28 mph is FAST!

Jerry LM

Active Member
Set my mph setting on the controller to 28 mph today on my Evelo. Wanted to see if it indeed made a difference. I didn't get up to 28mph, I was using throttle only and flat road here in our Golf subdivision so good road, smooth, and no wind, well I got it to 26 mph and then it varied from 23 tp 25 depending on the road. It looks flat but there are some small grade changes not easily noticed until riding them. I found the speed once I got over 21/22 mph kind of unsettling. While by motorcycle standards or a scooter not fast at all on the bike it seemed very fast to me.
I am usually in the 14/18 mph area and that is comfortable, but once you start getting up there the little changes in the road surface are really noticeable . I hit a dip and lost my water bottle out of the rack bag, lesson learned, tie it in. I also notice the surface things like little pot holes or stones and road debris really come up fast causing me to hit a few things I would normally avoid. In other words you really need to be alert at higher speeds.
It was fun trying it out but I find the under 20. range to be much more relaxing for sure.
I pretty much stay in level one most of the time and pedal at an easy pace which always on long stretches gets me right at 18mph. Not super fast but amazing how much distance you can cover in not to much time. Today it was 71 degrees here on the Oregon Coast and beautiful, a ride along the ocean is just spectacular this time of year as no tourist traffic. Just a great day! Hope all of you find some great ones as well.......
 
Sadly, there is not a single frame designer in the ebike industry that has the slightest clue about how to build a frame and therefore a bicycle which is optimized for the rider. 90% of e-bike brands are using less than a handful of generic, catalog frame designs that are ill-suited for most riders. The typical direct to consumer (dtc) ebike brand offers just a single frame size, meaning the bicycle will be either too large or too small for the majority of it's riders.

A frame that is too large will handle sluggishly and slowly and is more difficult to dismount or to put a foot down quickly in emergency situations. A frame that is too small will handle too quickly, will feel skittish and may overreact to rider input. This is why established companies like trek and giant offer 4 to 5 frame sizes to fine tune rider sizing. This in turn promotes rider safety.

An additional consideration is the higher top speed of e-bikes. This is not a large consideration with class1's. However, class3's and bikes with an "off-road" or derestricted mode should be built to higher standards, at least theoretically speaking. The suspension should be of the highest quality. Wheels should be stiffer. Frames should be a bit stronger and a bit stiffer as well (although most all frames these days are sufficiently strong and stiff).

And what about added stability? A class 3 bike should probably have a longer wheelbase and/or chainstays to aid with high speed stability and comfort. What about fine tuning chainstay length along with frame size? NO ONE on the direct to consumer side cares about these things. It seems like all they care about is moving as many units as possible at the cheapest price possible.

It's very sobering to see that the bikes which travel at the highest speeds (almost all of them direct to consumer) are also the least expensive, least reliable, with very close to zero engineering effort or thought. I don't know what the statistics look like for e-bike safety, but there may be reasons why the largest bicycle manufacturers are adamant about sticking to class1 20 mph and eu 25 kph speed governors.

Ironically, the thoughtlessness of ebike brands may actually work to the advantage of riders in some instances. For example, most DTC ebikes have a very short reach and ETT (effective top tube). This puts the rider in a more upright position which aids in rider visibility (both being able to see the road and being seen to an extent). But it's not the result of well thought out design. It's just a design compromise brought on by penny pinching which just happens to benefit rider safety.

These are the early, wild west days of e-bike sales. It is literally cringe worthy as far as bicycle design is concerned. The overriding emphasis on cheapness leaves much to be desired as far as optimal fit and rider safety are concerned. Riding a bicycle at above 20 mph should not be a white knuckles experience.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Sadly, there is not a single frame designer in the ebike industry that has the slightest clue about how to build a frame and therefore a bicycle which is optimized for the rider. 90% of e-bike brands are using less than a handful of generic, catalog frame designs that are ill-suited for most riders. The typical direct to consumer (dtc) ebike brand offers just a single frame size, meaning the bicycle will be either too large or too small for the majority of it's riders.

A frame that is too large will handle sluggishly and slowly and is more difficult to dismount or to put a foot down quickly in emergency situations. A frame that is too small will handle too quickly, will feel skittish and may overreact to rider input. This is why established companies like trek and giant offer 4 to 5 frame sizes to fine tune rider sizing. This in turn promotes rider safety.

