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Do E-Bikes Have Fuses?

do ebikes have fuses

Electric bikes have surged in popularity as technological advances have made what are simply called e-bikes more affordable. Advanced e-bikes also require batteries to store and provide energy, and new e-bike riders may be left to ponder questions like, Do e-bikes have fuses?

Many e-bikes do have fuses, sometimes more than one, mainly to prevent severe heating or even fire in case of significant electrical surges. Whether or not an e-bike battery has a fuse, or how many, depends on the bike model and the battery that comes with it.

There are many choices for e-bike batteries, and electric bicycle enthusiasts are known to make modifications to the bike’s electrical system or even battery for personal preferences.

How Electric Bikes Work

There are different types of e-bikes, from electric mountain bikes, to e-bikes just for cruising along paved beach paths. Electric bikes are not designed to skip pedaling altogether, nor are they allowed to travel very fast on battery power alone.

They are supposed to assist with powering the two-wheeled vehicle — to help make rides more enjoyable — not replace the (pedal) power system.

You do have to pedal with an electric bike. The type of e-bike, and national or local laws, will dictate how much pedaling. 

U.S. laws cap speeds on e-bikes at 20 mph. Motors here are designed to stop powering at that speed; riders are free to roll faster but on their own pedaling. Also, e-bike motors cannot exceed 1 horsepower, or 750 watts; engines that go faster are classified as powered scooters or mopeds.

(The limitation is about 15.5 mph in Australia, the United Kingdom and European Union, where what they call “pedelecs” (for pedal electric bicycles) are very popular.)

So e-bike motors have sensors that monitor a bike’s speed and pedaling production, to adjust the power level according to what’s actually needed. E-bikes can reduce, or shut off entirely, the electricity as needed.

E-Bike Batteries and Fuses

E-bikes are battery powered, and as with most anything involving electricity, safety measures are applied where manufacturers believe they are needed. Therefore the use of fuses in some e-bike batteries, which can be confusing to new riders since the batteries are not the large versions they might be accustomed to with cars.

Like with electrical systems everywhere, fuses can fail. Knowing where they are on your e-bike, what they are for, and how to replace blown fuses and replace them with new ones is important.

No one wants a planned ride ended before it even starts because a bike engine won’t kick on. Worse yet, every rider wants to avoid a failed motor miles into a ride.

This e-bike battery from Unit Pack Power is an awesome replacement battery for many models of e-bikes. It’s a 48V 13AH battery that is perfect for 500W/750W/1000W motors. You will get about 30 miles out of a single charge of this battery, and has a 5 year life expectancy. It also offers a usb port for cell phone charging.

What Fuses Are For

Fuses inside e-bike batteries can be involved with protecting the flow of electricity during charging, or upon ignition. Sometimes e-bike batteries have 2 fuses, one regulating each of those situations. The fuse is the last-resort protection of your battery and bike from a power overload that could cause powerful heat or even fire.

Not all e-bike batteries have built-in fuses that are accessible from the outside. Many do, however, and accessing them is as easy as removing the battery from the bike, turning it over and seeing if there are screws securing small compartments where fuses are hidden.

Failing fuses means a problem with either the wiring system — which can be inspected and adjusted where needed — or with the battery itself. Sometimes the battery just goes bad and needs to be replaced.

How to Change or Install Fuses on an E-Bike

As stated previously, there are so many different types of e-bikes and batteries that power them that it’s nearly impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all solution to addressing fuse troubles. However, typically it involves a step by step process looking something like this:

  • Carefully remove the battery from the bike.
  • Turn the batter upside down to inspect the bottom, where small compartments may be located housing fuses.
  • Note which types of screws hold the covers of the compartment in place, and get a screwdriver appropriate to unscrew and remove them.
  • Use small needle-nose pliers or tweezers to very carefully remove the fuse.
  • Hold the fuse up to light to inspect it, to see if it might be burned out. Usually this is quite apparent by a dark color resembling a smoke stain on the interior glass.
  • If it is shorted, look for the exact same fuse, and reverse the process above to install the replacement.

More About E-Bike Fuses

Note that many e-bike fuses are what are called “blade fuses,” with a 3-part construction consisting of two metal contacts protruding — looking like split front teeth — from a plastic base. They are quite small.

Also know that some e-bike batteries have circuit breakers, which also can be inspected and re-set, or replaced, if necessary. It’s wise to fully read the user’s manual of your e-bike for information on inspections and maintenance of all the bike’s systems including electrical and the battery.

A voltmeter can help check the voltage level of an e-bike battery rather easily, by connecting the voltmeter wires to the positive and negative prongs on the battery. First determine the rated voltage for the battery, then check to see if it’s powering to that level.

Finally, it is not recommended to get too involved with taking apart a battery without significant knowledge of how they work. If a power problem cannot seem to be addressed simply, it’s probably time to consult with an e-bike professional.

Final Thoughts

If an e-bike battery fails to charge or ignite to turn on, there could be a number of reasons including the battery’s prongs, wiring systems and connections, and the bike motor controller.

Not all e-bike batteries have fuses, but those that do, especially if they are accessible from the outside, could offer a quick-fix opportunity to address an unworking motor.

Still, e-bike owners lacking confidence in their ability to perform steps like removing the battery from the bike, or adjusting wires, should have the work performed by a certified and reputable bicycle mechanic.

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