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The Difference between Class 1, 2, and 3 E-bikes, and which is right for you?

types of E-bike Class

If you're new to e-bikes, it can be difficult to know which is the best class for you. If you live in a hilly area or just want an easy ride, then Class 1 is probably your best option. But if you want more power and speed, then Class 2 may be better suited to your needs. And if you are in the market for pure excitement packed with power and speed(or are looking to go faster than 28 mph) then Class 3 will suit your needs nicely!

What's the right choice for me? That depends on what type of bike riding experience do YOU prefer?

We’ll discuss how each bike works in detail below so that you can determine what is best for your commute.

What the heck is an E-Bike anyway?

Ecotric Vortex

Featured Image: Ecotric Vortex Electric City Bike


An Electric Bike or E-Bike is a great way to get around without relying on cars which is more environmentally friendly. They are much more affordable than electric vehicles, and are gaining in popularity as an alternative form of transportation.

An e-bike has an electric motor with a lithium-ion battery that is connected to the bike's drive train. The rider can pedal but the electric hub motor makes it easier on hills or during times when it is just not possible to pedal enough. The motor and battery pack comes in different sizes, from small lightweight units intended for commuting to heavier packs designed for long distance touring.

You will need access to electricity, but most e-bikes offer plug-in charging options so you can charge off your home's electrical system while staying clean and green. Charging times vary but most batteries take between 3 to 8 hours to charge. If you want, you can check into solar power options that will allow you run your bike off of the sun's energy during daylight hours.

The hub motor on an electric bike has been growing in popularity for years now. In fact, the demand is so high that it has been increasing the cost of e-bikes that use them. But many people really enjoy riding e-bikes because they offer several ways to ride. You have the option of pedaling, using the motor only as needed, or turning it off altogether and just coasting along. This gives you a great deal of control over your speed which is great for those who are new to cycling or don't want to work up a sweat just getting to work.

The Difference between Class 1, 2, and 3 E-bikes

There are three classes of electric bikes - class 1 e-bikes, which can only go up to 20 mph; class 2 e-bikes, with a throttle like a motorcycle and pedal assistance up to 28 mph; and class 3 e-bikes, which is faster and more aerodynamic operates under power only. One thing that makes the difference between these three classes is how fast they can go and how many levels of power assistance they have. Let's dive a bit deeper.

Class 1 low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycles

Class 1 electric bikes are the most affordable electric bike. They have a top speed of 20 mph with pedal assist and don't require a license or insurance to operate. There is no throttle - the hub motor provides a constant power level to accommodate whatever you are pedaling.

The top benefit of class 1 bikes are price and simplicity. The downsides are that they can't go as fast as the other classes and you need to pedal for it to work.

Class 2 low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle

are the most popular electric bikes on the market. They have a top speed of 20 mph and allow for power assistance up to this point. There is a throttle, but it's like that of a motorcycle. You can pedal but the throttle also helps you along when you really need to get somewhere fast.

The main benefits of class 2 e-bikes are speed, power, and convenience. The downside is that they're more expensive than class 1 e-bikes.

Class 3 speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle

are the most expensive, but they're also the fastest with a top speed of 28 mph and power assistance that can go up to this point. There's no pedaling necessary for class 3 e-bikes and generally they don't require a license or insurance.

The main benefits of class three bikes are speed and convenience, but you'll have to pay extra for them. The downside is that they're limited in range by the battery life so you'll have to make sure your charging situation is perfect.

The Anatomy of an electric Bike

It is undeniable that electric bikes are not only convenient for recreational bikers, but for commuters as well. While they are similar to regular bikes, they have a few components that make them different like a motor and battery included.


One of these is the battery - electric bikes usually have lithium batteries. These are lightweight and can be charged quickly, but they also provide more energy than regular batteries, allowing you to go farther before needing to recharge.

Lithium ion batteries are one of the central parts of an electric bike. They provide more power than regular batteries, meaning that you can go farther before needing to recharge.

Electric Motor

The main reason people get an e-bike rather than a regular bike is because they've got an electric motor which provides extra power (in pedal assist or throttle assist) when necessary. You can also set these levels depending on your riding preference, which means that you're not constantly getting the same amount of help you need - you can set it to help more when you're starting out and less once you've got the hang of riding an e-bike.

Hub Motors

An electric hub motor is an electric motor that is mounted inside the rear hub motor of the bike's wheel. These are powered by a battery and can be very reliable. The wheels turn when you pedal to assist your movement through cycling or to help your get started on a gradual slope, or even when you go up a hill with steep incline. A similar function of an electric rear hub motor is aiding in pedaling power when peddling up a hill - while not fully powered by electricity, it still is more powerful than manual pedals alone would ever be able to do.

The advantage of a hub motor on e-bikes is that because it's built into the wheel, it's much more powerful than traditional pedal assist. These motors are easier to ride up hills and you're not constantly balancing between pedal power and electric power.

Direct-Drive Hub Motors

On a direct-drive hub motor, the magnets are mounted inside the wheel. On an indirect-drive hub motor, the magnets are on the outside of the axle. Indirect-drive motors are more comfortable to pedal because there is no force directly applied to your heel. Direct-drive motors may be easier to ride up hills because there is a constant power level provided by the motor and you don't have to balance between pushing with your feet and using pedal assist.

