Top Ebike Brands of 2023: Our Favorites List
We started as a family of two, looking to ditch the second car, as we entered the world of ebikes. A few years later, now a family of four, we have quite a few trusty ebikes and still only a single car. Through our extensive time riding, my wife and I have our favorites when it comes to ebike brands. Each of our top ebike brands offers a quality ebike, good customer service, and a variety of models to select from to suit your needs. Browse our favorite brands below. This page will continue to be updated as we experience more brands of electric bikes.
Rad Power Bikes
Rad Power Bikes is the largest ebike brand in North America. Based out of Seattle, Washington, this company is growing extremely quickly and announced in February 2021 that they had raised a 150 million minority of investment to further its brand. If you want to learn more about the origins of Rad Power Bikes, I recommend NPR’s How I Built This podcast with Mike Radenbaugh, the company’s founder.
The upside and downside to this brand are that it is a direct consumer company. This means they cut out the middleman by selling directly to consumers instead of through bike dealers. However, if you are looking for that bike dealer experience, Rad has begun to open its own “Rad owned” stores in order to be able to provide service and test riding to its customers.
The RadWagon was my family’s first ebike. It is still our most consistently used ebike. Before our child, my wife and I rode on it together. We also use it for hauling groceries, rummage sale finds, and now a child. Since that first Rad ebike we have had the opportunity to try out their entire line-up of bikes. So if there is a model you are interested in, we have a review for it. We talk about this brand so often that we made the most frequently asked questions post for Rad Power Bikes. We also have created a Rad Owners Forum so we can hear from other Rad lovers.
Rad Power Bikes will forever be our first (ebike) love.
For related Rad Power Bikes ebike model reviews, see:
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Lectric ebikes makes just one electric bike model offered in both high step and step-thru variations. The Lectric XP 2.0 comes in at just 999 offers a large-enough-for-most 9.6 Ah battery with a 800-watt peak motor. We like that the frame design makes this ebike accessible to a variety of riders regardless of height or biking ability. New for 2021 is the optional accessories including front and rear racks, a more comfortable seat (plus seatpost), folding bike lock, and premium headlight. Did we mention it folds? Suffice to say we believe the Lectric XP 2.0 packs a lot of value at 999 and is perfect for those who just want to cruise around without breaking the bank.
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Aventon solidly fits in the value-priced ebike space. Their go head to head with some of the biggest names in electric bikes. On top of their great prices, there are Aventon dealers across the United States which means you can test a bike out for yourself before purchasing. Plus many of their models come in various frame sizes meaning you don’t have to compromise on the one-size-fits-all approach that many ebikebrands take.
For Aventon electric bike coverage check out the following:
Buying an Aventon electric bike? Using our affiliate link makes content like this possible.
If you are looking for a down-to-earth company with a heart for getting more people on bikes and less in cars, then look no further than Ride1Up. I was blown away by the generosity that the founder, Kevin Duggar showed by welcoming an interview with me (see it here). He spent a crazy amount of time talking with me about his ebikes even though I know he is an extremely busy brand owner. His passion for creating a quality and affordable ebike lineup was extremely evident during our conversation. This is a company whose leadership shines through in everything they make.
Ride1Up offers six models to choose from with a clear FOCUS on commuter style electric bikes. You won’t find any fat tire models on their website. One of their most unique models, the Roadster V2, doesn’t even look like an ebike. With its slim, lightweight design and built in battery, this ebike masquerades as a low-tech commuter bike in disguise. Ride1Up is sending us this model to test ride. We will add the video review link once we have one.
I love this brand for its passion for not just selling a product, but getting people excited about moving more and driving less. This company is incredible to work with and I have loved every bike I have test-ridden and owned. Ride1Up is a quality, direct consumer company like Rad Power Bikes which means less cost to the consumer.
For related Ride1Up articles and resources, see:
For related Ride1Up ebike model reviews, see:
Buying a Ride1Up electric bike? Using our affiliate link makes content like this possible.
Founded by two brothers, Ariel Rider is a quiet achiever in electric bikes. Their sweet spot as of late has been moped style electric bikes which provide incredible performance for the price. If you’re in the market for a moped-style electric bike you’ll be able to find something that suits your specific needs. Here is the current lineup:
- Rideal: traditional frame design at an incredible price (999)
- C-Class: Fully-outfitted mid-drive ebike for the daily commute (1,799)
- M-Class: Urban electric bike with a mid-drive motor (1,649)
- X-Class: Moped-style electric bike that packs a punch (1,699) Also available in 52V variation (2,099.00)
- D-Class: Dual motor moped-style electric bike that packs a bigger punch (2,399.00)
- Grizzly: The ultimate moped-style electric bike: dual suspension, dual motor, dual battery (2,999.00)
For related Ariel Rider articles, see:
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Juiced Bikes biggest differentiator is their batteries. It is rare to find a direct-to-consumer ebike company in 2022 offering 52-volt batteries. On top of the 52-volt batteries are the 19.2 Ah batteries offered as an option (or included) on some models. The nearly 1000 watt-hour capacity will surely cure your range anxiety.
As of late Juiced Bikes has been focusing on moped style electric bikes with the introduction of the Scorpion, HyperScorpion, and the new dual-battery HyperScrambler 2. They continue to offer a commuter model called the CrossCurrent and a fat tire electric bike called the RipCurrent.
