eBikes - what's the current perspective

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Minlak

Kink of the mountain
the end is so worth it just watch it or skip through to 4:50

[video=youtube;2RsWYVb-iT0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RsWYVb-iT0[/video]
 

takai

Eats Squid
I'm all for ebikes when it comes to stuff like that.

Ebikes are huge in China for commuting and have been so for well over a decade.
Yeah. I figure it can be quite helpful for that purpose. But anyone used these $300 kits? Seems probably a bit hit and miss with all the same pictures and wildly different specs.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Yeah. I figure it can be quite helpful for that purpose. But anyone used these $300 kits? Seems probably a bit hit and miss with all the same pictures and wildly different specs.
I helped my mate build a bangfang mid drive which was about $500 mark (mid drives cost a little more than hub motors). Most of the more reliable chinese brands have good figures and pretty accurate. Electronics is wierd in that it is relatively easy to increase power with diffeent controllers etc. When we were looking it was 250w, 500w and 750w - all of which had the same hardware. There are some ebike forums and we went with bangfang because that's what everyone else was doing.

Hub motors are a little different because they are internally geared. You have to get the right ratio of otherwise they just heat up a lot.

Having one ebike in the stable is great imo. It gives your non trained mates a chance to join you on long rides and also extends your own range. I am in the process of building one (probably 6 months away in tiem for next summer) so that we can do long rides through fire roads etc. We are talking about 250km which would usually be a very very tough day, if not undoable at my skill elvel.
 

Nambra

Postmeridian

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Yeah, ive seen a few of the Bafang reviews around. But it seems with the motor location it would be quite hard to use on a forward box cargo bike like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/111650835964?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2648&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
Yeah I wasn't suggesting you get one, just confirming that the power figures for ok brands are quite accurate. A lso when you get started on ebikes, more power is always the end goal.

Like I said though, make sure you do the research with the hub motor. My ebike conversion will be hub motor so let me know how it goes if you get around to it first. (We seem to have similar bike projects, first the drop bar mtb lol) A lot of them are designed for mid or high speed, not high load low speed - mid drives use bike gearing in addition to their own internal gear so this is not an issue.

Then there is the issue of the type of pedal power. What you pay for in terms of the bionx and other high end brands is a really buttery smooth pedal assist. You barely know it's there, it just feels like you bulked up a lot. The chinese mid drive and hub motors have felt different and much more raw than the expensive options. You can feel when it kicks in and the set assistance levels are patchy at best (but programmable!). Basically they operate on a cadence sensor with a simple stop start mecahnism making it choppy and you feel it straight away (higher end use strain gauges which are expensive).

There is also a kill switch wired to the brakes (cable only unless yu are crafty). My experience is that this is really dangerous as there is a significant delay in the motor switching off, not to mention that there are no hydraulics. Once again, this was not a problem on a high end e bike using straing gauges - it slow and cuts off well before you apply the brake. Because of this the front brake is running a massive 200mm disc with cable bb7, even then there are sketchy moments.

For a forward cargobox, I'd probably do the opposite and use a rear hub motor and put all the controllers and batteries on the rear rack. Rear wheel because I have no idea how the bike will handle with the front wheels driven in turning and braking (someone chip in) and also because the wiring is a lot shorter, neater and accessible at the back. Also the kid doesn't have to sit on an exploding battery :p

(also Chris...)
 
Yeah. I figure it can be quite helpful for that purpose. But anyone used these $300 kits? Seems probably a bit hit and miss with all the same pictures and wildly different specs.
i would be sceptical about the real value of a 300w kit generally.
the reality remains that GOOD quality li-ion is still somewhat expensive.
at that kits price range i wouldnt expect the battery(most expensive component) to be genuine or last more then a few months. thats not even addressing the kits performance issue.

a good pack can last several years (3-6) estimate, depending on care and feeding, storage etc. but will cost roughly between 400-$2000 depending on the size and discharge rate capability.

(Quote):
I helped my mate build a bangfang mid drive which was about $500 mark (mid drives cost a little more than hub motors). Most of the more reliable chinese brands have good figures and pretty accurate. Electronics is wierd in that it is relatively easy to increase power with diffeent controllers etc. When we were looking it was 250w, 500w and 750w - all of which had the same hardware. There are some ebike forums and we went with bangfang because that's what everyone else was doing.

Hub motors are a little different because they are internally geared. You have to get the right ratio of otherwise they just heat up a lot. (Quote)

some hubs are geared, bafang,mac ,bmc etc. good for light weight use but when pushed, the plastic internal gears tend to heat up and melt:shocked:
direct drive hubs are usually ~2 times the weight, but the larger ones of these can take some serious abuse before they get too hot.
these would be my choice for a heavy duty cargo bike/scooter type bike.
size of motor is also not an indication of power output, but rather how much power and for how long it can take it before it overheats the windings.(dragging your family and shopping from Coles up a long steep hill)
thus they give them a nominal wattage rating....

the power output is really governed by the battery voltage and the current supplied by the controller.

some people go for the mid-drives, believing them more efficient, but there is some contention regarding efficiency/advantages compared with hubs, largely due to the drive train losses and wearing of moving parts.
they are also inevitably noisier.
the major advantage is the lack of unsprung weight on the wheel, and central weight placement in the frame, which may be a consideration for off-road type bikes.

