What is Pedal Assist System and How Does It Work?

As a mode of transportation, electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular. The pedal assist system is one key feature that sets them apart from traditional bikes.

This technology allows you to enjoy a boost in power while pedaling, making it easier to tackle hills and headwinds.

This article will discuss a pedal assist, how it works, and how to hack it to increase power and bypass speed limits. Whether you’re a commuter looking for an efficient way to get around or a recreational rider looking to improve your performance, this guide will help you understand the benefits and potential of the system.

What is Pedal Assist System?

If you are new to e-bikes, what is pedal assist system? It is E-Bike technology that provides power assistance to you while pedaling. The system typically consists of a small electric motor, a sensor to detect your pedal movements, and a control system to regulate the amount of assistance provided.

You can choose the level of assistance the system provides, typically through a handlebar-mounted control panel. The system is designed to boost your pedaling efforts, making it easier to climb hills or maintain a steady speed.

It can also improve the efficiency of your pedaling, allowing you to travel farther on a single charge. These systems are becoming increasingly popular as a means of commuting and recreation, as they offer a more efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

How Does Pedal Assist System Works?

The main components of a system include an electric motor, sensor, control unit, and battery. They are designed to provide power assistance to you while pedaling. But how does pedal assist work? It uses torque sensors to detect your pedaling force. These sensors measure the torque, or twisting force, applied to the bike’s crankset by your pedaling.

The sensor sends this data to the control unit, which then calculates the appropriate level of assistance. Then the control unit sends a signal to the motor, which provides power to the bike. It allows you to maintain a more natural riding experience and smooth power delivery.

These systems usually offer several levels of assistance, ranging from minimal to maximum. This allows you to choose the level of assistance best suits your needs and riding conditions.

The levels of assistance are typically indicated by a numerical display on the bike’s handlebar-mounted control unit or, in some cases, by a button. For example, you may choose a low level of assistance for a leisurely ride on a flat surface and a higher level for a hilly terrain or headwind.

Traditional e-bikes have a throttle that you can use to control the speed and power of the bike, whereas pedal assist provides power only when you’re pedaling. These systems are more energy efficient and can help you maintain a more natural riding experience.

Credit: EVELO Electric Bicycles

Understanding the Role of Pedal Assist in Cycling

How much does pedal assist help? It is a question often asked by cyclists considering an electric bike. Pedal assist is a feature that provides additional power to you while pedaling, making cycling easier and more efficient.

One of the main benefits of the assist is that it can make cycling more accessible to people with physical limitations, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of cycling without the same exertion. It also allows you to tackle challenging terrain or longer rides with less effort.

It’s important to note that they are not a substitute for regular exercise, and you should still engage in regular cycling to maintain fitness and endurance. Over-reliance on them can make you less physically fit over time. Therefore, it’s crucial to use pedal assist in moderation and to set the level of assist to match your abilities and needs.

Electric Bike Pedal Assist Modifications

Electric bike pedal assist hacks are modifications that can be made to the bike’s control unit or software to increase the power output or bypass the speed limit.

Some popular hacks include increasing the maximum assist level, disabling the speed limiter, and adjusting the pedal assist sensor’s sensitivity. Here’s a general idea of the steps you might take to perform each of the hacks:

Electric Bike Pedal Assist Modifications

Increasing the Maximum Assist Level:

  1. Access the control unit’s settings through a computer or smartphone using specialized software or firmware upgrade.
  2. Locate the maximum assist level setting and increase it to your desired level.
  3. Test the bike to ensure the new setting is working correctly and that the bike feels stable and responsive.

Disabling the Speed Limiter:

  1. Using specialist software or a firmware upgrade, you can access the control unit’s settings from a computer or smartphone.
  2. Find the speed limiter’s setting and turn it off.
  3. Test the bike to ensure the new setting is effective, responsive, and steady.
  4. Before turning off the speed limiter, be aware of local laws and rules for electric bikes.

