EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycles in Cape Town

The Technical Side Of E-Bikes: From Start To Pedal Guide Part 2

Last month we dived a little deeper into the history of and general information of electric bikes. Now, we are going to look at the technical side of e-bikes, including electric bike maintenance, the different types of electric bike batteries and e-bike  motors, as well as the speed of an e-bike. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the technical side of e-bikes.

Brush Up On Batteries

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle batteries in Cape Town

Lead-acid (SLA)

Lead-acid batteries are affordable and are easy to recycle, however, they need to be maintained and may not last as long as other options. If you will be using your e-bike for a long commute, then this is not the right fit for your needs. Lead-acid batteries use affordable raw materials and are much heavier than other options. 

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) electric bike batteries have more capacity than SLA batteries, but can be expensive and difficult to recycle. While they last longer than SLA batteries, they are much more costly and, because you cannot recycle them easily, they are not as popular with those who want to be more eco-friendly with their commutes. 

Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMh)

NiMH batteries are slightly more efficient than NiCD batteries and they also offer more capacity, safety, and reliability. You will also find that they are more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle. These batteries, while popular, are slowly being phased out by lithium-ion batteries. 

Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for use in high capacity, low power applications, such as electric bikes. They can be molded into different shapes and can fit into different devices and extra spaces. Due to their high rate of charge/discharge, they also provide a higher level of power. 

Lithium-ion Polymer (LiPo)

LiPo batteries have become the go-to for electric bike batteries. They are easily rechargeable, inexpensive, and easier to discharge at a higher C-rate. Many e-bike enthusiasts choose both the Li-ion and LiPo batteries as their ideal solution to power and ease of use.

All About The Pedal System

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle system in Cape Town

The Pedal Assist System (or PAS if you are in the e-bike community) is the device that powers the e-bike motors automatically when you pedal, without the need to use the throttle on the handlebars. They work in response to the speed at which you are pedalling and the torque that you are applying to the pedals. 

There are different types of PAS’s, as outlined below:

  • Pedal Sensors: Pedal sensors are available on most basic models of electric bikes. They will engage the motor when you begin pedalling, and turn it off when you stop. You can easily adjust how much push you receive by manually changing the assist mode. They are the ideal choice for  leisure cyclists.

  • Torque Sensors: Torque sensors are more precise than pedal sensors. They measure the force being used on the pedal and automatically provide a suitable amount of electrical assistance. They are hugely helpful for commuting cyclists and those who want a bit more power behind their ride.

Make The Most Of That Motor

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle motor in Cape Town

There  are numerous different types of electric bike motors, which can be confusing if you are new to the electric bike world. There are two main types that you should look at which we discuss below:

  • Hub Motor: Hub motors can be fitted to the front or rear wheel. They are more affordable to produce and are easier to maintain, making them ideal for novices and leisure cyclists alike. Many e-bikes with hub motors are gearless, which makes them suited to flat, urban riding.

    Rear hub e-bike motors provide more power and can help with improving the speed of the e-bike. They are best used with a throttle. Front hub e-bike motors are more affordable but do have less torque and power. They offer 250W to 350W of power, and are best suited to casual pavement riding. 

  • Mid-Mounted Or Centre Drive Systems: These are centrally mounted e-bike motors. They replace the crankset and deliver power directly to the chain, providing them with an improved centre of gravity and better power maintenance. Many of these models have built-in sensors for improved riding efficiency. However, they could cause the chain to wear down quickly.

Better Braking

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle brake maintenance in Cape Town

All electric bicycles need to have effective brakes because the bicycle is heavier than traditional models, largely due to the engine and other components. In order to maintain your brakes, you should regularly check and adjust them before every outing. 

Look for issues such as loose parts and excessive wear and tear. Remember to replace brake pads and rotors as soon as they need it, and always check the manufacturer specifications for the wear level that warrants replacement.

Think About Tyres

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bikes in Cape Town

Your electric bicycle runs smoothly and speedily, but with the added weight of the motor, you will need to ensure that the tyres are well maintained and taken care of. As part of your e-bike maintenance, you should always keep your tyres inflated properly, and have replacement tyres for your e-bike. 

When it comes to fixing a flat tyre, the tyres on a mid-drive motor are the same as on a regular bicycle, but those  with a hub drive motor require you to know how to disconnect and reconnect all of the various wires needed to power the motor.

Live An Ezy Life With Ezy Bike

Understanding the technical aspects of your electric bike will help to make the maintenance easier and more efficient. Look at the type of batteries on offer, and rememdriber to ask about the PAS based on your needs. 

If you would like to start your own electric bicycle adventure, Ezy Bike has a diverse selection to choose from. Contact us today to find out what we can offer you.