When you first hear about electric bicycles, you might picture an electric motorcycle or a scooter. However, they look quite different – much like a regular bicycle with several added electrical components such as a motor, battery and controller. These are all seamlessly integrated into the design of the bike and they make up the fundamentals of all of these vehicles available on the market.
Electric bikes handle and pedal just like a regular bicycle. Overall, they also use the same parts. The electric component is meant to enhance human power, but not totally replace it. It makes obstacles such as headwind and hills easier to handle and lets you travel further distances without getting so tired.
To operate one, the battery needs to be charged then you can turn on the controller system, then twist a throttle, pedal the bike forward, or pull the trigger to start the motor drive system. The throttle-only drive acts a lot like a traditional gas-powered scooter since the rider does not have to pedal. On the other hand, pedal-assist mode uses the input of the rider as the throttle signal.
Electric bikes rely on three main components working together to operate: The electric motor, drivetrain and battery.
The electric motor is the most important feature. The three different kinds of motors which can be found on a majority of electric bikes, are the front hub, rear hub, and mid-drive motor.
Front hub motors are fond on the front tire and give the rider propulsion from spinning the tire. The motor gives the rider the sensation of feeling the bike is pulling forward. Rear hub motors on the other hand, give propulsion by spinning the back tire. They push you forward, which may feel more natural for conventional bike riders than the front hub motors. Power is sent to the drivetrain of the bike rather than a hub in mid-drive motors. The central location of this motor gives a riding sensation that is more natural than either hub motor.
Batteries today provide riders between 20 and 60 miles per charge. Their range depends on the style of riding – pedal assist, pedal only, or electric only.
In pedal assist bikes, the motor is activated only when the pedals are in motion. Doing so lets the rider still get a workout, but gives you an additional boost to make the ride easier. Pedal only bikes ride just like a normal bicycle, powered by you. In electric only, you simply need to twist the throttle and the bicycle…