The knowledge of Electric Bike Specification has five main parts, that is Frame, Motor, Battery, Groupset, and Wheelset that can make a difference in quality.
Every brand of electric bike has its own design specification. Sometimes it is not easy for buyers to choose the right specification that can match their needs.
Most buyers will read the customer review of the electric bike that is his preference to buy. But the review rating is poor making him hesitate to proceed with buying because of a lack of knowledge of the bike’s specification to make his own decision.
The electric bikes market is actually a standardized market to sell electric bikes to match all sorts of buyer’s needs. it will tell you which electric bike is the best choice for which buyer to use. In order to buy the right specification of the electric bike it is better you communicate with the retailer about your needs before purchase an electric bike.
Related post: how-to-buy-electric-bike-based-on-design
A.1 General Knowledge of Electric Bike Frame
The frame is the central part of the Electric Bicycle required designed correctly by the fabricator. You cannot ask to replace the structure. You can only choose the bike model with your preferable structure. The frame made to hold all the parts together to becomes a bike.
Nowadays, most bike frames made of aluminum alloy, which is a common material. Hummingbird Electric is the lightest electric bike at 10.3 Kg. After the lightest aerodynamic carbon frame is being used, some Ribble bikes can go down to 8.5 Kg. Other frame materials are steel, titanium, or Superlite alloy developed by the brand fabricator.
The frame has many designed models, making the electric bikes more stylish in look and adorable.
A.2 Type of Electric Bike Frame in the market:
Model #1 – Diamond Frame Bike.
The most common frame design for an upright bicycle is based on the safety bicycle and consists of two triangles: the main triangle and a paired rear triangle. This is known as the diamond frame. In the diamond frame, the main “triangle” is not actually a triangle because it consists of four tubes: the head tube, top tube, down tube, and seat tube. The rear triangle consists of the seat tube joined by paired chain stays and seat stays. The diamond frame is the lightest, strongest, and cheapest frame among other frames.
Model #2 – Cantilever Frame Bike
Cantilever frames are popular on the cruiser bicycle, the lowrider bicycle, and the wheelie bike. The cantilever design helps to strengthen the frame and the outlook as stylish.
Model #3 – Step-through Frame Bike
A step-through frame is a type of bicycle frame, often used for utility bicycles, with a low or absent top tube or cross-bar. Plus point for the step-through frame is the extra clearance in the frame made it possible to maintain modesty while pedaling in a skirt. It easier for people to step over the lower bar.
Model #4 – Monocoque Frame Bike
A monocoque frame consists only of a hollow shell with no internal structure.
Monocoque is a term commonly used to describe modern carbon fiber bicycle frames. Most bikes feature a monocoque front triangle, with the seat stays and chainstays produced separately and later bonded together. Are more correctly termed as a semi-monocoque, or modular monocoque.
The benefits of the monocoque chassis construction are better to ride dynamics. The floor pan can be placed much lower on a monocoque construction, giving the vehicle a lower center of gravity – better balancing and cornering.
Model #5 – Cross or girder frame bike
A cross frame consists mainly of two tubes that form a cross: a seat tube from the bottom bracket to the saddle, and a backbone from the head tube to the rear hub. A cross frame is quite similar to the diamond frame with two triangles. The cross frame structure is strong and rigid, it is the most commonly used frame in the market.
A.3 Guide to choosing a Frame matching your needs:
- The general requirement of a frame is light and rigid, can take falling impact not an accident. The frame will not be broken subject to high impact to ensure the rider has lower risk during accidents.
- The steel frame is strong, cheap, and safe to use but consumed energy due to weight.
- The aluminum-alloy frame is light, rigid, cheap, and energy-saving – the most choice for buyers.
- The carbon frame is the lightest, rigid, energy-saving, riding comfort and fun, but expensive. If you are affordable pay, it is worth buying to get high satisfaction for riding.
B.1 General knowledge of Electric Bike Motor
The two most common types of hub motors used in electric bicycles are brushed and brushless. There are direct-drive and geared motor units. The motor is built into the wheel hub itself, while the stator is fixed solidly to the axle, and the magnets are attached to and rotating with the wheel. The most commonly used in the market is the rear hub motor which is a brushless DC motor. The below image showing how the rear hub is fixing up with its control system.
The mid-drive system is increasing in popularity. The mid-drive motor is a geared motor unit. The propulsion is provided at the pedals rather than at the wheel, being eventually applied to the wheel via the bicycle’s standard drive train. The mid-drive motor design is more sophisticated than the hub motor thus it costs a much higher price to pay.
Pros and Cons of Wheel Motor:
Pros of Wheel Motor:
- The most commonly used motor type for budgeted electric bikes.
- Availability in the market.
- Instantaneous acceleration helps the beginner get balancing easily.
- Ability to drive without the help of a motor when the battery is flat.
