Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we get asked most frequently. Click on the question to reveal the answer!What is an electric bicycle and how do I operate one? How fast can the EVELO Electric Bikes go? Do I need a driver’s license, insurance or a registration to operate an electric bicycle? Does pedaling recharge the battery? What kind of a range can I expect from my EVELO bike? Can EVELO electric bicycles be serviced by any bicycle shop? I am concerned that the electric parts of my new EVELO Electric Bicycle will attract unwanted attention. How heavy are these bikes? I'm worried they'll be too heavy for me to carry upstairs to my apartment. You offer both the 250 watt motor power package and 500 watt motor power package for some of your models. Which one should I go with? If I engage the electric-only mode using the throttle, will the pedals be spinning as well? Are the electric components waterproof? How large are the frames? Do you offer different sizes for different heights? How durable are the bikes? Are any tune-ups needed after the bike is put together? Where was your patented motor designed? Do you ship the bikes fully assembled? How do you ship your bikes? How do you prevent shipping damage? Do your batteries offer overcharge and undercharge protection? Is it safe to leave them on a charger overnight? Are your bikes the right size for me? Where can I get more information about the bike's dimensions?
An electric bicycle is essentially a regular bicycle equipped with an electric motor designed to make the ride more enjoyable. Most can operate in three modes:
1. Pedal Only – The bike is ridden just like a regular bicycle, powered by the rider.
2. Pedal Assist – The onboard computer activates the motor only when the pedals are turning in order to assist the rider. This mode makes it easier to pedal up hills and against the wind or go faster on flat ground. The rider can control the level of assistance that is received from the motor by adjusting the level on the display mounted on the handlebars.
3. Electric Only (also known as “Throttle-Only” or “Twist and Go”) – The rider simply twists the throttle in order to engage the motor and start moving (similar to the operation of a moped). No pedaling is needed when using the bike in this mode, which is great for taking a break without necessarily having to stop.
All of EVELO Electric Bicycles are equipped with these 3 options: Pedal Only, Pedal Assist and Electric Only.
EVELO Electric Bikes are limited by law to a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on the roads. You can still bike faster than, but the motor will no longer provide assistance when your speed exceeds 20 miles per hour. The SuperCharged 500W Motor Upgrade option on the Aries and Aurora models does provide an off-road only setting that can help increase your maximum speed up to 25 miles per hour.
The short answer is: no, you do not. According to federal laws, a bicycle with an electric motor capable of generating up to 750 watts of power and able to propel a rider to a speed of up to 20 mph, equipped with fully functioning pedals, is considered to be a bicycle or a consumer good rather than a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is NOT under the jurisdiction of the DOT. Although electric bike laws in different states may vary a bit, you can generally operate electric bikes without a license, and in most cases ride it anywhere regular bicycles are allowed.
While it is technically possible to recharge a bicycle battery by pedaling, we don’t consider it a good idea to do so, and EVELO bikes do not have this feature. There are a number of reasons why this recharging method is problematic.
First of all, it would require a much heavier direct drive motor, which would make the overall bike even heavier.
Secondly, it would also mean constant resistance from the motor, trying to act as a generator. This would mean that if you ran out of power or just wanted to ride around with no battery, you would be constantly fighting the motor drag.
Finally, it is virtually impossible to produce enough energy by pedaling to make a significant impact on your range. You would need to pedal hard, always fighting the motor, for hours on end to get a few extra miles.
Our motors are lighter and produce no drag, so even if you run out of battery power, you will have no problem getting to your destination. If you are worried about your range when commuting to work, an extra charger in your office will solve this issue.
EVELO electric bikes offer an estimated range of 40 miles per charge in Pedal Assist mode or 20 miles in Electric Only (throttle-only) mode with our Standard Battery.
Aries and Aurora models can also be upgraded to our Extended-Range Battery option that offers 50% more range – up to 60 miles per charge in Pedal Assist mode or 30 miles in Electric-Only (throttle-only).
Luna and Orion models can also be upgraded to our Extended-Range Battery option that offers 20% more range – up to 48 miles per charge in Pedal Assist mode or 20 miles in Electric-Only (throttle-only).
Please do keep in mind that these are estimated ranges. Bikes are similar to cars in this respect, in that the mileage or range you get from a gallon of gas in your car depends on many factors. In the case of an electric bicycle, the range depends on things like the terrain, the weight of the rider, head wind, the degree of pedal assistance you require, whether you pedal a bit or not at all, and many other factors.
