What Is an E-Bike?

Ebikes, electric bikes, electric bicycles and pedelecs are arguably all the same thing. They are most simply described as a bicycle with an electric motor that aids the user in the propulsion of the bike, kind of like a traditional gas powered moped. At Junto, we firmly disagree with the idea that an Ebike is simply a bicycle + electric motor, but it’s a good place to start. Legislature around the world will tell you that Ebikes are not regarded as bicycles, mopeds or motorcycles, and that there are actually frequently different classifications or classes of Ebikes. You can learn more about Ebikes in the below FAQ detailing how fast a Junto can go. 

So this is how we describe Ebikes: Ebikes are a unique type of light electric motorized vehicle that closely resemble bicycles in their operation, but can either rely solely on a motor for propulsion, solely on a user, and/or utilize a hybrid of human and motorized propulsion, widely known as pedal assist. 

There are 3 major components essential in the classification of an Ebike: a motor, a battery, and a drivetrain that allows the user to pedal and propel their Ebike. Batteries may vary in capacity, motors might vary in power, and drivetrains might vary in performance, but an Ebike is not an Ebike without these provisions. 

Motors: Most Ebikes use either front hub drive motors, mid-drive motors, or rear hub drive motors, such as the Bafang model found on Junto Ebikes. These motors all have their own pros and cons, with the general consensus being that each type of motor suits a particular kind of Ebike user, intended use, and/or market. As with any manufactured item, there is a wide range of product quality per motor type, and while the highest performing ebike motor in the world is arguably a mid drive, there are certainly mid drives that underperform front and rear hub drives. 

Batteries: All Ebikes use electric batteries of various chemistries to aid in the propulsion of the Ebike. The most popular chemistries are Lithium Ion, Lead acid and Lithium Iron Phosphate. Lithium ion is pretty much the standard for high performing, rechargeable batteries in all untethered electric devices on earth, from cellphones to Tesla’s. There are varying chemistries within the umbrella of Lithium Ion, but they are not important to this immediate conversation. As with motors, and perhaps more extremely, there is a wide array of batteries on the market, and the consequences of cheap batteries can be very, very dire. Junto is proud to use high end Samsung 18650 cells in our lithium ion battery packs, and employ a very intelligent battery management system, or BMS, in all of our batteries to keep our customers safe and on the road for as many charge cycles as possible. 

Drivetrain: In the unfortunate event of an electrical issue or the depletion of a battery, your drivetrain is what will get you home. The drivetrain of an Ebike is best described as all the parts that allow the user to propel their Ebike mechanically and without electrical assistance. On a Junto, these parts are represented by a crankset (aka pedal arms), chainring (aka front gear), chain, derailleur (aka gear shift) and cassette (aka rear gears). Many throttle ebikes use paltry drivetrains because they assume that their users won’t be pedaling very much- this can lead to some additional memory if you find yourself without any juice left. Junto’s use very high end Shimano SLX drivetrains meant for hardcore mountain bike excursions to take care of you when the going gets tough, but also to make your pedal assist experience maximally rewarding and reliable.  

How far can a JUNTO go? 

The good news is that there is no known limit to how far a Junto can go, the bad news (okay, not really bad news) is that it’s probably no more than 60 miles for 99% of people on earth. While we all want Ebikes to run forever and never need a charge, there are pretty significant design and engineering limitations that we must factor in when making bikes for you. Outside of the nerdy stuff, the 3 biggest contributors to a Junto’s range are the rider (weight, cargo, ability), the route and climate (hilly, flat, starting and stopping, hot or cold climate), and the selected mode of assistance (how hard the Ekit is working to assist the user). 

Junto’s use 350W motors, which is like having a Tour de France racer and then some helping you out. Sure, many motors offer more wattage, but we feel this is more or less for marketing, and it greatly decreases range as more power is being used for the same trip distance. A motor will only go for as long as there is energy in the battery to supply it, which is why Juntos use high capacity 556Wh 48V batteries. Do larger batteries exist? Of course, but they are heavier, more expensive (assuming they are the same level of quality and safety as Junto batteries), and are rated for the same number of cycles, or full discharges and recharges, resulting in a more costly replacement down the road. Junto users frequently see between 30 and 45 miles of range on our system at full assistance, and we couldn’t be happier with that. 

