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Best Type of Electric Bike Motor

Whether you’re starting out or planning to take e-biking more seriously, it’s important to understand the main principles, dynamics, and limitations of your next e-bike.

What do you need to know about electric bike motors? Make sure you can calculate the peak power output of the motor, which is Voltage * Peak Amps = Watts. Also, make sure you stay on top of motor industry trends. And take care of your e-bike’s motor regularly to help it run longer.

Without a doubt, one of the key elements of an e-bike is the motor. There is no e-bike without a motor, right? So, let’s take a closer look at electric bike motors and learn what people need to know about motors. I won’t bother you with a lot of technical details, that’s not the goal. My goal is to make things easier for readers to do with event technology.

Motor Power: What’s the Difference?
Manufacturers still don’t use the same standard to name and categorize the motors of the e-bikes they make. This may give you misleading facts and may even end up with a sub-optimal purchase.

A watt is a universal measure of any instantaneous power output or input to a machine. In this case, the engines are classified by watts according to their power. However, when buying a new e-bike, wattage doesn’t matter.

You’ve probably seen someone selling a “250w e-bike” or “500w mountain e-bike” many times, but that doesn’t mean much when we want to know the peak power of an e-bike. There is an easy way to determine how powerful your next electric bike is, just follow this formula:

Voltage * Amps Peak = Watts
Multiply the battery voltage by the maximum current the bike can handle. Electric bike controllers specify a maximum current, but are usually limited to 15-35 amps. For example, if your e-bike has a 24V battery and a 25 amp peak controller bank, it will produce 600 W.

How do I choose the motor I need?
Electric bicycles are fast becoming one of the preferred means of transportation for people all over the world. And the trend is far from saturated. If you’re not sure about the power of your future e-bikes, the following guides may help:

You may want to have the newest and most powerful electric bike on the market, but laws in your area may prevent you from buying one. Different jurisdictions have different laws regarding the export of electric bikes. In the US, the limit is 750 watts, while in the EU and some Asian countries this output is limited to 250 watts.

First, determine what the restrictions are in your country and make an informed purchase. You may even need a permit to ride an e-bike in the area you live or plan to travel to. Make sure you fully understand the rules before making a decision.

Power output
How do manufacturing companies measure the power of electric bikes? Take a look at the simple formula above to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges. Other factors that affect power output include:

Current enters the motor;
Mechanical power output at the shaft;
Power input, less efficiency loss at the motor stage.
peak power
You can also calculate peak power using the above formula. Nothing complicated and easy to use. This is the maximum power an e-bike can produce at maximum effort for a short period of time before overheating.

Battery capacity
How much power can the battery support? There are many factors you need to keep in mind in order to make the right decision. You need to balance cost, weight and energy storage to choose the right motor power, size, etc. You might want to learn more facts about electric bike batteries.

A quick comparison of motor power
250 watt motor. Most riders are already comfortable and satisfied with a 250W electric bike. Compared to traditional bikes, these e-bikes do take some of the pedaling work off the table. Meanwhile, with power still limited, 250W e-bikes will have their riders doing quite a bit of pedaling work. If you want easy pedaling, a 250W e-bike isn’t the best choice.

350-500 watt motor. These motors are mid-range. Most 350-watt and 500-watt motors are designed to fully assist any rider. It is perfect for those looking for a throttle control system to reduce rider effort. Or for pedal-assist e-bikes, which take most of the rider’s riding effort off.

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750 watt motor. 750 watts is your sweet spot for power and efficiency. However, such e-bikes tend to be more expensive due to their larger batteries and extra weight. 750W electric bikes are also not yet legally accepted in all countries. If you’re looking for this more powerful option, make sure you confirm that these e-bikes are accepted in the area where you live.

Remember, e-bikes are not mopeds or scooters, nor are they designed to climb steep hills alone. All electric bikes require the rider to add some muscle strength.

How to understand the power output of an electric bike?
Trying to understand how an e-bike’s motor works can be difficult. That’s why we’re so focused on explaining the details so you can program the correct power output for your bike.

