Is it worth the cost to buy a spare battery?

Litehiker

New Member
A spare e-bike battery can cost upwards of US $500. It it worth it to have it ready as a spare?
How many of you have a spare battery?
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
How many miles do you ride on any given trip?
If you choose a bike with sufficient range to meet that then you don't need a spare battery. If you're looking for super long distances over great amounts of time then it surely can make sense. As does having a charger along.

Most riders are able to find an ebike that gives them the range they desire, with the battery it comes with. When you start riding it you get a feel for what kind of range you can attain based on your typical conditions, assist level, and speed.

The latest and greatest models are all pushing further and further in range capacity.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Not only can spares be expensive, but they can be very unwieldy to carry.

For commuting a regular route, which I don't need to do as a retiree, I would think you get a bike/battery combo that allows you to get to work and home without needing a spare, charging at work if possible.

For riding around at home, you would know your bike well enough to know when to turn around and go home,

I do carry a spare when planning up for an extended ride, past the normal range of my battery. When my wife and I plan a longer ride, I carry the spares for both bikes. Worse case, I'll just pedal and save the spares for her bike if we get into trouble, like taking a wrong turn. Yes, it's an expensive hobby. My bikes are mostly home conversions so I can use less expensive generic packs.
 

Litehiker

New Member
Thanks guys. I just don't want to be stuck in the mountains of Nevada with my backpack, rifle and 4 panniers of deer meat and no juice in the battery.

Guess I'll to get that TREK mountain e-bike and see what the range is in the mountains with a full load. All I need is about 15 miles with me giving at least 50% of the power.

Eric B.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The elevation gain is the factor that mostly contributes to the battery use @Litehiker. That would be especially important when the bike is fully loaded. For example, it might be a 155 lb rider on a 55 lb e-bike (including a small backpack), making the total of 210 lb. Or, it could be another 220 lb rider on a 50 lb bike with 55 lbs of cargo, making the total weight of 325 lbs. The weight in the latter situation would be about 55% more than in the former, meaning achieving the same elevation gain would at least cost 55% more of the battery use in the latter case. That makes it possible for the Rider A to do his 15 miles in mountains and leave the Rider B dry in less than half of the same distance.

I have learned how far each of my e-bikes can ride under the same conditions of weather, wind, terrain, assistance mode used. Now I know that if I plan riding more than 30 miles during the windy wintertime on my slower e-bike with the assistance level 2 then I have to take a spare battery with me. I own two batteries for that e-bike.

I am about to order a spare battery for my other e-bike whatever the cost is. Yes, it's expensive.
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
The answer will depend on you. Let's take two examples:

@RabH has a single 500Wh battery and rides some fairly impressive distances. In the picture thread he graces us with his constant good mood and reports of his 50+ mile rides that often have several thousand feet of elevation. I suspect he's light and fit as he sometimes mentions riding with no assist for long periods. He has a Giant racing bike type bike with a Yamaha power unit. So a relatively lightweight bike.

I have a Haibike Trekking Sduro. It's not that different as far as power unit goes, except that it's a class 3 PW-45. It also has a 500Wh battery. I manage about 35 kilometers for 80% of the battery with no power saving techniques. This is for an elevation of about 800 feet on average with rolling hills. If I use some power saving techniques (ECO, higher RPM, coasting, etc.) I can go up to about 45-50 kilometers (still on 80% battery). Generally on tours my range is about 45 kilometers. The low ranges are due to a variety of factors: rider weight (220 pounds), lights on all the time (it uses 3% battery per hour), rolling hills, wind, and a 55 pound bike. I have two batteries because there are days when those 45 kilometers just aren't enough.
 

RabH

Well-Known Member
The answer will depend on you. Let's take two examples:

@RabH has a single 500Wh battery and rides some fairly impressive distances. In the picture thread he graces us with his constant good mood and reports of his 50+ mile rides that often have several thousand feet of elevation. I suspect he's light and fit as he sometimes mentions riding with no assist for long periods. He has a Giant racing bike type bike with a Yamaha power unit. So a relatively lightweight bike.
I am 178lbs and my bike is around 44lbs, there are so many factors that eat up battery power so its best to ride as often as possible and learn what your battery is capable of! Big headwinds kill batteries more than anything in my experience along with big elevations so conditions are always a factor so you just have to adjust on the day and save enough for the return journey! I do conserve my battery as much as I can and being fit helps in that aspect so regular riding makes a big difference! My bike has 22 gears (50-34 x 11-32) so that helps to save the battery as you can use the low gears to spin without using the assist!
 

ElevenAD

Active Member
i buy a spare for every bike no matter the battery size, i use them for extended rides, and although i have never had a battery fail it does happen so its nice to have a back up just in case, i usually back pack the spare but you can easily toss it onto your rear rack.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
If you commute with your bike and can make the trip on one battery, you don't need a spare. This is especially true if you can recharge at work.

If your trips to the store don't involve much hill climbing and you can make it on one battery, you don't need a spare.

If you can make a round trip with one battery on the local bike trails where you ride most, you don't need a spare.

If after an average ride, you have > 25% charge remaining and / or you don't plan on keeping your bike for more than say 5 years, you don't need a spare.

If you battery is an "off brand" and you're worried about being able to replace it in the future due to theft, breakage or use deterioration, buy a spare.

If you ride long distances with elevation gain and have no chance of interim charging, buy a spare.

If your long distance rides require substantial effort to reduce battery drain and you're worried about being able to get back if you have a health related issue, buy a spare.

If you're worried about battery failure and not being able to use your bike while you get a replacement, buy a spare.

