Gone are the days when your only option for exploring the world is by foot or by car. Thanks to smaller electronic components, new microchip technologies, and better electric batteries, e-bikes have begun to occupy the perfect space between walking and driving.
With gasoline above $5 per gallon on average in the United States, many commuters and travelers are looking for a more economic way to get around. Getting to and from work is easy when you plan your route and commute with an e-bike. Plus, the exercise and fresh air are an added benefit to the many dollars you will save by eliminating some or all gasoline consumption from your daily routine. But work isn’t the only way to use an e-bike. You can also use e-bikes for play!
Traveling around your state or country has never been easier thanks to a pair of e-bikes and a sturdy bike rack or truck bed. See the world, make memories, take photographs along the way, and be the healthiest version of yourself by traveling more this year. Choose the best e-bike for travel by choosing one with pedal-assist to help you experience all there is to see and do around town and the country. “What is pedal-assist” you may ask? Read on to find out!
What is E-bike Pedal-Assist?
Many e-bikes come with built-in pedal-assist. Pedal-assist is exactly what it sounds like – it is assistance provided by the e-bike battery and motor while you are pedaling. As you move your legs and feet, pressing down on the pedals of your e-bike, the motor engages, and the e-bike provides power to help you speed along faster than you could with just your muscles.
You do not need to use pedal-assist at all times. You can turn pedal-assist off and simply ride the e-bike like a traditional bicycle using only the power of your muscles and your balance to propel you forward. This may be an attractive option for those looking to mix in cardiovascular exercises to their daily routine. But for many, pedal-assist is one of the most delightful features of e-bikes. Riders describe pedal-assist as being pushed along by an invisible force allowing them to reach higher speeds much quicker all while still appearing to be riding a bike with normal pedals.
It is important to note that pedal-assist will stop providing additional power beyond a specific speed. This is to ensure the e-bike remains classified as a class 2 or 3 e-bike.
How to Use Pedal Assist
When used properly, engaging the pedal-assist of your e-bike will increase the range of your battery power, and provide you a nice workout. Steep hills and challenging terrain are the best times to use pedal-assist, or when you are feeling tired after a long ride.
For Himiway brand e-bikes only: Activate pedal-assist by turning on the power, and selecting the center LCD screen located on your handlebar. Choose “SC” for pedal-assist and select your level from 0-5. To adjust, hold both “+” and “-” together for two seconds, bringing you to the trip meter reset screen. Then, hold both “+” and “-” together again for two seconds, bringing you to the Passcode screen (“ P ”). Here you can enter a 4-digit passcode provided in your e-bike manual. Press “ + ” and “ - ” to adjust numbers up/down. Press “i” to conﬁrm.
Pedal-only level 0 gives no power to the rider. This is considered manual riding.
Pedal-assist level 1 is considered the lowest level of assistance and will require the rider to do the most work pedaling while still providing a minor amount of power to assist with hills and acceleration.
Pedal-assist level 5, on the other hand, is considered the highest level of assistance and will get you to your destination quickly and smoothly without much effort at all. You still need to pedal, but the bike will do the majority of the work.
The higher the pedal-assist level, the less muscle power you will need to use and the faster your battery will drain. Many riders find that pedal-assist level 3 is a great balance of light cardio exercise and e-bike power.
Throttle Mode vs. Pedal-Assist
In addition to pedal-assist, many e-bikes offer a throttle mode that does not require the use of the pedals at all. Simply twist the grip throttle or press on the thumb throttle (depending on the type of e-bike you have) and the bike will move you along with no pedaling required. This mode will drain your battery the fastest, though, so be aware of the remaining battery level. If you are riding a new Himiway, such as the Himiway Zebra, you will get the most range out of your battery thanks to all-new long-range battery technology.
Pedal-Assist for Travel
Now that you have a decent understanding of what pedal assist is, how to use it efficiently, and what the different levels and modes mean, let’s chat about how to use it to maximize your travel experience. With pedal-assist, you can completely customize your vacation or weekend getaway. Focus entirely on nature with the whisper quiet hum of the electric motor in throttle mode or pedal-assist level 5. You won’t need to exert much power at all and you can enjoy the scenes of your travel destination as the bike does most of the work.
Or, if you’re looking for an active travel itinerary, use pedal-assist 1 or 2 and allow the bike to help you just a bit as you cruise around the park or forest, or city that you choose to visit.
As summer recently officially begun, use your e-bike to take advantage of these warm sunny days and travel to a nearby destination. You can’t go wrong by opting for a scenic e-bike ride on vacation. Check out one of our many local state biking guides for great ideas on where to travel next. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, even while using pedal-assist. Pack a lunch full of healthy snacks and plenty of water.