Can Electric Bikes Be Used Manually?

The fact of the matter is, electric bicycles are on the rise in popularity. Since 2010 more and more people are choosing to ride electric bikes on their commute to work or wherever else instead of traditional pedal bicycles or walking. But what happens when your electric bikes’ battery runs out? Can you pedal it manually?

Most electric bicycles on the market can be ridden entirely off of the power in your leg muscles. A lot of those specific bicycles have three modes you can use. These modes are:

  • Full manual
  • Eco-mode
  • Full Electric

While each electric bicycle manufacturer’s names for these modes may differ, they all essentially do the same thing.

As you continue to read this article, we will go more in-depth about the three modes that most electric bikes have, along with some good examples of when you could use these modes. After that, we will provide you with a few electric bicycles to ride purely off of muscle power.

Can You Use An Electric Bike Manually?

As a matter of fact, yes, they can! Well, most of them, that is. There are electric bikes on the market that can only be ridden while using electricity in some mode, whether fully electric or “Eco Mode.” The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of electric bicycles can be used while the battery is dead or off. 

As previously stated, most electric bicycles have three modes that you can use at a moment’s notice. These modes include those mentioned above;

  • Full Manual
  • Eco Mode
  • Full Electric.

These terms are not the same across the board when it comes to electric bicycles. Each manufacturer might put their flavor into naming these modes to make them sound unique. All of these modes are going to be reasonably straightforward. However, we are going to talk about them anyway. 

1. Full Manual Mode

The full manual mode uses the power in your leg muscles to propel the electric bicycle. This mode is essentially a fallback or a last resort for most people. If you think about it, electric bicycles are mostly just regular traditional bicycles with a small motor and battery attached. That being said, there really should be no reason for you not to be able to ride the bike traditionally.

A mode like this is helpful and is almost required. If you have an electric bicycle that you can ride without a battery or while the battery is dead, you can still travel and make it to work or home to charge your battery. If you can ride your bike without a battery or on dead or off a battery, you can still use it to get the whole exercising experience. For instance, you could want to ride your bike traditionally to stay healthy every other day.

Another way to use your bike is by using the full manual mode to travel part of the way home to get a small workout before turning on the battery and using one of the other two modes to bring you the rest of the way home.

Lastly, you can use an electric bike purely off of the power of your legs on declines. Everyone who has ridden a bike knows that you can pick up speed very quickly when you ride down a hill. While this is true for all vehicles, it is much more noticeable when you are on a bicycle. 

With that in mind, electric bicycles are made to go fast, faster than an average person could go on a traditional bike. Going 20 to 25 miles per hour before you start to go downhill, you can pick up speed very quickly. 

Depending on the steepness and length of the decline you are travelling, you can easily reach 30 miles per hour, which can be very dangerous and end with you in a world of hurt if you are not careful.

That being said, switching your battery off for extended declines on your commute and relying on the power of your leg muscles and the downhill itself instead of your battery will prove to be much safer.

2. Eco Mode

Eco mode is what electric bikes are all about. This mode is all about using both electricity and leg power to generate forward momentum. This mode is the standard for all-electric bicycles and will be the most used mode by far.

Eco-friendly mode lets you get the speed and power of the electric motor while also using the power generated by your legs to supplement some of the horsepower given by the electric motor. This will allow the battery to be used for far longer than it would if you used the electric bicycle in pure electric mode. 

This mode is great for the opposite reason provided in the whole manual section above about its use going downhill. Using eco mode to assist you in moving uphill will be your best option in terms of speed and exertion from you and the bicycle. If you use a complete manual on an incline, you use a lot of your power and energy to get up that hill. The same goes for pure electric mode. You will not be able to get up that hill as fast as you could in eco mode by splitting the stress on both yourself and the bike’s battery and motor. 

3. Full Electric

Full electric is going to be the simplest model to describe. As it says in the name, full-electric mode uses the power from the battery and the motor on your electric bicycle exclusively to provide you speed and forward momentum. 

This mode is excellent if you are looking to use the full manual mode to get in an awesome workout and switch into full electric when you start to strain your leg muscles or run out of energy.

Full electric style is also great for travelling along flat surfaces and being able to travel at the electric bike’s top speed with ease while putting no strain on your legs at all. This is also a great way to get to work if you stand or move around all day.

Electric Bikes That You Can Use Manually

Below will be a shortlist of a few electric bikes on the market that you can use manually to save battery life or for any other reason. They will all have a short description and have varying prices.

1. ANCHEER Electric Bike Electric Mountain Bike

This ANCHEER electric bike has a very sleek traditional design with the 350w battery sitting on the frame’s down tube. At $750, this relatively inexpensive electric bike has plenty of bells and whistles. While also including three stylish colors to choose from:

  • Blue
  • Red
  • Orange

You can travel up to 40 miles before needing to be recharged if you use the battery purely in battery-assisted or “eco mode” and up to 22 miles while being used purely off of the bike’s battery and motor. 

2. Sailnovo 14” Electric Bike

The Sailnovo 14″ Electric Bike is smaller than the ANCHEER listed above, and it looks more like a scooter than a traditional bicycle. With a price tag of $530, this 350w battery-assisted electric bicycle can be folded up and stored away with ease and taking up little space, coming with the three different modes we described above.

This bike is about as cheap as they come. While the price tag is minimal compared to many other electric bikes, this little guy can still compete with them in terms of speed. They can travel up to 18 miles per hour and an average mileage per full battery charge of 25 to 35, depending on the modes you use.

3. Electric Bicycles by WING

Electric bicycles can be a little pricey. While the WING brand of electric bicycles is not the most expensive, they lay in the middle ground in price.

All of their bikes come with the same features, including a removable battery for easy charging, built-in theft prevention, built-in headlights, and brake lights, and safety-tested disc brakes to help you stop sooner. 

This brand has quite a few bikes you can choose from that vary in price from $1500 to $1700. This brand sports a unique, super sleek, and stylish design with all of the versatility you would expect when looking at bikes with this kind of price tag.

Final Thoughts

Electric bikes on the market typically come with three modes you can use them in. Full manual, which uses the power of your legs exclusively. Eco mode or battery-assisted uses both your leg power and power of the motor to provide you speed and battery life.

Last but not least, full-electric mode, which will give you a quick trip without any strain being put on you whatsoever.

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