An additional consideration is the higher top speed of e-bikes. This is not a large consideration with class1's. However, class3's and bikes with an "off-road" or derestricted mode should be built to higher standards, at least theoretically speaking. The suspension should be of the highest quality. Wheels should be stiffer. Frames should be a bit stronger and a bit stiffer as well (although most all frames these days are sufficiently strong and stiff).

And what about added stability? A class 3 bike should probably have a longer wheelbase and/or chainstays to aid with high speed stability and comfort. What about fine tuning chainstay length along with frame size? NO ONE on the direct to consumer side cares about these things. It seems like all they care about is moving as many units as possible at the cheapest price possible.

It's very sobering to see that the bikes which travel at the highest speeds (almost all of them direct to consumer) are also the least expensive, least reliable, with very close to zero engineering effort or thought. I don't know what the statistics look like for e-bike safety, but there may be reasons why the largest bicycle manufacturers are adamant about sticking to class1 20 mph and eu 25 kph speed governors.

Ironically, the thoughtlessness of ebike brands may actually work to the advantage of riders in some instances. For example, most DTC ebikes have a very short reach and ETT (effective top tube). This puts the rider in a more upright position which aids in rider visibility (both being able to see the road and being seen to an extent). But it's not the result of well thought out design. It's just a design compromise brought on by penny pinching which just happens to benefit rider safety.

These are the early, wild west days of e-bike sales. It is literally cringe worthy as far as bicycle design is concerned. The overriding emphasis on cheapness leaves much to be desired as far as optimal fit and rider safety are concerned. Riding a bicycle at above 20 mph should not be a white knuckles experience.
So the class 3 bikes need to be built with higher standard?
Like how much higher? Maybe just as high as one of those 50cc scooters?

We're talking about 20-28mph... although it's pretty fast for a bicycle, it's actually pretty slow compare to gas scooters.

There's nothing wrong with higher standard, I know what you mean, but that would come with the cost I suppose.
I do feel 28mph is too fast when I'm on bike trail with other riders / jogger though.. but it's a bit too slow to keep up with the traffic.
28mph is a weird number.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
I found the speed once I got over 21/22 mph kind of unsettling. While by motorcycle standards or a scooter not fast at all on the bike it seemed very fast to me.
I am usually in the 14/18 mph area and that is comfortable, but once you start getting up there the little changes in the road surface are really noticeable .
It was fun trying it out but I find the under 20. range to be much more relaxing for sure.
Ditto... I’ve hit 28 - 30 mph very briefly on a big downhill on my main trail, one time, to try it. No more... it was exactly that—unsettling, and high enough stress that I have no need to ride assisted at that speed in my normal rides and commute. (Class 3 no throttle here.) I tend to ride now in my lowest assist level and comfortably hit about 18 on flats. I’ll hit low 20s on small grades, or sometimes in the road when I use Level 2. After a year on the bike, I haven’t found any compelling or necessary uses for Level 4 or 5. (If i were a speed junkie or a more adventurous rider, these would certainly be fun levels! They are potent, with a 750w motor pushing like Superman invisible behind me!) They’d only be fun for me today in a sustained ride on nearly pristine pavement, zero cars or pedestrians or other cyclists... a scenario that really doesn’t exist anywhere near me!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
These are the early, wild west days of e-bike sales. It is literally cringe worthy as far as bicycle design is concerned. The overriding emphasis on cheapness leaves much to be desired as far as optimal fit and rider safety are concerned. Riding a bicycle at above 20 mph should not be a white knuckles experience.
The first time my wife rode down a big, long hill on her Riese & Muller Nevo she reached 38 mph and was doing just fine till she looked at the speed reading on the display. She is very safety conscious but was so at ease that she had no idea she was going that fast. This is what it is like riding a bike that is, in fact, engineered and built for safety and stability without worrying about selling lots of units.

My Homage, which is basically a touring/commuter bike, features a full suspension tuned to give the rider both safety and comfort. Using a suspension to keep tires in contact with the road adds immeasurably to that feeling of safety and control. They bike corners and brakes with confidence, even at speed. It does not shake and rattle, It takes advantage of the electric assist by having a purpose designed and built frame that is heavier but built for the higher speeds and forces that an ebike creates. Building a frame for such a bike and adding high end suspension component adds cost equal to that of an entire DTC bike, effectively doubling the cost. Not everyone can afford this.

