There is a lot of confusion about the rules relating to the throttle or as the bikes that are fitted with these are sometimes called ‘twist and go.’
Twist and go is now, or should be an outdated concept in the UK. At the start of 2016 the rules were changed so that the throttle can only be used without pedalling upto 4 mph. However, so long as the pedals are moving round you can use the throttle to take you right up to the maximum speed of 15.5 mph.
A lot of people think that the throttle has been out-lawed – but it has not. As expressed above you can still use a throttle and in fact this ‘get around’ means that you can effectively do almost nothing with the pedals while the throttle does all of the work.
What about older bikes? If the bike predates the change in legislation then the throttle, with no pedalling required is still legal.
Do we sell bikes with a throttle? In fact only a very few of our bikes have a throttle – these are the Wisper and Freego bikes. The European bikes and any which have a Bosch, Shimano or other mid-mounted motor do not have throttles.
Is the throttle necessary? In nearly all cases we would say no. The amount of assistance that you get from the motor, especially if you put it into the higher levels of assistance mean that it is really very easy to go up even quite steep hills. We get quite a lot of people, who have not tried n e-bike before who come in asking about a bike with a throttle but once they try a bike without one they realise they don’t need one.
We can see that for some people the throttle is a useful add-on – for example just to get started it can give you a quick boost. However if the rider is not able to turn the pedals at all then an electric bike with a throttle is not going to help because the maximum speed is limited to 15.5 mph. We actually think that in the vast majority of cases the throttle is pointless and on some of the bikes it makes the bike more dangerous as the throttle could be inadvertently twisted and the bike could shoot off. If this is perceived to be a risk then the throttle can be disconnected and the bike just used in its pedal assist mode.