Electric Bike Weight Ratings

Aufgeblassen

New Member
I was disappointed that very few manufacturers or sites that list specs on e-bikes actually tell you maximum rider weight ratings, as I am a bit on the high gravity impact side. :(

But the good news was when VoltBike called me just after I ordered a Mariner online, and I asked them what the bike max. weight rating was, they informed me it was 350 lbs. :D:D:D
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
The total payload for my Radrover is 275lbs (person+gear) on the already 61 lbs of bike. I only found this data downloading the owner's manual. I'm already at 265lbs+30lbs of gear and accessories (use mostly as my work commuter). The extra weight is most likely dropping my range down by 15%-20%. I also have to pedal harder to keep up with my 130 lbs wife on her Radrover when we ride together at max PAS.

The plus side to having to work harder is I was 278 lbs when I purchased our two Radrovers in September.:D
 

Aufgeblassen

New Member
BTW & FYI: Speaking to a dealer, the weakest point of a bike is the spokes, which determines the max. weight rating. So a cast wheel instead of wire spokes is better.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I haven't seen a cast wheels for 750w hub motors for my 4" fat tire ebike. I would think a mid-drive and you upgrade to cast wheels would turn an ebike into a heavy hauler. The Radrover is my starter bike I'm going to ride for a few years. I really like the mid-drive motors for the extra range, balance, and hill climbing torque (live in New Mexico and ride between 5000-6500ft).
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
A cast wheel with a heavy rider is a recipe for bent wheels and nothing more. Thick 12G/13G spokes on a 36-spoke rear wheel will do the trick just fine, and larger tires (>2 in./50C) would be helpful, too.
 

Aufgeblassen

New Member
I haven't seen a cast wheels for 750w hub motors for my 4" fat tire ebike. I would think a mid-drive and you upgrade to cast wheels would turn an ebike into a heavy hauler. The Radrover is my starter bike I'm going to ride for a few years. I really like the mid-drive motors for the extra range, balance, and hill climbing torque (live in New Mexico and ride between 5000-6500ft).
How does relying on a relatively wimpy chain make it heavier duty? I fail to understand (but I am relatively new to these e-bikes).
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I agree with Cameron, although quality also becomes a greater factor as the load increases. You'll be stressing the parts a bit more.

Some quick things to remember. Not to make you parinoid, just to be more informed.

1. Make sure your tires are always properly inflated. Some check before each ride, but once a week could suffice depending on how much you ride.

2. Make sure all bolts are tightened and occasionally test them out. Specifically the pedals, crank arms, stem.

3. Large drops and potholes tend to put more stress on the wheels and frame so be cautious about that.

4. Occasionally check the frame and welds to see if there are any stress cracks. This will usually happen before a failure.


You could also have a shop check this sort of stuff out with the occasional tune-up. Most bikes can handle above there rating and it's often and insurance liability thing. It could be helpful to email Voltbike and have the "350lb" weight rating in writing just to be safe. It's a little higher than what I would guess for that bike.

Good luck with the bike! I hope this helps.
 

Aufgeblassen

New Member
At least as far as the tires go, since the pressure range is 5-30, no need to check them often, if you normally keep 30 in them, running lower (due to not checking them often) is no big deal.

Getting in writing doesn't help, as it won't make bike last any longer past the warranty period.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Good point about the tires. You're probably right, although I would recommend staying at a higher pressure to protect the rim and keep the bike running more efficiently.

Regarding the weight rating: I was saying to get in writing in case the bike breaks or if you were to get injured on the bike and there could be a liability issue.
 

JohnT

Active Member
Pedego bikes with the mag wheel upgrade are rated for 450 pounds.

I agree with the spoke comments. Most bikes can handle higher than their rating, but check the spokes more often. Uneven tension will put more strain on tight spokes and less on loose ones, making the tight ones more likely to fail.
 

Jeff Backes

Active Member
Do people still just "pluck" their spokes to check for tension? I saw a gauge sold by Park Tools, is that something that plain ol' bike owners purchase?
 

JohnT

Active Member
Do people still just "pluck" their spokes to check for tension? I saw a gauge sold by Park Tools, is that something that plain ol' bike owners purchase?
I own a Pedego store, so I have a fair number of tools, including a Park Tool spoke tension gauge. I tap the spokes with my spoke wrench and adjust according to the tone, then double-check with the guage afterward. I'm getting to where I'm happy with all but one or two. Some people flex the spokes and can judge the tension by the pressure on their fingers, but I'm not very accurate with that method.

If you're not putting very much strain on the spokes from weight or from rough terrain, I'd just pluck or tap. If you're pushing the limits, you're probably still okay, but your margin of error is smaller.

Professional tuneups usually include spoke tensioning, so anyone who gets this done periodically is probably fine.