Cons of Wheel Motor:
- A higher wheel load at the rear caused more wear to parts.
- Lower sensitivity for motor power dosage – depending on the type of the sensor used.
- High level of engine noise to move the rear wheel especially uphill riding.
- Inefficient energy management at higher loads caused battery drain out faster.
Pros and Cons of Mid-drive Motor:
Pros of Mid-drive Motor:
- Higher performance in uphill and energy saving.
- Simple service – can dismantle the whole piece for repair.
- Quiet and smooth motor operation – less heat generated in the motor.
- Optimum balance and weight distribution – better riding and cornering.
- By choosing the right gear in the ride, you can control both the speed of the bike and the motor, so you can achieve the optimum speed at lower energy use.
Cons of the Mid-drive motor:
- Can cause more wear on the chain and cogs – frequently checking on the parts wear is required for a smooth ride.
- Higher sensitivity to adjustment and gearshift accuracy – the rider has to learn gear choice in the riding experience.
- When riding without battery assist, gear motor resistance is possible – harder for the rider to ride back when the battery is flat.
B.2 Type of Electric Bike Motor in the market:
Model #1 – Bafang Rear Hub Motor
The motor has the best in class pedal assist, offers a lot of power and torque, is really versatile, and can be installed relatively easily. The only con point is its controller reliability. Combine use with the Shimano controller can solve this weak issue. The most choice for an electric bike beginner.
Model #2 – Bosch Mid-drive motor
The mid-drive motor allows the rider to power the rear wheel via the same chain and gear set as the pedals, which means that a low gear can be selected for powering up steep hills or accelerating from a stop with massive torque. A mid-drive motor offers a more natural, smooth, and powerful cycling experience. The most choice for a skilled rider.
B.3 Guide to choosing a motor matching your needs:
- Hub motor is the right choice for city commuting or neighborhood visiting. If you are the first time buying electric bikes, the hub motor will serve your need well.
- If you frequently need climbing a steep slope or go for adventure riding in the wood, a mid-drive motor is a better choice than a hub motor.
- Viewing from the motor specification:
- A high voltage battery can store more electrical energy.
- A high voltage motor consumed more electrical energy.
- A high power motor gives a higher speed to an electric bike.
- A high torque motor can climb a slope with a higher speed.
- The 250W motor used by electric bike can climb slope but with a lower speed depending on the torque of the motor.
C.1 General knowledge of electric bike Battery:
Battery systems in use include sealed lead-acid (SLA), nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), or lithium-ion polymer (Li-ion).
The most commonly used battery is a lithium-ion polymer having a high recharging cycle of 800 to 1000. The latest model is the Lithium Iron Phosphate models. NiCad recharging period about 500. And the sealed lead-acid, recharging cycle is as low as 300 only.
Generally, it costs roughly 8 cents to charge an electric bike battery. And most cells can get a travel range of 20 and 40 miles per charge, that’s a total of 250 to 500 miles on just $1 worth of electricity.
Read more details: Electric bike’s batteries – everything you need to know.
A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery. In the batteries, lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode during discharge, and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as the material at the positive electrode and typically graphite at the negative electrode. The cells in E-bike battery packs should be connected in serial-parallel, cell balance is one of the most important factors determining the product quality.
The batteries will influence the speed and duration of the e-bike.
C.2 Type of Electric Bike Battery in the market:
Model #1 – Samsung SDI battery 500 Wh
Samsung SDI provides high capacity 3.5Ah (35E) cells for E-bikes. High capacity cells such as 3.5 Ah improve the driving distance of the E-bike and provide convenience to the customers. Samsung SDI’s Li-ion battery cells are preferred by high-end E-bike makers and driving unit companies that lead the E-bike market.
Model #2 – X-go Electric Bike Battery
Ebike battery is 36V/48V 10.5AH, suitable for 500W motors. Maximum constant discharge current: 25A. Comes with charger: 42v 2A. The charging time is about 3~5 hours; moreover, the charge cycle exceeds 1000 times, life expectancy of up to 5 years.
Model #3 – Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh Internal Battery
- Name of Battery – SL1-320.
- The capacity is 320 Wh.
- The weight of the Battery is 1.8 kg only.
- It claimed to have 130 km of travel range for one charge.
- A battery with 320Wh can provide 80 miles travel range.
- Save weight for every component of the Battery.
B.3 Guide to choosing a battery matching your needs:
- A high capacity battery supports a higher travel range.
- Most budget electric bikes have a travel range of 20 miles to 30 miles only.
- The X-go type of battery is the most use in the electric bike market.
- For daily commuting in the city, the X-go type of external battery is a perfect choice.
- Most branded electric bikes use an internal battery developed by own self to fit into the bike frame for a sleek look. The battery cell use for the battery pack is either a Samsung SDI cell or a Bosch power cell.
