Internal and External Batteries Ebike | Macfox Electric Bike
    The differences between e-bike internal and external batteries, including design, convenience and performance. Learn how battery type affects the efficiency, cost, and handling of an e-bike so you can make an informed choice that fits your lifestyle and riding preferences.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal and External Batteries for Electric Bicycles

    • By Macfox Bike
    • May 07

    Electric bikes have quickly become an attractive, sustainable transportation alternative.

    These vehicles rely on battery technology to power them over varied terrain.

    Battery choice—whether internal or external—can significantly impact not only performance but also the design, convenience and overall user experience of e-bikes.

    This blog post compares and contrasts internal and external batteries, empowering you to make an informed decision about which is best for your cycling needs based on your personal preferences.

    Understanding Electric Bike Batteries

    Electric Mountain Bike with Removable Battery | Macfox

    Electric bicycle batteries are not just power sources - they are intricate components that define the efficiency, range, and capabilities of e-bikes, sparking intrigue in the technological aspect of these vehicles.

    Here, we delve into the intricate workings of batteries for electric bikes, outlining key features and characteristics in a comprehensive comparison that will give potential e-bike owners the confidence to make informed purchasing decisions.

    Types of Batteries

    Electric bicycles typically utilize lithium-ion batteries, which are known for their higher energy density and longer lifespan, in comparison with older types such as lead-acid or nickel metal hydride batteries.

    Lithium-ion batteries do not experience memory effects, a phenomenon where a battery 'remembers' the capacity it was last charged to and subsequently only charges to that level. This means they provide consistent power output throughout their charge cycles, ensuring reliable performance over time.

    Capacity and Range

    Battery capacity is typically measured in terms of watt-hours (Wh), which demonstrates how much energy a battery is capable of storing at once.

    This figure is of paramount importance as it determines how far an e-bike can travel on one charge.

    An e-bike equipped with a 400Wh battery could power it for 40-70 kilometres, depending on the motor assistance level used, rider weight and terrain conditions.

    Voltage plays a critical role in affecting torque and acceleration on an e-bike.

    Higher voltage provides more power for delivery to an e-bike motor, improving performance in challenging situations like climbing hills or transporting heavy loads.

    Weight and Dimensions

    Battery size and weight have an enormous influence on the design and handling of an e-bike.

    Heavier batteries may make an e-bike more challenging to handle and transport, but their increased capacity often results in a more extended range.

    Manufacturers strive to find a balance between performance use, usability, and comfort when designing bikes.

    Charging Time and Lifespan/Life Expectancy

    Charging times may range between 3 and 6 hours for a full charge.

    Some advanced batteries offer fast-charging capabilities, enabling riders to reach 80% capacity in as little as an hour or two.

    Battery lifespan for an e-bike battery is measured in charge cycles, which refers to the number of times a battery can be charged and discharged before its capacity begins to decrease significantly.

    Many batteries can endure 500 to 1,000 charges before their capacity starts to decline, making them a durable and long-lasting option.

    Proper care and charging of batteries can extend their lives far beyond their original expectation.

    Maintenance Tips: For maximum longevity and performance of e-bike batteries, it is advisable not to allow them to fully discharge before storing them in excellent, dry locations.

    Regular charging sessions may also help preserve battery health if the bike is used less frequently.

    Advantages of Internal Batteries

    Internal Batteries offer many advantages for aesthetic and design considerations.

    They can be integrated seamlessly into an e-bike's frame for a sleek, modern appearance, allowing them to more closely resemble traditional bicycles in terms of visual appeal.

    • Protection Against Theft and Elements: Internal batteries offer better protection from theft because they are housed within their frames. This makes them less accessible to thieves and better protected against environmental elements like rain and dust, helping extend their lifespan while keeping performance up.

    • Weight Distribution: Internal batteries contribute to an even weight distribution across the bike, centralizing mass and improving stability and handling. This makes manoeuvring easier at higher speeds or uneven terrain.

    Disadvantages of Internal Batteries

    One of the major challenges associated with built-in batteries is that, due to their custom designs, it can be difficult to find compatible replacements or upgrades.

    Only specific models can fit into a given space, limiting the options for improvements.

    • Charging Accessibility: Bikes that contain non-removable batteries require being close to an accessible power outlet in order to be charged, which could make life inconvenient for those without indoor space available for charging.

    • Heat Dissipation: Internal batteries installed within bike frames may experience difficulty effectively dissipating heat, potentially compromising their efficiency and lifespan. Excessive heat buildup could also decrease battery efficiency and lifespan.

