Key Takeaways:

  • An electric bike’s pedal-assist feature offers motorized assistance during rides.
  • Pedal-assist operates via a number of internal sensors that measure cadence and torque.
  • Beyond pedal-assist, many electric bikes include a throttle-only function, which does not require pedaling of any kind.

One of the primary benefits of owning a high-quality electric bike is that you can choose whether or not you want a workout during a ride. This is thanks to a function known as pedal assistance.

How Pedal Assist Works

As the name suggests, pedal assistance offers help with pedaling during a bike ride. This can be extremely useful during the end of a long ride when you are tired and just to relax for a few moments. Pedal assistance can also be great for ascending steep inclines and for popping out to perform a quick errand.

Electric Bike Assistance Explained

Pedal-assist, also referred to as pedelec, is a mode that provides power only when you are pedaling the bicycle. This feature can typically be easily adjusted to suit a wide variety of consumers, which will help determine how hard you have to pedal your eBike while riding.

Settings

Generally speaking, pedal-assist falls into a number of settings categories to suit the needs of different cyclers. The lowest pedal-assist setting is for seasoned bicycle riders who just want a small amount of assistance from time to time. The medium setting tends to offer a nice balance between manual pedaling power and the motor’s built-in power. The highest settings are for amateur enthusiasts or those who just want a break from exercising, as they provide for the most pedal assistance. It’s important to learn how your eBike works before riding to see what works for you. Experiment and find the best settings for you and your lifestyle.

Tip: Generally speaking, pedal-assist falls into a number of settings categories to suit the needs of different cyclers

Tip: Experiment and find the best settings for you and your lifestyle

Throttle Mode

When throttle mode is engaged, you will not have to pedal the electric bike at all. This turns the eBike into something resembling a scooter or moped. As a note, not all electric bike models contain a throttle mode so do your research before making a purchase. Also, a bicycle’s throttle mode will determine that bike’s maximum speed. This maximum speed is typically predetermined by the bike’s integrated motor, though some eBikes are purposefully hobbled so as to comply with local rules of the road.

Warning: As a note, not all electric bike models contain a throttle mode so do your research before making a purchase

Tip: This maximum speed is typically predetermined by the bike’s integrated motor, though some eBikes are purposefully hobbled so as to comply with local rules of the road

Cadence and Torque Sensors

Pedal-assist operates via a number of internal sensors that have been affixed throughout the electric bicycle. These sensors measure cadence and torque and adjust the pedal-assist accordingly. These sensors act in unison to tell the pedal-assist system (PAS) when to engage and how much power to bring to the table. Take the time to get to know your individual electric bike before relying exclusively on pedal-assist and the related sensors.

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/Motorized_bicycle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedelec

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195925515000165

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212827115004813

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b7styxMIh4

How Pedal Assist Works FAQ

Why would I use an e-bike over a regular bike?

Modern electric bikes offer a number of advantages over traditional bicycles, including pedal-assist and throttle modes.

What is the range I can get from a single charge?

An eBike’s lithium battery pack can vary depending on make and model, but you should be able to travel anywhere from 20 to 50 piles on a single charge.

How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery?

This depends on the size and type of the battery, though a full charge can be completed in 2.5 to six hours. We recommend charging it overnight.

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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