reasons to get an electric bike

What Are The (Great) Features of Electric Bikes?

What are the features you can find in an electric bike? Electric bikes are usually more expensive than regular bikes because they have a lot of extra features. You can’t find those things if you get a standard bicycle.

Some features in an electric bike are pedal assist, the ability to assist the rider to climb hills, improved lights, USB ports to charge your phone, built-in security, regenerative braking, removable batteries, and several others (depending on the make and model)

This article covers all the main features of an electric bike.

The best electric bike features

Electric bikes have a few extra features compared to traditional bicycles. You might have heard about a few of them.

For example, e-bikes have a battery. An electric motor assists the rider in pedaling and can provide additional power for climbing hills or traveling at higher speeds.

eBike Display with Battery Voltage
eBike Display with Battery Voltage

It is also common to find a digital display that shows the battery level, speed, and other information.

In addition, depending on the type of bike, you can find a thumb throttle or pedal assist sensor, which allows the rider to control the level of assistance provided by the electric motor.

Some e-bikes also have built-in lights, fenders, and racks for carrying cargo. Some e-bikes come with a smartphone app that you can use to track rides, view diagnostics, customize the assist level, and more.

Here are the essential features:

1. Pedal Assist

Pedal assist is a feature on electric bicycles (e-bikes) that provides additional power to the rider while pedaling. People riding such a bike can adjust how much effort they want to put into pedaling.

It uses a sensor that detects the rider’s pedaling motion and sends a corresponding signal to the e-bike’s electric motor to provide additional power.

Cadence sensor on eBike
Cadence sensor on eBike

This feature is great because it can make riding an e-bike much easier and more efficient. It is especially true for riders who struggle to pedal on their own or for those who want to tackle hills or headwinds easily.

Additionally, it allows riders to cover more distance and maintain a higher average speed with less effort. This fact makes e-bikes an excellent option for commuting or recreational riding.

2. Folding

Folding electric bicycles (e-bikes) are bike types that can tuck into a compact size, making them easy to transport and store. In addition, they typically feature hinge mechanisms that allow the frame and handlebars to fold down, reducing the overall size of the bike.

One of the main advantages is their portability. You can quickly and easily load them into a car trunk, take them on public transportation, or store them in small apartments or homes with limited space.

Some electric e bikes fold down to a small size
Some electric bikes fold down to a small size

Another benefit is that folding e-bikes can be convenient for people who travel frequently. For example, you can take them on trains, buses, or airplanes. It opens up new opportunities for travel and exploring.

Overall, folding e-bikes offer a great combination of portability, convenience, and flexibility, making them an excellent choice for various riders.

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

3. Climb Hills

The idea behind electric bikes is to assist the rider in pedaling. That means climbing hills will be a lot easier with the help of a trusty electric steed.

The electric motor provides additional power to the rider, making it easier to climb steep inclines or maintain a higher speed. The level of assistance You can adjust the electric motor offers, so the rider can choose the level of aid that is most comfortable for them.

However, the ability to climb hills will depend on the power of the motor and the weight of the bike and rider. Generally, e-bikes with a more powerful motor and a lower weight will easily climb hills. EBikes are great for heavier loads like when towing a trailer.

4. Lights

eBike Headlight
eBike Headlight

The lights on an e-bike usually get power from the same battery that powers the electric motor. Although, they typically have a switch, so you can decide whether or not to use them.

In addition, the lights on an e-bike often include a headlight and taillight, which help the rider to see and increase safety while riding at night or in low-light conditions.

They may also have built-in lights on the handlebars or built-in reflectors.

5. Throttles

The throttle is a device that allows the rider to control the amount of power the electric motor provides.

It can be a handgrip or thumb-activated lever located on the handlebar of the e-bike, allowing the rider to control the speed without having to pedal.

EBike Thumb Throttle
EBike Thumb Throttle

The throttle is an essential feature for electric bikes because it gives riders more control over their speed and power. It can be beneficial for riders who are recovering from an injury, have a disability, or cannot pedal for some other reason.

It also allows the rider to quickly accelerate from a stop or to get a boost of power when climbing hills. Another critical aspect of the throttle is that it can be used as a propulsion even without pedaling, which is impossible on a traditional bike.

It allows riders to take off from a stop quickly and can be helpful in situations where pedaling would be difficult, such as in traffic or on steep hills.