For related Juiced Bikes articles, see:
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Originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign, this Canadian company has expanded its direct-to-consumer ebike company into a wide range of ebike models that ships worldwide.
The ultimate selling point for Biktrix: you can CUSTOMIZE your heart out. Customizable options include color, frame size, battery, wheels, forks, brakes and more. You can truly purchase the ebike of your dreams.
Biktrix has many models to select from in four series/categories:
Buying a Biktrix electric bike? Using our affiliate link makes content like this possible.
Blix Bikes was founded all the way back in 2014 in Santa Cruz California. That alone comes with some street cred, but the company backs that up with great ebikes. Previously Blix has offered city-oriented ebikes including folding and cargo ebike models. For 2022, they have expanded further into fat tire ebikes with the Ultra and a model designed for urban environments, the Dubbel.
We came away impressed with the quality during our Blix Packa Genie review and can’t wait to get our hands on their other models as well. Not only do we feel like they offer a great value proposition but their customer support is US based making them an easy brand for us to recommend.
Buying a Blix electric bike? Using our affiliate link makes content like this possible.
Electric Bike Company
There aren’t many ebike brands that can claim their ebikes are built in the United States. Electric Bike Company or EBC for short is one exception. Because of this, their ebikes have a certain quality about them, and it’s something you can’t fully appreciate until you see them in person.
Most of their models are cruisers or beach-style ebikes, meaning an upright riding position with swept-back handlebars. Paired with the seats, their ebikes are among the most comfortable to ride. Another unique thing, EBC ebikes are shipped via freight. While shipping isn’t free, their ebikes arrive at your home more fully assembled than most brands, and best of all – they arrive in pristine condition!
For related EBC articles, see:
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Super73 is a motorcycle-inspired ebike brand founded in 2016 in Southern California. They have a dedicated community, and they have carved out their niche in the moped-style electric bike space. They have, for the lack of a better comparison, evolved into the Apple of ebike brands. Part of this is their excellent marketing which has been buoyed by celebrity endorsements. I typically don’t get excited about buying a product because it’s “cool” but I have to give Super73 credit – their ebikes look incredible.
Planning to buy a Super73 electric bike? Using my link will get you 100 off your purchase.
7S and were hard pressed to find something we didn’t like about it. While the small motor and battery (250w motor and 7ah battery)are not going to fit everyone’s use case. The lightweight (37lbs total weight), and simple styling make this a great city or short distance commuter bike. Propella does offer the option to purchase a second battery, to help fight that range anxiety.
The upcoming 9S Pro is likely to fit the bill for more riders. The 9S pro comes equipped with a larger battery and a more powerful motor (350w motor and a 9.7ah battery). But sticks to the “elegant, lightweight and affordable” mission of Propella. (41lbs and 1699 MSRP) We are excited for the 9S Pro to release in August 2022. But cannot speak highly enough of the 7S and the other great offerings that Propella has. We cannot wait to see what this US based company has in store for the future.
Buying a Propella Electric bike? Using our affiliate link makes content like this possible.
Top Ebike Brands Wrap Up
If you are shopping for an electric bike you can’t go wrong with any brands in our top ebike brands list. They all are reputable ebike brands with an established history in the electric bike space. It’s going to be exciting to see the new models coming out of these brands.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Hi. I live in Santa Fe, NM. What’s your recommendation for a good mountain/trail bike, some flat terrain, and some up the mountain trails. Thanks!
Depends on your price range. There are so many great E-MTBs on the market today! Depending on the trails something like the Vvolt Sirius might be an option: https://ebikeescape.com/vvolt-e-mobility-ebikes-launches-with-four-belt-drive-models/
I moved to mexico but cannot find a Mex E bike. Can you suggest a company or some company that ships to mexico
Thank you for all the great information you provide for the e-bikes. However I am running into a problem finding e-bikes for 300-380lb person. As I like to bike as much as anyone else. Are there any e-bike companies out there that accommodate this. It would be for all around use, Pavements concrete, mild dirt road etc… Thank you.
Hi Paw, Vvolt’s framesets have a weight limit of 440 lbs but they say to contact them regarding modifications: https://bit.ly/2VPMy8q The other company that comes to mind is Biktrix, weight limits depend on model but they have higher capacities than most: https://lddy.no/wzo3 Hope this helps!
I highly recommend Benno Bikes. The Boost is a fantastic bike. Very reliable. Strong. They are powered by Bosch. Practically Bullitt proof and fun to ride!!
Hi Ryan, I love your YouTube channel, great job! My husband and I will be purchasing e bikes (through your affiliate link, of course). We are looking to spend around 2000 per bike. He is 6’1 and I am 5’3 so I’m thinking Aventon might be our best option because of different frame size. I would like something with good range and comfort. I have found that my current hybrid trek bike gives me Wrist pain, also without any suspension it is a bumpy ride. We will be moving to Florida so I hope to find something that can go on paved trail as well as the sandy. crushed shell paths that can find in Florida Do you think aventon is our best choice? I also really like the Rad bike company. We do not require a folding bike, by the way. Thanks for your help!
Hi Ryan! Thank you for all of this information. I am 5’2”, 105#, 48 yo female in good physical shape and am stumped between the Aventon Level and the Ride1Up 700. I haven’t ridden the R1U but Комментарии и мнения владельцев from owners are making me lean that way. The one thing about the Level is that I don’t think I will get the exercise that I would like bc the PAS is so strong on #1. I like how the Pace 500 felt but the NexGen does not allow one to have a back fenderbasket. I really want both. I’m scared to get a bike that depends on ME to put it together. Plus, what if I don’t even like it? Can you help me decide??
