100 Frequently Asked FAQ Electric Bike Questions

FAQ Electric Bike Topic: Design Choices

Q: What does it mean that CompuBoost Ebike is an integrated design?

A: All components are designed from the ground up to be used in an Electric bike. This starts with the folding frame, which is single tube cantilever design. The large cross section single tube allows a big battery to be used, and gives added strength (it is like a bike with a 4” tubular cross section).

This gives the required strength to carry large passenger loads, as well as take the stresses of horsepower plus motors and large batteries, wheels and accessories. Plus the single tube has hidden spaces for the controller, so the appearance is sleek and modern. A patent pending latching mechanism completes the frame, which folds to about half the length.

Q: Why did Cboost decide to make folding Electric Bikes?

A: All our bikes fold. This is very important because it adds greatly to the flexibility and usage. It folds quickly and easily, to fit in almost any car, and is small enough (like a folded baby carriage) to be carried on to busses, trains and even airplane (as checked luggage). Without the folding feature, the bike cannot be transported without a pickup truck, or hitch mounted cradle carrier (it is too heavy to carry on car roof or hung on rear hatch carriers).

  • Sooner or later, every rider will need a ride (like from a flat tire, out of battery, etc), and without the folding feature, the rider may be stranded. Any taxi, uber, etc with a trunk should be able to carry this bike.
  • No need for a pickup truck or require car or SUV modification (hitch mount requires installation to car, and adds 3ft to car or SUV length making many too long to fit in garage)
  • Can be carried onto buses and trains. Perfect for commuters, who can ride to station or stop, then fold bike to carry inside, charge at work, then ride back home.
  • Great for college: Folds up to store inside dorm, protected from theft and vandalism.
  • Convenient 2nd Vehicle. Easily fits in back of ranger vehicle, patrol car, or boat and RV that can then be taken out and unfolded to provide quick transportation onto road, or trail after primary vehicle can go no further.

FAQ Electric Bike General Riding Questions:

Q:  Do I need a special license to ride?

A: Currently No. In the US no license is required to ride an electric bike.

Q: Where can I legally ride bike?

A: You can ride an electric bike anywhere a regular bike is allowed, which means on any street, but not expressways or highways. Speed must be limited to 20mph maximum on level streets, and in designated bike paths, 28mph maximum. Cboost bikes have programmable boost levels to meet these requirements. Here is an excerpt from California Bike law (2018). Please consult laws in your local district:

Mopeds and high-speed electric bikes are not like regular bikes. Gas-powered bicycles and type 3 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 28 mph) may not be used on trails or bike paths or lanes unless allowed by local authorities. They may be used in bike lanes or separated bikeways adjacent to the roadway. CVC 21207.5  They require helmets and may not be operated by people under age 16.

Low-speed electric bicycles are almost like regular bikes. Type 1 and 2 electric bicycles (with top assisted speeds of 20 mph) are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed unless a sign specifically prohibits electric bicycles.

Q: How old do I need to be to ride?

A: Please consult your local ordinances. However, in California, if the speed is limited to 20mph, there is no age limit. For Speeds above that, 16 years is the minimum age and a helmet is required (for any age). Practically speaking, the F008 should be ridden by riders at least 12 yrs of age and 48” tall, and are responsible young men or women, as judged by their parents.

Questions on Compuboost Models:

Q:  How many Electric bike models do you have?

A: We carry four models:

  1. M003 26” Mountain Electric Bike: Full suspension 330lb capacity, optimized for hill climbing and power
  2. M005 26” Street Electric Bike: Hard tail 330lb capacity, for paved and unpaved roads, optimized for commute and long distance
  3. M007 26” Super Duty Fat Tire Electric Bike: All Terrain, 440lb capacity, do everything go anywhere bike
  4. F008 20” Low Rider Electric Bike: Compact Hard tail 250lb capacity, for smaller, younger, older, gentler riders

Q: Why is there a smaller low rider version of Cboost electric bike?

A: We found that the full size bikes may be intimidating to many smaller, older, younger or gentler riders. The tall straddle height, powerful motor (48V system) and fairly aggressive forward leaning riding position may be difficult (too tall, difficult to balance, uncomfortable riding stance) for those riders.

The F008 is designed to address those issues. It is much lower, with a lower straddle height, and lower seating position. The handlebars also are more upright, for a more relaxed position. The motor is smaller, running on 36V system, so that the torque and top speed is more manageable. However, it still folds, and has the same quality and safety features like its bigger counterparts.

Q: Can I take the M003 mountain bike and M007 Super Duty on any trail?

