Do E-bikes Make Noise? Know Here

Last Updated on November 21 2021 by Danica

How Noisy Are Electric Bikes? - Our Guide

Electric bikes have many benefits thanks to their motor assistance, but many people are concerned about the level of noise from the type of motor during use. 

Luckily, although ebikes do make some noise, this is hardly any more than a regular bicycle, you might hear a slight humming from the motor during use and the sound of the tyres, but this is the same as a normal bike and considerably less noise than let's say a motorbike. 

To understand where the noise comes from on your electric bike, how loud is too loud and some ways to make your e-bike quieter, we have put together an informative guide below which will give you everything you need to know. 

The Main Causes Of Noise From An Electric Bike

Depending on the type of motor you have in your e-bike, there will be different causes to the noise you hear when riding. We have explained each cause in more detail below. 

Geared Hub Motor Noise 

Geared hub motors are a type of motor which gives the most natural assistance from the electric motor and reduces drag when riding. Although these gear hub motor types have a small size they can produce a slightly higher noise level when accelerating on pedal assistance, this ebike motor noise would only be noticeable in a quiet environment, however. 

Direct Drive Motor Noise 

This kind of electric bicycle motor spins its outer shell when the pedal assist is accelerated or when the throttle is twisted. Direct drive e-bike motor types are often quite heavy due to their very large size and can cause a lot of noise when placed on the front wheel as it can cause the whole bike to vibrate during use. 

Mid-Drive Motor Noise 

A mid-drive electric motor is centred in gravity and creates a balanced feel when riding, they are however noisier than a gear hub motor, especially as they age but less noisy than a direct-drive motor thanks to their integrated location inside of the bike frame. 

Tire Noise 

When your tyres make traction with the road you are cycling on it is a natural riding experience to hear some noise as you move along, the noise level depends mostly on the type of tyres are using and the surface you are riding on, different tyres and tread patterns create different noises.

How Loud Should My Electric Bike Be? 

It can be hard to understand just how loud and the electric bike should be, you will often find higher quality models have the quietest ebike motor system while cheaper models and e-bike conversion kits have a noise design as they are lower quality. 

As we mentioned above, the style of the motor determines the amount of noise that you will hear but it still shouldn't be much more than a regular bicycle. To make sure your e-bike isn't too noisy it's best to take it to a professional who can have a look at it and identify any issues which might be making it noisier than usual. 

We also suggest trying out e-bike before you buy them if possible to get used to the level of noise you will be hearing according to different models. 

Tips For Making Your Electric Bike Quieter 

If you feel like your e-bike is making more noise than usual then you might need to adjust and fix some components on your electric bike, we have listed out our best tips for quietening your e-bike down below. 

  • Avoid front wheel conversion kits - Having your actual motor on your front wheel, whether a conversion kit or pre-built ebike with a front hub motor can cause your front fork to vibrate during cycling, leading to noise. 
  • You have a bent brake rotor - Whether you are transporting your bike or it's been knocked, it is very possible to bend your brake rotors by accident, this can cause your brakes to rub and produce noise on the road, the only way to fix this is by bending it back with a special tool or taking it to a professional.
  • Choose the right tyres - Using the wrong tyres on the wrong surface can create more traction and noise, for example, mountain bike tyres will create a higher amount of noise on flat road surfaces due to the high tread pattern they have.
  • Lubricate your chain - If you do lubricate your chain when you need to then it can become rusty and noisy, make sure you are lubricating it when needed and always choose the right kind of lube according to how you are riding your bike, for example, if your riding in wet conditions make sure you use a wet lube.
  • Tighten any loose nuts and bolts - Loose and nuts bolts can cause parts of your e-bike's frame components to shake and make noise, give everything a good tighten to see if it solves the issue.
  • Contaminated discs on rotor - If you are getting a squealing noise coming from around the wheel hub this could be your brake rotor discs which might have had a lube spill when you were lubricating the chain, to fix this you should clean the rotors and replace the brake pads.
  • Clean it well - A dirty electric bike can become very noisy due to the mud build-up and any debris stuck in the bike such as sticks that vibrate during cycling, causing the noise.
  • A worn cassette - Eventually, if you have a commuter bike and ride a lot of miles, you might have a chain noise coming from a worn cassette, this will cause the chain noise to jump around. The best way to fix this is to replace the bad chain and worn cassette at the same time. 
  •  Switch the clutch on the rear mech - If you have recently been changing the rear wheel on your e-bike you might have forgotten to switch on the clutch which can cause unwanted noise due to the rubbing.
  • Adjust the tension on the gear shifter - It is possible a bad chain might be skipping gears causing noise, to fix this simple adjust the tension to be tighter or looser until the noise fades. 

Frequently Asked Question About Electric Bikes Noise

Why is there a clicking noise coming from my ebike motor? 

If you are experiencing a clicking sound from your bike motor it might be down to cogging, debris inside of the motor or the derailleur needs adjusting.

How often should I lube the chain of my electric bike? 

You should aim to lube your bike chain at least once a month to reduce noise and rusting.

Does the choice of motor affect noise level?

Some electric motors are indeed noisier than others, the quietest of all is the geared hub motor but this can change according to how you maintain your electric bike. 

Last Words

Overall, electric bikes produce only a low level of noise which is not noticeable when riding and is caused by the humming of the motor while assisting and traction of tyres on surfaces when cycling. If your electric bike is producing a lot of noise try tightening everything and follow our tips above to troubleshoot the cause. 

Sam

Hi! my name is Sam Lawrence. I am a 27 year old cycling fanatic. I created this E-BikeReview.UK as a resource for people when shopping for an electric bike. My career in bicycles started when I was a child. I’ve always loved bikes. I started my own bike buying and selling business before I left school and have been running a very successful bike shop in Ledbury (west England) since I was 18 years old.

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