Common E-bike Battery Problems and How to Fix Them. Pedego ebike battery

Common E-bike Battery Problems and How to Fix Them

There’s nothing worse than having to spend hundreds or thousands on an eBike only to have problems with its battery. Don’t get me wrong; e-bike batteries are built to last. but they’re still prone to failure if they aren’t adequately taken care of during their lifetime.

What happens if your battery fails?

Well, in this article, I’ve covered some most common eBike battery problems and how to fix them. So, if you’d like to know more. keep scrolling!

Ebike Battery Problems

When it comes to eBike troubleshooting, there are a couple of things that might be causing your battery problems, including:

  • eBike battery pack swelling
  • eBike battery not charging
  • eBike battery not running for very long
  • eBike battery pack not holding a charge
  • eBike not turning on
  • eBike not speeding up

Don’t worry, though. I’ll walk you through each one here!

eBike Battery Pack Swelling

If your eBike battery pack is swelling up, well, you likely have a pretty serious problem with one. or more. of the lithium-ion cells.

Some electric bike models use flat pack cells. and these are known to swell if they suffer some damage. On the other hand, the 18650 lithium-ion cells are far more resistant to swelling and, in turn, more reliable.

If you notice that your eBike’s battery pack has a bulge in it, be sure you turn off the power and carefully remove the battery from your eBike. It’s a good idea to recycle the battery; most cities have a place where you can do this.

Now, some eBike battery packs are positioned inside the bike’s frame. That makes it somewhat harder to notice if you have a swollen battery pack.

The only way to check if the battery is swollen is to drop the lower plate and take out the battery pack. Note that you’ll have to disconnect some cables before you do this.

eBike Battery Not Charging

If your battery isn’t charging, start by checking the following:

  • Is the power turned on at the outlet?
  • Is the charger working and outputting over 36 Volts?
  • Is the battery hot?
  • Is the battery charger port full of dirt?
  • Has the battery been left discharged for several months?
  • Has the fuse blown in either the eBike battery pack or the charger?

eBike Battery Not Running For Very Long

Lithium-ion batteries generally have a life of 700 charge cycles. They usually tend to lose full charge capacity over this mark.

That is entirely normal. and will, unfortunately, only get worse as time goes on.

Still, if you’re charging your bike every few days, you should be able to get many years out of your electric bike before you begin to notice the capacity of your battery is starting to degrade.

If you notice your eBike battery isn’t running as long as it used to, check the following:

  • Is the battery pack being charged to 100%?
  • Do you have a dragging of a disc brake?
  • Is the terrain uphill?
  • Are you assisting your battery by peddling?
  • Are your eBike’s wheel bearings freely spinning?
  • Do you have a short circuit in the battery, wiring, or motor?

Any of the scenarios mentioned above could lead to your battery discharging rather quickly.

eBike Battery Pack Not Holding A Charge

Lithium-ion batteries are good at holding a charge. However, like any other type of battery, they will slowly discharge over time.

If your eBike hasn’t been charged for a more extended period, it would be a good idea to give it a top-up. and see how it goes.

If you notice that you’re charging your battery, but it still discharges quickly without being used, you might have a short circuit somewhere or a faulty battery at your hands.

Here’s a quick test that can detect the problem:

Remove the battery pack from your eBike and charge it up on a bench. Once it’s fully charged, test the battery by leaving it off the bike.

If it holds a charge, the issue will be your electric bike. most likely a short circuit in the bike’s wiring or the motor. However, if it doesn’t hold the charge, your lithium-ion cell is faulty.

How Do I Know If My Bike’s Battery Is Charged?

Your battery charger will probably feature a LED light indicator that changes states depending on the bike’s battery level. It’ll go from red to green when the battery is fully charged in most cases.

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However, in some chargers, the LED light will turn off completely when the battery is charged.

Either way, the point remains the same. you’ll have a way to track the progress while charging the battery.

Remember not to leave the battery pack on the charger longer than 24 hours, though.

Lithium-ion batteries don’t prefer being left on the charger. In the short term, this won’t hurt. but after a while, the battery’s capacity will go down.

You’ll also have an indicator of the battery’s current level on the battery pack itself or the speed controller. Some will use a 0-100% range, while others have a series of LED lights, depending on the model.

eBike Not Turning On

Let’s start with the obvious solution:

If your e-bike isn’t turning on, be sure to check if the main switch is in the “On” position.

Next, check the fuse for the battery pack. This fuse is usually located on the side and could blow up because of short circuits, vibrations, over-current, or old age.

If the fuse is in good condition and the battery pack is fully charged, check if the speed controller is in good condition, as well. The speed controller is the component that sends signals to turn on the battery pack.

These speed controllers could malfunction if damaged. either by dropping your bike or allowing water to get into them.

Hold the bike’s “On” button for about 10 seconds to force the speed controller to turn on. Some speed controllers are turned on by pressing the “M” button. Again, it depends on the e-bike model you have.

