Aventon Aventurer can't climb steep 6 mile dirt road

Jim D

New Member
Region
USA
I just got a new Aventon Aventurer to use here in Washington to approach back-country ski routes up closed logging roads. The closest such road goes up to my favorite spring ski run on Mt. Pilchuck. I've ridden (pushed) my regular mountain bike up the 6 miles, but it's tedious work and makes what should be a nice half-day tour into a long slog.

I took the Aventurer on a couple runs around my hilly neighborhood and it handled the steep hills with aplomb, with some pedal assist.

I was very psyched last week when I took it for it's first run up Pilchuck - which is really the only reason I got the thing. BTW I'm a big 200 lb guy with a day pack with everything for BC skiing + skis. I wore my boots and hoped to just use the throttle most of the way. This went great for the first mile - assist 1 was too fast for the potholed road, so I kept letting it off to keep the speed around 10 mph. The first easier grades went well too. About 2 miles in the grade starts in earnest and I slowed way down - about 6 mph and going to higher assist levels didn't seem to make a difference. Over the next mile it struggled even more until I was barely making 4 mph. I stopped and turned it off to let it rest/cool and got going a little better for a couple minutes until it bogged down again going even slower. Another longer stop, then pretty hard pedaling to keep it going about 4 mph to the end of the road. At least it didn't totally die!

I did make it, it was faster and easier than my regular bike, but very disappointing performance. If that is the type of performance I can expect I'm going to try and return it. Is there a fail-safe that limits the power if you use the throttle too long or when it works too hard? If so there is no mention in any of Aventon's literature or web site.

The bike works fine back here in town (without pack & skis, and pedaling).

Any advice or similar experiences would be much appreciated.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I think maybe there are other bikes better equipped for that 6 mile climb - especially if you plan on the bike doing most of the work with just minimal assistance form you. That's a pretty tall order for ANY bike.

You might look into bikes with mid drives. They can take advantage of the bike's gearing, where the hub drive is stuck at only 5:1 reduction.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
The Aventurer is a great ebike, but I think you're asking it to do way more than it was designed to do.
Going up a steep hill, throttle only, and a hub motor, is a bad combo.
If you want something that has the power to go up a long, steep hill (without pedalling) maybe something like a Sur Ron https://lunacycle.com/sur-ron-x-bike-black-edition/ would better suit your needs.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A man had me look at a similar bike which is still under warrantee this week. It stopped working, died. I volunteered that because it is a hub-drive, 'Did he know that it cannot do sustained climbs?' Then asked him if he had attempted a sustained climb. He said 'Yes,' and said, 'But it happened just after the climb.'
The motor had cooked like a baked chicken. A chicken will still bake down to the bone, after the initial heat is reduced. It makes for a crisp skin and tender insides.
 

Jim D

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the replies. I've written to Aventon but they said they won't get back to me for 72-96 hrs.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A man had me look at a similar bike which is still under warrantee this week. It stopped working, died. I volunteered that because it is a hub-drive, 'Did he know that it cannot do sustained climbs?' Then asked him if he had attempted a sustained climb. He said 'Yes,' and said, 'But it happened just after the climb.'
The motor had cooked like a baked chicken. A chicken will still bake down to the bone, after the initial heat is reduced. It makes for a crisp skin and tender insides.
Yeah, I wonder about this with my Trek kit bike 250W Hilltopper front hub drive.

There is an 850 foot, 4 mile climb that begins most of the interesting rides around here. My strategy has always been to kill the throttle completely whenever I can-- on the flatter spots-- and back off a bit on the intermediate sections, and even at full assist on the steep sections, keep providing a lot of leg power. (I should note that this bike is throttle only, no PAS, so when I kill the throttle, I'm using 100% human power and giving the motor 100% rest.)

--> I guess we won't know for sure without opening up the motor, but Pedal, based on your experience, do you think I'm successfully avoiding premature wear, or am I still baking that chicken, just slower?! The controller died once already, and just got replaced under warranty, seems to be fine. At sometimes I thought I might be hearing a very faint grinding from the front hub, but I didn't hear it on the last two shakedown rides with the new controller, both were only 20 minutes but included some short, steep hills but < 15%.

Jim, I feel your pain, and this is one of the reasons I got a second bike. I wanted to do 3,000-4,000 foot climbs, and I knew a mid-drive would be better suited for it. My hub drive is now for friends, or for days I just want a shorter fitness ride, or want a more moped-like experience for running down to the ATM or mailbox.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I think maybe there are other bikes better equipped for that 6 mile climb - especially if you plan on the bike doing most of the work with just minimal assistance form you. That's a pretty tall order for ANY bike.

