Table of Contents

Ebike Glossary Of Terms – 81 things you should know

Welcome to our “Ebike Glossary Of Terms,” specifically curated for businesses and electric bike manufacturers alike.
In today’s environmentally conscious landscape, e-bikes have emerged as a sustainable and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, as well as manufacturers seeking to create cutting-edge electric bike models.

eco transport


This comprehensive glossary is designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and terminology to make informed decisions when selecting the ideal e-bikes for your business needs or developing innovative electric bike designs. Whether you’re exploring options for last-mile delivery, employee commuting programs, enhancing your fleet, or pushing the boundaries of electric bike technology, this resource will serve as your essential guide.
Join us as we delve into the world of e-bikes and discover the terminology that will empower your business or manufacturing endeavors to thrive in the realm of sustainable transportation.
Let’s get started!

Warm minding: This table is organized alphabetically for ease of reference.

TermExplanation
AC CurrentAlternating Current, commonly used in electrical systems, is rarely utilized in Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs). LEVs predominantly rely on DC (Direct Current) power sources for enhanced efficiency and compatibility with their compact designs.
Advanced BatteryA high-performance battery utilizing NiMH or Lithium cells, often accompanied by a battery management system (BMS) for optimal functionality.
AmpDerived from the unit of electrical current called the Ampere. It quantifies the amount of electric current flowing through a specific point within a designated timeframe.
Amp Hours (AH)A professional unit of measurement used to indicate the capacity of a battery. It represents the amount of energy the battery can deliver over a specific period. In the context of e-bikes, a higher amp-hour rating translates to a longer-lasting charge. Most e-bike batteries typically offer a range of 11-14 Ah.
How to Choose the Right Battery Capacity for Improved E-Bike Performance?
Auxiliary BatteryAn additional power source in a vehicle that is not essential for its primary operation. It serves as an optional supplement, providing extra electrical current as needed.
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Tritek’s E-bike Range Extender
Battery, or Energy Storage DeviceA vital component comprised of cells arranged to produce a precise voltage and current. This power source is indispensable for providing the required energy to operate electric motors or vehicles.
If you’re interested in importing e-bike batteries from China, we have an in-depth guide that serves as the ultimate resource for navigating the process successfully.
Battery RangeRefers to the distance in miles that can be covered on a single charge of an e-bike battery.
The actual range can vary based on factors such as the specific e-bike model, battery capacity, environmental conditions, and the type of riding being undertaken.
As a general guideline, e-bike riders can typically expect a range between 20 and 75 miles, although this can differ based on individual circumstances.
BMS (Battery Management System)Serves as the intelligent control center for advanced batteries. It is an electronic circuit that performs crucial functions including monitoring the battery’s state, safeguarding against overheating and safety issues, and ensuring optimal charging.
Acting as the “brains” of the battery, the BMS collects and reports data, protects the battery from damage, and maintains balance among battery cells for optimal performance and longevity.
Discover the importance of the BMS for eBike in our informative article.
Bottom Bracket
(See below Anatomy of an E-bike)
A vital component of a bike frame that houses the bearings and supports the crankset (pedals and arms).
Often referred to as the “BB,” it is a round shell with threaded or press-fit interfaces that securely hold the crank cartridge.
It is also commonly known as the “bottom bracket shell,” defining the circular frame element where the bottom bracket is installed.
Bottom Bracket MotorAlso referred to as a central or mid-motor, positioned near the bottom bracket or pedal axle, provides propulsion for the bicycle.
Brake Kill SwitchA safety feature, the brake kill switch deactivates the motor when the rider engages the brakes.
Brake SensorA safety device that detects when the rider activates the brake lever, automatically turning off the motor and cutting power to the throttle and pedal-assist system.
This ensures safe and controlled braking.
Brushless DC MotorAlso referred to as a BLDC motor, is a highly efficient motor design that outperforms brush-type motors. It offers extended durability as there are no wear points besides the bearings.
With simplified maintenance requirements, it boasts a longer lifespan.
However, the control electronics for a brushless DC motor are typically more expensive.
Brush Type DC MotorUtilizes brushes in the motor, resulting in wear points due to friction.
However, it offers the advantage of requiring less expensive control electronics and being more cost-effective to manufacture compared to brushless DC motors.
Cable connectorThe junction where electric cable pins connect. Regularly checking this point is crucial to prevent performance problems while riding.
