These days, most electric bikes have a pedal-assist (PAS) system that offers variable degrees of assistance as needed. As you turn on your PAS and pedal, you feel the motor engage, which is what it means to ride an electric bike with additional help. But what internal processes enable these actions to take place?
There are two sensors found in electric bikes, and these are cadence and torque. A signal is sent to the pedal-assist system (PAS) using cadence and torque sensors when activating the motor and moving the electric bike ahead. Cadence and torque sensors may turn on the electric bike motors as you move forward; however, they work differently.
It's necessary to know the distinctions between torque and cadence sensors, the kind of sensor the KBO Bike use, and their potential effects on an e-bike's performance and riding.
What are Cadence Sensors?
Most e-bikes with cadence pedal assist sensors start the motor of an electric bike when you pedal. Thus, when the pedals move in any way (when PAS is on), the sensor sends information to the electronic bike's motor telling it to start functioning. You would then move forward as the motor uses a predetermined power level.
The motor's power depends on the rider's pedaling effort and their chosen pedal assist level. The motor keeps running as your pedal cadence grows until it hits that predetermined threshold, sustaining it despite your shifting terrain, changing gear ratios, and continued pedal speed.
Benefits of Cadence Sensors
Easy to Use
One of the main benefits of using an electric bike with a cadence sensor is its simplicity. Electric bikes with cadence sensors only need a little pedal effort to start the motor. You can exert as little or as much effort as you like, and it still works, thus varying degrees. As a result, cadence-based e-bikes are a fantastic choice for casual riders or cyclists with physical restrictions who want to ride quickly.
Flexibility to ride quickly and cruise
Cadence sensors help you get the most out of your e-bike's motor with the least effort. The sensor allows you to choose when the e-bikes are usually fully charged and ready to ride. You can decide if you want to pedal with lower assist settings for less assistance or cruise about and enjoy a leisurely ride. Alternatively, you can turn up the PAS volume to feel the wind on your face.
Systems based on cadence can function as an "on" and "off" switch. In other words, when you pedal, you receive assistance at predetermined rates, and when you stop pedaling, you cease receiving support. Given this, riders of e-bikes equipped with cadence sensors can usually count on receiving consistent power and help whenever needed. Therefore, you will only have to exert additional effort to get more ability.
Cons Of Cadence Sensors
Less Intuitive Feeling
Riding with a Cadence sensor can make your pedal assist system counterintuitive, especially if you wish to feel more in tune with your e-bikes. However, this doesn't mean the cadence sensors e-bikes are not instrumental for strenuous workouts.
Possibility of Less Range
When deciding which electric bike is ideal for you, the range is a crucial consideration. Several factors can ultimately affect the predicted vs. actual range of an e-bike. Cadence-based PAS requires a lot of battery power to activate the motor when used frequently, especially at higher settings for more extended periods.
Demands Little Work
Although ultimately subjective, cadence-based electric bikes may feel like they need to work harder for the user, depending on their activity levels, tastes, and riding requirements. Some riders often feel like they are getting too much pedal assistance for their efforts since the sensors communicate to activate the motor whenever action at the pedals is detected.
What are Torque Sensors?
Torque sensors employ a precise strain gauge to measure how hard you're pedaling, as opposed to cadence-based sensors, which detect whether or not a rider is pedaling. Also, to calculate how much power the motor should deliver to the e-bike, a torque sensor analyzes how much force the rider exerts on the pedals. Torque sensors make these modifications in real time, which change the motor's output in response to the rider's pedal pressure. In other words, a torque sensor amplifies every input you make by taking them.
Pros of Torque Sensors
When riding with torque sensors, you can save your battery's power and ride farther, as these sensors don't produce a fixed amount of output at any given PAS level. Torque-based e-bikes won't waste energy. Their motor only assists riders, dependent on how much energy they put in. Instead, they deliver what's required to make riders feel their effort while powering their e-bike rather than forcing the e-bike to do all the heavy lifting. Finally, giving them more control over their ride, e-bike, and experience.
It's a more natural riding style.
Since riders are close to the motor, a torque-sensor PAS may frequently simulate the sensation of riding a traditional bicycle. The torque sensor detects when to give power to the e-bike and does it gradually. Therefore, when changing your PAS levels, you won't notice a sudden increase in power.
Cons of Torque Sensors
Higher Barrier to Top Speed
With a torque sensor, you receive what you put in. Therefore, a torque-based system requires more effort to pedal than a cadence-based system, which can quickly give riders a higher speed. Furthermore, once the top speed is reached on an e-bike with a torque sensor, sustaining the top speed will also require more continuous pedal power.
Riding Requires More Work
Torque-based PAS systems will require more work from their riders to power up and reach their full capacity. For these types of electric bikes, the rider's demands, preferences, and degree of activity play a role in this variable.
Finally, understanding torque and cadence sensors isn't a matter of 'which one is better?' but of 'which one suits me better?' The torque sensor PAS systems magnify the rider's input and take ownership of the e-bike, creating a more intuitive and natural riding experience. Contrarily, cadence sensor PAS technologies are gradually becoming an industry standard for riders looking for a simple e-bike. It has plenty of power and allows them to exert as much or as little effort as they want without sacrificing power.