Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary! Feel free to email in suggested topics/questions
A torque sensor is a device on an electric bicycle that measures how much torque the rider is exerting on the pedals. In other words, this allows the e-bike to know how hard the rider is pedalling. Generally speaking this means the bike is able to offer a smoother ride feeling, as it will give power proportional to how hard you are pushing, rather than giving a lot of power when you’re just on a flat. It also makes it less likely for the bike to take off when you didn’t want it to, as you generally only push hard on a pedal when you wanted to go forward! In the absence of a throttle, a torque sensor makes it easier to perform a hill start on an e-bike, as the bike can respond to your pedalling very quickly. Most e-bikes with torque sensors also have cadence sensors to help give the e-bike the full picture of what you are doing with your feet. However, generally people will just refer to the bike as using a torque sensor.
A cadence sensor is a device on an electric bicycle that measures how fast you are pedalling. It is generally just used to decide whether you are pedalling or not. That is to say, it is rare to find an e-bike that changes how much power it gives you based on how fast you are pedalling, they simply have a threshold that you’re either above and therefore get power, or below and therefore get no power. The amount of power you get when you are pedalling will depend on the e-bike itself and what settings it has, but it will not depend on how hard you pushing on the pedals. For that possibility, the bike needs a torque sensor.