How Do Electric Bikes Work?
You’ve heard the hype, probably seen them tooling about town, but still may be wondering, how do electric bikes work?
Let us explain.
It’s All About the Motor
Electric bikes and traditional bikes are much the same. They both feature two wheels, gears and pedals that allow you to get around without firing up a gasoline-powered vehicle. The difference between the two lies in the motor.
Electric bikes feature a motor that gives riders more options. You can still choose to pedal when you like and experience the same feel of a regular bike, but when the going gets tough (hello, hills), you can kick in the power of that motor to help you conquer them with little or no effort… if you want. That motor is all about flexibility and choosing your ride, your way.
Electric bikes are different from motorbikes or motorcycles, which are all power, all the time. While electric bikes that are equipped with throttles let you cruise with no pedaling on your part at all, you always have the choice to pedal when you want. That means you can also build in exercise as you go about your day if you want.
At Charge, we make three e-bike models. Our City and Comfort bikes both feature hub motors and a throttle. When you kick that throttle into gear with your thumb, you get an extra burst to power your pedaling, or you can kick back and let the bike do all the work for you, no pedaling needed. They both also have five pedal-assist modes you can switch between depending on how much effort you want to put into your ride at any given time.
The Charge XC, our rugged mountain bike made to handle dirt, sand, snow and more, features a mid-drive motor, which is located in the middle of the bike. It has three pedal-assist modes.
Behind the Motor
Electric bike motors are powered by batteries rather than gasoline or another fuel. At Charge, our bikes feature weatherproof, removable batteries that can be locked into place on your bike when they’re not charging. Our Comfort and City bikes feature 418WH Lithium ion batteries, while the XC boasts a Shimano E8035 504WH integrated battery.
The time it takes to charge the battery depends on how much power is left. The City and Comfort bikes each take about 3 hours to reach 80 percent capacity and 7 hours to fully recharge. The Charge XC reaches 80 percent capacity in about 2.5 hours and requires approximately 5 hours for a full charge.
How far can you go after charging the battery? It depends, as things like a rider’s weight, how much pedal assist you use and the terrain you’re covering can affect the battery life. In general though, Charge bikes are good to go for about 50 miles after a single charge. That’s some significant ground you can cover.
And you don’t have to worry about running out of power mid-ride either, as a display on the handlebar makes it clear just how much further you can go before you need to recharge the battery again.
Do electric bikes go as fast as a car or motorcycle? Nope. Our e-bikes go up to 20 miles per hour with pedal assist. You can pedal harder to go faster if you want, but in general, you’re looking at about 20mph.
Are you going to win any races? Probably not, but that’s fast enough to get where you’re going at a decent clip, and getting there will be easy and enjoyable.
Speaking of easy, getting your bike and getting it on the road is as simple as can be. We ship it to you free in 100 percent recyclable packing materials nearly fully assembled (i.e. not in hundreds of parts). Finishing up the assembly takes just about 10 minutes, and you’re good to head out to the road and go
Why Electric Bikes?
While understanding how electric bikes work is important, what we think is even more important is how electric bikes work for you. In general, they bring the joy of biking to more and more people.
Electric bikes are just as safe, useful and enjoyable for retirees who haven’t ridden for decades as they are for college students and young professionals looking for a better way to commute. They’re for going to get groceries and picking up your kid from preschool while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. They’re for off-road adventures and on-road flexibility.
Our bikes come with standard features to support your journeys. Things like folding handlebars and pedals to save space, making it easier to move and store. They’re equipped with front and rear lights and reflective tires for visibility and safety, and a rear rack lets you haul your gear, groceries or whatever else you need to get through the day.
Electric bikes are about embracing a lifestyle that’s more relaxed yet more active. They help you get out of your car, but you don’t have to be an extreme athlete to get where you want to go. They give you all the benefits of biking but with a boost of power when you want it to let you go faster, more easily and with more enjoyment.
Want to see for yourself how electric bikes work? We’d love you to take a test drive on one of ours. We have dealers and test ride centers across the country. Schedule an appointment today.
The Best Mid-Drive Electric Bike for 2022
The Best Electric Delivery Bike
The Best Electric Bikes with Throttle, Pedal Assist, and More
Join the ride
Be the first to hear about our latest arrivals, helpful advice, special offers, and more.