Do you actually USE the gears on your e-bike?

Strange thread. I guess if you don't mind draining your battery prematurely, by all means, stay in one gear.

But if you like efficiency of self and drive train according to the road conditions before you, shifting to maintain the best economy of battery as well as personal pedaling comfort is the way to go. For myself, it's fun to see how many miles I can squeeze out of a charge, using High power, on this, my Haibike Full FatSix.

And by the way, I find Yamaha's predicted range of 53 miles on a 500wh battery fully reached, if I keep wind resistance down low by staying in the 12-14 mile per hour range. Yes, even on a fat bike. And that is done by shifting to an optimum cadence that will keep the torque sensor from "asking" for more watts out of the battery. It's fun to play "hypermiler" by going as light as possible on the crank arms, by constant shifting up and down to meet the conditions at hand, straight, downhill or uphill.

Staying in one gear kills the battery before it's true range potential is reached; it's tough on the sprockets and chain, as well as the motor, in the long run.
 

ChezCheese:)

Active Member
We can't exceed 10 kph in my retirement community and all I have to do is ride eBikes and change diapers so I've never actually changed gears on my bike, I do wave at all the other old folk though.........JERK. I'm through with this friggin forum and idiots like you.
Goodness! Why would you some random pixels spoil your day or prevent you from enjoying the virtual comradry and useful info which predominates here on this forum?
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have a 750w/80nm tq rear hub 20 mph class II fat tire ebike with 7 gears and throttle. Pedaling at around 50-75 rpms seems to be my sweet spot for power+endurance when riding; which, doesn't depend on mph. I'm probably in gears 2-4 trail riding at 8-14 mph and 7th gear at 20-25 mph work commuting. I sometimes have to use gears 5-6 on stiff headwind days when work commuting to maintain my cadence; but, at a max of 14-17 mph.

I sometimes get lazy and don't down shift at a stop and use my throttle+pedaling to boost my speed instead. Mostly do this in winter when I'm wearing heavy gloves and Bar Mitts.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know the maintenance and wear out costs of an 1/8" fixie chain and chain rings vs a 3/32 std chain, cassette, and derailleur? My guess is the cost of ownership differences would shock most riders. I know my friend replaced his chain and cassette in under 500 miles on his Yamaha mid drive ebike and he was not very happy about that but he may not have been riding it very effectively either (I think he road as if his Yamaha drive system had shift sensing.
500 miles ? With that little torque ? Someone doesn't know how to shift or something is wrong with the drivetrain. I have a fat bike with the Bafang Ultra and I ride it like I stole it and after around 1200 miles , I replaced the cassette , chainring and chain. I went to a 52T CR and that was the reason for the swap. Chain showed little to no stretch . I think this mid drive idea of greatly increased wear is a bit exaggerated.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
I'm still familiaraizing myself with the characteristics of ebikes in general and my own 1st one. I'm finding that the nature of the cadence assist along with using the gears and the sense of pedal resistance or pedalling torque channels my pedalling toward spinning instead of grinding on the pedals and automatically improved my spinning and feel for it so much that for the most part I would only grind the pedals now for starting to pick up speed from after a stop. Definitely I use the gears matched with a paired assist level - for example, starting off from stop on level ground I'd be using assist level 2 and 3rd gear of 8 gears where I could exert some torque. After engaging the motor I'd immediately start changing gears and upping the assist while switching over to spinning.
And in under 500 miles the cassette is absolutely toast. Time for a new strategy.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I guess I never answered the OPs original question. How often I shift depends on the bike I'm riding. My BBSHD and ultra powered bikes don't require any shifting, my rear hub drives require a lot in comparison, depends where you live, your bike(s), and your fitness level.
On my 7 spd BBSHD I rode it like a one speed. I found that I could take off in 4th or 5th gear without damaging the motor. Unlike a BBS02B or BBS01B, those two would soon be overstressed and damaged.

My newest build, I’m shamefully slow at finishing, is a one speed 42tx20t. Throttle, cruise control, and no assist. I’m disabled and while I have a drivers license I never drive. Appropriate medications cause dizziness and blurred vision.

