eBike Guides


Are you curious about electric bikes and looking to purchase one? Here's an introduction to the world of electric bicycles in this beginner's guide to all things ebike. This comprehensive resource covers a range of topics, including the benefits of ebikes, what makes them unique, different classes of ebikes, regulations, and essential components such as motors and batteries.

Whether you are a first-time ebike shopper or an experienced owner, this guide to ebikes provides all the basic information you need to make an informed decision about purchasing an ebike. If you require more information, feel free to visit theurbaneriderco.com or contact us at (408)796-2307. We are always ready to assist you in any way we can.


This beginner's ebike guide aims to provide information on the different types of ebikes, factors to consider when purchasing one, and how to choose the right ebike for yourself or your loved ones. Despite the electronic components, an ebike is essentially a bicycle with similar frames and standard parts. This similarity allows for easy maintenance, repairs, and availability of replacement parts. You’ll find a few diagrams illustrating the key components shared by traditional bikes and most ebikes. Feel free to give us feedback and spark some discussion on ebikes, as it helps us improve our guide.

This beginner's guide highlights the key components that differentiate electric bikes from conventional bicycles. You’ll learn about the functionality of an electric motor, battery pack, and computer controller. You’ll be taught about the controls on the handlebars, such as the pedal assist controller, throttle, and LCD display, as well as the different ways to buy an ebike (complete bike or modified with conversion kits.) Always consider personal riding preferences and intended usage when choosing an electric bike. If you need help choosing one, please call us at (408) 796-2307, or email us at support@theurbaneriderco.com.


Electric bikes (ebikes) offer numerous advantages over conventional bicycles, providing a convenient and efficient mode of transportation. With an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery, ebikes allow riders to travel faster and farther with less physical effort. They offer cost savings, environmental benefits, and the ability to maintain fitness while running errands or commuting. Ebikes are versatile and appeal to various demographics, including older individuals, urban commuters, and eco-conscious individuals.


At The Urban E-Rider Co., we've got you covered with a wide range of top-rated ebike models from various brands. Whether you want a Fat Tire, Step-Thru, Folding, Commuter, Cruiser, Trike, or Mountain bike, we’ve curated a top-tier collection to make it easier for you to find your perfect match.

Ebikes are fantastic for leisurely rides, commuting, and low-impact exercise. If you want a solid workout, simply turn off the motor and remove the battery to lighten the load, turning your ebike into a regular bicycle. They're like hybrid cars, a new sustainable transportation option with exciting technologies to explore. But don't worry, understanding the technology is not as complicated as it may seem. The three main additions on a ebike are as follows:

  • MOTORThe motor can be located in different positions, such as within the front or rear hub (hub motors) or integrated into the bottom bracket (mid-motors). Ebikes offer various control methods, including Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) triggered by pedaling force, trigger-throttles, or twist-throttles similar to scooters.
  • Its power is measured in watts, ranging from 250W on compact models to 1000W on high-end electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs). It's important to note that ebikes with motor ratings exceeding 750W are not considered street-legal according to federal guidelines.

  • BATTERYEbikes rely on electric batteries as their power source, similar to how cars use gasoline. The most common type of battery used in ebikes is lithium-ion (Li), although other options like lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium-polymer (Li-Po), and sealed lead acid (SLA) are also available. It's important to purchase batteries from trusted manufacturers to avoid safety risks. At The Urban E-Rider Co., we prioritize offering products from reliable manufacturers.
  • CONTROLLERThe controller manages the energy flow from the battery to the motor. It's important to keep the controller dry as it's sensitive (but don’t worry, most ebikes can be ridden in the rain.) While the controller is usually housed within the battery case, it can also be found in a separate case near the battery.
  • Electric bikes tend to be heavier than traditional bikes due to the additional components. When choosing an ebike, it's essential to consider the placement of the motor and battery as it can affect the bike's balance and performance. However, we do offer some models that are lighter than conventional bikes. Additionally, we have a selection of folding bikes that are perfect for convenient storage in vehicles and on boats.


    In this section, we will discuss the three major types of ebike motors - mid-drive, hub, and all-in-one motors, as well as their various applications. Understanding ebike motors is essential for becoming an informed consumer, as the electric motor is one of the most important components of an ebike:

