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  1. #1
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    Rim brakes and high speeds (on folding bikes)

    Hi,

    I have an electric folding bike called Italwin eLight. They currently do 30 kmph on level asphalt and I am considering upgrading the entire electric system once the current battery becomes significantly less useful.

    I wonder, considering the folding mechanism, how fast can folding bikes safely go (for prolonged times). Is constantly riding them at 50-60 kmph safe?

    Regarding rim brakes, are they strong enough to safely ride at said speeds? My bike has linear pull rim brakes - are certain models of this type of brakes stronger than others? Aerodynamics and weight of the brakes is of lesser importance to me since ebikes are not exactly aerodynamic anyway, so strength of the brakes is all that matters to me.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YonathanZ View Post
    Hi,

    I wonder, considering the folding mechanism, how fast can folding bikes safely go (for prolonged times). Is constantly riding them at 50-60 kmph safe?
    I believe your question should be focused on your bicycle. I have never seen your bike in the USA....anyone else have comments on his bicycle?
    Regarding rim brakes, are they strong enough to safely ride at said speeds? My bike has linear pull rim brakes - are certain models of this type of brakes stronger than others? Aerodynamics and weight of the brakes is of lesser importance to me since ebikes are not exactly aerodynamic anyway, so strength of the brakes is all that matters to me.

    Thank you.
    Rim brakes are great, normally I recommend them to most customers. However you may want to get some disc brakes. A long time ago I lived in the Virgin islands and I lived on a very steep long hill ( parallel to Crown Mountain ). If I used the brakes on my decent they would melt by the bottom ( so I lost all braking control ). Disc brakes can cool themselves while engaged, hence they are much better in the mountains.

    You should play it safe and get some discs!

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Designer of Downtube Folding Bike
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    prolonged time 50 to 60 clicks .....
    you should look at a Motorcycle instead of a bicycle .....

    My E bike is limited to 20 miles, which is fast enough for a folding bike, and mine has a very strong Tern Verge Frame, heavy duty wheels, big tires, heavy duty steel fork, disc brake in front ....

    thor
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    just Descended a nice long hill street route on the way back from my friends birthday get together ..

    have Kool stop pad inserts in the Dual pivot sidepulls on my Brompton . doubt I let it get up to 20 mph,

    I displace a lot of air sitting on the saddle ...



    yea you may consider a better machine made with better brakes if you want, essentially , an electrically powered motorcycle.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-15 at 01:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    It's true that, technically, a motorcycle is more fit for the job than a bicycle, but insurance is extremely expensive where I live, so they're out of the question.

    As for the brakes, I am aware of the benefits of disc brakes, but my bicycle cannot be fitted with ones, hence the question regarding different rim brakes.

    The Italwin eLight is not sold in the US. You can read about them here:
    ITALWIN ITALWIN E-LIGHT - Electric bicycles - Italwin.it

    I don't know how strong the frame is, but let's assume they like those $200 folding bikes they sell on Walmart, like the Genesis model. Are these strong enough to sustain prolonged rides at 50 kmph?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    why in the world do you want to go that fast ?
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  7. #7
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    why in the world do you want to go that fast ?
    I know someone with an ebike that goes on the highway 55+MPH. People with DUI's are very interested in the e-bike market. Legally they are allowed to ride a bicycle.

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Designer of Downtube Folding Bike
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  8. #8
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    If you are going to change it to a 500W motor then make sure you have it in the back wheel only and NEVER in the front because it will eventually wear out the fork and snap on you while on the road since most forks where never made to handle back and forth stress in that way it's usually only braking. At 500W+ you will be putting out alot of stress on the frame but as long as you keep the motor on the rear wheel then you are fine I think (Olympic cyclists average 450Watts constant and they can jump to an eye watering 1500W on a sprint) , so you can see how much power you are pushing there on a folding bike). But for sure your brakes will be pretty much crap and wear out really fast when going 50-60km/h trying to come at a stop. Dont forget there is alot less surface area there than a 26-700cc rim which means it will heat up alot faster during braking and wear out alot quicker. Disc brakes would really be the only safe option to do this right for the long run. And with an average daily temp of 31C your rims aren't going to cool down that quickly for the very next stop in traffic.

    also to go 50-60km/h i hope you will not go in park roads and stuff because you'll injure or probably kill someone at that speed.

    One more thing I just checked the laws in your local country and it seems like you can only legally go this fast anyways regarding ebikes:

    "In Israel, persons above 14 years old are allowed to use pedal-assisted bicycle with power of up to 250W and speed limit of 25 km/hour."

    to modify your bike and go any faster (like double!) you will attract police they looks like just searching Israel and ebikes on google they are thinking of more regulations.


    Last edited by Azreal911; 08-05-15 at 08:22 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube View Post
    I know someone with an ebike that goes on the highway 55+MPH. People with DUI's are very interested in the e-bike market. Legally they are allowed to ride a bicycle.

    Thanks,
    Yan
    55+MPH?!?! isn't that asking for a death wish!? because i doubt most bicycles where designed to handle speeds like that especially the brakes! that is a beast of a motor!

