Do e-bikes make noise?

Electric bicycles might make some noise.


The popularity of e-bikes is increasing day by day because of their cost-effectiveness and their contribution to a fit and healthy body. Despite all these good aspects, some people complain about the noise that these e-bikes make. It is worthwhile to examine this question further. Does really a noise come from e-bikes? Is the noise coming from e-bikes annoying? Does the noise of the e-bike create noise pollution? These are the common questions people have. Let’s get deep into this matter. 


If e-bikes make noise, which parts of the e-bike make such noise? The tires, chains, and motors of these e-bikes indeed release some amount of noise. People might have a false idea that e-bikes sound like motor cars with broken exhaust pipes. Hence, this article will be focusing on all the aspects that you may need answers to concerning the noise of e-bikes. 


What is The Reason That E-Bikes aren’t Entirely Silent? 

The preliminary thing about the physical structure of e-bikes is that e-bikes possess more elements than typical motorcycles. The world of technology is heading toward an advanced and noiseless future. Then why are not e-bikes completely silent? E-bikes are getting closer to the noiseless status. Yet, since it is still in the progress, let’s have a look at the things that create the noise of the e-bike. 


As mentioned above, e-bikes contain more components when compared to traditional bikes. The primary source of noise is the electric motor. There are three main types of motors for electric bikes. They are direct drive motors, geared hub motors, or intermediate drive motors. The thing that you are required to know is the amount of noise produced is low so that you do not have to cancel your deal to buy an e-bike if you are expecting to buy one. 


The noise of the e-bike That Comes From the Brakes 

You will hear a squeaky sound from e-bike brakes when they are in worn-out condition because of a lack of maintenance. This happens mainly when dirt gets attached in between the brake pad of your e-bike and the rotor attached to the wheel. What happens here is the brake pads push the dirt against the rotors when you use brakes. To get rid of this trouble, you have to clear the brake pads. Another reason that causes an e-bike’s brake to have a squeaky sound is a bent rotor. To resolve this, e-bike users can straighten out the bent area with a suitable spanner. 


Sometimes this noise coming from your e-bike can be embarrassing. Another thing that can cause such an embarrassing sound is a misalignment of the calipers or the worn-out nature of brake pads. Repositioning the calipers can solve this issue. If brake pads are in worn-out condition, the best possible thing to do would be to replace them. 


Noise That Comes From the Direct Drive E-Bike Motor

The direct drive motor category marks the biggest type of motor out of all the other motor types. Their position is on the wheel. Moreover, a big round of magnets encircles the direct drive motor. If it is an e-bike with a throttle, when you turn on the throttle, the motor starts to operate by rotating the housing. The wheel also starts to spin because it is an inseparable part of the casing. 


In general, this motor produces the lowest sound among others. But, it is not without its drawbacks. 


A direct drive motor is capable of giving ample torque to the wheel even at lower speeds. This is due to the size of the motor which is similar to the exact size of the wheel. Because of this largeness of the motor, it adds an extra burden to the bike which makes it difficult or tiresome to handle the bike. It is difficult especially when the riders have to climb a slope without the assistance of either the throttle of the e-bike or the pedal. 


On the other hand, a direct drive motor does not have the ability to move freely. The motor moves simultaneously when you start spinning the wheel. Resistance comes when the motor whirls past the magnets. As a consequence of this resistance, the motor needs extra energy. If you haven’t connected the motor of the e-bike to a power generator, then you will encounter resistance. Consequently, riding a bike without aid is more tiresome and challenging. 


Motor Connected To The Front Wheel And Rear Wheel 

An electric bike with a motor connected to the rear wheel is always quieter than an electric bike with a motor fastened to the wheel at the front. It is a proven fact that when the motor is attached to the back wheel, the noise produced is extremely low. The reason for a front wheel to produce more noise is the fork position. The more this fork swings, the more the motor releases noise. So, attaching the motor to the rear wheel will help you to reduce the noise of an e-bike. 


Noise That Comes From A Geared Hub E-Bike Motor

Geared hub motors are little in size but more efficient when compared to direct drive motors. You can experience a similar convenience as if you are riding a traditional bike when a motor of geared hub type is attached to the e-bike. There are other benefits too. One is that geared-hub motors have motor coils. This fact enables the motors to rotate faster than the bike’s wheel. Consequently, the motor can spin faster, providing more power. The noise produced by these motors in e-bikes is small. 


If you are familiar with the noise of a city trolley accelerating, the noise produced by geared-hub motors in e-bikes is almost similar to that sound. However, the volume is really low. You can understand this better by comparing the sound to the noise of the motor of the direct drive category. If you are riding the e-bike along the roads of serene countryside, then you can clearly hear this sound. Otherwise, if you are riding across the roads of a metropolitan city, among the hustle and bustle of city life, then you won’t be able to hear this sound. 


Noise That Comes From A Mid-Drive E-Bike Motor

More sophisticated e-bike motors of this type are still being processed by engineers and they will succeed soon in their endeavors. These motors are placed in the pedal part of the electric bikes. So, it is a little difficult to gather together and connect the motors to the surrounding figure of the electric bike. However, mid-drive e-bike motors appear to give the most easy-going and natural ride for the Ebike riders. 


