Battery Range Discrepancy?

Darrin Roush

New Member
I have a new Diamondback Overdrive (aka iZip Peak) that I'm concerned there may be a battery issue with. Court's review page indicates that it should have a range of 25-45 miles. My bike is indicating a range of 16-33 miles with a fully changed battery. This is more in line with the iZip Peak range, though they have identical batteries motors, gearing and wheel size (I believe).I'd like to solicit feedback from anyone who might have either an Overdrive or Peak if they can tell me what estimated range they are seeing on their display with a full battery, for each level. I am seeing 16, 25, 29 and 33 (for Level 4, 3, 2 and 1).

Also, can anyone advise on how to best verify that I don't have a battery issue for this 3 months old bike?

This battery is only operated per the Battery Care Manual recommendations. It has avoided all temperature extremes, has not been stored (since I’ve owned it) and has not had any deep discharges (I always take my charger to the office after only an 11 mile ride).

Thank you!

Electric Bike Review Diamondback Overdrive (25-45 miles range):http://electricbikereview.com/diamondback/overdrive-exc/

Electric Bike Review iZip Peak (25-35 miles range): http://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-peak/

 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
I know this may sound trivial; however, it does matter what terrain you're riding on; hills and rocky roads or bigger riders will consume more energy, thus reducing range. In general, those range estimates are based on flat ground with about a 180 lb rider with range variation based on how much assist you're asking the bike to provide. If you bought your ebike from a dealer who sells lots of electric bikes, then it's safe to think that the battery was properly maintained while on a showroom floor, otherwise if it sat in a box for a bunch of months before being sold and left uncharged, you could see some degradation of the battery.

Both bikes have similar battery size, 422 watt/hours Diamondback vs. 417 watt/hours for the Peak so the range would be similar. Have you tried doing the diagnostic tests provided by Currie Tech? Both bikes have onboard testing built in to the console; just step through the process spelled out on the manufacturer's website. One of the tests will display the current charge capacity (i.e. 100%, 80%,etc) and battery voltage which will indicate if there's a problem with the battery. Or ask your LBS to help you with this. If you're comfortable with a multimeter, you can check the base voltage after a full charge and the battery turned on to get a rough idea of the battery's state. A specialty ebike shop may have a tool to load test a lithium battery, a bit different tool than what's used with a classic lead acid battery. But realistically, there's no need to do that if you do the Currie Tech diag tests. If you don't have a local shop to help you with this and you think this may be a warranty issue, contact the Technical Support folks (Chawn Weingarten and his team) through the Currie Tech Customer Support line, 1 (800) 377 - 4532
 

Darrin Roush

New Member
Thank you Ann. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post and respond.

My report of available range in my original post is not based on what I am seeing the bike do under various circumstances and loads but merely what the bike shows as potential range when a full battery is on the bike. It always report these same numbers/values before I ride. I was comparing these estimated ranges on the display with a full battery to what the specs say on the EBR review page.

I have previously run the Currie diagnostics and spoken to them on the phone. The diagnostics only shows battery level in a numeric value (vs just a graph), which reported as 100% after a charge. Your idea of taking it to an ebike shop and having them test it under load seems like a good idea. I'd like to test the voltage myself as well via a multi-meter but not knowing the parameters for this battery (TranzX BL17) I would not how to test for certain. I have two other ebikes with Dillenger/ARC kits on them and they are more straightforward with only two wires but the Currie battery appears to have four. Any specific guidance or a link with steps and parameters would be most appreciated :)

Thanks again for all the helpful pointers!
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I think it is a product of this - what the display is showing is more likely based on the ideal 180lb rider, flat and no wind. Court's range is an estimate based on varying the weight of the rider, terrain and other factors. If someone pedals more, they will go farther than someone who contributed less. Same as a car will have an estimated distance for a tank of gas that adjusts up or down based on actual consumption.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
With a multimeter, you can only get voltage readings; however, a diagnostic tool like a Cycle Analyst, V2 or V3 will give you more real time info. You need a specific load tester designed for a Lithium Ion battery to get other info. But one of the test parameters on the Currie Tech console is a measurement of the real capacity of the battery, not just voltage. Pxpaulx is right, though, all ebike ranges are estimated on flat ground and about a 175/180lb rider.
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
@Ann M. I was hoping you could offer a follow-up comment about the CA you mentioned above. I'm getting ready to purchase a BH or similar, 'factory ebike' and I like the idea of installing a monitoring/evaluation tool like a Cycle Analyst. But just how difficult is it generally to install a CA if there's no LBS nearby who knows that brand & model ebike? If a customer came into your shop with an ebike with which you didn't have prior experience, would you tackle it by falling back on your experience with other brands? I'm assuming the controller is relatively accessible, even to the owner who wants to explore, but perhaps that isn't true and they are sealed at the factory. Do a CA and a factory ebike simply live in different universes, for all practical purposes?
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Yep, sure would @Jack Tyler ! Your observation is pretty correct that there are a few basic designs for controllers so wiring a CA inline should not be a big deal. If the controller is internal with the motor, then you're going to be dependent upon that manufacturer's options for informative consoles. Some manf. offer options for type of console, so once you settle on the bike, then contact them to see if their console integrates CA type features or have an upgrade to a better console.

The Cycle Analysts come with good directions and the Canadian company that sells them will have good tech support to help you. If you're comfortable with tackling a little electronics and examining the wiring to the controller to determine how to attach the CA, I think you'd be game to do this yourself.

Almost forgot; always this caveat: if you use the CA feature to change the performance of the bike (as in make it go faster, etc) you may risk voiding the whole warranty of a brand new bike, so check with the manufacturer first ;)