Types of E-bike brakes? Everything to Know

On an electric bike, the brakes are a necessary component. They can improve the overall safety of your ride by providing additional stopping force when it is required. Before you make a purchase, you should ensure that you have a solid understanding of the distinctions between the various kinds of braking systems. These electronic bike brakes come in a multitude of designs, and we are going to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each of those designs in this article. Also, we will tell you about the e-bike braking systems.

What are the types of electric bikes?

There is a choice between rim brakes and disc brakes for use on electric bicycles. Rim brakes have been the standard for providing stopping power on electric bikes up until this point. As the technology behind electric bicycles advances and component quality improves, more and more producers are fitting their products with disc brakes.

Because of recent advancements in technology, an increasing number of bikers are inquiring about disc and drum brakes for their bicycles. In general, before deciding which of the numerous sorts of a single-attribute item to utilize, we are going to investigate all of the many types of that item to see what each one has to offer.

e-bike brakes

What are Rim brakes?

More than a century has passed since the invention of some of the original rim brakes, which consisted of lacquer oak rims with a cork or wool pad and have been in use ever since. Over time, modifications have been made to the brake, fulcrum, blade, and camshaft.

Rim brakes are those that work by exerting pressure to the inner edge of the wheel rim whenever the brake lever is depressed. The friction that is produced by the brake pads on bicycles allows the bicycles to be brought to a halt. Because there is such a large amount of braking total area, you didn’t want to wait very long to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

All the diameters of the wheel can be used without issue. After this, the quantity of braking power that is necessary for rim brakes is far less than that which is necessary for hub brakes. Because of its lower force, a rim brake places significantly less strain on the body and frame of a bicycle than does a hub brake. Rim brakes are a sensible choice for speed control on long downhill rides because they give a large surface area for the absorption of heat that is provided by the rims of downhill bikes.

Rim brakes have two types;

Mechanical rim brake.

Hydraulic rim brake.

How do Rim brakes work?

To bring the vehicle to a stop, brake pads and calipers that are attached apply pressure to the rims. Friction causes the bike to slow down because of the resistance it encounters. In addition, these pads are activated whenever the rider applies pressure to the brakes. It’s possible that you already knew this, but disc brakes and rim brakes are virtually interchangeable in every way. There are some key differences between disc brakes and rim brakes. Disc brakes have pads that hold a disc in place, whereas rim brakes have pads that grasp the wheel rim.

What are Disc Brakes?

The clamp and the disc that is attached to the hub are the two components of a vehicle’s braking system that are considered to be the most crucial. The rotors of disc brakes are connected to the wheel hubs in almost the same way that brakes on automobiles are connected.

When a brake lever is pulled, cable or hydraulic pressure pushes the pads to bend against the rotor, which generates stopping force. It is extremely reliable and productive in every way. It is important to be vigilant in looking for any signs of disc damage. These brakes let you confidently descend off-road at high speeds without any issues.

e-bike disc brakes

They will not be able to affect the integrity of the tire so long as the rim does not become overheated to an unsafe level. The debris on the trail, the water, and the mud does not affect disc brakes. If a rider dashes through a creek that is deep enough even to wet or muddy the rotor, the rider can use the robust pads to swiftly clean the rotor of any water or mud that may have accumulated on it.

If the size of the disc on your electric bike is larger, it will require less force to bring your bike to a complete stop. Rotor sizes of either 160 or 180 millimeters are standard on most electric bicycles.

There are two types of Disc brakes;

Mechanical disc brake.

Hydraulic disc brake.

disc brake

How do disc brakes work?

Disc brakes, as their names imply, feature two pads that are placed on opposite sides of a disc that serves as the rotor. When the brakes are applied, the pads and the disc come into close contact with one another. The friction causes the bike to move more slowly as a result of this.

How do electric bike brakes works?

When the lever of the brake is pulled, the caliper’s valves are compressed as a result of the force applied. The mechanical force generated by the moving wheel hub to which the brake rotor is linked causes the brake pads to be pushed into the rotor, and valves then drive the pads further into position. If you apply more force than necessary to your hydraulic disc brakes, the brake pad will be pressed deeper into the disc brake, which will translate into higher resistance.

disc brake for e-bikes

The more frictional force applied to the wheel hub causes the wheel to decelerate faster as the remaining energy and momentum are emitted as heat. When you use more force on the brake pedal, the brake rotor, pad, and other parts of the braking system will not be damaged because of the increased surface area for heat dissipation.

The act of braking generates a significant amount of heat, which accelerates the deterioration of several components. The brake discs, calipers, and even the rotor would inevitably need to be updated at some point in time. There is no need for you to get your brakes fixed right away, even if they are worn out or have problems.

e-bike brakes

What is the right way of using electric bike brakes?

