The idea of a bike without pedals may have you thinking of motorcycles or children’s push bikes, but the pedal-less bike looks much like a traditional bicycle without pedals! How do these no-pedal electric bikes work, and why should you get one?
No-pedal electric bikes have a push or half-turn throttle, which activates the bike’s motor. This bike does not have pedals and is legally considered a motorcycle in some regions. These e-bikes are perfect for commuting and easy to use.
What Is A No Pedal Electric Bike?
Electric bikes with no pedal, or pedal-free electric bikes, are electronically powered bikes with a twist or thumb throttle that activates the motor. Riding a bike like this is reminiscent of a motorcycle or electric scooter, as there is no need to pedal for you to travel from one location to another. However, it still looks like a traditional bicycle.
Some eBikes with pedals and pedal-assist technology (PAS) also have a throttle and the functionality to use a no-pedal mode. The no-pedal electric bike exclusively has a throttle and no pedals. The throttle powers the bike and gets you moving with no overt physical effort or stress. It is electrical, though, so you need to charge the battery before using it.
How Do No Pedal Electric Bikes Work?
You may be most familiar with eBikes that have pedals. These bikes work with a motor engaged by the movement of the pedals. This activity, the rotation of the pedal shaft, switches the engine on and allows the motor to provide the cycle with power. But no-pedal electric bikes obviously don’t have pedals. So how does it work?
Pedal-free eBikes rely on a throttle, like a motorcycle or an electric scooter. Pressure on the throttle kick-starts the motor to supply power to the bike. These are full-throttle, as no motion other than pressing your thumb or twisting the throttle is employed to power the engine. There are no gears or need to switch levels, and it relies solely on the throttle activation.
Once you have used the throttle, the power supply is automatic. You can adjust it up or down with more or less pressure on the throttle, which directly controls speed. Unfortunately, it will not allow you to adjust the speed level as efficiently as pedaling. Thus, you should ensure a top-quality brake gets installed on your bike before use.
Pros and Cons of Electric Bikes With No Pedals?
If no-pedal electric bikes seem enticing to you, you will be happy to note they are brilliant for speed and ease of use. However, they have drawbacks, such as regional restrictions and poor battery endurance.
Pros Of Pedal-Free eBikes:
- Pedal-free eBikes allow you to travel fast, cruise and perform cycling stunts without the strain or hyper-focus needed with pedal bikes. The throttle allows you to provide more power for climbing hills and will allow you to reach top speeds in less time than with electric bikes with pedal assist.
- When riding this bike, you are looking at a maximum speed range of 10-20 miles per hour with a range of 9-17 miles on a full charge. Speed is an essential factor to consider when choosing your bike, and the battery power is often a prime indicator of acceleration strength and reactivity.
- Riding this bike is easy and doesn’t require much skill. Pedal-less bikes will also benefit you if you quickly tire out from pedaling. If you get ill easily or have physical restrictions that don’t allow for riding long distances, the pedal-free bike will allow you to travel with your friends and family while accommodating your needs.
- These bikes are generally lightweight, and many have folding capabilities, making them easy to store. So, even if you do consider it a tamer version of a motorcycle, it’s much easier to take with you when you travel.
Cons Of Pedal-Free eBikes:
- Because the no-pedal electric bike relies solely on the throttle, with no pedal assistance or power moderation like torque-based PAS, you can expect your battery to drain rapidly. The throttle uses a lot of power and has no backup source, like pedaling, to keep the bike going.
- You can expect long recharging times for eBike motors, and different problems could arise if the battery runs out at an inopportune time. You may have to push the bike home if you don’t correctly charge your bike before heading out or misjudge the charge’s range. Packing an extra battery pack or carefully planning power usage for your trip is vital in case of emergencies.
- The bike may also be subject to usage regulations in your country. In the USA and UK, there are restrictions on the maximum speed allowed. Battery power outputs are limited in Europe and Australia, and only cyclists above 14 years may ride pedal-less bikes in the UK.
- Regional or country-specific limits may affect which bike you decide to buy and may result in you getting an electric bike with a lower range or maximum speed.
- Pedal-free electric bikes are almost the same as motorcycles since they don’t have pedals and are both two-wheeled motor-powered vehicles. As a result, purchasing a pedal-less bike might mean getting a license and insurance and staying off bike paths, as local governments could categorize it as a motorcycle instead of a bike (bicycle).
How Far Will An Electric Bike Go Without Pedaling?
An electric bike’s speed and range are highly reliant on several factors, such as rider weight, riding terrain, battery quality, watt-hours, tires, pedal assistance, and the presence and use of a throttle.
eBikes with PAS are more efficient for covering significant distances on a singular charge as they consider the rider’s effort and build upon it. PAS, especially torque-based PAS, is great for saving battery while allowing you to cover more distance. With pedal assist, you can travel up to 40 miles on a singular charge if you’re gearing up for an intense workout.
The pedal-less electric bike relies on the throttle, which eats at the battery power. Since the battery only lasts for a short time, the pedal-free electric bike’s range suffers, as you will need to recharge the bike more frequently. An eBike with a weak or cheap battery will hamper your riding efforts and possibly leave you stranded or in danger.
You will likely have up to 20 miles of coverage on a singular charge of an eBike battery. This range is partly due to no pedal power or physical input being present external to the motor at the time of use. An eBike with a better battery will likely cost extra, but you can expect less charging time and more time on the road enjoying your travels.
Which is Better: No Pedal Electric Bike Vs. Pedal Assist eBike
The no-pedal electric bike may be the way to go if you struggle with riding a regular bike due to physical weariness, injury, or skill. But, if you are looking for a bike that will allow you to exercise, cover distances fast, and save on battery life, consider investing in an eBike with pedal assist technology instead.
No-Pedal Electric Bike
The no-pedal electric bike is a definite first choice for someone wanting to cycle but who is not physically capable of it or for someone who needs it to commute. The fact that the bike relies on something other than physical strain means you are less likely to show up at work, your date, or a party a total mess.
The biggest drawback of the pedal-free electric bike is the battery, which can burden you and waste your time, especially when the cycle is your primary form of transportation. While cruising to and from place to place may sound nice, the possibility of a poor or drained battery may have you running late or getting frustrated.
Pedal Assist eBike
eBikes that rely on pedal-assist technology, like torque or cadence sensors, have longer battery life and better power management. Some pedal-assist electric bikes have a throttle that you can use for cruising or mountain biking, allowing you to choose whether to use the throttle or pedals at any given time.
PAS also requires you to put in some effort to get moving. This exercise can be rewarding for all kinds of cyclists, depending on what your needs are. The requirement of rider input, exerting your preferred levels of effort, may also give you a more authentic riding experience while still assisting riders who need it.
When using an eBike with PAS, speed restrictions are not as strict, and you are likely to reach speeds up to 28mph. It also does not require a license for use and looks like a standard bicycle.
Buying a no-pedal electric bike might be the best thing to happen to you. You can get to work without the sweat of an intense ride and look athletic with barely any effort. The help this bike affords those who cannot pedal or struggle to pedal is immense and one of its most essential features.
However, it could be a better feat of engineering. Beware of power drainage and the laws on the usage of vehicles such as this, or you might find yourself stuck in a difficult situation.
Read also: How Many Miles Can an Electric Bike Go?