Accelerating from a full stop is any energetic thing’s least efficient function, whether its an Ebike, a porsche, or a human being. Junto’s use 29 inch wheels, which offer unparalleled traction, momentum and roll-over ability in the world of bicycle tires- however, they can be harder to get moving. To combat this, Junto’s use high torque motors, which is a metric that is rarely discussed when comparing different Ebikes, but could not be more important. The assurance of stable, smooth, and powerful acceleration afforded by the torque rating of our motors establishes Junto tangibly apart from our competitors. Another area torque is greatly useful is when going uphill. Higher torque ratings keep the rider feeling propelled when the motor is under duress, such as on an incline, kind of like downshifting in a car. For instance, our 350W 48V motor has ample enough torque to bring a 225lbs customer up a 3/4 mile long hill at a 10% grade, daily. 

It is our awareness of the mechanical, electrical, and even chemical engineering of Ebikes that allows us to deliver such a dialed product at so affordable a price. So while a Junto may burn a few extra calories off the line, it is the efficiencies we have chased throughout the rest of our designs that makes our bikes shine.So while range is an important denominator in choosing an Ebike, the proof is in the pudding. Reliably achieving 30-60 mile commutes ride after ride thanks to an excellent curation of parts and a smart design is why our customers buy Juntos, and their experiences speak for themselves.  

How fast can a JUNTO go? 

Juntos are Class 1 Ebikes, meaning that they stop providing assistance to the rider once 20mph is reached. 

Ebikes are a developing trend in the USA, and legislators from the federal level to the neighborhood level are working hard to better understand them and regulate their use. Of course, there are some holes, inconsistencies, and misunderstandings between perpetuated, but we are confident that these will be smoothed out as Ebikes are more widely adopted and understood. The federal government limits street legal Ebikes to a maximum speed of 28mph and 750W total motor output. However, many states and cities impose their own limitations on maximum speed, motor output, and even throttle allowances, which can make determining whether that new Ebike you’ve been eyeing will even be street legal in your locale. When designing our bikes, we considered how we might be able to serve as many people as possible, and provide the most capable bike possible regardless of where a potential customer was located. We can proudly say that Junto Ebikes are legal in every single one of the lower 48 states!

The key to Junto’s universal legality is our careful adherence to 350W motors, pedal assistance, and a 20mph limit to electric assistance. If we have anything to learn from the very developed european Ebike markets where Ebikes represent 3 out of every 5 bikes sold, its that 350W motors have a likely shot of becoming the legal threshold in the states. We want our bikes to stick around, and while the quality of the parts and design we employ factors greatly fulfills that goal, so does adherence to local and federal law. 

Earlier in the “What is an Ebike?” section, the separate classes of Ebikes were alluded to. Court at Electric Bike Review does an excellent job breaking down Ebike classes.

Class 1- Pedal Assist: The electric drive system on the ebike can only be activated through a pedaling action and is limited to relatively low speeds. The sensor usually measures pedal movement, pedal torque or bicycle speed (sometimes all three) and sensors are located in the bottom bracket, rear hub or rear wheel. In parts of Europe this class is limited to 15 mph (25 kph) with motor wattage <= 250 watts. In America, because of our more liberal vehicle definition, this class is limited to a motor powered speed of 20 mph (32 kph) with motor wattage of <= 750 watts. Due to the low speed of operation and required pedaling action this class should benefit from the same rights and access privileges as non-assist bicycles and should be able to be used on streets, bike lanes, multi-use bike paths and off-road trails. 

Class 2- Throttle on Demand:The electric drive system on the ebike can be activated through a throttle element such as a grip-twist, trigger or button and is limited to low speeds. The motor system may also be activated through a pedaling action as with Class 1. In parts of Europe this class would be considered a motor vehicle and is prohibited from use on trails and other bicycle-specific infrastructure and is therefore less common. For those locations where it is allowed in Europe, the top speed is limited to 15 mph (25 kph) with motor wattage <= 250 watts as with Class 1. In America this class is currently less restricted and therefore more common. The top speed is limited to 20 mph (32 kph) with motor wattage of <= 750 watts as with Class 1. Due to the low speed of operation without the required pedaling action, this class may be a bit more restricted but still benefit from the same rights and access privileges on paved surfaces as non-assist bicycles and should be able to be used on streets, bike lanes and multi-use bike paths. 

