Average Cruising Speed on your e-bike

ejphotos

New Member
Region
USA
@Coachman , you have a similar commute to work as I do. On bike, my commute to work is 22.6 miles one way. Flat around here with "hills". Majority of commute is on rail trail, the rest through neighborhoods/city roads.
On my acoustic bike, I can average around 14 mph. However, if I did that commute on my acoustic bike and averaged 14 mph, I'd come into work a hot sweaty useless mess lol. So I built an ebike for the purpose of the commute (and because it's fun haha). I put a BBS02 kit (750 watts) on one of my bikes (2005 Giant Trance). It has a smallish battery, 48v 12.8 amp hours, so I have to keep that in mind with range. Given that, I will average about 17 mph on the converted bike at PAS level 4 (out of 9). It takes an hour and twenty minutes to commute one way. And I come into work without sweating like a hog haha. I'd like to get a bigger battery so I can bump up the assist level to average 20-22 mph and shorten the commute time.

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I have a smaller chainring on order (a lekkie 40T ring). A 48T is currently on there now. I'm thinking with the smaller chainring, I might get more battery range as the motor doesn't have to work as hard to get up to speed. It'll probably put less wear on the cassette too - sometimes I get a lot of chain skipping as the motor tries to get up to speed from a dead stop (I need to install the gear sensor still too).

I was contemplating converting my fun bike, but I'm keeping this acoustic because this is my trail and downhill bike (2021 Giant Trance X 29)
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Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
Haibike Full FatSix, which is a close enough cousin to your Pugs for this discussion. I don't commute to work, thus don't have a rigid time slot I have to adhere to; so my rides, which average 20 miles long and upwards, averages anywhere from 11 to 14 mph. This speed range gives me the most economy per full battery charge. At those speeds, I can consistently get 40 miles on level ground, asphalt riding; provided there is no strong head wind. I have found that going above 15 puts a crimp in battery range. And at around 19-20 mph, battery economy will be dismal; figure 20 miles range or so on a fully charged battery....

Installed a PearTune speed chip in the Yamaha edrive system about August, 2020. Observations: In top, peak riding condition, mid-summer, on my 20 mile riding circuit, going full-out, got me an average riding speed of about 16.7 mph. Mind you, that is riding a good portion of the course at 19-20 mph. At 63, I do not have the power or endurace of when I was 23, but still, I'm of the conclusion that only peak performing cyclists will be able to manage a straight through 20 mph and above average speed.

I was able to hit 30 mph for a few dozen or so yards with the H-bike and again, to keep that speed with this 250watt motor would require an Olympic cyclist style conditioning.

When hitting 30, the thing that concerned me was the tires, tubes and rims. I don't believe these non-DOT Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0's at 120tpi using 25 psi in the tubes are made for that kind of sustained performance over miles upon miles.

This is all just one person's personal opinion, based upon my own conditioning and the bike I am riding.

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ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
I seem to average about 14-15 mph on my Class 1. I live on a big hill, and it is hilly around here, but it all averages out - - if you go down, you must come back up and vice versa. I wish the assist cutoff point was 22mph, but it isn't that important.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
When hitting 30, the thing that concerned me was the tires, tubes and rims. I don't believe these non-DOT Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0's at 120tpi using 25 psi in the tubes are made for that kind of sustained performance over miles upon miles.
The Jumbo Jim was and may still be the lightest fat, non-urban (not smoothie) tire on the market. I would not use these tires on high speed ... anything. They are great for reduced rolling resistance on a traditional analog fat bike, or on singletrack where speeds are never fast, anyway. But for sure I would not use the thinnest-skin tire on the market to roll fast and hard.

If you can fit it on, the Surly Edna is a great fast roller and it wears like iron. I put about 1000 miles on a set before I replaced them on my Big Fat Dummy. Thats a bike that got some very heavy use - literally. Its a cargo bike. For a budget tire, the Panaracer Fat B Nimble, Origin8 Tsunami, Arisun Big Fatty or Chaoyang Big Daddy (its all the same tire, made by Chaoyang) is another fast roller and good for many, many miles. Don't buy them on Amazon, which is a graveyard for seconds and irregulars.

