The Electric Bicycle
An E-Bike or Electric Bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor. E-Bikes are classed according to the power that their electric motor can deliver and the control system, i.e., when and how the power from the motor is applied. They are different classifications of e-bikes; Class 1, 2 and 3. E-bikes make it easier to get around, while still staying active; whether your commuting to work, or just want to play outside but want to conserve your energy.
Aside from typical bike build kits which include drive train, derailleur, brakes, etc. You have the extra parts of an E-Bike which are shown to the left in the diagram.
Motor- The motor is the absolute most important part of an E-Bike. When looking at different E-Bikes to buy or rent, make sure the stats of the motor are clearly listed. You’ll want to know the motors output or torque, and whether the company you’re looking at partnered with someone or went at motor making themselves. Giant is our preferred E-Bike company as they partnered with YAMAHA a well known company that has built engines since 1887. As you look around you’ll see some bike companies building their own motors, we’d suggest staying away from these brands as they probably don’t have the years of experience needed to build a sufficient or “time tested” one.
On an E-Bike motors can either be integrated at the crank or in the rear wheel/hub. It’s our experience that the crank integrated motor is more practical. Since power has to start at the crank anyway, crank motors often have a more seamless power integration and don’t have delayed or abrupt increases in speed. The additional weight the motor and battery add to an E-Bike is also better balanced when it’s centered between the wheels instead of rear wheel favored.
Battery- The battery is simple, should be a lithium-Ion, and typically should range from 350 watt hours all the way up to 750 watt hours or more depending on the bikes intended use. You’ll typically see somewhere around 400 to 500 watt hours on most bikes which is about all you’ll need. You can go on somewhere around a 40 mile ride in top power on the Explore E+ from Giant.
Display- Not much description needed. This shows you standard bike stats: speed, time, battery remaining, etc. Most E-Bikes pair these with a mobile app so you can save and see different rides if you’d like.