A generalized eBike design Amateur Cyclists can relate to and compare against

BikeMike

Active Member
I now realize why "Amateur Cyclists", like myself, have a hard time relating to eBikes. The power assist levels make no sense to an experienced cyclist. Power assist levels need to be communicated to advanced cyclists in terms of riding style. Presenting power assist levels in engineering terms to traditional cyclists is meaningless.

The aim of cyclists is to maintain momentum, rather than to achieve an arbitrary speed limit of 20 or 28 mph. Wind resistance is a natural speed limit, that becomes a serious hinderance about 25mph. Acceleration is key to maintaining momentum. Momentum can be quickly lost on moderate grades. Momentum can only be gradually increased on flat sections through skilled cadence, torque and gear shifting techniques. Once 15mph is reached, 25mph is less of a challenge to overcome, due to momentum. An acceleration-oriented electrical system addresses the needs of an amateur cyclist.

Standing up to accelerate, or getting low in the drop bars to avoid wind are riding styles that traditional cyclists can relate to. The benefits are immediately clear. Conventional ways of defining and communicating power assist levels are a sure way to end any interest in an eBike. Silly.

The motor response should feel like sprinting, rather than a 800m pace.


Some advanced cyclists can generate more power than a common eBike motor, so what is the point of emphasizing power levels? Silly.

More conspicuous is the protuding battery and oversized chain ring/bottom bracket. The look and feel is wrong: they look plain ugly and feel too heavy.

A Red Bull article does a good job at listing current options, but none are acceptable to me: 10 E-road bikes that are almost too good to be true.

Let's associate symbols with a rating scale from -3 to +3, to discuss the merits of certain eBike features.

  • -3 :oops:
  • -2 :rolleyes:
  • -1 :(

  • 0 :confused:

  • +1 :)
  • +2 :D
  • +3 :p
Power Assist Level Profiles defined in a user friendly and beneficial way for an Amateur Cyclist:
  1. :p Stand-up Pedaling Assist ( "eSprint mode", like "eMTB mode" for Bosch mountain bikes)
  2. :p Acceleration from 0 to 15 mph in a middle gear, on the inner chainring
  3. :rolleyes: Speed
  4. :p Miserly Battery Consumption
  5. :D Distance
  6. :p Power and Sensing to Fight Strong Winds (opposite of standing up, I get low into dropbars, even at slow speeds)
:p Weight, Shape and Gearing of Motor for Acceleration (2.3 kg)
:p Weight and Shape of Battery (2 kg)
:p Accurate and Responsive Sensors for Acceleration
  • A torque sensor for each side of the bottom bracket.
  • Two or more speed sensors on wheel
  • An accelerometer
vs. Shimano STEPS 6000 5.8kg

Now we have a framework to compare two bikes. We can compare two ultra light electric road bikes, conventional bikes or any combination.

Since the Maserati Trofeo is a true hybrid road bike design, let's use the Maserati Trofeo as a baseline eBike. The Trofeo is a concept bike, not a stocked item in production. The Bafang M800 motor and a carbon frame for the M800. My local Velofix mechanic feels he can build the bike for me.


Notice how the battery and motor are barely noticeable in the downtube and bottom bracket area? A very elegant design that pleases.



