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Can You Ride An Electric Bike Without Pedalling?

Can You Ride An Electric Bike Without Pedalling?

Getting your first e-bike is an exciting new chapter in your bike riding endeavors. However, learning how to ride a new electric bike can have you questioning what features you should be using. Many e-bikes have pedal-assist and a throttle, which can give you the duality of pedalling or riding without pedalling. Yes, you heard correctly. You CAN ride your e-bike without pedalling, as long as it’s in the throttle mode. We’ll be going over what you need to know about these features to prepare you for the next time you take your bike out for a spin. 

Pedal-Assist vs. Throttle 

You can get an electric bike with one feature or the other, and in many cases, you can have both. Determining which one is better for you and how you can utilize each of them is beneficial to understand. Both options use power from the motor on your bike and are both meant to propel your bike forward while you ride. 

How Does Pedal-Assist Work?

With a pedal assisting option, you have the same feeling you get from riding a standard bike. The only catch is that you’re receiving some assistance as you’re pedalling (hence the name). There are usually multiple pedal assist modes on an e-bike:

  • The lower mode gives you some assistance, but it will be you that does most of the work while pedalling.
  • The medium mode gives you more help while pedalling so you can go farther than you’re used to riding.
  • The high-level mode gives you a lot more assistance, which makes for a faster bike ride and gets you to places quicker. 

Torque Sensor

Two types of pedal assistance are designed to sense when the pedals are turning on your electric bike. A torque sensor system measures the amount of power you use, while pedalling and will automatically increase or decrease its assistance based on how you pedal. 

Cadence Sensor 

A cadence sensor system won’t increase or decrease the assist, but it will have the same level of assist that you have set it at. For example, if you push very lightly on the pedals, you’ll have the same amount of assistance throughout. 

How Does a Throttle Work?

A throttle on an e-bike is similar to a motorcycle's, as it provides power and moves the bike forward once the motor is engaged. This option gives you full power without having to pedal so that you can relax and enjoy cruising without working the pedals. 


When your electric bike is in throttle, you’ll move forward even if you aren’t pedalling. Most e-bikes have the option of engaging the throttle by twisting it or pushing a button. 

Battery Usage 

There’s a difference when you’re using the throttle or pedal-assist on your electric bike. With pedal assistance, you get more range out of a single battery charge because you’ll still be pedalling the bike. You’re going to get a much shorter range when you use the throttle a lot, as it will drain your battery at a faster speed. 

Frequently alternating between the two features while riding up hills and going down harsh terrains can cut your battery life even shorter. If you plan on going up any steep hills, you should use the pedal-assist instead, as it won’t drain the battery. Always be aware of how much power you’re planning on using when you take the e-bike out for your next ride. This way, you won’t have the battery die on you while relying on the throttle. 

Can You Pedal on Your Own?

Even with these excellent and helpful features, you may want to know if you can simply pedal your e-bike on your own. The answer: Yes. You just have to ensure you don’t turn the electrical system on. 

Riding your bike manually will not only save battery charge, but it will also provide some extra exercise if you don’t want to use the features that many electric bikes come with. You might be thinking, “If I can pedal manually, shouldn’t I just get a regular bike?” We understand that this might be something worth considering. However, riding your bike manually can be extremely tiring, especially if you’re going long distances. 

The benefit of e-bikes is that their features allow you to have the option of switching from manual to getting assistance or riding without pedalling. These options can be utilized in many ways, such as starting up the e-bike quickly and increasing the speed when you need it. These features can also get you places quicker, assist you if you’re ever struggling during commutes, and provide the opportunity for some adventuring on rocky and rough terrains without having to pedal.

There’s a lot of fun to be had when you decide to get an electric bike. If you stop by our shop, we can help you find something from our wide selection of e-bikes or provide you with more e-bike information. With many years of experience when it comes to all-things bike-related, we pride ourselves on the knowledge and care we can provide to you when settling on the perfect electric bike.