Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc. that are legal in the UK
Dannnno
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Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 6:57pm

Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Dannnno »

peterb wrote: 30 Aug 2023, 4:35pm
CJ wrote: 30 Aug 2023, 1:13pm
peterb wrote: 20 Aug 2023, 2:13pm 1: What is 'the sustainable power output of an ordinary person (not a super-athlete) riding a bike'? and at what age?
I've been out this morning riding with a group of people mostly in their 50s and 60s, who could easily maintain over 20 mph on the flat, and were riding away from me on my e-bike as my unassisted legs could not match theirs. Not super-athletes, just reasonably fit.
So you say, but I think most people would agree with me, that one has to be something more than "reasonably fit" to "easily maintain over 20 mph on the flat". In addition one needs to be perhaps not a super-athlete, but certainly quite an athlete, endowed with the psychology to undergo hard training in order to be that little bit 'better' and with a physique that responds well to training. Most people cannot do that, not even with training, not at any time in their lives. And to retain the ability to do that into one's 50s or 60s is exceptional.

You are fortunate to have been able to ride like that when you were younger. That some still can at 50 or 60 is quite remarkable. That they're not prepared to moderate their flat speed a little in order that their less fortunate clubmates can keep up on E-bikes, is regrettable but not surprising. I guess the competitive drive that made them as fast as they are, is hard to suppress. But I daresay you get even with them uphill!
- we obviously inhabit different worlds. I stand by my original post. The people I ride with are not super fit athletes, they are enthusiastic leisure cyclists, mostly over 50. On club leisure rides, 35 - 45 miles, undulating, sometimes hilly, with a coffee stop halfway. Average speed 13.5 - 14.5mph. I'm 76. Never very competitive. Unfortunately developed peripheral arterial disease a few years ago - hence the e-road bike. Í've been riding bikes for around 65 years. So as a result maybe I'm a bit fitter otherwise than Joe Average at my age. It's all too easy to exceed the 15.5mph cut off speed of an e bike, on any road bike, and on a leisure ride the group's speed can drift up to and over 20 mph on level or slightly downhill stretches. Not unusual. Not super-fit athletes by any means, just reasonably fit average cycling club members enjoying a social ride. Not "racers". You'll see many hundreds like them out on Sunday social rides all over the UK every weekend. Maybe you are right, perhaps it's to do with the type of rider and their motivation. Not sure about great physique being required.

- and we do wait for slower riders, e-bike or otherwise.
Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
Dannnno
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Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 6:57pm

Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Dannnno »

Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
peterb
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by peterb »

Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
Unfortunately I don't think you'll get much support for that idea on this thread!
Good luck, if you're legs are healthy and you can stay in the group until the next up-hill you should do fine. My leg muscles are pretty much bu99ered, and if I drift off the back unnoticed it's hard to re-join. Let your club mates know the score, most will make allowances.
Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Is 250 W enough power?

Post by Jdsk »

Jdsk wrote: 29 Feb 2024, 8:39pm
Jdsk wrote: 29 Feb 2024, 8:37pm The consultation:

"Smarter regulation: proposed changes to legislation for electrically assisted pedal cycles":
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... dal-cycles
Response from the Bicycle Association:
https://www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/n ... ike-rules/

And from Cycling UK:
https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/statemen ... egulations
More detail from Cycling UK on their position and response:

"Does the government really know how to make e-bikes more popular?":
https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/does-gov ... qHR7PVkLYI

Jonathan
Airsporter1st
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Airsporter1st »

Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
I’ve asked before and never received a satisfactory answer - what difference does a few extra kilos of bike weight make, when the average rider is around 7 to 12 times heavier than the bike?
Jdsk
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Jdsk »

Airsporter1st wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 10:44am
Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
I’ve asked before and never received a satisfactory answer - what difference does a few extra kilos of bike weight make, when the average rider is around 7 to 12 times heavier than the bike?
For the three main forces:

Climbing: the force is proportional to the total mass, whether it's on the rider or the bike.

Rolling resistance: roughly proportional to total mass, but see those interesting analyses of the effects of roughness. Those might be different depending on whether the additional mass is on the bike or on the partly-sprung rider.

Aerodynamic drag: not affected by mass per se.

Jonathan
Airsporter1st
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Airsporter1st »

Jdsk wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 10:51am
Airsporter1st wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 10:44am
Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
I’ve asked before and never received a satisfactory answer - what difference does a few extra kilos of bike weight make, when the average rider is around 7 to 12 times heavier than the bike?
For the three main forces:

Climbing: the force is proportional to the total mass, whether it's on the rider or the bike.

Rolling resistance: roughly proportional to total mass, but see those interesting analyses of the effects of roughness. Those might be different depending on whether the additional mass is on the bike or on the partly-sprung rider.

