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Unveiling the 5 Essential Features of EBIKES: Understand Electric Bike Specs

The five elements you'll find on every Ebike, stick around to see what they are.

Hey everyone, I'm Dustin. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the bike and Ebike industry. And today I'm going to show you the five elements you'll find on every electric bike. Before I get into it though, hit that subscribe button below. Stay in touch with us here at sixthreezero. Be the first to know about all the new content we're putting out, giveaways we do, and of course new product releases.

Now really quick before I get started, this is the simple step through Ebike from sixthreezero. If you want to see this along with all of our other Ebikes, go down in the description, it's linked down there, you can check them all out or it's linked in the corner of the video.

All right. So if you're thinking about getting an electric bike or you're new to Ebikes and just doing some research, you may be wondering what goes into an Ebikes. What is an Ebike made up of? What are the components on an Ebike that are different from a regular bike? So I'm going to explain them all to you. There are five that make an Ebike an Ebike and separate it from a regular bike.

So let's start with the most obvious of the five, which is first is the motor. Now, in this case, the motor is contained in the rear hub back here, so this is called a rear hub motor. You may be looking at this video right now looking down and saying, wow, I can't even tell there's a motor in there. If you didn't know to look for it. You may just look at this and find that it looks like a standard wheel. Now you can tell the hub is a little bit bigger than a standard wheel and the motor is contained inside of that. This is a 500-watt rear hub motor, a 750-watt rear hub, the hub would be even larger and probably a lot more noticeable. Also, this is a 26-inch wheel, so the motor on a smaller wheel like a 20-inch is going to be more noticeable because it's going to take up a larger amount of the wheel.

So there are three locations your motor can be in on an Ebike. There is the rear hub, the mid-drive, and the front hub. Now a mid-drive motor is typically located right below the crank here or right in the crank, so to speak, and that's going to drive the crank. Whereas the rear hub is powering your rear wheel. The third location is the front wheel, which is a front hub motor, which would be located in the front wheel. Rear hub motors are great for normal around-the-town riding. They're going to be less expensive than mid-drive motors. Mid-drive motors are great for a lot of uphill off-road riding where you need a lot of torque or heavier riders, let's say over 250 pounds, mid-drive's a good option as well because it's going to give you a lot more power up steep hills and like I said, more torque. The front hub motors are great for just round-town riding, typically going to be a little less expensive than both the mid-drive and the rear hub. Not going to be as good though for the total power output. But again, flat ground cruising, front hub motor is a good option.

The other thing I will say about a front hub motor, very easy to replace, just have to swap the front wheel out for a new complete wheel that you would plug in the situation. Maybe your front hub motor would go out. The rear hub's going to be just a little bit more difficult because you've got to take the wheel off and put the chain back on. And the mid-drive would probably be the most difficult out of all three of those. But those are the three motor locations, and of course, you're going to find a motor on every single Ebike.

Now something that goes hand in hand with the motor is two elements, number two and number three, which is called the controller and the battery. Now of course on an Ebike, you need a battery to power your motor. Again, the battery, just like the motor, can be located in many different places throughout an Ebike. In this situation, we've got it mounted in the rear rack here. You also can have it on the seat tube, you can have it on the top tube, you can have it inside the tube, you can have it under the tube. As the design of Ebikes continues to evolve, you're seeing batteries located in all sorts of places throughout the frame of a bicycle.

Now, it's personal preference on what you like, what is best for your riding habits, and what aesthetic you like. The rear rack we like because it's easily removable and easily changeable. The inside frame ones are cool too because they look nice, they're concealed. Sometimes it can be challenging to replace those batteries depending on the setup and what it is. In some situations, it's not challenging. Behind the seat tube battery location is very popular as well. Some people like the battery to be mounted in the middle of the frame to keep a more balanced weight distribution.

But again, any location of the battery can work just fine. It also depends on the geometry of the bike. You can tell actually with this frame, that putting a battery behind the seat tube is not possible because of the curvature of the seat tube that we have here and the seating position and geometry we're trying to achieve, which is a forward pedaling design. So in this case it makes most sense to put the battery in the rack. Now again, depending on the geometry of the bike, what you're trying to obtain in terms of the geometry of the seat, and the sitting position of the rider as well, that dictates a lot of times how Ebike manufacturers place the battery on the Ebike.

Now the third element that goes hand in hand with your battery is something called a controller. Now when you look right here, you're looking at this and thinking, I don't see a controller anywhere. That's because the battery is located just right here. So this little line right here is the beginning of what's called the controller. The battery plugs into the controller. The controller is the hub, the brain of the entire Ebike. That is essentially what takes the power, transmits that to the motor, and also transmits all that information up to your display here.

A lot of times when you find people having issues with their electric bike or something's gone wrong, the first thought is it could be the battery dying. If it's not the battery, a lot of times it's the controller. Maybe something short-circuited or something got pinched, a wire got pinched. And inside here you can remove what looks like a little silver battery with wires coming out of it and those are on all Ebikes. Usually, they're contained in some sort of housing. I've seen it sometimes where they are on the exterior, but a lot of times they're either going to be in a plastic housing or if you have a battery mounted behind the seat tube, you're going to find usually a little metal enclosed compartment under the battery and that's where your controller is going to be as well.

In all situations that I've seen you can most of the time get to your controller if you need to. We've had situations where we send out replacement controllers to customers and either they do it themselves or a mobile mechanic can install a new controller if it should go wrong. So the great thing is that they are accessible in most cases, which is great for the future maintenance you may need down the line. If something goes wrong on your Ebike, you don't have to replace the whole thing. You could take a look firstly at the battery, the controller and also the motor. So it allows you to be able to repair them.

