Many people are interested in upgrading their electric bikes to personalize them or add additional functionality to improve their ride. They may want to know how to make an electric bike go faster, how to get better traction, or how to make it weigh less. These e-bike modifications might sound like a great idea at first, and some of them certainly are, but it is always good to learn a little more about upgrading an electric bike before you do it.
Modifying an electric bike improperly may lead to some issues down the road. By understanding what you can, and can’t legally modify on your e-bike, you will avoid putting yourself or others in danger or voiding your warranty. Many e-bike companies, including Himiway brand e-bikes, offer great warranties to give customers peace of mind. Himiway even offers 2 full years of warranty coverage. But the length of the warranty is not important if you’ve accidentally voided it!
Read on to understand which upgrades may affect the safety or warranty coverage of your e-bike. You may also discover some upgrades which will greatly improve your riding experience and are completely safe and legal to make.
Check out Warranty Terms
You will want to take certain precautions before modifying or upgrading your electric bike. Regardless of the brand, some modifications will void an e-bike warranty. Read and understand your e-bike’s warranty before making any changes. If you know which upgrades you want to make before you buy the bike, research the warranty offered by each brand before purchasing the bike so you can be sure you are in the clear.
For example, some warranties only stipulate that you do not modify the motor of the e-bike. Other electric bicycle brands may have stricter requirements for things like changing the seat, handles, or suspension. E-bikes are designed, engineered, and manufactured with certain specifications for a good reason – performance and quality. By making changes, it is possible either or both will be comprised. Whatever you do, be sure to check your warranty terms before making changes.
Do Not Modify the Speed Cap
A common question riders ask is “how to make an electric bike go faster?” It can be fun and exhilarating to go fast on an e-bike. That’s why we designed the Himiway to accelerate quickly and reach a fast top speed. But we’ve tuned Himiway bikes to be legal, safe, and reliable at specific top speeds for a reason. Altering the top speed of our e-bikes, or any e-bikes is not a good idea for several reasons.
First, exceeding certain speed limits on an e-bike will require different licenses and requirements. Road-legal bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles all have different legal requirements and rider responsibilities. We’ve discussed the Differences Between E-bike Classifications before. Many states legally prohibit e-bikes from being used on certain trails or roads if they are too fast. You will be responsible for legal fees and fines if you operate an e-bike above the stated speed limit and manufacturer limit.
Another reason you should not modify the speed cap of your e-bike is the faster you go, the more quickly wear and tear on all the other components of the bike will happen. As we mentioned, bikes are designed to operate within a specific speed range to ensure they are safe and so that the parts do not overheat or come loose. You do not want to negatively affect the lifespan of the various e-bike components like the chain, motor, and shifting system.
The final reason to leave the speed cap at the manufacturer’s setting is safety. E-bikes already travel at a vastly superior speed to walking and even traditional bikes with much less effort. By making an electric bike go faster than expected, the risk of traffic accidents and harm to yourself and others goes up. You may not have enough time to stop, and the brakes may not be able to support top speeds above the cap.
Add More Lights
Adding lights is a great way to improve the clarity and safety of yourself and your bike at night or in low-light settings such as fog or rain.
Himiway Bikes are designed with 48V LED Headlights which are bright enough to make night driving much safer and more enjoyable. If your bike doesn’t come equipped with such lights, or your lights are not bright enough, consider upgrading your lighting system.
You can add a brighter headlamp, taillights, blinking USB lights, and even reflective strips to your pedals. All of these additions will make it easier for you to see the road or trail and they will make it easier for other pedestrians, riders, and drivers to see you coming. Check out our 2021 Buying Guide for Electric Bike Lights to learn more about your different options when it comes to lights.
Change Your E-Bike Frame
E-bike frames come in lots of shapes, sizes, and materials. You may want to customize yours to fit a certain style, to make it lighter, or to make it stronger. Be aware that some manufacturers may not allow the changing of the e-bike frame within their warranty guidelines. If your warranty is expired, or you are not worried about the warranty, feel free to upgrade your frame to one more suited to your needs.
Aluminum frames are the industry standard. Himiway Bikes are made with 6061 Aluminum alloy due to its great qualities and affordability. Most riders find aluminum frames to be strong enough for all terrains and uses, however, some bikes are made with Carbon Fiber frames. Carbon fiber frames will be the most expensive but might be worth it due to the lightweight nature of the material. Additional frame materials can be found here.
Use Fat Tires
If you’ve never ridden a bike with fat tires before, you are missing out. Fat tires have a great history of being used on traditional bikes and we’ve taken all the benefits of traditional fat tires and combined them with all the benefits of long-range electric motors to create the Himiway lineup of bikes.
Replacing your old tires with wide, all terrain fat tires might be one of the best upgrades you can make to an e-bike. Not only do fat tires provide increased traction in the snow, mud, or sand, they provide maximum comfort on your ride due to their wider base. Not all bike forks and frames will be suited to fat tires, so if you want this option, it may be a good idea to start with a bike made specifically for wider tires such as Himiway bikes.
Upgrading your electric bike can be a great activity, especially in the colder months when you are riding less frequently. Pay close attention to any upgrades you make and how they may affect your warranty, safety, and enjoyment of your bike. Consider lights, frames, tires, and even other accessories we didn’t discuss such as bags or mirrors. All these e-bike modifications will be sure to improve your riding experience.