E-bike weight is a factor that potential e-bike customers should definitely consider before buying. The weight of an e-bike varies depending on the equipment components and the manufacturer’s choices and has a major impact on the performance and handling of the electric bicycle.
How much does an electric bicycle weigh?
An e-bike weighs much more than a conventional bicycle. While a bicycle weighs around 15 kg, an average electric bicycle weighs between 20 and 30 kg. Many cyclists wonder why e-bikes need to be so heavy. The reason lies in the special components of an electric bicycle: motor, battery and e-bike frame all add several kilograms to the total weight. Of course, some pedelecs weigh more or less than others. A cargo e-bike can even get into the range of 40 kg. The exact total weight depends on the individual weight of the components that the manufacturer installs.
How much do motors and batteries weigh?
A large portion of the e-bike’s heavier weight can be explained by the motor and battery. Electric motors for pedelecs weigh between 2 and 5 kilograms. Drives built into the rear hub, which are now seen less frequently, are somewhat lighter than mid-drive motors but offer less stability on the road. Mid-drive motors, like the ones from Bosch, are also not particularly heavy, but weigh in at between 2.9 and 4 kilograms.
While the weight of a motor is not directly correlated to its performance, the same cannot be said for batteries: The lighter a battery, the fewer watt-hours it can deliver. A small battery weighing 2.5 kg, for example, has around 400 watt-hours; a battery offering twice the power, 800 watt-hours, will weigh twice as much. To give you an idea, Bosch batteries generally weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 kg. As you can see, the weight of an e-bike therefore depends heavily on the battery capacity.
How much does an e-bike frame weigh?
The frame also has an impact on an e-bike’s weight. In order to integrate the motor and battery into the frame and to take into account that increased weight, frames of electric bicycles are designed to be somewhat more stable and robust to begin with. Added to this is the weight of the material from which the frame is made. The heaviest frames are steel, and the lightest are carbon frames. At the same time, however, a carbon frame is more expensive and is more sensitive to pressure and impacts.
When will e-bikes become lighter?
As the technology continues to be developed, manufacturers are focussing on lighter materials and components, so in the future, e-bikes are certain to get lighter. Having said that, on an electric bicycle a certain dead weight can be a good thing: the extra weight of the e-bike shifts the centre of gravity and gives you as a rider more grip on the road and, accordingly, a safer ride.
How heavy should my e-bike be?
The weight of your ideal e-bike will depend on how powerful you want your e-bike to be, which motor you choose and what material the frame is made of. When buying, you should be sure to consider the permissible total weight of the electric bicycle you are considering. The permissible total weight of an e-bike is typically between 120 and 130 kilograms. Once you add the weight of the rider and baggage to the weight of your pedelec, you can quickly exceed that permissible total weight. This is why Kalkhoff builds pedelecs with a higher permissible total weight, of up to 170 kilograms. So you never have to worry about transporting the extra weight of your shopping or a bicycle trailer, for example.
Also remember that even though the e-bike weight is greater than that of a conventional bicycle, because of the pedal assistance, this is not extra weight that you feel when riding. If you often push your bicycle up hills or stairs, an integrated walk assist is a solution you will most likely appreciate in your day-to-day use. To find out which e-bike weight is ideal for you, arrange a test ride with your specialist dealer to get a feel for the weight you can handle.