We know, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But there are some questions you might not want to ask your local shop or riding buddies. AASQ is our weekly series where we get to the bottom of your questions – serious or otherwise. Hit the link at the bottom of the post to submit your own question!
Go ahead and file this one under e-bike existentialism. One of our most prolific questioners (we see you Duytan, thanks for all the questions!), asks, “Can I remove a battery from a production e-bike, such as one with the Shimano Steps system, to ride where e-bikes are banned? How can I protect the contacts from exposure if so?”
With all of the controversy surrounding e-bikes and their access to various trails, that’s an interesting question. On one hand, an e-bike without a battery is essentially just a very heavy bicycle, right? But then on the other hand, as Jonathan Weinert from Bosch pointed out – just removing the gasoline from a dirt bike doesn’t make it “non-motorized.
After reaching out to the various e-bike heads of state that we could think of for coming up with an answer, it seems that most likely the answer is no. Ultimately it’s up to the land manager’s discretion, but most that we talked to thought that most land managers would still see a battery-less e-bike as still an e-bike none the less. E-Bikes are already a hard thing for strained local park services to regulate, so it’s probably best not to complicate things with e-bikes masquerading as non-ebikes by removing certain components.
However, if you want to remove the battery and ride around on the streets for some reason, Bosch mentioned that on their bikes you don’t need to protect the battery contacts unless you’re riding in very wet conditions. The battery also ins’t a structural part of the frame so you’re good to go there as well on either the standard battery or PowerTube.
Got a question of your own? Click here to use the AASQ form, or find the link under the Contact menu header up top anytime a question pops into your mind!