Electric Bike Modes: Throttle vs Pedal Assist (Pedelec). E swift pro bike

Top Ebike Brands of 2023: Our Favorites List

We started as a family of two, looking to ditch the second car, as we entered the world of ebikes. A few years later, now a family of four, we have quite a few trusty ebikes and still only a single car. Through our extensive time riding, my wife and I have our favorites when it comes to ebike brands. Each of our top ebike brands offers a quality ebike, good customer service, and a variety of models to select from to suit your needs. Browse our favorite brands below. This page will continue to be updated as we experience more brands of electric bikes.

Rad Power Bikes

Rad Power Bikes is the largest ebike brand in North America. Based out of Seattle, Washington, this company is growing extremely quickly and announced in February 2021 that they had raised a 150 million minority of investment to further its brand. If you want to learn more about the origins of Rad Power Bikes, I recommend NPR’s How I Built This podcast with Mike Radenbaugh, the company’s founder.

The upside and downside to this brand are that it is a direct consumer company. This means they cut out the middleman by selling directly to consumers instead of through bike dealers. However, if you are looking for that bike dealer experience, Rad has begun to open its own “Rad owned” stores in order to be able to provide service and test riding to its customers.

The RadWagon was my family’s first ebike. It is still our most consistently used ebike. Before our child, my wife and I rode on it together. We also use it for hauling groceries, rummage sale finds, and now a child. Since that first Rad ebike we have had the opportunity to try out their entire line-up of bikes. So if there is a model you are interested in, we have a review for it. We talk about this brand so often that we made the most frequently asked questions post for Rad Power Bikes. We also have created a Rad Owners Forum so we can hear from other Rad lovers.

Rad Power Bikes will forever be our first (ebike) love.

For related Rad Power Bikes ebike model reviews, see:

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Lectric eBikes

Lectric ebikes makes just one electric bike model offered in both high step and step-thru variations. The Lectric XP 2.0 comes in at just 999 offers a large-enough-for-most 9.6 Ah battery with a 800-watt peak motor. We like that the frame design makes this ebike accessible to a variety of riders regardless of height or biking ability. New for 2021 is the optional accessories including front and rear racks, a more comfortable seat (plus seatpost), folding bike lock, and premium headlight. Did we mention it folds? Suffice to say we believe the Lectric XP 2.0 packs a lot of value at 999 and is perfect for those who just want to cruise around without breaking the bank.

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Aventon solidly fits in the value-priced ebike space. Their go head to head with some of the biggest names in electric bikes. On top of their great prices, there are Aventon dealers across the United States which means you can test a bike out for yourself before purchasing. Plus many of their models come in various frame sizes meaning you don’t have to compromise on the one-size-fits-all approach that many ebikebrands take.

For Aventon electric bike coverage check out the following:

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If you are looking for a down-to-earth company with a heart for getting more people on bikes and less in cars, then look no further than Ride1Up. I was blown away by the generosity that the founder, Kevin Duggar showed by welcoming an interview with me (see it here). He spent a crazy amount of time talking with me about his ebikes even though I know he is an extremely busy brand owner. His passion for creating a quality and affordable ebike lineup was extremely evident during our conversation. This is a company whose leadership shines through in everything they make.

Ride1Up offers six models to choose from with a clear FOCUS on commuter style electric bikes. You won’t find any fat tire models on their website. One of their most unique models, the Roadster V2, doesn’t even look like an ebike. With its slim, lightweight design and built in battery, this ebike masquerades as a low-tech commuter bike in disguise. Ride1Up is sending us this model to test ride. We will add the video review link once we have one.

I love this brand for its passion for not just selling a product, but getting people excited about moving more and driving less. This company is incredible to work with and I have loved every bike I have test-ridden and owned. Ride1Up is a quality, direct consumer company like Rad Power Bikes which means less cost to the consumer.

For related Ride1Up articles and resources, see:

For related Ride1Up ebike model reviews, see:

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Ariel Rider

Founded by two brothers, Ariel Rider is a quiet achiever in electric bikes. Their sweet spot as of late has been moped style electric bikes which provide incredible performance for the price. If you’re in the market for a moped-style electric bike you’ll be able to find something that suits your specific needs. Here is the current lineup:

  • Rideal: traditional frame design at an incredible price (999)
  • C-Class: Fully-outfitted mid-drive ebike for the daily commute (1,799)
  • M-Class: Urban electric bike with a mid-drive motor (1,649)
  • X-Class: Moped-style electric bike that packs a punch (1,699) Also available in 52V variation (2,099.00)
  • D-Class: Dual motor moped-style electric bike that packs a bigger punch (2,399.00)
  • Grizzly: The ultimate moped-style electric bike: dual suspension, dual motor, dual battery (2,999.00)

For related Ariel Rider articles, see:

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Juiced Bikes

Juiced Bikes biggest differentiator is their batteries. It is rare to find a direct-to-consumer ebike company in 2022 offering 52-volt batteries. On top of the 52-volt batteries are the 19.2 Ah batteries offered as an option (or included) on some models. The nearly 1000 watt-hour capacity will surely cure your range anxiety.

As of late Juiced Bikes has been focusing on moped style electric bikes with the introduction of the Scorpion, HyperScorpion, and the new dual-battery HyperScrambler 2. They continue to offer a commuter model called the CrossCurrent and a fat tire electric bike called the RipCurrent.

For related Juiced Bikes articles, see:

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Originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign, this Canadian company has expanded its direct-to-consumer ebike company into a wide range of ebike models that ships worldwide.

The ultimate selling point for Biktrix: you can CUSTOMIZE your heart out. Customizable options include color, frame size, battery, wheels, forks, brakes and more. You can truly purchase the ebike of your dreams.