An e-braking bike’s system is different from that of a traditional bicycle. Because of the increased weight and the motor, a pedelec is much more difficult to slow down than it is to stop. E-bikes, on the other hand, follow the general rule “brake harder in front, and less in the back” as well. This is because the front brake has a greater braking effect than the rear brake when applied correctly.

This occurs as a result of the shift in the distribution of weight that occurs while using brakes. It is possible to reduce the distance needed to come to a stop by putting more pressure than usual on the front brake. When applying the e-bike brakes, it is best practice to do it gradually and only just before the vehicle might be about to make a big decision to halt. If you don’t do that, you end up losing control of your vehicle and slamming into something.

Because of this, learning how to brake effectively while riding an e-bike is a talent that can only be acquired by repeated practice. To gain a feel for the brakes, you should practice stopping on a road where there is no traffic. You can enroll in a riding skills school to gain the knowledge necessary to ride an electric bicycle safely if you are unsure of how to use it.

What is the difference between Rim brakes and Disc brakes?

The brake is the most crucial component of our electric bikes since it allows us to travel farther and more safely than any other portion of the bike. A pad that increases friction is applied to the surface of the wheel of an electric bicycle so that the vehicle can be slowed down or stopped. There is a significant distinction between the two kinds of brakes in terms of how they provide halting energy.

In conventional rim brakes, the major source of braking force comes from the friction that occurs against the outside border of the wheel and the braking pad. The disc brake, but on the other side, applies the brakes by the use of a rotor that is located in the hub of the wheel. How each of these two brakes is engaged is also another point of differentiation between them. To engage the rim brake, the cable box tries to squeeze the calipers that are attached to the wheel.

Two of the most prominent kinds of disc brakes are those that are operated by either a mechanical disc brake system or hydraulic disc brakes. When the brakes are engaged, a buildup of hydrostatic flow within the calipers causes the pistons to be pushed in the direction of the rotor. The power required to stop something comes from the resistance that is produced. In addition to this, the cable system is utilized in the operation of the mechanical disc braking system.

disc brake system

What are the advantages of the Disc brake system?

When compared to rim brakes, disc brakes offer much improved stopping power.

It generates less heat than drum brakes do while still providing the same level of braking torque.

They are unaffected by rainy or snowy conditions.

Drum brakes are prone to damage if the worn-out brake pads are not rebuilt as soon as possible, whereas disk brakes are not at risk of experiencing this problem.

Disc brakes are superior to rim brakes in terms of their mechanical performance. When the brakes are applied, less force is required.

A considerable amount of torque may be transmitted in a relatively small amount of area thanks to the disk brake.

When wheels are equipped with disc brakes, the contact between the rim and the hub needs to be built to handle high torque loads.

What are the Disadvantages of a Disc Brake System?

Hydraulic disc systems are one of the most difficult to understand of all the available options. Regular maintenance is unavoidable, and draining the brake lines is a necessary but time-consuming and somewhat messy task.

When compared to other types of brakes, disk brakes have a greater number of moving parts.

If there is any air left in the disk brake system, it is possible that the brakes will not function properly.

Because disc brakes do not self-activate, an additional power booster is necessary to achieve the desired level of compression force.

What are the Advantages of the Rim Brake System?

Wheel brakes are simple to maintain and do not necessitate the purchase of any additional tools. The only things to be concerned about are the wear on the brake pads and the minor alterations.

It is lighter in weight in comparison to disc brakes, which are bulkier. A rim brake type can save you roughly a couple of pounds, so seek one of those if you want to purchase a lightweight electric bike.

What are the Disadvantages of Rim Brakes?

The stopping power of disc brakes, regardless of whether they are hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes, is superior to that of rim brakes.

Rim brakes are more harmful to the e-rims and brake pads of a bicycle than regular brakes. Since of their placement and the source of the force that they apply, rim brakes are responsible for a greater amount of surface damage or wear.

How to choose the right e-bike brake?

Your riding style and the requirements you have for your electric bicycle’s braking system should be compatible with one another. In situations that are either wet or muddy, disc brakes perform far better than drum brakes. Linear-pull brakes could be a good option for you if you’re searching for a solution that will cost you less money.

Final Verdict

When riding an electric bicycle, the single most important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that you always have at least one brake engaged. This is true even if you are unfamiliar with the many types of brakes available. Since we are all well aware of how important the brake is to the operation of our e-bikes, the following are some considerations to keep in mind when applying it.

If you want the brake system you choose to work at its absolute best, it is vital to perform routine maintenance on it.

After weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each available option, make your selection. Also, don’t forget to complete the normal maintenance on the brakes.


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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