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Regenerative E-Bike Braking: What Does It Mean?

Regenerative E-Bike Braking: What Does It Mean?

While you may have heard the term “regenerative braking” with regard to electric cars, it can sometimes apply to e-bikes. We’re here to explain everything you need to know about regenerative e-bike braking, from what it means to how it changes your ride-feel.

How Does It Work?

Regenerative braking turns your motor into a generator—one that returns some power to your battery. When you press on your brake levers, your motor switches modes and spins in the opposite direction. This reversal turns your motor into a generator that converts momentum into electricity while slowing you down.

The regenerative braking process doesn’t mean your bike loses its mechanical brakes. Instead, you must pull down further on your brake levers to engage the mechanical braking system.

Reduced Brake Wear

Aside from extending your potential ride duration and using your kinetic energy more efficiently, regenerative braking also takes a load off your mechanical brakes. Since the regenerative system will slow you down before you engage the mechanical brakes, your disc brakes won’t need to do as much work to bring you to a complete stop.

In situations where you need to stop quickly, your mechanical brakes will likely do all the work, but when you have the time to slow yourself down gradually, you may not need to engage your mechanical brakes at all.

The Ride-Feel

You may worry that adding regenerative brakes could change your ride-feel, but don’t stress about that! You probably won’t even notice that it’s happening—the system integrates seamlessly into your ride. Many problems with ride-feel come from bikes that are too heavy—a problem you can remedy by upgrading to a lightweight mini e-bike battery.

If you’re switching from a geared hub motor to the direct-drive motor required to implement the regenerative braking process, you may notice more gentle acceleration when starting from a stop or while throttling. Also, the direct-drive motor will produce a slight drag that slows you down when you’re traveling downhill (a counter-electromotive force).

Now that you know what regenerative e-bike braking is and what it means, consider upgrading your ride and improving your experience!

by Ebike Essentials