Are you looking for a throttle e-bike with pedal assist that is powerful enough to conquer steep gradients? People often believe that throttle-activated e-bikes are unable to generate enough torque to climb inclines, this isn't entirely true.
Quality throttle with pedal assist e-bikes perform as well as — maybe even better than — Pedelecs only ebikes under almost any condition. Their motors are adapted to generate more hill-climbing power and they are equipped with longer-lasting batteries (some even have extra battery packs attached to their frames).
Only Looking for Ebikes Throttles?
In this post, I'll explain what a throttle e-bike is and list some of the best throttle-activated electric bikes with pedal assist on the market today. A pedal-assist only electric bike is great, but, cruising without pedaling, transporting heavy loads on your ebike without having to strain your knees?
Now that's a different kind of cool!
Best Throttle Electric Bikes 2022
#1. Aventon Sinch
The Sinch is Aventon's only foldable electric bike. The bike comes with a 500-Watt rear hub motor that can be activated by pedaling or throttling. At peak performance, the Sinch's motor can put out up to 750 Watts of power.
The e-bike has a set speed limit of 20 mph for both pedal- and throttle-assist modes.
Powering the bike's motor (and other electrical components) is a 48V 14 amp-hour (672 Wh) removable battery that can reportedly cover up to 71 miles on a single charge. It's worth noting, however, that that mileage can only be reached with the bike at its most modest power setting.
The estimated range for throttle-only mode sits somewhere around 30 miles, while riding in the highest pedal assist model guarantees up to 38 miles of range. The battery fits into the bike's frame and can be removed for external charging (which takes between 4 and 5 hours with the standard 48V 3A fast charger)
Attached to the handlebars is an LCD meter that displays how much charge riders have left on the battery, the bike's speed, set pedal-assist level, total miles covered by the bike (resettable), etc. The LCD device also comes with three different brightness levels, allowing riders to improve the screen's visibility in low-visibility conditions.
What's most surprising about this electric bike is how much load it can take. The Aventon Sinch has a maximum payload capacity of 300 lbs, making it an ideal e-bike for heavy riders.
1) It can be origami'd into half it's fully-extended length
The Aventon Sinch's frame and stem can be folded to make the bike appear smaller. Quick-release clamps located in the aforementioned areas make it easy for riders to easily beat this e-bike's size down by almost half.
The pedals also fold inwards so the bike doesn't take up too much space when folded. The bike's seat can also be driven further down the seat tube.
2) It is a versatile electric bike
The Aventon Sinch is an electric bike that can adapt to almost any riding condition. From commuting to off-road riding; the Sinch is designed to take on any challenge.
Its front forks make it suitable for off-road riding while its 4-inch wide tires provide it with enough traction to maintain balance when riding on loose terrain.
1) The bike's motor is noisy
The more power this bike's motor draws from the battery, the noisier it gets. So, if you're in the first pedal-assist level, all you might hear is a soft whir.
Crank that up to the highest power level (fifth pedal-assist level or throttle-only mode) and passers-by might scuttle to safety thinking a nuclear alarm went off (okay, that's exaggerating, but the motor gets pretty loud when you hit the gas).
2) The e-bike's throttle doesn't work from a complete stop
You have to get the bike moving before the throttle will be able to engage the motor. Aventon must have included this feature on the Sinch to prevent riders from accidentally actuating the motor.
Tested against similar models within the same category
#2. Radmission 1
If the Sinch's weight is too much for you to handle, you might want to check out Rad Power Bikes' most lightweight electric bike - the Radmission.
The Radmission 1 is a single-speed e-bike equipped with a 500W geared motor in its rear wheel. The e-bike can reach top speeds of 20 mph in throttle-only mode and go as fast as 25 miles an hour in the highest pedal-assist level.
Unlike most hub-drive city e-bikes, the Radmission is actually capable of climbing averagely steep hills. This is all thanks to the motor's internal gearing system that puts out up to 50Nm of torque.
When it comes to braking, the Radmission 1 provides a rider with enough stopping power to come to an immediate halt. The bike itself is equipped with Tektro mechanical disc brakes while the brake lever features a motor cutoff switch. Now, what this switch does is it cuts power to the motor the moment riders squeeze the bike's brake levers.
Plus, the brakes' 180-mm rotors generate more stopping force and provide better heat dissipation than 160mm rotors since they are farther away from the wheel's axle and distribute the generated heat over a larger surface area.
Powering the entire e-bike is a 48V 10.5Ah (504Wh) lithium-ion battery. Riders should expect between 40 and 45 miles of range on a single charge of this battery.
1) It comes with pre-installed front and rear lights
If you paid any attention to the Sinch's features, you'd have noticed that the bike doesn't come with integrated lights. The Radmission 1, on the other hand, has a 40-Lux headlamp attached to its handlebars and a rear light — that also functions as a brake light — fastened to its seat stay.
