What is Torque in an Electric Bike?

There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about electric bikes and torque. For most people, the term “Torque” has little or no meaning.

In this first of 3 articles on torque,   I will go over the basics of torque. In Part 2, I will discuss torque and how it relates to horsepower and then in the  Part 3, I will compare the torque of Optibike and other leading brands of electric bicycles.

Why Torque Matters In An E bike

In an electric bicycle, torque is the ability to rotate the rear wheel. In a regular bicycle, this translates to the ability to rotate the pedals and crank arms. Higher torque will rotate the wheel easier and create more acceleration, especially from a stop. This means a bike with higher torque is easier to get going from a stop.

Image result for bicycle rider pushing on pedals

 What is Torque?

The general definition of torque is the force on an arm at a distance from a center of rotation. In the picture below, the distance is 1Meter and the force is 50Newtons, so the torque is 50 Newton Meters.

Image result for torque

Toque Equation

The general equation for torque is below.

Torque=Force X Distance

or T=F X D

In a standard  bicycle the rider pushes on the pedal to create a “Force” and  length of the crank arm is the distance. Crank arms are typically 175 mm or 7 inches long. If the rider weighs 200 pounds and stands on the pedal, the the torque is 1400 inch pounds as given by equation below:

Torque=Force X Distance

1400 inch pounds = 200 pounds X 7 inches

bicycle crank arm

Torque Units

In electric bikes, you will read about Torque in Metric Units (Newton Meters) or US units (inch pounds). You may also here torque in foot pounds.

A common torque for lower powered e bikes is 50 Newton Meters,which can be converted to 442 inch pounds or 36 foot pounds.

50 Newton Meters = 442 inch pounds = 36 foot pounds

In Part 2 I will discuss how torque multiplied by RPM make horsepower and how this affects your ride.

Bringing Couples Back Together- How You Can Benefit From Ebikes

Bringing Couples Back Together- How You Can Benefit From Ebikesvalentines day heart
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it is a good time to reflect on couples and the activities that they undertake with one another. While many people have gotten comfortable with a night in watching reruns on the television, there needs to be a more meaningful way of spending time with one another. Riding Ebikes together can give you several incredible benefits which we will outline throughout this article while showing how this can help infuse your relationship with vital energy.


Get Fit- Together!

One of the first ways that you can benefit from buying an Ebike for you and your significant other is that you can use them to get fit together. Riding Ebikes together is a way to allow you to get out and about in your town or in a park, without having to worry about differing fitness levels. When it comes to getting fit, one person in the relationship is usually more invested into it than the other. Riding ebikes together serves as a way to balance this level of dedication to getting fit.cropped-Optibike_ELECTRIC_BIKE_HOME21.jpg

Even if one of you is able to pedal faster than the other, you can turn on the speed assist option, keeping up with one another while still enjoying exercise. After all, it is always easier to get fit when you have a loving, supporting person next to you. Getting fit together by riding bikes to all manner of places not only makes for healthy living, but is also a great story to tell.

Take Some Time To Enjoy Nature

Another way that you can benefit from riding ebikes together is that it will allow you to go out and reconnect with nature. This will allow you to get away from all of the stress and noise that occurs in your daily lives, and will make it much easier to talk to one another while seeing the sites. There are many places that are too remote for vehicles, and you can even integrate them into your workout biking routine.

Change Up Your Routine

You can also use ebikes as a means of travelling to places that you would normally drive. This can be a relief from using your car and sitting through the same songs on the radio. Instead, you can take time to change up your routine and go out shopping on your bikes. With the electric assist, you can easily get to local destinations quickly while getting a new outlook on your hometown. Riding Ebikes together serves as a way to help you and your significant other from falling into damaging routines that become boring for just about everyone.

These are just some of the ways that couples can benefit from riding ebikes together. For more information, all you need to do is consult Optibike.com, one of the leading names and experts in all things having to do with electric  bicycles.

E Biking the Hollywood Hills

I wanted to follow up with some comments on my initial experience with the Optibike Allroad electric bike.  I just checked the odometer and see that I have already logged 121 miles on this bike in just a few days. On most days I go out for a morning ride and then recharge the battery so that I can do an afternoon ride.best electric bicycle

As for my riding experience I can say enthusiastically that the Pioneer Allroad is nothing short of amazing. As a teen I loved riding bicycles, but I stopped abruptly after my parents bought my first motorcycle at age 14.  I eventually rode dirt bikes and motocross until I joined the Navy in 1973.

Now, at age 59 I am not in good enough shape to tackle the incredibly steep hills here in Hollywood. However, with the pedal assist, I am able to enjoy riding all of the hilly streets and alleys to my immense enjoyment.

I also like the fact that the Pioneer Allroad is so quiet! I have been biking on many trails in the area and this bike is so quiet that hikers have no idea it is motorized.  The sound emitted from his bike is reminiscent of the old fashioned bottle dynamo used to power headlights back in the day.

Jay S. CA

Lost 10 Pounds and Sleeping Like a Baby

Overall, I am very pleased with my Optibike Pioneer Allroad.  This electric  bicycle is well built, and very sturdy.  Performance lives up to all of the marketing information.

