The importance of Electric bicycle torque sensor
In the past few years, there has been an explosive growth of electric bicycles on the market. Compared with heavier traditional electric bicycles, these electric bicycles are designed to be lighter and more flexible. The disadvantage is that they also lack some motivation, which can sometimes make climbing a mountain a challenge. What if there is a way to make these light machines produce more torque?
Fortunately, for those who like to exercise and want to pedal hard, it turns out that many newer models have built-in torque sensors.
You can buy electric bicycles torque sensors at many reputable bicycle stores. Torque sensors usually only appear in more expensive electric bicycles and premium brands. You might pay $2,000 or more for an electric bicycle with a torque sensor.
Some people find that paying more for an electric bike with a torque sensor is totally worth it. It feels like your pedals have increased several times, and each pedal gives you more power.
Many electric bike riders use trial and error to learn which sensor is best for them… a torque or cadence sensor. However, instead of buying multiple electric bikes to find out which one works best, I have set out to help you figure out the type of electric bike sensor you want and need.
What is torque?
Torque is the tendency of force to cause or change the rotational movement of an object. Simply put, torque is a measure of the power of something. Torque can apply many different forces. For electric bicycles, the torque is measured where you step on the pedal.
The torque required to climb the hill makes pedaling almost impossible. It is the torque provided that makes the downhill so easy. Everyone experiences torque in their daily lives, whether they are aware of it or not. Torque is almost the real reason that makes the world work, and having a good understanding of it can make your life easier.
For bicycles, the pedal is the main point of torque, through which you can turn and move everything. As you increase the total torque, you may find yourself enjoying cycling more than before. Once you get used to the torque provided by an electric bike, it is almost addictive!
How to measure the torque of an electric bicycle?
Attached to the bicycle pedal is a sensitive system that can accurately measure when you apply torque to the pedal. This pedal assist technology can measure the torque you use about 1000 times per revolution, thereby increasing the torque you apply by the necessary amount.
This is why the battery of an electric bicycle can maintain a longer charge when you step on the pedal instead of using only electricity.
This precise measurement allows the motor to run faster when you are energized. In some newer integrated systems, the motor will assist you in pedaling and increase torque. This can help you speed up and even charge the battery while on the move.
The actual torque measurement value of each electric bicycle is different because they all have different gear ratios and enhanced power. If you want to measure the torque applied each time, you can use the app. However, your electric bike needs to be connected to your mobile phone (many newer models will do). Using this technology, you can measure how much power and energy you use.
Torque sensor and cadence sensor
Generally speaking, torque or cadence sensors measure how much force you apply to the pedal. The sensor then uses this information to calculate how much power the motor should produce. This allows you to move on at a consistent speed.
When you decide to browse online or buy an electric bike in person, you will come across a large number of different electric bikes. All electric bicycles use cadence sensors or torque sensors, and some newer models use both at the same time to provide double benefits.
Bicycle companies have learned through trial and error that there are obvious benefits to using either system. And, naturally, you need to understand what these are before you buy.
You may be surprised by the difference in sensor types. In fact, most people don’t know the sensor at all. Or, those who like electric bikes may know enough about the difference in sensors and can even upgrade their old electric bikes to the best sensors instead of buying new ones.
What is the function of the torque sensor?
The torque sensor determines the output power based on how hard you step on it. If you step on it lightly, you will move forward in the same way. However, if you step on the pedal hard, you will move quickly. This is because the torque sensor can respond faster to the power you provide to the pedal. It’s instant!
In other words, the torque sensor is combined with the energy you provide to the bike with your feet. Therefore, when you step on the pedal, you are directly connected to the system that powers you. Torque sensors are often described as intuitive. It can sense what you are trying to do and provide power as needed.
This allows you to better control the electric bike. For example, if you are climbing a hill, your electric bike will provide more torque as soon as you start uphill, and it may not even require you to increase the level of pedal assistance.
Basically, the torque sensor forces you to be more active and use your own strength to move forward. Therefore, you will not become lazy because of one of them!
How does the cadence sensor work?
The cadence sensor only considers the speed at which you step on the pedal, not the force. This type of sensor generates power from the electric motor at set time intervals, depending on the amount of power you apply to the pedals and the overall speed of your driving.
When you start pedaling, the motor will output 100% power from the beginning, and most cadence sensors have three to five settings that you can use. Once a certain speed is reached, the pedal assist sensor will also stop providing 100% motor power.
