Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions about electric, cargo and folding bikes.
ELECTRIC BIKE FAQs
The short answer to this question is far enough! . We find people spend a lot of time asking about range before they buy a bike, and we never hear about it again once they get it. We just don’t get many stories of people running out of battery. For most folks, after an hour or two of riding, it's time to move on and do something else.
With that said, this can be a complicated question for people because there isn’t a single standard and different electric bike companies make vastly different claims about range. So we'll go over some simple math that can help you objectively predict and compare the ranges of different electric bikes.
All batteries have a Voltage and Amp Hour rating. If you multiply the two together you get watt hours, which is a measurement of the actual amount of energy stored in the battery.
For example, the standard Pedego battery is 36 Volts and 10Ah which equals 360 watt hours.
Now this is where is gets tricky because there are so many variables, but on average, you can expect to use between 15-25 watt hours per mile. This number fluctuates so much because of differences in terrain, rider weight, weather, speed and most importantly how much you pedal.
Once you estimate how many watt hours you will use, you can use that to calculate your expected range.
We find that 18 Wh/mile is the most common average across the board, so that’s what we’ll use to predict the range of the three Pedego batteries.
Under that assumption that standard battery should last about 20 miles, the extended range should be about 30, and the more powerful battery should be good for about 27 miles.
One final note, the preceding predictions are a bit simplistic. In practice, riders with 48V batteries tend to use more energy (because they can), so to be conservative we generally advise people to expect about the same range out of the 48V battery as the standard 36V battery.
So, if we assume you're using 24 wh/mile the 48V battery should give you about 20 miles.
All Pedegos are governed at 20MPH in accordance with federal and state laws.
Many e-bike manufacturers have started promoting bikes with higher top speeds of up to 30MPH.
We feel this unsafe and irresponsible, and we don’t support it.
In our experience, 20MPH is fast enough!
A battery will charge is between 2-6 hours with a standard wall outlet.
There is no memory, so you don't have to worry about discharging it completely, and it's best to recharge it after each use.
It uses very little energy- usually about ten cents worth.
And it includes a smart charger that will automatically shut off when it's done.
Our experience shows that most people will be completely satisfied with the standard 36V 10Ah battery. In general, it provides plenty of power and it usually lasts longer than the person riding the bike.
That said, most people do choose to upgrade to either the extended range 36V 15Ah battery or the more powerful 48V 10Ah battery.
The extended range battery is best for trips over 20 miles or if you plan to pedal very little or not at all. Another thing to consider is even if you don’t use it on a regular basis, it can really come in handy to have excess capacity and it will also prolong the life of the battery before it needs to be replaced.
The more powerful battery is best for riders over 200 pounds or if there are really steep hills involved. It is also the most popular and the most exciting to ride.
You can your battery to last about 2-4 years.
They don't just stop working altogether, what happens is they gradually lose their capacity over time.
Pedego batteries are backed up by an industry-leading three year warranty, where the first year is guaranteed 100% and the next two years are pro-rated based on how long you've had the battery.
The cost of ownership is between 54 and 73 cents a day.
To prolong the life of your battery it's suggested that you avoid discharging it completely, and the big thing is to make sure that you charge it at least once every couple months.
The Interceptor and City Commuter have more similarities than differences. Neither is better than the other, it’s just a matter of preference.
The first difference is that the Interceptor is only available with the 48V battery and neither of the 36V options are available.
The Interceptor is nearly identical to the 48V City Commuter, and the primary difference is the frame.
The Interceptor uses a beach cruiser frame that’s designed to be comfortable. It features pedal forward geometry that promotes a very upright riding position and allows you to put both feet flat on the ground when you stop. This laid back posture doesn't really lend itself to rigorous pedaling- it’s for cruising.
Also, the Interceptor's step through model is lower and easier to get on and off than the City Commuter step through.
The City Commuter uses a more traditional frame that 's still pretty comfortable while allowing for more vigorous pedaling if you want.
The next difference is the handlebars, and let me preface this by saying that both bikes use standard sized bicycle stems and handlebars that can easily be changed.
The Interceptor uses wide, swept back bars that really allow you to sit straight up and relax your upper body. Because they are quite wide, they can take a little time to get used to, and it’s common for people to have mixed feeling at first and learn to love them in a very short period of time.
The City Commuter uses traditional city-style handle bars that many people find to be very natural and familiar. The quick release adjustable handlebar stem allows you to easily dial everything in just right for you at any particular moment. This is great for multiple riders sharing a bike or if you plan to change your riding style and position frequently. Though in practice, most people find the position that works best for them and just leave it there.