Aerodynamic drag: not affected by mass per se.

Jonathan
- So not much difference at all between say a 6kg bike and a 12kg one for the average cyclist. Why, then, the obsession with cycle weight? I’m not trying to be contentious, merely trying to understand.
stodd
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by stodd »

Airsporter1st wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 11:16am So not much difference at all between say a 6kg bike and a 12kg one for the average cyclist. Why, then, the obsession with cycle weight? I’m not trying to be contentious, merely trying to understand.
In countries where cycling is taken sensibly there isn't such an obsession. (note: those countries are mostly flat)
In cycling sport that 'not much difference' is all the difference between first and last.
Fashion seems to overtake sense in many countries where cycling pseudo-sport is taken too seriously.
For e-bikes the difference is even less important; until you need to carry it upstairs or cycle it home with a dead battery.
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Bmblbzzz »

For any bike, even a sensible shopper used in a pan-flat place, the extra 6kg will make a huge difference every time you want to carry the bike up some stairs, lift it into the boot of a car, a train, or over a gate. And this still applies even if you've got 100kg of luggage: luggage can be removed, the bike itself can't.
Airsporter1st
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Airsporter1st »

Bmblbzzz wrote: 22 Apr 2024, 12:49pm For any bike, even a sensible shopper used in a pan-flat place, the extra 6kg will make a huge difference every time you want to carry the bike up some stairs, lift it into the boot of a car, a train, or over a gate. And this still applies even if you've got 100kg of luggage: luggage can be removed, the bike itself can't.
All true, but the OP is specifically talking about propelling the bike, not about carting it around.
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Bmblbzzz »

The OP wasn't talking about weight at all. That was introduced a few posts ago.
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CJ
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by CJ »

Bmblbzzz wrote: 22 Apr 2024, 12:49pm For any bike, even a sensible shopper used in a pan-flat place, the extra 6kg will make a huge difference every time you want to carry the bike up some stairs, lift it into the boot of a car, a train, or over a gate. And this still applies even if you've got 100kg of luggage: luggage can be removed, the bike itself can't.
But (in most e-bike designs at least) the battery can likewise be removed, and weighs more than the motor.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.
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CJ
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by CJ »

Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
For all of us, if we are fortunate to live long enough, there comes a time when 'keeping up with the group' in spite of the fact that we - who used to be one of the younger members - are now one of the older ones, is no longer a reasonable expectation. It is time to join a different kind of group - or form it, if such a group does not yet exist. Be sure, there will be others still 'just about clinging on', but wanting to make the same transition.

Electrical assistance was not permitted on bicycles so that people could keep on playing at being an athlete, long after such dreams should have been abandoned for less agonistic endeavours. It was to remove the cycling discouragements of big hills, headwinds, age and infirmity, so that those who otherwise wouldn't cycle that route, in this weather, or anymore, might nevertheless get out on a bike and reap most of the benefits - to health and certainly mobility. So now is your time for a more contemplative and cooperative style of cycling. Take more interest in your surroundings, find a group where the pace is set by the slowest and where the ethos is not: "I must get a good workout", but: "how can I help my friends enjoy this ride as much as I do?" That's what CTC always used to be about. I hope it still is.

P.S. Although there's no CTC where I live, I've found a sub-group of Matlock CC with a cooperative and exploratory ethos prevails over the competitive urge and am doing my best to keep it that way. E-bikers are welcomed. Of course it helps that the Peak District is so fiercely hilly that most people are content to view a flat road as place of rest, rather than an opportunity to let rip see how fast I can still make this bicycle go! We have downhills for that, if you've got the nerve, which is something that doesn't necessarily decline with age - at least once one's children have fledged the nest.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.
ChrisF
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by ChrisF »

Dannnno wrote: 4 Apr 2024, 1:10pm Well the Orbea Gain is ordered! However I'm concerned that the group I would like to ride with will be easily riding at 16,17,18mph on many flat stretches... which leaves me trying to propel a 12kg bike at the same speed. Now concerned about this and agreeing that for many club cyclists a 20mph limit would be more helpful. Dannnno
On flat stretches the extra 4-5kg will make no measureable difference. Your advantage will be on the hills. You can save some energy there (compared with your riding mates) and therefore have perhaps a little more left for the flat bits. Your extra weight may even make you go faster on downhills. If you still can't keep up then (as CJ says so eloquently above) it's time for a different type of riding.
Chris F, Cornwall
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Re: Is 250w enough power for modest speed up steep hills

Post by Airsporter1st »

Bmblbzzz wrote: 23 Apr 2024, 9:50am The OP wasn't talking about weight at all. That was introduced a few posts ago.
You are right - my post was in response to the later one about weight (by dannnno) and remains valid, I believe.
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