Learning The Basics of What Makes up an E-bikeMarch 8, 2023
An electric bicycle (E-bike) is basically a normal bicycle equipped with an electric motor and battery that assists the rider with moving forward. The electric motor pushes the rider forward, making pedalling easier or removing the requirement to pedal altogether thanks to some models’ throttle. An electric bike uses an electric motor to make riding more accessible and less physically demanding. Commuters often use them, food and parcel couriers so they can earn more per hour and fun seekers, but especially those with physical limitations since the electric power makes for an enjoyable and sweat-free ride that is far less demanding on the rider.
The electric motor is controlled in two ways. First via a twist throttle on the handlebars that allows the rider to apply power by twisting the hand grip, just like a motorcycle. Second is the pedal assist system or PAS. PAS has a sensor in the pedals that applies power from the motor based on how fast the rider is pedalling. This will just about double the power that the rider is applying to the pedals, making the bike go twice as fast as it would normally, or giving you more torque to climb hills. If you understand the basic parts of an e-bike you will be able to get the right e-bike for your needs…
- Most commonly a hub motor and it is built into the centre of either the front or rear wheel (sometimes both)
- Power is measured in watts, the higher the wattage the more power is put out. However higher wattage drains the battery faster.
- Hub motors have a quick-release power cable to allow for the wheel to be removed easily for tire changes or maintenance.
- Rechargeable from a standard wall outlet with a charger included with the bike
- 2 common types of e-bike battery: Lithium Ion which lasts longer and is lighter but more expensive, or a SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery which is the same as a car battery and is less expensive than a Lithium Ion battery but is heavier and does not last as long.
- Batteries can be unlocked from the bike with a key so it can be brought inside to charge, or can be charged while attached to the bike.
- Every e-bike has a small computer usually underneath the battery.
- All electrical components and controls connect to the computer which regulates the current from the battery to the motor based on the rider’s input.
To apply electrical power and increase speed, the rider simply twists the hand grip like a motorcycle
The grip is a variable throttle so the more the grip is rotated, the more power is applied and the faster the bike goes.
Some e-bikes have push thumb throttles like the one in the picture instead of twist ones.
Pedal Assist Sensor:
- Pedal assist is a small magnetic sensor that measures how fast the rider is pedalling.
- The faster the rider pedals, the more power is applied to the motor.
- This about doubles the power the rider puts into the bike so the bike goes about twice as fast compared to pedalling normally. This also increases the range of the battery and gives the rider some exercise.
- The type of display you have changes from model to model.
- It can show various stats like MPH/KPH as well as other metrics like trip distance, battery level, speed and even GPS data in some of the more advanced models.
- These are a safety feature that stops the motor assist the moment you pull on the brakes.
- While some e-bikes don’t have them the e-bike can be harder to control and it takes longer to stop making the e-bike dangerous in the wrong hands.
A Torque Arm:
- A torque arm is an extra piece of support metal added to a bicycle frame to more securely hold the axle of a powerful motor.
- Torque arms are there to help your bicycle’s dropouts (the part of the bike that holds onto the axles of the wheels) resist the torque of an electric motor.
- Torque arms come in all shapes and sizes.
- While some e-bikes don’t come with them, it is safer to have them.
I think we have covered every basic component of what makes your e-bike an e-bike! If you have questions regarding any of these parts, or anything else e-bike related do let us know in the comments below or via our contact page.