Bicycles are cheap, economical and convenient to use, hence why they are one of the world’s most preferred modes of transportation.
However, not everyone is fit enough to handle the bicycle daily while undertaking their day-to-day operations either due to being elderly, disabled or finding it difficult to pedal while carrying a load.
It is for this reason that electric bicycles were invented, with these bicycles looking exactly like a standard bike except for the addition of a few fundamental components necessary in every electric bicycle.
These primary components are a battery, a motor plus a controller which is carefully integrated into the bike’s design.
Furthermore, these bicycles are environmentally friendly as well as energy efficient since it uses less energy to power you through 150 miles than a five minutes hot shower, plus offering you the convenience of traveling faster through towns unlike a car does.
Key Parts In Electric Bikes
Apart from the battery, the electric motor, and the drive train, electric bikes share all other components with the regular bicycle, with these additional parts only there to assist in augmenting human power, but not replacing it entirely.
Subsequently, this makes it easier to face barriers while riding such as hills, allows you to travel for much longer distances and headwind becomes more manageable. Described below are some of the parts which help to power an electric bike.
The Electric Motor
It is the most crucial part of an electric bicycle, and there exist three different types. These include the rear hub, the front hub, and the mid-drive hub, with the positioning of the motor dependent on your preferred style of riding as well as the function of the motor.
First is the front hub motor which is located on the front tire and due to its position in the front wheel where the steering is, it gives you a feel of a front wheel drive vehicle since it provides propulsion by spinning the front wheels. Hence, you get to feel as if the bike is being pulled forward.
The rear hub motor is often found on the mid-range bicycle models and is typically more complicated since the motor must interact with the gears as well as other parts on the bicycle’s rear.
Usually, this motor works by offering propulsion by spinning the rear tire thus propelling the rider forward, with this offering you a more natural feel, unlike front hub motors.
Finally, you have the mid-drive electric motors which are typically mounted on the onto the bike’s frame, with this found mostly on the top of the range electric bicycles.
This motor works by sending power to the bicycle’s drivetrain instead of the hub, and hence guarantees you a more natural feel while riding comparable to that of an ordinary bike.
Therefore, you are more stable in comparison to the front and rear hub electric bicycles since the motor is low on the bike and directly below your center of balance.
It is another crucial element on an electric bicycle since if you fail to pedal entirely, the battery still contains the needed energy to drive you, with these batteries usually producing about 350 to 500 watts. It is enough energy to power an electric bike.
However, the battery still needs to be light enough or else you will be consuming approximately half of your power just moving the battery along. Lithium-ion batteries often found in mobile phones and computers are lighter in comparison to the heavy lead-acid batteries hence are increasingly being used despite being more expensive.
Nowadays, a fully charged battery can take you between 20 to 60 miles with this range usually dependent on your riding style, be it pedal assist, pedal only or electric only. The pedal-only is where you ride the bicycle like any other regular bike with you completely powering the bike.
Then there is also the pedal assist which activates the motor when the pedals are moving thereby still letting you work out while getting that extra boost thus making your drive a little bit easier.
Lastly, there is the electric-only which to move only requires you to twist the throttle to get the bike to move and you do not pedal at all. However, this causes the battery’s power to drain the fastest.
Charging a high-quality battery takes about two to four hours to charge fully, and their lifespan is of about 700 to 1000 charges.
Contrary, cheaper batteries take six to eight hours and have a lifespan of between 300 and 700 charges. To charge both batteries, all you need to do is pugging it to a wall socket.
It is the drivetrain that offers the power and torque to the bike which is needed to turn the bicycle’s wheels manually. Usually, mid-drive motors send energy straight to the drivetrain thereby making chain cranking a lot easier.
The majority of the drivetrains let the rider shift the gears hence makes it harder or easier to pedal.