Ebike recommendation?

Jon31
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Ebike recommendation?

Postby Jon31 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:07 pm

Hi everyone,
I am a newbie here :) I am looking into ebikes and considering one for my local commute/going grocery shopping etc. basically to replace taking my car when going around locally.
I have read the forum a bit and it seems the 200W throttle is at an advantage over the 250W pedal assist in terms of maximum speed. I understand the 200W will not provide as much torque as the 250W on hills but I am hoping this would still be enough to take me over hills decently.

If possible, I would like having both a throttle and pedal assist, I think it would provide great flexibility, so that means a 200W system.

I have looked online but have had a hard time finding 200W throttle bicycles. It seems it's almost exclusively 250W pedal assist out there. I do not have a bike at the moment, so perhaps a complete ebike (rather than an ebike kit) would be better suited.

Could you guys provide some recommendations?
Would you consider buying second hand over gumtree for instance?

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom 8)

Cheers
Jon

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Howzat
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby Howzat » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:49 pm

Pedal-assist models are recognised by legal frameworks as bicycles, but throttle models less so as overpowered ones are in effect unregistered motorbikes.

Take a look at the Gazelle range for classy urban bikes. There are others as well. Very easy riding and if you want faster, either a road bike or a motor scooter might fill the bill.

ianganderton
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby ianganderton » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:56 pm

I used to work for a distributor of Bionx systems and my opinions are based on that.

I'm not a fan of throttles on ebikes. I've found them to be very counter intuitive.

However pedal assist systems are VERY intuitive and easy to use. On bikes it makes complete sense that if you want to go faster you pedal slightly harder

My understanding is that an average person can generate around 250W over a 20 minute ride so in effect you are doubling your power. Makes a significant difference

Ebikes need their esystem servicing as well as the rest of the bike. To do this you need someone with the correct software to access the system. It's not really home spannering as only authorised dealers can get access to the software.

So

I would look for brands and systems you can get serviced by shops who understand the product locally to you.

Go in and talk to as many dealers as you can and test ride some bikes (I recommend this to anyone thinking of buying any bike). While there talk to them about servicing inc costs and intervals. (Correct servicing intervals can have an impact on battery guarantees)

Buying second had will negate any battery guarantees. To check over the system you will need to know what you are dealing with. Plenty of folks know lots about normal bikes. Very very few know anything about ebike systems.

One option is to buy second hand a stand alone urban commuter bike that suits your needs then retro fit something like a Bionx system. Pretty easy to do as long as you've got the right cassette style to match the motor

That's some stuff to get you thinking [emoji106]
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softy
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby softy » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:53 pm

I bought a Grace easy 1x 10, awesome bike with hydralic disc brakes.

mid drives are all the go now, and so many bikes on the market. The decent ones are all 4 to 5k (commercial).

Even if you buy a good kit, say bionx, the kit is 2k and then you need a bike, so i would say 3.5k all up. Not cheap, for good quality.

eldavo
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby eldavo » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:20 am

I did have a good experience with 200W. It does suck to spend a lot with a pedelec and the party stops at 25kph when you're just getting towards a flat cruise speed. I reviewed in the forum here a Bosch Performance line with Alfine 8 rear geared hub for $2700 less than a year ago from Reid Cycles, check them out for cheapest new 250W pedelec if going that way.

On 200W car replacement, I ended up with a few A2B Metro a few years ago since they claimed to be 200W, 25kph limit, max 32kph assisted. It seemed accurate specs, in that 32kph felt light and easy, the extra 10% to 35kph felt like half the effort again. It wouldn't go more than 25kph without pedalling, but I found with taller chainring gearing allowed strong pedalling with assistance to get 35kph on flat path in good conditions. It's nicer than the 25kph pedelec cutout, i.e. pedelec being strong and then cutting off just as you're getting to a comfy cruise speed it cuts out to a wall of nothing.
If you have flat long cruise speed sections, set yourself up with a smaller kit motor to give away low end torque, have a small wheel motor winding in a big wheel for more motor kV (RPM speed).
Overall it was with the 200W A2B Metro and recommended, full suspension fat tyres comfort and good for riding up/down/around anything offroad if safer than hanging around for things on the limited path space.