  • MID-DRIVE MOTORSThe mid-drive motor, located around the bottom bracket of an ebike, offers significant power and weight distribution advantages. It excels in climbing steep hills and maintaining efficient RPMs by leveraging lower gears. The power directly drives the pedals, providing a natural biking experience. Mid-drive motors also perform well at higher speeds on flat or inclined roads by utilizing higher gears. They work harmoniously with the bike's drivetrain, including chains, gears, and derailleurs, even accommodating belt-driven systems. Repair and maintenance are easier since there is no hub motor obstructing wheel-related tasks. Advanced mid-drive systems use sensors to measure pedal power, speed, and crank speed, seamlessly blending assistance levels with the rider's input. Some sensors reduce power during gear shifting for smoother transitions. However, the drivetrain components may experience increased wear and require more frequent replacement due to the system's power and stress.
  • HUB MOTORSThe hub, located at the center of a bicycle wheel, serves as the connection between the wheel and the frame. Hub motors are the most common type of electric motor found on ebikes and are housed within the hub itself. They can be positioned on the front or rear wheel and may have internal gears. The choice of placement affects the weight distribution and balance of the ebike. Hub motors come in two types: direct-drive and geared hub motors. Direct-drive hub motors use the entire hub shell and offer higher speed and durability but less torque. Geared hub motors are smaller, utilize “planetary” gears, and provide more torque but lower speed. Some ebikes now feature all-in-one electric wheel systems, integrating the motor, battery, and controller into the hub or wheel.
  • Front hub motors are advantageous for navigating uneven surfaces like snow or sand, as they pull the ebike forward. However, they may struggle on long, steep climbs. Front hub motors enable an all-wheel-drive system, allowing various drivetrains to power the rear wheel, including chain-driven gear cassettes with derailleurs or internally-geared hubs with chain or belt drives. Belt drives are preferred for their cleanliness. Front hub motors are easily removable, facilitating tire repairs or swapping the hub. They help distribute the ebike's weight when batteries are located at the rear. Also, front hub motors are typically less powerful than rear hub motors, ranging from 250 to 350 watts, requiring sturdy forks, spokes, and rims for higher-powered models.

  • Rear hub motors push the bike forward, providing a familiar pedaling sensation. They come in various power options, from 250 to 1000 watts, and rely on a sturdy platform to handle high torque. Rear hub motors offer advantages like better traction on uneven surfaces, and can be equipped with throttle or pedal assist sensors. However, they can be challenging to install or remove due to the gear cassette and derailleur. To manage the torque, look for robust rims and larger spokes when choosing a rear hub motor ebike.

  • ALL-IN-ONE MOTORSAll-in-one wheels integrate the motor, battery, and controller into the front or rear wheel, making them easy to install on conventional bikes. However, all-in-one systems may lack balance and could lead to heat-related battery performance issues. It's crucial to evaluate each system individually, especially higher-end models that address insulation concerns. Regardless of the motor type, purchase from a reputable supplier and prioritize safety by wearing a helmet, even on short rides in safe environments.

    Checking the brand of ebike batteries is crucial, as poorly designed or manufactured batteries present real risks of explosion and fire, especially when exposed to extreme temperatures. Even though battery technology is rapidly developing with safer batteries, higher densities, and longer lifespans, it is important to take precautions with charging and handling.

    To prevent overcharging, all batteries should be unplugged after 3-4 hours of charging, even when using a charger with automatic shut-off controls. It is also advised to never leave charging batteries unattended.

    There are different types of batteries used in ebikes, including lithium ion (Li), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium-polymer (Li-Po), and sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries. The Urban E-Rider Co. carries a variety of reliable models with different battery options to choose from.

    AMP-HOURS (Ah)

    The price of ebike batteries is strongly influenced by their capacity, measured in amp-hours (Ah). The greater the capacity, the farther you can travel on a single charge. Typical ratings for ebike batteries include 8.8Ah, 10.0Ah, 11.6Ah, 13.0Ah, 14.0Ah, 14.5Ah, and 17.5Ah. It's essential to determine what battery capacity you need to meet your desired distance goals, as a higher Ah rating may not be necessary for your needs.


    The potential power of an ebike battery is represented by voltage (V), think of it as the horsepower rating of a car. Voltage determines how much energy can be supplied to the motor. The most common ebike battery voltages are 24V, 36V, 48V, and 72V. Voltage, therefore, determines the power capacity of the battery, and higher voltages result in more power to drive the motor. The price of ebike batteries tends to increase with higher voltage ratings.


    The energy capacity of an ebike battery is measured in watt-hours (Wh), calculated by multiplying the amp-hour (Ah) rating by the voltage (V) (Ah x V = Wh). For example, a 48V battery with 11.0Ah has a capacity of 538Wh.

    The energy consumption of an electric bike varies between 5Wh to 12Wh per mile traveled, depending on factors like terrain and rider input. To estimate your range, divide the battery's watt-hours by the estimated watt-hours per mile. For a 400Wh battery with an energy consumption of 5Wh/m, the range would be about 31 miles. In a hilly area with 12Wh/m consumption, the range would be about 15.5 miles.

    Keep in mind that battery performance can be affected by factors such as wind, weight, and tire pressure. Modern batteries often provide real-time indicators and estimated miles-till-empty information. Removable batteries offer convenience, and some have USB ports and integrated headlights for added functionality.


    Ebikes offer a unique opportunity to embrace an active and eco-friendly lifestyle while providing a viable alternative to cars. They allow urban commuters to reduce their carbon footprint, save on expenses like registration and insurance, and avoid traffic congestion.