Granted Riese & Muller bikes are not for the budget conscious rider. Built for people who demand innovation and quality and are willing to pay for it, they are not Direct to Consumer bikes, they are not even mass produced bikes sold through a dealer network. They are a made to order bike built by people with a mission to make the safest, best riding bike with A list, well tested components.

There are other brands that offer similar uncompromising quality. However in this Walmart/Amazon, cheaper is better world, it is unreasonable to expect that the majority of products won't be designed and built with price point, rather than purpose, as the prime factor. That you pay less and thus get less should come as no surprise. I am not unsympathetic to the fact that many could not afford an ebike if not for direct to consumer, Chinese products. Some consumers have no choice. If the price is not low enough, they are out of the game. Others are just so accustomed to shopping price and ignoring purpose that they stay in the same product range.

The issues raised by @roadandmtbebikes permeate our consumer society and are a byproduct of a shrinking middle class, people's demand for the lowest price and their willingness to ignore durability and lasting value.
 
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TForan

Well-Known Member
I have a DTC bike and can hit mid thirties without any stability concerns. Granted it's a big, long wheelbase bike and I'm 6'1" 185 , but it shows no sign of dangerous handling. I did replace the brakes with top of the line Tektro hydraulics and put Speedster tires on it ,which greatly increased road performance. That said, my main attraction to the bike was the Bafang Ultra , especially after trying a Bosch on a Trek. Nice bike, but down on power. Plenty of choices out there, that's for sure !
 

Solom01

Active Member
Everyone has a right to their opinions, but another way of looking at this is that some people equate spending large sums of money with "prestige". People using this rubric buy tons of BMWs, even though their reliability is not that great and their maintenance costs are extremely high compared to some Asian brands - and their handling is nowhere near what it once was. Spending large sums of money on technology that is rapidly evolving means that in a few years what was once a miracle of engineering is no longer current, and bike makers (even prestige brands) have done a horrible job of providing support for older models so "lasting" value is doubtful if you can't get a replacement battery or parts in the future. With the exception of Tesla people who purchased the first generation of electric cars saw their value depreciate at an alarming rate. Safety is another matter, but anecdotal stories don't mean much - I'd love to see any study showing that rates of injury while biking is in any way related to the cost of the bike involved in the accident. It's perfectly ok to buy items that don't make practical sense such as a Rolex because it makes a person feel better, that's part of the fun of life. But its also a human trait to justify spending large sums of money with words like lasting value and durability.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
Everyone has a right to their opinions, but another way of looking at this is that some people equate spending large sums of money with "prestige". People using this rubric buy tons of BMWs, even though their reliability is not that great and their maintenance costs are extremely high compared to some Asian brands - and their handling is nowhere near what it once was. Spending large sums of money on technology that is rapidly evolving means that in a few years what was once a miracle of engineering is no longer current, and bike makers (even prestige brands) have done a horrible job of providing support for older models so "lasting" value is doubtful if you can't get a replacement battery or parts in the future. With the exception of Tesla people who purchased the first generation of electric cars saw their value depreciate at an alarming rate. Safety is another matter, but anecdotal stories don't mean much - I'd love to see any study showing that rates of injury while biking is in any way related to the cost of the bike involved in the accident. It's perfectly ok to buy items that don't make practical sense such as a Rolex because it makes a person feel better, that's part of the fun of life. But its also a human trait to justify spending large sums of money with words like lasting value and durability.
Excellent post. Personally, if I get 5 years out of a bike, I'm happy , considering the the rapid rate of development . Of course, I'm like a lot of bike riders who upgrades all components.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I like to say I can buy an inexpensive bike that has good value (several choices here), ride it for 3 years, and throw it away. Then buy another (2nd) new bike with all the updated refinements that have become available within that 1st 3 year period, plus a brand new battery, ride that second bike for 3 years, and throw that bike away. Then buy a 3rd bike - all for the price of a single high end bike that will likely be whipped or in need if serious service at 9 years of age..... Meanwhile, I've been riding nearly new bikes the whole time.

