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-   -   Stupid e-bike questions (https://www.bikeforums.net/electric-bikes/1229768-stupid-e-bike-questions.html)

wgscott 05-04-21 02:31 PM

Stupid e-bike questions
 
My wife just got a Cannondale Synapse Neo 1 Electric Bike (2020 closeout deal at REI). The assembly at REI was not confidence-inspiring, so I thought I would ask my stupid questions here. (I have no prior e-bike experience). The lack of manuals rivals Apple computer.

So here are a couple of questions that have emerged during the first 72 hours of ownership:

1. Can I safely put a Shimano 11-speed quick-link in the chain? (It is spec-ed at 105, whose chains don't have that by default).
2. Can I lube the chain as with a standard bike? My preference is to use wax, but if that is problematic, I can do something else.
3. Is it bad to re-charge the battery when it is above 50%?
4. For climbing hills, the pedal assist appears to reward the rider for climbing in a higher gear. Will this damage the motor? (We are talking 7 to 15% grade, average 10%, over a couple of miles).

Rick 05-04-21 04:04 PM


1. Can I safely put a Shimano 11-speed quick-link in the chain? (It is spec-ed at 105, whose chains don't have that by default).
I would think it is the same as any other chain setup yes.


2. Can I lube the chain as with a standard bike? My preference is to use wax, but if that is problematic, I can do something else.
Yes


3. Is it bad to re-charge the battery when it is above 50%?
Bosch has online manuals, but yes you can.

[QUOTE4. For climbing hills, the pedal assist appears to reward the rider for climbing in a higher gear. Will this damage the motor? (We are talking 7 to 15% grade, average 10%, over a couple of miles).][/QUOTE]

The Bosch motor has thermal sensors. It is unlikely that you would damage it. Most likely you would notice thermal rollback.

alo 05-04-21 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 22044684)
Is it bad to re-charge the battery when it is above 50%?

Probably not.

There has been a certain type of battery used in the past, where this was an issue. It is not with most batteries.

Find out what type of batteries it uses, then research them.

wgscott 05-04-21 05:24 PM

The BB didn't post my reply, but yes, it turns out it is only important for long-term storage, where it is recommended charging between 30% and 60%. For day to day use, it doesn't recommend anything like this.

speedy25 05-04-21 06:34 PM

Thanks for posting the link.
1.SO they have a 10 speed cassette with an 11 speed chain?? WHats with that. Use a link that is correct for the chain.
2. Lube? While many like waxes, I find they really dont give enough lubrication, and I think that would be especially true for an e-bike. Search out the Finish Line e-bike lube or some other premium lube to mid-drives.
3. All the battery people who are trying to get the most out of their batteries say to wait until the battery is near the end of its charge, and charge to 80%. But if you are going on a long ride and your battery is at 50%, by all means charge it to the max.
4. Use the gear you would normally use when climbing hills. While the motor will help you, you will put excessive strain on the chain and cassette that will make it wear faster. You'll understand when the highest gear starts skipping.
Nice looking bike. I hope the wife gets lots of enjoyment from it.

2old 05-04-21 06:54 PM

+1 with Rick; Batteries shouldn't be stored above 80% charge, but being above for short periods isn't deleterious. The worst situation is to store below 10% (even 20% isn't great).

wgscott 05-04-21 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by speedy25 (Post 22044984)
Thanks for posting the link.
1.SO they have a 10 speed cassette with an 11 speed chain?? WHats with that. Use a link that is correct for the chain.

It is all 11-speed 105, except for an Ultegra rear derailleur.

Edit: I just found what you saw. It is a typo.


2. Lube? While many like waxes, I find they really dont give enough lubrication, and I think that would be especially true for an e-bike. Search out the Finish Line e-bike lube or some other premium lube to mid-drives.
3. All the battery people who are trying to get the most out of their batteries say to wait until the battery is near the end of its charge, and charge to 80%. But if you are going on a long ride and your battery is at 50%, by all means charge it to the max.
That is what I had heard, too. iPhones for that reason apparently learn your habits and only charge to 80% until an hour before you are in the habit of disconnecting it from a charging cable.

But the Bosch generic manual (which I found after posting the OP) makes no mention of any of this.


