Before purchasing a great electric bike, consumers may wonder just how loud these machines can be during use. These customers can be concerned that the bike will end up frustrating neighbors and roommates.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Modern electric bikes are not very loud, with decibel levels in line with traditional bicycles.
  • Direct-drive motors tend to be louder than mid-drive motors, friction motors, and geared-hub motors.
  • Motor malfunction and overall wear-and-tear can contribute to an electric bike’s noise output.

How Loud is an eBike?

Generally speaking, e-bikes are not extremely loud, even when the motor is being accessed. The overall noise output is typically just slightly higher than what would be heard with a traditional bicycle. The noise level is much lower than what can be heard from a motorcycle or other forms of personal transport. Which is why it is also important to learn more about how electric bikes work as well.

Insider Tip

As a rule, direct-drive motors are louder than mid-drive motors, friction motors, and geared-hub motors.

Electric Bike Noise Levels Explained

Though most electric bikes do not produce too much noise, there can be exceptions. Here are a number of factors that can determine the overall decibel output of an eBike.

Motor Types

Certain types of e-bike motors can be louder than others. As a rule, direct-drive motors are louder than mid-drive motors, friction motors, and geared-hub motors. This is due to the overall weight of the direct-drive motor and where it has been placed within the frame of the bicycle. To reduce a direct-drive motor’s noise output, we recommend avoiding bikes with a direct-drive motor installed to a front wheel. Choose those with a rear-wheel direct-drive motor instead. Having the right motor is also key to understanding how to increase your e-bikes speed.

Insider Tip

We recommend installing one of these electric bike kits on the rear wheel of a traditional bicycle, as motors that have been affixed to the front wheel tend to be noisier.

Attachment Kits

There are a number of electric bike kits available that allow for traditional bicycles to transform into eBikes. These kits can be an economical option, as they do not include the actual components of a bicycle. However, the motors included with these kits can be noisier than purpose-built electric bikes, due to friction and installation error. We recommend installing one of these electric bike kits on the rear wheel of a traditional bicycle, as motors that have been affixed to the front wheel tend to be noisier.

Malfunction and Wear-and-tear

As electric bikes age and experience overall wear-and-tear, the model’s internal components can begin to rust or experience a wide variety of malfunctions. This can cause the overall noise output to significantly increase. Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your electric bike, so as to reduce the risk of malfunction. Also, if you are purchasing a used eBike, be sure to give it a test ride and listen to the noise of the motor. If it is louder-than-average, you should probably pass on purchasing that bicycle, as a loud motor can be a precursor to bigger problems down the line.

Warning

To reduce a direct-drive motor’s noise output, we recommend avoiding bikes with a direct-drive motor installed to a front wheel.

F.A.Q.

Can you ride an eBike if the battery runs out?

This depends on what type of electric bike you have. Pedal-assist bikes can still be used when the battery has died, though the operation must be done manually.


How much pedaling assistance does an ebike motor have?

This depends entirely on the make and model of each particular electric bike. There is a wide array of pedal assistance options available.


What makes a good motor?

A good electric bicycle motor should be made with high-grade components and designed to last for many years without experiencing a major malfunction.



STAT: In March 2020, sales of e-bikes jumped 85 percent from a year earlier, according to the NPD Group, a research firm. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *