Introduction to Electric Bikes
If you’ve seen or just purchased an eBike or electric bike recently you’re probably wondering how eBikes work and can I ride them myself? Well, luckily it’s all fairly simple in that they are in fact very similar to regular bicycles. The main difference between riding an electric bicycle and a regular one is an eBike helps you go, when you need to go. To put it into detail, I’m going to break down the main parts of an eBike and how they work.
So, the main part of an eBike is the motor, which obviously helps propel you forward. However, there are different types of electric bike motors to look for. 2 specifically, which are the hub wheel drive and mid-drive motors.
Hub motors are motors attached to a wheel of the electric bike and when energy is sent to this motor, it cranks the wheel for you, propelling you forward. eBikes with hub motors are usually propelled with a throttle which acts a lot like how a motorcycle or electric scooter would.
The pros of wheel hub motors are that the bikes with these motors are usually cheaper than the ones with mid-drive motors. Another pro is that since the motor is attached to a wheel, the bike does not need a chain to operate. This means if your chain breaks while riding, you could simply propel yourself with just a throttle.
The cons of Hub-Drive motors is that they do have more wear and tear on the tires they are attached to and replacing the tires with hub drives can be kind of annoying. Another con of the hub-drive is they do cause the bike to have a weight imbalance which may affect your ride on more off road riding.
Mid-drive motors are located in the center of the bicycle and like hub-drive motors, propel the bike forward when energy is sent to it. Many mid-drive motors however, use “pedal-assist” which means there is a sensor in the motor, which reads the amount of force you put in while pedaling and gives a boost based on that force.
One pro of the mid-drive motor is that you get a much more natural feel when riding your eBike more similar to that of riding a normal bicycle. The pedal assist makes for a fun, easy ride everywhere you go. Another benefit of the mid-drive is that it is located right in the middle of the bicycle attached to the chain, so you won’t have to worry about being off balance when riding off road.
The cons to the mid-drive motor is that because they are located in the middle of the frame, it costs manufacturers more money to build a bike frame that will fit this motor. This leads to a more expensive bike for the consumer.
Another con to the mid-drive is that although the stress to the tires aren’t as heavy as the hub-drive motors, that puts the stress on the chain. This means with a lot of stress on a chain it is more likely to break. So it’s important to make sure any of your parts are in good healthy condition.
So, with most things operated through electricity, eBikes use a battery to get their power from. Many eBikes batteries vary in size and performance. Some things to look for when checking out battery specs are the riding range and charge time. Depending on how much assistance you use while riding will affect the battery life.
It’s a good idea to charge your battery overnight after a day of riding so to not run the risk of it dying on you during a long trip. Many eBike batteries take over 4 hours to get a full charge.
Another thing to look for is whether your eBike has an internal or external battery. External batteries are easy to detach from the electric bike for convenient charging. Internal batteries however, make controlling the batteries heat intake much easier.
The sensor on an electric bike is a highly important component. There are two types of sensor used on different ebikes; a speed sensor or torque sensor. The speed sensor immediately engages the motor once you begin pedalling which gives you the ride assistance.
The torque sensor is a little smarter, it responds with just a small amount of assistance to match your speed when you’re moving. It’s much more responsive and helps with speed and maneuvers.
How to Ride an electric bike
Riding an electric bike is as easy as riding a normal bicycle; so I would learn how to do that first. After that, the main difference you’ll have to get used to are one, riding with the pedal assist or throttle.
The pedal assist is very similar to riding a regular bicycle with a low gear. The sensor reads how much force you are putting on the pedals and give you a boost based on that force. You can adjust the pedal assist usually from a button located on the ebike’s handlebars.
The throttle works a lot like it does with an electric scooter or motorcycle in that it gives you an instant boost whenever you use it. The amount of power you receive is based on how far you turn the throttle.
Try practicing at a low speed and as you get more used to it try upping the amount of assistance you receive. Most eBikes also come with a small heads up display that tracks assistance level and speed you can glance at while riding.
Extra Tips: Wear a helmet, it’s dangerous out there.
How eBikes work Conclusion
Those are pretty much the basics of how electric bikes work. There are many different types of eBikes and they all function and riding slightly different in some sort of way, so try a few out and see what you might like best. Here at Kasen, we offer a wide variety of eBike types and if you want to purchase one you can visit KasenBikes.com. If you’re a bicycle dealer and want to sell eBikes yourself or just want to learn more about eBikes visit us at KasenSports.com. Hope you enjoyed our guide on how ebikes work!