Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
lowrider
Posts: 117
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby lowrider » 2 Sep 2019, 11:00am

I am investigating the possibility of e bike touring and I am wondering which is the best way to go. I was comparing a Bosch e bike with a conversion.

One thing that did come across was that the claimed ranges of say the Bosch system seemed much higher than would be expected with a conversion. One example was the salesman was claiming a range 80 to 90 miles on with a Bosch performance line motor and a 400ah battery. This seemed a bit optimistic to me, the bike was a Lapierre overvolt trekking.

Does anyone have experience of the range of a similar trekking bike with a Bosch motor and a 400ah battery and would a similar equipped bike be superior in terms of range of a mid motor conversion in terms of range.

hemo
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby hemo » 2 Sep 2019, 11:27am

A lot of the range stuff from this or that system is sales pitching and generally carp.
Range is dependant on many variables, battery capacity, assist level used, terrain, weather/conditions, rider weight and weight carried just to name a few. The torque drive systems offer a slight advantage over the cadence drive systems in range though requires the rider to have ample input and stamina, other wise they are more of a liability if you run out of puff.

Conversions give you the ability to know the system better and the possibility to carry out fault finding or diy /maintenance repairs with available components to buy for most kits, the enclosed systems like Bosch, Shimano & Yamaha etc are not so and you are tied to the dealers for warranty repair or expensive out of warranty repair. Parts are generally not available for after market sale unless you find something used on ebay.

Unfortunately warranty/network for ebikes is very poor and doesn't work like car warranties.
A dealer repair under warranty should be all free of charge, but take your Bosch or what ever closed system bike to another dealer and they will charge labour for any work done.

stodd
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Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby stodd » 2 Sep 2019, 1:51pm

As Hemo says, range depends on so many factors.
The Bosch Range Assistant https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/ allows for many of those factors and gives a very good idea. I and others have found it gives a pretty good estimate; it can also be uses for non-Bosch with a little guesswork on selection of motor type and assist levels, and simple calculation for different battery sizes.

Assume eco and flat all the way and road bike with fast tyres on road and it is easy to get estimates over 100 miles on a 400wh battery; and they are probably true if you really do keep to those parameters. On the other hand, with tour level assist, a few hills, a heavier bike with slower tyres and some off-road tracks it drops to just over 30 miles; that is a good estimate for what we see.

I think the efficiency of most systems is pretty similar (except heavy, illegal, large power direct drive hubs which are very inefficient). You can see various measures of different motors under different loads/speeds at https://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html, but sadly that does not include Bosch.

Lodge
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016, 8:59pm
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby Lodge » 2 Sep 2019, 2:23pm

As mentioned range will depend upon many variables such as rider and luggage weight together with terrain and level of assist used.

For example, yesterday I did 54 miles with 3300 feet of climbing at 13.5 mph round the SW edge of the Peak District. The first part I used "Tour" but for the last 18-20 miles of peaky stuff turned it up to "Turbo" as my other half was expecting me back (in other words I went further than planned and progress along the Macclesfield canal was slower than anticipated due to poor surface and loads of walkers to slow down and say "hello" to). I was left with 2 blips out of 5 from the two by 500 Wh battery system.

The previous week I did 66.5 miles, 5775 feet at 13.6 mph round the White Peak area, mostly on "Tour" with some on "eMTB", leaving only only 1/5 blips. Some of this was off road along steep and rocky tracks; this really drains battery power.

I weigh 65 kg, R&M Delite weighs 32 kg and for day trips I have one pannier with perhaps 5 kg.

In the past I have done over 100 km (64 miles) on my wife's 35kg Hase Kettwiesel trike with its single 418 Wh battery. But that was when we were living in France and it was along the Rhine valley i.e. rather flat, and for the first 20 km did not use any motor assist.
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lowrider
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Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby lowrider » 2 Sep 2019, 8:44pm

Thanks to all for the timely replies,

I think what the consensus is what my suspicions were that the manufacturers claims were on the optimistic side. Most of the bikes looked overweight with draggy tyres, what I was thinking was if this was not an e bike would you think of buying it? mostly the answer was no. My thoughts were there would be only minor improvement in efficiency if any between conversion and a full e-bike. I was impressed by the finish of the Bosch system less so when I was quoted £800 for a spare 400ah battery.

