eBike

Single mountain bike rider on ebike rides up a steep mountain trail.

Customized OEM force and torque sensors provide accurate measurements on the drive and control systems that determine a proportional amount of the assisted motor power.

The better the motor control, the better and more intuitive the experience will be for the rider.

 

We design customized force sensors which can be designed to fit on the pedal, or torque sensors on other rotating parts to measure the feedback.

The Challenge

The estimate of the global market size in 2020 was 25 billion USD with an annual growth rate of almost 10% until 2028 when the market size is likely to be at 48 billion USD.


Growth has been driven primarily by the USA, Asia, Latin America and more recently Europe, which is considered to be the largest growth market.* Looking at the more common pedal-assist e-bikes (pedelecs), their advantages over conventional bikes are undeniable: ideal for short-distance commuters, inclines and headwinds are no longer a problem, and even less athletic riders can ride longer distances with ease. In larger cities, they help solve logistical problems. They take up less space and are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than cars.

 

In brief: They are fun to ride!

 

 

* Source: GLOBE WIRE, April 2021

blue modern mid drive motor e bike pedelec with electric engine middle mount. battery powered ebike isolated on white background. Innovation transportation concept.

These favourable forecasts resulted in more e-bike manufacturers (OEMs) entering the market and stronger competition among them.


With a wider range of models and features available, the expectations of a potential buyer regarding the riding sensation have also changed: no matter the bike’s purpose (trekking, city, cargo or mountain bike), whether under load or not - the starting and stopping behavior, acceleration, and motor assistance should be smooth, immediate, intuitive and reliable. In any case, the riding experience depends on the human-machine interface: if the rider’s pedalling power and the motor power interact smoothly, the riding sensation will be a pleasant one.


Hence, e-bike manufacturers work on optimizing drive control by improving the interoperability of the battery, motor, gearbox, controller, and sensors that perform the relevant measurements. The more precise these measurements, the finer the drive control. Whereas in the past the drive control largely relied on cadence measurements, today these are no longer sufficient.


In those cases where commercially available force and torque sensors are not suitable because their dimensions do not fit the bike’s geometry or for other reasons, e-bike manufacturers will have to find solutions tailored to their specific needs. They will look for custom-made OEM sensors, such as cadence sensors or pedal assist sensors that are flexible, robust, durable, and reliable all at the same time; sensors that deliver highly precise results, require no external power, are maintenance-free and, of course, cost-effective. In brief, customized OEM solutions fit the application both technically and on the cost side. Among the currently available technologies, customized strain gauge-based force and torque sensors are the best options because they meet all the requirements.

 

handover of an HBK's OEM sensor for eBikes, with a man riding a bicycle in a mountain in the background

Bicycle use is growing constantly - This trend is expected to grow even stronger in the coming years with increased adoption of bicycles as a means of daily transportation to get to work, to drive children to school, to run shopping or to travel due to the innovations developed - The technological revolution is underway.

 

What are the eBikes of the future?
The list is expanding every day, as the eBike market reaches new segments - gravel, electric bikes, composite bikes, event bikes, hydrogen bikes and children's bikes. At the same time, the ongoing infrastructural changes have also boosted innovation to provide ever more comfortable, lightweight, optimized bikes. All of these are technological challenges for innovators.


What are the major future trends for eBike manufacturers?

  • More and more intelligent bikes:
    The key to attracting consumers is the introduction of intelligent design in e-bikes. Manufacturers need to develop automatic, intelligent bikes that can influence many of today's lifestyles. In the future, it is foreseeable that e-bikes will become much more than just transportation or sports tools - In response to the complete transformation of the bicycle industry into an intelligent one, combined with user experience, IoT and Smart App manufacturers will need to develop bicycle products more in line with an intelligent market, and capable of providing more and more data.
  • eBike customization:
    Electrification and development of intelligence depend on Science and Technology, but custom bicycle product design and development are also crucial for eBike brands to capture new markets. Many consumers still expect to get an exclusive bicycle, always better adapted to use, age, physical shape or riding comfort - eBike manufacturers will have to improve their product solutions to keep pace with these new needs and new markets.
  • Internationalization of the eBike market:
    In addition to increased competition in the global bicycle industry and in addition to product and service innovation, smart manufacturing as well as creating a flexible global supply chain are equally important. Creating a comprehensive and flexible supply chain is an issue that eBike manufacturers must also consider. Today they have to provide global solutions to adapt to a fast-evolving market, to production increases and to a variety of demand scenarios. It is essential to be able to work with reliable partners to meet customer requirements, wherever their production facilities are located. Providing customized products or services to specific customers and integrating components and systems into the vehicle platform will allow the eBike manufacturer to increase the value and agility of their production.

 

Close-up of the battery of an E-Mountain bike

You may also be interested in....

FREE DOWNLOAD

Building Your Own Sensors - From the Strain Gauge to the Finished Transducer

Strain gauges have proven their value in the electrical measurement of mechanical quantities and play a fundamental role in the design of various transducers for force, pressure, or torque as well as load cells.

 

Our reference book “The Route to Measurement Transducers” provides a comprehensive overview of what is important in transducer design. 84 pages of clear descriptions and illustrative graphics show everything you need to consider when selecting, installing, and connecting spring elements and strain gauges.

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