What Info are you looking for on a display???

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I really am shocked that so many riders seem to want to have tons of parameters shown on a bike display. Obviously we all probably need a reference scale to how much battery capacity remains (the best way to do that is up for debate still but a simple graphic is more than adequate for this purpose). If the bike has different assist levels I think that should also be shown as a graphic, but is anything else really necessary.

If you want to analyze your rides most people just sign up for something like Strava so they can check tons of parameters, but do you really need to know how far you have ridden on the bike or what time it is displayed on a bike display. Really??? My take is that people that want to see everything displayed on the bike LCD are not really people that enjoy riding. I just know I'm going to be hammered for writing that...but so be it. I ride almost 40 mile round trip commutes and I don't ever look at displayed parameters on my rides.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
Ken. You might actually making my lots of sense.
We are so used to “I want” that sometimes have to step back and ask ourselves do I need this or I want it!
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken. You might actually making my lots of sense.
We are so used to “I want” that sometimes have to step back and ask ourselves do I need this or I want it!
Here's a relatable story. I'm an engineer so I have been involved in new product design reviews. What I always thought was funny it how the product "needs" and "wants" were at the end of the day almost treated as equal status (mostly because marketing people that didn't think about the cost or relevance of their ideas). The result was almost always feature bloat that would lead to longer and more expensive development cycles.

I do think the trend is towards smaller simplified ebike displays like on the Shimano Steps mid drive bikes. If you really want to see the elegance of displaying only want could be considered needed information (battery and assist level) check out the $10,000+ Specialized Turbo Creo (has a segmented bar graph for battery level and a 2 segment circular graphic around that for assist level - the simple elegance of this is respected by the serious riders that buy an ebike like that. Those riding over to the neighbors house in the next block to plop on couch for an afternoon of beer drinking want to see all the parameters for that grueling ride they just did so they can tell their wife I did a mile on the ebike today. Wow honey .... you should get a display with 1/10th of mile so you know if it may have been more than a mile.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Ken, shocked or no, "needed" info is subjective, and because you don't feel it necessary doesn't make it unnecessary for everyone else. It is what it is. That's why displays aren't "universal". You are not going to convince me the display I have is not supplying relevant info that I find useful. Many others are going to feel the same way. If I wanted a spartan display, I would get one. It's that simple. There's no right or wrong here, just 'druthers.

Same thing applies to the controllers. Aftermarket are often very customizable, while OEM's tend to be just the opposite.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I think wanted is subjective. I had one on of my friends tell me the most important parameter on his display was the time. I'm not kidding.

I do think the trend is towards smaller and simpler displays because they really are not the sales catch they once were. I certainly don't want to imply a one size fits all solution but I do believe more riders should give some thought to what is important and what really is just unnecessary.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I dont care or monitor my ride length etc on mine - use my apple watch for that

but do watch the battery and would love to have heat monitor for the motor etc
I like info on the motor/battery just like I have extra gauges on all my cars
Knowing how hot the motor is climbing hills would be great

I am in the camp of more data not less

That being said i do not like the cycle analyst that much, too many screens to swap through etc

I can see that a lot of others would not care about that stuff though
 

jGecko

New Member
If I were just out riding on a regular bicycle, I would be very happy with just the simple minimalist data display. But I'm riding a machine that uses a fairly complex, highly variable in terms of quality, and most important...EXPENSIVE...battery technology.
The extra data allow me to better determine if the battery or bicycle motor subsystem, and even the charger is experiencing high stress or problems. The same data can help me determine if battery LIFE is degrading prematurely and even by how much. Such factors can't be determined reliably with just approximate "percent charge" (+/- 25% or 20%), speed, and distance.
Lithium cells can be severely degraded by heat, freezing, too rapid charging, overcharge, overdischarge, and more. Hard riding degrades them more than light riding, so riding style also affects battery life.
Lithium cells also don't like to be left unused in storage for any length of time and I would prefer not to have a $300 exta battery pack sitting around not being required "just in case" my installed battery unexpectedly fails. Proper storage protocols can help mitigate cell degradation, but not eliminate it. Data which can help me detect potential or imminent problems with the battery pack or the motor subsystem (like a malfunctioning or poorly programmed controller that permits overdischarging the battery even fractionally) help me save money by letting me predict when I will need a new battery or motor subsystem evaluation, or even if I ought to change my riding habits if I'm using the bike just for routine riding. For example, the added data can be considered similar to automotive gauges (like a vacuum gauge which lets you know if you're too heavy footed on the gas pedal on carbureted cars or there is a vacuum line leak). Not everyone wants the data, but many do because it helps them save money and possibly avoid being unexpectedly stranded by pointing out when maintenance is advisable.
A car with just a "Check Engine" light generally only tells you when something serious has already happened and requires immediate service...and can even stop the car or prevent it from starting. Whereas, a car with detailed instrumentation can give you warning long before a problem gets that serious.
 
