How do E-bikes Work?

An E-bike looks just like a traditional bike, with pedals and gears, but our pedal-assist electric bikes also have a motor, a battery, control unit, and/or display. These E-bikes provide power assistance only while you are pedaling. In order to activate the power assist motor, you have to pedal—but how hard you pedal is up to you. When you ride an E-bike, you can ride further, faster and up bigger hills with less effort than if you were riding a traditional bike.

components of an e-bike

How does Pedal Assist Work?

Our entire lineup of E-bikes are pedal-assist; in order for the E-bike to provide assistance to the rider, the rider has to be pedaling. When force, or power, is put on the pedals, the E-bike motor activates and provides assistance; how much assistance is dependent on the support mode you select on the control unit. Once you are riding, you can change gears just as you would on any bicycle, and as long as you keep pedaling, the E-bike motor will help to move you forward.

graphic showing how pedal assist works on an E-bike

How do you Operate an E-bike?

Operating an E-bike is simple, it’s just like riding a bike! 

Locate your control unit, normally found on the handlebars or top tube, turn on the E-bike by pressing the power button, and select a “support mode”. Support modes range from Eco (low) to Power (high), and often includes an automatic, Smart Assist mode that automatically determines the best support mode for your ride. The lower the support mode, the less assistance the motor will provide. The higher the support mode, the more assistance the motor will provide. The support mode you choose is up to you and depends on the terrain, the effort you want to put out and how fast you want to travel. You can also adjust the mode during your ride depending on the terrain and your energy level.

Download the RideControl App onto your mobile phone to customize your ride experience with functions such as support mode tuning, navigation, fitness tracking, and social notifications, as well as firmware updates.

how to operate an e-bike with handlebar controls

How the battery fuels your E-bike

The battery on your E-bike plays a number of essential functions.  It not only provides power to the motor, it also supplies power to the control unit, display, and sensors. Once turned on, the battery powers the bike’s electric components, so you can  select a support mode on the control unit, see and track riding data on the display unit, and activate the motor, as soon as you start pedaling.

graphic showing how the battery powers an e-bike

How the E-bike motor provides power

Your E-bike provides smooth and automatic power support that adjusts based on six sensors that collect real-time data from you, the rider, and the terrain, to create a fluid riding experience that feels just like a traditional bike with a bunch more “oomph”. 

Once you select the support mode on the control unit, and begin pedaling, the system provides the power assistance you want while conserving battery power when you don’t need it. The support mode setting tells the motor how much power assistance to provide, how hard it needs to work, and how much energy it needs from the battery. The higher the support mode, the more energy the motor draws from the battery. 

When you reach maximum speed, which depends on what country you live in, the motor will gradually reduce the power it is providing. You can still ride the speed you want, but it will be up to you and your legs to generate the speed, the motor will no longer be providing you with assistance. As your speed reduces to below the maximum, the E-bike motor will re-engage and power assistance will return. All this is happening in the background with so much efficiency that you won’t even notice it.