What Are the Different Types of Electric Bikes?

With numerous companies manufacturing electric bikes, the industry is expected to continue its growth in the coming years.

To capitalize on the unstoppable global success, electric bike companies worldwide have designed different types of electric bikes to cater to all kinds of consumer needs.

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What Are the Main Two Types of Electric Bikes?

Although a consumer has many different electric bikes to choose from, all electric bikes can primarily be sorted into two categories: pedal-assist electric bikes and pedal-less throttle electric bikes.

Both types of electric bikes share some basic similarities and some major differences that make them ideal for different types of consumers.

Whether one type of electric bike is better than the other one is a discussion that requires the evaluation of different factors.

However, one undeniable fact is that both types have managed to reach heights of global success and have attracted millions of customers worldwide.

Continue reading to learn about what pedal-assist and pedal-less throttle electric bikes are, their core similarities, and what makes the two different.

Moreover, the article will also cover details regarding the benefits of riding either of the two electric bikes.

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What is a Pedal Assist Electric Bike?

Pedal-assist electric bikes are the most common types of electric bikes. These electric bikes are always high in demand and are usually preferred over every other type of electric bike.

One reason behind its commonality and preference is that pedal-assist electric bikes are similar to traditional bikes. These electric bikes have been built on the same concept and blueprint as the traditional bikes we all have grown up riding.

Hence, not as much extensive prior practice is required to ride these electric bikes. As the name suggests, a pedal-assist electric bike comes with pedals on both sides.

A pedal-assist electric bike is significantly more expensive than a traditional bike. The only difference between a pedal-assist electric bike and a traditional bike that justifies the price difference is the addition of the different electrical components.

A pedal-assist electric bike comes with multiple electrical components that set it apart from other traditional bikes and allow it to perform as an excellent mode of everyday transportation.

The main electrical components are as follows:

  • Battery: Most pedal-assist electric bikes come with lithium-ion electric batteries that are responsible for storing a charge in the form of chemical energy.
  • Motor: The motor works as the electric bike’s “engine” and is responsible for converting the stored chemical energy into kinetic energy.
  • Transmitter: Once the battery creates the kinetic energy, the transmitter carries the energy to the tires, allowing the electric bike to pick up speed.
  • Electric motion sensors: These sensors pick up on the rider’s pedaling motion and trigger the motor to turn on.
  • LCD display screen: Almost all pedal-assist electric bikes come with built-in LCD display screens that notify the rider about the electric bike’s battery charge, remaining range, speed, mileage, and calories burnt.
  • Connecting wires that connect all the different components.

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How Does a Pedal Assist Electric Bike Work?

Although these electric bikes may seem like regular bikes, their electrical components, technology, and advanced mechanisms make them a far more superior mode of transport.

Pedal-assist electric bikes are designed to pick up on the rider’s pedaling motion to turn the motor on.

The motion sensors pass the signal to the electric motor via the connecting cables. As a result, the electric motor is triggered to turn on automatically and begins offering electrical assistance.

With the added electrical pedal assistance, the rider can enjoy a more relaxing and leisurely bike ride without having to put in too much physical effort.

Unlike pedal-less throttle electric bikes or motorbikes, pedal-assist electric bikes do not come with a switch or a lever to turn the motor on.

Instead, the electric motor is automatically activated once pedaling motion is picked up.

Pedal assist electric bikes are designed to have different built-in pedal-assistance modes that will determine the amount of electrical assistance that will aid the rider’s pedaling motion.

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Most pedal-assist electric bikes come with a manual system that allows the rider to choose the appropriate level of electrical assistance.

The most basic kinds of pedal-assist electric bikes come with at least three pedal-assistance modes.

The first mode of pedal-assistance turns on automatically as soon as the rider begins to pedal their electric bike.

This mode is the lowest level of pedal assistance and offers the minimum amount of electrical assistance.

Once the rider feels the need to pick up more speed, they can either do it by pedaling faster or by moving on to the second pedal-assistance mode.

Once the rider turns the second level on, more electrical assistance is offered, the bike picks up speed, and less aggressive pedaling is required.

If a rider does not want to pedal much and wants to get to their destination at the maximum speed and as quickly as possible, they can turn on the third and highest level of electrical assistance.

Now, the rider will barely have to pedal, and the electric bike will be able to reach its top speed.

Although riding the electric bike fast will be an exhilarating experience, it will cause the bike’s battery charge to deplete much faster. As a result, the rider will have to recharge their electric bike more often.

There are some even more expensive electric bikes in the market that come with five or more modes of electric pedal assistance. These electric bikes can hit much higher speeds and are specially designed for people who love going fast.

One example of such an electric bike is the Bosch pedal-assist electric bike that comes with five different pedal-assist modes.

These modes allow the electric bike to hit an impressive maximum speed of 30 miles per hour on flat surfaces. 

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What Is a Pedal-Less Throttle Electric Bike?

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The other type of electric bike is the pedal-less throttle electric bike. These electric bikes are less commonly available and are not as popular globally as pedal-assist electric bikes.

These pedal-less throttle electric bikes are designed to cater to a completely different consumer audience who wants a unique biking experience.

These consumers are not looking for an electric bike that will give them a chance to do their everyday cardio exercises and burn some calories.

Instead, these consumers are looking for a bike that offers uninterrupted momentum, high speed, and a thrilling ride.

A pedal-less throttle electric bike may look like a regular bike; however, its mechanisms and design make it much more similar to a motorbike.

Pedal-less throttle electric bikes do not come with attached pedals and built-in motion sensors. Instead, their design allows the rider to manually turn on the electric motor and choose the speed they want to ride at.

Just like in a motorbike, to make the pedal-less throttle electric bike go, the rider has to press a button, turn a switch, or pull a level to get the electric motor going.

Once the motor is turned on, it converts the battery’s chemical energy into kinetic energy.

The transmitters will carry the kinetic energy to the bike’s tires, and the pedal-less throttle electric bike would thus become mobile.

Since the pedal-less throttle, electric bikes are not dependent on pedaling motion or physical effort, these electric bikes can go at much higher speeds than pedal-assist electric bikes.

The rider can reach their destination in less time, without having to break a sweat.

The different switches and levers present on the electric bike allow the rider to choose their ideal speed and acceleration.

However, since the rider will not be contributing to the electric bike’s motion at all, the electric bike’s battery charge will deplete much quicker.

The rider will have to upgrade their electric bike to one with a bigger battery or will have to recharge their electric bike more frequently.

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What Are the Similarities Between a Pedal-assist and a Pedal-less Throttle Electric Bike?

  • Both types of electric bikes are primarily built on the blueprint of a traditional bike.
  • Both types of electric bikes are significantly heavier and more expensive than traditional bikes.
  • They come with chemical batteries, electrical motors, connecting cables, energy transmitters, and an LCD display screen.
  • Both bikes have built-in regenerative braking systems that allow the bikes to save the energy that would otherwise get wasted as heat and convert it back to chemical energy to be stored in the battery.
  • Both types of electric bikes are primarily designed to serve as an alternative mode of transportation to discourage consumers from using gasoline-powered personal cars or expensive public transport.
  • Both types of electric bikes are designed to have eco-friendly green technologies that allow them to reduce a person’s carbon footprint and reduce the global GHG emission crisis. 

What Are the Main Differences Between a Pedal-assist and a Pedal-less Throttle Electric Bike?

  • Pedal-less throttle electric bikes work like electric motorbikes, while pedal-assist electric bikes require the rider’s pedaling to keep going.
  • A pedal-less throttle electric bike is able to go at much higher speeds than a pedal-assist electric bike.
  • Although no license is required to ride a pedal-assist electric bike, many countries around the world require a proper riding test and licensing to allow a rider to ride a pedal-less throttle electric bike. 
  • Most pedal-assist electric bikes do not have an age limit, while a pedal-less throttle electric bike has a minimum age limit. This age limit varies regionally across the globe and ranges from 14 to 21.
  • Due to the uninterrupted momentum and the dangers associated with riding at high speeds, many countries, such as Singapore, have prohibited the use of pedal-less throttle electric bikes.

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Benefits of Riding Either of the Two Types of Electric Bikes

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Benefits of Riding a Pedal Assist Electric Bike

  • The rider is able to benefit from high-quality cardio exercise every time they ride their electric bike.
  • Due to the added electric assistance, many riders who otherwise cannot ride traditional bikes due to their old age, joint pain, or any other physical incapability are able to enjoy a bike ride.
  • Unlike riding a traditional bike, riding a pedal-assist electric bike does not negatively impact the rider’s joints.
  • Owning a pedal-assist electric bike allows the rider to limit the use of a gasoline-powered personal car. Moreover, using an electric bike every day reduces their average transportation costs.
  • The addition of the electrical assistance allows the rider to ride at high speeds and reach their destination quickly.
  • Due to the use of green technology, the dependency on fossil fuel consumption is reduced, and global harmful emissions are reduced as a result (even if it’s a minute reduction).

Benefits of Riding a Pedal-less Throttle Electric Bike

  • Due to the use of green technology, the use of a pedal-free throttle bike reduces the rider’s carbon footprint while also reducing the global dependency on fossil fuels.
  • Pedal-free throttle electric bikes reduce a rider’s total transportation costs while allowing them the chance to travel at decent speeds.
  • Due to the high speed offered by pedal-free throttle electric bikes, riders are able to reach their destination quickly and without getting tired.
  • Pedal-free throttle electric bikes allow riders with certain disabilities to get the full experience of riding a bike.

Final Thoughts

Whether a person wishes to benefit from a cardio workout or enjoy uninterrupted momentum and high speeds, they can always find an electric bike that suits their unique needs.

A pedal-assist electric bike is perfect for people who find pedaling a bike therapeutic and wish to enjoy a safe and controllable ride through the streets of their home city. Moreover, a pedal-free throttle electric bike is more suitable for experienced bike riders who enjoy the thrill of riding an electric bike at high speeds without having to put in any physical effort.

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