I am leaning towards conversion rather than a complete bike. The main reason is that the bike is almost certainly going to turn out lighter and hence easier to peddle with no power, potentially with better range.

There are other good reasons
Hemo
Conversions give you the ability to know the system better and the possibility to carry out fault finding or diy /maintenance repairs with available components to buy for most kits, the enclosed systems like Bosch, Shimano & Yamaha etc are not so and you are tied to the dealers for warranty repair or expensive out of warranty repair. Parts are generally not available for after market sale unless you find something used on ebay.

I intend to do out of warranty repairs myself, I had not seen many adverts for spares for the bosch system but there were reports of failure, specifically with the Bosch motor type I was considering. This was also the case for at least one of the conversion motors but there seemed to be spares and upgrades available meaning repair was feasible at reasonable cost. I was told by at least one Salesman " Bosch never go wrong" I was sceptical about that, more important to me is can it be repaired at reasonable cost if it goes wrong.

Lodge

Thanks for the input re range though I suspect you are much fitter.

Stodd

Thanks for the links to range estimates I will do a bit of studying to see what would be a realistic battery size with these. I have a figure of 60miles over hilly ground, mostly lanes of easy off road with panniers as the ideal.

If anyone out there has more to comment or has experiences to add please reply.

hemo
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby hemo » 2 Sep 2019, 9:15pm

Battery wise for bike kits you can use any generic 36 or 48v lithium battery case/design you like and mount it where you wish, they unlike Bosch ect ,etc don't have to do any handshaking with other components like controller or display. These batteries are at least half the price of Bosch and even better for about £300 you can have any battery case re-celled with top quality cells at ebikebatteries .co.uk.
Typically 10wh = 1 mile though this can vary widely, rider input and fitness has a say in this. An unfit lazy rider can calculate 20wh/m whilst a good quite fit rider could achieve 6 - 8wh/m , Obviously if peddling above 15.5mph (cut off speed) range will be greater.

Lodge
Posts: 58
Joined: 28 Feb 2016, 8:59pm
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby Lodge » 2 Sep 2019, 11:02pm

Thanks for the compliment re: fitness; I do still tend to get hot and sweaty even on ebikes. I just go faster and further than without. Interestingly on the flat or gently uphill my average speed is pretty much 15-16 mph with the motor easing off i.e. even using the Bosch "Turbo" mode I'm still adding 100 W or so of my own power (as judged from my indoor turbo trainer for similar effort).

It would be very interesting if you could report back when you've got your ebike. It would be very interesting to gather examples to get a feel for how conversions of efficient bicycles compare with ready-made ebikes.

CXRAndy
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Joined: 18 Aug 2019, 1:45pm

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby CXRAndy » 3 Sep 2019, 7:17am

I would look into a Bafang or Tongsheng TSDZ2 kits, go for the 48V motor/controller.

You can get the kits with custom firmware to enhance range by being able to add 52V battery.

£800 for a 400Wh battery, that is alot. I bought a 700Wh battery for £280

You just need a bike with a 68/73 threaded bottom bracket or an adaptor to fit mtb BB

stodd
Posts: 98
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby stodd » 3 Sep 2019, 12:10pm

Bosch batteries are expensive for their capacity, but £800 for a 400w is over the top.

https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/bosch-po ... anthracite shows it for £425, and even suggest rrp of £530.57.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby al_yrpal » 3 Sep 2019, 12:39pm

I have had my Ortler E Bike weighing 25 kg with a Bosch Performance drive for a couple of months. https://www.bikester.co.uk/739015.html Its pretty hilly here. I weigh 85kg. Based on my experience I would expect maximum range of 50 miles with say 16kg of touring kit and perhaps 65 miles on flatter ground with my 500ah battery. Cant fault the Bosch drive its intelligent response to my peddling efforts is brilliant. 90 miles would perhaps be achievable in somewhere like Suffolk or Holland where there are no hills, only slopes.
One of my friends converted his Raleigh by fitting a motor to the front wheel. He felt the torque steer made the bike dangerous and sold the kit and the bike before buying a Cube E Bike very similar to mine.

