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

Ken M

Well-Known 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.
Most of the "data" you brought up would be better addressed with an advanced charger. Do some research on amp/hrs and you'll find out it's a variable that changes with the age of the battery so unless the the controller on the bike is literally communicating with the charger on amp/hr in and somehow knows exactly how many amp/hrs are remaining each charge then you can't display an accurate capacity remaining and I'm not even explaining this well. It's not like a gas gauge but some think it is.

A bike is also a bit different than a car in that if my battery fails I just have to complete the rest of the ride without assist - I'm not stranded. You might feel you'll sleep better at night knowing all those parameters will be displayed on your ebike LCD but in reality it's mostly just flashy stuff for people still impressed by stuff like that.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
A minimalist design without an overwhelming presence. EggRider sized with smart phone access. Display should easily toggle to desired data as Ken M described.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Nothing, IME, substitutes a good Bluetooth battery BMS. Getting over complex and demanding cage level displays does little more than add complexity. 5 years of customer service has lead me to believe that more complex display systems get overpriced and are confusing for most. Ten seconds of viewing a battery report and I’m golden. These are eBikes with relatively simple systems. Please don’t make them Space Shuttles. Or at least not until I quit answering support calls.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Ken, all due respect, but you have to expand your thoughts beyond the needs of somebody using their bike mostly for commuting. Minimalist may work well for your purposes. I'm pretty sure if you were off road for instance (a LOT of people ride off road!), you might want to know the motor temp. after climbing a couple of longish hills. Or would you prefer to not know when you're about to melt your gears or smoke your motor?

My point is, before turning your nose up at some of the options mentioned, or comparing them to your personal needs, assume for a bit there's a bigger picture in play. -Al
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
you might want to know the motor temp. after climbing a couple of longish hills. Or would you prefer to not know when you're about to melt your gears or smoke your motor?
This is becoming more common, and mid drives are showing up with a warning and then will cutout to cool off before cooking themselves. Perhaps more important on higher speed/power systems?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Ken, all due respect, but you have to expand your thoughts beyond the needs of somebody using their bike mostly for commuting. Minimalist may work well for your purposes. I'm pretty sure if you were off road for instance (a LOT of people ride off road!), you might want to know the motor temp. after climbing a couple of longish hills. Or would you prefer to not know when you're about to melt your gears or smoke your motor?

My point is, before turning your nose up at some of the options mentioned, or comparing them to your personal needs, assume for a bit there's a bigger picture in play. -Al
On any bike designed to do anything where the motor could over-heat the controller should have a feature that reduces power at heat levels that are problematic and then a shut off if the temp doesn't fall. Your implying that someone doing some technical mtn bike climbing is really going to shift focus from the trail to watching his big display filled with a bunch of complex parameters and do the right thing to allow the temperature to reduced. Thermal protection is something best left to the controller ... the protocol could be documented in the owners manual for those that want to delve into knowing the full tech. Next you'll be telling me the battery temp should also be display so the rider then must know what is too hot and too cold for both motor and battery.

We have people entering comments that they want to see amp hrs used and remaining because they'll be able to diagnose if the battery is in good condition. Really, someone wants that displayed even though it's a variable that can not be accurate unless the charger and bike communicate this ever changing parametric information each charge and even then it may not be accurate unless the battery is allowed to go to near empty to record amp hrs in each charge cycle.

I realized the ebike community on this would be heavily divided because one of my friends that rides and ebike told me the the most important parameter to have on the display was the time....I just about fell over as I thought that was about as stupid as it gets.

Here's what I really think. Guys that want big displays with a bunch of parameters always available to see are probably making up for something else. They are not really watching them, but they want to impress someone with the huge size of their display.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
time and odometer showing total miles ridden since purchasing it
I think the challenges of having an odometer reading that can not be changed or manipulated is why you don't see this much. I think the used value of a bike is rarely established by an odometer reading and if it was would you really trust the reading if buying a used bike.

Time? Buy a watch. Next you'll want the barometric pressure, humidity, ambient temperature, altitude, etc.

I'm really wondering if most of those providing feedback are thinking in term of what information is important / needed vs just tossing out their wish list. I think a couple people suggested tire pressure should be displayed. Really??? How about spoke and chain tension? Miles on tires since last change.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
This is becoming more common, and mid drives are showing up with a warning and then will cutout to cool off before cooking themselves.
Perhaps more important on higher speed/power systems?
Good information to have... ;)
I would think that this warning would be even more useful for hub-drive motors when climbing.
Mid-drives are optimized for long climbs due to the inherent mechanical advantage of gear ranges.
 