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jGecko

New Member
Are we still taking about BIKE? Realize it is expensive. But still is a bicycle.
Well...it depends...for many people it is a primary means of getting around, and thus can be very critical to their lives, job, etc. So, it means a lot more to some folks than others.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I dont care or monitor my ride length etc on mine - use my apple watch for that

but do watch the battery and would love to have heat monitor for the motor etc
I like info on the motor/battery just like I have extra gauges on all my cars
Knowing how hot the motor is climbing hills would be great

I am in the camp of more data not less

That being said i do not like the cycle analyst that much, too many screens to swap through etc

I can see that a lot of others would not care about that stuff though
I'd like to know the motor is thermally protected but I really don't need to know it's temperature at all times and I don't think I'd care to analyze the data unless I was on the engineering team developing the ebike.

Think of a ebike like a bikini .... less is more.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I think there are some of us that are familiar enough with the bike's systems that we enjoy monitoring them. Other are fine without that knowledge. Again, rider's call, there is no wrong answer. Only 'druthers.

Count me as another that would like to see motor temp.
 

Nxkharra

Active Member
I realize this might be repeating what has already been said.
With smart watches, smart phones, and riding apps (Strava), lots of the info are already at our disposal.
May be more info related to bike motor and battery would be more useful (temperature, riding range remaining, ...)
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
It's funny how most of us have smart phones, smart watches, tablets, etc. and even know about services like Strava and yet many still want all that parametric jarble shown on the bike's LCD.

Next some riders will want low air pressure warnings, when the chain needs to be lubed, and even tire life remaining as more variables ?needed? to be shown on the display.

Below is the elegant Shimano Steps display and the prototype jumbo-tron seemingly preferred by some on EBR. Which display would be picked by a bike rider that enjoys being on an ebike and which one is more about impressing others (probably while wearing undersized way-to-form-fitting spandex shorts)?
 

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Solom01

Active Member
I like the way Orbea does it on the Gain. One easy button on the top tube, but for those who need all sorts of data there's an app for your smart phone with all sorts of info. Use a smartphone holder and the app if you're an info junkie.
 

MRE

New Member
If I were just out riding on a regular bicycle, I would be very happy with just the simple minimalist data display. But I'm riding a machine that uses a fairly complex, highly variable in terms of quality, and most important...EXPENSIVE...battery technology.
The extra data allow me to better determine if the battery or bicycle motor subsystem, and even the charger is experiencing high stress or problems. The same data can help me determine if battery LIFE is degrading prematurely and even by how much. Such factors can't be determined reliably with just approximate "percent charge" (+/- 25% or 20%), speed, and distance.
Lithium cells can be severely degraded by heat, freezing, too rapid charging, overcharge, overdischarge, and more. Hard riding degrades them more than light riding, so riding style also affects battery life.
Lithium cells also don't like to be left unused in storage for any length of time and I would prefer not to have a $300 exta battery pack sitting around not being required "just in case" my installed battery unexpectedly fails. Proper storage protocols can help mitigate cell degradation, but not eliminate it. Data which can help me detect potential or imminent problems with the battery pack or the motor subsystem (like a malfunctioning or poorly programmed controller that permits overdischarging the battery even fractionally) help me save money by letting me predict when I will need a new battery or motor subsystem evaluation, or even if I ought to change my riding habits if I'm using the bike just for routine riding. For example, the added data can be considered similar to automotive gauges (like a vacuum gauge which lets you know if you're too heavy footed on the gas pedal on carbureted cars or there is a vacuum line leak). Not everyone wants the data, but many do because it helps them save money and possibly avoid being unexpectedly stranded by pointing out when maintenance is advisable.
A car with just a "Check Engine" light generally only tells you when something serious has already happened and requires immediate service...and can even stop the car or prevent it from starting. Whereas, a car with detailed instrumentation can give you warning long before a problem gets that serious.
Just saw the TREK Domane+ e-road bike and though I'm a Specialized fan, the Domaine+ seems to have the Creo beat: integrated lights, bigger motor, bigger battery AND a control panel closer to the hoods.
 

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DouglasB

Active Member
Remaining range is the most important thing to me. After that, distance traveled, a clock for time is nice and occasionally a speedometer. I don't need much.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Just saw the TREK Domane+ e-road bike and though I'm a Specialized fan, the Domaine+ seems to have the Creo beat: integrated lights, bigger motor, bigger battery AND a control panel closer to the hoods.
Speed, assist mode, and battery level. That's pretty minimalist.

There are those asking for amp/hour remaining and amp/hours used. The problem with this is that as the battery ages the amp hour capacity decreases so unless your bike is literally communicating with the charger the bike has no clue what the starting amp hours in the battery is.

I can see how doing marketing studies becomes so crazy. I thought most bikers loved bikes for their simplicity, elegance, utility, etc. and there are riders claiming they need to know the temp of the motor and battery at all times, the amp/hours consumed and remaining, how many watts they are putting into the pedals (like they are training for a professional race when many riders can barely get off the couch).....oh, now they'll want a weight scale on the bike so they can track their weight loss because they have't heard of a weight scale.