Now there are different types of controllers, more sophisticated controllers. Depending on what kind of Ebike you have and what kind of capabilities your Ebike manufacturer is trying to allow for in the display will require a more complicated controller, which would require more wires coming out of the controllers. So as an example, we have a few Ebikes that have rear tail lights or headlights. Well, you need to send a wire from the controller up to the display and the light needs to be plugged into the controller as well. So you can send that information from the display to the controller to the light. So the more elements or features you have, the more complex your controller is going to be.

Now it just means that if you were going to replace the controller down the line, there's going to be more connections that you have to deal with. But at the end of the day, it's not that big of a deal. But if you were to open up your controller and let's say you've got all sorts of features like I said, front headlight, rear headlight. And then there are also different features available on displays like a walking feature or a cruise control, a lot of those elements require additional cables and a more sophisticated controller. So if you open it up, you may see all these wires and think, oh my gosh. But again, if you're just replacing it, it's plug-and-play. You can unplug them and then go from there.

So every Ebike you're going to have a controller, so you're going to have a motor, you're going to have a battery, you're going to have a controller. Now as we come up here to the handlebars, there are two elements up here you're always going to find. One is going to be a display and another is going to be a pedal assist button, which is going to allow you to move the pedal assist up and down. Now the display can be located in several places. It can be here by the grip, it can be in the middle. Displays can also really vary. Now this is a digital readout display that you can read. You can see your battery. It tells you the miles per hour. It also tells you what level of pedal assist you're in.

But the display doesn't always have to be digital, it could be as simple as a few red lights and green lights indicating, okay, you're in this level of pedal assist. It can also give you a power indication as you're doing the pedal assist. It could go from red to yellow to green to tell you how much power you're using. So it can be a simplified display. Now the type of display you have is not necessarily an indication of how good or bad your motor is or how good or bad your battery is. It's just a choice by the manufacturer to either put a digital display or not. It can save a few dollars off the cost of an Ebike by using a more simplified display. I mean, I would say the display's cost level could run from as little as probably $5 up to as much as probably $50. I would say the average is somewhere in the $10 to 20 range as a cost from the manufacturer.

So again, you're going to see these in all sorts of different sizes too. You're going to see bigger displays, smaller displays. This particular Ebike has a little bit of a smaller digital display, so we can try to keep the simplicity of the bike and have it look more like a regular bike than stand out as a glaring Ebike. But again, totally up to you if you like to have a big display so you can easily read out your miles per hour, that's an option as well.

A lot of times you can also change your display. The connections are usually sometimes in this front housing and you can plug and play and unplug it and plug it back in. Now you can see that the brakes are also connected in all of this as well. In this case, we have a throttle as well, which complicates it a little bit more. The throttle is not one of the five features you're going to find because not all Ebikes have a throttle. That's sort of a bonus feature that you find a lot in America, but not necessarily in other countries. And a lot of Ebike companies don't include throttles.

Okay, so hand in hand with the display is our fifth and final element that you'll find on every Ebike, which is your pedal assist up and down buttons. Now in many situations, you're going to have... Not in many situations in this situation, you have the pedal assist plus and minus buttons included in the display. So it's an all-in-one thing where you have your display here and you have your plus-minus buttons right here as well. They're nicely located by your thumbs so you can get to them while you're still gripping the grip to allow you to safely steer the bike.

Now a lot of times you're going to have a display here in the middle and you're just going to have your plus minus and power button off here to the left, and it's just going to be three buttons. An up arrow, a down arrow, and a middle button, that's your power button, usually that's going to be located by your left thumb here as well. And that would be in a situation where you'd have a middle display. But on every Ebike, you're going to have some button somewhere to allow you to press the pedal assist up or down. Now, I've also seen it on some very high-end mountain bikes. You may have it on the frame here as well, to do the up and down button right here as well. Now in that situation, they had it on the frame and they also had it up here, so they had it in two locations. But you're going to have it in at least one location.

So other than that, everything else that you're going to find here is typically features and elements you're going to find on a regular bicycle. Of course, you're going to have brakes, you're going to have tires, you're going to have grips. All of those things are a standard to have on any bike. But the five things I just mentioned, which are the motor, the battery, the controller, the display, and the pedal assist buttons, are the five things you're going to find on every Ebike that make an Ebike an Ebike.

So if you have any other questions at all, please comment below or reach out to us, at or call us at 310-982-2877. And again, you can find this Ebike linked in the description below. If you're in the market for an Ebike and you don't know what you're looking for, go on over to our website. We have a proprietary body fit quiz. You can answer a few questions about your body and your life, and we'll recommend the perfect Ebike for you. In addition to that, we have a 30-day test ride on your Ebike policy. If you don't love your electric bike in the first 30 days, send it back with no questions asked, with no money out of your pocket. We also warranty the Ebike for the first year. Anything that goes wrong in the first year, parts, and labor we'll take care of.

Lastly, we have a Facebook group called sixthreezero Pedalers, and we also have an app in the app stores. The Pedalers group is a great place to go in advance of purchasing because you can ask thousands of riders questions about our bikes, and see what their opinion is before you commit to buying. Then once you have yours, you can post in the group, and make friends. It's a ton of fun. You can download the app, and compete on the leaderboard. That is a lot of fun as well. So thank you for sticking around. And don't forget, it's your journey, your experience, enjoy the ride.


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