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EBikes Are Cool!

Old 08-19-21, 05:51 AM
  #1  
Attilio
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EBikes Are Cool!

Just wanted to share my thoughts about a recent change of heart I had for ebikes. I wasn't that thrilled up until recently thinking the motor plus battery was a cop out for people that just didn't want to train. I know this was TOTALLY wrong. You know what they say about opinions everybody's got one, everyone thinks theirs is the only one that doesn't stink and mine was a result of tunnel vision.

What happened is that we spent considerable time abroad in Europe this summer and biked around a LOT. Or at least I did because I have been riding for a few years, train frequently and am in decently good shape enough to tackle 16-18% grades even in gravel.

Anyway the best rides there are out of the cities which are congested but to get there to be in the mountains and hills and countryside you really have to be able to do those uphills; my wife isn't enough into biking to train enough to do that. So I switched bike and did a longer term rental of ebike. What a difference! It's a really neat idea because the truth is not everyone has the time to be in good shape to be an effective cyclist in every place. The beauty of ebike is that it expands the appeal to the sport beyond fitness freaks and anything that brings more riders and more enthusiasts into the fold will mean more rights, more bike lanes/paths, more people to ride with and just a better experience. Why didn't I think of this sooner???
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Old 08-19-21, 08:04 AM
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I was told growing up: don't knock it until you've tried it.
All of us can be a critic of new things, new ideas; but it is how we experience the new after trying that make valid opinions.
Different opinions may still be obtained after trying & experiencing the new, but it breaks down to application & parameter of usage.
Reality is: more converts to e-bikes or bicycles from operating motorized vehicles on public roads, less congestion & pollution it may be.
Rock on.
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Old 08-19-21, 08:26 AM
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You captured the entire essence of an e bike.
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Old 08-19-21, 06:24 PM
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For biking on a bike path an ebike isn't that useful although if you're so new and out of shape to it better you get the start that way. More cyclists = better for everyone. But life throws you curveballs. I met more than a few people in the European mountains who were riding ebikes or self converted ebikes that told me as they were getting older they suffered health problems, heart problems, joint problems or just ageing issues and still wanted to get out. I also met people where one partner or spouse, usually but not always the wife, didn't train as much. Like I said on bike path or low key bike rides its not a big deal. If you're in the mountains or hills or on some pretty tough trails someone who is well trained can sure do it but you need a LOT of time to train that much to get yourself up to that level. So if you're that busy that you just can't train enough to see the most beautiful places which are usually far, inaccessible and up steep slopes that require huge training, but still want to do a long ride *OR* your significant other, wife, partner, whatever is in that same boat and you want to share the joy with them the ebike is a wonderful solution. Truly wonderful. I would *NEVER* consider one in my current state but as we know life can change but am glad my wife uses one. IF something bad happens to my health as well I am relieved to know that this option exists.
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Old 08-20-21, 09:12 PM
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I've been riding since I retired 12 years sometimes riding up to 4 and 5 times a week going 2000 to 3000 miles a year. I have a Specialized Roubaix and a Litespeed Classic.

I just bought a Pinarello Dyodo ebike. At 77 I don't feel I can comfortably doing some of the hill rides I used to do years ago. I've done a few of the hill rides again and it's still a good workout if you use a lower pedal assist setting. It's brought back some of the enjoyment I missed the last couple years.I still ride the Specialized and the Litespeed on some of the flatter rides I do.
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Old 08-22-21, 07:45 PM
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What I like about ebikes is that you can get to your destination without feeling like you need another shower! That makes a difference in Corn Country!!
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Old 08-23-21, 12:04 PM
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For me, a 70+ retiree with health issues, living in a rural area where flat rides are only a dream, it's ebike or walk. Any ride from my house, for example, involves at least several hundred feet of elevation. The ride spouse and I did a week ago had 1600 feet of elevation. I doubt that I have enough years left to train to do that without pain on a conventional bike. So yes, for some of us, an ebike means we don't worry about hills anymore, just range!
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Old 08-29-21, 01:04 PM
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I used to commute to work by ebike, 19 miles each way, 5 days a week for a couple years. Got in amazing shape. I would would interval train on the commute, and go all out on the way there and back. You can train more intensely on an ebike, because you can go until failure repeatedly, and don't have to leave anything in the tank for the ride home. On a regular bike, if you over do it and your legs give out, then you're stranded.

