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Cargo Trailers for eBikes – The Complete Guide

Got an e-bike already but want to carry more with it? Bike trailers are a superb resource and a natural fit with the extra power offered by e-bikes. If you have ever tried cycling with a regular (ie non-electric) bike and a very heavy trailer load up a steep hill you will know this is a task for only the very fit, especially if it is something you want to do on a regular basis.

Some e-bikers might have safety concerns about towing a trailer or think it adds an extra layer of difficulty or unnecessary complication to using your e-bike but that really shouldn’t be the case if you bear in mind a few basic tips. The main complication lies in making sure your particular e-bike will take the hitching system of the particular trailer you want. Once you’re over this stage you should find a good trailer transforms just what you can carry on your e-bike.

eCargo Bikes VS Trailers

eCargo bikes are undeniably great but may not be for everyone; you may simply not have the space or the means to manoeuvre and store what can be quite lengthy and heavy vehicles. And it remains pretty hard to find a budget e-cargo bike so a budget e-bike and budget trailer remains one of the most economical and greenest cargo carrying solutions out there.

Qualities Of Well-Desgined Bike Trailers

Construction Quality

The HBS Mini is typical of the build quality of the cheapest trailers, with axle and towbar bolted to a plastic box.

The strength and weight of the materials used in construction are the biggest clues. The very cheapest designs such as the HBS pictured above use a plastic box as part of the construction. Whilst this keeps things light, simple and cheap, it may bring some compromises as in this design, where you are relying on the main plastic box itself to act as the mounting point for wheels and towbar.

Superbly made and virtually indestructible – the Surly Ted

By contrast, the welded all steel construction of the Surly Ted trailer is mighty strong.

Surly’s Ted trailer is rated at 136kg – many times more than what an average trailer will take and an indication of the incredible build quality

The load rating of a trailer may also give some indication of its quality; most trailer ratings don’t exceed around 90lbs / 40kg although note this is just a rough indication. The incredibly solidly built Surly Ted trailer actually has a rating of 300lbs / 136kg (!) but this really way in advance of what a serial production e-bike could manage, but it does give an indication of the massive strength of the trailer and the great quality construction.

Does it Have Alternative Hitch Fittings that Will Cope with Different Frame and Axle Designs?

Whether a trailer will fit your particular e-bike depends on both the trailer and e-bike. Better trailer manufacturers will have a range of hitch solutions to suit different bike frame and axle designs and these should be clearly explained and set out on their website.

Quick Release Skewers

Still probably the commonest axle fittings on e-bikes. Some trailer manufacturers provide a fitting that can be secured between the QR’s lever cam as is the case with Burley’s Steel Hitch and this example from Wike:

Others provide a replacement quick release skewer of their own design with a hitch attachment point built into it as in the example above from ExtraWheel which allows for attachment on the small cylindrical sections at both ends. In instances where the trailer comes with a complete replacement QR skewer it’s important to make sure it is the same length as your existing one that it will replace. Most QR rear skewers are made to fit a standard rear dropout of 130mm (road) or 135mm (MTB) width.

To double check remove your rear wheel and measure the distance between the internal faces of the frame as shown above, this example being 125mm. Typical quick-release axles are 11 or 12 mm longer than the spacing of the hub locknuts which should give around 5-6 mm of axle protrusion on each side.

Classic ‘Solid’ Axles

The Burley steel hitch fitted to a solid axle

If you have an e-bike with a rear hub motor or hub gears it will probably feature a solid threaded axle with nuts holding the wheel in place. Some hitch attachments like the Burley Steel Hitch will simply slide behind the nut before you attach it, as long as you have enough threaded axle protruding to firmly resecure the nut. If you are getting replacement nuts with the trailer it’s best to confirm the diameter x thread pitch measurement of your bike axle – most modern solid rear axles are 10mm x 1mm but if you have an older bike it might be worth double checking by seeing if a 10 x 1 nut will fit as they are inexpensive to buy at a local bike store.

