Ebikes, electric bikes, electric bicycles and pedelecs are arguably all the same thing. They are most simply described as a bicycle with an electric motor that aids the user in the propulsion of the bike, kind of like a traditional gas powered moped. At Junto, we firmly disagree with the idea that an Ebike is simply a bicycle + electric motor, but it’s a good place to start. Legislature around the world will tell you that Ebikes are not regarded as bicycles, mopeds or motorcycles, and that there are actually frequently different classifications or classes of Ebikes. You can learn more about Ebikes in the below FAQ detailing how fast a Junto can go.
So this is how we describe Ebikes: Ebikes are a unique type of light electric motorized vehicle that closely resemble bicycles in their operation, but can either rely solely on a motor for propulsion, solely on a user, and/or utilize a hybrid of human and motorized propulsion, widely known as pedal assist.
There are 3 major components essential in the classification of an Ebike: a motor, a battery, and a drivetrain that allows the user to pedal and propel their Ebike. Batteries may vary in capacity, motors might vary in power, and drivetrains might vary in performance, but an Ebike is not an Ebike without these provisions.
Motors: Most Ebikes use either front hub drive motors, mid-drive motors, or rear hub drive motors, such as the Bafang model found on Junto Ebikes. These motors all have their own pros and cons, with the general consensus being that each type of motor suits a particular kind of Ebike user, intended use, and/or market. As with any manufactured item, there is a wide range of product quality per motor type, and while the highest performing ebike motor in the world is arguably a mid drive, there are certainly mid drives that underperform front and rear hub drives.
Batteries: All Ebikes use electric batteries of various chemistries to aid in the propulsion of the Ebike. The most popular chemistries are Lithium Ion, Lead acid and Lithium Iron Phosphate. Lithium ion is pretty much the standard for high performing, rechargeable batteries in all untethered electric devices on earth, from cellphones to Tesla’s. There are varying chemistries within the umbrella of Lithium Ion, but they are not important to this immediate conversation. As with motors, and perhaps more extremely, there is a wide array of batteries on the market, and the consequences of cheap batteries can be very, very dire. Junto is proud to use high end Samsung 18650 cells in our lithium ion battery packs, and employ a very intelligent battery management system, or BMS, in all of our batteries to keep our customers safe and on the road for as many charge cycles as possible.
Drivetrain: In the unfortunate event of an electrical issue or the depletion of a battery, your drivetrain is what will get you home. The drivetrain of an Ebike is best described as all the parts that allow the user to propel their Ebike mechanically and without electrical assistance. On a Junto, these parts are represented by a crankset (aka pedal arms), chainring (aka front gear), chain, derailleur (aka gear shift) and cassette (aka rear gears). Many throttle ebikes use paltry drivetrains because they assume that their users won’t be pedaling very much- this can lead to some additional memory if you find yourself without any juice left. Junto’s use very high end Shimano SLX drivetrains meant for hardcore mountain bike excursions to take care of you when the going gets tough, but also to make your pedal assist experience maximally rewarding and reliable.