There is no standard for testing expected distances from
one manufacturer to the next. We test bikes on similar terrain
all the time to give us a good idea of the actual expected
mileage. Most bike manufacturers have an over-optimistic
range, though some are quite conservative. Their specs can
be a ballpark figure for estimating range, but you’ll need some
experimentation and knowledge to get the most range out of
Whether you’re trying to make sure your battery lasts for
your entire commute or trip, or if you’re thinking about a long
trek, we have some great tips gleaned from experience and
top experts on how to get the most distance out of your battery.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR POWER LEVEL
With an electric bike, part of the fun is having the assist
level high enough to at least make pedaling almost effortless,
if not exciting. But if you want to maximize your distance per
charge, you’ll need to scale back your power output.
We’ve always found the best thing is to ride in Eco mode
when on normal, flat roads, and then increase the power
when you need it for climbing. Every time you dip into turbo
mode, you use valuable power. You also want to make sure
you aren’t too exhausted by the time you arrive at your des-
tination. This is a delicate dance, and experience can tell you
a little more about this depending on your bike, your fitness
level, the distance and the terrain you’re traveling over.
If you haven’t been on a bike in a while, as you get stronger, you can use less electric power and more of your own.
The more you use your own power, the greater the range
you’ll have with your bike.
Some bikes, like the Specialized Turbo, let you map out
your ride in their app, then it will automatically deliver the
power you need to make it through the entire ride at the pace
you want to keep. We expect to see more systems with this
sort of smart capability as rider demand increases.
One of the best things about electric bikes is that, if you
do run a battery flat on a ride, you can always still pedal it as
a bicycle, albeit a heavy one. Try that in a Tesla! We regularly ride test bikes with the electrics off just to see how they
ride as a regular bicycle, as well as to know what it’ll be like
to ride it home if we’ve miscalculated how much battery we
needed. Generally, the bikes are fine this way. Some are actually great for this, while some are less than great. If you don’t
already own an electric bike, this can be an important thing to
Carrying extra weight puts an extra strain on
you and your motor, lowering your range.
Taking your bike in to a bike shop regularly ensures it’s running
its best so it doesn’t drag on your power.
Your shop can check your electrical system to make sure it
runs ef;ciently, including replacing worn power cables that
can reduce your power and range.