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E-bike Motor Types
E-bike Motor Types
E-bikes are now becoming a primary means of transport for people. Whether they are avid bikers or just touristy commuters, they are now using E-bikes. You can find different types of E-bikes, each serving a different purpose. These include city bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and cargo bikes.
The many varieties and types satisfy both the adventure seeker and the peaceful commuter to immerse in the wonderful world of Electronic bicycles. Investing in E-bikes will enhance the quality of your life, as in comparison to a conventional motorcycle, it is a much more environmentally friendly option. Similarly, it is a great alternative to conventional cycles.
The Components of an E-bike
You may be wondering about what differentiates an E-bike from a regular bicycle. Certain components of an E-bike give it electronic propulsion. Apart from that, some key elements enhance the overall technical quality of the E-bike.
E-bikes consist of four main components. The first component of an E-bike is the battery, and it locates on top of the down tube. Hence, you can notice a bulging hump on top of the E-bike. Inside that hump is the battery that powers the E-bike. Its purpose is to store electrical energy and gradually release it over time to create a forward push. By doing so, it assists the rider when they are pedaling forward, allowing them a smoother and less physically demanding ride.
With the help of the battery, a rider can travel longer distances without having to face fatigue. Most of the batteries on E-bikes come with a lock and key mechanism. This allows you to remove the battery whenever you want to charge it. The second component that gives the bicycle electronic properties is a controller. E-bike manufacturers place these controllers just over the handlebar in clear sight of the rider.
There are two folds to the controller’s purpose. The first includes the statistical numbers about the bike’s power and battery, along with the speed at which you ride the bike. Most importantly, it also shows how many kilometers you travel on the E-bike. Moreover, it also has buttons that control the electrical assistance. This allows you to control the electrical assist that you may want while riding.
The third component is the throttle on the handle grips. Like any motorcycle, the throttle allows you to ride the E-bike without having to pedal. The more you turn the throttle backward, the more propulsion or speed you have to move the E-bike. The last and final component of an electric bicycle is the motor. Usually, the placement of the hub motor is in the center of the rear wheel.
The purpose of the motor is to take the energy from the battery and convert it into motion, making the wheels spin at a constant speed. In a way, it assists the rider in moving the bicycle forward. The motor is the most important element that makes up an E-bike. With the help of the motor, an E-bike generates the thrust that helps it to propel forward.
If you sit down and research the different types of E-bike motors, you are likely going to end up in confusion. There is plenty of information available on E-bike motors, their mechanisms, and the different types.
The Purpose of E-bike Motors
In simple terms, an E-bike motor gives the rider an option to reduce their physical exertion when pedaling. With the help of a motor, you can ultimately rely on the electrical force to power your bike without having to do it manually. The E-bike motor plays a key role while you are riding it up a hill or having a hard time pushing an extra mile.
Additionally, a bicycle equipped with an electric motor can reach incredible speeds, which makes the biking experience more thrilling and fun. When you reach a certain speed, the E-bike motor helps you stay at a constant speed without slowing down. Moreover, if you have an E-bike that has a throttle system, then you do not even have to pedal.
E-Bike Motor Types
You can find E-bike motors either on the rear wheel, front-wheel, or in between. Motors that you find on either of the wheels are Hub motors. Hub motors are located on the center of the wheel; bike makers attach them against the wheel frame so that they provide power directly to the wheel.
On the other hand, the motors mounted in between the two wheels are mid-drive motors. These motors sit steadily along with the location of your pedals. These two types of motors have their advantages and setbacks. Additionally, each has its ways of functioning.
Hub Drive vs. Mid-Drive Motor Systems
A hub drive is usually in the back wheel of the E-bike. The controller provides the power to the hub motor, causing it to turn. Since the motor connects to the spokes of the tire, this causes the wheels to turn. As a result, this causes the bike to move as well. This is the functionality of a simple hub drive motor. On the other hand, the mid-drive motor follows a different protocol. This electric bike motor is in between the pedals.
Hub Drive Motors – Pros
To start, Hub drive motors are affordable. From a manufacturing standpoint, you can attach these motors to a wide variety of frames with just a few small tweaks. Therefore, the designer has plenty of room to work with the rest of the E-bike. Manufacturers have been making Hub drives on a large scale for many years. Hence, you find many options in terms of variety. Hub Drive motors are available in all-wheel sizes, power requirements, and prices, ranging from cheap to expensive.
If you want to build your E-bike, or maybe install electrical components to a regular bicycle, then you should opt for a hub drive motor. Another great thing about hub drives is the energetic thrust. Having a rear-wheel hub drive motor provides you with a high-speed throttle. Like a rear-wheel-drive car, this motor gives you that instant pushing effect similar to rocket propulsion. This makes a hub drive-powered bike plenty of fun.
Furthermore, E-bikes with hub drive motors do not need a chain to operate. This makes them an amazing utility in instances where there is a chain breakage. Even when you are tired of peddling, you can just use the throttle to get to places. Hence, it also provides safety when riding long distances. Encountering a chain breakage when you are at an isolated location is a threatening situation. A hub drive motor installation helps prevent this occurrence because you do not have to rely on the condition of the chain to get home safely.
Hub Drive Motors – Cons
With a hub drive motor, riders tend to complain about the weight of the motor on the back wheel. The added weight makes it entirely difficult to remove the wheel from the bicycle. Even though it is not super complicated, it can be very overwhelming for new E-bike owners. Displacing the wheel with a hub motor involves certain steps, including washers and a plug. Getting it wrong can consequently mess with the biking experience.
