Class 1 vs 3

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Internal combustion power plants have a very narrow power band hence necessitating gearing down on hills. Electric, jet, and other power systems operate under a different set of parameters. Rear hub motors are internally geared, usually 5:1 and incur their own losses, mid drive motors working with a transmission can offer a lot of flexibility and its incumbent on the operator to choose the appropriate gear incurring minimal drive train losses.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Rear hub motors are internally geared, usually 5:1 and incur their own losses, mid drive motors working with a transmission can offer a lot of flexibility and its incumbent on the operator to choose the appropriate gear incurring minimal drive train losses.
NOT. Most rear hub motors are DD, or direct drive. No gears, the stator is fixed to the frame and the shell rotates with the wheel. A minority of rear hub motors have internal gears. Most US vendors have stopped selling the 48 v geared hub motors, limiting users to 36 v. DD are lossy at low speeds but shed heat better for long grades than IG hub motors.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Without discounting the advantages of direct drive hubs, in my limited experience, I would hate to venture a guess regarding how many DD hubs are in use vs. gear driven. I can say that for my purposes, after trying both, the gear driven seems more versatile for applications ridden at lower speeds (say under 15-20 mph). Gear driven WAY peppier in stop and go traffic and hills. I can also say that the gear driven hub I have is no noisier than my wife's DD, or the DD I replaced with the gear drive I have. It just hums along like the DD's do
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
NOT. Most rear hub motors are DD, or direct drive. No gears, the stator is fixed to the frame and the shell rotates with the wheel. A minority of rear hub motors have internal gears. Most US vendors have stopped selling the 48 v geared hub motors, limiting users to 36 v. DD are lossy at low speeds but shed heat better for long grades than IG hub motors.
Gee, Bafang sell a lot of rear hub drives and they are all geared. I can't believe all the misinformation in this thread. Everyone is an expert!
I have a BionX DD motor and they are in the minority.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Without discounting the advantages of direct drive hubs, in my limited experience, I would hate to venture a guess regarding how many DD hubs are in use vs. gear driven. I can say that for my purposes, after trying both, the gear driven seems more versatile for applications ridden at lower speeds (say under 15-20 mph). Gear driven WAY peppier in stop and go traffic and hills. I can also say that the gear driven hub I have is no noisier than my wife's DD, or the DD I replaced with the gear drive I have. It just hums along like the DD's do
I also prefer a geared rear hub motor over a DD and I've had both as well.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
Below are some recent stats from my commutes with Class 1 and Class 3 (one unrestricted Class 1 counted as Class 3). My commute has a lot of start/stop. I definitely prefer not having the Class 1 restriction but it is for being able to ride in the low 20s mph and for having some boost for making it through stop lights. Riding over above 26 mph, while pedaling, is out of my comfort zone. I use that only for sprints to make it through intersections.

My last 5 class 3 commutes:
Average distance 36 miles, average speed 16.7 mph

My last 5 class 1 commutes:
Average distance 26.5 miles, average speed 14.9 mph

My last 3 non-electric commutes:
Average distance 20 miles, average speed 11.4 mph

The more one's use-case is open road with longer distance, the more benefit is gained from a Class 3 (with some battery range detriment). But for leisure riding in city/urban environments, I don't know that there is a huge benefit. In fact, higher torque might be of more use vs higher speed. As I mentioned, I do like having the ability to accelerate past 19.x mph to make a stop light. Commuting on a Class 1, I try to cruise as much as possible at around 19 mph. Accelerating past that to make a light really isn't feasible.
Occasionally Chris Nolte, owner of Propel Bikes, will post on these forums. Note: I bought my bike from Propel so I’m not impartial.
He’s a bike shop owner with a very different perspective. He won’t sell anything but mid drive bikes, and he speaks very highly of the Bosch motors as being mostly trouble free. The biggest problem, it seems, is with people who try to pressure wash their bikes. I don’t think that would be good for ANY ebike.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
Ken, I don’t fully buy into your premise that mid-drive motors deliver only 25% of their power (i.e., torque) to the rear wheel. For example, I ride a 52 lb. bike with a Bosch Performance Speed motor with peak torque of 62nm.

That would mean that a maximum of 15 or 16nm torque could be sent to the drive wheel, right? But, of course, I’m not riding at full power all the time. In fact, I’m almost always in Eco or Tour mode... so that implies I’m accessing, what, maybe 8 or 9nm, I would think.

