Introduction: Electric Bike (Ebike) Range Calculator
One of the most common questions we get is how to calculate the geographic range of an electric bike. Basically,
- How far will my ebike go before it runs out of battery power?
- What is the range of my ebike?
- How far can I go per charge?
There are many factors that affect an electric bike’s range, including the type of bike you’re riding, as well as the battery capacity, terrain, and the level of pedaling effort you as the rider put in.
If you have a Bosch motor system, then you should probably use the Bosch ebike distance calculator. But for all other ebikes, our Range Calculator is the most sophisticated online today.
The truth is that most ebikes come with a Bafang motor system or its equivalent, since they are the largest ebike motor manufacturer in the world, and have an exceptional reputation. Our ebike range calculator has been designed based on the performance of the Bafang electric bike system.
For a more precise estimate of electric bike range, we have developed a detailed ebike range calculator which has 16 Separate Inputs and Over 100 Variants. Try it now, and start keeping track of your actual range to help us refine the system. If you want to learn all the details about how far electric bikes can go, and how to get the most range from your ebike battery, skip the calculator and continue reading the rest of this article.
Average speed for the duration of your ride, including regular pedaling and use of pedal assist and throttle.
Amount of pedal power you supply to reach the average speed. 0 = Throttle Only, 9 = Eco Mode.
- 0 Throttle Only
- 2 Turbo Mode
- 4 Sport Mode
- 6 Tour Mode
- 9 Eco Mode
Total weigh including bike, battery, rider, and any cargo you are carrying on the bike or in a trailer.
- 100 lbs
- 125 lbs
- 150 lbs
- 175 lbs
- 200 lbs
- 225 lbs
- 250 lbs
- 300 lbs
- 325 lbs
On average, how many times do you make one full rotation per minute when pedaling?
- 10 rpm
- 20 rpm
- 30 rpm
- 40 rpm
- 50 rpm
- 60 rpm
- 70 rpm
- 80 rpm
- 90 rpm
- 100 rpm
- 110 rpm
- 120 rpm
Where is the motor located on your electric bike?
NOMINAL MOTOR OUTPUT (Watts)
What is the nominal motor output rating of your ebike? For dual drives, enter the combined total wattage.
What is the voltage of your electric bike system?
BATTERY CAPACITY (Amp-Hours)
What is the capacity of your ebike battery, as measured in Amp-Hours (Ah)?
- 8.0 Ah
- 10.4 Ah
- 11.6 Ah
- 14.0 Ah
- 16.0 Ah
- 20.0 Ah
- 25.0 Ah
What style of electric bike are you riding?
Select the tire tread that most closely resembles that of the tires on your electric bike.
NUMBER OF MECHANICAL GEARS
Select the mechanical gear system on your ebike.
- SINGLE SPEED
Select the mechanical gear system on your ebike.
Select the terrain that best describes the average terrain for your ride.
Select which best describes the suface conditions you will encounter most on your ride.
- SMOOTH ASPHALT
- UNIFORM GRAVEL
- ROUGH GRAVEL / ROCKY
- HEAVILY RUTTED
- SAND OR SNOW
Which best describes the weather conditions you will encounter during your ride?
How often stop completely, and start from a standing position? Level 1 = Rarely, Level 5 = Frequently
- NO STOPS
- A FEW STOPS
- SOME STOPS
- LOTS OF STOPS
- CITY TRAFFIC
Ebike Battery Myth Busting
First, a little electric bike battery myth busting is in order. Every ebike manufacturer should provide detailed specifications for the battery and every other component on the models they bring to market. Many will also provide estimated ranges, but rarely indicate how these range estimates were derived. That is why we built this calculator, so that you could get a fairly precise range based on your ebike specifications and riding conditions.
Estimated ranges provided by ebike brands aren’t based on rigorous testing
Next, let’s dismiss another obvious falsehood. All ebikes can be ridden like conventional bikes, simply by pedaling and using the standard gears. If the electric vehicle you’re looking at does not have operable pedals, it’s not an electric bike.
If you ride your ebike with the electronics turned off, there is no loss of battery charge. And if you ride your ebike without turning on electronics, there is no drag or resistance from the turned-off ebike motor.
There is no drag or resistance from the turned-off motor
That being said, ebikes do tend to be heavier than standard bikes, due to the added weight of the motor, battery and controller. But there are also lightweight ebikes that fold up and are highly portable.
The lithium-ion battery is the fuel tank for your ebike, not unlike the batteries that power your cell phone and laptop computer. In the olden days a few years ago, some legacy ebike brands would use sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries on their ebikes.
You can still find these types of batteries in cars and on mobility scooters. But with improvements in battery technology, the denser and more energy efficient lithium-ion battery has been adopted as the standard for all ebikes. These batteries will vary in their chemistry, as well as their operating voltage and capacity. Do not get a bike that does not have a lithium battery pack. Find out more about electric bike batteries at our Ebike Battery FAQ.
Like the lithium batteries powering your personal electronic devices, ebike batteries will not last forever. After about 1,000 charge cycles, you will notice that the battery is not holding a full charge. For the average rider, it takes about 2-4 years to charge and discharge an ebike battery 1,000 times. These timeframes could be greatly reduced if you expose your electric bike battery to extremes in heat or cold. So it’s best not to leave your battery in the trunk of a hot car, or in a garage that might reach freezing temperatures overnight.
When you finally need to get a new battery for your ebike, have no fear. Usually replacement or spare batteries are available from the original manufacturer, but even if they are not, there are reputable 3rd party battery companies that can provide a high-quality replacement. Our go-to favorite company for this is the Ebike Marketplace in Las Vegas.
Non-Electrical Factors that Affect Electric Bike Range
There are many variables that affect ebike range, including the bike design of bike, rider weight and riding style, terrain, weather, surface moisture, tire inflation.
Bike Design Maintenance. Electric bikes, like conventional bikes, come in many flavors. You have fat tire mountain ebikes, small folding ebikes, and laid back cruiser style ebikes. There are several key factors in bike design that affect range.
First, the weight of the bike is a major factor, but also the width of the tires. Fat tires, for example, have more surface area in contact with the ground, and more traction (friction) compared to a road bike with narrower tires. This adds resistance which can deplete energy reserves more quickly.
Second, it’s important to note that a poorly tuned or maintained ebike will have a shorter range than a properly maintained vehicle. Low tire inflation, poorly aligned gears and brakes, and high wind resistance due to a lack of aerodynamic design will all contribute to reducing the range of an ebike.
Payload. The weight of the passenger and any cargo will also have a dramatic effect on ebike range. All things being equal, a 225-pound rider with a fully-loaded trailer will place a much higher demand on the battery than a 125-pound teenager with a fanny pack. The distribution of the payload on the bike will also affect range, especially if a bike is unbalanced due to heavy loads placed on the rear rack.
Weather Terrain. Headwinds and wet roads each will reduce the potential range of an ebike. Likewise, how hilly your ride is, and if you go off-road on gravelly trails will impact how far you can travel on a single charge.
Electrical Factors that Affect Ebike Range
All electric bikes have 3 essential components that set them apart from conventional bikes. These are the motor, the controller and the battery. Each of these electrical components plays a critical role in the performance of an electrical bike, and if any of them are not working properly, it can adversely affect your ebike performance range.
If you struggle with the concept of electrons running through wires to power a motor, you’re not alone. Check out the Water Pipe Analogy graphic below.
We use watt-hours to measure the energy capacity of a battery pack, and this will help you figure out how long you can ride your ebike before fully discharging the battery. But before we get into watt-hours (symbolized Wh), let’s first review what a watt itself is.
A watt (W) is a unit of power, and power is the rate at which energy is produced or consumed. Think of watts as a measure of electrical flow. Does an electrical device need a big flow or a small flow to work? For example, a 100W light bulb uses energy at a higher rate than a 60W bulb; this means that the 100W light bulb needs a bigger “flow” to work. Likewise, the rate at which your solar energy system “flows” power into your home is measured in watts.
A watt-hour (Wh) is a unit of energy equivalent to one watt (1W) of power expended for one hour (1h) of time. A watt-hour is a way to measure the amount of work performed or generated. Household appliances and other electrical devices perform “work” and that requires energy in the form of electricity. Utilities typically charge you for electrical energy by the kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is equal to 1,000 watt-hours.
An ebike battery is measured by its voltage (V) and amp-hour (Ah) rating. To calculate the Wh of an ebike battery pack, we simply multiply its V and Ah to get the Wh.