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antboy

Member
As someone who used the e-bike to go for moderately intensive fun rides, mixed with errand running, all I really NEED is Speed/PAS/Battery percentage displayed, and a trip counter, to gauge battery life/"fuel" level.

With an LCD display, I don't even need a headlight icon, because if my display is glowing, the headlights are on.

What I WANT is either the EggRider, or that similarly sized SW102 display that's sometimes sold with kits, to work with my stupid controller. The stock 965C display is obnoxiously big, and takes up a lot of handle bar real estate.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Ken, gear driven hub controllers that I'm familiar with (KT mostly) do not have the ability control the motor if it gets hot, whether it "should" be able to or not.

Also, at my age, I am damn sure not trying to impress anyone, especially with a 2.5x4" lcd display.

Last, because YOU don't think I need it does not change the fact you aren't allowed a vote regarding what I want or need!
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
...they want to impress someone with the huge size of their display.
An unfortunate turn of phrase. I bought my first color display because I thought it was useful and the size meant, I was wrong, that it had more useful features. I soon found I went riding and that big color display, FOR ME, was more nuisance than valuable tool. I probably sold a couple hundred for the resellers I’ve worked for, I’m not aware of anyone buying to impress. I’m of the opinion it’s more comic than useful but then I’m bummed that Apple is discontinuing the smallest format SE. EggRiders are minimalist for size but function rich. But is seems more attractive to the builder market.
We’re information junkies. And not running sophisticated eBikes with com systems between controller battery and display. Those systems , again from my inexperience with them, have enough safeguards to maybe make all the data less useful.

Please, let’s not make choice about personality.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
An unfortunate turn of phrase. I bought my first color display because I thought it was useful and the size meant, I was wrong, that it had more useful features. I soon found I went riding and that big color display, FOR ME, was more nuisance than valuable tool. I probably sold a couple hundred for the resellers I’ve worked for, I’m not aware of anyone buying to impress. I’m of the opinion it’s more comic than useful but then I’m bummed that Apple is discontinuing the smallest format SE. EggRiders are minimalist for size but function rich. But is seems more attractive to the builder market.
We’re information junkies. And not running sophisticated eBikes with com systems between controller battery and display. Those systems , again from my inexperience with them, have enough safeguards to maybe make all the data less useful.

Please, let’s not make choice about personality.
I was originally impressed with the size of the display on my 1st Hibike with a Yamaha drive system but it doesn't take many rides before you realize that the information becomes less important than having a clean bar up front. I understand it's subjective but I think a lot of the responses are people thinking about what they might want displayed but in reality they didn't think about the usefulness of the information while riding.

My reason for starting this forum string was because it seemed that some brands were more concerned with and impressive display than an impressive ebike so I wanted to gauge if people were that easily influenced and I think it's apparent that you can impress with a big display showing many parameters while mixing in some graphics like bar graphs and icons. I respect that the Shimano steps ebikes kept the display minimalist and some of the newer high end bikes are going the same direction. I'm not against a bluetooth or wireless interface for using a phone to show more but then most of cost and complexity is put into the ebike.

I understand no right or wrong on this subject....just interesting to see the diversity of opinions on what is important.
 
Battery level in percent, assist level, distance traveled, time, turn by turn gps directions. I like to explore new routes in areas I don’t know so seeing a map or directions for a preplanned route would be great.
Alternatively have the phone connected to the bike and it could display everything and charge at the same time.
 

johnriggins410

New Member
Battery level in percent, assist level, distance traveled, time, turn by turn gps directions. I like to explore new routes in areas I don’t know so seeing a map or directions for a preplanned route would be great.
Alternatively have the phone connected to the bike and it could display everything and charge at the same time.
if i were you i'd erase this post before ken sees it!
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
if i were you i'd erase this post before ken sees it!
Funny.... I see it. I can't help but stop reading the suggestions of what should be on a display when they say "time." One of my friends the rides and ebike literally told me that "time" was the most important information on his ebike LCD. I realize that digital clocks cost next to nothing to integrate on any electrical product but important on a bike display.

In reality I just want to see my battery charge level because I want an infinitely variable assist level in the form of a throttle but I will still always pedal for exercise.
 
Funny.... I see it. I can't help but stop reading the suggestions of what should be on a display when they say "time." One of my friends the rides and ebike literally told me that "time" was the most important information on his ebike LCD. I realize that digital clocks cost next to nothing to integrate on any electrical product but important on a bike display.
I have been without a watch for a while and usually pull out my cell phone to tell the time. But, that is awkward while riding. It would be nice to have the time on my display as I am trying to get to a bus stop before the bus leaves. Others may want it for the same reason on their way to work. After battery level, assist level, and perhaps speed, time would be my most useful item.