Cycling is appraised to have a positive effect on public health through increased physical activity. The assistance of an electric bike with a motor potentially eliminates any physical activity associated with its use.
Nowadays, e-bikes are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, from city bikes with thick tires and stylish designs to cargo bikes with enough power to haul heavy loads or even a couple of kids. E-bikes lessen the hurdles to biking, making it easier for people who are older or more anxious about the stresses and strains of biking to justify riding. As cities become more congested, e-bikes can make getting so popular.
According to statistics, Europe has switched aggressively to bikes and now is the time for you to also switch to a better, more convenient, and eco-friendly transport. To get the right e-bike for yourself, you need to understand the various types of e-bikes. And that is what today’s blog is all about.
So, without any further ado, let’s get you started!
How E-bikes can be classified?
There is a wide range of e-bikes available in the market. These e-bikes can be categorized on various accounts. Let’s talk about the two major aspects which are considered while classifying the e-bikes!
Based on Components
E-bikes can be classified based on their components and design. All electric bike types have three components in common which include a motor, a battery, and a sensor. These components work together and assist the bike in its operation.
The motor’s function is to control the torque which is the tendency to rotate the body. More advanced electric motors offer more torque and thus enhances the functionality of the electric bike.
The battery is used to give power to the e-bikes. The placement of the battery depends on the shape and design of e-bikes. The battery of e-bikes is replaceable as well because it is obvious that the life span of batteries reduces with usage.
Based on functioning
E-bikes can also be classified based on their varying features and functionalities. The functioning of electric bikes is like that of regular bikes but with more advanced features.
Some of the electric bikes operate via pedaling, while other use throttle or even a speed pedelac. E-bicycles are designed to accommodate the needs of all kinds of the riders. The riders can take these bikes on mountains, steep slopes, beaches, roads or even use them for daily commute.
Based on their functionality to accommodate to riders needs and the terrains they can handle, e-bikes can be classified into separate class. We will talk about this class in detail ahead.
Component-Based E-bikes Classification:
E-bikes are modern marvels and are the future of cycling. The components of an e-bike play a vital role in determining its worth and to evaluate its performance. E-bikes differ on the basis of there components, Let’s take a look at some of the main components that determine the category of an e-bike:
The motor in an Electric bike consists of skillful wrapping of coils on a stator, a rotor for the rotation, and magnets to influence the rotation. That means electricity influences this iron to behave like a magnet, having both attraction and repulsion characteristics of a magnet, thereby helping it to generate the motion accompanying this.
The goal is to switch the direction of the forces to keep the motor moving continuously once it is started until the time it is stopped. The following are the types of motor used in E-bikes.
Front hub motors – these are positioned on the front wheel hub. Front hub motors are common on folding bikes and cheaper touring e-bikes. The motor doesn’t wear down the chain rings as it is directly powering the wheel, rather than the drive chain.
The gears can be customized to suit your riding style. Balancing the bike can be a barrier as the front is weighty than the back. It is tricky to remove the front wheel for transportation. The front-wheel can slip on steep climbs if you don’t distribute your weight properly. The wheel helps you to pull forward, rather than pushing you, which can feel a bit jarring.
Rear hub motors – these are suited to the rear wheel hub. Rear power feels more natural than front hub power. The rear motor never wears down the chain as quickly as the central hub motor and is easy to customize the gears. The rider needs a specially designed rear wheel and is tricky to remove the rear wheel for transportation.
The weight distribution can be a problem, especially if the battery is also located at the back and the bike doesn’t have a front suspension. Nearly all the weight- including the rider is over the back wheel.
Mid hub motors – e-bikes with a mid-hub, or mid-engine, motors are typically a bit more expensive than other types. There are enough advantages though, including better balance and a more natural feel when riding.
There is a balanced weight distribution best for off-road riding as the centre of gravity is lower compared with front or rear hub motors. You can easily customize, switch, or replace wheels.