Class 3- Speed Pedelec: The electric drive system on the ebike can be activated through a pedaling action to reach higher top speeds. In parts of Europe this class is also considered a motor vehicle and requires special licensing, the use of an identification plate at the rear of the bike may be required and use is limited to roads or private property only with a maximum speed ~28 mph (~45 kph). In America this class could still be considered a “low-speed electric bicycle” if human power propels the bike above 20 mph and as such, does not require special licensing but may be even more restricted to roads, adjacent bike lanes or on private property with a maximum speed ~28 mph (~45 kph) and motor wattage of <= 750 watts. In America this class is often combined with Class 2 which produces bikes that have a throttle element capable of powering the rider up to 20 mph (32 kph) on motor power only, as well as a pedal assist mechanism capable of powering the rider up to 28 mph (45 kph). In parts of Europe, where throttles are less common, most Class 3 electric bikes only offer pedal assist. 

Class 4- Moped or Motorcycle: The electric drive system can be activated through a pedaling action or throttle. The top speed is above 28 mph (45 kph) and/or the motor wattage may be greater than 750 watts. In all major geographies this class would be considered a motor vehicle which requires licensing and registration and is limited to certain motorized off road trails or traditional roads. There has been some confusion in America where machines that resemble bicycles (having pedals) that are capable of high speed and power are used inappropriately without licensing or insurance and on infrastructure reserved for bicycles such as paths and mountain bike trails. This behavior is subject to the same legal action as driving a gas powered motorcycle or car and may result in severe legal ramifications. 

How much does my new JUNTO cost?

Junto currently offers one model of Ebike that is available in 3 sizes. Our best in class E-bike costs $1,799 regardless of size or color. 

We offer a selection of accessories that can be purchased directly through our website and are likely available at your LBS (Local Bike Shop). All of our supported accessories are widely available from pretty much every LBS in the country.

Where can I test ride a JUNTO?

Sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop about all of our events happening around Philadelphia [expanding soon to a city near you]. If we aren't offering any events in an area near you, contact us at info@juntobikes.com or call us at 1.833.965.8686 and we'll see what we can do!

How do I order a JUNTO E-bike?

Determine what size Junto you need using our size chart and then select an available color. If you would like to add accessories, select them from the compatible options shown on your selected Junto's product page. We would also be happy to refer you to a local bike shop in your area for accessories if needed. Once you have determined which Junto and accessories you desire, simply checkout. 

Financing is available through our site using the "Klarna" option at checkout.

How long will the battery last?

If service is followed adequately and the bike is used within its specified limitations, battery life can be as great as 5 years or more. Our batteries are rated to 1000 cycles, which equates essentially to 1000 recharges from close to empty. However, many other factors contribute to the lifetime of your battery, including strain, climate, impact, and storage. To gain a better understanding of caring for your battery, refer to your user manual, section 3 on page 29.

How much does the bike weigh?

A medium Junto weighs approximately 48lbs, with pedals. The most accurate way to determine any bike’s weight is to have your local shop weigh it for you. Many brands strive to list the lowest possible weight, but weight can vary based on size, finish, hardware and accessories. For more specific information on the weight of our products, feel free to contact us at info@juntobikes.com

What is JUNTO'S return policy?

We know you are going to be delighted with your Junto bike purchase. That’s why we are excited to offer a 30 day complete satisfaction return policy on any Junto bike along with ALL accessories that are purchased directly on our website. If for any reason, you aren’t happy with your purchase, all you have to do is the following. Send us an email at info@juntobikes.com within 30 days of the arrival of your bike with your contact information (name, address and phone number), proof of purchase, and reason why you are returning the bike. 

There is no restocking fee for returns on E-bikes returned within 30 days, but you will be responsible for all costs associated with packing and shipping the product back to our headquarters in Philadelphia.

What is JUNTO'S warranty policy?

All Junto warranty issues are handled directly though Junto's warranty and service department. We have hand-picked industry leading components that are extremely reliable. If you do have any problems, our warranty policy covers all Junto frames for 7 years. All other components, including the electronic system, come with a 2 year warranty. Our warranty covers all manufacturing issues, and problems stemming from normal wear and tear. Warranty valid only in North America. Warranty repairs will be handled by a Junto authorized repair site in your area.

What to expect when your JUNTO arrives?

Orders received directly through our website will be sent out 98% assembled in an easy to open box designed in house. Our bikes will come with specific directions on how to assemble the remaining 2% of your new E-bike as well as all tools necessary for the installation/adjustment of your seat post and pedal.