Adjusting the Pedal Assist Sensor’s Sensitivity:

  1. Software or firmware upgrades enable you to access the control unit’s settings through your computer or smartphone.
  2. The pedal assist sensor sensitivity can be adjusted by finding the setting and adjusting it.
  3. Ensure the new setting works properly and the bike feels stable and responsive.

General Steps for Wiring a Pedal Assist System

Since many different systems are available, each one may have slightly different instructions. With that said, here is how to wire pedal assist:

Wiring a Pedal Assist System
  1. Gather all the necessary tools and materials, including the system, wiring harness, and any additional components that may be required.
  2. Locate the controller for the pedal assist. It is typically a small box containing electronic components that control the assist level.
  3. Connect the wiring harness to the controller.
  4. Connect the motor to the controller.
  5. Install the sensor on the bike’s crank arm.
  6. Connect the sensor to the controller.
  7. Install the display on the handlebars.
  8. Connect the display to the controller.
  9. Install the thumb or twist the throttle on the handlebars.
  10. Connect the thumb or twist the throttle to the controller.
  11. Test the system to make sure everything is working correctly.

Which One is Better: Pedal Assist or Throttle

Pedal assist and throttle are two different methods of powering an electric bike. The amount of power the motor provides can be adjusted, typically increasing as you pedal harder. It allows you to have a more natural and efficient riding experience, as they can still use their leg power to propel the bike.

Throttle, however, refers to a system where the electric motor provides power to the bike independent of your pedaling. You can control the amount of power the motor provides using a thumb or twist throttle, similar to a gas-powered motorcycle.

Pedal Assist Vs Throttle Assist

It allows you to control the bike’s speed without pedaling, but it also means that you cannot use your leg power to propel the bike. Both pedal assist and throttle have advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. Still, many ask: Is pedal assist better than throttle?

Pedal assist is often considered more efficient, as you can use your leg power to help propel the bike. It can help extend the electric bike’s range, as you are not relying solely on the electric motor to power the bike. Additionally, pedal assist can also provide a more natural and enjoyable riding experience.

Throttle, on the other hand, can be helpful for riders who have difficulty pedaling or want to experience a more leisurely ride. It can also be useful for riders who want to use the bike for short neighborhood trips or errands.

Do all electric bikes have pedal assist?

Not all electric bikes have pedal assist. Some e-bikes have a throttle that the rider can use to control the speed and power of the bike without pedaling.

Does pedal assist drain battery?

Pedal assist can drain the battery, but it is generally more energy efficient than a throttle as it only provides power when the rider pedals. The level of assistance can also be adjusted to save battery life.

How does pedal assist improve the riding experience?

Pedal-assist systems provide power assistance to the rider while pedaling, making it easier to tackle hills and headwinds, allowing riders to maintain a more natural riding experience and have a smooth power delivery.

Can I modify my electric bike’s pedal assist system?

Electric bike pedal assist modifications, or hacks, can be made to increase power output or bypass speed limits, but these should be done with caution as they may be illegal or dangerous.

Can I use the pedal-assist system if I have physical limitations?

Pedal-assist systems can make cycling more accessible to people with physical limitations, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of cycling without the same exertion.

Pedal assist systems provide power assistance to you while you are pedaling on electric bikes. They use torque sensors and offer multiple levels of assistance. They are more efficient and safer than traditional e-bikes and can make cycling more accessible for people with limitations.
However, excessive reliance on pedal assist can reduce fitness over time; hence it is vital to use it in moderation. Electric bike pedals assist modifications, like increasing power output or disabling speed limiters, should be done cautiously as they may be illegal or dangerous.

Mark Andrew

I am a big supporter and promoter of Micromobility & EVs. As a traveler, I always carry to share my hand-on experience on new electric ride to keep journey comfortable in Urban and off-road tracks. I came here online on this platform to give my personal experience and other user’s reviews of all used products.

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