Be sure to check that your battery pack has at least two bars of power. An extremely low battery power level can lead to your electric bike not turning on, by the way.

Another thing to check here is that the electrical cables are correctly connected. Sometimes, the dirt roads can dislodge the cable connections; this is often the case with mountain electric bikes.

Water can find its way into these connections, too. Pull them apart and ensure the connection is tight.

eBike Not Speeding Up

There are numerous reasons why your electric bike isn’t speeding up.

often than not, the feedback magnets. positioned on the pedal crank or the rear wheel hub. for the proximity switch get dirty. Clean them with a rag, and you should be good to go.

This common eBike battery issue is often wrongly diagnosed.

Most quality electric bikes feature a switch on the back and front brakes to stop the drive motor. In some cases, these switches can get stuck. leading to their failure. Activate both brake levers a couple of times to try and free up the switch.

To check the limit switch, though, you might have to remove the whole rear or front brake lever. That’s another reason why you should avoid leaving your eBike out in the rain.

Also, while it might sound obvious, be sure to check if you’re in the proper mode. for example, pedal-assist, throttle-only, or pedal-only. I’ve sometimes found myself in the wrong mode, and I couldn’t figure out why my eBike isn’t speeding up.

There is typically a minimum speed that will activate the drive motor. That is just a safety feature. and it’s usually around 1.8 mph.

What Speed Are eBikes Limited To?

eBikes are limited to 25 km/h. or 15.5 mph. to conform to the majority of road rules around the globe. Once the motor reaches this speed limit, it will stop providing power further.

Of course, you can still pedal faster than 25 km/h, but you won’t get any assistance from the main motor.

Once the speed controller recognizes that you’re under 25 km/h, the battery management system will again supply power to the main motor. That is a standard component on most electric bikes. and, again, its role is to ensure that you conform to road rules.

Is 250Watts Enough For An eBike?

In most standard cases of use, 250W is more than enough power for you to ride your eBike on asphalt or dirt roads casually. A 250W drive motor is usually limited to 15 mph and can handle up to 240 pounds in rider weight.

If that doesn’t sound impressive, remember that you can always assist the main drive motor by pedaling.

You can always upgrade your bike with a Bafang conversion kit, though!

Conclusion

We can agree that e-bikes have come a long way since their first appearance. Granted, battery problems can occasionally happen, but most can be solved easily and quickly.

Hopefully, the tips I’ve outlined above will help you keep your eBike running fast. and for a long time. And remember:

The most significant danger to batteries of eBikes is excessive heat and low voltage. Make sure you keep your eBike battery topped up. and it will last for a very long time.

E-Bike Batteries Are Causing Fires: Is Your E-Bike Safe?

Repeated fires have prompted the FDNY to release recommendations for the care and keeping of e-bike and other lithium-ion batteries.

  • A spate of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries throughout New York City on April 21 has prompted the FDNY to issue lithium-ion battery safety tips, including for e-bike batteries.
  • Similarly, a Florida bike shop burned down on April 9, after a refurbished e-bike battery was left on the charger overnight.
  • E-bike batteries can be fire hazards when used and stored incorrectly. Below, we discuss how to use an e-bike battery correctly.

Between New York City’s fire department (FDNY) issuing a warning about e-bike batteries and a Florida bike shop going up in flames after a battery was left unattended on a charger overnight, it’s been a worrisome week for e-bike owners. But don’t panic: Your e-bike is likely safe, but consider this a warning to check your e-bike battery charging and storage practices.

Because lithium ion batteries—commonly found in everything from cell phones and laptops, to e-bikes, scooters, and electric cars—can store a large amount of energy, improper care and keeping of the batteries can result in fires.

“If using a lithium-ion battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage. Always use the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device. If a battery overheats, discontinue use immediately,” the FDNY tweeted earlier this week.

From Bicycling

New York Daily News reports that the FDNY was called to the scene of four different fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, all on April 21. The batteries were used in an array of vehicles ranging between electric motorbikes and scooters. The vehicles pictured in the fire department’s tweets are all motorbikes, rather than e-bikes—but e-bike batteries have caused fires in the past.

The largest of the four fires reportedly happened due to several batteries stored on a work shelf. While no deaths were reported, 12 people were injured in the fires. And the FDNY issued the grim reminder that four people were killed last year in fires caused by these batteries.

How do you prevent charging incidents like this from happening to your e-bike? Avoid aftermarket and off-brand or bargain batteries for your bike, first of all. Stick to the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations. Furthermore, e-bike batteries that are charging should never be left unattended. If you’re charging your e-bike in the garage, set a timer to remind yourself to unplug it when it’s done, and if you’re leaving the house, unplug it and finish charging it when you return.