Bike enthusiasts who are keen on e-bikes say that the motors of the geared hub e-bike are quieter than this type of motor. However, there is hardly any distinction between the two. 


The noise of the Electric Bike Chain

The noise of the chain emitted from e-bikes takes second place among other noises of the e-bikes. People commonly hear this sound. Chain noise is not a problem circumscribed to e-bikes only. This is a problem with typical motorcycles as well. It doesn’t really matter which chain type you are going to use because every chain type generates noise. 


It is understandable however that these larger chains emit more noise than smaller ones. Moreover, the good condition of the chain is also a key factor that decides the volume of the noise generated. You can identify chains with a low-quality easily by noise. They are usually louder because gears have better contact with these types of chains. This contact is rough, especially when the gears are put and unloaded. You have to maintain chains often to reduce this noise. 


The noise of The Electric Bike Tire

Tires are usually rough. When the tires of an e-bike get in touch with the road, it makes a noise. Even the traditional bike tires generate a similar noise. Tire noise is common in both e-bikes and traditional bikes. And, the tires of both types of bikes are identical. 


What can you do about this tire noise? Usually, the nature of the terrain on which you ride is a factor that decides the noise produced by the tires of the e-bike 


If you are riding on asphalt or a gravel road, even the smallest traction in the tire with the road generates noise. If you are riding a mountain e-bike that has off-road tires, the level of sound that comes is higher. This is due to the fact that those tires are bigger in size and have a substantial width also. 


When To Worry About the noise of the e-bike? 

It is when you hear squeaky or clanking sounds that you are required to address the issue that you have got. If you continue riding without caring for such noises, with time, the issues will get worsen. So, for example, if you hear a squeaky sound in the brakes, try to give appropriate solutions before you get back on your e-bike. Most importantly, if you don’t pay attention to the misaligned calipers, apart from generating unnecessary sounds, this has the possibility of pushing you into another danger. The e-bikers who use hub-drive e-bikes have to be attentive to sounds coming from the wheel where the motor is attached. What you are required to do is stop the bike and check for the place where the sound is coming from. 


How Can The E-Bike Sound Be Reduced? 

Did you know that noise of the e-bike is reducible? There are a lot of things that you have the ability to do in this regard. The majority of them pertain to the fact that you are required to make sure the e-bike parts don’t produce extreme vibration. And, you are required to check from which parts the particular noise comes. However, there is one thing you are required to note. That is the whirring sound of the electric motor is something that you cannot avoid. After figuring out which parts cause the noise, take the necessary actions to fix them.


And, check whether there are any loosened bolts and nuts on the bike. If you find them, fix them tightly. When the nuts of a bike are loose, there is a high possibility for the other parts connected to shake. This may increase the sound to a considerable extent. 


Another thing that you have the ability to do to reduce the noise generated from your e-bike is cleaning the electric bike. When you don’t clean your bike for a long time, it gets filthy. Then things such as sand and dirt come into contact with the bike’s chain. This creates a big vibration in the e-bike when you ride it, creating a louder noise. 


The good existence of anything depends on how well you maintain it. E-bikes are not an exception. Good maintenance for an e-bike is essential because with time the parts of the e-bike get worn out. By maintaining them properly, you can keep them lubricated. You can avoid a lot of noise-related issues if you take care of your electric bike well. 

The Way to Select An E-Bike That Produces Low Noise

Everyone likes to be an owner of an e-bike that generates less noise. Everybody who rides an e-bike experiences a different kind of joy and fun. Electric bikes feature a pedal and a motor. The experience that the riders of e-bikes get may vary according to the terrain on which they travel and the weather conditions as well. However, you cannot get rid of this noise entirely.. However, buying an e-bike with a low level of noise is the priority of many e-bike lovers. 


Usually, e-bikes do not produce an extremely loud noise that annoys the vicinity. The plus point about e-bikes is that you can regulate the level of noise as you wish. E-bikes have a low decibel level. Hence, they produce relatively lower noise than motorcycles. This is mainly because of the fact that e-bikes have a rechargeable motor instead of a gas motor. There are some e-bike sounds that help you for relaxation. Those methods are available online. Internet platforms are quick to respond to all your queries. As a result, you can get good reviews about these techniques from online platforms. There are reviews from individuals who use e-bikes and have good knowledge about these things. By reading these reviews you can get to know the things that one should expect from an e-bike before you purchase one. 



There are e-bike companies that work for and promote less noisy e-bikes or zero noise-emitting e-bikes. So, in the future, there will be e-bikes with zero noise in the market. 


All things considered, it can be said that the motor of an electric bike produces less noise when compared to the noise generated by gasoline-powered motorbikes. We have to admit the fact that e-bikes have some level of noise but they are significantly less troublesome in the noise they emit. The elements that make the noise in e-bikes are the motor, the chain, the tires, and the brakes. But, luckily these sounds are not that much annoying unless you let them exist for a long time till they reach a point that is worse. Noise is something important to consider before you purchase an e-bike. As discussed above, you are required to give proper maintenance after buying an electric bike. This will help you to mitigate the problems of the noise of e-bikes. 


Vicky Houston

Hi, I am Vicky! At e-bikeguide, we are passionate about electric bicycles and love sharing our knowledge and research with you. We strive to be the ultimate resource to learn all you can about caring for your lovely electric bike!

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