How does the Radwagon fair on steep hills?

winkzy

New Member
Region
USA
I'm thinking about getting a Radwagon and I'm wondering how it will fair against steep hills. I have two hills that I will need to climb that are between 8% and 11% gradients that span for a little less than half a mile each. I want to occasionally carry my gf in the passenger seat so that would be a maximum of 320 lbs load on the bike. Would bike fair well on these hills?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
You can use Justin’s motor simulator, select the Bafang G60 motor, a 48v battery, smaller wheel say 24”, enter the weight say 400lb for the two of you plus the weight of the bike, and a hill gradient percentage, and click simulate https://ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking about getting a Radwagon and I'm wondering how it will fair against steep hills. I have two hills that I will need to climb that are between 8% and 11% gradients that span for a little less than half a mile each. I want to occasionally carry my gf in the passenger seat so that would be a maximum of 320 lbs load on the bike. Would bike fair well on these hills?
Which RadWagon?
What year? Are you talking about the brand new one with geared hub drive with 22 inch tire?
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Eunorau G20
Interesting bike. But think about factory direct bikes YOU are the repair or warranty service guy, that said forums like this can help fguide you through issues. But the seller is useless. Insulated from any claims from the USA. BUT the odds are slightly better than LasVegas.
 

winkzy

New Member
Region
USA
Interesting bike. But think about factory direct bikes YOU are the repair or warranty service guy, that said forums like this can help fguide you through issues. But the seller is useless. Insulated from any claims from the USA. BUT the odds are slightly better than LasVegas.
I got the exact same vibe from them as well. Which is why I only asked about the radwagon. The G20 was what I was originally going to get but they seemed a bit too sketchy. I’m not scared of fixing things myself but radpower has much better customer support and I don’t live too far away from them.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
I got the exact same vibe from them as well. Which is why I only asked about the radwagon. The G20 was what I was originally going to get but they seemed a bit too sketchy. I’m not scared of fixing things myself but radpower has much better customer support and I don’t live too far away from them.
Radwagon and Eunorau have the same business model. Actually I like Eunorau better. I’ve worked with Kevin, Eunorau owner. He’s ambitious and as honest as every other direct to consumer brand. Like Rad wagon, better than most.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Your problems on a hill are a lot deeper than a motor winding with a Rad Rover. Steep hills are the bane of a geared hub motor. A steep hill with a cargo load is worst-case. There's no fixing the problem. Its inherent to the platform.

A hub motor - any hub motor - powers the bike thru the axle its mounted on. It has nothing to do with the drivetrain. The pedals and chain... thats all for you to use. Generally that means light duty to the drivetrain. Unless you live in hills. Since the motor powers thru the axle, that means the motor is single speed. To better understand why this is a bad thing, just go ride up a hill and stay in a roughly 17T rear chainring cog. Don't downshift. Did that suck? Your hub motor can't downshift either, and the 45-80 Nm its capable of putting out is not enough to overcome that suckage. YOU will do the rest of the makeup, which is probably not what you had in mind when you decided to take advantage of electric assist.

Now go ride a bike up a hill and shift to lower gears as you need them. Was that better? I bet it was. Its better for a mid drive too. Since it (and you) can use the gears to make it easier to turn the rear wheel, it can spin happily (and more efficiently) at a high rpm rate and the net effect is the motor lets you zip up the hill like its not there. You just go slower.

Going up the hills here in the Monterey Bay Area I literally blow past grunting Rad Rover riders a few times a week. 'Blow past' means I am going about 10 mph and they are going three. On the flat ground near the water they are hell bent for leather.

By the way, for the budget you are looking at, a BBS02'd one of these (which is what I am riding above) would probably be cheaper and beat the performance level of everything mentioned above. With the big poofy 2.8" tires on its a comfy cruiser able to handle 400 lb loads if you want to take it that far.

img_20200514_163026[1].jpg



 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Where or which arse do you pull this BS out of. Isn it a Dapu mid From Kevin. 16t? Whose?
Bafang offers different winding for G060.
I was not sure about 16T, maybe it was 12T, so that's why I added ? mark, as you can see.
And I was not talking about Dapu.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Bafang offers different winding for G060.
Yeah but thats just a spit in the ocean when it comes to the issue at hand.

