What is Ebike Torque Arm?As a general rule, if you are using a 750 Watt motor, you will need a torque arm regardless of whether you have a front motor or a back motor on your eBike. However, if you have a 500 Watt front motor, it is highly recommended that you use a torque arm on your electric bike.
As a whole, a torque arm supports the axle of a powerful motor. You can find it in various shapes and sizes, but usually, one size fits most electric bikes. Of course, you also have the option to get a custom torque arm for your electric bike.
Torque can open the dropouts of electric bikes. A torque arm would protect the dropouts and help them resist the motor’s torque.
On top of that, the torque arm protects your electric bike and your electric bike’s motor.
Electric bikes do not necessarily need torque arms, but they are highly recommended. However, it is highly advisable to have a torque arm with a DIY electric bike for safety reasons. If you are looking to add a torque arm to your e-bike, check out this torque arm which will fit most Front, Mid Drive, and Rear Hub Motors.
For a motor that is 250W or less, a torque arm isn’t needed as the electric bike will work fine without it, but for 750W or more motor, a torque arm would be necessary.
The bottom line is you should always get a torque arm if you have a high-powered electric bike. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are interested in installing a torque arm in your electric bike.
What is an Ebike Torque Arm and Why Do I Need One？
A torque arm is an extra piece of support metal added to a bicycle frame to more securely hold the axle of a powerful hubmotor. But let’s back up and get some more perspective on torque arms in general to learn when they are necessary and why they are so important.
Many people choose to convert a standard pedal bicycle into an electric bicycle to save money over purchasing a retail ebike. This is a great option for a number of reasons and is surprisingly easy to do. Many manufacturers have designed simple ebike conversion kits that can easily bolt onto a standard bicycle to convert it into an electric bicycle. The only problem is that the poor guy that designed your bicycle planned for it to be used with lightweight bike wheels, not giant electric hub motors. But don’t worry, that’s where torque arms come in!
Torque arms are there to help your bicycle’s dropouts (the part of the bike that holds onto the axles of the wheels) resist the torque of an electric hubmotor. You see, normal bicycle wheels don’t apply much torque to the bicycle dropouts. Front wheels actually don’t apply any torque, so the front fork of a bicycle is designed to simply hold the wheel in place, not resist its torque while it powers the bike with the force of multiple professional cyclists.
Rear wheels on standard bicycles traditionally do apply a small amount of torque on the dropouts, but not more than the standard axle bolts clamped against the dropouts can handle.
What Is An Ebike Torque Sensor?
As a general rule, torque sensor electric bikes are pedal-assisted e-bikes equipped with a torque sensor that controls the power output of the electric bike. This torque sensor is more costly than the cadence sensor but performs better.
Unlike the cadence sensor, the torque sensor does not measure how fast the rider pedals but how hard they pedal. As a result, the torque sensor makes the ride more intuitive and smoother.
Safety is one of the most important things to consider while riding. This torque sensor ensures the safety of riders by detecting and controlling the force applied by the riders when they pedal.
Choosing the best motor with high torque can significantly impact your riding performance when navigating steep hills. So, if you plan on buying a new electric bike or a new motor, always consider your riding environment and riding style.
Before replacing your current motor with a high torque motor, always check if the motor is compatible with your e-bike and e-bike battery.
What Is An Ebike Torque Sensor?
A torque sensor on an Ebike is an instrument that measures the pedal force applied by the rider and determines the amount of power needed for output. It is critical as it decides how much force the motor will supply to the wheel.
Electric bikes contain pedal assist sensors that turn on the motor when you pedal without a throttle. Torque uses a strain gauge, which is an advanced form of pedal-assist sensors.
The torque sensor modulates the power to the motor depending on the force applied to the pedal.
It helps save your energy. You can climb up rough terrains without feeling exhausted and enjoy a smoother ride, thanks to a torque sensor.
Can You Add An Ebike Torque Sensor?
