Mariner 500W Limited commuter?

Discussion in 'Voltbike Forum' started by draf, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. draf

    draf New Member


    I am looking to buy a Voltbike Mariner 500w Limited and use it as my daily commuter (around 50km total per day). I did a lot of reading about this bike on this forum (thank you all for your tremendous contribution, I have learnt a lot!), but I still have questions that you could help me find answers to :). Thank you in advance!

    1. I believe it is possible to use the bike without power assist, like a normal bike. How would it compare in this case with other non-electric bikes in terms of effort and speed?

    2. Given flat terrain and around 180lbs total load, what range should I expect from the battery considering I intend to pedal the entire distance and use the electric motor only to assist in order to reduce the effort and maintain the speed?

    3. What cruising speed should I expect in power assist mode? I believe the controller will cut the power above 32km/h, but is it possible to maintain higher speeds (at least 40km/h) for extended periods of time, if pedaling and using the power assist in the same time?

    Thank you so much!

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  3. rich c

    rich c Active Member

    A 60 pound bike with small diameter fat knobby tires would not be my first choice as a daily commuter. In comparison to other non electric bikes, the rolling resistance will be much greater and it's at least 20 pounds heavier. Carry 20 pounds of potatoes around on your current bike and then you can decide. They usually limit the speed because of less stability in the steering geometry of folding bikes. I don't consider these to be speed bikes.
  4. draf

    draf New Member

    Yes, I realize this bike is heavier than a regular one, but the electric motor should help, right?
  5. rich c

    rich c Active Member

    Sure it's like night and day. BUT, you asked about riding it without power assist like a normal bike.
  6. draf

    draf New Member

    Oh, sorry about that! I asked too many questions and I got confused on which one you answered, my bad!
    What about the autonomy and the maximum (comfortable) cruising speed you can achieve using the power assist mode (and pedaling in the same time)?
  7. Cnugget

    Cnugget Active Member

    @draf I have used the Mariner as a commuter for just over a year now. It did ride very well at higher speeds (going downhill 65km/hr) without any steering wheel wobble until a few crashes changed that. Not really the bikes fault though. I believe it may have some whip-it but not bad. That has never bothered me though.

    It is possible to ride the bike without power. If you have flat terrain this is not a problem but will feel like you are a good 20-40lbs or more (60lbs) heavier. The sac of potatoes is a great idea for a trial feel maybe even flatten your tires as well. Going uphill is where you will notice gravity at it's worst. Because the bike only has 6 gears no low end climbing gears exist. You really need to crank it out hard or walk it at that point. If you are looking for a really great workout though... nothing could be finer :p. A slick tire would likely help a bit too but rolling resistance 4" tire will slow you more overall than a 1-2" tires. Higher PSI will also result in better rolling resistance and battery life on pavement. I have heard of people considering a smaller tire width but have not tried that myself (still running factory on my front).

    If you plan to pedal the entire way and go more bike speed and not ebike speed you should be able to go 30mi /50km as a rough estimate. To maintain or cancel out the effects of the heavier bike etc.. level 3 or 4 of 9 PAS would likely be where you would maintain.. ~18km/hr or ~11mi/hr. My new controller replaced by Volt Bike does take me above the 32km/hr threshold.. but not much and at a reduced rate. I think max 35km/hr is more realistic MAX if in ideal conditions (no wind, flat terrain, good psi, no hills). If you have downhill on your commute well then.. expect faster speeds as a benefit to gravity... and prepare to hold on. :D

    I pedal the entire distance to work and use full PAS Level 9 but I have hills both up and down. It takes me 35-40mins to get to work travelling about 16km with 1600ft / 500m total eGain. :eek: It really DOES depend.. In this case and after 5500km my battery will die in under 32km. I can make it last if I choose but usually I charge at work for the way home. This was not the case until about 2500km? mark I believe and before the first winter.
  8. draf

    draf New Member

    @Cnugget Thank you very much for your answers! Great explanation and details, as always!
    I intend to use the Mariner as a daily commute in the Montreal metropolitan area and the terrain has around 60m elevation from home to work for ~24km distance. Google Maps says it should take me around 1h 20min to complete the commute one way, but it seems they use a conservative 16km/h average speed. If the Mariner can travel comfortably to 32km/h (using pedal power + power assist), this should cut the commuting time in half which would be faster then by car (due to regular congestion)! I can't wait spring to order the bike! The temperature is expected to drop bellow freezing point in a couple of days here... Or maybe I should order now and benefit of the 11% off sale price?
  9. Cnugget

    Cnugget Active Member

    I have never seen it not on sale price :rolleyes: The question is how much will you use it over winter vs. the battery degradation that occurs naturally over storage winter/un-use. Also who knows what brilliant improvements George will come out with for next year!!

    Be conservative in your time estimates (good to have a buffer for weather, flats etc.). As a rough guide I am usually a bit quicker than the google estimates but not double. Google says 1 hr 15mins , it's usually 40mins for me sometimes 33min if things line up.. Traffic lights can slow you down.
  10. draf

    draf New Member

    I guess you're right, I should wait until spring since winter is already here!
    My commute will be mainly on reserved bike paths with a couple of traffic light. I will be very happy if I'll be able to reduce the travel time to 50 minutes! :)