Is a Cadence or Torque Sensor better? Ebikes Explained

Mid-drive motor torque sensor. Hub motor cadence sensor Mid-drive torque sensor Torque sensor hub motor By the end of this video this 
is all going to make sense. Just to clarify I see this mentioned fairly often 
where people assume because a bike has a mid-drive   motor a motor mounted in the center of the 
bike driving the cranks that it has a torque   sensor as opposed to a cadence sensor although 
that is probably more common it can go either way   so the motor type does not affect which type 
of pedal assist your bike is going to have   to put it really simply the pedal assist 
sensor is what takes the pedaling motion   and translates that into power going to the 
motor now before i go into the two different   types and explain the differences the pros 
and cons of each of them yes they both have   pros and cons I think it's really important to 
point out that this video is only to explain as   best as I possibly can how they work but to really 
know the difference you have to ride the bikes I would highly recommend riding both types 
of bikes and seeing which one you prefer   how do they ride what do they feel like because 
that's something that you have to experience and   i don't feel like i can convey on camera 
but I'm gonna try so let's start with a   cadence sensor what does that actually mean on the 
Bolton Ebikes Avenger here the sensor is located   right here on the bottom bracket you can see 
there's a disc right here with some magnets   on it and then there's a little pickup sensor 
right here and what this is doing is detecting   when these magnets go by when the cranks are 
rotating so i'm going to pedal backwards just   so you can kind of see but basically when you're 
pedaling forwards doing the opposite of this   it's going to see oh you're moving the pedals 
and you want to move now because of the sensor   that's used if you're going backwards it actually 
won't kick on the pedal assist thankfully it's a   one-way direction only so it's only going to work 
when you're going forward on most bikes you have   settings typically zero through five that can vary 
a little bit so on zero if I crank those pedals   around the motor is not going to turn on nothing's 
going to happen if I turn it to one and then i   start cranking the pedals around however there 
we go the motor kicks on and gives me some power   now you may notice that the motor is going pretty 
fast but I'm not pedaling very hard as long as the   cranks are moving with a cadence sensor the motor 
is going to give you power it has no idea how much   effort i'm actually putting in I'm going to put on 
my brand new maya 3.0 helmet from KALI helmets now   online so with the pedal assist on zero 
i'm just pedaling around like a bicycle   i'm not getting any help from the motor at all 
as soon as I turn the pedal assist to one like   i just showed you now the motor kicks on now 
if I want to I can keep the pedals going around   and put in basically no effort so it looks like 
I'm pedaling and working hard i'm really not   doing anything i'm just letting the motor do all 
the work and usually that's referred to as ghost   pedaling but really I can pedal as hard as I want 
as much as i want i can change into a harder gear   if I'm going up a really steep hill and i need 
more power then what I do is change this from a   one to a two and that's going to automatically 
increase the amount of power going to the motor   three is more power four is a little more and 
five is the most that is maximum power that's   all that this particular bike has so it's a very 
simple but effective system that again knows when   you're pedaling but it doesn't know how hard you 
just adjust the settings between zero and five   and whatever gear you're in on the bike to make it 
comfortable to ride and get the amount of exercise   that you want now even though this bike has a 
motor mounted in the middle the pedal assist   works exactly the same way again I have a zero one 
two three four five pedal assist setting the only   difference is the motor is mounted here driving 
the chain to the rear wheel instead of driving   the rear wheel directly the cranks the pedals have 
no idea how much effort i'm actually putting in I   can ghost pedal if I want to I can pedal hard if 
I want to but if i want more power or less power   i need to change this number right here now it's 
time to get into the torque sensors this is the   bolton e-bikes blackbird which has a hub motor now 
it isn't as common to see a torque sensor on a hub   motor but it certainly can be done and that's what 
we have here now there is no magnet disc like on   the avenger so this bottom bracket which is this 
whole cartridge that fits inside the frame here   is the sensor so instead of detecting the rotation 
it's actually detecting pressure on the cranks so   i've got the bike off right now but if i was to 
put pressure on this pedal right here even if the   pedal is not moving the bike detects how much 
pressure i'm putting on the cranks because the   sensor is built into the bottom bracket and it 
is going to move instantly now with the cadence   sensor i showed you earlier you have to rotate the 
pedals around a little ways before it engages and   catches so when you first start pedaling there is 
a slight delay with a torque sensor however the   power can come on immediately let me show you what 
