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How do electric bikes work?

How do electric bikes work?

Electric bikes have had a surge in popularity across the UK in the last few years but how do they actually work? Let’s find out. 

Perhaps you’ve started seeing e-bikes more and more and they’ve intrigued you like so many other people in the UK. But how do they actually differ from their traditional counterparts? We’re going to go over the basics and answer some frequently asked questions.


What is an electric bike?

Let’s get the basics covered straight away. At their core, electric bikes work in the same way as regular push bikes but they have added components to give you a boost when you need it.

They look very similar to traditional bikes, sometimes they’re indistinguishable at first sight but they are powered by a rechargeable battery. The battery powers a small motor which is engaged when you pedal. With the motor engaged, you’ll feel your bike speed up and push you along on your journey.

Just like with a regular bike, you control your speed and they will slow down when you stop pedalling or use your brakes.

Battery and motor sizes vary to give you varying levels of range and power but all e-bikes will give you more of a boost than a traditional bicycle. They will help you conquer all terrains and gradients to take away the limits imposed on you from regular push bikes.


How do they work?

So now that we’re familiar with electric bikes, let’s find out what makes them enhance your journey.

There a 3 main components which separate them from push bikes: the battery, the motor and the sensor. All electric bikes will have these components to enable their rider to promote their pedalling power.

The Battery

Batteries can be found in various positions on e-bikes. Most commonly they are integrated or fitted to the down tube. Depending on the size, make and model they will have different ranges and different charging times. The average charge time for an e bike battery is between 5-6 hours.


The Motor

The motor is a key component of an electric bike as it will provide you with torque when you pedal. The vast majority of electric bike motors are engaged when you pedal therefore making those pedal-assisted motors. Some e-bikes can also be fitted with throttles which also engage the motor to push you along.

You will find the motors in a few different placements on electric bikes. Whether they are front hub, rear hub or mid-drive motors they all provide torque but each have their reasons for their respective placement.


The Sensor

Vital to your electric bike is the sensor. This is what tells your motor that you have begun pedalling so that it can provide assistance!

There are 2 types of sensors used on different electric bikes; a speed sensor and a torque sensor. A speed sensor will immediately engage the motor when you start pedalling. A torque sensor is a little more intelligent as it will sense the speed you are travelling to provide a responsive level of assistance.


What are the benefits of electric bikes?

As you might be able to tell, we are big fans of electric bikes at Pedal & Chain and we want people to realise the benefits that come with e-bikes. Here’s a list of some of the main reasons why they’re loved.

Easier – e-bikes cover the less fun parts of normal biking such as headwinds and steep hills. E-bikes have pedal assist, which allows you to switch up and down the level of help the bike gives you. This also reduces the stress and impact on your knees and legs.

Travel for longer – e-bikes allow you to cover much more distance, faster and with less effort, allowing you to be out for longer and explore more.

An easy & stress-free commute – say goodbye to packed trains, delays and traffic. E-bikes are a flexible form of travel, saving you time and money.

Improve fitness – e-bikes are a great form of exercise and they encourage people to spend more time outdoors.


Where do I get one?

We have a range of electric bikes to suit a range of riders. Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the countryside or a casual cyclist, we’ll have an e-bike to enhance your lifestyle.

Check out our range of electric bikes HERE. We will deliver to your door with free delivery and at least 6 month’s warranty for peace of mind.

You can shop for electric bikes by price:

Under £1000

£1000 - £1500

£1500 - £2000

Over £2000


Or shop by type:





If you have any questions or need some help finding your perfect Electric Bike, please get in touch!

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