Going on really long rides like 250km or more, mentioned earlier, can be a real blast.
with the current battery tech and good quality chargers, recharging a 100km range pack(without pedaling) will recharge from a standard socket in just over an hour from empty.
this makes some really long road trips possible, with short charging stops...
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Oh yeah forgot to add, self made battery pack. The kit we got didn't have batteries.

There are a lot of places on a bike you can put 18650 cells!
 

takai

Eats Squid
i would be sceptical about the real value of a 300w kit generally.
the reality remains that GOOD quality li-ion is still somewhat expensive.
at that kits price range i wouldnt expect the battery(most expensive component) to be genuine or last more then a few months. thats not even addressing the kits performance issue.

a good pack can last several years (3-6) estimate, depending on care and feeding, storage etc. but will cost roughly between 400-$2000 depending on the size and discharge rate capability.

(Quote):
I helped my mate build a bangfang mid drive which was about $500 mark (mid drives cost a little more than hub motors). Most of the more reliable chinese brands have good figures and pretty accurate. Electronics is wierd in that it is relatively easy to increase power with diffeent controllers etc. When we were looking it was 250w, 500w and 750w - all of which had the same hardware. There are some ebike forums and we went with bangfang because that's what everyone else was doing.

Hub motors are a little different because they are internally geared. You have to get the right ratio of otherwise they just heat up a lot. (Quote)

some hubs are geared, bafang,mac ,bmc etc. good for light weight use but when pushed, the plastic internal gears tend to heat up and melt:shocked:
direct drive hubs are usually ~2 times the weight, but the larger ones of these can take some serious abuse before they get too hot.
these would be my choice for a heavy duty cargo bike/scooter type bike.
size of motor is also not an indication of power output, but rather how much power and for how long it can take it before it overheats the windings.(dragging your family and shopping from Coles up a long steep hill)
thus they give them a nominal wattage rating....

the power output is really governed by the battery voltage and the current supplied by the controller.

some people go for the mid-drives, believing them more efficient, but there is some contention regarding efficiency/advantages compared with hubs, largely due to the drive train losses and wearing of moving parts.
they are also inevitably noisier.
the major advantage is the lack of unsprung weight on the wheel, and central weight placement in the frame, which may be a consideration for off-road type bikes.

Going on really long rides like 250km or more, mentioned earlier, can be a real blast.
with the current battery tech and good quality chargers, recharging a 100km range pack(without pedaling) will recharge from a standard socket in just over an hour from empty.
this makes some really long road trips possible, with short charging stops...
Yeah, all of those kits dont come with batteries. So making your own LiPos (and keeping them balanced) is the other issue.
 

MARKL

Eats Squid
An outside perspective

We are not alone in the debate that we are having here, it appears the debate is happening worldwide as manufacturers sense a buck to be made.

Q: How does IMBA view electric assist and electric bicycles (e-Bikes)?
A: Electric bicycles are a welcome addition to the cycling community. They allow for carrying heavy loads and offer assistance to those who could not otherwise experience much of the fun of cycling and add a de minimus amount of additional impact. However, the use of a motor whether internal combustion or electric would require changing the classification to a motorized use. IMBA would support the use of e-Bikes anywhere that we could also support other motorized uses.
Full IMBA positionhttps://www.imba.com/sites/default/files/motorized%20position-IMBA%202010.pdf

It appears that there are concerns the IMBA is being lobbied by manufacturers to move from this position and embrace e-bikes. This is obviously concerning from a number of perspectives and it will be interesting to see if the IMBA does soften it's position.

...we hope that you and your board of directors will reaffirm IMBA’s 2010 policy position that e-MTBs “should be regulated as with other motorized off-road travel.” We are concerned that IMBA is poised to abandon this position.

...IMBA recently undertook its own independent study of the impacts of e-MTBs (paid for by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes) that indicate that the impacts of low-powered Type 1 e-MTBs are about the same as human-powered mountain bikes, not unlike Wilson and Seney’s 1994 study. This data was presented to the bicycle industry at the Interbike Trade show last September.

This raises the question whether IMBA should be engaging in this type of research, and we are very concerned that IMBA is using this data, perhaps under pressure from the bicycle industry, to shift to a more accommodating position on e-bikes on trails.

Bicycle Retailer’s Interbike Show Daily contained two articles indicating that IMBA is becoming more willing to advocate for electric bicycle use on non-motorized trails. The September 17th Show Daily article titled “IMBA Report could open the door to e-MTBs on trails” comments that IMBA’s “study may be the first step toward opening up some trails to e-mountain bikes that are currently closed to them.”.......