Although this looks perfect, you rarely need to step on the pedals because you will have constant motor power on the bike. This makes the bicycle a powered bicycle with minimal investment. So, if you want, you can choose to ride whatever you want. But if this is your goal (I do!), you can still pedal and exercise as much as you want.
Which is better: rhythm sensor or torque sensor?
Now that you know what each of the two sensors is and their basic method of increasing power each time you step on the pedal, you need to decide which one is more suitable for you. Even if you are allowed to use these two types of sensors, they are not always suitable for your needs or exercise requirements.
Both sensors have their uses, and many people swear by one of them. However, you should note that the torque sensor is much more expensive than the cadence sensor. As the technology continues to become more and more popular globally, this should clearly indicate which of the two is better.
Occasional or casual electric bike riders
this is very simple. If you just use an electric bicycle to go to places that are too close to drive but cannot walk; you should consider buying a cadence sensor.
These types of bicycles are much cheaper and can get you on the road without you having to step on any pedals. The motor is used in the same way as the throttle used on a motorcycle.
Sensors are loved by people who want electric bicycles. These people want an electric bicycle that doesn’t cost money and don’t care much about exercise or sports. Normally, these people will never ride an electric bike on a sandy road, let alone an entire mountain bike trail.
Usually, you will see people either love electric bikes or hate them altogether. If their only experience is to use a cadence sensor system, but they are avid bicycle riders or intense sports and exercise enthusiasts, then they might think electric bicycles are ridiculous.
Intense sports or sports enthusiasts
If you are a hard-core bicycle rider, mountain bike enthusiast, avid bicycle enthusiast, or someone who just likes to go somewhere by bike, then a torque sensor is for you. The system allows you to train muscles, power batteries, and go further than ever before without being spoiled.
Since torque sensors only amplify your input, they are seen as a boost to your exercise.
By working in this way, torque sensors allow you to use them comfortably and effectively in most situations while staying healthy.
As you gain a certain understanding of electric bike sensors, you may find that you like your electric bike more and more.
Which electric bicycles have torque sensors?
It is impossible to find a torque sensor in every electric bicycle. Generally speaking, torque sensors are more expensive than cadence sensors. Therefore, once you decide to buy an electric bicycle with a torque sensor, you may pay an extra US$200 to US$400.
Generally speaking, most electric bicycles with mid-drive motors have torque sensors, while cadence sensors can be found on electric bicycles with hub motors. It is undeniable that the mid-drive motor and torque sensor can be found on more expensive bicycles.
Therefore, you will find torque sensors in more expensive, high-quality electric bike brands and electric mountain bikes. This is mainly due to higher customer expectations for the power they need to go up the mountain.
Nonetheless, many newer electric bike models use an integrated system, which means it uses torque and cadence sensors.
What should you pay attention to when choosing an electric bicycle with a torque sensor?
When choosing an electric bike, you should make sure that the sensor system you buy has a good power “ratio”. One example is that some electric bicycles with torque sensors have powerful motors, sturdy transmissions, and proper braking systems, but the batteries are small.
This means that you have to charge the system much more than expected, and your mileage will be reduced.
I definitely recommend that you check the price of an electric bike before paying too much attention to its features and torque system. If you find that the cost of obtaining a torque sensor is too high, you may need to reassess whether a cheaper cadence sensor is right for you.
After all, sensors are just one of the important things you need to consider when buying an electric bike.
How can torque sensors help you go further?
Don’t just worry about which electric bicycles have torque sensors. First decide whether it is worth paying extra for one person.
If you use an electric bicycle without pedaling (using only the accelerator), you will usually significantly reduce the maximum mileage. However, when the torque sensor is used correctly, your cruising range will usually increase fourfold, allowing you to drive 100 miles on a fully charged condition.
This is because the motor only increases the power you provide to the wheels, rather than directly powering the wheels.
Compared with people who use cadence sensors to ride electric bicycles, every time you step on the pedal, you will feel that you have bionic power. In fact, many of the most advanced electric bicycles in the world will use complex generator systems with torque sensors.
Therefore, if you step on the pedal or go downhill, the battery will charge while you are driving. It can even charge the battery when you brake, allowing you to go further.
In addition, when using the cadence sensor, the motor will turn on or off, always providing 100% or only 70% power. This consumes battery energy faster.
But the torque sensor is just the opposite! It doubles the amount of power you provide, which means that when you step harder, more energy is provided. Therefore, this greatly extends the power of the motor, allowing you to reach any position you want comfortably.
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