Why is Torque Sensor Superior to Cadence Sensor in E-bikes?
There is a big buzz about sensors of e-bikes and most of us aren’t familiar with. There are speed sensors, cadence sensors, torque sensors, etc.. You will see some companies have e-bikes with 12 sensors. Are 12 sensors better than a single sensor (torque sensor)? Let’s try to give a brief explanation and strong points of each option.
In this way, you can make your e-bike purchasing decision in a smarter way.
What is a Cadence Sensor?
In the simplest way, there is a fixed sensor which is attached to the bike or bracket and rotational moving sensors which are fixed on rims of the bike. Each time sensor on the wheel passes through the fixed sensor (pod) on the bike the system measures the speed of the bike. Once there are more magnetic sensors then the system can sense the speed in a little bit more sensitive way.
The speed measured by sensors is sent to the controller of the e-bike. Depending on this value motor give higher or lower assist. Basically, if the speed is low, motor give higher support and if speed is higher motor give lower support.
The smart thing about cadence sensors is 80% of the times you ride the bike they will serve your needs. The remaining 20% will be cases you will have ” what the f…? ” situations.
These sensors have been in the market for a long time mainly for bicycle riders just to check their speed from speedometer using reed switches. It is little bit dated technology.
Let’s give some examples:
You are climbing uphill with your e-bike and you stopped because of a car or red light. You want to continue riding again. If you can’t pedal and let your crank turn couple rounds the controller won’t measure the signal. Continue your ride will be somewhat challenging.
With a slow speed, you start to go downhill. Because cadence sensors measure the speed low, the controller will let motor give a high support. Once going downhill, it isn’t that fun to have a sudden boost from the motor and can be dangerous for beginners.
In traffic, if you want to pass a car, bike or need sudden acceleration. You Won’t have a chance to do it with cadence. You won’t get an extra boost from the motor in such situations.
What is a Torque Sensor and how does it work?
The torque sensor is basically a sensor connected to the chain or bottom bracket (pedal) which measures the force you apply to the pedal. A good example is POD system developed by Ariel Rider e-bikes. The torque sensor is manufactured specially for the bottom bracket of Ariel Rider electric bikes to give max. comfort and experience to riders.
In this way, the e-bike will turn into a “smart machine” which will understand if you need a boost or not from the motor.
Imagine you start to climb uphill in your bicycle, you will pedal harder. The torque sensor will measure it immediately (especially the ones in bottom bracket) and give you the required boost.
There is an object or car suddenly appear in front of you where you can’t break. If you need to suddenly accelerate torque sensor will make it possible. As soon as you pedal harder, torque sensor will send the message to the motor and will boost your power.
When you don’t need extra power, torque sensor will understand it due to force you to apply to pedals. And won’t waste any battery juice, when not needed.
So torque sensor will give you exact cycling experience but with the feeling of you have 10 times powerful legs. Especially for the ones who are thinking to use an electric bike for exercise purposes, commuting or in places where they need to do lots of stops (due to traffic) then torque sensor is something they must have on their bikes. The torque sensor used in bottom bracket are regarded as most problem free ones. The torque sensors which measure the tension in the chain due to design are less sensitive. This can be an issue when climbing uphill from a steady position as you will need around 0.5 seconds for the system to response.
Why does Ariel Rider POD (Torque Sensor) be the ideal solution for E-bikes?
- Give you required power whenever you need regardless of terrain or speed.
- Let you climb hills at least 25% easier than a cadence or throttle versions.
- You will still do an exercise and you can choose intensity from the display.
- Longer Range: The range of e-bike can increase as much as 100% with a torque sensor.
- Torque sensor will increase the efficiency of an electric bike. It will let motor give you the extra boost when needed most such as climbing a hill or accelerating.
- It gives the experience and feeling of riding a regular bike. The only difference is you will feel you have extremely powerful legs …. We call it superman effect of the e-bike.
A torque sensor, especially one like Ariel Rider uses to make a big difference in range, experience, speed and power of the electric bike.