That certainly sounds minimal to me. Yet I can say that Eco gives me a notable boost and Tour lets me really crank up sizable hills at a good clip... so wouldn’t you agree that’s kind of impressive for some small spare newton meters ? And on the flats, the motor also gives a very decent boost... in Eco I pedal happily at 21-23mph, and in Tour I settle in at 26 or 27... so the boost is definitely there at the higher speeds.

I can only conclude that you’re somewhat exaggerating the power drain of using a mid-drive system. I’m sure hub motors have their advantages, but I really like my set-up and find it plenty powerful enough... and the newly upgraded Speed motor is 20% more powerful, so...
My everyday bike is a mid drive speed with a Bosch Performance CX motor . I care more about uphill performance than speed.
About a month ago I rented an inexpensive hub drive bike to ride along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage. That trail has a few longish, steepish hills.
Apples to oranges, I know. If I’d had a powerful hub drive like a Juiced vs a powerful mid drive, it would have been a better comparison,
I really missed the torque sensor in my mid drive. There’s this great feeling that the more you put into the bike, the more you get out. Once you figure out how to work with a good torque sensor mid drive, there’s a great interplay between you and the bike.
Whole it was really nice to have the hub drive ebike, I’ll take a mid drive for hills any day.
 

Rick53

Member
How did My OP Get so Hijacked?

I was trying to understand on a Mid Drive Pedal Assist To Go over 20 MPH with a Class Three : You Still have to have the Terrain as well as the personal Strength to get there > I am 64 > While I personally can average a Faster Speed. The group of people I ride with are all Older Some 6 years older than Me. We are all Looking to Buy Electrics : EXAMPLE : Most of these people are riding 3 chainring Trek Verve's >The majority of them can't pedal in the top gears : Riding along side of them and using My computer to judge cadence . There's plenty of Times in a cruising gear we are going 9 mph at maybe 45 cadence.

Any Long stretch of Road is Rolling country roads : Not the Smoothest blacktop : The Bike trails are smoother and there are some long Stretches : But even I can't get to 60 plus cadence and keep it up very long. So are we wasting our money Buying class 3 Bikes .

I know for a Fact some of the women would be wasting Money Buying Class 3 : Court mentions in Videos every now and then that you have to push it to remain over like 23 mph.

Is there somewhere I can find some stats ?
 

Amazer98

Member
I assure you that you will be able to pedal much faster than you can right now on an acoustic bike with either a class 1or a class 3 ebike. The difference is that with a class 3 ebike you will be able to pedal beyond the 20 mph power assist cut off of a class 1bike.

Of course, it is possible to pedal a class 1 ebike faster than 20 mph on the flat if you’re a pretty strong cyclist. But you’d be powering a heavy ebike, dealing with significant air resistance, and perhaps also contending with some slight motor resistance beyond the 20 mph cut off.

Think of any ebike bike as doubling or tripling the power of your legs. So if you are currently able to pedal comfortably at a maximum of, say, 14 mph on the flats, with an E bike you will be able to easily pedal 20, 25, or even 28 mph… depending on the level of power assist you select.

With the torque sensing of most mid-motor systems (and all Bosch systems), any power that you apply to the pedals is magnified through the motor and delivered to the wheels. So it’s ridiculous to say that you need to be able to pedal an acoustic bike at 26 or 27 mph in order to enjoy the benefits of an ebike rated at Class 3.

Think of a new bike is expanding your physical capabilities so that you can travel faster on the flats and climb steeper and longer hills than you normally would be able to manage. The only disadvantage of a class III bike in my view is that the faster speeds you can travel at do consume more battery power. But with today’s large capacity batteries, that problem is minimized.

I hope this little spiel addressed your question!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Good to get things back on topic. My personal experience and recommendations:

I just turned 69. Two years ago I had recently survived a "widow maker" heart attack and was in cardiac rehab. I weighed 238 lbs. and had smoked a pipe most of my life. I had an active life but no real cardo exercise. I had not ridden a bike any distance for over 30 years. I was looking for some form of regular exercise that could help me stay alive. I bought my first ebike in February of 2018, If I had known how much it would change my life, I would have expanded my budget.

Now I routinely ride 30-40 miles per ride accumulating 800 miles a month, sometimes riding over 1,000. I have four ebikes, two that I ride regularly, one for my wife and one for friends and guests. Two of my bikes are class 3 (28mph assist limit) while the other two are class one bikes with speed dongles to remove the 20mph assisted speed restriction (this does void their warranties). I routinely ride in the low 20s on flat ground and use the added speed to ride at equal speed with cars when riding in traffic, a much safer way to ride. I have not been this fit in decades and rarely drive my car. The first thing I do every morning is check the weather to see if I can ride.