Surly’s Ted and Bill trailers require these custom nuts if attaching to a solid axle

Other trailer designs will send you an entirely new nut or set of nuts with their own unique design with which to attach the trailer such as the Surly ones picture above.

Thru Axles

 

Thru axles have gained in popularity as they are marketed as being stronger and more rigid than the existing quick release skewer system. Usually 12mm in diameter, they come in a variety of lengths so you need to measure your rear thru axle and check with the trailer manufacturer if they have a replacement axle or and add on fitting that ill let you use the trailer in question.

The Robert Axle Project have a great range of ready made thru-axles that make bikes and e-bikes with thru-axles trailer capable. This particular example is a hitch for a Thule Chariot child trailer. 

The Robert Axle Project, who manufacture their products in Bend, Oregon,  have this handy table that allows you to attach a wide range of trailer designs to your e-bike. Even if you can’t find exactly your trailer and e-bike combo on the table do enquire of them as they may well have something that fits. Do also check the trailer manufacturers’ website as they may stock Robert Axle Project products as after-market fittings so you will be sure to get the right one.

A word of warning though – do be aware that you are screwing thru-axles directly into your bike frame so make sure to get exactly the right thread and not to overtighten the axle. It could be an expensive mistake.

Hooded Dropouts & The Burley Classic Hitch

Some bike and e-bike frames further complicate adding a trailer hitch by having a ‘hooded’ rear drop out which makes it trickier to fit the hitch snug up to the frame. Burley have clearly anticipated this with their as shown in the video below. The video also features the Burley Classic hitch that is unusual in fitting around the frame itself rather than than onto the axle – it can useful to swap a trailer between different bikes quickly through it is not compatible with disc brakes.

Does it Have Attachment Points for Lights and a Flag?

Some trailers have designated light mounting points and may also come with a safety flag, indicating they have been made with safety in mind.

Tips for Towing

Load Safely and Ride Carefully

Try and place your cargo centrally over the load-bearing wheels; on a two-wheeler of standard design that usually means between the trailer axles. Experiment with how far forwards or backwards you put the load on the trailer bed. Too far back and you may lose traction on the rear bike wheel as the load trys to lift it off the ground and too far forward and you will again find the handling of the bike badly affected. A little practice means you usually find the sweet spot on your trailer.

Also if loading several items place larger heavier items towards the bottom of the trailer and more centrally.

The heavier the load the more you should moderate your speed. Excessive speed is not advised (especially downhill) with heavy loads.

Make Sure of a Strong Hitch

The hitch is a point of high stress, especially if hauling heavy loads, as it has to articulate for turns but also be strong enough to take the constant push-pull forces between the bike and trailer as it is towed along.

The seat post hitch is convenient and fitted and many budget models but it’s not suitable for very heavy loads as it may start to destabilize the bike and affect steering. Having said that the Burley Travoy, as featured below, mounts to a rear rack and is a classic and very practical design.

Single-sided hitches vary in strength and design but look for a solidly engineered one with large fittings. A good design allows movement in all planes with little or no flexing.

The trailer bar has to move independently of trailer or bike and a flexible element near the hitch is one way to achieve this. Note this example also has a fail safety strap which is another indication of a manufacturer’s attention to detail. 

Some designs may use a spring or flexible tube or similar to reduce stress on the surrounding parts and act as a kind of shock absorber when under the most load – the movement should be pretty minimal though.  This is only really for lighter loads, say up to 25kg. The heavier the load with this kind of design the more unstable the ride may feel as the movement within the flexible parts will be greater. You may be unlucky enough to develop a ‘snake’ from side to side at higher speeds which you definitely want to avoid. Still, many of these designs are fine for lighter loads ridden with reasonable care.

Surly’s system has a yoke attaching to both sides of the axle and a hitch mechanism that articulates in two planes to allow for the trailer rolling and pitching along behind you. It’s super strong and works very well.

Without doubt one of the strongest hitch designs, if not the strongest, is the one that attaches to both sides of the axle. The Surly system as above, used on their super hefty Bill and Ted models is a wonderful example of this type of design.

