If you are new to the eBiking world, there are a few questions that come up right away when you first start your eBike journey. The first usually is: How do they work? This question ultimately leads to the discovery of the two main types of ebikes out there on the market: Pedelecs (or Pedal Assist) and Throttle ebikes.
First off what is a Pedelec or Pedal Assist system?
Recently, electric bikes have come to the attention of mainstream media due to the discovery of small, hidden motors used by pro cyclists to cheat in big races. These motor systems are usually true Pedelecs as they provide assistance while pedaling but are absent of a throttle. The appearance of articles on “Mechanical Doping” (http://www.businessinsider.com/bike-investigated-technological-fraud-cycling-world-championships-cyclocross-2016-1) in the media lead us to believe that there is a lot of confusion out there about what it means to ride an electric bike. You often hear the word “cheating” associated with electric bikes. You are cheating your workout, cheating at racing, cheating the purity of the sport, etc. What these purists often fail to understand is that it is not the technology that makes people cheat, it is the failure of their athletic spirit and their sense of competitive fairness. Also, in the highest levels of sport, cheating can often be the result of greed, as millions of dollars are at stake.
Most pedal assist bikes or pedelecs have three modes of travel. A small, medium and large for the amount of assist you will be given and the speed you can achieve. Some have upwards of 5 or more modes that allow the power to increase incrementally from a low level assist to a full powered assist that delivers performance at higher speeds.
There are two basic pedal assist types available today; the torque sensor and the cadence sensor systems.
Torque Sensor – measures and matches your pedal power to provide equal assistance.
Cadence Sensor – provides assistance when you pedal turning the cranks of the bike.
How do throttle eBikes work?
Throttle controlled eBikes need less explanation, especially for Americans, who are used to throttle controlled motorcycles and scooters. There are essentially four kinds of throttles used on eBikes: Push button, thumb, half grip and full grip throttles.
While the pedelec system is used in Europe because of legal requirements, throttle based electric bikes are more popular in the USA, where users like to have the complete control of their speed. The throttle, when used by someone accustomed to the electric bike, can be carefully regulated to match speed with pedaling power. Also, throttle based electric bikes are more popular for use in rehab of injuries, as they allow a user to ride and pedal as much as they like, but return home on power when injuries flare up or they wear themselves out.
ProdecoTech proudly offers both throttle and pedelec electric bikes. Look for our new mid-drive electric bikes in May and stay tuned for offers and updates.
Categorised in: Electric Bikes
This post was written by Jason Behfar