How do Electric Bikes Work

How do Electric Bikes Work
How do Electric Bikes Work


Basically, an electric bike is just a normal push bike. However, they have extra elements that combine for effective operations. They include a motor, battery, sensor, and electric display. All electric bikes have pedal assist. The motor is activated when the pedals get in motion.  The rider gets a workout, alongside an added boost, making riding easier. However, How do Electric Bikes Work?

Electric bikes use motors to boost pedal movements, hence making cycling less taxing. Other designs ensure the bike moves forward using its own power from the motor, while others still require pedaling by the biker.

How different are Electric Bikes from Motorcycles

Please don’t think electric bicycles are the same as motorcycles. The electric motor and battery of an e-bike don’t last long as the gasoline-powered engine. Regardless, e-bikes are the most preferred because of the pollution factor.

Electric bicycles don’t pollute exhausts when riding. They are also healthier for your body, as it is a form of exercise. As a rider, you use your power to move the bike, enhancing cardiovascular fitness.

Many assume electric bikes lack the upper limit in relation to their speed. This is a wrong assertion. E-bikes have a motor that boosts the upper limit. The federal laws passed in Consumer Product Safety Act 2002 regulate low-speed electric bikes.

The Act has set a speed limit on how fast you can ride using motor assistance. This depends on the type of bike you have. Every e-bike rider has a speed limit of 20-28 miles per hour, based on the bike one uses.

Electronic Bike Classes

E-bikes are classified into three types based on states’ definitions. Always check your state laws, as some regulate the operation of specific e-bike classes to particular age groups.

Class 1: The bikes help riders pedal at 20 mph speed limits.

Class 2: They use a motor only when they need to propel the bike to reach the speed of 20 mph.

Class 3: The class represents the fastest bikes. They only offer motorized assistance when you pedal, reaching 28 mph.

Here are how these main elements on an electric bike work. They answer the question, How do Electric Bikes Work

Electric Bikes Components

For an electric bike to remain operational, three important components work together. The elements are three: the front hub, the rear hub, and the mid-drive motor. The three elements are perfect for the question How do Electric Bikes Work?

The Motor

How do Electric Bikes Work
How do Electric Bikes Work

The main purpose of a motor is the provision of torque when pedaling. The more advanced the electric motor is, the more torque it will provide. The more torque you get, the more power you generate from the bike.

You’re right if you think the motor is the most important thing. The difference between electric bikes and pedal-only bikes is weight and power. blog reports that an e-bike is a lightweight electric motor. The battery adds about 15 pounds to the bike’s weight. But dependent on the system. Also, an e-bike is more sturdy than pedal ones, making it gain more weight.

An e-bike is about 20 pounds heavier than the pedal version. However, note that added weight does not affect the wear and tear of an electric bike. Unless the e-bike is used for cargo.

The motor is a great factor in an e-bike because of the ability to supercharge the rider’s natural output power. A dedicated professional mechanic Arleigh Greenwald explains that an e-bike produces 300% more torque compared to you as a rider.  

What is the disadvantage, though? It exerts more stress on different bicycle parts such as wheels and frames. It means more wear and tear to the consumable parts such as the brake pads and tires. Additionally, it drivetrain elements such as the chains.

Is there a solution? Definitely. Minimize the effects by modulating the bike’s assist mode. If you choose Turbo or Boost always be ready to replace the chains and tires frequently. So go for Eco and Touring mode always, and you’re safe.

How Does a Motor Work

Understanding how a motor works answers the question, How do Electric Bikes Work? An E-bike motor boosts your power to ride. For instance, if you tire while riding, use the throttle to aid your movement. Pedal-assist also helps when you pedal your bike, thus using less effort. When you stop pedalling or go above the set speed limit, the pedal assist stops.

The motor converts electric power into mechanical using it to turn the wheels. In most scenarios, manufacturers place the motor in three positions.

How do Electric Bikes Work
How do Electric Bikes Work

1. The Front Hub

Placing the motor on the front hub has become less popular than in the other two areas. The majority of low-end e-bikes still place motors on the front hub.

2. Rear Hub Motors

They drive the bike from the rear wheel, integrating with the available bicycle gears. When the motor is at the rear position, it enhances traction, and handling, because of the connection it has towards gearing. Rear hubs improve control, which appears mostly on mid-class electric bicycles.

3. Center of the Bicycle

Premium and expensive bikes have their motors at the bike’s center because of the gravity attached to the frame. The center motor position does not inhibit your ability to change tires on the bike when stabilizing it.

E-bikes have electronic elements with secure coverings and tight seals. The purpose is to prevent damage to the bike when it rains. They withstand different climate types. However, avoid overexposing your e-bike to water and rain.

The Battery

The battery powers an e-bike motor. A battery generates power and lasts based on wattage, voltage, and amps-hours. It is the weighty part, and to prevent interfering with the balance, always position it low and at the center of the bicycle.

With advanced technology, bike batteries have reduced in size and increased in power. This happened when the conversion from lead-acid to lithium cores happened. However, they are still the weightiest element on a bike. But they provide an answer to the question, How do Electric Bikes Work?


