Electric bikes or fat tire bikes are all the rage these days. They're great for moderate exercise, help the environment, and have a wonderful look about them. Another feature of a fat tire bike is that it comes with Pedal Assist Sensors. These activate the motor when you start pedaling. Best of all, you don't need a throttle to control the motor using pedal assist.
If you’re new to the electric bike industry, you might find all these terms confusing. Let's make things easier for you so you can examine the benefits and drawbacks of each bike speed sensor.
What Is an Electric Bike Speed Sensor?
Most electric bikes have some sort of system that helps riders when they need it. The battery-powered motor of a fat tire bike is the source of its power. To engage the e-bike's motor, you start pedaling. The pedal assist system then sends a signal to the motor, which activates it. The component that relays the signal is the sensor.
In short, the sensor on your fat tire bike determines when and how much assistance you receive. The sensor detects the e-bike's speed and guarantees that the pedal assist stops at 25 km/h.
If you're going to buy an electric bike, you'll need a bike speed sensor to get the most out of your workout. These instruments let cyclists quantify energy output in rotations per minute (RPM). You can compare these to speedometers or pedometers. Pedal Sensors have two types:1. Cadence, which measures if you are pedaling
Both sensors have the power to activate fat tire bike motors and propel riders forward. But there are a few key differences and how they function. You can choose either sensor, depending on the level of comfort you want.
What Is a Torque Sensor?
Electric bikes with torque sensors and throttle provide you with an interesting way of getting around while saving energy and conserving your e-bike battery.
Torque sensors assess how hard riders pedal using a precision strain gauge. They help raise or reduce the motor's power when you apply a certain amount of pedal force. In other words, a torque sensor takes your efforts and multiplies them.
How A Torque Sensor Works in An Electric Bike
If you cycle harder, the motor will provide more power up to the Pedal Assist System's predetermined limit. The motor will emit less power and remain consistent if you pedal-less vigorously.
Take, for example, the Himiway Cobra electric mountain bike. It has an excellent torque sensor and can measure your pedaling force up to 1000 times per second. This allows you to adjust the pedaling power as your motions vary.
Benefits of Torque Sensor
The advantages of riding an electric bike with a torque sensor are similar but distinct from those of a cadence sensor. While both help you pedal, the torque assist ebike offers a more natural feel and saves bike battery life on all sorts of e-bikes, including the Himiway Cruiser.
Enhanced Riding Experience
A torque sensor will make you feel more comfortable on your electric bike. The torque sensor recognises when to supply power and does it naturally, so you won’t notice a sudden boost in power while adjusting Pedal Assist System settings.
More Efficient Use of Battery Power
Riders may be able to conserve battery charge and ride farther with torque sensors. Torque-based ebikes will never spend too much energy because their motors help riders based on how much effort they put in. Instead, they deliver only what's needed to give you the impression that you are powering your ebike. You won't feel as if the fat tire bike is doing all the hard work for you. Finally, you will have more contro l over your ride, ebike, and your experience.
What Is a Cadence Sensor?
When the sensor detects pedal movement (when PAS is turned on), it sends a signal to the motor to begin functioning. The motor then delivers a predetermined amount of power to propel the rider ahead. To handle the boost level and speed, you must manually adjust the assist mode using the cadence sensor.
Manufacturers normally have predetermined and preset speeds for each level of pedal assist with this system. The motor will keep running until it reaches the predetermined threshold as the rider's pedal cadence increases. This will keep it going as needed, regardless of terrain, gear levels, or the rider's pedal cadence.
This sensor has the advantage of being a low-cost alternative for adding pedal assist to your bike. The drawback is that the pedal assistance can feel stiff and unnatural. Furthermore, if you attempt to pedal faster than the motor rotates, the machine will actively work against you.
How It Works in Electric Bikes
Most simple e-bikes include a cadence pedal sensor. The amount of power contributed by the motor is determined on the rider's pedaling effort and the pedal assist level selected.
Looking at the original Himiway Cruiser's speed sensor, you'll notice that it is controlled by a switch button, and when you pedal, the sensor sends a signal to the bike's control unit. When you start pedaling, it automatically turns on the motor; similarly, when you stop pedaling, it turns off.
Benefits of the Cadence Sensor in Fat Tire Bikes
There are numerous advantages to using an electric bike cadence sensor to support you in your pedaling efforts.
1. Easy Use
One of the most significant benefits of riding a fat tire bike equipped with a cadence sensor is its simplicity. Cadence sensor-based ebikes require relatively light pedal pressure to activate the motor. You can exert minimal or maximum effort and the motor will still engage, although at varying intensities. This makes cadence-based ebikes an excellent choice for you if you're a recreational rider or if you have physical limits but still want to ride.
2. Consistent Power
Cadence-based systems can function as an on/off switch. Your riding speed and power are directly proportional to your pedaling. When you start pedaling, you’ll receive battery-powered assistance. But once you stop pedaling, the pedal assist will also stop right away.
Cadence technology will always prescribe a predetermined and consistent amount of power to riders. So it doesn’t matter if you’re cycling up a hill or just traveling around your neighbourhood; a cadence sensor will give you just the amount of power you need for both activities.