Bike shop owners should be just as careful. Unfortunately, earlier this month, Andante Bike Shop in Cutler Bay, Florida, learned this the hard way. The shop was destroyed on April 9 when a rebuilt battery was left on a charger overnight. While a normal e-bike battery from a reputable brand shouldn’t set itself ablaze when left too long on the charger, a malfunctioning battery is a serious fire hazard. Inexpensive lithium-ion batteries also present a serious risk of malfunctioning. Regardless, it’s important to never leave any e-bike battery charging overnight or without supervision.

Related Stories

It may sound excessive, but considering the number of buildings destroyed just this month due to these batteries, it’s worth taking precautions. New York Daily News reported that in the U.S. alone, charging lithium-ion batteries caused 330 fires from 2015 to 2018.

Human Powered Solutions provided Bicycle Retailer a detailed set of instructions for bike shop e-bike charging protocol, and you may want to take some of their advice for your own at-home e-bike charging station.

Pedego ebike battery

What You Need to Know About E-bike Battery Safety

It’s no secret that here at Liv we’re huge fans of electric bikes. Just the mere mention of our women’s E-bike range breaks us out in a big smile.

But. we’ll also put on our serious face and discuss electric bike battery safety with you. Because we know that E-bikes, with their high-tech batteries, can sometimes feel complex.

That’s why we’ve broken it down in this article. So read on to discover :

  • What’s inside an electric bike battery (the techy stuff)
  • How we ensure the highest battery safety standards on our Liv E-bikes
  • The 13 must-know best practices for ultimate E-bike battery safety

The techy stuff: What’s inside an E-bike battery?

E-bike battery packs consist of individual battery cells containing lithium-ions. These battery cells store the energy to power the motor.

E-bike batteries are made with either cylindrical, prismatic, or pouch-shaped cells. The shape of these cells is really important. High-quality E-bike battery suppliers like Panasonic, Shimano, and Bosch use cylindrical cells because they handle higher temperatures without deforming.

Aside from the individual battery cells, a critical component inside an E-bike battery is the battery management system (BMS).

The BMS is hugely important as it regulates the individual performance of each battery cell. Regulation is important because even when they’re installed at the same time all the individual batteries don’t drain, deteriorate or perform at the same rate. Some cells last longer than others, some cells will drain slower than others and some will glitch out and cause more problems than others.

Left to their own devices, with so many cells acting independently, you’d encounter performance and safety issues with your E-bike.

So the BMS helps to provide your E-bike battery with long-term consistent performance.

We like to think of the BMS as the competent ride leader overseeing a group of different riding abilities and working to keep everyone together on the trails.

How we ensure the highest battery safety standards in our Liv E-bikes

At Liv, we take your safety VERY seriously. That’s why our E-bike batteries have been co-developed in partnership with the biggest and best battery manufacturer available – Panasonic.

Although other brands may purchase Panasonic batteries Liv has gone the extra mile. or two.

Firstly, we work closely with Panasonic to co-develop our batteries. The output is an e-bike battery that’s completely proprietary to us and designed to the highest safety standards.

Secondly, not only does Panasonic manufacture the cells and the battery management system on our E-bikes but they also assemble and test them for us.

So by investing in a Liv E-bike you can feel totally confident you’re getting a safe, reliable, and high-performing battery that’s developed, assembled, and tested by industry leaders. You won’t find our e-bike battery on any other e-bike on the market.

Liv’s EnergyPak E-bike battery is also distinct from other brands because it has individual separators (rooms) inside. This helps prevent heat from spreading from one cell to another.

Our BMS – aka the capable ride leader – monitors the battery pack and individual cells to make sure each cell is regulated for maximum efficiency and to prevent overheating.

While your Liv E-bike is charging, Liv’s Smart Charger continuously communicates with the battery to ensure individual cells are charged at the optimum rate. Also, in extremely hot or cold weather conditions the Smart Charger will adjust the charging voltage for optimal battery efficiency.

simple do’s and don’ts for ultimate E-bike battery safety

E-bike battery safety: The Do’s

  • Do purchase your E-bike from a reputable e-bike brand.
  • Do always use the battery and charger that originally came with your E-bike.
  • Do go to an authorized dealer if your battery is damaged so they can check it before your next ride.
  • Do remove your battery when transporting your e-bike to protect it from damage.
  • Do store the battery at room temperature in a moisture-free environment to avoid unnecessary damage to the cells.
  • Do keep the battery away from children and pets.
  • Do stop the charging procedure immediately if you feel concerned.

E-bike battery safety: The Don’ts

  • Don’t modify your E-bike or let your ‘helpful’ friend tinker with it either. For maintenance, always go to an authorized dealer for your E-bike brand.
  • Don’t charge your E-bike around flammable materials.
  • Don’t store your E-bike battery in a damp place.
  • Don’t subject the battery or charger to high-impact eg. by dropping them
  • Don’t cover the battery or charger or place objects on top of it.
  • Don’t leave your battery at full charge if you’re storing it for a month or more. It is also best to remove the battery from the bike and store it at 60% of its capacity. You can make use of Liv’s Smart Charger which has a useful 60% charge function to ensure safe storage.