As a general rule, a torque sensor can be installed on an e-bike. There are several torque sensor kits available for various motors. However, some electric bikes may not have the option to add a torque sensor, so it is best to check with your electric bike company.
A torque sensor can fit almost all e-bikes. In addition, they are compatible with both low and high-powered systems, so you should buy a torque sensor according to your electric bike’s motor power.
For different motors, torque sensors deliver a varied amount of maximum torque. In addition, torque sensors can be added to motors as low as 200W to as high as 1000W.
The torque sensor kits are easy to install and typically include all the necessary tools and instructions.
Which Is Better: Torque Or Cadence Sensor?
A Torque Sensor is better than a Cadence Sensor. This is because the torque sensor uses more advanced technology. Cadence sensors are found in most basic electric bikes instead of higher-end models.
The torque and cadence sensors are the two main types of pedal sensors in pedal-assisted electric bikes.
The Torque sensor is better than the cadence sensor because it offers incredible advantages. For instance, torque-sensing delivers a smooth and immediate motor activation, especially after stopping.
On the other hand, the cadence sensor is not preferable to use when you’re in an area where stop signs are everywhere. That is because the cadence sensor kicks in a bit hard when you start to pedal after a stop.
Cadence sensors are more like a switch
it turns the motor ON when you start pedaling and turn it OFF when you stop. On the other hand, Torque sensors determine the power that needs to go to the motor and increase/decrease the output.
Cadence sensors are inexpensive, but the pedal assistance is not as smooth as a torque sensor. Many riders say a cadence sensor is best paired with the throttle. However, throttle-assisted e-bikes are not legal in all states and countries.
On the other hand, a torque sensor is expensive, but it provides better and more satisfying results.
Torque arms add strength to weaker bicycle frames
When you swap in an electric hub motor though, that’s when torque becomes an issue. Small motors of 250 watts or less are usually fine. Even front forks can handle the low torque of these hubmotors. Once you start getting up to about 500 watts is when problems can occur, especially if we’re talking about front forks and even more so when the material is weaker, as in aluminum forks.
In this case a torque arm is required to resist the torque of the hub motor. Torque arms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are mass produced, one-size-fits-most styles that slide over the axle of the motor and then clamp or bolt into the bicycle frame, offering a firm connection to the bicycle further away than the surface of the axle.
Other torque arms are custom jobs made by guys and gals in their garages, specifically suited to their own bikes and motors. The one thing all these torque arms have in common is that they grip the flat part of the motor axle and connect to the bicycle frame in a sturdy way to help resist that torque from forcing open the dropouts.
Ebike Torque arm specifics
Three main factors control the effectiveness of torque arms, so you’ll want to pay close attention to these when buying or making your own torque arms. First is the material choice. Look for stainless steel torque arms if possible. These will be even stronger than the mild steel or aluminum that your bike frame is made out of.
Next, thicker is better. Always. You want as much meat gripping that axle as possible. Try to find a nice thick torque arm. I’ve seen thin torque arms simply cut a slit around the axle and still allow it to spin, damaging the bicycle and motor. A quarter inch (0.635 cm) is a good torque arm thickness to aim for. Even thicker is better, of course.
Lastly, the further away the torque arm mounts to the bike, the better. A one inch long torque arm is good, two inches is better, and three inches is better yet. The further from the axle that the torque arm mounts to the frame, the more force it can resist.
Good torque arms won’t be cheap.
Don’t expect to spend less than $15-20 a piece for a decent stainless steel torque arm. The good news is that you can find them all over the internet from many reputable sellers including for between $9-$38 from ebikes.ca (one of the best electric bicycle parts vendors in North America) which are also available to order even easier from Amazon, including a front torque arm here and a rear torque arm here, or for $25 from Electric Rider for a beefy Crystalyte torque arm.
If you’re in a pinch or you really want to make your own, a 10 mm spanner wrench makes a surprisingly good torque arm. Just make sure the wrench doesn’t somehow interfere with the axle nuts closing firmly.
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