EBike Twist Throttles Vs Thumb Throttles – Best Options

By Chris Wilson


Hot take: The e-bike throttle democratized cycling.

Hear me out; the e-bike throttle has challenged cycling’s ableism. The e-bike throttle completely changed the inclusivity game for cycling. Have you ever injured your foot, or wrist, and couldn’t ride as much as you wanted because of the pain barrier? The e-bike throttle changed that; you now can ride knowing there is a reserve in case you need help.

Before the e-bike throttle, you could only cycle as far as your body allowed. Today, you are no longer restricted because technology has allowed you to basically assume a motorbike’s form, if only for just as few miles.

You now can travel longer, faster, and even safer on your motorized bike.

To fully unlock the e-bike experience, the only missing chip is understanding what type of e-bike throttle works best for you.

Read on as we compare different e-bike throttle types, and learn which type is the best fit for your needs.

What is a thumb throttle?

As the name suggests, a thumb throttle is a thumb-controlled way to regulate an e-bikes power. The thumb throttle is designed to take advantage of the thumb’s unique positioning and strength. With a thumb throttle, the rest of the hand rests on the handlebars for control while the thumb controls the electric propulsion.

The advantages of a thumb throttle

The thumb throttle are convenient on e-bikes with twist shifters. If your bike has a twist shifter you probably don’t want another twisting control. That way you won’t confuse the shifter for the throttle, or vice versa.

Thumb throttles tend to be more central than twist throttles. By moving away from the extremities, thumb throttles declutter the handle bar extremities. That leaves enough space for handling and steering the bike.

The thumb throttle’s positioning also leaves space for any other handle bar accessories. This is unlike twist throttles which tend to hog a handle bar extremity.

The disadvantages of a thumb throttle

The thumb throttle isolates the thumb and lays all propulsion responsibility on that one digit. A person with a weak thumb, either due to an injury or a condition like arthritis, will find thumb throttles impractical.

The thumb’s isolation can also be uncomfortable in cold weather. Riding in winter on a thumb throttle bike can leave your big finger exposed to the biting cold.

When riding on rough terrain, the thumb throttle is not ideal. As you can imagine, maintain steady pressure on the throttle lever when bouncing up and down is not that easy.

What is a twist throttle?

There’s a way to add a throttle on an e-bike such that it mimics a motor bike’s throttle. The twist throttle is activated by twisting the throttle like you would on a motor bike.

The benefits of a twist throttle

The twist throttle is natural for people who have ridden motorbikes. Additionally, the twist throttle is comfortable for people with reduced thumb strength. A twist throttle is also easy to use on rough terrain. If you’re an outdoors rider who likes off-road trails, the twist throttle can serve you better.

The disadvantages of a twist throttle

The main drawback associated with the twist throttle is accidental activation. If you were to brush against a surface such as a wall or a hand rail, the throttle can send you careening, possibly leading to an accident.

How you can add a throttle to an e-bike

Turns out you can actually add a throttle to your e-bike; you don’t necessarily need a technician to do it.

There are six easy steps to adding a throttle to an e-bike:

·  Get a screw driver, a small hammer, and Allan keys size 14 and size 15

·  Unscrew your gear shifter and the brakes to loosen them up for repositioning

·  Remove the handle grip and reposition the shifter and brakes to create space for the throttle

·  Install the thumb throttle by sliding it into the handle bar, or install the twist throttle by sliding it over the handle bar

·  Tighten all screws using the screw driver and Allan keys

What is a half-twist throttle?

Remember the difference between a thumb throttle and twist throttle? Well, turns out you don’t need to give up your whole handle bar grip to the twist throttle.

The half-twist throttle leaves some allowance for your handle-bar grip. The main advantage is that you can sort of cruise control by holding the throttle with the ends of your hands rather than gripping over the whole twist throttle.

The half-twist throttle is also safer because it prevents accidental acceleration. That said, some riders might find the half-twist throttle inconvenient to use. Using a half-twist throttle when wearing full gloves can also be hard.

What is a full twist throttle?

The full twist throttle covers the whole grip. Your whole hand, consequently, rests on the throttle. Full twist throttles are comparable to what is on motorbikes.  

Electric bicycle throttle accessories

There are two main accessories that you can put on your e-bike throttle. The first one is an LED voltage indicator. E-bikes use a batter pack. You need to know how much juice you have left in your battery pack.

Knowing how much voltage you have left can help you plan your ride accordingly. That way, you can determine when to pedal and when to get some electric propulsion on your journey. Remember, e-bikes tend to be heavier than regular bikes. Planning your consumption can be the difference between an enjoyable ride and a grueling time.

The next accessory is a power lock. You probably don’t want people twisting your bike’s throttle to see how much power it has when you’ve left it somewhere parked and locked. A throttle power lock allows you to deactivate the throttle. That way, you conserve charge and prevent unnecessary tinkering.

Conclusion

You now can tell the difference between a thumb throttle, full-twist throttle, and half-twist throttle. Congratulations!

You can also install your desired throttle.

No one throttle design fits everyone; go ahead and choose one that works for your needs and keep riding.

About the author 

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson, long time fan of personal electric transportation. Chris is not easily impressed when it comes to the latest technologies, however, when he is, nothing can stop him from wanting to share his knowledge with our readers here at ElectricRideLab.com