A: Yes, with caution. Even though the M003 and M007 is very capable of handling tough trails, it is really not suitable for technical mountain riding, with very steep slopes and large crevices and jumps. These bikes are too heavy and handles completely different because of the motor and battery, from regular mountain bikes. You may literally slide yourself off a cliff. Think of these trails like white water rapids. You would not take a powerboat down white water, it is best with a canoe or raft.

But a powerboat is great for cruising across large bodies of water. Similarly, an electric bike is great at climbing trails to the top of the mountain, have a picnic, and then cruising down, all without a sweat. Leave the technical downslopes to lighter, better handling non-electric mountain bikes.

Q: Can I take the M005 street bike off paved roads?

A: Yes. The M005 road bike works great on paved and unpaved roads. It has a hard tail and mag wheels, so it would be less comfortable for the numerous bumps of mountain trails–best to use the M003 for that.

Q: Can I use the M003 and M007 for commuting?

A: Yes. Even though both those models are considered mountain bikes, they work great on paved roads as well. Because of the rear suspension, ordinary rear racks will not work, so please consult your dealer if you need rear racks for these bikes. Racks that attached to the rear stays do not work on full suspension bikes.

Q: How do I adjust the suspension?

Full suspension Rear Shock

A: The front forks are not adjustable. They are tuned for road and moderate trail riding. They have very quick recovery so that is why you here a click when going over a moderate gap (click is when shock extends fully to prepare for next bump). The rear shock on M003 and M007 have a spring loaded adjustable damper that can be adjusted for stiffness and weight of rider.

Q: I go to school or commute and need to add a rack, are there available accessories for this?

A: Yes, common accessories do fit on our bikes. We carry them, or you can order them from your dealer or any bike store. The M005 and F008 will take any rack accessories. The M003 and M007, because of the rear suspension, may need a different type of rack (one that attaches to seatpost, and may be weight limited)

Q: How do I attach a Cell phone?

powered cell phone holder

A: The M005 road bike has a factory equipped Cell phone holder, with a USB socket directly wired to mains power, so you can actually recharge your phone while riding. This cell phone holder is an option on the other models, but since excessive bumps may eject the phone, so we do not include this as a standard item on the mountain bike M003 or all terrain Super Duty M007.

Q: Why is there a built in front light, but not a back light?

A: The front light is built in because a bright front light draws significant power, and a battery operated one will require replacing batteries too often. So ours is wired directly to the main power. Rear lights however, use very little power, and many riders prefer different ones, because they can be mounted in different locations (depending on accessories in the back). We do carry a USB rechargeable, computer controlled smart light motion-activated rear light. One charge is good for about one month (30 days) or 8-10 hours of on time.

FAQ Electric Bike Warranty Questions:

Q: What is Cboost warranty and why an odometer?

A: Our bikes are actually electric vehicles, and warranty and maintenance is based on time and mileage, similar to cars or motorcycles. Unique to us, our bikes comes with a one-year and 6,000 mile manufacturer’s overall warranty that covers defects, and a 2 yr 12,000 mile warranty on key components, like the power train (Battery, Motor, Controller, Computer, Running Gear). Consumable items have their own warranty (like tires and brake shoes). We also have a maintenance schedule based on mileage, to keep your electric bike running smoothly year after year.

Q: Where do I get replacement parts?

A: CompuBoost, or your local dealer, stocks all spare parts, like wheels, motors, controllers, brakes, pedals, tires, etc. It is best to use factory parts to repair or replace any worn or broken items. However, our design philosophy is not to lock you into expensive strange dimension custom parts that only we carry, so almost all items can be replaced with aftermarket equivalents.

We do recommend using factory parts whenever available because these parts were specifically designed for our bikes. We are also fair in our warranty, so substituted parts will not void the warranty (unless of course it interferes with normal operation), so you are free to use any aftermarket part you like.

FAQ Electric Bike Drive Questions:

Q: What is the electric drive of Cboost E-bikes?

A: Integrated rear wheel Hub drive with brushless DC motor.

Q: What is pedal assist? Why not a throttle?

motorcycle style twist throttle

A: Pedal assist means the motor only applies power when you are pedaling. Stop pedaling, the motor stops. No throttle control is needed. The amount of power assist is usually programmable with a digital computer mounted on the handlebar. Pedal assist is the law in Europe. Throttles are illegal. Since Europe buys many more Electric bikes than the US, almost all electric bikes have pedal assist. Only bikes designed for the US have throttles.

The advantage of pedal assist is safety. Stop pedaling==> Motor stops.  Pedal assist ride is very smooth. Power is applied gradually, so there is no feeling of great torque or power. However, a big disadvantage is pedal assist makes it hard to start from a stopped position, and it is a pretty boring ride.

Throttles is popular in the US. Twist the throttle, and power is immediately applied to the wheel. You can use throttle only  and speedalong like a motorcycle or scooter, without pedaling, or twist it hard and pop a wheelie. Throttle control allows instant acceleration to get out of trouble, plus much higher speeds than possible than pedal assist.