As a moderately experienced touring cyclist, if I was able to I would be very happy touring on my bike which I paid £1500 for in Bikesters summer sale. Its stiff robust frame is ideal to carry big loads safely. I would invest in a spare battery though, perhaps 400ah to keep costs lower.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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philg
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Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby philg » 3 Sep 2019, 1:30pm

What others said about range - the original 'how long is a piece of string' question IMHO.

I had quite a few bikes of varying quality lying idle in the garage following my mis-firing heart affliction so the decision to convert was a no-brainer for me.

I first converted my Spa Touring (700c) with a Swytchbike system, which is front wheel drive with a 36V 10A-hr battery (the '50 mile' version).
This I like although the PAS algorithm is not particulary intuitive; it is very neat with the battery, controller and display integrated into a bar bag and would be my recommendation for a road bike, though maybe not at the full RRP (I got in on the 50% pre-order discount though had to wait 9 months!).
The second was to fit a Yosepower 350W rear wheel drive to my MTB which with a 480Whr battery cost a little over £320 and I really like it. It's not as tidy as the Swytch but on a mountain bike it hardly matters (to me). The rear wheel drive is more suited to off-road as you don't lose traction on steep uphills where a front drive wheel tends to lift.

In terms of range, both sets are good for 25-40 miles here on Exmoor with typically 1200+ metres of climbing. On a recent trip to the Cotswolds the Spa did 45 miles and still had 75% capacity left, ditto 50 miles in Northern France.

I did ponder a mid-drive system (Bafang or Tongsheng TSDZ2) but decided on hub mounts, there are pros and cons for each method and I wouldn't argue with anyone's alternative decision, it's a matter of personal preference.

Each conversion took less than 2 hours (going very slowly) using basic tools, YouTube was very helpful here - I could repeat in under an hour now.

I would take issue with the nay-sayers concerning the Chinese kit - IME they are extremely well sorted and use standard off the shelf e-bike parts (all made in China anyway) so spare availability is definitely not an issue (Ali express, DX or even ebay & Amazon marketplace all) and the cost savings are significant.

HTH

lowrider
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Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby lowrider » 4 Sep 2019, 11:02pm

Hemo
Battery wise for bike kits you can use any generic 36 or 48v lithium battery case/design you like and mount it where you wish, they unlike Bosch ect ,etc don't have to do any handshaking with other components like controller or display. These batteries are at least half the price of Bosch and even better for about £300 you can have any battery case re-celled with top quality cells at ebikebatteries .co.uk.


Thanks for the contact I am aware of this one of the reasons I am leaning towards a conversion, thanks for the link.

CXRAndy
I would look into a Bafang or Tongsheng TSDZ2 kits, go for the 48V motor/controller.

The TSDZ2 is one of the motors I would consider using the torque sensor and spares availability the main reasons.

Todd
Bosch batteries are expensive for their capacity, but £800 for a 400w is over the top.

https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/bosch-po ... anthracite shows it for £425, and even suggest rrp of £530.57.

Thanks for the link still expensive for what it is but at least more reasonable than what I was quoted. This makes the bosch option a little more attractive but still expensive.

al_yrpal
I have had my Ortler E Bike weighing 25 kg with a Bosch Performance drive for a couple of months. https://www.bikester.co.uk/739015.html Its pretty hilly here. I weigh 85kg. Based on my experience I would expect maximum range of 50 miles with say 16kg of touring kit and perhaps 65 miles on flatter ground with my 500ah battery. Cant fault the Bosch drive its intelligent response to my peddling efforts is brilliant. 90 miles would perhaps be achievable in somewhere like Suffolk or Holland where there are no hills, only slopes.
One of my friends converted his Raleigh by fitting a motor to the front wheel. He felt the torque steer made the bike dangerous and sold the kit and the bike before buying a Cube E Bike very similar to mine.

