Another twist to throttle vs PAS ebikes....Comments wanted...

Slow Rider

New Member
Interesting question... If I had to choose a PAS over a throttle only bike, I would choose a PAS. If the PAS was too expensive and I could only afford the throttle-only, I would stay with my old acoustic and tough it out until I could afford a PAS.
 

Captain Slow

Active Member
This is an interesting question and a number of the debates about ebikes could fall into the category of when does a bike stop being a bike? I think that answer is different for everyone. Some really hardcore guys might say only a fixie is a true bike, others might say it can't have a motor, and then others might say it can't have a throttle. There are going to be widely different opinions and some people will be very passionate in their arguments.

My Juiced CCS has a throttle, but I don't use it. I enjoy my CCS for commuting, but for leisure rides I don't take it and I don't even ride my CCS on all my commutes. For me the upright position, the bulk, etc …. make for a less enjoyable riding experience. But I don't begrudge others who love that type of bike and do all their riding on that type of bike.

Once in a while I have seen someone fly past me on what looks like a scooter/moped that has pedals that are barely functional. They're just there so they can say it's an ebike but I've never seen anyone on that type of "bike" use them. They're just using throttle all the way. For me that's not really a bike if you're pedaling at all. If you have a bike that you pedal but can use throttle as well, but when you use 100% throttle and never pedal, sorry IMHO that's not a bike. If you pedal more than half the time supplemented by throttle then I think it's a bike.
 

Solom01

Active Member
I've been fascinated by these attempts to differentiate because in my mind - who cares? Bike, scooter, whatever they're just devices for transportation. I bike for exercise, the only reason I use an eBike is due to health problems. The electrical part is a backup, so my Orbea Gain is perfect for me - it's more of a traditional bike which gives you a good work-out. For someone who is using a bike to commute to work or who has more serious health issues a heavy bike with a large motor, throttle and big batteries would probably make a lot more sense. For some people a mobility scooter or motorized wheelchair may be perfect. They shouldn't have to answer to me or anyone else about why they choose the type of transportation they do. As far as I'm concerned any of these solutions beats having noisy, polluting SUVs that are capable of running over me on the road and so long as they are driven in a responsible manner (and you can ride like a jerk regardless of what type of bike you use) they are all worthy. Unfortunately being humans we seem to have an innate desire to classify people who agree with us as "better" and immediately start to classify them into lower and higher castes. Enjoy using what makes sense for you and don't worry about what works for others.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Ken, you're making PAS out to be much more complicated than it really is. The PAS adapter that fits on the crank is no more expensive than a throttle, and the corresponding circuitry within the controller no more complex.....

And knowing what I know now, if I were interested in a bike that didn't have both, I would not hesitate to pay whatever a throttle or PAS is to have them both - even though I use the throttle far less than the PAS.

Agree as well, who cares? The main point is find something that works for you and go ride!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
For me, there wouldn't be a choice between a throttle only or a PAS only bike. If I wanted a throttle only, I'd put the money toward another motorcycle. By excluding PAS & throttle bikes, you're eliminating a significant percentage of the ebike market. I think the question should be PAS, throttle or PAS & throttle.

If that were the case, I'd choose PAS & throttle. Just because the bike has a throttle doesn't mean you have to use it. Although I rarely use the throttle, it's a tool I wouldn't be without in certain circumstances. The only down side to bikes with throttles is they are class 2 or 3 which can limit where you can ride in some areas.
 
Ok so here's my question to you. If the bike you purchased was on the show room floor as a throttle only configuration of a PAS configuration and the PAS was $200 higher priced. Which one would you choose? Actually a better way to put this is how much more would you be willing to pay for a PAS over a basic throttle only model (and having both was not an option on the ebike)?

In reality my intend of this entire thread was to gage if PAS was as much or more "value adding" as it was "cost adding" vs the merits of the classic time tested throttle control. Keep in mind some throttle have what is termed a cruise control mode which allows you to retain a consistent assist while not holding the throttle. So you can let go of the bars and just cruise along like you would on a PAS. Grin Technologies has this feature on their controllers but my guess is most people are not even aware of it.
Yes, I want cruise control, even if it's simply throttle voltage hold not speed hold. I understand that Cycle Analyst 3.1 will do speed control, and I think this pair, the KT kunteng controller with this display KT-LCD3 will do throttle hold - it's listed as a function on the display specs.

Now I don't care about PAS - even installation and more wiring is enough to make me not want it unless necessary, and since it isn't, not getting it.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Yes, I want cruise control, even if it's simply throttle voltage hold not speed hold. I understand that Cycle Analyst 3.1 will do speed control, and I think this pair, the KT kunteng controller with this display KT-LCD3 will do throttle hold - it's listed as a function on the display specs.

