Speed Sensor, Torque Sensor, and Brake Sensor: HiPEAK’s Sensor May be Suitable for You.
The difference between speed Sensor, torque Sensor, and brake Sensor will be introduced and this article will help you decide more suitable one for you.
Los Angeles, CA (PRUnderground) April 13th, 2023
There are many factors that affect the speed of an electric bicycle, such as the lifespan and power of the battery, which directly affect the operating time and speed of the electric bicycle. In addition to the battery and motor, the pedal sensor is a key part that is easily overlooked. Typically, the most common types of sensors on electric bicycles are speed sensors, torque sensors, and brake sensors. In this article, you will learn about their differences, which will help you decide which type of electric bicycle is more suitable for you.
How do the sensors work?
A sensor is a device that can detect specific signals such as physical or chemical quantities and convert them into electrical signals. Sensors typically consist of a sensing element and a signal processing unit.
The sensing element can change certain properties (such as resistance, capacitance, inductance, light, etc.) based on changes in the physical or chemical quantity being measured, and produce an electrical signal. This electrical signal is then transmitted to the signal processing unit, where it is processed and amplified, and ultimately output to the controller or other device for further analysis and application.
In the sensors of electric bicycles, the sensing element is usually some sensors that measure the rider’s actions, such as speed sensors, torque sensors, and brake sensors. These sensors can convert the rider’s actions into electrical signals and send them to the motor drive controller through the signal processing unit, thereby controlling the electric bicycle. Although different sensors can achieve the same goal, their working methods are different, which can give riders different riding experiences.
Classification of sensors
Electric bicycles typically use three types of sensors to monitor the rider’s movements and control the motor’s output power. These sensors can help electric bicycles provide a more precise and efficient electric assist system, making riding smoother and more enjoyable.
The speed sensor is the most common type of sensor in the market, which can monitor the movement of the rider’s pedals, convert it into an electrical signal, and send the signal to the motor controller to adjust the motor’s output power. In other words, when you start pedaling, your motor starts running, making it easier and more convenient to ride an electric bicycle.
For example, the HiPeak folding electric bike installs the speed sensor on the left side of the electric bike’s frame, connected to the chainring of the bike. With a 750W motor, it detects the rider’s pedaling frequency and speed by measuring the rotation of the bike’s pedals. Based on this information, the motor controller can automatically adjust the output power of the electric assist system, making the acceleration and driving of the electric bicycle smoother and more efficient.
The speed sensor is an important component of the electric assist system on an electric bicycle, which can help provide more precise and efficient assist control, making riding smoother and more enjoyable.
The speed sensor allows the motor to be easily activated by simply rotating the pedals, without the need to apply too much pressure. Therefore, to continue moving the bike forward, you only need to apply the necessary force to push down the pedals. Then, you can control your electric bicycle with enough force, relying more on the motor to propel it, making it easier and faster to move the bike.
Advantages: More affordable price
Speed sensors are typically less expensive than torque sensors, so electric bicycles with speed sensors are more affordable than those without them. The HiPeak folding fat tire electric bike, which comes with a speed sensor, is priced at only $1299, making it a highly cost-effective folding electric bike that can provide a good riding experience for both urban commuting and outdoor adventures. If you have a limited budget, this is certainly an option worth considering.
Disadvantages: Energy consumption to reduce the range
In fact that the speed sensor is closely tied to the amount of power consumed effectively reduces your mileage, which is its downside. Using the pedal assist mode extensively will quickly drain the battery’s energy, as the motor needs to run at high speeds. Therefore, the electric bike’s travel distance will be greatly reduced.
The torque sensor is a type of sensor that measures the twisting force of an object, typically used in electric bicycles to monitor the size of the output torque of the electric assist system.
In an electric bicycle, the torque sensor is installed on the drive shaft or wheel axle, which can detect the torque output of the motor and convert it into an electrical signal. Through this signal, the controller can adjust the motor’s output power in real-time to meet the rider’s needs.
Using a torque sensor can provide a more efficient and smoother electric assist on the electric bicycle, while also increasing battery life and protecting the electric bicycle’s drive system. Therefore, the torque sensor has become a standard feature on many high-end electric bicycles.
Advantages: A more impressive riding experience
Bikes equipped with torque sensors provide a more impressive experience when riding at high speeds. This is because you need to apply a certain amount of pressure on the pedals to move the bike forward. By quick starting and manipulating, the driver can feel the speed change more intuitively, which gives the impression that riding a bike with a torque sensor is more efficient.
Lower energy consumption, more travel range
When you apply pressure to pedal a torque sensor-equipped electric bike, the energy given to the motor is affected by your effort. In other words, when you pedal harder, the motor generates more power. A torque sensor-equipped electric bike allows you to travel farther at lower PAS levels by relying on your own physical exertion rather than the motor.
Disadvantages: More difficult to reach a higher speed
Given the way torque sensors work, bicycles cannot rely solely on electric motor and pedal assist modes to achieve high speeds. Instead, you must pedal harder to accelerate faster. However, most people who choose electric bicycles are often those who don’t want to exert that much effort.
The brake sensor can detect whether the brake is pressed and reduce or stop the output power of the motor by sending a signal to the controller. In an electric bicycle, the brake sensor is usually installed on the brake lever. When the rider presses the brake lever, the brake sensor detects the action and sends a signal to the controller. The motor controller then reduces or completely stops the output power of the motor based on this signal to ensure safe stopping when braking.
The brake sensor is an important component of the electric power-assisted system of an electric bicycle. It can help provide more precise and efficient power assist control, thereby improving safety and riding experience.
Advantages: More safe
The brake sensor can immediately reduce or stop the output power of the motor when the rider presses the brake lever, ensuring safe stopping when braking. The electric power-assisted system of an electric bicycle can control the output power more accurately, reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. It can also reduce the wear and tear of the motor and brake system, prolonging the life of the electric bicycle. At the same time, it improves the smoothness and comfort of riding, making the ride more enjoyable.
Disadvantages: High failure rare and maintenance costs
The brake sensor needs to work frequently, so there may be a certain failure rate. If the brake sensor has problems, it may affect the safety and normal operation of the electric bicycle. In addition, installing the brake sensor of an electric bicycle requires certain technical skills and experience. Incorrect installation or incorrect placement may cause the sensor to malfunction.
If a malfunction occurs and the brake sensor needs to be replaced, this may increase the maintenance cost of the electric bicycle.
Does the position of the motor have an effect on the sensor?
The rear hub motor and mid-drive motor are two common types of electric bicycle motors. Due to its installation position, mid-drive motors are usually more efficient than rear hub motors. There is a misconception that torque sensors only exist in mid-drive motors, but this is actually an incorrect perception. In fact, the main factors that determine riding efficiency are the motor’s power configuration, battery specifications, whether there is a throttle, and the type of sensor. Therefore, the location of the motor is not related to the sensor you choose.
We encourage you to test ride multiple electric bicycles before making a purchase, as everyone has different preferences when it comes to electric bicycles. In order to improve your riding experience, it is recommended that you personally experience the riding effects of different sensors. A speed sensor is suitable for riders on a tight budget or with leg difficulties, as it will use more motor energy to achieve easier riding. On the other hand, a torque sensor is suitable for riders who pursue high performance, as it makes riding the bicycle more comfortable and enjoyable. You can accelerate the bicycle by adjusting the pedal force, which helps save battery power and ride on more surfaces. Brake sensors are more able to ensure your safety, so choosing the most suitable model for your needs will not go wrong.
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