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How do you use e-power on your e-bike?

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How do you use e-power on your e-bike?

Old 02-11-20, 06:26 AM
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iik
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Arrow How do you use e-power on your e-bike?

Do e-bike riders tend to switch the power up and down as they ride, or would they usually just use the maximum power setting all the time?
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Old 02-11-20, 09:54 AM
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It will depend on the rider. When I ride with my wife, we ride at 12 mph and the lowest power assist level on our bikes is enough for that, Other riders go at the maximum assist and wish they had more. We ride mostly on bike paths and enjoy the view,

My strongest ebike will run over twice that speed easily, but I don't use my bikes to be somewhere on time.
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Old 02-11-20, 02:03 PM
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I went electric to assist old knees on hilly terrain. I ride in PAS mode only and ignore the throttle. I'm still pedaling all the time - I didn't want a motorbike. The low PAS setting results in about 14 - 15 mph which is comfortable on crowded MUP trails. I often tun it off on level stretches, and since the local trails connect several parks with playgrounds, ball fields, swimming areas, dog parks, etc. I always turn it off when riding through those busy areas. On a tough hill I may occasionally bump the PAS setting up one step - depends on the knees that day.
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Old 02-11-20, 03:52 PM
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I ride with the motor off most of the time, and only switch on for bad headwinds or big hills, when on a recreational/exercise ride. However, when I am riding purely as transportation (I sold my car) I will use the lowest Pas level on all the time. It increases my speed by 4mph as long as I increase my gears up one and keep the same cadence I normally do. Pretty much the same exercise, just faster. Works better when running errands on the bike as I get more done more quickly. I've 9 levels of PAS and can go up to 28mph but frankly I'm just fine around 14/15mph. No need to go faster even when running my errands, range matters more than speed with a lot of errands to do.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:16 PM
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I usually use the middle level 1-3. I go higher if I'm in a rush. My commute is 12 miles one way.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:22 PM
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my energy levels are really low cause of my wacky heath condition. so I have been riding in max assist so I can go 20 to 22. but Sunday I was way father out on my ride then planned and I had 14 more miles to go so I had to go to the lowest assist mode but I septs about 5 mph on that. I think thats close to regular bike level when you take in the resistance of the mid drive and larger tires. so now that I knew I could do it I road In the next lower level both ways on my 20 mile commute yesterday. today though I needed to get to work so took the fast route on turbo and kept a 25 to 27 mph on the bike path for the first time. I had a drafter on a road bike right behind me the hole time.
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Old 02-11-20, 11:03 PM
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I use pedal assist for mtn biking. I use the minimum power needed.
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Old 02-12-20, 11:58 AM
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I haven't seen the bike model that when made into an e-model that it doesn't add $2000 to $3000 (and ~20lbs) to that bike. I'm sorry, if I'm spending that kind of money to get the benefit of e-assist I am going to use it. Without apology. I just don't get all the defensive: I only use it on level __, or only on hills, or only when it is a full moon, or I don't use the e-assist at all, I enjoy riding a bike that has a 10lb battery and 8lb motor and not using them. Creesh, you spent the money, you bought a legal product with it. There is no need to be ashamed or stigmatized. Rock the watts and tell us about it or don't, but I really don't want to hear about how fast you didn't go.
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Old 02-12-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I haven't seen the bike model that when made into an e-model that it doesn't add $2000 to $3000 (and ~20lbs) to that bike. I'm sorry, if I'm spending that kind of money to get the benefit of e-assist I am going to use it. Without apology. I just don't get all the defensive: I only use it on level __, or only on hills, or only when it is a full moon, or I don't use the e-assist at all, I enjoy riding a bike that has a 10lb battery and 8lb motor and not using them. Creesh, you spent the money, you bought a legal product with it. There is no need to be ashamed or stigmatized. Rock the watts and tell us about it or don't, but I really don't want to hear about how fast you didn't go.
You fail to understand that people have different needs and wants. My e-bike kit added 4.6lbs to my 19 lb folding Bike Friday. So even if I ride with it totally turned off, it rides great. And I prefer to ride unmotored, but I am 70 years old, and my knees are not always cooperative. So it is there for when I need it. My range is about 20 miles on the lowest level PAS, and frankly I don't need or want to go much faster than 15mph; it's not safe with all the kids on the Mups nor all that safe on the streets trying to stop at higher speeds in an emergency. There's nothing defensive in my comments nor an apology. I won't apologize for not riding fast, either, lol. The car I used to own could go 100 mph but I never drove it that fast - but I paid for it - so by your logic I should have? Maybe you like to get on and ride pretending it's a motorcycle and if that rocks your boat, great. Please just be careful around the rest of us who are going slower by choice.