The first two weeks I didn’t ride very far, as I was still getting familiar with the bicycle.  However, in the last 5 weeks, I have averaged more than 100 miles a week.  I typically ride 5 days a week along a paved 21 mile nature route.  Before purchasing this bike, I struggled to ride my Raleigh about 4 miles a day.  But this bike is a joy to ride!

David with his Allroad

David with his Allroad

Bottom line – I’ve lost 10+ pounds in the last 4 weeks!  Also, I sleep like a baby every night.  I used to have lower back pain (from a bulging disk), which kept me from riding more than 25 minutes a day.  The Pioneer is so comfortable that I can easily ride for about 80 minutes – no problem.  The battery range is more than adequate for my needs.

The speed is amazing.  I can easily cruise (pedaling) at 18 mph, and I have passed cyclists on racing bikes at 23 mph.  The look on their faces was priceless.  The disk brakes have good stopping power.  No rattling parts.  Just a well designed, and a well constructed bicycle.

Now, I’m looking forward to losing the next 10 pounds.  Thanks for selling a great bike.

Dave M.

The 1 Horspower Solution

Can the one horsepower electric bike become as ubiquitous and useful as the horse once was? Is one horsepower still valuable? Read on to see.

It was just over one hundred years ago that horses were still used for most transportation. Cars had not been invented and the horse was still the reliable form of transportation. President William Harding was the first president to use a car for his inauguration in 1921. With Henry Ford and mass production of the car, the use of horses for personal transportation quickly evaporated.

Prior to the car, the power of one horse was still considered of great value. Horses were used to plow fields, transport  families and pull carriages. They wee a vital part of each family and of industry.

Horse Drawn Carriage

Horse Drawn Carriage

Today, however that one horsepower has been replaced by the 250 horsepower car. But these 250 horsepower cars are often doing no more work than the lonely horse of a 100  years ago. But a horsepower is still very valuable.

Modern electric bikes are limited to one horsepower in  the USA by Federal Law. But the one horsepower of the electric bicycle is as useful as the one horsepower of the horse ever was. We need to unleash the power of the electric bikes and make them as ubiquitous as horses were 150 year ago.

One horsepower is 750 watts. On the average, at current electric rates. it costs $.07 to use (750 watts)  a horsepower for an hour. What can you get for that $.075? An electric bicycle can move you as speeds up to 25 mph for 1-2 hours. You can haul a trailer with 250 pounds on it and still achieve speeds of 20MPH. You can transport your groceries and a child, a keg of bear to a party or use it in disaster relief to go with no car can go.

Modern One Horsepower Car

Modern One Horsepower Car

So the power of one horsepower is hear again. Over 170 million people ride an electric bicycle each day in the world. Some out of necessity and many out of choice. The electric bicycle takes the common bicycle and makes it an amazing machine, much as a horse did for thousands of years. In the coming decades, I am sure that electric bike users will find as many creative uses for transporting items, as horsemen did in the past.

1 horsepower Optibike ELectric  Bike Carrying Large Loads

1 horsepower E Bike Carrying Large Loads

New Stiffer SIMBB Frame and Bigger Battery

The new SIMBB 29R electric bike frame just passed the rigorous Gates Belt Drive test for stiffness. The new frame is 38% stiffer than required by Gates and Rohloff Speed Hub to use the Gates belt drive with Rohloff. The stiffness test is done to insure the belt does not jump cogs during acceleration.

The extra stiffness is important with the SIMBB, as the SIMBB has 2.5 times the torque of the Bosch unit. This added torque gives higher acceleration but can also flex the frame more. So it is good that the new SIMBB frame is stiffer.

Gates Belt Drive

Gates Belt Drive

There have been other improvements to the SIMBB. It now has a 37 volt 15.5 amp hr battery (Up from 13 am hr). It also features a pedalec control.

There is also a “Bike Path” mode, where the speed is limited to 15mph, so you do not have to worry about going to fast on the bike paths.

The SIMBB just keeps getting stronger. It has more energy in the battery, more torque and power in the motor and is also packaged in a sleek module for low center of gravity and great handling. In the whole electric bike market, there is nothing like a SIMBB.

e bike

SIMBB 29R with Rohloff and Gates Belt Drive




What To Look For In An Electric Bike: Electric Bicycle Brands

Congratulations! You’re in the market for an electric bicycle and on board with the full range of health, environmental, and economic benefits that riding an eBike provide. You’ve thoroughly researched the variety of electric bikes available to suit your personal needs, and are up to speed on the latest advancements in electric motorized bike technology. Your final purchasing decision now comes down to choosing between the numerous manufacturers and brand names of today’s eBikes. Many are surprised at the variety of options available to them, with each touting a unique set of specifications and performance features. At Optibike’s design and manufacturing center in Boulder, Colorado, we want to further assist you in perhaps the most important buying decision. In this, our last blog installment based upon Optibike founder Jim Turner’s “Electric Bike Book”, we provide a brief overview of electric bike brands found in dealerships, online, and through big box stores.