Some e-bikes have pedal assist and a throttle, giving the rider more options for controlling the bike’s power and speed.

6. Charging the phone

Some electric bicycles come with a built-in USB charging port that you can use to charge a phone or other small electronic devices. The charging port typically resides on the bike’s handlebar or the display screen. Similarly, it powers up from the bike’s battery.

It allows the rider to stay connected while on the go. It can be particularly critical for riders who rely on their phone for navigation or communication. It ensures that the phone will have enough battery power to last for the duration of the ride.

Charging phone from ebike usb on display
Charging phone from ebike usb on display

It can be a lifesaver in case of emergency. For example, if the phone battery goes low and there’s no other charging point, the rider can use the bike’s charging port to charge the phone.

Additionally, it can be a convenient feature for people who use their phone as a GPS device while riding, as they can charge the phone. In contrast, they ride without carrying an external battery or power bank.

However, not all e-bikes have this feature, so it’s best to check the specifications of the e-bike before purchasing it.

7. Faster with less effort

E-bikes allow people to get to a location with little effort. It is one of the best features for the following reasons:

  1. They assist the rider, which means that the rider can exert less energy while still achieving a faster speed.
  2. They are great for commuting, as they can help the rider travel faster and farther than they would be able to on a traditional bike.
  3. They are great for people with mobility issues or those who have difficulty pedaling for long periods.
  4. They are great for people who want to enjoy cycling but must avoid riding at high speeds or for long distances because of physical limitations.
  5. They are great for people who want to use cycling as a form of transportation but want to avoid the physical strain of a traditional bike.
  6. They are great for people who want to ride in hilly areas, where traditional bikes can be challenging.
  7. They can help increase the range of people who enjoy cycling, including seniors, people with disabilities, and people recovering from injuries or illnesses.
  8. They make it easier to keep up with friends or family who cycle faster or have longer commutes.
  9. They can be used for leisure and recreation, allowing you to explore new areas and enjoy the scenery.

8. Some are designed for heavy cargo

Some electric bicycles (e-bikes) can carry heavy cargo, such as groceries, packages, or even minor furniture items.

People often refer to these e-bikes as cargo e-bikes because they typically feature a large front or rear cargo rack. Sometimes they have a box or container attached and frequently have a higher weight capacity than traditional e-bikes.

The design of these bikes intends to make it easier for riders to transport heavy loads over long distances. The electric motor provides additional power to assist with pedaling, which makes it easier for the rider to carry heavy loads up hills or over long distances.

I've loaded 65 lbs of gear in my ebike panniers and on the rack
I’ve loaded 65 lbs of gear in my ebike panniers and on the rack

Additionally, many cargo e-bikes have a sturdier frame and suspension system to handle the weight of the cargo better.

Cargo e-bikes are particularly useful for people who need to transport large or heavy items regularly. You can use them for various applications, such as running errands, delivering goods, or carrying equipment for work.

They can also be an excellent alternative for people who do not have access to a car or looking for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

Another benefit of cargo e-bikes is that they can help to reduce dependence on cars and trucks. It can help to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and reduce carbon emissions.

Ride eMTB Question: I get asked this all the time. Are eBikes hard to pedal? Find out in this article 👉 Are eBikes Hard to Pedal?

9. Security built-in

Some electric bicycles have built-in security features to help protect them from theft.

Some of the most common security features include:

  • A keyed ignition: A keyed ignition system is one of the most basic security features found on e-bikes. This feature makes it difficult for someone to start and ride the e-bike without the proper key.
  • A PIN code: Some e-bikes come with a PIN code feature that allows the rider to set a code that you must enter on the bike’s display before you can use the bike. It can be an effective security measure as it prevents anyone who does not know the code from using the bike.
  • Alarm System: Some e-bikes come with an alarm system that will sound if someone moves the bike without first unlocking it with the key or the PIN code.
  • GPS tracking is a more advanced security feature that allows bike location tracking using GPS technology. It can help recover a stolen bike and can also help to deter theft in the first place.
  • Smartphone connectivity: Some e-bikes can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth or another wireless protocol. It can allow the rider to lock or unlock the bike remotely and track its location if it’s stolen.

10. Regenerative braking

Regenerative braking is a feature you can sometimes find on electric bicycles (e-bikes). It works by using the electric motor in the e-bike as a generator when the rider applies the brakes.

