Electric bicycles appears to be the most eco-friendly and natural answer to several environmental issues especially with the evolution of smaller, high-potential batteries, as the weight of the battery has been a colossal block. Motors have their own issues. We should understand that lightweight, efficient motors are required to offer power to these machines making them actually practical. Let’s understand the types of motors that are mostly used in electric bicycles.
Types of Motor
Of late, majority of electric bikes use ‘brushless DC motors’ configured into the back or front wheel. Some of the inexpensive setups like eZIP line bikes facilitate highly mounted, chain-based motors. Nonetheless, it provides a good torque but these are quite noisy and less efficient than DC motors that are a part of most electric bikes. Major types of motor include:
Geared Hub Motor
Majority of pre-built eBikes are based on brushless geared hub motors having internal gears that supplies power to the wheels generating from the motor. Due to inbuilt gearing, it offers great torque when in best speed. The better torque leads to improved pick up power and is best at hilly areas. In addition, less power is needed to keep the motor working. They are comparatively lightweight and small. It can span between 200w-500w and can reach 20mph. Some may lead to 1000w, with great highest speeds and immense amount of torque. These motors are mostly expensive and often the gears slowly lose its power calling for replacement.
Gearless Hub Motor
These types of gearless direct drive hub motors are typically used in conversion kits. Such motors function by supplying AC signs to magnetic windings within the motor, making it rotate. Although, corrosion plays its role, such types of motor survive for years due to lack of gearing and separation from any moving parts. These motors can provide greater top speeds to the riders. In the absence of gear, it has less torque, requiring more energy to push the motor to top speed. These motors are bigger and heavy-weight. Majority of motor have 350w-500w that can take speed of 20-25 mph. In addition, more improved motors can also ride you up to 35+ mile per hour.
Different Motor Installation
Hub motors are installed in two different places – rear or front mounted
These motors are mostly seen on pre-built eBikes and often on bikes undergone conversions. These are configured with the front wheel as it is the simplest configuration if you’re transforming your normal bicycle as there is no chain to bother about offering open and sufficient space. As most bike conversions place batteries to the back side, installing a front hub motor can maintain the right balance of the bike making it comfortable to manage. But it brings some risk of failure of front forks due to the motor.
Back-Mounted Hub Motor
These motors are configured on the back wheel of the bike and are mostly witnessed on pre-built electric bikes as they can be easily placed at the workstation. It may be a tough task for those who are planning to use conversion kits. It is somewhat difficult to install the motor in rear part due to chain, derailleur and gearing.