screen-shot-2018-08-21-at-5-33-01-am-png.24897



  1. :p No Resistance From Electrical System
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I want to reach conventional bike speeds, without hitting a speed wall induced by motor gearing
  2. :p Stand-up Pedaling Assist ( "eSprint mode", like "eMTB mode" for Bosch mountain bikes)
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I stand up at least once per uphill mile. Stand-up pedaling slows me down and wears me out. Standing up avoids downshifting gears. I climb the hill faster, but I am out of breath and weak when I reach the top of the hill. Recovery usually takes a few minutes, so my speed is very slow, e.g., ~10mph.
    3. One torque sensor for each pedal might be an advantage in this situation.
  3. :p Acceleration from 0 to 15 mph
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Mostly for crossing big intersections in the middle gear on the first chainring.
    3. Two or more speed sensors for accurate and sensitive acceleration measurements (or accelerometer)
  4. :rolleyes: Speed
    1. Desired: -2
    2. I do not want high speeds because they drain the battery
  5. :p Configuring Power/Torque Curve from cell phone in a user friendly way
    1. Desired +2
    2. I want a UI to specify parameter values for when and how much power assistance should be applied
  6. :p Weight, Shape and Gearing of Motor for Acceleration (2.3 kg)
    1. Desired: +3
  7. :p Weight and Shape of Battery (2 kg)
    1. Desired: +3
  8. :p Electrical System designed for carbon frames
    1. Aluminum is too heavy and does not flex to absorb shocks
    2. Desirablility: +3
  9. :p Miserly Battery Consumption
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I only want the motor to deliver power assist at critical moments.
    3. I want the motor to disappear on the flats and downhill sections, so I can travel long distances.
    4. I want strong assist at the critical moments.
    5. For the most part, I want the electrical system to blend in with the bike and disappear as part of the cycling experience.
  10. :p Bluetooth Motor and Battery Management System
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need to know when to avoid using due to weather conditions.
    3. Need health status of every battery cell.
    4. Need to update firmware via internet.
    5. Need to run diagnostics against battery to know how risky a cold weather ride is.
  11. :p Fighting Strong Winds (opposite of standing up, I get into dropbars, even at slow speeds)
  12. :p 12v Front and Rear light system
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I ride through at least five tunnels and/or bridge underpasses. The C470 tunnel is 425 feet long. I cannot see mud or ice at the other end of the tunnel. I need a very powerful light with high and low beams. I want a rear light to alert other riders in the tunnel of my presence.
  13. :D Cold Temperature Range
    1. Desired: +2
    2. My biggest fear is an undervoltage that shuts down the engine from electrical resistance at cold temperatures.
  14. :D Distance
    1. Desired: +2
    2. 60 miles per battery charge is adequate
  15. :rolleyes: Cost
    1. Desired: -2
    2. I do not expect low cost or want to sacrifice quality.
    3. Reliability is important.
  16. :D Traction
    1. Desired: +2
    2. Wet or muddy conditions require wider tires. Also power assistance needs to be applied in a gradual manner to avoid sliding out. Inner rim width is main influence on contact patch shape.
  17. :D Braking Power
    1. Desired: +2
    2. Wet conditions need larger hydraulic disc brakes (180mm)
  18. :D Nible Steering
    1. Desired: +2
  19. :D Tubeless Tires
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Flat tires in cold weather is a total drag
  20. :p Gear Ratio
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need 400% on a double chain ring
  21. :p Aerodynamics
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need dropbars to reach 35mph easily.
    3. Motor and battery cannot introduce drag.
  22. :D Aesthetics
    1. Desired: +2
    2. A bike should look beautiful, not like some car parts were glommed onto the frame.
  23. :) Boost Axle
    1. Desired: +1
    2. A good rider can put out 800 watts. The total acceleration force may be very high.
    3. Need strong rims.
  24. :p Removeable Battery
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need to bring battery inside for charging.
  25. :DDisplay motor and human power in watts.
 
Last edited:

ebikemom

Well-Known Member
I think ebikes are most appealing to folks who want to arrive refreshed, not needing a shower at their destinations, as well as those who simply can't do everything they WANT to do on a regular cycle.

There probably is a market for committed road bikers, but methinks it might not be a very big one, except for those who want to do more than they are capable of, don't have showers at work, etc., or live in super hilly areas that make conventional cycling impractical even though they have the physical ability to handle the terrain.

Conventional cyclists who are satisifed with their current ride are unlikely to see the benefit (and, for them, there might not be a benefit!) of ebikes, methinks ... I am super impressed with the physical skills of conventional cyclists who do so many things on their bikes. I wished I could, too!

Oh, and now I can! Tee heee!!! :cool:
 

BikeMike

Active Member
I think ebikes are most appealing to folks who want to arrive refreshed, not needing a shower at their destinations, as well as those who simply can't do everything they WANT to do on a regular cycle.

There probably is a market for committed road bikers, but methinks it might not be a very big one, except for those who want to do more than they are capable of, don't have showers at work, etc., or live in super hilly areas that make conventional cycling impractical even though they have the physical ability to handle the terrain.

