Electric Bicycle And eBike Basics

March 22, 2019
Electric Bicycle And eBike Basics

Hey guys, Dustin here, CEO of sixthreezero. Back again today to talk to you about the basics of eBikes. eBikes have really burst onto the scene in the last five or so years. Now, there's stuff about eBikes everywhere. You're seeing eBikes on rideshares. Rideshare bikes. There are eBikes to purchase everywhere.

Today, I'm going to at least walk you through the basics of eBikes. I'm not going to get into the too technical side of things, but at least provide you with enough information so you can understand them. I'll start with very simple. The "E" in eBike stands for electric. I know, simple, but I've had conversations with some people.

They don't necessarily know what it means, what it stands for, and what does electric bike mean. Another thing I want to talk about and distinguish is electric bike means plugin. Powered by electricity, by batteries. That's what gets the motor running on an electric bike. Big difference between a gas powered motor or a gas powered bike.

Electric bikes are clean. There's not going to be any exhaust when you're riding. There's no pollution coming out of them. For someone thinking about getting an electric bike, don't worry about it being dirty or messy. You don't have to change any oil, nothing like that. Very, very basic, all electrical driven.

Moving on. The next thing about eBikes is that they have a motor. eBikes are powered either ... There are two versions of an eBike. There is either a pedal assist version of an eBike or a full throttle eBike. Now, in the US, there are various laws covering the usage of eBikes, state by state. We're going to make another video, you can check that out, talking about eBike laws in your state or, in fact, in your city.

Generally speaking, what classifies an eBike is a pedal assist motor that cannot go any faster than 28 miles an hour or with full throttle, no pedal assist does not go faster than 20 miles an hour. Then, in addition to that, the motor size cannot be any larger than 750 watts. That's the general rule when you talk about eBikes. If your motor is larger than 750 watts, it's not going to be classified as an eBike. If the top speed with full throttle can take you faster than 20 miles an hour, not going to be classified as an eBike.

It's going to push you up into another category of a moped, or scooter, or motorcycle, which is going to require a whole other litany of registration, and registration of things of that nature. Registration fees, things of that nature. Basic of an eBike is less than a 750-watt motor, top speed is less than 20 miles an hour with pedal assist. Sorry, 28 miles an hour with the pedal assist or less than 20 miles an hour with full throttle.

Now, breaking down an eBike. It's very basic. You have a motor, you have a controller on the handlebars that will show you your speed limit on the display. Then, you have a controller, which will be essentially the throttle or how you engage the pedal assist, in terms of what level you're going to put the pedal assist in. One, two, three, four, five. I'll explain that in a minute. Then, you have your battery.

Every electric bike is going to come equipped with a battery. The battery is what's going to power the motor. The motor can be located in two different places. Essentially, there's what's called a rear hub drive motor, which is going to be laced into the rear wheel. It's going to power the bike by spinning the rear wheel.

Or you can have what's called a mid-drive motor. This is going to be mounted in the middle of the bike to what's called the bottom bracket. This is going to spin the crank and spin the chain. Two different ways, to different types of motors that are good for two different types of usages. I'll get into more details about that in some additional videos, but that's the basics of it, basically, if you're going to have a motor.

It can be either in the rear or the mid-drive. Actually, I left one out. There is a front hub motor as well. It's not going to be as common as the mid-drive or the rear, but there's also a front hub motor which operates the same way as the rear hub motor. Three different types, different types of usages that are good for all three. Again, we'll get into more details about that in another video.

The battery is going to be a lithium-ion battery. There's been a lot of things in the news and out there about lithium-ion batteries being dangerous. That's not true, generally speaking. Lithium-ion batteries are perfectly safe. You're seeing them in every ... Basically, everything you use on a daily basis has a lithium-ion battery, including your cell phone, computers, lots of other household items. eBikes use the same kind of battery. The batteries tend to be fairly large and heavy. I would say the average weight is going to be about twenty to thirty pounds just for the battery alone. You're talking about adding a significant amount of weight to your bicycle by changing it over to an eBike. Again, we'll talk about that in another video, in terms of how much weight does it add, how does that affect the riding, things of that nature.

The battery can be located in several different spots as well. One of the most common areas to see a battery for an eBike is going to be mounted on the down tube of the ... Sorry, not the down tube, but on the frame, actually, the down tube in the frame. In between the top tube and the down tube, you're going to see the battery mounted. That's a very commonplace.

You also can see it on the vertical down tube, from the seat to the bottom bracket. Inside the frame, two different common placements, whether it's vertical or horizontal. You can also see the battery, like on sixthreezero bikes, mounted on a rear rack, which is also a common location. That's also the location we prefer because it disguises the battery and you don't notice it on the frame. Lastly, a not so common area is actually getting the battery inside the frame.

There are a couple of bike companies that do this now. It's a little bit more difficult because you really have to either make the frame extraordinarily large to put the battery in there or you have to make the battery very small to fit it inside the down tube. As a result, your battery may not have a lot of power to last very long on your rides or to maintain a very high cruising speed. Things to consider. You have a battery, you have a motor.

Then, you're going to have what's called either the controller and the display. When you have a pedal assist bike, essentially, it's going to offer you different levels of assistance when you're pedaling. Usually, levels one, two, three, four, five. If you're pedaling and you're in level one, the motor will just give you a little bit of assistance. If you're in level two, it's going to give you a little bit more. So on and so forth.

Up to level five, it's going to give you full power. If you're really pedaling fast and you're on a 500-watt motor, that's when you can reach speeds of 28 miles an hour at full max exertion. You're going to have a controller usually on your right hand. You would either crank it like a hand throttle where you would spin your hand and turn it to increase whatever level you want the pedal assist to be in. Or you can have a thumb throttle that you'll click and that will move it up.

It really depends on which eBike, which motor, which controller, what type of eBike. They all work the same, they just ... The way it works is just different bike to bike, whether you use a thumb throttle, or a twist shift, whatever it may be. Then, you're also going to have a display. That display is gt tell you how fast are you going.

Again, it's going to tell you what level you're in for the pedal assist. I think the thing most people want to see is how fast are they going. Again, the displays can vary. Some are pretty big and they're in the middle. Others are just on the hand and you can see a small screen. It really depends.

It all varies between which bike you buy. That's a brief introduction to the basics of eBikes or electric bikes, whatever you want to call them. At sixthreezero, we carry some eBikes. So, go to our top nav. Check out electric bikes. You can see our EVRY journey and Around the Block models.

If you want more details on those, please visit the product pages. Also, don't forget, enter your dimensions, your height, and your weight, into our body fit. You'll be able to see what bikes are the right fit for you. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can call us by phone, 310-982-2877. Or shoot us an email at the team at sixthreezero.com. Our goal is to make sure we can help you find the right bike for you.

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Electric Bicycle And eBike Basics