Biktrix has many models to select from in four series/categories:

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Blix Bikes

Blix Bikes was founded all the way back in 2014 in Santa Cruz California. That alone comes with some street cred, but the company backs that up with great ebikes. Previously Blix has offered city-oriented ebikes including folding and cargo ebike models. For 2022, they have expanded further into fat tire ebikes with the Ultra and a model designed for urban environments, the Dubbel.

We came away impressed with the quality during our Blix Packa Genie review and can’t wait to get our hands on their other models as well. Not only do we feel like they offer a great value proposition but their customer support is US based making them an easy brand for us to recommend.

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electric, bike, modes, throttle, pedal, assist

Electric Bike Company

There aren’t many ebike brands that can claim their ebikes are built in the United States. Electric Bike Company or EBC for short is one exception. Because of this, their ebikes have a certain quality about them, and it’s something you can’t fully appreciate until you see them in person.

Most of their models are cruisers or beach-style ebikes, meaning an upright riding position with swept-back handlebars. Paired with the seats, their ebikes are among the most comfortable to ride. Another unique thing, EBC ebikes are shipped via freight. While shipping isn’t free, their ebikes arrive at your home more fully assembled than most brands, and best of all – they arrive in pristine condition!

For related EBC articles, see:

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Super73 is a motorcycle-inspired ebike brand founded in 2016 in Southern California. They have a dedicated community, and they have carved out their niche in the moped-style electric bike space. They have, for the lack of a better comparison, evolved into the Apple of ebike brands. Part of this is their excellent marketing which has been buoyed by celebrity endorsements. I typically don’t get excited about buying a product because it’s “cool” but I have to give Super73 credit – their ebikes look incredible.

Planning to buy a Super73 electric bike? Using my link will get you 100 off your purchase.


7S and were hard pressed to find something we didn’t like about it. While the small motor and battery (250w motor and 7ah battery)are not going to fit everyone’s use case. The lightweight (37lbs total weight), and simple styling make this a great city or short distance commuter bike. Propella does offer the option to purchase a second battery, to help fight that range anxiety.

The upcoming 9S Pro is likely to fit the bill for more riders. The 9S pro comes equipped with a larger battery and a more powerful motor (350w motor and a 9.7ah battery). But sticks to the “elegant, lightweight and affordable” mission of Propella. (41lbs and 1699 MSRP) We are excited for the 9S Pro to release in August 2022. But cannot speak highly enough of the 7S and the other great offerings that Propella has. We cannot wait to see what this US based company has in store for the future.

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Top Ebike Brands Wrap Up

If you are shopping for an electric bike you can’t go wrong with any brands in our top ebike brands list. They all are reputable ebike brands with an established history in the electric bike space. It’s going to be exciting to see the new models coming out of these brands.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Hi. I live in Santa Fe, NM. What’s your recommendation for a good mountain/trail bike, some flat terrain, and some up the mountain trails. Thanks!

Depends on your price range. There are so many great E-MTBs on the market today! Depending on the trails something like the Vvolt Sirius might be an option: https://ebikeescape.com/vvolt-e-mobility-ebikes-launches-with-four-belt-drive-models/

I moved to mexico but cannot find a Mex E bike. Can you suggest a company or some company that ships to mexico

Thank you for all the great information you provide for the e-bikes. However I am running into a problem finding e-bikes for 300-380lb person. As I like to bike as much as anyone else. Are there any e-bike companies out there that accommodate this. It would be for all around use, Pavements concrete, mild dirt road etc… Thank you.

Hi Paw, Vvolt’s framesets have a weight limit of 440 lbs but they say to contact them regarding modifications: https://bit.ly/2VPMy8q The other company that comes to mind is Biktrix, weight limits depend on model but they have higher capacities than most: https://lddy.no/wzo3 Hope this helps!

I highly recommend Benno Bikes. The Boost is a fantastic bike. Very reliable. Strong. They are powered by Bosch. Practically Bullitt proof and fun to ride!!

Hi Ryan, I love your YouTube channel, great job! My husband and I will be purchasing e bikes (through your affiliate link, of course). We are looking to spend around 2000 per bike. He is 6’1 and I am 5’3 so I’m thinking Aventon might be our best option because of different frame size. I would like something with good range and comfort. I have found that my current hybrid trek bike gives me Wrist pain, also without any suspension it is a bumpy ride. We will be moving to Florida so I hope to find something that can go on paved trail as well as the sandy. crushed shell paths that can find in Florida Do you think aventon is our best choice? I also really like the Rad bike company. We do not require a folding bike, by the way. Thanks for your help!

Hi Ryan! Thank you for all of this information. I am 5’2”, 105#, 48 yo female in good physical shape and am stumped between the Aventon Level and the Ride1Up 700. I haven’t ridden the R1U but Комментарии и мнения владельцев from owners are making me lean that way. The one thing about the Level is that I don’t think I will get the exercise that I would like bc the PAS is so strong on #1. I like how the Pace 500 felt but the NexGen does not allow one to have a back fenderbasket. I really want both. I’m scared to get a bike that depends on ME to put it together. Plus, what if I don’t even like it? Can you help me decide??

Both great options! Call around to see if they will assemble your ebike. Perhaps you live near an Aventon dealer.

Hello, I noticed you actually reply to every, thank you! My gf is 4″8 is there an e bike that would fit her?

Hello, What we really need to know is what her inseam measurement is? Really any step-thru design bike will fit her for stand over height. However figuring out the most comfortable pedaling bike, inseam measurement is going to be really important here. Will keep an eye out for your reply. Best, JT

Hi! I live in San Diego and although most of the terrain is flat, I’d like to use to commute to work (3mi with some up hill). Mostly going to be used as a cruiser…any recommendations? Is there a brand that you’d recommend over another?

Hard to narrow it down to just one. The market has so many great options right now. Some of out favorite brands have to be Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, or Ride1up. They all offer great cruiser style bikes, just comes down to some personal preferences at that point. Take a look into those brands, and let us know if you have any specific questions about any models.