Both great options! Call around to see if they will assemble your ebike. Perhaps you live near an Aventon dealer.
Hello, I noticed you actually reply to every, thank you! My gf is 4″8 is there an e bike that would fit her?
Hello, What we really need to know is what her inseam measurement is? Really any step-thru design bike will fit her for stand over height. However figuring out the most comfortable pedaling bike, inseam measurement is going to be really important here. Will keep an eye out for your reply. Best, JT
Hi! I live in San Diego and although most of the terrain is flat, I’d like to use to commute to work (3mi with some up hill). Mostly going to be used as a cruiser…any recommendations? Is there a brand that you’d recommend over another?
Hard to narrow it down to just one. The market has so many great options right now. Some of out favorite brands have to be Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, or Ride1up. They all offer great cruiser style bikes, just comes down to some personal preferences at that point. Take a look into those brands, and let us know if you have any specific questions about any models.
I’m a long-time experienced rider who has been off the bike for a while. I don’t know much about ebikes but am learning fast. This article is great! Thank you! I’m 6’1″, 235 lbs., and looking at a ride home from work that includes a 5-mile, 1400-foot ascent. Any specific recommendations? Thanks!
I would honestly recommend a Mid-Drive ebike for you. Being that you have experience riding a bike, the Mid-drive option will feel more natural for you to ride. Ride1up Prodigy is a great option or maybe even a VVolt Sirus. We have video reviews on both if you are curious about them. Ebike Escape YouTube Channel Hope that helps.
Just watched your video on the Propella 7S v4. I’ve never watch a bike being built; very entertaining! I have the Propella. Wanted a light weight low priced good bike. And that is what I got. Tell me, if I want more power and a longer ride ….and insist on Light Weight, have you found anything comparable to the Propella? I did notice that Propella was not included on your list of favorites. Tell me more
Hello John. For the price, there is not anything else we have found. If you are willing to spend a bit more GT makes a bike called the eGrade and there are a couple of other “big box” brands that have similar offerings. But for the budget-minded, Propella takes the cake. Thank you for pointing out the “Top Ebike Brands” Page. They are actually listed on there, I just forgot to add them to the “Jump to” section at the top. Will fix that now. We are very excited to try out the 9Pro in the near future.
Hello, can i ask why lectric ebikes are so low on the list? Does it have to do with quality? Thank you
Their placement on this list has nothing to do with quality. The list is just written in the order of us “discovering” and adding the brands. It is not in descending order or anything of that nature.
My wife is 5’0 and watched your video on the Velotric Discover 1 Commuter Bike. Her inseam is around 26″. She prefers a ST frame. Is there a different Bike that you would recommend in a similar price range?
The Aventon Pace 350 or Ride1up Core-5 are both options. Really for any ebike I think she will not be able to be stopped and sit on the seat. But she should still be able to pedal them all with little issue.
Hello! What a wealth of information you provide! Thanks! Here are my specifics; 70 years old, live on a dirt/gravel road with hills around me. Don’t have the storage space for a 4×4 plus years ago, when living in the city I had a Trek road bike that I loved! So.with all this being said and with all the brand’s available could you filter out what brands you would recommend? I know this might be a tall job given my needs so any help you can give would be appreciated!
There are quite a few brands that fit your needs. But I think I need a bit more information based upon some things you said. Are you looking for an ebike that can replace a 4×4? Do you need a step-through frame? Is the weight of the ebike an issue? What are you looking to do with it? Ride it to town to do errands?
70 year old 5’10”, 175#. Want to ride but have neck injury so need to reduce up and down jerky movements, need step thru, upright position. Ideally would like folding, but comfort most important. Any ideas for me? Whatever I buy I will do thru your links, your site is fantastic!
I would hate to recommend something for you and have it irritate your neck injury. What I would really recommend for you would be to go to a riding center or find a dealer near you for ebikes. That way you could try out some ebikes before making any purchases.
Ryan, I’m interested in a folding eBike with a mid motor and carbon belt drive, and would love to see you do a review of the Evelo DASH. I want to compare it with the Electric Bike Company model F and get your opinion about the comparison between the two. Thanks
We will definitely add that to our “wish” list of ebikes to review. It looks like an awesome-ly spec’d ebike.
I’ve been watching a lot of your videos and I say you are doing a superb job of helping every type of rider!! I’m a 71 year old female who is on the look for my 1st ebike. I think I need 2! A small, lightweight for camping and a better one for around town. I’m leaning towards Lectric for camping and Rad for home. However, there’s a Pedego dealer very close to me. I’m very mechanical, but the idea of having support nearby is tugging at my heartstrings. I better visit Pedego. Don’t you agree? And of course, I’ll purchase through you, to repay you for all your help!
Completely agree. Having local service and availability of parts is hard to pass up. We wouldn’t fault you for following your heart on that one.