In my case, I have three bikes and five batteries. That way, my wife and I can each ride with a spare and have an extra for backup. Expensive, yes but we have fairly expensive bikes which we plan to keep for the foreseeable future.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
This is a great question to ask before buying. The costs of an ebike can be much higher then 1st glance. It also depends on what you do with a ebike. I ride for fun on rails to trails, as far as i can go as fast as I can go (open spaces) I carry 2 spare batteries at 2k each bike costs us 6k. To carry the bikes to where I want to ride I had a hitch installed on 2 cars , about 4-5 hundred. 1 ebike rack that I can put on either car runs up to 800 .i purchased a 2nd bike for my wife but made sure we could share batteries. It cost pennies to charge a battery but plan for replacement costs. Some people put a dollar per ride in a jar so they replacement battery funded at least partially. i budget for 3 years for a battery. Warranty repairs frequently only cover parts and you will pay for labor. maintenance costs of tune ups and flats , and standard bike stuff. You can also purchase bike insurance for theft ,road side pick up if you get stuck in the middle of no where and need a ride, for you and your bike liability coverage and more.

Any customization you do the bike, 2-300 dollar seat post , I tried an expensive seat , I think 200. Pedals , lights , favorite tires , HELMETS, , bike clothing for cold or spandex style,medical costs ( you will fall at some point if you ride enough) bike stands , tools, panniers or any way you carry stuff, camel packs for water

These are some of the costs I am sure there are others.

You can can also buy a bike for 750 bucks and go ride it or do somewhere in between these 2 choices

just ride
 

Handlebars

Active Member
Thanks guys. I just don't want to be stuck in the mountains of Nevada with my backpack, rifle and 4 panniers of deer meat and no juice in the battery.

Guess I'll to get that TREK mountain e-bike and see what the range is in the mountains with a full load. All I need is about 15 miles with me giving at least 50% of the power.

Eric B.
I'd plan on sometimes, maybe once, wanting to get home quickly with a high wind against you and not providing much self-power .
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
What i would like to teach in this short post is the advantage of a fast, smart charger.
And Grin Satiator is that one.

Charging @6 or 8amps meaning roughly 200wh in 18-20minutes while sipping a hot tea or do you need to ride from A to B w/o a single stop ?
The key is to educate yourself what a Grin charger does and it's benefits.

Xtra pack-10-12lb-6,700$ maybe 1k.

Fast , smart charger- 3-4lbs, 325$
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Using a fast charger means shorter battery life ==> expenses in the future. Grin Satiator does not work with many batteries.
nope, it pretty much works with all ebike batteries or 24/36/48volts packs aether they are for a lawn mower or a scooter.

Fast is not 6-8amps unless the battery amps are 10amps or lower. Like most packs are 11.6 or 12.6 amps, charging at 6.2amps is totally fine.

It cost xtra time, materials, design , etc to build a good fast charger , that's why the 2 and 4amps chargers are common. But Bosch nevertheless will sell that dumb charger for 200$+tax 😉.

Charging to 90% is much more important and you can control that with the Satiator .

A pack can last 2-3000cycles charging to 80-90% and discharge to 20%.

It will last 5-600cycles if up to 100% constantly.


Mine i set it up with Grin with 4 custom charging profiles.
Can also connect it to the Mac and do all sorts of analytics.
They sell different adapters for all types of charging plugs. Rosenberg, anything...


Voltage is 24/36/48/52 and a separate one for 72v .
Any battery type- Lithium, nickel, etc...

That's what i had to do on mine. I used my old 2amp charger plug and Solder it to the Grin cable and it was good to go.
Is like having a mini super portable battery with you. As long as there is an outlet around. That can also be planned in advance of a big trip.

A spare battery takes a LOT of space and is HEAVY.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
A spare battery takes a LOT of space and is HEAVY.
But you don't need to ask anybody for a favour to plug in to charge. A stop to charge the battery costs invaluable time of the travel. I don't know how frequently and how far you are riding but for me it was just to swap batteries at the farthest way-point yesterday. The greatest benefit is no range anxiety. And the bike has a motor to help the rider carry things.

Note: Some batteries are large. The Vado battery snugly fits in the Ortlieb E-mate pannier (as well as most of batteries from big brands); that's why so many e-cyclists love that bag.

Would you guess I'm carrying a large battery in the Ortlieb Backroller here?
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Tars Tarkas

Active Member
The Satiator is a good battery charger, no doubt. But the fact is, there are a lot of ride scenarios that don't include a place to plug one in. That's aside from the time it takes to charge a battery, which can also be a very important consideration. Some people would rather be clicking off the miles than sipping tea.

I got an extra battery for those rare times one might not do for my planned trip. I certainly don't carry it with me all the time. The rest of the time I alternate the batteries with each other every couple of weeks. That's me. I don't do a lot of 80 mile rides, but if I did, 95% of the time I'd rather have a spare battery with me instead of a charger. It's a personal and/or a strategic choice though.

TT
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I have a Grinn Satiator but rarely carry it on my bike. I ride mostly trails where charging opportunities are rare. In my case, carrying spare batteries is the best approach. I pack them in my Arkel panniers which keeps the center of gravity low.

45750

I usually ride with panniers anyway to carry other gear and there is plenty of room for the batteries. Yes, they add weight but with the extra juice aboard, I can compensate with the motor.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
My vote-
It would depend on the length of my rides. If long enough, I would much rather deal with the cost/weight of the extra battery vs. carrying a charger with me and interrupting my ride while waiting for that, no matter how fast the charge rate (overnight runs being the exception).

For my own use, with 15-20 miles as far as I ever go at a time, I can't justify an extra battery. I would NEVER order one to have sitting around in case my main battery fails.