Compuboost electric bikes always have BOTH pedal assist and throttle, so it has the advantages of both systems. Twist the throttle to pull away from a stop, then relax the grip and pedal away to sustain your speed. Twist the throttle again to speed out of trouble, the relax the throttle and pedal again to maintain speed.

Q: What are the advantages of Hub, versus rear motor drive, versus Mid (Crank) motor topologies?

A: Each topology has its advantages. Rear motor drive, through a belt or chain, is the cheapest method, and is commonly used for conversions of existing bikes to electric bike. Basically a motor is hung off the frame and the rear wheel driven by a chain to the motor. Mid crank drive motors are attached to the crank. It drives the chain, rather than the wheel directly, which decreases the motor power needed by using the mechanical advantage of the geared drive train.

However, this puts great stress on the entire drive chain, and although smooth, does not have the torque and power of directly driving the wheel. Many European designs use Mid-motor, because throttles are illegal in Europe, only Pedal assist.

Front hub motors are commonly used for conversions, because they are the simplest conversion and leaves the cleanest look. However, steering a heavy front hub feels unusual and it is less responsive than rear wheel drivel.

Our Hub motors drive the wheel directly, but without the kluge add on look of the rear motor drive and chain, and inherent losses in chain or belt drive. Hub motors gives great throttle response, providing instant kick as soon as power is applied. In fact, several of our models provide enough torque and power you ca pop wheelies if you twist full throttle and lift the handlebar.

Q: How powerful is the motor?

A: Motors are rated at watts. One horsepower is about 745 watts. Our ebikes are rated at continuous duty, meaning it can run at that power indefinitely. The peak power will be several times that. For example, our 500W motor can deliver 1500W peak (that is nearly 2 horsepower). Bikes advertising huge power levels are misleading, because realistically, only the continuous power rating is accurate, since huge power levels mean huge drains on the battery, and the motor will overheat quickly.

Anyone test riding our bike can see instantly there is plenty of power and torque. A quick twist of the throttle will almost bring the bike to wheelie the front end. And like cars, there is enough reserve power in the motors our top end speed are well above the legal limit of 28 mph for bicycles.

Q: What is the top speed?

A: Although influenced by many factors, the absolute top speed is primarily determined by the front chainwheel tooth count. We use a 46T chainwheel, which when coupled with pedaling at an easy cadence, a 500W motor can product 30+ mph on a flat road. This exceeds the legal limit of 28 mph in the US. Obviously, switching out to a larger chainwheel can increase speed dramatically, but that is impractical (and dangerous) outside of a race course.

Q: What is the range of the E-bike?

A: The range of the electric bike various on the boost level applied. For most normal riding, boost level 3 (60% motor power), pedaling at an easy cadence, will provide the longest endurance (2 hours running) and furthest ride (2 hours endurance times 15-20mph equals about 30-40 miles). Less boost equals longer distance, but a few mph slower (for more exercise). Higher boost gives faster speed, but corresponding shorter distance. For hills, it is best to shift gears to keep pedal effort easy, rather than add power.

Q: Do I need to pedal the E-bike?

A: No, but Highly recommended. Although our ebikes have a throttle and you can just motor along, it will drain the battery quickly on motor alone. For short bursts, like dashing between traffic, or starting up, a twist of the throttle gives a shot of power. But after that, pedaling easily is the best.

All specifications and testing assumes an easy cadence pedaling. Easy cadence means pedaling with little effort, like an exercise spinner, that you can maintain for an hour or more without stress. As hills come and go, you shift the gears to keep your cadence easy. Pedaling gets you great exercise without breaking out a sweat.

Q: Please explain in more detail Pedal Assist?

A: An electronic sensor is placed on the crankshaft, and connected to the motor controller. The motor will automatically boost when you pedal. The amount of boost is selected by the rider with the computer. This arrangement means once pedaling, you do not need the throttle (except to provide an extra burst when needed), and it makes for comfortable riding since the throttle does not need to be held open.

When coasting or braking, the motor stops automatically, and resumes automatically when pedaling begins again. At anytime, rider can twist the throttle and add more power, over riding pedal assist (however, braking will always shut off motor, regardless of throttle position)

Q: How do I extend the range of the E-bike?

A: We are unique in that we offer a saddle that holds up to two extra batteries. Now you can ride 100 or more miles at a time. These external batteries can also be used as electric sources, charging accessories like radios, cell phones, GPS, even lights and computers. We even offer a rollup solar charger panel, so you can take it deep into a trail, charge it a few hours in the sun, and still return.

Q: Does CBoost use regenerative drive?