Get the Right eBike

The powerful crank drive motors found on many current e-bikes are a great choice for load carrying but larger hub motors geared for high torque can also do a good job. For very heavy load hauling go for the crank motors with the highest torque ratings; I’ve used Bosch’s Performance Line CX to tow heavy loads a number of times and been impressed but Brose, Shimano and Yamaha also have powerful options.

Nicely graduated powerful brakes are a must (hydraulic disc brakes are pretty much the new standard on e-bikes nowadays and help massively to make them effective load carriers).

For heavy loads, a well-built e-bike is a must and bikes with wider rims and tires will also help keep things stable and handleable. Strong rims and wide tyres are found on numerous hybrid and mountain bike style e-bikes and also tend to have strong spokes. Naturally, lightweight, racing-style e-bikes are less likely to be good pullers of very heavy loads. If you ride an e-bike that feels stable and solid and handles easily without a load it is likely to do so with a load!

Guard Against Punctures

Whilst low tyre pressure or even a flat may not be noticeable on a lightly loaded trailer, with heavier loads you need to minimize the risk of punctures, preferably with strong tyres with some kind of puncture proofing like kevlar and / or slime.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan B – is the trailer easy to chock up and remove a wheel? Do you carry tools and inner tube for the job? Getting stuck with a very heavy trailer and a flat wouldn’t be much fun, but with a bit of preparation, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Carrying Children

This Croozer model features bright colours and a visibility flag with plenty of space between side wheels and fabric – all good safety features.

All the above tips apply to carrying children in a child trailer. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to directly see the trailer much of the time so a bike mirror could well be a good addition to your handlebars.

Other tips to further allay safety concerns pick a very brightly colored model with plenty of reflective striping – these tend to be usual features of child trailers anyway and also go for one with a large flag. You can also of course be careful with your route choices and avoid heavily trafficked ones.

There’s now a large range of child trailers that will also double as strollers too. We only cover specific cargo trailers in the trailers section below as there will be a full forthcoming post on child carrying solutions.

The Trailers

Here we take a look at the major manufacturers of different designs of cargo trailers in each of the classes below. Note this section is based on the recognized manufacturers of good quality trailers in their field; there may be a number of ‘copycat’ designs out there that cost less but the models featured here all have a reputation for good quality and good customer backup.

Single Wheelers

Good for lighter loads where maneuverability is important. Single-wheelers follow directly in-line with your bike and are usually narrower than the bike, so they are useful for an off-road single track or very narrow bike paths with narrow access points and pinch points.  They do put more of the trailer load on your bike’s rear-wheel so for heavier loads they are not as suitable as two-wheelers.

B.O.B Gear

Veterans of trailer production, South Carolina’s B.O.B produces two single wheelers that accommodate an optional bespoke, single large waterproof bag.

The Yak

Construction: 4130 CroMoly Steel
Trailer Size: 63.5 l x 16.5 w x 56 h inches
Weight: 19lbs / 8.6kg
Weight Rating:  32kg / 70lb
Price: From US$339

The Ibex.

Construction: 4130 CroMoly Steel with suspension unit
Trailer Size: 63.5 l x 16.75 w x 62 h inches
Weight:
Weight Rating: 32kg / 70lb
Price: From US$409

Burley COHO XC

Burley’s COHO XC is feature-packed and includes a kickstand

Burley’s take on an adventure/utility themed single wheeler is packed full of features including a kickstand, flexible hitch system for hubs 126-197mm wide, single-handed release mech and a host of mounting points for other accessories.

Construction: Aluminum alloy frame with coil-sprung suspension.
Trailer Size: 66.5 l x 17 w x 21 h inches (1690 x 430 x 540 mm)
Weight / capacity: 19lbs / 9.74kg   70 litres
Weight Rating:  70lb / 32kg
Price: From US$449.99

Extrawheel

Extra wheel is largely just that – an extra wheel plus two large panniers

A unique, lightweight Polish design that gets get almost universally good write ups from world touring types who value the large capacity and the relatively light weight. The spec below is for one of the larger capacity models, the BRAVE Drifter

Construction: Steel with 26, 28 or 29 inch wheel to match your rear wheel size
Trailer Size:  50 inches long including yoke (1280 mm)
Weight/ capacity: 5.7kg / 100 litres
Weight Rating: 35kg
Price: €570.00

Free Parable T2

A very neat, lightweight trailer that I’ve used for e-mtb touring and highly recommended though pricey.

