How Do Electric Bikes Work?

If you are interested in taking a biking trip but not sure you have the strength or endurance for a longer ride, e-bikes might be for you. In the past few years, electric bikes have become very popular among trail riders and commuters alike, and it is easy to see why. They have the power to assist riders on harder sections of a bike route while still leaving room for riders to get in a quality cardio workout. But how do electric bikes work? Let’s get into it. 

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The Mechanics of an Electric Bike

E-bikes differ from standard bicycles in two important ways: the battery and the motor. Powered by the batteries, electric bike motors provide pedal assistance, meaning that they work with you to deliver increased power and speed with your pedaling. They differ in this way from, say, a motorcycle, which is powered solely by the throttle and does not require an input of physical exertion.

The Battery

Strapped to the down tube of a bicycle’s frame, the battery is the main reason e-bikes are much heavier than traditional bicycles. They are generally easy to tell apart from other bikes because of this battery bank. The battery may also include a power button and an LED screen to show the battery’s charge. The battery is responsible for generating power for the bike, and its capacity will limit how fast you can accelerate and how long you can ride. 

Conveniently, electric bike batteries can be recharged with standard electric outlets, and most e-bike batteries last between thirty and seventy miles on a single charge. Unless you are a marathon cyclist, this will be enough capacity to get you through a day’s ride. Keep in mind that most e-bikes do not recharge the battery as you pedal or coast down a hill.

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The Motor

The e-bike motor is usually attached either to the back wheel’s cassette, encased in a hub, or to the chain ring where the pedal cranks are attached. The motor converts stored energy from the battery to kinetic energy and helps you turn the pedals via the crank rings. 

With an e-bike’s pedal assistance, you do not exert as much energy per cycle as with a standard bicycle. This difference can be felt most in the initial acceleration and on inclined ascents. Therefore, it makes e-bikes great for people with long commutes or tough trails. Beginners who are training their legs and lungs for harder rides also benefit enormously from e-bikes.

The Speed Sensor

One other important feature of an e-bike that you may not see is the speed sensor. Electric bikes are designed with a maximum speed to protect the user. This means that the motor will kick on, assist up to this speed, and then stop. Once you are there, you can coast at this speed and maintain it with pedal assistance, but you will not be able to achieve a higher speed unless you are going down a hill. The specific speed limit depends on the bike’s manufacturer and your state laws. But most e-bikes are limited to somewhere between twenty and thirty miles per hour.

The Benefits of an Electric Bike

Now that you know how e-bikes work by providing pedal assistance, you can better gauge if an electric bike is a good fit for your cycling interests. Even though it is counterintuitive, e-bikes can actually give you a better workout because you can ride more miles, climb steeper hills, and get over harder obstacles.

However, electric bikes are more expensive and heavier than traditional bikes, but you may find the pros outweigh the cons. There are many more factors to consider, which we already dive into in a different article. Be sure to check it out if you are asking yourself, are e-bikes worth it?

The Best Uses of an Electric Bike

Another essential consideration for cycling with an e-bike is whether you might want to ride without assistance. While it is possible to use an electric bike like a traditional bike (with the motor assistance turned off), it is not the most feasible option. Since e-bikes are bulkier and heavier due to the extra features, your ride will suffer if you try to use an e-bike without the pedal assist.

So when should you use an e-bike? There are tons of great reasons that people are turning to electric bicycles for daily use. One is commuting to work, where e-bikes give riders the opportunity to traverse longer distances in less time. A second is mountain biking. What’s more, biking in Colorado Springs is an especially good cause for trying out an electric bike.

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Biking in Colorado Springs

There are tons of beautiful and scenic trails in and near Colorado Springs. While many are accessible for hikers, longer trails are also available to cater to Colorado’s active mountain biking community. If you have ever wanted to try mountain biking, an electric bike is a great first step. 

Electric bikes provide pedal assistance so first-timers can enjoy longer trails without running out of energy. They also offer more stability since they are heavier and have a lower center of gravity than standard mountain bikes. This combination makes e-bikes ideal for beginner mountain bikers looking to explore Colorado Springs.

If this sounds like something you want to try, there are two ways you can hit the trails and enjoy a great day trip. First, e-bike rentals give you the space to experience an electric bike for yourself. You can explore nearby trails at your own pace and difficulty. Or you can ride through town and see if commuting with an e-bike is a good fit for you.

The second way to get on an electric bike is with guided e-bike tours. Join a professional guide on a tour around the Garden of the Gods Park, a stunning National Natural Landmark everyone should see. This gorgeous park has views of Pikes Peak, and the five-mile ride is perfectly suited for beginner cyclists. If you are looking to try out an electric bike, these are great opportunities to enjoy the beauty that Colorado Springs offers and better understand how e-bikes work.

