Right from the off it is worth noting that anything other than 250w pedal assistance is not allowed on UK public land and roads. You can read up on the rest of the UK’s E-bike laws and regulations right here on our site.
But for those to who UK law doesn’t apply to or those with our own private land here are the different types of e-bike power delivery you can get.
This is the ONLY power assistance you are allowed to use on UK roads and public land (like cycle paths and other tracks). You are not allowed to ride an e-bike on UK roads and public land if it has any other power delivery method, even if you are not using it.
In short, this power delivery system is a “hand on the back” up those hills, that gentle breeze behind you on those straights and a rocket attached to your legs on those downhill sections. Most e-bikes have 5 levels of pedal assistance with the highest being up to 5 times the power you are pedalling at making hills a breeze and the straights feel like downhill. This power is delivered via a rear wheel hub motor of a crank assist motor.
We know you are sick of reading this, but we have to tell you this by law. You are NOT allowed to rise an e-bike with any form of power assistance other than pedal. If your e-bike has both, but you don’t use the Throttle you are still not allowed to ride it legally.
So again, for those of us the UK law doesn’t apply to or those with our own private land you will find “Throttle Assist” is very much like an underpowered motorcycle throttle. You twist it backwards and the e-bike goes forward. If you are struggling on light hills or long straights this power assistance is a godsend and can really take the nip out of a long ride.
If you buy an e-bike you will probably never see this method of power delivery as it is mostly used with e-bike conversion kits rather than attached to a bike from a manufacturer. Again, this is not compliant with UK law and prevents you from using it on UK roads and cycleways.
In short, it is e-bike conversion kits that sit on the back tyre of your normal bicycle and using the throttle control you give power to a wheel pushing the back wheel along via a “rubbing” method. Once upon a time this was thought to be the best way to power an e-bike, but times have of course moved on.
Again, this is normally seen with e-bike conversion kits rather than something a manufacturer would make, but having said that there are e-bikes out there that still use this method of power delivery. In short, it is a motor that attaches to the bicycle chain and “drives” the chain along, often in full assist or pedal assist modes. Again, it is worth noting that this method is not compliant with UK e-bike laws and regulations.
While we have covered the main types of e-bike power delivery methods here there are plenty that we have skimmed over. So if you have a question about this you should be using do drop us a message via the contact us page, or any of our social media channels.