bunch of questions about e-bikes

taliv

Observer
i have been reading a lot about them, but don't have a place to test drive so i have lots of n00b questions. any insight would be appreciated.

what happens when the battery dies? does pedaling require more force due to the drag of the motor or do you essentially free wheel?


are some models quiet? or do they all make some amount of noise? I read in the other thread about limiting it to 60db conversation levels at 6' but are there "no noise at all" options?


are they theoretically more or less susceptible to theft? do you try to secure them in novel ways or pretty much the old bike chain method?


for the models with throttles, what is acceleration like if you don't pedal? i assume this varies with the make/model of course, but generally, how would you characterize it? instead of flattening a hill when pedaling, can you just run the throttle and still go up the hill? if you carry a lot of cargo (like say, 50-100lb), is it really noticeable or do the bikes have enough torque to make that seem minor?


i've seen one bike announced that puts power to both wheels. is that common?
 

F350joe

Well-known member
Pedaling is a **********, you really don’t want to run out of juice. Some are better than other but lighter weight is easiest to pedal if need be. You are probably just going to walk it up hills though.

some are quieter than others. Rear hub small motors are quieter than the big center mount ones but they have less power. If you are going slow and pedal assist you won’t hear a thing.

it’s more valuable so you want to invest in More security. You want to lock up the wheel hub wheel, the frame, and take your battery with you if it doesn’t lock into place, even the locking batteries can be kicked out though.

I Iike throttle and pedal to increase my range if that’s an issue. With pedal assist you have to pedal to move, both systems are ideal. I’m about 240lbs and can throttle up most hills with 600watts but that’s hard on the motor and battery so you want to help it out. Heat kills these motors and most don’t monitor heat. Short hill is fine for a few at full throttle but long climbs you wan to help it out as back off the throttle a little. Acceleration in modest at best but you dont really want to power only start. If sucks up a lot of juice to get everything moving and is also extra stress on the motor. Give a few pedals then start throttling. I’ve towed a little with mine and you feel it. The torque is there but if you rely on torque you kill range. I’ll get groceries with the trailer and throttle only except to get started and it’s fine but range suffers.

2wd ebikes are not common but it has been done and has its advantages and disadvantages. Not really practical for most people.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I'm fairly new to E-Bikes but what he said ^^^^ pretty much has been my observation.

First time out on my new-to-me folding E-bike I inadvertently pulled a connector out and killed the motor so I had to pedal back on human power only. I was able to do it but it was a slog.

Susceptible to theft? Well, most E-Bikes are $1000 - $3000 each. Would you leave $1000 cash laying around without securing it? I wouldn't.

Throttle response on my 500w Lectric XP is not rocket-like (it's not really like a motorcycle, and I'm a motorcycle guy) but it can be fun. I actually enjoyed pedaling with the "pedal assist" more than just "throttling." It feels like someone is pushing you while you pedal, it's a fun sensation.

Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to drop a foot of snow on us last night or I might be taking the e-Bikes out for a ride. Nevertheless I think we'll enjoy ours a lot.
 

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as long as we're asking questions . . . .

Q: why is there no way to charge, or at least put back some, energy into the battery as the bike wheels turn?

everyone had at least one bike with a bottle generator & headlight when they were kids. how far removed can this possibility be?
 

MTVR

Well-known member
as long as we're asking questions . . . .

Q: why is there no way to charge, or at least put back some, energy into the battery as the bike wheels turn?

everyone had at least one bike with a bottle generator & headlight when they were kids. how far removed can this possibility be?
I like this guy... ;)
 
as long as we're asking questions . . . .

Q: why is there no way to charge, or at least put back some, energy into the battery as the bike wheels turn?

everyone had at least one bike with a bottle generator & headlight when they were kids. how far removed can this possibility be?
I think it has to do with the laws of thermodynamics. Energy isn't created, but rather transferred. With the bottle generator, your little kid body burned a few more calories to overcome the drag. I think with the e-bikes, it becomes a wash. Don't quote me on it though.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
on average humans are capable of creating about 50-150W with vigorous exercise, so if you took half of that for recharging the battery and the other half for moving the bike slower.. it'd be nothing, the wall charger for those are like 600W+ and it still takes way longer to charge than you would ever want to pedal for.

mebe regen braking using gravity going downhill, not under human power.. on big steep long declines that would be both significant energy recovery and a nice safety mechanism as your typically going whatever speed gravity wants you too and using mechanical brakes just gonna more problems than it solves beyond a certain speed.. a downhill mode on a e-Mountain bike that didnt let it get up to 60mph unchecked would be sweet, any energy recovered would just be a nice bonus.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
as long as we're asking questions . . . .

