Electric mountain bikes come with a lot of fun and speed. But do not expect the fun to last long if the battery dies out. No need to panic, though, because you can always recharge the bike to give your battery a boost to conquer some extra miles.
Charging an electric mountain bike is quite straightforward, especially if you know a thing or two you can do to increase the lifespan of the battery. The following tips should help you do just that to enhance the performance and efficiency of your E-bike. In most cases, new electric bikes come with a full charge and while on “hibernate” mode. You should confirm with your dealer if that is the case or if you have to charge it first before your first trip.
To determine if the battery pack is hibernated, you should press the energy level check button. If the LEDs of the battery pack fails to light, then it is in hibernation. To get it out of that mode, you should plug a charger (connected to a power outlet) into the battery pack then plug it out. At this point, the LED will light up if you push the energy level check button. The battery will then be ready for use and will not go back to hibernation.
When charging the battery, avoid any extreme temperature range. For instance, any temperature below 0 degrees Celsius and above 40 degree Celsius can shorten the life span of the battery due to insufficient charging.
As the battery is charging, expect to see a continuous red light from the LEDs of your charger. At the same time, the LEDs of the battery pack will either glow red to indicate the charge level or blink red to show that charging is underway. And when the charging is complete, the charge turns green while the LEDs on the battery pack go off.
Charging an electric mountain bike
There are many ways of charging an E-bike. All the methods depend on the type of the motor or the battery pack. Some brands are made to self-charge during pedaling while some have to be disconnected and attached to a plug-in. Take a look at some of the alternatives below.
Charging an e-bike at home
Many factors should be considered when charging an electric bike this way to ensure that the life span of the battery is extended. In most cases, the E-bike will come with a battery pack that has all accessories related to the battery. A bay where you can slot in chargers connecting the battery to the bikes is also included in the package. The location of the bay varies, but it is mostly placed at the center or near the rear wheel.
A charger and a power supply with slots for two cables that are connected to the power outlet on one end and the electric mountain bike battery on the other end is likely to come inside the package. The cable looks like the one that is connected to Xbox One.
For efficiency and improved performance, you need to use the official charger from the manufacturer of the motor. In some cases, other engines are compatible with other chargers, but you will need to confirm with your dealer first.
Occasionally, an electric mountain bike will also come with a power brick. One end of the brick is connected to the power plug while the other end is attached to the battery. If the battery cannot be detached from the bike, then one end of the brick is connected to the socket on the E-bike.
The best and most recommended method of charging an electric mountain bike is by using the charger that came with the battery pack and plugging it in a power socket. To charge your battery this way, you should do the following:
- Disconnect the battery pack from the E-bike.
- Turn off the battery pack switch.
- Plug the charger that came with the electric mountain bike or the battery pack into the main power outlet, for instance, a socket.
- Connect the charger to the battery pack.
- Switch on the main power outlet.
- Wait until the battery is fully charged to remove it from the charger and connect it to the E-bike again.
There are many other methods of charging an electric mountain bike. Most of these methods are not recommended, and in some ways, they may violate the terms of warranty and other after-sale services.
Alternative ways of charging an E-bike battery
You may find yourself in a situation where your electric bike battery dies out in the middle of nowhere. In such conditions, you require a quick fix to the battery to continue with your cycling. The most effective way to charge the cell on the go can be in one of the following places:
– Charging stations
Due to the popularity of electric bikes, some manufacturers like Bosch are coming up with power stations in odd areas. You may find an electric bike charging station in the woods, and you will only have to plug in your charger. But again, these places are not easy to locate. The best way to know if you are near a power station is by using an app (if you have one) that is compatible with the motor.
The procedure if charging an electric mountain bike in power stations is similar to home charging. Though you may not have the time to wait until your battery is fully charged, you are sure to get it a good boost that can help you finish the journey.
– Having an extra battery
The essence of charging an electric mountain bike is to have enough power to complete the journey. Sometimes the best way is to carry two batteries. If one goes off, all you need to do is disconnected, one that has run out of charge and connect the fully charged one.
– Use a quick charger
Quick chargers can reduce the time of charging. On the other hand, they can also reduce the life span of the battery. If you are well off and do not worry about the cost of the charger, the best option in the market is the Cycle Satiator. It is by far the fastest and most advanced charger in the market.
But bringing a charger alone does not get your battery charged if there are no power outlets. So here is what you will do if you have a quick charger.
You can charge your electric bike battery in many places as long as you have a charger. All that is needed is an AC outlet. You can walk into a restaurant, pub, café, and any other place. You have to ask the owner first before plugging in anything into their sockets.
The best way of charging this way is to ensure that you spend some money at those places. For instance, you can order lunch and eat while your battery is charging. But again, some batteries are removable while others are compactly fixed to the bikes. In the case that your battery cannot be detached from the bike, you will need a running extension lead to connect to the bike outside.
– Charging using a car battery
Another charging option is using your car battery. You only need to have the right set up to get your E-bike battery charging on the go. If you get this one wrong, you may end up damaging your battery.
What you need:
- An inverter that can convert the power coming from car battery to the right voltage for your E-bike battery
- Alternator tester that is used to switch off the power once your E-bike battery is full
- A power energy monitor that indicates the amount of charge flowing into the E-bike battery
Additionally, you need to have the right charger with a power factor correction. The proper power factor reading of a charger should be 80% and above. Between 50% and 79% is okay but may not be as effective, while anything below 50% may take forever to charge the E-bike battery. Also, note that you should not charge a completely dead E-bike cell if the engine of the car if off.
With all the components, you need to set up by connecting the inverter to the battery of the car. You then plug in the alternator tester into the inverter then connect your charger. Attach the other end of the charger to the E-bike battery and let it charge. Once the battery is full, you will see a green light on the charger, and the alternator tester will disconnect the flow of power to avoid overcharging the battery.
– Portable battery with Solar panel
If you have a car, then you can bring along a solar charging system such as the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator. This power generator is often combined with Nomad solar panels that help tap in the solar energy and convert it into electric power that can be used to charge E-bike batteries.
All you need to do is to charge the generator at home before leaving. The solar panel is meant to top up the battery in areas that lack electricity.
There you go. You now have some alternative ways of charging your electric mountain bike on the go. If you run out of power in some places with no electricity, all you need to do is pedal to the nearest outlet and use any of the methods outlined in this article to get your E-bike battery charged.
But before you think of charging your electric mountain bike battery, you should always know the range of the cell to avoid being found in situations where you have to pedal for long distances to charge the battery. E-bikes are a bit heavier, and you may not enjoy cycling without motor assistance. Lastly, you may have to consider going for eMTB models that self-charge as you ride.