HIBOY US:14 Jul, 2023

What are E-Bike Pedal Sensors: Torque Sensor vs. Cadence Sensor

What are E-Bike Pedal Sensors: Torque Sensor vs. Cadence Sensor


E-bikes have come up as a convenient way to commute across the world. Their lightweight body and pedal assist facility makes them a perfect travel buddy even in high-traffic areas. But do you know what an ebike pedal is what it does? 

An electric bike assist is equipped with sensors that let the motor know when it needs to be engaged or disengaged. It also lessens the reliability of the throttle for having dominance of motor controls along with telling the motor about the power supply.

The torque sensor gauges the effort required for pedaling and assures the sync between the motor's assistance and the natural pedaling motion of the rider. This functionality aids in providing a spontaneous and smooth experience of riding an e-bike.


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Understanding different types of Pedal Sensors

Now that you know the functionality of a pedal sensor, you must also know its various popular types and what they are used for.

What is Cadence Sensor? 

A Cadence pedal assist sensor in an electric bike lets you know your pedaling frequency. In the most initial model, you can try a basic on or off switch. It also utilizes the magnet on the crank to turn on the motor if the user is pedaling and off it once the pedaling stops. 

Herein the assist mode can be managed manually by moving it upward or downward to change speed and boost level. Being a cost-effective way of adding a pedal assist to your e-bike, you may find it helpful. However, some cons are discussed ahead.

What is a Torque Sensor?

A pedal-assist electric bike with a torque sensor utilizes another technology that has a strain gauge. The force of the pedal is equivalent to 1000 samples every second measured over the overall pedal stroke. To make it easier to understand, the more energy you use for pedaling, the more power the motor will get, and vice versa. Due to this mechanism, you will notice an amplification in your input, and you may feel extraordinary—all thanks to the adjustments or tuning made in real time. 

You will find torque sensors in high-end bikes in most countries. Owing to their attention to detail in its component, you may find it slightly higher in cost. The cost is higher because of the implementation of technology in your pedal assist bike.   

Man Riding on Grass


Pros and Cons of Torque Sensor and Cadence Sensor

Since you have a glimpse of what is a Torque and a Cadence sensor and how pedal assist works in both, now is the time to see their pros and cons at a glance.

Torque Sensor

Here are a few pros and cons of torque sensors.


  • The ride quality is superb, natural, smooth, and intuitive.
  • You can see an instant response when pedaling is changed.
  • You get an increased range of 5 to 10 miles over the usual one on each charge.
  • Due to consistency in power delivery, it is easier to handle.
  • Since the control is easy, the ebikes with a torque sensor are safe to ride. 


  • These ebikes are heavier on pockets owing to the torque sensor that costs approx $150. On the other hand, the bikes with these sensors cost approx $2000.
  • The pedal assist requires a certain amount of force for motor engagement.
  • These bikes are uncommon.
  • It requires pedaling force in continuation to gain motor engagement.

Cadence Sensor

Here are a few pros and cons of cadence sensors.


  • You may find a cadence sensor for $20, and the ebikes with this sensor begin at the cost of $800 approx.
  • The pedal assist is easy to use for starting the motor; you require rotation of the pedals to some degrees.
  • You can find a majority of e-bikes with Cadence sensors.
  • To engage the engine, you have to spin the pedals.


  • You cannot measure the pedaling speed at frequent levels. So it needs to be more responsive.
  • You may feel a power surge while kicking on the motor, and a lag may be experienced before turning on or off the engine.
  • The ride with cadence sensors is not smooth but involves jerks, and the power delivery could be better.
  • Owing to extra effort done by the motor, e-bikes with cadence sensors are meant for shorter travels once they get charged.

Which is better? Torque Sensor Or Cadence Sensor

There are various pros and cons of both Torque and Cadence sensors. So, how to jump to the conclusion of which one is better? We provide you with a quick comparative table to decide the best one for your e-bike.


Torque Sensors

Cadence Sensors

Winner Verdict

Power Delivery

It is easy to anticipate power delivery in electric assist bikes with torque sensors making it easier to ride in corner areas or places with crowds.

These give a lag along with power surges in unexpected or sudden ways.

Torque sensors.

Effectiveness and Range

It can go up to 35-40 miles after a full charge, and you can travel 5-10 more per charge.

Cadence sensors give your ebike a range of 25 to 30 miles.

Torque sensors.


While changing the pedal power, you can notice instant reactions and adjustments in the motor while working with torque sensors. 

Cadence sensors judge whether the rider is pedaling and do not gauge when your pedaling speed changes.

Torque sensors.

Handling Capability

Ebikes with Torque sensors can be handled better due to their confident acceleration through corner areas and predictable acceleration capabilities.

Due to the jerky motions of cadence sensors, there comes a lag between pedaling and motor engagement, which can be dangerous on slippery surfaces. It becomes more challenging to handle and steer them. 

Torque sensors.

Sensor Safety

Torque sensor e-bikes can be controlled quickly and pose fewer dangers in terms of riding in comparison to cadence sensors.

Cadence sensors lag when pedaling starts, so it takes time to catch speed and engage.

Torque sensors.


Owing to safety reasons, ebikes with torque sensors are more popular and permissible in some jurisdictions.

Ebikes with cadence sensors are not popular in various places and are discontinued by jurisdictions due to safety issues.

Torque sensors.

Ride Feel

Torque sensors give a smoother, more comfortable, and natural ride.

Cadence sensors give a jerky, uncomfortable, and bumpy ride.

Torque sensors.


Torque sensors cost around $150, whereas a pedal bike motor with a torque sensor goes around $2000. The price hike comes due to their technicality.

Cadence sensors are simpler, costing around $20, whereas ebikes with these sensors cost about $800.

Torque sensors.


Pedal-assist e-bikes have many benefits, from being intuitive to giving a quick response. It also has an add-on of a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable ride, along with saving on energy and some extra bucks. However, with the use of different sensors, your experience may differ.

E bike pedal vehicles with both torque and cadence sensors assist with measuring your pedaling and sending signals to the control unit of your ebike. However, torque sensors are better than cadence sensors in terms of safety, smoothness of ride, and power delivery. Along with this, many places do not consider cadence sensors legal. So, our verdict goes in favor of torque sensors owing to their bundle of efficiencies.