Australian V European E-Bike quality

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:41 pm

Hi, is it just me or does anyone else notice this - when you take a look at the E-Bike offerings in Australia compared to European, I get the impression that there is a lot of cheap and nasties about in Australia. Along the lines of a supermarket bike where a more experienced cyclist can take a glance and know.

I have a been reading a lot of European E-Bike mags (it's a big trend) and you can see a lot of quality - and they are quite tough in customs on the cheap and nasties, plus the bike organisations and even mags will highly publicise the brands that are substandard.

Perhaps without the same history of eBikes in Australia and a significantly less developed cyle culture, it is easy for our close Asian neighbours to push some of the gear through - where the Aussies are not up to scratch, or the Eurobrands made seem over expensive. That being said, in Europe, to invest in a decent E-Bike, most buyers who take the time to read up will orientate themself and note that quality E-Bikes have a price tag.

Rambing a bit, I know, though a question for all, regarding of experience, does there seem to be a lot of cheap and nasty E-bikes around?
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by BNA » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:54 pm

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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby trailgumby » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:54 pm

It's a small sample size, but the few that I've observed would fit the cheap and nasty category for sure, with the very best being what we as enthusiasts would call "entry level" eg Shimano Alivio or Deore level componentry.

The one exception would be a Deep V rim-equipped flatbar that had one of those tricky seat tube mounted bottom bracket drives. Very tasty looking bike I happened to notice sitting in the back of a Hyundai hatch at Seaforth as I stopped at an intersection. Next thing I know, a few minutes later he's whirring past me up Parriwi Rd towards Mosman like I'm a pedestrian!

Very smick. Also completley obvious from the gear whine that it was electric assist, so I dunno what all the fuss was about "electric assist doping" ... the spectators and peloton would be able to pick it a mile off.
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby Joeblake » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:36 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Perhaps without the same history of eBikes in Australia and a significantly less developed cyle culture, it is easy for our close Asian neighbours to push some of the gear through - where the Aussies are not up to scratch, or the Eurobrands made seem over expensive. That being said, in Europe, to invest in a decent E-Bike, most buyers who take the time to read up will orientate themself and note that quality E-Bikes have a price tag.

Rambing a bit, I know, though a question for all, regarding of experience, does there seem to be a lot of cheap and nasty E-bikes around?



I've only ridden my own trikes, with the (quality/expensive) Heinzmann donks installed, so I guess that sort of limits my exposure to the "low end" of the market, but before I bought my first motor, I did do a fair bit of poking around in various sites and decided to pay the price. I think the info is there for the harvesting.

I'm probably stating the (repeatedly) bleeding obvious here, however I think from what I've seen on other forums (and sometimes on this one as well) many people just want the "electric vehicle", and not e-assistance technology, and they see high price/low power, and say "Nup", and look around for high power/low price, and then wonder why it falls apart, or doesn't perform as well as they think they want.

Some of the USA-centric sites have got people building 1000 watt trikes, but can't find a long enough extension cord to drive them. :lol:

This is claimed to pump out 10,000 watts!!!
Image


I think your point about a "less developed cycle culture" is probably very much the case. Probably the word you might consider is "naive". :wink:

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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby sogood » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:03 pm

No different to a many consumer products. Similar is seen in the product quality of items in the US. Again, we see a lot more of the cheap and nasty.
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby Joeblake » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:48 pm

http://www.gizmag.com/sub-600-dollar-pv ... ike/19432/

Image

Even built from recycled bits. Brilliant. With suspension too!

:mrgreen:
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby trailgumby » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:51 pm

@joe, is that flagpole for the dodgem car power grid on the ceiling? :mrgreen:
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby Joeblake » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:38 pm

trailgumby wrote:@joe, is that flagpole for the dodgem car power grid on the ceiling? :mrgreen:



Maybe it's from Melbourne, and uses the tram electric wires. :lol:

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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby AUbicycles » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:27 pm

There are certainly some good eBike brands out there - I am just (I guess) concerned that if the eBike trend gets bigger in Australia, that consumers will have too much inferior product on the market... and something which can actually be quite positive gets cheapened and doesn't reach it's true potential.

