In the modern world we live in, the electric bike or e-bike is becoming one of the most popular forms of transportation today because of how it is less energy-intensive than a bike and much more efficient and affordable than a car. That said, not a lot of people truly understand how e-bikes work, especially when it comes to their gears and how the bike’s throttle works. So, if you are looking for a good e-bike, how many gears do you need on your electric bike?
The number of gears you need on an electric bike depends on your preference. You can go for a single-speed e-bike if you are using it merely for transportation. If you want the exercise, or if you want to decrease the strain on the motor and the battery, go for 5 to 8 gears on your electric bike.
What you need to understand as early as now is that gearing works differently in electric bikes than it does in regular bikes. But, despite the difference, there are still some similarities that will make it easier for you to understand how gears work on an e-bike. And that is where you will know how many gears you actually need on your e-bike depending on what you are using your e-bike for.
Do electric bikes have gears?
When it comes to the regular bike that we have been using for hundreds of years already, one of the things that we need to understand is that these bikes have gears that we can use depending on our own preferences. For example, low gears are ideal for steep climbing whereas higher gears are better for higher speeds and for descents on a bike. That is why most bikes have multiple gears that will allow you to choose which one you need to go for depending on what you need at any given moment.
That said, as we are now in a more modern world where people are relying more on vehicles that run on electricity, you might have noticed how more and more people are now using electric bikes. These bikes are designed to be similar to their conventional counterparts but there are actually differences when it comes to bikes and e-bikes.
While electric bikes are indeed designed to look similar to their traditional counterparts, what you need to know is that e-bikes come with a motor or throttle that propels the bike forward using electric power. But that doesn’t mean that you can solely rely on the motor alone as electric bikes do have pedals that you can use to propel the bike forward without having to use the throttle. So, in a sense, it actually is a hybrid because you are given the chance to use the pedals or the throttle.
However, one big difference between a conventional bike and an electric bike other than the motor is that e-bikes come with pedal assist. What pedal assist does is that it actually makes pedaling easier on your part while also making use of the bike’s motor without fully relying on it.
So, in a sense, pedal assist is a combination of pedals and the throttle as the motor assists you while you are pedaling so that it will be easier on your legs and knees to use the e-bike if you are tired. The pedal assist also allows you to ride longer on your e-bike without getting tired quickly.
So, now that we have mentioned that e-bikes rely on the throttle and a pedal assist, you might be wondering if there are gears on these electric bikes. That said, do electric bikes actually have gears in the same way as conventional bikes do?
There really is no definite answer to that because there are some electric bikes that do have gears while others don’t have any. And this simply boils down to a matter of preference as there are some electric bikes that can do well even without gears.
Again, let us go back to how electric bikes work and why there are some people who can do fine with e-bikes that don’t have gears. As mentioned, electric bikes work by pedaling similar to any other bike but you can also rely on the motor by allowing it to fully propel the e-bike forward or by making use of pedal assist.
From there, you will understand why some e-bikes don’t have gears. The motor itself is the main reason why there are some single-speed electric bikes that don’t have gears precisely because of how the motor does the propelling and is able to assist you when it comes to uphill rides or rougher terrain.
As mentioned, the gears on a conventional bike are there so that you can use different gears depending on the road you are riding on as the gears assist you to make it easier for you to ride through uphill or downhill roads. But since the e-bike’s motor and pedal assist are already good enough to help you through such roads, then there some electric bikes can do well without gears.
Still, there are some electric bikes that actually have gears. These bikes are pretty popular among e-bike riders for the specific reason that the gears allow them more options. And you will understand later on why gears are still important when it comes to the electric bike despite the fact that this bike also relies on its throttle and pedal assist.
Do you need gears on an electric bike?
Now that we talked about how electric bikes work you might be wondering by now whether or not you actually need gears on your e-bike. After all, electric bikes can still work well even if they are only single-speed e-bikes precisely because of how the motor and the pedal assist are there to help you through your rides. So, do you even need gears on an electric bike?
For starters, why would you want to use a single-speed e-bike? Well, a single-speed e-bike is perfect for those who only use their electric bikes as modes of transportation because, let’s face it, owning a car and finding the right parking space for a car can be quite expensive and difficult. So, if you are only using your electric bike as an alternate mode of transportation when you are riding around the city and not to places that are quite far away, then you might be able to do well on a single-speed e-bike.
However, you have to understand that a single-speed electric bike relies heavily on the motor or throttle when you want to go faster or if you are going through uphill roads. That’s because the pedal assist will have to work harder and will put more strain on the motor when you are riding faster or on an uphill road. When the motor works harder, expect that you will end up eating more battery power. As such, this is why single-speed electric bikes are good for riding to nearby places and for casual riders who are only using the e-bike as a mode of transportation.
Still, single-speed electric bikes are very much good options for light riders. This can be great for those who may have knee problems or minor leg injuries or are probably too tired to exert too much effort on pedaling from one place to another.
On the other hand, let us now look at how important gears are for an electric bike when used in a more conventional way. And when we say conventional, we mean to say that in a way that is similar to how you use regular or traditional bikes.
So, if you are wondering if you need to have gears on your bike, you need to look at how e-bikes can also be used in a regular way such as when you are relying more on the pedal rather than on the motor. What happens when you rely more on the e-bike’s pedals rather than on its motor is that you will have to exert more effort into pedaling. And this is where the gears come in to make pedaling easier on your part.
Bosch e-bikes are known for this feature. However, if the motor and battery are fixed you can lessen the chances of damage by wrapping them in clingfilm.
When you have multiple gears that you can switch to in a similar way as you would do with a conventional bike, you can take the load off of the motor and the pedal assist as you are using the e-bike more like an actual bike. This is great for those who are looking to max out the calories they burn when using their electric bikes or to actually minimize the difference in calories burned between a usual bike and an e-bike.
As such, those who use their electric bikes not only as a mode of transportation but also for exercise tend to put the pedal assist to the lowest level possible while relying on switching between gears so they can put their legs to work while they are using the electric bike. This can max out the calories you burn while you are riding an e-bike.
Cleaning your bike can be long and exhausting, that is why we recommend introducing some cleaning products into the process. One product that every electric bike owner should use is a degreaser, which can be applied to the bike’s drivetrain.
Even if you are not looking at your electric bike as an exercise machine that you can use to burn calories, there are still plenty of reasons why you may need to have gears on your e-bike. And this can be traced once again to the throttle.