- A battery rated at 36 V and 10.4 Ah will have a 417.6 Wh capacity (36 x 10.4 = 374.4), like on the Eunorau UHVO All-Terrain Ebike
- A battery rated at 48 V and 21 Ah will have a 1,008 Wh capacity (48 x 21 = 1,008), like on the Bakcou Mule.
To learn more about ebike batteries beyond simply their range potential, check out our Ebike Battery FAQ. And if you want another expert’s opinion about ebike range, check out Micah Toll at Electrek.
Can I Use 48v Battery With 36V E-Bike Motor?
In the ebike industry, unlike more mature industries, there’s a distinct lack of standardization. This means that components from one e-bike might use different technology, voltages, and connectors than similar parts from another e-bike. Replacing, upgrading, or adding electronic parts to e-bikes can get complicated, and fast.
If you’re building your own bike, you want to replace a battery, or you just have a spare lithium battery you’re thinking about using on your e-bike, you might be wondering how compatible these different parts are with each other. So can you use a 48v battery with your 36v motor?
You can use a 48-volt battery with a 36-volt e-bike motor as long as the controller is compatible with 48-volt (or higher) setups, and the electric motor is compatible with and does not overheat by the increased Wattage (volt x amps) output generated by the 48-volt battery.
Let’s go over all of the reasons why this might not work from an electronics perspective and talk about what you should look for before plugging in a battery that’s not designed for your bike.
Can I Use 48v Battery With 36v Motor?
Yes, you can use a 48-volt battery with your 36-volt e-bike motor, but it might not be a good idea. Your motor probably will work with a wide range of voltages and is unlikely to be the source of any problems you run into.
Increasing the voltage to the motor will increase the rate at which it spins, which can have interesting mechanical implications and will cause the motor to generate more heat, but it won’t break anything short-term. In fact, some people deliberately over-volt their motors in order to get their bikes to go faster.
Before throwing a high voltage battery on your e-bike, you’ll want to do a bit of research. First, if you can, try to figure out the exact specifications of your motor and see what voltage ranges it was designed for.
If you’ve got a motor that’s designed to be used at 36 volts, the 33% increase in voltage to 48 volts is probably fine. If you’ve got a motor that’s designed to be used at a lower voltage, however, it’s probably being stretched already when it’s pushed to 36 volts. In this case, going to 48 volts is much more likely to cause issues.
Alternately, if you’ve got a motor that’s being used under its rated voltage, going to 48 volts will be totally fine.
Second, and more importantly, you’ll want to examine the other components of your bike and make sure that they’re compatible with your 48v battery.
Your motor will generate more heat and spin faster when it’s exposed to more voltage, but your controller is much more sensitive to changes in how electricity flows through your bike. This means that the controller is the component you’ll want to examine first if you’re trying to put a 48v battery on your bike.
Can I Use A 48v Battery With a 36v Controller?
You might be able to use a 48v battery with your 36v e-bike controller, but you’ll need to do some research first. Most modern e-bike controllers are designed for a very big range of voltages, so a 36v controller is a bit of an oddity.
Look for the model number of your controller (often found on a sticker on the unit) and try to find out the full range of voltages it’s compatible with. If the range ends in 36v (24-36v, for example), you’ll definitely want to avoid using a 48v battery. If it’s 36-48v or higher, however, you should be fine to plug in your big battery.
If your controller isn’t listed as being compatible with 48v or higher setups, do NOT plug the battery in. Controllers tend to have sensitive components like capacitors that will break very quickly when exposed to a higher voltage than they’re designed for.
Plugging a 48v battery into your 36v controller and turning on your bike has a very high chance of blowing your capacitors and breaking your controller.
What Happens When I Use A 48v Battery With A 36v Motor?
The terms “volts” and “amps” describe the flow of electricity through a system. If we think of electricity as water running through pipes, voltage describes the pressure of the water in the pipe, while amperage describes the volume of water flowing through the pipe.
A big, wide pipe with slow flow would have high amps and low voltage, while a thin pipe with high pressure would have high voltage and lower amps.
Your motor needs both pressure and volume in order to function. The more electricity it gets, the more torque it can generate. This means that in order to get up hills or start from a stop you’ll want to increase the amps that your motor has access to, but not necessarily the voltage.
