Understanding Throttle and Pedal Assist
Throttle -This is a toggle or twist mechanism that activates and controls the engagement of motor of your ebike.
- Throttles provide full power on demand
- Throttles are especially helpful for getting started from a standstill (sometimes it can be awkward to gain momentum), getting a quick burst of power to climb a hill, or safely getting through an intersection.
- As throttle system also allows you to not pedal or can't pedal, or you just don't feel like it, that's okay too. We're not judging and want you to get to your destination safely and ENJOY the RIDE!
Pedal Assist-This is a system that sense your pedaling and provides assistance automatically thru a motor.
- This system is popular among experienced cyclists that want a more natural, "bike-like" riding experience.
- Pedal assist is also nice for long rides with few stops. You can just relax and enjoy the ride without holding a throttle in place.
WHEN A THROTTLE-EQUIPPED EBIKE MAKES SENSE
Ebikes equipped with throttles work great for riders who are injured or differently-abled. For example, a rider recovering from knee surgery may be able to ride for miles, but can’t get over a steep hill without pain. Using an ebike with a throttle allows them to continue building fitness while they get stronger.
Riders in urban environments with many stop lights or stop signs may also benefit from a throttle. Accelerating an ebike (which are heavier than traditional bikes) from a dead stop can be challenging for riders who don’t produce much power. The throttle can be used for a quick boost to get the bike moving, after which the rider can release the throttle and start pedaling. This technique can also be used for ebike riders carrying a heavy load or towing a trailer.
WHEN YOU SHOULD SKIP A THROTTLE-EQUIPPED EBIKE
You should consider where you plan to ride before choosing an ebike with a throttle. If your plans include off-road mountain bike trails, be aware that many trail systems don’t permit throttles - access is often limited to Class I ebikes without throttles.
Also note that throttle ebikes are usually speed limited when on throttle. For example, a Class III ebike capable of 28 MPH on pedal assist will only go 20 MPH on throttle alone. To reach the top speeds the rider will need to pedal. Don’t expect to purchase a Class III ebike and ride at 28 MPH without pedaling. Some models may offer adjustable pedal-assist top speed, but even if you tweak those settings, a throttle will typically be locked at 20 MPH max.
Finally, consider that for slower speed riding (think a crowded downtown farmer’s market, or Saturday morning on a multi-user trail with dog walkers, cyclists, joggers, etc.) it can be difficult to modulate speed when using a throttle alone. It’s important to maintain control for safety at all times. Throttles work great when used at their maximum - hold down the throttle to get over a steep hill, or cruising steadily at 20 MPH on a flat, open road for miles on end. It’s harder to precisely modulate from 6 MPH to 10 MPH and back on throttle alone. For that type of riding, it may be better to ride with no pedal assist or throttle at all, or a combination of pedal assist and braking to help control your speed.
Why not have both-pedal assist and throttle?
You’ll notice that some Class III ebikes have a throttle, and others do not. When Class III ebikes include a throttle, they are usually limited to 20 MPH maximum speed on throttle (even though the bike can go faster when the rider is pedaling). The Denago City Model 1.0 series falls into this category - up to 28 MPH on pedal assist, and up to 20 MPH on throttle.
ENJOY the RIDE!