The two most common types of hub motors used in electric bicycles are brushed and brushless. Many configurations are available, varying in cost and complexity; direct-drive and geared motor units are both used. An electric power-assist system may be added to almost any pedal cycle using chain drive, belt drive, hub motors or friction drive. BLDC hub motors are a common modern design. The motor is built into the wheel hub itself, and the stator fixed solidly to the axle, and the magnets attached to and rotating with the wheel. The bicycle wheel hub is the motor. The power levels of motors used are influenced by available legal categories and are often, but not always limited to under 750 watts.
The biggest risk in backing this campaign, like most crowdfunding projects, is long-term support. The company offers a 24/7 help desk and the ability to video conference with a mechanic on complicated matters. It also offers a two-year global warranty on the important stuff. But that requires the company to exist long enough to honor it. I think that’s likely, but it’s a risk you need to weigh. Fortunately, Mate Bikes are designed to be serviced by local bicycle shops, and the electronics can be swapped out easily thanks to the liberal use of cable connectors (if the LCD breaks, for example, you can quickly unplug it and swap in a new unit).
Lightweight folding bikes: Of course, if you intend to be hoisting the bike on and off trains, then it’s understandable that you want it to be light. This can be achieved though using a lighter frame material. Brompton have recently introduced titanium to their range and there are brands making carbon folders. Higher quality components will also reduce the weight, as will opting for fewer gears – such as a singlespeed version – but this will only really suit someone who doesn’t intend to come across many hills in their use of the bike.
China's experience, as the leading e-bike world market, has raised concerns about road traffic safety and several cities have considered banning them from bicycle lanes.[2] As the number of e-bikes increased and more powerful motors are used, capable of reaching up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), the number of traffic accidents have risen significantly in China. E-bike riders are more likely than a car driver to be killed or injured in a collision, and because e-bikers use conventional bicycle lanes they mix with slower-moving bicycles and pedestrians, increasing the risk of traffic collisions.[2]
I have been thoroughly pleased with my Blix Vika+. I bought it in March, and I commute to work, a 22-mile round trip. I will break my review into a few different components. - Speed and handling: The bike is a real pleasure to ride. I pedal, but I don't have to pedal very hard. Because I am short (5'2"), I find the smaller wheel size and the step-through frame very manageable. It can get quite some speed, too, which is great. - Battery: I can do my 22-mile commute on a single charge, but the bike does get a bit slower on the return journey. If I'd known this, I might have upgraded to the bigger battery. - Folding: The folding and unfolding is pretty straightforward. I have done it many times to throw the bike in the back of a Yaris, and it's pretty simple, even for someone like me who is not mechanically minded. - Weight: The bike is pretty heavy. If you think you might be able to carry it anywhere except to put it in the back of a vehicle, think again. It's just too heavy. But this generally doesn't affect the handling, except sometimes when taking off from being stopped. Nothing too noticeable, though. - Customer service: Blix's customer service is GREAT. They are extremely responsive (I have contacted them online a few times, and they get back to me within a matter of hours) and always answer my questions completely and to my satisfaction. This is a very big plus when you're spending a reasonable amount of money a bike. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and would recommend a Blix bike to anyone who was looking for an electric bike.
This is a fun commuting bike that’s ideal for going to school, work, daily commuting around town, etc. Its internally housed battery combined with the powerful motor allows the bike to go as far as 15 to 30 miles. Of course, this depends on the battery life itself, environment and power level. It features the 7-speed Shimano drivetrain that makes it easy to ride the bike on all kinds of tracks and roads. It’s good to know that the bike features pedal assist mode, and you can just turn the motor off and use the e-bike as you would a standard bike. The Vilano ATOM features mechanical disc brakes, as well as the 20’’ x 1.75’’ tires. It comes partially assembled so make sure to have professionals help you tighten everything into place before taking your bike for a ride. It folds into a compact size measuring 35’’ x 20’’ x 27’’, so it’s easy to store and carry around. Its unusual design will also turn heads wherever you show up.
This relative newcomer from the Banbury-based Hummingbird team pairs a streamlined, glossy carbon-fibre frame with a fast fold. The USP here is its weight: at just 6.9 kilograms, it can comfortably claim the title of lightest folding bike on the market. It’s a delight to ride, too: on the road it offers a stable, highly responsive ride, although the lack of suspension rattles the teeth over craggier terrain. Its innovative Swinglock folding system enables the anodized aluminium swingarm to pivot neatly around the bottom bracket, keeping total fold time down to around 15 seconds. One drawback: at 117cm, its folded length exceeds the size of some rail networks’ luggage compartments, so research is advised before committing to this beautiful but pricey model.
Pedelecs are much like conventional bicycles in use and function — the electric motor only provides assistance, for example, when the rider is climbing or struggling against a headwind. Pedelecs are therefore especially useful for people in hilly areas where riding a bike would prove too strenuous for many to consider taking up cycling as a daily means of transport. They are also useful for riders who more generally need some assistance, e.g. for people with heart, leg muscle or knee joint issues.
At nearly 29 pounds, the Link D8 is heavier than many of the bikes we tested, including our top pick, the Dahon Mariner; this Tern model also has a larger folded footprint (the Link D8 is nearly 3 inches wider than the Mariner). In my tests, when the bike was folded the handlebars kind of dangled, even when I “secured” them with the rubber strap; I found that if it was on too tight a notch, the balance of the folded bike was off and the whole thing was liable to tumble over. This bike is outfitted with a twist shifter (not as good at the trigger one on the Mariner D8), which, weirdly, has the gears in the opposite order of every other bike we tested—as an owner, you’d no doubt get used to it, but it was definitely an odd adjustment for us to make when we were testing bikes en masse.

