Do e-bikes make noise? Are electric bikes loud?
I have been riding electric bikes and scooters for a very long time. One question you could be asking yourself is, are electric bikes loud? Do electric bikes make noise? And if so, is there a way to make them silent? E-bikes are quite expensive and you may never want to draw attention to yourself. Who do not want a quiet electric bike?
So, are electric bikes loud? They make some noise but hardly noticeable. They are quieter than the internal combustion engine bikes. If direct drive motors hardly make any noise. However, if your e-bike has a conversion kit and then a geared hub motor, there will be some noise.
Despite the greasing done by the manufacturer, motors in your e-bike produce some noise. Let me explain where the noise you hear in the motors comes from. There are two sources of noise in your electric motor. The first source one noise comes from the coil. The magnetic field in your motor coil changes from time to time. The changes in the magnetic coil create some vibrations. Such vibrations are audible. When you hear a whine, it is coil vibration.
The second source of noise is the bearings upon which the axle is mounted. The noise from the bearing becomes significantly high become of the high rotation of motors. Motors can have RPMs that are more than 10 x than that of an internal combustion engine. This is why the noise from the bearing is audible. As the bearings become less efficient with time, the noise can become annoying high. The more inefficient the bearings become, the higher the noise. Given time, the noise becomes high-pitched. This is a sign that you need to make changes. Loud bearings are not only harmful to people but also increases the strain in your battery.
There could be a third source of noise depending on the age of your electric motor. It is the noise made when the stator and rotor teeth lock magnetically. When the rotor and the stator are turning, there is a cogging noise that is made. This, however, is found in only older motors.
Conversion kit noise and gear
Do you know you can convert a regular bike into an e-bike using a conversion kit? Yes, you can. If you happen to use a conversion kit, you should expect some noise. However, you should not get worried for there are ways to reduce the noise that I am going to discuss here.
It is common knowledge that gears are necessary. However, there some types of gears that are unbearably noisy; the spur gears. Helical gears are most quiet. I have several ways I can recommend to reduce the noise. The first method is the use of helical gears instead of spur gears. Helical gear teeth slide into one another as opposed to hitting one another as spur gears do. The second method is to use nylon gears. There are advantages of using nylon gears instead of metallic types. Other than reducing the weight of gears, nylon materials reduce vibration significantly. The two downsides associated with nylon gears are that they break easily when overloaded and they also meltdown.
The third method is by use of grease or oil. Oil or grease reduces the friction between the gear teeth and by doing so noise is reduced. Lastly, there is a special coating that can be used on gears. You can go a direct drive if you do not want all the troubles associated with gears. Direct drives do not have gears.
Conversion kits will affect how much your e-bike weighs.
Noise from the chain: are electric bikes loud
All chains are going to make some noise. Worst still, the level of noise made is directly proportional to the size of the chain. Also, the type of chain determines the level of noise you will experience. For instance, a single-speed chain is noisier than an 8-speed chain. Manufacturers screw chain line to reduce the noise. They do this to reduce the contact points for the chain and the gear. A messed-up chain line does not only make noise but also causes some tear and wear on the gear.
Your question, “are electric bikes”, is not yet answered fully. Let us now take a look at the mid-drive e-bike motor.
Is mid-drive e-bike motor noisy?
Mid-drive electric bike motors are most carefully designed to provide you with the expected experience. Perhaps this is the most sophisticated engineering design when it comes to an electric bike.
So, do mid-drive motors produce noise? Yes, they do produce noise. From my riding experience over years, mid-drive motors are noisier than gear hub motors.
Nonetheless, there are advantages associated with mid-drive motors such as naturally balanced e-bike weight. Having the e-bike motor centrally placed makes your riding experience very natural. Furthermore, the motor is placed as low as possible to reduce the center of gravity. This improves the stability of the rider.
If you happen to place the conversion kit on the front wheel, well, you will be in for a very rude shock. The front wheel is known for vibrating a lot. It is either because the shock absorbers are weak or because the wheel carries minimum weight. So, try to avoid placing the conversion kit on the front wheel. Furthermore, you will just exhaust your arm muscles too much because of unnecessary weight. Besides that, the bike becomes very unbalanced. You will not enjoy your ride.
Let us examine the noise from other types of drive motors.
Noise from e-bike direct drive
This type of drive is perhaps the most efficient of them all. The motor is part of the wheel. Of the drives you are going to come across, this produces the least noise. They are the quietest type of drive. It is because they have very limited moving parts. They have no gears or chains and that is why they very quiet.
