Ebike 101

Don’t know what an Ebike is? Curious how it works? Wondering if they would be a good fit for your next cycling adventure? Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or haven’t even seen a bike in the last decade, a ride on an Ebike is sure to put a smile on your face. We’ve assembled a list of common questions and fun tips to help you better understand how an electric bike can step you your next ride.

Q: What is an Ebike?

A: An Ebike is very similar to a standard bike – the only difference is the electric battery. This battery assists riders while they pedal, giving them that extra boost to tackle longer rides, big hills, or even just for some added fun!

Tip: Check out the itineraries section of our website to for some longer distance rides like Lawrencetown Beach and the head of St. Margaret’s Bay to test the capabilities of the bike! On a full charge the Ebikes can go up to ~150 km!

Q: What does an Ebike look like?

 A: Our Shimano ebikes are all black and look very similar to a standard hybrid bicycle that you’d see riding around town. The down tube on these bikes is a bit thicker as it holds the battery pack to the frame of the bikes, but other than that it looks and feels like a regular bike. The main thing you’ll notice when riding is with much less effort you can cycle faster or zip up hills without added effort. 

Tip: If you fall in love with one of our ebikes during a rental or tour, check out our annual Fleet Sale to see how you could end up with one of your own for a 35% discount!

Q: How do I work an Ebike?

A: Once you turn on your Ebike you can use the screen and buttons located on the handlebars to turn on or off the electric assist power.  When the electric power is off the bike functions exactly like a regular bike. The electric assist when turned on has three different levels: Eco, Normal and High. Eco is the lowest setting and adds about 10 to 15% of pedal power where the “High” setting does about 90% of the work for you. We recommend the Eco setting for flat cycling, Normal for gentle hills, and High for steep hills. 

The batteries on these bikes are super tough and can go up to as far as 150 kilometers (93 miles) on a single charge!

Tip: Use the bikes Cycle Commuter to keep track of the distance you’ve travelled. It will also tell you the estimated distance you can travel on each setting until your battery is empty. 

Q: Where can I go with an Ebike?

A: Anywhere! Ebikes are perfect for any kind of ride, whether it’s your daily commute to work or a multi week road trip! For advanced riders we recommend trying an ebike to see how you can elevate your experience – go farther, go faster, and at a steeper incline than you could otherwise. For a more leisurely ride, we think our ebikes are perfect to get around the city and discover what Halifax has to offer. Maybe you’re running short on time or you just want to try something new, an ebike opens up a world of possibilities for a good time.

Tip: Here as a visitor? Want to learn something new about your city? Check out our 2.5 hour ‘Best of Halifax’ Ebike tour to get the lay of the land and see some of the most popular destinations within the city. Discover the historical, economic, and cultural highlights of Halifax while travelling with a tour guide and taking in the sights of the city.

Q: How can I try an Ebike?

A: Visit us in store, chat with us on the phone, or book one of our bike rentals live online! We’re more than happy to do whatever we can do to get you riding in style.

This article was written by Madeleine Stinson, a Business Management & Sustainability student at Dalhousie University working this season to manage I Heart Bikes’ social media. Last updated May 2019.