Conventional cyclists who are satisifed with their current ride are unlikely to see the benefit (and, for them, there might not be a benefit!) of ebikes, methinks ... I am super impressed with the physical skills of conventional cyclists who do so many things on their bikes. I wished I could, too!

Oh, and now I can! Tee heee!!! :cool:

But i can generate 800 watts. I have two conventional bikes that i love.

My biggest limitations are related to winter: daylight hours and foul weather. By foul weather i mean NW winds 15 to 25 mph and/or 25F to 45F degree temperatures. Some days i need a recovery bike, because my sore muscles put me in a foul mood.

The need might be an obscure market, but i think you see things from an eBiker viewpoint.

Try thinking about your eBike from the six features I mentioned in the first post. How far up a hill can you ride your eBike pedaling from a standing position? That is the real skill.
 
Last edited:

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I now realize why "Amateur Cyclists", like myself, have a hard time relating to eBikes.

To be blunt, I have a hard time reading your posts, let alone relating to what you're experiencing. In your attempt to be thorough, you type so much that the information you provide becomes a rambling mess and is unintelligible, at least to me.

So...you cannot understand e-bikes. You've said so in another thread. What are you saying or asking, exactly? I'm confused.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
To be blunt, I have a hard time reading your posts, let alone relating to what you're experiencing. In your attempt to be thorough, you type so much that the information you provide becomes a rambling mess and is unintelligible, at least to me.

So...you cannot understand e-bikes. You've said so in another thread. What are you saying or asking, exactly? I'm confused.

I am trying to reach eBike manufacturers and entrepreneurs, not eBikers. I am asking the manufacturers to offer a bike that i see value in. I directly contacted two companies that sell Bafang eBikes. One responded immediately that they are considering the Bafang M800. I have not received a response from the other. I know of no other manufacturers that use Bafang as part of an existing product.

I also contacted Velofix, who feels they can build the bike. I prefer to buy the bike from a USA, rather than Chinese source.

I am also trying to reach open-minded traditional cyclists, who have some interest in technology.

I am certain a solution is forthcoming. Here are the companies addressing the issue with conventional motors:

  1. Gtech eBike Sport -
    1. I like the belt for sloppy conditions
    2. I want disc brakes for strong braking in wet conditions
  2. Pinnacle Lithium Ion 2018
    1. The battery is ugly and too big
    2. I like the Shimano STEPS motor, which is still on the heavy side
  3. Whyte Highgate Compact
    1. Same as Pinnacle
  4. Raleigh Mustang Comp Electric - closest match
    1. Raleigh is owned by Accell Group, which owns the Diavelo/Maserati Trofeo eBike.
    2. Weighs too much at 20 kg
    3. The motor and battery are oversized.
    4. The ideal choice for long days of touring,
    5. the Mustang’s tailored gravel frame offers a relaxed riding position without compromising on speed or agility.
    6. Featuring SRAM gearing,
    7. 42mm tyres and
    8. a battery range of nearly 80 miles,
    9. the Mustang is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a road bike capable of going off grid every once in a while.
  5. Giant Road E+1 Pro
    1. Overkill - SyncDrive Yamaha motor and a moderately light 500Wh lithium ion battery
  6. Coboc One Soho
    1. single speed does not work in hills
  7. Bianchi Impulso E-Road
    1. Never heard of: The Polini EP3 motor
      1. is one of the least bulky on the market and
      2. the battery, which is kept well hidden inside the down tube,
      3. is one of the longest lasting on our list with a range of nearly 125 miles.
  8. BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport
    1. Ugly, oversized battery
    2. A full carbon frame,
    3. Shimano STEPS system
  9. Cube Agree Hybrid C:62 SL Disc
    1. Fazua drive unit - Unproven startup from Germany
    2. the motor and battery are self-contained and can be fully removed,
    3. taking the already light 13.8kg closer to your standard road bike weight.
    4. full carbon frame,
    5. a Shimano Ultegra groupset and
    6. hydraulic disc brakes.
  10. Focus Paralane²
    1. Fazua drive unit - Unproven startup from Germany
    2. carbon frame and weighing under 13kg,
    3. the fully removable Fazua motor and battery
    4. easily allow the Focus to be turned into a standard road bike.
  11. Pinarello Nytro
    • T700 Carbon Fiber
    • Fazua electrical system Weight: 4,7 Kg
    • RAD System Disk Brake (Focus patent)
    • Rear Thru-Axle 142 x 12 Shimano (Boost)

Part of the rambling sense you experience is my attempt to come to terms with both the good and bad aspects that i see in eBikes.
 