When the rider applies the brakes, the electric motor acts as a generator, slowing the bike down while also charging the battery. This system converts some kinetic energy of the bike’s motion into electrical energy stored in the e-bike’s battery.

The rider can recover some energy used to power the bike during the ride and use it to extend the range of the e-bike.

It can also help reduce the wear and tear on the e-bike’s brake pads, as the electric motor can work to slow the bike down.

Additionally, while regenerative braking can help to extend the range of the e-bike, it’s not typically a feature that will eliminate the need to charge the battery.11.

11. Removable batteries

eBike Battery
Removeable eBike Battery

Removable batteries, which power the electric motor, can be easily removed from the e-bike. It is an excellent feature for the following reasons:

  • Convenience: It allows the rider to easily remove the battery and bring it inside to charge, rather than leaving the entire bike plugged in.
  • Portability: A removable battery can be more portable than a built-in battery, making it easier to transport the bike or take it on trips.
  • Replacement: If the battery gets damaged or worn out, you can easily replace it with a new one.
  • Cost-effective: riders can learn to replace their battery, economizing on extra costs to bring the bike to a specialized shop.

Ride eMTB Pro Tip: Hills? Will an eBike climb steep ones? Quick answer – Yes, but read more to the story in this article. 👉 Will an eBike Climb Steep Hills?

What are the health benefits of e-bikes?

Although electric bikes assist riders in pedaling, there are still potential health benefits to using them.

Here are some of the main health benefits:

  • Exercise: Riding an e-bike can provide a moderate level of physical activity, which can help to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen the muscles and bones, and improve overall fitness.
  • Low impact: E-bikes can provide a low-impact form of exercise, which is easy on the joints and suitable for people with mobility issues or injuries.
  • Increased mobility: E-bikes can help people who have trouble with traditional bikes. Seniors or people with disabilities can get around more easily and maintain independence.
  • Mental health: Riding an e-bike can also be a great way to relieve stress and improve mental well-being. The fresh air and scenery can be a great mood booster.

It’s essential to note that it depends on how often and much you use them.

Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion
Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion

Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?

Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?

  • Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
  • +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
  • Easy installation with provided tools.

If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery

What are the main benefits of using an electric bike?

Electric bikes offer several benefits over traditional bicycles. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Increased efficiency: E-bikes use electric motors to assist the rider, making it easier to pedal and travel farther distances with less effort.
  2. Improved accessibility: E-bikes can make biking more accessible to people with physical limitations or those who live in hilly areas.
  3. Cost savings: E-bikes can be a cost-effective alternative to owning and maintaining a car, particularly for short commutes or errands.
  4. Environmental benefits: E-bikes are a clean and sustainable mode of transportation that produces zero emissions.
  5. Increased safety: With electric assistance, the rider can easily maintain a safe speed and keep up with traffic.
  6. Convenience: E-bikes can be charged at home and ridden in different modes, such as pedal-assist or throttle mode.

RIDE eMTB Pro Tip: In a lot of ways an electric bike is just like a regular pedal bike, just better. If you want to read more, check out this article 👉 What does it feel like to ride an electric bike

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the disadvantage of electric bikes?

One potential disadvantage of electric bikes is that they have a limited range before recharging, which can be inconvenient for longer rides. Additionally, the batteries can be expensive to replace and have a limited lifespan.

How long do batteries last on electric bikes?

The lifespan of an electric bike battery can vary depending on the quality of the battery, the way the bike is used, and how well it is maintained. On average, electric bike batteries can last between 500 and 1,500 charge cycles, translating to anywhere from a few months to several years of use. However, some high-quality batteries can last up to 2,000 charge cycles.

Are electric bikes safe in the rain?

Electric bikes can be safe to use in the rain. The main concern when riding an electric bike in the rain is the risk of slipping on wet surfaces, as the tires can lose traction more quickly. The bike’s electrical components can also be affected by water. Therefore it’s essential to ensure that the bike has water-resistant or waterproof features such as a sealed battery and controller.

Should I charge my ebike after every ride?

You shouldn’t need to charge your electric bike after every ride. Still, charging the battery immediately after use is generally a good idea.

Most e-bike batteries have built-in protection against overcharging and deep discharge, so it’s safe to leave them plugged in to charge overnight.

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 –