At EVELO, we made it a priority to make sure that our bikes are very easily serviceable. Due to our unique mid-drive motor design and brand-name parts, any bicycle shop – electric or not – can perform virtually any sort of a repair.
This is an important and valid concern we hear from many who have tried or have considered trying an electric bike. Therefore, when first designing our bicycles, one of our primary goals was to make our bikes as “stealthy” as possible. EVELO bikes don’t look much different from a typical bike. To achieve this design, we hid most of the wiring inside the frame, integrated the battery into the rear rack while keeping it completely functional and installed the motor into the bottom bracket. As a result, the only attention your new bicycle should get is compliments on how great it looks. In our experience, most people do not recognize that these are electric bicycles unless you tell them.
While the electrical components do add to the weight of the bicycle, we use some of the lightest components available on the market. The end result is that — depending on the model — our bikes start at around 55 lbs without the battery. While this is a bit more than regular bicycles, it is much lighter than inexpensive electric bikes that use steel frames and Sealed Lead Acid batteries.
The cost is a matter of perspective. Comparing high-end electric bicycles to the type of e-bikes sold in department store is really comparing apples to oranges. Department store bikes are meant to be toys, whereas EVELO electric bicycles are meant to be car replacements for short distance commuting and recreation.
There are a few factors to consider:
1. Quality of overall components – just like a traditional bike in department store can cost a few hundred dollars and a bike in a local bike shop can cost $1,000-2,000 or more, the difference often has to do with the components. Better components last longer, work better, and provide a smoother riding experience. At EVELO, all of our bikes use not only the high-end electrical components, but also the top of the line bicycle components.
2. Service and support – most of our customers make an investment into their electric bike with a plan to enjoy and use it for years to come. Our goal is to provide you with top-notch support not only before, but also after the sale- whether it’s 3 days or 3 years after you received the bike. We offer 7-days a week phone support, 24-hour response guarantee, comprehensive 18 to 24 month warranty,expedited warranty parts shipping, and trained customer service specialists that will make sure you are getting the most from your bike.
3. Motor power and range – if you are thinking about getting an electric bike, it’s important that the bike meets your needs in terms of power and range. Our 250W and 500W Mid-Drive motors provide unparalleled hill climbing ability, torque, and power. Our high-grade Panasonic extended-range batteries provide you with up to 60 mile range per charge. We invest into high-quality electrical components to ensure that your EVELO can meet all of your needs.
According to the Sierra Club, “nearly half of all trips in the United States are three miles or less; more than a quarter are less than a mile.” Consider the money you would save by replacing at least some of these car trips with using your new electric bicycle. It would mean no money spent on gas, no time and money spent on parking, no time spent sitting in traffic, and less money spent on car maintenance — not to mention the health benefits that come from being more active.
There are a number of differences between the Mid-Drive Motor and a Traditional Hub Motor.
* Performance – Mid-Drive Motors are known for higher performance and torque when compared to a similar-powered Traditional Hub Motor. One of the key reasons for that is because the mid-drive motor drives the crank, instead of the wheel itself, which multiplies its power and allows it to better take advantage of the bike’s existing gears. The best way to visualize it is to imagine a scenario where you are pedaling and approaching a steep hill. As you would change the gears to make it easier for yourself to pedal and maintain the same cadence, a mid-drive motor would also benefit from that and enable it to deliver more power and more range as a result.
* Maintenance – your bike’s Mid-Drive is designed in such a way that makes maintenance and service extremely easy. You can remove and replace the entire motor assembly by simply taking out two special bolts – without affecting any other aspect of the bike. This means that virtually any regular bike shop can easily perform the troubleshooting and repairs. If you have a hub motor in the rear wheel, on the other hand, even basic maintenance tasks such as taking off the wheel to change a flat tire become a very complicated endeavor.
That is a great question! To best address it, it helps to look at your riding needs:
You will benefit from a 500W motor if:
You live in a really hilly area and you wish to have a lot of torque and power to go quickly on hills;
You plan to do little or no pedaling (instead relying more on the electric-only throttle) and maintain a higher cruising speed;
You would like to have the ability to increase the top speed up to 25 mph (in off-road mode only!).
The rider’s weight is over 200 lbs.
You should find the 250W motor enough for your needs if:
You live in a moderately hilly area;
You plan to use the motor to complement your own power when you need a boost or feel tired, but still plan to pedal the bulk of the time;
The rider’s weight is under 200 lbs.