Hoping to get an opinion on my quest to find an e-bike that meets my needs. Here are my wants. Need bike with enough power to handle moderate/steep hills. Need to be able to carry a passenger, my 6yo son. I am around 250lbs and son is 44 lbs. Prefer fat tire type bike with step thru or lower top post. Needs to be configurable for class 3. Can’t spend more than 2500 or so. Here is where I’m at in the process. I first tried Radrunner plus. Good support for hauling kid on back but very unpowered. Had a tough time getting up fairly steep hilll had to pedal really hard. So retuned that. Then bought juiced bikes rip current s due to powerful motor. Bike was damaged on arrival and they took too long to replace so I moved on. Now I’m looking at Blix Utra. It seems to have the right mix. Nice hefty rear rack that can support 150lbs. 750 watt motor with peak output around 1300 watts. Any issues with Blix in general? I also like the aventon aventure but rear rack not as solid and they have throttle lag issue that I don’t like. I would rather have a 1000 watt motor but prob don’t really need it. Any others I should look at? Thanks in advance for any info.
We recently reviewed the Blix Packa and have nothing but good things to say about it. It might even replace Ryan’s current kid hauler, the Radwagon 4. I think the Blix Dubbel might actually fit what you are looking for a bit more. Currently in Pre-Order, but should be shipping in November: https://bit.ly/3ye1VaO (affiliate link)
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I like the form factor and versatility (off road, etc)of the Ultra. The Dubbel has a similar form factor to the Radrunner Plus, which I felt was too small for me, being 6’1″. One other question for you. My only remaining concern about the Ultra is use of the Shengyi motor over the more common Bafang, which appears to be the gold standard for e-bike motors. Any concerns there?
Not really. Hub motors have been around for a long time, and are really a proven component. Shengyi looks to have been making motors for close to 20 years (established in 2003). Blix also has a 1 year warranty on motors and frames (which is standard, but always nice to see).
Love your YouTube videos! I am interested in the Priority Current. Have you ridden one and do you have an opinion on this model. Do you have an alternative recommendation to the Current? Thanks and keep up the good work!
We have not ridden any Priority ebikes. They look like some nice spec’d models. We are big fans of mid-drive ebikes. Ride1Up has the Prodigy ST or XR and we are fans of the Vvolt ebikes. Both of those ebikes we have video reviews on.
To be honest I have 2 Focus bikes, a 29ner hardtail and a full suspension, know my bikes, work on them and do Centuries, I’m 74. Bought a Rad and Lectric bike and sold them, didn’t like mechanical brakes and too slow. Recenty bought a Magic Cycle Oscelot Pro and couldn’t be happier. Techtro hydrolic brakes, the best and up to 80 mile range with pedal assist. Have gone 75 miles with partial throttle. Army Green, in my opinion the welds are fantastic and components are great. Too bad they are not on your list, far superior to your #1 Rad bike. And they have only been in business for 2 years. Will purchase the Cruiser Pro upon the sale of one of my Focus bikes. Just my opinion. Also the best packaging upon receipt!
Which ebike are you talking about? If you are just getting something fixed up on the mechanical side of the bike, most local shops should be able to help.
I am so torn between Rad Rover plus 6 steps-through and Aventon Aventure 2 step-through. What’s your recommendation.
They are both great bikes. The Aventure offers a different look and a slightly more powerful motor. Is there something specific that is holding you back from one vs the other?
Thank you so much for your fast response! The weight of the bike, and the customer service. I am not sure which customer service is better. I would like to not have issues and can’t reach anybody. I wish it was a Walmart product. Do you think purchasing it online is the same as a dealer’s? I would like to purchase online. I don’t want to pay almost 2000 for a piece of metal that can’t be ridden.
Top 5 Hunting Electric Bike Problems [And What to Do About Them]
You could sit around dreaming of a maintenance-free world. You could think about how nice it would be if vehicles didn’t break down and even build a cushy little bubble where maintenance isn’t a part of things.
If something breaks, just replace it.
Or, you can accept that things will break from time to time. Considering you’re the type of person who enjoys pulling yourself by your boot-straps, rolling up your sleeves, and getting to work, we know you’re more accustomed to option two.
The simple fact is that your hunting eBike is going to experience failure at one point or another. However, unless you have the money to replace it or the time to send it off to the repair shop, there are some things you can easily do yourself.
That’s why we want to take a minute to talk you through some of the most common problems and what to do when you encounter them.
Thankfully, eBikes are pretty simple, so you’ll be ready to roll with the punches in no time.
Following are the top five electric hunting bike problems:
Motor noise is about the worst of the issues you’re bound to encounter.
As you’re riding along, you may hear a whirring noise whenever the motor is engaged. Just like on your hunting rig, this is a sine of worn-out bearings.
Bearings are almost a sacrificial part. While they do feature rolling elements to reduce friction, they will still wear down over time.
On an eBike that doesn’t see adverse conditions, the bearings that could last the lifetime of a motor, mountain, and hunting eBikes are often a different story. Some bearings give up after just around a thousand miles or so.
There’s no need to panic about worn-out bearings, and you can likely have them replaced through the warranty. If the warranty is out, you can opt to replace them yourself to save money.
You just need to make sure you follow the exact procedure as laid out by the manufacturer.
Water in the System
The next most serious issue you can run into is water in the system, including your eBike’s battery.
Some models may warn you if there’s water in the battery or other electrical components, and you should act accordingly if you see them. Others don’t.
eBikes are tough pieces of gear, but they aren’t invincible, and they certainly aren’t intended to be submerged in water.
Getting water inside can be highly dangerous to the electrical components, and you want to keep it out.
If the bike is submerged in water or known water is inside key components, you will want to remove the battery and store the eBike in a dry area with low humidity for a day or so to allow the moisture to evaporate.
