What Is The Difference Between An Ebike And An Electric Bike?

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The world of power-assisted bicycle riding can be a confusing world for newcomers, as well as simply transitioning from a human, pedal-powered bike. One area of confusion is simply the terms used to describe the type of bike you are riding. You may have heard different terms used, such as ebike and electric bike, but what is the difference between an ebike and an electric bike? In this guide, I will answer this and some related ebike questions.

For those looking for a quick answer…

An ebike and electric bike in general is the same thing. This is because an ebike is a portmanteau of electric bike. An ebike is an electric bicycle, which provides power assistance to a push bike. However, the term electric bike can sometimes refer to an electric motorcycle, so it is safer to stick to the term ebike when referring to an electric bicycle to avoid confusion.

Want to learn more? Then read on.

What Is The Difference Between An Ebike And An Electric Bike

What Is the Difference Between an Ebike and An Electric Bike?

For those who are moving from the regular bike to the electric way of riding, there can be some confusion with some of the terms used for different types of electric bikes. Whilst you may understand your rear derailleur from your cassette, you might not know the difference between a pedal-assist vs. a throttle-only electric bike. You might also be confused as to whether an ebike and electric bike are even the same thing!

The easy answer here is that these terms both mean the same thing, with ebike being a portmanteau of electric and bike. However, some people may use “electric bike” as a term to refer to bikes that have more similarities with motorbikes than standard bicycles.

To avoid confusion, it is recommended that you refer to electric bicycles as ebikes, so that people don’t think you are talking about electric motorbikes.

What Are the Different Types of E-Bikes?

Whilst there are numerous styles of ebike, such as hybrids, mountain bikes, etc, there are also different classes of ebike, known as class 1, class 2 and class 3.

What Is a Class 1 Ebike?

Class 1 ebikes are the most basic and least powerful type of electric bicycles. They are limited to a top speed of 20 mph, and their motors cannot produce more than 750 watts of power. This makes them legal to operate in all 50 states without any type of license or registration. Class 1 ebikes are ideal for commuting and light recreational riding, and they can be powered by either a battery or pedal assist.

What Is a Class 2 Ebike?

A Class 2 ebike is a bicycle that can propel the rider with electric assistance up to 20 mph. The electric motor on a Class 2 bike aids the rider, not replaces them, so the cyclist must pedal in order to activate the electric assist. Ebikes are classified by law based on how much power the motor provides in relation to how much the cyclist pedals.

Class 2 ebikes are popular because they provide a helpful boost for riders who want to get around without breaking a sweat, but still want to be physically active. They’re also more affordable than some of the other types of ebikes and are often seen as more practical for day-to-day use.

What Is a Class 3 Ebike?

Class 3 ebikes are where things become a little confusing between the different states.

Class 3 ebikes are capable of going up to 28 mph and must come with a speedometer, however, they don’t necessarily need to have a throttle.

In some states, these ebikes can be used in the same way as a class 1 or 2 ebike, however, in some states, they are classed as an electric motorbike and as such you will need a licence to ride one.

Do Ebikes Charge as You Pedal?

Electric bikes, or Ebikes, are designed to assist the rider with pedalling. The electric motor provides power to the bike, which helps the rider travel farther and faster with less effort. Ebikes are a great way to get around, especially for those who might have difficulty riding a traditional bicycle.

One question often asked is whether an ebike will charge whilst being pedalled. The answer is that for the majority of ebikes, the battery will not change whilst pedalling. The only time that the battery will charge is when the battery is plugged in to charge.

Can You Still Ride an Ebike without The Battery?

The battery is the most important part of an electric bike, but what if it goes bad or you want to take a break from pedalling? Can you still ride your electric bike without the battery?

Yes, you can still ride your electric bike without the battery. If your battery dies or you want to take a break from pedalling, you can still use your electric bike by using the pedals. The pedals will help you move the bike forward and make it easier to get up hills.

One thing to consider is how far your electric bike will be able to go through pedal power alone. This is because these bikes are typically heavier than normal push bikes, so will be harder to ride.


So there you go, the simple answer is that ebikes and electric bikes generally mean the same thing, though the term electric bike can also be used to refer to an electric motorbike.