How Does An
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Electric bicycles (eBikes) pedal and handle just much like a regular bicycle. By and large, an electric bike will use the same parts too.
The electric component is meant to augment human power, not completely replace it. It makes obstacles like hills and headwind more manageable and allows you to travel further without getting as tired.
Electric bikes have six (6) components that make them different from a typical bicycle. They group includes a motor, battery, controller, sensor, display, and electric wiring.
The motor provides the pedal-assist and throttle power. Hub motor configurations (found in rear or front wheel) are more common compared to a more complex mid-drive configuration (the difference between the two will be explained when you visit our shop). Electric bike motors come in a wide variety of power ratings, typically between 350W and 750W continuous wattage (the legal limit in Florida).
All of our bikes use tested and approved Lithium-Ion (L-ion) batteries that power the motor and, if configured, additional appliances and accessories (ask about our power bikes). L-ion batteries are much lighter and more powerful than previous technologies. The size and capacity will vary depending on the bike’s configuration and requirements.
The controller is the “brains” of an electric bike. Using electrical wiring, the controller communicates with the other components. Many ebike controllers are hidden inside the frame or inside a protective case if mounted onto the frame.
Bikes sold at National eBike have sensors that respond to the movement of pedals. When in “pedal-assist” mode, the motor is engaged when the pedals move (and dis-engages when they stop). Sensors are typically cadence (uniform power across pedal-assist speeds) or torque (a more natural power that adjusts to pressure placed on the pedals). We can explain each in detail when you visit our shop.
The display is how the rider and controller communicate. The rider typically makes selections by pressing on a pad or screen, and the controller display information via a screen or lights on the device. In some cases, the display/controller are combined in a single device.
6. Electric Wiring
Electric bikes typically use “plug and play” wiring that is reliable and waterproof.
Pedal Only Mode
Electric bicycles can be pedaled just like a non-electric model. Although an eBike is heavier than an average bike, the use of gears make riding without power manageable in our area.
Pedal Assist Mode
Once you turn on this mode via the display/controller, the motor will provide approximately 50% of the work as you pedal (if the bike has gears you can adjust as needed for a comfortable ride). Most of the bikes we sell have (5) Pedal-Assist Speeds (PAS) that provide 50% of the work. With speed 1, the bike does 50% of the work and paces you for a nice, casual ride (about 7-9 mph). Speed 5 does 50% of the work and paces you for the top speed. Speeds 2 thru 4 are bracketed between the two. Pedal assist can be up to 20 mph (class 2) or 28 mph (class 3).
This mode of operation allows you to sit back and take a break as you let the motor do the work. To use “electric only” mode, simply activate the throttle and you’ll feel the motor kick in and propel you forward. Keep the throttle engaged to continue along or let go if you’re ready to start pedaling or wish to come to a stop. Please note that due to state law the top speed in electric-only mode is limited to 20 miles per hour.
When in pedal-assist mode the throttle is active – you can supplement or replace pedaling as needed. Combining pedal-assist with throttle gives you additional flexibility to tackle different terrain and conditions (such as going over a bridge).