Understanding Your E-Bike: Pedal Assist Levels

Owning and using an electric bike offers you the freedom to easily travel in and around town for work or leisure, or even embrace your adventurous side and explore some difficult terrain. 

Using the pedal assist system (PAS), your ebike can become more or less powerful depending on your needs. For beginners, understanding these different levels can help you to choose the right level for your ride. 

Below we discuss the different pedal assist levels and what they mean for your ebike experience.

Low Pedal Assist

This is for when you feel confident powering the bike on your own. Low pedal assist provides a small amount of electric assistance while you provide more pedal power. It can also be seen as level 0 to 1, as it provides only a small boost. 

This is a great option for those who want more of a workout while using their electric bicycle. If you feel that you need to increase your pedal assist system level, you ramp up the pedal assist system and gain more assistance. This is useful if you do not need as much power or if you prefer the more natural “bike-like” feeling when riding an ebike.

Medium Pedal Assist

Medium pedal assist is for when you feel like you need a bit of help or a power increase. It provides a good balance between pedal power and motor power, ideal for slightly more strenuous terrain. The medium pedal assist level can also be seen as levels 1 to 3. 

Using this pedal assist level, the ebike will be easier to propel forward but you will still need to put in some effort yourself. This level is ideal for those times when you need extra help on hillier terrain, or for when you need to add some speed to your journey. It provides a balance between your own physical power and the power of the motor.

High Pedal Assist

High pedal assist is perfect for those times when you need to be somewhere fast or if you need assistance on a difficult road. It provides more power from the PAS system, allowing you to pedal very little and stress your body less. 

You could see this as levels 4 to 5, which provide a much-needed power boost. You will require much less effort to use the ebike, and can access the maximum power that the bike offers. However, higher pedal assist levels use more battery, which could lead to a reduction in distance between charge cycles.

Pedal Assist Sensor Types

Pedal Sensors: Pedal sensors are used on most models of ebikes in South Africa. They engage the motor when you begin pedalling and turn it off when you stop. You can easily adjust how much power you receive by manually changing the assist mode. These are ideal pedal assist sensor types for leisure cycling and less strenuous trips. 

Torque Sensors: Torque sensors are more precise, and measure the force being used on the pedal. This helps the sensor to automatically provide the right amount of electrical assistance. They are helpful for commuting cyclists who want a bit more power behind their ride.

What About The Throttle?

Many electric bikes have a throttle mode, which also provides power much like a pedal assist system. The throttle mode propels the ebike forward when it is engaged. 

It works in a similar method to pressing the accelerator in your car – once it is in use, your electric bicycle will be propelled forward whether you are pedalling or not. Throttle mode is popular with those who want that extra boost of power without having to put in too much effort. 

You can choose from a half-grip twist throttle type, which needs to be twisted in order to be engaged, similar to that used on a scooter or motorcycle, or a thumb throttle. A thumb throttle is engaged by pushing the small paddle forward with your thumb and is controlled by the pressure of your thumb.

So, What Is Best For Me?

PAS’s are most popular with experienced cyclists who prefer a more natural riding experience. They are wonderful for long rides on relatively flat terrain, as you can relax and enjoy the ride. The different pedal assist levels also allow riders to improve their strength and abilities.

Throttles provide full power on demand, making it easier for starting from a traffic light, stop sign, or hill. They provide a burst of power for safely cycling through busy roads or intersections. The Pedal Assist System (PAS) senses your pedalling pressure and provides assistance automatically.

At Ezy Bike, we believe that the best of both worlds is the answer. Discover why with our selection of ebikes today.