Electric bicycle ownership experience

Thread Starter

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
I have done a lot of biking my entire life, but with the older age I cannot bike as far or as challenging.

Having said that, I borrowed an E-bicycle the other day and was beyond delighted! I plan to purchase one soon, perhaps this coming Christmas season.

However, my concern here is reliability, and specifically, battery reliability.
Those packs are expensive, and I don't want to be replacing packs every couple of years.

Are there any bicycle enthusiasts out there which also can share experiences on E-bike ownership?


Joined Oct 2, 2009
I have owned a number of ebikes in the past 10 years.

You can put them into two distinct categories, scooters and bicycles. I am going to assume that you are looking at bicycle-style ebikes.

Generally speaking, ebikes come with lithium ion batteries for higher energy density. Batteries are expensive and account for 50% of the cost of the bike. A new battery should give a range of about 40 miles. This diminishes over the years and will need replacing after about 5 years.

You want to get an ebike with pedal assist. This way you can use it without power or with power when riding uphill or against the wind. You can set the power delivered by the motor from 0% to 100% in about 5 settings (0, 1, 2, 3, 4). On my current ebike the lowest setting above 0% is just a bit too high. I rarely have to set it at full power 4. On some controllers, the motor is not powered until you start pedaling. I prefer to be able to power the motor from at rest when starting off especially at traffic lights and stop signs. On one of my bikes I simply disconnected the sensor from the pedal crank and use the throttle control when starting off.

My first ebike came with a 6-speed gear changer. The 6th speed is not high enough when riding top speed (about 15mph).
My current ebike has 7-speed changer which is an improvement.

Front and back disc brakes are better but cost more. You also have to replace the disc brake pads more often and I can only source them on ebay. Whereas regular caliper brakes are easily replaced and carried by all bicycle shops.

Motor on the back wheel is preferred.

I prefer a step-through model because I put a plastic box on the carrier. I prefer not to ride with a pack on my back. With a bike with the crossbar you would have difficulty swinging your leg over the back or lifting the leg over the bar.

My current ebike has the crossbar but I would have preferred something like this.


Thread Starter

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
Lots of excellent information, thank you.
Your information about the battery’s five year lifespan was exactly what I was looking for.

Now I can calculate the true cost of ownership.