On the weekends I would ride my road bike, and it wasn't long before outgrew my riding partners in a major way.
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Old 08-30-21, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert07 View Post
Fast electric bikes are an innovative solution for those people who want to exert less effort in biking but want to take longer distances. Do you know how fast do electric bikes go? In the United States, electric bikes are categorized into Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3: Class 1 have a motor that can only function once you push the pedal, you can enjoy an e-bike speed of 20mph, while the maximum motor wattage is up to 750W. Class 2 e-bikes also have a full speed of up to 20 miles per hour, but it has the drive system activated by a throttle. You can travel up to 28mph full speed when you choose an electric bicycle in Class 3. Most e-bikes in this category have 750W motors.
Are you sure about this? Bosch performance speed drive motors are nominally 250 watt, and used on a lot of high quality bikes. I also think the whole thing of motor wattage is a lot of BS, since the performance of a motor, in practice, on a real bike, depends on a lot of other factors, such as the controller settings, the motor efficiency, the drive train, hub vs mid and so forth. We see huge numbers for some bikes, 1000w for example, but far fewer real world test comparisons versus lower wattage systems.
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Old 08-30-21, 04:41 PM
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A motor advertised at 750W, could be nominal 500W, and only peak at 750W.
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Old 08-30-21, 05:46 PM
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AFAIK, motor wattage is pretty much what a motor can produce continuously without overheating. As intimated above, the manufacturers are fast and loose with their values, and some individuals report putting two or three times the designated amount into a motor (probably for a limited time). I've never had a problem with my 1000w motor with a 30 amp controller and 52V battery (theoretically 1,500 or so watts).
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Old 08-31-21, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
AFAIK, motor wattage is pretty much what a motor can produce continuously without overheating. As intimated above, the manufacturers are fast and loose with their values, and some individuals report putting two or three times the designated amount into a motor (probably for a limited time). I've never had a problem with my 1000w motor with a 30 amp controller and 52V battery (theoretically 1,500 or so watts).
Definitely not true. Wattage can be whatever the manufacturer wants it to be: instantaneous peak power, gross, net, etc. Most of these high wattage motors are no doubt rated for instantaneous peak power, a power output that can only be sustained for a short period of time, probably seconds long. Heat is the problem for all these motors, even mid drive hub motors. No motor is 100% efficient in converting electricity to mechanical motion. 10 to 50% of the input power is lost as heat, so you can imagine why high power bike motors get hot under high load.
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Old 08-31-21, 07:43 AM
  #13  
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To me, numbers really don't matter as much as simplicity & reliability.
I ride my e-bikes for commute with subway, ferry/bus transfers or transporting bulk & heavy food items.
For commuting e-bike, I need them to be compact, take up smaller spaces when not in use.
For transporting bulk & heavy items, I need my cargo e-bike to be trouble-free even ignored.
Power output & range is mostly secondary, since most my rides are within 30 mile range between location with charging capability.
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Old 08-31-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by klevin View Post
Definitely not true. Wattage can be whatever the manufacturer wants it to be: instantaneous peak power, gross, net, etc. Most of these high wattage motors are no doubt rated for instantaneous peak power, a power output that can only be sustained for a short period of time, probably seconds long. Heat is the problem for all these motors, even mid drive hub motors. No motor is 100% efficient in converting electricity to mechanical motion. 10 to 50% of the input power is lost as heat, so you can imagine why high power bike motors get hot under high load.
Looks like you want to pretend you're intelligent by disagreeing. Look up the international standards for wattage. Also, everybody knows about heat and that motors aren't 100% efficient. Got any more platitudes?
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Old 08-31-21, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Looks like you want to pretend you're intelligent by disagreeing. Look up the international standards for wattage. Also, everybody knows about heat and that motors aren't 100% efficient. Got any more platitudes?
You, of course, miss the point, and obviously don't understand marketing. Yes, watts are watts. No, advertised "wattage" need not have any relationship to actual power available to the user.

