28 mph is FAST!

Nomadmax

Member
One of the big reasons an E-bike may feel unsettling at highers speeds, say 28 mph for instance, is because the rider of an E-bike may not have enough time on task at those speeds. A trained road cyclist will put in many hours at that speed on flat ground in training rides and racing with others. On descents, they will travel much faster than that. What I'm getting at is, riding a bicycle at speed is a learned skill that requires a gentle touch and movements. The benefit a cyclist without an electric motor has is they have put in a signifcant amount of time to MAKE the bike go those speeds, on an E-bike the abilty is obtained the day you leave the shop. Once these skills are mastered with the appropriate time on task, the squirrelyness will fade away. Bicycles have been going faster than 28mph for a long time.
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Your right, 28 mph is fast. I ride both ebike and a traditional bike. On my deal bike I probably average around 10-12 mph on my rides. On my Rover I average must higher. I can get top to 24 mph pretty easy on the Rover. That seems faster now that I recently started riding a traditional bike more.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
Thank you. I like speed, but I’m a cautious person by nature. I have a 28 mph bike, but the fastest I’ve gone so far was 23mph downhill with a following wind. It feels as if I accidentally hit a good sized bump I could be bounced right off the bike.
I’m not saying nobody should ever go that fast, just that personally, I don’t feel that I have the reflexes or bike handling skills. I feel pretty comfortable at 15-18mph.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
One of the big reasons an E-bike may feel unsettling at highers speeds, say 28 mph for instance, is because the rider of an E-bike may not have enough time on task at those speeds. A trained road cyclist will put in many hours at that speed on flat ground in training rides and racing with others. On descents, they will travel much faster than that. What I'm getting at is, riding a bicycle at speed is a learned skill that requires a gentle touch and movements. The benefit a cyclist without an electric motor has is they have put in a signifcant amount of time to MAKE the bike go those speeds, on an E-bike the abilty is obtained the day you leave the shop. Once these skills are mastered with the appropriate time on task, the squirrelyness will fade away. Bicycles have been going faster than 28mph for a long time.
Absolutely- if you think about the skills a road cyclist acquires- being able to ride in a pace line, holding a line through a turn, doing an emergency stop without pitching over the front handlebars, etc. it comes from years of riding, and learning from other cyclists.
 

Jerry LM

Active Member
In my original post when I stated I found it unsettling to ride that fast I in no way was referring to the bikes performance, it is quite stable at any speed, I was pointing out my lack of ability at my age to ride that fast safely. I am 76 and a fall at that speed would most likely be my last. I was only at that speed for a short time to see what the bike was capable of. I know there are many Younger riders that run those speeds all the time but youth gives you reflexes and vision and agility no longer in my arsenal. We all slow down in time..
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
Speed is a very relative thing. Experience and rider style have a big impact on what is defined as a comfortable speed. There are obvious risks associated with higher speeds, but I think many people overlook some of the actual safety improvements. The biggest are traveling closer to the speed of traffic allows cars more time to notice and avoid you; when you need to merge into traffic (ie. left turn) it is much easier and safer when your speed is close to traffic speed; when avoiding road debris again you can more easily merge into traffic; lastly in situations where "taking the lane" is necessary, it is both safer and easier as well as far less disturbing to traffic. I commute on my Juiced CCS, my cruising speed hovers around 28-30 mph, mostly on roads with a bike lane. The highest speed recorded on my bike computer is usually between 32-36 mph on one of the downhill sections of my ride. The fastest I've had this bike is 42mph.
However, the fastest I've ridden on my road bike is 55 mph on a long mountain downhill.
The biggest consideration is always riding at an appropriate speed based on the conditions. Wet roads, high traffic, neighborhood streets, trails, etc all dictate that you reduce speed for both your safety and that of others.
I am sure any cyclist will agree that in an accident with a car is doesn't matter who is at fault, the cyclist always loses.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Speed is a very relative thing. Experience and rider style have a big impact on what is defined as a comfortable speed. There are obvious risks associated with higher speeds, but I think many people overlook some of the actual safety improvements. The biggest are traveling closer to the speed of traffic allows cars more time to notice and avoid you; when you need to merge into traffic (ie. left turn) it is much easier and safer when your speed is close to traffic speed; when avoiding road debris again you can more easily merge into traffic; lastly in situations where "taking the lane" is necessary, it is both safer and easier as well as far less disturbing to traffic. I commute on my Juiced CCS, my cruising speed hovers around 28-30 mph, mostly on roads with a bike lane. The highest speed recorded on my bike computer is usually between 32-36 mph on one of the downhill sections of my ride. The fastest I've had this bike is 42mph.
However, the fastest I've ridden on my road bike is 55 mph on a long mountain downhill.
The biggest consideration is always riding at an appropriate speed based on the conditions. Wet roads, high traffic, neighborhood streets, trails, etc all dictate that you reduce speed for both your safety and that of others.
I am sure any cyclist will agree that in an accident with a car is doesn't matter who is at fault, the cyclist always loses.
yeah going slow isn't always safer.