3. The Ability To Cruise and Travel Quickly
As we said earlier, cadence sensors require the least amount of exertion from riders to deliver the most assistance from a fat tire bike's motor. These ebikes are often loaded with power and ready to ride. You'll be able to coast around while pedaling in lower assist levels for less assistance. You can also increase the Pedal Assist System level if you're a more hardcore rider. How much assistance you need is entirely up to you, the cyclist.
Comparing the Torque Sensor and Cadence Sensor on Your E-Bikes
While cadence ebikes are useful to all riders of all ages, certain riders have preferences for how their experience should feel and how much output they desire with each ride. These aren't strictly drawbacks, but they are factors that may influence a rider's decision between a cadence sensor and a torque sensor.
1. Which One’s More Intuitive?
A bike cadence sensor might make PAS feel abrupt and counterintuitive for riders who wish to feel more in rhythm with their electric bikes and feel like they're contributing something. You'll still get a good workout if you ride an ebike with a cadence sensor, but you won’t sweat as much.
If you want to locate an electric bike whose PAS works with you rather than do the majority of the work for you, one with a torque sensor would be a better option.
2. Which One Offers More Range?
When deciding which electric bike is ideal for you, make sure to consider its range. Numerous elements will ultimately influence the expected vs actual range of any bike. If you use cadence-based PAS, particularly at higher levels for extended periods, it may drain a large portion of your fat tire bike's battery to keep the motor engaged. Therefore, the distance you can travel decreases.
The torque-based sensor and motor on the Himiway Cobra, for example, are linked to a huge 48V 20Ah Samsung/LG battery, which provides the bike with long-range capabilities. Another long-range electric bike from Himiway is the Cruiser, which offers 80 miles as its range.
3. How Much Work Would You Have to Do?
Cadence-based electric bike riders may not feel like they are putting in sufficient effort depending on their activity level, preferences, and riding needs. Because the sensors communicate to engage the motor whenever action at the pedals is detected, riders may believe they are receiving too much pedal assistance for how little effort they are putting in. Others might be looking for just such an absolute riding experience that demands less effort.
4. How Much Resistance Will You Get While Pedalling?
With a torque sensor, riders receive what they put in. You'll need to put in more effort while using a torque sensor if you want a higher PAS speed. Furthermore, once the top speed on a fat tire bike with a torque sensor is reached, maintaining the top speed will demand greater ongoing pedal power. It's a great workout, that’s for sure, but only for those who can handle it.
The torque sensors assess how much effort you are putting into your ride to enhance rather than overshadow your efforts, providing you with a more natural and intuitive connection to your fat tire bike.
Differences in Performance Between Torque and Cadence Sensors
Because the pedal assist is matched with your actions, a torque sensor will deliver a smoother ride in general. The cadence, on the other hand, abruptly switches on and off. This may feel jerky, sluggish, or even contradictory to what you're trying to do on your bike. These problems may be less obvious if you ride largely on flat terrain because pedal assist will not need to be adjusted as frequently as it would on mountainous terrain.
The Pedal Assist System also affects the capacity of your bike's battery. Cadence sensing magnets and sensors calculate the amount of pedal aid based only on the assist level you're utilising.
Torque sensors calculate motor assistance based on pedal pressure. As you exert more pressure on your bike, it delivers additional assistance, ensuring that no battery power is lost whether slowing down or riding downhill. Torque sensors outperform cadence sensors on fat tire bikes in terms of mileage. This is especially true if you want to navigate challenging terrain.
Sensors for Every Type of Rider: Torque vs Cadence
Wondering if a cadence sensor is right for you? Or should you choose a torque sensor instead? Here’s a short guide on which sensor to select for your e-bike depending on the type of rider you are.
Go for a cadence sensor if:
1. You’re on a budget but are looking for a great deal
2. You’re a senior citizen
3. You don’t want to put in significant legwork while going uphill due to an injury, fitness level, or personal desire
4. You typically ride on paved streets and trails
5. You don’t consider yourself a serious rider
You should think about getting a torque sensor if:
1. You like a pedaling experience similar to that of a normal bicycle
2. You want to ride mostly on off-road terrains such as dirt, gravel, sand, snow, or other surfaces
3. You're a serious cyclist
4. You prioritise fitness and want to work up a sweat
Which Sensor Is Right for Your Electric Bike? Torque Sensor vs Cadence Sensor
Answering a simple question will let you know which sensor to choose for your ebike. The question is this: Are you looking for an ebike which lets you cruise without putting in a lot of work?
If yes, an electric bike cadence sensor may be the right choice for you. However, if you want a more traditional biking ride, an electric bike torque sensor may be a better choice for you.
A cadence sensor is best for you if you’re looking for a fat tire bike that is:1. Simple to handle
2. Has plenty of power right when you start pedaling
3. Is less expensive
4. Allows you to put in as much or as little effort without losing power.
You can select an electric bike with a torque sensor if you want:1. Gives the most natural pedaling experience.
2. Enhanced power delivery
3. More efficiency
4. Longer battery life and more range between charges for the same size battery.
At the end of the day, learning about torque and cadence sensors comes down to which is better for you. Both pedal assist sensors will give you battery-powered help while riding.
The question is, how much or how little labour are you willing to put in to acquire that assistance? Try riding a fat tire bike with a cadence sensor if you want the choice of putting in the pedaling power when wanted while also having the freedom to rely only on high and strong speeds.
Alternatively, if you want your e-bike to just amplify your efforts, try one with a torque sensor. Himiway is the place to shop for your favourite electric bike, no matter what you decide today.