A few practical problems of riding faster cruise speed with a 200W legal limited electric bike compared to other slower electric bikes I'd tried. It's a bit like everyone on the freeway at 100kph in traffic slugs, nobody going anywhere with relatively same speed:
- the odd lone road commuter having the red mist fall and getting stupid about not having an electric bike pass him, so would end up a silly leapfrogging, bad drafting and intersection crossings, that was rare. I learnt to reduce it by hanging back from similar paced riders and passing clear of draft distance up hills (always lots of effort required to break from similar paced riders you come upon). The first/worst guy wasn't even riding at regular speed and I passed him uphill, but for the next 12km was going to die before an electric bike passed him.
- Once had a v-brake MTB rider dive bomb at the end a long downhill sounded like truck hydraulic brakes try take out my front wheel and abuse me for all his bottled up redneck hatred of electric bikes that nobody else stopped for (I made the mistake of asking what his problem was). Lesson learned just ride away from morons nothing to be gained.
- A couple roadies drafting not paying attention crashed into the back of me and tweaked the rear derailleur on the shared path when I stopped at a crossing where the path ended to road. Generally never had a problem but after that head checked if anyone was behind before any possible braking. If I passed someone and they stayed behind I'd ring bell earlier, more pronounced head checks before moving over, and usually got a "thanks for the tow" when I turned off.
- One serial bad drafter I ran into regularly enough on pedal bike or electric to ID him, he would slow right down and never pass, but cut you or others off if he sniffed a faster draft opportunity and would save up for a burst to die trying to hang onto anyone. He was usually successful and rode a faster trip as a result, but always up someone's arse isn't the experience I'm after when cycling. If I spotted him I just hung back and didn't make the pass as you could never shake him (without getting into some more interesting methods).

I'd suggest a kit on a good commuter e.g. I'd do a small geared front hub with rear geared hub on a Giant Seek 1, the right winding of a higher kV motor from a <20in bike kit into a 700c wheel. Should be stealthier at a faster 200W cruise speed to avoid some of the antics above. Also bigger wheels of a road commuter in a regular rigid would be a lot lighter and faster pedal only. Don't do this if it's not majority flat cruise speed you want, any regular hills and you would be giving up a lot.

As you can see subtle was not its middle name =P
Image
Image
Good for the wet weather too, it became my winter bike for a couple years.
Image

P.s. as to new or used. I have a new Bosch, it was cheaper than used. The A2B Metro other way, was nearly 4k new. I got all mine on the used market barely used for less than that. I ended up with 3 of them and still in front of buying new. The company changed ownership and importer stopped for a while. It never had an “ebike” service like the Bosch/BionX just mechanical chain wear from pedalling.

geebee
Posts: 186
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby geebee » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:13 pm

Check with your local Ezee bike seller, ask if they have any of the 200w rated ones with throttle and no speed limit :)
viewtopic.php?f=51&t=74944&p=1120186&hilit=ezee+review#p1120186

I like pedal assist as it feels more bike like and is actually easier on a long ride just pedal at 2 rotations a minute to keep the motor running, with a decent hub or crank drive you will have to put very little effort in if that floats your boat :)

cj7hawk
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby cj7hawk » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:17 am

I don't like pedal assist - because the long commutes I make mean I really enjoy just backing off and letting the motor do the work so I can cool down in the breeze and avoid sweating - but I do get a tired hand from holding it on for so long.

