Electric bikes, or ebikes, are similar to regular bicycles in many ways. You’ll pedal and handle it just like other bikes you’ve ridden. But ebikes contain an electrical component meant to enhance your ride, allowing you to travel farther without getting tired or more easily tackle obstacles like hills or headwind.
In addition to the standard bike components, electric bikes have three parts that work together to power your ride:
For those uninitiated in the world of ebikes, here’s what those parts do:
The electric motor is the most critical feature of an electric bike. Ebike motors come in three different types: front hub, rear hub, and mid-drive motors.
Front hub motors are located on the front tire. They work by propelling and spinning the front tire, creating a sensation of being “pulled” forward by the bike.
Rear hub motors are located on the back tire. They work by propelling and spinning the back tire, “pushing” you forward on the bike.
Mid-drive motors don’t send power to a front or back hub; rather, they send power to the centrally-located drivetrain. Mid-drive motors offer a more natural feel for riders.
A bicycle’s drivetrain provides the power and torque to turn the wheels of the bicycle. Think of the drivetrain as all of the bits that propel a bike. Most drivetrains allow a rider to shift gears, which can make it easier or harder to pedal.
The ebike battery can last between 20 and 60 miles per charge, so you can really go the extra mile. The battery range depends on your riding style and whether you prefer to pedal only, go electric only, or use pedal assist.
With pedal-only, you’re powering your bicycle fully with pedal power. And electric-only power means you’re not assisting the motor. It’s like a moped—which can be a big drain on the battery.
On the other hand, pedal-assist means the motor is only activated when the pedals are in motion. You can still get a good workout in by pedaling, but the motor can help boost you further and faster in the process.
After you hit the end of a battery charge, you’re going to want to charge your ebike, which is as simple as plugging it into any wall outlet. The time it takes for your electric bike battery to charge can range from 2-4 hours to 6-8 hours, depending on the battery quality.
Your battery will probably need to be replaced at some point, as well. Good quality batteries will last between 700 to 1,000 charges while a less expensive battery can last between 300-700 charges.
It’s one thing to read about how an ebike works and another to experience it yourself. The best way to truly understand how an ebike works is to get on a demo bike and take it for a ride! Roseville Cyclery is Northern California’s premier ebike sales and service shop, and our ebike specialists are on hand to help you find the perfect ebike. Call us today to schedule your ebike demo.