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Should You Buy a Second Electric Bike Battery?

When you get into the world of electric bikes, one of the first things you’ll notice is how foundational the battery is to the whole E-Bike experience. A small battery or an older one with a degraded charge quality can lead to range anxiety and the bike just not performing how you’d expect. Can simply having a spare battery solve this problem?

Buying a spare battery is a great $200-$500 way to buy added range for your E-Bike. Spare batteries also reduce charging time and provide a backup plan for your existing battery. Before purchasing, you’ll want to consider how you’re going to store the battery on the bike.

If you’re still undecided on whether to purchase a spare battery or not, there are some other things to consider like where you’re going to store it and whether or not it’s worth the cost. We’ll cover these details and more so you can have some confidence around making this decision!

The Benefits of Having a Spare E-Bike Battery

Man inserting battery in backseat of electric bicycle

Having a spare e-bike battery lying around can save you many headaches and hassles down the road, literally. Some of the advantages include:

  • Provides a safety net for emergencies: This is one of the key advantages of spare batteries. Pedaling a 50lb e-bike with a dead battery is a nightmare. Extra batteries can completely resolve this issue.
  • Reduce charging time: You can cut your charging time in half if you have two batteries. You’ll be able to charge both batteries simultaneously or leave one fully charged while using the other.
  • Extend battery life: Using two batteries will extend the battery life of each unit. As you won’t be putting so much load on one battery. This can extend their lifespans down the line.

Is a Spare E-Bike Battery Worth the Cost?

If you’re considering purchasing a spare battery, you have to wonder if it’s actually worth the cost. E-bike batteries can cost upwards of $500, so it’s not a simple decision to make. So, how do you determine if a spare is worth it for you?

Commute and Commuting Style

Most riders can find e-bikes with big enough ranges so that they don’t need to purchase a spare battery. However, if you live in an area with rougher terrain or more inclines, you may just want a spare for a safety net.

In a separate article, we’ve looked at whether or not you can simply add a larger battery to your E-Bike to extend the range and speed, but the power of having a fully separate backup battery is a nice piece of insurance (see below).

The Convenience of Owning a Spare

If a spare is well within your budget, it will definitely be worth it to pick one up. For example, leaving your reserve at the office charged and ready to go is incredibly convenient. But if your budget is a bit tighter, or you lack space to store the battery, it may not work after all.

How will a spare battery impact your overall ride? Would carrying or storing a backpack, battery rack, or extra weight becomes a hindrance? If the pros of a spare battery don’t outweigh the cons, it’s better to just stick to one battery.

How To Carry a Spare E-Bike Battery

If you decide to purchase a spare battery, you’re going to have to figure out the logistics of how to carry/transport it. Consider what feasible options you have for carrying your spare battery. What equipment should you look out for to help with this?

Rear racks

One option for transporting a spare battery is using a rear rack on your e-bike. Rear racks attach to the frame above the rear wheel. They can typically hold more than one battery, or be used generally to carry other items.

Rear-Seat Packs

Another popular choice for carrying spare batteries is rear-seat packs. These packs connect to the frame below the seat of the rider and are typically waterproof. Since the weight is close to the rider, the bike remains relatively balanced when the spare battery is attached. That being said, be sure to find a pack that is adequate for your battery.

Frame-Mounted Bags

Frame-mounted bags are a great option if your bike frame has space. These packs are accessible and easy to remove. Look for products that are waterproof to protect your battery.

Backpacks: There are specific backpacks explicitly made for toting e-bike batteries. However, you can use a traditional backpack with some added foam padding for a quick DIY option. Just keep in mind, all the weight of the battery is going to be on you.

Whatever option you decide to go with, make sure your spare battery is protected from water while transporting. Be sure to keep the terminals dry and safe from harm. Additionally, save your battery from getting banged up by securing it in place. Batteries are relatively robust, but avoiding additional wear and tear will extend their lifespan greatly.

Can You Run Two Batteries on an E-Bike?

Electric tandem bicycle. Details of the double battery on the chassis and engine

It may have crossed your mind, “Why not just use two batteries at the same time?” Although this is actually possible, it’s not a viable option in most cases. We have a whole separate article diving into this, but the high-level summary is that this probably isn’t a good solution for most people.

It is possible to run two batteries in parallel in niche cases. This would basically create one larger battery and double your capacity without the hassle of switching out spares. That being said, it’s an incredibly tricky process and not DIY-friendly in the slightest.

If you’re set on having a bike with two batteries, there are some manufactured options to look at. For instance, there are models like the HyperScrambler 2 you can look at. That being said, if you want more range, convenience, and to extend your battery’s lifespan, it may be a better option to purchase a spare.