Are you looking to put your mind to rest before buying that expensive e-bike? Or would you like to know why your e-bike is producing noise? We will explain what parts of an electric bicycle make noise, and how to eliminate noise. We also provide you with options for quiet electric bicycles.
First, let us define noise. Noise is an unwanted sound. If you are asking if e-bikes can produce noise the answer is yes. If your question is, do e-bikes make no sound then the answer is no. E-bikes like traditional bikes have moving parts and they produce sound. Compared to traditional bicycles, e-bikes make a little more sound. The sound produced is minimal and almost negligible.
Are Electric Bikes Noisy?
Yes, electric bikes are noisy. This is because they have motors and gears that work to propel them. They can also be quite loud when you’re riding them because of the sound they make.
Types of Noise:
Noise coming from e-bikes, can either be motor-related or non-motor related.
Motor Related Noise:
An e-bike motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy to assist with riding. This conversion produces sound energy due to the moving parts.
The type of motor used is a major contributing factor to the sound level of an electric bike.
The two types of motors used on electric bikes are geared hub motor and gearless or direct drive hub motor.
Geared hub motors use a gear system inside the hub to transfer turning from the motors to the wheel. The gears reduce the speed of the motor to assist at lower speeds.
A gearless or direct drive motor as the name implies does not use a gear system. Instead of gears, they have electromagnets that oscillate to provide the added boost. They are heavier than geared hub motors and are most suitable for riding at high speeds. It might be a little hassle to ride an e-bike with a direct drive motor without any electric assist.
Types Of Motors That Make Extra Sound in Electric Bikes
The geared hub motor is louder than the direct drive motor, owning to the gear sounds produced. However, manufacturers are now making quieter geared hub bikes.
Another thing to consider is the frame to which the motor is attached. For example aluminum or carbon.
An e-bike is a traditional bike that has been modified to provide electric help to the rider. Hence, it has the parts of a traditional bike that may produce noise.
Loose chains and bolts can contribute to noise levels on your bike. A bent rotor will make your brakes a complete nuisance.
Why does my electric bike motor make noise?
Manufacturers, especially reputable ones, make their bikes noiseless. So if you’re purchasing a bike from a reputable brand you can be almost certain that it will not be producing noise.
Electric bicycles are also made by converting traditional bicycles using a conversion kit. The kind of converter kit and motor used, determine the noise levels. Also, how and where the motor is installed can be a contributing factor. It is better to use direct drive motors if you are converting your bicycle. Install your hub on the back wheel to avoid noise.
The age of the bicycle and the amount of use can also affect the sound levels of the bicycle. Another contributing factor is poor maintenance of the bike. Rusty parts can begin to creak or make squeaky noises. You should also take good care of your wheels. It is normal for tires to make some sound as they friction with the ground.
The chains can also be a source of noise if the chains are not of high quality or are too old they can suffer from wear and make noise. Also if it becomes too loose, it will start bumping against other parts and cause noise.
The best way to avoid buying a noisy bike is to buy from a reputable company and do a test ride before buying. A test ride will give you a true picture of the sound of the bike. It is also worth knowing that most bike motors make about the same sound with a few decibels lesser or higher. You should buy an e-bike with a warranty.
If you are buying a used bike it won’t be easy to know how much it has been used and how old the parts are. Before buying a new bike make sure you check reviews about the bike to know how durable it is and the sound level.
Also Read: Can You Ride a Bike With a Broken Spoke?
Ways to Quiet an Electric Bike
To make your bike quieter. Pay attention to the sound it is making if you are getting any unwanted sound, try to locate where it is coming from. Is the noise coming while pedalling? While freewheeling? When you are on or off the saddle? This might take some time, but it will point you in the right direction to fix the noise.
If you notice that the motor on your bike is very loud, you should take it to your local bike shop immediately. You shouldn’t even mess around with it especially if you have a warranty.
A loose chain will constitute noise called chain slapping. While riding it will continue to hit against the chain stay. Make sure you switch the clutch on to prevent chain slaps, especially when going down sloppy terrains. Make sure your gears are indexed properly. Indexing allows your chain to go a step up or down when you switch gears. When it is not correct, the chain will give off a snapping sound every time you switch gears.
Lubricate your chain and clean it as much as possible. Make sure you use the correct lubes when lubricating your chain. If you’re riding in wet conditions you should use lubes designed for wet conditions, and if you’re riding in dry conditions you should use lubes recommended for dry conditions
After long use, the cassette can begin to wear and when changing gears the chain will make noises. If this is the problem you need to change both the cassette and chain to eliminate the noise
The sound coming from your brakes could arise from bent rotors. While transporting your bike or during an accident, you could end up with bent rotors. You need to pull out the rotor and straighten it. Dirty discs could also cause brake noise. Oil spills or dirt could clog your discs. You should clean your rotor and change your brake pads to remove brake noise.
Creaking sounds can occur from many places on your bike. You need to figure out where this noise is coming from. It could be from the front that is the neck of your bicycle or the seats or you could be from the pedals. Once you find the erring component or components you should take them out, and clean them very well. Apply some lubricant and fasten it into position based on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Most e-bikes allow for large tires of up to 3inches. You should not fit tires that are larger than the recommended size. If you do this your tires can give off a buzzing sound when they rub off the corners of your bike.
Check for tension in your spokes. Loose spokes make rattle as you ride around bends. You can easily detect loose spoke by squeezing them against each other. If you find any with so little of a hesitance. you should take your bike to the repair shop.
Does your bike sound like it wants to come apart? Do a quick bolt check. Lift it off the ground and drop it a couple of times. You should not hear any sound apart from the tires hitting the ground. If you do, locate where the sound is coming from, take it out, do a wipe down and fix it again. Make sure you check all your bolts regularly and fasten them according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Are Yamaha E-bikes noisy?
Yamaha is a leader in e-bike manufacturing. They built one of the earliest e-bikes and are famous for solid construction.
Yamaha e-bikes are quiet when compared to other bikes in the same range such as Bosch and Shimano. That means if you take another bike with similar specifications to a Yamaha bike, the Yamaha will usually be quieter.
However, they do not have the quietest motors on the market. Yamaha e-bikes are also very intuitive and provide an enjoyable experience for the rider. Yamaha is not only proud to be the first but is also keeping up with the times and is one of the best.
What is the Quietest E-Bike?
We promised we would give you our recommendations for the quietest e-bikes in the market.
Brose motors tend to be the quietest. They have the quietest mid-drive motor on the market. The best and quietest e-bikes are fitted with a Brose Drive S Mag motor.
Our pick for the quietest e-bike is the Specialized Levo/Kenovo. The bike is very quiet and the motor power is very smooth.
With prices ranging from $5,000 – $15,000, this is not the cheapest option. On the flip side, Specialized offers a 4year warranty on its motors.
E-bikes can be quiet but not silent. The best way to know the quietness of a bike is to do a test ride. Sometimes the most noise may come from other parts of the bike.
In conclusion, electric bikes are noisier than traditional bicycles when riding on paved roads, but they are less noisy when riding on unpaved roads. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to commute, an electric bike may be the perfect option for you.