Electric assist Ebikes assist you while you're pedaling, a little or a lot, dependingon the chosen level. But this assistance is not the same on every bike!
Most electric assist bikes offer 4 to 5 assist levels.
In general on rear wheel motor such as Elby, DCO or AVP you'll get 4 assist level + throttle. Throttle means you do not pedal at all, perfect to give you that little boost to get going when you've stopped, but will devour your range if used a lot!
On central hub motor, you can get 4 to 5 assist level also, and some comes with walk assist such as found on Gazelle, Opus, Bulls ou Tern.
Others have got really creative like GO Cycle, using your on phone as display screen, through their own application which allows you to program and modify the assist level you vs the pedal effor you want to spend at will, creating a custom experience every time.
When you pedal, the energy you generate is measured in watthours. The assistance provided by an electric assist bike is measured in percentage, each company offering different levels of assistance.
So even if two ebikes offer 4 assist levels, it doesn't mean they are even. As one may offer a maximum of 100% of assistance, while the other goes all the way up to 400%. You can easily imagine that assist levels 1, 2,3 and 4 will not be the same with both bikes.
Here's an example: if your ebike offers the 4 following assist levels -> #1 = 10%, #2 = 25%, #3 = 50% et #4 = 100%
And that you generate 10Kwh when you pedal, assist level#1 will provide 10% on top of what you generate. If your assist levels are 20%, 100%, 250% and 400% instead, the assist you'll get will be quite different.
Thus it is really important to ask when purchasing an electric assist bike, what is the maximum assistance offered by the bike.
Assist levels will also greatly influence the range promised by the ebike/brand. The maximum assistance will reduce greatly the amount of km possible, while inversely, the minimum assistance will let you get the maximum range in similar conditions.
Those different assist levels allow you to chose exactly what you want to do, either get to work quickly and easily with no sweat or go for a good cardio, and everything in between! And with the different speeds from the derailleur, such as exciting new stepless variable speed transmission ENVIOLO on our new Gazelle Ultimate C380 ebikes, you can imagine what a technological wonder your electric assist bike is, with promising infinite possibilities!
Hopefully, this bit of info will help you when chosing your futur Ebike.