Broadly speaking, e-bikes can be explained as battery-powered bicycles that come via two means, a throttle or pedaling. When the user pushes the e-bike pedals on a pedal-assist vehicle, a tiny mid drive motor functions and provides an augmented boost to the rear wheel making it easy to cruise over hard-hitting landscapes and zip up hills without tiring yourself out.
E-bikes are often known to be just the speedier version of the traditional pedal powered bicycle. One controls the rapidity and speed with feet, just like a typical bike. However, what is really special about the e-bike is the ability to make its user feel controlling and powerful, while it becomes almost effortless to accelerate.
With advances in the industry over the last few years like higher capacity, removable batteries, light weight yet sturdy frame materials and longer ranges now is the best time ever to buy an electric bike.
What isn’t an E-Bike?
The only noteworthy and striking difference between an electric bike and a regular bike is that of an electric motor. All e-Bikes, contrary to conventional bikes, contain an electrical drive system, which comprises a battery, a motor, and in most cases, a display screen. So, an e-bike is not an e-bike in the absence of its added electrical components.
The Downsides of E-Bike Conversion Kits
Undoubtedly, there is a unique level of attraction and appeal associated with e-bikes’ conversion kits. However, there are multiple shortcomings to installing these, particularly for first-time users. The conversion takes ample experience and time to be done appropriately. It may be challenging for a new user to correctly install an electric bike motor and bike batteries onto a hybrid bike with no experience with bike alterations and modifications. There are cases when the conventional bicycles were not categorically manufactured for withholding motors and batteries, often leading to additional stress that a power drive burdens them with. A bike is pushed past its time if its preliminary structure was never designed to carry the surplus weight of a 750-watt electric motor on its hollow steel or aluminum frame. When using the conversion kit and failing to prudently bear in mind the riding balance, the e-bike surely becomes troublesome to maneuver and tough to ride.
The class system of e-bikes has been divided into three broad categories, which are discussed in the section below.
Types of Electric Bikes
What is a Class 1 E-Bike?
Class 1 e-Bikes have a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour and typically work as a pedal assist, meaning that their electric motor only functions during pedaling. While there are a few Class 1 e-Bikes that have a throttle on their handlebars to provide the superfluous boost of power, it also works only when you are pedaling. Nonetheless, pedaling does not have to be very hard. A Class 1 e-Bike can be set to a low gear and the rider is open to free-spinning the pedals slowly and gradually to allow the throttle to work. This type of bike is allowed on bike lanes and paths that are shared with analog bikes or more simply put non-assisted and conventional bikes. Class 1 e-bikes are great for beginning riders and commuters bikes that need a little boost climbing hills without breaking a sweat on their way to appointments and running errands.
What is a Class 2 E-Bike?
A Class 2 e-Bike is also confined to a maximum speed of 20 mph, but what has improved since the class 1 vehicle is the fact that the throttles work even when the rider is not pedaling. That does not mean, however, that the motor won’t function if the rider decides to pedal. A large number of Class 2 e-Bike designs provide electrically supported pedaling function with throttles. Identical to Class 1, these are also allowed at most places where an analog bike can be ridden. However, there are some places that prohibit the use of Class 2. Certain trail systems and marks do not allow for electric mountain bikes, however as e-bikes are more understood and the importance of accessibility to nature for all users trail access is constantly evolving. You can best use Class 2 e-bikes for multi-use OHV trails which are specifically purposed for craggy, jagged, and off-road bikes.
What is a Class 3 E-Bike?
Class 3 e-Bikes typically have speeds up to 28 miles per hour. They are required to have a speedometer, whether or not they possess the ability to throttle. The presence of throttle in a Class 3 e-Bike is primarily dependent upon the state in which it is operating. For example, throttles are not allowed for Class 3 in California, and other states allow throttles till the point they achieve a speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 3 e-Bikes are allowed to be taken into road lanes or the curb-to-curb, which can be described as the lane on the road’s shoulder. These are not, however, allowed to be ridden on bike paths that are outside the road, or trails that are shared with pedestrians such as parks. Often used in city environments as an alternative to motorcycles Class 3 commuter e-bikes can be equipped with fat tires to soak up pot holes and navigate slick conditions with plenty of traction.
Throttle vs. Peddle Assist Electric Bikes
The throttle can be best compared to the functionality of a scooter or a motorcycle. As the throttle is engaged, the rider gets pushed forward due to the electric bicycle's motor power. The rider and the bike, both, propel forward. Most of the e-Bikes have a grip shift-type throttle, but others include the trigger option. As the throttle is pushed, the electric assist thrives and gives the push.
On the other hand, the pedal-assist feature gives the regular feeling of riding a conventional bike, with some succor. For the electric assist to be triggered, it is important to first pedal the bike. An e-Bike comprises a range of multiple pedal assist modes. For instance, the lower modes provide a low degree of assistance as the rider does most of the work. A medium assist mode provides relatively greater assistance and the rider is able to ride farther distances than usual. Finally, the high-level assist provides the greatest deal of electric assist, giving the rider the fastest pace with the least effort.
Electric Bike Battery Size
The battery size for an e-Bike predicts and defines the amount of speed, range, and power one can expect from their all-new e-Bike. If you are keen on your bike’s speed, power, and range, then it is absolutely necessary to consider the battery size. Most of the e-Bikes in the market today have an ideal 36 to the 48-volt battery which provides a nominal, meek capacity of speed, power, and mountain climbing performance. If you are looking out for a naturally faster spin, you should consider buying an e-Bike with a 52V battery pack.