Can You Ride an Electric Bike Without the Battery?

To get the most out of your electric bike, you will want to keep the battery in good condition and pay attention to how you are charging it. But what if you have no battery or have an older ebike and the battery doesn’t work anymore and you can’t replace it?

You can still ride an electric bike without the battery, it will just be more challenging to pedal. If your battery is completely dead and no replacement can be found, you can ride your ebike like a regular bike.

Electric bikes still have gears and brakes like a regular bike and can be ridden with a dead battery or no battery at all!

If it’s a mid-drive ebike you will have to keep the motor attached, but if it’s a hub-drive ebike you could actually replace the hub-drive wheel with a regular wheel and keep riding the bike like normal.

No sense in wasting a perfectly good bike. 

Just know that if you have to keep the motor on the bike, this will add extra weight and make it harder to pedal. (just not impossible)

Some gearless hub motors will also add resistance to pedaling and feel like you are riding with the brakes on.

What Is It Like To Ride an Ebike With No Battery?

I won’t sugarcoat it, it is a lot more difficult to ride an ebike with no battery than it is to ride a regular bike.

Riding an ebike with no battery or just a dead battery will be hard to do. It’s not impossible, and for really strong riders you will be able to do it pretty well.

If you are not a very strong rider then I would try to keep your battery charged up and in great working order.

If you have just recently bought a new ebike, I would recommend trying it out for just a little ways without the motor assisting you. This way you will at least know what it will feel like if you run out of battery.

Do this while you still have plenty of battery power left because you won’t want to ride this way for very long.

If your battery just won’t charge or you don’t have the battery, you can still ride the bike. I would just remove the battery to reduce weight and keep on riding!

What Happens if Your Ebike Runs Out of Charge?

When your ebike runs out of charge you will notice a dramatic increase in resistance to pedaling. Mostly from muscle memory of how much easier it is to pedal with the motor assisting.

Most mid-drive electric bikes will disengage from the motor and not add any additional resistance to pedaling other than the added weight of the motor and battery.

Geared hub drive motor will also allow you to pedal with little resistance but the added weight of the hub drive to the wheel will make it harder to get up to speed and maintain your speed.

The added weight to your wheel creates more rotational weight and this is what makes it feel like you are pedaling through jello. 🙂

Gearless hub motors (which really aren’t used that much) will add resistance to your ride and be very challenging to pedal without the battery.

Always check your battery level before you leave. You need to know how far you will be able to go with the amount of battery you have left.

I recommend trying to have a full battery any time you want to go out and ride.

Even if think you will only be going on a short ride, sometimes with an ebike you may want to ride further.

I have run out of battery a few times and it will always be after you have ridden far enough to drain your battery. By this time you may feel a little tired already and will not enjoy having to ride your last mile or 2 with no assistance.

Here is an article about – “Can an Electric Bike Be Used As A Regular Bike?”

How Do I Replace My Ebike Battery?

If your battery is dead, drains out too fast, or simply won’t hold a charge anymore you can try to replace it by contacting the manufacturer of your ebike, and hopefully, they will have a replacement.

There have been a lot of cheaply made ebikes over the years from companies that have sprung up, produced a bunch of cheap ebikes, and then went out of business.

Most reputable brands will have replacement batteries for their ebikes, but some won’t.

Note – Before you ever buy a used electric bike, make sure that the brand is still in business and carries parts for their bikes.

I know that the major brands such as Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, and Brose, all offer replacement batteries for their ebikes back as far as 10 years.

For less expensive ebikes that you can find online, most of the bigger brands will have replacement batteries. (Lectric, Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, etc…)

If your ebike is still within the warranty period, the battery should be covered for at least a year and you can contact your brand to see if they will warranty your battery. You may need to send them the bad battery back.

Can I Use a Generic Battery With My Electric Bike?

Unless you are knowledgeable about electronics (voltage, amps, watt-hours, terminals, connections) I would not use a generic battery with your ebike.

Electric bike controllers are designed to use a specific battery with the correct voltage and amps to power your motor.

If you use the wrong battery with your bike, you could fry out the motor, melt the wiring, underpower your motor, or worse, start a fire or have your battery explode!

Try to find the correct replacement battery that is made for your bike.

If you just can’t find a replacement anywhere then continue to the next paragraph. 🙂

Can I Have My Ebike Battery Rebuilt or Repaired?

Yes, you can! Electric bike batteries can be rebuilt, reconditioned, and repaired by replacing the cells inside and rebuilding the battery’s components.

One of the companies is HI-C Battery and they will repair almost any battery. Of course, this will come with a cost, but you will be able to keep riding your ebike for many more miles.

You can find HI-C Battery right here –>

Another Company that repairs ebike batteries is FTHPower, you can check between these 2 companies and find repair answers for your battery.

And you can find FTHPower right over here –>

Having your battery rebuilt is a great way to get some more life out of your ebike and save you from having to replace the entire bike.

I would just decide if the rest of your ebike is still in good enough shape for another battery’s worth of riding and if so, keep that thing going!

At the End of the Day

Just because your battery dies or you don’t even have a battery anymore, you can still ride your ebike.

It will be more difficult than riding a regular bike and maybe not all that practical to do, but it can still be done.

Taking proper care of your ebike battery is crucial for riding an electric bike. If you don’t want to have to pay super close attention to your charging habits, then get a Bosch ebike!

The best thing about my bosch bike is that I can leave it charging every night and never have to worry about the battery being overcharged or the charger heating up and catching fire.

With cheaper ebikes, you will want to be sure to unplug your charger once the battery is full and never leave your battery charging for too long. I would not routinely leave these cheaper batteries charging overnight or unattended.

Your battery is the heart of your ebike and your ebike will not perform efficiently with a bad heart!