What is an electric bike?
Maybe you’ve heard the term electric bike or e-bike and have wondered what all of excitement is about. Well, to sum it up in one word: FUN!!
At a basic level, an electric bike is a bicycle equipped with a battery-powered electric motor that makes it easier to pedal, or in some cases not pedal at all.
Riding an electric bike is very similar to riding a traditional bicycle. It sounds obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Electric bikes have pedals, gears and brakes similar to a standard bike. And just like regular bicycles, they come in a variety of shapes and styles to accommodate different rider’s needs for comfort, terrain, speed or utility.
Adding an electric motor provides a boost, making it easier to pedal so you can travel faster and farther across any terrain. It makes it easier to climb steep hills, run errands, keep up with others or commute without getting all sweaty.
There are two types of electric assistance: pedal assist and throttle. All electric bikes offer pedal assist, but only a few (such as the Charge City and Comfort) also offer a throttle. With either option, you’re in complete control of the level of assist as well as your speed. You can put in as much or as little effort as you want.
Electric bikes with pedal assist only provide assistance when you pedal. As you start to pedal, the motor provides a boost, making it easier to pedal with less effort. Charge electric bikes come with different levels of assist so you can choose how much help you want. A low-level of assist requires you to pedal harder, while a high-level of assist makes it really easy to pedal, even up hills!
When you stop pedaling, the motor stops providing assistance. And similar to a traditional bicycle, you can coast and use your brakes to stop. You can even pedal with the power turned off or by setting the assistance to zero. Each Charge bike comes with an easy-to-use controller mounted to the handlebar that enables you to adjust the levels at the press of a button.
Throttle assist is a way to power the bike without pedaling at all. This allows you to get a boost when you need it most. The thumb throttle works by pressing the lever to deliver as much assist or as little as you want. For safety, the throttle will only engage when you start pedaling. But as with pedal assist, you control how fast or slow you want to go.
Both the Charge City and Comfort models feature convenient throttles that allow you to power yourself along without pedaling once you have started moving from a stop.
Electric bikes can come in a variety of options for how much power they offer, how fast they can go and how the electric-assistance can be used. In the United States, electric bikes are typically broken out into three classes based on the type of assist and the max assist speed.
Class I: These electric bikes offer assistance only when the rider is pedaling with a max assisted speed of 20 MPH. These bikes can be enjoyed on the same roads, paths and bike lanes as standard bicycles. The Charge XC is based on the Class I regulations.
Class II: These electric bikes offer pedal assistance but also offer the option to use a throttle without pedaling at all. The max assisted speed from pedal or throttle is 20 MPH. These bikes can also be used on roads, bike lanes and multi-use paths.
Charge City and Comfort models are Class II electric bikes.
Class III: These bikes are also referred to as “speed pedalecs” due to being able to offer power-assistance to riders up to 28 miles per hour while pedaling. Because of the capability to reach higher speeds, most regions limit operation of Class III bikes to roads or dedicated bike lanes that are separate from multi-use paths.
Whether you’re looking to ditch the car and go by electric bike, or simply get outside and be more active, Charge has an electric bike for you. Learn more about the bikes and the technology at the links below.