Last edited:

ebikemom

Well-Known Member
How far up a hill can you ride your eBike pedaling from a standing position? That is the real skill.

Golly, wish I could do that. No way. I have horrible knees. So, EBIKE!!!!

Pedaling from a standing position is only partially skill. It's only possible for folks with healthy joints, lungs, and hearts, arms, and legs. No amount of training could help me to develop that skill.

Happy cycling, with or without assistive technology!
 
Last edited:

BikeMike

Active Member
Golly, wish I could do that. No way. I have horrible knees. So, EBIKE!!!!

Pedaling from a standing position is only partially skill. For those of us with joint problems (I was recommended for knee surgery at age 18), talking about athleticism involving knees has nothing to do with skill. We have no way of even working to develop that skill.

I split my meniscus in half in a twae kwon doe sparring match. My doctor told me surgery is unhelpful. I must strengthen my knee. I can relate. I went through three months of painful rehab.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
How far up a hill can you ride your eBike pedaling from a standing position? That is the real skill.

The only reason to stand would be for balance on a really steep climb, to keep the front wheel from lifting. Otherwise, standing climbing on an e-bike is completely unnecessary. The extra torque provided by the motor allows you to turn the pedals without needing to muscle up the grade...at least that is my experience with a mid-drive e-bike.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
The only reason to stand would be for balance on a really steep climb, to keep the front wheel from lifting. Otherwise, standing climbing on an e-bike is completely unnecessary. The extra torque provided by the motor allows you to turn the pedals without needing to muscle up the grade...at least that is my experience with a mid-drive e-bike.

Point well taken.

I was trying to covey my major issue from a cyclists viewpoint. Road Cyclists see value in a limited, very specific application of power: standing up to generate power, acceleration from 0 to 15 mph or strong headwinds. But for the most part amateur cyclists do not want excessive power and consequent weight, because they are performance conscious.

I am trying to advocate why/how an ultra light (under 30 pounds or 13kg total weight) eBike is attractive to traditional cyclists. The main issue is a system that provides brief bursts of acceleration benefits, rather than sustained speed.

The motor, battery, sensors and software need to be specifically designed for those purposes. The current systems are not suitable. The primary reasons are too big/heavy and not sensitive enough to very specific conditions.
 
Last edited:

BikeMike

Active Member
Does it make more sense, if i show pictures of an existing concept bike by Maserati, Accell Group (Haibike, Raleigh and other familiar brands) and the available parts?

img_0681-png.24850


img_0682-jpg.24859


img_0683-png.24860
 
Last edited:

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
I am asking the manufacturers to offer a bike that i see value in.
When I visit my mother, who is 93, and she has the television on, she often remarks about the commercials. Most of them repel her nowadays. She can't understand who would want to buy that product. I've explained several times that she is not the target demographic for those commercials. They aren't designed to appeal to her, they are meant for someone else.

You want ebike manufacturers to offer an ebike that you see value in? They are going to make ebikes they can sell.

By and large, most of these companies aren't designing/marketing for cyclists. I don't see why they would. Why compete for market share with all the existing bike manufacturers who are already making bikes (not ebikes) for cyclists? Maybe a boutique manufacturer could fill a niche, that's about it.

Sounds like you might want to go the DIY route.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
When I visit my mother, who is 93, and she has the television on, she often remarks about the commercials. Most of them repel her nowadays. She can't understand who would want to buy that product. I've explained several times that she is not the target demographic for those commercials. They aren't designed to appeal to her, they are meant for someone else.

You want ebike manufacturers to offer an ebike that you see value in? They are going to make ebikes they can sell.