Construction: 6061 aluminum with high-quality welding
Trailer Size: 63.5 l x 16.75 w inches (1613 x 426 mm)
Weight: 5.2kg
Weight Rating: 30kg / 66lb
Price: From UK£424.95

Topeak Journey

Designed for bikes with a 130 mm or 135 mm rear dropout and with 26”, 27.5”, 29” or 700c wheels.

Construction: Aluminum alloy frame
Trailer Size: 61.8 l x 17 w x 54 h inches (1570 x 420 x 447 mm)
Weight / capacity: 19lbs / 6.45kg with drybag   65 litres
Weight Rating:  70lb / 32kg
Price: From around £280 US$375

Tout Terrain Mule

Tout Terrain’s Mule features adjustable air suspension indicates a high-quality system and it also has an optional kickstand.

The Mule has an interesting seatpost linkage design which this While Out Riding review really liked for its smooth ride.

Construction: Cromoly Steel frame
Trailer Size: N/A
Weight: 6.7kg
Weight Rating: 38kg
Price: €525.00

The Maya single-wheeler has an interesting wheelbarrow style design

Other single wheel designs include those from Adventure, Aevon and the interesting looking ‘wheelbarrow’-style Maya. 

Last but not least is the Quietkat take on a forest activities style model:

 

Two Wheelers – Everyday Use

Whilst heavier and more cumbersome than single wheelers, two wheel cargo trails are the go-to option for every day use where rough off-road riding and narrow access aren’t big issues.

Croozer

Croozer cargo trailers can convert into hand carts

German based company offering good value for money over a range of three alloy and canvas foldable models, the Calle (92 litres capacity), Pakko and Tuure (both 135l capacity the latter having suspension). They also have a handy handcart feature that means they quickly convert into a shopping cart. Accessories include baby seats and dog beds.

Construction: Alloy frame and canvas sides
Trailer Size: 71 x 64 x 54 cm to 82 x 75 x 63 cm
Weight: 8kg-10.6
Weight Rating: 45kg
€360-507

Free Parable T1

The Free Parable T1 is an unusual suitcase design of trailer that has retractable wheels for use as a regular piece of luggage.

A clever combination of cycle trailer and concourse luggage as the T1’s small rear wheels are retracted and it becomes a wheeled suitcase. Its 8in wheels are fine for tarmac but not great for rougher surfaces as they may flip over. Unlike models with mid-frame axles, it puts more load weight on the bikes rear wheels which might affect handling with heavier loads. Handy for everyday tasks and light touring.

Construction: Alloy frame with retractable wheels
Trailer Size: 46.5 l x 19.8 w x 18.5 h inches (1180 x 502 x 470mm)
Weight: 6.4kg
Weight Rating: 20kg advised in reviews
Price: UK £294.75

Radical Design Cyclone IV Trailers

The Radical Design has a strong bag option with removable wheels so it has potential to covert into a backpack

Radical design’s cyclone bike trailer comes in four varants and all have the same clever, quick-release towball attachment, which will fit most axles.  You can get the bare alloy frame and build your own bed or box to go on it or opt for a canvas style bed with lashings or bag options. The Chubby version is squarer in design and made to accommodate a Brompton.

Very cleverly, the bag versions are made to accommodate to quick release wheels and towbar so it becomes a large bag even having the option of a backpack harness.

