What’s the difference between pedal assist versus throttle powered e-bikes?
You know that thrill you get when you ride your bike really fast and it feels almost effortless? Kind of like what I imagine dogs feel when they stick their heads out of car windows and catch that wind. You know—that feeling. That’s what it feels like to ride an e-bike for the first time. They are sooooo fun! So, which type is best for you—pedal assist vs throttle e-bikes?
E-Bike Terminology and Classifications
Before we get ahead of ourselves, you may be wondering what exactly these terms mean. To be clear, all e-bikes include “pedal-assist,” meaning that, in order to activate the motor, the rider has to do some pedaling.
Some e-bikes also have throttles, which come in various types—such as half-twist grip throttles (like on a motorcycle), lever throttles, and push-button throttles.
E-bikes are classified here in the United States by whether or not it has a throttle plus the top speeds it can reach. The classes for e-bikes are Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. At Bikes Palm Beach, we carry Class 1 e-bikes.
Pedal Assist Only E-Bikes
If you want to take it easy, but you still want to be active, pedal-assist could be the way to go for you. Some people who are struggling with an injury or some mobility limitations, but still want the thrill of riding a bike, can enjoy the fun and movement of riding a bike, but with much less effort.
Most pedal assist bikes have different “modes” for the motor, which require varying levels of effort from the rider. Pedal assist also helps extend battery life, depending on the mode you use.
Two great examples of pedal assist only e-bikes are the Eagle E-Playa and Electra Cruiser Go!. They both have 3 different battery modes, with different levels of power to assist your travels. On one battery charge, they have a range of up to 40 miles, and they can reach top speeds between 17 and 20 mph.
Throttle Assist E-Bikes
“But isn’t the point of an e-bike to keep you from doing the work of riding a bike?” Okay, that’s a fair question, which throttle assist e-bikes can answer.
With throttle assist, you have to do zero work, if you don’t want to. This is especially helpful if you are much more limited in your physical mobility.
It’s also an added layer of security, so to speak. If you’re out and about and just get tired—you’ve got that extra kick to help you get back home. Plus, there’s a lot less sweat involved when you use a throttle, which, let’s face it, in South Florida, is always an added bonus.
An example of throttle assist e-bikes available at Bikes Palm Beach are the Wolff Vela E-Bikes, which have a lever throttle.
More E-Bike Advantages
E-bikes are easy on the environment—they’re powered by clean energy and don’t emit harmful gasses and fumes. The cost of an e-bike versus that of a car can also be a no-brainer, not to mention greatly reduced maintenance costs versus that of a gas-powered vehicle. And, well, who doesn’t want to avoid the cost of gassing up at the pump these days?
Local Laws Governing E-Bike Use
Laws and ordinances regarding e-bikes vary from state to state and between municipalities, as well. So you’ll need to double-check your local areas laws regarding where you can ride and whether or not there are restrictions on the varying classes of e-bikes, so you will be able to avoid risks of fines or annoying the local residents.
Where to Shop for Pedal Assist and Throttle Assist E-Bikes
Stop in at Bikes Palm Beach and test ride our e-bikes around the block. Don’t wait, though—they’re quickly growing in popularity and sell out quickly!