Best electric bike buying guide for beginners – what to look for

Best electric bike buying guide for beginners - what to look for

When choosing an e-bike, what aspects of performance do we need to focus on?

With the explosion of e-bikes, various e-bike models from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars have appeared in the bicycle market, Chinese consumers have begun to accept e-bike models gradually.

Various large-scale races have also increased the number of e-bike category races, but many people have more or less misunderstandings about e-bikes and motor systems.

To acquire the best electric bike buying guide, we need to consider the geometry of the bike and the power, torque, pedaling frequency and battery capacity of the drive system.

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    Bicycle geometry: Is this bike right for you

    E-bike follows the modern bicycle geometry design concept, take the hot long travel full shock mountain electric bike as an example.

    At present, the soft tail mountain bike has a tendency to evolve towards the trend of long reach and small head tube angle longer and more low lying on the geometric design.

    In order to enhance the overall agility and maneuverability, it will use the Mullet hybrid wheel diameter of 29 front and 27.5 rear, and the rear dropout length will be closer to the standard value of 435mm or so of traditional mountain bikes.

    The length of the rear fork will also be closer to the traditional mountain bike standard of 435mm, and in the design of the shock structure, more and more international first-tier manufacturers are choosing to use high-turning-point suspension and chain tensioner wheel design.

    Bicycle geometry Is this bike right for you

    So the rear suspension becomes more sensitive and more effective in dealing with impacts from the road surface and bring less pedal kickback.

    However, the addition of the three-electric system poses higher challenges for designers. In terms of frame design, the difficulty of e-bike design lies in breaking through the physical constraints of weight and space brought by batteries and motors.

    For example, the design of the motor and battery position, the reinforcement of the frame strength, the arrangement of frame holes and cables, the reservation of storage space, the possible interference of the position of the suspension system, etc.

    Excellent frame design will synthesize and give the optimal solution to such complex problems.

    In recent years, there are more and more leaders in China’s original e-bike design, who have made many innovative designs in frame geometry and shock absorber structure, and given users more autonomy and adaptability in terms of wheel diameter, 5-way height and expandability.

    SAMEBIKE XD26 Hybrid Electric Bike-2

    The increase in the e-bike system brings significant changes is the increase in the weight of the whole bike.

    How to effectively reduce weight is also an important issue that needs to be solved urgently in the middle and high-end e-bike, and lightweight has always been an important direction of change for the continuous updating and iteration of e-bike.

    Under the same conditions, lighter weight brings less power consumption, longer range, easier climbing experience, more powerful kinetic energy output, better control, and a riding experience closer to that of a native bike.

    The weight of the battery and motor is the highest of the three main parts of the motor system, and if the weight of these two parts can be effectively reduced, the effect of lightweighting will be immediately visible.

    SAMEBIKE YY26 fat tire electric mountain bike-4

    The main part of the motor has a stator rotor, reducer assembly, control module, shaft, housing and other components. The battery is composed of electric core, BMS management system, shell and other parts.

    On the premise of not sacrificing the performance of the motor and not shrinking the battery capacity, wanting to buckle down in these two parts of the weight of the difficulty is quite big.

    In addition to the lightweight structural design, the performance level of the drive system is also a concern.

    The following will be analyzed around power, torque, frequency and battery capacity and other perspectives, to provide more basis for judgment in the selection of the bike.

    Judging the performance of e-bike drive systems

    Power

    The working principle of e-bike: unlike the traditional Chinese e-bike, when the rider starts to pedal the bike, the e-bike system will sense through the torque sensor and control the intelligent algorithm to start the motor.

    And this is driven through the gear and then reduced by the gearbox assembly to match the human pedaling frequency to drive the wheels, so as to provide the rider with natural and stable auxiliary power.

    The performance of a motor is usually judged by reference to two parameters: rated power and peak power.

    Output power vs. cadence

    Rated power is the continuous power output of the motor under normal operating conditions, which represents the stable working capacity of the motor, while peak power indicates the maximum power output of the motor when the load requirement increases in an instant or for a short period of time, which is temporary and transient in nature.

    High power output duration and motor power density, heat dissipation design, etc. are related to enhancing the duration is a very complex project.

    SAMEBIKE RS-A01 pic4

    According to professional engineers, some high-end mid-size systems are designed to improve motor cooling performance by replacing the magnesium shell, and with the upgraded block stator and self-developed control unit, they can maintain more than 15 minutes of output in the peak power zone, providing long-lasting and high-energy power output for cycling.

    Torque

    In addition to power, the performance of a motor is affected by a number of factors such as speed, torque, efficiency, and design and manufacturing quality. You can also explore the difference of torque vs cadence sensor on e-bike.

    Torque refers to the rotational moment generated by the motor during operation, and power is an important parameter in judging the performance of the motor, which directly affects the operating efficiency of the motor.

    In layman’s terms, more torque means more power, more power when climbing a slope, and more load capacity.

    Torque = 9.55 factor * output power (w)/output speed (rpm/min)

    From this formula, we can deduce that torque is inextricably linked to output power and output speed.

    Torque

    Currently on the market, according to the needs of different riding scenarios, there are huge differences in the maximum torque labeled by different types of motor systems.