If you still get any warnings, you may need to use the warranty or replace damaged components.
Lack of Power
What if your eBike checks out and there are no obvious issues, but when you go to start moving, there’s no power?
The motor is trying to provide motion, but it just doesn’t have enough oomph. Well, it could have something to do with the speed sensor.
The speed sensor lets the system know how fast the eBike is going, necessary for motor input.
Without this information, the motor won’t know if power is necessary, and power levels can be all off. A tell-tale sign that it is the issue is a lack of speed readings on your display.
If you are experiencing this issue, you should first make sure there is no debris on the spoke magnet to throw off the reading.
Next, make sure the spoke magnet is in the correct position and that the spoke is not loose.
If you’re still experiencing issues, locate the wiring and see that it’s not damaged or disconnected. Unfortunately, it is common for rough terrain to wreak havoc on this component.
Dead battery after charge
Nothing will stop you in your tracks faster than a dead battery. It is the life force of your eBike, after all.
It’s not something that’ll exactly send you into a panic, especially not if you have a spare fully charged and ready to go.
If your battery is dead after it’s been on the charger all night, there are a few things you need to inspect.
First and foremost, make sure the charger is plugged in and working. If the charger checks out, it’s important to think about the area the battery is sitting in while it charges.
It’s not likely to be subjected to extreme heat, which impacts charging, but you might have made the mistake of keeping it somewhere cold.
If that’s true, relocate it to an area where climate conditions are more acceptable and charge again. If the issue persists, it may be time to replace the battery.
The last issue we will look at is probably the least concerning, which is a dead display.
This won’t keep you from taking the eBike hunting as you normally would. It just means you can’t monitor what’s going on. You should still get it squared away ASAP because there’s a lot of important data you need to keep in mind.
The solution might be as simple as a loose connection. Some displays use their flat battery, though, and you will need to replace it if it’s dead.
If neither of these issues is present, you will want to visit a professional shop that can perform the necessary repair or put your warranty to work.
Now for the bad news. These are just some of the most common issues across all eBikes. They don’t consider that your particular model may have a few quirks that are worth being aware of.
Some bikes might have issues with handlebars coming loose, others with chains popping off. It all depends on what you have to work with.
The point is to do the homework, find out what issues others commonly run into, and learn how to deal with them accordingly. That might sound like a lot of homework, but eBikes are nearly as simple as any other bicycle.
They don’t rival the complexities of other systems you’ve already mastered, and you should have no trouble keeping yours in check.
Training and use considerations for duty electric bicycles
This article reviews training and use (deployment and tactical) considerations for police ebikes.
Hopefully, this series will help your agency make an informed decision on whether to use electric bikes for police patrol.
POLICE E-BIKE TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS
Regardless of the make, model and type of e-bike your agency selects, training is essential! E-bikes are heavier and afford even the average rider the ability to travel further and at faster speeds.
The International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) recommends that patrol personnel first complete a police cyclist course on a “conventional” bike and then undergo additional training to learn how to safely and effectively transfer their skills to an e-bike. This will help reduce the risk of injury and property damage and ensure the cyclist is properly trained to operate an e-bike in the line of duty.
For example, LAPD requires its officers to first successfully pass a 40-hour Basic Bike Patrol Course on a conventional duty bike before taking and successfully passing its e-bike course before officers can use e-bikes.
- Discuss e-bike technology;
- Review e-bike laws (user, access and equipment requirements);
- Compare and contrast e-bikes with conventional bikes;
- Introduce the skills necessary to transition from conventional bikes to e-bikes.
To find an 8-hour e-bike course in your area, contact IPMBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
police e-bike USE (DEPLOYMENT AND TACTICS) CONSIDERATIONS
Before or once you have purchased your duty e-bikes, deployment, officer safety and tactics considerations must be addressed prior to use.
Deployment of police e-bikes
In most situations, e-bikes can be deployed as effectively – if not more so – as conventional bikes. Here is a short, non-inclusive list:
- Expands beat areas and reduces the need for “park-and-rides.”
- Facilitates use in hilly areas and other taxing terrains.
- Highly effective during rolling events, like long parade routes, motorcades, bicycling and running events.
- Effective for executive protection details, with active protectees (runners or cyclists).
In any type of deployment, riders must stay within the boundaries of their individual bicycle-handling and accident-avoidance skills, and e-bike battery limitations.
Officer safety/tactics considerations for police e-bikes
Prior to deploying on e-bikes, officer safety and tactics must be taken into account. Here is a non-inclusive list:
- Each electric motor brand/model has its own unique characteristics, including the level of sound depending on the level of support/assistance selected. Consider turning the motor assistance to “OFF” mode (no support, but normally keeps all display functions available) when stealth is important, especially during darkness and if the motor’s whining (sound) is detectable.
- Depending on the e-bike’s computer/display, backlighting (especially during darkness) could be a matter of concern.
- Higher speeds can affect all the senses, especially hearing, and contribute to reduced situational awareness. It is also essential to avoid “tunnel vision” and becoming “velocitized.”
- Higher speeds increase the need for superior bicycle handling skills, as well as a greater understanding of the traffic environment such as sightlines, door zones, hazards and conflicts, blind spots and common motorist-caused mistakes – especially by underestimating an e-cyclist’s speed. Excellent cycling in traffic training and resources can be found at CyclingSavvy.
- Increased overall weight can be a concern, especially in bicycle response teams or crowd management deployments.