Last edited by linberl; 02-12-20 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-12-20, 05:59 PM
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Like MT, when I use my e-MTB off road usually lowest power needed. The errand bike is maximized so I spend the minimal amount of time. Fortunately, it's pretty fast.
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Old 02-12-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by iik View Post
Do e-bike riders tend to switch the power up and down as they ride, or would they usually just use the maximum power setting all the time?
i understand how pass works but not understanding why e-bikes have it. got a cheap setup, totally throttle controlled and i don't have to let a computer control what i want to do, my thumb does!
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Old 02-13-20, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Frankenbike27 View Post
i understand how pass works but not understanding why e-bikes have it. got a cheap setup, totally throttle controlled and i don't have to let a computer control what i want to do, my thumb does!
I felt that way too until I got a system with PAS. It's a lot better, and if you also have a throttle for those quick situations, you're set. PAS saves your thumb first of all, which can get pretty tired holding a controller button. Second, it adjusts automatically to either the speed of your cadence or your effort depending on the type of PAS you have. My system has both, and I rarely use the throttle - maybe once or twice now when I've seen a need to clear an intersection suddenly because of some idiot driver. It works great for that! But with PAS I don't have to think at all about the "e" side of things, don't have to hold anything in place (a challenge on bumpy bad roads). I can just ride like normal with a nice "tailwind". Think of it like cruise control as opposed to having to hold your foot on the gas pedal in the same position for long distances.
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Old 02-13-20, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by iik View Post
Do e-bike riders tend to switch the power up and down as they ride, or would they usually just use the maximum power setting all the time?

People are tempted to put it on maximum assist all the time, but it's NOT the way to get the most out of a pedal-assist bike! The handling at low speeds is usually jumpy, and you won't get nearly as much range and battery life as you want.


I treat my e-assist levels the same way I would a front derailleur, "shifting" to more power assist at points where I would shift into a smaller (easier) chainring, if that makes sense.


I spend most of my riding time in the second assist level on my Bosch Performance Line CX motor; ECO is the lowest assist, with 50% boost of rider input (just enough to offset the weight of the bike, I find. I use this on days when I myself feel good enough to ride almost unassisted); TOUR gives 120% of rider input, which makes it feel like I am riding a bike half the weight and with a tailwind; SPORT and TURBO give 190% and 300% respectively. I only use Turbo on the last part of a hill, or if I suddenly find myself facing a 60 km/hr head wind (chinooks are fun).


I have the advantage of coming to e-biking with a LOT of conventional cycling experience, though.
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Old 02-13-20, 07:05 PM
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good call on the bumpy roads, yes have been there to each his own, my preference is still for the hand eye thing. pretty sure it comes from my days in the early 80's as an apprentice mechanic, those cars where so easy to work on, little to go wrong. now your heated steering wheel does not work, good luck with that, second mortgage? Teacher always said KIS, keep it simple
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Old 02-14-20, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Frankenbike27 View Post
good call on the bumpy roads, yes have been there to each his own, my preference is still for the hand eye thing. pretty sure it comes from my days in the early 80's as an apprentice mechanic, those cars where so easy to work on, little to go wrong. now your heated steering wheel does not work, good luck with that, second mortgage? Teacher always said KIS, keep it simple
Yes, the electronics of a PAS system can be more complicated (actually on my unit it's more software than hardware). But I found it really uncomfortable to hold a throttle button for long rides of several hours, or even an hour. If you're using it just as a speed bump for brief points in a ride, it's definitely do-able, but for long consistent assist it's painful, lol. My preference is for systems that have both options (which lets out anything made to work in the EU). That way you can get assist that is related to your effort as well as on-demand power.
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Old 02-14-20, 12:11 PM
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I'm new to the ebike world but it sounds like I use it similarly to others. I use it to fight headwinds, hills, etc. I frequently turn it off to extend my range as most of my trips are 20-40 miles so far. As I add more battery capacity I might take longer trips or use more assist. When I first put it together I throttled a few times to go fast just to see what it could do. The trouble with that is I couldn't pedal so it's just a short range moped.

I prefer to get some exercise and get crap done also. I just added a Wald 535 basket and can't believe how much more useful my bike became. I still enjoy my regular road bike also.
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Old 02-15-20, 02:17 PM
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I was thinking about this last night (as I'm drafting a letter to Bosch regarding their sales and technical training... there was a bit of a diversity and accessibility fail in the training I went to the other day...).

There are a million different ways to use e-assist, whether throttle or pedal assist, and the key is to figure out what your own individual preferences and goals are so that you can get the right system for your needs, AND so that you can get the most out of your rides.

