What are Electric Mountain Bikes?
An electric mountain bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor that aids in its forward thrust. There are a variety of electric mountain bikes ranging from those with a small motor to powerful electronic bikes. However, all electric mountain bikes are similar in that they retain the ability to be pedaled by the rider and hence cannot be classified as motorcycles. Nevertheless, you can electrify your normal bike using the ebike conversion kit.
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What are They For?
Electric mountain bikes are primarily for amplifying your pedaling power. An electric bike thus amplifies the amount of fun that you will have on the track. By enabling you to cycle farther and go faster, you can go to more places on an e-bike than on an ordinary bicycle.
An electric bike lets you enjoy more of everything that makes mountain cycling fun and enjoyable. Moreover, the addition of a motor and a battery adds an additional load to an electric mountain bike.
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Types of e-Bikes
Searching the market for the right electric bike may seem overwhelming. By categorizing the different types of e-bikes available, we can hopefully make your search easier and less daunting.
E-bikes can be classified into two major types depending on where their motor is located. Hub motor bikes have their motors situated in the wheel. Mid-drive electric bicycles, on the other hand, have their motor located on the frame.
1. Hub Motor Electric Bikes
These can further be classified into direct hub motor bikes and geared hub motorbikes
Direct Drive Hub Motor eBikes
Direct drive hub electric mountain bikes utilize the entire hub shell as their motor. They’re faster and more resilient but tend to have less spin. They’re also heavier which leads to less overall efficiency. However, because do not have moving parts, they are almost entirely silent when operating.
Geared Hub Motor Electric Bikes
They are lighter and smaller compared to their direct drive motor counterparts. Although they come with a greater torque, their overall speed is slower than that of direct drive motors. They have a free-wheel, which means that there is no resistance once the motor goes idle. They are also louder because they have moving parts.
2. Mid Drive Electric Bicycles
Mid-drive bikes are those whose frames are designed to incorporate the motor on or next to the bottom bracket. This allows the bike to utilize its standard drivetrain which, in turn, allows the rider more flexibility while changing the gears.
Mid-drive systems enable you to reach higher speeds on flat areas by leveraging on the bike’s highest and lowest gears when biking. Mid-drive eBikes also tend to have improved load distribution than hub motors since the motor is located at the cranks which makes them more balanced.
3. Hardtail Electric Mountain Bicycle
Hardtail ebikes have shudders located only in the anterior fork. The front suspension mitigates upper limb exhaustion and is more tolerant to shocks and bumps. They also make it easier to steer in tough terrains by helping you keep your hands on the handlebars.
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Electronic mountain bikes boast a number of features that distinguish them from regular bikes. Here’s a list of the key features every user should look into:
Electric bikes use motors of various configurations which differ in terms of cost and complexity. The motors function is to provide the extra propulsion. These include direct-drive, geared motor, and mid-drive systems.
The direct drive and geared motor systems provide extra propulsion at the wheel, whereas the mid-drive system provides extra propulsion at the pedals and eventually at the wheel through the bicycle’s standard drivetrain. The motors are usually built into the wheel hub. Motors are among the components that come with the ebike conversion kit and can easily electrify your normal bike into an electric mountain bicycle.
Electric bikes use rechargeable batteries and electric motors. Examples of these batteries include sealed lead-acid (SLA), lithium-ion polymer (Li-ion), and nickel-cadmium (NiCad). Batteries differ depending on their voltage, charge capacity (amp hours), weight, and the amount of charging cycles before their performance reduces.
Although the cost of charging the batteries is low, the cost of replacing the batteries is considerably high.
Electric mountain bikes allow you to enjoy the thrills and spills of off-road riding and mountain biking. These majestic two-wheelers are designed for the roughest of trails and superbly equipped to ensure a white-knuckle experience every single time. Electric mountain bikes come with deep tread tires that allow the rider to enjoy their overall biking experience.
Electric MTBs come in a variety of striking looks, although some riders may also customize their electric bikes by adding slicker tires and gel saddles. Some e-bikes also adopt non-conventional designs. Examples are the Cytronex bicycles which use a small battery masked as a water bottle. Others are designed to assume the image of low capacity motorcycles, although smaller in size and containing an electric motor as opposed to an engine. Other, odder designs include chopper-styled electric bikes which are designed for fun than as a transport aid.
Many bikes have dropper seat posts which allow the rider to sit low and stay safe on the descents. Electric mountain bike seats are also adjustable to provide the user with a comfortable experience.
To provide a smoother ride for every user, electric bikes are equipped with a fork suspension. This provides a safer and sturdier ride when mountain biking or riding on rough terrain.
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The speed of an electric MTB will depend on a number of factors. These include its overall weight, motor type, and the terrain. However, e-MTBs have a speed limiter integrated into their system which automatically turns off the motor once they go beyond the legally defined speed limit which is at 32 km/h.
Electric MTBs work pretty much like a regular mountain bike, except that they have motors which allow them to run faster. As such, your safety might be compromised if you run at higher speeds. It is, therefore, important to take safety precautions to ensure your safety while on the road. These include wearing proper gears such as elbow and knee pads, helmets, etc.
You also have to pay attention to the traffic and avoid pedaling at high speeds in busy streets, especially in highways.
Like the speed, how far you can go while riding on an electric mountain bike will depend on certain factors including the terrain, battery, wind, your weight, and your riding style. E-MTBs come with an assistance of varying levels that will determine how much power the motor will use to help you run your bike.
Given the worst-case scenarios (rough terrain, strong headwind, heavy weight, and an aggressive riding style), you can still go as far as 25 miles on a 300Wh battery, 30 miles on a 400Wh battery, and 35 miles on a 500Wh battery.
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As the dominance of cars on city streets takes a retreat, electric MTBs have quickly gained popularity globally. Fulfilling the capacity of leveling hills, lengthening distances, and easing the load, electric bikes are a practical mode of transportation befitting busy and active lifestyles.
The electric mountain bike is bound to have a transformative impact that is only now beginning to reveal itself. If you’re into the winch-and-plummet style of mountain cycling, then an electric mountain bicycle will work best for you. Get yours now!