Are Electric Bikes With Dead Batteries Hard to Ride? (We Checked)

Electric bikes are on the rise in major urban centers worldwide. People use them for commuting and transportation, but they also use them for exercise.

Some people even use them as a hobby because they are fun to ride or because they want to stay active and healthy. What happens when your battery dies while riding your electric bike?

In this post, we will discuss the issue of riding electric bikes with dead batteries.

We’ll review some preventative measures and responses you can make if this happens to you:

Why it is Harder to Ride an Electric Bike with a Dead Battery:

Riding an electric bike with a dead battery can be difficult due to the added weight of the motor and battery, making it harder to pedal, especially uphill. Electric bikes can weigh up to 65 pounds or more and can be 10 times heavier than standard road bikes.

Are Electric Bikes With Dead Batteries Hard to Ride?

Riding an electric bike with a dead battery is difficult, especially on rough terrain and uphill.

Even though they can be ridden normally if the battery dies, electric bikes are more difficult to handle due to their heavier weight.

A battery powers an electric bike’s motor, propelling the rider. The motor can be powered by either a rechargeable battery or a removable power pack.

An electric bicycle’s motor can be a hub motor or a mid-drive motor:

  • Hub motors provide a boost as you pedal because they’re housed in the wheel hub. This motor is best suited for leisurely rides due to its lack of power.
  • Motors mounted in the frame’s midsection, known as a “mid-drive,” offer more support than hub motors but also make it more challenging to pedal without power.

Most people find it easier to ride an electric bike than a traditional bicycle because the motor supplements the effort required of the rider’s muscles.

However, when your battery dies, all that energy has to come from you. So it becomes much more difficult.

The added weight due to the motor and the electric bike’s battery makes it harder to ride when the battery is dead because you have to do more work to get it moving.

This is especially true if you’re going uphill, but it can also make a difference when trying to ride up a slight incline on flat ground.

Will You Feel Any Resistance When the Battery is Dead?

If the battery is dead and you’re riding on your power alone, you’ll feel much more resistance in your pedaling.

When riding a bike with a dead battery, nothing is powering the motor and helping to push you along.

So when you’re pedaling, all of that resistance comes from the weight of your body and the friction between your wheels and the ground.

A fully charged battery on an electric bike will allow you to pedal with little effort.

That’s because the motor is working to propel you forward. The motor kicks in when you pedal, and when you stop pedaling, the motor stops.

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How Much Heavier Are Electric Bikes?

Electric bikes can weigh as much as 65 pounds or more. The lightest electric bike is 23 pounds, while the lightest standard road bike is about 6 pounds.

That’s almost 10 times heavier than the lightest standard road bike.

The main reason is that motors, batteries, wirings, and heavier frames will all contribute to the bike’s weight.

Suppose you’re riding a heavier electric, and the battery dies.

In that case, you’ll need to remember that the extra weight will make it more challenging to push the bike up hills and maintain a steady pedaling pace over long distances.

Here are some examples of electric bikes and standard bikes and their weight for comparison:

Electric Bikes and their Weight:

Hummingbird Electric 2.0

Weight: 22.7 lbs

Battery capacity: 158Wh

The Hummingbird Electric 2.0 is the lightest folding electric bike on the market today.

It weighs only 21 pounds and folds down, so you can easily store it in your trunk or closet when not in use.

Aventon – Electric – Level.2 Step-Through Commuter Ebike

Weight: 53 lbs

Battery capacity: 672Wh

The Level.2 can reach speeds of up to 20 mph when fully charged, and it ships as a Class II e-bike with pedal assist and throttle.

Velotric Discover 1 Bike High Step / Step-Thru

Weight: 65lbs

Battery: 692Wh

The Discover 1 has double Hydraulic-Disc Brakes, an IPX6 waterproof design, and a rear light with a braking high-beam function for maximum rider protection in any environment.

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Standard Bikes and their Weight:

Hummingbird Single-Speed Folding Bike

Weight: 15.4 lbs

The Hummingbird Single-speed Folding Bike is the world’s lightest folding bike. It’s ideal for commuting, daily transportation, and just having fun.

The compact and sturdy design is also great for storing in small spaces at home and on public transport.

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

Weight: 35.5 lbs

The Schwinn Discover hybrid bike is the perfect solution for all riders looking to cruise on their ride.

An alloy hybrid frame and suspension fork give you a smooth, comfortable ride.

21-speed shifters with rear derailleur offer precise gear changes, while alloy linear-pull brakes deliver exceptional stopping power.

Schwinn Phocus 1600

Weight: 35 lbs

The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is a sleek, lightweight aluminum road bike with a forward riding position that puts you in a great position to push your limits.

The 16-speed shifters and caliper brakes provide safe, controlled stopping power as you race down winding roads, while the changeable gearing keeps you well-matched to your fitness level and terrain.

What Happens When the Battery Dies?

Even if the battery on your electric bike dies, you can still ride it. Pedaling is the same as on any other type of road bike.

You can keep going without the motor, though it might be tougher if you’re not used to pedaling very far at a time. All that extra weight and resistance will feel more like a workout than a ride.

To avoid this situation, try not to rely on your bike’s motor when it comes to long rides or hills. Instead of using it as a crutch, use it as an emergency backup in case something goes wrong with your bike or body.

Additionally, ensure that you keep your bike charged enough to last for at least one full charge cycle before needing to recharge again.

This typically means charging before every trip or every few days of riding, depending on how often you use it and how long each trip takes.

Finally, if you’re planning on going longer than usual and want to be sure that your battery will last, consider bringing along a spare battery or charging device so that you can swap them out when one of them dies.

How Many Miles Do Electric Bikes Last? (11 Examples)

Can You Damage Electric Bikes When Riding Without a Battery?

You can’t damage electric bikes when riding without a battery.

Although the bike comes with a motor, the bike still works like a standard bike due to the design of the frame and the pedals. The motor helps you to have more power when riding.

If you are an easy flat surface, you can probably ride easily without the motor, so you might consider turning the motor off and not relying on it.

If you want to go uphill or on steep surfaces, turn on your motor for extra power.


Evelo Electric Bicycles – How Electric Bike Batteries Work

Bicycling – Watch How to Charge an E-Bike for Maximum Battery Life

Outrider USA – Electric Bike Charging

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