I would not buy a bike going forward that limits its assistance to 20mph. Class three is the only one for me.
 

Rick53

Member
Good to get things back on topic. My personal experience and recommendations:

I just turned 69. Two years ago I had recently survived a "widow maker" heart attack and was in cardiac rehab. I weighed 238 lbs. and had smoked a pipe most of my life. I had an active life but no real cardo exercise. I had not ridden a bike any distance for over 30 years. I was looking for some form of regular exercise that could help me stay alive. I bought my first ebike in February of 2018, If I had known how much it would change my life, I would have expanded my budget.

Now I routinely ride 30-40 miles per ride accumulating 800 miles a month, sometimes riding over 1,000. I have four ebikes, two that I ride regularly, one for my wife and one for friends and guests. Two of my bikes are class 3 (28mph assist limit) while the other two are class one bikes with speed dongles to remove the 20mph assisted speed restriction (this does void their warranties). I routinely ride in the low 20s on flat ground and use the added speed to ride at equal speed with cars when riding in traffic, a much safer way to ride. I have not been this fit in decades and rarely drive my car. The first thing I do every morning is check the weather to see if I can ride.

I would not buy a bike going forward that limits its assistance to 20mph. Class three is the only one for me.
Which Bikes ? I am 64 and lucked out Had 94% Blockage in Window Maker > Didn't even know it : I've worked out for 35 years : Hard So in Good shape. How I avoided a massive heart Attack is miraculous : My Surgeon said I should have been dead 2 years prior : Yet I felt no chest pain and or shortness of breath.

Anyway been riding a Regular Bike for the last 4 months : Averaging about 1/2 the distance you go. Which I assume would increase with an E-bike

Since you are OLD and weigh 50 plus Pounds more then I do I am curious which Bikes Thanks
 

MechaNut

Member
The short answer to the question "Does riding my e-bike at 28 mph use more battery than riding it at 20 mph?" is "Yes".

The longer answer is very complicated. Like "it would take a mechanical and aerospace engineer to accurately explain this" level complicated. As I'm not an engineer I can only answer on a very basic level. To put it briefly the faster you go, the more energy it takes to overcome the resistance to you from surface friction and the air. The amount of variables involved is massive. The best practical explanation I've seen is over on Juiced Bikes website where they explain battery range.

 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Which Bikes ? I am 64 and lucked out Had 94% Blockage in Window Maker > Didn't even know it : I've worked out for 35 years : Hard So in Good shape. How I avoided a massive heart Attack is miraculous : My Surgeon said I should have been dead 2 years prior : Yet I felt no chest pain and or shortness of breath.

Anyway been riding a Regular Bike for the last 4 months : Averaging about 1/2 the distance you go. Which I assume would increase with an E-bike

Since you are OLD and weigh 50 plus Pounds more then I do I am curious which Bikes Thanks
Great about the 10-20 mile bike workouts w/o electricity.
I'm 69, can ride 3.5 hours pulse 120+, and the cardiologist said my heart "has nothing wrong with it".
Increasing range 5% a week should be doable, talk to your doctor. I've lost 60 lb since stopping working, about 8 lb a year. I stopped driving a car (except vacation) at the same time.
I view mid-drives as addictive, as most (but yamaha) have to be powered all the time. The mid drive motors drag unpowered. Thus frequently people underexercise on them, IMHO. I ride my bike unpowered for 2.5 hours on my biweekly commute, then the rest electrically now. I don't need 6 hours exercise @ 130 bpm like I got 9/2018 in a 25 mph headwind. I use a geared hub motor because it feels just like the bike before electricity, except it weighs 16 lb more. No big deal, I have been carrying 60 lb groceries for years to summer camp. Juiced & magnum sell a lot of geared hub motor bikes. No, my bike doesn't have a torque sensor which would be nice. Having a simple bike that works in the rain but can power me home in a bad headwind is my goal, you can't skip workouts at our age. The indoor exercycle I own is BORING. I ride to groceries, volunteer job, Home Depot, bank, dr appointment, everywhere, unless there is ice on the roads. I have up 6 layers of clothes for winter.
I know a lady that had a heart attack age 66, and she's 78 now. Mows the grass all the time with a pushmower, down in the ditch & all. Her cardiologist said last year her pacemaker never turned on. Do what you can do, IMHO. Stressing the body mildly regularly increases T cells (repair), see bbcnews.com about the Surrey UK bike club of 70-80 year olds whose T cell counts are the average of 29 year olds. I also lift 5 to 10 lb weights (pilates) & do rubber band shoulder exercises since muscles deteriorate so quickly at our age. More heavily built men in the shoulders should probably lift more weight. I've ripped 3 tendons off so my shoulders are definitely wimp grade.
 