Now let’s look at the bikes.

OK. Battery tech talk–done. Serious face–gone. Now for the fun stuff because it’s time for you to start drooling over our awesome range of women’s E-bikes.

Pedego Element Spec Review – 2022

Welcome to our review of the Pedego Element electric bike. Because we haven’t had the chance to try out the eBike for ourselves, we can’t release a full ebike performance review just yet.

We’ve been analyzing how the Element compares to previous Pedego eBikes we’ve ridden and matched up the components with other eBikes on the market. As such, we do know enough about the Pedego Element to release a spec review for those interested in this electric bike. With our spec review, we hope to give you some general impressions about the look, design, feel, and performance of the Pedego Element eBike.

The Pedego Element eBike is a great hybrid style bicycle for those who want a very beginner-friendly, try-everything bike for all occasions. The frame is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum, making it one of the sturdiest eBikes out there while keeping the total weight down.

The Pedego Dapu rear hub motor is strong enough to help you keep up with traffic or climb your average hill or mountain trail. The 500 Wh Pedego lithium battery will help you travel over 45 miles on a single charge.

The 7-speed drivetrain requires little maintenance while providing solid gearing options and works well with the Shimano BR-M375 mechanical disc brakes.

While only available in one size, the saddle, handlebars, and grips are all highly adjustable for a more personalized riding experience. If you’re new to eBikes and are looking for a simple, affordable hybrid bike,that you can ride in the city, at the beach, or on a casual mountain bike trail, our review will tell why you should consider the Pedego Element electric bike!

Who It’s For: Cyclists looking for a lightweight city and trail cruiser with a good, entry-level performance at a very affordable price point.

Bike Specs

  • FRAME: 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy
  • UI/REMOTE: BigStone C300U 2.5’’ LCD Display
  • BATTERY: Pedego Lithium-Ion Battery, 500 Wh
  • CHARGER: 3 Amp Charger
  • MOTOR: Pedego Dapu Rear-Mounted 500 W / 45 Nm Motor
  • CHAIN: KMC Z51EPT Chain
  • SHIFT LEVERS: Microshift TS71-7R Right Hand Thumb Tap Shifter
  • CASSETTE: Shimano Hyperglide HG20 7 Speed Cassette
  • CHAINRINGS: 48 T Steel Chainring
  • DERAILLEUR: Microshift RD-M26S-7 Derailleur
  • RIMS: Double Wall Aluminum Alloy 36 Hole Rims
  • TIRES: Kenda Black Wall 20’’ x 4’’ Tires
  • SADDLE: MTB Style Lightweight Foam Saddle
  • STEM: Aluminum Alloy, 90mm length
  • HANDLEBARS: Aluminum alloy, 640mm width
  • GRIPS: Thermoplastic Rubber Grips
  • BRAKES: Shimano BR-M375 Mechanical Disc Brakes, 160mm Rotors
  • PEDALS: Wellgo B239 Plastic Platform Pedals with Reflectors
  • KICKSTAND: Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
  • BELL: Flick Bell on Left Handlebar
  • HEADLIGHT: Optional Integrated Headlight Add-On
  • TAIL LIGHT: N/A
  • FENDERS: Optional Aluminum Alloy Fenders Add-On
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Cons

Features

  • 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy6061-T6 is one of the most durable yet lightweight aluminum alloy variants used to manufacture eBike frames. Fully assembled, the Pedego Element weighs about 57 lbs.
  • Pedego Lithium-Ion Battery, 500 WhEasy to access Pedego battery mounted on the central tube of the eBike. A substantial range, with an estimated 45 mile limit with optimal settings on a full battery charge. Optional battery upgrade for a more extensive range.
  • 3 Amp ChargerA step above the 2 amp chargers typically included with your average entry-level and mid-tier eBike. Able to fully recharge the base 500 Wh battery in about 3 to 4 hours.
  • Pedego Dapu Rear-Mounted 500 W / 45 Nm MotorA robust rear hub motor that is good for riding through the streets or on light mountain bike trails alike. Chainguard minimizes the risk of suffering a chain drop while protecting against rocks, sticks, and other debris as you trail ride.
  • BigStone C300U 2.5’’ LCD DisplaySimple, easy to use display that has a substantial number of customization options. It also includes a 5 Volt USB Type-A charging port, allowing you to charge your smartphone while you ride the PEdego Element.
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  • Shimano Hyperglide HG20 7 Speed Cassette with 48 T Chainring DrivetrainA reliable drivetrain that will rarely require maintenance, even as you take it trail riding. Not too many gear options, but enough if you stick to light or moderate mountain trails. Aluminum alloy chain guard further reduces the risk of suffering a chain drop.
  • Kenda Black Wall 20’’ x 4’’ TiresWide, thick tires that provide plenty of natural stability and shock absorption even without a suspension fork. Ride over pavement, sand, snow, loose dirt, and other terrains in comfort.
  • Aluminum alloy, 640mm width Handlebars with Thermoplastic Rubber GripsExtra-wide handlebars with extensive seat adjustment options. Thermoplastic rubber grips are very comfortable to hold onto even over extended rides despite not having an ergonomic design.
  • Shimano BR-M375 Mechanical Disc Brakes with 160 mm RotorsQuiet mechanical disc brakes with strong lever feedback and integrated motor inhibitors. If you stick to light to moderate trails, the 160 mm rotors will provide more than enough stopping power as well.
  • Wellgo B239 Plastic Platform Pedals with ReflectorsExtra-wide platform pedals that will fit large and small cyclists alike. Reflectors help increase the rider profile as well. Aluminum pedals are preferred but are rare on entry-level eBikes like the Pedego Element.