Anyway, some Pedelecs can have throttles, up to 6kph, and the recent moves are to allow pedal/throttle all the way - Also it's not 250W vs 200W. It's more like 1kW vs 200W. Pedelecs can be very powerful at lower speeds up hills, and in fact there's no limit, so it would be quite possible ( theoretically ) to find one that would push you up steep hills - while a PAPC ( 200w ) would only assist up those hills, and then generally as long as your speed stays above 8 kph all the way.

So if you're looking for torque, go for a Pedelec.

I would still stay with a PAPC, because genuine pedelecs don't usually go faster than 20 kph under assist while I cruised all day yesterday at 31kph due to a strong tailwind, no pedaling. Then again, I have a specially modified PAPC capable of doing that by offsetting the back-EMF from the motor when it's under the 200W limit.

The final consideration - Most Pedelecs don't follow the law - I've yet to see a compliant Pedelec anywhere in Australia and I suspect every seller is taking advantage of the fact they don't check compliance of these bicycle, so you're likely to get an overpowered Pedelec that is not legal in all parts of Australia. You could take advantage of this also, as it may well make it easier to ride.

Also, a trike would be a good thought for a shopping bike - I've always wondered how they would go with a decent electric motor :)

Please update the post when you build your bike :)

David

geebee
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby geebee » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:16 pm

A couple of points the pedelec cut off is 25 kph with a 10% tolerance, that most seem to take :)
The Ezee I linked is basically the same power wise as the 250w, my Tonaro has 2amp's less than the 250w version, a lot of companies stretched the 200w a long way the same as the 250w ones do, so with careful selection you can get the best of both worlds :)

Jon31
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby Jon31 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:44 pm

Hi guys!

Thanks a lot for all the replies - it's really greatly appreciated!
I am taking everything on board!
I did come across the eZee fora review and it really appealed to me, looks like it's got the best of both worlds.

Thanks again guys, tough decisions! :)

cj7hawk
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby cj7hawk » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:38 am

geebee wrote:A couple of points the pedelec cut off is 25 kph with a 10% tolerance, that most seem to take :)
The Ezee I linked is basically the same power wise as the 250w, my Tonaro has 2amp's less than the 250w version, a lot of companies stretched the 200w a long way the same as the 250w ones do, so with careful selection you can get the best of both worlds :)


Stretching is one thing, but most companies are not "stretching" 250w - they are just selling non-compliant bicycles. And the cut off isn't a clean cut-off - There must be a linear loss of power from peak so that at 25 kph, there is no power at all.

Also, it's 5% tolerance in that speed, not 10%. Or about 1.25kph variation... Not a lot.

Because of this, a compliant bicycle should normally not go any faster than around 20 kph without additional force ( and not just pedalling ) coming from the rider.

Regards
David

geebee
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby geebee » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:39 pm

cj7hawk wrote:
geebee wrote:A couple of points the pedelec cut off is 25 kph with a 10% tolerance, that most seem to take :)
The Ezee I linked is basically the same power wise as the 250w, my Tonaro has 2amp's less than the 250w version, a lot of companies stretched the 200w a long way the same as the 250w ones do, so with careful selection you can get the best of both worlds :)


Stretching is one thing, but most companies are not "stretching" 250w - they are just selling non-compliant bicycles. And the cut off isn't a clean cut-off - There must be a linear loss of power from peak so that at 25 kph, there is no power at all.

Also, it's 5% tolerance in that speed, not 10%. Or about 1.25kph variation... Not a lot.

Because of this, a compliant bicycle should normally not go any faster than around 20 kph without additional force ( and not just pedalling ) coming from the rider.

Regards
David


"And the cut off isn't a clean cut-off - There must be a linear loss of power from peak so that at 25 kph" This is incorrect page 14 of the linked pdf explains the speed requirements, on a UK forum I use one of the main complaints is the abrupt cutoff from full assist to zero!
Most bikes use a speed sensor to operate the cut off speed, any loss of power approaching that may just be the motor approaching its limit on some low powered hubs.

