Cost of Brakes for eBikes

The Impact of Brake Systems on Electric Bike Prices

The added “boost” from your battery and motor, while enhancing your riding experience, also introduces a significant factor when it comes to halting your journey. On average, e-bikes clock in at 8.3 miles per hour, nearly 2 mph faster than a conventional bike.

This might seem like a small increment, but remember, this is an AVERAGE. When I glance at the display on my e-bike, it’s a rarity to see speeds dipping below 12 mph.

How fast my eBike can go
How fast my eBike can go

Now, consider this increased speed, coupled with the additional weight from the 10 lb battery and 15 lb motor. Add to this your own weight, the bike’s weight, and any cargo you might be carrying, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself controlling over 250 lbs of momentum on the road.

Bringing this speed and weight under control is a crucial aspect of your ride, but it comes with its own price tag. Let’s delve into how the brake systems on e-bikes contribute to their overall cost.

TL;DR: A decent braking system for an ebike can add $90 to the cost of an eBike.  Don’t let the added cost turn you away though.  Controlled stopping adds incredible confidence to maximizing the performance of an eBike.

Understanding Electric Bike Brake Systems

Hydraulic Disc Brakes on an eBike
Hydraulic Disc Brakes on an eBike
Mechanical Disc Brakes on an eBike
Mechanical Disc Brakes on an eBike
Rim Brakes on an eBike
Rim Brakes on an eBike

Electric bikes come in 4 major categories.  I’ve listed each below ranking from highest cost to lowest.

  1. Regenerative Brake Systems: Unique to some e-bikes, these systems convert the kinetic energy during braking back into electrical energy, recharging the battery and improving overall efficiency.
  2. Hydraulic Disc Brakes: Utilizing fluid pressure to push brake pads against the disc rotor, these brakes offer superior stopping power and modulation compared to mechanical disc brakes.
  3. Mechanical Disc Brakes: Also known as cable-actuated brakes, they employ a cable to pull brake pads against the disc rotor, providing enhanced stopping power over rim brakes, particularly in wet conditions.
  4. Rim Brakes: As the traditional braking system, these brakes work by clamping pads onto the wheel rims to halt the bike, offering simplicity and ease of maintenance.

The Added “Kill-Switch” Built Into eBike Brakes

How does an eBike brake sensor work
How does an eBike brake sensor work

 The “kill switch” feature in electric bike brake systems, also known as an e-bike brake sensor, is a safety mechanism designed to immediately cut power to the motor the moment the brake levers are actuated.

This feature ensures that the motor stops providing power when either the pedal assist or throttle is being used, allowing the rider to stop more effectively and safely. The brake sensor doesn’t change how the bike brakes work, it only cuts power to the motor.

Ride eMTB Tip: Wanting to learn a little more brakes sensors? I’ve got it all detailed in 👉 What is an eBike Brake Sensor and How Does it Work

Powerful Bikes Need Powerful Brakes

I have ebikes with both rim brakes and hydraulic disc brake systems.  Hydraulic discs are way more effective at stopping and controlling the application (called modulation) of the brakes.  Different terrains require different braking techniques and disc brakes are better. 

What does this mean related to cost?  Hoses are more expensive compared to cables, calipers cost more than v-brakes and adding a master cylinder to the brake lever costs $$.

Clean disc brakes make all the difference, if you spilled anything on those discs 🚴‍♂️ clean them off. Read more in this article 👉 How to Clean MTB Disc Brakes

eBike Brake Manufacturing

Being a dominate player in a small sector of the market can increase the price of ebike brake systems. The major manufacturers of e-bike brakes include:

Tektro/TRP: Tektro is the largest maker of e-bike-specific brakes, with at least 17 variations of kill switch-equipped setups. TRP is Tektro’s performance brake brand.

SRAM: SRAM is another major brake manufacturer that designs brakes with e-bikes in mind.

Magura: Magura is a well-known brand in the bike industry and they also produce brakes designed for e-bikes.

Shimano: While Shimano makes high-quality brakes, they are not specifically designed for e-bikes.

NUTT and Zoom: These are lesser-known brands in the budget component range, which don’t have the same durability as other brands.

