Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular as people search for more sustainable and convenient ways of traveling without using a car. There are many different electric bikes on the market with various characteristics to suit a rider's personal preferences and needs, and one of these characteristics is power.

Although more powerful electric bikes are more expensive, does it mean they are better than their lower-powered counterparts? In this article, we will delve into electric bike motor power to help you understand if more power is best.

 

Things You Need To Know About Electric Bike Motors

motor

WHAT IS POWER?

Before we go into the details it is worth talking about the basics of electric bike motor power. The first thing you should know is that the power of an electric bike motor is measured in watts. The more watts the motor has, the more powerful it is. You can buy an electric bike with anything from 250 W to incredibly powerful E-bikes that rival motorcycles. 

You should also know that not all electric motors on E-bikes are created equal. For example, a 500 W motor from one manufacturer may be slightly different from a 500 W motor from another manufacturer. This is due to quality reasons, and sometimes local laws limit the power output of these motors, so brands often underrate their motors to fall within the confines of the law.

With this in mind, we have to go with the output indicated by electric bike manufacturers. But it is worth knowing that two motors labeled with the same power may not be equal. However, the power of an electric bike is an extremely important characteristic. This is because it will determine what you can do with it and how you use it.

 

What Is Torque?

You will see that most electric bike motors have torque figures between 75 Nm to 90 Nm. These numbers indicate how the motor delivers power to the rear wheel. Higher torque motors make riding up steep hills much easier, but this is affected by which assistance level you choose.

When you ride your electric bike at its lowest assistance level, you get about 50% extra assistance from the motor. The highest level enhances your pedaling inputs by about 300%, but this depends on the manufacturer and the bike.

 

HOW FAST CAN YOU RIDE AN ELECTRIC BIKE?

How fast you can ride an electric bike depends on how powerful the motor is and how your bike is geared. But electric bikes have a limited assisted top speed for legal reasons. In the US, this top speed is 20 mph, and in Europe, it is 28 mph. Therefore you need to consider these restrictions before you buy your electric bike so you can stay on the right side of the law.

 

So How Much Power Do I Need?

Let's take a look at the different power levels available on electric bikes currently. 

 

250 W E-BIKES

Fiido D4s riding on the road

At the bottom end of the scale, we have 250 W electric bikes. There are some exceptions, as you may come across E-bikes with 200 W motors, but these are more like scooters and for recreational use.

Most 250 W electric bikes are designed for cruising around areas with flat terrain. If you were to ride one of these bikes on the throttle mode up a steep hill, you would find that it would struggle to climb without you peddling. 

However, a 250 W electric bike with a mid-mounted motor fitted with a torque sensor would have significantly better climbing performance than an E-bike with a hub motor and a cadence sensor.

Electric bikes with mid-mounted motors can achieve higher torque as you can downshift through the gears. This is why you will see some high-end Electric mountain bikes with just 250 W, allowing them to stay within the parameters set by local laws.

Generally, a 250 W electric bike will perform fine on flat terrain. Most people don't produce 250 W when riding a regular bike, so these bikes still help you peddle significantly. However, if you are a heavy rider or need to carry cargo, you will notice that it won't accelerate very well.

If you carry lots of weight, you should avoid long climbs on one of these low-powered electric bikes, especially if it is fitted with a hub-mounted motor. Steep hills and lots of weight will cause the motor to overheat if you try to maintain a reasonable level of speed, causing damage.

 

350 W TO 500 W E-BIKES

motor

The level above 250 W electric bikes gives us a range of 350 to 500 W from an electric motor. These higher-powered E-bikes accelerate off the line much quicker than a 250 W electric bike. 

If you are a lighter rider, you will significantly notice the difference in power and torque. You will find that you will be able to climb hills much more confidently.

However, if you are heavier, you may not feel much difference when riding on flat terrain, but this depends on what motor is fitted to your electric bike. You should feel riding uphill is more manageable, but not massively, especially when the hill has a steep gradient.

 

750 W TO 1000 W E-BIKES

Fiido T1 Climbing

Stepping up to an electric bike with 750 W to 1000 W means you'll experience a whole new world of power. Lighter riders can have lots of fun riding an addictive wave of torque that surges from the motor as you pedal.

This new level of entertainment comes from a significant increase in acceleration and the fact that these electric bikes make climbing a hill a piece of cake.

The great thing about bikes with 750 W and above is that heavy riders will really start to feel the benefits of riding an electric bike. This is when it becomes fun, and climbing hills is more manageable and actually enjoyable. Most heavy riders will love the extra acceleration and torque from these higher-power motors.

You'll find these more powerful electric motors in bikes designed to tackle rugged terrain or carry heavy loads. For example, an electric mountain bike built to take on Alpine peaks will use one of these motors to help the rider scramble up steep climbs. Electric bikes designed to carry heavy loads, such as cargo bikes also have large motors. The extra torque makes hauling cargo much more manageable.

 

1,500 W AND ABOVE

Electric bikes are getting pretty close to motorcycles when you get to this level of power. With one of these electric bikes, you will experience extreme acceleration, especially if you are a light rider. However, even heavier riders will be blown away by their performance.

Depending on where you are and what you want to use it for, you may need to obtain a license, insurance, and registration for one of these bikes. So, it's best to find out what your local laws around these bikes say before you buy one.

 

Things You Need To Know About Powerful Electric Bikes

Having lots of power may seem the best thing when it comes to riding an electric bike. But there are a few things you should know about that come with power.

 

POWERFUL ELECTRIC BIKES ARE HEAVIER

Full suspension

More powerful electric bikes have heavier components. Not only are the motor and battery heavier, but other parts, too. For example, suspension and brakes must be beefier to cope with the extra power. This additional weight can make the bike slightly more cumbersome when cornering and much more difficult to pick up and carry if you need to.

 

RANGE CAN BE AFFECTED

Removable battery

A higher-powered electric motor needs to draw more energy from the battery. Therefore, its range may be compromised unless the bike manufacturer has paired the motor and battery to complement each other well. You may find that you need to charge your electric bike battery more often or carry a spare for long trips.

As an example of how long a battery will last with a specific motor power, consider a 500W motor powered by a 1000wh battery. If you run it at 100%, the battery will be completely drained in 2 hours.

With this in mind, you should really think about what you want to use your electric bike for. For example, if you only ride on relatively flat terrain, you don't need the most powerful electric bike available. Instead, you may benefit from a lighter, less powerful electric bike with a more extended range.

However, a more powerful electric bike would be best if you ride off-road, in a hilly area, or need to carry lots of weight.

 

So Is More Power Better?

In many cases, a more powerful electric bike is beneficial. They can carry extra weight and make climbing hills much more manageable. However, some of these more powerful electric bikes have a shorter range; therefore, you should check out how far one can go on a single charge to ensure it meets your needs.

After the above sharing, perhaps now you have a clearer understanding of the power when it comes to choosing an electric bike, click here to learn more!

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