Geared Hub Motors

Geared hub motors are usually more powerful than a pedal-only electric bike, but they're not as powerful as the direct-drive hub motor. The advantage is that it will engage no matter what level of resistance you're facing. Indirect-drive hub motors will disengage when you face too much resistance and require more power to get up the hill or over the incline, but geared hub motors will keep going until it reaches its limit.

Friction Motors

Friction motors are the easiest type of electric motor to use, but they are also the least powerful. A friction motor is built into the bike's wheel and engages by spinning freely in whatever direction you're going. This means that it will always be engaged and there is no worry about disengaging if you need more power.

Mid drive Motor

Spectre Motor

A mid drive electric bike is a drive system located in the center of the bicycle that provides pedal assistance from a brushless motor. A brushless motor has no brushes, so it never wears out and is much more efficient. Mid drive bikes are made from either an aluminum or carbon fiber frame, so they're very lightweight and powerful.

When you start pedaling, the motor begins to turn and helps power your ride. This type of motor is lightweight and doesn't need to be mounted around the back or the front wheel like some other motors.

The advantages of a mid-drive electric bike include more torque and control for off-road riding, smoother power delivery (which can be important for cyclists who experience numb hands or suffer from hand stiffness), better climbing capability, less weight than hub motors, and an optimum number of gears to climb steep hills.

Display Control System

bafang display spectre bike

Some models of e-bikes have a display control system that will show a variety of useful information, such as battery life and the amount of electric power being used. These displays are touch screen and can be very user-friendly. They show your current speed, distance, and other added features depending on the model.


What is the best type of E-bike for your commute

The best electric bike for your commute really depends on the type of riding you are looking to do. For example, if you're just going to be commuting and taking trips around the city, then a class 1 e-bike might work well for you. Class 1 bikes have a top speed of 20 mph with pedal assist and don't require a license or insurance to operate. They are the most affordable option out there. However, if you need to go faster or farther than what is possible with a class 1 e-bike, then this may not be the best choice for you. A class 2 e-bike will cost more but could be better for longer commutes and quick errands because it has a top speed of 20 mph and allows power assistance up to this point. Class 2 bikes have a throttle, but it's like that of a motorcycle. You can pedal for speed and power, but the throttle also helps you along when you really need to get somewhere fast.

Class 3 e-bikes are fun to ride because they operate under power only. They go faster than class 1 and class 2 e-bikes and they give the rider a more stable ride.

How to choose the right e-bike for you

There are a lot of things to consider before choosing an e-bike that will suit your needs. Now that we know the different classes of e-bikes and what they offer, let's start with the most important part: how do you know which e-bike is right for you?

The first question you should ask yourself is a simple one: what do I want to spend? Going up in price will get you better range, speed, power, and efficiency.

What else do I need to consider in order to choose the right e-bike for me? The answer to this question depends a lot on your personal preferences and needs as well. Do you want an urban commuter that gets you from point A to B? Or are you more interested in a sporty bike that lets you enjoy the ride and offers speed? Maybe you want a cargo bike that allows you to easily bring your kid along. You can even get an electric recumbent tricycle (yes, those exist!).

Though there is no "best e-bike" for everyone, but there are certainly many that will fit the needs of most commuters and recreational riders.

The benefits of owning an E-bike

The possibilities are endless when it comes to owning an e-bike. Owning a bike with a motor can be beneficial for those who live in areas that are hilly or have lots of traffic.

E-bikes provide the opportunity to enjoy exercise and travel without feeling the adverse effects of exertion on your body. The importance of fitness is underlined by many companies which provide staff with free use of company bikes, track their progress electronically and reward them financially if they succeed in meeting certain targets for steps covered or distance cycled.

Another benefit is that you can go anywhere with an E-bike! They have the ability to provide you with transportation within minutes from the comfort of your home. This allows for convenience in which you can use your bike as your main form of transportation.

Finally, the most obvious benefit is that an e-bike reduces the amount of pollution and emissions released by vehicles on a daily basis. With more people behind the wheel of an electric car or on an E-bike, this means less traffic congestion in city streets and highways.

E-bikes are a great way to get around town.

If you decide to switch from walking to biking, an electric bike can be the perfect choice. The following are some reasons why an e-bike is a great way to get around town.

E-bikes offer a sustainable and economical means of transportation: they are good for the environment, don't use up fossil fuel, and save your money on gas and maintenance.

You can enjoy your ride with less physical exertion: these bikes have pedal assistance so you won't get tired or bored, but they also allow for battery power that most people find more efficient than pedaling uphill or against heavy winds.

E-bikes are a great way to get more exercise: pedaling is still an aerobic activity and you can use it to get in shape.

Some electric bikes offer increased hill climbing power, so they're better at handling inclines than regular bicycles.

They allow for faster speed and ease of commuting if your daily route is long and complicated or if the distance from home to your work is too short for a regular bike.

Some E-bikes can carry cargo, so they are good not just for commuting but also for running errands, delivering things (like food) or even going grocery shopping.

Last, but certainly not least: you can also consider using an electric bike to commute in order to help you stay fit and healthy – which is important for just about everyone.

Electric bikes are a great transportation option for many people. They eliminate the need to pedal, and can be found in three classes: class 1 e-bikes that go up to 20 mph; class 2 e-bikes with throttle like a motorcycle and pedal assistance up to 28 mph; and finally class 3 electric bikes which operate under power only. The most important thing is finding an electric bike that suits your needs best! Let us know if you want more information on how this process works or if you're interested in purchasing one of our high quality e-bike options today! For more information or questions Call or text us at 877-433-5470 or Chat with us at You can also email us at for any technical questions.

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