What Is Walk Mode On An Electric Bike – How To Use Walk Assist

Pushing a bike up a hill or stairs has always been a bother even for the fittest. With an E-Bike that just got way easier. Learn how to use Walk Assist on your E-Bike with our quick guide.

Where your route requires you to hop off the bike and push up a steep hill or a set of stairs it can get quite tricky. Bikes are great when they get going and you’re seated, but pushing on handlebars has never been that much fun.

This is where walk mode for E-Bikes comes in.

What Is Walk Mode On An Electric Bike?

When you select walk mode, you can push your E-Bike by the handlebars and the motor will give you a little assistance. It makes pushing a bike uphill really easy and way less frustrating.

It’s sometimes called walk assist and generally comes on higher-end E-Bikes and Electric Mountain Bikes especially. Also sometimes known as walk-on mode.

How To Use Walk Mode On An Electric Bike

For most E-Bikes you need to switch to the specific walk mode – then you have to hold another button to move the bike. While holding the button the motor will pull the E-Bike forward at a walking pace.

You normally need to hold the button for assistance. We’ve outlined how to activate walk-assist on a few different brands further down – click here for Walk Mode on different brands of E-Bike.

What Is Walk Mode On An Electric Bike
Walk assist on Electric Bikes makes things much easier when you aren’t allowed to ride

Should I Get An E-Bike With Walk Assist?

One of the biggest benefits of getting a new Electric Bike is the increased mobility. E-Bikes with walk mode tend to be a little more expensive than ones without. However, in many cases, it’s really worth the money.

Trail Users

If you hit up big trails or bike parks regularly you could probably benefit a lot from having a walk mode. Electric Mountain Bikes or eMTBs are great for powering up hills with assistance.

However, sometimes you just have to get off and push because of a steep section, to take a proper breather, or because of others on the trail. Walk assist makes a world of difference here and lets you save your energy for the fun part.

Also helpful if you go completely off trail for an unplanned drop and need to get back onto the actual route.

Retired Riders + Mobility Issues

Electric Bikes are amazing at giving just that little bit of extra help needed for the freedom and exercise that biking offers. Walk mode takes away the annoying stress of pushing a clunky bike around and breaks down one more barrier.

Getting an E-Bike with walk assist is one of our main recommendations if you have any mobility issues. It helps if you have reduced strength, suffer from back pain, or aren’t able to walk completely unassisted. Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying a ride.

City Commuters

Cities can be both amazing for E-Bike commuting and terrible. Long stretches of flat roads are great but bad city planning and brutalist architecture are not bike-friendly.

Getting up weird sections of a city, big concrete stairs, and up into the office are much easier with walk assist.

Apartment Living

Modern life means many live a few floors up. Having walk-assist on your E-Bike helps a lot when you live on the fifth floor without an elevator.

What Is Walk Mode On An Electric Bike - Pushing In The City
E-Bikes with walk-assist make commuting and city living much easier

Is Walk Mode Allowed?

For some bikes, it isn’t allowed under legal guidelines as the walk mode is technically a throttle. Some countries or areas don’t allow throttle E-Bikes at all, only pedal assist. It can definitely be argued that it’s not a throttle or means of propelling yourself though.

Read more about the different E-Bike Laws in the US + Worldwide

We think this should be addressed in law and allowed as this is specifically an assistive technology. It has clear benefits for those who need a bit of help. It also doesn’t cause any of the issues (speed concerns) that legislators disallow throttle for as it’s literally a walking pace.

Class 2 E-Bikes are allowed throttle and some areas allow different classes to mix and match throttle and pedal assist.

How To Program Walk Mode

Many E-Bikes with no walk assist or throttle have ways to either program it or bring back the throttle. With some, you need to program one of the modes to just a tiny bit of power or a low mph limit.

For some bikes, the throttle comes either taken off or just disabled. For those, it’s common to find ways of setting the throttle back up online. It’s also possible to buy the throttle that is sold on the same model in other places or buy an aftermarket one.

E-Bike Walk Mode Problems – Walk Assist Not Working

A common problem is that the walk mode was not set at the factory or at the shop. Check before you buy and if you’re in store get it demonstrated to check it works.

Another common issue is that a button needs to be held to engage the walk mode. Most times you need to switch to the mode and then immediately press the button to get it to move. With Bosch and Shimano for instance you only have a couple of seconds to press that button before Walk Mode disengages.

Some E-Bikes need you to actually be pushing the bike forward at the same time as holding the button (so you aren’t just using the bike to pull yourself uphill). Some also can sense if you are on the bike.

