Pedal Assist 101: Everything You Need to Know


Shopping for an electric bike opens a world of choices to new cyclists. Even if you’re used to considering all the options on a traditional bicycle when selecting a new model, it takes time to learn about all your options for electric bikes. One of the most important considerations is whether to get a throttle assist or a pedal assist when buying a mens electric bike. Pedal assist is the most common type of electric motor in the lowest-powered class of electric bikes, but as you look at faster and faster models, the throttle becomes more popular. There are good reasons to choose each option, as well as some tricks to getting the most out of your ride. Let’s talk about the way pedal assist works.

Smooth, Natural Speed

The reason pedal assistance is popular with low-speed electric bike models is because some states regulate not only the size of a motor, but also whether the bike requires you to pedal to get assistance. In the thinking of legislators in those states, additional speed while you are pedaling is assistance but a throttle that works whether you pedal or not is an indication the bike needs a licensed rider. As a result, many bikes that top out at or below 20 mph also operate on pedal assistance as a default. The motor kicks on when you accelerate, helping you attain a cruising speed faster. If you stop pedaling, the motor stops adding to your velocity, allowing you to coast. The mechanics are practically identical to a regular bike ride, except the boost makes it all a little easier.

This natural feel is why even higher speed motors often come with the option of pedal assist. While there are fans of throttle controlled motors, the ease of use that comes from the pedal-based boost is so intuitive that it just feels right for many riders. If you’re shopping online and trying to decide which fat tire electric bike for sale you want, keep this in mind.

Turning Off Pedal Assist

Sometimes, the extra boost is counterproductive because the goal of your ride is to get a little exercise. It’s not uncommon, and many riders like the way electric bikes for adults are designed to allow you to switch the assistance off and on. Some models have controls placed where the electric motor can be disabled on the fly, so you can get a boost going uphill and then work your cardio on flat land. For others, you do have to stop and toggle the switch to turn the motor assistance off and ride regularly. It’s a quick change, though, making it easy for your to put everything into your workout while counting on an easy ride home.

Check Out All Bike Features

Electric bike designers are always innovating. That means while it might be common for bikes to feature pedal assistance that can be toggled completely off, there’s probably a few models out there that are designed to provide assistance full time, at least if the battery is working. They still need to work as bicycles when the battery runs out, but they aren’t going to be ideal for someone who wants to be able to switch that motor off and on quickly.