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Browneye

Active Member
Don't forget C3 is outlawed on most bike paths, so depending on where you live and ride this may or may not be an issue.
Around here in Orange County, there's a bazillion bike paths that people love to ride, so the C1 bikes are super popular. Now they've classed 1 with 2 so either is okay, C3 is still prohibited for speed, only allowed to ride on roads/street. That said, there isn't much (if any) enforcement so as long as you keep a cool head and are polite no one knows what you're riding, so the C3's are not uncommon. I imagine in a national park or some trail with a ranger things might be different. I just hate being hassled so I would tend to follow the rules so no one is bugging me about it.

For a commuter or someone that rides on the roads C3 makes a lot of sense. Most C2 bikes can be made to go faster if you want it to - devoid warranty or no.
And then there's the question of comfort and safety at that speed - again on the open road it's probly fine for most, but for any kind of congestion or pedestrians on a path it's likely way too fast.

I'm old too...had to give up motorcycle riding for it's injury risk. A C3 bike puts me right back there. Same for offroad, so I've stayed away from the mountain bikes as surely I would land on my head! LOL The drop from seat-height to the tarmac at near 30mph has the potential to be a real killer. ;)

We just finished a geard-hub conversion on her Roll - she rarely ever rides faster than about 15mph. I can tell you the Bafang geared hub is virtually silent, has plenty of pickup and go, you don't even have to pedal if you don't feel like it, and there's no drag if it's unpowered - ZERO.

I also just got the Giant Explore with the Yamaha mid-drive, and it has smoother engagement, similar in power assist, but drags A LOT unpowered. I really would not want to have to ride it home with a dead battery. Uh, no.

We haven't used them enough to compare power consumption - her's is 48v, mine is 36, both are 11-12ah in capacity. My best guess is the Explore will have at least 25% more range, just because of the mid-drive efficiency through your cassette gears - and you're always pedaling with it. If she becomes a 'throttle-rider' she'll use up her battery in short order.

I'm not completely sold on either as being better than the other. I will say that you can buy a pretty nice geared-hub ebike for considerably less than most of the mid-drive options. I have about a grand more in mine compared to hers, and they both do basically the same thing.

So I get it with the C3 fans, but there are other considerations than just finding a higher top speed.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Which Bikes ? I am 64 and lucked out Had 94% Blockage in Window Maker > Didn't even know it : I've worked out for 35 years : Hard So in Good shape. How I avoided a massive heart Attack is miraculous : My Surgeon said I should have been dead 2 years prior : Yet I felt no chest pain and or shortness of breath.

Anyway been riding a Regular Bike for the last 4 months : Averaging about 1/2 the distance you go. Which I assume would increase with an E-bike

Since you are OLD and weigh 50 plus Pounds more then I do I am curious which Bikes Thanks
Rick, I had no warning except for some tightness from shoulder to shoulder across my collarbones and then a half hour later I went into cardiac arrest. Talk about lucky to be alive!

Anyway, I started riding on a 2017 Bosch CX powered Cube Hybrid EXC 500. Now I ride two Riese & Mullers. For everyday riding, touring, rides with my wife, I ride a 2019 Riese & Muller Homage Rohloff HS. The other bike I ride when on group rides with my roady buddies and when I want more power/speed. It is a 2018 Riese & Muller Delight Mountain with a delimited Bosch CX providing electric assist as fast as I can pedal. The drive train has been modifies to take advantage of the higher speed capabilities with a larger front chain ring, and taller cassette. I also went to a larger diameter (203mm vs 180mm) front brake disk with icetech rotors and pads. I typically ride 5 or six days a week, three of which are group rides with aging road bikers. I do lots of motor pacing, pulling my friends along at 24-27mph for miles at a time.

20190715_155649.jpg
 

ez3putt

Member
like Alaskan, I tend to ride in the low 20's on public roads and bike lanes. There is no sticker on my bike that says it is a Class 3 and I don't see the downside to having more power when you need it. Actually, the only time I have ridden 28 mph or faster was going down hill and I start applying the brakes at 30.