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The Difference Between Throttle and Pedal Assist For E-Bikes


Hello, everyone. It's Peter at Sixthreezero Bicycles and e-Bikes. I'm going to explain today's pedal-assist versus throttle. It's not rocket science.


When I first started getting familiar with e-bikes, I didn't really know what the difference between the throttle and the pedal assist is. It's okay if you don't know. I didn't know either at one point. I also didn't know why you would want one or the other or both. And then, I learned a lot because now I've ridden a lot and learned a lot. But, it's a very simple topic, and just learn a little bit about it, and then you'll get some familiarity. But, the basic deal is I'll explain the throttle first.

The throttle is a concept that pretty much everyone is familiar with because it's just like your gas pedal. In this case, it's a little thumb lever and you can push it. And, just like you push your gas pedal more, it makes go faster. So, the throttle is just like a gas pedal or on a motorcycle where you twist the throttle and it makes you go faster. Now, I'll tell you one thing about the throttle. There are different types of throttles, and I'll tell you about that after I explain pedal assist. But, the throttle, is a very simple concept. You want to go faster? Just press down more on the throttle. Some cases twist it like a motorcycle. So, the throttle is a gas pedal. Same exact concept.


Now, the pedal assist, that's the one I couldn't get my head around the first time until I rode an e-bike. But, hopefully, I can explain it to you, give you an idea. The pedal assists, you can set your setting of how much assist you want. In this case, on this bike, between five different levels, including zero, which is no assist at all. And so, the five different levels will give you increasingly more powerful amounts of assist. And, the assist means if you had no assist, it would be like riding a regular bike without anything helping you along.


If add the assist, if you put it in an assist mode, then as soon as you start pedaling, the bicycle will sense that, will sense the movement of your pedals. And, it will start to give you an assist based on the level that you have chosen. So, if I choose say level two, it's going to be about 40% power. And, that means it's going to give me about 40% of what the battery can provide to the motor and push me along that much faster. So, a pedal-assist means that if you're pedaling, then it's just giving you a steady stream of power.

Now, on mountain bikes and maybe some road bikes, that's not exactly what you want. On a recreational bike, I think it's absolutely ideal to have just a regular pedal-assist system that is based on what's called a cadence, which means just if the pedals are moving, then the assist is happening. So, as long as you're pedaling along, that assist will happen. If you start to coast down the hill or whatever, the assist will cut off and you'll just coast like on a normal bike. So, the pedal assist is fantastic. It's just a nice steady... It's like someone just pushing you along gently at a very even pace. So, that's why it's great to have pedal assist. You don't have to worry about the throttle. You don't have to be changing your speed or whatever. The bike will just do it for you. If it's not enough, move it up to three or four or five. Or, if you want a little more workout, back it off to two or one. Or, even sometimes I'll ride the bike with no pedal assist just to get a good leg workout.


Now, why would you want both. This bike has both a throttle and a pedal assist. So, if you have it in say two or three pedal assist, and you're moving right along on a flat area, and then you encounter a hill, well, instead of having to move your pedal assist up, you can just hit the throttle and the throttle will give you that extra boost to go over the hill. Or, say you want to just go faster for some other reason, you can hit the throttle and it'll give you more boost beyond the pedal assist. So, that's the point of the throttle.


Now, I want to point out one thing. Our bikes don't have this, but you want to look for this because there's a feature of a throttle that I personally don't like, but that does exist on a lot of bikes. A lot of times on some bikes, the throttle will be limited to the level of assist that you have. So, if you have it in assist level two, for instance, that throttle, won't give you any more power than what level two will give you. Or, if you're in level three for pedal assist, then the throttle won't give you more power than three will give you. I don't like that because I like to have the throttle to give me more power than what my pedal assist is in case I need it for going up a hill, or if there's a headwind, or if I need to make a traffic light or something like that.


So, on ours, you get full power on the throttle, as much gas as you want. So, whether you're in one, two, three, four, or five on the pedal assist, you have the full range of throttle from zero to 100%. I hope that gives you just a basic overview of the purpose of throttle and pedal assist. Like I said, when I first jumped in, I didn't get the idea of pedal assist. Why not just use a throttle. But, it's really nice. With the pedal assist. You don't have to be messing with the throttle all the time. You can just ride along and you have that nice feeling of a strong tailwind behind you. Again, with ours, on recreational bikes, the pedal assist kicks in as soon as you start to pedal.


There's another type of pedal-assist called torque sensing. That's for a lot more technical riding on a mountain bike. The people who are really into it, or more enthusiasts, will swear by that. I don't think that's the right type of pedal assist for a recreational rider. I think it's just going to not give you the feel that you want. What you really is the cadence sensing like we have on ours for recreational riding. It'll just give you that nice, smooth push.


I truly hope that that was helpful for you. If you liked it, please do like it and hit subscribe. It helps grow our channel. And, if you need any help at all, please contact us. You can call us at (310) 982-2877 or email us at theteam@sixthreezero.com. Remember sixthreezero is spelled out. S-I-X-T-H-R-E-E-Z-E-R-O, theteam@sixthreezero.com. Thanks.

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