eBike (Electric Bike) FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

General eBike questions

What is an eBike or electric bike?

Most of the eBikes—or electric bikes—that we sell at United Sport & Cycle are also known as pedal-assist eBikes. These are built to give you an extra boost of power to support your pedaling efforts, not replace them. Our pedal-assist eBikes use torque sensors which measures your output, then provides you with power in proportion to your pedaling. Put simply: the more power that you apply, the more power the electric motor and battery will put out. This “extra push” helps you travel further, climb hills easier, and enjoy your cycling experience without breaking a sweat (unless you want to)! eBike motors are either “mid-drive” (located at the cranks) or “hub-drive” (mounted on the rear wheel). We have a great selection of both types of drive systems. We also sell a few throttle-assist eBikes, which have a throttle to control how much power the motor puts out.

Who rides an eBike and why?

People of all ages and abilities ride eBikes, and each for their own unique reasons. Here are the 6 reasons we hear most often:

  • "I want to bike to work without breaking a sweat!” If this is you, a commuter eBike may be perfect.
  • “I want to fly downhill on my mountain bike without wasting all my energy going uphill.” We have mountain eBikes and full suspension eBikes as well!
  • “I want to get back into shape, and biking around the city on a eBike helps me exercise at my level.” Hybrid eBikes are also great if you are recovering from an injury!
  • “I want a road eBike for the highway so I can go on longer rides than ever before, and keep up with the other people in my bike club.” We have lots of road eBikes for you to choose from!
  • “I want to be able to pull a bike trailer full of kids or groceries behind my eBike with ease!” A comfort or cruiser eBike can make errands and trips with the kids a blast!  
  • “I want an eBike because they’re fun!” Heck yes they are! Riding an eBike feels like flying!

Everybody we know is getting onto an eBike because they make biking easier and more enjoyable than ever before. With an electric bike, cycling becomes the most convenient and fun way to get around your community.

Still want to sweat it out and get a great workout on your electric bike? Just set your eBike in its “Eco Boost” or “Low Boost” mode and raise your heartbeat.

Don’t want to sweat up your business suit? Adjust the boost mode up to “Turbo” and pedal forward like a boss. You’ll be at the board meeting refreshed and energized—not a tired mess.

Oh, and this applies ten-fold for an easy ride home after a hard day!

How fast can an eBike go?

Alberta permits electric bikes to travel at up to 32km/h on motor power alone when travelling on level ground. All the electric motor systems on our electric bikes meet these regulations. Please note that eBikes can go even faster with the addition of your pedaling efforts, or when travelling downhill.

Many of our bike shop customers tell us that getting an eBike has drastically sped up their daily commute compared to travelling by a traditional bike before, or even a car! The ability to go fast on an electric bike also leaves you with more time to have fun riding on Edmonton's River Valley trails without spending so much time getting to the trailhead.

How far can an eBike go on a single charge?

The range of an eBike varies depending on its motor, battery, rider weight, weather, terrain, and power settings. Want the most range for your battery? Use a lower pedal-assistance setting, and you could get upwards of 100km or even upwards of 150km on one battery charge! On the other hand, if you plan on using mid to high-power settings, then expect around 30 to 100 kilometers per charge.

Some eBikes, like the Trek Allant+ 7 are compatible with Range Boost or DualBattery. Range Boost or DualBattery allows you to install a second battery and double your eBike's range above the values published above. Want to see your potential range? Check out the Bosch Range Assistant.

How much does an eBike weigh with its battery and motor?

Our high-quality eBikes typically weigh just 30-55lbs. This is much lighter than some of the lower-quality eBike brands that you may see advertised elsewhere which can weigh 60-110lbs! While 30-55lbs is heavier than a high-quality “acoustic” or “non-electric” bike, this additional weight all comes from the motor and the battery—which more than make up for their extra weight with the extra range, power, climbing capabilities, and enjoyment that they can bring to your ride. The frames and other components of our eBikes are made of the same high-quality, lightweight materials as the rest of our non-electric bikes. We even have carbon fibre road eBikes!

Is riding an eBike cheating?