I’m a long-time experienced rider who has been off the bike for a while. I don’t know much about ebikes but am learning fast. This article is great! Thank you! I’m 6’1″, 235 lbs., and looking at a ride home from work that includes a 5-mile, 1400-foot ascent. Any specific recommendations? Thanks!

I would honestly recommend a Mid-Drive ebike for you. Being that you have experience riding a bike, the Mid-drive option will feel more natural for you to ride. Ride1up Prodigy is a great option or maybe even a VVolt Sirus. We have video reviews on both if you are curious about them. Ebike Escape YouTube Channel Hope that helps.

Just watched your video on the Propella 7S v4. I’ve never watch a bike being built; very entertaining! I have the Propella. Wanted a light weight low priced good bike. And that is what I got. Tell me, if I want more power and a longer ride ….and insist on Light Weight, have you found anything comparable to the Propella? I did notice that Propella was not included on your list of favorites. Tell me more

Hello John. For the price, there is not anything else we have found. If you are willing to spend a bit more GT makes a bike called the eGrade and there are a couple of other “big box” brands that have similar offerings. But for the budget-minded, Propella takes the cake. Thank you for pointing out the “Top Ebike Brands” Page. They are actually listed on there, I just forgot to add them to the “Jump to” section at the top. Will fix that now. We are very excited to try out the 9Pro in the near future.

Hello, can i ask why lectric ebikes are so low on the list? Does it have to do with quality? Thank you

Their placement on this list has nothing to do with quality. The list is just written in the order of us “discovering” and adding the brands. It is not in descending order or anything of that nature.

My wife is 5’0 and watched your video on the Velotric Discover 1 Commuter Bike. Her inseam is around 26″. She prefers a ST frame. Is there a different Bike that you would recommend in a similar price range?

The Aventon Pace 350 or Ride1up Core-5 are both options. Really for any ebike I think she will not be able to be stopped and sit on the seat. But she should still be able to pedal them all with little issue.

Hello! What a wealth of information you provide! Thanks! Here are my specifics; 70 years old, live on a dirt/gravel road with hills around me. Don’t have the storage space for a 4×4 plus years ago, when living in the city I had a Trek road bike that I loved! So.with all this being said and with all the brand’s available could you filter out what brands you would recommend? I know this might be a tall job given my needs so any help you can give would be appreciated!

There are quite a few brands that fit your needs. But I think I need a bit more information based upon some things you said. Are you looking for an ebike that can replace a 4×4? Do you need a step-through frame? Is the weight of the ebike an issue? What are you looking to do with it? Ride it to town to do errands?

70 year old 5’10”, 175#. Want to ride but have neck injury so need to reduce up and down jerky movements, need step thru, upright position. Ideally would like folding, but comfort most important. Any ideas for me? Whatever I buy I will do thru your links, your site is fantastic!

I would hate to recommend something for you and have it irritate your neck injury. What I would really recommend for you would be to go to a riding center or find a dealer near you for ebikes. That way you could try out some ebikes before making any purchases.

Ryan, I’m interested in a folding eBike with a mid motor and carbon belt drive, and would love to see you do a review of the Evelo DASH. I want to compare it with the Electric Bike Company model F and get your opinion about the comparison between the two. Thanks

We will definitely add that to our “wish” list of ebikes to review. It looks like an awesome-ly spec’d ebike.

I’ve been watching a lot of your videos and I say you are doing a superb job of helping every type of rider!! I’m a 71 year old female who is on the look for my 1st ebike. I think I need 2! A small, lightweight for camping and a better one for around town. I’m leaning towards Lectric for camping and Rad for home. However, there’s a Pedego dealer very close to me. I’m very mechanical, but the idea of having support nearby is tugging at my heartstrings. I better visit Pedego. Don’t you agree? And of course, I’ll purchase through you, to repay you for all your help!

Completely agree. Having local service and availability of parts is hard to pass up. We wouldn’t fault you for following your heart on that one.

Hoping to get an opinion on my quest to find an e-bike that meets my needs. Here are my wants. Need bike with enough power to handle moderate/steep hills. Need to be able to carry a passenger, my 6yo son. I am around 250lbs and son is 44 lbs. Prefer fat tire type bike with step thru or lower top post. Needs to be configurable for class 3. Can’t spend more than 2500 or so. Here is where I’m at in the process. I first tried Radrunner plus. Good support for hauling kid on back but very unpowered. Had a tough time getting up fairly steep hilll had to pedal really hard. So retuned that. Then bought juiced bikes rip current s due to powerful motor. Bike was damaged on arrival and they took too long to replace so I moved on. Now I’m looking at Blix Utra. It seems to have the right mix. Nice hefty rear rack that can support 150lbs. 750 watt motor with peak output around 1300 watts. Any issues with Blix in general? I also like the aventon aventure but rear rack not as solid and they have throttle lag issue that I don’t like. I would rather have a 1000 watt motor but prob don’t really need it. Any others I should look at? Thanks in advance for any info.

We recently reviewed the Blix Packa and have nothing but good things to say about it. It might even replace Ryan’s current kid hauler, the Radwagon 4. I think the Blix Dubbel might actually fit what you are looking for a bit more. Currently in Pre-Order, but should be shipping in November: https://bit.ly/3ye1VaO (affiliate link)

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I like the form factor and versatility (off road, etc)of the Ultra. The Dubbel has a similar form factor to the Radrunner Plus, which I felt was too small for me, being 6’1″. One other question for you. My only remaining concern about the Ultra is use of the Shengyi motor over the more common Bafang, which appears to be the gold standard for e-bike motors. Any concerns there?

electric, bike, modes, throttle, pedal, assist

Not really. Hub motors have been around for a long time, and are really a proven component. Shengyi looks to have been making motors for close to 20 years (established in 2003). Blix also has a 1 year warranty on motors and frames (which is standard, but always nice to see).

Love your YouTube videos! I am interested in the Priority Current. Have you ridden one and do you have an opinion on this model. Do you have an alternative recommendation to the Current? Thanks and keep up the good work!

