The world of eBike technology is ever-evolving, with global competitions increasingly introducing eBike categories to their thrilling line-ups, and more and more system options emerging in the market. Therefore, it's crucial to consider not just the aesthetic features and frame design of your potential eBike purchase but also the performance of the electric drive system.
If you're on the hunt for your perfect eBike, this blog post will break down the key factors to consider in your choice of drive system including power, torque, and cadence, to help you make an informed choice and get the most out of your eBiking experience.
1. Power - The Heart of Your eBike
To understand the performance of an eBike's drive system, let's first explore how it operates. When you start pedaling, sensors in the drive system detect your movement and activate the motor through intelligent algorithms. The motor is then engaged through the gears and adjusted through the reducer assembly to align accordingly with your cadence, ultimately propelling your wheels and providing you with the perfect amount of natural and stable auxiliary power.
Power, a critical aspect of the drive system, is usually measured in two ways: rated power and peak power. The rated power signifies the motor's continuous power output under normal conditions, indicating its consistent performance. Peak power, on the other hand, represents the motor's maximum output when faced with instantaneous load demands. The duration of peak power output depends on factors like motor power density and heat dissipation design.
Here's where the Bafang M510 stands out as a world-leading mid-motor system for eMTBs. It offers improved heat dissipation by using magnesium casing and adding an upgraded block-type stator and rotor, and a Bafang-developed control unit. This ensures the motor can maintain its peak power output for over 15 minutes, offering long-lasting and high-energy support for your ride. It's no wonder why this is a top choice for eMTB riders!
Image: Bafang M510 Mid-Motor
2. Torque - The Power in Your Pedals
Torque, just like power, plays a pivotal role in drive system performance. Representing the rotational force generated by the motor when it's running, this feature of your drive system has a direct impact on the operating efficiency of your motor and is an important parameter for judging the drive system's overall performance. To put it simply, more torque means you'll feel all the more powerful while riding.
Currently, there are significant variations in the maximum torque values marked by different brands and types of motor systems on the market. This value may vary depending on the needs of the drive system application (eg eMTB, eCargo, eTour, etc.), and is usually calculated based on the needs of users as identified by R&D, sales, marketing, and other relevant parties.
However, some manufacturers may use stall torque data to promote their products in order to appeal to the market's pursuit of high-torque systems. Gathered through the use of machine dynamometers while the motor's output rotational speed is zero, this theoretical data often fails to translate to real-world riding performance, resulting in inaccurate user-expectations where the actual riding experience is much weaker.
For example, the Bafang M820 boasts a maximum torque of 75Nm, but under dynamometer testing conditions, it can reach up to 112Nm.
Image: Bafang M820 Mid-Motor
3. Cadence - The Rhythm of Riding
eBikes blend human pedal power with motor assistance, making accurate torque sensors and algorithms vital for adjusting motor output in real-time. The information gathered by these sensors comes directly from your pedal-power, and is, in turn, translated into the appropriate amount of motor-assistance.
Cadence is the rate or speed at which a rider pedals or turns the bike's cranks. The stable cadence of the average cyclist is generally between 60-90rpm, and that of the professional athlete may be significantly higher, even exceeding 100rpm.
Maintaining continuous power output under high cadence is a crucial criterion for eMTB riders and competitive racers, and it's where the Bafang M510 excels. With an extended maximum cadence support of up to 120rpm, it ensures smooth and powerful performance even during high cadence requirements. Whether riding at high speeds or climbing steep slopes, you can experience stable power and an enjoyable ride.
In Conclusion - A Holistic Approach to Performance
Although higher power, extended cadence support, and higher torque usually equate to higher riding speed and optimized power output, the performance of the drive system should be comprehensively evaluated as a whole. It's important to consider how sensitively the system responds, including at the maximum supported cadence and at lower speeds, and whether it can maintain a strong power output in the entire cadence range. A great system also needs high-quality materials, precision manufacturing, efficiency, user-friendliness, and reliable algorithms. These factors all contribute to the overall performance of your eBike in various riding conditions.
In choosing the right eBike for your needs, remember that the drive system is the beating heart of your riding experience. By considering these key factors, you can make a more informed decision and find an eBike that delivers both impressive technical specifications and an exceptional riding experience. Happy riding!