Like a power-boosted penny-farthing, e-bikes have been around for a while, but only recently has the technology gotten to a point where they’re a viable option for more than a few niche riders. Now, if you want to take your bike into the “here” of the 21st century, you need to know first the different types of electric bicycles.
Bicycles that are powered by electricity have been around for quite a while, but they’re still not very common. In fact, you’re probably only just hearing about them right now. That’s because only a handful of people in your area have invested in e-bikes to this point, but those who have reported that they’ve found e-bikes to be absolutely life-changing.
E-bikes are in fashion right now — they’re like electric scooters but with a bicycle frame, and have been getting a lot of attention as of late. While they might be slightly pricier than your run-of-the-mill two-wheeler, e-bikes actually have some really practical uses — you can use them for commuting to work, or simply just to get around without having to break a sweat.
Health Benefits of Electric Bikes
An electric bike is a great way to get around. It’s more efficient than traveling by car, cheaper than public transport, and great for the environment. But at the end of the day, we’re all looking for the same thing: a good workout. Electric bikes are also known as e-bikes or power assist bikes. They give you support while you ride them — making cycling much easier, even if you’ve never been much of a cyclist before! Let’s have a look at what they can do for you.
You just don’t know how much you can get into cycling until you’ve put a pedal or two to the metal. With your electric bike, pedaling is easy breezy — literally. Plus, it feels great when your bike’s battery lasts a little bit longer, so most e-bike riders actually end up pedaling a lot for both transportation and fun. Similar to a hot new app, a good e-bike will make you want to use it again — and again — and again.
Want to have a blast riding your bike, but not great at keeping up a certain speed on your own? No problem. Whatever types of electric bicycles you’re riding, it’ll come with an electric motor that kicks in when you need it, letting you ride as fast as you want to — with the exercise level you want! If you don’t want to exert much energy at all, just let the motor do its thing while you sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Commuting by bike is awesome! And so are electric bikes. If you ride to work, school or anywhere else regularly, consider getting an electric bike to make the journey easier and more fun! Electric bikes are great for commuters because they’re strong enough to help you get over hills and headwinds, meaning you spend less time sweating and more time enjoying your morning/evening ride.
Electric bicycles are the same as regular bicycles. You don’t need any licenses, you can choose not to register and not to insure it (but if you want, we did compile a list of the best bicycle insurance companies IN USA), you don’t need to pay for gas, there’s no basic maintenance required, you can ride it through traffic jams — and the battery takes few hours to charge. They’re faster than regular bikes (about 28 mph top assisted speed), and they’re awesome.
Here is another reason why electric bikes are so great. For example, they’re great for helping you keep up when you’re biking with a fitter person (or a faster friend, or even your kids). And they’ll help you travel further with a lot less effort — say, for example, if you need to make a trip that’s too far to walk but too close to drive.
Types of Electric Bicycles
There are 3 types of electric bicycles. If you’re considering making the switch to one of these modern marvels, keep reading to find out more about them.
1. Pedal Assist
You’ve likely seen one of these before, as they’re the most popular kind of e-bike. Most of them feature a motor that offers pedal assistance, which means you’ll get a bit of an extra boost when going up hills or pedaling hard. The motor also cuts out when you stop pedaling, so it’s perfect if you’re going very slowly or not at all.
Cannondale Quick Neo SL 2 Remixte Electric Bike
Cannondale’s Quick Neo SL 2 Remixte is the ultimate combination of sporty design and pedal-assist that makes it easy to move around town. Whether you’re commuting to work, exercising, or just having an enjoyable ride, this electric bike is one of the best pedal-assist types of electric bicycles to get around.
If you live in Europe, your bike needs these types of electric bicycles. This means the system can’t provide assistance approximately 15 miles per hour or over 25 kph. If you live in the U.S., this class is limited to 20 mph or 32 kph. Pedal-assist or pedelec types of electric bicycles can take you where a normal bike can go, but with a little more style and no sweat at all.