We have not ridden any Priority ebikes. They look like some nice spec’d models. We are big fans of mid-drive ebikes. Ride1Up has the Prodigy ST or XR and we are fans of the Vvolt ebikes. Both of those ebikes we have video reviews on.

To be honest I have 2 Focus bikes, a 29ner hardtail and a full suspension, know my bikes, work on them and do Centuries, I’m 74. Bought a Rad and Lectric bike and sold them, didn’t like mechanical brakes and too slow. Recenty bought a Magic Cycle Oscelot Pro and couldn’t be happier. Techtro hydrolic brakes, the best and up to 80 mile range with pedal assist. Have gone 75 miles with partial throttle. Army Green, in my opinion the welds are fantastic and components are great. Too bad they are not on your list, far superior to your #1 Rad bike. And they have only been in business for 2 years. Will purchase the Cruiser Pro upon the sale of one of my Focus bikes. Just my opinion. Also the best packaging upon receipt!

Which ebike are you talking about? If you are just getting something fixed up on the mechanical side of the bike, most local shops should be able to help.

I am so torn between Rad Rover plus 6 steps-through and Aventon Aventure 2 step-through. What’s your recommendation.

They are both great bikes. The Aventure offers a different look and a slightly more powerful motor. Is there something specific that is holding you back from one vs the other?

Thank you so much for your fast response! The weight of the bike, and the customer service. I am not sure which customer service is better. I would like to not have issues and can’t reach anybody. I wish it was a Walmart product. Do you think purchasing it online is the same as a dealer’s? I would like to purchase online. I don’t want to pay almost 2000 for a piece of metal that can’t be ridden.

Electric Bike Modes: Throttle vs Pedal Assist (Pedelec)

85 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Understanding E-Bike Propulsion Methods and Which is Right for You

Depending on their designation, e-bikes and their motors work in two ways: they can either make your level of pedaling effort easier, or completely take over and simply carry you along for the ride.

When you’re considering which type of e-bike to purchase, it’s important to think about which of these methods the bike offers, the environment(s) you’ll be riding in, and your own abilities and preferences. In this article, the writers here at Electric Bike Report will help you to understand the pros and cons of throttle vs pedal assist electric bikes, and help you to determine which is best for you!

Defining E-Bike Throttle and Pedal Assist Terms

Before we get into the differences between throttle and pedal assist and how they relate to you, let’s define those terms more clearly:

  • Throttle: a handlebar-mounted device that can engage (and sometimes adjust) power output from the bike’s motor. Electric bikes with throttles can be completely self-propelled, since throttles tell their motors to dispense power without the need for any pedal motion or input from the rider.
  • Pedal Assist: the standard method of operation for e-bikes. As the term suggests, this method of motor engagement requires the bike’s rider to move the pedals, though depending on the bike’s gearing, type of motor, and type of sensor, the rider may or may not need to actually be engaged with the drivetrain.
  • Pedelec: This term is a synonym for pedal assist, and is an abbreviation derived from the words “pedal electric cycle.”

It should be noted that, in order to be classified as electric bicycles, all e-bikes must have operable pedals. As such, most e-bikes function through pedal assist, with some having additional throttles – though it is still possible to have a throttle-controlled motor mounted to an otherwise non-electric bicycle with a standard drivetrain.

Many e-bikes, like the Aventon Aventure 2, offer both throttle and pedal assistance for a range of applications in different environments.

electric, bike, modes, throttle, pedal, assist

E-bike Class System

At least in the US, e-bikes are separated into three classes or categories. This class system plays a significant role in regulating their legal use in specific areas or on specific paths. Their placement within this system is determined by the methods through which they employ their motors, as well as their maximum motor-assisted speeds.

This system, and much of the legislation related to it, exists largely thanks to the incredible, thoughtful, and intelligent folks at People for Bikes. Their work has helped to create a structure for the governance, safety, and consistency of e-bikes, in addition to promoting them as beneficial to the well-being of all. If you can’t tell, we’re big fans!

Let’s take a look at how throttle vs pedal assist ties into this 3-class system.

Class 1

A Class 1 e-bike has a motor that provides assistance only when its rider is pedaling, and is limited to motor-assisted speeds of 20 miles per hour. These e-bikes are capable of going faster than 20 mph, but only on human power beyond that point. These e-bikes do NOT have throttles.

Class 2

Class 2 e-bikes ARE equipped with throttles, and do not require human input to be propelled (though most do also offer pedal assistance). E-bikes in this category are still limited to motor-assisted speeds of 20 miles per hour.

Class 3

Sometimes known as S-Pedelecs or Speed Pedelecs (primarily in Europe), Class 3 e-bikes offer pedal assistance up to a maximum of 28 miles per hour. Additionally, Class 3 e-bikes are required to be equipped with a speedometer. Like Class 1 e-bikes, these can still be pedaled faster than their motor-assisted speeds, but only with human power.

Class 3 e-bikes can ALSO be categorized as Class 2 e-bikes if they feature a throttle that is limited to 20 miles per hour.

Thumb-operated throttle levers, such as this one on the Evelo Omega, are typically the most commonly-used variety.


Any e-bike that differs from the descriptions above falls into the “Unclassified” category. This could be for a number of reasons, such as including a throttle that reaches speeds above 20 miles per hour, or being equipped with a motor with nominal output beyond 750 Watts.

While laws and regulations still vary widely, e-bikes within this category are often only legal off-road or on private property without a license and registration.

Throttle Specifics, Pros, and Cons

As we established, an e-bike throttle is a control mounted on the handlebars that can control the motor. Throttles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with differing degrees of functionality between them.

Most often, electric bike throttles come in two styles: either twist throttles or throttle levers. Twist throttles usually take up a portion of one of the handlebar grips, and are activated by rotating that portion (usually backward, for safety). Alternatively, throttle levers are a separate unit typically mounted next to one of the grips, and operated by thumb. We have occasionally seen button-style throttles as well, though these are less common.