According to Rad Power Bikes, the Radmission's headlight can project beams up to 230 ft (70 m) ahead of the rider.
2) It is lightweight
Well, not as lightweight as regular bikes, but a little bit below the average e-bike weight. The mid-step version weighs 47.5 lbs (21.5 kg) while the high-step version weighs 48 lbs (22 kg).
Also, the bike frame's tubing isn't as bulky as other high-powered electric bikes'. This makes carrying the bike a bit more practical than trying to lift an electric bike whose tubes are so chunky it's almost impossible to wrap your fingers around them.
1) The e-bike has no suspension
Even Its tires are too narrow to provide any form of cushioning. The Radmission 1 is a rigid electric bike. It doesn't have a front or rear suspension system to smoothen out bumpy rides.
Pro tip: Do not take this bike off-roading.
2) It is limited to just one gear
While single-speed transmission systems have their advantages, one can't deny the fact that they aren't as versatile and efficient at climbing hills as multi-speed bicycles. So, for example, you're riding up a steep hill and the motor stops dead in its tracks; it can't provide the power needed to propel the bike any further.
Pedaling the bike in such situations might not help because the bike has just one speed setting. Downshift to a low gear on a multi-speed electric bike and you might just be able to make it to the top of that hill.
Tested against similar models within the same category
#3. Aventon Pace 500
The Pace 500 is a cruiser-style electric bike designed for urban commuting. The bike's brushless 500W hub motor can generate up to 750 Watts of power which can propel the bike to top pedal-assist speeds of 28 mph (it is also a Class 3 e-bike).
Like all Class-2 e-bikes, the Pace 500's handlebar-mounted throttle provides electric boosts until the bike clocks 20mph.
The bike's LCD meter is very similar to that of the Sinch; a grayscale display with energy bars, set pedal-assist level, speed, and mileage shown on the screen.
Its frame is cast from 6061 Aluminum alloy - an incredibly strong and corrosion-resistant metal. Providing extra durability are the e-bike's double-butted tubes which have thicker walls at ends where they connect to other tubes.
The bike also comes pre-installed with hydraulic disc brakes and an 8-speed transmission system.
1) More responsive braking
In general, hydraulic brakes are more responsive than mechanical brakes. The fluid in the hydraulic system multiplies the force applied at the lever while cable brakes transfer the same amount of force riders apply to the lever.
2) Better sitting posture
The Pace 500's geometry promotes maximum comfort by ensuring that riders assume an upright sitting position throughout their time riding the bike.
1) It comes with a small battery
You won't get that much range out of this electric bike. Its removable 48V 11.6Ah battery can only store 556.8Wh of energy.
On average, expect between 30 and 40 miles of travel on this e-bike.
2) The bike's cadence sensor is slow to pick up signals from the cranks
The delay is so noticeable you may have to turn the cranks at least three times before you feel the motor kick in. This is something that's prevalent with cadence sensors.
This will be an entirely different story if the bike was equipped with a torque sensor. This type of sensor calculates how much pressure the rider is applying to the pedals and provides electric boosts accordingly.
So, for instance, to get a bike moving from a complete stop, riders will need to put extra force on the pedals to generate enough torque to set the wheels in motion. On an electric bike with a cadence-sensing PAS, it might take a short time before the motor steps in to assist the rider.
E-bikes with torque-sensing pedal-assist systems, on the other hand, will provide immediate boosts to the rider to get the bike moving.
Tested against similar models within the same category
Which Is Better Pedal Assist or Throttle
In most cases, no one but you (the rider) can decide if a pedal-assist e-bike or a throttle-assist e-bike is the best for you. However, keep in mind that some jurisdictions enforce strict regulations against the use of throttle-activated electric bikes on public roads.
Pedal-assist e-bikes on the other hand — especially Class 1 — are usually considered as regular bikes and are allowed to ride where traditional bicycles ride. A great rule of thumb would be to purchase electric bikes with both pedal and throttle assist functionalities.
What Does Throttle Do on an E-bike
A throttle engages an e-bike's motor. Unlike pedal assist systems that provide electric power only when they're pedaled, throttle-activated systems can be propelled by simply pushing or twisting a lever.
How Does a Throttle Work on an Electric Bike
To understand how an e-bike's throttle works, we'll first outline the differences between a pedal-assist system and a throttle-assist system.
How Does a Pedal-assist Electric Bike Work
In a PAS, the motor is activated by the rider's pedaling. As the rider pedals, a torque or cadence sensor picks up "activity" signals and sends them to the e-bike's controller. The controller then releases enough power from the battery to the motor to boost the rider's input.
How Does a Throttle Assisted System Work
In a throttle-assist system, the rider does not need to pedal. There is an almost seamless connection between the throttle and the electric motor such that the former engages the latter on demand.
