E-Bikes 101: Chapter 2 - Different Types of Electric Bikes
Are you excited to hop on an e-bike and cruise with the wind? We know the feeling. But before you buy your first e-bike, you need to know what will match your lifestyle best. That's why the first step to choosing an e-bike that works for you is to familiarize yourself with the different types of e-bikes. In this chapter, we'll look at the different types and classes of e-bikes and other topics to help you down the right path. If at any point you hit a roadblock, give us a shout, and we'll get you back on track at Juiced Bikes.
What Are the Different Types of E-Bikes?
E-bikes come in different styles and bike uses, and most resemble the various types of traditional bikes and functions.
Here are a few common e-bike styles to help you get started:
- Cruiser: Cruiser e-bikes are best for recreational riders who want comfort as they cruise. They're designed mostly for flat terrains like bike paths and paved roads. Cruisers have wide tires and usually feature a suspension system to reduce shock in the front fork and the seat. The handlebars are placed higher to provide a more upright ride that's easy on the back.
- Commuter: A commuter e-bike is good for running errands, commuting to work or getting where you need to go fast, even if it's far. Commuter bikes typically have large, narrow tires built for efficiency and an upright design for comfort. They also feature comfortable seats, but the seats usually aren't as wide as cruiser seats.
- Mountain: Mountain e-bikes are built for thrill-seekers who want to venture into off-roading trails, and have fun as they ascend steep hills fast. They feature wide tires and flat handlebars to help riders tackle rugged terrain and dirt trails.
- Road: Road e-bikes are similar to cruiser bikes in that they are designed for recreational riding on paved surfaces. The difference is they have narrow tires and drop handlebars to encourage fast riding. These lightweight bikes are designed to quench a thirst for speed.
What Are the Different Classes of E-Bikes?
There are three different classes of e-bikes. Classes were created to determine how e-bikes should be used according to local e-bike laws. The classes include:
- Class 1: The Class 1 e-bike provides assistance only when you pedal, and stops assisting when you reach 20 mph — great for bike lanes, bike paths, roads or anywhere you'd take a traditional bike.
- Class 2: The Class 2 e-bike is equipped with a throttle which provides a boost without pedaling, and stops assisting at 20 mph.
- Class 3: The Class 3 e-bike is equipped with a speedometer, and only assists until the bike reaches 28 mph — an excellent choice for commuters. The most popular bikes fit into Class 1 or Class 3 because riders still want to pedal.
Where Is the Motor on an E-Bike?
Generally, there are three types of motors used to power an e-bike, and they can be placed in the wheel hub or mounted to the bike. Here's what you can expect to find when it comes to e-bike motor placement:
- Hub motors: Hub motors are located inside the hub of the front or rear wheel of the bike.
- Mid-drive motors: Mid-drive motors are located in the center of the bike's frame between the bike's cranks.
- Friction motors: Friction motors mount directly to the seat post. It's unlikely you'll find a friction motor on a new e-bike because they usually aren't as efficient as mid-drive or hub motors, and are more often available in kits to transform a traditional bike into an e-bike.
Where Is the Battery on an E-Bike?
Battery placement depends on different factors, but mainly the shape of the bike's frame. Urban e-bikes that are designed for navigating city streets often have the battery mounted on the cargo rack, while mountain bikes commonly have the battery on the down tube. A battery mounted on the down tube provides a sleek look and a more balanced ride, especially with a rear hub motor.
What Are Electric Bikes for Women?
Women can choose an e-bike made specifically for women, or they might pick a unisex e-bike. A woman's bike is designed to be a better fit for the female build. This includes a shorter top tube because women typically have shorter torsos and arms than men, and this allows them to reach the handlebars comfortably. Other features of a bike designed for the comfort of female riders include:
- Narrower handlebars: On average, women have narrower shoulders than men, so women's bikes are designed to suit this difference.
- Smaller grips: Women's bikes typically feature smaller grips to fit smaller hands.
- Wider seats: Bike saddles for women are usually wider and shorter for greater comfort, and to fit their bone structure. Performance riders might prefer narrower saddles to allow for freer pedaling and increased speed.
Our Scrambler e-bike line makes it easy for men or women to find their comfort on a bike.
What Is the Fastest Electric Bicycle?
Due to federal consumer product safety laws, most e-bikes stop providing pedal assist at 28 mph, and throttle-only speeds typically range up to 20 mph. The federal law does not specify the maximum speed limit for combining human and motor power. So, you can go as fast as you can pedal on an e-bike, but the pedal assist will stop once you reach a certain speed. Some of our e-bikes feature Race Mode, which you can use on private property or a closed circuit race track. Race Mode removes the 28 mph speed limit and increases the power to maximum levels. The fastest you can go with one of our e-bikes on is up to 40 mph with our HyperFat bike.
What Are the Best Electric Bikes?
The best electric bike for you depends on your needs.
When searching for your perfect e-bike match, you'll want to consider factors such as:
- The type of riding you plan to do
- How far you'll be riding
- Your cycling experience level
- How fast you want to travel
- The terrain you'll be covering
- Your budget
Once you know how you plan to use your bike, you can select a quality bike that suits you. A quality e-bike is one that is built to last, features a sturdy frame, good suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and lighter wheels and tires. All of our e-bikes feature hydraulic brakes and either coil or air suspension and lockouts. At Juiced Bikes, we're proud to combine high quality with excellent value for a product our customers rave about.