FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are Alter Ego Electric Bikes road legal in Canada?
Yes, the Motor Vehicle Act was recently modified to include a class of Power Assisted Bicycles. In BC the rules state that with continuous motor power under 500 watts, and at speeds less than 32 km/h, there is no need for either a license or insurance to use an electric bike on public roads. You can also continue to use bike paths or any place a regular bicycle is allowed.
Can I finance an Alter Ego Electric Bike?
YES! We have partnered with iFinance Canada to bring you one of the best financing programs in the industry! For more information, click here.
Is any assembly required?
We deliver our bikes fully assembled locally unless otherwise instructed. If we are shipping it to you in a box, the bike is 95% assembled. All that may be required is for you to install the front tire (quick release), insert the handlebars, and install the pedals. Instructions are downloadable. And if you still can't figure it out, any local bike shop can definitely help you.
If you purchased a Navigator, we require that it gets assembled by a professional shop and properly tuned up.
What do you charge for shipping?
We offer FREE SHIPPING WITHIN CANADA!
Does the battery recharge as you pedal?
This is one of the most commonly asked technical questions we get and it shows that the advantages and capabilities of electric drives are widely known. The answer is that yes, on most hub motor ebikes it is possible to recharge the batteries from pedaling. BUT, only when you are moving at a speed faster than the motor can attain itself.
Recharging from pedaling is not really the intent of the electric drive as it is with, say, a hybrid car. In general, with an ebike you draw a net amount of power out of the battery pack to assist you riding. You then replenish this energy from the wall outlet, rather than by working extra hard later on in the trip. Its like hauling a heavy trailer with two flat tires, so unless you're in it for the exercise alone there is little point.
How far can I go on a single charge?
The short answer to this question is far enough! Generally speaking, any Alter Ego battery should last longer than you. We don’t hear many stories of people running out of juice.
With that said, this can be a complicated question because there isn’t a “standard” and everybody makes vastly different claims about range. There are several factors when answering this question. Weight of the rider, wind conditions, tire inflation, how much you are using the throttle vs iPAS, etc, etc, etc.
You should expect up to 60km range on our 48V models, and up to 40km on the 36V models while using iPAS. If the Throttle Drive System is being used rather than iPAS, you will get approx. 50% less distance. Our new 2 passenger Navigator 500RH electric motorbike, and VeloVillain 500 V3 with the dual battery option will get up to 140km range on a single charge! WOW!
What is the normal lifespan of a battery?
You can expect your battery to last about 2-4 years or approx. 1000 charging cycles.
Lithium batteries usually don’t just stop working altogether, what happens is they gradually lose their capacity over time.
To prolong the life of your battery it’s suggested that you avoid discharging it completely, and to make sure that you charge it at least once every couple months. When you aren't using it, we advise you to store it inside or at room temperature as fluctuations in temperature, cold or heat will damage the battery.
How long does the battery take to charge?
A battery will charge is between 2-6 hours with a standard wall outlet. A green light will indicate a full charge. If the light is red, the battery is still being charged.
There is no memory, so you don’t have to worry about discharging it completely, and it’s best to recharge it after each use.
It uses very little energy- usually about ten cents worth and includes a smart charger that will automatically shut off when it’s done.
How do I maintain the electric motor?
We use only the best electric motors in the industry! We less than a 1% failure rate, our motors are extremely reliable and 100% maintenance free.
Throttle Drive vs iPAS: What's the difference?
In North America, we are fortunate to have the luxury of throttles on our electric bikes which are forbidden in Europe and other places around the world.
Throttles provide full power on demand and we love them because they give us complete control.
They’re especially helpful for getting started from a standstill (sometimes it can be awkward to gain momentum), getting a quick burst of power to climb a hill, or safely getting through an intersection. If you can’t pedal, or you just don’t feel like it, that’s okay too.
After all, aren't bikes supposed to give you exercise? Pedal more and your body will love you!
iPAS: Intelligent Pedal Assist
Intelligent Pedal Assist automatically turns on the motor when you pedal. With pedal assist you do not need to use a throttle to control the motor.
There are two types of Intelligent Pedal Assist: Cadence Sensor Type which measures IF you are pedaling and a Torque Sensor Type which measures HOW HARD you are pedaling.