As you’d expect, the 500W upgrade offers more power–with the main tradeoff being the increased expense. Our standard 250W configuration works great for most people, as our unique mid-drive design is incredibly efficient; by providing power at the crank it takes full use of the mechanical advantage of the bike’s gearing.
People looking to use “throttle-only” mode more frequently, looking to go faster on hills and simply looking for more acceleration should consider the 500W option.
The assisted top speeds of both bikes is limited to 20mph per Federal regulations–and the 500w versions are able to attain this speed with little pedaling effort. However, there is an “off-road only” option on the 500W configuration which will allow for speeds up to 25mph with assist. Keep in mind that actually speeds depend on a variety of conditions, and will vary.
Please note that only our Aries and Aurora models offer a 500W motor power upgrade. Coupled with a 48V battery, it delivers unparalleled torque and power – enough to tackle virtually any sort of terrain.
As a side note, we put this our motors to the test ourselves when several of our bikes were used in a 4,000 mile Trans-American Electric Bike Tour and performed superbly even in the steep and mountainous areas.
No, there is a freewheel mechanism built into the motor. So when you engage the electric-only mode by using the throttle, the chainwheel will turn, but the pedals will not. In other words, you can easily go on electric power only without having to pedal.
We placed most of the wires inside the frame and secured the entry points with rubber seals to waterproof everything as much as possible. That being said, we all know that electronics do not work well with water. A little rain will be unlikely to damage anything, but use common sense when deciding where to travel, just as you would with a regular bike or other means of transportation.
We do not generally offer different frame sizes on EVELO bikes, as their design makes our bikes pretty versatile. Depending on the model, the bikes can accommodate people from 5 ft to over 6 ft in height. The adjustable handlebar stems included on all of our bikes, coupled with adjustable seats, make for a comfortable ride no matter the rider’s height.
However, for riders under 5’4″, we offer an XS (small) frame version of our Aurora model, in white only. Simply contact us for details or specify that you’d like to receive the XS size in the Special Order Instructions when placing your order.
EVELO Electric Bicycles are built solid and built to last. That said, we realize that many manufacturers make these claims, so we decided to take it a few steps further. To test our bikes under the most stressful conditions, we have sponsored a Trans-American Electric Bike Tour – where two individuals (including our co-founder) have ridden almost 4,000 miles from New York City to San Francisco on the unmodified EVELO bikes. During that journey, they have crossed numerous mountain ranges, all sorts of terrain, both on-road and off-road – all while towing 60+ pound trailers behind them.
The bikes performed superbly. Find out more about the 4,000 mile journey and how the bikes handled it at Trans-American Electric Bike Tour website.
While a tune-up is not required, we generally recommend it. A proper tune up at a professional bike shop will ensure that everything is properly adjusted, lubed, and ready to be enjoyed.
The motor was originally designed in Italy.
Your bike will arrive about 95% assembled. The only assembly you will need to undertake is to put on the front wheel, install the handlebars, screw on the pedals, attach the fender and the front light, and you are good to go! The whole process should not take more than 15-30 minutes, and no special skills or tools are required.
We ship most of our bikes via FedEx Ground. Most in-stock orders go out next business day and take 1 to 5 days to reach most destinations in the continental U.S. We use heavy-duty boxes for packing each bike to provide maximum protection during shipping. The bikes must ship via ground transport due to federal regulations on the safe transport of equipment containing lithium batteries.
Both our batteries and bicycle controllers offer low and high voltage protection. Therefore, you are protected against accidental overcharging and undercharging, both of which can damage the battery. It is also perfectly safe to leave the battery on the charger overnight. We do not, however, recommend leaving it connected to an outlet for more than a day or so at a time.
In order to extend your battery life, we also highly recommend charging the battery every 3 months when not actively using it. Finally, while the lithium batteries do not need to be charged immediately after a ride, we recommend doing so in order to extend the battery life.
These simple tips will help you get the most out of your batteries. More tips are available in the manual you will receive with your bike.
Most of our models can accommodate riders from 5’4″ to 6’1″.
For riders taller than that, we offer a complimentary stem riser and taller seatpost that enables riders up to ~6’6″ to enjoy the bikes. Simply contact us for details or specify that you’d like to receive the stem riser and longer seatpost in the Special Order Instructions when placing your order.
For riders under 5’4″, we offer an XS (small) frame version of our Aurora model (in white color only). Simply contact us for details or specify that you’d like to receive the XS size in the Special Order Instructions when placing your order.