Suppose I want an electric bike with throttle. Is mid-drive (crank based) even an option? I got impression that mid-drive means pedal assist only (PAS).

  • Not my area of expertise, but the short answer is there are mid drive systems that do have throttles, try googling "mid drive clutch" etc, but many of the more mainstream ones (ie Bosch) don't. There's a lot of statutory/legal barriers in various markets involved. Jan 21, 2019 at 0:30
  • I don't know about the Russian (from your bio) legislation but in the EU electric assist means that the bike won't move unless you pedal. The motor stops once you stop pedalling. So there's no provision for a motorcycle-type throttle.
    – Carel
    Jan 23, 2019 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


While I'm not aware of any examples of a throttle operated mid-drive, it is certainly possible. With a regular bicycle crankset, a mid-drive motor will push the crankset around, transferring the power into the chain through the chainrings to the chain. This involves causing the crankarms to spin while in use, making it Pedal-Assist only for any practical use.

What you would need is a crankset like the one in several Specialized ebike models. These have a freewheel-like release in them. This means that when you pedal backwards, the chainrings do not spin backwards, but when pedalled forwards, the crankset mechanism engages and turn the chainrings forward. With a crankset like this, you could have a mid-drive ebike which could be operated by Pedal-Assist or by throttle.

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