Old 11-20-07, 07:00 AM
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Towards helping me understand hybrid ebikes, part I

Hybrid bike: a bicycle capable of being propelled to relatively high speeds by both pedaling and/or the power of a motor. My definition of a hybrid bike does not include some of the commercially sold ebikes that do have pedals but only provide enough pedal force to get the bike started, say 3-6 mph.

I am trying to understand how power from pedaling a bicycle and power from a motor on the same bicycle interact. I do not know all the right words to use, so please help me out a bit Also, please note I titled this part I. I am trying to take this in small steps to try to stay on topic, focusing on more detail on one issue at a time and then moving onto parts II, III, etc for other parts.

I have an ebike now with some pedaling capability. The pedaling seems to be designed mainly for starting up because the gearing is very low.

I can start pedaling the bike from a standstill. If I start motor-power and pedal-power at the same time I feel the two work together - I accelerate faster than if I only used motor-power or pedal-power. Once I reach about 3 mph I feel that my pedaling is less useful (I have decided it is less useful because I feel much less resistance when I am pedaling). I also have to pedal much faster at that point to feel any resistance at all on the pedals, maybe more than 120/second. Once I reach a speed of about 6 mph no matter how fast I pedal I cannot feel any resistance at all so it seems useless to pedal at all.

If I raise the gear ratio is it likely that I will continue to feel resistance (continue to contribute power to the wheels by pedaling) when I am pedaling even at 6 or 7 mph? and if I raise it even more is it likely that I will feel resistance at 8 or 9 mph?

Can I make a general statement that in order for my pedaling to do any good I have to be able to provide more force than the motor is providing?
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