteries. Out of these three types, Lithium batteries support a higher number of cycles. You cannot use these batteries interchangeably just for the sake of extending the battery life.

The term battery life is commonly used in the context of electric bikes. It is calculated in charge cycles. For instance, Lithium Batteries can support up to 1000 cycles. In general, these batteries can easily last up to 3 to 5 years if handled correctly.

Tips To Extend The Battery Life

Following are some tips for extending the life of a battery of an electric bike:

Cool and Dry

The foremost tip for prolonging the lifespan of a battery is keeping it cool and dry. Here temperature plays a vital role as it highly affects its shelf life, charging, and voltage control.

For instance, if the batteries are kept in high temperatures or exposed to sunlight for a very long time, efficiency and life will get invariably reduced. It would be best if you ideally kept it in a range of 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always Partially Charged

The batteries should always be stored partially charged. Fully charged batteries can get discharged sooner than the ones with half or quarter charge. It shouldn’t be lowly charged either. A range of 40 to 80% is recommended.

Do Not Let It Fully Discharge

One never recommends discharging your bike after every use. Letting the battery discharge is detrimental to its life. Occasionally, for long rides, you can let the battery discharge fully. The best way is to do partial discharges with regular top-ups, which will extend your battery’s life.

Some Other Tips For Prolonging The Life Of An Electric Bike

  • Cleaning: Go for a standard cleaning process. Avoid using pressure washers as they can cause damage by forcing water into critical areas such as bearings.
  • Tire Check: Keep a regular check on the tires. It is always advised to keep the tires inflated as poorly inflated tires are at high risk of frequent punctures. Always consider the PSI on your tire to don’t go overboard while filling in the air.
  • Fix Loose Bolts: Fix the loose bolts, if any. Loose or wiggly wear and tear may cause extra pressure on different bike components, causing faster wear and tear.
  • Fast Charging: Avoid ultra-fast chargers as they may affect the efficiency in the longer run.

How Long Do Road Power Electric Bikes Last?

Rad power bikes are one of the most popular electric bikes. They have a powerful battery that dissipates around 675 W of power per hour. The battery supports about 800 cycles and goes up to 30 miles on a single charge. Depending on the type of usage and maintenance, the bikes can easily last for 3 to 4 years.

How Long Do The Rest of The Parts Last?

Apart from the motor and the battery, the main wear and tear are that of the tires, pedals, brakes, and over time, the bike’s frame. Most of these are pretty much standard bike components. There is nothing “electric” about them.

Brake Pads

Brake pads may last anywhere between 1000-2000 miles. Generally speaking, rim brake pads have higher longevity than disc brake pads.

Tires

Standard Bike tires may last anywhere between 750 to 1500 miles. High-end models can usually go up to 2000 miles. Racing tires are designed for speed and will need to be changed every 500-1000 miles. Fat tires and ones meant for harsher terrains should last you about 3500 miles. If you are facing regular flat tires, it’s time to replace your older set.

Chain

Mechanics suggest replacing the chain every 2,000 to 3,000 miles. It also depends a lot on your riding style – are you a slow and steady person, or are you into going at high speeds?

Bike Frame

Most bikes have an aluminum frame, which gives them better speed because of the lower weight. Aluminum is as durable and tough as steel but a lot lighter. You can expect most aluminum frames to survive at least five to ten years.

Interestingly, steel frames can survive much longer, but you need more maintenance with them, to be honest. You need to regularly paint the frame to ensure that rust does not form, and cleaning and polishing the frame is another task you should be ready for every weekend.

FAQs

How Long Do Ebike Batteries Last & How to Increase Lifespan?

Generally, e-bikes have batteries that have a life of about 3 to 5 years. There are many ways to take care of the battery to increase its lifespan, including keeping the battery in a dry place, never letting it fully discharged, etc.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery?

Usually, e-bikes tend to cover a range of 25-30 miles on a single charge. Although it depends on different bikes, the time they take to charge their batteries, but in general, it takes about 4 to 6 hours to charge the battery fully for the next cycle.

Can you ride an e-bike without the battery?

E-bikes are electric bikes that are meant to be operated with an electric battery. But one can always choose to pedal and ride it like a regular bike without using the battery.

How much does it cost to replace an e-bike battery?

The e-bikes come with a battery swapping mechanism, which means one can easily swap the dead or depleted battery with a new one. It depends on the kind of bike, the cost to replace the battery. In general, it can range from 50$ to 200$.

Why is my electric bike cutting out?

The problem of power cutting out is common with electric bikes. There can be many reasons for this, such as corrosion of the drive hub or loose connections. Whenever the components such as motor, electrical system, battery, or controller malfunction, there might be cut out.

Wrap Up

I hope I could explain that the life of an e-bike is the total of its parts. A lot depends on how you ride the bike, how well you maintain it, and how often you use it.

If you’re worried about your investment, you will take steps to maintain it once you have bought it. A good e-bike can last upwards of 10 years with the right looking after and replacing worn out parts at regular intervals and in time before they give out.

References:

[1] Ebike Sales Up 51 Percent In Past Year | Cycle Volta

Written by Lee Hill

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