Now I don't care about PAS - even installation and more wiring is enough to make me not want it unless necessary, and since it isn't, not getting it.
Regarding PAS wiring, the 3 strands of wire that run from the PAS adapter to the controller are only about a foot long. Maybe 20% tops of the length of wire you going to be installing for the throttle. Like it or not, you are making much ado over nothing. PAS couldn't be any simpler to install on a DIY bike... Do not use complicated or difficult to install as reasons not to use it....
 

MechaNut

Member
Based entirely on my riding experiences this summer I find the entire debate around a throttle as missing the forest for the trees. My bike goes the same speed whether or not I'm helping it on the flat and that top speed is 20mph PAS or 20mph throttle. It gets to the same top speed in the same amount of time on the flat whether or not I'm using the throttle or PAS. My bike has hit a top speed of 30.4 mph this summer because I was on a long downhill. Gravity propelled my bike to that speed, not the motor. If I was on an acoustic bike IT would have hit the same top speed.

The dangerous situations I've been in have all been caused by other people. Two instances of pedestrians wandering around the trail with headphones on not paying any attention to their surroundings, one instance of oncoming cyclists taking up the trail and leaving no room for me, and one instance of being cut off by a car. In absolutely none of those situations did the throttle on my bike come into play. Oddly enough the majority of these dangerous situations have occurred on multi-use paths and not on the road.

The vast majority of my riding this summer has been been for commuting. If I had to rate the various features of my bike for usefulness on my commute it would be cruise control on the long straight road sections of my commute. Yes it is a throttle-like feature, but it lets me make steady progress while contributing to the bike's progress with PAS and while taking a rest when I need to. It is particularly useful when the tendinitis around my knees acts up and it feels like I'm getting stabbed in the legs every pedal stroke. No, that isn't hyperbole, that is what it feels like.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'd choose PAS over a throttle-only bike in a heartbeat. That's me. If I didn't want to pedal I guess I'd get a motorcycle or Vespa or something. Again, though, if you'd rather have a throttle or you have something against PAS, it doesn't bother me at all. More power to you.

TT
Everyone seems to equate a throttle with not pedaling. It's a variable assist so you can adjust constantly pedal as hard or easy as you wish.

When I started this forum thread I thought there was some misconceptions about throttle vs PAS and and I do think that assumption is correct.

I should have started by asking if a continuously variable assist was preferable over a limited incremental assist but that is not exactly a good comparison either. Bottom line to me is just how simple a throttle is to control assist level (no sensors, no program).
 

sallycashmere

New Member
I think the misconception comes with the commonality of throttle without PAS and hence some of the replies

This doesn;t address your question but There is - in whichever market, and need for thottle / twist-and-go bikes without PAS, as a commute option - where getting to a office/meeting sweating isn't desirable
a ebike has a large advantage over escooters in terms of luggage (and escooter market is stalling)
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken, you're making PAS out to be much more complicated than it really is. The PAS adapter that fits on the crank is no more expensive than a throttle, and the corresponding circuitry within the controller no more complex.....

And knowing what I know now, if I were interested in a bike that didn't have both, I would not hesitate to pay whatever a throttle or PAS is to have them both - even though I use the throttle far less than the PAS.

Agree as well, who cares? The main point is find something that works for you and go ride!
A cadence only PAS is as simple as a throttle in in reality could be considered a throttle - just stay in low gear and pedal fast or slower for the assist level you want. The more complicated systems that motor manufacturers like Bosch, Yamaha, and Brose utilize use cadence, torque, and speed to determine the assist provided. Torque sensors tend to be expensive and can change calibration over time (I believe Yamaha had an issue with this on early PW mid-motors).

All the systems work but a throttle does allow you to increase the assist level without having to pedal faster which is an advantage vs. cadence only systems. I have an Izip Express whith a cadence only system and I like it but just not as much as I do a throttle for it's independent assist control (not dependent on more torque or cadence for more assist).
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Yes, I want cruise control, even if it's simply throttle voltage hold not speed hold. I understand that Cycle Analyst 3.1 will do speed control, and I think this pair, the KT kunteng controller with this display KT-LCD3 will do throttle hold - it's listed as a function on the display specs.

Now I don't care about PAS - even installation and more wiring is enough to make me not want it unless necessary, and since it isn't, not getting it.
Why spend money for a KT controller and LCD if you're not using the PAS? If you don't use this, then a cheap scooter controller with no display will suffice. You can get more accurate speed from a $7 bike computer too. I guess you won't get cruise.
 
