An electric bike is a pedal-powered electric bike with an internal electric motor employed to help propel pedaling. Many different types of electric e-bikes are currently available around the world, but they usually fall into two general categories: bikes which directly help the rider’s pedaling power and those that add a foot-gasoline-like throttle, incorporating much like the famous pedal-propelled motorcycles that had been popular in certain areas of the country for years prior to the 1980s.
Many modern electric bikes have both of these functions, at least in part. The electric motor in an e-bike is typically small and usually located near the back or center of the bike, making it difficult to see without taking the bike on for a test drive. Nonetheless, the ability to customize the electrical system to the rider’s particular needs has allowed manufacturers to make small motors capable of producing high speeds and powerful torque. Because of this, some electric bikes are able to climb hills and accelerate faster than regular bikes, sometimes even going up slopes like other vehicles can.
Many electric bikes, especially the first models designed, also include what is called a pedal assist feature. This is where the motor helps you pedal. The pedaling effect comes from the power of the motor, so while it isn’t necessary to plug the bike into an electrical outlet, some people prefer to, as it feels like a more traditional bicycle when pedaling is involved. Many cyclists however, find this feature awkward and don’t find the convenience worth the investment. The drawback of this pedal assist feature may be that it doesn’t allow the rider full maneuverability; a rider is limited to the speed at which the bike can move, rather than the top speed at which the bicycle was designed to go.
Although they aren’t essential, there are a number of accessories that many electric bicycles offer. These include battery packs, saddles (some models only), front or rear chains, baskets (for storage), and more. While most of these accessories can be quite expensive, some are extremely useful and make riding more enjoyable. You can choose from an array of different styles, but ultimately your decision should come down to personal preference and your budget.