By and large, most of these companies aren't designing/marketing for cyclists. I don't see why they would. Why compete for market share with all the existing bike manufacturers who are already making bikes (not ebikes) for cyclists? Maybe a boutique manufacturer could fill a niche, that's about it.

Sounds like you might want to go the DIY route.

I am trying to avoid the DIY route, because i am unskilled.

Very funny that you mentioned it, because a friend of mine is a marketing professor. I mentioned to him that i doubt an existing eBike or conventional manufacturer would produce an eBike for me. I feel a car manufacturer, like Maserati, would provide it. Electric Car manufacturers are very interested in the eBike market. Maserati produced the Trofeo concept bike to sell their electric vehicle skills and knowledge.

I list ten existing ebikes in an earlier post that are trying to address this market. They all have an obvious weakness, most are over 13 kg . Getting the right solution is where a car company like Maserati can help traditional bike companies. I think the solution is technologically complex. The purview is that of an electric scooter or motorcycle manufacturer, rather than a bike manufacturer.

This article about the Focus Paralane2 explains the complexities. Even routine, well understood bike issues like shifting, become complicated due to a few millimeters difference in width.

From the electric Paralane2 listed on the Focus website:

"High-strength carbon fibres are optimally positioned to deliver stability and stiffness, at minimal weight. The integration of the motor and battery would have simply been impossible without our advanced skills in carbon construction. The end result is a visually integrated and sleek frame design."
 
Last edited:

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I mentioned to him that i doubt an existing eBike or conventional manufacturer would produce an eBike for me. I feel a car manufacturer, like Maserati, would provide it.

I get the impression that the Maserati and Pininfarina brands are being used more for the name than anything else...to appeal to a particular market segment. The two companies may provide some design in the form of aesthetics, but I'm betting all the engineering is from Diavelo and Bafang.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
I get the impression that the Maserati and Pininfarina brands are being used more for the name than anything else...to appeal to a particular market segment. The two companies may provide some design in the form of aesthetics, but I'm betting all the engineering is from Diavelo and Bafang.

Could very well be. I do not know, but what i have read places a big emphasis on Mesarati engineering.

I do believe the problem would have been solved years ago, if it were simple. I think this solution is state of the art.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
I get the impression that the Maserati and Pininfarina brands are being used more for the name than anything else...to appeal to a particular market segment. The two companies may provide some design in the form of aesthetics, but I'm betting all the engineering is from Diavelo and Bafang.

According to this article, many variations of carbon exist. Each bike manufacturer seeks some type of distinguishing carbon characteristic. The article makes the point that good aluminum is better than poor carbon.

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/group-tests/carbon-road-bike-356199

Pinarello has worked with car manufacturers in the past to develop frames. I am not sure if Pinarello uses spacecraft grade carbon, but the subject is very high technology. The drive side carbon is different from the opposite side -- so-called asymmetric design. Downtube construction is very different from seat stay construction.

I bet a complete carbon frame for an electric bike is a very tall order! I have no doubt that car or motorcycle manufacturers are actively involved in technology exchange. Perhaps, it takes the likes of a Honda or Yamaha to pull off an ultra light weight electric road bike.

The one thing that is crystal clear to me is: no effective ultra light weight electric road bike solution exists. The frame is only half of the solution. An acceleration-based electrical system is also very complex. I have very little confidence that a bike manufacturer has the ability to provide a complete solution.


https://www.toraycma.com/page.php?id=661
 
Last edited:

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I bet a complete carbon frame for an electric bike is a very tall order!

Given that almost all the major bike manufacturers that make e-bikes have a carbon model, it can't be that tall an order. Of course most of the carbon models are e-mtb's, but that is only because that is where most of the money is going to be made.

Perhaps, it takes the likes of a Honda or Yamaha to pull off an ultra light weight electric road bike.

I have very little confidence that a bike manufacturer has the ability to provide a complete solution.

So you don't think Trek, Specialized, Giant, Shimano, SRAM, etc. have engineers as qualified as those that work in the automotive industry?