1. Cadence Sensors (Basic)
The basic cadence sensor uses a magnet on the crank, it turns the motor ON when you start pedaling and turns it OFF when you stop pedaling. It works more or less like a switch.
You have to control the boost level and speed by adjusting the assist mode manually up and down. This is the most common type of iPAS.
Cadence Sensor technology is used on our Sidekick Ultralite 350, Sidekick 350 V2, VeloVillain 2nd Gen, and Navigator.
2. Torque Sensors (Advanced)
The torque sensor is a totally different technology that uses a precision strain gauge. It measures your actual force on the pedal, sampling at 1,000 times per second over the entire pedal stroke.
The harder you pedal, the more power it gives to the motor. If you pedal lighter, less power goes to the motor. It makes this adjustment in real time so it is technically amplifying your every input. It feels like you are bionic.
Torque Sensor technology is used in our VeloVillain 500 V3, Loop 250, and ZŪM 250.
How fast can I go?
All Alter Ego Electric Bikes are governed at 32km/h in accordance with Canadian federal transport regulations. This is the case with ALL other Electric Bikes on the market in Canada today. However, you can pedal faster than 32km/h if you wish. Any electric bike without a governor or capable of speeds faster than 32km/h are not street legal.
What maintenance is required?
Aside from keeping your battery charged, maintaining an Alter Ego Bike is the same as any standard bicycle. After the bike has been ridden 50-100km, you’ll want a basic tune-up. This is standard procedure for all new bikes as they’re broken in and as the cables stretch.
The most important (and simple) thing you can do is check your tire pressure regularly, and keep them inflated as indicated on the tire.
If you’re riding in wet conditions, you’ll want to take extra care and make sure you keep your drivetrain clean and well-lubed.
Other than that, you’re likely to need minor adjustments from time to time, and even the best parts do eventually wear out. We suggest that you bring your bike to your local bike shop for a check-up at least once or twice a year to ensure the most safe and pleasant riding experience.
The electric motor does not require any maintenance at all.
Click here for other maintenance tips.
Can I transport my Alter Ego Electric Bike on a hitch mounted bike rack?
Our unique folding frame system provides you with the most convenient electric bikes on the market, so a bike rack is not necessary in most situations. But yes, you can transport your Alter Ego Electric Bike on a hitch mounted bike rack. Many of our customers use hitch mounted racks to travel far and wide. Please check with your local rack retailer for their advice on which rack is right for you. Make sure you are aware of the weight restrictions before purchasing the bike rack.
We also have revolutionary suction roof-racks available for total convenience and ultimate mobility for our lighter weight bikes.
Can I use my Alter Ego in the rain?
YES! All Alter Ego Electric Bike models are water resistant, but impossible to completely water-proof. As with any electric device, use with extra caution if you ride in the rain. If the controller or battery gets wet, it could cause problems with the performance of your Alter Ego Electric Bike.
DO NOT LEAVE ANY BIKE OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN OR EXPOSED SUNLIGHT FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.
What if I change my mind?
Change your mind? That’s ok! We’ve got you covered if you've purchased your new Alter Ego product on our website.
Exchanges are permitted within 30 DAYS of purchase. Shipping expenses and price difference of new item to be paid by the purchaser, if applicable.
Online purchased bike, may be returned within 30 DAYS of purchase for a FULL REFUND (minus a 20% re-stocking fee). All 'Clearance' items / demos are final sale and no returns will be permitted unless agreed to otherwise in writing by Alter Ego Recreation Co. You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
To be eligible for a return or exchange, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.
How do we keep our prices so low?
By selling online and direct to customers, we can lower our overhead and keep costs minimal, which is both beneficial for our customers and our business. Each Alter Ego Electric Bike model uses the most current technology and brand name, long lasting quality components.
Can I test ride before I buy?
Absolutely! We do not have a traditional retail storefront as we have a factory direct business model. Our business model depends on word-of-mouth and online sales. Check out our TEST RIDE page for more details on how to schedule a Private Test Ride where we bring our showroom to you! We also have Brand Champions who are actual customers that you can get in touch with to arrange a test ride.
Or you may test ride select models at the following locations:
Traveland RV in Langley, BC (VeloVillain 500 2nd Gen, Sidekick 350 V2)
Traveland RV in Kelowna, BC (VeloVillain 500 2nd Gen)
Vintage Iron E-Cycles in Vancouver (Navigator 500RH)