Here’s a story you’ll never want to have to tell your friends sitting around a campfire after a long, exploratory day on bikes: once upon a time, you underestimated the power of the battery in your electric mountain bike and found yourself deep in the woods without a charge. And you were left e-grinding (no, that’s not a technical term) back to the car.
That one sends a shiver down anyone’s spine. There are essentially three ways to ensure this never happens to you.
- Learn and absorb everything possible about electric bike chargers and lithium batteries—how they work, optimal charging time, whether they should stay plugged in continuously, and more (spoiler alert: find this information below).
- Get to know your bike. While most electric mountain bikes have a screen that displays battery life, there’s no real substitute for learning all the ins and outs of your particular bike. A good way to do this is riding your bike until your battery dies in low-consequence situations i.e. a super close walk to the car.
- Invest in a high-powered backup battery pack like the QuietKat Pathfinder. With a backup like the Pathfinder in your pack, only nine extra pounds gets you up to 36 extra miles. In other words, the Pathfinder is your ticket out of a serious pinch.
In all seriousness, though: yes, you can still ride your electric mountain bike after the battery has died. But it’s quite different from riding a traditional mountain bike. There’s a bit of noticeable drag in the drive train. Plus, if you’re on a QuietKat Apex E-Bike, you’re bringing along about an extra 65 pounds compared to a standard mountain bike.
Now, let’s get into the dirty details of electric bike chargers.
Charge a New E-Bike Battery for 12 Hours
So, you’ve just had an endorphin-packed unboxing experience with your new bike. Now what? Though it’s tempting to hop straight on your bike and rip through the neighborhood, it’s important to charge your new battery a full 12 hours to ensure it’s properly conditioned, meaning that current is flowing through all the cells.
Plug in Your Electric Bike Charger Frequently
In all QuietKat fat tire electric bikes you’ll find a high-powered lithium battery. That’s for good reason. As opposed to the most viable alternative—lead acid batteries—lithium batteries are far superior in both efficiency and performance. That's not to mention that just one lithium battery can deliver between two thousand and five thousand charge cycles.
The trick with lithium batteries is that they thrive when they’re used frequently. Not a tall ask when that means riding your bike. And often! It’s not ideal to keep your electric bike charger plugged in for more than a few days. After several days of being plugged in, the battery can sometimes discharge, leaving it at less than 100% capacity. When the charger detects that the battery is once again in need of charge, it kicks in and tops it off, therein starting a cycle that can prematurely wear out your battery.
Don’t Let a Dead Battery Sit Long
If you’re transporting an electric bike or finding yourself short an outlet, it’s to the benefit of your electric bike battery pack to ensure it’s at least at a 40% charge before you unplug. Note that it takes anywhere from three and a half to six hours for a full battery charge, so plan ahead if you’re able.
Mind the Temperature Where You’re Charging
Even though electric e-bike are designed to be able to take on some of the toughest snowy, icy terrain, when you break out your electric bike charger, it’s best to avoid temperature extremes. Though to a lesser degree, the same goes for the bike itself—although there is hardly anything better than putting in some miles over a groomed, snowy trail, minimizing long exposure to frozen temperatures or extreme heat will significantly increase the lifetime of your bike.
Need a Quick Charge? Be Creative!
All-in with the QuietKat Pathfinder and the QuietKat Pathfinder Battery Charger, you’re looking at perhaps an extra 10 pounds or so in your pack. Well worth it if you find yourself in the middle of a ride not yet ready to return home. The super portable battery charger is compatible with any simple outlet—a resource that’s almost as ubiquitous as water!
There are many different places to plug in your electric bike charger on the go. From coffee shops to public libraries to campgrounds and parks and even at your local bike shop, with a creative imagination, you’ll never find yourself without a charge!