Next is the size of the wheels and tires, and I’ll preface this by saying the actual effects that this has on your riding would be considered pretty subtle for most people. Riding blindfolded (which we don’t suggest!) I doubt that the average person on the street would notice much of a difference- all other things being equal.
The Interceptor comes with 26 x 2.35 tires and the City Commuter is 28 x 2.00.
So the Interceptor is a smaller diameter wheel with a wider tire and the City Commuter is a larger diameter wheel with a bit more narrow tire.
The wider tire is going to provide a bit more cushioning for a smoother ride, while the more narrow tire will have less rolling resistance and be a bit more efficient.
The smaller diameter wheel is a bit stronger inherently and will accelerate better, while the larger wheel should be a bit more stable at high speeds.
The final differences are that the City Commuter comes with fenders and it’s optional on the Interceptor and the chain guard on the City Commuter has better coverage than the Interceptor.
If you happen to have a great local Pedego dealer then we always suggest you shop there. Even if you have to pay a little more, it's usually gonna be the best overall experience.
Naturally, there are lots of people that don't have that luxury, and that's where Practical Cycle comes in. We've worked with people all over the country, and we're confident that we can support you and make it easy for you to buy a Pedego no matter where you're physically located.
Your bike will be fully assembled, tuned, and tested before it's repackaged in a reinforced box to prevent damage in transit. It will arrive on your doorstep almost completely assembled. All you have to do is put on the handlebars and pedals and you'll be out riding in no time.
After the bike's been ridden about 100 miles you'll need to take it to a local bike shop for a basic tune-up. This is standard procedure for all new bikes as they're broken in. It has nothing to do with the electrical components, and any bike shop can do it. It should cost you about 40-60 dollars.
And of course, if you ever need help or in the rare case that there's a warranty issue, we'll be here for you. We'll work with you or a local bike shop and send whatever parts you need to get back on the road. Generally, you're responsible for any labor costs involved, but there have been cases where we'll pay if it seems like the right thing to do.
At the end of the day, we'll do whatever it takes to make sure you're delighted with your bike and overall experience.
When purchasing a Pedego electric bike, you have the option of which battery to choose based on voltage and amp hour ratings. Watch this video to help you select the right battery for you.
Everyone knows that electric bicycles are easy to ride, but isn't that cheating? We think not. This video shows that e-bikes are fun, healthy, affordable, and green transportation, and features real Practical Cycle customers on their Pedego Electric Bikes.
If you’ve ever had a hard time selecting the right size bike and frame, then this ‘how to’ video is just for you. We cover everything from frame types and sizes, to proper bike adjustments.
Hi, I’m Tim with Practical Cycle in Sacramento, California. Today I want to talk about which Pedego model and frame size will be the right fit for your body type. There are two key dimensions we are concerned with: Leg extension to the pedal, and arm reach to the handlebar.
Let’s start with leg extension. Often folks have a strong desire to put their feet flat on the ground when seated, but let me explain why this is incorrect and will actually decrease your enjoyment. If you bend your knee too much at the top of the rotation, the result will eventually be sore knees due to hyperextension. Using the full length of your downstroke is the most efficient use of your energy. If your butt comes up off the seat when you do this, that is how much the seat needs to be raised. When the seat is at the proper height, only your toes will touch the ground. So, the proper seat height will be when the ball of your foot is resting on the pedal at the bottom of the rotation. There will be a slight bend of the knee. You fully straighten your leg by dropping the heel.
Often people are concerned about falling over when they come to a stop, and have a hard time getting on the bike with the seat so high, so let’s address those concerns. There are two solutions to this. First is to simply hop off the seat using one of the pedals as a step. The other is to lean to one side or the other and rest one foot on the ground, keeping the other foot on a pedal.
To get back up on the seat, again we use the lowest pedal as a step. And with the Pedego twist-and-go throttle, it is easy to get the bike rolling. Once you are rolling, the gyroscopic effect takes over, and it is unlikely that you will fall over.
Arm reach is really according to your comfort. The handlebar is closer on step-through models than step-over models, because typically taller people also have longer arms. If we get the leg extension right, odds are good the handlebar reach will work well too. In any case, most Pedego models either come with or will accept an adjustable handlebar stem, so you can find the perfect position for maximum comfort.
Now let’s talk about which models are most suitable for your height.
Let’s start with the smallest frame we offer, the one with 24 inch wheels. This size is most suitable for those 5 feet and under, but we have seen that some customers up to 5’ 2” feel most comfortable on this model.
Next, we have the Small City Commuter with 26 inch wheels. This model is ideal for those desiring a step-through frame, and in the height range from 5’ 2” through about 5’ 6”. There is a Small Step-Over City Commuter that will work well for riders between 5” 4” and 5’ 8” with good flexibility to get their leg over the top bar.
