412 E. Venice Ave. Venice, FL 34285

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I ride an eBike?

Every state is different, in Florida it is legal to ride a bicycle or a battery powered bicycle (ebike) on the sidewalk. Gas powered bicycles are not allowed in public streets, only private property.

In Venice, bicycles and ebikes are not allowed on the sidewalks in the Historic District which includes Tampa, Venice Ave., and Miami Avenue from Harbor to 41 in the island.

Every state has different laws regarding where you can ride your bicycle, and even your electric bike. ebikes are more common in the West Coast and therefore, states like California, Colorado, and even Utah have more favorable laws for ebikes. See map below from Peopleforbikes.org organization. They are partnering with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association to make ebikes accessible to everyone:

Click below to learn more about ebikes :


 

 

2. Are Electric Bikes Allowed on The LEGACY TRAIL?

YES! The Sarasota Country Commissioners passed Resolution 2019-234, and Section 1. A. (5) clearly states:

(5) Public access is allowed by pedestrians, bicycles, AND electric bicycles (“E-bike”) which are generally regulated in the same manner as traditional bicycles.

3. Are electric Bikes wITH THROTTLES Allowed on The LEGACY TRAIL?

YES! Same answer as above, since most electric bikes DO HAVE A THROTTLE, as the President of Friends of The Legacy Trail told us “As long as the ebike meets the rules (of the Legacy Trail), we are good to go.”

The Sarasota Country Commissioners passed Resolution 2019-234, and Section 1. A. (5) clearly states:

(5) Public access is allowed by pedestrians, bicycles, AND electric bicycles (“E-bike”) which are generally regulated in the same manner as traditional bicycles.

4. Are there federal regulations regarding electric bikes?

Yes, please read Federal Electric Bicycle Law HR 727

Basically, the Federal rules define an ebike as:
1. A 2-3 wheeled vehicle with pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.)
2. A bicycle powered by motor alone (a “throttle-assist” ebike), or by a combination of a motor and human power (a “pedal-assist” ebike) or both
3. Maximum speed of 20 mph

5. What are electric bikes?

Electric bicycles are regular bikes with a low-speed electric motor that help move you forward by “pedal-assist” when you start pedaling, or by using the finger throttle, or both. They range in speed between 16 mph (our Nemo folding ebike), and 28 mph (Class 3 e-bikes). But bikes that are classified as ebikes go up to 20 mph.

They are emission-free, low-impact, and very quiet. They are not mopeds or scooters, they look just like a bicycle instead.

The average ebike costs between $2,000-$3,000, but don’t fret, we have very high-quality e-bikes for as low as $899 to get you started.

According to federal regulations and electric bike must:

1. Have fully operational pedals.
2. Be equipped with 750 watts or less.
3. The maximum speed that can be attained, with assistance from the motor, is 20 mph.

Keep in mind that you can actually go faster than 20 mph, but that will be in the situation where the motor is not assisting you.

e-bikes that adhere to these guidelines can go anywhere than other bicycles can go, (i.e. bike lanes, bike paths, etc) Some e-bikes that you may come across in your research are rated in higher speeds than that, keep in mind of those that are intended for off road use. If you take them on the road, it is likely that you are operating in violation of the law. Those high powered bikes that you may find in your research cannot be used in regular, everyday commuting.

Twenty miles per hour may seem like a low limit; but in Europe where electric bikes are very well established, the limit is 15 mph!
We get a little bit more cushion here in the US. Also keep in mind, that the average cyclist is going about 12 mph, and rarely exceeds that, so the 20 mph is generally sufficient.

6. where are your electric bikes made?

Today, most ebikes (and regular bikes), are made in China. But like cars, the parts are made in different countries, so no bike is built in just one place. We carry ebikes made in China, and one brand made in the Netherlands: GAZELLE. Gazelle’s have a BOSCH motor that’s made in Germany, and Shimano brakes made in China! So the answer is a combination of China, the Netherlands, Germany, and many other places where our bikes source their parts. It’s a small world after all!

7. Why should i buy an electric bike?

The most important reason anyone should buy an ebike, and the only reason that truly matters…. are you ready for it? Drum roll please….. because they are so much FUN!!!

But, if you are more of an intellectual type and need more facts and figures, here are a few good reasons for you to consider:

1. They are an inexpensive way to commute
2. The reduced cost of maintaining your car and buying gas
3. They are less physically demanding than a regular bike
4. They will make your trip much more enjoyable knowing that you can get some help to get over that last hill on your way home
5. You can impress the heck out of a fellow biker when you fly past him or her on the way up a hill (if they are not familiar with ebikes of course)
6. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, half of all trips in the U.S. are three miles or less in length, a very feasible and rideable distance for an e-bike
7. They provide a new, super fun, form of transportation or recreation option for anyone with a bum knee, bad back, or other physical limitation
8. They are good for the environment… and we all want cleaner air!
9. If you are still not convinced, come by our tent at the Venice Farmer’s Market any Saturday to test ride an e-bike… if you are like us, and most of our friends who have tried one, you will want one too!