Cadence sensorA cadence sensor is an electronic device typically located in the bottom bracket area of a bicycle. It consists of magnets that are activated by the rotation of the cranks and pedals.
The sensor communicates with the e-bike’s controller and motor to provide assistance based on the rider’s pedaling cadence, helping to deliver a smooth and efficient riding experience.
Cassette (See below Anatomy of an E-bike)A cassette is a collection of multiple gears attached to the rear wheel hub of a bicycle.
CellsCells are professional electrochemical devices that generate electric current individually. They are then combined into packages known as batteries, which provide the required voltage and current for specific functions.
In the context of light electric vehicles (LEVs), such as e-bikes, the most commonly used cell types are 18650 and 21700 cells. These cells are widely utilized due to their compact size, energy density, and suitability for LEV applications.
The quality of the cells is crucial in determining battery life and discharge rates, making it imperative to choose reliable and high-quality cells for optimal performance and longevity.
Read more —> 21700 vs 18650 battery battle on LEV
Which 21700 battery is best for an e-bike?
Which 18650 battery is best for an e-bike?
Centre driveA center drive, also known as a mid-drive, is a type of electric bike motor located near or around the bottom bracket of the bicycle.
This position enables more efficient power transfer and better weight distribution, resulting in improved handling and performance compared to hub motors.
Ceramic MagnetsUtilized in electric motors, ceramic magnets offer a cost-effective alternative to neodymium magnets.
While they exhibit lower performance, these magnets remain suitable for various motor applications, providing an economical solution without compromising functionality.
Charge cyclesBattery life is typically measured in charge cycles, which represents the number of times a battery can be fully discharged and recharged.
Most modern lithium-ion e-bike batteries last for approximately 800-1,000 charge cycles, equivalent to 3-5 years of regular usage for most cyclists.
Lithium Battery Lifespan: How Many Charging Cycles Can You Expect?
ChargerAn essential device utilized for recharging the depleted charge of a battery. Its primary purpose is to supply the necessary electrical current to restore the energy levels of the battery efficiently and effectively.
As a reliable charging solution, our Standard Charger, featured in the accompanying photo, is specifically designed to provide optimal charging performance.
Explore our chargers to find the ideal solution for your battery charging needs.
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ClassE-bikes are categorized into three distinct classes, each with its own characteristics:
Class 1 – Operate solely in pedal-assist mode, meaning the motor provides assistance while pedaling, helping riders achieve speeds of up to 20mph.
Class 2 – Offer both pedal-assist mode, supporting speeds up to 20mph, and a throttle-powered mode, allowing riders to accelerate without pedaling.
Class 3 – Similar to Class 1, these e-bikes rely solely on pedal-assist mode, but with enhanced motor assistance, enabling speeds of up to 28mph.
ConnectorsProfessional fittings that facilitate the connection of electrical components and wiring. They provide a secure and reliable interface, allowing for easy assembly and disassembly. Connectors are designed for convenience, often featuring a user-friendly mechanism for quick and effortless unplugging or releasing.
CurrentProfessional term used to describe the flow of electric charge in a circuit. It represents the movement of electrical energy and is often utilized to measure the amount of electricity being consumed or utilized by a vehicle.
Crank arm (See below Anatomy of an E-bike)The part of the bicycle’s crankset that connects the pedals to the bottom bracket spindle.
C-RateA measurement unit determining a battery’s ability to supply current.
A 1C rate means the battery can discharge completely in one hour. Attempting to exceed this rate may damage the battery.
For efficient motor performance, matching the battery’s C-Rate with the motor’s energy demands is crucial.
Find out How Battery C-Rate Affects Electric Bicycle Efficiency
DC (direct current)The predominant form of electrical current utilized in the majority of light electric vehicles (LEVs), including bikes. Unlike alternating current (AC), which changes direction periodically, DC flows consistently in a single direction. Its usage in LEVs ensures efficient and reliable power delivery for optimal performance.
Vicor DC-DC module helps Tritek e bike battery to maximize its effectiveness
DerailleurA mechanical device on a bicycle that moves the chain between different gears on the rear cassette or chainring.
Direct Drive Hub MotorAn electric motor used in e-bikes that directly connects to the wheel hub, without the use of gears or mechanical reduction.
It is known for its simplicity and quiet operation, but it can be larger and heavier compared to gear-type motors.
Disc brakesA type of braking system used on e-bikes and other vehicles. They use a disc or rotor attached to the wheel, and when the brake lever is squeezed, brake pads are applied to the disc, creating friction and slowing down or stopping the bike.