Consider the following:

For decades, groups like NEMBA and IMBA have defined mountain biking as a non-motorized form of recreation. That definition is the pillar of mountain bike advocacy. Creating a third category for power-assisted vehicles would undermine this basic tenet and significantly blur the distinction between mountain biking and motorized recreation. This will profoundly affect our ability to advocate and gain access to more trails and open spaces. Land managers and environmentalists would once again lump us together with the motorized set, and with all of the negative baggage that goes with it. This has the potential to set mountain bike advocacy efforts back decades.
My current view on e-bikes is:
1 - e-bikes are a valid transport choice
2 - once you add a motor to a bike it is a motorbike, everything else is splitting hairs
3 - for access reasons (amongst others) mountain bikers do not want to be confused with motor bike riders and e-bikers blur this line
4 - there is no issue with e-bikes riding where other motorised bikes are allowed
5 - It is a slippery slope, whilst I have no issue with a genuine pedalec, however as we have seen in this thread people use them as the justification for allowing e-bikes on trails and then run whatever type of electric motorbike they want.

And as always the Angry Single Speeder is:rant:
http://reviews.mtbr.com/the-angry-singlespeeder-will-e-bikes-short-circuit-mountain-biking
 

stirk

Wheel size expert
I wonder what the petrol powered motos would think about ebikes invading their territory. They would probably be a little bemused and perhaps also slightly pissed off, particularly if the slower ebikes get in their way. They then feel the right or need to 'get back' at mountains bikers as thats what they percieve them to be and start riding our trails more.

Ebikes are the piggy in the middle.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Bahaha, the line 'carrying loads'

Last time we did a squirt on the Warburton trail (flat 80km return gravel for non-Melbournites) we made our mate carry about 20kg of bbq meat and utensils - basically an esky strapped to the panier rack. He still looked less tired than we were at the end. Very useful.
 

indica

what is a yous
Fuck me, why is this still going?
If it has a motor it is a motorbike and thus NIT fucking welcome on a mountain bike trail.

Want to ride single track? Make your own , work on park access, do your own shit....
 

Nambra

Postmeridian
See the related article at the bottom of that link Mark? http://reviews.mtbr.com/moab-blm-bans-electric-bikes-on-non-motorized-trails

I have to admit, I've changed my mind of late, and take back any comments I've made to the effect that I'm not bothered if pedelecs ride MTB trails. There are that many YouTube videos showing you how to circumvent speed/power limitations of pedelecs; there's no way to know that what looks to be a legitimate pedelec hasn't been tampered with to go faster or produce more power. It will be virtually impossible to regulate and limit use to legal e-bikes only.
 

Ivan

Eats Squid
I wonder what the petrol powered motos would think about ebikes invading their territory. They would probably be a little bemused and perhaps also slightly pissed off, particularly if the slower ebikes get in their way. They then feel the right or need to 'get back' at mountains bikers as thats what they percieve them to be and start riding our trails more.

Ebikes are the piggy in the middle.

A lot of moto riders are pissed that MTB's have taken over their trails. Obviously not in places where dedicated mtb parks have been built, but lots of the old trails on crown land. Things are never black and white.
 
Fuck me, why is this still going?
If it has a motor it is a motorbike and thus NIT fucking welcome on a mountain bike trail.

Want to ride single track? Make your own , work on park access, do your own shit....
sincerely sorry if i sound like a smartarse, but the title of this thread is asking what other bikers current perspectives are of ebikes, not weather or not they should be allowed on mtb only trails.

I for one, after some thought(perhaps a year) am finding myself somewhat sympathetic towards pedal only mtb riders view that their trails should be reserved for pedal mtb's only, not for fear of damage to their trails, but more because they are likely to be inundated by people with very little experience who can suddenly ride long distances and into areas usually inaccessible to them.
thus creating a hazard for more experienced riders and could generally be a pain in the arse.

unfortunately, the way the big marketing machine is churning at the moment, it looks like ebikes on trails is what is going to be reality.
I hope that everyone can get along and have mutural respect somehow...or keep some paths pedal only, but policing that has gotta suck.

I for one will be perfectly happy sticking to my own preferred domain of empty streetlit highways in the am, with the roar of the wind in my ears...:happy:...
 

MARKL

Eats Squid
See the related article at the bottom of that link Mark? http://reviews.mtbr.com/moab-blm-bans-electric-bikes-on-non-motorized-trails

I have to admit, I've changed my mind of late, and take back any comments I've made to the effect that I'm not bothered if pedelecs ride MTB trails. There are that many YouTube videos showing you how to circumvent speed/power limitations of pedelecs; there's no way to know that what looks to be a legitimate pedelec hasn't been tampered with to go faster or produce more power. It will be virtually impossible to regulate and limit use to legal e-bikes only.
Human nature in cycling is to make everything more better, faster etc; I can't see why e-bikes would be any different? And people like to tinker and make things better, much of this forum is devoted to that. So while I can see the argument for 15194 pedalec, it is impossible to administer cause what was a 250 watt, speed limited 25km/h bike is suddenly a much more powerful and faster device. Impossible to legislate and administer.
 
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