As a moderately experienced touring cyclist, if I was able to I would be very happy touring on my bike which I paid £1500 for in Bikesters summer sale. Its stiff robust frame is ideal to carry big loads safely. I would invest in a spare battery though, perhaps 400ah to keep costs lower.

Al

Thanks, this is the type of response from a built up bike user I wanted for balance. The bike although a little heavy is the type and the price that would be attractive eliminating all the hastle of conversion. However this particular bike highlights an issue that is making me lean more towards conversion. My height means that this model, even in the smallest size is just too big, a problem with a lot of the e bike market (and touring bike market).

However I have seen some models that would be suitable size wise but none yet ticks all the boxes, there either expensive, very heavy open frame dutch type or the wrong type such as an MTB. The MTB type might be adapted ie slick tyres, rack ect but not my first choice although one of the bikes I am considering converting is such a converted MTB.

My preferred conversion project is a small Dawes with drop bars. I project that the all up weight would be around 20 to 21kgs still light for an e bike and making a loaded weight not too excessive. That would be with a 600 or 700 wh battery. The battery is the hardest bit to sort out, because of weight and size issues I am being pushed to using a battery utilising high capacity cells. Sourcing a suitable battery and accommodating it on a small frame is the biggest issue I have with a conversion.

Any Ideas on sourcing a suitable battery or accommodating it on a small frame would be welcomed along with any small framed complete bike suggestions would be welcome.

philg
What others said about range - the original 'how long is a piece of string' question IMHO.

I had quite a few bikes of varying quality lying idle in the garage following my mis-firing heart affliction so the decision to convert was a no-brainer for me.

I first converted my Spa Touring (700c) with a Swytchbike system, which is front wheel drive with a 36V 10A-hr battery (the '50 mile' version).
This I like although the PAS algorithm is not particulary intuitive; it is very neat with the battery, controller and display integrated into a bar bag and would be my recommendation for a road bike, though maybe not at the full RRP (I got in on the 50% pre-order discount though had to wait 9 months!).
The second was to fit a Yosepower 350W rear wheel drive to my MTB which with a 480Whr battery cost a little over £320 and I really like it. It's not as tidy as the Swytch but on a mountain bike it hardly matters (to me). The rear wheel drive is more suited to off-road as you don't lose traction on steep uphills where a front drive wheel tends to lift.

In terms of range, both sets are good for 25-40 miles here on Exmoor with typically 1200+ metres of climbing. On a recent trip to the Cotswolds the Spa did 45 miles and still had 75% capacity left, ditto 50 miles in Northern France.

I did ponder a mid-drive system (Bafang or Tongsheng TSDZ2) but decided on hub mounts, there are pros and cons for each method and I wouldn't argue with anyone's alternative decision, it's a matter of personal preference.

Each conversion took less than 2 hours (going very slowly) using basic tools, YouTube was very helpful here - I could repeat in under an hour now.

I would take issue with the nay-sayers concerning the Chinese kit - IME they are extremely well sorted and use standard off the shelf e-bike parts (all made in China anyway) so spare availability is definitely not an issue (Ali express, DX or even ebay & Amazon marketplace all) and the cost savings are significant.

HTH


Thanks for this contribution,your conversion sound similar to what my preference for a conversion is and it looks like given the figures your quoting (along with others) I am not too far out with the battery capacity for what I want.

I still would prefer the mid mount option but your experience shows that a hub motor might be ok. I would only consider a rear hub type for the reasons given by Al_yrpal regarding a front hub.

Lowrider

hemo
Posts: 433
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby hemo » 6 Sep 2019, 1:06am

Hub motors are more reliable long term then Crank drive kits motors, hubs give a more relaxing ride.
Though if a more natural ride feel is required then TDSZ is better then a BBS, and a good hub drive is better imho then a BBS as they both have a cadence/pas system but hubs are just so much more reliable.
By choice 48v is the way to go.

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Conversion V Complete e bike in terms of range

Postby Oldjohnw » 6 Sep 2019, 2:06am

I've had a front hub driven Raleigh for three years. I find no problems whatever. Part from once when carrying full camping kit in the back I pulled away too quickly and got a very slight wheel spin.
John

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