Construction: Cromoly Steel frame
Trailer Size: 132 x 65 x 40 cm (36.8 x 26 x 16″) for the Skeleton version
Weight: 4.1 kg frame wheels and towbar only. Several variants exist eg flatbed (5.25kg) and Cyclone IV touring model (5.54kg)
Weight Rating: 40kg
Price: From US$440-US$625

WIKE – High-sided DIY

WIKE produce a nice range of DIY assembly models

With a factory n Guelph, Ontario, Canada WIKE make a variety of trailers that are worth checking out but we detail this DIY option as it looks extra good value if you fancy the DIY aspect. It also gives you great flexibility in how you configure the trailer. We couldn’t find the full spec online but at 45kg payload it looks sizeable and rugged.

Roland’s Carrie Me allows for stacking and securing its own sturdy boxes on top of each other

Other two-wheeled cargo trailers to check out include the Burley Nomad which has an optional ‘roof rack’ for extra carrying, the remarkable folding Carry Freedom LEAF as demonstrated in the video below, Roland’s Modular Carrie M.e. and Webers’s Super Luxury Cargo Comfort with its own run on brake.

Shopper / Handcart Style

Shopper style trailers are a rare breed but easy to store when not in use and really handy for lightweight shopping and errands

Burley Travoy

You will need to actually add your own bag to this model from Burley but it folds down super small for super easy storage suiting those with an absolute minimum of space.

Andersen Shopper

Denmark’s Andersen make a huge range of shooper style bags that can easily be converted to be towed with a seatpost hitch. They will even fit on the front of a shopping trolley.

Heavy Duty and Specialist Models

A small number of firms make extra large heavy-duty trailers – you’d be amazed what you can move by e-bike and trailer if you have the money and space for one of these amazing creations.

Bikes at Work

Iowa-based Bikes at Work make three standard lengths of alloy framed trailers, 32,64 and 96 inches long with standard and wide width options too. Four-wheeled versions are rated to carry up to 280kg!

Donkey Trailers

Belgian-based Donkey use a modular system that can go up to 2.4m long and are modular and even give you the ability to add extra wheels!

Surly Bill & Ted

These are superbly well built trailers that come as steel flatbeds for you to build your own solution onto. Pretty heavy and expensive but virtually indestructible…See our full review of the Ted. 

 

Wike

As well as their ‘everyday’ range of trailers WIKE also manufacture a range of lightweight canoe and kayak trailers.

Croozer’s Dog Jokke model

Dog trailers are a further specialist design with Croozer having a nice range. Dog trailers tend to be enclosed designs to keep your dog out of harm’s way but with specialist features like removable and washable inserts or DoggyRide’s anti tip model to counteract the danger of tipping if your dog gets a little too excited!

Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!

-Rich

 

Electric Bike Battery Brands and Their Warranties

Why Are Battery Warranties Important on eBikes?

Today’s e-bike batteries are bigger and more complex than ever but also more reliable than ever.

E-bike batteries are perhaps the most expensive ‘consumable’ on an e-bike and, despite the fact that today’s e-bike batteries are a world away in performance and quality from those around in the early days of the industry, they are complicated items that can occasionally fail. Even barring the unlikely event of total failure, a battery-specific warranty can be important in determining if a decline in battery capacity over a number of months and years falls within the acceptable, or actually triggers the warranty.

The good news is that as e-bike battery technology has developed and the terms of the warranties from most major e-bike battery manufacturers have become more generous and more specific as they have realized they can put their trust in the vast majority of batteries to perform well.

Of course, the flip side of this is that you should look after your battery in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations in order not to void the warranty. Check out our brief five-point advice at the end of this article on how to get the most range and life from your e-bike battery.

The Legal Stuff – First Port of Call?

OK, it’s obvious but it’s always worth reminding yourself that a retailer with a good reputation can help make any warranty claim much easier.

It is worth quoting the United States’ Federal Trade Commission on the importance of warranties in the US:

‘When you make a major purchase, the manufacturer or seller makes an important promise to stand behind the product. It’s called a warranty. Federal law requires that warranties be available for you to read before you buy even when you’re shopping by catalog or on the Internet. Coverage varies, so you can compare the extent of warranty coverage just as you compare the style, price, and other characteristics of products.’