In-Depth Review

Frame

6061 aluminum is a very popular aluminum alloy used in eBike construction. 6061-T6 is the best variant due to its fantastic durability and minimal weight. 6061-T6 is the go-to alloy variant for aircraft manufacturing. As a result, the Pedego Element is an extremely sturdy and long-lasting eBike. This bike is better able to withstand the occasional mountain trail crash compared to other, more basic 6061 eBike frames. Despite the full eBike motor setup, the Pedego Element weighs just 57 lbs fully assembled, making it one of the lighter eBikes we’ve reviewed. Available in six different colors, we’re sure all types of riders will find a version of the Pedego Element to love.

The Pedego Element is currently only available in one size. But it does have several customization options that make it a good fit for many adult riders.

One thing to note: The controller box is built into the base of the seat post tube, which restricts fully lowering the saddle. For our part, we think that riders between 5’2’’ to 6’2’’ can all comfortably ride the Pedego Element. However, with some customization, a few inches from our recommended height chart would be added or subtracted.

We also want to note that while Pedego lists the Elements weight capacity at 250 lbs, its strong build and capable motor means it should be capable of supporting 50 lbs more as long as you’re careful in how you distribute your weight across the ebike.

Motor Battery

The Pedego Element is a class 2 eBike, with pedal and throttle activated motor assistance up to 20 MPH.

The Pedego Element has a Pedego Dapu rear-mounted 500 W / 45 Nm torque motor. While it doesn’t have quite enough power for challenging mountain trails, it is sufficient if you stick to light to moderate climbs or stick to tackling hills in the city.

As a rear-hub motor, be warned that the Pedego Element can feel a little bit jerky when you initially start pedaling or apply the throttle. Having the engine and other electronic components centralized in the rear tire area also weighs the back half of the bike down, so be careful when lifting it from the back.

If you choose the base battery, the Element also comes with a Pedego branded lithium-ion battery. The 500 Wh battery has a max range of about 45 miles with a full charge in optimal settings, so typically expect 30 to 35 miles on a single charge with the Pedego Element.

If you want a bigger range, you’ll have to upgrade the battery. We recommend this upgrade since a new battery can take the Element to over 50 to 60 miles on a single charge. If you stick with the base battery, though, the Pedego Element does come with a 3 amp charger. You can recharge the battery from 0% to 100% in just three to four hours. The charger is a bit better quality than what we typically find from other entry-level eBikes at this price point.

Display/Assist Modes

To change your motor settings, you’ll rely on the BigStone C300U 2.5’’ LCD display mounted on the left handlebar. Besides being large enough to easily read while you ride, the LCD is backlit, so you can make use of the display during the day or at night. Changing your various settings and readouts is done with just a few button presses, the full list of readouts available below. We want to mention quickly that the display comes with a USB Type-A charging port, with 5 Volt/600 Milliamp charging. If you have a mount, you can plug in and charge your cell phone while riding with the PEdego Element electric bike.

Pedego Element Display Riding Readouts, Metrics, and Settings:

  • Assist Level (Six Settings Walk Mode)
  • Battery Level (Five Bars)
  • Current Speed (In MPH or KMH)
  • Max Speed
  • Motor Power Output
  • Trip Distance
  • Trip Time
  • Odometer

This is a class 2 eBike, so you can use the pedal-assist system or throttle assist system to activate the motor. The motor will help you accelerate to 20 MPH before it shuts off automatically. There is a speed cap in place, so you can use the Pedego Element without any additional licensing. If you’re riding an easy trail or on the road and hope to go even faster than the speed cap, you can do so just by pedaling manually, with the motor kicking in if you fall back below 20 MPH.

The Pedego Element also stands out in that it has six different pedal assist modes you can choose from. Lower pedal assist modes minimize energy drain for maximum riding range, although they are slower to accelerate. Higher pedal assist modes will push the motor harder for more power and acceleration but drain the battery quicker.

