Torque Sensor vs Cadence Sensor of e-Bike Petal Assist Mode

January 24 16:46 2022
Torque Sensor vs Cadence Sensor of e-Bike Petal Assist Mode

Pedal Assist (Pedelec) Mode

What is e-Bike pedal assist mode? Pedal assist, also referred to as pedelec, is a mode that provides power only while pedaling. Compare to riding a traditional bike, the pedal assist mode has a more intuitive feel compared to the throttle mode.

The pedal assist mode is also nice because purely focus on pedaling and don’t have to hold the throttle in a certain position.

Since need to pedal, the pedal assist mode will generally give more range when compared to the throttle mode.

A lot of pedal assist bikes have different levels of assistance, for example: low, medium, or high assist. Please note that more and more e-bikes have 1-5 pedal assist settings.

1-2 = feeling pretty good on the bike. Low assist provides a little electric assist while provide more pedal power and get more of a workout.

3-4 = have a nice tailwind everywhere. Medium pedal assist can be a nice balance of pedal power and the motor power.

5 pedal assist = feeling like superman! High pedal assist is when wanting to get somewhere quickly and with minimal effort. This could be useful if wanting to get to work without sweating too much. On the way home, the low pedal assist could be used to workout the stress of the day.


This is the display of the Eskute Voyager Electric Mountain Bike. The pedal assist settings can be adjusted up or down using the + or–buttons on the left side of the display. In this picture the pedal assist is set to the level 2; see the right side of the display.

There are a few different pedal assist types on the market; the torque sensor and the cadence sensor systems.

Torque Sensor

The torque sensor pedal assist systems measure the amount of power putting into the pedals and it will increase or decrease the electric assist based on pedaling power.

The torque sensor systems have a very intuitive ride feel because they emulate pedal power very well. They are also generally found on the more expensive e-bikes or e-bike kits.

The torque sensors are generally found in the bottom bracket, rear drop out, or in the rear hub motor.


This is the TMM4 torque sensor on the inside of the rear dropout of the Easy Motion Neo Jumper electric mountain bike.

Cadence Sensor

The cadence sensor pedal assist systems provide assistance when the cranks of the bike are turning.

Compared to the torque sensor system, the cadence sensor will just provide the assist based purely on the level assist selected and it will not increase or decrease the assist based on actual pedal power. While pedaling very lightly or very hard and it will provide the same level of assist.


This is the cadence sensor at the cranks of the Pedego City Commuter electric bike.

Which sensor works the best?

If a very intuitive ride feel is priority, an e-Bike with a torque sensor is a good choice! If there’s no ups and downs in commuting, an e-Bike with a cadence sensor works.

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