FAQs - Electric Bikes Brisbane


Are electric bicycles a good form of exercise?

Yes. A common misperception is that the motor does all the work for you. This is not true of the modern electric bikes that require you to pedal to activate the motor. Modern e-bikes provide extra assistance but you still need to pedal, even if very lightly, and this is a great form of exercise. Don’t believe us? Read about how Wayne lost 14kg by riding an electric bicycle.

How does an electric bike work?

In simple terms, turn on your ebike, select which level of power you want to ride in and pedal. It is your pedaling that activates the motor.

What are electric bikes used for?

E-bikes are like the Swiss Army knife of the bicycle world. They are used for pretty much anything and everything. For carrying heavy cargo such as kids; for getting to work faster; for getting to work without having to battle the traffic or public transport; for exercise and rehabilitation; as well as for pure fun! To find out more about how e-bikes work, the different types of e-bikes, and much more, checkout our blog E-Bikes 101.

How far will my electric bike take me on a single charge?

How far you can go on a single charge depends on a number of factors such as rider weight, the number and gradient of hills on your journey, the capacity of your battery and the how much you rely on the motor to assist you.

Our range of bikes are chosen for their quality, efficiency and capacity. Even with Brisbane’s hilly terrain most riders will be able to travel at least 50 kilometers on a single charge and there are now models that have dual batteries that can carry you up to 250km without the need to recharge.

Do I need a license to ride an electric bike?

No. One of the great benefits of an electric bike is you can take it and park it anywhere a traditional bike can go. You also do not need to pay registration for an electric bike as most electric bikes are legally classified as a bicycle (providing it meets certain conditions – read more in our article Are Electric Bikes Legal?).

How much help up the hills will an electric bike give me?

The key here is to remember that these are electric bicycles (i.e. they are designed to be pedalled), and are not mopeds or motorbikes. If you are after a bike that will push you up to the top of Mount Coot-tha with absolutely no pedalling, then an electric bike might not be for you. However if you want to feel like you are being pushed uphill while you are pedalling then an electric bike is a great choice.

A pretty fit recreational road cyclist would be happy if they achieved and average power of 250 watts on a ride.

Electric bikes (pedelec) provide up to 250W EXTRA power on top of your own pedal power. So basically you are getting access to the same power as a pretty fit cyclist, plus any effort you choose to put in. This makes a huge difference to your ability to tackle hills.

How much does it cost to recharge an electric bike?

It depends on what electricity tariff you are on but if we assume between 10c - 25c per kilowatt hour then it will cost as little as 5 to 10 cents to recharge. If you’re lucky enough to have solar installed then it’s free!

Based on a 30 kilometer round trip commute this means your annual fuel cost to get to work could be less than $20 a year. Way cheaper than public transport and way, way cheaper than driving.

How long does it take to recharge an electric bike?

Our ebikes only feature high quality batteries from reputable manufacturers such as Bosch. A full recharge usually takes about 3-6 hours for most battery sizes. Some of our bikes have a fast charge or top up feature which means they can be back up to 80% capacity in 1.5 hours eg. Bosch with a 4A charger.

How long do the batteries last?

When it comes to battery life there are two key measures of quality:

  1. The depth of discharge (DOD). This is how much charge a battery will retain over its useful life.
  2. The number of times it can be charged.

All of our batteries are guaranteed for a minimum of 2 years to a DOD of at least 80%. Impulse batteries are guaranteed for 3 years.

They all have a cycle life of more than 700 charges. Our high-end batteries are guaranteed to perform at 100% DOD for the first 700 charges and 80% for up to 1800 charges!

Remember your choice of battery is a critical component as it is both the fuel tank and source of power for your electric bike. At Electric Bikes Brisbane we only stock ebikes with reputable electric drive systems which means batteries will have a state of the art battery management systems (BMS) that protect your battery from overheating, over-discharge, and short circuits.

Battery systems from cheaper manufacturers don’t always have these important features. Without which you can limit the long-term enjoyment of your electric bike and end up costing you more money in the long run.

How much money will an electric bike save me vs running a car or taking public transport?

We compared our running costs for a mid ranged electric to those in the 2012 RACQ guidelines for a Toyata Prius C (electric hybrid) and a Subaru Forester as a compact SUV.

Our calculations show that an electric bike delivers a weekly saving of $100 per week against the Prius, and $150 per week against the Subaru Forester X2.5L. Remember these numbers exclude any parking costs and fines you might have to pay when you take the car.

We estimate savings of around $50 per week against public transport (a 20 KM round trip) depending on how far you have to travel.

Why are some ebikes more expensive than others?