Switching pedal assist modes is easy, so try each of them out as you determine which mode is best for any road condition. Just be aware that the pedal-assist mode does not affect the throttle itself. To change the throttle speed cap, you go into the controller settings to manually set it instead.

Handling

  • On Streets- The Pedego Element is a hybrid eBike, meant for riding in the city, light mountain trails, sandy beaches, and most other terrains. As a result, it isn’t as fast as dedicated city commuter eBikes but does handle well while riding on streets. Its large, fat tires provide natural shock absorption that will give stable riding over well-maintained roads and cobblestone, loose gravel, and potholes. If you don’t mind the slower acceleration, the Pedego Element is a fun eBike to handle as you cruise around town.
  • Turn Radius- The Pedego Element has short and thick tires, so it struggles if you’re trying to make a tight turn. While it may not have a tight turn radius, it does make up for it somewhat with its enhanced stability, making it less likely to fall over when trying to make a sharp turn. As long as you’re careful and take your time, you’ll be able to navigate through your typical business entryway or narrow alleyway.
  • Low Speed Handling- At around 57 lbs, the Pedego Element is a bit cumbersome to handle at low speeds. However, a couple of features are included to make it easier, especially if you have some life left in your battery. First, you can set your eBike to Eco mode, providing low power assistance as you pedal so you can FOCUS on your handling. Second, when dismounting off your eBike, make use of the walk mode by holding down the button for a few seconds. Walk mode will provide motor assistance without pedaling, helping you push your eBike along if you have some energy left in the battery.

Gears/DriveTrain

Discussing the drivetrain, the Pedego Element has a Shimano Hyperglide HG20 7 Speed cassette with a 48 T chainring, connected via a KMC Z51EPT chain. As a 7 speed eBike, it doesn’t have as many gearing options as we’d like, but this is an entry-level bike that isn’t meant for anything more than light to moderate trail riding.

What’s great is that the steel chainring also has an aluminum alloy chain guide, which helps protect the chain from debris while also guiding the chain along when shifting. You’ll rarely suffer a chain drop.

The drivetrain itself doesn’t require much maintenance throughout the year. Electric bikes, especially with hub drive motors, do tend to chew up chains more quickly than traditional bicycles due to the added strain of the motor. As long as you keep an eye on the chain and clean the drivetrain properly, your eBike should stay in good shape whether you ride through the city or on the occasional trail.

Brakes

Good stopping power is vital in a bicycle, and for the most part, we’re impressed with the braking system included with the Pedego Element. The eBike features Shimano BR-M375 mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm Rotors for both the front and rear tires. While not as advanced as hydraulic disc brakes they’re sufficient for this eBike.

The 160 mm rotors are more than capable of a quick and steady stop if you’re riding in the city. And they’re good enough if you are riding downhill on many mountain bike trails. The brakes do struggle if you go on anything more extreme due to the lack of extensive suspension support. This causes the eBike frame to rely even more on the braking system on its own. Just stick to the terrain it’s meant to be ridden on, and you’ll find the Pedego Element’s Shimano braking system to be highly dependable.

Suspension

The Pedego Element is reserved mostly for light trail and city riding due to the total lack of a suspension system. Because it does have large, 20’’ by 4’’ tires, it’s naturally more stable on bumpy roads than your typical thin city commuter eBike. For the most part, if you don’t try to ride on anything too challenging, you don’t need to think about adding additional suspension support. The eBike is compatible with many suspension seat posts, especially those within the 30.4mm to 27.4mm range. A suspension seat post can make riding over cobblestone and other small rough patches more comfortable. Still, the average casual rider should be fine with the Pedego Element as is.

Pedals

The Pedego Element comes with extra-wide, oversized Wellgo B239 plastic platform pedals with reflectors. The reflectors make you easier to spot while riding. The large size means the pedals will support taller, heavier riders with ease.

Plastic pedals are typically inferior to aluminum alloy pedals. But because this is an entry-level eBike we aren’t surprised they went with the less expensive plastic pedals. The Pedego Element isn’t meant for tough riding, so you’ll rarely risk a crash that would shatter the pedals.

We think the plastic pedal platforms are adequate for the typical cyclist who picks the Pedego Element. However, think about upgrading to aluminum pedal platforms down the road for a better riding experience.

Grips and Saddle

Many components make the Pedego Element an exceptionally comfortable eBike to ride wherever you travel. The thermoplastic rubber grips are well designed. Even though they weren’t built to be ergonomic, they’re still cushy enough that you can grasp them for several hours without irritating your hands.

Unlike other grips on entry-level eBikes, they’re also locked on with a hex wrench rather than just glued on. While this means it takes a bit more work to replace the grips when they get worn out, the trade-off is they’re tighter and are better to hold onto because of it.

Outside of the grips, the Pedego Element also has extra-wide aluminum alloy riser handlebars, with a 640mm width to support larger riders. Since it’s a one-size-fits-all eBike, both the handlebars and seat post are adjustable. This ensures that short and tall cyclists can both enjoy the Pedego Element without much additional customization.

