Hamilton Electric Bikes

Hamilton Electric Bikes FAQs

What is an e-bike and how does it work?

An e-bike, or electric bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor to help with pedaling. It works like a regular bike, but when you pedal, the motor gives you an extra boost, making hills feel flatter and long distances shorter. It's like having superhuman strength – or at least, super-cyclist strength!

What is the difference between a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 ebike?

In Ontario both Class 1 and Class 2 are considered legal. Meaning they don’t exceed 32 KM’s per hour under power. Class1 has pedal assist and Class 2 has both pedal assist and a throttle. Class 3 has a motor that allows it to go faster than 32 KM’s per hour and that is not permitted in Ontario on any roads, bike paths, trails or other public spaces. You can however use a Class 3 ebike on private property like a farm, cottage or in the backcountry.

Are e-bikes legal in Ontario?

Yes, they are! As per Ontario's Highway Traffic Act, e-bikes are considered bicycles and not motor vehicles, so they don't require a driver's license, vehicle registration, or insurance. But remember, you must be 16 years or older and always wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.

Do I need a license to ride an e-bike in Ontario?

Nope! No driver's license, vehicle registration, or insurance is required. But remember, you must be at least 16 years old. It’s like the freedom of a bicycle with the perks of a motor!

Where can I ride my e-bike in Ontario?

You can ride your e-bike anywhere bicycles are allowed, such as bike lanes or roads. However, they're not allowed on 400-series highways, expressways, or other areas where bicycles are prohibited.

How fast can an e-bike go?

Yes and no. You need to pedal to engage the motor on Class 1 ebikes, but Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle that allows you to cruise without pedaling. It's a little like a motorcycle but much quieter, convenient and portable.! But remember the more you use your throttle the faster it will drain your battery.

What happens if my eBike battery runs out while I'm riding?

No worries! If your eBike battery runs out, it just becomes a regular bike. You can pedal your way home, burn some extra calories, have a great story to tell your friends and plug her in to start charging up for your next adventure.

How do I maintain my e-bike battery?

Treat your e-bike battery like a beloved pet. It likes to stay cool and dry, and it loves regular exercise. Fully charge the battery before your first ride, avoid extreme temperatures and try not to let it completely discharge. Don’t leave it on the charger once charged and only use the charger that came with your ebike. If you won't be using your e-bike for a while, charge it up to 50%-80% (never store a fully charged or fully depleted battery), store the battery in a cool, dry place and charge it back up to 50-80% every few months.

How long does an e-bike battery last?

It varies based on the battery type, its capacity, how you use it, and even the weather. Generally, you can expect a lifespan of 3-5 years. But this can vary based on how often and how far you ride. We have had customers with batteries over seven years old that still work great. They're like your smartphone battery - the more you use it or abuse it, the faster it wears out.

How far can I go on a single charge?

That depends on several factors like the battery's capacity, the terrain, the rider's weight, wind direction, using the throttle only or how much you're pedaling and which levels of pedal assist you are using. Typically, you can expect between 40 to 120 km from a quality battery.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery?

Most e-bike batteries take between 3 to 6 hours to fully charge from empty. Most ebikes come with 2 amp chargers. However, some come with fast chargers that are either 3 or 4 amps.

What about e-bike battery safety?

Quality e-bike batteries are generally very safe, but like any electronic device, they should be handled with care. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, and always use the charger provided by the manufacturer. Remember, a happy battery equals a happy ride!

What all this stuff I hear about ebike battery fires in the news?

Once ebike started to become much more mainstream, a new black market or third party market for cheaper batteries and other ebike electrical components started popping up around the world. These knockoff or counterfeit batteries, chargers, controls and displays are generally what is behind the majority of fires you read about; coupled with user error. When people tamper with the battery, buy cheap batteries, use a damaged battery or mismatch chargers that are not of high quality or a different voltage to the battery it can be very unsafe.

What is a BMS (Battery Management System) and why is that important to look for when purchasing an ebike?

Quality ebike manufacturers use the best and most up to date technologies and procedures to ensure safety, performance and longevity of the products they sell. Hamilton Electric Bikes researches to find the best brands that meet our high standards before we become dealers. The lithium-ion batteries used today are one of the most important and expensive components on an ebike. The BMS on a quality battery is a protective circuit that helps maintain the battery cells operate within the normal limits for voltage, temperature and current. During charging and discharging if the normal limits are exceeded, the protective circuit will limit or shutdown the charging or discharging. This helps to protect the battery from overheating, catching on fire or in the rare occasion exploding.

Are e-bikes safe?

Just like traditional bikes, e-bikes are safe as long as you follow proper safety protocols. Always wear a helmet, use lights at night, and follow the rules of the road. Remember, an e-bike is a little heavier, so it might take longer to stop. Quality ebikes come equipped with superior frame designs and components such as better tires, cables, braking and lighting systems to help keep you safe.

Can I ride my e-bike in the rain?

Most e-bikes are water-resistant, not waterproof. So, while a light drizzle is fine, a heavy downpour, large puddles and flooded basements are a no-no and could damage the electrical components.If you're caught in a surprise rainstorm, try to keep your ride as dry as possible and see if you can find a nice cafe with an overhang to shelter under then sip your coffee and ride it out.