"Because of this, a compliant bicycle should normally not go any faster than around 20 kph without additional force ( and not just pedalling ) coming from the rider."
Again incorrect my compliant Tonaro cut power at 27 kph with zero pedal assist, my BBS01 goes from full power to none as soon as it hits the specified speed limit and it is quite happy doing 25 kph with zero rider assist.


Re speed tolerance, from EN15194 it is 10% for production bikes, 5% is for the initial pre-production testing.
4.2.6.1 Requirements
The maximum speed for which the electric motor gives assistance may differ by ± 5% of the speed indicated
on the label described within Clause 5 when determined according to the test method described in 4.2.6.2,
from 25 km/h or lower values as specified by the manufacturer.
During a production conformity check, the maximum speed may differ by ± 10% from the above-mentioned
determined value.

http://www.value-e-bikes.com.au/Images/EN_15194.pdf

Ray Farrell
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby Ray Farrell » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:59 pm

Smart Motion have a new version of the eMetro. I compared it with the Ezee Sprint and found it to be just as fast with more pulling power on the hills. Loved the hub gearbox on both but should see little value in the extra gears on the Sprint. With a 250watt motor I can't see the need for more than three gears. At $700 cheaper I had to buy the eMetro.

cj7hawk
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby cj7hawk » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:37 pm

geebee wrote:
cj7hawk wrote:
geebee wrote:A couple of points the pedelec cut off is 25 kph with a 10% tolerance, that most seem to take :)
The Ezee I linked is basically the same power wise as the 250w, my Tonaro has 2amp's less than the 250w version, a lot of companies stretched the 200w a long way the same as the 250w ones do, so with careful selection you can get the best of both worlds :)


Stretching is one thing, but most companies are not "stretching" 250w - they are just selling non-compliant bicycles. And the cut off isn't a clean cut-off - There must be a linear loss of power from peak so that at 25 kph, there is no power at all.

Also, it's 5% tolerance in that speed, not 10%. Or about 1.25kph variation... Not a lot.

Because of this, a compliant bicycle should normally not go any faster than around 20 kph without additional force ( and not just pedalling ) coming from the rider.

Regards
David


"And the cut off isn't a clean cut-off - There must be a linear loss of power from peak so that at 25 kph" This is incorrect page 14 of the linked pdf explains the speed requirements, on a UK forum I use one of the main complaints is the abrupt cutoff from full assist to zero!
Most bikes use a speed sensor to operate the cut off speed, any loss of power approaching that may just be the motor approaching its limit on some low powered hubs.

"Because of this, a compliant bicycle should normally not go any faster than around 20 kph without additional force ( and not just pedalling ) coming from the rider."
Again incorrect my compliant Tonaro cut power at 27 kph with zero pedal assist, my BBS01 goes from full power to none as soon as it hits the specified speed limit and it is quite happy doing 25 kph with zero rider assist.


Re speed tolerance, from EN15194 it is 10% for production bikes, 5% is for the initial pre-production testing.
4.2.6.1 Requirements
The maximum speed for which the electric motor gives assistance may differ by ± 5% of the speed indicated
on the label described within Clause 5 when determined according to the test method described in 4.2.6.2,
from 25 km/h or lower values as specified by the manufacturer.
During a production conformity check, the maximum speed may differ by ± 10% from the above-mentioned
determined value.

http://www.value-e-bikes.com.au/Images/EN_15194.pdf


Have a look at Figure B1. It illustrates it well - though even that does feel like a sudden cutoff. My unboosted cutoff is 19 kph, and it feels like I've hit a wall, while the booster can push me up to 31 with just tailwind and it provides power up to about 35 in a far more natural way - :)

David.

Mububban
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby Mububban » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:11 pm

Jon31 wrote:I have read the forum a bit and it seems the 200W throttle is at an advantage over the 250W pedal assist in terms of maximum speed. I understand the 200W will not provide as much torque as the 250W on hills but I am hoping this would still be enough to take me over hills decently.