If you want it to spin fast, however, it needs a supply of high-pressure, fast-moving electricity in order to quickly power and de-power the magnets that make your motor work. This requires a lot of voltage.
Motors are sensitive to changes in both amps and volts, but they’re generally totally safe to operate as long as the two don’t combine dangerously.
To continue with the water analogy, this means that your motor doesn’t care if you’ve got a thin pipe with high pressure or a thick pipe with low pressure. Your motor will simply produce lots of torque at low speeds with one setup and high speeds with less torque with the other setup.
If you give it a thick pipe with high pressure, however, you risk exposing your motor to more total electricity than it can safely handle, which could cause problems. In other words, you’re mostly worried about watts, or voltage times amps, not the distribution between the two. This is why many people who overvolt their motors will modify their setup to reduce amperage, keeping their motors safe.
As mentioned above, supplying your motor with more volts than it is designed for will cause it to generate more heat. This often means that you’ll reduce the lifespan of your motor, although not necessarily by a huge amount.
Motors are designed to handle some amount of heat generation and are usually over-engineered, meaning that they’ll have generous tolerances in terms of their ability to handle the voltage, dissipate heat, and deal with wear and tear.
In practice, you’ll probably be fine with a modest increase in volts of 25-35%, especially if you don’t run your motors at peak output all the time. Again, though, be mindful of your total watt output and make sure that you’re not pushing an unsafe amount of energy into your motors.
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E-Bike Batteries: Volts, Amps, Watt Hours Explained
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What Are These Volts, Amps, and Watt-Hours? How Battery Specifications and Capacity Equate to Capability and Cost
Understanding e-bike batteries can be challenging, even for those of us in the know; the nitty-gritty details are figured out by electrical engineers with years of education and experience under their collective belts – and for good reason, it’s all chemistry and math over there!
You’ll encounter a host of terms when reading about e-bikes or looking at electric bike battery specifications: things like battery size, capacity, voltage, amp hours and watt hours. Some of these words are more-or-less interchangeable, others are related but distinct. All of them can be confusing, but they are also hugely important in understanding electric bikes and their capabilities – most notably when trying to interpret how far they can take you before needing to be recharged.
In this guide to e-bike batteries, the helpful writers at Electric Bike Report will help you to understand the meaning of common battery terms and their relation to the performance of the electric bikes they power.
E-Bike Batteries Explained
Batteries are one of the core elements of electric bikes. They are needed to supply power to the motor, which in turn provides assistance to the rider, and reduces the amount of human effort needed to move the bike.
E-bike batteries come in various sizes, and can be mounted to the frame in different ways. Some are fully internal, and are sealed inside the bike’s frame. As such, they are not removable, except by using special methods and tools available to professional technicians. Others are removable for easier charging and replacement, whether mounted completely externally (outside the frame), partially recessed (sunken into the frame to some degree), or completely recessed (sunken entirely and nearly invisible on the bike).
Regardless of their type, all e-bike batteries are actually battery packs, and are made up of groups of cells, similar to the standard AA or AAA batteries used in everyday applications. The number of cells and the method used to cluster them together determines how quickly they can provide power and how long they can continue to supply it.
In contrast to standard AA or AAA batteries, however, those used in e-bikes are most commonly rechargeable lithium-ion batteries similar to those used inside smartphones and in conjunction with cordless power tools. Lithium-ion batteries are efficient and can be recharged hundreds or even thousands of times if cared for properly. The Light Electric Vehicle Association, or LEVA, has a great article that they allowed us to re-publish regarding proper battery care and safety to ensure maximum life span.
Fully integrated batteries such as the one on the Velotric Nomad 1 can match the bike’s color and disappear into the frame.
Electric Bike Battery Terms and Definitions
Before we dive deeper into the details, let’s consider a couple of examples of e-bike battery specifications in relation to how they usually appear:
V = Volts and Ah = Amp-hours
V = Volts and Wh = Watt-hours
Both examples convey two basic measurements, albeit a little differently. In both examples, we see volts first; this measurement relates to the availability of the electrical energy the battery can deliver. Next, either amp-hours or watt-hours are shown; these represent a battery’s capacity, or the amount of power it can store.
