What Is An Electric Bike Throttle?
Electric bikes are simply bicycles with an electric motor. When you shop for one of these e-bikes, you can generally choose between a pedal-assist or electronic throttle model. Learn how an electric bike throttle works and the difference between these two options.
How An Electric Bike Throttle Works
An electric bike throttle works similarly to the throttles on scooters. You can use it to determine how much power the engine will supply. It usually works similarly to a car’s gas pedal. The more force that you apply, the more power your motor will supply. Naturally, high-power settings will deplete your charge faster. Low-power settings will extend your range, but you will move more slowly or need to pedal harder.
You can assist the motor by peddling your bike, but you don’t have to. So long as you apply pressure to the throttle, your bike will move.
These are some common kinds of throttle controls that you will find on electric bicycles:
* Twist throttle: This looks similar to a motorcycle throttle. You twist the control on your handlebar to increase and decrease the motor’s power.
* Paddle throttle: With this, you will have a paddle-shaped lever that you can depress with your thumb.
* Button throttle: Instead of a lever, you will have a button that you can push forward with your thumb.
* One-setting button throttle: On some electric bikes, the throttle only gives you an on or off setting, and you can’t adjust the power levels.
Electric Bike Throttles Vs. Pedal Assist
Electric bike throttles aren’t rare, but pedal assist electronic bikes are more common. When you only have pedal-assist, your motor won’t supply any power at all unless you pedal. In that way, a pedal-assist bike feels more like a traditional bike, while a throttle gives the bike the feeling of a scooter or even a motorcycle.
As with a throttle, pedal-assist bikes might let you adjust the power settings. It’s typical to find low, medium, and high power settings. Some offer four or even five choices. Since it’s most common to find three settings, this describes them:
* Low: You will enjoy the highest range and get more exercise on the low setting.
* Medium: For many riders, this will mean sharing the work of moving the bike equally between pedaling and the motor. It’s been compared to enjoying a good tailwind.
* High: This can be great to have when you don’t want to exert yourself too much or need to get over a steep incline. Just be aware that this high setting can dramatically shorten your bike’s range.
Electric Bike Combos
Both pedal assist and electric bike throttles have their pros and cons. The good thing about throttles is that you aren’t forced to pedal in order to use the bike’s motor. On the other hand, many bike riders feel more comfortable with pedal assist because it provides them with an experience that’s closer to riding a traditional bike.
Here’s the good news — you might not even need to choose at all! These days, a lot of manufacturers are making electronic bikes with both pedal assist and throttles. One a day that you feel like having a more scooter-like experience, you can use the throttle. On another day, you can use pedal assist to enjoy more of a traditional bike ride. Note that you typically have to choose one mode or the other and can’t have them both functioning at the same time.
Is An Electric Bike Throttle Best For You?
Should you buy an e-bike with a throttle or pedal assist? Choosing one over the other may come down to your personal tastes or how you expect to use your bike.
If you intend to pedal your bike for exercise and just want assistance from the motor when you’re tired or need to climb a steep hill, you might prefer pedal assist. If you prefer to have the option to engage the motor even when you don’t pedal, a throttle might be a better choice. The throttle may also allow you to exercise more control over the amount of power your motor supplies. For those who can’t choose, you might look for an electric bike that has both pedal assist and a throttle.