What is Pedal Assist?
Pedal Assist automatically activates the motor when you pedal. With this function, there is no need to control the motor with the throttle. There are two types of Pedal Assist: the Cadence Sensor Type that measures IF you are pedaling, and a Torque Sensor Type which measures HOW HARD you are pedaling. Our CrossCurrent S, RipCurrent S, and OceanCurrent have both types sensors included with every bike.
Cadence Sensors (Basic)
The basic cadence sensor uses a magnet on the crank. It turns the motor ON when you start pedaling, and turns it OFF when you stop pedaling. Essentially, it works like a switch. To control the boost level and speed, you must adjust the assist mode manually up and down. This is done on most standard e-bikes.
The advantage of this system is that it is an inexpensive way to get a form of pedal assist on the bike. The disadvantage is that the pedal assistance can sometimes feel jerky, laggy and counterintuitive. Also, if you want to pedal faster than the motor is spinning, the motor will actively work against your efforts.
Torque Sensors (Advanced)
The torque sensor is a completely different technology that uses a precision strain gauge. It measures your actual force on the pedal, sampling at a rate of 1,000 times per second over the entire pedal stroke. The harder you pedal, the more power it gives to the motor. If you pedal lighter, less power goes to the motor. The adjustment is made in real time, so it is effectively amplifying your every input.
Most high-end e-bikes use torque sensors and in some countries, cadence-only sensors are not allowed to be sold. The disadvantage is that the cost to implement the technology is significantly higher.
Will I feel the difference in the way the e-bike rides?
If you have a chance to ride a cadence-only e-bike and a torque-sensored e-bike right after each other you will instantly notice the difference. The torque sensor setup makes the bike feel nearly weightless due to the amplification effect. You also feel more in-control of the bike.
How does our dual sensor work compared to a magnetic disc sensor?