I've built two bikes with G060's in back, four if you count the 2wd ones that also have a front G060 paired with the rear. I graduated to mid drives after riding one of the 2wd ones in steep hills - with a 35a controller and a 52v battery behind it. Wrong tool for the job, period.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Your problems on a hill are a lot deeper than a motor winding with a Rad Rover. Steep hills are the bane of a geared hub motor. A steep hill with a cargo load is worst-case. There's no fixing the problem. Its inherent to the platform.
A hub motor - any hub motor - powers the bike thru the axle its mounted on. It has nothing to do with the drivetrain. The pedals and chain... thats all for you to use. Generally that means light duty to the drivetrain. Unless you live in hills. Since the motor powers thru the axle, that means the motor is single speed. To better understand why this is a bad thing, just go ride up a hill and stay in a roughly 17T rear chainring cog. Don't downshift. Did that suck? Your hub motor can't downshift either, and the 45-80 Nm its capable of putting out is not enough to overcome that suckage. YOU will do the rest of the makeup, which is probably not what you had in mind when you decided to take advantage of electric assist.
Now go ride a bike up a hill and shift to lower gears as you need them. Was that better? I bet it was. Its better for a mid drive too. Since it (and you) can use the gears to make it easier to turn the rear wheel, it can spin happily (and more efficiently) at a high rpm rate and the net effect is the motor lets you zip up the hill like its not there. You just go slower.
This person keeps blathering this BS. I carry 330 lb gross all the time with a geared hub motor, up 15% grades. Geared hub motors run 5 times faster than the wheel. About 1100 RPM for a 26" wheel at 20 mph. 3 phase electric motors run 1725 RPM for about 10 years in factories, killed usually by the dirt building up on the coils, not the speed. Humans speed out at about 150 rpm, a totally different case. What is good for humans has nothing to do with what is good for a 3 phase electric motor.
OTOH, I don't have a Rad, I have a Mac 12t motor wound for torque instead of speed. I have a 84 lb yuba bodaboda, not a RAD. The average geared hub motor is a 10t which is faster and less torquey. My 12T motor will start 330 lb on a 15% grade and accelerate up to about 6 mph. If I hit the grade with some speed from the previous hill it will power 330 lb up the hill at 15. Mid-drive could gain some torque advantage with a 48 or 50 tooth rear sprocket, bigger than the drive sprocket of the motor. I've seen no cargo bike that has a 12" diameter rear sprocket. Only mountain bikes. Rear sprocket same size or smaller as mid drive output sprocket don't multiply torque.
What geared hub motors will not do is run full power low speed uphill for an hour. Mac says 1000' rise in an hour will cook the winding. My hiils are short, but there are 80 of them, 3 of 15%. My Mac had the connector burned off by the rain after about 2000 miles, no problem with the windings on my 30 mile run to summer camp. Don't buy an ASI controller from Luna, the pins are too close together to withstand rain.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
I like Matt's Mongoose Envoy + BBSHD project, a capable longtail cargo bike that can climb anything, I particularly appreciate his section on low-cost builds that lists wallet-friendly ideas. If like me you are not good at soldering consider crimping, I've had good results. If you would like to compare the performance of mid-drive motors against the RadWagon's G60 hub motor you can change the settings in Justin's motor simulator from hub-drive to mid-drive and you will find the BBSHD and BBS02 on the list.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I thought you'd probably be OK - until you added the weight of the girlfriend. I'm 315 and ride only bikes with a LOT of power for hilly areas (a 1000w geared hub and a 1500w mid). The wife/riding partner, that weighs less than half of what I weigh, can go anywhere I can on her 500w geared hub bike - though it does have an aftermarket controller that's good for quite a boost as long as it's only used for a minute or 2.

As far as both of you on a mid drive, that should work OK as long as you aren't riding up and down those hills all day. It's going to need a cool down period after long climbs like that. Clearly you'd be pushing it....
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This person keeps blathering this BS. <snip!>
Not even a little surprised we are seeing this combo of vitriol and misinformation again.

That stuff about 48-50-tooth rear sprockets and no torque advantage is profoundly wrong, and extremely bad advice to give to someone asking for help on how to spend their hard-earned money.

We can make this simple for anyone to understand, without regard to mechanical experience or inclination, with this simple test:

Forget about motors. Just sit on a bike with a derailleur and a rear cluster. You don't need a hill. Start riding. Shift to a bigger cog. It gets easier to make the wheel go around. Shift to a smaller cog. It gets more difficult to make the wheel go around. Forget about everything else (the gearing's effect on speed, hill or flat ground etc.). Small cogs and slight difference? The principle holds. Big cogs and small difference? Big cogs and big difference? It doesn't matter. This is how gears work. Big cog easy. Small cog hard.

Fast forward to an ebike. The mid drive motor is you, now. It rotates the chainring, which moves the chain, which rotates the cog which turns the wheel - just like you do, but stronger. Big cog easy. Small cog hard. Just like it is for you. Except if you are a hub motor you get only one gear and you have to suffer thru that. Try riding up that hill without shifting gears, which is what a hub motor has to do. Was that fun? Of course not. Does the hub motor have huge power that can overcome this inherent disadvantage? read the spec sheet. Nope. Even the little BBS02 has 120 Nm. The Bosch Cargo motors have I think 85Nm. The best fat hub on the market has 80 or 85. So... mechanical disadvantage and no extra power to make up for it.

If we're on flat ground, the differences go away. But thats not what the original poster asked about. They need to deal with hills.

@indianajo you are welcome to whatever opinions you care to have, but at least try and have some decency about how you conduct yourself when dealing with others who need help. This is a forum to help people and give advice. You are costing people money and creating real suffering if someone has a need, a budget and learns the hard way how wrong you are. I'm sure you have things to contribute here that are valuable and worthwhile. What you are doing here is the opposite of that.

Also: Cargo Bike Republic is a community with almost 14,000 members. All cargo bikers. Not just a couple of opinionated, self-important cranks. Its unfortunate to have to mention this, but if someone wants to verify who knows what they are talking about outside these walls, you can go to a place where literally thousands of people who know this kind of bike and lifestyle inside and out are happy to help give advice and clear up misconceptions.
 
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