These favourable forecasts resulted in more e-bike manufacturers (OEMs) entering the market and stronger competition among them.
With a wider range of models and features available, the expectations of a potential buyer regarding the riding sensation have also changed: no matter the bike’s purpose (trekking, city, cargo or mountain bike), whether under load or not - the starting and stopping behavior, acceleration, and motor assistance should be smooth, immediate, intuitive and reliable. In any case, the riding experience depends on the human-machine interface: if the rider’s pedalling power and the motor power interact smoothly, the riding sensation will be a pleasant one.
Hence, e-bike manufacturers work on optimizing drive control by improving the interoperability of the battery, motor, gearbox, controller, and sensors that perform the relevant measurements. The more precise these measurements, the finer the drive control. Whereas in the past the drive control largely relied on cadence measurements, today these are no longer sufficient.
In those cases where commercially available force and torque sensors are not suitable because their dimensions do not fit the bike’s geometry or for other reasons, e-bike manufacturers will have to find solutions tailored to their specific needs. They will look for custom-made OEM sensors, such as cadence sensors or pedal assist sensors that are flexible, robust, durable, and reliable all at the same time; sensors that deliver highly precise results, require no external power, are maintenance-free and, of course, cost-effective. In brief, customized OEM solutions fit the application both technically and on the cost side. Among the currently available technologies, customized strain gauge-based force and torque sensors are the best options because they meet all the requirements.