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How Electric Bike Throttles & Pedal Assist Work

When researching e bikes for sale, you are likely to come across a couple of different terms regarding the riding styles and attributes of each bike. For example, you may notice one bicycle described as a pedal assist bike with another being referred to as a throttle mode bike. Both the pedal and throttle modes available for e-bikes still give you the same power, but the way that you access and use that electric motor is quite different.

Throttle Mode

It is necessary when looking at womens and mens electric bikes that you define throttle because it may represent different things to different people. For example, the term throttle can be confused for speed and power rather than a tool used to control speed and power. Also, on an e-bike, throttle models have the controls for the motor on the handlebars, and the rider can make adjustments to speed and use by the push of a button. Often, bike manufacturers recommend this type of motor option for people new to e-bikes because they offer a few benefits over pedal assist motors.

  • Easy to use

    These devices have a small learning curve because they are a push-button design. Therefore, most people will have no issue learning how to operate a throttle system.

  • Comfort positioning

    Also, many e-bike manufacturers or those selling conversion kits allow for customization in where the throttle sits on the handlebars. Consequently, the comfort of the rider is of the utmost importance.

  • Versatility

    The throttle design also allows a rider to use the electric motor whenever they want. In other words, there is no need to pedal to obtain or maintain power. If a rider does not feel like pedaling, they don't have to. They only need to push the button and enjoy the ride.

Pedal Assist Mode

Pedal assist mode or bikes that utilize a PAS system are designed to mimic the natural motion of riding a bike. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your riding style and preferences, these bikes require pedaling to activate the engine, which means the only time you receive a boost from the motor is when you are pedaling. While this design is likely preferable to some and even required in certain locations, it is slightly more effort to get used to because there are two variations of the device: (1) a cadence sensor and (2) a torque sensor. The cadence sensor adjusts the power of the motor based on the speed of the riders pedaling, which can leave a rider with not enough power on steep terrain. The torque sensor was developed to eliminate any issues with the cadence sensor, and it typically works well because it determines power by the amount of pressure applied to the bike chain.

While electric bike modes and designs can seem confusing, the version you purchase depends on your needs. If you want a bike for long treks and varying terrain, then a throttle might be best. However, if you enjoy getting as much exercise as possible, then a PAS model is likely more beneficial. Whichever ever you choose, get out there and start pedaling.


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