Pedal assist Vs Throttle E-bike: Which One Should You Buy?

Last Updated on December 4 2022 by Sam

Throttle vs. Pedal Assist Electric Bikes: Pros And Cons


Which one would you want to ride: a throttled-electric bike or an assisted-pedal bike?

As far as pedelec bikes go, a plethora of different terminology is involved. You may hear them referred to as pedelecs, dual motorbikes, battery-assisted bicycles, electric-assist pedelecs, etc.

As long as you know what type of battery you're using, whether it has pedals or not, and if the bike is equipped with a throttle, then you already know everything there is to know about electric mountain biking. All you need to know for now is what types of batteries exist.

Often eBikes come equipped with both suspension and shock absorption, which makes choosing between them less important. So let's look at the differences between these two critical components of a bike shop!

What Is A Pedal Assist Electric Bike?

A pedal-assisted bike (pedelec) is designed so that electricity flows through the motor while pedaling but not when you aren't.

They were first introduced in continental Europe, particularly in counties with a solid preexisting bicycle culture.

On these electric bikes, you need to push down on the foot pedal to start riding; however, just like on conventional bicycles, you can turn the bicycle's power off if you feel tired. These electric bicycles are heavier than ordinary ones, but they allow you to accelerate quickly without putting effort into pushing on the foot pedal.

On the best torque-sensing bikes, multiple assist settings are often available, including 'low,' 'medium,' and 'high.' These settings range from providing a 'just noticeable help' to super pushing you up certain inclines or through challenging terrain. Higher locations offer fewer benefits but allow you to use more energy, especially when you're tired and need to keep going longer than you would otherwise.

Cadence Sensor Pedal Assist

To get the most out of an electric bike, you need to use an advanced cadence sensor system. These days, bikes with cadence sensors have become much more sophisticated than they were when they first came out. They're typically made of 12 magnets, so they can detect your pedaling without requiring you to do a full rotation. That means you won't have to wait until you've done half a pedal cycle before the motor kicks in, saving you both time and energy. It's similar to buying boxed wine; it's not great but it'll only cost you a few bucks.

E-bikers can expect a similar response time to those who ride traditional bicycles. Some models come equipped with a higher-end cadence sensor system, others with a speed sensor, and some with both. Bikes with cadence sensor measures how fast your feet move relative to the pedals, whereas a speed sensor measures how quickly you're pedaling. Both types of sensors work together to determine whether you're riding too slowly or not enough. When you pedal, the sensor sends a signal to the controller, turning on the motor. Depending on what kind of motor you've got, you may feel a slight resistance immediately, or you might not notice any difference until you move faster.

Torque Sensor Pedal Assist

Bikes with Torque sensor are preferable by most buyers for two reasons. First, it adjusts the electricity delivered to the motor as soon as the cyclist begins riding. Second, pedaling a bike with torque sensor offers an easy way to determine if adjustments need to be made to compensate for changes in terrain. It allows cyclists to feel instantly firmer.

Most mid-drive motors feature torque sensors, but they aren't limited to them.

TorqSense is a feature found on most mid-drive bikes, but some hubs use similar technology. If an electric bike with a mid-drive motor seems a little pricier than it should be, look for a bike with a TorqSense system instead of a cadence sensor.


We recommend mid-drive motor bicycles when riders need extra power to climb hills or accelerate quickly. Budget considerations lead us to hub motor bicycles. Performance always leads to an upcharge, right?


If you're looking for a Class 1 bike without a pedal assist, then there's no need to worry. However, if you don't mind having a pedal assist, you might be better off going for a Class 2 bike with an optional pedal assist.

What Is A Throttle-Controlled Electric Bike?

E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their ability to help people achieve fitness goals while saving money over traditional modes of transportation like cars and motorcycles. While most electric bikes offer throttle control, some models do away with the handlebar controls and rely solely on a push-button throttle. Here's how each type works.

