Can You Use An E-bike Without The Battery?

E-bikes are growing in popularity and offer riders who use their bike as a commuting tool the chance to ride in a bit more comfort. A hard cycle with a shower and a change of clothes at the end can be a lot of fun; a hard cycle in dress clothes and a day at the office will not be comfortable.

Can You Use An E-bike Without The Battery?

Can You Use An E-bike Without The Battery?

Yes, you can use an e-bike without the battery. Without the battery, an e-bike is just a bike. While you won’t have any assist on long climbs, you won’t be dealing with any extra resistance from not having a charged battery plugged in.

It’s The Weight

E-bikes are generally heavier than traditional bikes. In the main, this makes a great deal of sense. You can easily build up more speed on your e-bike than on a traditional bike. In the event of a crunch or a crash, that extra frame weight can keep you safer and increase the survival chances for your bike.

Frame weight becomes critical when climbing hills. Because that’s when e-bike batteries really earn their keep, that extra frame and battery weight isn’t at all onerous. Once the battery is dead or if you pulled it to charge it, that frame weight will make itself known.

ebike on its stand

Charge Time

Your first charge should last 12 hours. E-bike batteries have a break-in period and you really want to watch those requirements to make sure that you set that battery up for the longest life possible.

Once the battery has had the first full charge, your new bike battery will take up to 6 hours to charge up again fully. You will want to pull it off the charger after those 6 hours; leaving it on the charger for too long can actually damage the battery.

Protect The Battery

Your e-bike battery is designed to take a bit of abuse. You can ride it in a bit of rain and it will suffer some exposure to dust. That being said, it’s a good idea to use a dielectric grease to the contact points to reduce the risk of corrosion.

What really kills an ebike battery is excess heat. Again, don’t leave it sit on the charger for days. Don’t leave the battery on your bike in the garage if you live in southern Arizona.

If you need to store your e-bike because it’s going to be freezing cold for the next few months, pull the battery off the bike and store it somewhere cool and dry.

As possible, ride the bike and drain it to a median voltage before storing it. When you’re ready to ride in the spring, put the battery on the charger while you check the safety points on your bike and find your helmet and padding.

green and white electric mountain bike

Is It Worth It To Carry A Spare Battery?

Generally, you don’t need to carry a spare battery as you travel. It may be a wise decision to invest in an extra charger, especially if you’re going to ride your e-bike to work. The ability to charge your battery while you’re at the office can protect your battery from a full drain or full charge cycle.

E-bike batteries have a limited number of full drains and recharges. Once you’ve put the battery through the maximum number of discharges it can take, you will need to replace it. Topping off the battery before it is completely drained can make it last longer.

Most e-bike batteries will last through 800 full cycles. For many riders, this translates to about 4 years of use. If you notice that your fully charged battery quits while you’re riding, take the time to check the connections. Stop and pull the battery. Check for dust or grit that may be impeding the connection and plug the battery back in.

It’s important to remember than an e-bike takes a lot of vibrational abuse, especially if you love to ride fast on the flats. This chatter damage can have an impact on the metal connections of where the battery meets the switch plate.

Before you buy an e-bike, take a look at the maintenance videos of the bike that will work best for your riding style to make sure that you can manage basic maintenance.

A Word About Brakes

Your e-bike may actually charge itself as you brake. However, that e-brake lever can limit the effectiveness of your ebike motor if it’s been accidentally engaged.

Again, study the videos so you can easily troubleshoot your chosen bike. Like vehicle breakdowns, these problems seldom crop up in the parking lot of a repair shop.

If you like to take your e-bike on long rides, make sure you

  • have the right protective gear, from sun protection to rain ponchos to earmuffs
  • have water and snacks for the energy to pedal back if you must
  • have a small toolkit for quick repairs if necessary

Your e-bike is a self-contained unit. A properly charged battery with a sturdy switch and effective contacts should give you many trouble-free rides.

However, if your motor stops working and your battery is fully charged, you don’t want to be trying to figure out your bike at the bottom of a steep hill that you now have to pedal or push your bike back up.

An e-bike is a terrific tool that will help you enjoy the great outdoors and increase your fitness with a bit of help. If you can purchase your e-bike from a standard bike shop and take it for a bit of a test drive first, you can learn to feel the motor engage. You may also be able to take a class to help you troubleshoot fixes if your bike stops working as you expect.

man sitting on an ebike on grass

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