You don’t always feel like pedaling your bike, especially when you’re in a rush. Fortunately, you have a solution — an e-bike with a throttle option! You just turn the throttle. This added control will get you through turns more easily and help you avoid any sudden stops that are harmful to your battery. And the more you add pedal pressure, the faster you’ll go. Of course, the less you pedal, the less mileage you get from the battery.
Pace 350 Step-Through E-Bike
The Pace 350 Step-Through E-Bike is one of the best throttle types of electric bicycles. With a price point of $1,199, the Aventon Pace 350 is an affordable high-quality e-bike for those seeking class 2 speed and style. This 350-watt electric bike comes equipped with Tektro mechanical disc brakes, 27.5×2.2-inch Kenda Kwick Seven Sport tires, and speeds up to 20 mph — although, with pedal assistance, you can reach that speed even faster.
3. 28mph Pedal Assist
If you’ve been thinking that electric bicycles are too bulky for you and feel like you’d look weird riding one, then think again. The design of these types of electric bicycles is kind of like the usual pedal-assist types of electric bicycles, with the only difference being in the maximum allowable top speed of 45 kph or 28 mph.
Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 2 Electric Bike
Are you a thrill-seeker by heart? Do you love being in the outdoors? Do you especially love pushing your body to the limit? Going as fast as you can over rough terrain? The Cannondale Class 3 high-speed pedal-assist Tesoro Neo X 1 electric bike is just perfect for you — because it’ll let you hit speeds of up to 28 miles per hour! Talk about one of the best 28mph Pedal Assist types of electric bicycles!
Depending on where you live, a high-speed pedal-assist may be exempt from registration as a ‘motor vehicle’. However, if it is registered (most areas require you to register your vehicle before you can ride it on public roads), then the laws that apply depend on the maximum speed of the e-bike.
What Motor Should You Get?
Motor technologies are constantly evolving, and it’s been hard for consumers to know which type is best. But luckily for you, the era of confusion is over. There are three main types of motors currently being used: rear hub motor, front hub motor, and mid-drive systems. I’d like to tell you a bit about each motor so that you can make a better-informed decision if ever you want to buy an electric bicycle.
1. Mid-Drive Motor
Mid-drive types of electric bicycles are superior to hub motors. Mid-drives are located in the middle of the bike (hence the name ‘mid-drive’) and give more torque than hub motors (because they’re located in the middle, not at the wheel). This is better because it means that riders have an easier time changing gears, and mid-drives can be better integrated with a torque sensor.
Mid-drive types of electric bicycles is a pedal-assisted electric bike that puts the motor right in the middle of the bike. It gets activated by pedaling, so it’s always considered a pedal-only electric bike. It’s used on many production bikes because it offers so many advantages over hub motor designs.
In order to reduce the power delivery of a mid-drive e-bike, a smart sensor is needed. Popular models include Brose, Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano Steps, but many users prefer the Bafang. This inexpensive sensor compares the cadence of a rider pedaling with the crank speed of the motor and then regulates power accordingly. The result is a smoother ride experience, especially when starting from a stop.
If you’re like us here at Volata, the thrill of the road can’t be beaten. But if your ride’s a little shakier than you’d like, fear not! This Awesome 8FUN Bafang BBSHD is one of the best e-bike mid-drive motors for converting your bicycle into an awesome electric ride.
This awesome mid-drive motor will give you that extra push up hills, or just bring a little more freedom into your cycling life. It’s quiet and smooth, both mechanically and in the electrical department, too.
2. Front Hub Motor
The front hub motor is the simplest and most traditional of all-electric bike motors. However, it is still very capable and provides a healthy boost when you need it. It’s also the cheapest of all e-bike motors, making it a great choice for budget cyclists. The only real drawback is that it won’t work with pedal assist systems, but it’s great for people who love to ride alone.
Front hub motor types of electric bicycles can often have traction problems when cornering. If you’re accelerating and turning at the same time, turning your handlebars may cause the motor to disconnect on some models.