8. What is a twist throttle?

This is a throttle on the handlebars that you can twist, and it uses power from the battery to move the bike forward, a little bit like a motorcycle’s throttle. As opposed to a “thumb” throttle that is just a small lever you manage with (you guessed it), your thumb!

9. What does pedal assist (pAS) mean?

Pedal-assist is when the rider pedals, the motor starts up and helps the bike move forward. It gives you that extra help, we call it the “turbo” action. This makes pedaling easier for a rider, especially someone who has a knee injury, or can’t keep up with his friends 🙂

10. Can I place an order over the phone?

Yes, absolutely. Call us by phone anytime to help you select the right electric bike for you at (941) 240-1717. We’re happy to help Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.

11. Do you have a store?

Yes we do! At 412 E. Venice Avenue, in Venice, FL. Right under the Venice Avenue bridge, and across from the Train Depot / Bus Station.

12. How long do batteries hold a charge?

This depends on the bike you buy. We list the different times in the Specification sheets for each bike we list on our website. But typically they last between 20-50 miles. This is affected by how much you use the throttle or the pedal assist.

Which electric bike has the longest range?
With a Guinness world record-breaking 367 km (228 mi) distance on a single charge, Delfast’s Prime electric bicycle beat out all other bikes when it came to long-range electric bikes.

How do I extend the charge on my electric bike batteries?

Your E-bike will consume much less battery when you begin riding by pedaling and not using the throttle. Stop and go riding with the throttle can limit the range of your E-bike.

Always make sure your tires are inflated properly. Riding on low-pressure tires will consume more energy.

Always pedal up hills. Do not use throttle only when riding up hills.

Use your mechanical gears correctly. When you are pedaling make sure to be in the correct gear. Lower your gears while going up hills and raise the gears on flat and downhill terrain.

Ebike batteries should not be overcharged. Doing so can shorten the battery’s lifespan and can cause it to overheat, which may eventually make it unusable. Fortunately, most modern ebike batteries are built with a smart charging function that makes it impossible to overcharge them.

13. How fast do electric Bikes Go?

This depends on the bike you buy. Most ebikes reach 20 mph by pedaling and/or using the throttle (if they have one). Some ebikes like Gazelle’s Ultimate T10+ and Magnum’s Scout (we typically have both at the shop), can go as fast as 28 mph, but that changes the classification of the bike to a Class 3.

14. What is the lifetime of an electric bike’s battery?

The better the quality of the battery, the longer it will last. Most of our bikes have Samsung Lithium-Ion batteries which are of high quality. But in general, 3 to 5 years.

For example, if you store your battery somewhere dry and protected from temperature fluctuations, you will keep it longer. In general, with regular use, an electric bike battery becomes less efficient after 3 to 5 years.

15. Are electric bike batteries safe?

Once in a while, Lithium-Ion batteries catch on fire. This is why caution when charging your battery is VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure you never leave the battery charging unattended. If possible, have a bucket of sand handy in your office/home in case one catches on fire.

You can always buy a Charge Safe Box from a company called Luna. These are recommissioned ammunition boxes that cost $34 that you can use to put the battery in while it’s charging, especially if you have an inexpensive battery/bike and/or it’s old or somewhat damaged.

The company says “You cannot be too safe when it comes to lithium batteries. Wherever there is energy density, there is a possibility of fire.”

Here’s their website: https://lunacycle.com/luna-charge-safe-lithium-battery-storage-box/

Also, make sure you never drop the battery because it can damage it and make it more susceptible to catch on fire.
Here’s a list of steps you should take to protect yourself:
1. Never leave a battery charging unattended, day or night.
2. Don’t overcharge batteries (keep them charged between 30-90%)
3. Don’t charge batteries near combustible or explosive materials.
4. Never charge a battery that has been dropped, damaged, or dinged.

16. how should i store my ebike while i’m away?

When storing your eBike battery for long periods of time it’s best to keep the battery partially charged. If you store the battery completely flat then you run the risk of damaging the internals of the cells themselves. Also if you store the battery fully charged this can leave the cells under more pressure.

17. Are electric bikes safe?

That’s one of the first questions many people (and legislators) ask when talking about ebikes, the other one is about speed. A Swedish study found that the average speed for an ebike was just 5 miles faster than a traditional bicycle (14 mph vs. 8.7 mph). However, a study at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s ebike sharing system did not find much difference in the average travel speed between the two, the study also found that “With few exceptions, riders of ebikes behave very similarly to riders of bicycles.”

2016 study examining the relative probability of an e-bike versus a conventional bike to be involved in a traffic conflict did note that there was a higher risk of conflict at an intersection for e-bikes (so be careful when at intersections my fellow bikers), because of higher speeds approaching an intersection. Otherwise, the study found little or no difference with regards to risk or actual conflicts. 

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