How to Make the Most of E-Bike Pedal Assist

How to Make the Most of E-Bike Pedal Assist - GOTRAX

For most, pedal assist is the defining feature of an electric bike. Without it, an e-bike is essentially just a traditional bike with a few extra bells and whistles. While pedal assist mostly functions automatically, many new riders are unaware of how to adjust their pedal assist to best maximize the battery life and range of their electric bike. Today, we’ll break down the recommended speed settings for different riding and terrain conditions to help you make the most of every charge. 

Speed Setting 1/2 or LOW

People riding the GOTRAX CTI and CTI Step Thru City Electric Bikes

When riding down hills or on flat, even terrain, you’ll want to keep your e-bike on speed setting 1 or 2 on bikes with 5 PAS options or LOW speed on bikes with 3 PAS options. These roads offer little resistance and, in the case of downhills, even give you a natural boost through gravity. As such, you won’t need as much assistance from the motor for an easy ride, allowing you to coast using your own momentum. If you don’t mind getting in a little bit of a workout, we'd even recommend turning your e-bike off for particularly smooth areas of your ride. While using a higher setting in these areas could make your ride even faster, this will drain your battery much faster, so we suggest that riders use lower settings in these conditions to preserve their battery and extend their range.

Speed Setting 3 or MED

A woman riding the GOTRAX Tundra Fat Tire Electric Bike in the snow.

When the terrain gets a bit tougher, you’ll need more of a boost to help you out. On sight uphills and gravel or dirt paths, we find that speed setting 3 or MED speed works best. Increasing your speed settings will usually give you the push you need to make it up gradual inclines or through tough patches of ground without much issue. Though these medium settings will use up a bit more of your battery, the speed you gain and the effort you save are well worth it.

Speed Setting 4/5 or HIGH

A man riding the GOTRAX D1RT Electric Mountain Bike on an off-road trail.

We recommend that riders save speed settings 4 and 5 and HIGH speed for only the roughest of terrains and steepest of hills. These are the environments where an e-bike will help the most, so naturally, these are also the circumstances where you’ll want to use your e-bike to the fullest. Riders who may have normally struggled with these riding conditions will find that these higher PAS settings allow them to tackle such obstacles without much issue at all. However, these settings are the most draining on the battery, so riders who are looking to make longer trips or who want to get the most out of each battery charge will want to switch back to lower PAS settings as soon as the terrain evens out a bit.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you should be able to get even more out of your e-bike’s battery while keeping your rides smooth and easy. While your PAS settings have a major impact on your range, remember that battery charge will vary depending on other factors as well, including total rider weight, incline, temperature, and more. If you want to learn more about riding your e-bike, check out our before you ride guide to electric bikes.

No matter what conditions you ride in and what speed settings you choose, just make sure to stay safe, follow the rules of the road, and always wear a helmet!

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