With more people every day making the decision to reduce their carbon footprint, bicycles are surging in popularity. Unfortunately, due to the strain a standard bicycle can cause, it’s not an option everyone can take advantage of. Luckily, electric bicycles allow riders of any skill level to make an energy efficient choice when it comes to their transportation. But, how do eBikes work? We’ve broken down the components of an eBike to take a closer look at what makes them go so you can be more informed about this up-and-coming way to get around. If you are interested in getting your own electric bike, check out our selection at The eBike Store!
Electric Bikes are quite similar to standard bikes, but they utilize three main components to operate. The electric motor, the battery, and the drivetrain all work together to generate the power necessary to move without pedaling. It’s important to remember that the electric component of an eBike is meant to augment the rider’s power, not replace it outright.
There are three styles of motors typically found on eBikes: front hub, rear hub, and mid-drive. A front hub motor is located on the front tire, where it provides propulsion by spinning the tire. Front hub motors can make it feel like the bike is being pulled forward. Rear hub motors are appropriately placed at the rear tire, where it can create a sensation as if the bike is being pushed instead of pulled, which many people say feels more natural than front hub motors. Finally, mid-drive motors are centrally located on the bike, which makes for the most natural feeling riding sensation. Mid-drive motors send power to the drivetrain instead of a hub placed on one of the wheels.
Electric bicycle batteries have a range between 20 and 60 miles per charge, and that range depends on the rider’s style: pedal only, pedal assist, or electric only. Pedal only is powered purely by the rider, with no battery usage. Pedal assist activates the motor only when the pedals are in motion. This lets the rider still get a workout while making it a little bit easier to handle hills or headwind, while the motor carries some of the load. Electric only makes the bike operate like a moped, with no input from the rider. As there is no assistance from the rider, electric only is the biggest drain on the battery’s power.
The drivetrain is the piece of an eBike that provides power and torque to manually turn the wheels of the bike. A mid-drive motor sends power directly to the drivetrain, which makes chain cranking easier. A drivetrain also allows the rider to shift gears, which then makes it either easier or harder to pedal depending on the gear selected.
To charge an eBike’s battery, all you need to do is plug it into a wall outlet. The amount of time necessary for a full charge is dependant on the quality of the battery. For a high-quality battery, it typically takes between two to four hours for a full charge, and it will have a lifespan of around 700 to 1000 charges. A cheaper battery will be fully charged after about six to eight hours, and their lifespan can range anywhere from 300 to 700 charges. Which battery is right for you will depend on how much you’re willing to spend initially, how much you will use it, and how long you want it to last.
Electric bicycles were designed to make biking a little bit easier so you’re more excited to go further, explore more, and have new adventures. When you’re ready to dive into the world of electric bikes, check out what we have at The eBike Store!