Many people think slower you travel, the safer.

This is not the case when you're riding on the road. By going slower than flow of traffic, you actually become a hazard.
It is not safe to travel at 10-12mph when the flow of traffic is 30-35mph.
If you search for "solomon curve" you will see numbers of studies how going slower than flow of traffic isn't going to make you safer on the road.
 
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.
Curious phrase. Where are you seeing this "rapid rate of development" in ebikes? And over what period of time? Is it in battery capacity? 500 watt hours is still the industry standard among major manufacturers like shimano, bosch and yamaha, and has been for years. Shimano has introduced a new model with lower powered motor, as well as decreasing noise incrementally in it's existing top of the line motor. Bosch motors are a little smaller.

Juiced has introduced 52v batteries but they are unreliable, and none of their electronics can handle exposure to rain.

DTC frame designs are ridiculously outdated and offer zero design input from the brand owners who do nothing more than order from a catalog and specify color and decals.

Every DTC bike uses standard shimano or sram rear derailleurs and cassettes and chains. Some ebike specific chains are supposed to be a little sturdier. No test results yet to confirm this.

The only "significant" upgrade (perhaps not so significant) are frame integrated batteries. However, Stromer has offered frame integrated batteries for years. This design has been more widely adopted, but are far from universally available. It's nicer looking but doesn't offer any performance advantage.

With 99% of ebikes capped at 48volts, ebikes aren't getting any faster. With 500 watt hour capacity, they can't travel any farther.

I see solid, noticeable refinement of existing designs for the most part, rather than rapid, game changing innovation.

What evidence do you have that ebikes should last 5 years or less? Frames should last indefinitely, as should wheels. Batteries have to be replaced of course, but not the entire bike. Tires, chains, cassettes and chainrings should be replaced but they are wear parts. Bearings should be checked every so often but should last a very long time assuming proper adjustment and adequate grease. Saddles, grips and pedals don't wear out. Neither do handlebars or stems.
 
Re: Speed, stability (aka. balance) and control.
My experience covers motorcycles as well as bicycles and ebikes. Road conditions, weather and traffic are the major factors when your on two wheels.
On a ridged frame bicycle, the road conditions impact the rider directly as the riders weight plus the bikes is all unsprung weight (Estimated rider 180 lb. bike 30 lb = 210 lb). The only suspension/cushion is the tire air pressure. So, when your tire hits something, it bounces off it like a ball and you the ride have to compensate for the impact by shifting your weight to maintain your balance. (Kodoos to the roadies that have mastered this)!
Add a full suspension (as in a mountain bike type) and you've eliminated 95% of that unsprung weight so when you hit something, the suspension absorbs the impacts. Some mtb. riders even run extremely low tire pressure for better traction and less bounce.
Adding speed reduces your reaction time. Once you've hit something be it sand, wet spots, ruts, pot holes ext. the time for you to respond before losing your balance is reduced proportionately. At 28 mph its 41 ft/ sec. I can speak for mtn. biking speeds at an average 6 mph (8.8 mph) I can recover from some extreme bumps.
Sharing the road with cars, trucks and motorcycles, I'm the slowest vehicle on the road. My top speed is 23 mph so I average 13 mph for longer battery life. I ride a 26 inch fatty with a 500 w battery and hub motor with a front suspension fork and seat post (bike weight 70 lb). I added blinkers to my bike front and rear for visibility and DPW orange rims. I ride on the far right side of the road and stay alert to vehicles passing me.

I hope this helps
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Juiced has introduced 52v batteries but they are unreliable, and none of their electronics can handle exposure to rain.
What do you mean?

I have a Juiced CrossCurrent Air, and upgraded to CCS display and controller. I ride in the rain all the time and it's fine.

I am asking because I'm interested in upgrading to 52V battery. You said none of the electronics can handle the rain, does that include display? Because it's been fine for me... or maybe I just got lucky?
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Curious phrase. Where are you seeing this "rapid rate of development" in ebikes? And over what period of time? Is it in battery capacity? 500 watt hours is still the industry standard among major manufacturers like shimano, bosch and yamaha, and has been for years. Shimano has introduced a new model with lower powered motor, as well as decreasing noise incrementally in it's existing top of the line motor. Bosch motors are a little smaller.

Juiced has introduced 52v batteries but they are unreliable, and none of their electronics can handle exposure to rain.

DTC frame designs are ridiculously outdated and offer zero design input from the brand owners who do nothing more than order from a catalog and specify color and decals.
Agree that contrary to popular belief, ebikes have hardly changed in years, good point. Even the big manufacturers seem determined to spend little on R&D and just repackage parts with fat margins. The Trek Super Commuter looks interesting but underpowered and underfueled.

Do you have a source for the claims about Juiced reliability?

