eBike FAQ

What is an Electric Bicycle?

A bicycle, with pedals, brakes, etc., that also has an “electric drive system” (an electric motor, battery, and controller). The electric drive system propels you, at varying levels of assistance that you select – from no assistance, to a little, to a lot.  Modern, quality eBikes are quiet, clean and incredibly fun to ride.  Come and try one (for free).  We dare you not to smile or laugh out loud when you do!

Why would I want an Electric Bike?

eBikes enable new capabilities for you;

  • Travel greater distances, with less effort.  Many users choose an eBike for commuting so they don’t perspire on their commutes, or because the eBike allows them to traverse hilly terrain with much less exertion.
  • Carry cargo. Electric cargo bikes can carry up to 400 lbs of people or things – eliminating the need for many car trips. Even standard eBikes carry more cargo with less effort.
  • Fun and recreation! eBikes are just plain fun to ride. They make getting outside a blast!
  • Overcome injury or physical limitation.  eBikes allow people who may have had to stop using a bike (perhaps due to an injury, or age, or disability), or maybe never used one, to access the great outdoors.
How can I know if I’ll like Electric Bikes?

Current eBikes offers free test rides of eBikes.  We also offer rentals of some of our models.  These are the best ways to determine if an eBike is right for you.

How much does it cost to rent your Electric Bicycles?

eBikes can be reserved online – please see our Rentals page.  Prices range from $49 for 3 hrs to $69 / day.   We also offer premium eCargo, eCity and eMTB for between $79 to $109 / day.

If I purchase an Electric Bike, do I need a driver’s license, insurance or registration to use it?

Nope!  Per California law, all of our eBikes are legal bicycles – they are Class 1, 2, or 3 eBikes and are considered “bicycles”.

Where can I ride an Electric Bicycle?

In California (and many other states), bicycles with pedals, drive systems of 750W or less, and maximum speeds of up to 20 MPH (Class 1 or Class 2 eBikes), are regulated like bicycles for use on paved surfaces – they don’t require a license, registration, or insurance.  Unless a local jurisdiction posts otherwise, these eBikes can go anywhere on pavement that a regular bike can go.  eBikes with pedals, a drive system of 750W or less, and a maximum speed up to 28 MPH are called a “Speed Pedelec” or a Class 3 eBike.  In California, these eBikes also do not require a license, registration, or insurance. But, they are typically restricted to use the road or bike lanes (and are restricted on multi-use pathways, etc.) For more information on eBike regulations, consult these bike advocacy links below. PeopleForBikes – California Electric Bike Law – Info For Riders PeopleForBikes – Main Page on Electric Bikes (loads of articles here)

Do you offer Electric mountain bikes (eMTB’s)?

Yes, we offer probably the widest selection of eMTB’s in the area with over 40 different styles of electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) from Haibike, Pivot Cycles, Bulls, Riese & Muller, and Yamaha.  We offer just about every style of MTB you can imagine – hard tails, full-suspension, plus sized tires, fat tires.  Today, the “all-mountain” style of eMTB (with 5-6″ of travel, front and rear, and relaxed frame geometry) are among the most popular – Current eBikes offers more than 10+ configurations of this style bike – at a wide variety of prices.

Where can I ride an electric mountain bike or eMTB?

California State Parks (Wilder Ranch, Forest of Nisene Marks, etc.) in our area allow legal eBikes on trails designated for bike use.  Santa Cruz City and County parks do the same.  UC Santa Cruz allow eBikes anywhere bikes are allowed.   The eMTB is a fairly new type of vehicle and regulations for their use off pavement are still evolving.  Many laws on the books were established decades ago in response to dirt bikes and land managers are just now re-assessing them.  As such, certain off pavement trails do not allow eBikes presently.  Check with your local land manager to get the latest guideline.  Many eMTB users ride their bikes around town, on private land, on dirt roads indicated for motor vehicles, or on Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) trails, etc.  There are thousands of miles of OHV designated trails in the State.

Does using an eBike neutralize the health benefits of riding a bike?

Take a look at a recent study highlighted by the NY Times – showing how the fun factor of an eBike leads to improved health outcomes for many.

In many cases, eBike riders ride more miles, more often – leading to greater health benefits!

How much do Electric Bikes cost?

Current eBikes offer a wide selection of bikes that start from around $2,000.  We also offer 12 Month No Interest Financing.  With over 90 models available from the brands we carry, we have a selection of modern, quality bikes as well as bikes with the very latest technology and high end components.  Candidly, you can acquire an electric bicycle for less, or you can “do it yourself” with various conversion kits.  Yet, the experience you have during purchase, set up and longer term support may not meet your expectations.  Every bike purchased from Current eBikes includes Free Lifetime Standard Tune-ups to help keep your ownership costs down and your bike in tip top shape – this can save you up to $450 or more, within 3 years.

Why would I want to invest in an eBike?

A quality eBike has been designed to be used frequently.  Its components will work well, day in day out, and it will come with support to keep it that way. Premium models offer additional features, and corresponding benefits – like longer range batteries, lights, cargo racks or bags, reduced weight, and even integration with your smartphone!

What activates the electric motor – pedaling the bike, or a throttle?

Most of our bikes offer “pedal assist” technology. This means the electric assistance from the motor activates only when you pedal the bike. Some of our bikes offer a twist throttle in addition to pedal assist. The bikes with pedal assist have an easy to use controller to adjust how much assistance you get. On the fly (while riding), you can adjust the assistance from zero assistance to a lot. If you want to get more exercise and/or conserve your battery capacity, select a low level of assistance. If you’re approaching a hill and/or you’re tired, select a high level of assistance.

How how far can I go on a full battery charge?
Quality eBikes can go from 25 to over 100+ miles on a full charge.  The variables are the bike, the battery, how much pedal assistance you select, the terrain, rider weight, etc.
How do I know when the battery is low?
The bicycles have an indicator to show the amount of charge remaining.  Many of them have a distance estimator to estimate how many miles you can go on the remaining charge.
Do I have to wait for the battery to empty before I charge it?

No, the batteries we use are lithium-ion batteries which do not suffer from ‘memory effect.’ This means that there is no need to discharge a battery completely before you recharge it again. Most people recharge the battery after every use, regardless of how far you rode.

How long does it take to fully charge the battery?

If the battery were completely discharged, it may take 4-5 hours to completely re-charge it.

What is the cost to charge?
All our bikes use standard household electricity. The average cost per full charge is about 10 cents.  If you charge the battery every single day for a year, it would cost you about $35 per year.
What happens if I get a flat tire?

The tires on our bikes are the same as conventional bicycles. Simply replace the tube with a tube of the right size and inflate it. No special tires or parts will be needed.

Can I put an Electric Bike on an automobile bike rack?

Yes, just ensure the rack is rated for the weight of the eBike. Tray-style racks are generally preferred.

It is recommended to remove the battery when transporting eBikes on a rack.

What maintenance is required for an Electric Bike?

If you purchase your bike from Current eBikes, lifetime Standard Tune-ups are included – saving you perhaps as much as $450 in three years. eBike electric drive systems are essentially maintenance free. Aside from regular bike maintenance, a few wear components (chains, brake pads) tend to need more frequent replacement due to the higher levels of force accelerating and decelerating an eBike.  The one rule for battery care is to ensure that the battery is not left in a highly dis-charged state for a long period of time (many weeks).

Would you like more information about our bike lines or services?

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