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How Do the Brakes on an Electric Bike Work?

How Do the Brakes on an Electric Bike Work?

Aside from your helmet, the brakes on your e-bike are the most essential safety feature you have on your rides. We’ll break down all the different components and help you understand how the brakes on an electric bike work.


To get a full understanding of how e-bike brakes function, let’s first examine the pieces that make up the braking process.


The levers underneath your bicycle’s handles are what you pull on to activate your brakes. On standard bikes, these levers are simple. With high-end levers, you can adjust the angles and pull strength to fit your exact needs. In the United States, the lever on the left handle connects to your front wheel while the lever on the right connects to your back wheel.


The caliper contains two other parts of your braking system: the pistons and brake pad. The pistons push the brake pad into the brake rotor (which we’ll discuss later). As with a car, brake pads use friction to slow down your wheels and can wear down over time.


The cable connects your levers to the calipers on both your wheels. Your braking system can be either mechanical or hydraulic—if it’s mechanical, your cables are full of air, and if it’s hydraulic, they’re full of fluid. Mechanical systems require simpler maintenance, but hydraulic systems boast improved stopping power.

Brake Rotor

If you’ve ever wondered what the metal disc in your wheel hub is, that’s a brake rotor! The brake pads press into this rotor to cause friction and make it more difficult for the wheel to spin. Larger brake rotors allow you to slow down more quickly, as they provide more friction. That said, larger rotors cause brake pads to wear out more quickly, so it’s a double-edged sword.

Now that you know how the brakes on an electric bike work, consider upgrading your ride with an electric bike motor kit and enjoy a pedal-assisted trip on the open road.

by Ebike Essentials