    Related Reading: Managing E-Bike Battery Anxiety

    Advantages of External Batteries

    • Ease of Replacement and Upgrading: External batteries provide riders with the flexibility of easily swapping out or upgrading batteries without restrictions tied to size or shape restrictions on existing ones. Riders can bring along extra batteries on long rides without incurring extra expenses related to shape/size limitations for current ones.

    • Convenient Charging Options: External batteries offer more convenient charging solutions, thanks to their removable nature. Users can easily detach their battery and charge it wherever is most convenient - something which makes this battery particularly suitable for apartment dwellers or those living in spaces with limited space.

    • Cost-Effectiveness: External batteries tend to be the more cost-effective choice due to their standard shapes and compatibility with various e-bike models.

    Disadvantages of External Batteries

    • Aesthetic and Design Impact: External batteries can have an unattractive aesthetic impact when mounted to an e-bike, creating an unsightly design and impacting its visual appeal and aerodynamics. This could reduce its aerodynamic efficiency and impact the visual appeal and aerodynamic performance of your machine.

    • Attracting Theft and Elements: Due to being outside, batteries installed externally are more prone to theft as well as exposure to weather conditions which could compromise their performance and shorten their operational lifespan.

    • Weight Distribution Issues: When adequately designed external batteries are not balanced correctly, their effect can have detrimental consequences on a bike's balance and controllability at lower speeds or sharp turns. Controlling it becomes more complicated than necessary and more of a struggle than necessary.

    Electric Battery Bike | Macfox Electric Bike

    Making the Right Decision When Selecting an Electric Bicycle

    Battery integration plays an essential part in deciding the performance, convenience, and aesthetic appeal of any electric bike you select.

    When making this choice it can have lasting implications on performance, aesthetics, convenience, and durability of its ride.

    Here is a helpful overview to assist your decision:

    Considerations for an E-Bike With an Internal Battery:

    • Design and Aesthetics: E-bikes with internal batteries typically offer a more streamlined and visually appealing design. The battery is hidden within the frame, making the bike look similar to a traditional bicycle. This sleek integration can be particularly attractive for those who value aesthetics.

    • Protection and Durability: Internal batteries offer better protection from environmental factors such as rain, dirt and extreme temperatures than external ones do; this results in longer lifespans, reduced maintenance needs, and lessened theft risk, as the battery cannot easily be removed.

    • Ride Quality: Bikes with internal batteries often boast improved weight distribution. By centrally situating their battery within their frame, bikes with integrated batteries provide improved balance and stability, resulting in smoother riding experiences, especially at higher speeds or on uneven terrain.

    Considerations for an E-Bike with an External Battery:

    • Flexibility and Convenience: External batteries offer distinct advantages, particularly regarding charging and replacement. Being able to remove the battery makes charging simpler for those without access to their bike directly, and allows riders carrying longer journeys to carry spare batteries along.For example, the popular series of fat tire electric bicycles launched by Macfox are equipped with external batteries and have a dual-battery series with a stylish and modern appearance.

    • Cost and Replacement Options: E-bikes equipped with external batteries tend to offer more affordable and easily replaceable battery options compared to their internal counterparts. When upgrading or replacing them, external options provide greater flexibility at reduced costs compared to their inbuilt counterparts.

    • Handling Considerations: Although external batteries can provide multiple advantages to bikes, they can substantially affect weight distribution. If an external battery is large or poorly integrated, it could affect the bike's centre of gravity, making handling challenging in certain circumstances.


    Selecting an e-bike with either an internal or external battery depends upon your specific needs, lifestyle and preferences.

    If aesthetics and minimal maintenance are of utmost importance to you, an internal battery might be your ideal choice.

    However, an external battery could be more suitable, depending on your preferences regarding flexibility, ease of charging and cost-effectiveness.

    Considerations should also include how battery type affects various aspects of its use.

    Your choice should reflect both practical needs and personal tastes, providing an e-bike that complements both.

    Doing this will maximize your cycling experience.


    What are the primary benefits of internal batteries in electric bikes?

    Internal batteries feature a sleek design, enhanced theft protection and weight distribution that benefits stability and handling in an e-bike.

    Why might someone choose an external battery pack for their e-bike?

    External batteries are typically more accessible and cost-effective for riders looking for flexibility or carrying spare batteries. They provide convenient replacement and charging without taking up as much room on their bikes.

    How does battery voltage impact an e-bike's performance?

    Higher voltage batteries give more power to an e-bike's motor, providing superior acceleration and performance when climbing hills or carrying heavier loads.

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