Throttle or Pedal Assist: What to choose

Throttle or Pedal Assist: What to choose

Pedelec. Throttle. Torque. You thought that e-bikes were going to make your life easier but before you have even bought one you are a bit lost. While browsing around, you’ve come across a whole new set of terminology and have no idea what any of it actually means. Don’t despair! This will help clear up some of your confusion and you’ll end up hopping onto the type of e-bike that most suits your cycling style.

An electric bike is a regular bicycle with a battery-powered motor. All the e-bikes on the market have different assist options but the most common are the pedal assist and the full throttle. The most expensive e-bikes usually feature both options, but if you are on a budget - which one should you choose?

Full Throttle Mode

Throttle is synonymous with a free ride! Electric bikes that feature a full throttle mode simply work like a motorbike or a scooter. Whether you decide to pedal or not, when the throttle is operated, the motor provides power on the drivetrain and sets you and your bike in motion.

There are different types of throttles. The thumb throttle is simply engaged by pushing a button or a lever on your handle bar, while the twist throttle requires a full twist of the grip, as you would do on a motorbike. Whatever the configuration, the concept is the same: zero effort, just wind in your hair!

Full throttle bikes are perfect for those people who might have limited mobility but still want to opt for a greener choice and pedal on days when they fancy a bit more exercise. However, if you choose to buy an e-bike featuring a throttle mode only, you better check the regulations in your region or country as in many areas these are illegal and cannot be used on regular bike lanes or on the road.

Pedal Assist Mode or Pedelec

Unlike full throttle mode, riding an e-bike with a pedal assist or pedelec system feels more like riding a traditional bike. In fact, the pedal assist mode is engaged only when you start pedalling, giving the bike a kind of boost and making your ride much smoother. 

The real deal with pedal assist mode is that you can choose the level of power you want to receive. On most e-bikes the level of assistance is controlled on a small computer on the handlebar, and it can be simply adjusted with a +/- lever. With a low setting, your ride will feel more natural, as if you were riding a traditional bike. For windy days, or maybe you are a bit tired or you just want to simply get to your destination quicker, set the highest level of assist and enjoy the ride.

Pedal assist e-bikes can feature either a torque or a cadence sensor. The torque system automatically adjusts the level of boost you need based on your pedalling power, independent of the level assist that is selected. On the other hand, the cadence sensor provides power based only on what level assist you selected, similar to gears on a regular bike.

Hopefully this has cleared some of the doubts you had but just in case you still have questions get in touch at info@youre-bike.com and our staff will be happy to help you finding the right e-bike for you.

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Author: Giacomo Russo @ Giacomorussoimages

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