How do you use e-power on your e-bike?

I think this will vary a lot based on the types of motors people have as well, and sensors. Torque sensors react very differently from cadence sensors.

My current bike is cadence based with PAS level 1-5, and also has Eco/Normal/Sport mode separately from that. I generally ride in Eco or Normal, and the PAS levels are really like... max speed levels, so I use them to control what speed I want the bike to push me up to. I also tend to swap to Sport mode if the battery is getting a bit lower and the voltage isn't driving things quite as fast.
 

fooferdoggie

Active Member
Wouldn't always running on max assist put undue stress on the motor and battery? I remember hearing some stories of motors' innards melting from climbing long, steep hills on max power - they're generally not designed for that. It's fine for short bursts, but constantly? And on mid-drive systems, it also wears the drivetrain prematurely.

So if one has cash to burn and doesn't mind hastening the lifespan of their ebikes, running on the highest settings is no problem 🚲
its fine on my bosch. I can run on turbo mode the whole ride keeping the speed around 22 on the flats and going full blast on hills. I get about 25 miles on my battery. though I have been able to turn it down lately.
 

Luv2ride

Member
I also ride a class 3 Bosch powered bike with 29,000 miles on it. I ride purely for pleasure and come from riding road bikes for the past 30 years.
My average mileage is 10,000 per year and I ride in tour when I am with my road bike buddies and just stay with the group or kick it up when I might
help a rider getting dropped. I use sport and turbo when I am by myself and go fast. I don't get nearly the workout I used to on my road bikes but that is
the point for me, I am riding for fun and moderate exercise. I carry two extra batteries with me so that I can pretty easily do 60-80 mile rides in any assist
level I want.
 

dAz63

Member
On my Juiced Ocean current I generally leave it on 2, use Sport mode when climbing a steep hill or I need to get through an intersection quickly, I still get about 65-70km easily out of the 48v 17aH battery

The other bike has the bbshd, it has 9 levels of assist and I use 3 or 4, very rarely use 5 and only as the battery starts getting low.

So I'm using the gears a lot on both bikes, I really like the grip shift on the Juiced over the click shifters on the other bike, the click shifters can be a pain thanks to a bit of arthritis in the thumb joints and the grip shift is so much quicker to change
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Usually a choice of 2, if I have enough battery,full out and slow down pedaling as needed(Stromer ,3big batteries 100 + range) When range is in question,BH 2 batteries,60 miles at15-20 mph. On an 80 mile trip with 60 miles of battery almost always between eco and no power except hills . Bh Nitro can be pedaled w/o battery Stromer is no fun w/o batteries
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I hated cheap PAS. Level 1 was too fast for the pavement I ride most of the time, 11 mph. Acceleration 500 W, too fast. So I bought a $189 DD power wheel kit with no PAS, just throttle.
I ride power off most of the time, but sometimes there is a 25 mph wind in my face. Then the power gets turned on and the throttle used. **** global warming, the wind only used to blow like that in November & March. Now I get 25 mph headwinds in September sometimes.
BTW the DD hub drug too much power off, so I use the geared hub motor (no drag) with the controller from the DD motor that has no PAS or display. The display was always 40% high anyway, showed 0 mph down hills at 30 mph, and fogged to uselessness in the rain anyway.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't always running on max assist put undue stress on the motor and battery? I remember hearing some stories of motors' innards melting from climbing long, steep hills on max power - they're generally not designed for that. It's fine for short bursts, but constantly? And on mid-drive systems, it also wears the drivetrain prematurely.

So if one has cash to burn and doesn't mind hastening the lifespan of their ebikes, running on the highest settings is no problem 🚲
In general, mid-drive motors are better prepared for using the max support. Especially as you work through the gearing together with the motor; it makes it possible to shift down dramatically so neither the rider's legs not the motor are over-stressed. Yes, that wears the drive-train faster. But that is the reason why all serious electric mountain bikes are mid-driven nowadays.

Here is a good Giant video on assistance levels:
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Class 3 rear hub, no throttle. Five levels of assist (1 minimum, 5 maximum, 0 = off.)
When I got the bike nearly 2 years ago now, I was out of shape & overweight and hadn't been on a bike in 25 years. I used a lot of Level 3, 4, 2 in that order of frequency. Level 5 is great for a quick thrill, it is like Superman pushing the bike from behind, but is way too fast/too assisted for my typical kinds of, and locations for riding.

As I biked more and more (and more -- the beauty of ebikes -- by eliminating the painful reentry process into biking, as an out of shape person, it left only the fun of biking, luring me into wanting more riding every day!) -- then I settled into Level 2 mostly, and began shifting gears more regularly. (I wanted exercise results from my rides, not just pure "Sunday leisure cruising" all the time.) Eventually I finally settled into Level 1 almost 100% of the time... that's where I ride most of my rides today, popping into Level 2 when there is an incline and I don't feel like heavily exerting myself, or I don't want to lose a lot of speed. (*Speed being a relative term -- while I generally ride actively in the 15-18mph range on flats, my overall lifetime average speed of all rides combined is about 13mph; though I believe this includes factoring in trip time spent stopped at stoplights, stop signs, etc, for example.)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
(*Speed being a relative term -- while I generally ride actively in the 15-18mph range on flats, my overall lifetime average speed of all rides combined is about 13mph; though I believe this includes factoring in trip time spent stopped at stoplights, stop signs, etc, for example.)
Very true.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Do e-bike riders tend to switch the power up and down as they ride, or would they usually just use the maximum power setting all the time?
I stick to the lower settings and I tend to spend long portions of my commutes in a single mode. On most commutes, I'm also trying to get exercise so I set goals. Like riding in Eco for 1/2 to 3/4 of the ride while maintaining a certain average speed. There are some occasions after a long workday and I am tired that I relax and use a higher assist level. But these are much less frequent. Also if I get decent headwinds I might increase the assist by one level to offset the headwinds (while trying to keep my level of exertion consistent with a lower assist level on a less-windy day). The percentage of time I spend in the two highest assist levels (Sport and Turbo for Bosch), between all of my bikes, I would venture to say is less than 5% of total time or distance traveled.
 