"everybody knows about heat"? Tell that to all the folks who are surprised when their hub motors quit on long climbs or worse, burn out.

It's obvious that some people live in a fictitious world. I'll let those folks motor on happily, at least half way up the long hills. Go ahead and build on the fiction. I'll stay quiet since I'm not interested in that world.
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Old 08-31-21, 09:35 AM
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Because of heath issues I can ride when I feel like crap or feel good and keep the same pace. I ride a lot more too about 200 miles a week and ride every day pretty much. I am able to do my 20 mile commute then hop on the e tandem and ride another 10 to 20 miles a day. I can work harder on days I feel batter. same with my wife on the back of the tandem. if she is feeling wimpy I can keep up the speed. I good mid drive lets me spin at 80 rpms or so like I did on a my road bike and recumbent.
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Old 08-31-21, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by klevin View Post
You, of course, miss the point, and obviously don't understand marketing. Yes, watts are watts. No, advertised "wattage" need not have any relationship to actual power available to the user.

"everybody knows about heat"? Tell that to all the folks who are surprised when their hub motors quit on long climbs or worse, burn out.

It's obvious that some people live in a fictitious world. I'll let those folks motor on happily, at least half way up the long hills. Go ahead and build on the fiction. I'll stay quiet since I'm not interested in that world.
Might have missed the point, but even better is to miss your tripe. The ignore list was made for contrarians.
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Old 08-31-21, 03:06 PM
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Come on 2old, you have demonstrated thicker skin than this in the past. Kevin has some good points and yes, watts are watts but real world application is anything but easy to understand. Power ratings are all dependent on the reference points for that rating and everyone uses different reference points. I am a scientist and and engineer and half the time I can't keep my explanations simple or consistent. for lack of including the reference points in recreational conversation like these forums.
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Old 08-31-21, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KPREN View Post
Come on 2old, you have demonstrated thicker skin than this in the past. Kevin has some good points and yes, watts are watts but real world application is anything but easy to understand. Power ratings are all dependent on the reference points for that rating and everyone uses different reference points. I am a scientist and and engineer and half the time I can't keep my explanations simple or consistent. for lack of including the reference points in recreational conversation like these forums.
Read the statement that he said was not true and tell me what I said incorrectly. If he has anything positive to say including platitudes, let him add it. If he disagrees with anything let him correct it, not dismiss an entire statement by saying it's not true.
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Old 08-31-21, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Read the statement that he said was not true and tell me what I said incorrectly. If he has anything positive to say including platitudes, let him add it. If he disagrees with anything let him correct it, not dismiss an entire statement by saying it's not true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2old View Post
AFAIK, motor wattage is pretty much what a motor can produce continuously without overheating. As intimated above, the manufacturers are fast and loose with their values, and some individuals report putting two or three times the designated amount into a motor (probably for a limited time). I've never had a problem with my 1000w motor with a 30 amp controller and 52V battery (theoretically 1,500 or so watts).

You know I pretty much try to avoid going where you are shoving me but you put your boot on my head. Just know that I do respect your opinion. Kevin could have been more diplomatic. That said I will side mostly with Kevin on this one The highlighted line above is what is commonly referred to as duty rating, normally associated with Grid cycles and voltages E bikes are not on grid. In the e bike world, the regulations rule, not the power companies. The regulations are written as motor output wattage at the end of the drive shaft. A whole new driver of motor ratings and introduces a real can of worms to understand.

