Electric Bike Torque Sensor VS Cadence Sensor – Qualisports USA Skip to content
Electric Bike Torque Sensor VS Cadence Sensor

Electric Bike Torque Sensor VS Cadence Sensor

torque sensor cadence sensor


When making the choice between the cadence sensor and the torque sensor, answer this question first: Are you looking for an E-bike that can do the most work for you? If YES, an E-bike with a cadence sensor might be the best choice.

Cadence-based pedal assist systems will let the electric bike’s motor work (While the PAS is on) when a rider begins to pedal. Simply, when the cadence sensor detects the rotation from the pedals(Mostly a quarter turn and adjustable), the cadence sensor will send a signal to the controller, then the controller tells the motor to start work, then the motor will work as the controller told it, start smoothly or full power start(Set in controller).

The effort a rider puts in and the selected PAS level will effect how many power the motor outputs. For example, on a cadence-based E-bike, manufacturers generally have preset speeds for each level of PAS. As your pedal cadence increases, the motor will continue to output until it reaches its MAX preset speed or power. While in flat terrains, the E-bike may reach the MAX preset speed, but when in steep terrains, the E-bike could not reaches the preset MAX speed even the motor work on its full power.

• As the chainwheel's rotation comes to the MIN needs of the cadence sensor, the PAS will told the controller to let the motor engage. Your E-bike may need to move a longer(Compared with torque sensor based E-bike) distance before the motor could engage. This will be a significant difference when you are ride off road or on a steep terrain.

• As the pedaling speed increases, the PAS will increase the motor’s output power/speed to the preset (NOT your pedal cadence).

• As the pedaling speed decreases, the PAS will decrease the motor’s output power/speed to the preset (NOT your pedal cadence).



A electric bike cadence sensor is used to detect how fast the a rider is pedaling, the faster you pedal the chainwheel, the more the motor helps you, there are some benefits that comes.

Ease To Use

One of the biggest advantages of riding an E-bike equipped with a cadence sensor is its very ease to use. Cadence sensor-based electric bikes require light pressure on the pedals to activate the motor, or we could say, when the cadence sensor noticed that the chainwheel's rotation is enough, the motor will engage and provide massive assistance.

Efforts Saving

After the motor engage(Before the motor start, you need to pedal the e-bike on your own), you can put MIN efforts which is enough to rotate the pedal and the motor will keep engaging. This makes cadence-based electric bikes becomes a better option for those recreational riders or someone with physical limitations but still wants to ride.

Leisurely Cycling

You can choose if they want to cruise around and have a leisurely ride, pedaling at low assist levels for less assistance. Or, you can turn the PAS level higher to feel the wind. Whatever you want, the electric bike will gives you.


Looking for folding E-bikes? Click here



Though the cadence-based electric bikes are suitable for all riders of all ages, sometimes riders want the riding feel more likely as ride a normal bike, like every time they pedal, they feel like they are pedaling the bike. The cadence sensors could not apply it.


Less Workout

If you want an E-bike to feel more like a normal bike, the cadence based E-bike may not the best choice (If you turn off the PAS, it will be a normal bike). The cadence based E-bike will let the motor engaged anytime when the sensor sensed any rotation. You couldn’t feel an intense workout when riding an E-bike based on cadence sensors, the E-bike will do the most of work for you and you will feel relaxed and enjoy the view, but this may be an absolute riding experience that requires less effort!


Less Mileage(Mostly)

Mileage is one of the important factors when purchasing an electric bike. There are a lot of factors will effect the E-bike's mileage. Extensive use of cadence-based PAS, especially at higher levels for a long time(Such as PAS 4 of 5), needs a large amount of electricity to power the motor. The battery's capacity is certain, decide how many mileages on a single charge.

The cadence sensor will let the motor engage (Before exceeding the MAX speed) the time it feels rotation from your pedal, such as when you are down hill, even if you are empty pedaling (You are not using any effort), the cadence sensor will also let the motor engage all the way to exceeding the MAX PAS speed, but you don't need any help from the motor in this situation.

Learn more: 8 Free tips to increase the E-bike mileage

 cadence sensor torque sensor


When choosing an E-bike between a torque sensor or a cadence sensor, if you want an ride experience that's similar to a normal bike, the torque sensor-based electric bike might be the better choice for you.


