What is an electric bicycle?
An electric bicycle, or ebike, is simply a regular bicycle with an integrated battery and battery powered motor. The electronic system acts as a primary means to power the bicycle forward on battery power alone or act as an power assist to smooth out hill climbs, power through headwinds and save the rider energy while traveling.
Are they allowed on the road?
All Volton Bicycles are built and classified as road legal bicycles within the legislation stated in federal amendment 15 U.S.C. 2085(b), or HR 727.
Federal electric bicycle amendment HR 727
With our electric bicycles classified as road legal bicycles, no registration or licensing is needed to own and operate our products.
Though most states follow the federal rules, some states (and local municipalities) have increased restrictions pertaining to electric bicycles use on public roads and trail systems. Please search your state/city laws regarding bicycle and electric bicycle use.
It is important that you follow the rules of the road and operate the bicycle in a safe way wherever you are riding.
Does the extra weight make it difficult to pedal without motor power?
We wouldn’t say the extra weight makes it difficult to pedal without the motor. The extra fifteen pounds has very little effect on its ride ability. The extra weight will require more power while pedaling uphill but it is hardly noticeable on flat terrain. Once you experience the power output and the exhilaration of riding our bicycles we are confident you will decide that the extra weight is a very reasonable tradeoff.
Does the battery recharge while you pedal?
This is usually the first or second question we get asked about our electric bicycles. The answer? Well, technically, yes the hub motor has regenerative charging capabilities but at normal operating ranges the rate of charge is very negligible and insignificant.
Volton bicycles are designed to draw battery power to assist while you pedal or control the throttle. The battery is recharged by simply connecting to a wall outlet until a full charge is reached.
On the other hand, regenerative charging systems works by having the rider work against the motor to replenish power. The effect is along the lines of riding with the brakes on while towing a heavy trailer. Regenerating systems also eliminate the opportunity to coast – one of the best things about riding a bike. Because of this, our electric drive systems do not implement regenerative features.
Are Volton Bicycles fast?
Our bicycles come standard with 36V battery packs. There are number of variables that effect the maximum speed of the electric bicycles. As a standard rate, a 180 lb person wearing street clothes on 26×2.5 inch tires riding on flat asphalt reaches approximately 17 mph. Our higher capacity 48v Samsung pack on our Alation 500 easily reaches 20 mph.
It is very important to keep your tires properly inflated. This simple maintenance reduces drag which benefits speed, range and riding comfort. It also prevents flat tires.
How far can I ride on one charge?
Our battery packs come standard of having 11 amp-hours (Ah). As with the top speed, total range has many variables that effect the outcome. Though competitors often claim 40 mile ranges on their electric bike builds, these are outcomes reached under the most optimal conditions and are not realistic when used outside of their “perfect” testing parameters. There are many scenarios that can reduce range and many of them can be overcome by simply pedaling the bicycle to relieve the spikes in energy flow from the battery, which shortens total range.On battery power alone, a 180 lb person on 26×2.5 tires can travel about 17 miles at moderate speed on flat ground. With a medium level of pedal assist a range of 28 miles can be reached.
While using throttle only from a standing position, energy flow from the battery is high. Constantly using the throttle to power the bike from standing will exhaust the battery and reduce range. You can counter this by pedaling to reduce the stress and torque put on the electric drive system. The same rules apply to climbing hills. Though our electric drive system will power you up hills with ease, you can optimize the range of the pack by pedaling to reduce stress and energy flow out of the battery. With a minimum amount of pedal assist, you can climb hills and power through the wind without breaking a sweat while at the same time greatly extend the range of your battery pack.
What if I want a bigger motor or battery?
Through research, testing and riding a variety of electric bicycles we have reached a great balance with our bicycles. We have worked hard to supply you with well-designed bicycles that utilize the best components at an affordable price.
Volton Bicycle models stay within the parameters to be classified as road-legal bicycles – no registration, licensing or insurance fees are required. We offer affordable electric bikes that have the power to climb steep hills with ease and can travel over 30 miles on a charged battery. We also offer a model that easily reaches a top speed of 20 mph.
Our mission is to supply and support electric bicycles as a convenient, affordable, comfortable and fun form of transportation and Volton Bicycle models help convey that message.
We cannot offer support to any modifications to our bicycles. Any modification to our bicycles voids all warranties.
Where can I recycle my used batteries?
We encourage you to recycle your old batteries, and the US Government has excellent information about ‘eCycling’.
Call2Recycle has a large network of drop-off locations for old electronics and batteries.
We also recommend that you check with your own city and state for additional information, resources and guidelines.