The anatomy of an e-bike motor

What’s going on inside your e-bike’s motor?

Bosch e-bike motor
(Image credit: Bosch)

Electric bike motors are sited in one of three places: the front hub, the rear hub or between the pedals in the bottom bracket. 

In all cases, there will be a mechanism to sense your cadence (how fast you’re turning the pedals) and the torque you are providing from pedalling, which will be built into the e-bike’s bottom bracket. Some systems have up to five different sensors to provide input. That data is fed into the motor’s control software and used to determine the motor’s output, so that it matches yours as you pedal and you get the right level of support as you ride.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.