For me, the e-assist is primarily a way to compensate for a physical health issue. I have endometriosis and that has led to chronic fatigue, including a particularly nasty thing where if I overdo it (even if I feel up to it at the time!) I risk spending several days in a lot of pain and being even more exhausted. And it's unpredictable. Unfortunately that means that my bicycle commute is no longer possible on a conventional bicycle, at least not every day, but I love riding to and from work, and I don't want to give up that part of my day. It is such a nice transition between home and work, and a way to decompress on the way home. Driving is expensive and stressful and transit (while very good in my city) also really adds up in cost over time.

I wanted an e-bike that would allow me to ride in the same way I had before becoming ill. My riding style is more about smoothness than speed as such, so torque-sensing pedal assist works really well for me. Using the pedal assist levels in combination with my rear derailleur shifting allows me to keep a smooth pedaling cadence and keep my level of effort near a reasonably brisk walk. That's enough for me to get the benefit of mild exercise without tipping over into overexertion, and it means I have been able to ride more often. A throttle system wouldn't work well for me because I want to pedal, and by supplementing my own pedaling effort with electric assist, I also get a longer range, which is important to me.

(I *can* go damn fast on a bike - I spent ten years as a road cyclist before my body betrayed me - but in the city, it's the start/stop riding that is especially tiring, and Calgary is also not as flat as you might think.)

So, back to the original question - how do people use electric assist?

- Some people like changing the amount of assist to manage on hills (etc), but will switch it down or even off on easier terrain, so as to maximise their range (I fall into this camp). This does also tend to maximise the lifespan of the battery system as well as the day-to-day range so that is another reason I take this approach.

- Some people choose e-bikes (of either type) because they need a level of speed that they can't achieve on their own (in order to make a long commute in a specific time frame, for example), and they might keep the level of assist at the highest level for the whole ride. This does tend to wear out batteries and drive units/hub motors more quickly, and shortens the lifespan of the system as a whole, so it's important to know that and decide whether that is a trade you are happy with.

Basically it boils down to which aspect is most important to each individual rider - how far, how fast, or how much reduction of effort (over obstacles, or overall) they want, and how much they are willing to pay (in purchase price and in replacement if/when things wear out).
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Old 02-16-20, 01:28 AM
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Bad E bike
These are the "E bikes" that give the rest of us a bad rep. In my hometown, usually the people who have had their license taken away or their insurance is too high, purchase these on a "payment plan" They ride on road and sidewalk with no regard to pedestrians, traffic or the traffic code.
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Old 02-16-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I ride with the motor off most of the time, and only switch on for bad headwinds or big hills, when on a recreational/exercise ride. However, when I am riding purely as transportation (I sold my car) I will use the lowest Pas level on all the time. It increases my speed by 4mph as long as I increase my gears up one and keep the same cadence I normally do. Pretty much the same exercise, just faster. Works better when running errands on the bike as I get more done more quickly. I've 9 levels of PAS and can go up to 28mph but frankly I'm just fine around 14/15mph. No need to go faster even when running my errands, range matters more than speed with a lot of errands to do.
Interesting that you mention this linberl ! I use a similar tactic in a sense that I use e-assist when going uphill mostly and ride without assist most of the time.
Thank you for sharing!
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Old 02-16-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Buglady View Post
Basically it boils down to which aspect is most important to each individual rider - how far, how fast, or how much reduction of effort (over obstacles, or overall) they want, and how much they are willing to pay (in purchase price and in replacement if/when things wear out).
Agree with this view Buglady
It also takes time, I would say, to understand how one uses the e-bike.
Not sure all of us (including me) understand this from the start.
So, there is some learning involved
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Old 02-16-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iik View Post
Interesting that you mention this linberl ! I use a similar tactic in a sense that I use e-assist when going uphill mostly and ride without assist most of the time.
Thank you for sharing!
I think there are multiple reasons to use a motor and multiple ways to do so. Some of us just want it once in a while (I use it to boldly go where I haven't gone before...rides that include big hills I would not attempt unmotored). Some of us want to get where we are going faster, and use it as transport, not intentional exercise. Some of us have health issues so it allows us to keep riding beyond our bodily limits. Some of us don't want a motorcycle but want the speed on a bike without the hassle of registration and insurance.
I chose a tiny battery because I knew I would not be using it very much. If my needs change, there are larger (heavier) batteries I can purchase. But for now, riding analog gives me pleasure and exercise but the motor gives me the confidence to branch out further than I otherwise would on a ride.
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Old 02-24-20, 10:29 PM
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I use Eco mode, the minimum necessary reduced from 35% support to 25% support in my Turbo Levo eMTB. I will move up one level to Trail as needed but never ever use the highest support level of Turbo mode - it's not like riding a bike anymore, too much push.
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