Half-Twist Grip Throttle

A typical throttle used on an e-bike is a half-twist grip throttle. These throttles allow you to choose a speed by twisting either the left or proper grip. They're easy to use and intuitive but provide little feedback about your current rate. If you want to know exactly where you stand, you'll need to look at the display on the bike itself.

Lever Throttle

The next step up from a half-twist throttle is a lever throttle. Lever throttles work similarly to a car's gas pedal except that you press down on the lever to increase power rather than stepping on the gas. Lever throttles are great because they give instant feedback about your current speed and are easier to operate than a half-twist. However, they require a fair amount of strength to pull off, especially when pedaling uphill.

Push Button Throttle

Finally, there are push-button throttles. A push-button throttle allows you to select a speed by pushing a button. This type of throttle requires less effort than a lever throttle, but it still takes a lot of strength to pull off. Most of the time, you'll find yourself holding onto the bike to keep it steady while you push the button.


Electric bikes include pedals for a variety of reasons. Some people use them because they're fun to ride. Others use them because they want to go faster than regular bicycles. Still, others use them because they want their bike to look cool. An accelerator pedal on an e-bike gives riders the option of heading out for a spin, and if their feet get tired after six miles, they can pull off the road and stop pedaling. With an accelerator pedal, a cyclist can go out for a leisurely spin, and if their muscles start to feel sluggish after eight miles, they can press down on the accelerator and keep riding. No muss, hassle, or buses.

Anyone who recovers from an injury can benefit just as much. It's not uncommon to see an occupational therapist advocating for biking after recovery from a broken bone, torn ligament, sprained joint, or any other type of injury. Biking allows one to pedal for as long as they feel comfortable and switch to throttle control when the pain returns. Such flexibility means choosing a ride based on a location instead of how far the ride must go. It's like having cake without thinking about its nutritional value.

The problem with exercising too much is that it can lead to injury. For those suffering from heart conditions, avoiding pushing themselves too far is essential. That means no hills. But if you're starting, you may need help to keep your pace steady. In that case, a throttle might help you maintain an easy rhythm.


Biking on a bicycle path offers the benefits of a smooth, paved road without worrying about traffic. Riding a bicycle path when there aren't too many people around is magical. It's fun to feel the wind, hear the sound of nature, and enjoy the feeling of sunshine on your body.

However, adding in some other cyclists, a few children on skateboards, a couple of mothers pushing strollers, and one dog who doesn't know which way to turn and 20mph can be just as frightening as a Fast and Furious car chase scene. This would explain why a manual throttle can create as many issues as it solves.

If you're enjoying riding your bike, rely on something other than the accelerator pedal. You might end up burning calories instead of building muscle.

A throttle-equipped electric bicycle can be ridden safely around others on a shared pathway. When riding next to another cyclist, the speed should be reduced so that both riders may maintain a safe distance between them. For example, if one rider is traveling at 12 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour) and the other is traveling at 6 miles per hour (8 kilometers per hour), then the faster rider would reduce their speed to 9 miles per hour (12 kilometers per hour). In addition, the slower rider would increase their speed to 7 miles per hour (10 kilometers per hour).

One of the biggest complaints about electric bikes is that riders pass too closely and quickly. We believe that throttle controls offer an easy way for riders to control their own pace without worrying about giving others. With a push button throttle, the bicycle accelerates to 20mph and remains there until the button is pressed again, and on a busy city street, that would be just as enjoyable as driving a car at 100 miles per hour.

What Are The Different Classes Of E-Bikes?

Ebikers in the U.S. is classified by their type of electric motor and the maximum speed they can reach. There are three types of bikers:

Class 1 bikes - These bikes offer pedal assistance only. They are restricted to a maximum top velocity of 20 miles per hour. Once you reach 20 miles per hour, the power fades to zero. At that moment, you can only pedal like a regular bicycle. Pedal assistance kicks back into action when your velocity falls below 20 miles per hour.