The next choice is the standard size step-through Interceptor frame with 26 inch wheels. This model works well for those 5’ 4” through about 5’ 10” that desire a step-through frame. Consider one of the step-through models if you have flexibility issues, hip problems, or a hard time lifting your feet very high off the ground. For those with exceptional challenges lifting their legs, the Boomerang model offers the most accessibility, with a bar just 9 inches off the ground. This bike works well for riders from 5’ 4” through about 5’ 10” but does not have the relaxed posture and foot-forward feel of the Interceptor frames, because the seat mast is more vertical, and the pedals are not as far forward as the Interceptor.
If you are taller than 5’ 10” the next choice would be the Step-Over Interceptor or Classic City Commuter. We have found that these models work well for riders as tall as 6’ 3’ with the stock seat post, and taller riders can select an extended seat post to gain the full leg extension required for maximum enjoyment.
The best way to know for sure what frame is right for you is to visit Practical Cycle and ride the models you are interested in. But we understand that may not be feasible. In the event the model you choose just doesn’t work out, you may return it in good condition for a refund, minus the shipping costs. Please don’t hesitate to call or email with any questions. We are eager to help you choose the right electric bike for your maximum enjoyment.
Yes! But don't take our word for it. Watch Danielle, a real life Practical Cycle customer from Davis, California, talk about her experience using her "car-to-go," an Edgerunner cargo bike equipped with a Family package and powered with a BionX electric assist system as a daily driver.
Sometimes fixing a flat on an electric bike can be challenging. Especially, when it’s the tire that hosts the motor. In this video we will show you how to change a flat tire on a Pedego City Commuter electric bike.
In this DIY video, learn how to change and adjust the disc brakes on your Pedego electric bike.
Schwalbe Mondial Tires: The Mondials are the ultimate touring tire, made for roads, tracks and trails of all continents. The Mondial tires are so durable that potholes, debris and rocks on dirt trails are eaten up without any problems. They have flat resistant technology that gives this all terrain tire a 10,000 miles guarantee.
Basil Tour XL Bag: The Tour XL is an extra large double bike bag. It is made up of water repellent 600D polyester. The bag is capable of carrying up to 40 liters worth of space in it's easy-to-clean bags. The Tour XL bag also has double reflective stripes on all sides to ensure your safety.
***Style is subject to availability.
Abus Bordo Folding Lock: This lock is conveniently compact thanks to its link construction. The lock is made up of 5mm special hardened steal bars that are linked together by special rivets. The bars are coated in 2-components to prevent damage to the bicycle's paintwork. The Abus Bordo Folding lock combines the durability with a U-Lock with the flexibility of a cable.
The BionX P 350 RX electric assist system is the most reliable conversion system we have found and will provide years of trouble free assistance to make your Nihola even more useful. We highly recommend this upgrade for hills and/or heavy loads.
CARGO BIKE FAQs
The Nihola Flex is a great demonstration of just how much a cargo bike can carry. The Flex can carry up to 264 pounds—excluding the rider—and even a full-sized wheelchair with occupant! To learn more, view our video to see Chinh talk about what makes cargo bikes such a great transportation option for those who need to carry serious cargo!
Curious how the nihola Flex can help you haul some serious cargo and help you transport loved ones who are wheelchair bound? Then stay tuned, the details are coming right up!
Hi there, I'm Chinh with Practical Cycle and I'm proud to present the award-winning nihola Flex cargo bike, which is an ideal transportation choice for transporting cargo and is specially wheelchairs, offering the very best in safety and ease of use.
The nihola stands out from the crowd because it’s incredibly easy to steer and ride. It's stable and smooth on the road. The front wheels turn independently of the frame using sophisticated Ackerman Steering geometry, allowing for smoother turns and increased steering control by the rider.
It’s also equipped with a hydraulic steering damper that smooths any bumps in the road, so your riding experience will be comfortable and pleasant.
You will feel extra stable and balanced when riding the nihola due to its low platform which sits below the axles and its inherent stability as a tricycle.
The nihola Flex cargo is specially designed for wheelchairs with a wheelchair ramp that is built into the frame and works with two gas dampers. It is possible to transport wheelchairs up to 26 inches wide and up to 264 lbs, excluding the rider. The wheelchair is easily secured with a super strong tie down strap system that's also used in trains, buses and cars.
Niholas are hand built in Copenhagen Denmark and the quality is top notch. They also come fully equipped with all the practical features you need for everyday riding.
It features stainless steel construction, a sealed bottom bracket bearing, double wall aluminum wheels, kevlar belted tires, front drum brakes with a locking parking brake, a frame lock that opens and closes with a key, front and rear fenders, and optional lights that fit on a special mount.
