Considering getting an ebike. How do I set my expectations?

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Remember the first thing I said after riding your bike? I said it felt like a lot of power. You told me it was the lower power version.

I've ridden a lot of ebikes in the last 7 years. Generally speaking cadence sensing bikes perform the way you suggest. Those can be somewhat refined with good programming. It also doesn't apply power off the line and that's where people feel the need for instant power of a throttle. A good hub drive bike with torque sensor feels as good and natural as any mid drive bike I've ridden. A Stromer with TMM4 torque sensor is smooth as glass. It is more powerful than the average ebike, mid or hub. Yamaha mid drives feel more natural than Bosch or Brose to me. My BH with 350 watt Dapu with TMM4 torque sensor feels very natural. See some of the Orbea ebikes very similar system. The only major, quality system I've never ridden is Shimano.

My BH assist levels are 0%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100% of available power. Assist is applied in every setting from ~4 mph through and just past max class 1 speed. The amount of assist is up to the rider. Speed is not predefined.
I have not had the pleasure of the Shimano 8000 motors either but my guess is the Shimano performs at the top of its class in that regard ,since it is used on so many high end mountain bikes such as the Norco Sight.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Remember the first thing I said after riding your bike? I said it felt like a lot of power. You told me it was the lower power version.

I've ridden a lot of ebikes in the last 7 years. Generally speaking cadence sensing bikes perform the way you suggest. Those can be somewhat refined with good programming. It also doesn't apply power off the line and that's where people feel the need for instant power of a throttle. A good hub drive bike with torque sensor feels as good and natural as any mid drive bike I've ridden. A Stromer with TMM4 torque sensor is smooth as glass. It is more powerful than the average ebike, mid or hub. Yamaha mid drives feel more natural than Bosch or Brose to me. My BH with 350 watt Dapu with TMM4 torque sensor feels very natural. See some of the Orbea ebikes very similar system. The only major, quality system I've never ridden is Shimano.

My BH assist levels are 0%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100% of available power. Assist is applied in every setting from ~4 mph through and just past max class 1 speed. The amount of assist is up to the rider. Speed is not predefined.
I think we are still in the early days of getting the motor power, gearing, weight, and programming figured out and working as a system. Certainly improving fast, but a way to go yet before it all feels like it is designed together rather than piecemeal.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I think we are still in the early days of getting the motor power, gearing, weight, and programming figured out and working as a system. Certainly improving fast, but a way to go yet before it all feels like it is designed together rather than piecemeal.
I am completely satisfied with my de-limited Bosch CX gen 2 motors but I would really like to see a battery that goes 3 or 4 times further than the ones we have now but at the same weight as perhaps one of these. That would be a fantastic leap forward.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I think we are still in the early days of getting the motor power, gearing, weight, and programming figured out and working as a system. Certainly improving fast, but a way to go yet before it all feels like it is designed together rather than piecemeal.
I may have worded it poorly, but I think many of the bikes we have are very refined. Your modest rated Brose bike with 250 watts, my tiny Dapu 350 watt and all the others from Yamaha, Bosch, Ebikemotion, Stromer, Shimano can feel very powerful when tuned well with a torque sensor. Somewhat natural and assist the full range of speed.

Have to second Steve's comment on range. It would be great not to have to carry a spare pack for longer tours:)
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I may have worded it poorly, but I think many of the bikes we have are very refined. Your modest rated Brose bike with 250 watts, my tiny Dapu 350 watt and all the others from Yamaha, Bosch, Ebikemotion, Stromer, Shimano can feel very powerful when tuned well with a torque sensor. Somewhat natural and assist the full range of speed.

Have to second Steve's comment on range. It would be great not to have to carry a spare pack for longer tours:)
As you know, I don't have an issue with distances long enough to justify an extra battery, because I don't even consider riding distances that might require an extra battery.

But for those of you that do, I like to see a standard format waterbottle battery that can plug in to any bike's BMS and give you another hour of ride time. Pickup and drop-off for recharging at any bike shop, like propane bottles for the grill. /End offtopic/
 
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bbdata

New Member
Region
Canada
It sounds to me like you are not in the right PAS level for the gears you are in if that makes sense.
That does make sense.

After a few more test rides, I'm starting to have a better understanding of what my expectations should be.
  • Each bike I've tried tends to have an ideal PAS level which supports the idea that a well programmed controller is important. Some brands either have poor programming or cater to a different crowd. So it's a matter of preference.
  • A properly programmed cadence sensor can feel comparable to a torque sensor. While I can feel obvious differences, they do not affect the enjoyment of the ride.
For example, I test road a RadMission and I found the ride rather comfortable between PAS 1-2.
Whereas, with something like an Aventon Pace 500, I did not like the lower assist levels, but at faster speeds, it was rather comfortable.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
The thing I see mentioned as a noticeable difference, Is doing a lot of shifts on a mid or a lot of boost changes on a hub. Meh.
 

Lar

Well-Known Member
On my hub cadence sensing bike it required a lot of pas level shifting no where near as much on my mid torque sensor Bosch in fact it has a what they call an emtb mode which is like an automatic and can be ridden in all (mountain biking) conditions with out the need to change levels and feels completely normal. I use the lower levels when I want more exercise and the turbo on the road for a little more speed only.
 

Lar

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you have experience with both torque and speed sensors on hub motors.
It's a little too early in my research to know if a mid-drive would be in my budget range. It also depends on what's available from my local bike shops too.

Do you find that you change your expectations and riding style based on whether it's a torque or speed sensor? In terms of settings and what not.
Or do you just leave them all at a certain PAS level and just start pedaling?

Because, from the two ebikes I've test road, it almost feels like it is smarter to use the throttle only in some circumstances. Like a start of a hill, or a quick U turn. Otherwise the pedal assist just kicks in at the weirdest times.
I've only had two bikes so I'm no expert but if you going to stop on a hill just like an analogue bike you would down shift gears before you stop and then before you start lower the pas level also but a throttle is very useful at times and for mountain biking I would say a necessity. My limited experience on road use with it was less pas level shifting is required and only needed a throttle when you just want to cruise say back from a trailhead. As far as expectations the mid drive is much more capible in terms of climbing off road but no limitations (on road) with hub drive as far as what I rode but you may be doing a lot more climbing on the road and one thing it would depend on is how steep the grade gets that you'll be riding.

* I should mention that my hub bike was a low-level bike and my mid Drive is upper level so that should factor in some but didn't much with my limited use on Road experience.
 
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