So, when a rider engages the throttle, it sends signals to the e-bike's controller which then channels power from the battery to the motor.
Best Ebike Throttles
How Do You Throttle an Electric Bike
The three most common types of throttles on electric bikes are thumb, twist, and half-twist.
Thumb throttles, like twist and half-twist throttles, are located on e-bike handlebars.
To activate a thumb throttle all the rider needs to do is push and hold on to it. This will propel the bike up to speeds of 20 miles per hour or more.
E-bike twist & half-twist throttles work like traditional motorcycle throttles; you twist them to push the e-bike forward. The only difference is that half-twist throttles only cover half of the handlebar end.
Are Throttle Electric Bikes Legal
In some regions, (countries in the E.U and some states in the U.S & Australia) throttle-only electric bikes are prohibited from riding on public roads, trails, parks, and bicycle lanes.
Throttle-only e-bikes limit riders' options. If you must ride a throttle e-bike, make sure it's a Class 2 electric bike (an e-bike with throttle and pedal-assist functionality) so you're at lower risk of getting into trouble with law enforcement in your area.
These days almost every electric bike comes with a throttle-assist function. They are either hybrid Class 1/Class 2 or Class 2/Class 3; hell, some electric bikes, like the Juiced Hyperscorpion, can operate as Class 1, 2 & 3 e-bikes.
And that's not all. The Juiced Hyperscorpion also has a racetrack mode that allows the ebike to exceed speeds of 28 mph. Make sure you familiarize yourself with electric bicycle laws in your area before purchasing an e-bike.
Do Specialized E-bikes Have Throttle
No. Specialized manufacturers only pedal-assist electric bicycles. Maybe sometime in the future, they might consider adding throttle-assist functionality to their e-bikes.
How to Convert Pedal Assist to Throttle
If your Pedelec's controller has a cable for throttle, all you have to do is connect an aftermarket throttle.
However, if your controller doesn't, you're going to have to swap it out and replace it with one that supports a throttle connection. Even if you find a controller that supports a throttle connection, you still have to make sure it's a good fit for your e-bike.
Converting a pedelec to a fully electric, throttle-activated bicycle requires technical skill. Contrary to what you might have seen on YouTube, the process isn't easy.
It involves messing with the bike's electronic components. One wrong connection and your e-bike components could start acting up.
So, unless you're familiar with electronics, you should never try to convert your pedal-assist e-bike to throttle assist.
Can a Mid-drive Electric Bike Have a Throttle?
Yes. A mid-drive e-bike, like a hub-drive electric bike, is a bicycle that is equipped with a motor that converts electric power to mechanical power.
Mid-motors work just like hub-motors. Just because they are positioned in-between the bike's cranks and integrate with the bike's chain-drive doesn't mean they have to be pedaled to generate power.
A motor, or engine, converts one form of energy to another, and mid-drive motors aren't any different.
According to Bicycling.com's article on the mechanics of the e-bike motors; in a mid-drive system, the motor spins a shaft connected to the chainring.
The chain then transfers that mechanical energy to the wheels. It's pretty much the same way hub motors work: just remove the shaft and the chainring and replace them with spokes.
What really separates a pedal-assist e-bike and a throttle-activated electric bike is the way the rider interacts with the motor. Their control systems determine how their motors react to riders' commands or activities.
A pedelec's controller needs to receive signals from activity sensors positioned in between the bike's cranks and the frame before it can release power from the battery to the motor. A throttle-assist e-bike modulates the motor once the rider engages the throttle.
What Is the Best E Bikes With Throttle and Pedal Assist
The best throttle electric bike for you is one that meets up to your riding needs. However, there are a few "general" features you might want to look out for when scrolling through e-bike product pages.
1) Long-lasting Battery
Throttling drains an e-bike's battery faster. For optimal riding range, you want to look for a throttle e-bike with, at least, a 10-Ah battery pack.
2) Powerful Motor
A 250-Watt throttle e-bike will perform just fine on flat grounds. However, unless the ebike is equipped with a mid-motor, climbing up steep hills will be very difficult.
Since the legal limit for Class 2 e-bike motors in the U.S is 750W, consider getting yourself an electric bike powerful enough to overcome any form of resistance.
3) Pedal-assist Functionality
Throttle-only ebikes limit your riding to select areas. However, if your throttle e-bike has a pedal-assist function, you'll be able to ride almost everywhere normal bikes are allowed.
Some e-bikes, like Turboant's Ranger R1, have throttle locks (or throttle safety buttons). These prevent you from accelerating your e-bike accidentally.
As you know, e-bike throttles are located on their handlebars increasing the likelihood of riders accidentally engaging them. A throttle lock gives you more control of your e-bike and also ensures better safety while riding.