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Understanding Electric-Assist Bikes (E-Bikes)

Electric-Assist Bicycles Make More Possible

E-bikes let you go farther and faster, and help you do more by bike. There’s an e-bike for everyone, no matter if you’ve never had a bike before, are coming back from an injury, want to keep up with faster riders, or just want to have fun on every single ride. E-bikes flatten hills, let you carry heavier loads, and help you cut back on car trips. The best part? You still get the benefits of a traditional bike, like exercise, time outside, and not having to sit in with traffic jams or find parking.

Sometimes you’ll ride for fun, sometimes you’ll ride for fitness, and sometimes you’ll ride just to get from A to B. No matter how you spend time in the saddle, e-bikes offer unique solutions to the challenges of any ride. These bikes are all about possibility.

Even if your ride varies from day to day, an electric bicycle always gives you the option to do and experience more.

Electric Bikes Are For Everyone

Ride with friends
Farther. Faster.
Don’t sweat the commute
Climb any hill
Have more fun
A clean solution for a messy world
No learning curve
Get out there

How Do E-Bikes Work?

E-Bike Smart (from People for Bikes / League of American Bicyclists / Bicycle Colorado)

Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are a fun, healthy, and safe way to explore the great outdoors and make short trips more enjoyable. With more people discovering the many joys and benefits of riding an e-bike, we created E-Bike Smart to share the basics of maintaining your e-bike, handling and charging your e-bike battery, and riding safely while out on the road or trail. Whether you’re new to riding or just need a refresher, everyone can learn and benefit from this course.

Safe Riding is Fun Riding

This safety guidance will take you through a series of short videos that explain what an electric bicycle is, how to handle your e-bike battery, where you can ride e-bikes, and best practices for rider safety and etiquette when on your e-bike. After each video, you can take a brief quiz to test your knowledge.

Short Videos & Quizzes

The Federal E-BIKE Act is Back and Needs Support! 

Action Item from League of American Bicyclists:

Let's get more people on bicycles: the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act creates a tax rebate for people buying electric bikes similar to the tax incentive for buying an electric car.
Use this page to encourage your federally elected officials to co-sponsor the bill. If your representative or senator is already co-sponsoring the bill, a thank you note will be sent instead!
A bill introduced Tuesday, March 21, 2023 would offer Americans up to $1,500 off a new e-bike. The basics:
? E-bikes, e-cargo bikes, and e-trikes are eligible
? Bike price capped at $8,000
? Max credit of $1,500 or 30% of purchase price
? Income cap of $150k for singles or $300k for joint filers
? Eligible e-bikes must be certified for safety (a nod toward fire risk from cheap, imported models)

E-Bike Articles

E-bikes: Buying one changed my life. It can change yours!

It's not an 'electric bike craze.' You're just looking at the future

The Planet Can Do Better Than the Electric Car: Environmental Groups are finally acting like it

Exploring America's E-bike Evolution (from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy)

People for Bikes E-Bike Incentive Toolkit

Myth busting articles:

“We should invest in bike lanes, not subsidies." Indeed, safety is the biggest hurdle to getting more people to bike. But bike lanes are cheap! The biggest constraint isn’t money, but politics. More e-bike owners --> More people demanding bike lanes

Denver's E-Bike Rebate Program Has a Hidden Power

“E-bikes are already popular. Why subsidize them?” -- Because not everyone can afford $1-2k to buy one -- Because they create positive societal externalities (lower emissions, better health, etc), so we should encourage their use

E-Bikes are Outpacing Electric car Sales in the US

“Why not subsidize pedal bikes?” Pedal bikes are great. But in the US, adult pedal bikes are frequently used for recreation, rather than transportation. That limits their ability to replace car trips. E-bikes are more likely to do that.

E-Bikes More Affordable then Cars

“Won’t $1,500 off a new e-bike just make prices rise $1,500?” This is a fair concern, especially since many car companies jacked up EV prices after Biden signed the IRA. But the e-bike market is *much* more fragmented – which helps keep prices down.

Tesla Model Y Price Increase EV Tax Credit

“I can’t use an e-bike where I live. Why should I care about them?” Because e-bikes pollute far less than even an electric car. Converting car trips (including others’ car trips) onto e-bikes helps slow climate change, which benefits all of us.

Why E-Bikes Could Change everything

Electric-assist bikes amplify your own pedal power. The electric-assist bicycles Bicycle Garage Indy sells are pedal-assist bikes, which means there’s a motor that helps the pedals turn when you’re riding, but no throttle like a motorcycle or dirt bike. When you’re pedaling, the e-bike gives you a boost. When you stop pedaling, the bike stops assisting.

Here’s what you need to know about how e-bikes work and the parts that make them unique.

High Performance Motor

The e-bike motor is located around the pedals in the bottom bracket area. Depending on the model, the motor has a power output between 250 and 350 watts and provides assist up to 20 or 28mph.

Long Life Battery

Electric-assist bikes run off lithium-ion batteries. They’re waterproof, durable, and can be recharged on or off the bike at any household electrical outlet. How far it will get you depends on the level of assist, type of terrain you’re riding, and your weight. 

Tips for how to increase your battery range

Calculate Your Range (Bosch motors)

Recycle Your E-bike Battery

Easy-to-Control Assist

A handlebar-mounted controller lets you choose your level of assist, plus it tells you how fast you’re going and how much battery you have left. You’re in control of the whole experience without ever having to take your hands off the handlebar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How’s the Ride?

E-bikes simply amplify your pedaling effort. They pedal like a regular bike, but the wind is always at your back and hills melt away.

What’s the Range?

General range is 20-100 miles, based on power mode, terrain, and other riding conditions. 

Calculate Your Range (Bosch motors)

Need to Charge?

Simply plug into a standard wall outlet and allow 3-5 hours to charge a depleted battery.

Need Service?

Maintenance is generally the same as any other bicycle. The battery is temperature sensitive, so store it indoors when temps reach extremes.

What are Electric Bike Classes?

Electric bikes are divided into three main types or classes based on what sort of motor they have, whether or not they have a throttle, and how fast they go. It’s important to know which classes of e-bikes are legal in the areas where you’ll ride.  Bicycle Garage Indy sells Class 1 and Class 3 electric bikes.

Class 1 E-bikes

Class 1 electric bikes (low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle)
 A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 2 E-bikes

Class 2 electric bikes (low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle)
 A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 3 E-bikes

Class 3 electric bikes (speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle)
 A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.

Electric-Assist Bicycles: Policies, Laws and Resources

Indiana Law and Policies

NEW - Effective February 2021, Indiana DNR will allow Class 1 electric-assist mountain bikes on mountain bike trails on DNR properties. This is a one-year rule, subject to evaluation in 2022. Look for updated information on Indiana DNR Mountain Bike Page

People for Bikes Electric-Assist Bikes Resource Page

E-bike Policy database

Thinking About Buying an Electric Bicycle? (People for Bikes)

Electric Bikes Buyer's Guide FAQ (Trek Bicycles)

E-Bike Riding Guides (Giant Bicycles)

Electric Bicycle Guide (Giant Bicycles)

E-bike check list (video)

E-bike check list (PDF)

Top tips for e-bike owners

Recycle your e-bike battery (you can drop them off at Bicycle Garage Indy locations)

We’re Your E-Bike Experts

We live and breathe bicycles, e-bikes included. We know what works, and that’s why we’ve partnered with Trek and Giant to confidently back every e-bike with the best warranty program in the industry. Got a problem? Our trained mechanics are here to fix it.

Explore Electric Assist Bicycles at Bicycle Garage Indy

Try an Electric Bike Today!