How would you alter a bike frame to suit ebikes? Longer wheelbase? I found the design of the Juiced mostly adequate, though the handlebar is too wide, and the suspension is worse than a rigid fork (which I put on). Wider tires also make the ride feel stabler, which the majors (Trek, Stromer, Specialized) have already elected to do.

The best way to look at is that ebikes may be capable of 28 mph, but they usually aren't designed to ride at that speed for sustained periods. I would use 28+ mph in bursts, and otherwise cruise at 24 mph (the speed of my Juiced CCS on the lowest setting with ample pedaling).

And yeah, the 28 mph speed limit for the US is super dumb. It should be 30 mph, which is what mopeds are capped at, but I guess the bike industry lobbied for 28 because a) it didn't want to modify ebikes for Europe, where most quality speed pedelecs are sold and b) to justify lower licensing requirements than a moped.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If you need a vehicle that can ride on an even basis with cars in the street, the regulations should allow it, but now you're moving at speeds where driver competence/knowledge should be proven with a license, and financial responsibility established with insurance/registration.

Register as a moped or motorcycle. Risk losing your license if you sneak thru a stop light or split the lane between stopped autos.

You can't have it both ways, with a bike you both can ride on the sidewalk w/o shoes and down US-34 into Boulder, CO.
 

Nutella

Active Member
Ride as fast as you're willing to crash. Most people have little experience with crashing, so when they do, they're usually in way over their heads.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
If you need a vehicle that can ride on an even basis with cars in the street, the regulations should allow it, but now you're moving at speeds where driver competence/knowledge should be proven with a license, and financial responsibility established with insurance/registration.

Register as a moped or motorcycle. Risk losing your license if you sneak thru a stop light or split the lane between stopped autos.

You can't have it both ways, with a bike you both can ride on the sidewalk w/o shoes and down US-34 into Boulder, CO.

I think California moped laws are a good model. Licensing for vehicle and rider required, 3000 W limit, 30 mph top speed, no insurance required.

Though for purposes of adoption, might be wise to allow people with regular drivers license to operate an ebike for say, 2020-2025 and get grandfathered in.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I think California moped laws are a good model. Licensing for vehicle and rider required, 3000 W limit, 30 mph top speed, no insurance required.

Though for purposes of adoption, might be wise to allow people with regular drivers license to operate an ebike for say, 2020-2025 and get grandfathered in.
3000W? That's a lot.. I have never ridden a bike with Bafang Ultra, but even Bafang Ultra is considered quite an animal.
https://www.electricbike.com/bafang-ultra-max/
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
3000W? That's a lot.. I have never ridden a bike with Bafang Ultra, but even Bafang Ultra is considered quite an animal.
https://www.electricbike.com/bafang-ultra-max/
~3000 W is 4 hp, what a moped is allowed. Some states only allow 2 hp. A 2000W ebike would have a similar power to weight ratio, assuming a 200 lb rider, 200 lb moped, 65 lb ebike.

Power isn't the problem, speed and mass is, for risks to others. Speed is for risk to yourself.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
~3000 W is 4 hp, what a moped is allowed. Some states only allow 2 hp. A 2000W ebike would have a similar power to weight ratio, assuming a 200 lb rider, 200 lb moped, 65 lb ebike.

Power isn't the problem, speed and mass is, for risks to others. Speed is for risk to yourself.
I just don't understand how kW and hp thing work... and I have a feeling wattage on ebikes compare to cars/motorcycles are a bit different.

For example, the Zero SR has 70hp(52kW) and has 157nm of torque.
https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/2017/specs.php

And if you look at Bafang Ultra, it has 1.34hp (1kW) and has 160nm of torque.


So basically, the Zero SR has 52,000W motor and makes less torque than Bafang 1000W motor.. and typically on ebikes, I found that higher wattage motor have more torque.

But I'm not an engineer so I don't really know what I'm talking about. It's a bit confusing for me.
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
When communicating about an ebike's top speed it is realistic to expect to exceed the stated max. assisted mph -owing to rider input and other factors.
I've enjoyed ebike commuting since 2014. My first ebike was an EG Zurich 350IX ST. It was a good entry level class 1 commuter bike, though the front hub and rear rack battery along with the step-through frame was never steady enough to ride "no-hands". As a class 1 ebike, there were numerous times when my speed on the EG Zurich exceeded 30 mph. Every mph over 20 was a combination of rider input, terrain or other environmental factors But alas, I cracked the frame and after 8400+ miles decided to "retire" the bike in 2018.

I got "Juiced" last Fall, and man what a difference is class 3 performance The CCX is very smooth and handles well at every speed I've pedaled it to (32.23 mph). While the throttle assist cuts out at 20 mph, pedal assist continues to a point where it drops off at 28 mph in "S" mode, "R" mode keeps the energy flowing beyond 28 mph, but there is little torque available and going faster than 28 mph takes a lot of rider effort.