So that enough torque to turn the wheel is produced, the direct-drive motors are very large. This is their downside. Their large size means a lot of weight. If your battery runs low, you will be in for a rude shock because of the energy needed to push them with not throttle assistance.
Besides being heavy, there is no way you can freewheel. Engineers are yet to come with a way to freewheel motors. And what is the problem if you have to spin the whole motor with the wheel? Remember motors have magnets. When the motor spins, there is a drag created by the magnetic field. Have you ever cycled into a headwind? Well, pedaling with zero throttles assists for a direct drive motor to feel exactly like that.
If you do not, direct-drive motors have to be installed in the rear wheel. The front wheels have a lot of vibrations. The vibrations do create both a lot of noise and could destroy your motor faster than it is necessary.
Gear hub motors: e-bike hub making noise
Compared to the direct-drive mores, your gear hub motor is relatively small. They are designed to use the epicyclic gearbox. The wheel is connected to the outer ring by the inner teeth. The motor is connected to the sun gear.
The advantage this type of gear arrangement has over the direct drive is the ability to generate more torque. And why is that possible, the wheel can spin faster. For the direct drive, the wheels only spin as fast as the motor itself. So, it is safe to say that this type of gearbox can offer greater speeds than the direct drive.
Gear hubs motors have another advantage direct drive do not have; it is possible to freewheel. So, while going downhill, you can save power. How much power is saved affect how far your e-bike can go. Isn`t that very interesting?
Are electric bikes loud: those using a gear hub? Yes, they are noisier than the direct drive. They may not be very loud but they make noise that is hard to ignore.
Is it possible to reduce the noise on my bike?
Yes, you can reduce the noise your electric biking is making and make it quieter. You can achieve this by reducing the parts in your e-bikes that vibrate a lot while are riding. I have tested some of these techniques am going to recommend and they have worked, so they should work just fine with you too.
The first thing to you should is to remove the conversion kit from the front wheel. The most preferable place to keep your conversion kit is in the middle part of the bike. The middle part of the bike will give you the balance you needed alongside the silence we all designed while riding. Noise can stress you.
Secondly, ensure all nuts and bolts are very tight always. Any loose part on your e-bike means more vibrations while you’re pedaling. Furthermore, when you are on a rough track, you will constantly hear those vibrating parts. Loosely held parts of your bike may fall to never be recovered again.
Finally, you ought to have your electric bike clean always. Yes, I know you could be mountain climbing now and then. When dirt or twigs stick to your e-bike, they can cause your bike to be annoyingly noisy. So, it is important to clean it always. Benefits
How to know the quietest e-bike motor
Since now you have the answer to the question, “are electric bikes loud?”, it is time I discuss how to tell which is the quietest e-bike motor. While I may have one model that is known to be quiet and good, I would also advise you to check the products for yourself before buying. Factors are known to produce one or two faulty products once in a while. If you fall for such part, you would call me a liar all the days of your life.
Therefore, when you identify the model, you wish to buy, politely as the dealer to allow you to perform a test drive. Most of them are kind enough to allow you to do it. You should know that e-bikes that pre-made are often very quiet. They are quieter than those which use conversion kit. Those that you create by installing a motor yourself will be noisy at one point or the other.
Electric bikes are way quieter than motorcycles. They also have a ton of advantages such as operation cost being lower than that of a motorcycle. in my article, about charging EVs into a regular outlet, we discovered that in the long run, it is more economical to operate electric vehicles and bikes than the regular ones.
Are the conversion kits hard to install?
They are not hard to install. Many people have successfully installed them and so can you. I have installed several for other peoples and myself. Most of the time, you will have an installation manual come with the installation kit. So, do not worry. Besides, it is within your legal rights to seek an expert to install one for you.
Final thoughts on are electric bikes loud?
The technology keeps on getting better and better so that you and I can enjoy what the world has to offer. Electric bikes are a sure and a quiet way to move around from one point to another in the city. The benefits associated with electric scooters are similar to those associated with electric bikes. As you say in the discussion, other than having a quiet ride, you will enjoy keeping the environment cleans. In the G7 summit, the countries are moving towards green cities with all efforts geared towards using Eco-friendly fuel sources.
There is a downside to the use of e-bike, the time required to charge them. The larger the battery, the more time it shall take to charge them to capacity. Though manufacturers are performing research to help with this, there are e-bikes that require up to 3 hours to charge. You should not worry too much about this. I have a secret that will help you. I have realized that to charge up to 80% of my battery, it takes almost half of the time to charge to 100%. So, you do have to charge 100% always. Furthermore, it is not recommended to fully charge or drain your batteries.