A: Regenerative drives means the rider can actually charge the battery by pedaling harder, or when going downhill, extending the range of the battery. Although this sounds great, in actuality the effect is negligible unless in flat or very gentle hills. The reason is that for the amount of energy expended climbing a hill, only a small portion can be recaptured during the downhill phase (most hills are too steep and produce so much energy during descent, the battery can only recapture a small part– a few percent). Currently CBoost is not using regenerative drive until they are further proven reliable and cost effective.

Q: How long does it take to recharge Battery?

A: Batteries are rated in AH (Amp Hours). The factory charger supplied is 2 Amp Hours. So if a battery of 14 Amp Hours is fully discharged, you would need 7 hours (7x2Amp hours) to charge a 14 Amp Hour battery. If the battery is only half discharged, you would need 3.5 hours x 2 Amp hours  to recharge the same battery. Translated to distance, if you ride 20 miles and the full battery range is 40 miles, then you have discharged half the battery, and so would take about 3.5 hours to fully recharge.

Component Questions:

Q:  How are the components chosen?

A: All components are designed from the ground up to be used in an Electric bike. There are many fine and expensive components using lightweight materials (titanium, carbon) found in other bikes, but many times these lightweight components are too delicate and not suitable for an electric bike. For an electric bike, weight is really not an issue, since a few extra pounds here and there does not affect the bike at all.

But rather, because the electric bikes are meant as everyday commute or usage to replace cars, durability, strength, reliability are more important. The added torque and stress of a horsepower plus electric motor means a heavier duty frame, chassis, drive train and components. In addition, powerful brakes are needed that can reliably stop as much as a 440lb fully loaded bike, over and over, again.

Q: Who manufactures your ebike components– I do not recognize most of the names?

A: Because our Electric bikes are custom built from the ground up, almost all the components are built by or for us (House branded). Similar to a cars like Mercedes, which builds nearly all its parts, so it is with us. About the only parts that are not built directly is the derailleur (by Shimano), the battery cells themselves (Panasonic) and the Motor (by large motor specialist company). This allows us to better control the quality and optimize the design for e-bikes.

Q: What kind of brakes are used?

Front Disk Brake

A: High Performance Disk brakes are used, with mechanical applied rotor sizes from 160 to 203mm diameter.

Q: Why are mechanical rather than hydraulic Disk Brakes used?

Rear Disk Brake

A: Electric bikes must have, for safety reasons, a positive motor cutoff switch at the slightest brake lever application. Current generation of hydraulic brakes work fine, but the motor cutoff mechanism has not yet been proven, so mechanical brakes with their more reliable switches are used. Hydraulic brakes will be introduced as soon as we perfect a reliable switch mechanism.

Q: Why does the M003 use spoke wheels instead of mag wheels?

A: The M003 is designed for mountain trails, so it has a full suspension and spoke wheels. Bumps large enough to crack a mag wheel will only break or bend a spoke. It is better to replace a spoke than an expensive mag wheel.

For the Super Duty M007, even though it can ride any mountain trail, the oversized 4” low pressure (25psi) tires, and the mag wheel itself is much larger and stronger than normal, so there is no chance of cracking, even with the largest bumps.

Q: Why does the M003 and M007 not have quick release front wheels?

A: Because of the mountain trail capability, and the increased bumps and jumps, the M003 and M007 have nut and safety D-washer front end attachments. Even if the axle nuts loosen, the wheel will not fall off.

Q: Can I use tubeless tires?

A: It is not recommended. Even though the Mag wheels can take tubeless tires, with a suitable valve, it is best to use our self sealing tubes. They are much easier to install. To seat a tubeless tire on the rim typically requires an air compressor to blast enough air, so reinflating a tubeless tire in the field is difficult, if not impossible. Besides, there are no real performance advantage to tubeless tires. The M003 spoked rim is not designed for tubeless.

Buying Questions:

Q:  Where do I buy Cboost Bikes?

A: You can buy directly from Cboost from the internet, but we recommend buying it from our store or through a local reseller. They will set up the bike to your liking, add accessories, then give you advice and show you proper care and riding of your bike. Please contact us for nearest local retailer.

Q:  Why is there Dealer Prep charges?

A: Your local dealer may add transport and dealer prep charges. Our E-bikes are actually electric motorized vehicles, rather than simple bikes, so there is a long list of items to be performed and several hours of labor, after receiving from the warehouse to prepare bike for delivery.

Q: Can I finance my purchase?

A: Yes, we have an agreement with Square Financial. They will finance up to $10,000 of the actual invoice. Application is on-line and instant approval if qualified, so you know right away. Approval will not impact your credit cards or other credit items. Terms, conditions and agreements are with Square, so we or the dealer cannot negotiate or change Squares’ terms.