Whether you're taking them out for some fresh air and exercise, or using them to make daily errands a little easier, electric bikes are a fun way for people of all ages (18+. Sorry kids!) and abilities to get around.
Haven't had a chance to try one out for yourself? Here are answers to some of your big, burning questions about ebikes.
OK, so what is an electric bike?
Really, ebikes are just bikes. What makes them unique is a small electric motor, one that can give you either a gentle boost or enough power to conquer almost any hill.
Who can ride an ebike?
Men and women. College kids and senior citizens. Hardcore cyclists, people who have been sidelined by injuries, and first-time riders. We build bikes that are designed for everyone.
Check out our guide to picking the right ebike for your lifestyle.
Can I pedal it like a normal bike?
Yep! One of the best things about ebikes is that you can put in as much or as little effort as you like. You're free to pedal like crazy, doing all the work, or if you're in a hurry, let the pedal assist solve your need for speed.
What is pedal assist?
With the click of a button (followed by the stroke of a pedal), you can control how much power the motor generates. This doesn't move the bike by itself, but it does put some oomph behind your pedaling.
On most models, there are five levels to choose from. When you go with pedal assist level 1, it will feel like someone is giving your bike a soft push while you ride. When you're at pedal assist 5, it feels like your legs have been replaced by a pair of mighty stallions.
Most of our riders hover around the pedal assist 2 range, but you always have the choice to go with whatever suits you best.
Can they be powered without pedaling? What does the throttle do?
Yes! Pedal assist is just one way you can call up power from the motor. The other is the twist throttle (U.S. and Canada spec bikes).
When you go for the throttle, the back wheel will spin automatically, making it feel like a professional cyclist has stepped in to pedal for you. It's great for those times when you have to get up to speed quickly or just need to take a break from pedaling and don't want to stop your ride.
How fast do they go?
All of our bikes have a top speed of 20 mph (25 km/h in the EU).
To put that into perspective, the average bull in Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls hits about 15 mph. We're not saying that you should use our bikes to outrun raging bovines through the streets of Spain, but the important thing is you could.
How long does the battery last?
The battery is where the “power” in Rad Power Bikes comes from. It's a lightweight, energy-dense alternative to the lead-acid batteries you’d find in most cars.
You can remove it from the bike and charge it using any standard power outlet. They're designed for roughly 800 charge cycles and can last up to 6-7 years.
With proper care, you can expect a range of 25-45 miles per full charge.
How much do they cost?
Our bikes range from $1,299 - $1,499 USD. With financing options as low as 0%, they're four-season capable, budget-friendly car alternatives.
How much care do they need?
They require servicing similar to regular bikes, but a lot less maintenance (and much less money) than an average car.
If you enjoy a hands-on approach, our in-house team of experts is always sharing bike maintenance tips to keep your bike in top shape. If you'd rather go to a professional, our bikes can be serviced by most reputable bike shops.
Customers in select regions can also sign-up for Rad Mobile Service, which will bring one of our Rad Ambassadors straight to your door for all of your maintenance needs.
Is using an ebike cheating?
Sometimes, riding an ebike is so easy that it may feel like you're cheating.
New research shows that taking a spin on an ebike provides virtually the same workout as riding a regular old bike.
How can that be? If you’re not sweating through your clothes or huffing and puffing your way down the trail, you can’t really be exercising, can you?
According to multiple studies, yes, you totally can!
Researchers at Brigham Young University recently had 33 amateur cyclists go through a six-mile loop on both ebikes with pedal assist and conventional bikes.
Riders assigned to ebikes had an average heart rate of 145 beats per minute, just 10 beats less than conventional cyclists, and falling well within what public health professionals describe as “the vigorous-intensity zone.”
“Those who used ebikes still had elevated heart rates and enjoyed their experience,” BYU Professor Benjamin Crookston said. “I think this is a game-changer for those who have found biking too difficult. It makes this important form of exercise accessible to a broader community.”
Where can I find the best one for me?
We know that every would-be rider has their own vision of a perfect bike, whether it's one they use to explore the rugged outdoors or one that will help them zip along city streets.
To make sure you're getting the most out of your bike, here's a quick guide to help match the right model with your lifestyle.
Ready to start riding Rad? Compare models in our online shop. Looking for more reasons to start riding Rad? Here's why we think everyone should give an ebike a shot. Did you just get one of our bikes? Check out our quick start guide.