Pedal assist in e-bikes — what is it and how does it work?

The great thing about an electric bike is that you can choose to get in a workout if you desire, or you can sit back and relax to enjoy the ride. Go full throttle if you want to activate the battery system and want the e-bike to carry you around or settle for pedal assist and pedal as you would on a traditional bike to proceed further.

An electric bike allows you to ride further and longer, and with the help of pedal assist and the throttle, you can even go faster than you would on a regular bike. What exactly do these settings do on your electric bike, and which one is best suited for your needs?

How does pedal-assist work in e-bikes?

The pedal assist, as the name applies, makes this effort more convenient and enhanced, thus you pedal easily without putting much effort into it. This is because part of the energy to drive the e-bike forward comes from the battery system while you are making the rest of it available through pedaling.   

Whenever the pedal-assist feature is turned onthe motor starts chiming in some force into the action, thus making it easier for the rider to exert less and less force. This results in improving the overall distance the e-bike could cover over normal bicycles. There are different power levels of a pedal-assist that can be activated according to the need such as, activating a higher pedal assist level to travel on inclined spaces or to eliminate the soreness in the rider’s legs because of excessive pedaling and exertion of energy.

Limitations of the pedal-assist technology

Pedal-assist technology has some limitations as well, the top speed a pedal-assist e-bike can give is 20mph before the motor would stop the operation completely. A higher class e-bike might be able to stretch this limit all the way to 28mph before the motor gives in. No matter how assistive this thing is, it is only there for a dedicated moment and once it is all used up, your e-bike will start requiring you to pedal on to move forward.

Battery power is another factor to consider here. Because the power assist feature only remains in action as long as the motor remains engaged and that is dependent on the size of the battery and energy stored in it.

Is it better than a throttle?

This might not be the right interpretation of the question in your mind, a more sound way would be to ask which one is better for you. A simple throttle mechanism allows the rider to choose between pedaling and the battery taking it over for you by propelling the e-bike ahead with the churning of the motor. In the pedal-assist technology, the rider must pedal for the sake of engaging the motor and thus making the bike propel forward.

The only difference is that, with pedal assist, it is less strenuous of an activity. If you don’t want to put any effort into bicycling then the throttle is the option to go for. But if range and mileage are important to you then you should only go for pedal assist.

Can you turn it off or on?

Yes, you can turn off the pedal-assist mode if you don’t want it and, once it is turned off your e-bike will work as a standard bike, you would be pedaling on it to steer it forwards as you would any normal bicycle. You can turn it back whenever you want to by turning the switch and then choose the dedicated assist mode that you think is good for the terrain you are riding on and especially your mood.

Many e-bikes even have an LCD screen showing all of these options that you can choose. Having everything laid in front of you such as the mileage changes as you choose a lighter or extreme pedal-assist option and the remaining battery level gives you a really good insight into making an informed decision.

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