EBike 101 - Torque Sensors - Know This About Pedal Assist!
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Thinking about an e-bike? Know this first about torque style Pedal Assist.
You can power an E-bike three ways. The old-fashioned way with pedals. All ebikes have pedals. A Throttle. Thumb Throttles are best. And Pedal Assist. Pedal Assist came from Europe where Throttles were banned.
Some E-bikes have Throttles, some have Pedal Assist, and some have both. Make sure you get one with both.
There are two styles of Pedal Assist. One with a torque sensor and one with a cadence sensor. Personally, I prefer Cadence Style Pedal Assist.
Torque Style Pedal Assist measures how hard you're pressing the pedals and send power to the motor based on that pressure. Push light and you go slower. Push hard, you go faster.
Torque Style Pedal Assist isn’t as common in the marketplace as Cadence Style but Torque Style does give you a nice sense of control over the power. For me, that novelty wore off pretty quickly though. I also find it tough to maintain a constant speed with Torque Style Pedal Assist.
Things may have changed recently though, so if you're thinking about getting an e-bike with a Torque Style I suggest trying it first as well as a bike with a cadence style. Then you can judge for yourself.
Just keep in mind a lot of times you will be riding at a constant speed for long periods of time.
JP Blake is co-founder and CEO of E-Lux Electric Bikes, founded in 2014 in Fountain Valley, California. As an electric bike industry pioneer and overseas manufacturing expert, JP has logged several years from China to Thailand, co-creating luxury e-bikes for the US market. JP has contributed his insider perspective to local government projects including bike lane expansion on the coast of Huntington Beach and aiding the OC Transportation Authority in the development of bicycle and e-bike trails.