E-bikes are regular bikes with a few added key components. To recap, a bike is made up of wheels, frame, seat, handlebars, crankset, brakes and pedals. An e-bike has all of that and a whole lot more. It has a battery (typically lithium-ion), an electric motor, controller, throttle, torque/cadence sensor and an LCD display screen.
Battery: The battery is the source of power for an e-bike. Most e-bike batteries are lithium-ion because of cost, efficiency, output and it’s charge/recharge capabilities. The output of a battery is dependent on multiple factors: terrain, rider size, riding style and temperature.
Controller: The controller is the “brain” of an e-bike and helps regulate the power output to the motor and relays information to the LCD display screen.
Motor: There are two main styles of e-bike motors: mid-drive and hub. Mid-drive motors sit with the crankset and provides assistance pedaling when engaged. A hub motor sits on the axle of either the front or back wheel. It helps pull or push the bike.
Throttle: The throttle regulates the power applied from the battery to the motor. It’s the gas pedal of an e-bike.
Torque/Cadence Sensor: The sensor regulates the power output of the motor. A torque sensor manages the power output based on the applied force to the pedals by the rider. A cadence sensor provides a consistent level of power output based on the level selected and regardless of rider input.
LCD Display: The display screen provides a readout of the current performance of the e-bike. Speed, distance, battery output and battery life are typical features.