Class 2 e-bikes - These bikers have a throttle. Most of them also have pedelec. They're also restricted to a maximum of 20 miles per hour. Once you hit 20 miles per hour, the power goes down to zero. You can ride these things without pedaling too. The throttle kicks back into action when your velocity drops below 20 miles an hour.

Class 3 bikes - These e-bikes have a maximum top-end velocity of 45 km/h. They can have throttle or pedal assistance or both. Once you reach 45 km/h, the power will drop off to zero. You may either use the throttle or pedal assistance again or continue pedaling without help. You can use the pedals only at speeds lower than 45 km/h.

Difference Between Pedal Assist And Throttle Electric-Bikes

The throttle vs. pedal assist, both regulate the power delivered by electric bikes. In some cases, one system may be superior to another. In this article, I'll discuss the pros and cons of each type of system.

Ease of Use

Pedal-assisted electric bikes are much easier to use than throttle-controlled electric bike models. This is because they don't require any additional controls beyond pedaling.

This means you can concentrate on pedaling, not worrying about how much power the motor uses. And if you're used to cycling without assistance, you'll find that the battery life lasts longer too.

Cadence sensor systems tend to be more accurate than torque sensor systems. However, torque sensor systems are more smooth and more natural.

Cadence Sensing Systems can cause the ride to feel a little jolty. They can also lag. This can cause the bike to be a little harder to ride. This is primarily dependent upon the quality of the sensing system and how it is implemented. Most modern cadence sensing systems are very smooth.


Pedal assist bikers provide more power than throttled bikers. Assume the electric motors and batteries are the same size on both bikes; you could go about 20% farther on a pedal-assisted bike than one with just a trigger. For instance, if you had a 50-mile trip planned, you would probably get about 30 on a pedal-assisted bike, whereas you'd only get around 25 on a throttled bike.

Pedal assist e-bikes allow riders to travel farther than regular bikes because they don't need to supply all their power; they need to pedal enough to keep the bicycle going. Because electric motors do not have to produce all of the administration, they can run at lower speeds and thus draw less current from the batteries. This means that the batteries last longer between charges.

With a throttled engine, the car runs better and gets further per gallon of fuel. However, the machine works harder and consumes more gas. So, if you're planning to drive long distances, consider buying a bigger tank.

Most bike models offer an Eco setting that maximizes their range. This setting is usually the lowest level (1) of sensing pedal assistance.

With Eco Mode activated, the electric bicycle's motors may run at 20 percent power. You might also reach speeds up to 25 mph (40 km/h) if you ride carefully. If you use an efficient bike with sensing Pedal Assist, you can travel for 50+ miles if you stay within the maximum speed.


Pedal-assisted bikers are considered safer because they're easier for beginners to use. They're also less likely to cause accidents due to their lower speeds. As a result, lawmakers consider them to be safer than throttled bikers.

As far as whether or not bike common pedals are safer than traditional bike complex pedals, I am still determining for sure. However, I haven't found any studies showing that they're dangerous. So far, legislators are making decisions based on speculation rather than facts.

The most common argument against riding bicycles with motors is that cyclists often ride faster with them because they do not have to pedal. You can use the power from the engine to help you go faster. But when you crash, you're more likely to be injured. If you crash into something, your motorcycle might tip over. Your body may be thrown off the bike. You could fall and hurt yourself. Riding a bicycle with a powerful engine increases the risk of injury.

Some claim that the engine can accelerate faster with electric power than with gas. They say that the acceleration is the same regardless of how quickly you go. But they're wrong. In reality, the engine accelerates slower with electric power than with gas. So, if you're driving down the road and your car suddenly speeds up, you'll know why. You've got an electric motor instead of a gasoline one.

Another reason throttles are unsafe is that riders might be prone to errors. For example, a novice rider might give the bike too much torque and lose control. Or, a rider might accidentally twiddle the handlebar while stopped. Throttles can make bikes harder to operate because they add yet another control to consider. In contrast, using a motorcycle without a clutch requires no special skills or licenses. Anyone who wants to learn how to drive a motor vehicle can do so without formal training.


