In a nutshell, one could say that bicycles remain manual despite the fact that technology is in everything nowadays — including food, transportation, communication and even the society itself. However, with the introduction of electric bikes, we discovered that bikes aren’t exempted from innovation. One will ask, why use electric bikes? Aren’t bikes made for pedaling? Definitely true, but there’s always no harm in trying new things and possibilities.
What is an electric bike?
The first thing that comes to our mind: isn’t it the same as a motorbike? It’s not unusual to think of e-bikes that way but, they are totally different from motorbikes. Imagine your typical bike having a battery installed, a little motor, and a controller. Pretty cool, right? Because it is! To fully understand what is an electric bike, you must know how it works.
How do e-bikes work?
Electric bikes have three main components: the battery, motor, and drivetrain. These three, combined with pedaling make an electric bike work. And yes, you will still need your balancing skills with e-bikes.
The three main parts of an electric bike
The motor is the single most important part of an electric bike. It is classified into three types: Front hub, Rear hub, and Mid-Drive.
Front Hub motor by the name itself, is placed at the front tire and provides movement by spinning the tire. It provides the effect of being “pulled” forward. Rear Hub motor provides impulse or propulsion by spinning the back tire. This motor pushes the rider forward, providing a more natural feel to conventional bikers than front hub motors. Lastly, Mid-Drive motor which is placed on the central body of your bike near the pedal sends power to the bike’s drivetrain instead of a hub. It also gives a more natural sensation during the ride than your typical hub motors.
An electric bike’s batteries can come in three different types just like its motor. The range of the battery usage depends on its type which is pedal only, pedal assist, and electric only.
A Pedal only battery feels like riding a normal bike. This type of battery is powered by the rider. Pedal assist is only activated when the pedals move. It allows bikers to still get a workout, but with an assisted boost to make the ride easier for the cyclist. Electric only has the biggest drain on the battery because this kind of battery doesn’t get assistance from the rider. One just simply twists the bike’s throttle and it gets going on its own.
The drivetrain provides the power and rotating force necessary to manually turn your bike wheels. Most drivetrains allow the rider to shift gears, making it either easier or harder to pedal. Mid-drive motors send power directly to the drivetrain, making chain cranking easier.
Charging your bike: What you need to know
Now that you know what an electric bike is made of, let us tackle the fact that they actually use batteries. Just like your childhood chargeable toy car, you have to charge electric bikes. Sounds time-consuming? Well at least, it’s using expensive gas!
Charging your e-bikes is as simple as plugging it into “any” wall outlet. It’s safe and high-quality batteries only takes 2-4 hours to fully charge. A typical battery lifespan is up to 700-1000 charges. Cheaper batteries typically take 6-8 hours to charge and lasts between 300-700 charges. So, if you are planning to own an electric bike, better buy the high-quality ones.
5 Reasons why you should use electric bikes aside from the usual
One might think that electric bikes are not as beneficial as manual bikes. You’ll be surprised to know that its benefits pack a serious punch.
- E-bikes make pedaling easier
It’s hard to keep up with high mounted trails — you’ll have to pedal really hard to move. Generally, e-bikes with battery-powered “pedal assist” can help you ride the hills even with a loaded backpack.
- They can make you a lot faster
A typical electric bike motor is capped at 20 to 28 mph, depending on the bike. Also, most e-bikes are equipped with handlebar power switch, allowing you to power-boost from low to high, depending on your needs. So if you need to go up a steep hill fast with less to no effort, you may use the “turbo” or high power-boost.
- You will love biking more
Why? It’s like you are in the Fast & the Furious series — the difference is, it’s legal and you are on bikes rather than fast cars. It also feels unique, and can definitely add in the adrenaline rush. You can also use it in conquering your trail bucket list, as e-bikes will greatly ease out the pedaling.
- Run your errands much faster
Running errands is a lot easier when in two-wheels, and much faster when you do it with e-bikes. You not only burn calories, but also save time and keep yourself from traffic congestions. At the same time, enjoy the rush of biking with a booster. It’s also a lot cheaper than motorbikes or cars that use gas to function. Practical, isn’t it?
- You still get exercise when you use e-bikes
One might think that it’s not healthy to use e-bikes but as mentioned above, e-bikes only enhance pedaling. This means, you still have to roll your legs and work it out every time you cycle. Pedal assist is the main reason why bicycle motors exist- it’s not technically running the wheels for you.
Electric bikes are now a trend, and if you are a fan of adventure, fitness, and biking then an e-bike is a must have for you. It might seem costly, but it can still help you save on gas and maintenance in the long run. So if you happen to come across a bike shop, why not try asking about the latest e-bikes? It’s a great investment!