Controllers for brushed motors: Brushed motors are also used in e-bikes but are becoming less common due to their intrinsic lower efficiency. Controllers for brushed motors however are much simpler and cheaper due to the fact they don't require hall sensor feedback and are typically designed to be open-loop controllers. Some controllers can handle multiple voltages.

Because these bikes are foldable, they’re incredibly portable. This is one of the best features of folding electric bikes. Since your bike can fold, you can fit it into many tight spaces you wouldn’t normally be able to fit a bike, such as in a tiny studio apartment without space for a mounting rack, or in your truck without using a cumbersome bike rack.
Folding bikes have long been popular among commuters who need to store their bicycle in a small space at home or in the office. Thanks to their small folded size, they are easy to get onto trains and buses, or even a taxi. With the rise in popularity of electric bikes in recent years, it is no surprise that folding electric bikes have come onto the market as well.
Controllers for brushless motors: E-bikes require high initial torque and therefore models that use brushless motors typically have Hall sensor commutation for speed and angle measurement. An electronic controller provides assistance as a function of the sensor inputs, the vehicle speed and the required force. The controllers generally allow input by means of potentiometer or Hall Effect twist grip (or thumb-operated lever throttle), closed-loop speed control for precise speed regulation, protection logic for over-voltage, over-current and thermal protection. Bikes with a pedal assist function typically have a disc on the crank shaft featuring a ring of magnets coupled with a Hall sensor giving rise to a series of pulses, the frequency of which is proportional to pedaling speed. The controller uses pulse width modulation to regulate the power to the motor. Sometimes support is provided for regenerative braking but infrequent braking and the low mass of bicycles limits recovered energy. An implementation is described in an application note for a 200 W, 24 V Brushless DC (BLDC) motor.[43]

5 levels of pedal assist and a thumb throttle allow you to control the amount of power, with a top speed of 20 mph. When power is applied, it is not overwhelming. You remain in control of the 500-watt geared hub motor at all times. The battery is a 36v 9 Ah Lithium-ion model. You can get 20-30 miles of range on one charge, in part thanks to the motor inhibitor that cuts power when the brakes are applied.
By 1898 a rear-wheel drive electric bicycle, which used a driving belt along the outside edge of the wheel, was patented by Mathew J. Steffens. Also, the 1899 U.S. Patent 627,066 by John Schnepf depicted a rear-wheel friction “roller-wheel” style drive electric bicycle.[7] Schnepf's invention was later re-examined and expanded in 1969 by G.A. Wood Jr. with his U.S. Patent 3,431,994. Wood’s device used 4 fractional horsepower motors; connected through a series of gears.[8]