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Electric Bike Walk Mode Tips + Hacks

Use Walk Mode To Lubricate A Chain

A simple way to lubricate your chain is to use walk mode in low gear to turn the chain for you. This also lets you inspect the chain and other parts while moving to see if there is any wobble.

Use Walk Mode To Change Gears

If you’re just about to jump onto a trail or get stuck on a hill climb – sometimes changing gear while on the bike isn’t the faster or safest way.

In this situation just pull the back wheel off of the floor and use walk mode to turn the wheel. This changes gears and lets the E-Bike move the chain around the rear derailleur for you. No stress on the parts that risks a break and no work from you!

Using Walk Mode On Different Brands Of E-Bike

How To Use Walk Mode On A Shimano Electric Bike Motors

Shimano makes many of the motors and parts for some excellent E-Bikes. Their Shimano Steps system is very popular and easy to use. Some models vary but these are the general steps for Walk Mode on Shimano E-Bikes: –

  1. Hold the bottom button on the left switch box until the word “Walk” appears
  2. Release the button
  3. Quickly press the same button again to activate the motor

You might need to press the bottom button on the mode select until the “Off” mode is selected first, before going through the above steps.

How To Use Walk Mode On A Bosch Electric Bike Motor

Bosch is another high-end parts maker that creates great Electric Bike motors, batteries, and other E-Bike parts. They have a few different motors and display systems like the Purion, Intuvia, Kiox, and Nyon.

Bosch motors and control systems are often used in the E-Bikes made by Trek, Riese & Muller, Haibike, Cannondale, and others.

Walk Mode on Bosch Purion system E-Bikes

  1. Set the mode to one of the pedal assist modes like “Eco” by pressing up or down on the left panel of the display unit
  2. The walk assist button is on the bottom of the display unit, press it once and you’ll see “Walk +”
  3. Immediately after, press the “+” or top left button on the display to engage walk mode

Remember you need to press “Walk” then press and hold “+” immediately to get the assist to work. You can adjust the speed of the walk mode by changing the normal gears of the bike.

Walk mode for Bosch Intuvia system E-Bikes

  1. Select a mode with the up or down buttons on the left panel
  2. The walk assist button is on the top of the mode selector box, press it once and you’ll see some text and a walking man icon on the screen
  3. Straight away press and hold the “+” button on the top left to engage walk mode

Again you need to press “Walk” then “+” straight after to get the motor to work otherwise the mode will disappear. You can adjust the speed of walk mode by changing through the normal gears of the bike.

Walk mode for Bosch Kiox system E-Bikes

  1. Select a mode with the up or down buttons on the left panel
  2. The walk assist button is on the top of the mode selector box, press it once and you’ll see some walk assist text on the display
  3. Straight away press and hold the “+” button on the top left to engage walk mode

Again you need to press “Walk” then “+” straight after to get the motor to work otherwise the mode will disappear. You can adjust the speed of walk mode by changing through the normal gears of the bike.

Walk mode for Bosch Nyon system E-Bikes

  1. Select a mode with the up or down buttons on the left panel
  2. The walk assist button is on the top of the mode selector box, press it once and you’ll see “Walk assist +” on the display
  3. Straight away press and hold the “+” button on the top left to engage walk mode

Again you need to press “Walk” then “+” straight after to get the motor to work otherwise the mode will disappear. You can adjust the speed of walk mode by changing through the normal gears of the bike.

How To Use Walk Mode On A Specialized Electric Bike

For Specialized E-Bikes, you can select walk mode very simply. Make sure the E-Bike is turned on, then press and hold the bottom button that looks like a foot/shoe.

How To Use Walk Mode On A Yamaha Electric Bike

Walk Assist on Yamaha E-Bikes is also very simple. Make sure the E-Bike is powered on, then press and hold the bottom left button. It should look like a person walking next to the bike.

How To Use Walk Mode On A Rad Power Electric Bike

Walk Assist mode on the Rad Runner is as simple as holding the bottom left button on the panel. It’s the button with a “-” symbol and a picture of a person walking next to a bike. This also applies to some other Rad Power E-Bikes.

Walk Mode on some of the other Rad Power bikes is similar. Just hold the down arrow on the button panel. For both, the walk mode can take a few seconds to start walking.

How To Use Walk Mode On A Super 73 Electric Bike

Super 73 E-Bikes don’t come with a built-in walk mode. If you got a model with a throttle or installed a throttle yourself, you can just use a tiny bit of the lowest mode of assist to imitate walk mode on a Super 73 E-Bike.

You may also need to install the Super 73 app to change the Mode to a Class 2 or Class 4 to allow the throttle to work.