StmbtDave

Active Member
For me, the ebike boost is just to assist my aging body (72). I ride almost exclusively in the lowest setting. Today we did 52 miles at an average speed of 14.4 mph and I only used 27% of the battery. That's just short of 2 miles per battery percent, or about 2.5 Wh per mile. I'm in it for the exercise, not to be transported from A to B with no effort. My current bike (Yamaha Wabash) is 46 lbs with a 500 Wh battery and a max 500 W motor. The bike I have on order (Specialized Creo) is 27 lbs with a 320 Wh battery and a 240 W motor. It should be more than sufficient for my needs.
 
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dodahman

New Member
I like the concept of computing Wh per mile. Thanks. I am going to steal that one. I am out there to work a bit. That is a good way I think to determine how much effort I put into it, if I understand correctly.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I ride my Shimano e8000 equipped Commencal in Trail mode 90+% of the time, and according to the recent report below I've gone through 31 full charge cycles (0 to 100%) in just under 900 miles.

If my calculator's correct, that means almost 30 miles per 504Wh battery cycle, which I can't complain about because I climb some steep-ass trails! (17Wh per mile)

1581642098571.png
 
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Rob NJ

Member
We look at the ride and balance how we want to use the ebike power. Speed, distance, or combination. For distance (35 to 60 miles), we will agree initially on a speed, say 14 miles per hour, assist level (Eco), and a heart rate, say 140 bpm. We will see how it goes, and adjust the speed to get to the right heart rate. Then ride for several hours. If we want to use for speed, we will pop it up a level or two to get to 25 mph at the same heart rate. Of course more speed will decrease the bike range. That is the balance that we think about.

As we approach the end of a long ride, we are watching our range at certain assist levels, and keep going in eco and tour modes until we see that the range for the higher assist modes comes into play. So we might finish a 45 mile ride in Sport if we have the juice left over. Kind of fun coming across the finish line fast.

I guess I should point out that we see the bikes as the great equalizer. We can ride together, and long distances with the e-bikes, which we would never think of trying before. Now we just hop on for a 30 or 40 mile ride and think that it is nothing. Well, it is probably about 4 hours in aerobic heart rates of 135 to 145 bpm. That is helpful to your heart health.
 

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
Lots of good comments and nothing to add from here -- it's been said. But it has been an interesting thread. Hats off to the OP for getting the conversation started.
 
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iik

New Member
You will surely get a number of opinions here. Just about every rider has their own unique way of riding. It will vary greatly depending on physical conditions and the riders style & ability. Also, ebikes differ in their performance. Some, like fat tire bikes, require more assist to ride comfortably.

I'm 73 with some joint issues so my preferred riding style is to start out with little or no assist. After I get my workout, I increase the assist to mid range and enjoy the scenery as the miles roll by. I usually reduce the assist on slight downhill or smooth sections. I rarely use high levels of assist to maximize range unless climbing long uphill stretches. I have a class 2 bike and will occasionally use the throttle to get started especially if I'm on a hill or forget to downshift before stopping.

BTW, welcome to the forum! It's a great place to ask your questions.
Thank you for your comment @6zfshdb ! Great to learn about the strategies you use :)
Surely, there are multiple ways to handle the e-assist.
 

iik

New Member
Interesting topic!
I think most of e-cyclists never use the max assist permanently as this dries the battery fast.

The strategy I use is:
  1. Use the lowest PAS level (Eco) if the range is critical. It is also good for fitness
  2. Use the next PAS level (Normal, Trail, Sport...) when you're fighting with headwind or are riding up a moderate incline. This medium assistance level is also good if you want to get somewhere faster at the cost of the range
  3. Use the max assistance (Turbo) to negotiate a steep hill or in case you are very tired, want to get home fast and you still have the juice in your battery.
Now, how do I use the derailleur?
  • Use low gear before starting the ride and before making any stop, to relieve the tension on the chain and to be able to start easily
  • For riding, set the gear that allows you maintaining your favourite cadence. Mine is 78. Manipulate the gears to possibly always be at the same cadence.
Well put @Stefan Mikes ! I am yet to measure my favorite cadence. But I sort of understand what you mean.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Well put @Stefan Mikes ! I am yet to measure my favorite cadence. But I sort of understand what you mean.
Just to spin the crank at such rpm that the ride is a pleasure. Too slow ("mashing") means hurting knees; too fast ("spinning") might cause discomfort.
 
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