- Moving, carrying and/or lifting e-bikes around/up/over obstacles is more challenging.
- Expanding the patrol area of bicycle operations can be both good and bad. IPMBA instructor and founding board member Kirby Beck notes, “When you start thinking of bike patrol as you would a motorized patrol, except you go slower – and cover a smaller area – you may be overextending your capabilities. Warning lights and sirens are much less effective, and your ‘vehicle’ (bicycle) offers you ZERO protection in a crash. An e-bike may go faster, but that only means you can overextend your capabilities and get into trouble faster too.”
police E-BIKE RESOURCES
For more information on e-bikes and their use in law enforcement, see IPMBA’s E-bike Resources.
I hope this series of articles has been of benefit to your agency in deciding whether to purchase e-bikes, how to select the right e-bike for your needs, and planning for training and use!
About the author
Clint Sandusky retired in 2016 after a 24-year law enforcement career, with both the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside Community College District Police Departments (RCCDPD). While at RCCDPD, he was a bike officer for 23 years. He is a 26-year active CA POST-certified Bike Patrol Instructor and currently instructs Bike Patrol Courses for Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. He has been an International Police Bike Association (IPMBA) member since 1994 and is a former instructor.
In retirement, Clint presents and instructs on electric bicycle (e-Bike) use to law enforcement (including on the national-level with IPMBA) and the community. He has authored many articles on bike patrol topics, e-Bike use and safety, and cycling in traffic.
What Are The E-bikes Risks? Why E Bikes Are Bad? 2023
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular, but there are some drawbacks to them. They can be expensive, and the battery life can be short, meaning that you may have to pedal more than you would with a regular bike. They also can’t be used in all weather conditions, so you may have to take them off the road when it’s raining or snowing.
Let’s be with BSXInsight to answer the question “why E Bikes are bad?” and how to avoid their dangers.
Electric Bikes and Speed
The majority of electric bikes are swift, or at least quicker than conventional pedaling. However, a surprising number of studies indicate that the average speed differences between Class 1 Ebikes and conventional bikes are not as great as I initially believed.
Generally speaking, in an urban setting, Class 1 Electric bikes are around 3 km/hr (1.9 mph) faster than conventional cycles. Class 3 electric bikes were discovered to be, on average, twice as quick as conventional non-powered cycles.
Ebikes in classes 1, 2, and 3
- Class 1 (US): Maximum aided speed is 20 mph (32 km/hr) with only pedal assistance.
- Class 1 (Europe): Pedal assistance only; top assisted speed is 25 km/h (15 mph).
- Class 2: Maximum aided speed with throttle control is 20 mph (32 km/hr).
- Class 3: Pedal assistance alone; top assisted speed is 45 km/h (28 mph).
The ranges of the average speeds for conventional bikes, Class 1 e-bikes, and Class 3 e-bikes are displayed in the graph below. This data was acquired from several studies included in this white paper.
Based on multiple research, the average operating speeds of bicycles, Class 1 and Class 3 electric bikes, in km/hr (min, avg, and max).
Based on multiple research, the average operating speeds of bicycles, Class 1 and Class 3 electric bikes, in mph (min, avg, and max).
This data demonstrates that while electric bikes don’t have a ridiculous setting that can shoot you through city streets, they do perform quicker than bicycles.
The higher speed of electric bikes and the increased risk of crashes are directly related, according to a recent white paper that summarizes a number of studies on the safety of electric bikes. It states that “(…) errors and conflicts are compounded by speed (as shown in naturalistic studies), Class 3 e-bikes could generate higher speed-related crash risk.”
That can be dangerous for both walkers and motorcyclists and frequently surprises people.
According to the same white paper above, as speeds and acceleration rise significantly, so does the danger of suffering a catastrophic injury, which has seen a “large increase in injuries of e-bike users over the past decade.”
Last but not least, when you first start, handling acceleration might be challenging. Unlike other vehicles, electric ones may accelerate and produce full power as soon as the throttle is depressed or the motor is engaged.
It can be intimidating at first, and getting used to it will take some time. Make sure you start in a low power/low assistance mode and work your way up to higher levels of power as you get going because you’re more likely to make mistakes during that learning stage.
Do you know how do electric bikes work? Check out our post for more details.
What Are The Dangers Of Electric Bikes?
It is true that certain risks are particular to electric bikes, just as certain risks are particular to other inventions. Consider the electricity produced by nuclear power plants or solar panels. The ideal strategy is to comprehend the risks and take deliberate steps to prevent them rather than worrying about the risks and avoiding the product totally.
With electric bikes, the same is true. Let’s quickly go over some of the main risks that are unique to an electric bike. And consider ways to reduce the dangers associated with accidents on electric bikes.
E-bike Battery Catching Fire
An e-bike battery catching fire—what could be worse? You may have seen videos of electric bikes catching fire while being used or charged. Such a sight would greatly turn off any person.
The majority of electric bikes use extremely flammable lithium batteries. When lithium batteries produced at home are used carelessly, most of these incidents often happen.
The greatest risks associated with e-bikes are presented by these fires. However, with the right care and safeguards, around 80% of these incidents may be prevented.
For instance, never construct your own battery pack unless you have researched it sufficiently and are confident in your abilities. Always remember to bring your batteries on rides in a sturdy metal box, and for added security, utilize a Battery Management System (BMS).
Most importantly, be sure the lithium batteries you purchase have the proper cell architecture and structure to withstand high temperatures and overcharging by only purchasing them from reputable dealers.
