E-bike start assist
Start assist is a feature that helps you get your e-bike going from a standstill without you having to start pedalling. You will find this feature extremely handy under certain circumstances, like when you have to start riding facing up a hill. Some e-bike manufacturers make a distinction between two different types of assist: walk assist and start assist.
How does start assist on an e-bike work?
Normally, when riding your e-bike, the motor will switch on as soon as you start pedalling. Start assist does not require your pedalling assistance to activate. It is easily activated using an external switch or button. This is generally on the handlebars of your e-bike.
The difference between start assist and walk assist
Some manufacturers insist that walk assist should only be used when you need to walk your bicycle. But with start assist, you can be sitting on your e-bike and then start riding with the assistance of your motor. In either case, the e-bike will start moving without your having to pedal; start assist only gives more powerful support than the walk assist feature.
How do I activate the start assist on my e-bike?
Your e-bike will have a dedicated switch or button for activating start assist. Usually, this will be on the handlebars. When you engage the switch, your e-bike will accelerate to a maximum of 6 km/h without pedalling.
Can I increase the speed of the start assist on my e-bike?
No, this is prohibited by law. The regulations governing e-bikes stipulate that a walk assist or start assist feature must be set for a maximum of 6 km/h.
Are there e-bikes with both start assist and walk assist?
Generally, an e-bike will have one or the other, and this should be sufficient for normal conditions of use. The start assist feature can also be used when you need to walk your bicycle. If an e-bike only has a walk assist feature, it is not generally recommended that this feature be used for starting.
Does every e-bike have walk assist?
Not every e-bike has a walk assist. But it is a feature that most users greatly appreciate, particularly when you have to walk your bicycle up a steep incline. Most of the major e-bike manufacturers are now including a walk assist feature on their current models. These include: