How do Electric Bikes Work and Do You Have to Pedal Them?

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We would like to start the write-up with a statistic. According to the New York Times, electric bikes sales rose 65 % in the USA between 2019 to 2020. Besides that, market research company The NPD Group claims that e-bike sales grew by 145% concurrently.

Electric bikes are getting more popular day by day as they are the right choice for someone who would like to get extra help to enjoy cycling. These types of bikes come with a motor that assists users in pedaling.

Many people think that e-bikes don’t require pedaling, which is ultimately a wrong perception. You have to put in a minimum effort of your own to run the electric bikes; otherwise, it won’t provide power.

However,  through the context, we have explained how an electric bike works and whether you have to pedal them or not. To get relevant answers regarding these queries, keep reading with full intent.

What Is an Electric Bike

An electric bike comes with a motor that helps the rider in moving the bike forward. There are vast collections of bikes worldwide, but they are differentiated into two broad categories.

  1. Bikes that aid rider’s pedal-power [Pedelec Assistance]
  2. Bikes that include a throttle combining moped-style functionality[Throttle Assist]

A pedelec is one of the most common and popular options and efficiently works by having measured power assistance when you pedal the bike. In contrast,  a bike with a throttle assist is similar to a motorbike. You hold the throttle for the motor and option to pedal, depending on your demand.

How Do E-bikes Work

An electric bike such as 750 watt electric bike is almost similar to a regular bike. It just depends on some materials such as an electric motor, a battery, and a sensor that allows it to operate. All types of electric bikes have pedal assist. When the pedals are in motion and only then the motor gets activated. This makes riding easier for the riders. We’ll explain below how these main components of electric bikes work.

1.  The Motor

There are individual placements for an electric bike motor, such as a rear hub, front hub, and mid-drive motor, and each has different benefits. The fundamental purpose of the motor is to confer spin when you pedal. This motor will offer more spin if it is more advanced. The more spin you get, the more power you’ll have; that’s simple.

2.  The Battery

The battery of an electric bike can be adjusted in different places depending on the type of frame and size. Different models and types of batteries require different times for charging. A standard charging time of an electric bike’s battery is 5 to 6 hours. Before going on a long ride, make sure that the battery has been fully charged otherwise; you’ll find riding hard on rigid surfaces as you have to pedal if the battery is dead.

3.  The Sensor

The sensor is one of the most vital components of an electric bike. There are two types of sensors that have been used on different electric bikes. The first one is a speed sensor, and the second one is a torque or spin sensor. How do they work? The speed sensor basically involves the motor once you start pedaling, which provides you ride assistance.

On the other hand, the torque or spin sensor is comparatively more competent that functions with just a bit of assistance to peer your speed when you are in motion. This sensor is much more receptive and assists with maneuvers and speed.

Things You Should Consider Before Choosing The Right Electric Bike

How do electric bikes work

Most find it difficult to choose the right electric bike. Considering that, we have come up with solutions. Here we have discussed five significant things that should be contemplated while purchasing an e-bike. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

1.  Why and Wherefore

Before having an electric bike, you have to ask yourself why, where, and when you’ll use the e-bike. For instance, are you a city resident that requires lifting up and down stairs or other basic commuting demands? Or maybe you stay somewhere more remote and will be searching to take it off-road? You have to choose different types of e-bikes such as electric road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, folding bikes, or e-cargo bikes.

Check out best ebike under $1000

2.  Motor

This is another thing that you should consider. Motors of electric bikes come in a large array of power ratings from 200W to 1000W. A 750 is the legal limit in the USA, though different states can set their own limit. So, if you stay in the US, it is better to choose a 750 Watt Electric Bike.

A motor with a higher rating can bear more weight but use comparatively more battery capacity. For instance, owning a 750-watt motor will drain the battery faster than the 250-watt motor, but it will indeed be more powerful.

3.  The Battery

Battery plays a crucial role in how electric bikes work. The battery affects the style, range of the bike, and weight, so its selection is vital. The maximum number of batteries is differentiated into two categories.

  1. Sealed Lead Acid
  2. Lithium [Polymer/Manganese/Ion/Etc]

1.   Sealed Lead Acid

Once, these batteries were standard and mostly were used in electric bicycles and scooters.  Still, most electric scooters use sealed lead-acid batteries, but electric bikes go for newer battery technology to keep the bike lightweight. These types of batteries are inexpensive but bulky and heavy. Apart from that, they offer a shorter ride range and require more maintenance.

2.   Lithium [Polymer/Manganese/Ion/Etc]

These are considered the newest technology in batteries. Lithium batteries are comparatively lighter than SLA batteries and maintenance-free as well. Most of the users opt for these batteries due to their lightweight and high capacity. Besides that, they offer a more extended riding range where you can travel up to 40 miles in pedal-assist mode and 20 miles on the throttle. So, before getting an electric bike, make sure that the bike has used lithium batteries.

The Controller

You can’t avoid the importance of a controller. The controller is available in a different style that lets you operate the electric assistance on your e-bike and is an elementary part of how electric bikes work.

The controller is placed on the handlebar for no bother of use. There are two respective styles of the controller. These are

  1. Pedal Activated
  2. Throttle-Based Controller

1. Pedal Activated

This system provides electric assistance when you exert pressure on the pedals. You don’t need to take on a throttle; a doss pedal will do the trick. Pedal-activated systems hold a controller mounted on the handlebar to adapt to the assistance level you receive when you pedal.

2. Throttle-Based Controllers

It works with a simple throttle mechanism that can either be a thump grip type or twist-grip type. To get electric assistance with a throttle-based controller, you just need to pull back or press the throttle. A couple of electric bikes require nothing except activating the throttle, allowing ride without pedaling.

Check out Best electric Bikes under $2000

Do You Have To Pedal Electric Bikes?

When it comes to electric bikes, it is common to be curious whether you have to pedal them or not. The straightforward answer regarding the question is, it depends. There are three respective classes of bikes. The engineering company Bosch defines them as

  1. Class One
  2. Class Two
  3. Class Three

Class one is pedal-assist only and holds no throttle and 20 mph is the maximum speed of them. Class two is throttle assisted with a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. Class three is pedal-assist only and has no throttle, with a maximum assisted speed of 28 miles per hour.

You have to pedal class one and class three E-bikes as they are only pedal-assist and have no throttle, and therefore you won’t be up to simple power themselves. On the other hand, class two doesn’t require pedal assistance from you, but you can certainly pedal them if you want.

Final Verdict

So, it was all about how e-bikes work and whether you have to pedal them or not. Actually, you have to pedal the electric bike if it is only pedal-assist and has no throttle. On the contrary, if you choose a bike with throttle assistance, you don’t need to pedal them. But, if you use an electric bike to work out, it is better to pedal them; otherwise, you won’t benefit.