Most contemporary e-bike batteries are well-made and secure to use. As battery technology advances, future versions will be lighter, more effective, and steadily less hazardous. Although there is little chance of a short circuit happening because e-bikes are electric vehicles, the risk is still there.
Too Much Acceleration At The Start
One of the main causes of small e-bike accidents is applying too much power or starting from a stop in high electric gear. Such incidents typically don’t result in any significant damage because they frequently happen at relatively low speeds. Still, these have a powerful depressant effect.
Again, with proper care, this significant cause can be avoided. For instance, if you ride an e-bike with a throttle, wait to use the entire power until the bike goes. Consider installing a switch so you may also choose different power settings while riding. Make sure your throttle and controller are set up correctly before beginning a long ride.
Be careful not to begin in high gear if your e-bike is a pedelec (POWER mode, for example). Always shift into a lower electric gear (ECO or even of) to get going, then increase it gradually as you pick up speed.
Disregarding Traffic Laws
Unbelievably, the majority of e-bike accidents are caused by the riders’ carelessness rather than any inherent flaw in the design or concept of the e-bike. Let’s start by acknowledging that an electric bicycle is essentially a hybrid between a regular bicycle and a regular motorbike.
Most jurisdictions do not yet have e-bike regulations that are as strict as those for motorbikes. The speed and capabilities of an e-bike are comparable to those of a subpar motorcycle, it should be noted. When an e-bike rider disregards this information, it becomes unsafe.
For instance, the law might not require you to obey certain speed restrictions or traffic signs if you’re riding an e-bike. However, doing so would guarantee the security of both the bikers and the neighboring road users.
Consider the danger if motorbikes disobey traffic laws. The same is true of e-bikes, as certain e-bike models more closely resemble motorbikes than bicycles. Similarly to this, some electric bicycle riders have a tendency to do foolish things, like speeding, which leads to terrible accidents.
Gogola’s (2018) academic study found that “the higher speed of e-bike can lead to a dangerous situation on the road”
By utilizing an electric bicycle properly, that is, as a bicycle and not a motorbike, a large majority of accidents and dangers related to them can be avoided.
Age-related Dangers With E-bikes
It has been discovered that older persons may be more at risk from e-bikes than other age groups. Numerous studies have found that, for riders between the ages of 11 and 60, the risks posed by e-bikes and traditional bikes are essentially the same.
In comparison to motorbikes or even bicycles, e-bikes may not be considered to be as dangerous to ride. It is also true, though, that for persons 60 and older, the risk tends to increase and in some circumstances may even double.
This can be explained by the fact that older persons typically have higher body weights, weaker reflexes, less robust health, and less knowledge of how current e-bikes function in various riding scenarios.
Risks For Pedestrians
Bikes are a relatively quiet mode of transportation. An unwary pedestrian might discover that, in the absence of any combustion engine, they only hear an electric bike approaching after it has narrowly avoided them by a few inches.
Since you won’t be able to hear the rider struggling to get his bike up a hill from a mile away, and certain bike motors can be very quiet, electric bikes can take this situation to the next level by giving them enhanced speed and performance while keeping low noise levels.
All forms of electric vehicles have been the FOCUS of discussion on this topic, and numerous potential answers exist. When there is no sound, pedestrians run the risk of not realizing them until it is too late.
This has caused numerous lawmakers and manufacturers to agree that adding some sort of noise is necessary to alert pedestrians and animals to the impending danger. However, many jurisdictions currently do not require the deployment of bells or other noise-alerting devices.
Additionally, there is a variety of local and state legislation that apply to bicycle bells.
This hazard still exists since the laws in this area vary so considerably.
According to recent research, regulations should be customized to ensure that e-bike vehicle design, infrastructure design, and operations protect all road users’ safety while fostering innovation.
Up to that point, the best course of action for pedestrians is to be constantly on the lookout for rocket-fast electric bikes and for riders of electric bikes to be careful near people and carry a bell or other noise-signaling device.
Production Still Damages the Environment
The entire process of producing electric motorcycles is detrimental to the environment. Coal or fossil fuels must be consumed to manufacture electric bikes, which is extremely harmful to the environment.
Even lithium-ion battery parts are not always recycled. Thus, the problem is likely to worsen as more batteries are manufactured. That doesn’t mean businesses aren’t looking for innovative methods to create environmentally friendly models.
Does the Battery Pose Any Risks?
Like any piece of technology, your electric bike could malfunction and abandon you when you need it the most—typically on a rainy day when you’re halfway up a hill.
The systems that really make your electric bike run may be impacted by weather, age, or the general condition of the components, even if the mechanics of electric vehicles are rather simple – yet, things don’t get much easier than a standard bike (especially the battery).
In the worst-case scenarios, a lithium battery fire may be one of them.
Even though that scenario may seem extremely implausible (and it is), batteries have caught fire occasionally, either while people were riding them or while they were being charged.
With so much power stored in a high-capacity ebike battery, lithium battery fires are terrifying occurrences, which is one of the reasons it’s challenging to bring an electric bike on a plane.
This can cause some people to reconsider purchasing an electric bike, but these incidents are incredibly rare and frequently happen as a result of people failing to adhere to basic safety precautions or manufacturer recommendations.
The likelihood is that such occurrences should be rare if and when users of electric bikes take essential precautions, such as adhering to official recommendations and purchasing manufacturer-approved replacements.