Don't get me wrong - an ebike isn't green, but it does present certain people with an alternative transport solution that is healthier and may have a lesser environmental impact.
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby jet-ski » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:43 pm

I dunno - some of the 'cheap' asian product seems to be doing OK in Europe, for instance I saw the a whole bunch of e-assist pedicabs in Amsterdam with Golden Motor 'Magic Pie' front wheels. From the Endless Sphere forums I thought GM was one of the cheap 'avoid at all costs' e-bike parts manufacturers but if they can function as pedicabs in Amsterdam they must be alright!
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Re: Australian V European E-Bike quality

Postby cachexian » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:17 am

I'd say the cheaper motors aren't appropriate for Endless Sphere users because they routinely try to overvolt and overamp their motors to get greater speed. They seem to be all into Crystalyte...

Stick to the recommended battery voltage and controller amperage and the cheaper motors are reliable.

I think that the other problem is the cheap bike frames and gearing componentry that come as complete ebikes - resulting in a slow, heavy unpleasant to ride product.

But even some of the high quality European bikes eg Gazelle Innergy are quite heavy too.

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European E-Bikes: technological features

Postby alan101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:13 pm

This is from personal correspondence I had with Flecc (Pedalec Forum, UK) in June 2011. It gives some insight into Europe's ebike march.

'I think much of the problem is that Europe has set such a comprehensive set of standards that other legislatures see their adoption as a convenient low cost, low hassle option. The more it spreads, the more it's likely too. There is some light within Europe though, since Germany has high speed (40 kph) and higher power (500 watt) classes of e-bike, though they do have extra provisions like registration and compulsory insurance'.

'I'm afraid that Bafang announcement is them trying to put a brave face on a bad situation for them. In the 2006 to 2007 period they dominated the European e-bike market, especially once Giant dropped the older Panasonic unit, but the position has changed drastically now. They have lost the whole of the high end market and suffered major inroads into the middle market, while still having opposition at the bottom end. The newer Panasonic crank drive unit is used by around 20 makes, the Daum crank drive by some others, the new Bosch crank drive has had the fastest take-up by German makers I've ever seen, and the new Pacific Cycles crank drive unit is also on some bikes in Germany now, so crank drive now dominates the high end and much of the middle market. Both Telefunken and Siemens have indicated they may be in the e-bike market too'.

'As if that's not bad enough for SB, they are losing the reduced hub motor market too. eZee dropped them in favour of their own hub motor, Dutch Sparta and Koga have their own hub motor, Giant use the revised Sanyo unit, and now Wisper are increasingly using the Japanese Dapu hub motor. There's a powerful new Swiss hub motor that's on e-bikes made there and in France and Germany, and the BionX relaunch has seen it adopted by a number of ranges from Germany, France and Trek Bicycles. After years of only their old brush motor, Heinzmann now have a brushless modern hub motor. The once very unreliable Tongxin motor is now more established and used by Schwinn and some specialist e-bike makers and is the favourite for small wheel folders. And of course Shimano have launched their Steps hub motor system for manufacturers now. For the most part in Britain and mainland Europe, Suzhou are left with the budget market Chinese bikes and some kits, a fraction of what they once had, and I'm sure this is what's stirred them to introduce the newer side entry cable models and improve the internal gears'.

'I think the combination of Europe's hills and the restrictive EU legislation is largely what's turned the market this way. Restricted power hub motors are poor on hills compared to crank systems driving through the gears, and the 25 kph top assisted speed means people want free running systems above that for cycling faster without power. Explore the links below and the links within them to see just a part of what's happening here':

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... t%3D410636

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... =&ie=UTF-8
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