E-bike throttles can apply their power in a couple of different ways. So-called “modular” throttles are adjustable, and apply more power and speed as they are twisted further, or their levers are depressed more. Others, usually the boost-button-style (but sometimes twist or lever-operated), function more like an on/off switch and apply power in an all-or-nothing fashion.

Additionally, throttles can sometimes be tied in with a bike’s electronic pedal assist system – we’ll cover more about that shortly – to set maximum throttle speeds below 20 miles per hour, if desired. This is a feature that we generally like to see, since keeping a twist throttle turned halfway or a throttle lever partially pushed down for a long period of time can be challenging.

Throttles are typically seen on bikes with rear-hub motors, though they do occasionally appear alongside mid-drives.

Some electric bike throttles come in the form of a twist throttle, like this one on the Lectric XPremium.

Pros of E-Bike Throttle Use

  • Since throttle engagement does not require pedaling, it places no strain on the knees and thighs. This makes electric bikes with throttles great for older folks or anyone with medical conditions that affect pedaling ability.
  • For cyclists who frequently find themselves in high-traffic environments, throttles can allow for swift startups that bring the bike up to speed quickly. This means keeping up with traffic more easily, and passing more safely through intersections.
  • If used on a Class 2 or 3 e-bike, throttle use allows riders to work less when encountering hills or headwinds, or to simply take a rest when needed.

Cons of E-Bike Throttle Use

  • Because the motor is the only thing powering the bike when the throttle is engaged, prolonged use can drain the battery much faster than when using pedal assist.
  • With throttles that are not tied into the bike’s pedal assist system, their speed may be difficult to keep consistent over extended periods of time.
  • When used with rear hub motors, throttles have fixed gearing that cannot be adjusted to suit the intensity of the rider’s environment.

Pedal Assist

Whether using an e-bike with a mid-drive motor or a hub motor, the bike’s pedal assist system (or PAS) will govern the amount of assistance the motor provides when pedaling. Generally speaking, this allows for an efficient system that divides the amount of work required to move the bike between the motor and the rider.

Pedal assist electric bikes typically offer multiple stages of assistance; most commonly between 3 and 5. The lowest settings are usually the most efficient and require less power from the battery, but this means that more human power is required to move the bike. Conversely, high PAS settings draw more power from the battery, but also require less pedal power as the motor dispenses a greater amount of assistance.

Depending on the size of the motor, the type of motor, and the PAS setting, using pedal assistance extends the limits of what a person can do on a bike. This can be as little as an additional 15-20% of what a rider is capable of, or it can skyrocket up to beyond 300%. This is what makes e-bikes so much fun!

Class 1 pedal assist electric bikes like the FLX Babymaker II do not include a throttle, and many are able to maintain a traditional non-electric bike feel.

Let’s quickly examine the types of motors, the different sensors they use to know how and when to provide pedal assistance, and how these things impact a bike’s feel.

Hub Motors

As their name suggests, these are motors mounted in the center of either the front or rear wheel. Rear-hub motors are most common, and typically produce a feeling of being pushed from behind, though the intensity of this feeling differs depending on the motor’s size / power level. Due to their positioning, the amount of rider input that is needed with hub motors varies greatly, though this is related to the type of sensor they use – we’ll go over that soon. For those who want to learn more, check out our complete guide to hub motor brands.

Mid-Drive Motors

Mid-drives are placed within a bike’s bottom bracket, and as such are tied directly in with its drivetrain through the cranks. These types of motors typically feature a much more natural ride feel much closer to that of a non-electric bike. They also tend to require a greater degree of rider input, which makes them typically more efficient than hub motors. Again, this depends on many factors, including their sensors. We go into more detail about this type of motor in our complete guide to e-bike mid-drive motors.


Cadence sensors, which are mostly found on hub motors, typically use a series of magnets or an optical system to detect pedal motion, and direct the motor to dispense power in tandem with the speed of crank rotation (rotations per minute, or RPMs). The PAS settings on a system with cadence sensors commonly set a “top speed” within each level that can be maintained with or without engagement with the drivetrain. As long as the pedals move, the motor supplies power.

Mid-drive motors with torque sensors, such as this one on the Quietkat Rubicon, commonly offer a much more natural and responsive pedal assist feel than a hub motor with a cadence sensor.


On the opposite end of the spectrum are torque sensors, which detect how much pressure the rider is applying to the bike’s pedals – essentially, how hard they are working – and tell the motor to supply power to compensate. In these cases, a bike’s PAS settings dictate how much power is dispensed with each pedal stroke. This results in a more natural and responsive pedal assist feel that pairs nicely with the sensation provided by a mid-drive motor, so it is no surprise that torque sensors are commonly used with motors of this type. That said, the technology is becoming more common on hub motors.

Pros of Pedal Assist

  • On e-bikes with motors that have well-tuned sensors, using pedal assist feels intuitive and nearly identical to riding a non-electric bike. This makes riding an e-bike an easy and fun skill to learn!
  • Using pedal assistance can provide a great workout and all of the health benefits that come with it!
  • When compared to throttle use, pedal assist is typically more efficient, meaning that it requires less battery power and can allow a bike to travel farther.
  • Considering that most e-bikes have more than a single speed, pedal assist can take advantage of both a bike’s gearing and PAS to adapt its feel to its environment.

Cons of E-Bike Throttle Use

  • Using only pedal assist when starting can be much slower than throttle use, making city rides a bit more difficult.
  • Depending on the motor and the type of sensor it uses, the bike’s motor responsiveness can vary greatly.
  • Managing a bike’s gearing and PAS setting can take some effort and practice to master.

Where to Go Next

We hope that you have found this article helpful! When you’re considering the differences between a pedal assist electric bike and an electric bike with a throttle, you’re really only scratching the surface of what makes them unique.

