Is an Electric Bike Good for Long Rides?

Is an Electric Bike Good for Long Rides?

Lately, I’ve been getting tons of questions about using electric bikes for long-distance rides.

Can they really go the distance? What kind of range is possible? Which models work best?

Well, I’ve pedaled many miles pondering those same things.

In this article, we’ll explore it all so you can decide if an ebike is your next long-haul companion!

Buckle up and let’s hit the open e-road.

Is Electric Bike Good for Long Rides?

To start, can you really cover serious mileage on an e-bike?

Absolutely!

The right electric bike makes long-distance touring, bikepacking adventures, and extended commutes totally doable.

With today’s batteries providing 50+ mile capacity on many models, your radius expands tremendously.

No more being limited to short loops close to home base.

Now you can head out for multi-day expeditions to new horizons!

But not all e-bikes are created equal when it comes to range. You need sufficient battery capacity and an efficient motor.

Plus extras like comfort-oriented frame geometry and gearing.

Later we’ll get into the best long-ride e-bike picks.

First, let’s look at what kind of mileage you can expect.

How Many Miles Can an Electric Bike Go on a Full Charge?

The big question – how far can you ride before needing to recharge?

Well, the range varies greatly depending on the bike.

But here are some general e-bike mileage specs:

  • Basic models: 15-30 mile range
  • Mid-range bikes: 30-50 mile range
  • High-end bikes: 50-100+ mile range

As you see, low-cost ebikes often max out around 30 miles per charge.

Decent mid-range models can tack on another 10-20 miles.

But high-end bikes with large-capacity batteries can keep you rolling for up to 100 miles in ideal conditions.

For example, the Juiced Scorpion boasts a 700 watt-hour battery providing 70+ miles range.

The Aventon Aventure can squeeze out 80 miles on a full charge.

And if going the distance is your main goal, the Volt Alpine can eclipse 100 miles per charge!

Of course, factors like motor power, rider weight, pedaling effort, terrain and speed settings all impact real-world numbers too.

But today’s long-range models open up a world of possibilities.

Range Tips to Maximize Mileage

To squeeze out every last mile:

  • Use lower assist modes to conserve power
  • Minimize throttle-only riding whenever possible
  • Keep tire pressure inflated to reduce drag
  • Ride conservatively – no jackrabbit starts and stops
  • Pedal more to take pressure off the motor
  • Stay under the bike’s max weight capacity
  • Choose routes with minimal hills

Follow those tips and you’ll be surprised how far you can go!

How Far Can a Fully Charged E-Bike Take You?

What distance can you expect from a fully juiced ebike battery?

As we just learned, it largely depends on the bike.

But let’s break it down further:

  • 250-500 watt-hour battery: 20-35 miles
  • 500-700 watt-hour battery: 35-50 miles
  • 700+ watt-hour battery: 50-100+ miles

Basic batteries around 300-400 watt-hours (like the Rad Power Bikes EcoHawk) often provide 20-30 miles range.

More advanced 500-700 watt-hour packs (seen on many mid-range bikes) get 35-50 miles.

But for 50+ mile range, you need a 700+ watt-hour battery like those found on the Aventon Aventure, Juiced CrossCurrent X, and other long-haul ebikes.

The mammoth 1,000+ watt-hour batteries powering bikes like the Volt Alpine can even provide up to 150 miles range when used conservatively.

But they also cost more and add weight.

Ultimately finding the right battery capacity comes down to balancing your range needs, budget and carrying convenience.

For more details on how factors like motor wattage and wheel size impact speed and range, see our guide on e-bike speeds.

Other Factors Boosting Range

Besides battery size, factors like:

  • Higher voltage
  • Lower rolling resistance tires
  • Lighter bike weight
  • More efficient motor and electronics

All contribute to optimizing mileage as well.

It’s a complex give-and-take balancing range, performance and affordability.

But the results are longer rides than ever!

Can an Electric Bike Go 50 Miles?

No problem – 50 miles is readily achievable for most quality mid-range and higher ebikes.

As we covered earlier:

  • 500-700 watt-hour batteries provide 35-50 miles range in most conditions.
  • Conserving power could stretch a 500Wh battery to 50 miles.
  • 700Wh+ batteries can reliably hit 50+ mile distances.

For example, the popular Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus with a 672Wh battery is estimated to get 45-55 miles per charge.

And the Ecotric Fat Tire bike packs a beefy 720Wh battery that can cruise for 60+ miles.

So yes, with a decent battery and conservatively using pedal assist over throttle, 50 miles is an attainable target for most riders.

Just bring a charger in case you miscalculate!

Can Ebike Go 100 Miles?

You bet – many premium electric bikes are engineered for 100+ mile range capabilities.

