Performance and Range Test of Faraday Cortland Electric Bike

EbikeTestLab

New Member
Rather than post test results to my website, Court and I have an agreement where I will post test results here and he will help get bikes to me for testing. In the spirit of openness and transparency, he has compensated me for this test (and the Magnum Metro + electric bike test). In the future, I'll work directly with the bike manufacturer or retailer regarding compensation for test results.

Here are the test results for the Faraday Cortland Electric Bike:

Performance and Range Test Results
  • Braking Distance from 20 mph: 29.5 feet
  • Brake Fade: Moderate to severe
  • Real World Range : Coming Soon
  • Road Load Range: See details below
  • Max Assisted Speed: 20 mph
  • Zero to 5 mph with zero effort spinning: 1.95 seconds
  • Zero to 20 mph with zero effort spinning: 30.3 seconds
  • Zero to 20 mph with moderate pedaling: 12.5 seconds
  • 100 Watts of pedaling hill climb with 200 lb rider: 8:18 to climb 1 mile Ice Pond hill, average pedal power output of 104 watts, average speed of 7.2 mph
  • 100 Watts of pedaling hill climb with 131 lb rider: 4:48 to climb 1 mile Ice Pond hill, average pedal power output of 99 watts, average speed of 12.4 mph
Ebike Specs of Note

  • Motor type: Front wheel mounted geared hub
  • Rated power: 250 watts
  • Battery Details: 43 volts, 7.12 amp-hour = 306 watt-hours
  • Total Weight: 44.1 lbs
  • Cadence or Torque: Cadence and Torque
  • Mileage at time of test: ~80

For all of these tests, the power setting was set to full, there is also a “half” setting but that wasn’t used. I may evaluate the differences in a later test. Please note that the Faraday Cortland, which was tested, and the Faraday Porter share identical specs so the test results should be similar. And all of these tests are with a 200 lb rider, unless noted otherwise.

Brake Testing

Brake testing is probably the most important factor, at least when it comes to safety. With the higher speeds that ebikes can achieve, braking becomes critical. And with the advent of ABS systems for ebikes, manufacturers are catching on to the importance of good brakes. This test appears very simple, achieve the desired speed, then simply stop as quickly as you can. For the Cortland, this means pulling both levers as hard as possible to avoid skidding. With the upright seating position of the Cortland, it’s nearly impossible to lift the rear wheel during braking. It takes practice to get it right! And every ebike rider should practice emergency stopping from top speed on different road conditions when and where they can safely do so.


The Cortland stopped at an average distance of 29.5 feet from 20 mph (it’s top assisted speed). After two hard stops, moderate to severe brake fade was noticed with the last four stops requiring significantly more lever force to achieve maximum braking. Brake fade can happen to any brake as the friction surface becomes too hot to remain as effective as when cold. Better friction materials can prevent this. However, in real world use, it’s unlikely that one would need to use the brakes repeatedly enough to notice brake fade.

Road Load Range Evaluation

For the road load range evaluation, the bike is simply pedaled with zero assist at 10, 15, and 20 mph. The power required to move the bike at each speed is then determined and an equation is developed to represent that relationship. The Faraday Cortland results are below, displayed as power required at the wheel vs. speed:



Once the power required is known, the range in miles various speeds and rider inputs can be determined:

1560427567175.jpeg


Faraday claims a range of 25 miles, which would be achievable at 20 mph with a lot of rider input (200 watts or so). A more typical range would be 15 to 20 miles with average input (100 to 150 watts) while maintaining 20 mph.

Acceleration Test Results

The acceleration test is fairly straight forward, how fast does it get from zero to the desired speed?
  • Max Assisted Speed: 20 mph
  • Zero to 5 mph with zero effort spinning: 1.95 seconds
  • Zero to 20 mph with zero effort spinning: 30.3 seconds
  • Zero to 20 mph with moderate pedaling: 12.5 seconds

With little wind, the Faraday easily achieves 20 mph over level ground with moderate pedaling (150 watts or so). With zero effort pedaling, the motor doesn’t put out much power as the torque sensor isn’t sensing torque, therefore the acceleration is much slower but it does still achieve 20 mph. One note: wheel spin is evident from the front wheel during acceleration if there is any grit or dirt on the paved surface. With the upright seating position, most of the rider’s weight is on the rear wheel so the front wheel can literally spin without traction if the road surface isn’t ideal. This wheel spin also happens while climbing on gravel or dirt roads.