One of the most important aspects of whether you’re buying an e-bike or an e-bike conversion kit is comparing its sustained power to its peak power (which is given by the equation above).

There are many electric bike motor recommendations. Here is an example. Experts recommend that people over 250 pounds (115 kilograms) use at least a 1,000-watt motor. That doesn’t mean one needs an e-bike with 1,000 watts of continuous power, but 1,000 watts of peak power to generate enough power to help the rider get uphill with his own extra pedaling effort.

Let’s take an electric bike conversion kit as an example. The kit might be listed as a 500-watt kit, but if you dig into the details, you’ll find that it comes with a 48V battery and a 20-amp peak controller.

Using the formula above, you will see that the kit is capable of producing up to 960 watts. So while a 500-watt power list might not seem like enough, this e-bike conversion kit is capable of producing 1,000 watts. That’s exactly what it takes to get a 250-pound rider uphill.

What is motor torque?
You probably already think of torque as a measure of any type of motor, whether electric or internal combustion. Simply put, torque is a measure of the energy required to rotate a shaft. The greater the torque of the motor, the greater the power of the rotating shaft. This, in turn, equals more power and faster speed.

Torque, in a nutshell, means the ability to spin either the rear or front wheels. In a conventional bike, this translates into the ability to rotate the pedals and crank arms. Higher torque means the wheels will spin more easily and generate more acceleration, especially when starting from a standstill. Higher torque also means it’s easier to start from a stop.

What type of motor is best?
The main mode of operation of an electric bike is universal. Electric bicycles have electric motors and run on electricity. Still, there are different types of electric motors for e-bikes. Let’s take a closer look.

Crankshaft drive motor
Decades ago, the crank drive motor was the first advanced electric bike motor. They were created in Japan by Panasonic and Yamaha in the early 90s. The most notable feature is that they are located on the crank. These motors drive additional power (over the rider’s legs) through a rear gear system.

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Since crank drive motors have been around for a long time, these motors have become very efficient. E-bikes with crank drive motor systems weigh between 30-50 lbs (13kg to 22kg) and usually have enough power to help the rider go uphill without breaking a sweat.

In-wheel motor
In-wheel motors are well known in the e-bike industry. These motors can be considered cheaper alternatives to crank drive motors. As the name suggests, they are mounted on the hub. In-wheel motors usually have only one gear. There are models that are very powerful, though, but may not have enough power for hilly terrain.

Currently, in-wheel motors are the most common motors on the market. They are usually the most reliable.

Brushed and brushless motors
A brushed motor can be considered a stronger, stronger and more reliable version of a brushless motor, although currently the industry is moving to the default brushless motor. This is because brushless motors are generally quieter, smaller and lighter. They usually don’t even need maintenance.

Brushed motors are also cheaper and generally better for mountain climbing. They need service every 8,000 miles (13,000 km) and they are always as good as new.

Sensorless or Permanent Magnet BLDC Motors
Sensorless or permanent magnet BLDC motors are a new technology that turns brushless motors into more reliable and better motors. These motors do not need sensors because magnetic field detection is used to detect the position of the armature. This reduces the amount of electronics inside the system, which improves reliability as fewer components can fail.

Friction drive motor
These are the motors that are less used in the e-bike industry today, although friction-driven motors still have a place. A friction drive motor operates by spinning rollers that press against a bicycle tire. The power produced by these motors is limited by the friction drive, since acceleration depends on the rollers maintaining firm contact with a small part of the tire.
Tech hobbyists who like to assemble their own motors usually buy a friction drive motor. Although friction drive motors are inexpensive, such motors typically don’t last more than a few hundred miles.

Summarize a few words
Electric bicycle motor technology is developing rapidly. Some motor types, such as crank drive or hub motors, have been around for a long time. Other models are new and are still pending mass production and long-term use in different weather and terrain conditions.

If you have mastered the basic formula for calculating peak power output (voltage * peak amps = watts), you already know most of this and can do it when choosing the right e-bike for your needs, riding habits, and scenery Choose wisely where you live.

For everyday use, make sure you stay industry mainstream when making your choice. Make sure you plan to service your motor regularly to help it serve you longer.

If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.