All You Need to Know About Electric Bike Brakes - Thebicyclegeek

Whether you’re researching before you buy or want to understand the parts you rely on to keep you safe, you may wonder how electric bike brakes work. For this reason, we go into depth about the different parts, how they work, and even the best types and brands of e-bike brakes for you to use. If you don’t know how e-bike brakes work, the information below will help you get a firm understanding.

Understand The E-Bike Braking System

To understand how e-bike brakes work, you must first know what the different elements of the brakes are. When you understand the various components, you can understand how they work together to keep you safe.


The brake levers are the part of the braking system- Thebicyclegeek

The brake levers are the part of the braking system you will likely spend the most time using. These pieces of the brake system are vital since they allow you to apply pressure to the rest of the system to slow down or stop.

You will usually find the brake levers on the handlebars of your bike, and you will usually have one on each side. Though the regulations for which side of the brake controls which tire may differ, the left brake lever usually regulates the front tire in the US.


bike brake cable - Thebicyclegeek

The cable of a brake system refers to the part of the brakes that activates the pistons to start the slowing or stopping process. You can see this cable on most e-bikes since it attaches to the lever and goes all the way to the wheels, though the line may change with new electric brakes.

Most e-bikes use disc brakes, but there are still two types of cable depending on the brake type. The hydraulic brakes cable gets filled with fluid, while the mechanical brakes cable gets made of two parts: the outer casing and the inner wire.


bike caliper - Thebicyclegeek

The caliper of a disc brake system is the part that houses the brake pads and the pistons. If your brake pads get worn out, you will need to remove the caliper to replace the pads. The easiest way to identify the caliper is to look at where the cable that leads from the levers ends.

Inside the calipers are the pistons that must be activated by the lever to push the brake pads and cause the bicycle to halt.

Brake Rotor:

Brake Rotor - Thebicyclegeek

The other essential part of the brake system of any bicycle using a disk brake system is the brake rotor. This part of the brake system is easy to see since it attaches to the wheel housing. The rotor is the second part of the brake system that causes the friction needed to stop your e-bike, the first part being the disk brakes.

The rotor is also one of the most uncomplicated brake components to identify since it is a visible steel disc by the wheels. Brake rotors have various sizes; larger rotors wear your pads faster and make you stop quicker.

How Do Electric Bike Brakes Work?

Now that we know all the parts of an e-bike brake system, it will be much easier to explain exactly how it works to slow or stop you.

The trigger mechanics for the brake system are the levers. As described above, the levers are the part of the brake system that you apply pressure to, allowing the cable to manipulate the pistons in the caliper. The more pressure you use, the quicker the bicycle will stop.

By pressing on the lever, you push liquid or pull the wire that allows the pistons in the caliper to extend and push the brake pads against the rotor. Once the brake pads touch the rotor, the friction created enables your e-bike to slow down. However, alongside the friction generated to stop the e-bike, heat also causes wear and tear on the brake pads and the rotor.

What Type of Brakes is Best on An Ebike?

With so many different types of brakes on the market and many being used on bikes today, you may wonder what the best kind is for an e-bike.

The most commonly used brake system on an e-bike is a disc brake system, and the variant that will best ensure your safety is the hydraulic version. Though hydraulic disc brakes may be harder to replace, they can stop an e-bike much more efficiently and consistently, even in bad weather or rougher terrain.

In addition to the advantages of hydraulic disc brakes mentioned above, there is also the added benefit of hydraulic brakes sometimes being adjustable. If your hydraulic braking system allows you to adjust it, you could apply less pressure for the same results.

Hydraulic disc brakes provide better braking force, have a longer lifespan, and are much more consistent than any other braking system.

Best Electric Bike Brakes Brand

In addition to knowing the best type of brake system you can have, there is also the choice of the best brand. You can learn a lot about a brand by looking at its history, quality, and reliability, and this is also a great way to ensure you don’t leave your safety up to chance.

Though it is hard to single out one specific brand that makes the best bike brakes, there are a few you should consider.


Tektro Racing Products, or TRP, is a bike brake manufacturer with a long history with bike brakes and launched its first hydraulic braking system in 1999. Since the launch of TRP’s hydraulic brake system, it has become its most popular, well-known, and essential product, with many global partners and athletes using its brakes.

Some athletes who use and trust TRP include Luca Cometti and Heather Munive.


SRAM is another brand globally known for its high-quality and reliable bicycle components. Though SRAM started out focused on gear shifting, they soon became focused on providing the best quality bicycle gear to improve your ride. After purchasing Avid in 2004, SRAM also started producing the iconic Avid hydraulic disc brake systems the world had come to love and trust.

Today SRAM is well-known in the world of competitive biking and has more than 120 professional athletes that trust their products.


Shimano has a long history with cycling, including having its domestic cycling team since 1973 after already being a known sponsor of a European cycling team. They have also been making bicycle brakes since before then and have spent a long time improving the 105 series to perfect this caliper brake system.

Today Shimano is well known for its role in various sports and is also one of the best and highest-quality e-bike component manufacturers.


Well-known in the motorcycle industry, it is only natural that Magura would also be excellent and reliable for biking and e-bikes. When noticing a gap in the e-bike market, Magure took the opportunity to make an even bigger name by introducing an ABS braking system for e-bikes.

The innovative technologies coming from this brand are sure to set your mind at ease and ensure your safety.

Conclusion: Electric Bike Brakes

Though e-biking is a great way to travel, one of the essential elements you should always consider is the brakes. Though you may not have understood how e-bike brakes work before, the information above will help you makes sense of how they work, show you the best brakes to use, and even the best brands for your brake system to ensure your safety.

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