Analyzing the eBike Brake System Costs

I figured the best way to show how the brakes affect the cost on your ebike is to compare replacing each systems

Regenerative Brake Systems are Unique to eBikes

Regenerative brakes are only found on electric bikes with direct drive motors.  Which is different from the common geared hub motors.  The cost drivers:

  1. Complex Technology: Regenerative braking systems are more complex than traditional brakes. They involve additional components and sophisticated technology to convert kinetic energy back into electrical energy. This complexity can drive up the cost.
  2. Integration with the Motor and Battery: Regenerative brakes need to be integrated with the e-bike’s motor and battery system. This integration requires additional design and manufacturing considerations, which can add to the cost.
  3. Limited Availability: As of now, regenerative braking is not a standard feature on all e-bikes. It’s more commonly found on higher-end models. The limited availability can make these systems more expensive.

eBike Brake System Cost Comparison

Traditional BrakesEbike BrakesCost Difference
Mid-Performance Hydraulic Disc Brakes = $175Mid-Performance Hydraulic Disc eBrakes = $257Disc = $82 more
4-Piston Hi-Performance Hydraulic Disc Brakes = $2194-Piston Hi-Performance Hydraulic Disc eBrakes = $3094-Piston Disc = $90 more
Mid-Performance Rim Brakes = $20.27Mid-Performance Rim eBrakes = $59.98Rim Brakes = $39.71 more

Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Very Good and Popular

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A mid-performance hydraulic disc brake system with ebike capability will cost $257 for the Tektro HD-E500 Auriga E-Bike Disc Brake vs $175 for a comparable Tektro HD-M500 Gemini Hydraulic Disc Brake set.

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For Hi-Performance 4-Piston Brake Systems the price difference is even greater. TEKTRO HD-E730 E-Bike Hydraulic Disc Brake is $309 vs the non-electric Tektro HD-M750 Hydraulic Disc Brake Set 4-Piston Caliper at $219

For Rim Brakes – With Care You’ll Stop

Rim brakes if properly tuned and maintained will do an adequate job of stopping.  I wear down pads pretty quick and I buy a higher performance pad detailed in this article 👉 The Best V-Brakes for Bikes.

Tektro EL550-TS eBike Rim Brakes
Tektro EL550-TS eBike Rim Brakes – image Tektro – link

The cost driver for rim brakes are the brake lever assembly.  I compared a pair of Tektro brand brakes with a similar performance and the price difference is about $40 more for a set of brake levers with a built in brake cut-off switch. If you need rim brakes for your eBike, I recommend the Tektro EL555-RT and Tektro EL550-TS directly from Tektro.

Cost information the eBike Tektro EL550-Set = $59.98 compared to the Tektro Cl530-Rs V Black set = $20.27.

RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary

Ebike Brake Performance and Safety

When it comes to e-bikes, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to have powerful and reliable brakes. With the extra speed and weight that come with e-bikes, you really need a braking system that can handle it all and keep you safe. Trust me, being able to stop quickly and smoothly, no matter what the road throws at you, is a game-changer.

Added Features that Come with Ebike Brakes

You know what’s great about e-bike brakes? They’re not just for stopping – they can also power up brake lights! Just like in a car, when I hit the brakes on my e-bike, the brake light comes on, letting everyone around me know I’m slowing down. It’s a super handy feature, especially when I’m riding in low-light conditions or busy traffic.

Tektro HD-E730 eBike Brakes
On Amazon 👉 Tektro HD-E730 eBike Brakes

Recommendations: If your ebike is already equipped with disc brakes and you’d like to upgrade.  Seriously consider a 4-piston system with 180 mm or larger brake rotors.  A great set is the TEKTRO HD-E730 E-Bike Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Summing it Up and Slowing Us Down

I’ve been exploring how brakes impact the cost of e-bikes. Turns out, the extra speed and weight of our e-bikes mean we need some serious stopping power, and that comes at a price. From traditional rim brakes to fancy regenerative ones, each type has its own cost.

Big brands like Tektro and Shimano offer different options, affecting both the e-bike’s performance and our wallets. But remember, good brakes are an investment in safety and long-term performance, and that’s priceless!

David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project –

Want to Learn More

Check out the websites listed below for more reading about electric bike brakes.