How do you define the ideal electric touring bicycle?

BBassett

Active Member
Forgot to mention Temperature, Rim Width for tires, drive train, etc.
I have a 2018 R&M Supercharger (Bosch Performance CX, 2x500Wh batteries, Gates Belt, Rohloff, 25km/h) and recently did a small trip with no gear:
Total weight (me - 87kg & bike - 31kg): 118kg
Elevation: +1561m -1538m, Max Grade: +13.4% -13.7%, Avg grade: 0.6%
Pedal input (no throttle): Turbo mode - minimal (i call it lazy mode) (did take it easy on a small portion of the hills on way back (drop down from Turbo and use more gears))
Tires & Rims: 40mm Rims, Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB front (57-584) - approx 50psi, Rear: Super Moto-X (62-584) - approx 45psi
Suspension: Active - not locked out
Temp: 15 - 33 Celcius
Wind: Mild & dry
Terrain: All sealed roads
Duration: Total: 10.5 hours, Moving time: 5 hours
Speed: Max 55.9kph, Avg 24.2kph
Distance: 124.2km - motor cutoff at approx 122km and kept lights on till end (Bosch keeps a reserve of battery for this).
Nice! My favorite stat is... "Duration: Total: 10.5 hours, Moving time: 5 hours". That means you spent a good part of the day and it wasn't all about covering distance. I wish the Gates belt drive would work on a suspended bike. Ride safe.
 

webcurl

Active Member
Nice! My favorite stat is... "Duration: Total: 10.5 hours, Moving time: 5 hours". That means you spent a good part of the day and it wasn't all about covering distance. I wish the Gates belt drive would work on a suspended bike. Ride safe.
Has full suspension (including suspended rack) and gates. It ain't cheap :)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Distance: 124.2km - motor cutoff at approx 122km and kept lights on till end (Bosch keeps a reserve of battery for this).
Very interesting figures! I will compare that with my own experience:
Lovelec Diadem, rear hub 250 W motor, 576 Wh battery, 40-622 Kenda tires (pumped up to the allowed maximum). Rider weight 107 kg, bike weight 24 kg, total weight with lightly loaded panniers, so total weight 135 kg. Flat, no wind, temperature 25 C. Tarmac, some gravel and unpaved roads.

Lovelec leave it at the rider's discretion to restrict the bike. As I was testing the maximum range, I restricted the pedalling assistance to 25 km/h. I actually took two trips on the same battery charge. The PAS level 1 of 5, that is something such as Eco+ which makes pedalling easy but does not push you.

I took two separate trips on two consecutive days with the total range of 135 km. Average speed was around 22 km/h. At the end of the second ride the display produced a series of error messages as Lovelec does not cut off the system at very low battery level. Which leads me to the conclusion that having two batteries might meet my ideal at the cost of many hours of pedalling and no support against headwind (going to PAS 2 which is what I normally do while riding into headwind would drain the batteries faster).

Now I'd like to test what I could achieve with well tuned Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 and two 604 Wh batteries but such test would be done only in the coming Spring.

P.S. Unrestricted, Lovelec Diadem let's me ride at 30 km/h with average slightly over 25 km/h and the range was 93 km on a single trip. The speed kills the range for sure.
 
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BBassett

Active Member
Has full suspension (including suspended rack) and gates. It ain't cheap :)
That's interesting, not the Delite... it's too light for heavy touring in my opinion but that they can keep tension on the belt with travel. You ever see Any Riese and Muller wearing front panniers? I saw one pic of a "Unicorn Delite" with what appeared to be full rear panniers but never one with fronts or all 4.
 

webcurl

Active Member
Very interesting figures! I will compare that with my own experience:
Lovelec Diadem, rear hub 250 W motor, 576 Wh battery, 40-622 Kenda tires (pumped up to the allowed maximum). Rider weight 107 kg, bike weight 24 kg, total weight with lightly loaded panniers, so total weight 135 kg. Flat, no wind, temperature 25 C. Tarmac, some gravel and unpaved roads.

Lovelec leave it at the rider's discretion to restrict the bike. As I was testing the maximum range, I restricted the pedalling assistance to 25 km/h. I actually took two trips on the same battery charge. The PAS level 1 of 5, that is something such as Eco+ which makes pedalling easy but does not push you.

I took two separate trips on two consecutive days with the total range of 135 km. Average speed was around 22 km/h. At the end of the second ride the display produced a series of error messages as Lovelec does not cut off the system at very low battery level. Which leads me to the conclusion that having two batteries might meet my ideal at the cost of many hours of pedalling and no support against headwind (going to PAS 2 which is what I normally do while riding into headwind would drain the batteries faster).