Let’s define these words (and a few helpful additional terms) a bit more clearly:
Current: the flow of electricity, or transfer of electrons, through a circuit.
Circuit: a closed system of wires and electrical components through which current can travel.
Volts (V): the amount of electrical force or pressure the battery can produce; the speed of the battery’s output of current. This is also sometimes referred to as the electromotive force, and is more specifically the speed at which electrons move through the system.
Note that this is a nominal rating that is used for classification purposes. In reality, a battery’s voltage varies based on the amount of power being drawn from it at a given moment, as well as the battery’s present level of charge. As current is drawn from the battery, its voltage decreases. This can be seen in an e-bike battery voltage chart.
Voltage is determined by the number of battery cells arranged “in series”.
Amps or amperes (A): a measurement of the strength of the battery’s output, or current. specifically, the volume of electrons passing through the system. This is limited by the size of the wires making up the system. Larger wires allow more current, smaller wires allow less. Generally, systems with higher voltage should use smaller wires (that limit amperage) to prevent overheating.
Amps can also be thought of as the amount of energy being drawn from the battery by what it is powering, and can fluctuate from moment to moment. In the case of e-bike batteries and their motors, a greater number of amps are drawn as the motor works harder (i.e. going uphill or using only the throttle).
Amp-hours (Ah): a measurement of charge; the amount of energy that can be delivered through an electrical system over the course of an hour.
In the case of a 10 Ah battery, it can deliver 10 amps of power in one hour, or 1 amp of power for 10 hours, etc, depending on the needs of the component that is delivering power to.
Amp-hours are determined by the number of clusters of battery cells arranged “in parallel”.
Watts (W): a unit of power, determined by volts and amps; the amount of work that can be done by one amp of current delivered at 1 volt. The amount of work is determined by the rate at which the energy is used.
This measurement is generally applied only to an e-bike’s motor, but its battery must support the motor’s needs.
Watt-hours (Wh): another measurement of capacity. In this case, the amount of work that can be done, or the amount of power that is spent, over the course of an hour. This is a direct result of a battery’s voltage multiplied by its amp-hours.
As such, a 24V, 20 Ah battery and a 48V, 10 Ah battery might look different on paper, but they have about the same amount of energy. This makes watt-hours a more reliable indicator of capacity when comparing different batteries.
Controller: A device that limits the flow of electricity through a circuit, and prevents a battery from discharging its energy all at once. In terms of an electric bike, this is the “brain” that adjusts the pedal assist system, the amount of input the motor contributes, and the e-bike’s speed.
How Long to Charge a 48v Ebike Battery? Don’t Overcharge
The battery of an ebike supplies power to the motor and there are various types of ebike batteries available such as 36v, 48v, 52v, 60v, and 72 volts. The majority of electric bikes come with 48v batteries because of their excellent efficiency, superb power, longer range, and speed.
Charging an ebike battery with the right charger is very simple but most people don’t know how long to charge 48v ebike battery to maintain its performance for a long period of time.
Don’t worry! This article will help to understand the charging time of a 48v electric bike battery, factors affecting charging time, and important faqs related to your query.
How Long to Charge 48v Ebike Battery?
You need a charger that is compatible with your 48v battery. When you have the right charger for your ebike battery, it may take somewhere around 4-6 hours to fully charge the 48v ebike battery from zero percent.
I mean your charger voltage must be equal to your battery’s voltage i.e., you need a 48v charger to charge 48v ebike battery. And the charger comes with different Amp ratings such as 2-Amp, 3-Amp, 4-Amp, and so on.
Avoid overcharging your ebike battery as it may get damaged internally which will reduce its lifespan. It is advised to charge your ebike battery to 80% only. However, If you are charging the 48v battery for the first time, 8 to 12 hours of charging time are recommended.
Honestly, I charge my 48v 10ah step-over ebike for 4 hours with a 3 amp charger. Also, I set up a reminder alarm so that I do not forget to disconnect the charger. As well as I have done a charging experiment with different types of chargers with 48v 10ah battery, here are the results:
48V 10Ah charging time according to the charger type
Most ebikes are equipped with a 48V 10Ah lithium battery i.e., 480Wh. This battery can easily manage up to a 500-watt ebike motor. You know, It’s very simple to calculate the charging time for an ebike battery, Here is the formula:
Ebike battery charging time = Battery’s AH/Charger Amp
|2 Amp Charger||5-6 hours|
|3 Amp Charger||4-5 hours|
|4 Amp Charger||3-4 hours|
|5 Amp Charger||2-3 hours|
|6 Amp Charger||Upto 2 hours|
As you can see the high amp chargers are taking less time and vice-versa. I would not recommend using high amp chargers to charge a 48v ebike battery. Use only those chargers that your brand recommends. Let’s see the charging time for 48v batteries with various AHs.