Hill Climb Performance

For the Hill Climb Test, the Faraday climbed the full 1.0 mile long Ice Pond hill in 8:18 with myself riding (200 lbs including instrumentation). I averaged 104 watts of pedaling input and averaged 7.2 mph. With a 131 lb rider (my daughter) riding, it climbed the same hill in 4:48 with 99 watts of average input from the rider, and an average speed of 12.4 mph.


It’s amazing how much difference 70 lbs can make as she generally flew up the hill compared to my run. Both runs were made with a fully charged battery in similar weather conditions (70F and light winds).

I should have some more tests coming (as this is my daughter's electric bike), and will update this post as they are completed.
 
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ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Faraday announced on their FB page that they were closing. There’s a thread on that in the forum somewhere... I’ll look for it.
 

EbikeTestLab

New Member
Yes, I knew they were closing or are closed. However, my daughter loves her ebike and you can still buy them new so I thought it was worth testing. It struggles a bit with my weight but generally flies with my daughter on the saddle! The biggest surprise is the amount of wheel spin that is evident from the front wheel while climbing a hill or starting out on anything but pristine pavement. The rider really has to lean forward to shift some weight to the front wheel. Even a little bit of grit on asphalt will cause the front wheel to slip as the front gear motor is trying to accelerate.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Why would the front wheel spin?
It’s a front hub motor bike. But it’s funny that my front hub bikes don’t exhibit that type of behavior. Only on steep loose surfaces will they break traction momentarily at the bottom of each pedal stroke.
 

EbikeTestLab

New Member
Both my daughter and I have experienced the front wheel losing traction when first starting out or climbing on grit covered pavement or on a gravel road. I think the main issue is with the upright seating position and swept back handlebars, this puts most of the rider weight on the rear wheel. It's surprisingly easy to lift the front wheel while climbing a steep hill, it just takes a little pull on the bars! If the rider makes a conscious effort to lean forward, the front wheel regains traction.

JRA: What's the seating position like on your front hub motor ebike?
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
My bikes are drop handlebar type so weight is biased more naturally to the front.
 

Lin B

Active Member
What kind of range are you getting, which battery, and what level of pedal assist? Thx.
 

EbikeTestLab

New Member
It has the 306 watt-hour battery. Was there a different battery available? I thought they only offered the 306. My daughter can get about 10 miles on full assist riding around our house, where it is extremely hilly. She isn’t pedaling a whole lot. One of these days, I’ll have her do the same loop with the power pedals.

My testing, which you can see on my site, results in a table of ranges based on speed and rider input. It really depends on how much pedaling you will be doing.
 

watchcat

New Member
Just wanted to write a "thanks" for your review. This is my kind of review! Tables! Thanks to this forum and others, I made the same decision your daughter did and bought a Faraday Cortland last month. (They are on deep discount right now, btw.) I chose it for similar reasons--belt drive, fit...mostly style. Though there are a few similar step-through e-bikes out there, based on my personal preferences, none compare to the Faraday in the style department. (Insert tears for their discontinuation.) Had a conversation with a Faraday person in the SF office who promised they will continue to support the bikes (?), and then decided that at the current price, I'd like to have one of these in our bike stable. It has already revolutionized my commute. Looking forward to seeing the results of any additional testing you and your daughter put this bike through.
 

EbikeTestLab

New Member
Just wanted to write a "thanks" for your review. This is my kind of review! Tables! Thanks to this forum and others, I made the same decision your daughter did and bought a Faraday Cortland last month. (They are on deep discount right now, btw.) I chose it for similar reasons--belt drive, fit...mostly style. Though there are a few similar step-through e-bikes out there, based on my personal preferences, none compare to the Faraday in the style department. (Insert tears for their discontinuation.) Had a conversation with a Faraday person in the SF office who promised they will continue to support the bikes (?), and then decided that at the current price, I'd like to have one of these in our bike stable. It has already revolutionized my commute. Looking forward to seeing the results of any additional testing you and your daughter put this bike through.
Thanks! We do have a few more tests planned for it. My daughter has been riding it all summer to commute to her camp counselor job and has been loving it.

I’m glad our testing helped!