If possible, I would like having both a throttle and pedal assist, I think it would provide great flexibility, so that means a 200W system.

I have looked online but have had a hard time finding 200W throttle bicycles. It seems it's almost exclusively 250W pedal assist out there. I do not have a bike at the moment, so perhaps a complete ebike (rather than an ebike kit) would be better suited.


For what it's worth, I converted an existing mountain bike for $1200 with a 200W throttle kit, so my puny legs drive the rear wheel and the throttle and motor drives the front wheel. I never use it as an electric scooter, I'm always pedalling and use the throttle as a boost for hills and headwinds, and getting up to speed from the lights.
If you wanted to save money (you mentioned Gumtree), I'd buy a decent second hand flat bar road bike (or MTB or whatever depending on your needs) for say $200-$400, then with the conversion kit you'd have an awesome bike for under $2000.
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

cj7hawk
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby cj7hawk » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:58 am

Mububban wrote:
Jon31 wrote:I have read the forum a bit and it seems the 200W throttle is at an advantage over the 250W pedal assist in terms of maximum speed. I understand the 200W will not provide as much torque as the 250W on hills but I am hoping this would still be enough to take me over hills decently.

If possible, I would like having both a throttle and pedal assist, I think it would provide great flexibility, so that means a 200W system.

I have looked online but have had a hard time finding 200W throttle bicycles. It seems it's almost exclusively 250W pedal assist out there. I do not have a bike at the moment, so perhaps a complete ebike (rather than an ebike kit) would be better suited.


For what it's worth, I converted an existing mountain bike for $1200 with a 200W throttle kit, so my puny legs drive the rear wheel and the throttle and motor drives the front wheel. I never use it as an electric scooter, I'm always pedalling and use the throttle as a boost for hills and headwinds, and getting up to speed from the lights.
If you wanted to save money (you mentioned Gumtree), I'd buy a decent second hand flat bar road bike (or MTB or whatever depending on your needs) for say $200-$400, then with the conversion kit you'd have an awesome bike for under $2000.


Yes, many kits out there - I'm happy to provide details of my conversion if you like - it's a 125W base conversion, with a booster to 200W so I can go a lot faster - That's how it deals with the back-EMF which kills off the top speed of so many legal bikes.

You may need a booster even if you get a commercial 200w bike if it's really under the limit -

And it does help with the hills - quite a lot.

David.

koshari
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby koshari » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:28 pm

cj7hawk wrote:
And it does help with the hills - quite a lot.



Indeed it does, I just converted the missuses 26" Giant Sedona to a rear drive e-bike and now I havnt a chance of keeping up with her on steep inclines. there are 2 little areas on out local bike trail that she struggled with and it was discouraging her going out on the bike.

I went the way of a rear assist 36v 500w direct drive using throttle control however the controllers i got (one with the wheel and the other came with the battery) both have pedelec inputs if i were to use them. I found that the pedelec setup using the hall effect sensor on the crank was pretty crappy, there is no power until you start peddling and if your beginning on a hill you beed to overcome the inertia yourself before the motor kicks in to give you a hand. i suspect the more expensive mid drives with torque control would be a better option.
I also bought a 10A/H bottle mount Lithium battery which came with a smaller 250/300w controller. total cost about $600 for the leccy bits.

I are using a 250/300w controller which is a lot smaller than the one that came with the wheel as its small enough to fit in a small seat bag, ,

a small summary of the pros and cons-

Pros:-
-cheap, $220 for the complete rear wheel including tire 500w controller and freewheel. having a higher rated motor than the controller iam using means the chances of overloading (ie burning out) the motor are reduced.
-good traction with rear wheel drive
-missus comfortable using the hand twist throttle and it fits on the bars with the thumb shifters nicely.
-no nylon gears the wear out as its direct drive.

