Electric bike manufacturers are creating machines that make commuting easier and faster in this age. Manufacturers invented the pedal-assist feature that enables the use of the bike without the throttle during the ride. However, this feature best works with either the torque or cadence sensor.
In this article, you will learn more about eclectic bike sensors as we’ve covered: “Which e-bikes have torque sensors: How important is torque?”
So without further ado, let's dive in.
A torque sensor system amplifies your pedal input. Most electric bikes have multiple pedal assist settings (PAS). On the lowest PAS, known as ‘eco mode,’ the system may amplify your pedaling power by 50%. On the highest PAS, known as ‘performance mode,’ the system can increase your power by 300%.
The torque sensor uses a precision strain gauge to measure the force you are applying to the pedals if you’re pedaling. The sensor will send this information to the control unit of the electric bike. This unit calculates the amount of electrical power the motor requires to supply it, depending on your pedaling force.
With the help of a torque sensor, the controller will change the engine’s power output based on the amount of force you apply to the bike’s pedals. Simply put, the harder you pedal, the more electrical power the PAS will supply. Conversely, when you pedal more gently, the power supply decreases automatically, and when you stop pedaling, the power will cut off.
A high-quality torque sensor can boost your pedaling power up to 1000 times per second throughout the full pedal stroke. This enables the PAS to make adjustments to the pedaling force.
The torque sensor can also instantly be activated when you put pressure on the pedals, making this system feel smooth and intuitive. A torque sensor makes you feel like you’re riding a standard bicycle with superpowers!
While riding an electric bike that features a torque sensor, you’ll always have to put some force into the pedals. Even with the maximum power setting on, you’ll still have to pedal to keep the motor engaged.
If you decide to reduce pressure on the e-bike’s pedals, the power will decrease. In other words, you must constantly put in some effort if you want to maintain a constant speed. If you change the force you put into the pedals, your speed will change.
Torque sensors can commonly be found on higher-end electric bikes and most mid-drive e-bikes come with torque sensors. In addition, in certain countries, torque sensors are a requirement for an electric bike to be legal.
Benefits Of A Torque Sensor
So, what makes an e-bike that comes with a torque sensor such a popular choice? Well, the reason for this is due to the benefit a torque sensor provides.
As we already mentioned, a torque sensor calculates how much electrical power to provide to the engine based on how hard you pedal. Since a torque sensor responds fast, as a result, it acts as a tool that assists you in making the most of each and every pedal stroke.
A torque sensor works in combination with the force you put into your bike with your feet, meaning you’re immediately interacting with the power system.
If your bike has a torque sensor, you’ll have much more control over your bike. For instance, if you’re climbing a steep hill with your bike, it will provide you with additional power to the motor as soon as the incline begins, probably without you having to adapt the level of the pedal assist.
A torque sensor will force you to be more active and use your power to pedal and thus go further ahead.
Before getting an e-bike with torque, consider if the increased expense is worthwhile. Here are some aspects to wrap your mind around:
If you only ride your electric bike using the throttle, your max range will be substantially reduced. However, when you use the torque sensor properly, your range will triple, enabling you to travel much more per full charge of the battery. This is because the motor boosts the power you provide by pedaling rather than directly powering the bike.
With proper use of the torque sensor, you’ll feel like you have unnatural strength with each push. A complex generator system with a torque sensor is used in many of the world’s most modern electric bikes.
The battery will charge as you go if you're cycling or descending. When you brake, it may even recharge the battery, allowing you to ride further.
Let’s compare the torque sensor to the cadence sensor for a second. When using a cadence sensor, the e-bike’s motor is either on or off. Because of this, the battery’s charge will be drained more quickly.
However, a torque sensor does the opposite as it doubles your power, meaning that when you pedal with more force, you get more energy. By doing so, the bike’s motor will significantly increase power, enabling you to reach your destination without trouble.
So, whether you’re cycling or descending, your e-bike’s battery will charge as you go further. When you brake, the torque sensor may even enable the battery to recharge, allowing you to go even further.
Differences Between Cadence Sensors and Torque Sensors
Another name for the cadence sensor is the speed sensor. The cadence sensor focuses on speed (hence the name speed sensor), while the torque sensor focuses on the generated power while riding.
Also, electric bikes that come with torque sensors are more expensive compared to the ones with cadence sensors. Therefore, you may want to test the e-bike that features a torque sensor before making the purchase to see if it’s worth it.
The cadence sensor has a somewhat easier mode of operation compared to the torque sensor. Riders can regulate the assistance level expected from the bike by using the inbuilt control button.
However, this can make the rider feel like the bike’s motor is doing all the pedaling work. Because of this, the rider may need to set the power level of the ride.
The torque sensor, on the other hand, enables the rider to exert some force while riding, making it a great option for riders who are looking to attain some level of exercise.
