Although electric bicycles are already a popular means of transportation, there are still many newbies who are unaware of some of the construction and components of this electric vehicle. This article will take you deeper into some important terminology about electric bikes.
Pedal assist is the main feature of electric bikes. As you ride, the electric motor engages to amplify your pedaling power, which makes pedaling easier, but e-bikes have varying degrees of pedal assist. You can choose a high level of assistance to make your ride effortless. Alternatively, you can choose a lower pedal assist level to make your ride more like a workout, save battery and expand your range.
If you're familiar with cycling, when you first ride a pedal-assist bike, you'll find it a natural transition. The main difference is that when the motor starts seamlessly, it accelerates faster. You'll also experience a lot more torque than normal.
In most cases, gear is used to describe the speed level you are driving at. This means that if an e-bike has 24 gears, it also has 24 speeds. Riders can also use the handlebar to operate the shifting gears function. This helps you to move from one gear level to another. The mechanical gears respond to the right shifter, while the assistance level usually responds to the left shifter. Understand that each appropriate gear and assist level varies with your riding intensity.
The derailleur is a gear system installed on the bike's exterior. The primary function of derailleurs is to hold the chains tightly to the sprockets. Hence, they are mainly in chains, making them more suitable for hills. As a result, this term is common among hill riders. You can also achieve a higher and lower gear by adjusting the tension of the cable connected to the derailleurs. For instance, you need to increase your gears to attain a higher speed.
Hub is a common term that describes a motor type. You may also come across the mid-drive terminology, representing a different kind of motor. The hub motor is usually located at the rear or front wheel of the rider's e-bike. The type of hub motor in the Honbike U4 is located in the rear region. It does not consume much battery power compared to other regular e-bike hubs. This is a plus for every EU rider because it meets the legal road limits of 36 V (Voltage) and 250 W (Watt).
A crank is a crankset in the US and called a chain set in the United Kingdom. They both have the same principle and meaning. The function of a crank is to convert the cyclist's movement into a rotational motion. This effect is later felt at the rear wheel after accelerating the e-bike's belt or chain. A crank connects to the e-bike's sprocket, frame, and pedal. The pedal is where the assist function of an e-bike takes place. However, some riders may receive the required power from the rear hub, instead of the crank, especially for e-bikes that lack a pedal.
The sprocket is a metal disk that helps hold the chains together. Sprockets are also referred to as chain wheels or sprocket wheels. Although they have similar looks to the gear, the sprocket performs a different function. They also have teeth-like metals between the drive system.
It is also safe to call a drivetrain the powerhouse since every component that provides the needed electrical assistance is there. More so, Honbike uses the Gates Carbon Belt Drive, which is a top feature of premium e-bikes. It contains the gear, chain, and crank. It offers up to 10,000 km maintenance-free, without noise while riding. This is because the belt system replaces the chain in the drivetrain system.
A torque sensor provides smooth power from the front motor to the bike. A torque sensor is a throttle that helps the bike determine how much power to give the rider based on how hard the rider is putting in. The highest quality e-bikes often come with torque sensors, while many lower-end models do not.
In fact, when the rider's speed is below 16 km/h (just under 10 mph), the torque sensor will determine the entire riding experience. The better the torque sensor, the better the experience. This is because you will always be riding with more or less manual pedal power compared to other riders. By using a torque sensor to "sense" how hard you are working, the bike can give you a completely unique and customized level of power.
The more you pedal, the more power the torque sensor tells the motor to send you. If you relax while pedaling, the torque sensor tells the motor to reduce power slightly. In this way, the bike becomes a natural extension of your body and speed preferences when riding below 16 km/h. Riders will feel comfortable and agile on a well-tuned e-bike with a good torque sensor.
A sensor is another common term in cycling, especially the cadence sensor. The sensor alerts the pedal-assists system when it is needed to provide some power output. It also helps to record the rotational speed that happens in an e-bike at a particular time. However, the required sensor level varies with an e-bike's motor requirement. The motor can only provide assistance based on the alertness from the sensor mode.
Every new rider should remember that the brake system can determine your safety. The system consists of the caliper, rotor, lever, and cable. A lever is responsible for connecting the brake system to the handlebar, where it's usually activated. Then, the caliper signals pressure to the brake system, which halts the e-bike's movement. However, every rider must initiate the friction a few seconds before the intended stopping point. You will also stop quicker if you apply more force to the brake pads. Interestingly, the Honbike models have durable designs for better brake interaction. They are also designed to allow riders full control of the brake by placing their full fingers for a perfect push.
A frame is a term that describes a rider's e-bike design and style. It also entails the manufacturing materials, which determine the overall structure of the e-bike. Make sure whatever frame you use is rigid enough to support other main components like the wheels and handles. An e-bike frame could be made with Aluminum, Steel, Titanium, or Carbon Fiber. However, the aluminum material is used by Honbike due to its lightweight, durability, and affordability. Research has also revealed that about 80% of electric bikes in the market are made with aluminum. However, Honbike uses the 7000 series aluminum, which is stronger and resists corrosion than the regular 6000 series aluminum.
An e-bike kit is often referred to as a conversion package. The main benefit of this is the opportunity to customize your e-bike to your preferred version. If you already own a bicycle, you can buy e-bike kits with necessary components that will help you convert it to an e-bike. The main features in a conversion kit are usually motor, battery, and electric control. Some cyclists may also refer to kits as accessories packs, including front light, wireless speedometer, a helmet, bike bag, a lock, and many others.
The terminologies described in this article are common among several cyclists, especially in a group tour. Each term plays a role in determining the success of your journey, and any slight fault could affect its overall performance. Understanding your terms enables you to start a sprint or participate in the final attack successfully. Understanding your essential ride parts is also expedient to appropriately respond to your cycling motion.