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Photo provided by Tower Electric Bikes
Guest post from Adam at We Are The Cyclists:
While hunting for an electric bike, one of the feature points you may be scrutinizing is how much a given bike weighs. With traditional bikes, lower weight customarily suggests stronger performance. However, this isn’t necessarily the case with e-bikes, since, with electric bikes, less weight commonly means amassing a bit less distance. With that said, the weight of an e-bike does count in a few precise situations. For example, if you live on a third-floor walk-up that could oblige you to move the bike up multiple flights of stairs, the weight could be an issue for you.
In contrast, if you are capable of riding directly into a first-floor garage, then the weight wouldn’t really be an issue. The overall weight of an e-bike is not necessarily relevant when it comes to drain on the motor and battery. Weight is also a non-issue in terms of potential. So does electric bike weight matter? Let’s dive a little deeper and take a look at e-bike weight and how it might influence your ride.
What Parts Of An Electric Bike Weigh The Most?
The weight of an electric bike typically comes down to three factors: battery weight, controller/motor weight, and tire size. As traditional bikes are lacking two of these three elements, they tend to weigh less. Let’s break down the weightiest parts of an electric bike below.
E-Bike Battery Weight
Generally speaking, e-bike batteries will weigh between 4.4 and 7.7 pounds. The bigger and more powerful the battery on a bike, the more the bike itself will weigh. Battery weight hinges on capacity and construction. A greater capacity lends itself to a higher weight. In this sense, a bike that is a bit heftier due to the battery would actually promise better battery life.
E-Bike Controller / Motor Weight
Without question, the heaviest part and the fullest contributor to e-bike weight is the motor/controller. E-bike motors weigh around 17 pounds. This might sound like a lot of added weight, but when you recognize the power you get for a few extra pounds, the weight is worth it.
Of course, you will likely only notice a heavier bike weight should you choose not to engage your pedal assist. If you use the pedal assist, you will not notice a change in electric bike weight.
Electric bikes tend to have wider wheels than ordinary bikes. This is because wide wheels allow riders to gain more traction, which makes it possible to ride on tough terrain. The issue with having wider wheels is that they can increase the amount of drag, making it more difficult to move the bike forward. However, in conjunction with a powerful motor and a high-capacity battery, tire size and weight do not influence overall bike performance.
At the end of the day, the weight of an electric bike will depend on bike type, battery size, motor, materials, and tire size.
E-Bike Weight Vs. Bike Weight
As acknowledged above, conventional bikes tend to function better when they weigh less. This is not true of e-bikes. Still, weight should be considered for both types of bikes. When it comes to weight, let’s break down e-bikes versus their classic counterparts.
Certainly, e-bikes are bulkier than typical bikes because they incorporate all the features of an ordinary bike but also include a battery and electric motor. These things can add 20 pounds of additional weight onto an electric bike.
Electric bicycles customarily weigh between 38 and 70 pounds, hinging on motor capacity, materials utilized, and battery size. In comparison, a traditional non-electric bike might weigh between 29 and 38 pounds, depending on the type of bike (road bike, hybrid, mountain, commuter).
With a regular bike, you want less weight, as it can make for a better ride. With electric bikes, weight doesn’t impact performance so much as it will impact the distance you can ride on a single charge.
Typical eBike Types And Weights
The weight doesn’t consistently matter when it comes to powering an electric bike, but it may count if you’ll be toting your bike long distances. Here are the most favored electric bike types on the market and their respective weights:
● Mini-folding electric bikes: 30 to 40 pounds
● Folding electric mountain bikes: 40 to 70 pounds
● Folding fat tire electric mountain bikes: Around 50 pounds
● Electric commuter bikes: 50 to 70 pounds
● Electric racing bikes: Around 40 pounds
● Electric mountain bikes: 40 to 70 pounds (typically closer to 70)
● Cruiser electric bikes: Around 70 pounds
● Fat tire mountain bikes: 50 to 70 pounds
As you can see, the weight of each bike type can diverge tremendously. This is because motor and battery sizes differ from bike to bike. An electric mountain bike weighs more because it has a stronger motor than a mini-folding bike. The extra capacity leads to a bit more bulk. Luckily, weight does not impact performance negatively.
Does E-Bike Weight Affect Your Riding?
Overall, does e-bike weight actually affect your riding? Yes and no. The weight of an electric bike will normally be only felt if you are manually pedaling uphill. On steep hills, simply engaging pedal assist will give you an extra boost. This is also true if you are riding into a strong headwind. Otherwise, if riding on flat ground with little to no wind, the weight of an electric bike doesn’t really matter and it won’t affect your riding. Just remember to use pedal assist in certain situations, it exists for a reason.
Find more electric bike guides at www.wearethecyclists.com.