Q: why is there no way to charge, or at least put back some, energy into the battery as the bike wheels turn?
I'm sure it is close. Someone will figure out the regenerative braking. Someone might figure out how to generate energy from the shocks too like Audi is already doing. The key is miniturization, efficiency and mass production. Not here yet but likely not far off either.

A lot of ebikes today are heavy, inefficient fat bikes with bulky frames, heavy batteries and massive tires. Since our pedalling is subsidized by electricity no one really cares.... yet. The expectation is not far off for an ebike to be as efficient as a Tour de France racer. Lance Armstrongs last big cheating effort was adding a battery and motor inside the downtube.

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... any energy recovered would just be a nice bonus.
i think that's my contention (admittedly not understanding all the peripheral conditions which would be deterrent ). the "time" when a substantial amount of riders would adapt an electric bike as their choice of transportation may not coincide with the peak of their physical conditioning. a bit of pedaling and then some coasting and then a bit more of a pedal might be a more realistic ride scenario rather than a quick cadence spinning session.

it would not need to be a global incorporation by the manufacturers. most companies websites offer different models and a "rejuvenation" power train could be just one more option. no one would be obligated to buy it.
 

al_burpe

Observer

dreadlocks

Well-known member
there's nothing really to solve, the thing is if you take an electric motor and start spinning it manually it turns into a generator naturally.. the complicated bit is a singular brake lever that applies regenerative braking before applying mechanical braking.. suppose you could just add another brake lever too or have it like a BMX that you lock it pedaling backwards.

I had an electric skateboard 14 years ago that had regen braking, was pretty nice on the hills to have brakes on something like that..
 
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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
They have figured out regenerative breaking for ebikes. This model from RadPower has it. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radcity-electric-commuter-bike
Beat me to it.

Yes, some E-bikes have regenerative braking. From what I've seen on the E-bike forums, regen braking only has a marginal effect in terms of extending the range of the bike. Considering the additional complexity and cost of adding regen braking, the returns are probably not worth it for most casual users like us.

When I was shopping for ours I found a few that had regen braking but the trade-off didn't seem to be worth it.
 

Gummee

wannabe traveler
as long as we're asking questions . . . .

Q: why is there no way to charge, or at least put back some, energy into the battery as the bike wheels turn?

everyone had at least one bike with a bottle generator & headlight when they were kids. how far removed can this possibility be?
short answer: $$

Longer answer: not enough voltage from the generator hubs that are available to power up the battery. Here's your chance to make a small fortune out of a big fortune!

AFA the pedaling when dead question: how much you spend affects the weight. A cheap bike is going to be a tank compared to the more expensive offerings. ...just like anything else bicycle-related.

HTH

M
 

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short answer: $$

Longer answer: not enough voltage from the generator hubs that are available to power up the battery. Here's your chance to make a small fortune out of a big fortune!

AFA the pedaling when dead question: how much you spend affects the weight. A cheap bike is going to be a tank compared to the more expensive offerings. ...just like anything else bicycle-related.

HTH

M
oh, i get the money analogy. i'm the chuckle-nuts that spent over $50 on a nitto water bottle cage - in 2014! and a Brooks saddle tool bag just because they look so darn vintage (@ 90$ plus)

(https://www.benscycle.com/nitto-tour-water-bottle-cage/water_bottle_cage_nitto__870-023/product)

(https://www.nashbar.com/brooks-challenge-tool-saddle-bag-honey-leather-b2002105/p303226)

i just assume if the tires are churning, there might be an untapped resource.
 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I LOVE my Ebike. Hub drive. Have had it for four or five years so my response is based on my bike.

I bought mine as I have a lung condition and had to sell my Miyata 1000 road and my Norco Mountain bike.

You can pedal without the assist with no problem. I often will ride without the motor on to get exercise. Then if I have to get home and I am tired or if it is against the wind will use the assist. Not a lot different then riding a regular bike on mine. The difference is like having a touring bike with some gear on it (the EB) or riding the same bike without gear (non EB less weight).

Mine has a regeneration system on it and a braking regeration system as well. WORKS GREAT but you will not get much power unless you are riding down Everest. I did see it on one ride where I dropped a battery level while riding up a hill then when I came down same hill and I put it into full regen it got a quarter of that level back but it was more of a surface charge then anything. I would say realistically if riding a road with rolling hills you would get back .05% on regeneration mode for every 1% of use then it is not a deep charge but a surface charge.

Noise when using throttle only is almost zero. When pedalling with assist nothing above the regular chain noise.

A road legal EB the throttle will start you from a standstill but you will not burn rubber. Likewise you can go up smaller hills with throttle only but it is using all its power to do that as the hill gets steeper. Some of the off road bikes have a lot more power and will handle a lot more for the hills but you cannot use them on the road legally.

Theft is an issue on all bikes. On my EB I remove the battery and the controller when it is on the back of my vehicle. At night I have a HEAVY bike lock.
 
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