DisplayA display on an e-bike shows essential information to the rider, such as speed, distance, battery level, and assist mode.
It allows the user to interact with the e-bike’s settings and provides real-time feedback about the ride.
The display is usually mounted on the handlebars for easy visibility and control.
Down tube (See below Anatomy of an E-bike)The downtube is a structural component of an e-bike that runs from the front of the frame to the bottom bracket.
It is located on the front side of the bike’s main triangle and provides strength and rigidity to the frame. The downtube is an essential part of the overall bike design and contributes to its stability and handling.
Additionally, some e-bikes have integrated batteries housed within the downtube for a sleek and efficient design.
Down-tube batteryIt’s an e-bike battery often installed using the rack option for bikes with an upright seating position, to offer complete freedom when mounting or dismounting.
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Click the picture above to explore Tritek’s down-tube battery.
E-bike (electric bicycle)The generic term for an electrically powered bicycle. Ebike is often used as a substitute for the more correct term, pedelec.
Explore Tritek’s impact, lightweight, high energy output battery pack.
E-cargo bike (electric cargo bike)Are purpose-built bicycles specifically designed to transport heavy loads, such as children or bulkier items. They offer a greener alternative to car usage, promoting sustainable and eco-friendly transportation solutions.
With the assistance of an electric motor, e-cargo bikes enable riders to navigate urban environments and handle substantial cargo effortlessly.
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Explore Tritek’s cargo bike battery pack.
E-motorcycle (electric motorcycle)A two-wheeled vehicle powered by an electric motor instead of a traditional combustion engine. It offers a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation without compromising on performance.
E-motorcycles utilize advanced electric propulsion systems to deliver efficient and instant torque, providing an exhilarating riding experience.
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Explore Tritek’s E-motorcycle battery pack.
E-scooter (electric scooter)A two-wheeled vehicle powered by an electric motor. It is designed for personal transportation and operates by the rider standing or sitting on the scooter and using a handlebar for steering and control.
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Explore Tritek’s E-scooter battery pack.
Electronic shifting (Electronic gear shifting)A modern technology used in bicycles and e-bikes to change gears seamlessly using electronic signals instead of traditional mechanical cables and levers.
This system typically involves electronic derailleurs that automatically move the chain between different gears based on user input through buttons or switches, providing smoother and more precise gear changes.
Electronic shifting offers advantages like faster and more accurate shifting, reduced maintenance, and customization options.
Energy DensityRefers to the amount of energy that can be stored in a given volume or mass of a battery or energy storage system. It is a measure of the energy capacity relative to the size or weight of the system. Higher energy density indicates the ability to store more energy in a smaller or lighter package, resulting in increased efficiency and range for light electric vehicles and other applications.
EPAC (Electric Pedal Assist Cycle)It refers to a specific category of bicycles equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider’s pedaling efforts. These electrically assisted pedal cycles provide varying levels of motor assistance, enhancing the rider’s experience while maintaining the fundamental aspect of pedal-powered cycling.
Fork (See below Anatomy of an E-bike)Refers to the front suspension component that connects the front wheel to the frame.
Forks come in different types, such as rigid (no suspension), suspension forks (with built-in shock absorbers), and air forks (adjustable suspension with air pressure).
Gear hub motorSpecifically refers to a type of hub motor that incorporates gear reduction inside the hub.
This gear reduction allows for better efficiency and performance by increasing torque while reducing the size and weight of the motor.
Gear ratioRefers to the numerical relationship between the number of teeth on two gears that are meshed together in a drivetrain. In the context of e-bikes, it determines how many times the rear wheel rotates for each rotation of the pedals.
A higher gear ratio provides more speed but requires more effort to pedal, while a lower gear ratio offers easier pedaling but reduces speed.
Gear type motorA hub motor with gear reduction. Affordable and decent performance, but noisy with more wear points.
Head tube (See below Anatomy of an E-bike)A part of the bicycle frame that connects the front fork to the main body of the bike.
It is located at the front of the frame and houses the bearings and races that allow the fork to rotate smoothly, enabling steering control for the rider.
Hub motorRefers to an electric motor that is directly integrated into the hub of one of the wheels (usually the front or rear wheel) of the e-bike.
They are generally lighter and more discreet compared to larger mid-drive motors.