You might look into bikes with mid drives. They can take advantage of the bike's gearing, where the hub drive is stuck at only 5:1 reduction.
Normally I wouldn't support "just get a different bike" kind of answers, but in this case it might make sense, as ebike resale value is pretty good these days.

Does Aventon have "real 750W" motor?
Also, the option would be to upgrade the controller, but 35A controller wouldn't fit inside the Aventure frame, unless OP would want to externally mount it, but it might look a bit weird on the Aventure.

I have to agree with AHicks, it would be much easier to get a bike with Bafang Ultra or something.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Timpo, I agree with you. The "get a different bike" solution is a bitter pill to swallow (I think this is the first time I've used it), but I don't see any way this bike is going to do well if asked to climb this "hill" regularly. The fact he isn't lending a pretty fair share of assistance isn't helping a thing.

Like you say, bailing on this current bike may not be a bad solution with bike being in short supply. Then something like a Bafang Ultra or a BBSHD equipped bike would be a much better choice. Even then though, on a long climb like this, he may have to be wary of motor temps....
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
the grade starts in earnest and I slowed way down - about 6 mph and going to higher assist levels didn't seem to make a difference.
Going + on the levels don't make a difference because it's merely a shutoff for max velocity.

All inexpensive "hub motor" ebikes aren't made for grades you described.

Worse, the typical consumer with the "amazon/costco" mentality push their ebikes to limits until they break, then fail when try to pass off welded motors for warranty to their LBS. This is why I often see newish ebikes with burnt hub motors on classified ads.

What you seek in a mid drive ebike. There are plenty of other threads here to explain how and why.
 

sc00ter

Active Member
We have the Jordan bridge in south Norfolk. This bridge beats the tar outta my RadRunner, so I know the pain that Jim D is feeling. If I had to cross this dreaded bridge on a regular basis I would consider a powerful mid-drive over a hub drive. Based on his hill description I think my old 2-stroke moped would struggle on that hill!
 

Brooks

Active Member
Normal behavior for a hub motor bike. Should have bought a middrive. Do your homework before buying next bike. Don't blame the bike.
 

Jim D

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks again for all the replies. I tried to go cheap and got suckered in by the good reviews and You-tube videos. Of course none of that addressed my specific need.

After talking with an old ski buddy who got a couple of nice mid drive full suspension bikes for he and his wife to ride down in AZ I'm thinking I might have to bite the bullet and go all the way to such a bike and see how it works for single track too. I was thinking that I might as well keep at that on my Giant Trance, which I quite enjoy, to get exercise. I worry that the seduction of power will lead to slacking off on the hills (which is where I get the best work-out of course), and going too fast in other circumstances. Like my wife says, I'm now in my sissys (66 next month) and have to start acting like one!

BTW, here is the mountain I like to ski in the spring that has that gated road I rode up. We ski that steep wide gully off the top, climb up to the ridge where I took this picture, then descend back to the trail-head.

Pilchuck-5.22.21-17.jpg
 

IOUZIP

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa
I did not see you listed the gear you were in when climbing in. Any steep climb gear down to 1st you need to keep the pedaling cadence speed up. At 3-15 mph mph you get the best power. 13-15 mph is the sweet spot for max power. The graph below is to show how the Bafang hub 750w and your 7% grade climb up Pilchuck are combine when you don't pedal.

bafanghub750w.jpg
 
Last edited:

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I did not see you listed the gear you were in when climbing in. Any steep climb gear down to 1st you need to keep the pedaling cadence speed up. At 3-15 mph mph you get the best power. 13-15 mph is the sweet spot for max power. The graph below is to show how the Bafang hub 750w and your 7% grade climb up Pilchuck are combine when you don't pedal.

View attachment 91695
Sorry I'm a bit confused.

The chart says that you get the max power at 28mph with well over 900W.
But you said that 13-15mph is sweet spot for max power.
Also between 3-15mph you get the best power???
 

IOUZIP

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Tampa
Where Motor power and Torq meet. 13-15 mph is the best speed to get the most out of the motor.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Where Motor power and Torq meet. 13-15 mph is the best speed to get the most out of the motor.
Okay so, torque and power are two different things.
They do not "meet" each other, it may seem like they're meeting each other on that particular chart because Grin decided to combine power and torque on one chart.

