FAQ: Can you ride an electric bike like a normal bike?
Yes you can. All of the electric bike models we stock allow you to choose how much help you want by simply pressing a button on the handlebar. If you want to use only your legs, you can choose zero assistance. All of our bikes can be ridden without the electrics switched on.
We do find there is a tendency to use the motor when it is there. We also find that on the higher quality bikes you are in fact more likely to pedal harder and have more exercise. There is a simple explanation for this.
Torque sensing vs Cadence Sensing.
Less complicated and less expensive cadence sensing is used on less expensive bikes. Though a cadence sensor is preferable to a low quality torque sensor it does not measure how much effort you are using to pedal. As such, if the pedals are going around the motor is assisting you according to the assistance setting you have predetermined on the screen. There is a tendency simply to pedal lightly and gain all the assistance at full power, meaning you get less of a workout.
A good quality torque sensor makes infinite adjustments to the amount of assistance it gives you, based on how hard you tread on the pedals. Tread harder and it will help you more, tread softly and it will back off the power. With high quality torque sensing such as in our Bosch, Shimano, Kalkhoff and Faraday bikes it feels fluid with your pedal strokes and almost encourages you to tread harder, but only as much as you are comfortable with. The technology disappears and you simply feel the joy of riding, albeit with superhuman legs. After riding one of these bikes i always feel as though i have been out for a good bike ride, yet i haven't had to struggle up any hills. It is fluid, just like riding a bike.
As a general rule, a bike with a crank motor (as opposed to a wheel motor) will provide a more authentic ‘real-bike experience’ when the motor is off. This is because bikes with crank motors use normal bicycle wheels, whereas some lesser quality wheel motors can cause a small amount of drag as motor is turned by the wheel.
Some of our bikes have a throttle. Some of our customers like to use their electric bikes with assistance set to zero and only use the throttle when they get to a hill or are starting out from an intersection. This is a great way to ensure you are still getting your exercise without the sweat of grinding up that last hill home.
The proof is in the pudding and really theres no better way to explain the differences than hopping on a bike for a test ride.