What is an electric bike?
Electric bike, which also called “Ebike”, can be considered as a regular bicycle with several electrical components like a motor, a battery, and a controller – all integrated into the design perfectly.
To make it distinguished with the regular bicycle, the motor mounted on the bike must help you rather than propel you on its own. That means, you need to pedal to get that assistance.
The advantages of electric bike
The biggest advantage of the e-bike is that it can be especially helpful for people who want more exercise but whose physical condition limits physical activity. By adjusting the level of assistance received from the engine, e-bike riders can manage the difficulty of their ride to meet their specific fitness and health needs.
This is especially useful for people who suffer from joint pain, exercise-induced asthma, heart, or lung difficulties, or are overweight. Compared to a bicycle, an e-bike provides you with an upright sitting position to help reduce back and neck pain. It allows you to have a better view of your surroundings and any obstacles.
One of the major inconveniences of using a bicycle for everyday travel can be the heat, sweat and discomfort. However, you can do the same with an electric e-bike that requires less physical effort.
e-bike has the added benefit of making two-wheeled commuting a more practical option for many people, allowing riders to enjoy the benefits of commuting by bike while avoiding many of the inconveniences associated with it and reducing the cost of travel.
Electric bikes are considered more environmentally friendly than traditional cars or motorcycles. While most of our global energy is still produced from non-renewable resources, e-bikes consume fewer fossil resources and are therefore more beneficial to the environment.
Furthermore, in the future, humanity will transition to a completely green energy mix. In addition, compared to motorcycles, e-bikes produce almost no noise. With a certain speed, noise pollution can be minimized.
The types of electric bikes
The most common three types of electric bikes are hybrids, mountain, and gravel bikes.
Electric Hybrids Bikes have flat bars and puncture-resistant tires, which is designed for cycling to work, shopping and more leisurely rides. They may also have mudguards a rack and lights, and sometimes have a step-through frame designed to make it easier to hop on and off the bike.
Electric mountain Bikes normally have a beefy motor with a high torque output to help you easily cross mountains and climb over obstacles. When you go downhill, you can also turn off the motor to freely enjoy the breeze and the view.
Electric Road Bikes. With drop handlebars, they’re designed to ride fast and are usually relatively weighted less than current e-bike, to help with handling and hill climbing.
Electric Gravel Bikes. With wider and thicker tires, you will be less bumpy when riding on gravel roads. You can ride more confidently and faster on gravel roads, truly widening your choice of cycling paths.
Electric Folding Bikes will be designed for versatility and compact size，that can be settled in narrow space. They can be folded up to take on public transport or for easier storage at flatlet or car trunk.
Electric Cargo Bikes, usually with a large and hard enough basket, are designed to carry cargo for deliveries around town or other daily tasks, and could even replace trucks in some situations.
The working principle of the electric bike
Electric bikes work like traditional bikes in most situations. The electric motor, battery and controller play a unique supporting role in an e-bike.
The battery can have a significant impact on the weight of the bike and power to the motor. Though the sealed lead acid battery used to be the standard for e-bikes, nowadays most manufacturers use lithium batteries as they're lighter and offer a longer range and lifespan.
The electric motor is designed to augment your pedaling, not completely replace it. Whereas a hub-based motor will push the wheel around directly, an axle-mounted motor will work through the e-bike’s chain and gears. When you pedal, a torque sensor will measure how much effort you are putting in and match that to the motor’s power output.
The controller allows you to operate the electric assistance on the bike, which is usually mounted on the handlebars. The two main types of controllers are pedal-activated and throttle controllers.
- A pedal-activated systemwill engage simply by pedaling the bike. You can dial in the assistance using the controller.
- A throttle controllercan be a twist grip or a thumb press on the handlebars. Bikes with a throttle can often be ridden without having to pedal.
Most of the batteries offered on the market today fall into one of the following two categories:
Sealed Lead Acid (SLA)，which were once the standard type for the e-bike. They are heavier and require more maintenance, and for return, they are usually cheaper.
Lithium (Ion/Polymer/Manganese/Etc.) are newest technology used in batteries. A lithium battery has a lifetime roughly 2-3 times that of an SLA battery, with less weight and maintenance fee. However, it may cost more – within the district $1,500 to $3,000 and even above.
The power rating of the Electric bike motors varies from 200W to 1,000W or more. The standard legal limit in the US is 750W, and which may also be different from state to state. The actual battery life is greatly affected by the power of the motor. For example, a 550W motor will drain the battery much quicker than a 250W one, but it would make the bike run faster.
The motor is usually located on the rear/front wheel or mounted centrally on the frame. The design and location of the motor plays an important role in how electric bikes work.
Hub Motor, The most common type of motor for electric bikes. It is generally integrated into the rear or front wheel. When engaged, it pulls or pushes the wheel along. One of its disadvantages is that since it is not connected to the bike’s gears, it would be inefficiency on hills and varied terrain.
Mid-drive Motor is integrated with the gears and crank. That allows the motor to use the bike's gears to leverage the torque. These motors tend to give you better hill-climbing assistance. Since the motor is positioned closer to the ground, keeping the weight centered and low, an e-bike with such an engine would save electricity and also be easier to operate.
Do I need a license to ride?
In most cases, electric bikes do not need a special registration, license, or insurance to operate. Moreover, they enjoy the same privileges as regular bicycles, such as being allowed to travel in available bike lanes.
However, different states have their own special requirements regarding electric bike use. For example, in some states, a class three electric bike can only be operated by riders 16 years and older. If you have questions about how electric bikes work in your state, you can contact us, and we’ll provide you a free consultation to find out additional information for your state.