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Consider, if you will, dynamo powered bicycle lights. They work by using a small current of electricity that is generated when you pedal. If we run this system in reverse and replace the lights with a battery, the battery kicks out a steady current of electricity. This then rotates the tire and makes the bike move forward without any assistance from your pedaling. This is, in short, how your electric bike works!
Key Parts of an e-Bike
The battery is what makes the electric bike electric. It contains all the power that will drive you along whether you choose to do some or none of the pedaling. Typical electric bike batteries make about 350-500 Watts of power. Theoretically, any type of battery can be used on a bicycle if it has enough power. So why don't we just use standard car batteries? Car batteries are lead-acid batteries so they are very heavy - you would be using half the power to move the battery along with you! What makes the electric bike battery so great is that it packs a tremendous amount of power into a battery that is lightweight. Batteries on electric bikes are typically located in or around the frame or even behind the seat.
Two most common types of electric motors are crank-drive and hub motors. Crank-drive electric motors have the motor where the pedals are. This motors can be adjusted for different environments are are widely thought to be the best motors for electric bikes because they allow the rider to use the different bike gears in order to climb hills or haul heavy loads. If you need to climb steep hills or haul heavy loads, this is the right motor for you. Hub motors have the motor either on the front or rear wheel. They are a cheaper alternative to crank-drive motors. Some of these motors are powerful, but they are not ideal for steep hills because they are not able to use different gears. These motors are great for flat areas.
The frame on an electric bike is typically made from lightweight aluminum alloy. This is because the lighter the frame is, the less energy it takes to move, which means the battery will last longer. However, the spokes on the wheels of electric bikes need to be much stronger than that of a conventional bike. Without these stronger spokes, the torque from the electric motor could bend them.
Some electric bikes have the ability to use regenerative braking to charge the batteries. When the electric bike goes down a hill, the wheels turn the electric motor in reverse and charges the batteries. This trick does not charge the batteries up completely, but it might give you a little extra distance of battery power.
Electric bike motors also have the option of being full power or power assist. Full power motors are designed for minimal pedaling, but not for long distances. The motors typically have larger batteries to accommodate for the loss of distance the battery can operate. These types of motors are for people who love riding a bike, but hate pedaling. Power assist motors are a lot like hybrid cars. They are designed to be pedaled, but can be electrically powered when you get tired or you just don't want to pedal anymore. All in all, electric bikes are simple, convenient, and economical. They can be used by people with any level of experience with long distance bike riding.
Proper Care and Maintenance - Why is it important?The maintenance required for an e-Bike is basically the same as the maintenance required for a conventional bike. While the electric components of an e-Bike require almost no maintenance, there other aspects of the bike that are similar to a conventional bike do. Because e-Bikes are usually ridden [...]
As I pedaled up the steep hill on my way home, trying to make it to the top without falling over gasping for breath, a bike raced past me with a woman on it that must have been 30 years older than me. She wasn't struggling at all, she even smiled as she went past [...]
On October 7, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1096. This legislation clarifies the regulation of electric bicycles (e-bikes) in California.This new law is the result of a coordinated campaign between PeopleForBikes, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), and the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) to refine how and where cyclists can ride electric bicycles. [...]
The electric bicycle is one of the most underused marvels of today’s exercise and commuting world.Remember the fun you had pedaling your bike around town, down a bike path, or with your friends? Now the pedaling is optional! The e-bike is for anyone and can be taken into a fun filled, trailblazing session of excitement.Today’s [...]