There’s lots of good reasons for throttle and single speed hub motors. My front drive is a Trek Pure with PAS and a Lyen controller with a CA3. A 3speed SA IGH that never gets out of 3rd.

My BBS01 and BBS01B bike’s are 7 speed and are ridden as 7 speeds, shifting as one would without assistance but using assistance level 4 of 9 levels.

Again there’s no single right answer, and certainly dependent on the conditions, individual, and best practise.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Up until this week, I found I was using only the top 3 gears on my 10 speed Pedego. Last Thursday all that changed when I rode the Cape Cod National Seashore trails . The paved dune trails at Race Point are constant up & down and sometimes quite steep with many short radius twists & turns. They reminded me of my motocross days. I used all 10 gears with frequent shifting to avoid having to dismount on the steeper climbs. It was a great ride and a lot of fun!

As others have said, I guess the answer to the OP's question depends on where and how you ride.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Up until this week, I found I was using only the top 3 gears on my 10 speed Pedego. Last Thursday all that changed when I rode the Cape Cod National Seashore trails . The paved dune trails at Race Point are constant up & down and sometimes quite steep with many short radius twists & turns. They reminded me of my motocross days. I used all 10 gears with frequent shifting to avoid having to dismount on the steeper climbs. It was a great ride and a lot of fun!

As others have said, I guess the answer to the OP's question depends on where and how you ride.
I would add that generally it takes a few hundred miles of e-bike riding to really familiarize yourself with it's abilities. Then you can learn how to ride it efficiently! I'm not sure that challenge ever stops. Each ride being different due to conditions and route, I'm always looking for new ways to use less power.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
You're pretty sure about that? If it's just about your chain skipping/slipping, it's possible you just need to line the derailleur up. At 500 miles, the cable could have stretched or something, and now be in need of adjustment.
I did have to adjust the cable and derailleur earlier. I have been impressed by how well the shifter and derailleur work. Not riding in dirt or sand at all. Chain has been wiped and lubed half a dozen times. However, lots of the teeth are worn into odd shapes and some are almost completely gone.
The miles were done often with stops and starts in city traffic. Lots of small hills ...IOW not flat terrain. I'm using the gears all the time to keep a good cadence.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
New teeth could be described as odd shaped, but the almost gone teeth are bad news. Surprised they tore up that quickly to be honest.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
It seems odd that of the teeth badly worn down, there are teeth nearby or adjacent to them that are relatively new looking. That might be a diagnostic indicator of what's happening. I've certainly shifted badly numerous times, but I always try to reduce pedal load when shifting.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Handlebars? Looked back and i believe you bought a Sparkbike CIty. Rear Bafang hub motor? And the freewheel is gone after 500 mile?

Some freewheel makers - like DNP - supposedly cut the teeth oddly on the smaller cogs of their dreaded 11-32T so they look like they're worn when brand new. I once reported my unhappiness with that, and someone else said that was deliberate, as it facilitated better shifting. I still don't know if that was wriiten in jest or not, but since every other tooth was cut like a shark fin, probably true.

A decent Shimano 14-42, I must have two or three on my parts box that are new. Took them off to put on the DNP.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
Handlebars? Looked back and i believe you bought a Sparkbike CIty. Rear Bafang hub motor? And the freewheel is gone after 500 mile?

Some freewheel makers - like DNP - supposedly cut the teeth oddly on the smaller cogs of their dreaded 11-32T so they look like they're worn when brand new. I once reported my unhappiness with that, and someone else said that was deliberate, as it facilitated better shifting. I still don't know if that was wriiten in jest or not, but since every other tooth was cut like a shark fin, probably true.

A decent Shimano 14-42, I must have two or three on my parts box that are new. Took them off to put on the DNP.
Thanks for checking, Harry. Yes, I have the Spark City. Love it.
What you're relating here about the cog maker is very weird, to me.
And yes there are shark-fin lookers... not just on the small cogs...some on every cog. Almost as if the chain is made of much harder material than the cogs and a bad shift bites a tooth partially off every now and then.
 
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