Electric Bike Motors
The type of motor powering your E-bike matters. Where will you be riding? Is smooth more important than power? How fast do you want to go? These are important questions to consider when purchasing an E-bike. This page will provide helpful information about the drive systems that power our E-bikes. We carry bikes powered by Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano. We think these are the best our industry has to offer, and we hope you'll agree.
Bosch may be the biggest name in pedal-assist electric bike drive systems. There are a few different variations of this powerful and intuitive motor, and it's broken down into variations of three main systems: the Active Line, the Cargo Line, and the Performance Line. Each has specific characteristics that help benefit riders whether they are commuting around the city, hauling gear, or riding aggressively on roads and mountain bike trails.
Active Line and Active Line Plus: Designed for city commuting and casual road riding with moderate hills.
Performance Line: Designed for on-road use where traveling greater distances at higher speeds is preferred.
Performance Line CX: Designed for off-road trail use that can be rocky, steep, and technical.
Each of these motors offers the rider the use of four assist levels: ECO, TOUR, SPORT (or EMTB on Performance CX), and TURBO. Each mode provides increasing amounts of assistance and battery consumption allowing riders to easily choose just the right amount of boost for any given activity.
The Performance Line CX is maily used on mountain bikes and comes with an intelligent EMTB mode that may replace SPORT mode. The EMTB mode offers better start-up behavior, up to 75 Nm of torque, and allows for better power transfer and traction by sensing how much pressure you apply and reacting accordingly.
Bosch motors denoted with the title 'Speed' (like the Performance Line Speed) can reach pedal-assisted speeds up to 28mph, whereas all other models top out at 20mph. The Bosch PowerTube batteries are easily removable and come in 400Wh, 500Wh, and 625Wh capacities.
Shimano STEPS is another leader in E-bike drive systems. With long lasting batteries and powerful motors designed for both on and off road performance, Shimano makes E-biking great for every kind of rider. City commuters and cyclists who ride mostly paved roads benefit from the lightweight and quick E5000, E6000, and E6100 motors. Mountain bikers benefit from the high torque and durability of the E7000 and E8000.
Shimano STEPS (Shimano Total Electric Power System) motors come with three boost modes: Eco, Normal, and High. An easy to see LCD display paired with handlebar-mounted switch units makes controlling your ride support effortless. The 250W motors deliver enough torque (40-70Nm depending on the model) to get you up the hills with speed and control. Weighing in at under 7lbs, they are some of the lightest drive systems on the market.
Shimano touts the long life of their 400Wh and 500Wh batteries as well as their range and fast charge times. These batteries can take up to 1,000 charges without any significant loss in power, so you can rest assured that your E-bike will continue to perform well for a long time to come. Riders can feel confident in the battery's ability to go the distance. Maximum ranges on city and trekking motors hover around 100 miles, and the mountain bike motors can even reach distances of over 60 miles. Plus, the batteries can be charged up to 80% capacity in only 2-2.5 hours.
Yamaha has been taking its legendary motor mechanical tech to the E-bike industry for years. The 2019 Yamaha models like the 250 watt 2019 PW-SE and 500W PW-X are powerful mid drive motors that offer riders calculated support to do more on bikes. For 2020, Yamaha makes 3 different pedal-assist motors for electric bikes. The PW series TE is great for commuters and recreational riding. The The PW series ST offers more power for a sportier ride that can be used on a quick commuter, road, or mountain E-bike. The PW-X2 is their higher end motor stocked on high end mountain bikes that ride more aggressively on rough terrain.
Yamaha motors come with Quad Sensor Technology. This simultaneously measures the gradient of the terrain, bike speed, crank rotation rate, and pedal torque. The result is beautifully smooth yet powerful assistance in all situations. Yamaha's Automatic Support Mode can intuitively select the appropriate amount of boost and automatically toggle between Eco, Eco+, Standard, and High modes depending on rider input and terrain.
PW-X2 motors come with an additional EXPW mode for up to 80 Nm of torque and more refined ride characteristics. Automatic Support Mode can be turned off if you desire to manually select your level of assist. Yamaha batteries come in 400Wh and 500Wh capacities and are easily removable. Every Yamaha battery includes an industry-leading 700 charge-cycle warranty.