i mean if i put a little pressure on the pedal   i've got the brakes on right now so the motor is 
deactivated but as soon as i let go of the brakes   you're going to see the bike move forward even 
if i keep the cranks in basically the same place And there goes just to show that a little bit 
more so i have brakes on and if I let go boom   the bike's moving instantly you can see that the 
cranks weren't moving around in a circular motion   at all just the pressure right here in fact this 
time i'll do it brakes are off so you'll see how   soon this bike starts moving as soon as I start 
putting pressure on the cranks goes instantly   sometimes when people hop on a bike with a 
torque sensor as opposed to a cadence sensor   because the power delivery is more instant they 
feel like the bike has more power when that's not   actually the case the cadence sensor just needs 
at least maybe a quarter rotation or even half a   rotation of the cranks before the power is able to 
kick on and finally here we have a mid-drive motor   with a torque sensor now this is more similar 
to what you see on some of the higher end   expensive bikes 250 watts mid-drive motor torque 
sensor but it's missing something and that would   be a throttle see you have a display like you'd 
have on the other bikes you've got your shifters   but there's no throttle on this particular bike 
again that's something that can go either way   this is a mid-drive this has a throttle which as 
you can see doesn't need you to be pedaling to   move that's one of the cool things about having a 
throttle on your bike you can get power instantly   even if you have a cadence sensor just by pressing 
that button so this is where we get into the one   downside to a torque sensor if you 
want more power out of this motor   you have to pedal harder that's the only way to 
get more power now yes you do still have settings   0 through 5 in most cases so a five setting 
will give you more power for example than a one   but the only way to get the maximum you know let's 
say it's 250 watts out of this particular bike   even if you have it in five is to pedal fairly 
hard if you're pedaling lightly or if you're   ghost pedaling like i did on the other bike the 
bike's gonna move slowly it's not gonna give you   all the power that the motor has so by not having 
a throttle effectively there's no override on a   bike like this now this is what you're gonna 
see on the bikes from you know Specialized or   Santa Cruz or Trek they're gonna have a mid-drive 
motor that's torque sensing and the only way to   get the maximum power out of it is to pedal 
harder the advantage to that of course is it   feels much more natural so if you want a bike 
that looks like a bicycle rides like a bicycle   but it just adds a little bit more power to 
what you can naturally do then maybe that motor   is for you the avatar bike that i reviewed is a 
great example of that many people might not even   realize this is even an e-bike but all it does 
is amplify my own power so right now i'm pedaling   at a slow cadence and if i want the bike 
to go faster both between me and the motor   there's no throttle i have to just pedal harder 
and the harder i pedal the more power the motor   is going to give me so in a way a torque sensing 
mid-drive type motor might be the most natural the   most seamless type of e-bike but i know people 
who don't like bikes that are set up this way   because there's effectively no override for the 
motor there's no throttle where you can put more   power in on certain types of torque sensing motors 
and if you want more power you just have to work   harder so which one of these is better leave me 
a comment below let me know which one you prefer   i know this is going to be a little bit of a 
debate you're going to have people that say torque   sensors are the best they're the most natural 
they feel the best it's the best riding experience   but i know we're gonna have a few people who say 
nope i actually don't like torque sensors i like   the fact that i can pedal my cadence sensor bike 
very lightly and get however much power i want   no matter how much effort i'm putting in and again 
this is something that's really hard to describe   you really have to get on a bike you have 
to ride them you have to experience this   for yourself I think it's a personal 
preference and you could go either way   normally torque sensors will cost a little bit 
more so you are going to pay a premium for it   personally i'm a big fan of the Baffang mid-drive 
motors like the Ultra that have all the power they   have torque sensing and they have a throttle 
to me that's kind of a great combination   of all of the different possibilities the lancer 
bike here 1000 watts full suspension fat tires   cadence sensor motor because that 
keeps the price right under 3000   if this was the torque sensing motor the price 
would be much higher hopefully I've narrowed down   your search somewhat you're probably wondering 
do I want a hub motor do I want a mid-drive   do i want a mid-drive do I want a hub motor and 
for that make sure you go watch this video right   here I break down the ins and outs the pluses 
the minuses of both types of motors if you're in   Northern California come test ride the bikes here 
at Bolton Ebikes we'd be happy to help you out.

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