e-Bike Batteries: All you need to know about their range and life

The range of your battery is determined by its battery capacity (measured in watt hours, Wh). The higher the capacity, the longer the distance covered on a single charge. 

How do I choose the right battery capacity for my needs?

Range - i.e. the number of miles you can cover on a charged battery - depends primarily on the battery's original capacity. However, other factors can have a major influence on range: the level of electric assistance used, the road surface and its gradient, weather conditions, and your weight.

For reference, the table below includes the average range per battery capacity for different uses. This table assumes a rider weight of 165lb (not including the weight of the electric bike) and usage of an intermediate electric assistance mode:

Is it risky to buy a reconditioned bike with its original battery?

Not at all! The lifespan of a battery reduces in a nonlinear fashion: it can complete around 500 charge cycles before starting to lose significant and increasingly large amounts of range. Counting an average of 40 miles per charge cycle, this means that an electric bike can about 20,000 miles without any problem, while maintaining a very good range. The bikes we sell at Upway are still in the early stages of their lives!

Unlike most places where you buy used e-bikes (eBay, Facebook marketplace, etc), Upway's bikes are carefully tuned by our expert mechanics in the following ways: 

1. A diagnosis of the bike's battery, whenever possible. We issue a service report containing the number of charge cycles already completed: this data is displayed on the bike's page.

2. After 1,000 miles or 5 years, an additional capacity test is performed. If we judge the remaining capacity to be insufficient (i.e. less than 80% of its original value), the battery is reconditioned or replaced.
In practice, it is very rare to find problems linked to the age of the battery. Other factors, however, such as prolonged storage in poor conditions (bike parked in direct sunlight, battery left fully discharged...) can reduce its lifespan: this is why we thoroughly test bikes beyond a certain age.

💡 The battery and electrical components on all our bikes come with a one-year warranty. So you can rest assured about the battery life of your future reconditioned bike.

Does the position of the battery on the bike matter?

The position of the battery has a major influence on:

  • Ease of removal for charging
  • The stability of the bike, as the weight of the battery can shift its center of gravity

There are three main types of areas in which the battery can be found on an e-bike:

Rack-Mounted Batteries

This type of battery is generally found on entry-level bikes.

It is very easy to remove, but tends to shift the bike's center of gravity to the rear. It is also easier to steal than an integrated battery.

Semi-Integrated Frame Battery

This tends to be our most preferred option! The battery is very easy to remove and its central position doesn't affect the weight distribution of the bike. The ride feels extremely similar to that of an analog bike.

The battery can be located on the bottom tube, top tube or even in the seat tube.

Frame-Integrated Battery

This is the most aesthetically pleasing solution. Weight distribution is ideal and ensures excellent bike handling.

Most of the time, the battery is removable. If it is not, make sure you have a power outlet close to where you store your bike, so you can recharge it.

Is it possible to use your bike like a normal bicycle when the battery is depleted?

Yes, but please keep in mind that an electric bike is heavier than a conventional bicycle!

If the motor is positioned in one of the wheels, you won't encounter any particular resistance. On the other hand, if the motor is in a central position (integrated into the crankset), you'll encounter additional resistance compared to a standard bike.

Is it possible to replace the original battery with a higher-capacity one?

This depends on the bike model. Upway does not make modifications on request when reconditioning an electric bike. However, don't hesitate to talk to our team to find out whether the stock battery on your bike can eventually be replaced by a higher-capacity battery. On average, a new battery costs around $500.

Updated on October 5, 2023