While cadence-based sensors measure if a rider is pedaling and how fast is pedaling, torque sensors could measure how hard you are pedaling. A torque sensor measures how much force you are applying to the pedals, then calculates how much power the motor should be. A torque sensor will sense your efforts and amplifying your efforts.


• Even if you are static, the time you put efforts on your pedal, the torqur sensor will 'know' you needs help, then the motor will engage. You just need to let the E-bike moving a little distance before the motor could engage.It's much easier when ride off road or on steep terrains.

• The harder you pedal, the more your motor output, up to the preset of PAS level(Match you cadence).

• The less you pedal, the less output your motor will be(Match you cadence).



The torque-based E-bike has a natural ride feel and more mileage on all types of E-bikes, including a folding E-bike with a torque sensor.

More Exercise

If your goal is to find an electric bike which feel like a boost on you leg while riding, you come to the right place, choose the torque based E-bike! The PAS naturally works with you rather than doing a most of the work for you, the torque sensor could 'feel' how hard you are pedaling, the harder you pedal, the more the motor boost.

Natural Riding Style

You may feel more intuitive because the torque sensor is able to adjust the motor’s assistance power to match your pedaling cadence/efforts. You won’t get a sudden jolt of power when changing PAS levels or start to pedal, the torque sensor 'knows' when and how much power the bike should give you and does smoothly and dynamically. It doesn't like the cadence sensor which could only output the preset power of every PAS level.

More Mileage

Since torque-based E-bikes do not produce a preset output at any PAS level, you may be able to save electricity and ride farther.

As torque sensor E-bikes simply assist you while riding, depending on how much effort you’re putting in, torque sensor E-bikes won’t consume extra energy while you don't need assistance, such as when you are down hill, even if you are empty pedaling (You are not using any effort), the torque sensor will not let the motor engage because you don't really need help. Very smart, isn't?

Ultimately, giving you more control over your ride, your E-bike, and your experience.


Need torque-based E-bike? Don't miss this one: Model 5 



Torque sensor E-bike needs you and your motor riding the bike at the same time, so you can't slack off. In order to reach a higher speed, you need to put more effort into pedaling. But a cadence sensor E-bike will immediately output all the way to its highest preset speed.

More Effort

If a cadence-based E-bike feels too effortless, try a torque-based E-bike. The sensors detect how much effort you’re putting into your ride and help you with the ride, giving you a more natural connection with your E-bike!

In addition, once the top speed is reached on an E-bike with a torque sensor, sustaining the top speed will also require your extra pedal power. It's a workout, but sometimes it's a good thing. What if you don't want to pedal but you want to speed up? Um...don't you know a part named 'Throttle'? With this, you could speed up with no pedal! So...this isn't a disadvantage anymore.

Note: Class 3 E-bike does not has a throttle

 Learn more: Difference between E-bike class 1, 2, and 3


Unable to be lazy

As said above, unlikely to the cadence based E-bike, when you ride with a torque based E-bike, you and your motor are riding the bike at the same time. You pedal less, the motor pedals less; you pedal hard, the motor will pedal harder, so you can't slack off, otherwise the motor will slack off with you and the bike will stop.


 toque sensor cadence sensor

Sum Up

The most important you need to know is, the cadence sensor does not know how hard you are pedaling, it just knowhow fast the pedal you rotate. To explain this, move your bike to a steep terrain, stop it halfway, open the PAS and start pedaling, the cadence sensor E-bike will be harder to start, because your pedal haven't come to rotate enough, the cadence sensor won't be able to know if you are pedaling, so the motor will not engage. But the torque sensor is smarter, it will know when and how much help you needs when you just pedal a little, it could feel the effort you put on the pedal.

There is no absolute statement about which is the best between a torque sensor E-bike and a cadence sensor E-bike, but we do have an absolute statement about which one is the best for you depends on the way you ride.

Cadence sensor PAS technologies are easy to use, have plenty of power, and give you the freedom to put in as little effort as you want but with big assistance power. Also, E-bikes with torque sensors PAS technologies provide a more natural riding experience. Both types of pedal assist sensors will give you exactly what you want: electricity assistance when riding.

The question to ask yourself is, what you want to put in to receive the assistance? If you want feel relaxed and enjoy the view, want to put in as little effort as you want but on high and powerful speeds, try an E-bike with a cadence sensor. Or, if you want natural riding style, more mileage or have some exercise while riding, E-bikes with torque sensors will be the best choice!


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