Best bike for 33 mile commute

jasonford1

New Member
I am optimizing for sustained speed of 28mph (class 3 bike) over a distance of 33 miles (San Francisco to Palo Alto, California). The Stromer ST2 looks to be my best bet. I test drove one over the weekend and it barely crossed the hurdle with less than 5% charge when I arrived at the office. Are there any other bikes that you think are up to the challenge that I should be considering?

PS. I've been lurking for the last two weeks reading all your comments to other posts which is what guided me thus far to the ST2. This is a great community!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I am optimizing for sustained speed of 28mph (class 3 bike) over a distance of 33 miles (San Francisco to Palo Alto, California). The Stromer ST2 looks to be my best bet. I test drove one over the weekend and it barely crossed the hurdle with less than 5% charge when I arrived at the office. Are there any other bikes that you think are up to the challenge that I should be considering?

PS. I've been lurking for the last two weeks reading all your comments to other posts which is what guided me thus far to the ST2. This is a great community!
If 814 Whrs can't get the job done, then I'm not sure what will. Zero S Electric Motorcycle? :)
It's wonderful to see another guy who is looking to commute ~30+ miles one way.
I do 28-29 miles one way and I try to keep the avg speed above 20mph but when I arrive at office, I have 50% battery left. If I pushed ti up to 24mph avg, I would still have 35% left in the tank.
It might take a couple of tries to optimize your riding routes and speed. But there is no Class 3 E-bike out there that can keep 28mph average speed and still go 30 miles. [ unless you do most of the work]

You can think of Focus Aventura Speed and Specialized Turbo S but both of them are 36V systems and you need to pump in a lot of amps to sustain 28mph. Try it out, if you maintain 28mph avg speed on those bikes, you won't even get 30 miles.

So, either build your own bike with BBS-02 and 52V, 25Ah battery or get an ST2 and swap the battery for a 983Whr version and I am sure you can get 40 miles @ 28mph.

Forgot to add, air drag and resistance increases exponentially with speed. I can think of Bicycle fairings.

I was talking to Marissa Muller, who rode her bike across the US and she mentioned that it certainly helped her. 20% more efficient she said.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
One possibility would be to consider other bikes, but buy a second battery to extend the range. In that way you might be able to get a bike for much less, and yet still possibly have as much or even more range than the Stromer. Also, running any battery down to 5% twice a day is going to noticeably reduce the life of the battery. It is better to keep a battery above 20% charge or even 50% if possible. After a while the capacity will drop and you may not even make it 33 miles. I would not want to be pedaling a 62 pound ebike with no juice left on the battery.

For example, the Ohm Urban XU700 with a second battery carried on the rear rack would still weigh less than the Stromer and would give you 23 amp hours vs 17 with the Stromer. And even after you pay for a second battery, it would still have saved you over $2000. Halfway through your commute, you could just stop and swap batteries, so neither battery was ever completely depleted. Although, one downside is that you would then need to be able to charge two batteries at work and at home.

I do this with my Magnum Ui5 so that I can take it for longer rides. We own two of them, so I can just "borrow" my wife's battery when I am going out for a 40 mile plus ride. And of course if you really like the Stromer, you could buy a second battery for it and then you would have 34 amp hours!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
@Nirmala , has a wonderful idea.

With 2x 555 Whrs, you would be able to get 33miles averaging 27mph and you might lose only few minutes stopping and changing the batteries.

Since the charging times are ~4 hours, you may need 2 chargers in the office and 2 chargers@ home. Doable with one and a bit of planning.

Remember, BionX batteries cost $1200 USD + 2 additional chargers at $100 ... so roughly $1300 USD + the bike.
 

jasonford1

New Member
All great comments. I test drove the Focus Aventura Speed and found that the mid-drive system relied much more on my effort than the ST2 did to hit and maintain 28mph. With the Focus Aventura Speed I averaged around 24mph and with the ST2 I averaged around 27mph on key straightaways that I measured. Qualitatively I will also say that I was much less sweaty when I got to the office with the ST2 than I was with the Focus.

Is there a term or measurement that can describe the difference between the pedal assist provided by the ST2 vs the Focus Aventura Speed? Having tested the two I felt like the ST2 was an electric mode of transportation with a dash of bicycle while the Focus was a bicycle with an electric assist to take the edge off. Not sure how else to describe it other than to say it was much easier to hit and maintain 28mph with the ST2. @Nirmala , this is why I've been leaning towards the ST2 vs doing the double battery methodology you suggested with a less expensive bike.

