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Brakes are one of the most important features of an eBike because they keep you and those around you safe. Because they are needed for safety reasons, eBikes brake quickly and effectively.

Read on to find out more about eBike brakes, including how they work, brake types, and regenerative braking. 

Can You Brake Quickly with an eBike? – Yes 

Yes, you can brake quickly with an eBike. More specifically, eBikes brake faster than a car but slower than a traditional bicycle. The reason for this is that eBikes are lighter and slower than a car but heavier and faster than a bicycle. 

How eBike Brakes Work

eBikes have disc brakes, which are similar to the brakes found in a motorcycle. It is important to know how your eBike brakes work so you can better understand, use, and diagnose troubles in your eBike. 

The reason that these brakes are similar to motorcycle brakes is that there are rotors attached to the wheel hubs. Whenever the brake lever is activated, some kind of pressure (either cables or air depending on the disc brake type) engages the pads, which causes the pads to cinch against the rotor. As the pads cinch around the rotor, the wheels are forced to lock up and the bike stops.  

Mechanical Vs. Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Name ProsConsBest For 
Mechanical Disc BrakesEasy to adjust  Requires no special tools to fix  Uses a regular bicycle cable  More affordable Requires adjustment every couple hundred miles Requires cable adjustment as pads wear downRiders that want easy-to-fix brakes 
Hydraulic Disc Brakes Smooth lever Adjustable to the distance Self-adjusting  Very reliable Requires special tools if you need to repair the brakes (though unlikely) Riders with small or weak hands

The pads that cinch around the rotor are engaged by ether cables or air, depending on whether the brake is a mechanical disc brake or hydraulic disc brake. Mechanical brakes use cables to engage the pads. These brakes will have dials on the braking mechanisms that you can twist to move the dials closer to the rotor. 

Hydraulic disc brakes, on the other hand, use hydraulic pressure to engage the brake pads. As a result, the space between the hydraulic disc pads and rotors are automatically adjusted. 

Both brake types have similar stopping distances and speeds. The main differences between the two relate to maintenance and user-friendliness. You will decide which brake type you prefer based on your maintenance preferences and hand size and strength. 

Mechanical disc brakes are easier to fix and require no special tools for maintenance. You will need to maintain and adjust the mechanical discs yourself, which can be an irritant at times even if they are easy to adjust. 

In contrast, hydraulic disc brakes rarely need adjustment, but you will need special tools in the case something were to break. Additionally, hydraulic disc brakes have smoother levers, making them a great choice for those with small or weak hands.    

RIM Brakes

Rim brakes are used by traditional bicycles. They work by applying friction to the rim of the wheel, forcing it to stop. Although rim brakes are great for traditional bicycles, they are not suitable for eBikes. 

RIM brakes are not ideal for electric bikes because the braking quality degrades quickly in rainy, snowy, or muddy conditions. As a result, your braking experience can be extremely dangerous if the weather is not perfect. To protect yourself, opt for mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes instead. 

eBike Brakes and the Engine 

When you activate the brakes, the engine should not cut off. The reason for this is that brakes are not connected to the motor. Brakes work by stopping the wheel rotation, not the engine. If your engine stalls or turns off when braking, there is a problem with your eBike. 

Do eBikes Have Regenerative Braking? 

Electric cars come with regenerative braking. What this means is that the energy caused by the sudden stop is regenerated for the car. Since electric cars use regenerative braking, many people assume electric bikes do as well, but most eBikes do not. 

The reason that most eBikes do not have regenerative braking is that regenerative braking requires a Direct Drive Motor, which most electric bikes lack. This motor is heavy and expensive, making them unideal for electric bikes. More so, Direct Drive Motors don’t offer a freewheeling mechanism and produce too much heat for eBikes. 


Electronic bikes quickly brake thanks to their mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, which are much safer and more efficient than rim brakes. Whenever the brakes are activated, they safely stop wheel rotation, not engine function. 

In the case that your engine is messing up when you brake or if your brakes are making weird noises, it is imperative to look at and repair the issue. If you don’t, you could seriously hurt yourself or others. 

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