Are eBikes hard to pedal

Are eBikes Hard to Pedal?

Considering how popular electric bikes have become, you may wonder what difference they have from conventional bikes. One of the most notable differences is the pedaling difficulty. As electric bikes have a motor and battery that support how they work, people often ask, “are e-bikes hard to pedal?”

Key Takeaways

This article will discuss the following:

  • How hard is it to pedal an electric bike
  • How do e-bikes work?
  • How much power do you need to exert in pedaling an e-bike?
eBikes are easy to pedal
eBikes are easy to pedal

Is It Difficult To Drive An eBike?

Electric bikes are conventional bikes powered by a battery and motor. The other parts of an e-bike are the same as those of a standard bike. But apart from the electrical components, the other difference between these two bikes is their performance.

Since cyclists already know how difficult it is to pedal a conventional bike, they also wonder whether or not e-bikes are as hard to drive.

I’ve got a group of articles explaining why eBikes are Awesome Check Them Out Below 👇

How Hard Is It To Pedal An eBike?

Electric bikes are both easy and difficult to pedal. According to a bachelor thesis published in the Blekinge Institute of Technology, the electrical parts of an e-bike increase its weight. As a result, you will feel more drag once you need to propel it forward. This additional weight also makes the e-bike challenging to pedal, as you must exert extra power to support the weight added to your ride.

But once you use the e-bike’s motor, pedaling becomes much more manageable. Electric bikes have sensors connected to the pedal. These sensors prompt the motor to start once you apply force on the pedal. As a result, the pedal becomes lighter to push.

Some electric bikes do not even require you to pedal. Instead, the motor will provide the bike with all the power it needs to propel forward and reach specific destinations.

An electric bike will only become difficult to pedal if the battery does not have enough charge to power the motor.

RIDE eMTB Pro Tip: Wondering if you need to pedal an eBike? Let me explain in this article 👉 Do You Need to Pedal an eBike?

How Do eBikes Work?

True enough, the electrical components of an e-bike look complicated. However, how it works is relatively easy to understand.

According to research published in the International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology, an e-bike consists of the following:

The battery stores the power needed to run the bike. Once you turn on the motor by pushing the pedal, the battery will transfer power to the motor to assist the rider in pushing the pedal. But before this power reaches the motor, it has to pass through the control unit.

This way, you can control how much energy you want the motor to receive and use. If you wish to cycle leisurely, supplying the motor with low and steady energy is ideal. Meanwhile, a high amount of energy transferred to the motor allows the e-bike to run fast.

Once you pedal your e-bike, the motor will use the power you fed into it to assist you throughout the ride.

How Much Pedaling Power Does An eBike Need?

The amount of pedaling power you need to maneuver an electric bike depends on you. There are two modes you can use when driving an e-bike:

Pedal Assist

As mentioned, electric bikes generally have cadence pedal sensors. The International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering states that this sensor signals the motor once the e-bike’s rider starts pedaling.

Once the cadence sensor senses motion on the pedal, it will signal the motor to turn on and assist you in pedaling. In addition, the motor cuts the power as soon as the e-bike’s pedal stops moving.

The motor helps the rider maneuver the e-bike. Hence the pedal assist. The harder you pedal, the more boost the motor will provide.

Ride eMTB Tip: Are you tired out, but still want to cruise around on your eBike? Read 👉 How Far Will an Electric Bike Go Without Pedaling?

Throttle Mode

In throttle mode, the motor will provide the bike’s power to run. You do not need to pedal the electric bicycle, as its motor will do everything. When the throttle mode is on, you can sit back and relax until you reach your destination.

However, it is worth noting that the throttle mode will consume more energy than the pedal assist.

Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion
Bafang Mid-Drive Electric Bike Conversion

Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?

Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?

  • Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
  • +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
  • Easy installation with provided tools.

If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery

Pedaling Your eBike: Final Thoughts

The motor needs to draw power from the battery for an electric bike to work. The pedal assist mode requires less energy than the throttle mode. Meaning you can conserve more battery power when using pedal assist.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment in the section below!

Electric bikes are easy to pedal if there is enough battery power to run the motor. These bikes are heavy, so it is difficult to maneuver if the battery drains, and you must push the pedal yourself.

David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project –


  1. Gowda, S.R., Karanjkar, S.V., Nandi, E.A., Boshkar, M.K., “Cost-Efficient Electric Bike as a Sustainable Transportation Alternative for Delivery of Goods.” International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology. Vol. 10 No. 09. (2021). Accessed February 24, 2023.
  2. Upadhya, Bhanu, Rasha Altoumaimi, and Thelal Altoumaimi. “Characteristics and Control of the Motor System in E-bikes.” (2014). Accessed February 24, 2023.
  3. Koujalagi, J.P., Punith P., Yadav R., Sharatbabu. “Pedal Assist and Mid-Drive Electric Bicycle.” International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering. Vol. 7, no. 4. (2018). Accessed February 24, 2023.