What is an Electric Bicycle?

What is an Electric Bicycle?

What is an Electric Bicycle?

An electronic bicycle looks like a standard bicycle except for a motor. The motor helps the user go faster without dispensing a lot of effort. Many motors can go a maximum speed of 15mph, which is a reasonable speed on a flat surface. The motor works to match your speed or double it, depending on your bike's assistance settings.

You have to pedal for the motor on an electric bicycle to kick into action. The speed of the motor will highly depend on your rate of pedaling. You can choose to buy a new electric bicycle or convert a traditional bike into one. The bikes are environmentally friendly because they reduce the carbon emission significantly compared to cars.


How Do They Work?

An electronic bicycle consists of the frame of a traditional bike, an electric motor, a pedaling sensor and a battery. The battery provides power to the motor, and you can recharge it when it is out of power at the nearest power outlet. Some solar-powered batteries allow the user to harvest solar energy.

The pedaling sensor signals the motor into action whenever a person starts to pedal the ebike. The motor boosts the cycling speed of the bicycle, depending on the assistance settings on it. The motor can help get you to places faster without having to sweat so much to get there. You can ride to work on an ebike and not worry about sweating too much or arriving to work on time.


Types of Electric Bicycles As Per the Motor Placement

The motor of an ebike can be placed at the front, mid, or back of the bike. Each type of motor placement has its advantages and disadvantages. The motor's location can affect the performance of the bicycle in the general performance of a bike. Understanding a bicycle's performance due to the motor placement will allow you to make an informed buying decision. Here are the benefits and downfalls of each motor placement.


Mid-Hub Motor:

Also known as center-hub motor placement, it is the best type of electric bicycles. The motor's middle station on the ebike lowers the center of gravity and allows for even weight distributions during rides. You can switch out the bicycle wheels with ease when the need arises. The motor increases the wear that the drive chain endures throughout using the bicycle. Also, customizing the gear set up proves difficult with mid-hub motors. The bikes are a bit expensive than the other types of e-bikes.


Front-Hub Motor:

The motor is placed on the front wheel of the bicycles to power it. There is no chainring or drive chain to wear down on the front wheel. The placement is most suitable for foldable bikes, as it makes it easier to store them. The heavy motor tends to drag the front wheel forwards when riding downhill. It is also hard to balance weight distribution because the motor places extra weight on the front wheel. Changing the front wheel takes time because the motor needs to be switched out.


Rear-Hub Motor:

The motor is connected to the back wheel of the bicycle. It is easier to achieve balanced weight distribution with the motor at the back. It doesn't affect the performance of the bike, nor does it wear down the drive chain. Changing the rear wheel takes time because the motor needs to be switched out. Overall, an ebike with a rear-hub motor is better than that of a front hub motor.

The mid-hub motor is the best type for people who have to ride for long distances. You don't need to worry about balancing the bike when you have a mid-hub motor. However, you need to be prepared to pay for repairs and replacements for your drive chain now and then.


Is an Ebike Suitable for Exercising?

It is a great starter bike for anyone who hasn't been working out, and they want to take up riding. Cycling is a cardio activity that prompts a cyclist to breathe deeper to pedal faster. Even with a motor's help, using an electronic bike still provides a level of exercise to the user.

Most e-bikes come with a motor assistance adjustment option. You can choose a high level of assistance when starting to cover more distance during your rides. Reduce the assistance level to the least setting when you begin to get the hang of cycling as a form of exercise. Over time, you can transition to a traditional bicycle and up your exercise intensity.


What are the Features of the Best Ebikes?

You need to consider several essential features before choosing the perfect electric bike for your needs. The main features of an electric bicycle are the motor, battery and pedaling sensor. However, it would be best if you still considered the bike's frame and the compatibility with your height or build. Electric bicycles work similarly to a traditional bike, and you shouldn't ignore the selection features of a conventional bicycle.


Battery Capacity

The battery capacity is an essential feature that determines how long you can enjoy motor assistance when you are on the road. A battery with high wattage can assist you when you are riding through hilly terrain. You can choose a bicycle with a lower wattage when you live in an area with flat terrain. High battery wattage ensures you can ride for longer distances with assistance for every single charging session. You can use some batteries for several riding sessions before you need to recharge the battery. Therefore, choose a higher wattage for your battery if you can afford it.


Assistance Level

The level of assistance that an electric bicycle can offer to a user will depend on the brand. It would be best if you had more help when you live in a hilly environment. Most units come with three assistance levels, namely low, medium, and high aid. Some motors can double your speed when on the high assistance level and increase your rate significantly.



Brakes are an essential part of any bicycle, whether electric or traditional. The brakes from electric bicycles are similar to those of conventional bikes. You need to look for brakes from reputable brands like Shimano or Tektro. The type of brakes on a bike will depend on the purpose of the bicycle. Off-road bicycles will have different braking systems than road bikes.


Display Unit

The display unit will help you in adjusting the assistance level on your bicycle. The unit is usually mounted on the handlebar for easy access by the use when on the road. You need to try changing the assistance levels and see how well the display unit responds to instructions.



Like in a traditional bicycle, you need to choose a frame that fits your height and build. Online shops have a guide for the height of a person and the corresponding recommended frame size. Riding an oversize or undersize electric bicycle is uncomfortable, and it may deter you from riding your ebike frequently. You can always visit a physical store to try a bike for size before spending your hard-earned money. The attendants at a bicycle shop can assist you in choosing the right ebike for your frame.


What is the Cost of an Electric Bicycle?

The cost of ebike varies depending on the size and manufacturer of the bicycle. The prices can range from $500 to $5000 for premium brands. The average cost for a suitable ebike is between $1,500 and $3,000. The price increases depending on the battery capacity of the ebike, and you should expect to pay more for a bike with a high wattage battery.

Mid-hub motor bicycles tend to be more expensive than other types of electric bikes. The reason is that mid-hub motor ebikes tend to handle most terrains better than front-hub or rear-hub ebikes. Also, users tend to transition better to mid-hub motor ebike from traditional bicycles.


Can You Convert a Standard Bicycle into an Ebike?

Yes. You can convert a traditional bicycle into an ebike with the help of a conversion kit. You can do the conversion as a DIY project if you have some mechanical skills. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to do the conversion for you. It is cheaper to convert a traditional bicycle into an ebike than to purchase a new one.You can find a full conversion kit for around $350 and do the conversion. Some mechanics can do a great job of converting traditional bicycles at an affordable price. You should find a conversion kit that is compatible with the model of your classic bike.



Ebikes are an excellent commuting alternative for anyone looking to save some money on transport. The bicycles are environmentally friendly in comparison to cars or motorcycles. You can opt to convert your commuter bike into an ebike if you are on a tight budget. Overall, an ebike is simple to maintain, and it will save you a lot of energy when commuting. The motor can provide you with extra power when traversing through hilly terrain.

You can buy an ebike with a replaceable battery to enjoy using the bike for several years. A replaceable battery makes it simple to swap out the old battery when it gives out. Therefore, you will use your low-cost form of transport for many years without worrying about purchasing a new ebike now and then.

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