Do Electric Bikes Have Gears?

When looking to purchase a new electric bicycle to get around your area, there are plenty of things to consider, such as the brand, tire size, battery life, and mileage. But something else you might be viewing is geared for your electric bicycle. Do electric bikes have gears?

There are plenty of electric bicycles that have a plethora of gear options. You can get electric bicycles with up to 21 different gears, much like a good mountain or trail bike would have.

However, not all electric bikes have gears equipped to them. So if you are looking for an electric bicycle with gear wheels, be sure to look and see if the bikes you are interested in indeed have gears and the number of gears you want on your bicycle.

As you continue to read this article, it will offer you a wide variety of electric bicycles that have different amounts of gear options on them. As well as this, this article will also provide you the information you need to know when it comes to how they work and when to use each gear set.

Do Electric Bikes Have Gears?

As previously stated, there are plenty of electric bikes on the market with plenty of gear options to customize your ride on the go. However, not all electric bicycles have gears on them.

That being said, having gears on your bicycle is not truly a necessity. For instance, if you live in an area devoid of hills or rocky areas and where you typically want to ride your electric bicycle is flat, you do not need gears on your bike. Electric bicycles without gears work great in these areas that are relatively flat or have slight inclines and declines on your path. 

Not having gears on your bicycle also provides you with an easy ride. Just sit and pedal. Not having gears on your electric bicycle also allows you to have a bike that requires very little maintenance compared to those bikes with gears.

These bicycles can work in areas where you have hills on your path, but they do not have the gears that will make traversing these areas more accessible. This is where having gears on your electric bicycle will come in handy. 

How Do Gears On An Electric Bicycle work?

Gears on an electric bicycle work very similar to traditional pedal bicycles with gears. The lower the gear set, the easier it is to pedal, however makes the motor on your bicycle work harder to get you to the speed you wish to travel at. On the flip side, the higher the gear frame, the harder it is to pedal. This will make the motor on your electric bicycle work less and conserve its battery, letting you travel further than normal.

Pedal Assist System

© Swagtron

Typically most gear shifts on traditional and electric bicycles are on the right side of the handlebar in an accessible spot for you to shit just using your thumb. However, your PAS (Pedal Assist System) will be on the left side of the handlebars in a similar position on an electric bicycle.  

You will use the gear shifter to adjust how much muscle power you will need to put into your electric bicycle. On the other hand, the PAS will be used to adjust how much mechanical power the motor will be putting in to provide you with assistance during your travels.

Lowering The Gear

© Bicycling

When deciding what gear you should use in each situation, you should assess what obstacles are in your path. When you are riding your electric bicycle, and you see a decent sized hill coming up, it is a good idea for you to consider lowering the gear you are traveling on currently—allowing you to put in less work going up the hill. When going downhill, consider using a piece of higher equipment so the motor does not have to put in as much work. 

It would be best if you did this because the uphill is always more difficult to pedal up naturally, putting more strain on the rider. On the other hand, downhills are a breeze, usually just letting the river coast. Adjusting the gears in this method is a great way to share the load of burden for both the rider and the motor.

Reverse Method

© Electrek

On the other hand, you can reverse this method by using a higher gear for going uphill if you are looking to get in a workout on your ride with your electric bicycle. This will make you pedal harder, making you exercise more.

In fact, it is common for riders that use their electric bike for exercise to keep the pedal assist off or save their bicycle on a high gear to get in their work out. Then on their way back, they can either keep up this practice or let the bike do most of the work on their way home, allowing the rider to rest.

Switching Over

© eBike Pursuits

Keep in mind, electric bicycles with gear shifts are made to work in tandem with their PAS. These types of electric bikes have a guided system in the motor that allows you to shift gears while pedaling. However, if you are looking to have a significant change in gears, it is advised to your PAS mode before you make the jump and switch it back after you have finished changing gears. This prevents certain malfunctions from happening with the motor and the gears.

Electric Bicycles That Have Gear Shifts

As we said at the beginning of this article, there are tons of electric bicycles on the market with various gear shift options. Below we will be talking about a few of them to give you examples of what you should look for and show you the different gears you can have on an electric bicycle.

Electric BikePriceMiles Per ChargeMotor
Shift S1 by GoTrax$45015 miles250 Watts
SWAGTRON EB7$70020 miles350 Watts
SWAGTRON EB11$1000-110026 miles250 Watts
Buzz E-Bike$150040 miles350 Watts

1. Shift S1 by GoTrax

Starting off with the Shift S1 by GoTrax, this bicycle has the lowest gear setting you can get. With only three gears to choose from, this is the simplest form of gearbox and is very easy to use.

This bicycle comes in white or black, is even foldable to conserve space when you need to store it between uses. You can expect to pay roughly $450 for this bicycle, and it is the perfect example of a cheap and straightforward bike with a gear shift.

2. SWAGTRON EB7

Next up is an electric bicycle with a 7 speed gear shift. The SWAGTRON EB7 has the same shape and style as the Shift S1 above, but at a higher price tag of $700. However, this electric bicycle comes with the more complicated 7 speed gear shift.

A 7 speed gear shift gives you more control over exactly how much effort you and the motor need to put out when traveling. This electric bicycle also comes foldable to conserve storage space, much like the previous Shift S1.

3. SWAGTRON EB11

If you are looking for a more traditional looking electric bicycle, here is the SWAGTRON EB11. This electric bicycle is the perfect example of a traditional looking e-bike. This bike also comes with a 7 speed gear shift just like the EB7 above. You can expect to pay roughly $1,000 to $1,100 for this electric bicycle.

4. Buzz E-Bike

Last but not least is the Buzz E-Bike. This electric bicycle has the most prominent style of gear shift that you can typically find. Coming with a 21 speed gear shift, this electric bike will allow you to precisely modify the amount of effort you need to put into pedaling.

With the 21 speed gear shift, this gear shift is vastly more complicated and precise than the 7 speed gear shift we talked about above. While this electric bicycle comes with the highest price tag on this list of $1,500, this is the perfect example of how complicated you can get with gears on electric bikes.

There are PLENTY more electric bikes out there with gear shifts. In fact there are 3, 7, and 21 gear shifts at all price ranges. These were just examples of what kind of gear shifts you can find on electric bicycles.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to gears on electric bicycles, they are prevalent, if not exactly the same as traditional bikes with gears. You can get an electric bicycle with 3, 7, or 21 gears. You can even not get an electric bicycle with gears at all. Just be sure to know when and how to use the gears on your bicycle or if you even need an electric bicycle with gears in the first place.

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