What Happens When an E-bike Battery Dies?

An eBike is an emission-free mode of transportation. It is a regular bicycle with the added boost of a battery-operated motor. Such bikes are cost-efficient and help you commute faster than a regular bike, but what if the battery dies? 

Well, simply put, you’re not going to be able to use the motor to move yourself forward. However, the pedals on an electric bike function the same way as the pedals on a regular manual bike. You can use the pedals to run your bike even if the battery dies.

Some people use their eBikes as regular bikes, even with a full battery, as it is an effective workout. 

Can You Ride an Electric Bike Without a Battery?

Yes, you can ride an electric bike without a battery. Of course, you naturally want to have a full charge when you get out on your bike in the morning; however, if your battery loses charge in a remote location, you can still pedal your way home, as you would on a regular bike.

Because these bikes are heavier, most riders don’t like the idea of riding without a charged battery.

If you ride an eBike without a battery, you must turn off the motor assistance. You can also engage pedal assist level zero. This feature allows you to change gears and ride your electric bike like a normal bicycle.

Remember, the electronic system will make the bike heavy and slow, but you will get used to it after a few rides.  

Is It Hard to Pedal if the Battery Dies?

The electronic system isn’t the only thing adding weight to an electric bike. The battery and the motor also add a couple of pounds.

On average, a regular bike weighs approximately around 18 pounds, which allows cyclists to ride around using their own strength. Conversely, an electric bike weighs around 50 pounds.

On a flat surface, a cyclist doesn’t really feel the added weight. However, going uphill on an electric bike is challenging. The cyclist has to pedal harder, and the bike moves at a slower pace. The added resistance makes it harder for the rider to pedal. 

How Long Does the Battery Charge Last?

The computer display can help you check how much power the battery has left. If the charge is depleting fast, you can reduce power consumption by engaging the lower assist levels, or by not using them altogether. Here are a few factors determining the life of your electric bike’s battery. 

  • Terrain conditions 
  • Engaged assist modes
  • Weight on the bike
  • Wind levels 
  • The battery’s make and model

That said, most electric bikes can last anywhere between 15 and 100 miles. Again, it depends on your riding conditions and the battery capacity. 

If the battery dies completely, you can use a compact charger to charge it. It will take over six hours to recharge it. Make sure you bring the battery inside after each ride. To keep your battery in the right conditions at all times, it should be stored at a temperature range of 32-100F.

To charge the battery, you just have to plug the charger into a wall outlet. It is up to you whether you want to charge the battery on the bike or remove it while charging. 

How Often Must You Charge an Electric Bike’s Battery?

How often you charge the electric bike’s battery depends on the kind of eBike you own.

With most electric bikes, there are ways to preserve the battery’s lifespan. Some riders believe their battery should be 100% charged before they head out for a ride. However, you should never do this. It might seem counterintuitive, but charging the battery too often can reduce its lifespan. 

Most electric bike batteries contain lithium, and they can degrade with time. If you charge your bike’s battery up to 100% without using the bike, the battery is likely to degrade faster.

If you’re planning to pack away the bike during the winter season, charge it to 80%. You can then charge it fully when you start using it again. 

However, if the bike is parked for extended periods, it should still be charged to keep the cells alive. Remember, you don’t have to fully charge it. Anything between 30% and 60% is good enough.

If you don’t charge it completely, the battery will last longer, and the same basic principle applies to draining the battery. Running the battery down to zero is detrimental to battery health. 

It is perfectly normal for the battery to drop to zero once in a while. However, keeping it at zero isn’t recommended, as it affects the lifespan of your battery. 

On average, an electric bike’s battery should last for two to four years. Make sure you charge the battery properly and take good care of it if you want it to last for a longer period. 

Does Riding in Rain Affect the Battery?

Most electric bikes are waterproof. Therefore, riding in rainy weather won’t harm the battery at all. However, waterproof doesn’t mean you should submerge them in pools of water. If you’re riding on slightly wet roads with small puddles, you should be alright. 

Minor splashes here and there won’t affect your battery. However, if you’re still concerned, you can use fenders to protect the battery against rainwater. 

Fenders also serve as a protective shield against dirt, debris, and other pollutants. While rain isn’t your battery’s enemy, it is better to take precautionary measures. 

Ways to Make Your eBike’s Battery Last Longer

Check the Tyre Pressure 

If you ride on surfaces like concrete pavements, you’re going to have to pedal harder to overcome the friction of the surface. As a result, your bike will have to work harder, which will make it lose charge quickly. 

Therefore, it is important to make sure your tires have sufficient pressure. Luckily, the tires on an eBike have an optimum pressure range written on them. If not, feel free to contact the manufacturer. 

Lubricate the Chain 

As discussed above, friction shortens your range on an eBike. Besides having the correct tire pressure, make sure you check the chain before heading out on your eBike. First, clean the eBike chain with a clean cloth. 

You can also use a hard-bristled brush to remove the dirt and debris. Then, oil the chain to keep it lubricated. Oiling the chain can be tricky so if you’re not willing to get your hands dirty, take your bike to an eBike mechanic or a dealer to have the chain professionally lubricated. 

Remove Heavy Items 

Like chain friction or poorly inflated tires, carrying a lot of weight can also affect your battery’s range. The heavier the weight, the quicker your eBike will lose its charge. When heading out, make sure to leave the unnecessary heavier items at home. This will help you enjoy a longer, smoother ride. 

Use a Backup 

If you don’t have time to charge your eBike’s battery, you can invest in a backup battery. When transporting it around, cover it for insulation and warmth. Some eBikes come with an insulated compartment, the perfect place for a second battery. Otherwise, you can simply cover it up in a jacket and place it right beside a thermos flask. 

Wrapping Up

Like the batteries in our cellphones, the batteries in electric bikes need to be charged after use. If the battery has insufficient power, it will run out soon, leaving you with no other option but to ride the bike like a regular bicycle, only with more force.

The good news is you can ride an eBike the old-fashioned way, as the pedals work just like the pedals on your everyday bicycle. 

It is always a good idea to monitor the battery before and during a trip. Also, make sure not to fully charge the bike’s battery if you don’t intend to ride for a few days, as this will lower the lifespan of your battery. Also, don’t let the charge level drop to zero.

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