E-bikes are an investment. They cost more than many traditional bicycles due to having a motor, expensive lithium ion batteries and heavier duty parts to cope with the extra wear and tear from going faster, carrying heavier loads and being heavier.

There is also a huge range in prices for an ebike which, to many people, can be baffling. Here are the key things that influence different prices between ebikes.

  • Battery size. The bigger the battery the more expensive it will be (note that range diminishes over time with lithium ion, though, so consider how far you need your ebike to travel each charge in eg. two years time). More sophisticated batteries are generally much smaller and lighter for the same or more capacity.
  • Battery management system – cheaper bikes save money on safety mechanisms. The same goes for the battery charger.
  • Battery charger – again, cheaper bikes save money on the safety mechanisms. The better brands also often offer different amp chargers – low amp chargers are cheaper eg. 2A vs 4A
  • Motor technology – a cheaper motor will have just a speed sensor whereas the more sophisticated motors will have additional sensors such as torque sensors and cadence sensors, and are generally much smaller and lighter.
  • Electric drive system integration – a more sophisticated system will ensure the electrical wiring is either integrated into the frame and handlebars or designed in such a way that it is safe, clean and easy to service.
  • Integration of the motor and battery – cheaper systems will have the appearance of being bolted on. Higher quality systems will appear as though they were designed as part of the bike. With mid-drive motors check whether it is integrated into the bottom bracket or not. If not expect play to develop in your cranks over time and for it to feel unstable, particularly when under high torque.
  • Frame quality – the quality of the frame of a bike makes a huge difference to your comfort and is also far more durable and safer. Cheaper bikes use off-the-shelf frame tubing and frame designs for mass production whereas more expensive bikes will have frames that are custom designed and engineered for their purpose, and production will be more labour intensive to ensure build quality. Have a look at the number and quality of welds and also the thickness and material that the frame is made from. If the production process produces a frame that is a couple of millimeters out somewhere it makes a huge difference to how well something else can be bolted to / screwed to / fit into etc. It may feel ok when you first start riding but it will become problematic as the bike gets used more and more.
  • Wheels and hubs – a very common area for cost saving which is surprising for the importance in function and comfort.
  • Budget braking and gearing systems – often functional initially however become more difficult to service and return to the functionality / state they were when you first bought them.

Our rule of thumb is that if you have two bikes and it is hard to tell the difference ask yourself where the cheaper one has saved money.

Value is usually what is most important though – the initial price and what it will give you and cost you over the time you plan to own it. Value is a very personal thing and only you can determine whether a more expensive bike offers better value or not.

How do electric bikes reduce my door-to-door commute times?

Electric bikes reduce your commute times in 3 ways:

  1. Higher average speeds

    With traffic congestion getting worse each year average speeds for journeys taken by car can easily drop to 20 KPH or less in Brisbane’s peak hour. Our bikes and conversion kits will deliver power assistance up to 25 KPH and with light pedalling you can achieve higher speeds if you want to. If you are using Brisbane’s bike paths, over passes and underpasses you won’t spend as much time waiting at traffic lights either.

    If you are using an electric bike instead of taking the bus or train, then you leave on your timetable and only stop when you get to your destination.

  2. Less time spent changing and showering

    If you take full advantage of the assistance the electric motor provides you probably won’t need to exert yourself anymore than you would walking at a moderate pace. Our commuter bikes use the gates carbon belt drive instead of a chain (no grease or oil on your clothes) or come equipped with a full chain guard so you can ride in your work clothes if you want to.

  3. More choices over the route you take to work

    Electric bikes can take full advantage of the bike paths, shared footpaths and roads. There are so many more options if you want to avoid traffic and congestion. Not something that can be said for a car, scooter or motorbike, especially when it comes to parking.

Are electric bikes safe?

Yes. In fact a recent study carried out in Germany (20% of all bikes sold in Europe are now electric) showed that electric bikes are actually safer than a traditional bicycle. The study showed that riders of electric bikes could keep up with the traffic flow more easily and were less likely to take the risks that traditional cyclists take in order to maintain their speed. Riders of an electric bike know that they can accelerate back up to their cruising speeds with minimal effort, and this encourages safer and more defensive riding.

What is a step-through electric bike?

Step-through electric bikes are for those who want to enjoy their ride in style, comfort and ease. They feature a low-entry frame that makes it easier to mount and dismount. Great for commutes involving a lot of starting and stopping. A step-through electric bike can inspire confidence in a beginner or someone who's rediscovering riding. It can provide a more comfortable experience for those who find the step-over (aka crossbar or diamond frame) harder to manage. And it's also a great choice for the rider who enjoys being fashionable and feminine in a dress or a skirt. We have a wide range of step-throughs in our city bike collection.