Are E-Bikes Worth It?

Electric mountain bikes are taking the trail riding world by storm. These popular bikes provide incredible power and speed and allow longer rides, harder workouts, and greener commutes.

However, the high cost compared to analog bikes has many riders wondering if electric mountain bikes are really worth it.

Here are the pros and cons of electric bikes so you can decide for yourself.

Advantages of e-bikes

For Speed Lovers

The most obvious advantage of an electric mountain bike is the power that doesn’t come from your legs. Unlike analog mountain bikes, e-bikes boost your riding to give you more speed. This can reduce the time it takes to get uphill and increase your speed on the trail. If you are an adrenaline junkie or love trying tricks, this extra speed can be a game-changer. 

Explore New Trails

The other benefit of more speed is that you can go further. With less work for more range, you can enjoy a longer ride to places you couldn’t previously visit. The added power will also help you through tough sections that used to require a dismount. If you want to unlock more trails and explore new territory, an e-bike is a great way to get there.

A Sturdy Ride

The power output of the electric mountain bike is also helpful for stability and capability. With added weight from batteries and more, e-bikes are significantly heavier than standard mountain bikes. This weight is located near the bottom of the bike’s frame, creating a low center of gravity that you’ll love. With added stability, you can enjoy easier and more predictable handling from your bike. This can bring a sense of safety for newer riders, which will give you more confidence to explore and enjoy the ride.

In addition to feeling more comfortable on the bike, you can also expect to be more capable on the trail. There are certain obstacles and maneuvers that not even the best mountain bikers can manage. With an electric mountain bike, though, you can have more power to clear some of those tough technical problems. It still might be hard, but at least an e-bike can keep you on the pedals. On the other hand, the heavier the bike, the tougher sharp turns will be. However, this isn’t necessarily a downside because there are lightweight e-bikes you should check out if you want to stay flexible on the trail.

An Endurance Workout

If you are afraid that you’ll get a worse workout from an electric bike, remember that you’ll go further. Yes, if you were to do the same route and use an e-bike, you would be working out less. But that’s not a fair comparison. With an e-bike, you’ll bike further, climb higher, and go faster. The result is that you will need less strength and more endurance. This provides a different workout, one that you can mix into your current routine. Plus, if you still want that leg burn, you can always minimize the power assist from the e-bike. 

A Better Commute

One of the biggest advantages of e-bikes is how versatile they are. The bike’s assistance can make a ten-mile ride feel like five. This means that the bike commute to work you could never manage is suddenly within reach. If you’ve been looking to ditch your car for errands and local trips, an electric bike is a perfect way to do so.

Not only are they easier to park, but e-bikes take less than a dollar a day to charge. That’s substantially cheaper than gas and better for the planet, too. When you consider the cost of an e-bike, you have to factor in this amazing versatility. It is more expensive than an analog bike but so much cheaper than a car. Using an e-bike for your commute will keep you active and help save the planet.

Potential downsides of e-bikes

You may find that you enjoy the difficulty of mountain biking and the effort required to get uphill. E-bikes are a great way to minimize the uphill effort and get you to the fun parts faster. But if you love that struggle, you may not find electric mountain bikes worth it. 

There is an additional cost to going electric, both because e-bikes are more expensive upfront and because their maintenance is more expensive than analog mountain bikes. More parts mean more opportunity for something to break or get damaged on the trail. You also need to charge the bike, but these costs are very low.

If you think you might use your e-bike for commuting or enjoying longer rides, these costs are definitely worth it. The initial expense will be mitigated by what you will save on gas money, and you will get extra hours of entertainment compared to riding your old mountain bike.

The Best Ways to Test Ride

If you’re not sure if an electric mountain bike is right for you, the best thing to do is try one out in real life. Rentals and tours are great ways to accomplish this. With a day rental, you can explore on your own, visit trails you know and love, and have the opportunity to try an e-bike before you buy one.

For those of you who need a little more guidance, a tour is the perfect way to discover if an electric mountain bike is right for you. An e-bike tour allows you to learn from professionals, get advice on your technique, and build confidence in your riding ability. You’ll understand how e-bikes differ from standard mountain bikes and how to best take advantage of their power. Look no further than Colorado Springs e-bike tours for your chance to check out an e-bike while enjoying the beauty of The Springs!

So, Is It Worth It?

Whether an e-bike is worth the cost depends on your values. If you particularly enjoy the challenge of biking uphill, an e-bike might not appeal to you. For the rest of us, electric mountain bikes are exciting additions to the world of trail riding. E-bikes offer riders more speed, more power, and more adventure. Plus, people looking for an eco-friendly daily commute can certainly enjoy the investment of an e-bike. Check one out for yourself on a tour and experience the thrill of electric mountain biking!