When I was starting out researching e-bikes as a beginner one of the first questions I had was: are electric bikes heavy?
As expected, electric bikes weigh more than traditional bikes due to the e-bike battery and motor.
Electric bicycles usually weigh somewhere between 38-70 pounds (17-31 kilograms). In comparison, a non-electric bike might weigh 29-38 pounds (13-17 kilograms) depending on the type of bike (commuter, road bike or hybrid).
Initially I was concerned that the extra weight of an e-bike might hinder its performance. However, that is definitely not the case as you’re about to see.
Read on to learn more about e-bike weight, why it matters, and what its impact might be on you, the rider.
Is E-Bike Weight Important?
The weight of an e-bike only matters in a few specific contexts.
For example – if you are carrying an e-bike up multiple flights of stairs after each ride it might be an issue for you. In contrast, if you are able to ride directly into a ground floor garage then the weight would be much less of an issue.
Also – a heavy e-bike will enable you to customize your workout each time as you get to choose how often you want to pedal, and for how long. In other words – you can easily increase the intensity of your ride anytime you want.
The weight of an e-bike itself is not important when it comes to wear and tear on the motor and battery. Weight also doesn’t matter in terms of torque (power).
The motor will not fatigue based on the weight of the bike itself. That would be like saying a car has issues because the car itself is too heavy. This is never the case as car motor is built to have sufficient torque to propel a car full of passengers and cargo up a hill.
So – is the weight of an e-bike important?
We contend that as long as you don’t have to hoist your e-bike up stairs to store it you should be able to purchase a heavy e-bike with no problems.
If, like me, you have to lift your e-bike up stairs to get to your residence you are hopefully someone who is young, motivated and fit.
Otherwise, you might be cursing like me on a regular basis.
A Personal Story About Bike Weight
In my twenties I used to live in an old apartment, and I would often go ride my bike during the day or in the evening. This happened rain or shine.
There were more than a few times where I cursed the weight of my bike as I hoisted it up and walked up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment (we didn’t have an elevator in the building).
That said – that extra stair climbing with the bike certainly helped my workouts.
This was with a regular bike that I still have to this day that probably weighs somewhere between 30-35 pounds.
Had it been an e-bike that weighed somewhere between 38-70 pounds (17-31 kilograms) I might have been cursing a bit louder. It certainly would have taken long to get up those 3 flights of stairs, and there may have been rests required.
The moral of the story? I probably would have gladly ridden an e-bike despite the extra weight.
My workouts would have been more intense, and that would be beneficial for my overall fitness level.
Does E-Bike Weight Affect Your Riding?
The weight of an electric bike only influences your riding if you are manually pedalling – especially uphill. On steeper hills you may want to engage the pedal assist to get some extra speed going up the hill. Also – if you are facing a strong headwind the pedal assist feature can really help. Otherwise – on flat ground and with little to no wind the weight of the bike isn’t super important.
E-Bike Power to Weight Ratio
The heavier your e-bike is, and the longer you use the pedal assist, and the steeper the hill, the faster your battery will drain.
You should take this into account when planning your riding route – especially if you plan to do no pedalling at all on the uphill sections.
A light e-bike might use slightly less power to propel you uphill, but a heavier one might have more power and a longer battery life.
These are the tradeoffs you have to make when trying to decide on buying a light versus heavy e-bike.
E-Bike Battery Weight
E-bike batteries usually weigh between 2-3.5 kg (4.4-7.7 lbs). The bigger and more powerful the battery the more it will weigh.
The battery will weigh between 2kg and 3.5kg depending on its construction and its capacity: the bigger the capacity, the more it’ll generally weigh. Then the rest of the parts and accessories are normally a maximum of 1kg.
E-Bike Controller / Motor Weight
In general, e-bike motors (controllers) weigh approximately 8 kg (17 pounds). This may sound like a lot, but when you consider the power you get for the weight added it’s worth it.
You will only notice the heavier weight if you choose to not engage your e-bike pedal assist. Should you use the pedal assist you will likely not notice the heavier weight.
Should I Buy a Light E-Bike?
You might want to consider getting a lighter e-bike if storage accessibility is an issue. For example – will you have to lug the bike up multiple flights of stairs? If yes, weight is an important consideration for you.
Note that reducing the weight of your e-bike will also decrease its range and power. It’s simple physics – heavy electric bikes have bigger batteries, powerful controllers and longer ranges.
Should you get a light electric bike? Only you can answer that question based on your specific criteria.
For many riders battery life is among the most important considerations, so a heavier bike is a necessity for riders who want each charge to last longer and carry them farther.
Should I Worry About Buying a Heavy E-Bike?
If storage is not an issue for you then no, don’t worry about getting an e-bike at the heavier end of the range (e.g. 50 + pounds or 22.6 kilograms). As long as you don’t have to lift it up and can just wheel it in on flat ground to where you store it you’ll be good.
We actually recommend that you purchase an e-bike in the middle of the weight range e.g. 50 lbs (23 kg) if you want a reasonably light e-bike with a decent range.
The question of how much electric bicycles weigh is an important one when it comes to which e-bike to purchase. However, we contend that speed, torque and range are the most important factors as most people will want to ride as far as possible and get as much pedal assist as possible on the steepest hills.
In order to optimize for speed, torque and range we recommend that you consider buying a medium to heavy weight e-bike rather than a lighter one.
Liked this article? Make sure to check out more electric bike articles here on E-Bike Troop!