We often get asked in the shop about the difference between cadence sensors and torque sensors. Nearly all hub motors have what is called cadence sensing, that means that the motor is activated with revolutions of the crank; you need to pedal about half a turn before the motor gets activated. The system is very robust and is the most popular system on the market but its main downfall is when you are stationary and need to start pedalling up a hill. Because you need to do the first revolution unassisted it can be difficult because of the hill and the extra weight. Torque sensing systems come standard on nearly any high-end mid-drive motor like the BOSCH or SHIMANO system and they differ in that the motor is activated by pressure, as soon as you push on the pedals the motor is activated. This system is superior due to the more instantaneous activation of power and higher levels of feedback from the sensor providing a smoother riding experience.
For the last few years we’ve been trying different torque sensors to work with our hub motor kits and we’re finally pleased to be able to supply the market with one. The system is a touch on the expensive side, adding $350 to an existing hub motor system, but it does provide great pedal assist activation. The kit comes with a variety of parts; a bottom bracket torque sensor, an LCD display, cables, front chain ring, front and rear lights, throttle and a controller. Installation requires a little more work than usual because you have to remove your existing bottom bracket and fit the new one, you also need to drill a hole around 5-10mm in the bottom of the frame to allow the cable from the sensor to exit the frame.
This system can be retro fitted to any electric bike with a hub motor. Please click here to see dimensions, specifications and some basic installation instructions of the torque sensor. Click here to see instructions for programming the LCD display.