Thanks for the bicycle fairing idea! I love it although it pains me to think of adding any more weight to an ST2!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
All great comments. I test drove the Focus Aventura Speed and found that the mid-drive system relied much more on my effort than the ST2 did to hit and maintain 28mph. With the Focus Aventura Speed I averaged around 24mph and with the ST2 I averaged around 27mph on key straightaways that I measured. Qualitatively I will also say that I was much less sweaty when I got to the office with the ST2 than I was with the Focus.

Is there a term or measurement that can describe the difference between the pedal assist provided by the ST2 vs the Focus Aventura Speed? Having tested the two I felt like the ST2 was an electric mode of transportation with a dash of bicycle while the Focus was a bicycle with an electric assist to take the edge off. Not sure how else to describe it other than to say it was much easier to hit and maintain 28mph with the ST2. @Nirmala , this is why I've been leaning towards the ST2 vs doing the double battery methodology you suggested with a less expensive bike.

Thanks for the bicycle fairing idea! I love it although it pains me to think of adding any more weight to an ST2!
I concur. Two different bikes and philosophies.
Focus is a EU brand and you have specific bike lanes in EU and people normally don't commute 30 miles to get to work.
ST2 was built as a car replacement. As of now, mid drives don't provide enough oomph with the exception of few DIY kits.

There is a media loaner ST2-S at New Wheel and ask them if you could get the 983Whr battery. That will leave at least 15% remaining in your battery when you get to office.
 

jasonford1

New Member
@Ravi Kempaiah , I was just talking with Karen and Brett over the weekend about that. Karen said she was meeting with the Stromer reps this week and would ask to see if I could order the 983Whr battery. In Europe this looks to be a 410 EUR upgrade option so hopefully they'll extend the offer here. What is your relationship with the New Wheel? Your Stava showed an east coast commute.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
@Ravi Kempaiah , I was just talking with Karen and Brett over the weekend about that. Karen said she was meeting with the Stromer reps this week and would ask to see if I could order the 983Whr battery. In Europe this looks to be a 410 EUR upgrade option so hopefully they'll extend the offer here. What is your relationship with the New Wheel? Your Stava showed an east coast commute.
Good. I think that would be your best bet.
I like Karen and Brett. They are great people and very passionate about Ebikes.
I have met them couple of times at Interbike etc. I am actively involved in the industry and I will be attempting a 5000 mile Guinness Record on a ST2-S early next year. So, I am close contact with Stromer and New Wheel is their biggest dealer. So, it's hard not to know Karen and Brett...
 

jasonford1

New Member
That's fantastic! The two of them have been incredibly generous with their time over the last few days as I've bombarded them with questions. Tell me more about this 5,000 mile Guinness Record. Will you be passing through the Bay Area? Do you plan to have a three or four backup batteries being charged in a trailing car?
 

Jim123

Member
Guys you put a whole new light on pedal assist. I didn't realize the work required varied so much. I guess the idea behind pedal assist is, you have to be alert if you're moving you're legs.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Jason you seem very ambitious and I hope you can sustain your bike commute.

Don't know what the traffic and bike lanes are like along your commute, but please bear this in mind:

Your average bike speed will be much lower than your cruise speed. I would say that your average speed will be closer to 23 mph, unless there is a dedicated bike path for you, without stop lights and stop signs. So your commute will be closer to 90 minutes each way.
Would suggest you test ride your commute during the weekend by renting an eBike, and have someone pick you up.

Whether you buy a 28 mph or 25 mph eBike, your commute time won't be impacted by much at all... I ride a Stromer Elite on my 10 mile trip to work and it cruises at 23 mph, and sometimes I just ride my single speed and cruise at 18 mph. Avg speed 19 mph vs 16.5 mph. There's just a few minutes difference in trip time; of course pedaling is a lot more work!

Would look at the Stromer Platinium, and buy an extra charger for work. It should handle your ride no problem, and it is a very comfortable commuter rider. Would stick with the carbon fork, as the suspension fork is of poor quality imo.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Thanks for the bicycle fairing idea! I love it although it pains me to think of adding any more weight to an ST2!
Weight is a factor, but it is generally much less noticeable on an ebike. I think riding above 20 mph, the benefits of the fairing would outweigh the added weight. At lower speeds and up hills, the weight affects you more negatively, but still not much relative to the weight of bike and rider.

If you can get an even bigger battery for the Stromer, and you like the way the pedal assist performs on that particular bike, then it seems you may have found the perfect match :)
 
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Nirmala

Active Member
All great comments. I test drove the Focus Aventura Speed and found that the mid-drive system relied much more on my effort than the ST2 did to hit and maintain 28mph. With the Focus Aventura Speed I averaged around 24mph and with the ST2 I averaged around 27mph on key straightaways that I measured. Qualitatively I will also say that I was much less sweaty when I got to the office with the ST2 than I was with the Focus.