Now I'd like to test what I could achieve with well tuned Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 and two 604 Wh batteries but such test would be done only in the coming Spring.

P.S. Unrestricted, Lovelec Diadem let's me ride at 30 km/h with average slightly over 25 km/h and the range was 93 km on a single trip. The speed kills the range for sure.
Especially with Panniers and other stuff to contribute to wind resistance, yes speed kills :)
 

webcurl

Active Member
That's interesting, not the Delite... it's too light for heavy touring in my opinion but that they can keep tension on the belt with travel. You ever see Any Riese and Muller wearing front panniers? I saw one pic of a "Unicorn Delite" with what appeared to be full rear panniers but never one with fronts or all 4.
I have https://www.thule.com/en-au/bike-accessories/rear-bike-racks/thule-tour-rack-_-100090 which is not ideal but works.
Many R&M owners in Europe have Faiv Hoogars like yourself which by all reports work very well.
The Delites have had an overall weight limit of 140kg but some with the same frames have had a limit of 160kg with the only things different being the seat/post, handlebars/stem & pedals. To be approved by strict German speed cycle laws.
 

BBassett

Active Member
I have https://www.thule.com/en-au/bike-accessories/rear-bike-racks/thule-tour-rack-_-100090 which is not ideal but works.
Many R&M owners in Europe have Faiv Hoogars like yourself which by all reports work very well.
The Delites have had an overall weight limit of 140kg but some with the same frames have had a limit of 160kg with the only things different being the seat/post, handlebars/stem & pedals. To be approved by strict German speed cycle laws.
I see them (the Delite series) as up-scale commuter bikes in a world with lots of bikes. When the emphases is placed on a full suspension for the purpose of carrying gear you can get an amazing ride. The Thule racks are some of the best I have heard. Just like with anything "bolt-on" I'm sure you have to keep an eye on them. It's nice not having to worry about that aspect with my bike. The Hoogar is really nice when stepping off something curb height when fully loaded and not get any bounce on the front panniers, very smooth and controlled. Not soft by any means but not harsh at all. She's a completely different bike than when partially stripped down and wildly different than when nude. I lived in Germany for 15 years and owned 3 cars during that time, 79 VW Passet, 85 Saab 900T (new), and finished with a 93 Nissan Maxima (new) that was shipped back to the states with me. I drove the s*it out of all of them on the Autobahn with virtually unrestricted speed limits. It's odd that they have such drastic limits on an ebikes.
 

Hectors Ghost

Active Member
I'm curious why you think/thought this would be a good touring bike. Hard-tail, odd frame built to have to carry two smaller proprietary batteries rather than a single large triangle pack, a pair of light bolt-on racks, proprietary small motor, belt-drive may be great on a commuter but problematic in muddy terrain, flimsy little side-stand, small brake rotors, and a prostate busting Brooks Flyer. They got the dynamo-hub and light combo right, along with the Speed-hub... and of course, they picked the "best" color scheme but I may be biased. So what makes this your "ideal electric touring bike"?
 

Hectors Ghost

Active Member
Am I alone in thinking the ideal touring bike would have batteries integrated into the frame ?
I disagree with integrated batteries. Both because proprietary batteries are smaller and far more expensive than need be and two smaller batteries take longer to charge than a single 30+Ah pack.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I'm curious why you think/thought this would be a good touring bike. Hard-tail, odd frame built to have to carry two smaller proprietary batteries rather than a single large triangle pack, a pair of light bolt-on racks, proprietary small motor, belt-drive may be great on a commuter but problematic in muddy terrain, flimsy little side-stand, small brake rotors, and a prostate busting Brooks Flyer. They got the dynamo-hub and light combo right, along with the Speed-hub... and of course, they picked the "best" color scheme but I may be biased. So what makes this your "ideal electric touring bike"?
Again, there isn't any right way to tour.

The Bosch system has well-understood advantages and disadvantages. While the system is proprietary, there is a large and growing network of bike shops that can do repairs and maintenance on the drive system. While underpowered, they are amazingly efficient and under reasonable touring conditions you can get 75-80 mile range with the two small batteries. In Europe there are even charging stations for Bosch bike, and there is starting to be a good network of places where you can rent batteries for touring.

My own experience with belt drives (acoustic Co-Motion bikes) is that they are far superior to a chain driven bike in muddy or sloppy snow conditions. Or even in extremely dusty environments. My next e-bike will almost certainly have a belt drive.

I do agree with you on the wimpy rotors.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
My own experience with belt drives (acoustic Co-Motion bikes) is that they are far superior to a chain driven bike in muddy or sloppy snow conditions. Or even in extremely dusty environments. My next e-bike will almost certainly have a belt drive.
Perhaps you are aware of this.
You can convert your R&M charger to belt drive. All it needs is a specific Gates front chainring and convert the existing hub from chain pinion to gates drive. Both are straightforward to do.
happy to help you with parts selection if you would like to make the switch.
 