D.1 General Knowledge of Bike’s Wheel and Tires
The wheel diameter have 16″, 20″, 22″, 26″ or even 27″ or 29″ to fit different height of people. The normal tire width is 1.75″. The higher wheel size of 29″ electric bikes used for cross-country riding.
For a comfort drive of an electric bike, both legs of the rider must be able to touch the ground with ease. A tall man should choose a huge size electric bike for a comfortable drive.
Folding electric bikes use a smaller wheel size of 16″ or 20″ for easy carrying. But folding electric bikes always come with an extended high seat post for tall people.
The wheel and tire quality plays a critical role in the use and enjoyment of electric bikes. Tires with puncture protection will keep you safe and require less frequent maintenance, while tires with reflective sidewall graphics will keep you more visible when riding at higher speeds and in traffic.
In earlier times, flat tires use for riding at the beach. But nowadays many mountain bikes use flat tire and smaller wheel sizes to improve balancing. Some city bikes also designed with plus-sized tires for improved comfort and balance during riding.
Bike wheels are important to your cycling experience. A great wheelset can transform the performance of your bike and choosing whether to go with clinchers, tubeless, or carbon wheels is a major decision.
About Wheel Rims:
The wheel rims play a big part in determining your wheel durability, the overall rotating weight of the wheel, and how the bike reacts under braking. Generally rims come in shallow section (less than 25mm in depth), midsection (40mm in depth or less), and deep section (anything deeper than 40mm)
D.1 Type of Bike’s Wheelset in the market
Model #1 – Shadow Section Wheel
The shadow section wheel is common on entry-level wheels as they are well priced and have a healthy strength to weight ratio, giving the rider a comfortable riding experience.
The shallow section wheels are a great all-round wheel and suitable for all types of riding. There are many different models and types, which can range from entry-level to top-of-the-range, lightweight, carbon fiber climbing models.
The Shimano RS 170s Clincher Wheelset is entry-level disc brake ownership but not the lightest set of wheels in the market, they are strong and well made, so should be ideal for the odd excursion onto gravel tracks and bridleways.
Model #2 – Mid-Section Wheelset
A midsection wheel can reap the benefits of a lightweight rim, combined with the aerodynamic gains of a deeper section. Some riders highly recommend them for all-round use, as they’re light enough for climbing and fast enough for the flat roads.
The new Reynolds AR 41 DB Wheelset provides very good aero performance for every day riding or racing and hilly sportives, with easy tubeless installation, and all at a competitive price that stands up well in a saturated carbon wheel market.
Model #3 – Deep Section Wheelset
Deep section wheels get the biggest aerodynamic gains for the road riding speed. The deep section wheel cut through the wind with ease and make a fast-moving experience for the riders. The deep section wheel is suited for flat terrain since this is where aerodynamics play a greater role. With the technological advancements in manufacturing, they can be light enough even for riding in the mountains.
The Fast Forward F9R wheelset is a very deep, superfast, efficient offering designed to challenge the mantle of the Zipp 808 as the benchmark for deep aero wheelsets.
E. General knowledge of Electric Bike Groupset
The groupset includes the following:
- 2 gear levers or shifters
- 2 brake levers
- 2 integrated brake levers/shifters
- 2 brakes, front, and rear
- 2 derailleurs, front, and rear
- 1 bottom bracket
- 1 crankset
- 1 chain
- 1 freewheel, or cassette
The major groupset manufacturers are Campagnolo for road bicycles and Shimano and SRAM for both road and mountain bikes. Dura-Ace, Super Record, and Red are the top-of-the-line road racing groupsets for Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM respectively while Claris, Veloce, and Apex are their entry-level road racing groupsets, respectively.
For saving initial investment to buy an electric bike, the groupset is not the MUST item for daily commuting in the city. Many budgeted electric bikes can be a single speed to bring down the price.
With a gear shifter, the rider can adjust lower gear for uphill and higher gear for the flat road, it can help to save the battery energy. With this purpose of use, an entry-level groupset already can satisfy the need of the riders.
With the use of outstanding groupset and lighter in weight for the whole bikes can save the battery size and increase in longer travel range. The choice of the groupset is depending on the individual liking, every dollar you spend on the electric bike, you will get back the value of riding satisfaction.
If you are interested to know more details about groupset from Shimano, you can visit the related post here.
Electric bikes designed to suit all kinds of buyer’s needs and liking. The new models keep evolving out to satisfy different buyer’s needs, and the combination of main parts becomes complicated.
In this article, I can only extract some of the details to ensure readers know some knowledge about electric bikes specification to choose the electric bike they want to buy. Knowledge of electric bike specification is too wide to mention everything here. I hope this article can give you some idea when you are deciding to buy an electric bike.
Here is a Youtube video giving you some additional practical knowledge about the electric bike: