Is 400wh enough?

Bufatutu

Member
Hi Friends, I've been looking at ebikes for a while and the Giant Explore series seems to be just about right for me in so many ways: middrive, good torque, wider but not too wide tires, step through, etc. Now I've found just the one I want, not too far away. But one remaining issue is the 400wh battery. I live on a steep hill in the heart of very hilly NH's White Mountains. I spent some time playing with Google Earth last night, creating 40 mile rides from home. Forty miles isn't enough to make some of the most beautiful and interesting notch loops or to go back and forth over the Kancamangus. I don't have anyone to come and get me if I run out of power except in a real emergency. So my question: Is 400wh enough or do I need to find a bike with 500 or more? Thanks.

PS: I'm 72 and an active regular bike rider who still loves going up hills, but whose sore feet and knees are telling me to find an easier way than simply peddling for an hour in lowest gear.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm a bigger guy, riding ebikes with bigger motors, and that size battery would be a definite concern here with just the hills I ride in.

You're talking Giant, so I'm assuming you're working with a somewhat local dealer. Have you asked them about this? What do they say? Any chance of a demo ride? Even if you had to pay a cleanup fee or something, it might be worth it. Maybe make a deal saying if the bike actually does have the range you need, you'll take it. Or, buy it, and if it doesn't, you'll get a full credit towards a bike that WILL make it (if there is one)? Tossing ideas.... Best of luck! -Al
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
No science here, but lots of anecdotal experience... I do a lot of 40 mile distance riding but with nowhere near the dramatic climbing you’re looking at here around Saratoga County. You’re going to spend the whole time with an eye on the range remaining, which is going to severely curtail your enjoyment. A 500wh battery is a pretty significant improvement, but even better would be a spare 400 or 500 pack. You could go up and down through the Presidents all day without a second thought.

Having an ebike in your part of the world will be great, but I would say don’t settle for less on the range issue. Also, I have found that the range on my Giant 500wh bike falls right off a cliff when it gets down to 20% or so. The mileage just disappears.
 

Bufatutu

Member
I noticed that on many of the new Giant ebikes the battery size has been increased to 500W.
Yup. And $2.5K was already bumping my budget and it appears the only Explore offering is $3k, and though the 2021 has fenderslightsrack, none of which I need, its actually downspeced in things I'm interested in, going from Deore to Alivio for derailler for instance.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Hi Friends, I've been looking at ebikes for a while and the Giant Explore series seems to be just about right for me in so many ways: middrive, good torque, wider but not too wide tires, step through, etc. Now I've found just the one I want, not too far away. But one remaining issue is the 400wh battery. I live on a steep hill in the heart of very hilly NH's White Mountains. I spent some time playing with Google Earth last night, creating 40 mile rides from home. Forty miles isn't enough to make some of the most beautiful and interesting notch loops or to go back and forth over the Kancamangus. I don't have anyone to come and get me if I run out of power except in a real emergency. So my question: Is 400wh enough or do I need to find a bike with 500 or more? Thanks.

PS: I'm 72 and an active regular bike rider who still loves going up hills, but whose sore feet and knees are telling me to find an easier way than simply peddling for an hour in lowest gear.
40 miles with 400Wh on hilly terrain? Assuming that you use 90% of the available battery capacity to maintain battery longevity this equates to 9Wh/mile. I'm about your age and also live in hilly terrain. To be honest, my power usage is well above 9Wh/mile for my average ride that usually includes 2,500 feet of climbing, but then my wife says I ride too fast. Of course YRMV depending on fitness, weight, and elevation change but if 40 miles is all ready on the low end of your mileage target for your rides, I'd consider a 2nd battery to avoid calling a ride.

A month or so ago I did a 45+ mile loop ride with 6,000+ feet of climbing. The bike's power meter had me at up to 300w output on the steepest climbs. I used 90% of 2 600Wh batteries for this ride. Just sayin'...😎
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Hi Friends, I've been looking at ebikes for a while and the Giant Explore series seems to be just about right for me in so many ways: middrive, good torque, wider but not too wide tires, step through, etc. Now I've found just the one I want, not too far away. But one remaining issue is the 400wh battery. I live on a steep hill in the heart of very hilly NH's White Mountains. I spent some time playing with Google Earth last night, creating 40 mile rides from home. Forty miles isn't enough to make some of the most beautiful and interesting notch loops or to go back and forth over the Kancamangus. I don't have anyone to come and get me if I run out of power except in a real emergency. So my question: Is 400wh enough or do I need to find a bike with 500 or more? Thanks.

PS: I'm 72 and an active regular bike rider who still loves going up hills, but whose sore feet and knees are telling me to find an easier way than simply peddling for an hour in lowest gear.
Welcome to the club... many of us older folk still enjoy riding and an ebike takes the edge off the hills enough for us to get out there more often.
Though you may not like my suggestion, you may want to rethink your choice of bike.
One downside of the major manufacturers is that many of their offerings incorporate the battery into the frame and this is great for weight balance and makes for a really clean and nice looking bicycle... small problem is that it somewhat limits battery capacity.
There are quite a few not_so_name brands that appear to have a good reputation with users here and use a semi integrated battery style that allow for much larger batteries at the cost of appearance. These may fit your build needs better all while being near the same price point. Downside is you may not have the support network if you're not hands on with maintenance.
Disclaimer... I do not have any personal experience with what I am suggesting as I went a totally different route and have a standard mtb conversion.
My reason for suggesting this is having one larger battery is easier to maintain and is a more stable power supply.
The downside I see with one or two smaller batteries is that they will be under greater strain as you run them down and will require some discipline on your end to properly maintain them. In a nutshell ebike batteries do not like to be held at full charge for long periods or run all the way down often.
So just some food for thought and I hope you're happy with whatever you decide.
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Go with 500wh minimal. 500wh is a vast improvement over 400wh. Another thing you might consider is purchasing a bike with a good app. My Specialized runs the Mission Control application. I can set an override feature which loads either distance or expected time length of the ride and will continously change settings to manage battery power and usage so the ride can be completed, all I need to do is pedal.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I have a 400 on my Haibike Full Seven and that is enough for me riding a mtb. When I bought my Haibike Trekking, I upgraded to the 500 battery at the LBS while it was brand new. Cost an additional $400. Might be worth asking if that is an option.
 

Bufatutu

Member
Thanks so much for your imput. Living in the mountains, wanting to bike the mountains, and living up a long and in some places steep hill at rides end, I've decided to go for more wh.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
I am happy with my 400wh, it is a good capacity.

The problem is how much power can you put yourself? Also keep in mind that if the motor is out you can still pedal it is a normal bike.

However if it is a steep hill and you are mostly relying on the motor to climb even 500Wh may not be enough for 40+ mile trips with lots of climbing. In that case I suggest you to invest in a second battery,