Understanding Electric Bicycle Throttles

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Updated September 4, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • Electric bicycle throttles allow riders to bypass pedaling.
  • These throttle systems are useful for climbing steep inclines or for offering the rider a break from physical exercise.
  • Electric bike throttles also allow riders to easily reach the bike’s maximum speed.

Some consumers who are thinking of purchasing an electric bike may be wondering about the role throttle plays in the overall design and use of an eBike. So why chose a throttle electric bike? Keep reading to learn about how they work.

Understanding Electric Bicycle Throttles

Throttle, in general, refers to controlling a motor by offering power supplied by an external energy source. In the case of an electric bicycle, the throttle receives power via the integrated lithium-ion battery pack. If you would like to know about more ways different parts of your ebike work, you can read about the electric bike controller.

An Easy to Follow Throttle Guide

It is important to note that engaging the throttle is not the primary way an electric bike motor operates. Most of the thrust provided by the motor is sent to the pedals, offering a number of pedal-assist options to riders. A throttle system has become a popular option on modern eBikes, however, for a variety of reasons.

Warning: It is important to note that engaging the throttle is not the primary way an electric bike motor operates

Gives a Break From Exercise

The primary reason eBike riders engage in a throttle mode is to take a break from exercising. Riding a bicycle can be a lot of work, even while engaging in simple errands. The throttle system allows the bike to operate without the need for pedaling, turning these eBikes into something resembling a scooter, a motorcycle, or another form of personal transportation. Not every electric bike even carries a throttle mode, so be sure before making an expensive purchase.

Tip: The throttle system allows the bike to operate without the need for pedaling, turning these eBikes into something resembling a scooter, a motorcycle, or another form of personal transportation

Warning: Not every electric bike even carries a throttle mode, so be sure before making an expensive purchase

Helps to Climb Hills

If you live in an area with a lot of hills or mountains, you may remember having trouble trying to pedal a traditional bicycle to complete daily tasks. Modern electric bikes contain a number of pedal-assist settings, which can simplify this process. Engaging the throttle, however, will allow the bike to coast up even the steepest of hills without any manual pedaling whatsoever. This can also be said for traversing rough terrains, such as rocks and large overgrowth. Do note that using throttle or constantly going up hills will severely decrease your electric bike range.

Tip: Engaging the throttle, however, will allow the bike to coast up even the steepest of hills without any manual pedaling whatsoever

Need for Speed

Engaging the throttle in an electric bike will typically allow the rider to achieve a maximum speed much easier than by using pedal-assist or manual pedaling. The maximum speed for most electric bikes is anywhere from 20 to 28 miles per hour. Please note, this maximum speed is typically set due to federal regulations and local laws of the road. Electric bike motors can be jury-rigged to exceed this maximum speed, but we would not recommend engaging in this process as doing so will be unsafe and will void your warranty or insurance. Not to mention, this may be illegal where you live, for instance, you can read this article about ebike regulations in the EU and UK.

Tip: Engaging the throttle in an electric bike will typically allow the rider to achieve a maximum speed much easier than by using pedal-assist or manual pedaling

Warning: Electric bike motors can be jury-rigged to exceed this maximum speed, but we would not recommend engaging in this process as doing so will be unsafe and will void your warranty or insurance

STAT:

Most e-bikes will have three to five levels of assist that kick in anywhere from 25 percent of your pedal power to 200 percent. (Source)

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throttle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_throttle_control
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedelec
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-9251-5_12

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQURq5S2TZs

Understanding Electric Bicycle Throttles FAQ

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is a bike equipped with a motor and a battery that feed power to the pedaling system. These eBikes also typically include robust throttling features.

How fast are electric bikes?

Generally speaking, an electric bike can travel anywhere from 20 to 28 miles per hour. This metric is determined by local and federal authorities and related regulations.

How far can e-bikes go?

Modern electric bikes boast fantastic lithium-ion battery packs that allow them to travel far on a single charge. Typically, a bike can go anywhere from 22 to 60 miles before needing to be recharged.
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