They achieve it through:

  • Large 700 – 1500Wh batteries
  • Lower rolling resistance tires
  • Optimized motors and electronics
  • Lightweight frames

For instance, the Specialized Turbo Como SL sports a 320Wh downtube battery plus a 320Wh integrated range extender battery for 560 watt-hours total.

The result is a class-leading real world range up to 100 miles.

The Volt Alpine also packs a giant 1,115Wh battery that can propel you 100+ miles when used wisely.

And the Juiced HyperScorpion blows other bikes away with its 1,500Wh battery providing an incredible 150 mile maximum range.

Granted, these are expensive high-performance ebikes.

But they prove that the 100 mile ebike barrier is totally breakable with today’s technology.

More affordable options are closing in on that milestone every year too.

Which Ebike is Best for Long Rides?

If you’re ready for two-wheeled adventures, what bike is best?

Here are my top picks:

Aventon Aventure

With a reliable 672Wh battery and comfortable ride position, this nimble ebike checks all the boxes.

Impressive 80+ mile range, carbon belt drive, throttle and pedal assist combine for long hauls.

Integrated lights and included rear rack are perfect for bikepacking.

Juiced CrossCurrent X

The CrossCurrent X sports one of the largest batteries around at 960 watt-hours.

Add quality components like hydraulic brakes and a comfy saddle and you have an ideal long range cruiser.

Pedal assist and throttle modes efficiently deliver up to 75 miles range.

Specialized Turbo Como SL

This premium electric bike pairs a 320Wh downtube battery with a 320Wh range extender battery for immense range.

Ultra-comfortable with relaxed geometry, suspension, wide tires and adjustable stem, it’s primed for multi-day adventures.

Expect up to 100 miles per charge!

Ride1Up LMT’D

With quality parts wrapped up in a budget-friendly package, this stealthy bike really delivers.

The 500Wh battery and efficient mid-drive motor achieve 50-70 mile range.

Integrated lights, fenders, rack and throttle boost its long haul abilities even more.

Tern HSD P9

Featuring a dependable Bosch motor, 400Wh battery, adjustable stem and swept-back handlebars for an ultra-upright position, this nimble cargo ebike is my top pick for comfort.

And it still provides 40-50 miles of hauling capacity per charge.

The large carrying rack expands storage possibilities too.

There are many great options, but those models provide an excellent blend of comfort, range and carrying flexibility for multi-day adventures near and far.

Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?

Great question!

Can pedaling your ebike actually help recharge the battery?

Unfortunately pedaling alone does not charge the battery.

The electrical current generated by pedaling is too small to meaningfully replenish the battery while riding.

However, pedaling does take pressure off the motor by supplementing its power output.

The motor doesn’t have to work as hard with human pedaling assistance.

And reducing motor workload directly correlates to lower power draw and longer battery life.

So while actively charging the battery is a myth, pedaling absolutely helps you conserve power and extend range.

The miles tick by slower when relying solely on throttle versus mixing human and electric watts.

Saving those precious battery watt-hours equals more miles down the road!

How Far is Too Far to Commute on an Ebike?

Ebikes make commuting distances previously unthinkable suddenly achievable.

But what’s the upper limit for a reasonable ebike commute? Here are my thoughts:

15 Miles Or Less

This distance is quite easy for any decent electric bike.

Even basic models have range up to 30 miles, so a 15 mile commute (30 miles round trip) is no problem if charging at work.

15-30 Miles

Still a very reasonable commute for most e-bikes assuming access to charging at work.

Allows use of pedal assist modes for shorter travel times versus throttle-only.

30-45 Miles

On the upper end of doable depending on your bike’s range.

Requires diligent power conservation and slow pedaling.

Throttle-only may not cut it. But a high-capacity battery can handle it.

45+ Miles

Once you get beyond 45 miles one way, an ebike is not the most practical commuting option.

At this distance, a gas scooter, motorcycle or car better fits the bill.

You’ll be throttling at low speeds for a long, grueling commute.

While some ultra-long range ebikes could technically commute further, anything beyond 30 miles one way isn’t ideal.

Though it ultimately depends on your priorities – convenience, speed, cost savings, exercise goals, etc.

Just know the limits before committing!

Final Thoughts

After exploring all aspects of ebikes for long rides, I hope you’ve got a clear idea of their capabilities.

While not every model excels at distance, today’s high-end electric bikes can rival gasoline-powered vehicles for range.

And they open up bike touring possibilities like never before!

With a quality long haul ebike, staying local or going on a multi-day trip is equally enjoyable.

You can confidently roam knowing a charging point is always within reach.

So whether you seek adventure close to home or far across the horizon, an ebike could be your perfect two-wheeled companion.

Just don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen – you’ll be riding in comfort all day long!

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Joey B. Ramsey
Passionate cyclist, father, and blogger.
I've been riding bikes since childhood and enjoy sharing my knowledge with fellow cycling enthusiasts.
My diverse bike collection allows me to write reviews and advice based on personal experience with various bikes and accessories.
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