The rider can’t customize the gear setup as simply. The crankset cannot be changed, although change the cassette on the rear hub can be changed in this way it will not be completely limited. The Drive chain of the e-bike also wears down more quickly.
There are many different electric bike types with different ways of activating the electric assist. E-bikes are battery-powered. When the pedal is pushed, the motor engages and gives a boost, so that the rider can zip up hills and cruise over tough terrains without gassing their self. The following are the ways or modes in which you can be assisted while riding an E-bike.
Pedal Assist – the most common type of electric bike is pedal assist. The rider pedals normally while a motor assists, increasing the power transmitted to the rear wheel. There is less effort for pedaling as it was normal. Even in high gears, which lets you ride at higher speed and effortless climbing over steep hills.
Throttle – the throttle mode is like how a scooter or motorcycle operates. When the throttle is engaged the motor provides power and moves the bikes forward. It allows you to just kick back and enjoy a comfortable ride without any effort. Most e-bikes with throttles can be tuned like a volume dial between low and full power.
Speed Pedelec – e-bikes with speed pedelec will make the rider feel like ‘the Flash’. These are used when you want to get somewhere quickly and with minimal effort. The design is like a simple pedelec but as the name implies, they allow for a higher top speed of approximately 45 kph or 28 mph. Similar to the petrol engines e-bike types with speed pedelec also have their optimum range.
There are different varieties of batteries available having different characteristics in which lithium‐ion (Li‐Ion) battery is maximumly condensed, which means it is capable of storing more energy.
It is not as cheap as any other lead-acid batteries that are also heavy. To increase the performance, the battery must be light so that maximum output power for an extended period can be delivered. The following are some types of batteries used in E-bikes:
Embedded battery – If you want the battery of the e-bike to be well protected, then your preference should be for a fixed battery. The bike must be capable of being positioned close to a mains socket to able to recharge the battery. The embedded batteries are well protected by the frame but can only be replaced by a specialist. The battery also needs to be protected against extreme weather.
Removable battery – Many types of electric bikes are quite lighter without a battery and easier to lift onto the carrier. If you want flexibility when charging the battery, then your preference should be a removable battery.
The battery is supplied with a charger that can be plugged into any mains socket. You simply remove the battery from the e-bike and recharge it at the nearest socket.
Rackmount battery – Most types of electric bikes are equipped with rack mount batteries which endow front-wheel motor e-bikes with optimum balance. If ridden heavily loaded, the extra weight at the top and rear of the e-bike can start to affect handling.
Rock mount batteries have the main advantage that the length and capacity of the battery can be increased up to even 20Ah. The disadvantage is that the wheelbase of the e-bike must be extended which makes the e-bike less handy.
Down tube battery – Down tube batteries are very common but are slowly being replaced by frame embedded batteries. The attached batteries on the top of the down tube can be less fussy but integrating the battery into the frame gives more protection. The down tube battery gives better handling than rack-mounted as the weight is kept low and central.
Functionality Based E-bikes Classification:
There are different types of e-bikes available in the market and all of them can be classified into various classes based on their features and functionalities. Let’s have a look at some of them below:
Electric City Bikes
Electric city bikes are best for riding on roads, but they cope with light-off road use also. To absorb the bump when riding over rough ground, some have a front fork with a little suspension while others have a rigid fork.
Few e-bike models come with mudguards, pannier racks, and even in-built lights and a lock. Your sitting position depends on your choice and preference. You can either sit in an upright position or a sportier position. No matter what your position will be, driving the bike will be easy for you.
Folding Electric Bikes
These types of electric bikes are the smart, fast, and modern way to get around and explore. The electric motor is powered by a rechargeable battery and can provide different levels of pedal assist that suit the riding style.
The battery is removable and compact enough and folds down quickly and easily so you can dash onto the train or store it in the boot of your car or under your desk. A folding electric bike is a perfect option for those who have limited storage.
The folding electric bikes offer you endless possibilities. No matter where you travel, or where you go, folding electric bikes will be your ultimate companions.
