What Are Electric Bikes? How Do They Work?

Electric Bike

Electric bicycles are like any regular bicycle, with an electric motor added for extra assistance. Some have pedal-activated systems which automatically provide power while pedaling while others use a handlebar-mounted throttle to engage their motors.

E-bike motors provide extra boost of power that are perfect for climbing hills or combatting headwinds, as well as making for longer commutes – ideal commuting options!


Your electric bike’s motor is its beating heart, providing extra boost to help overcome hills or travel faster. However, its constant energy drain requires ongoing maintenance in order to remain at peak condition.

Most e-bikes utilize either a hub or direct drive motor located within one or both wheels to convert electric power into mechanical work that helps propel pedaling motion.

An e-bike’s motor typically consumes up to 52 volts of electricity each hour and provides instantaneous bursts of power when you apply pressure to pedals. An LCD display usually built into or attached to its controller shows speed, mode, battery level and other information; plus it gives control over how much power goes out from your motor.


Your E-bike’s battery powers its electric motor and other components, and can be charged in various ways to suit its intended usage and range/speed characteristics.

The battery also controls how much power your E-bike offers you; its controller enables you to choose different levels of assistance, with some models featuring a boost mode that provides extra assistance when climbing steep hills or facing headwinds.

An electric bike’s motor only drives it when pedaling, making it essential to understand how best to use your bike safely. Please refer to our Electric Bike Safety Guide for more details.


Every bike can become an electric bicycle with the right motor and battery combination, but they generally fall into different classes depending on how much power their motor delivers and if pedalling must continue for it to provide assistance.

E-bikes with hub or mid-drive motors work through the bicycle’s chain and gears to allow it to climb hills more easily while fighting headwinds, and have greater range than traditional bikes for further travels on one charge. Furthermore, some models feature displays that show speed information as well as battery level levels; making these E-bikes great for commuters, city excursions or longer rides alike!


An electric bike may look different than its traditional counterpart, but its cycling technique remains similar: pedaling with additional power to conquer hills or speed away from traffic lights.

Handlebar-mounted controllers let you select your level of assistance and monitor how much battery is remaining, while some e-bikes offer cadence-based systems which automatically provide electric assistance as you pedal without any throttle being necessary.

Your e-bike’s display shows battery life, current speed, ride metrics and activity tracking information. Knowing amp-hours also allows you to predict how long the battery will last – more amp-hours means longer battery lifespan.


E-bikes use electric motors to augment your pedaling power and are activated whenever you begin pedaling. Sensors on these bikes monitor how hard and fast you are cycling so they know when additional power should come from the motor.

Your bike’s motor will provide a regulated amount of power to each wheel, helping you climb hills more easily and travel faster over flat ground. The amount of additional power provided depends on how hard and often you pedal as well as what assistance level has been selected.

Your motor may either be located in the cranks or hub of either front or rear wheels; crank motors typically provide more natural riding experiences as their added power is transmitted through pedals rather than directly to your wheels.

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About the Author: John Watson

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