How Does an Electric Bike Work?

Favorite Bikes Hybrid


Electric bikes, commonly known as e-bikes, have established themselves as essential modes of transportation for both city commuters and weekend adventurers. E-bikes designed for touring have garnered popularity among riders, regardless of whether they intend to embark on lengthy, leisurely journeys or simply navigate through urban settings. Many have discovered that touring e-bikes excel at covering extended distances, even during quick trips around town. This versatility ensures that every battery charge is maximized, allowing riders to make the most of their e-bike experience.

Electric bikes come equipped with a plethora of features and accessories, making them accessible and accommodating to a wide range of riders. However, amidst the variety of options, one fundamental aspect remains constant: the functioning of the e-bike itself. To gain a deeper comprehension of e-bikes and their operational mechanisms, let's dissect the key components of electric bikes, explore their functions, and understand how they collectively contribute to an exceptional riding experience.

How They Work

When the term "electric bike" is mentioned, many people may mistakenly link it to motorcycles or mopeds. However, in reality, e-bikes belong to an entirely separate category. An electric bike is essentially a traditional bicycle that has been enhanced with integrated electrical components, including a battery and a motor.

The collaboration between the battery and motor comes into play when the rider initiates pedaling. As soon as pedaling begins, the motor is activated, and the pedal assist function is engaged, providing additional propulsion to support the rider's pedaling efforts. This feature allows cyclists to exert less physical effort while riding, making it easier to reach their destinations quickly. Depending on the e-bike's classification, the pedal assist function may disengage once the rider reaches a specific speed, and it will re-engage when the rider pedals at a slower pace.

The Key Components of an E-Bike

Riding an e-bike is as straightforward as riding your traditional bicycle. When in search of the ideal e-bike, it's essential to consider these critical components that have a direct influence on your riding experience:

  • The Motor

The motor, in conjunction with the battery, stands as one of the most crucial components of your e-bike. It serves as the driving force that propels your bicycle forward by converting electrical power into mechanical energy, which in turn rotates the wheels.

Manufacturers typically position the motor in one of three locations: the front hub, the rear hub, or the center of the bike. Lower-end e-bikes often feature front hub placement, while premium e-bikes tend to have the motor located at the center. Hub motors strike a favorable balance between efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

FavoriteBikes offer hub motors. They have two options available: the Favorite 750 hub motor and the Favorite 500 hub motor. Both motors are advanced and powerful, providing smooth power for hill climbing, range, and speed. They also feature a thumb throttle for boosting speed control.

  • The Battery

The battery serves as the energy source for the motor, and when assessing the battery included with your e-bike or compatible options, it's essential to take into account wattage, voltage, and amp-hours. These variables also play a role in determining the cost of an electric bike battery.

Given that batteries are typically among the heaviest components of the bike, they are strategically positioned low and centered on the bicycle frame. This placement ensures that the battery can be integrated onto your bike without significantly affecting your balance during rides.

  • The Sensor

The sensor in your e-bike's system is an essential component responsible for communicating with the motor to determine when it should activate and provide assistance. These sensors are available in different types, each with its specific function. Regardless of the sensor type, they all play a vital role in regulating the degree of assistance you receive from the motor.

One common type of sensor is the cadence sensor. Cadence sensors primarily monitor the speed at which you pedal. They keep track of how quickly you turn the pedals and use this information to coordinate the motor's assistance. If you pedal faster, the sensor signals the motor to provide more assistance, and if you slow down, it reduces the assistance accordingly. Cadence sensors are known for their simplicity and effectiveness in providing a smooth and consistent riding experience.

On the other hand, torque sensors are designed to assess the force you apply to your pedaling motion. These sensors measure the amount of effort you exert while pedaling, whether it's a gentle cruise or a more vigorous pedal stroke. Torque sensors provide a more dynamic and responsive assistance system. When you push harder on the pedals, the sensor informs the motor to deliver increased power, making it easier to tackle steep inclines or accelerate quickly. Conversely, when you pedal with less force, the assistance level decreases to conserve energy. Torque sensors offer a more intuitive and natural riding experience, closely mimicking traditional cycling.

All Favorite bikes come with a Cadence Sensor that includes switchable commuting and off-road modes.

  • Wattage

Wattage denotes the actual power output produced by your motor and is typically displayed alongside the motor's power specifications. These ratings are often denoted as "peak" and "nominal" power, serving as indicators of the motor's maximum calculated capacity and its typical operational capability. In contrast, watt-hours provide details about how long your bike can operate with its specific motor power before requiring a recharge.

Favorite Inc offers two hub motors: the Favorite 750 hub motor with 750 Watts of power and the Favorite 500 hub motor with 500 Watts of power. Both motors provide smooth power for optimum hill climbing, range, and speed.

  • Voltage

Voltage quantifies the amount of power that the battery can effectively supply to your bike's motor. A higher voltage results in a more substantial power delivery from the battery to the motor, accomplishing this in a shorter time frame. This phenomenon exerts a significant influence, significantly enhancing and amplifying performance. When considered in conjunction with your ampere-hours (amp hours), voltage provides an accurate representation of the battery's wattage potential.

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