As you will see below, most major battery manufacturers make explicit their own battery warranties and all offer fairly similar terms, so in practice, these are what retailers and end consumers tend to rely on.

However, even though failed batteries should ultimately end up with the manufacturer for replacement your first port of call should be the retailer, whether they are your local bike store or online. If they are doing their job well they are simply best placed to be able to help you resolve the matter quickly and easily.

A bricks and mortar retailer may be especially reassuring and useful if you think your battery has lost more of its usable capacity than it should have done under the terms of the warranty; the main battery manufacturers’ batteries have the ability to record the number of charges they have received and a good dealer will let you observe the process and the readouts.

It’s also important to go through your retailer as you have a sale of goods contract with them and this could be a useful supplementary recourse if, for example the manufacturer went out of business.

Determining the Working Capacity of Your eBike Battery

Plug in energy meters can be useful tools in determining how much capacity your e-bike battery can hold

By using a plug in energy meter (for example like this one) it is possible to get a very approximate idea of the capacity of your e-bike battery. For example it may be rated at 500Wh but e-bike batteries degrade over time and can also develop faults that will affect their capacity.

Firstly make sure your e-bike battery is empty by using it on your e-bike until power has run out.

Now recharge it as normal to full but use a plug-in power meter to measure the number of Wh taken from start to finish (ie as soon as the battery is full).

Not all the electricity shown as consumed by the meter will be going into the battery cells. For example, some will be lost by the inefficiencies of the transformer that drops the voltage down from mains 240V to whatever your e-bike battery requires.

All transformers vary but a very approximate working assumption is that 80% of the electricity from the power socket will end up in your battery. So to find out the extremely approximate capacity of your battery just multiply the Wh consumed on the plug in meter by 0.8 to give you a rough idea of its health.

It is a good idea to repeat this exercise several times to get an average reading.

Examples of eBike Battery Manufacturers’ Warranties

Bosch

Bosch’s impressive dual battery system

Bosch offer external batteries in 300, 400 and 500Wh, frame integrated batteries in 400, 500 and 625Wh and the remarkable frame integrated 1625Wh dual battery system. They are notable for the detailed nature of the warranty.

They warranty their batteries to hold a minimum of 60% of full charge capacity for 2 years or 500 charge cycles (whichever comes first). According to Bosch a charge cycle is a full discharge and recharge. A partial discharge and recharge only counts as such eg discharging and charging 25% of capacity four times will count as one full charge cycle. The battery management system records the number of charge cycles and the information is accessible to authorised dealers via diagnostic software.

Do note though, a good quality battery should give good range for much longer than 2 years – in fact Bosch themselves state that the battery should be good for around 8-9 years or 1000 full charge cycles.

Reputable drive systems like Bosch, Brose, Shimano and Yamaha should all use good quality e-bike batteries.

Brose 

Brose produce their own brand of battery, the Brose 630 which is rated at 630Wh. Quoted weight is 3.8kg.

Brose told EBR this battery is guaranteed for 700 full load cycles with 60% remaining capacity at the end of the warranty of 2 years.

Shimano

Shimano STEPS mid-drive system has its own brand batteries in 418, 504 and 630Wh sizes. All have external versions and the larger two capacities have frame-integrated versions as well.

On their website Shimano outlines their impressive warranty; ‘As with every modern battery, capacity will decrease due to charging. Shimano guarantees a remaining battery capacity of 60% after 1000 charge cycles. Your dealer can determine the remaining battery capacity for you’ which certainly implies the battery guarantee could easily extend beyond two years, even for a rider e-biking regular and quite long distances.

For compatibility between Shimano mid-drives, batteries and battery mounts check out the table here, but note you will need the correct product numbers for all three elements.

Yamaha 

Haibike use Yamaha manufactured batteries 

Yamaha offer 400, 500 and 600Wh capacity batteries and like other main manufacturers only offer their largest 600Wh capacity as a frame-integrated option.