BTW, Yamaha has entered the e-bike market. Their first road bike is nice, but not groundbreaking in any way. It certainly is not lighter than say a Focus Paralane² or Orbea Gain.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
Given that almost all the major bike manufacturers that make e-bikes have a carbon model, it can't be that tall an order. Of course most of the carbon models are e-mtb's, but that is only because that is where most of the money is going to be made.



So you don't think Trek, Specialized, Giant, Shimano, SRAM, etc. have engineers as qualified as those that work in the automotive industry?

BTW, Yamaha has entered the e-bike market. Their first road bike is nice, but not groundbreaking in any way. It certainly is not lighter than say a Focus Paralane² or Orbea Gain.

I am sure engineering talent is equally distributed across industries. The auto industry faces challenges on a higher level than bikes. I personally do not know where the distinction begins. I read about nanotechnology being applied to some types of carbon. Perhaps, the auto industry has a pronounced need for exotic materials, that might be irrelevant to conventional bikes.

Braking for a car requires a much stronger structure. How light weight carbon is reinforced for braking at high speeds is beyond my knowledge.

I really do not know what the exact issues are. I pickup on the recurring theme of bike manufacturers turning to the auto industry for solutions.

Did you read about the 500 layers of carbon in the Paralane bottom bracket? I do know the forces on the most pressured chain link on a conventional bike are unimaginably high.

I alluded to Honda and Yamaha for a historical reason. The 50cc Honda Cub transformed the motorcycle industry. The Cub is the biggest selling motorcycle of all time. The Cub lead to ever larger Honda motorcycles. Yamaha eBikes are aluminum.

BTW - 50cc, or 1.5kW, is the amount of power that i can put out with a 750 watt Ebike. I hit 35mph several times on my usual bikepath. So, these solutions cross over into the domain of automotive technology. I do not underestimate the complexity of this type of engineering.

Sub 13kg eBikes are apparently very difficult to achieve. My guess is the difficulty has something to do with motor and braking power wrt lightweight carbon.
 
Last edited:

BikeMike

Active Member
Given that almost all the major bike manufacturers that make e-bikes have a carbon model, it can't be that tall an order. Of course most of the carbon models are e-mtb's, but that is only because that is where most of the money is going to be made.



So you don't think Trek, Specialized, Giant, Shimano, SRAM, etc. have engineers as qualified as those that work in the automotive industry?

BTW, Yamaha has entered the e-bike market. Their first road bike is nice, but not groundbreaking in any way. It certainly is not lighter than say a Focus Paralane² or Orbea Gain.

The Pinarello spec is remarkable vor the mountain bike technology that it adopts. A Boost axle is the last thing i would expect to find on a road bike. The reason is the Fazua motor is six mm wider than a traditional bottom bracket. The extra width conflicts with gear shifting alignment.

Even more bizaare, is the Nytro uses a competitor's patented brake system -- Focus.

Finally, my understanding is T700 is aerospace grade carbon.
  1. Pinarello Nytro
    • T700 Carbon Fiber (Aerospace grade)
    • Fazua electrical system Weight: 4,7 Kg
    • RAD System Disk Brake (Focus patent)
    • Rear Thru-Axle 142 x 12 Shimano (Boost)
 
Last edited:

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
The Pinarello spec is remarkable vor the mountain bike technology that it adopts. A Boost axle is the last thing i would expect to find on a road bike. The reason is the Fazua motor is six mm wider than a traditional bottom bracket. The extra width conflicts with gear shifting alignment.

Road bikes are using lots of so-called mountain bike technology: thru-axles, tapered steerers, wider ratio gears, Shadow derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes. So the Pinarello is not unique in that regard.

FYI 148mm is a Boost axle, not 142.
 

BikeMike

Active Member
Road bikes are using lots of so-called mountain bike technology: thru-axles, tapered steerers, wider ratio gears, Shadow derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes. So the Pinarello is not unique in that regard.

FYI 148mm is a Boost axle, not 142.

I think a wider, stronger axle is an improvement. The motivation was the 6mm wider bottom bracket that Fazua introduced.

Do you have an opinion about the Fazua motor? The company is a German startup. I wonder if they will be around six years from now?