All You Need to Know About Electric Bikes
More and more people are now getting electric bikes either for a more manageable daily commute or a leisurely hilly ride.
20:02 16 September 2020
For this reason, these electric bikes are becoming more popular. If you are one of those who are interested in getting your hands into an electric bike too, then read on to gain a good insight into everything that you need to know.
What is an electric bike and how does it work?
Electric bikes somehow fall between a bicycle and a motorcycle. Electric bikes, or ebikes as they are usually referred to, are bicycles with an integrated electric motor, battery, and drivetrain. The battery-controlled motor provides help as you propel along through your ride, augmenting your power.
Perhaps the most important component of an electric bike is its motor which can either be positioned somewhere in its front, rear, or mid-section. Front hub motors provide propulsion by creating a notion that the bike is being pulled forward while rear hub motors provide propulsion by pushing the rider forward. On the other hand, mid-drive motors power up the drivetrain, creating a more natural riding sensation.
The battery of your electric bike can allow you to go anywhere from 20 to 60miles per full charge, depending on your riding style. For instance, if you use pedal only, then the main power that you are using is your strength. With this riding style, your battery can last longer. In case you go for a pedal-assist, expect that the motor of your bike is activated when you are pedalling, making your ride easier because of the decrease in power that you need to exert. However, this means that the battery of your bike will also drain a bit faster. When you go for an electric-only riding style, then you won’t need to exert too much effort but this is also the riding style that drains your bike’s battery the fastest.
The drivetrain of your bike simply provides you the option to shift gears to make it easier or harder for you to pedal, depending on your needs. It also provides the power and torque that is needed to turn the wheels of the bike when you pedal without the assistance of the motor.
Types of Electric Bikes
Generally, electric bikes are categorized according to the position of their motors. As mentioned earlier, you will find electric bikes with front hub motors, rear hub motors, as well as mid hub motors. The advantages and disadvantages of each expanded in detail below.
Front Hub Motors
A front hub motor powers the wheel rather than the drivetrain. For this reason, it doesn’t wear the chain rings off easily. You also have the flexibility to customize the gear of your electric bike to suit your style in riding. However, with the front being more significantly heavier than the backside, you may have a more difficult time maintaining your balance.
Rear Hub Motors
Compared to a front hub motor, a rear hub motor feels more natural. Like the front hub motor, it also doesn’t wear the chain rings rapidly. However, you need to have a specially designed rear wheel, which can be quite tricky to remove when you want to pack your bike to be transported.
Mid Hub Motors
As mentioned previously, mid-hub motors provide a more balanced weight distribution. But aside from this, you can also easily change your wheels or remove them for packing when you need to have your bike transported. Perhaps the only drawback of this electric bike type is that your drive chains can wear out quickly or you will not be able to customize your gear setup effortlessly.
Features of electric bikes that you need to consider
Aside from the position of the motor of your bike, you also need to consider other factors such as its assistance levels, display unit, frame size, and brakes. In terms of assistance levels, you will have the option to choose between a low, medium, or high assistance mode while in terms of the display unit, look for the ones which are clearer and easier to use. Alongside this, the frame size of your bike should perfectly suit the size of your body.
The Bottom Line
You will be able to get the same benefits from electric bikes as you would on a regular bike, with an added climbing efficiency, wind resistance, and even a better range. Just keep in mind that there are several types of electric bikes such as those listed above. In this case, make sure that you specify your purpose in using it to ensure that you get one that is fit for your needs.