  10. #10
    Senior Member downtube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azreal911 View Post
    55+MPH?!?! isn't that asking for a death wish!? because i doubt most bicycles where designed to handle speeds like that especially the brakes! that is a beast of a motor!
    It is certainly pushing the limits....I would not do it.

    Thanks,
    Yan
    Designer of Downtube Folding Bike
    Ph.D. Temple University ( Math )
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  11. #11
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    A 500W motor will not get my to 50 kmph. I will need 1000W or more for that.
    The reason I want to do it is because I was almost run over too many times while riding on the road (I don't ride in parks or on the side walk), because drivers are way too impatient to drive at a speed of 30 kmph. Many will try to "scare me out of the way" with a loud horn while purposefully driving very close behind me, and yeah, whenever I go for a ride I know I'm risking myself way more than a motorcyclist does.

    As for the illegality of it, it doesn't matter. No one enforces this in most of the cities in my country, and cops don't even have the authority to do anything but deflate the wheels of those not riding a bicycle according to the law. I'd rather stay alive than follow the law...

    EDIT: I just recalled that there are some bikes (not folding ones, for sure) that have 5000W engines. Hi - Power Cycles sells such kits for mountain bikes, so I wonder why you might consider 500W or more to be too stressful. I mean, I was able to go 55kmph on a downhill numerous times, and it didn't feel like the bike was going to break.

    Now, regarding the brakes, I guess it might be a better idea to start with a different frame that has disc brakes.
    Last edited by YonathanZ; 08-05-15 at 11:41 AM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    So, ... can I be a beneficiary on your accidental death insurance policy?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    So, ... can I be a beneficiary on your accidental death insurance policy?
    I don't have one

  14. #14
    jur
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    Are you in Israel?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Are you in Israel?
    Yup.

  16. #16
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    I use a Dahon Mu P27 for commuting, and I ride on a 1,5km downhill road every day where I almost reach 60km/h. The bike rides really good at high speed. It's stable and feels as safe as my road bike.

    However, when I bought the bike I found the stock V-brakes were not up to the task if I had to brake hard, so I replaced them with a pair of Magura HS11 (they are hydraulic rim brakes) which made a vast improvement. Now, unless it is raining, it brakes as fast as my mountain bike with SLX hydraulic discs, and a bit faster than my road bike. It seems that after a few months the rear lever has a small oil leak. I still have to look at it however.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
    I use a Dahon Mu P27 for commuting, and I ride on a 1,5km downhill road every day where I almost reach 60km/h. The bike rides really good at high speed. It's stable and feels as safe as my road bike.

    However, when I bought the bike I found the stock V-brakes were not up to the task if I had to brake hard, so I replaced them with a pair of Magura HS11 (they are hydraulic rim brakes) which made a vast improvement. Now, unless it is raining, it brakes as fast as my mountain bike with SLX hydraulic discs, and a bit faster than my road bike. It seems that after a few months the rear lever has a small oil leak. I still have to look at it however.
    Thanks. That's the kind of information I was looking for.
    So, do these brakes provide more stopping force? Are there cheaper ones that do a similar job?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YonathanZ View Post
    Thanks. That's the kind of information I was looking for.
    So, do these brakes provide more stopping force? Are there cheaper ones that do a similar job?
    These are the better rim brakes I have ever tried, including the old parallelogram XTR V-Brakes and Avid Arch Rival, both of them really hard to find nowadays. I don't think that any cable operated rim brake can rival them on stopping power.

    I paid 110€ for both of them, not that expensive when you consider they are hydraulics. I'm not very happy about the leaking lever however... they're only 5 months old and this shouldn't happen. I suppose I will have to send the rear brake to warranty and see what happens. Magura advertise a 5 year leak proof warranty though, at least in Europe. I hope they honor it.

    I'm attaching some pics of the brakes after installation:


    IMG_20150303_225057.jpgIMG_20150303_225110.jpgIMG_20150303_225030.jpgIMG_20150303_225007.jpg
    Last edited by Amt0571; 08-07-15 at 07:14 AM.

  19. #19
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    110 Euros for both is not bad. But $90 for one... That's crazy expensive.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    HS 11 or 33?
    HS 33 is a different brake lever and they include a bracing arch to make the squeeze, force backed up by the booster arch

    the tips of the brake bosses thus not getting spread out by the pads force against the rim..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-07-15 at 08:40 AM.

  21. #21
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    Do hydraulic rim brakes require a different level than that used for non-hydraulic rim brakes? Because if so, then it's not doable, since the left lever on my bike has an electric cable that's connected to the controller that cuts off power when braking.

  22. #22
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    Yep, they need a different lever. Couldn't you adapt the controller somehow?

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You could Write the Magura Company directly, in Germany , and ask of they have an E-Bike version.

  24. #24
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    The Magura specifically are out of my budget anyway... Is there a middle ground between these $100 rim brakes and the $20 ones by Tektro which I currently have?

  25. #25
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    Expect the rim brakes on a small wheeled folding bike to work as well as those on a standard size bike except for significantly less ability for the smaller rims to dissipate heat.

    In normal riding this is not a concern but a very long steep descent would be something I would be very careful with.

    Whether the bike has electric assist or not should not make much difference unless you repeatedly accelerate to maximum speed and then immediately brake hard to a stop in a way that you could not without the electric assist.

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