Even though the official battery pack will cost four times as much as the cheapest substitute from abroad, it can mean the difference between safely reaching your goal and having your prized bike turn into a pyrotechnics display!
Most lithium-ion battery packs for e-bikes in contemporary designs come with battery management systems (BMS). The purpose of these tiny circuit boards is to promote safety by minimizing overheating and the detrimental effects of high temperatures and overcharging.
Electric Bike Vs Regular Bike: Key Differences
E-bikes have several unique issues, as was already mentioned. However, e-bikes may also offer a few advantages that might make riding an electric bike more enjoyable and interesting. Let’s talk about these points in brief.
Moving At A Faster Rate
Electric bikes require a more effective braking system at crosswalks and pedestrian crossings because they are typically ridden at higher speeds. For the same reason, nearly all major manufacturers have given their electric bicycles a highly effective pedal-assist system and very high-quality brakes (typically disk brakes).
Agility In Maneuvers
An excellent electric bike would offer far more agility than a traditional bike. Consequently, you will be able to move more powerfully and precisely.
Additionally, e-bikes typically have higher-quality elements like tires, frames, and lights than ordinary bicycles do. This will not only make the trip more comfortable, but it will also guarantee higher safety standards in all kinds of weather and terrain.
Easier On Physical Fitness
E-bikes may also be able to assist you by removing cycling-related physical barriers. E-bikes may be used on any surface, including slopes, potholes, and rocks. They make riding more pleasant and provide you a chance to get some exercise.
How Can Dangers be Avoided/Reduced?
Enhancing Electric Bike Safety
You can start by making electric bikes safer. People cause the majority of risks associated with its use.
They frequently lead to adopting the incorrect safety mindset, either by disobeying fundamental traffic laws or by simply misusing the electric bike’s sudden power and increased speed without adjusting for experience levels or the particulars of the environment in which you’re riding.
It boils down to a few obvious principles for riders:
Put on a helmet! It surprises me that wearing a helmet is still not required by law in many nations and US states! In any sport where you run the risk of suffering catastrophic injuries, you should always wear a helmet! (Is it a terrible pun or what?)
Ride safely and according to the road’s conditions. To ride according to the state of the road is another sensible strategy. Make sure you have lights and hi-visibility gear if it is dark. Slow down if it’s wet out, and be cautious when braking and turning. You generally shouldn’t be riding an e-bike outside in cold weather if the roads and bike lanes are covered with black ice.
Take excellent care of your electric bicycle. Keep lights and other components in good operating order, repair damaged tires and brakes, and perform regular tune-ups.
Replace batteries with suitable, high-quality parts after proper maintenance. A lithium-ion battery of poor quality may pose risks on its own. Use high-quality parts from reliable suppliers; you owe it to your security and the safety of those around you.
Batteries that short circuit, overheat, are imbalanced, or are charged at an unsuitable temperature are all potentially harmful. By skimping on maintenance or using new batteries that haven’t been certified by the manufacturer, you run the risk of endangering your safety.
Do I need to register or have a license to ride an e-bike?
No, you don’t. Legally, electric bikes are the same as regular bikes. You don’t need a driver’s license or to register them. You have to wear a helmet to ride a Class 3 eBike, though. A Class 3 eBike can’t be driven by anyone younger than 16.
How Much Does An E-bike Cost?
A decent e-bike should cost no less than 1,500. However, some cost reductions, such as reduced bus or taxi tickets, and tax advantages (in some jurisdictions), may ultimately exceed the expense of buying it.
Does Using An E-bike Require Registration or A License?
You can operate an electric bike without a license or registration because, for regulatory purposes, e-bikes are typically seen as being equivalent to standard bicycles. Additionally, if you are using an e-bike for speed, you might need to register it and obtain a license.
How Fast Can I Drive With An Electric Bicycle?
The specific model of the electric bicycle, as well as the legal system, may play a role. An electric bike will often assist you up to 16 Mph or 26 KM/H. Any speed above that will cause the motor to shut off, therefore how quickly you can pedal will determine how fast you can go.
Read full information in our post: how fast do electric bikes go
Is Ebikes Safer Than Regular Bikes?
A 17-year review of accident records revealed that e-bike riders were far more likely to be hospitalized following accidents than powered scooters or traditional bike riders, despite the fact that there is much less information available on e-bike injuries.
How Long Do Electric Bikes Last?
A decent e-bike can be a buddy for many years with careful maintenance. E-bikes survive about 10 years on average. Depending on your bike type and how you use it, that figure may be greater or lower. Your e-bike can survive for well over a decade if you take good care of it.
Can I Ride My Electric Bike In The Rain?
Like push bikes, electric bikes are water-resistant, so you’re good to go as long as you can see and ride safely in the rain. Our e-bike batteries are housed in premium, water-resistant casings. If the weather changes unexpectedly, you do not need to glad wrap your battery.
Purchasing an electric bike and joining the millions of other riders can be a terrific way to improve your mobility while also reducing your impact on the environment and having fun while traveling. They are a fantastic form of transportation because they are adaptable, quick, and often more comfortable than a normal bike.
Electric bikes will undoubtedly become more prevalent on the streets of our cities. They can be closely compared to standard cycles, especially when comparing lower-speed pedelecs, despite having some risks and dangers (Class 1 e-bikes). The safety of both you and everyone else on the road is greatly increased by riding carefully and attentively.