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How Does E-Bike Pedal Assist Work?

Pedal-assist is a great feature that comes with most e-bikes. It can be a great way to enjoy your bike ride without breaking a sweat. The function isn’t a full-fledged motorized ride, but can offer some distinct advantages that won’t come from the full-throttle mode. But how does pedal-assist work?

Pedal-assist mode works by adding power to the rider while they’re actively pedaling. In most cases, a speed or torque sensor will communicate with the motor giving it cues to provide power. With pedal assist, you still provide some power to turn the pedals, but the e-bike motor does the rest.

E-bikes are great! But if you still want to get a workout on your bike ride, you might not want a fully motorized experience. In these cases, pedal-assist is your best friend. Want to learn more about pedal assist? Read on.

How Does E-Bike Pedal Assist Work?

At its core, pedal-assist works quite simply. When you go to pedal, the motor kicks in and gives you an extra push. What really happens behind the scenes is that there is a sensor attached to the pedals themselves or to the drivetrain that gives the motor the cue to kick in and give you some extra juice.

With pedal assist, you need to pedal — which might seem obvious. The bike won’t do all the work for you. You’ll need to provide some power to keep everything moving.

Pedal-assist is meant for people who still want to get a light workout during their bike rides, even though they use an electric bike. It can be a great way to extend your ride time and get through more difficult terrain like hills. The motor will utilize one of two types of sensors to communicate with the pedals.

Types of sensors:

  • Torque — While more complicated, the torque sensor is often more reliable. It only works when the pedals are moving, and you’re providing the pressure you need to trigger the torque sensor.

Depending on the type of bike you have, you could have either of these sensors. Additionally, some bikes offer power options for assisted pedaling. This means you can better tune what kind of bike assist you want. Looking for more of a workout?

Well, with a bike with variable-speed pedal assist, you can just turn down the power to give yourself more control over the pedals. Pedal-assist is a common feature of a lot of e-bikes. But how is it different from the throttle?

How is Pedal Assist Different from Throttle?

The throttle on your e-bike works similar to a motorcycle or a moped. Usually, you can find the throttle on the handlebars. In most cases, you’ll need to turn the grip on the handlebars to give the go-ahead for the motor to kick in.

With a throttle, you don’t need to be pedaling for the motor to work. In fact, in some cases, you don’t even need your feet on the pedals. Think of throttle as a fully-fledged motorized bike.

When Should You Use Pedal Assist?

Pedal-assist is a great feature of many e-bikes. While some people enjoy the fully motorized modes, in some cases, you might want to get a workout in. In these situations, the pedal-assist feature is perfect.

You can tune your power to the exact level you want to match your energy level. It can be a great way to still enjoy a bike ride, get a good workout in, and not be totally reliant on the motor for power.

Additionally, the pedal-assist mode is great for long trips where you just need a little help. For long-distance bikers, pedal-assist can be a godsend. It helps you when you need it most and can be turned off easily when you don’t.

Another feature of pedal assist is the fact that it pulls less power from the battery. If you are trying to extend the life of your battery on a trip, pedal-assist is a great way to find a middle ground between a sweaty workout and an easy bike trip.

Are Pedal-Assist Bikes Worth It?

Electric bike motor wheel close up with pedal and rear shock absorber

In most cases, a pedal-assist bike will also be a fully electric bike. That means you’ll also have a bike that can work in throttle mode without an issue. So when considering whether a pedal-assist bike is worth the price, you need to keep in mind that you’re not just getting a bike with pedal assist.

Unfortunately, this also means that the price will be higher than a normal bike. E-bikes can get pricey. While cheap models can only set you back a few hundred dollars, expensive models can range anywhere from $1000 to $3000+, so shop wisely.

If you’re looking for a high-quality electric bike option with pedal assist, check out the ANCHEER Electric Bike (on Amazon). Not only does it feature pedal assists, but it has a range of around 35 miles and a top speed of 16 mph.

The best part is that this bike is a great all-around option. It works well as a commuter and can function easily as a city cruiser with no need for modifications.

A bike like this can help you on your commute to work or just for your weekend outing with friends. You can easily switch between modes to better fit your energy level. A pedal-assist bike like this is great for people looking to get back into shape, those who are a little older and not up for a strenuous bike ride and everyone in between.

Is Pedal Assist or Throttle Control Better?

When it comes to which is better, throttle or pedal assist, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they both offer some form of motorized power, but they are each intended for different types of uses.

Pedal-assist is great, but if you’re looking for an experience more akin to a moped, you’ll be left wanting. This just isn’t what the mode is for. Pedal-assist is meant to be a middle ground between a fully electric bike and a normal bike.

When it comes to throttle mode, well, it’s like a motorbike. You turn the throttle and you get power, pretty simple. If you want the easiest bike ride you can find, this is your best option.

Keep in mind that throttle mode will drain your battery quicker. For this reason, some people always use the pedal-assist feature over the throttle. But, if you’re looking for power, pedal-assist just doesn’t compare to throttle mode.


Pedal-assist is a great feature of almost every electric bike. It gives you a chance to still power the bike with your legs but still get some juice from the motor. It’s a great middle-ground if you’re looking for a bike ride that’s more of a workout but still less strenuous on the body.

The mode is great for all kinds of riders but even better for those just starting to work out, those going long distances, and for the elderly.