Yamaha’s US website says ‘The drive unit (including the motor assembly, housing cover, internal gears, motor control unit assembly, drive axle assembly, and torque sensor assembly), battery, rigid frame, and rigid front fork will be warranted for a period of three years’ but this warranty excludes ‘Normal deterioration, including the gradual decrease of battery capacity over the three year warranty period as long as the battery capacity is still 50% or more of the initial capacity before the warranty expiration and the total number of battery charging cycles is 700 or less.’

Bafang 

Bafang make their own brand batteries that come with Bafang motor systems that come ready fitted to e-bikes from a number of manufacturers with capacities ranging from 200Wh to 820Wh.

Bafang told EBR they will repair or replace the battery if its capacity falls below 60% within 2 years. The warranty period for total failure is 3 years. Both warranties are only valid to the original purchaser with a purchase invoice.

Examples of eBike Manufacturers Warranties

Outside of the large motor system manufacturers above a host of smaller e-bike manufacturers sell their own branded batteries and offer their own guarantee. A good idea on the purchase would be to get a written clarification as to what drop in capacity within the guarantee period constitutes a defect, as this isn’t clarified in every smaller manufacturer’s warranty.

From the US

Pedego

Pedego batteries are covered by a 5 year prorated warranty.

  • During the first 3 years of service – A defective battery will be repaired or replaced at no cost to the customer. The warranty period for a repaired or replaced battery remains unchanged based on original purchase date.
  • After the first 3 years of service – A prorated credit, based on months of service, will be applied toward the purchase of a new battery. Batteries purchased at pro-rated cost will have a new 5 year warranty based on the pro-rated purchase date.
  • No cash reimbursement will be made.

Rad Power

Batteries are covered under the general warranty terms which state ‘All Rad Power Bikes……are protected against all manufacturing defects in material or workmanship for one year after receipt of the ebike by the customer’. They list all items on the bike that are covered by the warranty and the lithium ion battery is included.

BULLS

BULLS offer a general warranty of 24 months on their e-bikes but qualify this for the battery:

‘There is one limitation for E-bike batteries. Since rechargeable batteries are wearing parts, the warranty period is only 6 months. However, BULLS offers an additional voluntary extension of this warranty for the battery to 24 months if the defect is due to material or processing errors. The voluntarily extended warranty does not include labor costs or transport costs for conversion. It is limited to the replacement or repair of the defective part.’

Easy Motion

Easy Motion offer a wide range of styles and guarantee their own brand battery packs for two years or 400 charge cycles, whichever comes first.
This warranty applies to 2012 and newer model bicycles.

From the UK

Batribike / Promovec

Their basic Promovec battery warranty is two years from date of purchase covering manufacturing defects or reduction in capacity below 70% during this 24 month period.

They also offer an extended warranty of 5 years on similar terms as above – they say ‘the cost will vary depending upon the model of battery. Current costs are between £158 for a 10.2 Ah (365 Wh) battery to £220 for a 15.6 Ah (560 Wh) pack.

So before your next e-bike purchase be sure to check out the battery warranty terms.

Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!

-Rich

 

A Guide to eBike Locks and Security Ratings

E-bikes are lucrative targets for thieves under just about any circumstances but the Covid-19 propelled boom in cycling and e-bikes has raised their profile – and their second-hand sales market- something that has not gone unnoticed by those who want to get their hands on your e-bike for free by helping themselves to it.

Indeed, as CBS, reports, bike and e-bike theft has spiked during Covid-19. The article tells us that from March 1 to September 21 New Yorkers filed 4,477 complaints related to stolen bicycles, including electric bicycles. That’s up nearly 28%, from 3,507 complaints over the same period a year earlier, according to the New York City Police Department. It’s estimated around 2 million bikes and e-bikes are stolen each year in the US alone.

Over in the UK cycle database BikeRegister has also seen a rise in reported bike thefts, with figures showing 932 thefts reported in August, up 59% on the same month last year. This followed the 900 thefts reported in July, a 51.5% rise compared to 2019, and 786 reported in June, an increase of 48%.