As the name indicates, an electric tricycle comes with three wheels, out of which two are rear wheels and one front wheel. It is also equipped with an electric motor whose position could vary according to the design and shape of the tricycle.
Electric tricycles also operate via pedaling. The strength to which the pedal can support can vary from different levels. This functionality can help those riders who cannot cycle that far without support.
The rider can withstand greater height differences or stronger headwinds, even though if the individual is physically unable to move well or are less stable. This is designed for people with less strong physical conditions or energy levels.
Electric Mountain Bikes
The mountain bike with the addition of an electric motor on a high-performance allows attacking the trails harder and faster. These are available as hardtails (with front suspension) or full-suspension (front and rear).
Hardtails are better suited to lighter trails and are more affordable; more versatility is offered in full-suspension models and allows to tackle every rough ground with ease.
Just as with regular mountain bikes, different frame geometrics, fork travel, and wheel sizes are available, to suit every kind of off-road ride and adventure.
How to choose an electric bike?
There is a huge variation in qualities and performances in e-bike types. To buy an electric bike that fits your riding needs you will need to have a look at different sizes of e-bike motor, battery, and frame design. In addition to this, you will also have to determine the price.
Electric bikes vary in their design to accommodate the needs of all kinds of people. Different types of electric bikes serve different purposes. Some are designed to run on paved roads. While others are designed to hike on hilly areas. It is up to the rider to decide the most features for the e-bike.
Test drive several e-bikes and choose the one that suits your vibe. Since the electric bikes are costly than the usual ones you need to assure your investment with a warranty from the dealer you’re buying.
You might feel like too much detail and information is present in this single article and this is true. There are surely lots of opinions and choices, but you need to have trust in your intuition while deciding the right type of e-bike for yourself.
Difference between class 1,2,3 E-bikes
Electric bikes are divided into classes that denote their level of motor assistance.
Class1: This type of electric bike provides pedal assistance only. These types of e-bikes do not provide throttle assistance. Electric bikes belonging to this class provide a maximum assisted speed of 20mph.
Class2: This type of e-bikes also provides a maximum speed of 20 mph. They have pedal assistance as well as throttle assistance.
Class3: This type of electric bike also provides pedal-assist only and not throttle assistance. But electric bikes belonging to this class provide a maximum assisted speed of 28mph.
Type 1 Electric bike
These e-bikes are the most affordable and the most universally accepted. Traditional mountain bikes or pavement bicycles are the same as Type 1 e-bikes and can be driven on city streets and many bike paths. Moreover, these will also be allowed on non-motorized mountain bike trails as well. Examples of type 1 e-bike are Tern GSD S10, Cannondale Quick Neo SL, and Propella.
Type 2 Electric bike
These e-bikes are allowed in the same places as the type 1 Electric bikes. As both classes 1 and 2 top out motor assistance of 20 mph. Anyhow, these e-bikes may not be suitable for mountain trails as they cause greater physical damage to trails due to throttle actuation. Examples of type 2 e-bike are Super 73S1, Wing Freedom 2and X, and Aventon Pace 350.
Type 3 Electric bike
These e-bikes are best for commuters and errand runners. As they are faster and more powerful, so they climb better and handle heavier loads. But these are not allowed to ride on most bike paths or mountain trails. Examples of type 3 e-bike are Aventon Pace 500, Specialised Turbo Valo SL equipped, and Trek Domane+ HP.
In a modern context, there are so many developments going on in every direction. Taking into account these progressive trends in America, E-bikes are so convenient compared to ordinary bicycles.
They have numerous advantages in terms of sophistication, and unique characteristics, which may never be possible in conventional bicycles. Now huge companies are involved and have made it even better in every aspect.
Electric bikes are lightweight and have a good appeal. That is why e-bike is vastly growing in popularity. People tend to like it because of its unique designs and impressive features.
We hope this article has helped you in understanding the various types of e-bikes, there features and difference. Let us know in the comments which type of e-bike do you prefer to use!
Also check out our article on Best E-bikes for Sale in 2021 here, if you are interested in getting an electric bicycle.