4. Use the gear you would normally use when climbing hills. While the motor will help you, you will put excessive strain on the chain and cassette that will make it wear faster. You'll understand when the highest gear starts skipping.
Nice looking bike. I hope the wife gets lots of enjoyment from it.
She badly injured her knee and the surgeon advised it was inoperable (apart from replacement), so she is rather happy to be able to ride again. We have very steep hills here, which I find quite hard (without any such issues apart from age).

wgscott 05-04-21 09:46 PM

I just took this thing out for a ride in "turbo" mode in a 6 mile loop near where we live. About 700ft of climbing. It felt like it was trying to take off from under me. I arrived home not having broken a sweat, even though it is about 80F.

Pop N Wood 05-05-21 06:39 AM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 22045291)
I just took this thing out for a ride in "turbo" mode in a 6 mile loop near where we live. About 700ft of climbing. It felt like it was trying to take off from under me. I arrived home not having broken a sweat, even though it is about 80F.

Yeah, ebikes rock.

Once you get over the rush of electric acceleration you will find yourself dialing back the boost and riding more like a normal bike. But it is nice having that power there when you need it.

2old 05-05-21 09:26 AM

wg (or anybody else), go to battery university to learn more than you ever want to know about batteries.

wgscott 05-05-21 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by 2old (Post 22045880)
wg (or anybody else), go to battery university to learn more than you ever want to know about batteries.

Electrochemistry (including voltaic cells) is part of what I teach (but only the chemistry aspect -- nothing about the practicalities of how much to charge up a battery).

Edit: sorry, I am being too literal. It is a website: https://batteryuniversity.com

meb 05-05-21 11:50 PM


Originally Posted by speedy25 (Post 22044984)
Thanks for posting the link.
1.SO they have a 10 speed cassette with an 11 speed chain?? WHats with that. Use a link that is correct for the chain.
2. Lube? While many like waxes, I find they really dont give enough lubrication, and I think that would be especially true for an e-bike. Search out the Finish Line e-bike lube or some other premium lube to mid-drives.
3. All the battery people who are trying to get the most out of their batteries say to wait until the battery is near the end of its charge, and charge to 80%. But if you are going on a long ride and your battery is at 50%, by all means charge it to the max.
4. Use the gear you would normally use when climbing hills. While the motor will help you, you will put excessive strain on the chain and cassette that will make it wear faster. You'll understand when the highest gear starts skipping.
Nice looking bike. I hope the wife gets lots of enjoyment from it.

Along these lines on the gearing matter, my first ebike had a 14-28 rear freewheel, and I got in the habit of not downshifting for stops. I ended up shearing off teeth on the 14 and 17 tooth cogs from startups (I am 250lbs).

gsa103 05-06-21 11:30 AM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 22044684)
3. Is it bad to re-charge the battery when it is above 50%?
.

Not a problem at all.

General rule of thumb for Li-Ion batteries. Keep it in the 80%-20% range for normal usage. For example, Tesla recommends charging often ("A plugged in Tesla is a happy Tesla.")
For long-term storage, it's best to keep the battery at 50-60%, for example, if you're not planning to ride for a week and it's at 50%, don't bother re-charging.
Generally, just charge the battery to 80% the night before the ride and you'll be fine. There's no concern with degradation leaving the battery at 80%.
Charging to 100%-20% is better for a battery than running it below 20%, so if you're planning a long ride, just charge to 100%.

Also, about every 20-50 rides, make sure to charge it to 100%. The batteries need to be fully charged to completely re-balance the cell voltages, then just go ride the next morning.
If you generally use the battery between 80%-20% the battery will last a VERY long time.

Fulltime1wd 05-06-21 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 22045291)
I just took this thing out for a ride in "turbo" mode in a 6 mile loop near where we live. About 700ft of climbing. It felt like it was trying to take off from under me. I arrived home not having broken a sweat, even though it is about 80F.

When e-bikes first appeared years ago, I didn't know if this was a good thing or a bad thing. As time has passed, I think this is a very very good thing. So many people have jumped into bicycling that probably felt intimidated based on pure muscle power and very much appreciate the electric boost.
I did a bike ride yesterday at the famous Cades Cove loop in Tennessee (closed to cars on Wednesdays so it's bikes and hikers only). While pedaling my singlespeed, I was passed by so many people who looked extremely happy and having fun on their e-bike.


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