If you are an E-biker that likes to switch up tires frequently, then a hub motor attachment will likely be hectic for you to handle. Another sizable issue is that putting the motor weight on the front or rear wheel hinders the weight distribution of the bike. The heavyweight of the motor has a very big impact on the overall balance of the bike. This factor is not a huge deal for people looking to ride casually on roads and urban streets.
However, once you get off-road or into the hiking trails, the bulking weight makes a huge difference, shifting the bike’s center of mass. When riding off-trail, on uneven surfaces, this weight becomes a serious problem. Therefore, if you are a mountain biker, then you will benefit more from a mid-drive motor.
Mid Drive Motors – Pros
Mid-drive motors are the latest innovations in the E-bike motor industry. You can find them starting to take hold of the E-bike industry. When you look back at a few years, it was very hard to find a professionally made mid-drive powered electric bike. Now, every E-biking company is manufacturing its line of mid-drive E-bikes.
Yamaha, Bosch, and Shimano, to name a few, are dominating the mid-drive market. Surprisingly, you find no significant change in the creation of electric bike batteries. On the contrary, Bike-makers have made plenty of changes to the motor. Hence, if you want to experience the innovation of motors, then a mid-drive is for you.
Furthermore, mid-drives also provide you with a much more natural essence to the biking experience. Unlike a hub drive, in which you have to twist the throttle to actuate the movement of the bike, the mid-drive powers the bike differently. Most of the mid-drive bikes do not have throttles. Instead, the power from the battery activates your pedals.
Therefore, you get a very intuitive experience that does not take anything away from the conventional cycling movement. In a mid-drive motor-powered bike, you have to pedal to activate the electrical energy in the bike. You go farther and faster than you normally do, without exhausting much of your energy. More importantly, it also provides you with a more rewarding time on the E-bike.
As discussed earlier, mid-drives also have superior balance. Off-road bikers find mid-drives to be much better than the hub drives for that reason. Thus, if you are looking for an E-bike for adventurous off-trail time and uphill biking, then you should have the mid-drive powered bike in the future. When leaping up to precarious heights, the mid-drive feels like an unstoppable force. On the other hand, biking uphill with a hub drive feels uncomfortable, almost as if someone is dragging you to the top.
Mid Drive Motors – Cons
The first disadvantage of mid-drive motors is the price tag. Mid-drive bikes are more expensive than hub drives. The reason for this is that unlike hub drive motors, you cannot customize your bike with a mid-drive motor. The bicycle frame needs to have a design that is compatible with the fitting of the motor for it to function. Due to this reason, mid-drive powered bikes have a higher price.
Another issue with the mid-drive motor is the added stress on the chain. This issue becomes evident when you are riding uphill. To ride a bike against elevation, you have to stand on the pedal and exert pressure on the front cog. Now, when you add a motor into that equation, complications may tend to arise.
Since the motor is already putting pressure on the chain, the added stress of standing on the cog can sometimes cause chain breakage. Even though this does not always happen, it is always a possibility with mid-drive motors. Manufacturers are installing extra cogs on the top of the chain frames to counter this issue. Moreover, you can also find stronger chains coming into the market from the bicycle industry companies.
Which E-Bike Motor is Better?
We can evaluate motors in many different ways. You can judge the motor by looking at its type, watts, torque, aesthetic appeal, weight, and even distance resistance. Each motor has individual features that make them better than others. However, picking one that suits you the best depends on the type of E-bike you ride and your requirements. More importantly, your budget also has plenty of say when picking an E-bike motor of your choice.
If you are looking for adamant speed and power, then a motor that offers greater engine power can provide you with the desirable thrilling ride. A battery with high power and torque will also suit you if you are a mountain biker. The biggest problem that mountain bikers face is riding the bike uphill since it requires too much effort. In this scenario, having a motor that supplies sufficient watts of electricity can make your life so much easier.
A high-powered motor is also resolute in getting you places faster. With a higher speed, you can drift from one place to another in a short amount of time. Thus, it can also be helpful in urban areas. Suppose you are running late for work; in this scenario, a motor that lets you get off the line quickly can be extremely beneficial.
Alternatively, if the purpose of your E-bike purchase is to commute, relax, and tour, then hitting top speed should not be your priority. For an urban, laid-back biking experience, a rear-wheel hub motor with decent torque that lets you cover a good distance is best. Hub drive motors allow you to travel on an E-bike without having to pedal too much. Hence, they allow tourists and commuters to have an enjoyable biking experience without exerting too much energy.
Furthermore, a hub drive motor that has good distance coverage provides you to bike to distant locations without any problems. Another great reason why it suits commuting activities and leisure is because it rids you from the worries of chain breakage. Since these motors connect directly to the wheel, you can easily use the throttle to get around without the concerns of chain conditions.
If money is an issue, then you should stick to hub drive motors. Mid-drive-powered E-bikes offer better weight distribution and a naturalistic biking experience. However, designing them requires an increasing amount of effort. Thus, they are hard to come by and cost you a hefty amount. In contrast, you can find plenty of cheaper varieties of hub drives. The mass-scale production of the hub drive motors and easy installations keeps their prices low.
If you are a mountain biker, then you should be looking for a bike engine that offers 250 W or more. However, you must opt for a minimum 350W engine if you weigh more than 200 pounds. When biking up a hill, your overall weight will decide how much torque and power your E-bike will require. Therefore, keep your weight as a consideration when deciding how much power you need to push yourself on top of a hill.