Many jurisdictions regulate bike usage. Often these laws are unique to each jurisdiction. Other times bikers are considered similar to moped or scooter riders. Bikers are sometimes deemed to fall under the same rules as bicycles. In some areas, bikers are not allowed at all. Bikers are entirely unregulated.

It's essential to check your state's regulations before purchasing an e-bike motor. The rules differ from one country to another.

Pedal-assist electric bikes are legal in more countries (and states) than throttle-assisted electric bikes. They're usually perceived as being easier to ride, so they tend to be viewed as safer.

European nations typically have stricter laws regarding electric bicycles. In the United States, however, throttle-controlled e-bikes aren't regulated. Most states allow them to operate legally. Check your state's laws before riding an e-bike.

Motor Activation

Electric bicycles enable people to cycle who would not usually be able to. They help increase access to cycling for older people, overweight people, disabled people, and injured people.

E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular. They're great for people who suffer from joint pain or other health conditions. With an e-bike, you can get around town without worrying about hurting yourself. Plus, they're much quieter than traditional bikes.

Pedal assist systems work best if you apply pressure to the e-bike pedal before the system activates. You might have to rotate your foot a little to activate the system. Once the bicycle starts rolling, you can continue spinning the pedal to maintain speed. Some people need help to create a bike. Once the bicycle begins to move, you can continue turning the pedal without exerting effort.

Ebikes with torque sensors, the motor engages when you press down on the high-end pedal. However, if you don't continue pressing down on the pedal, then the motor disengages. If you have joint pain, you might be unable to create enough pressure to activate the motor.

Some electric bikes have a motor that can help you start your ride. These systems make it much easier to begin riding because they allow you to push down on the pedals without waiting until the engine starts. They also let you go faster once you're rolling along. This type of system works great if you need help getting started.


Throttle-controllable bikes are the cheapest kind of electric bikes on the market, and they're also the simplest ones. Most throttle-control bike models feature a hub motor that is much more affordable than mid-drive motors.

In addition to being an electric bike, the bike is also a bicycle. It can be ridden just like any other bicycle. However, unlike traditional bicycles, the motor adds power to the rider's pedaling effort. That means that the rider must exert more energy to go faster. But if the rider maintains a constant pedaling speed, then the extra energy expended by the motor is converted into electricity. The battery stores the electricity until needed. When the rider needs an additional bit of power, they activate the motor. The engine converts the electrical energy back into mechanical energy, helping the rider move forward.

Electric bicycles are relatively cheap. Most electric bicycle models that come with a throttle also offer some form of higher-end pedal assist. However, adding extra components usually increases the cost by just a little. A primary 12-magnetic-sensor cadence sensor costs around 20 dollars. The tech has been around for quite some time. It's simple for manufacturers to incorporate essential pedal assistance into their products. Most low-to-mid-range bikers include both throttle and pedal assistance.

Pedals are an essential part of any eBiking experience. They allow you to ride without having to exert yourself. However, they are costly. A good set of pedals should last you for several years. You may find cheaper alternatives if you shop around, but you will probably spend more money in the long run.


Exercise is optional for some types of biking; instead, a handlebar might be preferred. For instance, maybe you enjoy riding your bicycle for fun. A handlebar is better because you don't have to exert yourself to extra pedal resistance. You won't get so hot and sweaty because you don t have to push against the entire pedal stroke. The engine can do all of the pedaling power for you.

If you're looking for an electric bike ideal for commuting, then a throttle-controlled bike might be right for you.

Bikes with pedal assist, there's no way around working hard to get going. Once you start riding, you'll be sweating.

Winner: Electric bikes can be better for commuting than pedal-powered ones because they don't require pedal movement. They allow you to get from points A to B without a sweat.


