How would an e-bike help?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Thornyone
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Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

How would an e-bike help?

Postby Thornyone » 27 Jun 2018, 8:34am

Some years ago I used to cycle from my Leicester home to Rutland Water, do a full circuit and cycle home again. It is a ride of 50-60 miles, depending on my route. The problem nowadays is the return journey. There is a lot of up and down and though the hills aren’t huge, the effect is cumulative, especially if the wind is westerly on the return journey (or the weather as hot as yesterday).
So I wonder how an e-bike might help. I would only really want any assistance on the return journey, yet the outward journey is just as hilly, and presumably riding an e-bike with power off would be pretty hard work.

hemo
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Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: How would an e-bike help?

Postby hemo » 27 Jun 2018, 9:39am

Some ride better then others with no power, you will only know by test riding a few.
Those that ride better still means you are lugging about 6 - 8kg of dead weight and more noticeable with hub motor in the rear.
Option with hub drive is you can keep the front 2 x or 3 x chain rings not the case with Crank drives with out customising.

I recently left my heavy ebike with twin batteries at home and used a lighter weight gravel bike for a 70 mile regular ride consisting of National bike route, some roads and an old railway/cycle route.
The nimbler new bike felt great and at times my d/h speed was faster, only the inclines were a bit harder however climbing out the saddle to pedal was easier then doing the same on an assisted bike.
An option I'm weighing up is to add a friction drive to the rear which is easy to engage and disengage,
small motor drive unit and 20ish mile range battery all comes in at only an extra 2.5kg added to a bike kitted out at 14kg +rider. A boost just for hills.

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horizon
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Location: Cornwall

Re: How would an e-bike help?

Postby horizon » 27 Jun 2018, 10:17am

Thornyone wrote:So I wonder how an e-bike might help.


Thorneyone: this doesn't answer your question (as I think you are asking about the implications for the outward journey) but might satisfy my curiousity. AIUI, the total journey is now a bit too hard so the obvious answer is to shorten the ride (something we all have to do, whatever our ability). Other options include doing part of it by car or train. You could even stop overnight!

The point I want to make is that if you have a journey in mind that is beyond your capability then some form of powered assistance is necessary. However, looking at it the other way round, an e-bike makes longer journeys possible so what you might have in mind might be different. (BTW I do long journeys by train and bike so am not averse to assistance.)

So what I would like to ask is: what is your starting point? Is it somewhere you would like to go (and therefore how to get there) or is it where you might go on your (unpowered) bike?
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

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Vetus Ossa
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Location: London, Paris, New York but mostly Plymouth.

Re: How would an e-bike help?

Postby Vetus Ossa » 27 Jun 2018, 1:15pm

As an owner of a Bosch powered ebike here are my thoughts.
I am 70 and not in the best of health but I am able to ride 50 miles fairly comfortably on it.
I use assistance all the time, sometimes tour mode, but usually emtb. I did run out of power recently as somewhere along my ride I managed to switch to turbo mode without realising it, and had to ride the last two miles with no power, and as you surmise, its not a thing most would want to do.
I think I were able to use eco mode I could cycle 60 miles without too much bother.

hemo
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Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: How would an e-bike help?

Postby hemo » 27 Jun 2018, 1:56pm

Hub bikes ride different to Mid drive bikes.
Hub bikes use a cadence/pas assist sensor where as mid drive like bosch/yamaha/steps etc use a torque drive both give a totally different riding experience. My hub bikes, mine has 5 assist levels and I only use level 3 - 5 dependant on the inclines I come across other wise I use level 2 which is 60 more effiecient then level 3.

I havea bafang cst hub with a 3yr old battery, using assist 2 I get 37 odd miles from the battery with a segment to go. Battery registers 36.3v so 75/80% spent, bms lvc is 33- 34v so a few miles left in the tank may be 5 - 8 max, if I use assist 3 range goes down to 22- 24 miles.

Thornyone
Posts: 327
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: How would an e-bike help?

Postby Thornyone » 27 Jun 2018, 6:04pm

horizon wrote:
Thornyone wrote:So I wonder how an e-bike might help.


Thorneyone: this doesn't answer your question (as I think you are asking about the implications for the outward journey) but might satisfy my curiousity. AIUI, the total journey is now a bit too hard so the obvious answer is to shorten the ride (something we all have to do, whatever our ability). Other options include doing part of it by car or train. You could even stop overnight!

The point I want to make is that if you have a journey in mind that is beyond your capability then some form of powered assistance is necessary. However, looking at it the other way round, an e-bike makes longer journeys possible so what you might have in mind might be different. (BTW I do long journeys by train and bike so am not averse to assistance.)

So what I would like to ask is: what is your starting point? Is it somewhere you would like to go (and therefore how to get there) or is it where you might go on your (unpowered) bike?

I think that your suggestions are very sensible. I would like to be able to do the sort of rides I used to manage, but I need to remind myself that it was over 20 years ago. I can still manage reasonable rides under my own power so it would make sense to try to accept that I am older than I was and enjoy what I can still do without a powered bike. I cycle about 150 miles a week on average and I suppose that 150 miles under one’s own steam is better than 200 miles with assistance :D