If you’re interested in learning more, we recommend taking a look at our Buyer’s Guide to Electric Bikes and learning about these mistakes to avoid when shopping for electric bikes.

Happy researching and riding!

Reader Interactions

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I have a Shimano-assisted ICE Adventure trike with torque-actuated crank motor which works well at only 250W. My objective is exercise and freshly polluted air, so I only use the assist when I have to, say road crossings and hills I can’t handle. When I hit the 3rd assist level (3 clicks of the proverbial button), the boost is more than sufficient, so I don’t need a throttle. The range is supposedly over 100 miles on assist 1, although I have never used more than 2 bars of juice on the usual rides around Ohio or Florida. My only gripe is that the front gearing is not sufficient for me to avoid the assist more. For some reason, the designers eliminated all but one sprocket on the front (I’d like to know why). My wife (80yr-old) has an aluminum Greenspeed X7 that is light and had 30 gears. I was able to maintain that bike at 12-15 mph for 15 miles without too much stress, but she needed help, so I installed a hubmotor kit (Burley) from Electric Bike Outfitters. Aside from some issues wrt the 16 inch wheels, it works as designed. The problem is that the design could use some help. I had to sacrifice the smallest front sprocket to get the pedal assist magnet disk on the Shimano Hollotech crank set. There is no torque sensor (which I am looking to correct (maybe with Juiced Bike or GRIN parts). The upshot is that I had to program in the lowest limits on current and voltage to tone things down so that there is sufficient pedal power required to get some exercise on assist 1. Assist 2 is sort of marginal, and for all intents and purposes levels 3-5 are just cruise levels. It only takes minimal cadence of 15rpm to get full power out of the motor. On the other hand, the throttle kicks in promptly and my wife can zoom across roads safely, hooting with glee. For someone who has yet to buy, I would recommend looking at GRIN. Buy something with 20-26″ rear wheels and decide whether you want to limit the mechanical gears to 10 and get a crank (mid-drive) motor with torque control. In order to install a torque sensor, either the sensor has to have room and design to be installed on the drive side of the rear wheel (axle strain measurement) or inside (or on) the bottom bracket crank (crank strain measurement). I believe GRIN has an electronics system that can handle pedal rotation and torque signals at the same time, plus provide for throttle. The display (that I have seen) provides a lot on info, but it is only a thing that an engineer could love.

PS. Your heading for the section detailing the cons of pedal assist systems is incorrect – bit of a glaring miss for the editor!!

Why don’t they just put torque sensors on all the bikes, it would be safer. Smoother transaction. cadence gives you a sudden lurch, a cheap unsafe design!

I still loved my old 21spd mountain bike converted to front hub electric drive, throttle only, with a regenerative capacity if you pressed the button, for braking and recharging the battery. It was direct drive, the ECU ran everything from Hill climbing to flat out commuting and it was quick off the mark in traffic, and I had all 21 gears to play with to add to its versatility. Flat out with me pedalling in top cog as hard as I could, 40kmh was possible with a range of about 55km at that speed.

I’ve recently forked out for a road bike (Scott Addict 30) and have had a Pedelec for about 7yrs. It’s a proper pedelec that keeps me pushing hard from start to stop – and I love it. Often strapped for time and I want to go somewhere fast – the pedelec is my preferred choice for that. However, a road bike is something I’m growing into, and will make increasingly more use of it. To get fitter quicker, I need to get off the pedelec and onto the Scott, I’ll be there soon but I suspect it won’t be a straight swap because the pedelec is simply so much fun on and off road.

HAOQI White Leopard Pro Step Thru Electric Bike

The Shimano 7 Speed Gear Shift System. In Combination With The Pedal-Assist System, You Can Adjust The Suitable Speed To Complete Your Journey.

Adjust Your Ride

To make your ride more comfortable, we are equipped with a freely adjustable angle(35°-145°) bracket and 108mm extension stem.

Whenever you need. It’s ready.

48V LED Headlight-The bright headlight provides a safer and more enjoyable environment for night riding. No need to find a separate headlight.

Half-twist throttle

Front Fork

Coil Suspension And Hydraulic Lockout. Alloy Front Suspension Fork Has 80mm Of Travel, Preload Adjustment, And Lockout.

HAOQI White Leopard Step Thru Fat Tire E-bike

  • Pedal Assist Intelligent 5 Level Pedal Assist
  • Tires 26” x 4”
  • Charging Time 6~9 Hours
  • Product Weight 72 Ibs
  • Recommended Rider Heights 5.3” ~ 6.6”
  • Total Payload Capacity 350 Ibs
  • Brake lever Alu alloy comfort grip levers with motor cutoff switch
  • Chain KMC chain
  • Freewheel Shimano 7 speed gear shift system
  • Brake Tektro aries 180mm discs
  • Stem Promax MA-570 adjustable angle 35°. 145° and 108mm extension stem.
  • Crank 170mm Forged Alloy
  • Gearing Shimano- 14-28T BROWN/BK
  • Front Fork Alloy front suspension fork with lockout and adjustment
  • Throttle Thumb
  • Pedal Alloy pedal with reflectors
  • Bike Frame 6061 Aluminum frame
  • Headlight 48V LED light
  • Handlebars Premium ergonomic
  • Seat Velo soft saddle
  • Kickstand Heavy duty aluminum
  • Seat post Diameter 30.4mm length 300mm
  • Spokes 13 Gauge on the front / 12 Gauge on the back

White Leopard Pro Ebike

Get ready to explore the great outdoors with our White Leopard Pro beach cruiser ebike. With a powerful 750W motor and a 48V 20Ah high-tech battery, you can ride up to 80 miles and experience the freedom of cruising along the beach. Breathe in the salty sea air and get in touch with nature on this ultimate beach adventure machine.

Indulge in up to 90NM of high torque with our dependable raw reduction gear, accompanied by a sturdy chip providing stable signal processing.