The nihola also features an internally geared hub which is virtually maintenance-free and allows for shifting at any time, even when you're sitting still.
We believe that nihola makes the very best cargo tricycles in the entire world. That's why we went to great lengths to import them directly from Denmark to make them available to you. Practical Cycle is currently the only shop in North America that has niholas in stock.
If you live nearby, come in for a free test ride and see for yourself how wonderful and amazing these bikes are. Otherwise, you can easily order one online or over the phone, and we'll ship it right to your doorstep, fully assembled. Please feel free to call or e-mail us if you have any questions at all. We'd love to talk to you. Thanks so much for watching!
Not at all! In the video above, watch Practical Cycle's owner Tim Castleman easily roll a Nihola 2 cargo bike through a standard 36 inch doorway.
FOLDING BIKE FAQs
Believe it or not, with a little practice you can fold up a Brompton bike in only 15 seconds!
Don't believe us? Watch the video and Chinh from Practical Cycle will show you how you can do it too.
Hi, I'm Chinh with Practical Cycle, and today I’m going to show you how to fold the Brompton in less than 15 seconds.
- The first step is to press the latch and flip the bike under into kickstand mode.
- Next, position the pedal out of the way by moving it towards the back.
- Now, loosen the first fastener just enough so you can hook the front tire onto the bar on the bike frame.
- Loosen the 2nd fastener just enough to allow the handlebar to fall down by itself.
- Next, allow the seat to fall down by itself.
- Lastly, fold up the pedal. That's it!
Now, here's how to unfold the Brompton foldable bike.
- First, unfold the handle by pushing forward on the right grip. Snug the clamp, just finger-tight.
- Next, fully extend the seat.
- Now, unhook the front tire from the frame by putting your hand on the handlebar and lifting up slightly and forward. Snug the clamp down, just finger tight.
- Fully unfold the bike by lifting the seat up and over in an arcing motion.
- Last, unfold the pedal, and you're ready to ride!
So that's how you fold and unfold the Brompton.
To learn more about these amazing bikes, check out our folding bikes page. If you’d like to design your own Brompton, visit our Brompton Builder page. Once you have your final build, copy the code and paste it into the reference number field here, and we'll order it for you.
Want to know how to choose the handlebar for your Brompton folding bike that’s best for you?
The first style is the S-type handlebar. This is a sportier option for faster, more aggressive riders. It's also great for petite people.
The next handlebar is the M-type. This is the most common type, and fits most riders. It keeps the pressure off of your wrist and gives you a more upright position, but still allows you to go pretty fast.
The next type is the H-type handlebar. It's taller, with a longer, extended neck. This is for those who prefer an even more upright riding stance. It's easy on the wrists and hands, and is good for enjoying the scenery as you ride along. It’s also great for taller riders.
The final option is the P-style handlebar. It gives you a more upright ride, so you can sit straight up, but it also has a lower-positioned grip so you can go faster and be more aggressive. You also have the option of using the side grips on this handlebar. With all of these grip options, this is a great handlebar for touring.
Those are the four handlebar options to choose from. Visit our folding bikes section to learn more, or check out our Brompton Builder to customize your very own Brompton. Once you have your final build, copy the code and paste it into the reference number field here, and we'll order it for you.
Confused about all the gearing options to customize your Brompton? There are four different types of gears that you can choose for your Brompton folding bicycle.
The first option is the single speed, which has just one gear. This is the simplest and lightest option, and it keeps the bike and the handlebar looking clean, simple, uncluttered. This gearing option is great for riding in the city, or on flat terrain.
The second option is the 2-speed. This is just as simple as the single speed, but adds a shifting lever on the left handlebar. It includes a high and low gear for tacking those occasional hills. It's low maintenance, low cost, and almost as light as a Brompton with the single speed.
The third option is the 3-speed. It has a lever on the right handlebar that you can shift while sitting still. This is a great benefit when you're sitting at a red light and need to start up quickly. The three gears are useful for regular riding, riding uphill, and when you want to go faster. It does have a rear internal hub, which adds a little weight to the bike. It is still low maintenance, and is the most popular option for Brompton owners.
The fourth and last option to customize your Brompton folding bicycle is the 6-speed. You have the 3-speed shifters on the right that you can shift at any time, and also has the 2-speed shifter on the left that can only be shifted while pedaling. This adds more weight and more complexity to the bike, but it adds the most variety of speeds and gearing for all sorts of hills and terrain. The 6-speed option is perfect for touring on the bike, and for longer distances.
In addition, we can modify all of these Brompton gear packages with a different sized front chamber. If you want it to be easier to pedal uphill, or if you want to go faster, Practical Cycle can modify it for that too.
Watch our video to see examples of some of our most popular Brompton bags!