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When you are riding a new eBike for the first time, you might notice that there are some things that you will need to get used to. Because of the motor and how it works, you will likely feel a big difference between riding a manual bike and an electric bike.

One of the main factors that you will notice is the cogging. This is something that occurs in the engine and can cause you to feel resistance when you are pedaling. But what is cogging and is it something that can be prevented? And, how does it affect your eBike?

What Does Cogging Mean?

Cogging is an event that happens in the engine of an electric bike. An eBike has a permanent magnet motor, which needs a certain amount of torque to turn the shaft. This torque is called the cogging torque and is a direct result of two forces between both iron poles that are located on the rotor, the magnets, and the eddy currents that are caused by the magnetic field moving. 

The cogging that you feel is the added power, which can often feel like a sense of resistance in the pedals. However, it is really the torque that is caused by the eddy currents, iron poles, and magnets. This is a common event that occurs in many eBikes, although some high – end options will come with mechanisms and technology to improve the smoothness of the ride. 

What is it?

Well, the definition of it above might be tough to understand if you don’t have your eBike in front of you, or you don’t have much experience with the technology that the bike uses. So, what is cogging in simple terms? 

Cogging is what occurs when the motor has to vary its thrust force to be able to keep moving the bike. The iron core of the motor has certain positions that work well and are a sort of “preferred” position that it likes to be in. When cogging occurs, it is the motor’s way of using force and torque to overcome those preferences and move the eBike passed those particular positions. 

This is known as one of the undesirable traits that come with using an electric bike, but often something that is still worth dealing with for the sake of being able to reap the benefits of using this type of bike.

How Does it Affect eBikes?

Though cogging is known to be a disadvantage of using an eBke, it is something that makes the bike run the way you need it to. But, as a bit of a necessary evil, you want to know how this can affect your eBike and what you should do about it. 

The main effect that you will notice is the jerkiness that can be associated with the cogging torque. This will feel like your bike is not riding as smooth at times, as it bucks against the preferred position of the magnetization, and can make the ride feel bumpy.

Another major effect that you will see is the noise level that the cogging creates. It can get annoying when you are in the middle of nature and begin hearing the sounds created by cogging. It can be quite loud at times, which can put some users off. 

Though these are both major effects, the most important effect that cogging has on your eBike is that the high torque output can be damaging to the output of your motor. Overtime, cogging and its high level of torque can wear down your system. This could force you to need to replace parts of the motor or replace the motor altogether.

Luckily, this is not something that will affect your bike anytime soon. It can have an event in the future, but if you just got a new eBike, you won’t have to deal with replacing anything for quite some time. 

New Technologies 

There is good news for those who don’t like the effects and feelings of cogging when you ride. Many companies who manufacture eBikes realize that this is something most riders don’t like. So, they are creating and testing out new technologies to see what they can do to lessen the problem in future eBike models.

So, though it might be out of reach now, you can look forward to bikes not dealing with the effects of cogging so much in the future. 


Dealing with cogging while riding your eBike can get frustrating when you just want a smooth and leisurely ride. Also, with the negative effects that cogging can have on your bike, you don’t want to deal with it for long. 

However, as this is a symptom of the motor working, just think of it as a sign that the motor is doing its job. And, in the future, you might be able to find an eBike that doesn’t deal with cogging at all.

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