FAQs on eBikes

eBikers Philippines Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the brands of e-bike that I can buy in the local market?
Considering the price tag, there are also lots of benefits on much higher priced e-bikes/e-scoots, however there are also the cheaper ones that can perform well as any branded units.

Here are some of the local players in this field:

On choosing and buying your e-bike or e-scooter, for convenience you can buy from the nearest e-bike shops in case of warranty purposes, upgrades and modifications. EBP members can help you choose the best shop with good aftersales services. We also have a short guide on choosing what kind of ebike in our Files tab.

2. How far can I go on a single charge?
Depending on rider weight, battery capacity, and level of assist, you can expect the range of a fully charged battery to be between 25 to 60 km or more, depending on the model. Distance traveled will also depends on how old the batteries are. Your throttling behavior will also play a big role in maximizing range on a single charge. Learning feather-throttling will be helpful.

Other factors that can have a big impact are wind, weather, tire pressure and terrain. If you live in a hilly area or have lots of steep inclines – expect less range from your e-bike. Larger riders or people carrying heavy loads can also expect reduced output.

Ebike Range and Speed Simulator
www.electricbikesimulator.com

Some useful links:

3. Can I ride an e-bike in the rain?
E-bikes can be vulnerable to water. Some are advertised waterproof to some extent. The motor hub can be water-damaged from riding in the floods if not waterproofed. Some have done simple waterproofing on the parts that are vulnerable to rain waters. It is advisable to wear raincoats designed to cover up the handle-bar and the panel to prevent water seeping through electrical parts in the throttle, brake lever switch, horn, flasher and inside the panel. Also cover up your e-bike when leaving outdoors to prevent rain from damaging your e-bike. Please use caution when riding in wet weather as slippery roads and reduced braking power will reduce steering control, and reduced visibility will make you more vulnerable to other traffic.
http://youtu.be/2Cl96QyfAOw – waterproofing ideas
http://www.elscooter.com/can-i-ride-my-e-scooter-in-the-rain/

4. Cleaning your e-bike
You can clean your ebike like any ordinary bike, just make sure not to flood the controller box, battery box and wirings to prevent any problems. The throttle is also to watch for as it has sensitive electronic part (hall sensor) inside, also the brake levers have cut-off switch that are sometime troublesome if it gets wet. It is recommended to remove battery box if possible. Put oil on chain and sprocket after cleaning to prevent rusting. Dry excess water on parts with absorbent cloth. Avoid using high pressure water on wirings, battery box and controller. Sponge bath will be safer.

5. How Can I Take Care of my batteries?
Our battery (Sealed Lead Acid or SLA) has low life cycles (300 to 500) you can easily notice after a year the range is relatively going short but if you are not careful this kind of battery can be damaged in a matter of months. Taking care of them is easy, just charge them after 30 minutes of rest after a long ride, this can avoid sulfation build up that SLA batteries no.1 cause of premature end of lifespan. We also suggest using a mechanical/digital timer, just set it to desired time, this can prevent overcharging the battery in an event that the charger is not automatically shutting off. Do not over discharge battery and leaving it for weeks or months. Please read more about battery care and maintenance in the links below.

Using latest battery technology like LiFePo4 is another story. Life cycle is tripled compared to SLA, that also reflects on its price. LiFePo4 is usually sold as set with it matching charger and battery management system circuit (BMS), an electronic system that manages a rechargeable battery (cell or battery pack), such as by protecting the battery from operating outside its Safe Operating Area, monitoring its state, calculating secondary data, reporting that data, controlling its environment, authenticating it and / or balancing it. Now, if you have the budget, it is recommended to have this type of battery.

6. How Can I make my e-bike/e-scooter faster?
Basically e-bike can run up to 35-45km/h (pedal type) 40-60km/h or more (e-scoots) that’s fast enough for a busy road like in Metro Manila.

Adding Battery is one key for speed but there is a chain reaction. There is a big chance that you may have to change also the controller matching the voltage of the battery pack and also the charger will need to be replaced. The stock motor hub can pretty much take the added voltage, but it’s wise to monitor any irregular behavior in doing so.

