Many of us have fond experiences riding bikes.
From those first tentative pedals as a child Mum or Dad beside you, just in case, through the teenage years, where suddenly your freedom had been opened up by having a bike, to adulthood, where suddenly it became the leisure item you never thought it would, exploring forests and lakesides on the weekends.
They are wonderful devices that keep us fit while providing a fast way to explore places off the beaten path.
However, in recent years a new kind of bike has come along, different from the classic push pedal bicycles that we are so used to seeing. This is the electric bike, and they have taken the world by storm.
These economical and environmentally friendly bikes make travelling around a city or a jaunt into the countryside a breeze, however, due to them being powered by a battery a question has appeared on the lips of those uninitiated in the ways of the electric bike: how do you charge them?
I mean, they are powered by electricity to some extent, so where does that electricity come from? Is it like a car battery? In this article, we will look at the electric bike closely and provide you with the answer to how you charge your pedal bike?
What Is An Electric Bike?
Simply, an electric bike is a motorized bicycle that has an electric motor integrated into the frame of the bike, the crank, and pedals in order to assist the cyclist with the propulsion of the bike. So when you pedal the bike, the electric motor goes and gives you help.
Due to the fact that the cyclist still has the ability to pedal the bike in order to move it, these types of bikes are not classed as electric motorcycles and are defined under their own laws.
In the world of electric bikes, there are generally two accepted kinds of electric bicycles. The first is a kind where the motor assists the rider’s pedal power rather than power the bike itself, these are bikes like pedelecs or EPACs.
The second are bikes that add a throttle to the frame, making the bicycle more akin to a moped.
Every electric bike has a rechargeable battery, and they commonly only travel from 16 to 20 mph, but their motorized features give you a nice little trump card in your back pocket when you are lagging on a particularly gruelling trail.
Now that we know about electric bikes, it’s time to instruct you how to charge one effectively using two different methods.
Step-By-Step – Battery Removed
First, find the power button on the bicycle and turn it off, this will make your battery safe to remove otherwise you could open yourself up to a nasty shock. If your bike battery uses a lock, unlock the battery using a key.
If instead, your bike uses clips, buckles, or a type of tab to secure the battery to your bike, undo these before continuing.
Then, remove the battery from your bike, normally this will require you to slide it off. Do not try to force the battery off your bike, be gentle.
Next, get the power cord and charger for your battery and find a wall outlet. Insert the cord into the wall outlet and check that the charger is connected, if a green light is glowing on the charger adapter then you should be fine.
Then, plug the charger into the charging port on the battery. If you are unsure whether it is connected properly, check the charging adapter connected to the power cord.
There should be a light glowing, which tells you it is connected, if it is not glowing check that everything is connected properly.
Leave the charger connected to the battery for at least 3 and up to 6 hours. This should give it plenty of time to charge, and you should know when it’s done when the light on the charger changes color.
Step-By-Step – Charging Directly When Still On The Bike
First, make sure your bike is in a completely stable position. It needs to be standing in a way that means it will not fall over, against a wall or on a kickstand would be the perfect way to do this. Once you have secured your bike, find the charging port for the battery.
Then, the same procedure as before, find a wall outlet, however this time it needs to be close to your bike. Plug in the power cord to the wall outlet and connect the power cord to the charger, looking for the green light on the charger to make sure it is on.
After that, plug your charger into the charging port on your battery, making sure the charger will not slide out of the battery.
This is especially important now as the bike has some metal parts, and you do not want them touching the prongs of a live charger. Wait for the bike to charge, as before this should take between 3 and 6 hours, but you can always check periodically as a light will appear on the charger to let you know it is done.
How To Look After Your Electric Bike Battery?
Although a bike is for outdoor use and your battery is designed to deal with wet and windy conditions, there is no point exposing your battery to anything more than it already has to deal with, especially since when it is normally in these conditions, it is sealed away in your bike.
As such, you should charge your battery indoors, away from where the cold and wet weather can get to it. You should also keep your battery as charged as possible, never letting the battery fall below 25%.
If you let your battery run out of power, then it may not perform as well when you charge it back up again and could affect your warranty. A good way to ensure that this is never an issue is to charge the battery within 24 hours of your last ride.
How To Store Your Bike Battery When It Is Not In Use?
If you plan not to use your electric bike for a few weeks or months – maybe, like me, you live in a place that is constantly wet or snowy through winter – then you need to be able to store it without worrying about the battery dying.
The first thing to do is make sure the battery has at the very least 50% of its charge left before storing. If your battery runs flat at all then that can lessen its lifespan and its overall charge.
If you charge it before putting it into storage, this becomes less of an issue as it is unlikely to run out of juice.
Then, make sure it is removed from the bike if you haven’t already done so and give the battery itself a quick wipe down, making sure any dirt or grime isn’t going to stick to it or potentially work its way inside the battery itself.
Finally, store in a dry, secure place, a cupboard or shelf inside a garage or a shed is normally a good place for this. After that, your battery should be good to go when you get the cycling itch again, though remember to give it a quick charge before taking your bike out.
It is no wonder that electric bikes are becoming more common, they make cycling a nice, easy activity that also has a safety net through the motor if you get yourself stuck and worn out.
They have a massive following in places like China and Germany, due to their cheap upkeep and usefulness in travelling in and around cities. If you’re intrigued, give an electric bike a try, I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.