Can I use my e-bike in the winter?

You sure can! Cold temperatures can reduce battery life, and icy conditions and shorter darker days can make riding more challenging. If you do ride in the winter, we just want to put it out there that we think you are awesome and an inspiration for those thinking about it! Here are a few tips to make winter riding safer and more enjoyable: ● Bundle up and layer up. Dress like you are going cross country skiing, outdoor skating or tobogganing. ● Take it slow. Try to use designated bike paths that have winter maintenance and if needed you can upgrade to studded tires ● Use a Battery cover to help keep battery dry and warm, don’t leave battery outside in extreme weather and try to start with a room temperature battery to get more distance from a charge ● Be highly visible. Wear reflective clothing or vests, add extra lighting on your bike and helmet. ● Be sure your phone is charged in case you need assistance or to call a friend to hook up with you on your ride. ● Think of it as a winter adventure!

Do e-bikes require a lot of maintenance?

E-bikes require similar maintenance to your acoustic bike. Regular check-ups and tune-ups for brakes, tires, and gears are essential. The electrical parts, like the battery, display and motor, generally require little maintenance. But remember, a well-cared-for e-bike is a long-lasting e-bike!

Can I customize my e-bike?

Certainly! You can add accessories like racks, lights, and fenders to most e-bikes. However, altering the motor or battery is not recommended as it could affect the bike's performance and safety. Plus, it might void your warranty or make it illegal. Just remember, any modifications should comply with Ontario's eBike laws.

Are e-bikes good for the environment?

Absolutely! E-bikes are a fantastic green alternative to cars or something to use in addition to public transportation to get you to-and-from your transit stop and your ultimate destination. ebikes emit less pollution, require fewer resources to manufacture, and make for cleaner, more liveable cities. Plus, they're a ton of fun to ride!

Are e-bikes worth the investment?

We may be a bit biased, but we believe e-bikes are an excellent investment! They're perfect for commuting, running errands, mental and physical health or just enjoying a leisurely ride. Plus, the money you save on gas, parking, maintenance and car insurance will add up quickly and your ebike will be paid off in no time with money to spare.

Q: Can I test ride an eBike at Hamilton Electric Bikes?

Absolutely! That’s one of the major benefits of heading to a local ebike specialty shop like Hamilton Electric Bikes, a perk that you certainly can not get from the big box stores, chains or online retailers. You get to touch them, sit on them, test drive and all ask all the questions you need to ask before making the decision. Our very knowledgeable, friendly and fun team will be there for you the whole way. We love to see the look on people's faces when they try an eBike for the first time. Head on over and give one or two or three a spin!

Kick-Scooter specific FAQ’s

Do I need a license to ride an electric kick-scooter in Ontario?

Nope, no license needed! In Ontario, electric kick-scooters are treated like bicycles, so you don't need a license, registration, or vehicle insurance to ride one. But remember, with great power (or rather, electric power) comes great responsibility – so ride safely!

How old do I have to be to ride a kick-scooter?

You need to be at least 16 years or older in Ontario, Canada to jump on a kick-scooter and ride.

Are there any other laws or rules for riding a kick-scooter in Ontario that I need to know?

Why yes, we’re happy you asked. ● You need to stand at all times while riding ● You must wear a bicycle helmet if under 18 years old. But we do recommend that all riders regardless of age wear a helmet. ● You are not permitted to carry passengers or carry cargo (so no double riding) ● Your scooter can only have a maximum speed of 24 km/h on a level surface ● Be a maximum weight of 45 kg ● Have a maximum power output of 500 watts ● Have two wheels and brakes ● Have a horn or bell ● Have at least one white light on front, one red light on rear and reflective material on sides ● Have a maximum wheel diameter of 17 inches ● E-scooters must not have: pedals, a seat or a basket

Can I take my electric kick-scooter for a spin on the highway or sidewalk?

Hold your horses! Electric kick-scooters aren't allowed on Ontario's highways, 400-series roads, or other major arterial roads. Stick to bike lanes, trails, and roads where bicycles are allowed. Most municipalities also prohibit kick scooters on sidewalks.

How should I maintain my electric kick-scooter's battery for optimal performance?

Good question. Your scooter's battery is like a pet – it needs regular care. Charge it fully before your first ride, and don't let it drain completely. Regular, partial charges are better than charging from 0% to 100% every time. And remember, extreme temperatures are as fun for your battery as they are for you (read: not fun at all), so try to store your scooter somewhere that is not too hot, too cold or damp and wet.

What safety gear should I wear while riding my electric kick-scooter?

Safety first, style second! We recommend a helmet as the bare minimum. But why stop there? Grab some knee and elbow pads, and if you're a night rider, make sure you have lights or reflective gear. Remember, the only thing cooler than a kick-scooter is a safe kick-scooter rider!

Do you provide service, repairs and tune-up?

We sure do. We have a fully equipped shop with skilled and continuously trained mechanics that can help diagnose and repair pretty much anything ebike or kick scooter related.

What if I have more questions?

We sure do. We have a fully equipped shop with skilled and continuously trained mechanics that can help diagnose and repair pretty much anything ebike or kick scooter related.

Other resources:

Riding an e-bike

Electric kick-style scooters (e-scooters)

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