Back on topic, I agree with the "unsettled" sentiment, but that doesn't mean my bike has a handling issue at speed. I just don't like going that fast with no protection. It stops from speed with confidence inspiring ability, AND, due to the DD, we have regenerative braking to hold the speed in check on those longer downhill runs.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
I just don't like going that fast with no protection.
Ditto. Also, I feel when I go that fast I can't keep an eye on pavement issues, which are very important to ride a bicycle safely. As for traffic, I'm fortunate to be able to organize my commute to stay out of high speed traffic, and it is legal where I live to cycle on sidewalks, which I do in busy downtown type areas if it seems the safest choice. Sometimes it is safer to slowly move through pedestrians than risk life and limb out there with the cars, or to use the ebike luxury of choosing a longer, less-traveled route rather than taking busier streets. Everyone doesn't have these sorts of options, though...
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Not really that weird when you understand it is simply the equivalent of 45 KPH, since most of the world converted to the metric system years ago.

Here is a map of countries still using the Imperial System....Liberia, Myanmar & USA
I meant like 28mph is a weird number because it's too fast to be ridden in the bike trail but too slow to be ridden on the road with traffic.
It should be 30mph or 50km/h (31mph), or even a little bit faster.

The Class 3 Speed Pedelec should be similar to 50cc scooter.
Although I believe Juiced CrossCurrent X is capable of 30+mph.

I feel like Bafang Ultra or BBSHD should be legal.
 

MisterM

Active Member
I meant like 28mph is a weird number because it's too fast to be ridden in the bike trail but too slow to be ridden on the road with traffic.
It should be 30mph or 50km/h (31mph), or even a little bit faster.

The Class 3 Speed Pedelec should be similar to 50cc scooter.
Although I believe Juiced CrossCurrent X is capable of 30+mph.

I feel like Bafang Ultra or BBSHD should be legal.

The Bafang Ultra 750w (nominal) is legal in the US. Having ridden 250w bikes, simply no comparison with an Ultra.

Fwiw, just did 6 day ebike tour in New Zealand on a nice 250w Shimano mid-motor Merida eSpresso 800, but I was constantly jonesing to push faster than 25kph (15mph) - once you did get past 25kph, the weight of the battery/motor made it difficult to go faster w/o undue effort. By way of comparison, one of our group was riding a nearly identical analog bike and when I rode it, could comfortably exceed 25kph (just like my non-ebikes at home).

However, on my emtb with an Ultra motor, even with aggressive knobby tires, on flat ground I cruise at 35-40kph (~20-24mph) in eco (level 1). Bumping to level 5 will get me 30mph+ on flat ground, but it eats the battery at those levels. Most of my riding is on single track/fire trails that can get steep and technical at times - and having level 5 really helps on those steep climbs - even where 250w emtbs can't make it, I can just power on up.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
NO bike trails where I live have never ridden on one, just roads and beach. Bike is plenty fast as here there is no traffic to keep up with! I have never seen a traffic jam. I ride the bike lanes where available but if there are no cars I just use the street lane as there is less debris that builds up, mainly from the cage drivers throwing there crap out of the window, wonderful thing about tourists, they have no problem crapping up someone else's place as they figure I guess they won't be back. Hopefully!
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
The Bafang Ultra 750w (nominal) is legal in the US. Having ridden 250w bikes, simply no comparison with an Ultra.

Fwiw, just did 6 day ebike tour in New Zealand on a nice 250w Shimano mid-motor Merida eSpresso 800, but I was constantly jonesing to push faster than 25kph (15mph) - once you did get past 25kph, the weight of the battery/motor made it difficult to go faster w/o undue effort. By way of comparison, one of our group was riding a nearly identical analog bike and when I rode it, could comfortably exceed 25kph (just like my non-ebikes at home).

However, on my emtb with an Ultra motor, even with aggressive knobby tires, on flat ground I cruise at 35-40kph (~20-24mph) in eco (level 1). Bumping to level 5 will get me 30mph+ on flat ground, but it eats the battery at those levels. Most of my riding is on single track/fire trails that can get steep and technical at times - and having level 5 really helps on those steep climbs - even where 250w emtbs can't make it, I can just power on up.
I thought all Bafang Ultra were 1000W, but you're right, looks like some are as low as 250W.

https://www.electricbike.com/bafang-ultra-max/
"For instance, when it comes to a “street legal” electric bike, the USA has a 750W power limit. Then…Canada, Switzerland, and Austria have a 500W power level, and many other countries have a ridiculously low 250W power level. The Bafang label claims a 1000W power level, but they are actually being run at over 2000W, and THAT…is not street legal anywhere! "
 