Why spend money for a KT controller and LCD if you're not using the PAS? If you don't use this, then a cheap scooter controller with no display will suffice. You can get more accurate speed from a $7 bike computer too. I guess you won't get cruise.
I've been warned off the cheap controllers as if the kit controller would be a problem. Every which way is a problem it seems. As for PAS, if I have to remove the crank, that is another thing I don't want to do in order to get something I don't want...because I see no reason to want PAS at all. From what I understand, I want throttle and cruise control. I don't fully understand what all the various systems and combinations can do. Maybe I can get them with less, maybe stuff just comes with a kit and that's the obvious thing to use. Dunno. I was picturing more wiring than is necessary for the PAS but I'd like to not even have that sensor.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
FYI, there are PAS adapters available where no crank disassembly is required. Worst case is, you have to remove the crank on one side, usualy the side opposite the chain. In the grand scheme of things, that should be a pretty simple operation.

My advice, for what it would cost to install it (<20 bucks?), you could try it out and see if you like it first hand - without listening to possibly biased advice. You are doing yourself a disservice otherwise.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
You can buy this for about 12 bucks, but you still have to fashion a bracket to hold the sensor on the right. I would agree that the PAS sensor is one of the more annoying parts of a DIY install. I'd rather pay the 12 bucks for a crank puller tool.
PAS.jpg


If you're doing a ebike build, you should own a crank puller, a spoke wrench, a multimeter, probably a soldering iron. Trying to avoid a PAS install because of complexity is just silly, as pedal assist is one of the nicest things about an ebike.
 
You can buy this for about 12 bucks, but you still have to fashion a bracket to hold the sensor on the right. I would agree that the PAS sensor is one of the more annoying parts of a DIY install. I'd rather pay the 12 bucks for a crank puller tool.
View attachment 36685

If you're doing a ebike build, you should own a crank puller, a spoke wrench, a multimeter, probably a soldering iron. Trying to avoid a PAS install because of complexity is just silly, as pedal assist is one of the nicest things about an ebike.
So basically there are several small troubles...unnecessary items of non-stealth creeping into the build, some possible complications arise, some small items to buy...they would not be big obstacles if the item was something I needed or really wanted to have.
as pedal assist is one of the nicest things about an ebike
That's something I don't understand yet, Harry.. what about it, to you, is so nice to have?
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
I agree with Harry. With your hesitant attitude toward it, I think it's going to need to be something you need to see/feel/experience yourself. Then make up your own mind to use it or not. Even if just used infrequently, the time/trouble/expense to install it not that big a loss, even if you hate it (which I find doubtful)!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
So basically there are several small troubles...unnecessary items of non-stealth creeping into the build, some possible complications arise, some small items to buy...they would not be big obstacles if the item was something I needed or really wanted to have.
That's something I don't understand yet, Harry.. what about it, to you, is so nice to have?
My first ebike was throttle only. I still have it actually. When I got a PAS bike it worked like any bike. When you want to go faster you pedal faster, when you want to go slower you pedal slower. It's intuitive. One does it without thinking. "It's just like riding a bike":)

I'm also a motorcycle rider, I'm not against any of it. A throttle on an ebike is manual pedal assist, PAS is automatic pedal assist. I'll never go back.

A buddy of mine, a fellow ebiker, has a throttle only bike. For the longest time he didn't understand what was so great about PAS. I tried to explain the difference it makes in everyday riding. With throttle it requires constant adjustment to match your cadence for a desired speed. The one hand remains glued to the handlebar. Don't move it, don't relax or your speed will change. My buddy now has a PAS bike and loves it! When he uses the throttle bike, he finds it annoying, a distraction to the cycling experience. That's particularly true for long rides.

On my current motorcycle I have electronic cruise control. Speed automatically adjusts. Best thing ever added to a motorcycle. Cause you can't have PAS:p

I had stick shifts in cars and pickup trucks for decades. That got really old when I had to do a lot of stop and go driving. Constant work to maintain the desired speed. I now drive an automatic pickup. Same with throttle versus PAS. I'm enjoying the ride!
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Regarding PAS wiring, the 3 strands of wire that run from the PAS adapter to the controller are only about a foot long. Maybe 20% tops of the length of wire you going to be installing for the throttle. Like it or not, you are making much ado over nothing. PAS couldn't be any simpler to install on a DIY bike... Do not use complicated or difficult to install as reasons not to use it....
I know this is a bit marketing rigged but here's a picture of a throttle only controller vs a PAS controller. I do think there is an installation difficulty difference considering most people in this country can't even change the oil in their cars.
 

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