If you’re shopping for your first ever ebike, it can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of things to think about—so where do you start?
In this post, we’re going to explore the anatomy of electric bikes. We’ll explain the role of all the most important ebike components so that you know what to look for when you’re shopping around.
Let’s get started!
The core of an ebike is its motor. The electric motor translates energy from the bike’s battery into mechanical energy, which drives the bike forward. The placement of the motor will vary depending on the bike and its bike components.
Hub-drive motors are placed at the center of the front or rear wheel and drive the wheel directly. Ebikes with hub motors are more affordable and easier to maintain, but they don’t feel as ‘natural’ to ride as mid-drive motors. We stock many hub-drive ebikes here at ATV Wholesale Outlet, including our super-affordable Aventon Soltera.
Mid-drive motors are placed in the center of the bike, between the pedals. These motors drive the chain directly, which in turn spins the wheels. Because they interact with your gear system, they feel more natural and also have a more balanced weight distribution, which helps with handling. However, they also tend to be more expensive and are harder to maintain.
The power of your motor will depend on factors like its wattage (e.g. 250 watts, 500 watts, etc.) and RPM/V (Kv). The latter tells you the maximum rotational speed of the motor per battery voltage. The average ebike hub motor will be around 8 RPM/V but faster models can be up to 12 RPM/V or more.
The battery provides the electrical energy that powers the motor. It’s another very important component to look at when you’re shopping around. These days, most ebikes use Lithium-ion batteries, which are more lightweight, efficient, and long-lasting than lead batteries.
The size of your battery will determine your ebike’s maximum range (i.e. how much power allows you to travel on a single battery charge). Usually, battery size is expressed in either Amp-hours (Ah) or Watt-hours (Wh).
Most ebike batteries are at least 300Wh, but many of the bikes we sell here at ATV Wholesale Outlet have greater capacities than that. For example, the Gazelle Medeo T9 City HMB has a 400Wh battery and a range of up to 65 miles.
Many (but not all) ebikes come with a throttle. This allows you to control the amount of power coming from your motor independently of your pedaling. It’s an alternative to pedal-assist for more power when you want to take a break.
Some throttles are operated by twisting the handlebars (twist-grip throttles); others require you to push a button (thumb throttles). Once you turn the throttle on, you can give your legs a rest and let the motor drive the wheels for you. Many of the ebikes we sell at ATV Wholesale come with throttle assist.
Almost all ebikes are equipped with one of two types of disc brakes: mechanical or hydraulic. The difference between them is that hydraulic brakes use hydraulic fluid to apply pressure on the brake pads, while mechanical systems use a metal braided cable.
Of the two, hydraulic brakes provide the best stopping power and braking precision, but they’re also more expensive and require more maintenance. This stopping power is important for ebikes that weigh over 60 lbs as the extra weight requires more braking energy.
Mechanical brakes are a cheaper alternative, but they’re not quite as effective. They’re usually only found on lightweight ebikes.
Most ebikes these days also come with a detailed LCD or computer display on the dashboard. On the display, you’ll usually be able to monitor things like your speed, battery charge level, distance traveled, and other metrics. More advanced models will even sync up to apps on your phone so you can keep track of your performance over time.
We stock electric bikes with many different types of frames here at ATV Wholesale Outlet. If easy accessibility is important to you, you might want to opt for a step-through frame such as the one found on the Aventon Level Step-Through eBike model. It’s perfect for less able-bodied riders and much more ergonomic than other types of frames. You’ll find it easier to get on and off this type of bike frame, which comes in very useful if you’re riding on the road and have to frequently stop at traffic lights.
It’s also worth looking at the ebikes gearing system. If you plan on riding over hills, you’ll want to look for an ebike with a gear shifter. Different ebikes have different numbers of gears. A 7-speed ebike will have 7 gears; a 3-speed ebike will only have 3 gears. The more gears your bike has, the more control you’ll have over pedaling effort.
You can usually shift between gears by sliding the gear shifter, which is typically located on the right handlebar. As you shift to a lower gear, pedaling becomes easier and requires less effort. Shifting up a gear makes pedaling higher. If you’re riding uphill, it’s best to be in a lower gear but if you’re riding downhill, a higher gear is more beneficial.
Different electric bicycles have different types of tires, depending on what type of terrain they’re meant to be ridden on. The tires found on commuter and road bikes typically have flat, smooth treat patterns. They’re usually thin, which is fine for riding on flat asphalt, but not ideal for off-roading.
Fat tire electric bikes like the Aventon Aventure have tires that are at least 4” wide. This means they have a greater area of contact with the ground, which provides additional traction and stability. They’re also typically more durable and more capable of handling varied types of terrain, which makes them more suitable for taking off-road.
If you plan on off-roading, it’s also worth choosing a knobby tire with an aggressive tread for maximum traction. If you would like to know more information about our power sports vehicles and ebikes, visit our store at ATV Wholesale Outlet, in Sacramento CA. You can also visit our blog to get the latest information.
We hope you found this helpful. Happy riding!