Cons-
-the direct drive motors are heavy with a lot of iron and copper in them, adding about 10kg to the weight of the bike which means its a little harder to pedal on the flats without the assist.
-the direct drive motors are known to overheat more with continuous low speed high load work like long steep hills as opposed to the planetary setups.,
-the cheap Chinese generic kits documentation is poor, so a little bit of electrical aptitude is required, fortunately there are a few resources on the net with information.
-the supplied 7 speed freewheel is rubbish with no ramps/pickups (old uniglide setup) making shifting really crappy,
-to replace the supplied freewheel with a hyperglide 7 speed setup requires a spacer to stop the big ring pushing against the hub. I used a lap of coat-hanger wire to space it out which solved this however i will need a spacer a little thicker as the chain rubs on the hub in the lowest gear so i have it dialled it out with the stop screw atm. fortunately with the motor the wife doesn’t need to shift onto the granny gear now anyway so i may just leave it as it is or possibly a slightly narrower 9 speed mushroom pin chain might clear the hub?

heres a pic of it.
Image

In summary i have noticed there are replacement gears available if you buy one of the more common hubs. some of the planetary setups may be may be worthwhile as they are slightly lighter setups and run with the motor at a higher then geared down by the gearset decreasing the risk of overheating at lower motor speeds. but for now the setup as pretty good and most of the money is invested in the battery pack ($370) so changing to a planetary hub down the track might be worth testing.

http://www.greenbikekit.com/bafang-8fun-bldc-hub-motor-nylon-gears-replacement.html

Stretching is one thing, but most companies are not "stretching" 250w - they are just selling non-compliant bicycles.


the whole power rating system is inconsistent, are we talking 250watts rated power or peak? are we talking power at the backwheel or power including losses of the whole system?
a motor like these will produce about 10 times the current in a stall/take-off than it will at the rated speed of the motor. also heavier riders require more assistance than lighter ones. At least the government realised this with regard to motorcycles and changed from a basic engine capacity rating when restricting motorcycles to learners to a more sensible formula. prior to this lighter riders were going out and buying 250cc 2 stroke aprilias but heaver riders coudnt buy a 350cc 4 stroke XR.
Image

geebee
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby geebee » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:17 pm

Don't let the missus try a geared hub of the same wattage, they climb twice as easily/fast, under current DD hubs are low on torque.
The 250w is the rated power, a lot of the newer approved ones coming out are 36v at over 20 amps peak!

koshari
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby koshari » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:44 pm

geebee wrote:Don't let the missus try a geared hub of the same wattage, they climb twice as easily/fast, under current DD hubs are low on torque.
The 250w is the rated power, a lot of the newer approved ones coming out are 36v at over 20 amps peak!

best get myself a vivax assist then :wink:.
seriously though i would prolly go geared hub next time around. but as i said given the most of the investment in in the batterys i wont discount this in the future. we have a little 20" foldable that would be cherry ripe for a small geared hub.
Image

koshari
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Re: Ebike recommendation?

Postby koshari » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:33 pm

Went out for a ride with the missus to one of the local wineries for lunch. It was the furthest she has riden the ebike, 10km there and 10 back.
I was intetested how it would fare on a couple of longish hills en route with the smaller controller. Fortinately it went quite well. She had no trouble with the assistance getting up them and it definately made the ride possible for her that she otherwise wouldn't have done. She pretty much only uses the motor on inclines.The 10ah 36v battery was reporting 3 of the 5 leds when we got home so i suspect it was just over half full. By this i suspect about 40km range would likely be its limitation.
Again when she gave it full assist on the inclines with peddeling it was difficult to stay with her on one occasion she opened up about a 40m gap on me.the other thing is she was able to stay on the big front ring which is a bonus as she really dont like using the front derailleur. I have considered puting a narrow/wide on the front at the center of the chainline to stop her crosschaining. Still havnt put a bigger spacer on the freewheel for her to use the biggest rear ring.
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