eBike Throttle

What is an eBike Throttle and How Does it Work?

A throttle is a component found on some eBike models. It can be part of the bike when purchased or added later at the rider’s discretion. Continue reading to learn more about eBike throttles and why they are a helpful addition to your eBike.

What is Throttle on an eBike?

Throttle on an eBike works similarly to the throttle on a scooter or motorcycle. When a throttle is engaged, the eBike motor gives power and propels the bike and its rider forward. The throttle allows you to sit back and enjoy a free ride without using the pedals or your own momentum to move you forward.

The term modulation is commonly used to throttles. Modulation means, put simply, how smoothly and gradually throttle power is applied. Good modulation means the power will increase a little at a time. Poor modulation means the power comes on quickly, like a burst.

EBike Thumb Throttle
EBike Thumb Throttle

What is the Difference Between Throttle and Pedal Assist?

eBike throttles and pedal assist both deliver the same thing: power through the motor to propel the bicycle forward. Handlebar devices, commonly called throttles, work by attaching to the handlebar and delivering power via a switch or twist motion.

Pedal assist means you must pedal to generate propelling power from the motor. Some eBike have both features, and it is up to the rider which mode you use.

What Types of Throttles Work on an eBike?

There are different types of throttles that can be used on eBikes. The type of throttle used is dependent upon the type of shifting system the bike uses.

Many motorbikes have a throttle known as a grip shift. Grip shift throttles are used on eBikes with lever shifters.

There are other types of throttles for eBikes including a thumb or trigger throttle. These types of throttles are used on eBikes with twist shifters.

Loose Thumb Throttle for an eBike
Loose Thumb Throttle for an eBike

Most eBike throttles output between 1- and 4-volt signals when powered by a 5-volt power supply. They typically fit over standard diameter (7/8 inch) bicycle handlebars.

RIDE e MTB Pro Tip: With eBikes growing in popularity learning all the terms and definitions can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help with this comprehensive glossary. 👉 eBike Glossary

Are There Any Laws Governing eBike Throttles?

As with any powered mode of transportation, eBike throttles have legalities intertwined in them. These are arranged in a class system, ranging from Class 1 to Class 3. Class 1 eBikes use battery and electric motors to assist riders up to 20 miles per hour when a rider is pedaling. The electric motor will stop giving electrical assistance once the eBike reaches 20 miles per hour.

Class 2 and Class 3 eBikes may possess throttles that can operate independently of the pedal power system. A Class 2 eBike is a low-speed throttle assisted bike that features electrical assistance. A throttle on an eBike automatically qualified the bike to be classified as a Class 2 eBike. This throttle will go up to 20 miles per hour without the rider pedaling.

Class 3 eBikes provide pedal assistance up to 28 miles per hour. These are more powerful and capable of higher speeds than the lower classes of eBikes. Class 3 eBikes may or may not have a throttle, but without the throttle, they cannot reach the higher speeds.

Class 2 and Class 3 eBikes are often disallowed on trails, biking paths, and hiking trails. You will need to check with your local authorities to deem whether your eBike is allowed on these types of trails. (Source)

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

How do I Install a Throttle on an eBike?

Most eBikes can be outfitted with a throttle if they have a hub mounted motor and compatible controller. Having a throttle on your eBike is not only an energy saver for the rider but provides those with lessened mobility the opportunity to use eBikes.

Adding a throttle to your eBike is generally easy if you have the proper controller and wiring for a throttle add on. Many electric bikes come with a plug near the handlebars to add a throttle if you choose.

eBikes with a hub motor will allow you to install a throttle quicker and easier. Remove the handlebar grip on the side you intend to install the throttle. Slide the throttle onto the handlebar and pull the yellow tipped wire around to meet with the yellow ended plug (if you have one on your eBike). You may have to pull a wire from the eBike controller to sync the throttle. Using an Allen wrench, tighten the throttle in place. Replace the handlebar grip and you are finished! (Source)

RIDE e MTB Tip: Are you thinking about building an eBike? It isn’t very hard – Heck I’ve got step by step instructions with videos along with all the tools. Check it out 👉 How to Build a Mid-Drive Electric Bike

Where do I Buy a Throttle for an eBike?

You can find throttles for eBikes at many retailers. Places where eBikes are sold may offer them. If you intend to buy one online, Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all carry eBike throttles. You can find many local cycling shops or specialty sites online to purchase a throttle, too.

Ebike Throttle FAQ

Are Throttles for an eBike Expensive?

Most eBike throttles I have seen range in price from around $15 to nearly $100. This depends on the type of throttle you are looking for and the manufacturer. Be sure to research the model you intend to purchase so you know its effectiveness and efficiency. Shop multiple retailers for the same item and compare prices to ensure you get a fair deal on a quality product.

What is a Good Grip Shift Throttle for an eBike?

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Amazon sells a half twist throttle for an eBike made by Bafang. This model can be used on eBikes with voltages from 12 to 72 and is 4.7 inches. The throttle grip is made of non-slip rubber, is waterproof, and shock absorbing. They are simple to install and use. Learn more about this half twist grip throttle here 👉 Half Twist Throttle Electric Bike Speed

What is a Good Thumb or Trigger Throttle for an eBike?

One of the best thumb throttles for an eBike comes from the website Juiced Bikes. This eBike thumb throttle is $20 and can be used on either side of the bike. It is compatible with several models of eBike including Rip Current and Hyper Scrambler. This model is simple to install and delivers all the power you need to assist your eBike journey. Learn more here: https://www.juicedbikes.com/products/throttle

RIDE eMTB Pro Tip: Have you wondered about all the features electric bikes offer? After you read this article you’ll wonder why you own a regular pedal bike. Check out 👉 What Are the (great) Features of Electric Bikes

Finishing Up

An eBike throttle is a great device designed to help you retain your speed on an eBike while outputting little or no effort. This is good for those on long journeys, those with limited mobility, and those who are simply tired of pedaling!


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 – DIYMountainBike.com