Another one I haven't tried is the Maxxis fat Minion in 4.0. Being a Maxxis its going to be an awesome tire I would have no qualms going fast on.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Haibike Full FatSix, which is a close enough cousin to your Pugs for this discussion. I don't commute to work, thus don't have a rigid time slot I have to adhere to; so my rides, which average 20 miles long and upwards, averages anywhere from 11 to 14 mph. This speed range gives me the most economy per full battery charge. At those speeds, I can consistently get 40 miles on level ground, asphalt riding; provided there is no strong head wind. I have found that going above 15 puts a crimp in battery range. And at around 19-20 mph, battery economy will be dismal; figure 20 miles range or so on a fully charged battery....

Installed a PearTune speed chip in the Yamaha edrive system about August, 2020. Observations: In top, peak riding condition, mid-summer, on my 20 mile riding circuit, going full-out, got me an average riding speed of about 16.7 mph. Mind you, that is riding a good portion of the course at 19-20 mph. At 63, I do not have the power or endurace of when I was 23, but still, I'm of the conclusion that only peak performing cyclists will be able to manage a straight through 20 mph and above average speed.

I was able to hit 30 mph for a few dozen or so yards with the H-bike and again, to keep that speed with this 250watt motor would require an Olympic cyclist style conditioning.

When hitting 30, the thing that concerned me was the tires, tubes and rims. I don't believe these non-DOT Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0's at 120tpi using 25 psi in the tubes are made for that kind of sustained performance over miles upon miles.

This is all just one person's personal opinion, based upon my own conditioning and the bike I am riding.

View attachment 93821
Agree. Honestly, it doesn't seem like stock eBikes are designed for maintaining 30mph for more than a short downhill. The tires, brakes, suspension, even the frame ( for folders, anyway ) do not inspire much confidence. These are bicycles not motorcycles, no matter what motor they have.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I peak about 35 mph at the bottom of some paved hills with no gravel & no potholes. I'm riding $26 kenda or sunlite knobbies. The ones from the bike shop have a 3/16" high strip down the middle, but the smoke model from modernbike.com didn't. My frame is fine. My brakes can stop me in about 25' if a deer jumps out at the bottom.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I believe I could hold 30 mph if not more on my WattWagon UC but it is beyond a class 3. It is stock form the manufacturer. . I wonder what a fit younger rider could do.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
it's interesting how many of these reports triangulate back to approximately the same speeds!

the bottom line - if you want to go FAST on a bike without turning it into a motorcycle or moped, the biggest issue is aerodynamics. sitting upright, fat tires with high RR, flappy clothes, wide batteries, panniers, front bags, all these things make it virtually impossible for a moderately powered eBike (<1000w and <65lb?) to average 20+ mph for a long stretch.

sitting up on a non-aero bike in non-aero clothes with accessories, it takes over 500w continuous to go 24mph. range from a 500wh battery would be.. 24 miles, and at those power levels the rider's contribution is likely to be pretty insignificant. all rides include at least some stopping and starting, so the cruise speed has to be quite a bit higher than whatever the desired average is.

for me, i have averaged only 14.4 miles per hour in my last 1,700 miles of riding on a road bike... but i also only use the motor for going uphill (3300wh used in the whole time, so the equivalent of 10 full charges), and climbed 114k in that same time!
 

Sparky731

Member
Region
USA
City
Madison, WI
As a fit, young rider of 70 yrs, I generally ride my Cl 3 at 25-27mph. Today I was holding steady at 27.7-8, but will over crank into 30+ with the right trail opportunities. could use a few more electrons, though. Had to ride the last 2 miles home in Eco mode.
 

Coachman

New Member
Region
USA
Here are three variations on my work commute (Fast/Slow/Hilly). ~20kms each way give or take the route that day. The fast run is on highway shoulder. The slow run is mixed-use city trails. The third option is my "Workout" route with lots of undulating hills and a couple of good climbs. Al three are very fast by acoustic standards, and unsustainable unless you are very fit. I find I mix in well with the serious road riders on the flats, but I leave them behind on any sort of incline or hill. But around town for shorter recreational rides, I seldom exceed 25km/h (15mph). Just my own experience...

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This is very useful, thank you!
 