Not at all! In fact, some eBike customers say you are only cheating yourself out of an awesome experience by not getting an electric bike! Want to level the playing field with your speedy spouse, grandkids or buddies? Then we have a perfect eBike for your next memorable ride! Want to spend more time bombing down the mountains than pedalling up them? An electric mountain bike is your ticket! Want to get to and from work on a bike without being exhausted or breaking a sweat? We recommend an eBike! Want to move your kids or your groceries while on a bike? An eBike makes this easier than ever before!

Are eBikes weather proof?

The high-quality eBikes we sell have been tested in many conditions and have performed without any issues. However, we recommend that electric bike motors and batteries should never be completely submerged in water. From our own personal experience, eBiking in temperatures approaching -40C can also be a bit challenging (but so is regular biking, walking, & even driving at those temperatures!)

Are eBikes good for the environment?

With daily commuting accounting for about 20% of the average Canadian’s footprint, eBiking is one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint!

Consider this: 

  • Each kilometre travelled by car typically generates 271g of CO2 emissions
  • Each kilometre travelled by electric bike generates just 22g of CO2 emissions

In other words, eBiking can reduce the CO2 emissions of your daily commute by 92%!

eBiking also has a nearly identical carbon footprint to that of a traditional bike ride (21g/km).

As a last point of comparison, travelling by bus generates approximately 101g/km or about 5x as much as commuting by bike.

Not ready to give up your car just yet?
There’s still good news:  

  • Recent studies have shown that people with electric bikes end up using their eBikes to replace trips that they would have otherwise taken by car, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
  •  Electric bike owners also report that their overall dependence on cars and frequency of car use decreases after purchasing an eBike (and—no surprise—their happiness increases)!

Can I save money by riding an eBike?

Definitely! This is the motivation of many of our customers who come in to buy an eBike!

Looking only at the average costs of fueling a car or charging an electric bike:

  • The average 24km that we all travel each day cost $2.51 in gasoline by car (2.2L of gas at $1.14/L, on average).
  • That same 24km of traveling, cost just $0.07 in electrical costs with an eBike.  

Add in the cost of car payments, car insurance, oil changes, repairs, and speeding tickets, and switching out your car for an electric bike can save the average Canadian upwards of $10,000 a year!

Compared to taking the bus, an eBike is also a better deal. You can finance an eBike from as little as $2.15 a day! Compare this to a $100.00/month bus pass, or a $3.50 one-way fare! 

Do I need a drivers license to ride an eBike? How old do I need to be to ride an eBike?

In Alberta, eBikes are defined in the federal and provincial legislation as “power-assisted bicycles” or “power bicycles” and require no driver’s license, no vehicle insurance, and no vehicle registration to operate.In Alberta specifically, eBike operators must—however—be 12 years of age or older. All operators are required to wear a helmet.

Purchasing an eBike

Which electric bike motors have the most power?

The brands we carry conform to Canadian and Albertan legal standards and range from 250 watts to 500 watts. Our bikes with 500 watt motors will have the most power. Power-assisted eBikes with motors more than 500W or eBikes with a top speed of over 32km/h are not legal in Edmonton as per Canadian federal & Albertan provincial legislation. Make sure to buy your eBike from your local bike shop so that you can be sure that your eBike is safe & legally approved.

Are mid-drive or rear-hub motors better for an eBike?

Both are good. It really depends on how you intend to use your electric bike.

Mid-drive motors are typically seen on road eBikes, full suspension mountain eBikes, and newer, high-end commuter eBikes. Some of the benefits to the mid-drive system are: 

  • You do not have to disconnect any wires if you happen to get a roadside flat and want to fix it yourself.
  • Generally, the position of a mid-drive motor on a bike also helps keep the weight of your bike more balanced.
  • Mid-drive motors are typically more lightweight than rear-hub motors.
  • Mid-drive motors offer more flexibility in gearing, and in upgrading your bike and its parts.

Rear-Hub motors are more commonly seen on commuter and entry-level eBikes and have some advantages as well:

  • If you want a simple eBike for getting around mostly flat terrain, and don’t plan on changing out any parts, rear-hub motors tend to be less expensive than mid-drive motors.

Our expert sales and eBike service team are always here to answer your drive system questions. Stop by or call us today!

Which eBikes have a throttle?