Indulge in up to 90NM of high torque with our dependable raw reduction gear, accompanied by a sturdy chip providing stable signal processing.

Power your e-bike with our trustworthy 48V 20Ah Haoqi batteries, delivering superior performance and longevity. As a critical component, our batteries ensure longer and more efficient rides. Enjoy 3 Years of Free Battery Replacement for this battery, ensuring your peace of mind and worry-free riding!

Power your e-bike with our trustworthy 48V 20Ah Haoqi batteries, delivering superior performance and longevity. As a critical component, our batteries ensure longer and more efficient rides. Enjoy 3 Years of Free Battery Replacement for this battery, ensuring your peace of mind and worry-free riding!


Easily extract the carrier-mounted battery in a single fluid motion by pulling it aside, enabling easy charging and storage, with no complex steps or tools required. Simplify your e-bike experience.

Adjust Your Ride

Experience the ultimate blend of fit, performance, and style with our Haoqi stem. Customize your ride to your desired comfort level with our Promax MA-570 stem, featuring a 108mm extension and adjustable angles from 35° to 145°.


Unleash the full potential of your e-bike with the Shimano 7 Speed Gear Shift System, working seamlessly with the pedal-assist system to help you achieve the perfect speed for your ride.


Ride with confidence and safety, thanks to our Half-twist throttle designed to prevent accidental activation, protecting you from unintended injuries while riding. Trust in the latest safety features equipped in your e-bike and enjoy peace of mind on every ride.


Maximize your safety control with premium hydraulic brake system. Enjoy efficient speed control and smooth, swift stops with a gentle pull of the brake lever.


Ride safely at night with our high-performance headlight. Its intense brightness and broad illumination range keep you visible and confident in low-light situations, providing an enjoyable and secure ride.

  • Battery 48V 20Ah High-tech Lithium Battery
  • Motor 750W High Speed Brushless Geared Motor
  • Bike Frame 26” 18” AL6061 M Mode
  • Display KDS-KD51C,USB LCD Display,Battery level,Speed,Distance Traveled,etc.
  • Charger US Standard 3.0A Smart Charger
  • Rear Cassette Shimano 7 Gears
  • Pedal Assist Intelligent 5 Level Pedal Assist
  • Tires 26” x 4”
  • Charging Time 4~6 Hours
  • Product Weight 72 lbs
  • Recommended Rider Heights 5.3” ~ 6.6”
  • Total Payload Capacity 400 lbs
  • Brake lever Alu alloy comfort grip levers with motor cutoff switch
  • Chain KMC chain
  • Freewheel Shimano 7 speed gear shift system
  • Brake Hydraulic Disc Brake
  • Stem Promax MA-570 adjustable angle 35°. 145° and 108mm extension stem.
  • Crank 170mm Forged Alloy
  • Gearing Shimano- 14-28T BROWN/BK
  • Front Fork Alloy front suspension fork with lockout and adjustment
  • Throttle Half twist throttle
  • Pedal Alloy pedal with reflectors
  • Bike Frame 6061 Aluminum frame
  • Headlight 48V LED light
  • Handlebars Premium ergonomic
  • Seat Velo soft saddle
  • Kickstand Heavy duty aluminum
  • Seat post Diameter 30.4mm length 300mm
  • Spokes Steel ED
  • A.- Total Length 75
  • B.- Handlebar Height 45
  • C.- Wheelbase 46
  • D.- Minimum Seat Height 27
  • E.- Maximum Seat Height 35
  • F.- Chain Stay Length 19
  • G.- Standover Height 28
  • H.- Top Tube Length 23
  • I.- Wheel Diameter 28
  • J.- Head Tube Length 6
  • K.- Handlebar Length 33
  • L.- Minimum Height to Ground 38
  • A.- Total Length 75
  • B.- Handlebar Height 45
  • C.- Wheelbase 46
  • D.- Minimum Seat Height 27
  • E.- Maximum Seat Height 35
  • F.- Chain Stay Length 19
  • G.- Standover Height 28
  • H.- Top Tube Length 23
  • I.- Wheel Diameter 28
  • J.- Head Tube Length 6
  • K.- Handlebar Length 33
  • L.- Minimum Height to Ground 38

Does my height fit the Haoqi bike? What size people fit this bike?

The recommended rider heights is 5’3. 6’4.

Does the bike come mostly assembled? I’m a novice and is it easy to assemble?

Your bike will arrive mostly assembled. We will provide the tools and a comprehensive assembly video so you can assemble your Haoqi Bike bike within 20mins even if you are a novice.

Is the Bike with Fenders?

Yes, the bike with two fenders, it has to install yourself after receiving the package. E-bike full fenders2, multi-function repair tool1, Rear rack1, Charge1, Headlight and TaillightsHAOQI Unboxing Assembly Instructionshttps://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=QrmzxlZy_74

Do I need a license and Insurance to ride ebike on the road? No. The e-bike from Haoqi is completely under U.S regulations and laws which allow you to ride it without specific license and insurance.

Where can I ride an electric bike?

An electric bike is legally treated the same as a normal bike. You can ride an electric assisted bike anywhere you can ride your regular bike.

Which class does the Haoqi Leopard belong to?

Class 1 has a top speed of 20 mph without pedaling.Class 2 has a top speed of 20 mph without pedaling and has a throttle. Class 3 has a top speed of 28 mph without pedaling.Haoqi Leopard belongs to the class 2.

Can the speed limit be cancelled?

We do not recommend lifting the speed limit, if it is lifted, it will definitely affect the mileage. After the speed is released, it can rise to class3 level.

8.Does the bike have more colors?

At the moment, we have three colors, we are going to offer more color options in the future.

9.Is the battery of my Haoqi bike removable?

The battery can be removed and recharged.

10.Can I ride into the rain? What is the waterproof rating?

