How to use gears on an electric bike? Everything to Know

As is the case with traditional bicycles, the great majority of electric-assisted bikes come equipped with multiple gears that allow the rider to modify the amount of effort they put into propelling the bike forward. Traditional bikes and electric bikes both have comparable underpinnings, but traditional motorcycles have a few distinct advantages when compared to gearing.

Because most electric bicycles come equipped with multiple gears, the amount of effort required to pedal may be tailored to the specific conditions of each ride. If electric mountain bikes are going to be used on steep or irregular terrain, or if they are going to be used for climbing hills, then they need to have gears.

Even though traditional bikes and electric bikes share similar gearing systems, there are indeed a few key variations between the two.

To find out how to use electric gears, how electric bike gears work, and how many types of gears exist? Keep reading this article till the end to get the answers.

What are the electric bike gears?

On a bike, the same combination of gears and wheels is used for each of the available speeds. The speeds of the majority of electric bikes range anywhere from one to 40 miles per hour. For example, a low gear figure is the same as a low number, and a high gear figure is the same as a high number.

The initial gear is the low gear. High gear is defined as the twenty-fourth gear or higher. Everything has gone off without a hitch up until this point.

The act of transferring gears from one position to another is referred to as gear shifting. You can change gears by swiping or clicking the shifter that is located on the handlebars. The chain is now on a new ring as a result of this action.

When you shift into a lower gear, this action is referred to as downshifting, and when you move into a higher gear, this action is referred to as up-shifting. Alternately, “Shift down” and “Shift up” may be utilized.

E-bikes typically come with 2 shifters: one for shifting the gears of the conventional drive train, and the other for controlling the amount of help provided by the electric motor.

When it comes to mechanical gearboxes, the wire that links the right shifter is concealed inside of a protective cover.

This cable, which responds to changes in the position of the cassettes or cranksets by either tightening or loosening its grip, controls the process that makes your e-chain-up/down bike work.

electric bike gear

What are the sorts of electric bike gears?

Before knowing how to use gears on an electric bike, first, you need to about the different kinds of e-bike gears.

Hub Gears on an electric bike

Hub gears are a popular choice for travelers and others who want a drive train that is long-lasting and requires regular maintenance.

Since internal hub gears have increasing amounts that range from three thousand to five thousand kilometers, they are an excellent choice for people who dislike performing routine maintenance on their vehicles.

Because of the location of the derailleurs on the bicycle, it is incontestable that they are prone to wear and tear. It is to the rider’s benefit to get everything correctly stashed away within the back tire during the winter when it is necessary to protect the gears from the effects of the elements.

Standard gear on an electric bike

This configuration allows for the use of two chainrings up front and anywhere from seven to eleven advancement sprockets in the rear. One of the most effective strategies for racing is a straightforward setup with just two gears.

It makes it possible for the highest gears to have chainring sizes that are as huge as they can be. As a consequence of this, you will be able to pedal smoothly even when traveling at higher speeds. If you are looking for gears with a low ratio, a regular double might not be the ideal option.

Compact gear on an electric bike

The compact structure is, in effect, a scaled-down version of the double structure. A lower gear ratio throughout the entire spectrum of the bicycle can be achieved by using cranksets with a smaller diameter on both the inner and outer cranksets.

Even though the lower gearing is more condensed, the top gear has not been significantly dropped; this enables the rider to make rapid descents in steep terrain.

Triple Gear on an electric bike

When there are 3 chainrings, a significantly lower gear can be allowed. You can get an exceptionally low gear by combining the 3 chainrings with a high-ratio rear sprocket, which is often 30 t or less in size.

This will give you an extraordinarily low gear. People who often cycle in mountainous terrain are more likely to choose the triple since it provides them with a “bail-out” alternative.

It is especially useful when commuting with a lot of baggage, which makes it much more difficult to fight against gravity.

SRAM Apex Gear on an electric bike

SRAM’s Apex gear is built around a compact, custom-designed rear derailleur chainset. Between around gearing was the first application for this gear, making it a pioneer in the field. The cassette’s high gear ratio also minimizes gearing.

This benefit contributes to the low-bottom gear of the Apex’s overall progression. You have the option of lowering the gear that corresponds to your lowest gear. On the other hand, its top gear is a higher ratio than those of the Triple. Purchasing the SRAM Triple isn’t necessary if you currently own an Apex.

Are gears important on an electric bike?

An electric bike, it is commonly believed, somehow doesn’t require gears. Although they have a throttle and pedal assist, electric bikes still require gears, but if you’re only going to ride for a short-range on flat terrains.

Most of the time, pedal assistance is all that is necessary to get you to your objective. On the other hand, there are circumstances in which an electric bike equipped with gears and a small pedal-assist technology is preferable.

How can I understand electric bike gears?

In having to learn to shift gears, the terminology might be particularly difficult. Exercise is all that’s required after that. To get things started, let’s use terms that are easy to understand.