Ebike for exercise can be an excellent way to burn some fats. According to this study published by the Translational Journal for the American College of Sports Medicine, biking increases the body's resting metabolic rate enough to be considered moderate exercise.

If you're buying a bike for rides, you're better off selecting one with electric assistance. This is because electric bikes require no pedaling. They can be ridden without your feet touching the ground. You can also get a battery pack to take your bike anywhere.

With a throttle, one does not have to pedal if they don't wish to. One can be lazy and stand there and allow the bicycle to do all of the work. This does not provide any physical activity. Of course, one may also ride if they so desire.

If you want to cycle for fitness, you should set your pedelec to a lower level of assistance so that you can work harder during the workout. A higher level of service means you will only have to exert a little to make the bike move along. You may not feel any physical activity at all.

For the most workout, you should pick an electric bicycle with torque-sensing pedaling assistance. This system requires you to apply pressure to the pedals for the engine to start working. The pedaling assistance system boosts your power. You still have to work against some resistance while you cycle. This provides you with more workouts.

Power Delivery

Pedal assist and throttle systems often need clarification because they work together to assist in acceleration and braking. But they do different things.

A pedal assist system works like this: As you press the accelerator, the bike automatically provides some support. If you're riding uphill, the cycle will help you climb. If you're descending, the bike will help keep your speed steady.

The throttle system does something completely different. It controls how much power goes into the rear tire. So if you want to accelerate faster, you'll push harder on the handlebars. And if you're going to slow down, you'll pull back on the bars.

When you turn the key, the bike starts up and runs fine for a few seconds. Then you hear a loud clunking sound. This is when the electric starter engages—the battery kicks in and bursts of power to the motor.

As soon as the motor turns over, the clutch engages and sends power to the rear wheel via the chain. At this point, the bike begins moving forward.

You've just engaged the throttle system. Now you're ready to ride.

Quality Of The Ride

Pedal-assisted e-bikes offer smoother rides than throttle bikes. In addition, pedal-assist bikes don't require the rider to apply a constant force to maintain speed. Instead, they use sensors to detect the amount of effort the rider is applying. As a result, they don't tire out as quickly.

In contrast, throttle-controlled e-bikes require constant pressure to keep moving forward. Because of this, they tend to be harder to ride. Furthermore, they often feel sluggish and jerky.

Torque sensor pedals are the most efficient type of pedal assist system. They allow the rider to exert minimal force to move the bike forward. However, they still require some input from the rider. The motor won't help push the bike if the rider stops pedaling.

Maneuverability and Handling

The power delivery system plays a significant role in handling and maneuvering your electric bike. Smooth and predictable power delivery offers the best handling and excellent maneuverability. Pedal-assisted bikes are usually softer and easier to handle because there is no resistance from the motor. Throttle-controlled bikes tend to feel rougher and less responsive because the engine provides resistance.

Both e-bike's pedal assist and throttle-controlled bicycles can provide smooth and predictable performance. But it depends on the overall strength of the bike's drivetrain. Riders with good riding skills can go faster and handle corners better without losing their balance.


The mid-drive pedal assists the e-bike market in increasing. As manufacturers continue to develop better batteries, motors, and controllers, the technology continues to improve. One aspect that has mostly stayed the same over the years is the gearing system used on most electric bikes. Most mid-drive systems use a fixed gear ratio.

This means that there are always multiple speeds available. For example, let's say you're riding downhill and want to go faster. You shift into a lower gear. However, since the motor is still turning the same number of rotations per second, the engine's speed doesn't change. So even though you've shifted into a lower gear, the motor is still spinning at the same rate.

Now imagine what happens when you start pedaling again. Your legs are now providing the torque needed to spin the cranks. But because the motor is already spinning at the same speed, it requires more effort to turn the cranks than it did without pedaling. This is called "mechanical advantage."

In short, when you pedal, the motor needs less energy to turn the cranks, making it easier for you to pedal. Conversely, when you don't pedal, the engine needs more energy to turn the cranes, making it harder for you to stop pedaling.