Upgrading the controller alone can make faster acceleration but top speed will be about the same, range may suffer also with this upgrade.

7. How can I extend my range?
For an e-bike, range is vital. Usual SLA battery capacity for e-bikes/e-scoot are in 12AH or 20AH, higher AH means longer travel time. Adding batteries will extend range and speed. A lot of factor can also be considered in regards for achievable range:

  1. Condition of the bike = Tires correct pressure and Breaks
  2. Weight of loads = Rider weight And Cargo
  3. Condition of the road = uphill and traffics
  4. Condition of the battery = Age of battery
  5. Throttle Management = too much feeding on a motor(over rev)

Ebike Range and Speed Simulator:
http://www.electricbikesimulator.com/

8. Should I wear helmet?
Big YES! All eBikers PH members are required to own and wear their helmet when riding! Follow traffic laws every time. This is not just for our own safety but for other motorist and pedestrians as well. We need to set a good example to all riders.

9. What are the common problems of an e-bike?

Problems Solutions that might help
No Power but turned ON Check main battery connection. Blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. Loose terminal connections. Damaged battery.
Lights On but no throttle Check brake lever cut-off switch. Shorted throttle hall sensor. Throttle wires are loose. Damaged controller, needs to be replaced..
Jerking motion when throttling. Thug-thug sounds from hub. Check if battery is above cut-off voltage, recharge if it is not. Check throttle connection, battery connection and cut-off switch in brake lever. Defective controller and hub hall sensor can be the culprit also.
Flat tires Avoid overloading your e-bike. Put on recommended air pressure as written in the tire. Tire sealant will help.
Brakes not working properly Check the brake cable if align properly put some oil to lubricate inside the cables, brake pads are not properly align and for disk brakes system always check the level of fluid, if the fluid is continuously reduce in time there is a leak on the system.
Lights or Horns not working Check accessories’ fuse if blown. Check the bulb first if it is darken too much replace it careful replacing bulb there is desired voltage for each model of e-bike.Some bulb has a level on it. Same with horns careful replacing them.
Power is on, but no throttle and rear wheel seems stuck. This can be caused by a defective Controller or a hall sensor in the hub is defective.
Charger is on green light from the beginning Charger may be defective,check cable if you can get an output voltage. Check ebike for blown fuse/tripped breaker, disconnected battery cable.
Throttling continues even if rider is not holding the throttle Some ebike controllers have this “auto-cruise” feature, it activates when you’re throttling in a specific speed for a couple of seconds. This can be deactivated by disconnecting a pair of wire in the controller.
Having less distance travelled than when it was new SLA batteries degrades over time. Lifespan is about 2-3 years or 300-500 cycles depending on battery cycles used. Maintaining 50% depth of discharge will prolong its life.

 

10. License & Registration, LTO / MMDA
This concerns most of us, especially those who have e-scooters or ebikes without pedals.
Some have tried registering their e-bikes/e-scooters but came out empty-handed. Some sellers have mentioned in their respective sites that some of their units needs registration but we have not seen any proof as of this writing. We advise to please verify sellers if a specific e-bike/e-scoots you like needs to be registered and needs licence to avoid conflicts with law officers. So, these are what we have for now:

LTO memo regarding LEVs (Light Electric Vehicles) https://www.facebook.com/download/653105298056731/LTO%20memo.jpg
This is what we have from LTO regarding LEVs, please read.

LTO Certificate from seller
As of the moment, only Motorstar is known to have issued an LTO certificate to one of our member. Stating the unit is “Not for Registration”

Owner’s Certificate from seller
You can request from sellers your “Owner’s Certificate”, This may be helpful if apprehended my traffic officers.

Bicycle registration in municipality
Some members were able to register their ebike/escoot as regular “bicycles” as city ordinance.
Please coordinate with your municipality’s bicycle registration officers if this is possible in your city.

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