Here is how the regulations affect the BBSHD. The battery draw of a BBSHD at 52 volts is likely to be at or above the 1,500 watts you quote but not motor power output. The max motor output you are likely to get from that is a maximum of around 1,170 or 1,080 watts (48 volts) motor output, at the manufacturers reference points. Bafang BBSHD I think is 130 crank rpm at around 15NM @21 deg C. That is max design by the manufacturer, not a duty rating. The motor was designed to output 1080 watts at 130 rpm but Bafang knew it would never be pedaled that fast. At a more reasonable 90 rpm the BBSHD will put out about 750 watts at 48 volts with a power draw of 22 amps and around the magic number of 28 mph on most bicycles.
Here again, max as designed by Bafang has more to do with the regulations than with a duty rating. . Bafang's reference points and design parameters were set to produce a motor of a certain diameter and weight. to operate on a designated voltage and be supplemented by a human.. You must understand that if the rpm is not at 130 rpm (too fast for me to pedal but not to fast to throttle) then the motor is not putting out those wattages
As an extreme example, Your battery may be putting out 1.500 watts when you first hit the throttle at a stand still but the motor wattage output is near zero because the motor speed is near zero.
Technically speaking, electric motors are not even rated in watts but in watt hours. Perfectly legal, even in EU

Bottom line is that Bafang designed the BBSHD to have pedal inputs in the range of 350-500 watts with corresponding battery inputs of 465-665 watts. and a possible 750 watts at 90 rpm

If you want to go fast and contribute pedal power inputs with high powered motors on bicycles then you need to go with a large diameter hub motor, with a large diameter chainring. Mid drives are self limiting as pedalecs. Its actually tough to sustain 750 watts on a mid drive while contributing pedal power input. but very doable with throttle only and low gearing. I have climbed hill with a heavy load using low gearing and ghost pedaling to get the rpm way up. I can get more power than I can by adding in my own pedaling power.

The whole damned e bike power thing is very complicated with so many factors involved that the possibilities are nearly endless. The regulators could have been nice and just given us a speed limit instead of a max motor output limit and greatly simplified things. Imagine cars and semis having the same motor output limit. That is what you have with road bikes and cargo bikes.

How far can the possibilities go? You can build a controller to give you 160 NM of torque out of a 250 watt nominal mid drive bike. Look for that in e mountain bikes in the near future. Battery power draw would spike some where's in the 1,500 watt range without exceeding 250 watts output. Enough to get you over a technical rock climb. The controller would be expensive with lots of controls. The writers of the e bike regulations knew they were throwing in a speed governor, but not a fun governor when they wrote the regs as motor output power. E bike manufactures still have not taken full advantage of what those regulations offer and the regulations are better than 20 years old. Still too many grid thinkers.

A disclaimer.: This whole e bike power thingy is complicated enough that I don't fully understand it enough to explain it to an 8 year old. I am likely to go back and say" Why the hell did I write that" about this post. Some of my sentences might not make sense to you or to me later but they were a best try right now. I am too damned old to invest enough time to fully understand it.. Trying to explain these abstract concepts is a rabbit hole for ragging opinions and therefore against my better judgement to post this but WTF I have been on this for two hours and therefore my editing likely sucks. I am going to have a beer. knowing that I will likely hate my post later.
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Old 09-01-21, 07:12 AM
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I'm not reading that treatise, but you can join your friend. This is my last word on the subject:
1) The definition of wattage (from memory) was exactly what I just read as the definition of the International Society of Electrical Engineers. Good enough for me!
2) Manufacturers are fast and loose with their values. The day before when I was deciding on a hub motor, I asked one company about the difference(s) between their 500w & 1000w motors because everything seemed identical; answer, they were the same.
3) I've had no problem subjecting my 48V, 1000w motor to a 30 amp controller @ 52V; Discuss this subject until you're blue in the face; it's the way many describe their systems; or are you implying that I'm prevaricating?
Enough said about this stupid subject; since we have these semantics professors patrolling the forum, I'll try to post less if at all. Too bad; the place used to be inhabited by only a really nice, helpful, intelligent, group of individuals.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:19 PM
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Better late than never.

I didn't understand the, "I earned by fitness," nonsense from some folks. I sprinted on my road bikes, I sprint on the e-bike. The sprints are longer with the e-bike and my knees don't scream at me anymore. My quads and lungs maybe, but not my knees.
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Old 09-02-21, 06:42 PM
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My friend rides with an individual who was a paraplegic from a surfing accident, but physical therapy and lots of painful exercises have him to the point where he can stand and walk a couple of steps. BUT, he can ride an e-MTB off road. IMO, he earns whatever downhill, uphill whatever. The prideful rest are posers.
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