Furthermore, both cadence and torque sensors will turn on a pedal-assist mode, however, at different timings and conditions.
Whenever the rider goes below the specific speed, the cadence sensor is responsible for activating the pedal assist mode. Conversely, the torque sensor will activate pedal assist mode when there is a requirement for some extra power on the machine.
The torque sensor also improves the lifespan of an e-bike by boosting the maximum range a battery can provide. This is because the torque sensor doesn’t engage the motor as often as the cadence one does.
Additionally, in terms of precision, the torque sensor executes more accuracy than the speed sensor. It will give an accurate analysis of the power that drives the bike so that a rider can make all the necessary adjustments. Even though a cadence sensor also gives precision in its function, it doesn’t quite match the torque sensor’s accuracy.
The Legality Of Torque And Cadence Sensors
In certain jurisdictions, electric bikes that come only with a cadence sensor aren’t allowed to sell for safety reasons. In such places, e-bikes must come with a torque sensor to be considered street legal.
If you live in an area that regulates electric bikes, you may want to check with your jurisdiction before purchasing an e-bike, just to be safe.
Which E-Bikes Have Torque Sensors?
As previously stated, an e-bike with a torque sensor is generally more costly than one with a cadence sensor. Instead of hub motors, most e-bikes that come with a mid-motor also have a torque sensor. One may estimate to pay an additional $200-$400 if one chooses an electric bike with a torque sensor.
Because of this, torque sensors can generally be seen in more expensive but high-quality electric bikes.
Here are some great examples of electric bikes that come with a torque sensor at an affordable price. Hopefully, with our information, you can opt for the best torque sensor electric bike to meet your requirements.
1. The Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X
This $2,500 electric bike is one superb commuter vehicle with a long list of amenities at an affordable price.
The CrossCurrent X has both torque and cadence sensors, which results in a smoother pedaling experience than cadence-only systems. A torque sensor can adjust the power depending on how much force you put into the pedals.
The powerful 750W hub motor powers even the longest rides and commutes on the CrossCurrent X. The 19.2Ah battery (which delivers 994Wh of power) is one of the biggest capacities for removable downtube battery packs. It will provide a stunning max range of around 80 miles per full charge.
The Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X
2. Ride Scoozy Torque 1
Ride Scoozy’s Torque 1 e-bike is one of the most affordable torque sensor electric bikes available on the market. It costs $1,199, which is substantially less than the average e-bike price.
This e-bike is perfect for the urban rider who has no intention of giving up ride quality when making the switch to electric assist. The torque-drive provides constant feedback between the rider and bike allowing the rider to stay connected to the road.
At a mere 38 pounds, it’s still portable and efficient while packing enough power with the 350W motor to carve through traffic. With the 10.5Ah battery, one can expect to get 35-50 miles of ride per full charge and it only takes around 4 hours for the battery to be fully charged.
Ride Scoozy Torque 1
3. Rize Blade
The torque sensor on this one is fantastic - it provides a wide range of power levels from the hub inside a given gear, enabling more riding freedom while reducing gear shifting. With the Blade, you can climb steep hills with ease.
With puncture-resistant fat tires and a powerful 750W motor, this bike can tackle various types of terrains. In addition, the Blade comes with a 15Ah battery that will offer you around 50 miles of range.
4. Lectric XPremium
In addition, to the XPremium’s price of $1,799, the bike’s motor has a torque sensor that precisely analyzes how much force the rider is using to pedal and uses that information to provide a more intuitive pedal assist output. Due to the near-instantaneous response, riding the XPremium will feel very natural.
With a mid-drive 500W motor, the XPremium delivers power more intuitively, enabling the rider to tackle hills and take on rougher terrains. The foldable frame design accommodates a dual 10.4Ah battery system that will provide a max range of up to 100 miles per full charge.
Read full > Lectric XPremium Review:
Torque sensors are perfect for people looking for the best possible performance out of their electric bike. The torque sensors are incredibly responsive, and they offer quick acceleration.
Torque also operates smoothly and precisely, allowing the rider to corner hard and steer without a mistake. They are also intuitive, allowing the rider to confidently and safely ride the bike at higher speeds.
Those looking to get a longer range will also prefer electric bikes with torque sensors as they improve efficiency, enabling the rider to go further on a single charge.
However, bikes with torque sensors are also meant for those with a higher budget, as these devices can add between $200 and $400 to the total price of the electric bike.
Author States that most mid-drive bikes have torque sensors. The fact of the matter is that most do not. Only the very high end ones.
Most e-bikes do not recharge on breaking. In fact geared Hub Motors and mid drives do not regenerate power. Only some of the direct drive Motors regenerate power and that's at a loss of forward momentum and causes drag.