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There are two styles of propulsion methods.

Pedelec or pedal assist.

Power on demand or throttle based

Pedal Assist

Pedelecs are electric bicycles that must be pedaled.

Pedal assist works automatically when you start pedaling. Motor assistance will only turn on to help you when you pedal. The engine will turn off automatically when you stop the pedals or apply the brake. The pedal does not move on the gas.

The pedal assist bicycle is usually more protective to the battery and riding range is longer then throttled-based e-bikes.

The Pedelec was developed due to regulation of some countries (i.e. European Nation). Control mechanism is much more complicated then that of the power on demand e-bikes. Electronic circuitry include an advanced pedal torque sensor which measure the amount of human power and advanced computer chip that handle the pedaling data and ultimately send the calculated data to the motor.

The pedelec has a similar behavior just like standard bicycle with pedals. There is a motor that augment your power, and not replace it. You don't need to switch on a throttle and you don't need to use your wrists all the time. The e-bike can also be used perfectly for certain workouts. For example, if you want your heart rate to be stable, but you still cover the distance with steeper sections, you can control it well with the help of motorized support.

Level of assistance

The pedal assisted bicycles usually let you adjust the level of assistance that you are going to receive as you pedal. The level of assistance is determined by using the console. The amount of assistance can be ranged from no assistance at all to intensive assistance (the maximum level of assistance may depend on the regulations).

Power On Demand

With electric bikes with a throttle lever, you have two options:

  • Pedal-free driving - drive with pure engine power only.
  • You pedal while using the gas - a hybrid pedaling and an engine, like a pedelec.

The controller determines the power transmitted to the engine as much as you add gas. No complicated sensors are needed here.

The throttle will either be a:

  • Twist-grip - How much you move the throttle will determine the speed of the bike.
  • Thumb-press - Simple ON/OFF switch (No variable speed).

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