Look at the scaling, one is Nm and the other one is W.
The increment of that chart is arbitrary by Grin, and Grin decided to use whatever the scale that's easy enough for users to see.

For example, if Grin used same increments for W and Nm, that would be very hard to see, because the increments for W is way more dramatic.
Therefore, Grin decided to use 5Nm increments and 100W increments on that chart.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Just to clarify, I'll give you an example, here's the different chart for motorcycle.

If you look at this chart, you might think the best rpm to get the most out of engine is approx. 5,300rpm because that's where they "meet" each other.
However, that's only the matter of scaling.
They decided to draw hp and lb-ft on the same chart, however, hp and lb-ft are two different things too.

It's all about how you draw or scale the chart.
You can make it "meet" anywhere depending on what kind of scale you use.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 Sportbike DYNO RUN VIDEO & PERFORMANCE CHART | Cycle  World


Some people say something like "this muscle car has more torque than hp" but that's not exactly true.
They're two different things.
For example, for dyno testing Japan usually use ps(German version of hp) and Kg-m for torque.
All the sudden you get more hp than torque on exact same engine because of different scaling.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I did not see you listed the gear you were in when climbing in. Any steep climb gear down to 1st you need to keep the pedaling cadence speed up. At 3-15 mph mph you get the best power. 13-15 mph is the sweet spot for max power. The graph below is to show how the Bafang hub 750w and your 7% grade climb up Pilchuck are combine when you don't pedal.

View attachment 91695
The sweet spot looks to be at about 12 Mph with Blue, Green & Red in the same area. What is jaw dropping is the lower right performance box that says 'Overheat In - 1.3 minutes.' I like hour-long climbs. No wonder people fry their bikes. I have a fried bike coming in next Tuesday. The promo videos do not mention that.
 

stw

Member
Region
USA
I just got a new Aventon Aventurer to use here in Washington to approach back-country ski routes up closed logging roads. The closest such road goes up to my favorite spring ski run on Mt. Pilchuck. I've ridden (pushed) my regular mountain bike up the 6 miles, but it's tedious work and makes what should be a nice half-day tour into a long slog.

I took the Aventurer on a couple runs around my hilly neighborhood and it handled the steep hills with aplomb, with some pedal assist.

I was very psyched last week when I took it for it's first run up Pilchuck - which is really the only reason I got the thing. BTW I'm a big 200 lb guy with a day pack with everything for BC skiing + skis. I wore my boots and hoped to just use the throttle most of the way. This went great for the first mile - assist 1 was too fast for the potholed road, so I kept letting it off to keep the speed around 10 mph. The first easier grades went well too. About 2 miles in the grade starts in earnest and I slowed way down - about 6 mph and going to higher assist levels didn't seem to make a difference. Over the next mile it struggled even more until I was barely making 4 mph. I stopped and turned it off to let it rest/cool and got going a little better for a couple minutes until it bogged down again going even slower. Another longer stop, then pretty hard pedaling to keep it going about 4 mph to the end of the road. At least it didn't totally die!

I did make it, it was faster and easier than my regular bike, but very disappointing performance. If that is the type of performance I can expect I'm going to try and return it. Is there a fail-safe that limits the power if you use the throttle too long or when it works too hard? If so there is no mention in any of Aventon's literature or web site.

The bike works fine back here in town (without pack & skis, and pedaling).

Any advice or similar experiences would be much appreciated.
Looking at it from the other end, what ski boots did you wear and would they be ok for pedaling? If you're using AT boots, even lightweight ones like Dynafit, then probably not. I've used cycling for backcountry skiing access (Wasatch) as you're doing, and it can be tricky. If I'm using light telemark gear with walkable boots, I've been able to use them for pedaling. My Scarpa NTN tele-boots, no. It may be, as was suggested, your hub motor could have kept up with the climb if you had been pedaling and adding a steady 150 watts or so up the climb. Certainly if you get a mid-drive you may want to pedal. My Bosch mid-drive doesn't take me anywhere without pedaling, but a Bafang mid-drive with throttle would still have the advantage of using the bikes lowest gear ratio, and might be able to go up throttle only. I still think setting up your gear so you can pedal is a good idea.
 

JASmith

Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the replies. I've written to Aventon but they said they won't get back to me for 72-96 hrs.
How fast did they get back to you? We were looking at Aventon but some people on Reddit were saying that they respond instantly if its something simple, but as soon as its a warranty issue its taking forever to respond and that has me worried.