What Are The Different Types of Electric Bikes
Jan 30, 2023
E-bike is a popular option for people who are conscious of improving their riding experience and need bikes with more powerful motors to enhance their performance.
Beginner riders are often awed by how much easier it is to use e-bikes than traditional bikes. The pedal assist in electric bikes help you have a smooth ride, plus the pedaling power is almost unbeatable.
There are different types of electric bikes on the market, and if you aren't careful, you'll end up with an option that doesn't suit your needs in terms of convenience and transportation.
In this buyer's guide, we'll give you adequate information on the different classes and types of electric bikes, so you can select from the several different styles available.
What Is An Electric Bike?
Think of an electric bike (e-bike) as your traditional bike but just with the addition of a motor to help with increased speed and make your ride easier.
The battery-powered electric motor in your e-bike does half the work, while the other half of the power comes from you; unlike traditional bikes where the full power comes from the rider.
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular because of their better battery technology, improved range and speed.
What Are the Different Types of E-Bikes?
When selecting the best e-bikes or electric bicycles, think about your needs first. Bike manufacturers produce electric bikes for specific purposes, so weigh your option as though you are buying your first traditional bicycle.
Generally, electric bike batteries differ, so you need to consider the battery capacity and of course how much power it can give.
Let's go over a few types of e-bikes and their specifications, so it can be convenient for you to make a choice.
E-bikes for Commuting
The most common type of electric bikes are commuter bikes because they can accommodate almost anybody, and are perfect for people who run errands frequently and daily.
They have one of the best ranges, and some models can speed up to 28mph without any difficulty.
With this type of bike, commuters don't need to do anything special; get on and ride.
There's a huge variety of commuter bikes available for you depending on your preference and needs;
Hybrid e-bikes are designed to be fast, and in terms of speed, it's considered one of the best electric bikes. It's perfect for commuting to work and even going for daily errands. If you are looking for a quality e-bike that'll keep you in an upright riding position even when riding on paved roads you can check out hybrid electric bikes.
For your comfort, you can purchase one with a rack for keeping groceries or other necessities.
This might probably be your first time hearing the term "fat ebikes" however, you'll find it super easy to identify when you see it, due to its fat tire size.
They come with fat tires, usually between 4-5 inches, and this is almost two times the size of a normal e-bike tire. These bikes are perfect for unusual bike paths, and they do well in snowy and sandy environments. Regardless of its tires, it can maneuver steep hills, and with the right motor power, you'll definitely be steady.
Cruiser e bike is the best electric bike if you desire comfort, as it comes with wide tires and a comfortable seat. Also, cruiser e-bikes have a suspension system that'll prevent you from feeling the full shock when on rocky roads.
Most cruiser bikes come with handlebars, so even when you are riding at top speed, your back posture is not compromised.
City e-bikes are designed for commuters who engage in short-distance movements. It has the features of hybrid bikes, plus it's designed to make the rider's position upright. City bikes usually have step-through frames, and there are other accessories you can use to make riding in the city streets more enjoyable.
If you are not particular about speed but just need to get to your destination, stop at a bike shop and purchase a city e-bike!
You don't expect a traditional bike to possess the same power as ebikes. If you desire assisted speed for training, then you need to consider performance ebikes.
Unlike commuter bikes, they have more weight, provide more power, and they are better equipped for long hours of usage.
When it comes to speed, performance electric bikes are perfect. We have listed three types you can make a selection from;
ELECTRIC ROAD BIKES
Unlike cruiser bikes, road bikes feature drop handlebars that make riding very much faster. Due to their narrow tires, they can supply more power and you won't have to do much to get it to maximum speed.
A road bike is faster and lighter than a regular bike, and it generally performs better.
ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKES
E-mountain bikes come with flat handlebars and narrow tires, making them perfect for off-road riding and climbing steep hills.
The motor and battery are usually fixed at the bottom bracket, thereby providing you with more stability.
An electric mountain bike is perfect if you are looking for an electric assist in climbing hills.
ELECTRIC GRAVEL BIKES
Gravel bikes are just a show of upgraded technology. Its design and style is a combination of different disciplines of e-bikes.
Similar to mountain bikes, it has a relaxed frame, however, its speed is unrivaled. They come with tires as wide as 47mm, and can comfortably navigate dirt trails and graveled surfaces.
Most utility e-bikes fall into the class 2 and 3 realms, making them very powerful. Some people make use of it for public transport because it's capable of carrying an extra passenger.
Depending on the model, you can use utility bikes to carry more than one person, however, for proper weight distribution and easy riding, you'll need hydraulic disc brakes to help with the extra oomph.
