Choosing The Right Electric Mountain Bike

18
Feb
2020

Choosing the perfect electric mountain bike for you depends on a number of different factors. Here are some of the different ways you can select between different sorts of categories based on your needs and preferences.

Basic Pedal Assist

One of the ways that you can tell these bikes apart is by taking a look at some of the combinations of pedal-assist options they have. For example, an electric bike that has basic pedal assist is the sort where you have to pedal for the motor to work. Basically, it makes it so that the bike is essentially just a regular muscle-powered bike aside from a motor that starts up when you start pedaling.

The effect of this is that it feels like you’re getting a bit of an extra boost whenever you pedal around. This can make it easier to pedal through anything, including up hills, for example. Some of these types of bikes have a throttle as well. You don’t need a driver’s license to drive them, and there isn’t any kind of age limit associated with them. In general, you can go up to as fast as around 20 miles an hour with these types of bikes, which is only a little faster than you could likely do on your own with a regular bike.

Throttle Bikes

These types of electric mountain bikes have a motor so that it’s controlled by a throttle. In other words, you can just hit the throttle to get power moving forward, there’s no need to pedal in order to get it going. It is true that this will cause you to run out of power more quickly, however. You can just pedal without the battery when it’s easier to do so, such as when you’re going downhill or the road is easy to pedal on in general. This type of bike also doesn’t have any kind of age limit or any need for a license. The speed expectations should be about the same.

Faster Pedal Assist

Some of the faster bikes can go up to speeds nearing but just under 30 miles an hour. These e-bikes are still bikes, and you don’t need a license, but you do need to be over the age of 17 and you have to wear a helmet while driving. These sometimes have throttles on them, and sometimes don’t, but they do use pedal assist generally, so the motor is running while you pedal. It would be good to use this kind of bike if you want a bit more versatility in your ride, generally speaking.

Some bikes may even have more options than this, or they could be more of a hybrid in different ways, allowing you to switch back and forth at will a bit more.

Hub Motors

The most basic part of an electric bike is the motor. One choice you will need to make is whether you want a bike that is on one of the hubs or one that is on the center of the frame. This is called hub motor versus mid-drive. There are some more choices to make even beyond just that one though when it comes to motors.

Front Hub

A “front hub” the motor is the kind that is used for bikes that have throttle systems. It has it so that the motor isn’t actually a direct part of the drivetrain system. This includes folding e-bikes especially. It has the motor connected to the front part of the hub.

Rear Hub

In contrast, you have the rear hub motor which is better for either pedal-assist or throttle, unlike the front hub which is mostly only effective for the use of the throttle. Actually, if you go with a rear hub option, there’s often the chance to control which you want, throttle or pedal assist, based solely on the control of a switch. Bikes that use this approach are often economical, partly because the aesthetics make them look much more like normal bikes. 

The issue that they sometimes have is that they emphasize weight in the back of the bike, which can mean that the bikes are sometimes a bit off balance. So, there are definitely tradeoffs, it will just come down to which you prefer for your purposes.

Drive Motor

Then, you have bikes with motors that exist on the mid-drive. It’s right on the bike frame center, and it usually integrates it with other parts there like the brackets. A mid-drive system is going to be a pedal-assist system since the motor has to be activated by pedaling. One of the advantages of this kind of bike is the fact that the equilibrium is going to be a lot better distributed than it will be in other systems since the weight is right in the center part of the bike. This will aid in the bike’s operation due to the extra weight from the motor there.

The focus on this system is on the motor pushing the crank arms instead of pushing the wheel directly. This means that it can actually benefit from the mechanical advantage of the gears on the bike. As a result of this construction, you also end up with a situation where its easier to mount sensors at various points on the bike to measure torque. That way the sensor can then add what power is needed to the pedal-assist.

The upshot of all of this is that many people who use this kind of bike report that it’s a highly smooth ride. So, if you want pedal-assist over a throttle and you value a smooth ride and better control over more control, then you may like this kind of motor setup.

Battery Concerns

Another important thing to consider is what sort of battery you’re going to put in your bike. For example, you will need something rechargeable, and many modern types will use a lithium-ion that’s put together in a few pieces. The important thing to take into account in this case, however, is the fact that batteries are heavy, so you need to do some deciding about what kind of bike you want in terms of where the battery is placed and what kind you get.

Obviously, there’s a trade-off here. You’re going to want a battery that gives as much range as possible, without being so heavy that it becomes unworkable on the bike. Examples of options include the down tube battery, for example, which is on the frame tube that goes right into the crank section. This puts the weight low which makes handling easier. Sometimes they are put into a large tube, and other times the bikes just mount them on top of that tube. Others include the rack mount battery, where they are added onto storage areas. It’s a system that has a lot of adaptabilities, but it can also make it so that the system is a bit unwieldy.

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2 Responses to “ Choosing The Right Electric Mountain Bike ”

  1. suba suba on June 11, 2020 at 3:19 am

    There is clearly a bundle to know about this. I consider you made certain good points in features also.

  2. Scott Edlund on March 10, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    What sort of torque do you get from an electric mountain bike?

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