Electric bicycles are a highly eco-friendly way of commuting because they require very little energy and emit no harmful emissions. E‑bikes have no environmental issues and produce no pollution whatsoever.

One exception is when riding an electric bike. An electric bike can destroy soft surfaces, such as dirt, gravel, and sand. This can cause some ecological harm.

Most throttle-controlled bikes are powerful enough to break the rear tire loose. However, pedal assist bikers usually need to produce more power to prevent the rear tire from losing its grip. They're more controllable.

The problem with riding a bike is that it requires balance. It would help if you learned how to control your speed and direction. You must keep your body balanced to maintain control when you ride a bicycle. If you fall off, you could get hurt.

Over long periods of use, riding off-road can cause tracks to become worn down. If these trails aren't regularly maintained, they may become too rough for mountain bikes.

Who Should Buy A Throttle-Controlled Electric Bike?

People who use an electric bike for transportation or commuting usually benefit from having a motorized system. Motorized systems allow them to quickly go up hills without pedaling. They will also enable them to accelerate quickly when leaving the traffic behind.

Electric bikes are great for people with joint problems or limited mobility. They allow you to ride without having to pedal. You can slow down if you feel tired or just coast along. You can shut off the pedals when your legs get sore and let the electric motor take over.

Those who want higher speed may also appreciate having a clutch. With a grip, you have complete control over the engine's torque. You can apply maximum force with just one finger. This gives you the ability to get your eBikes up hills faster. You can ride fast down straightaways. You can also ride faster in certain situations. You riding an electric bicycle is like driving a car.

If you're looking for something cheap but want to spend less, consider buying an electric bicycle instead of a scooter. E-bikes start at under $1,000. If you want to go even cheaper, you can buy an e-bicycle conversion kit and turn your bicycle into an electric one.

Who Should Buy A Pedal-Assisted Ebike?

Those who need a shorter distance will be better off with an electric scooter. The electric scooters increase speed, giving you a faster ride. This is great if you only plan to travel short distances. A small motor allows you to reach speeds of around 20 mph. With a larger battery, you can reach up to 30 mph speeds. With a large battery pack, it is possible to cover a greater distance.

Pedal assist is an essential feature for any cyclist. With a bit of practice, you'll find yourself riding without thinking about pedaling. The sensor and controller work together to keep you safe and comfortable. They monitor your speed, cadence, distance traveled, and calories burned. When you're ready to stop, they let you know.

If you're buying an electric bike for exercise, you'll get more physical activity from a pedal-assisted model than from a traditional one. Even though the bike does some work for you, you might obtain more physical activity than cycling a regular bike. Many people wind up getting more workouts than they'd on a non-electric bicycle simply because they travel further and go faster. Electric biking can be excellent for your well-being.

Those who live in areas where electric bikes are prohibited can also benefit from having a pedal-assisted bike. Some states do not allow throttles on electric bikes, so if you live in one of those places, you might be out of luck. However, if you live somewhere else, then you should be able to find a pedal-assisted bike that works just fine.


Hi! my name is Sam Lawrence. I am a twenty-something year old cycling fanatic. I created this E-BikeReview.UK as a resource for people when shopping for an electric bike. My career in bicycles started when I was a child. I’ve always loved bikes. I started my own bike buying and selling business before I left school and have been running a very successful bike shop in Ledbury (west England) since I was 18 years old.

One comment on “Pedal assist Vs Throttle E-bike: Which One Should You Buy?”

  1. My wife & I have a Mountain E-bike each which we love & they are both Pedal Assist which is great for our fitness & for our traveling.. I would like to say that if you are going to buy a E-bike go for what you want but make sure that you look well into the info before spending £££s because you can make the mistake of buying the wrong thing for what you want.. & try to stay away from large shops who I feel only want to sell you products to make them money & take it from your pocket.. Going to small dealers might cost more but will well worth it in the long run.

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