The saddle is a mountain bike style saddle made out of a single density lightweight foam. Very heavy riders might find the saddle a bit small, but it’s comfortable enough for an average weight adult rider to sit in even for extended trail rides.

Wheels and Tires

Finally, we want to talk more about the tires. The Pedego Element has Custom Kenda Black Wall 20’’ x 4’’ tires, with 36 hole aluminum alloy double-wall rims and 12 gauge stainless steel spokes. There isn’t much in terms of puncture protection on these tires, so you’ll want to pay extra attention when riding on a trail known for causing flats.

In terms of the PSI, the tires have a recommended inflation range between 5 to 30 PSI. 5 PSI is well suited for cruising on the beach, while 30 PSI is meant for more general-purpose riding. While it’s unfortunate that there isn’t more protection for these tires, they should perform well and provide good traction and stability if you just keep an eye out on what’s ahead of you.

We would also like to see some reflective taping added to the eBike in the future, a small detail that can make a big difference when it comes to reducing the risk of suffering a collision.

Accessories/Upgrades

The Pedego Element has several components and features you can upgrade after purchasing the eBike. Some of these features, like a headlight and the full metal fender set, are both highly recommended since they improve rider safety while also better protecting your equipment.

Pedegeo has developed a large number of other accessories as well. While they might not be critical, they’ll improve your eBike riding experience. Some of our favorite accessories include:

  • Pedego Headlight
  • Pedego Full Metal Fenders
  • Pedego Rear Cargo Rack
  • Pedego Commuter Bags
  • Pedego Handlebar and Rear Baskets
  • Pedego Child Seat
  • Pedego Handlebar Mirror
  • Pedego Charger Caddy
  • Pedego Lock

Recommendation

The consensus among the team at Best Electric Bikes is the Pedego Element is an excellent option for those who are just getting into eBikes and want something they can ride almost anywhere without having to swap out their bicycle.

The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame is very high quality and can withstand the rigors of a mountain bike trail but with customization options to support short and tall cyclists alike.

The Pedego Dapu 500 W motor is excellent when you need a little extra help climbing a hill, with dynamic control due to the 6 level pedal-assist system and throttle.

The 7-speed drivetrain features a chain guard that helps it stay clean and reduces the risk of a chain drop, with full fender coverage an optional add-on for even more bike protection. Additionally, the braking system is reliable, with the Shimano 160 mm rotors having the stopping power to help you slow down quickly and steadily.

The bike could use more safety and lighting gear as part of the stock model, and the range is admittedly a bit limited at 40 to 45 miles per ride. Even so, if you want a trustworthy entry-level eBike that offers good performance no matter where you ride, we recommend checking out the Pedego Element electric bike!

Thank you for reading our spec review of the Pedego Element electric bike! Please leave a comment below if you would like to see a full performance or video review for this bicycle.

What’s causing all the ebike and escooter battery fires?

Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, Smart ci (show all) Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, Smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.

The City of New York is grappling with a problem — fire. Specifically, escooter and ebike lithium-ion batteries catch fire and sometimes explode. And there’s no sign of it ending anytime soon.

Earlier this year, I wrote an introductory article detailing the rate of lithium-ion battery fires. Today I want to look at New York as a cautionary tale in the struggle of dealing with battery fires as ebikes (and, to a lesser extent, escooters) become mainstream.

I’ll follow up with a third article shortly exploring potential technological solutions to prevent battery fires.

What causes battery fires?

In the case of ebikes and escooter fires, there are numerous causes. Firstly, when we talk about a lithium-ion ebike or escooter battery, we’re talking about a bunch of connected batteries stored in a plastic case. A huge amount of energy resides in this small space.

Any one of the batteries is susceptible to overheating, which can be caused by;

  • poor design
  • assembly errors
  • electrical shorting
  • use of the wrong charger
  • overcharging
  • A damaged battery management system (BMS) causes overheating and inadequate cooling
  • damage to the case.

Once a battery overheats, it can lead to a thermal reaction inside a battery. This is known as a thermal runway event. The reaction produces enough heat to cause adjacent battery cells to also catch fire or explode.

These fires happen incredibly quickly, and due to the self-sustaining process of thermal runaway, Lithium battery fires are also difficult to extinguish. They can leak toxic chemicals dangerous to people and pets.

Large batteries such as those used in Electric Vehicles can reignite hours or even days after the event, even after being extinguished. Fortunately, this is far less common in ebikes and escooters.

The problem in New York

To date this year. 130 reported fires involving lithium-ion batteries in electric bikes and scooters in New York have been reported. Five people died. Comparatively, this time last year saw only 65 ebike and escooter battery fires.

It’s worth stressing that these fires make up only a small percentage of all blazes in New York. It’s also highly likely that the growth in ebikes and escooters residing in the city is responsible for the increase.

