With everything going electricl, it’s no surprise that e-bikes are also surging in popularity. But can you use electric bikes without a battery?
Maybe you just want the exercise, or maybe the battery died and you’re still far away from your house – in such cases, what do you do?
Electric bikes work pretty much the same way normal bicycles do when the battery is off, so riding your e-bike wouldn’t be very different from a traditional bicycle. That said, you may face a bit of difficulty when riding an e-bike without the battery that you wouldn’t with a regular bicycle.
If e-bikes were exactly the same as regular bikes, they wouldn’t be e-bikes at all, so it’s understandable that there is a difference. From the extra weight of the battery tohow to actually ride a bike without battery, there are plenty of things to consider.
While looking into e-bikes, we found a lot of useful information about e-bikes, especially when it comes to the issue of riding without a battery. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Riding an Electric Bike Without the Battery
One question you may have could be: why would anyone want to ride an electric bike without the battery? After all, e-bikes are not very easy on your wallet, and if you spent all that money on them, you would want to actually be able to use the electronic function, right?
This is true, but many bikers do prefer to have pedal assistance where possible, and sometimes riders will even prefer to not use the bike’s electronic functions as well. This could be for any reason, but the important thing is that since you spend so much money on an e-bike, having the flexibility to switch is also useful.
Why Would You Ride an e-bike without the Battery?
There could be a number of reasons. Let’s consider some of them:
Airlines usually aren’t very excited to have battery-powered items on board. This is because there is always the risk of these batteries exploding in the cargo area where there is no pressure, and causing trouble. Sometimes, they may let you carry the battery with you in the pressurized cabins, or you can rent one from your destination. In any case, if you’re traveling with your bike, you may have to ride it without the battery for a while.
If you’re into mountain biking, then you’d want to head to the fun parts of the mountain where your biking adventures will be more exciting. For this, you usually have to use a chairlift, but these come with weight limits. If you’re just the slightest bit ahead of the weight limit, the most likely option is that you’d remove the battery, since it’s the easiest part of your e-bike to remove.
This is probably the most common reason bikers go without their batteries. Maybe you forgot to charge it before you left the house and ran out midway. Or, perhaps, you may have thought you had it with you but had actually forgotten it at home. Either way, if you ran out of battery and still have some biking to do, you can switch to the pedals, but you’d want to remove the battery first.
This is because the battery adds significant weight to the bike, and without the electronic assistance, you’d just be hauling around some dead weight as you pedal. It’s best to remove the battery.
Another reason to ride without the battery is simply the fitness factor. While the assistance makes it a lot easier to ride your bike, if you’re biking for health purposes, it’s actually not helping you out much. That’s why a good portion of the biking community removes the battery so they can get some traditional biking done, while having the option to switch to assistance when needed. Whatever your reasons may be, riding your e-bike without the battery will definitely contribute towards your health.
Can You Ride an Electric Bike Without The Battery?
You can ride an e-bike without the battery with very little difference. If you’re concerned about damage, you can rest assured that removing the battery from your e-bike will not harm it in any way. The motor and the bike remain unchanged.
That said, while riding your e-bike isn’t necessarily very different from riding a traditional bike, there are some differences. For example, the e-bike has some extra parts that make it an ‘electric’ bike, and these have weight. The main components which contribute to the weight are the battery, the frame and the motor.
The battery for an e-bike will usually weigh somewhere between the 7 and 12 lb range. This doesn’t sound like too much when you think about it, but the weight becomes very noticeable when you’re pedaling over longer distances. Depending on the bike and your needs, a lighter battery may also work, in case you want to ride without it frequently without removing the actual battery.
Electric bikes usually have frames made of aluminum alloys, because of the strength and affordability. These are also relatively lighter than frames made of steel, which makes them much easier to ride if you aren’t using the assistance from the battery.
The motor is another major contributor towards the overall weight of the bike. An average bike motor will weigh approximately 10 lb – similar to the battery. Crank or direct drive motors will usually weigh less than hub motors.
If you’re riding without the help of the battery, these three factors will affect the weight of the bike. If you know that you’d be using your bike without the battery on occasion, you can keep these in mind before you make your purchase.
But if you’ve already made your purchase, then the only difference between riding your e-bike and riding a traditional bike would be that e-bikes are a bit more strenuous to ride. Because they have at least two to three times the weight of a regular bike, not having the assistance from the battery and motor would be very noticeable.
Despite any tips to ride an e-bike without a battery, there’s no way you can get around the issue of weight, so you’d have to stick through. While it can be harder, it’s not impossible, and you’d be able to get from point A to point B. You may find yourself quite tired when you get there, though.
Tips on Riding an e-bike Without Battery
While it is a bit harder to ride an electric bike than a traditional bike, there are ways to make the experience smoother than it would be otherwise.
If you’re dealing with an unexpected flat battery, you may have to lug around some dead weight, but if you have the space to store it – like a car, or your house – you should do so.
You can also try different gears to help you ride smoothly, even if you don’t have the assist option. Also make sure to keep the space your battery goes clean, because any debris on the surface when the battery connects again later can cause problems.
Make sure to leave your battery on charge if possible, so that when you can ride with assistance again, your battery is ready to help you out.
At the end of the day, a bike is a bike. Some bikes are meant to be ridden differently, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to ride them the way you’re used to. While riding an electric bike is a bit tough, you can very much do so without the battery.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson