October 07,2023

What Kind of Brakes Do I Need for an Electric Bike?

The electric bike technology has seen several improvements, and many are yet to come. One of the improvements in these bikes that most people don’t know about is the braking system technology. The latest combined braking system can reduce braking distance by 40%, which makes riding electric bikes much safer. If you are looking to buy or upgrade an electric bike, here you will find all the information about the types of brakes you need.

Are electric bike brakes different than traditional bikes?

The answer to this question depends on your specific model. Electric bikes still follow some concepts from traditional bicycles, can the brake type could be one of them. However, with the shift to the electrical system, smart braking types are being introduced. For example, regenerative brakes may not be effective for traditional bikes, but they are much more beneficial for electric bikes.

Different types of brakes are used on electric bikes.

Here are the different types of brakes used for electric bikes, along with everything you need to know about them.

Rim brakes

Rim brakes are the most common and traditional type of brakes. These work by applying friction to both sides of the rim. The brake pads clamp onto the rum surface, and that slows down the bike. These are lighter than disc brakes and easier to maintain. Some of the biggest benefits of this brake type include easier inspection and cheaper replacement.

Mechanical disc brakes

Mechanical disc brakes work with a cable that pulls the calipers on the disc. When the calipers clamp on the brake disc/rotor, the bike slows, and the braking power is considerably better than the rim brakes. These are also more durable than the rim brakes but come with cons like frequent adjustment required. Mechanical disc brakes are less efficient than other disk brake types.

Hydraulic disc brakes

Hydraulic disc brakes follow the same working principle but replace the lead with a fluid. That fluid moves the brake calipers and causes them to clamp on the brake disc. Due to the use of hydraulic fluid, the stopping power is much better. This brake does not require any frequent adjustments. In fact, it automatically adjusts after the brake pad wears out. The only con here is higher maintenance and repair costs.

Drum brakes

Drum brakes are present inside the wheel hub, and these are only compatible with specific bikes. These work by moving the brake shoe outwards. It presses against the drum, and friction stops the bike. It is a long-lasting and low-maintenance option, but under hot conditions, it may not be efficient, especially when going downhill. Its inspection and maintenance are also difficult and time-consuming tasks.

Regenerative brakes

If your electric bike has a hub motor, then it might be using regenerative braking technology. When you apply brakes, the kinetic energy is used to generate electricity, and that helps recharge the battery. These brakes last very long and extend the battery range of your bike. However, pairing these with a traditional braking system is essential for safety and good braking force.

How to pick the perfect type of electric bike brakes?

Here is our quick guide on how you can pick the perfect type of brakes for budget electric bikes:

  1. Always start shortlisting options by evaluating your riding conditions
  2. Check the compatibility of your bike with specific brake types
  3. Consider budget and maintenance
  4. Take a test ride, if possible, to get an experience of how that brake feels and performs

With these 4 steps, you can easily pick the perfect brake type.

Important: Tips for peace of mind regarding electric bike brakes

Picking and installing the perfect brake type on your bike is not the only thing you need to do. If you want complete peace of mind, here are some tips you must follow:

  • Do a quick brake test before and after every ride
  • Regularly inspect your brakes for wear and tear to replace them when necessary
  • Get professional brake maintenance at least once a year
  • Clean your brakes from dirt and grease to keep them efficient
  • Move to a better brake type of necessary
  • Practice emergency stops in safer places to learn how to utilize these brakes under all conditions.

Brakes are a crucial component in every electric bike, and they are responsible for safety in every situation. Following the tips above will keep your brakes good and working so you may enjoy peace of mind.

Final Remarks

One bike chassis might be compatible with multiple brake types. However, when picking one for your electric bikes for adults, you must prioritize the safety and overall quality of the brakes. It is because different brake types perform differently given the circumstances, and picking the right one for your use case will give you added peace of mind.

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