Throughout the US, electric bicycle sales are at an all-time high, and the distribution chain has kept pace with start up companies leading the charge in this “green transportation” revolution. One would naturally assume that the large brands of traditional bicycle makers have evolved to become market leaders among manufacturers of eBikes, but that isn’t the case. There has actually been some resistance among these companies to enter the motorized bicycle arena. Schwinn, Trek, and Specialized are an exception however, with each offering rear hub, electric drive models. Overseas, where electric bicycles have garnered more popularity, big brands such as Derby and others sell eBikes, but they are often designed and manufactured to Asian and European specifications. In China for example, there are hundreds of companies churning out about 20 million units a year for export to European, Asian, and US markets. As the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for”, and these models make up a large portion of online and big-box retailing.EPSON MFP image

Instead, a select number of startup companies are your best bet in terms of quality, selection and customer service. Today, there are boutique manufacturers, such as Optibike, offering a wide variety of the best electric bikes to be found. The majority of electric bicyclebrands follow the same production process. They typically manufacture their own frame, then outfit it with the necessary components: electric drives, batteries, brakes, derailers, cranks, wheels, etc. The Optibike advantage relies instead on the incorporation of exclusive, patented technology. Our mid-drive motor, the Motorized Bottom Bracket, is capable of 1,000 watts of power. We design and build design our own Lithium-Ion batteries, power control systems, custom frames, and more, all in the USA.

Among electric bicycle brands, the choices are numerous. Optibike proudly manufactures the longestrange electric bike, and the fastest electric bicycle on the market. Want to learn even more about the basics of eBike technology their full potential? Download our free eBook, or Contact Optibike today. Missed any of our blog posts on What to Look For in an Electric Bike? Click here to read more about our electric bikes and how to be better prepared when you purchase your e-bike.

What To Look For In An Electric Bike: The True Cost Of Driving an eBike

Look around you. Technology today is reinventing itself at an ever-increasing pace, but a lot of this change has come at a cost to the environment. As a result, we are now experiencing what has been coined as a much needed “green revolution”. Alternative fuels and energy efficiency are now in vogue. Perhaps the biggest hot button topic is our over reliance on gasoline as a means of feeding our transportation needs. Over the last decade however, we have made progress in the right direction . Gas/electric hybrids, all electric, flex fuel, natural gas, and biodiesel are now less expensive alternatives and slowly making their mark on the automobile market. But what if there were a way to truly affect change by getting you out of your car entirely, get exercise, and save money on fuel costs? Welcome to the world of electric bicycles, and the benefits of eBike technology. Continue reading

What To Look For In An E-Bike: Other Purchasing Considerations

There is a motorized bicycle revolution taking place around the world, and today, it is found in the form of the once ubiquitous electric bike. Hi-tech, environmentally friendly, and modern, electric bicycles have truly come of age in Western Europe and America, replacing the old electric-assist conversion kits many of us grew up with. The market is now filled with a variety of motorized bicycles for sale; from torque-assisted to throttle-assisted, from on-road to off-road, from the economical to luxury models. As a result, the purchasing decisions have become more complex. To assist with this, Optibike offers another post in a series based upon “The Electric Bike Book”. After sharing some initial purchasing considerations, and referencing where to buy your ebike, we want to leave you with a few other important factors worth scrutinizing before pulling out the credit card or checkbook.

Whether your electric bicycle is purchased through an independent dealer, a box store, e bikeonline or factory direct, the following is a partial list of questions you need to be asking yourself before making any purchasing decisions:

Consider your budget, cost allowances, and if any financing is available.

  • Modern e-bikes encompass a wide range of pricing options; from economical and simple conversion kits with hub-drives, to pedalecs, on up to mid-drive, throttle-assisted luxury models. There are many electric bikes for sale to fit any budget. Check into any available financing options, you might be surprised. Many factory direct dealers, such as Optibike, even offer deeply discounted refurbished models. Optibike is also the only one of its kind to offer the widest selection of bikes by performance and price. See our full list of e bikes here.

Factor in the ease of maintenance, and the availability of qualified ebike technicians near you.

  • With a big box retailer, or an online purchase, your service options may be limited. By purchasing through an independent dealer, or factory direct, you have access to their service departments. Optibike’s in-house electric bike service department works with owners and bike shops around the world if you are in need of service, parts or repairs.

Educate yourself about what sort of warranty is available on your ebike purchase.

And finally, take a good look at the e-bike technology behind the frame, suspension, wheels, brakes and other components making up the electric bike you’re interested in. They should be produced by known and trusted manufacturers. You should also take the time to research where your ebike is designed, manufactured, and its country or origin. Again, the old adage applies here, you get what you pay for. Be on the lookout for knockoff components. We want to wish you the best of luck in making your purchase, and enjoy the freedom that only electric bikes offer the rider.

Want to learn even more about the electric bike revolution? Jim Turner, President at Optibike, has authored an informative and entertaining look at the rapidly expanding world of electric bicycles. Get your free copy of the eBook today.