Haoqi electric Bike battery is sealed well enough for the bikes to be safely ridden in light rain. IP 50. However, it is not recommended to ride them through very heavy downpours, or through flooded streets when the crank and/or the motor can get splashed or even covered with water. It is best to take shelter until the rain eases and the roads are no longer covered with water.

Sales service

Email: vip@haoqiebike.com Phone: (501) 777-5124‬ Warehouse address : 4250 Shirley Ave. El Monte CA 91731

Notice: For more shipping information, send an email to vip@haoqiebike.com. We will get back to you in 24 hours.

The Swft Volt lacks some niceties, but it’s a pretty good electric bike for less than a grand

Tom’s Guide Verdict

The Swft Volt is a good electric bike that costs less than 1,000.


Why you can trust Tom’s Guide?

Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what’s best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Size: 69.7 x 39.4 x 24.6 inches Weight: 44.1 pounds Motor: 350W Battery: 10Ah, 36V Range: 32 miles Max speed: 19.8 MPH Max rider weight: 220 pounds Tire size: 27 x 1.1

The Swft Volt looks to break down one of the biggest barriers to electric bike adoption: They’re just too expensive. With a starting price of 999, the Volt is a lot cheaper than most other ebikes, which can easily start at twice the price, yet delivers a solid ride for the price. However, with a lower price comes a few compromises. Read the rest of our Swft Volt review to see if those tradeoffs are worth it for you, and how it compares to some of the best budget electric bikes we’ve tested.

Swft Volt review: Price and availability

The Swft Volt went on sale in the fall of 2021, and costs 999, though you can find it for less during the holiday season.

electric, bike, modes, throttle, pedal, assist

Swft Volt review: Design

The Volt is designed as a road bike, with the rider in a forward-leaning position. The company also says that it’s best for people who are 5’ 10” and taller. If you’d prefer a more laid-back bike — or if you’re not as leggy — the Swft Fleet (also 999) is built in the beach-cruiser style, and is meant for riders 5’7” and up. That’s still pretty tall, though.

From the outside, the Volt looks like any other bike, albeit one with a much thicker downtube; the bike’s battery is hidden there, but unlike the Fleet and some other electric bikes (including the Swft Fleet), it’s not removable. Swft keeps the Volt’s wires hidden fairly well; you wouldn’t necessarily know this is an e-bike just by a quick glance. The Volt’s throttle is a simple grip-twist built into the right handlebar.

The Volt’s display, while functional, is much smaller than you’ll find on other ebikes. Still, you get the basics: Speed, distance traveled, and battery life remaining, plus, it lights up automatically in the dark. Buttons let you adjust the level of pedal assistance you want, and turn the bike’s headlight on and off.

The Volt is a fixed-gear bike — no shifting here — which is one of the compromises you’ll need to make. Unlike pricier electric bikes, such as the Rad City Rad 5 Power, which have a 7-gear shifter, you’re going to struggle to get the Volt going uphill without pedal assist or the throttle.

Swft Volt review: Assembly

Unlike other electric bikes I’ve tested, the Volt needed a bit more work to get up and running. For one, the front brakes were misaligned, and the wheel was also slightly out of balance. I have a bit of experience adjusting these things, but those unfamiliar with bikes may need to bring it to a shop to get it fine-tuned.

From there, it was just a matter of charging the battery (it takes 6 hours to go from empty to full), strapping on one of the best bike helmets, and then off I went.

Swft Volt review: Performance

Unlike pricier electric bikes which use cadence sensors to incrementally adjust the level of assistance, the Volt merely senses when the crank is turning, and applies power. It definitely took a little more work at the outset than other electric bikes I’ve tested, but once I got going, the Volt provided steady power throughout my ride.

For the most part, I used pedal assist, but would activate the throttle when starting, going through intersections, or heading uphill. The Volt’s 350W rear hub motor was up for most tasks, but struggled a bit on inclines, where I would slow down to around 6-7 miles per hour.

Contrast that with the Van Moof S3 and Rad Power RadCity 5, which powered me up hills with aplomb. The Volt’s motor was also a bit noisier than on pricier ebikes; while it’s not obnoxious, you do hear a whine when using the throttle.

Overall, though, I found the Volt to be a pretty enjoyable ride. There’s no shock absorbers, and coupled with the bike’s relatively thin tires, you’ll definitely feel the bumps. Still, my only real gripe was with the handlebar grips, which dug into my palms a bit too much for my liking. That’s easily resolved, though.

Swft Volt: Battery life and range

The Swft Volt has a 10 Ah, 36V battery that the company says is good for up to 32 miles of range — not spectacular, but not horrible given the bike’s price. I rode the bike at the top power-assist level and used the throttle on bigger hills and when starting, and estimate that in my use, I’d get around 20 miles before needing to recharge it.

Swft Volt: Competition

On Amazon, you can find a number of electric bikes that cost less than 1,000, but the majority are from no-name companies and have somewhat clunky designs.

Among more reputable brands, the Rad Power RadMission 1 also costs 999, comes in a variety of colors, and has a removable battery. It also has a larger, 48V, 10.5 Ah battery, and a 500W geared hub motor; like the Swft Volt, it’s also a single-gear bike.

If you’re looking for something more compact, the Lectric XP 2.0 also comes in under 1,000, and can fold up; however, it’s pretty heavy for its size.

Swft Volt review: Verdict

It’s only a matter of time before ebikes become more affordable, but the Swft Volt is one of the first to break the 1,000 barrier. Like the Lectric XP 2.0, the Volt is made for budget-conscious riders, so you won’t get niceties like hydraulic brakes, full suspension, and color displays. But for the price, who cares so long as it delivers a good ride?

When Swft offered to send me one of its bikes to test, I opted for the Volt, as it looked sleeker. However, I think a majority of riders may prefer the Swft Fleet as it has a longer range (37 miles), removable battery, and a more powerful 500W motor. Plus, its beach cruiser configuration, which lets you sit up straighter, will make it more enjoyable while you’re pedaling around town.

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