Coachman

New Member
Region
USA
Consider your total distance (42 mi?) at high speed. I rode 2,200 mi on my 20 mph and often tried to keep it at maximum assist (19+mph) And always wanted more. I have ridden 1,200 mi on my Cl 3 and target 25-27mph as a comfortable speed for me. However, as this morning, at that speed I often burn through my Bosch 500 PowerTube electrons in 30 miles. That said, my Cl 3 is much more power efficient at lower speeds (<16mph) than my (and others’) Cl 1 motors. You can easily squeeze out 42+ mi with decent speed.
Bottom line for the rides you describe: you may regret getting a Cl 1 if you can get a Cl 3 instead. Just so much more fun!
Thank you for your input. I can charge my battery at work, so I guess I won't mind burning through a charge in the 20-odd mile one-way commute. If I could stick to road shoulders and have a moving average of 25mph, it would be a game-changer for me.
Thanks again!
 

Coachman

New Member
Region
USA
@Coachman , you have a similar commute to work as I do. On bike, my commute to work is 22.6 miles one way. Flat around here with "hills". Majority of commute is on rail trail, the rest through neighborhoods/city roads.
On my acoustic bike, I can average around 14 mph. However, if I did that commute on my acoustic bike and averaged 14 mph, I'd come into work a hot sweaty useless mess lol. So I built an ebike for the purpose of the commute (and because it's fun haha). I put a BBS02 kit (750 watts) on one of my bikes (2005 Giant Trance). It has a smallish battery, 48v 12.8 amp hours, so I have to keep that in mind with range. Given that, I will average about 17 mph on the converted bike at PAS level 4 (out of 9). It takes an hour and twenty minutes to commute one way. And I come into work without sweating like a hog haha. I'd like to get a bigger battery so I can bump up the assist level to average 20-22 mph and shorten the commute time.

View attachment 93811

I have a smaller chainring on order (a lekkie 40T ring). A 48T is currently on there now. I'm thinking with the smaller chainring, I might get more battery range as the motor doesn't have to work as hard to get up to speed. It'll probably put less wear on the cassette too - sometimes I get a lot of chain skipping as the motor tries to get up to speed from a dead stop (I need to install the gear sensor still too).

I was contemplating converting my fun bike, but I'm keeping this acoustic because this is my trail and downhill bike (2021 Giant Trance X 29)
View attachment 93812
Even though I hear a lot of great arguments for converting a bike, I just don't know if that will be the solution for me personally. I like the idea, but I do not want to spend the time and resources to learn what I need to know in order to work towards the perfect commuting machine for me. I also don't think that going through the process of converting a bike would be any cheaper than buying a turn-key commercial bike. Yes, I agree that one can "fiddle" a lot more with one's own creation, but again, my time is precious to me, and as much fun as trial-and-error could be, I simply cannot justify spending a lot of time tinkering.
Right now I am not even convinced that an e-bike's benefits would outweigh the costs. If that changes, however, I do think that I would buy a turn-key solution.
 

Coachman

New Member
Region
USA
I believe I could hold 30 mph if not more on my WattWagon UC but it is beyond a class 3. It is stock form the manufacturer. . I wonder what a fit younger rider could do.
I see from their website that those bikes can come with huge wattage. My guess is that even at that, averaging more than 30mph will be hard - that little 2 in superscript in the wind resistance formula is the little bugger that stops you from sustaining high speeds! Damn physics! 😂
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I see from their website that those bikes can come with huge wattage. My guess is that even at that, averaging more than 30mph will be hard - that little 2 in superscript in the wind resistance formula is the little bugger that stops you from sustaining high speeds! Damn physics! 😂
It is "3". Cube relationship between power demand and air drag.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
I see from their website that those bikes can come with huge wattage. My guess is that even at that, averaging more than 30mph will be hard - that little 2 in superscript in the wind resistance formula is the little bugger that stops you from sustaining high speeds! Damn physics! 😂
Actually the sweet spot for efficiency on any e-bike seems to be under 15mph. Beyond that you are using precious electrons to push wind more than to push yourself.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I stand by my statement , test ride 1 , 2300 watts , it may eat batteries but carry a spare or 2 all set
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Actually the sweet spot for efficiency on any e-bike seems to be under 15mph. Beyond that you are using precious electrons to push wind more than to push yourself.
I think its just under 20 but not positive I only get a few more miles going 22 even when I work harder but I think thats because with the mid drive the harder I push the more the motor works.