However, hub motors typically provide less power and may not perform as well on steep terrains compared to mid-drive motor.
Hub motors are typically of two types: direct drive hub motors and geared hub motors.
Human Electric HybridAn e-bike that combines human and electric power for propulsion, resulting in a highly efficient and versatile transportation solution.
By leveraging the torque of human effort and the endurance of electric motors, these bikes offer an optimal balance of efficiency and functionality.
Inner tube batteryIt’s a battery pack for the electric road bike with a slim frame.
If you need a battery hidden in the electric bike, and you are looking for high output, lightweight, and in a small volume, this model is perfect for you.
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Explore Tritek’s inner tube battery.
Intube batteryIt’s an e-bike battery fully integrated into the bike frame and it can be installed almost invisibly in a wide variety of bike frame types.
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Click the picture above to explore Tritek’s intube battery with 18650/21700 cells.
Lead Acid Batteries (Pb battery)Powered by a lead-based chemistry, lead acid batteries, while affordable and prevalent in light electric vehicles, suffer from drawbacks.
They are heavy, have limited energy density compared to newer technologies, require frequent maintenance, possess a shorter lifespan, and pose environmental concerns due to their lead content.
LEV (Light Electric Vehicle)Encompasses compact and lightweight electric transportation options like electric bikes, electric scooters, electric motorcycles, electric cargo bikes, and electric skateboards.
Tritek: World-leading lithium battery manufacturer for LEV.
Low-Speed Electric Assisted BicycleA term used in United States law to classify an electric bike that meets specific criteria for speed and motor power.
Lithium BatteryCome in several different types such as lithium manganese and lithium iron phosphate, offer outstanding performance, lightweight design, and extended lifespan.
Widely used in electric vehicles and portable electronics, these rechargeable batteries provide high energy density and efficient power delivery, making them a preferred choice for various applications.
LFP Battery (Lithium Iron Phosphate battery)A type of lithium-ion battery that offers several advantages such as improved safety, longer lifespan, and enhanced thermal stability.
LFP batteries are widely used in electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems due to their high energy density, fast charging capabilities, and excellent cycle life.
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Explore Tritek’s LFP battery packs for E-motorcycle and E cargo bikes.
Max Discharge or Max currentAre often used interchangeably to describe the maximum rate at which a battery can deliver its stored energy to a connected device or load.
This rate is typically measured in amperes (amps) and represents the highest current that the battery can safely supply.
Mechanical shiftingRefers to the traditional method of changing gears on a bicycle using mechanical components, such as cables and levers.
When the rider shifts gears, the mechanical components physically move the chain from one gear to another, allowing the rider to adjust the bike’s gear ratio manually.
Mid-drive motorAn electric motor located near the bottom bracket of a bicycle. It directly drives the bike’s chain, providing power to the pedals.
Mid-drive motors offer better weight distribution, improved efficiency, and the ability to leverage the bike’s gears for optimized performance on various terrains.
Modes/drive modesDifferent settings or power levels available on an electric bike that control how the motor operates. Common drive modes include:
Pedal Assist Mode (PAS): The motor provides assistance when the rider pedals, with different levels of assistance available.
Throttle Mode: The motor is activated by a throttle, and the rider doesn’t need to pedal to get power.
Eco Mode: A power-saving mode that provides minimal assistance to extend the battery range.
Sport Mode: Offers higher power output for faster acceleration and higher speeds.
Turbo Mode: The highest power setting, delivering maximum assistance for steep hills or quick acceleration.
Motor ControllerAn electronic circuit that regulates the speed of an electric motor and manages additional functions based on the vehicle’s model and features.
NCM (Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese battery)NCM stands for Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese, which is a type of lithium-ion battery chemistry used in electric bikes and other electric vehicles.
NCM batteries offer a good balance of energy density, power output, and lifespan, making them a popular choice for many e-bike manufacturers.
Newton metre (Nm)In the context of electric bikes, Nm is often used to describe the amount of force the motor can deliver to assist the rider while pedaling.
Higher Nm values indicate stronger motor assistance.
Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium battery)Were once used in electric bikes, but have been largely replaced by NiMH and lithium batteries. They have lower performance and are toxic compared to newer battery technologies.
NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride battery)Are nontoxic and offer better performance than lead acid but are not as high-performing as lithium batteries. While not commonly used in electric bikes, they can be found in select models.
PAS Bike (Pedal Assist System bike)Designed for the Japanese market and uses a proportional power paradigm.
The motor provides additional power in proportion to the rider’s pedaling effort.
PedelecAn electric bicycle that requires the rider to pedal for the motor to engage.
It combines the words “Pedal” and “Electric.” There are two variants: the PAS paradigm used in Japan and the EPAC paradigm used in Europe.
POD (Power on Demand)A feature found in some electric bikes. It allows the rider to activate the motor without pedaling, providing instant power when needed.
The POD system is controlled by a throttle or a button on the handlebars, giving the rider more control over the electric assistance.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD)A type of electric bike or vehicle configuration where the motor is located at the rear wheel.
In rear-drive e-bikes, the motor provides power directly to the rear wheel, which can offer good traction and stability, especially on uneven terrain.
Regenerative braking (aka “regen”)A braking system used in some electric bikes and vehicles that harnesses the energy generated during braking to recharge the battery.
When the rider applies the brakes, the motor acts as a generator, converting the kinetic energy of the moving bike back into electrical energy, which is then stored in the battery for later use.
Semi-integrated batteryA type of electric bike battery that is partially integrated into the bike’s frame.
Unlike fully integrated batteries that are completely concealed within the frame, semi-integrated batteries are partially visible, usually with a portion of the battery exposed on the downtube or seat tube of the bike.
This design provides a cleaner and more streamlined appearance compared to externally mounted batteries, while still maintaining some level of integration with the bike’s overall design.
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Click the picture above to explore Tritek’s Semi-integrated battery.
SOC (State of Charge) Analogous to a gas gauge, indicates the remaining usable energy in the battery. Accurately determining SOC is vital for user satisfaction, although it can be a complex task due to various factors affecting battery performance and estimation.
SOH (State of Health)Refers to the overall condition and performance capability of a battery relative to its original capacity. It assesses the battery’s health, degradation, and ability to deliver the intended energy.
Monitoring SOH is crucial for determining the remaining lifespan and effectiveness of the battery.
SOP (State of Power)Refers to the available power output of a battery at a given moment. It indicates the battery’s ability to deliver energy based on its current charge level and internal resistance.
Monitoring SOP is important for understanding the immediate power capacity of the battery and optimizing its usage in various applications.
ThrottleA rider-operated control device for regulating the speed of the vehicle.
It can be in the form of a twist grip, thumb lever, or push-button, providing the user with control over the vehicle’s acceleration.
Torque (Nm)The turning force that causes the rotation of the rear wheel and is measured in Newton meters (Nm).
Mid-drive motors in class 1 & 3 e-bikes typically have higher torque ratings, usually around 75-90Nm, while smaller mid-drives and hub-mounted motors in lightweight bikes are usually rated at 35-40Nm.
Torque SensorA device used in electric bikes (ebikes) to detect and measure the energy exerted through pedaling. It is required for pedal assist systems (PAS) and is a preferred feature in all types of pedelec bikes.
User InterfaceThe user interface on an ebike is how the rider interacts with the bike, including controls, seat, pedals, and information display such as speed and battery level. It is becoming more interactive with the internet and GPS through devices like phones.
Voltage (V)The unit of electrical potential difference in a battery or electrical system, measured in volts.
It represents the force that enables current flow. Higher voltage indicates greater potential for current to flow, influencing the power output and performance of the system.
Read more —>How Battery Voltage Affects E-Bike’s Performance
How to choose the right voltage for electric motorcycle batteries
WattsA unit of measurement that represents the power or work output of an electric bike system or device. It indicates the amount of energy being used or produced.
For example, ebike motors are typically specified in watts, with legal limits in place for their average or peak power output.
Their average or nominal power must not exceed an average of 250 W for 30 min (not S-pedelecs), as enshrined in law in the EU and many other countries.
Watt-hour (Wh)A unit of energy used to measure battery capacity in LEVs. It is calculated by multiplying volts and amp-hours (AH), indicating the overall size and duration of a battery’s charge.
Higher watt-hour batteries are larger and heavier, providing extended operating times.
Wiring Harness or HarnessA wiring harness is a collection of wires, connectors, and switches that transmit electrical current and signals within the ebike’s electrical system.