    Living in urban areas often involves using cars for daily activities such as commuting, shopping, and visiting loved ones or natural areas for outdoor enjoyment. However, with the introduction of ebikes, the game has changed! Ebikes allow individuals to integrate physical activity into their transportation routine, promoting fitness and well-being. It's a convenient way to stay healthy while fulfilling transportation needs.


    Ebikes, like regular bicycles, must follow the standard bicycle road rules. Furthermore, there may be different requirements for certain classifications of ebike. You can find more information about the different classes of ebikes in our article on ebike classifications.

    They are allowed in bike lanes, bike paths, and other areas where bicycles are permitted. According to federal law, low-speed electric bicycles have pedals, a motor below 750 watts, and a maximum speed of 20 mph and under when powered solely by the motor. They are not considered motor vehicles and are exempt from vehicle standards regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumer safety is ensured through laws that require ebikes to be designed, manufactured, and tested like traditional bicycles. To learn more about your state’s specific ebike laws, check out our article on ebike regulations.


    Most ebikes have a water-resistant rating of IP45, which means they provide good protection against solid foreign objects (>1mm) and water jets from any direction. However, it's important to note that most ebikes are not completely waterproof. It's recommended to wipe down the bike after each ride.

    While getting water on the display or throttle is generally not an issue, the controller, usually housed in the battery case, is the most sensitive part. Submerging the controller in water can lead to serious problems, so it's crucial to avoid riding into deep water or submerging the bike.


    Like anything else, ebikes come with their pros and cons. Here’s a few of the key details to keep in mind:


    • Ebikes can be expensive: We have come a long way from the ebikes of just a few years ago, which used to cost many thousands of dollars for even the most basic models. Now, they have become much more affordable, especially when using monthly payment options.
    • Ebikes are sometimes heavier: The additional components of an ebike add weight to a bike frame, this is expected. But bikes can handle a lot more weight, so the most important aspect is the balance of the bike. Mid-mounted motors and batteries mounted to the downtube tend to be the most balanced setup.
    • Maintenance of the electrical components can be complicated: While an ebike functions mostly like a standard bike, allowing for easy standard practices when making repairs, the electrical components may require a more refined knowledge of their inner workings to repair. You may need to take the bike into a shop to make these repairs efficiently.
    • Batteries require some monitoring: Lithium-ion battery fires are more prevalent in the United States than in other countries. This is, in part, due to negligence while recharging and handling the battery. It is important not to leave a battery unattended. Use the original charger if able. Avoid overcharging your battery, and if it feels too hot to touch, unplug it right away. Also, refrain from leaving the battery in the sun, or in hot areas.


      • Inexpensive transportation: Ebikes cost less than a dollar a day to ride. They’re inexpensive to maintain, and require no registration or insurance. Avoid parking fees and save time normally wasted in traffic. In a short period of time, your ebike will pay for itself!
      • Improved health: Many folks bike, not only to be eco-conscious, but for health. That's why it's understandable that people are concerned ebikes are "less healthy" than pedaling a regular bike. But did you know that you can actually pedal an ebike? You can! Many people think that ebikes just "go," like miniature motorcycles, but that's false. Instead, think of ebikes as motor-assisted bikes. You can pedal for your workout, coast to recover your energy, then get right back to pedaling if you want. On top of that, ebikes are less stressful on your joints.
      • Commute sweat-free: A common complaint we see from soon-to-be ebike owners in forums is about sweat. People who want to buy an ebike sometimes choose to do so because, unlike a normal bike, you can commute all the way to work without breaking a sweat. Leave the change of clothes and shower stuff at home!
  • Electric is eco-friendly: Electricity is the future, and for one reason above all else - It protects our planet, its creatures, and us. Zero carbon emissions and clearer roads means a better functioning ecosystem all-around, and your loved ones and peers will see you for the environmentally responsible person you are. Yes, currently, the way rechargeable batteries are made leaves room for growth. But, over time, cleaner methods will be perfected. I've seen the future - and it is electric and green.

    Online shopping for ebikes has grown due to limited availability in physical stores, particularly in suburban and rural areas. While some local bike shops carry a limited selection, finding the right ebike remains a challenge. To overcome these hurdles, online shopping is the best solution. It provides access to a wide range of ebikes from several brands, with various designs and prices. The Urban E-Rider Co. offers frequent discounts and free shipping, and other services offer assembly, and roadside assistance. Always prioritize high-quality bikes with excellent electronics and components for long-term benefits.


    The Urban E-Rider Co. is always growing and looking to improve, so if you have any feedback about our guides, or anything else about our website, please feel free to send us a message at support@theurbaneriderco.com, or call us at (408)796-2307. Check out our website to view the latest in affordable and eco-friendly ebike technology. Safe riding everyone!