Is there a term or measurement that can describe the difference between the pedal assist provided by the ST2 vs the Focus Aventura Speed? Having tested the two I felt like the ST2 was an electric mode of transportation with a dash of bicycle while the Focus was a bicycle with an electric assist to take the edge off. Not sure how else to describe it other than to say it was much easier to hit and maintain 28mph with the ST2. @Nirmala , this is why I've been leaning towards the ST2 vs doing the double battery methodology you suggested with a less expensive bike.
What you are describing may be an inherent difference between a mid-drive motor and a rear hub motor. See this thread for more discussion about this effect:
http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/haibike-blown-away-by-easy-motion.3116/

I would also add that finding a shop that you like may be just as important as finding a bike that you like. Lucky for you that you live near New Wheel.
 

jasonford1

New Member
@JoePah That's exactly what I did last weekend. Taking an inefficient route I completed the commute in roughly 1:45. I suspect in I'll get that down to roughly 1:30 as I get better. Plus, with Nirmala and Ravi's idea for a fairing I might even shave the time down a bit further. I'm a pretty data driven dude so I'm sure I'll have a spreadsheet of different commute times with/without fairing at some point for people to dissect

@Nirmala The difference between the two only became evident when I test drove them back to back. Once I did, though, I felt like there was no way I would choose a mid-drive unless it was for cost reasons. Otherwise, if getting from A to B is the priority and with the least sweat and fastest time while still getting a workout then a rear wheel drive system makes perfect sense. The fact the industry hasn't latched onto this from a marketing perspective is mind boggling.

@Jim123 I was really surprised too. I took the Focus Aventura Speed back to the shop and swapped it out for the ST2. The two were night and day even though both companies market "28mph over XX miles range." As someone who is literally brand new to ebikes it was shocking to me that this difference in feel wasn't heavily marketed as a competitive advantage.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I felt like there was no way I would choose a mid-drive unless it was for cost reasons. Otherwise, if getting from A to B is the priority and with the least sweat and fastest time while still getting a workout then a rear wheel drive system makes perfect sense. The fact the industry hasn't latched onto this from a marketing perspective is mind boggling.
In Europe with the 250 watt limits, the mid-drive is the only way to get up hills. The US has a higher limit, generally 750 watts, so hubs are much more capable. Since California is just starting on a 28 mph limit (Jan 1) it's hard to say where the bikes will end up.

I would like to know how well fairings work. Once again, it's something you might not want with a 20 mph limit, but at 28, it's probably much more significant.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Idk Jason 3 to 3 1/2 hours a day saddle time is a lot.. Don't u think that will get old fast?

Ever consider a zero emotorcycle? Would only be a couple grand more. And a much more enjoyable ride.
 

jasonford1

New Member
Idk Jason 3 to 3 1/2 hours a day saddle time is a lot.. Don't u think that will get old fast?

Ever consider a zero emotorcycle? Would only be a couple grand more. And a much more enjoyable ride.
Absolutely. I used to own a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 and always desperately wanted a Zero. I sold the Kawasaki a few years ago when I got sick of moving it every week for street cleaning and always finding a new feature (hmm, looks like the mirror got stolen last night, etc.) each time I went to move it.

Right now I ride a traditional bike 2.5 miles to the train station each morning and then commute via the train's bike car. With the electric bike it opens up the idea that I can reasonably commute some mornings all the way to the office with only 30 minutes additional time added while significantly improving my morning workout with a 32 mile bike ride. Thankfully commuting by train doesn't change so if I don't want to ride back then I can just throw the bike on the train and commute like I have been. The way I see it, it's the best of both worlds!
 
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Deleted member 803

Guest
@Ravi Kempaiah , I was just talking with Karen and Brett over the weekend about that. Karen said she was meeting with the Stromer reps this week and would ask to see if I could order the 983Whr battery. In Europe this looks to be a 410 EUR upgrade option so hopefully they'll extend the offer here. What is your relationship with the New Wheel? Your Stava showed an east coast commute.
Just talked to Stromer a few days ago and inquired about updated software and larger battery. Not quite yet!
 

jasonford1

New Member
Just talked to Stromer a few days ago and inquired about updated software and larger battery. Not quite yet!
We'll see if The New Wheel can pull some magic out of the hat. I suspect I'll have to wait until next spring which is too bad because I'd love to take delivery sooner than later.