Power Assist: The Easy Way Out or the Extra Pedal Power You Need

May 17, 2018     |     Uncategorized

Cycling is a great option for low-impact cardiovascular activity. Most people think that having a cycle with power assist takes away from the benefit of riding in the first place. The truth of the matter is that power assisted cycles help supplement the rider’s efforts, not replace them.

Power assist cycles are different from what most people think of as electric bikes. Electric bikes are driven by throttle giving power to a motor that pulls, and in some cases pushes, the bike in the direction you want to go. Power on electric bikes is either on or off and doesn’t require you to pedal.

In contrast, power assisted cycles use torque sensors to measure the amount of torque (forward motion pedal power) you place on the pedals and match it to some degree. Motors on power assisted cycles won’t engage unless you are pedaling and you control the amount of power assist you receive from the motor. For example, a power assist cycle on an ‘eco’ level may supplement your pedaling with torque equivalent to 25% of what you are putting in pedaling. Upon switching to ‘max’ power on a hill for instance, your power assist motor would supplement your pedaling with torque equivalent to 100% of what you are putting in pedaling. In this case, the pedaling energy you put in is being matched by the motor.

Power assist cycles can be great options for commuters or those who lack confidence in their ability to go long distances. Most of our customers who purchase cycles with power assist see it as an ‘insurance plan’. They love riding so much and are so comfortable that they lose track of how far they rode – having power assist gives them assurance they can make it back home and not be completely spent.

Power assist shouldn’t be viewed as the ‘easy way out’. It’s just a little extra power behind your pedaling to help you go farther and faster (not to exceed 20 mph as regulated in the US).

We offer several types of power assist cycles in our shop and can install aftermarket kits should you decide you’d like to add a power assist motor down the road. Here’s a quick review of some of the power assist cycles we offer:

  • Day 6 Patriot (Falco e-motor)
  • Terra Trike Rambler EVO (Falco e-motor) or EVO power assist kit
  • Catrike models with Copenhagen Wheel Kit (26” wheels only)
  • Hase models with Shimano Steps
  • HP Velotechnik models with Shimano Steps or GO SWISS

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