Off road all day

Active Member
"For instance, when it comes to a “street legal” electric bike, the USA has a 750W power limit. Then…Canada, Switzerland, and Austria have a 500W power level, and many other countries have a ridiculously low 250W power level. The Bafang label claims a 1000W power level, but they are actually being run at over 2000W, and THAT…is not street legal anywhere! "
I read that and i'm sure your right
 

Ebiker01

Active Member
Sadly, there is not a single frame designer in the ebike industry that has the slightest clue about how to build a frame and therefore a bicycle which is optimized for the rider. 90% of e-bike brands are using less than a handful of generic, catalog frame designs that are ill-suited for most riders. The typical direct to consumer (dtc) ebike brand offers just a single frame size, meaning the bicycle will be either too large or too small for the majority of it's riders.

A frame that is too large will handle sluggishly and slowly and is more difficult to dismount or to put a foot down quickly in emergency situations. A frame that is too small will handle too quickly, will feel skittish and may overreact to rider input. This is why established companies like trek and giant offer 4 to 5 frame sizes to fine tune rider sizing. This in turn promotes rider safety.

An additional consideration is the higher top speed of e-bikes. This is not a large consideration with class1's. However, class3's and bikes with an "off-road" or derestricted mode should be built to higher standards, at least theoretically speaking. The suspension should be of the highest quality. Wheels should be stiffer. Frames should be a bit stronger and a bit stiffer as well (although most all frames these days are sufficiently strong and stiff).

And what about added stability? A class 3 bike should probably have a longer wheelbase and/or chainstays to aid with high speed stability and comfort. What about fine tuning chainstay length along with frame size? NO ONE on the direct to consumer side cares about these things. It seems like all they care about is moving as many units as possible at the cheapest price possible.

It's very sobering to see that the bikes which travel at the highest speeds (almost all of them direct to consumer) are also the least expensive, least reliable, with very close to zero engineering effort or thought. I don't know what the statistics look like for e-bike safety, but there may be reasons why the largest bicycle manufacturers are adamant about sticking to class1 20 mph and eu 25 kph speed governors.

Ironically, the thoughtlessness of ebike brands may actually work to the advantage of riders in some instances. For example, most DTC ebikes have a very short reach and ETT (effective top tube). This puts the rider in a more upright position which aids in rider visibility (both being able to see the road and being seen to an extent). But it's not the result of well thought out design. It's just a design compromise brought on by penny pinching which just happens to benefit rider safety.

These are the early, wild west days of e-bike sales. It is literally cringe worthy as far as bicycle design is concerned. The overriding emphasis on cheapness leaves much to be desired as far as optimal fit and rider safety are concerned. Riding a bicycle at above 20 mph should not be a white knuckles experience.
All very solid points, that is why i went with probably the only true e bike which is made by a company with only 100years of experience making bikes- BH from Spain. There are also custom bike companies like Optibike , but those are with a stratospheric price.
In my ride everything has been engineered precisely for e biking. Long chain stays, long wheelbase and custom thicker tubing.You won’t find this custom tubing and this over engineered frames on Stomers , Bulls or other hyped brands. Those are bought by the newbies in the game , who never rode bikes before , want to show off and heard ... oh is a Swiss bike , let me get it...now they crying in the forum that this breaks and the controller breaks and that other thing broke lol...then is the folks who don’t Have the funds for a swiss bike and get the inferior e bikes, or build a monstrosity on a regular mtb frame. Those things are not designed for the stresses of a motor.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
It's not that a 1000W ebike is really illegal is it? It's just not covered by the common class I,II, III codes so it's in legal limbo land, unless your local laws are more specific.

Take ebikemom's Class I or Class II Pedego, which she says can go 25 mph. No one is going to "lock her up." At least I hope not.

Our first ebike, a beach cruiser from Crazy Lennys, has gone 28 mph and is with its long wheelbase is pretty stable. It's a funny duck. with throttle limited to 20 mph, but pedal assist goes to 28 mph, although you're working at it, sitting upright and pumping.

The higher mental concentration needed to ride safe at speed makes it no fun for me, so I'll just take it easy and enjoy the view. If you're gonna pass me going fast, appreciate the heads up.

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