Can you Ride an eBike with a Flat Battery?

Many people today are switching to Ebikes as a preferred mode of transport, particularly when running errands around town. With gas prices at an all-time high, owning an ebike would be a great way to save on money but still be able to go on with your daily life/routine undisturbed. Taking the first step to own one is, however, a challenge for many aspiring riders. Many are still unsure of how an ebike works and if it would be efficient. Some of the questions many people ask themselves include: 

a. Can I Still Ride Without the Battery (If the Battery Is Dead)?

Yes, you can still ride your -bike even when the battery is dead or absent. An ebike is just an upgraded standard bicycle with the regular pedals still on. Most people use the battery when looking to go faster or for assistance when going uphill. You will notice some things when riding the ebike with a flat/no battery. 

Why would you want to ride without the battery? 

Although most people love the pedal-assist feature that comes with ebikes, there are times when a ride will decide not to use the feature at all. This would be a great option, especially if looking to experience both worlds or keep fit. Some of the reasons riders choose to forego battery power include: 

1. When traveling by air: Most airlines will only allow batteries of specific capacities onboard. An ebike’s battery surpasses this limit, making it hard to bring the battery with you when traveling. Among other reasons, the batteries could explode in the cargo area (non-pressurized), posing a risk to the plane and everyone on board. Although some airlines might allow you to bring one, renting a battery from a local shop once you arrive would be a wise decision. 

2. When mountain biking (with chairlift access): If you’d like to mountain bike with your ebike and are likely to use a chairlift, leaving the battery behind makes sense. Batteries can be heavy, surpassing the recommended weight limit on the chairlift. Removing the detachable battery, however, makes the ebike lighter. 

3. Overlooked or dead battery:  It makes no sense to bring a dead battery with you on your excursion. A dead battery only makes the ebike heavier, a reason you should leave it in the first place. You might also forget to pack the battery too. Whatever the reason is, your bike will be lighter without the battery. 

4. If looking to get fit: An ebike is the perfect exercising tool if looking to get or stay fit. All you need is to turn off the pedal-assist feature or unplug the battery altogether. This thus means you have to pedal to get moving, translating to aerobic exercise in the long run. Many ebikers do this to stay fit and only use the assist feature when riding home. 

Unplugging the battery essentially turns the -bike back to a regular bicycle. Riding it with a dead battery won’t damage either the bike or batteries. As long as you don’t try to use the low-dead battery, nothing much will happen to it. You might also want to recharge the batteries before putting them for storage to avoid damaging them. 

c. How Does Riding An EBike Without the Battery Feel

b. Will Riding with Battery Damage The EBike? 

As expected, you’ll have to use double or triple the effort to ride the bike (if the battery is dead). This is because ebikes weigh at least twice the weight of a standard road/mountain bike. With the pedal-assist off, you should feel the difference almost immediately. While moving around won’t be impossible, you sure will be tired by the time you get to your destination. 

Even with the batteries detached, the bike will feel heavier than regular bikes. This is partly because of the tougher bike chassis and the additional parts for the motorized system. Ebikes with a hub for the motorized system have less resistance than those with a direct-drive motor or crank. The battery, motor, and frame make the ebike heavier. 

– The battery:  Most of the batteries used on ebikes weigh between 7 and 12 pounds. Although this might not seem like much, you definitely will notice the additional weight when peddling unassisted. If you hardly need the power-assist feature, you can go for ebikes with a smaller battery. 

– The motor: An ebike’s motor weighs approximately 10 pounds. Direct drive or crank systems are, however, lighter than hub motors.

– Frame: Aluminum is the most preferred material for ebike frames. This is because the aluminum alloy is lightweight, strong, and affordable. Aluminum frames are 10 to 20% lighter than steel frames. Although both are strong and durable, aluminum is lighter hence more beneficial in the long run. 

These elements, besides the battery, contribute to an ebikes weight and ease of riding. Although the added weight/resistance might not be an issue for many, you still might have to consider your health and age when looking to add these up. Resistance and weight will determine how fast or far you can ride the ebike with no power assist. 

Tips And Tricks to Riding An EBike with No Battery

It is one thing to ride an ebike with the battery detached and another with a dead battery attached. The bike with no battery will be considerably lighter and fun to ride since nothing will be bogging you down. Whatever your case is, you still need to make the ride/experience as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips on how: 

1. Make use of the gears: switching to the right gears will help make the ride easier and smoother even with no assist. You only need to try different gear settings to find a sweet spot. 

2. Keep the battery cavity clean:  This is crucial if you detach/remove the battery before taking off. In addition to keeping the battery safe, it would be advisable to ensure the battery contacts and cavity are clean and debris-free. 

3. Hook the battery to the charger: Make a habit of hooking the battery to its charger before riding off. This way, it will be ready the next time you need it.