We have a few bikes that are throttle-assist. That said, most of our eBikes are pedal-assist as our customers have told us that they prefer to pedal-assist over throttle-controlled eBikes.

Who has Edmonton's best selection of eBikes?

At last count, we carry the most brands and largest variety of eBikes in Edmonton, including the top 4 brands in the world! The eBikes we carry include: Trek, Giant, Specialized, Electra, Liv, Evo, Velec, & more!We love eBikes and take pride in being Edmonton’s most knowledgeable eBike store with Edmonton’s best selection of electric bikes! Our staff are always excited to work with you in order to find the perfect electric bicycle for you. 

What does the average eBike cost?

You can finance an eBike from as little as $30 bi-weekly + GST! If you prefer to pay in cash, we carry a wide selection of electric bikes priced from $1,889 and up.We find that most of our customers end up picking an eBike in the $2,500 to $5,000 range—although our more advanced mountain bike and road bike clientele often end up choosing an eBike in the $5,000-9,000 range.

Can I finance an eBike?

Absolutely. We have electric bikes available from as little as $30 bi-weekly + GST!You can apply to finance an eBike or any bike from us, here, via FinanceIt.

Which eBikes are the best?

Our recommendation is to buy your eBike from a bike shop like United Sport & Cycle as the products we carry are backed with an industry-leading warranty, are lighter-weight than other brands, and come with higher-quality components that are safely assembled by a professional, certified electric bicycle technician.

You can shop the top 4 eBike brands in the world at United Sport & Cycle:

  • Trek
  • Specialized
  • Giant
  • Velec 

As well as:

  • Electra (Trek’s stylish, urban sub-brand)
  • Liv (Giant’s brand of bikes designed specifically women and their body geometry). 

Owning an eBike

How do I charge my eBike battery?

Our awesome eBikes come with frame-integrated charging ports and cables. Simply park your bicycle and let it charge while you plan your next ride!

How long does it take to charge an eBike battery?

You can get back out on the trails with as little as 2 hours of charging time (providing you with an 80% charge). However, you can expect it to take roughly 3 hours fully charge your eBike battery (100% charge).We find this is the perfect amount of time for some nutrition & hydration at home or at a restaurant!

How often do I need to replace an eBike battery?

Depending on your mileage and number of charge cycles, the batteries on our high-quality eBikes can last up to 4 years. The drive systems we support guarantee a minimum of 500 charges.When the time does eventually come to replace your eBike battery, we can help you replace your eBike battery. We’ll even send your old battery off to recycled—the metals in your eBike battery can be re-used by the manufacturers to make a new eBike battery!

Where can I get my eBike serviced in Edmonton?

At United Sport and Cycle, we pride ourselves on our eBike service experience.EBikes have a lot of the same components of as the traditional bikes—with which we have almost 100 years of experience!When it comes to the electrical components of your new eBike, our professional service technicians have completed extensive training specific to these systems and also have years of experience! We look forward to keeping your system firmware up-to-date and your electric drive system working like new.We can service all kinds of eBikes including Trek, Giant, Specialized, Norco, Electra, Liv, Evo, Del Sol, Louis Garneau & more!

Where can I ride my eBike?

Ride your new electric bike just about anywhere a traditional bike can go!Edmonton’s River Valley and bike lanes network both permit eBikes. The cities of Red Deer and Calgary also allows eBikes. Finally, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park also allow eBikes (on specific paths).The eBike community continues to grow and grow. And our passionate staff is happy to make recommendations on where to go for epic eBike rides. This summer, we are also gearing up to offer Edmonton's first eBike riding club!Let’s all immerse ourselves in a great riding experience together!

Is there anywhere I can't ride an eBike?

Power-assisted bicycles may be restricted from operation on specific freeways or paths depending on your specific municipal bylaws. In Alberta, the main restrictions we are aware of are on specific trails in Banff and Jasper National Parks.

What is the warranty on an eBike?

All our bikes and eBikes are covered with a 12-month warranty. Other accessories are backed with a 6-month warranty.

How do I return an electric bike if it doesn't work for me?

If you’re not completely satisfied with your new eBike, you may return or exchange it within 30 days from the original order date. Returned/exchanged items must in new condition with accompanying receipt and packaging.

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