Whether you need the right utility e-bike to take your kids to classes, or for transportation, you'll find the right category below;
Folding bikes as the name implies can be folded and easily put into the back of your car. Depending on your needs, you can get a folding e-bike that is dedicated to road travel and even offloading.
So, if you are concerned about your e bike taking up a lot of space, the folding ebike might just be right for you.
Cargo bikes are perfect if you feel you'll be needing a bike for more than just moving around. Due to its large bike frame, it'll be a waste to purchase it just for daily errands.
This bike's frame incorporates storage boxes for heavy loads, and extra spaces to accommodate 1/2 passengers. With just a single charge, they can travel longer distances than a traditional bike.
HUNTING - MOUNTAIN/FAT TIRE BIKE
The only significant difference between electric mountain bikes and fat ebikes is their tire size. However, they both have the capacity to navigate rough surfaces, without you having to use more energy than normal.
If anything, these bikes will make your cycling lighter and still push through patched roads, hence why cyclists think it's perfect for hunting in any environment.
What Are The Different Types of Electric Bicycles Based on Motor and Battery?
Electric bike motors vary, and you need to understand their differences to make your selection. There are different types of hub motors and they all have their unique placements; keep reading to find out more.
Hub Drive E-bike Motors
Hub drive motors are used as electric bike conversion kits. If you have an old bike that needs boosting so it can perform better, the hub drive motor is the answer.
Front Hub Motor
Front hub motors are located inside the hub of the front wheel of the bike, and it's mostly used as a conversion kit because it's easy to implement. You'll mostly find a front hub motor inside a throttle-controlled electric bike.
For front hub motors, you'll feel as though the ebike is pulling you. Plus, due to their placement in the front wheel, the steering is usually heavy and hard to maneuver.
Rear Hub Motor
Rear hub motor is placed in the rear wheels of an ebike, allowing the motor to supply more torque to balance out the weight on the bike, making cycling easier. It sends power straight to the rear wheel so that you feel as though you are being pushed.
Unlike front motors, rear wheel hub can be used in both a throttle controlled e bike and pedelec bikes.
Mid-Drive E-bike motors
Mid-drive motors are positioned in the lower bracket of the bike's frame, making it drive the pedal crank directly.
So many electric bicycles come with this setup because the motor power is in correspondence to how hard the rider pedals. If the rider exerts more power, the torque sensors can easily detect that and adjust.
Some types of bikes have cadence sensors on the crank to control the mid-drive motor.
2WD / All Wheel Drive e-Bike motors
An e bike motor is what makes up electric bikes, and 2WD features both motor types; front and rear hub motor, meaning double the fun!
With this motor type, you aren't limited, as it can ride comfortably anywhere. All-wheel motors incorporate the front wheel drive to the standard rear wheel on e-bikes.
Rack Mount Battery
E-bikes need a source of power, hence the use of an e-bike battery. The rack mount battery is placed at the rear rack of the bike. The battery will be mounted above the rear wheel, making it extra inches away from the ground, which will cause it to be difficult to move by hand.
Down Tube Battery
Down tube is the most common placement for e bike batteries; as it doesn't add extra weight to the bike.
Depending on the manufacturer, this battery can either be mounted on top of an ovalised tube or integrated into an oversized tube.
Triangle Bag Mounted Battery
Regardless of the battery size, mounting your battery inside a triangle is very convenient. You can attach the triangle bag to the triangle tube on your bike.
Seat Tube Mounted Battery Pack
Similar to the down tube mounting, the battery will be positioned near the middle of the bike seat. Placing it at the center helps maintain balance even when driving at high speeds on a terrain.
If you don't have the space to mount your e bike battery, put it in your backpack. Many riders frown at this option because most e-bike batteries have a decent weight, and carrying all of that weight on your shoulder while pedaling for long hours can be tiring.
What Are the Different Classes of E-Bikes and what do they mean?
Getting a new e bike is more than just the battery and motor power. Here's another feature to consider, the different classes of e bikes;
Class 1 eBike Pedal-Assisted Electric Bike
Pedal assist or pedelec only moves when you pedal. It's just like standard bikes but with the assistance of a motor.
Class 1 e bikes allow you to control the amount of power you use in riding because once you stop pedaling, it stops moving. The pedal assist mode prevents the motor from moving the bike forward, and this is considered a nice safety feature by most riders.
Modern pedal-assist motors make use of torque sensor to match the electric power together with the appropriate level of torque needed to turn the gear.