Time then to make sure you have taken every precaution to ensure that your e-bike doesn’t become another statistic.
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An Introduction to Electric Mountain Bikes

eMTBs’ ‘go anywhere’ ability open up a whole new world of fun

Rather than call this ‘A Complete Guide’, as EBR did in its articles on mid-drives and hub motors, we figured there couldn’t really be a ‘complete’ article to electric mountain bikes. The choice today in terms of different designs of e-mtb and the ever developing technology is wider than ever, so no guide is ever going to cover all the brands and options out there. Instead we take a look at the main areas potential e-mtb buyers might want to think about.

This article aims to demystify the jargon and leave you with a clear picture of all the e-mtb options out there. If you feel like you are missing out on the fun by not exploring the world of e-mtbs you probably are, so read on to get better acquainted with it!

The Basics

Like traditional mountain bikes, e-MTBSs come in three main types based on suspension:

Hardtails

Hardtail e-mtbs from Focus tackling a European classic, the Transalp. Hardtails are good for longer rides over less rough terrain. 

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How To Get The Most Range & Life From Your eBike Battery

There are two things you want to achieve with your e-bike battery. Firstly, whatever size the battery is in watt-hours (Wh), you will want to make sure you know how to get the most range out of it, as running out of battery is the last thing anyone wants to do and the longer you can go without charging the more useful your e-bike is. Secondly, you will want to look after it to maximize its lifespan; the battery is far and away the most expensive ‘consumable’ on any e-bike so of course the longer it lasts the better it is for your wallet. Additionally looking after the battery carefully will also help you get the most range out of it; all batteries decline in capacity over time but those that are treated more harshly show a greater decline. Read on to find out how you can achieve both ends.

You want to make sure your battery will perform to its full potential

Maximising Range

We’ve all seen e-bikes advertised with a range ‘up to’ a certain limit. But how do you know you can achieve that range? Of course, until you try any e-bike out in the real world – with your body weight, your style of riding, and over the kind of terrain you use it in – you won’t. And range claims are often based on laboratory conditions, or at least conditions so benign they are not likely to be replicated in the real world very often. But you can make sure you maximize the range of any e-bike – and with today’s ever-more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries that can be quite significant. Here are EBR’s top tips for getting the most miles per charge.

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Hub Motor Brands: The Complete Guide

Whilst many higher-priced e-bikes contain mid-drives (examined in full in our recent Guide to eBike MidDrives) the other main type of e-bike motor, hub motors, are often found on more budget models. Hub motors (as you would guess, these are motors found within the wheel hubs) are also used where saving weight is important, for example on lightweight city bikes you might want to pick up and sling over your shoulder to get them up steps or on e-folders that you need to carry in one hand. A third, less common reason for using hub motors (especially of the gearless variety) is on ultra-low maintenance e-bikes where they can be used alongside belt drives and hub gears to give a virtually ‘fit and forget’ system.

As in our overview of mid-drives, we’ll take a look at all the main hub motor players out there but first, there’s just a couple of points to note.

A geared motor (left) uses gears to drive onto the hub shell whilst in a gearless motor (right) the hub shell is actually a rotating part of the hub motor itself.

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eBikes For Older Riders

Having a comfortable e-bike that is easy to control and that you feel safe on can make all the difference to how much you use it. This is doubly so as you begin to age – when it’s especially advisable for people to keep cycling to stave off the effects of age on muscles, motor coordination, and the immune system.

With this in mid EBR looks at some of the best e-bikes for older riders.

Get the Basics Right 

Comfort and controllability are of extra importance to older riders and a fairly upright riding position is usually the best way to attain this. If the e-bike has a traditional diamond frame (though see below for the advantages of step-thru frames), a short top tube means the seat and handlebars will be quite near each other, making it easy to sit upright. Sportier designs and e-road bikes in particular will have longer top tubes and are inherently hard if not impossible to ride in an upright posture. As with everything, it’s a case of pros and cons though.

This striking image from bike designer Mark Sanders shows how the spine, neck and wrists are forced out of their natural riding positions by sportier designs of bike but a natural and comfortable position is maintained on an upright bike.


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