What's In This Article
With electric bikes growing in popularity, it’s normal for people to wonder what the differences between them and regular bicycles are.
Are they harder to pedal than standard bikes? Do you have to pedal at all?
Let’s look at the facts when it comes to whether it’s hard to pedal an electric bike.
Do I Have To Pedal an Electric Bike?
Some electric bikes don’t require you to pedal. If you’d prefer not to pedal, you should look for a bike with a throttle. If your bike has a throttle, you won’t need to pedal. It’ll be like a simplified motorcycle.
There are different classes of electric bikes. The type you buy depends on what you’re looking for in a bicycle.
Class 1 and Class 3 have pedal assist, which means the motor is activated when you pedal. The pedal assist gives you a little boost, meaning you put less work into riding. Class 1 and Class 3 pedal assist bikes are sometimes called “pedelecs” (pedal electric bikes.)
Class 2 electronic bikes have a throttle, like a motorcycle. The throttle is a thumb lever, or it can be a full or half-sized twist throttle. These Class 2 bikes are often referred to as “twist and go” bikes due to the throttle.
Are Electric Bikes Harder To Pedal?
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer as to whether electric bikes are harder to pedal or not. You need to consider several factors when determining whether you would personally find it complicated.
Electronic bikes are relatively heavy. They weigh more than a regular bicycle, often up to 50 pounds more. Because they weigh more, some riders will find it harder to pedal.
However, it will be less complicated if you ride it with a full charge.
Although electronic bikes aren’t harder to pedal in the literal sense, they require more effort than regular bikes. It would be best to practice riding to get comfortable with your e-bike.
Once you get accustomed to pedaling and riding your e-bike, then it will be easier to pedal than a regular bike. You need to get used to the weight, as well as the feeling of pedaling when the motor kicks on.
What Are You Using the Bike For?
Are you using your electronic bicycle for leisure, adventure, or commuting?
If you’re planning on riding the bike for leisure or adventure, it can be difficult to pedal up steep paths. Steep paths can be incredibly challenging if you haven’t charged your bike in advance.
If you’re riding to commute, you shouldn’t experience any difficulties, assuming you’re riding on flat pavement.
Are You Comfortable With a Heavier Bike?
As we mentioned earlier, electronic bikes are heavier than normal bicycles. They typically weigh around 50 pounds or 23 kilograms more than a regular bicycle.
If you’re planning on riding an electric bike, you need to make sure that your level of fitness matches the effort required to ride it.
Due to the effort required to ride an electric bicycle, you will want to wear waterproof apparel as you will perspire heavily.
Are You Willing to Practice?
You’ll need to practice riding your electric bike, both with and without the assistance of the battery. You want to be sure that you are capable and comfortable riding it in both scenarios if you forget to charge your battery.
How Do I Ride an Electric Bike?
With Class 1 and Class 3 pedal-assist bikes, all you have to do is turn the bike on and pedal. Your pedaling makes the moto kick on, which gives your ride a boost. Regarding pedelec bikes that assist you once you begin pedaling, you can expect the motor to give you a boost almost immediately.
If you have a Class 2 bike, all you have to do is turn the throttle. With this type of bike, you can twist or push the throttle and put in little to no effort.
Riding an electric bike is very similar to riding a normal bike. Gear changing, steering, braking, and everything else are essentially the same.
Although e-bikes are quite heavy and can take some getting used to when riding, many models let you choose how much help you get. So, while it’s important to be aware of the weight of the bike and be comfortable riding it, your e-bike will help you as much as you allow it.
What Is the Difference Between Pedal Assist and Throttle?
As you shop for an e-bike, you may be wondering whether pedal assist or throttle is a better fit for your lifestyle. Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice.
In addition, some cities may require you to have a specific license for an e-bike. So, it’s essential that you know your local laws and whether there are any restrictions.
Pedal assist is ideal for the cyclist who only needs a little bit of help pedaling. The pedal assist helps you ride over big hills. These bikes also allow you to adjust your assistance levels. Whether you need a little bit of help or a lot of help, you’re in charge.
Pros: Uses less battery than throttle bikes, Class 3 pedal assist bikes can go up to 28 mph
Cons: Harder to ride up hills and takes more work to ride than throttle bikes
Throttle electric bicycles are better for those who don’t want to or can’t pedal. Compared to pedal assist bikes, these e-bikes make it easier to ride uphill.
Pros: Ideal for anyone with mobility issues,
Cons: Uses more battery than pedal assist bikes, typically slower than pedal assist bikes (caps out around 20 mph), not legal for use everywhere
Is it hard to pedal an electric bike? It can be. Because it’s so heavy, you’ll also want to practice riding it with and without the motor on so you are comfortable riding it in both scenarios. However, your e-bike will help you as much as you allow it.
Jason Hawkley is a biking enthusiast, which is a nice way of saying he’s a total nerd when it comes to bikes. One day while mountain biking through the woods in New Hampshire, the idea came him to create Our Streets as a way to share his biking passion with you.