The Best Electric Bikes with Throttle, Pedal Assist, and More

There are a lot of electric bikes on the road these days—we’re talking an additional 600,000 e-bikes in 2020 alone—and more Americans than ever before are enjoying the joy and freedom of cycling. Electric bicycles are great because they allow you to go long distances without the fatigue that can go along with riding a regular bike, and they make obstacles like getting up steep hills a breeze.


Plus, they’re better for the environment! Hopping on an e-bike instead of going for a drive can make a big difference, even if you’re just heading down the road. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, short car trips may actually be more polluting per mile than long ones, because pollution is highest in the first few minutes of driving.


Eliminating a four-mile car trip with an e-bike ride each weekday can reduce your global warming pollution by more than 1,200 pounds a year, estimates Environmental Defense. Sounds like a win-win to us!


If you’re new to electric bikes, you’re probably wondering what it feels like to ride one in comparison to a conventional bike, and you may be curious what you should look for in an e-bike. Here, we’ll be covering both topics, and specifically, explaining why an electric bike with both a throttle and pedal assist may be the right choice for you.


What’s the Difference Between Electric Bikes and Regular Bikes?


Riding an e-bike is very similar to riding a regular bike—only better. With the addition of a hub motor, you can enjoy the convenience and fun of cycling without breaking a sweat.


There are a variety of bike models to choose from, but before you start considering style and function, you’ll first want to understand the different rules and regulations of e-bikes, as they impact where you can ride, among other things.


There are three classes of electric bicycles that denote their level of motor assistance:


Class 1 Electric Bikes

Class 1 electric bikes are the most affordable of the three classes, and they are the most common introduction to e-bikes. Class 1 electric bikes are also the most universally accepted in terms of regulations, which means you can ride them on city streets and bike paths. The main distinction is that the bike motor on a Class 1 e-bike will only start once you begin pedaling, and it stops providing assistance as soon as you reach a speed of 20 mph.


Class 2 Electric Bikes

Similar to Class 1 e-bikes, the motor assistance on Class 2 electric bikes only goes up to 20 mph, so they are typically allowed in many of the same places. However, a Class 2 e-bike is equipped with an electric motor that can be used to propel the bike in a purely throttle-powered mode (similar to a motorbike), so you can enjoy the ease of power assist without putting in any effort yourself.


Class 3 Electric Bikes

Class 3 electric bikes are the fastest and most powerful of the three classes of e-bikes, and because of this, they are the most expensive and cannot be ridden on most bike paths or mountain bike trails. Like a Class 2 e-bike, a Class 3 electric bicycle is equipped with a motor that allows it to be powered without any pedal assistance by the rider, and it continues until a top speed of 28 mph is reached.


So, which one should you choose? If you’re looking for an electric bike that allows you to fully enjoy the ease of assist mode and that you can ride essentially anywhere, we recommend a Class 2 electric bike. Additionally, to take complete control of your ride, an e-bike with both a throttle and pedal assist offers the most flexibility and freedom.


What to Look for in an Electric Road Bike: a Throttle and Pedal Assist


While it's uncommon to find an electric-powered mountain bike with a throttle (most are intended to be ridden with pedal assist only and are designed with a torque sensor instead of a throttle), if you’re looking for an electric road bike that’s easy and fun to ride, an e-bike that’s equipped with both a throttle and pedal assist lets you decide just how much you want to pedal—if you even want to pedal at all!


Every Charge e-bike is categorized as a Class 2 electric bike, and both our City and Comfort models come with a convenient throttle at your fingertips that lets you choose between five levels of pedal assist, making it easy to get around. With powerful, mid-drive motors and rechargeable batteries, all Charge electric bicycles are equipped with premium features like integrated lights and built-in rear racks, and they guarantee a smooth ride with less fatigue.


Get up to 50 miles on a single charge, and accelerate your progress without using up your energy. Pedal if you want to, coast if you don’t. It’s all about getting where you want to go, how you want to get there.


Want to learn more? Our team is here to answer all your questions about electric bikes, and with a growing network of Charge dealers and test-ride locations, you can find one near you and experience everything that a Charge bike has to offer.


Charge Electric Bikes