What is an electric bike?

Electric bikes are about putting the smile back on your face. They amplify your pedalling power, make your riding smoother, efficient and more enjoyable. They have the same components as found on a normal bike with a few extra features such as a motor, battery to power it and a display unit to provide you with useful data and to control your battery usage. Wherever you ride, electric bikes can help you ride further, faster and faster so whether you commute or hit the trails there is a model to suit your needs.

How they work

The motor is mounted in either the hub or bottom bracket (the pedal axle) and provides power alongside your pedalling. It's like a turbo in a car: the pedalling part is the engine moving you along as normal, with the motor being the turbo that adds extra power on top. You can control the amount of assistance through controls on your handlebars.



A self-contained unit that will offer support to the rider even when riding at a low cadence. All are mid-drive motors that power the pedal axle and operate in a similar way. This will have the benefit of providing the ability to start strongly when pulling away at lights or junctions etc.
There are sensors within the motor to monitor torque, speed and acceleration more than 1,000 times a second to help ensure the interaction between the rider and bike is seamless. With various modes available you can ensure you have the right setting to suit your riding or terrain.



The power source of your electric bike is easy to install or remove. It is a light lithium-ion power pack that has been ergonomically designed and is durable. Batteries range from 200W - 550W, which is factor in determining the maximum range you can achieve. Charging is easy using either the compact charger or standard charger for Bosch batteries. The standard charger halves the time over the compact option allowing you in the case of Bosch to fully charge your PowerPack400 in 3.5 hrs. Some batteries are mounted on the frame with others fitted on specifically designed racks.



The on-board display units give you a variety of information and provide plenty of support during your ride. Everything from your current ride data to service interval level can be viewed. Just as importantly your power usage and battery levels can be monitored.
Some systems have gps navigation options that can tailor your battery usage to your chosen route, you can be provided with gear recommendations to ensure you pedal in the correct option. All of this data is clearly visible in an easy to read format.


There are several factors that will determine how far you can travel on your electric bike with a fully charged battery. The terrain, the weather, the mode you select can all have an effect on performance. The good news is you can switch between modes, so if you need a short boost you can do so without draining your battery. Or you can decide to have more assistance when you start up, if you're a commuter this could be more relevent when pulling away from lights.

The inner workings of a Bosch electric bike motor