But the fires are still a cause for concern, resulting in property damage, injuries, and less frequently, death. The ferociousness of a lithium-ion battery fires means multiple trucks are called, diverting attention away from other emergency services.

Further, the fires are indicative of a bigger issue facing the city.

New York has over 65,000 delivery workers, many of whom use ebikes. Gig economy workers take their ebike to limits beyond a daily commute, with all the risks outsourced to the riders.

Ebikes are ridden for hours at a pop and in extreme weather conditions such as high heat, rain, hurricanes. and snow, all of which can degrade a battery casing, increasing the likelihood of battery damage.

For many riders, the only place they charge is at home in their cheap apartment. The problem compounds when delivery workers share apartments, store their ebikes inside, and all charge their batteries overnight. And in a long shift, a rider may need more than one battery.

Earlier this year, journalist Wilfred Chan visited an ebike shop in New York equipped with powerboards charging multiple batteries for delivery riders. Staff offered her a charging spot for 50 a month.

Amazingly, there have been no fires there to date.

Is cost-efficiency to blame?

Except for some rental schemes I’ll share with you tomorrow, most riders have to pay for their own bikes, batteries, and chargers, making cheap or second-hand ebikes. and batteries appealing.

Reputable brands undergo extensive performance and safety testing to comply with UL solutions UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for eBikes. However, black market or cheap purchases may not include a certified Battery Management System that stops charging when a battery is full or overheating.

According to David TenHouten, VP, of vehicle engineering at micromobility company Bird, there’s also an issue of how far an operator pushes the boundaries within the safe cell parameters.

Vendors can push things right to the edge, or you can be a little conservative. Basically, if you’re more aggressive, you can get more performance out of the cells and push them farther and get a little farther range, but you’re getting into the risk boundaries at the edges.

The problem compounds with age as “these batteries are not getting any younger. They’re actually just getting a lot older very quickly.”

Charlie Welch, CEO of Zapbatt. stresses that the problem is that manufacturers set specs for their cells that you’re supposed to follow pretty strictly.

Often with ebikes and escooters, everyone rides them like they stole them. It puts the cell in a worst-case scenario every day, like somebody jumps on it, guns at full power, then later puts it in a warehouse, fully charged, and lets it sit there all night. Which from a cell perspective is where it doesn’t want to be.

Worse, riders may incorrectly convert a regular bike to an ebike or follow a YouTube tutorial to increase battery power or speed.

Unfortunately, cheap ebikes and repurposed bikes and chargers aren’t the only culprits.

In 2015, Pedego recalled every model they ever sold due to battery fire potential.

Specialized Bicycle Components has recalled electric mountain bike battery packs several times due to fire hazards.

Santa Cruz Bicycles issued a recall notice for Heckler 9 electric bikes sold between January and March 2022.

I spoke to Jim “Jimmy Mac” McIlvain, a writer, editor, and bike expert tracking ebike fires. He notes that:

“Established companies like Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Pedego stand behind their products. But the number of e-bike companies selling to US consumers is well over 181 brands ! Brands you probably have never heard of.

If one of those brands ignites a catastrophic home or forest fire, they will simply vanish, leaving no recourse for the consumer or municipality.”

To date, there is no evidence that fire brigades are tracking the make of ebike batteries or charges that catch fire.

According to McIlvain, neither he nor his wife would charge their ebikes inside their home, noting, “And if a battery were to be dropped or damaged, we would never use it again.”

So what is New York City doing about the problem?

Inner-city residents reap the benefits of the convenience of gig economy riders. Yet the city has made no effort to provide infrastructure like charging stations and secure places for storage.

Instead, a lot of talk fails to get to the heart of the problem and acknowledge that micromobility as a movement is expanding rapidly with no sign of abating.

The New York Housing Authority recently announced a proposed change to government housing regulations that residents and their guests may not keep or charge ebikes or ebike batteries in apartments or common areas. This has the potential for illicit underground storage schemes (yes, with batteries all charging overnight) — this makes my head spin.

New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTC) is considering a ban on ebikes and escooters. This is despite the fact there have to date been no relating fires in the transport network.

Interestingly, New York Councilwoman Gale Brewer proposes legislation to ban second-use or refurbished batteries.

This won’t do much to stop the fires caused by new store-bought ebikes. She also suggests that delivery posters and delivery apps should make riders aware of potential battery risks. She also sees a need for fireproof storage areas with charging ports (not sure who will pay for that).

Brewer’s most interesting idea is to call Congress to convene a hearing to push for federal legislation to hold battery manufacturers accountable.

McIlvain believes that it is inevitable that the government will need to step in, noting that “the toaster in my kitchen, the nightlight in the hallway, and all the power tools in the garage need to meet a federally recognized safety standard, so why don’t ebikes?”

What’s clear is that micromoblity is rapidly gaining momentum, and this is a complex problem that requires a complex solution encompassing manufacturers, riders, delivery services, and city officials.

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