Electric bikes can appear quite daunting if you're not familiar with them, let alone all the terminology that goes along with them.
If you're looking at buying an e-bike, it's important to know what everything means and how you know whether the bike you're looking at is good value for money. So we've debunked some of the most common e-bike jargon to help you in your quest.
Motor (Mid-drive and hub-drive)
The motor is what delivers the force of the bike’s assist. It takes the electric energy from the battery and converts it into kinetic energy to aid propulsion while you pedal. There are a few types of motors available, but the most common in the UK are mid-drive and hub-drive.
Mid-drive motors sit in the middle of the bike, usually around the bottom bracket area, between the crank arms. The benefit of this positioning is an improvement in the bike’s weight distribution. The handling might feel more natural, like an unassisted bike, and the motor can react more quickly through the use of torque sensors.
Hub-drive motors are situated in the hubs of the wheels. They don't look as out of place as they used to, and many brands use this system due to the lack of maintenance they require since everything is protected inside the casing. A further benefit is that they cause less stress on your chain than a mid-drive motor does, and while the hub-drive motors power the wheel, they operate independently from the gears, so if you encounter a problem mid-ride, you can still get home.
This term is used to describe the battery’s capacity and thus the amount of charge that the battery can deliver in an hour. For example, a 30Ah battery can draw 30A for one hour, or 1A for 30 hours.