Do Electric Bicycles Require Special Chains?

With enough use, you may notice various components of your electric bicycle showing signs of wear and tear. Don’t worry, this is normal. The chain is one of the first parts on a bike to show wear. Bike chains transfer power to the wheels from the pedals, which is a significant function in the overall usability of the bike.

Your bike chain needs will vary based on several factors. Let’s go through some of these specifications and the special chains for electric bicycles that are available.

Mid-Drive E-Bikes

If your bike’s motor sits between the wheels, you’re riding a mid-drive e-bike. The motor on a mid-drive bike provides power directly through the chain and helps the bike accelerate. These e-bikes are great for balance because of their evenly distributed weight load.

Mid-drive e-bikes require a special chain because of the complexities of the motor hookup. You need to ensure the chain can withstand varying power levels. Typically, a traditional chain cannot.

Hub-Drive E-Bikes

Hub-drive e-bikes are the most common type of e-bike because they are inexpensive to produce compared to mid-drive e-bikes. With that in mind, hub-drive bikes contain larger motors and provide more power but are typically less efficient due to the motor location. Because the drive chain and the motor operate as two separate entities on hub-drive bikes, you can still pedal the bike when the battery runs dry.

A hub-drive electric bike does not require a special chain because of its independent nature. While you will not need a special chain, you will need to find a chain that matches your bike’s number of gears.

Chain Specifications

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to the style of e-bike you choose. But knowing the differences in types can help you consider chain specifications when it’s time to shop for a new one. It’s essential to remember there are special chains for electric bicycles and that a mid-drive bike requires one.

If you own a traditional or hub-drive bike, a standard chain will suffice, though you must keep the gears in mind. No matter the bike you choose, you will eventually need to replace the chain to keep the bike in excellent working condition.

To learn more about power-assist or standard pedaling, reach out to us today! Voltaire Cycles is a certified dealer in Bintelli electric bicycles, which feature power-assisted chains and mid-drive functions.