The use of lower gears makes climbing much easier. Rear cassette reduction necessitates a significant quantity of electric assistance power and the utilization of the biggest cog (rear or mechanical gears). By taking this position, you will be able to ride your bike upward with the least amount of effort possible. To reach this point, you’ll need to shift gears.

The difficulty of climbing in high gear is a benefit. The fact that your bike’s highest electric assistance gear is engaged while there is no electric help is baffling. Take off the power cord. It’s impossible that this is the case at all.

When increasing the physical gearing to its greatest possible degree, the lowest cog on the rear cassette is employed (rear or mechanical gears). To descend, you’ll be able to consume the least amount of energy possible if you’re in this position. You will need to shift gears in terms of reaching this level.

The great majority of e-bikes now on the market have rear gears, which are referred to as mid-drive and front-drive engines.

How do electric bikes’ gears work?

The gearing system on electric bikes is identical to that seen on traditional bikes. Biking will become less difficult if the amount of gears is reduced. A decrease in the gear ratios shows an increment in the load placed on the engine, which leads to a better discharge of the battery power.

Increasing the gear number will make it even more difficult to cycle, but it will decrease the amount that the motor can perform.

The Pedal Assist System unit is typically located on the left side of the handlebars on e-bikes, whereas the gear shifter is typically located on the right. The motorized gear can be adjusted using the gear changer positioned on the right side of the handlebar. The amount of additional power provided by the motor’s battery is controlled by the device on the left side of the bike. Typically, bicycles feature five levels of pedal help, however, this number might vary.

What things should I remember while changing gears on an electric bike?

When changing gears on your electric bike, remember to keep guidelines in mind to get much more out of the ratios that are available to you.

Change to a Lower Gear Before Stopping

When you use a higher gear on your electric bicycle, you will have to try a bit harder in able to preserve the pedals moving in the same direction. When in high gear, it could be challenging to start moving again after coming to a complete stop. When placing your bike in the park, make sure you move into a lower gear so you can avoid having this issue.

Never Change Gears While Stationary

Only while the bike is moving forward and the pedals are being turned should you attempt to change the gears on your electric bike. If your automobile becomes unable to change before it comes to a complete stop, there is a chance that you may be forced to begin driving it in high gear since you will not be able to stop it in a lower gear. Once you have positive momentum for you, lowering the gear ratio to a lower gear will make cycling easier.

How can I get the most of my gears on an electric bike?

An activity that is quite calming is pedaling at a cadence. It would be of great assistance if you make certain that the pedal assist and gear ratio that you are using is proper. It will take some experience before you can find the ideal Pedal Assist System and gear ratio for your bike.

Find them, you should not expect to find them right away. There would be no 2 persons who are identical to one another.

When going on longer trips, it is in your best interest to get much more out of your battery. In this scenario, you can adjust the pedal assist so that it is less powerful and depends more on the gears in your bike.

What are the best electric bike gears?

Different gears can be used in different situations to find out which gear is used in which situation, read below;

Low gear

This is some top-notch mountaineering equipment. When reaching a slope, shifting down to this lower gear enables a more controlled and efficient ascent.

Middle gear

This is ideal for traveling around town on terrain that is either completely flat or only very slightly undulating. To put it another way, it provides exactly the appropriate amount of resistance. Easily changing in between rear gears is all that is required to make it across routes that may have some hills and valleys in them.

High gear

When accelerating, descending, or riding on normal roads, selecting the highest gear will provide the best results. It is possible to travel a considerable distance when traveling at high gear.

Is there any technique for shifting gears?

Because of the steepness of the hill, they are climbing, some cyclists prefer to apply an excessive amount of force to their pedals. That and the gearing is mismatched for the decline that they are currently undergoing. Maintaining a constant cadence (speed) when pedaling is essential to making the cycling experience enjoyable and easy.

To fulfill this, the electric power and the energy that you exert when pedaling need to be in equilibrium. Instead of being dependent on a single amount of electric assistance and a particular mechanical speed, this, in turn, proposes changing frequently for efficiency improvements when cycling, as opposed to waiting on just one of each.

Start shifting into more user-friendly mechanical gears with your right hand. This will be easier to do. To keep up a steady riding pace, you should do this. When doing fine-tuning work, you should always utilize your right hand.

Final Verdict

When riding a bicycle, shifting gears might be a challenging task. It’ll be challenging at first, but with practice, you’ll be able to master it. In the not too distant future, changing gears on your electric bike will be a breeze. After that, you are free to go out and investigate your immediate environment.


I am Aman Dwivedi. I am a self-proclaimed e-bike enthusiast. I love nothing more than spending my days researching, testing, and writing about all things electric bike related. From the latest e-bike models to the best accessories and conversion kits, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to get people riding electric bikes. Whether it's helping people find the perfect e-bike for their needs or sharing my latest electric bike adventures, I am passionate about getting more people riding electric bikes and loving it!

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