Hectors Ghost

Active Member
Again, there isn't any right way to tour. But there are better ways than others. Want to use an electric trolling motor on your bike?

The Bosch system has well-understood advantages and disadvantages. I think you mean overlooked disadvantages. The advantage... you don't have to think. Buy the bike assembled, have it assembled, or do it yourself, and Presto you have an ebike. That Is a big advantage... but doesn't outweigh all the disadvantageous, at least not for me.

While the system is proprietary, there is a large and growing network of bike shops that can do repairs and maintenance on the drive system. I wouldn't know or care really, but doubt that greatly. If/when they do glitch LBSs will just replace the motor with a rebuild if it's still under warranty. If they built them right any owner should be able to swap motors also. Same as I did myself when my BBS02 started crying under load. It's not the maintenance I'm most concerned with, although I think you are wearing rose-colored glasses there too. LBS owners want to sell bikes, sell parts, and do minor maintenance not pull out a multi-meter and trace down a short somewhere. What dissuades me most is that I specifically don't want a frame that requires a specific motor, or any motor at all for that matter... let alone one that is less than 1/2 the h.p. I both want and need.

While underpowered, they are amazingly efficient and under reasonable touring conditions (Reasonable to whom? Have more capability, more capacity than you need rather than less.) you can get 75-80 mile range with the two small batteries. I'm sure there are people out there that can do 100s of miles without the batteries but that's not the point. Ridiculously expensive small batteries that will undoubtedly be overused, are designed to be overused and require premature replacement are just hard to defend, aren't they?

In Europe there are even charging stations for Bosch bike, and there is starting to be a good network of places where you can rent batteries for touring. I don't live in Europe anymore, I don't intend on living in Europe again, don't even plan on traveling to Europe let alone with my bike. Renting something I need to have to ride isn't an advantage to me, quite the contrary (seems to be my specialty), and the Bosch charging stations are probably going to charge to max capacity which I only want on rare occasions. If they let you charge at variable amperage and to any set voltage cool... but with the right batteries charging isn't much of a problem.

My own experience with belt drives (acoustic Co-Motion bikes) is that they are far superior to a chain driven bike in muddy or sloppy snow conditions. Or even in extremely dusty environments. My next e-bike will almost certainly have a belt drive. I was going to get the Gates belt but talked with several riders that have switched back to chains for long-duration riding because of logistics. They all kept them and ride them on other bikes of course. Regardless of chain or belt, you have to carry spares and belts are fragile and need to be babied when not under tension. Belts are way more problematic to change and tension properly and not many of your LBS can pull one off the shelf for ya should the need arise, unlike most chains. If I owned two bikes the other would have a belt-drive without doubt.

I do agree with you on the wimpy rotors.
Ride safe.
 
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webcurl

Active Member
I'm curious why you think/thought this would be a good touring bike. Hard-tail, odd frame built to have to carry two smaller proprietary batteries rather than a single large triangle pack, a pair of light bolt-on racks, proprietary small motor, belt-drive may be great on a commuter but problematic in muddy terrain, flimsy little side-stand, small brake rotors, and a prostate busting Brooks Flyer. They got the dynamo-hub and light combo right, along with the Speed-hub... and of course, they picked the "best" color scheme but I may be biased. So what makes this your "ideal electric touring bike"?
Here we go again. 360 degrees. My bike is better because it has big batteries, full suspension, a Grin charger & a proprietary Bafang!
Your bike has a much more odd frame that is no longer able to be purchased.
And with such large batteries you think a dynamo-hub is a great idea!
There's only 2 things i can agree with you on and that's the Rohloff & Brooks saddle.
I expect to see all future MTB tour bikes to be at the forefront of velcro tab design holding in heavy triangle packs.
 

webcurl

Active Member
I'll explain the Dynamo hub in your scenario simply:

Your current scenario in reverse:
52VDC from "non-proprietary" triangle battery --> Motor controller (efficiency losses) --> Motor (energy losses) --> drive-train (more loss) --> rear tire to ground (more loss) --> momentum/force --> front tire ground to tire (losses) --> dynamo hub (friction/magnetic pull losses) --> AC?-DC Buck-Boost converter (efficiency losses) --> USB power.
These losses are amplified upon accumulation of the various stages.

vs with a large battery and assuming it's flexible (non-proprietary) a custom solution (not hard to do at all):
52VDC --> DC-DC Buck converter (5VDC, efficiency losses, but less than a buck-boost) --> USB power.
 
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