In most states, class 1 bikes can be used without a license, but in the U.S., they don't provide power when you're riding over 20mph.
Class 2 eBike – Throttle ebike With an Optional Pedal-Assist
Throttle ebikes work the same way a motorcycle or scooter will, once you engage the throttle, it'll propel forward.
You have the option to pedal if you want to, however, if you don't you can still use the throttle to control the amount of power that goes to the rear wheel.
Because it can supply power even when the rider doesn't pedal, it's illegal to ride it in most places, or you might need a license to ride.
Most cyclists don't exactly enjoy using the throttle option because it doesn't feel natural, plus they don't get to exercise at all.
Class 3 ebike - Pedal - Assist & Optional Throttle
These are similar to pedelec bikes, but there's the option of using the thumb throttle if you wish to. They have higher speeds than class 1 e-bikes and can go up to 28mph.
Class 3 bikes are usually referred to as electric vehicles because you can ride them through most hills, and you can use them to commute anywhere.
Class 4 eBike – Unlimited Power & Speed Electric Bikes with Pedals
This is quite different from the Class 1 pedal assist e bikes because it supplies high speed due to its powerful motor. Its motor can ride up to 28mph.
Due to its powerful motors, it's classified as a motor vehicle, and you'll definitely need a license to ride one. Also, your movement is limited, as they can only be driven on roads.
So, before you buy one, check if the local laws stipulate you use a license or not. In many countries, you'll need to do registration and licensing to ride most class 4 e-bikes.
How to Choose Which Type of Electric Bicycle is Right for You?
Are you about to get your first e-bike and you have zero ideas what to look out for in e-bikes?
Most electric bikes come with similar styles and configurations, making it hard to differentiate, however, if you intend to have so much fun than when using a regular bicycle, you need to know what to look out for.
It's important to match the controller and the motor type, as it's the brain of the electric bike. The controller lets you control the speed of the bicycle as well as the power from the motor.
The controller takes its energy from the bike's battery and sends it to the motor. The most common types of e-bikes controllers are;
Brushed DC Motor Controllers
Brushless DC Motor Controllers
BLDC Controllers for Motors with Hall Sensors
The higher the watts of the e-bike, the more powerful it is. The most common size in most bikes ranges from 200w to 1000w, however, the ones with higher watts are available but more expensive.
Also, when you choose a big motor, know that you'll need to buy a bigger battery to fuel it because a powerful motor will exhaust the battery faster.
For instance, if a 1000-watt motor is paired up with a 1000 Wh (watt hours) battery, it'll drain faster than when you pair a 500-watt motor with a 750 Wh battery.
Every state has its motor limit; some go as high as 750w, and some are pegged at 250w, so make your findings before purchasing one.
Your e bike battery is extremely important. Many ebikes use only batteries, and if the battery runs out, the bike stops. That's why the battery life of your bike is important, so make sure you go for the best.
The different types of electric bike batteries are;
SEALED LeaD ACID (SLA)
Lead acid batteries are mostly found in old bikes, and that's because they don't last long. It has the same technology as car batteries, and they usually need replacement after 200-300 charge cycles.
It's a cheap type of battery
It doesn't last as long as lithium batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are just like batteries in cell phones and are found in new bikes. An e bike battery is expected to be light, so it doesn't affect the rider when pedaling. It's almost impossible to ride at top speed if the battery of your e bike is heavy, and that's why lithium batteries are preferred.
Depending on the model, these batteries can last 500-2000 charge cycles and they take about 6 hours to fully charge.
They are pretty light
They last for a long time before needing replacement
Lithium batteries are expensive
Other factors you need to consider when choosing the right e bike include;
Purpose of buying it
The miles you intend to cover everyday
Your height and weight, because you need an e bike that can carry your weight without any issues
There are different types of e bikes all available for specific purposes.
Typically, you are supposed to test ride ebikes before making a full purchase, as there are many inferior bikes sold every day.
Cyrusher has a wide array of options that you can choose from. If you intend to get more exercise from an ebike you can check out Cyrusher, because they'll definitely have the perfect bike for you at an affordable price.
What is the fastest type of electric bicycle?
Speed pedelec bikes are the fastest, as they can go up to 28mph on normal bike lanes and rough roads as well.
What is the most durable type of electric bicycle?
Mountain bikes are the most durable because of their sturdy frames, and how well they can handle rough rides.
What is the safest type of electric bicycle?
In terms of safety and comfort, hybrid bikes take the crown. They are manufactured with reliable components that'll keep your body frame in check and provide you with adequate assistance when riding.