    Maximum torque is usually a combination of R & D, sales, marketing and other needs and the development of a comprehensive value, is not the only standard of the motor “strong”, but some motor manufacturers in order to cater to the market’s pursuit of large torque mentality, external to the machine dynamometer test “plugging torque”.

    However, some motor manufacturers, in order to cater to the market’s pursuit of large torque, use the “plugging torque” tested by the machine dynamometer as the maximum torque.

    However, the maximum plugging torque of the theoretical test data is not equal to the torque available for actual riding, resulting in the “false propaganda” that the actual riding effect is much weaker than that of the empty data.

    SAMEBIKE JG20-1

    After referring to the maximum torque logic of major international brands, we found that their maximum torque values do not directly adopt experimental values, and are often smaller than the “blocking torque” of the dynamometer, which is also more meaningful for practical reference.

    So simply looking at the paper data is very difficult to determine whether the motor is really strong, in addition to proving that the motor on the machine turns more vigorously in addition to not much practical significance.

    Pedaling frequency

    When riding an ordinary bike that relies on the output of the thighs, all experienced cyclists will remind you to pay attention to the pedaling frequency and maintain a stable output, and the same is true for the e-bike.

    E-bike is a hybrid of human pedaling and motor assistance, highly dependent on precise torque sensors and internal algorithms to adjust the motor output in real time, and the information collected from torque sensors comes from the power output of each pedal stroke.

    Torque vs. cadence

    As we learned earlier, power and torque are closely related to rotational speed, which translates into human output in terms of pedaling frequency.

    Maintaining a stable pedaling frequency within a reasonable range can greatly improve motor performance and provide more efficient assistance.

    The steady pedaling frequency of ordinary cyclists is usually maintained between 60-90rpm, while professional athletes will be much higher than normal people, even above 100rpm.

    Pedaling frequency

    Maintaining a stable pedaling frequency will improve the operating efficiency of the motor, and some motors expand the maximum pedaling frequency to 120rpm, which can still maintain the smoothness of the power under the need for continuous output of high pedaling frequency.

    And it can also maintain high speed and power output when riding at high speeds or climbing ramps, bringing the ultimate riding experience.

    Battery capacity

    In general, we refer to battery capacity in two ways: one for the rated voltage of battery capacity in Ah units, such as 36v 10Ah.

    The other is to take into account the factors of voltage changes in the discharge curve. Labelling is the rated voltage X battery capacity of the battery energy to Wh units, such as 630Wh, 720Wh, etc., to the battery energy (Wh) expression theory.

    In theory, the expression of battery energy (Wh) is more accurate and comprehensive. How to test an e-bike battery?

    Battery capacity determines the durability of an e-bike. In the case of the same rated voltage and power, the larger the battery capacity represents the longer mileage and longer endurance.

    Battery capacity

    But the battery capacity is too large in the increase of huge cost at the same time will inevitably increase the weight of the whole bike.

    Simply and roughly increasing the capacity to improve battery density to enhance the range is not the only way to ease the anxiety of replenishment, clear use scenarios, the use of fast charging technology is also an effective replenishment program.

    At present, e-bike will choose the appropriate capacity of battery according to the usage scenarios and purposes of different models.

    For example, long-distance travel, freight cars, snowmobiles and other models with requirements for range and a large amount of redundant space in the body structure will be equipped with large-capacity batteries;

    While high-end sports mountain bikes and highway bikes are very sensitive to the overall weight of the vehicle, the size of the battery capacity will be strictly controlled, and the standard 720-750Wh battery is already part of the full range of the vehicle.

    SAMEBIKE MY275-4

    Generally speaking, the standard 750Wh battery already belongs to the high capacity level in the full suspension softtail.

    The body of the main battery capacity can not be increased in this case. The current general practice of major vehicle manufacturers is to use the matching programmable external battery (mostly in the form of kettle batteries) to make up for energy in a timely manner to give riders more choices, thus effectively alleviating range anxiety.

    Conclusion of electric bike buying guide

    Therefore, in general, an excellent e-bike system should have high-quality materials and precision manufacturing capabilities, efficient, easy to use and controllable auxiliary power, safe, intelligent and reliable intelligent algorithms, which is a great competition of comprehensive strength and actual riding experience.

    Although higher power, pedaling frequency and torque usually mean higher riding speed and better power output, the performance of the motor should be evaluated comprehensively.

    For example, whether it can maintain strong power output in the full pedal.

    However, the performance of the motor should be evaluated comprehensively, such as whether it can maintain strong power output in the full pedaling range, whether it has fast motor response speed, and the sensitivity of the motor at the maximum supported pedaling frequency and at low speeds, etc.

    SAMEBIKE XWP10 view

    All these factors will affect the performance of the e-bike system in all kinds of mountain road conditions.

    With the continuous development of e-bikes, in the next 10 years, e-bikes will be the dominant force in the development of the entire bicycle market, and we look forward to seeing more and more e-bikes in our daily life, and more people have a more in-depth and correct understanding of the e-bike system.

    Chocolatezhu
    Chocolatezhu
    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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