48v 20Ah charging time according to the charger type
48v 20ah ebike battery is a very powerful battery i.e., 960Wh. It takes more time to fully charged as compared to a 48v 10ah battery. As it is a powerful battery so it does not come with a 2-Amp charger. Therefore, we have tested this battery with 3-Amp to 6-Amp chargers.
|3 Amp Charger||6-7 hours|
|4 Amp Charger||5-6 hours|
|5 Amp Charger||4-5 hours|
|6 Amp Charger||3-4 hours|
Also, charging time may vary because there are many factors that affect charging time. Let’s discuss them.
How Long Does a 48v Battery Last?
As you know that the 48v ebike battery is powerful and generally takes around 4-6 hours to fully charged with a 3-Amp charger. However, It’s also important to know how long does a 48V ebike battery last on one charge, and for what distance (48v ebike battery range).
Ebike battery’s range is dependent upon its Amp-hours (AH). Higher AH provides more range on an ebike and vice-versa. Also, there are other factors such as type of terrain, rider’s weight, weather conditions, and so on.
Let’s discuss in detail how long will a 48V battery last with various AHs.
How long will a 48V 10AH battery last?
48V 10Ah ebike battery is the basic model for an ebike battery which has electric power up to 480 WH (It can provide 480w electricity in an hour to an ebike motor). And this ebike battery can be paired with a 250w ebike motor, 350w ebike motor, and 500w ebike motor.
A 250w ebike consumes less power than the 350w and 500w ebike motors resulting in more range, hence a 48V 10Ah battery lasts for around 2 hours with a 250w ebike motor.
A 48V 10Ah electric bike battery would last for:
How long will a 48v 20ah battery last?
A 48V 20Ah lithium battery has electricity power of up to 960 WH, Which means it can provide 960 watts of power to an ebike motor in an hour. Below is the table which shows how many hours will a 48v 20Ah battery last with various ebike motors.
Is a 48v Battery Good for Electric Bikes?
48-volt electric bike battery is the most popular because it is powerful, efficient, lasts for long hours, longer range, and provides amazing speed to ebikes.
However, ebike batteries with 48 voltage have more weight than the 36v battery. It adds some extra weight to the ebike which affects the speed of the bike as well as takes more time to get fully charged.
Well, everything in this world comes with some pros and cons. So 48v ebike battery is. Overall, I have been using a 48v ebike, I must admit that it’s an amazing battery for an ebike in all aspects.
As well as 48v electric bike battery charging time is also not so long, it usually gets charged in around 4-6 hours.
How to Charge 48v Ebike Battery? Remember this Simple Process
Charging an ebike battery is not rocket science, whether you have a 36v or 48v battery or any other type of ebike battery. It’s very simple to charge them using the correct charger.
Regular charging your ebike is one of the important tips for electric bike riders. You might not know if you are a beginner and riding an ebike for the first time. Don’t worry here it is.
Take the battery out of your ebike if it is detachable and plug the charger into the socket and connect it to your battery, turn on the switch and your battery will start charging.
If your ebike battery is fixed inside the frame, you are given a socket nearby the frame where you have to plug the charger and connect it to the electric board and turn on the switch. Your battery will start charging.
How long does it take to charge a 48v battery with a 3 Amp charger? If you are charging the 48v ebike battery with a 3 amp charger, it will take around 4 to 6 hours to charge fully. Results may vary from battery brand, type of battery, charger amperage, state of charge of the battery, and temperature.
Watch this video tutorial to charge a 48v ebike using the right charger:
I am the founder and editor of The Bike Fetcher, a passionate E-Biker. My passion for E-bikes led me to build this blog site where I share electric bike news updates, my e-biking experience, e-biking tips, e-bike battery tips and help people to get the best e-bike. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form.