How Does an eBike Work?

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If you are looking for an affordable, eco-friendly, and convenient mode of transportation that is ideal for city streets, an e-bike is an option you should consider. Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, are suitable for various reasons, not the least because they are affordable.

However, you might wonder how an e-bike works. These motorized bikes might seem complicated, but they are pretty simple. So, how does an e-bike work?

What is an eBike?

One of the most important things you should know is that electric bicycles are not just a fad; they are here to stay. Sales of electric bicycles increased by 240%, from September 2021, compared to the two years before that. The global e-bike industry is worth $27 billion, and there are no signs of sales slowing down anytime soon.

An e-bike is a bicycle that you don’t necessarily have to pedal. These electric bicycles have batteries and motors that allow the bike to propel itself without you having to do any work. Most e-bikes have pedals, which means that you can move the bicycle with nothing but your legs, although there is always a motor to back you up.

Moreover, there are three types of e-bikes: Class 1, class 2, and class 3 e-bikes. Class 1 e-bikes assist the rider to speeds of up to 20 mph (while still having to pedal); class 2 bikes can travel at speeds of up to 20 mph without having to pedal, and class 3  allows the rider to travel at speeds up to 28 mph without having to pedal.

How Does an E-bike Work?

There are a few essential things you need to know about e-bikes. Of course, as we mentioned, a few main components set e-bikes apart from standard bicycles, including the battery, motor, controller, and sensor.

Electric bicycles have batteries that hold a charge. You can think of the battery as the fuel tank in any other vehicle. The battery powers the motor.

A motor uses the battery for power and then produces movement or propulsion, which is transferred into the drivetrain. That drivetrain causes the wheels to move forward. Except for e-bikes using electric batteries instead of gas, you can consider them to be something like a motorcycle.

The fuel source (battery) powers the motor, which produces movement, and forward propulsion. But electric bicycles will not go as fast as gasoline-powered motorcycles, nor can they go as far.

However, e-bikes have many advantages. For one, they are cost-effective compared to other modes of transportation. They are relatively small and compact, so they are ideal for riding on city streets. Moreover, they also don’t use gas, so they’re eco-friendly.

The Main Components of an eBike

Electric bicycles have three main components: the battery, the motor, and the sensor. Let’s look at each of these components to see what they do.

The Battery

The first main component of an electric bicycle is the battery, the fuel source which powers the motor. The performance of your electric bike to propel itself forward and how long it can power itself will depend on the wattage, voltage, and amp hours.

These batteries will be placed in a relatively low position on the bicycle to provide a low center of gravity,

Batteries are large and heavy, so they add weight to the e-bike. However, over the last few years, these batteries have decreased in size and increased in power, providing more power in a smaller package.

The wattage on the battery refers to how much power the motor can put out. Voltage measures how much power the bike battery can provide for the motor. If the voltage is higher, the battery will provide more power to the motor in less time.

In addition, the amp hours determine how long the battery will last before it needs to be recharged. The wattage, voltage, and amp hours are always three considerations you should keep in mind when shopping.

How Does an eBike Work

The Motor

The second principal component is the motor that powers you forward. The motor uses the power created by the battery and turns it into motion, which is transferred to the drivetrain or crankshaft to turn the wheels.

There are front, rear, and center hub motors. Motors located on the front of the bicycles have become less popular due to the weight distribution. Front hub motors are generally installed on relatively low-end e-bikes.

A rear hub motor helps drive the bike from the rear. These motors are integrated with the gears and directly turn the rear wheel. It improves handling and traction because it is connected to the gears. These motors are usually installed on middle-class e-bikes.

Expensive premium electric bicycles usually have their motors on the center of the frame. This placement provides balance and a low center of gravity and stabilizes your bike stable without getting in the way when you change your tires.

The Sensor

eBikes have sensors that monitor your traveling speed and prevent you from traveling too fast. These sensors have a control mechanism, and when they activate, they turn the motor or throttle off. These sensors can measure torque or speed, although they act similarly.


As you can see, e-bikes are relatively straightforward. If you need an affordable means of transportation to get around the city without polluting the environment, an e-bike is an excellent option to consider.