This Schuck Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Conversion Motor Kit can be attached to any ordinary bicycle to make it 100% electric-powered — which means getting to work or school becomes easier and cheaper. All you need is a small tool kit, 1-2 hours of your time, and some basic mechanical aptitude.
The front hub motor is a great choice for those who aren’t looking to spend a ton on their e-bike. It’s also great for riders who are unsure of their individual needs. The front hub motor will get you to your destination fast, and with consistent power and ease.
3. Rear Hub Motor
A rear hub motor is the most popular motor for electric conversion because of its flexibility and affordability. They can be retrofitted into non-folding bike frames, so they’re an excellent choice for those who wish to convert a traditional bicycle. Here’s a cool e-bike that uses a rear hub motor.
Electra Townie Go! 7D Electric Bike
The Electra Townie Go! 7D Electric Bike is an innovative bicycle that uses a powerful electric motor to provide both control and speed. In three different settings, the bike provides a 250W rear hub motor backed by a 309Wh battery which will get you to your destination with ease.
Rear hub motor types of electric bicycles can be a little top-heavy with the motor in the rear wheel. That means they’re harder to control when you’re going fast, and they can be tough on you if you have to climb up a hill.
Which Types of Electric Bicycles Should You Go For?
The right electric bicycle for you depends on your weight, the style of riding you prefer, and the length and steepness of the hills you will be riding. So before shopping, consider how you will ride the bicycle first.
We will cover the most common electric bicycle categories, and what makes a given category unique, and what makes that category perfect for you as an individual.
1. Hybrid / Commuter
This category is perfect for people who like to cycle around town, or who need to get from A to B quickly. They’re ideal for those who like a bit of exercise but don’t want to feel like they’re about to have a heart attack. And the best part is, these super versatile bikes can reach speeds of up to 28mph!
2. Comfort / Cruiser
Casual riders will love this style of bike! Cruiser bikes have long, straight handlebars, low or cushioned seats, and are perfect for leisurely bike rides. You’ll sit at a comfortable height, allowing you to have a good view of the road, and have a blast doing it! Perfect for getting some exercise or running a quick errand to the store. Available with two frame styles: traditional diamond framed cruiser bikes and step-through models.
3. Mountain / Off-road
These bikes are for adventures, and the fun never has to stop. Whether you’re riding on a mountain trail or through your own neighborhood, an off-road bike gives you the freedom to enjoy the ride. And with the battery and motor positioned near the middle of the frame, it’s easier for you to stay balanced, which means less risk of falling.
E-Mountain Bike is perfect for those looking to be active, but not necessarily wanting a full workout. Ride with friends or family members who are more fit than you, and take your time on steeper hills — it’s easier than ever to get up them!
Your trusty, reliable e-bike may not look like much, but inside it holds the power of a thousand suns. The power — which is provided by a rechargeable battery — is stored in multiple small lithium-ion cells that link together to create one cell capable of producing a lot of electricity. However, advancements in technology mean that these batteries continue to get better and more efficient every day.
There are many things to consider when choosing the right battery for your e-bike. The most important piece is determining and balancing how much power you need with how much weight you can bear. Many factors go into deciding which battery is best for you, but below will help you decide which types of electric bicycles to go for in terms of battery.
Down Tube Battery
Batteries are generally placed on the down tube of an e-bike, which is the part of the frame that runs from the handlebars to the pedals. Batteries here are almost always used in conjunction with a mid-drive system, meaning that the motor that powers your bike is embedded within the crank and drives a chain.
Rack Mount Battery
Most e-bikes have batteries at the back of the bicycle mounted to a rack. This is to keep them as balanced as possible – a rear wheel with a battery above it can become quite heavy, and that’s no good for anyone as it may cause your bike to be less maneuverable while cornering and prevent you from easily moving the bike.
For now, that concludes our discussion on the types of electric bicycles out there. Electric bikes are a great way to get around without having to worry about pedaling to take you there. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and are planning your next purchase of an electric bike.
Have a wonderful day!