Sensors monitor your speed to prevent e-bikes from going too fast. The sensors instruct the motor to turn on and off the pedal assist or throttle, based on the bike one uses. They measure speed and torque.

In addition, the speed sensors monitor how fast one is traveling. Specifically, the torque sensor monitors how hard a rider pedals, as harder pedaling directly affects the speed level.

Electric Bicycle Power Options

The Wattage

The wattage forms part of the e-bike’s battery power. Wattage works well with voltage and amp-hours. It informs you of the potential speed and bike performance.

As a rider, understand the difference between wattage and watt-hours to understand how long to ride a bike before recharging it.

Wattage is defined as a motor’s power output. Wattage is listed alongside the motor power at peak and nominal power points. The rating measure value and operational capacity of the motor.

Peak power shows the ideal power from the motor when the throttle operates fully, with normal operating conditions. The motor is unlikely to reach its peak because some power is lost from friction.

On the other hand, nominal power provides realistic power for the motor. Even e-bike manufacturers list the nominal wattage. The highest power levels set nominal wattage at 75% of the peak operating power.

The value represents the second number you can see listed with motor power. This reflects the actual usage. Always use this number when calculating watt-hours. Watt-hours show you how long your bike will last with the installed motor before recharging. It will also determine the top speeds the e-bike can operate under.

How does Wattage affect an Electric Bike?

The wattage on the electric bike aids you in calculating the watt-hours of your bikes. Motors that have high watts need batteries that last longer for extra power. Watts are the product of the battery’s voltage and controller amps.

An Example

Electronic bile of 42-volt battery and 20-amp controller produces 840 watts.

Multiply 42 volts by 20 amps equals 840 watts of calculated power.

Nominal Motor Wattage of 75%

This is found by multiplying 840 by 0.75= 630 watts of nominal power.

Calculate watt-hours  by multiplying battery voltage by the amp-hours

In this case, a 42-volt battery by 13 amp-hours produces 546 watt-hours of power.

Use the information to calculate the bike’s battle life at full throttle.


Divide the watt-hours using by nominal motor wattage

546 divided by 630 watts nominal power = 0.867 hours

Multiply the value by 60 minutes to see how long the battery will last

0.867 hours x 60 minutes = 52 minutes

The value reflects the time it will take when you run the bike at full throttle non-stop.

However, you have a chance to save battery life by pedalling more and avoiding using the motor when not necessary.

Other factors that influence riding range and battery life are:

  • Total Payload
  • Average Speed
  • Tire pressure

Note that e-bikes should supplement your riding skills and not take over the entire cycle.

Electric Bike Voltage

The e-bike’s battery influences the voltage. In this case, lithium batteries provide higher voltages compared to lead-acid ones.

Voltage determines the amount of battery power to the motor. Having high voltage indicates more power will flow from the battery to the motor, using less time, and enhancing performance. When it is combined with amp-hours, the voltage determines the battery’s watt potential.

Voltage is always listed with the battery. Batteries serving premium e-bikes range between 48-52 volts. Even when your bike needs a lower voltage, it is possible to use a high-voltage battery to enhance performance. The majority of bike motors permit specific voltage overage amounts before breaking down.

Some bikes, such as Juiced Bikes, motors are backwards compatible with lower voltage batteries. For example, one can use a 48-volt battery or even the 52-volt model when riding a RipCurrent S bike. Unfortunately, other bike brands do not provide the capacity to use lower voltage batteries with high voltage bikes.

Juiced Portfolio

Juiced portfolios are among the leading 52-volt battery. Understanding the Juiced portfolios as the most preferred among e-bikes is critical in answering the question, How do Electric Bikes Work?

How do Electric Bikes Work
How do Electric Bikes Work

How Voltage affects Operation of an Electric Bike

E-Bikes operate under a voltage range you must stay within when selecting a battery. Selecting higher battery voltage enhances bike performance.

High voltage batteries operate efficiently and can boost the bike’s performance. Normally, high-voltage batteries require less current when supplying similar amounts of power as low-voltage batteries. More so, they work less, with higher efficiency and longer battery range.

When a bike has high voltage batteries, the bike has an extra push to climb mountains or even carry cargo. This is possible as it obtains electricity from the battery to the motor faster than the lower voltage batteries.

Without a doubt, voltage and Wattage play a critical role in understanding How do Electric Bikes Work


Why are E-Bikes Most Effective

If you’re a cyclist who wants to explore new areas and be more active, an e-bike is a great investment. They are a good choice for those who want to make their commute to work faster or want to get outside when it’s too cold to ride a regular bike. If you’re interested in buying an e-bike, make sure you choose one that is built well and has a top-quality battery.


There are many reasons why you should buy an electric bike. First, they are environmentally friendly since they do not require gasoline to power them. They are also great for your health as they allow you to get more exercise and are easier on joints than riding a regular bike. They are also great for commuters who want added protection from cars.

Finally, e-bikes are a great option for those who want to meet fitness goals but find regular bikes too difficult to ride. Various options are available if you are interested in buying an electric bike. From hybrid bikes to cruiser bikes, there is a type of e-bike for all types of riders. So if you are interested in purchasing an e-bike, consider the benefits mentioned in this article and choose an e-bike that best suits your needs.

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