Explore the Anatomy of an E-bike

In our comprehensive glossary, we’ve introduced you to various frame parts and terms related to e-bikes. To enhance your understanding, we’ve included a visual diagram showcasing their locations.
When considering an e-bike fleet for your business, familiarize yourself with the fundamental terms in the e-bike realm. Our comprehensive glossary equips you with the expertise to navigate the world of e-bikes effortlessly.
Empowered by this knowledge, you can confidently explore and invest in the perfect e-bike fleet, unlocking the potential of sustainable and efficient transportation solutions.

the anatomy of an e bike
the anatomy of an e bike (Click to enlarge picture)

Attention Business Buyers,
Thank you for exploring our comprehensive Ebike Glossary Of Terms!

At Tritek, we are a B2B manufacturer of integrated intelligent BMS lithium-ion battery packs, located in Shenzhen, China. Our battery packs are renowned for their compactness, lightweight design, and high energy output.

With over 15 years of R&D, manufacturing, and sales experience, our team of more than 100 skilled R&D personnel ensures top-notch quality and cutting-edge technology.

We take pride in our strict quality system and hold international certifications such as CE, FCC, UL2271, and EN15194.

With two production sites, we boast a strong production capacity of 20,000+ battery packs per day, ensuring timely deliveries to meet your demands.

Additionally, our after-sales service is impeccable, with service centers already established in Spain and Germany, and upcoming centers in the United States.

If you’re looking to elevate your business with superior e-bike battery solutions, don’t hesitate to send us an inquiry. We look forward to collaborating with you on electrifying success!

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