Long uphill gravel roads

Jimbow

New Member
have watched so many reviews and come back dazed and confused. I'd like a fat tire bike that will go uphill on the old gravel logging roads around here. Have researched the rad mini and the rover.
Watched the new crowd fund for a 1250 watt bike that is front wheel drive? They say that it is better than the rear wheel drive as it pulls you up in soft traction conditions. But other reviews of the front wheelers say that they spin out? Thoughts from experienced owners?
Geared motor vs. non-geared for uphill for low end torque?
What would be a good, middle of the road $ bike for riding on the old abandoned logging roads?
 
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MikeDD

Active Member
My wife has a Liberty Trike with front wheel drive. It does spin out on gravel slopes when starting out. The smaller wheel size and type of tire may have something to do with this.
I have a Rad Mini. For rough gravel roads a some sort of suspension would be nice. I run 18 psi in the tires. I may try a suspension seat post.

My opinion, with less weight on the front wheel it will spin out.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
I think for a fat tire type bike for logging road riding you would be best off with a mid drive like the Bafang kits which will adapt to about any of the ones out in the market. Most fat bike front forks are 135mm or more which means you have to use a rear hub motor and get it laced up to a rim which adds to the cost and complexity of converting. The Bafangs are easy to mount and make use of your bikes drive train which is useful when in loose terrain.

That said for my personal reasons I use a direct drive front hub motor and have ridden some really long gravel roads with it at over 8000' in elevation and it performs really well.
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The trick with front wheel drive that I have found, especially on steep and loose gravel, is to use the right gear for the grade that you can pedal along with the motor making the bike essentially AWD. This method helps to keep pressure on the front wheel loading it up so that it doesn't spin out easily and takes advantage of the traction of the rear wheel. Also although many will say that a direct drive hub doesn't climb well I have not found that to be the case but I subscribe to the use of Statorade which helps greatly to keep the motor cool and have never seen it get above 50 degrees centigrade. I also don't climb at high speed, but certainly higher than I could without the assist. Mostly because I am trying to conserve my battery so that I can complete my targeted ride with enough juice.

Even though my bike has skinny tires I have taken it on some pretty rough roads also and been able to climb and descend confidently. Now I look for climbs instead of being wary of them! What's on top of that hill over there? Let me go and see.....

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Jimbow

New Member
Thanks, those road and hill conditions look very similar to the ones in this area except we have too many trees to take such awesome panoramic photos! (Western Oregon)
JRA, how big is your battery and motor set up?
I've read that the higher wattage motors go through the battery quicker, but would that be true only at higher speeds? If I go at a reasonably sane speed on gravel roads would I get a long ride by going slower, but still have mega power to go up a steep hill when I need to? Or am I giving too much credence to desiring a large motor? Does the large motor and battery help in long hill climbs? For example, the roads I am hoping to travel may go uphill for 3-5 miles before cresting.
It sounds like the front wheel drive is a good option. The front wheel drive Extreme e-bike fat tire isn't reviewed here or anywhere else by an independent shop that I can find, but it sure looks interesting. No reviews because it's such a new offering? Anything similar to it that has been reviewed? Thanks in advance. Love this site being a noob to all of this.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
Battery on that bike is 48v/11ah/528wh and the motor is a 1000w Nine Continent. I also live in OR actually, those bottom pictures were taken in Maupin. I reside outside of Portland and am no stranger to logging roads.

IMG_3144.JPG


Or the views you can get from them. That is downtown Portland in the distance.

OR allows for the use of 1000w motors btw but still caps top speed at 20mph. Just like any motor, the more power you ask of it the more energy it takes. E bikes are never going to be long range speed machines but for exploring the countryside, at as you say a reasonably sane speed, they are great. Having power on tap when needed is a good rule of thumb to go by but not always needed in the course of a ride.

I had a fat bike 5 years ago with the idea of putting a front hub motor on it but never liked how it rode personally so I sold it. I do think that motor assist is a good way to go with them but as I said at this point in technology I would go with a BBHSD mid drive to take advantage of using the bikes gearing when hauling a heavy bike up a 3-5 mile grade can be useful. I ultimately went with a narrower tired hub drive because I also like to do road rides on pavement and found it to be more the best of both worlds.
 

dogdad

New Member
Thanks, those road and hill conditions look very similar to the ones in this area except we have too many trees to take such awesome panoramic photos! (Western Oregon)
JRA, how big is your battery and motor set up?
I've read that the higher wattage motors go through the battery quicker, but would that be true only at higher speeds? If I go at a reasonably sane speed on gravel roads would I get a long ride by going slower, but still have mega power to go up a steep hill when I need to? Or am I giving too much credence to desiring a large motor? Does the large motor and battery help in long hill climbs? For example, the roads I am hoping to travel may go uphill for 3-5 miles before cresting.
It sounds like the front wheel drive is a good option. The front wheel drive Extreme e-bike fat tire isn't reviewed here or anywhere else by an independent shop that I can find, but it sure looks interesting. No reviews because it's such a new offering? Anything similar to it that has been reviewed? Thanks in advance. Love this site being a noob to all of this.
 

dogdad

New Member
Hi Jimbow ,I have looked for reviews on the xtream fat tire ebikes also ,and cant find any > but the price keeps going up ,so they must be doing ok . Let me know if you find out any thing .
 

Jimbow

New Member
Dogdad, hi, in reply to yours: I'll keep an eye out but I've moved on from that particular brand. I'm sure it is a great bike but for right now with as many new manufacturers and bikes that are coming out, it's truly a buyers market. My three issues with the brand we mentioned are 1. They don't have a rear fender that can mount in unison with a rear rack. The components both use the same mounting location. I'm sure that a make shift fender could be zip tied onto the rack somehow somewhere, but that usually creates rattles or rubs. 2. I don't like the skull pattern on the tire treads. While the manufacturer stated that it is a great tire and nearly impervious to flats, I'm 61 years old and not "down with" or "cool enough" to leave skull prints in the dirt everywhere I go! Just a personal preference and I'm sure that there are a million younger folks that will think that a skull print is exactly what they've always wanted. 3. I think it's entirely crass and in poor taste for a manufacturer to have one of their marquee sales videos use an experienced expert bike rider that has to use the f-bomb to explain how good the bike is.
Hey I'm just one old guy getting back into biking so my opinion isn't likely shared by the masses, but there it is.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have a Radrover I use for work commuting and single track trail riding in NM. I've taken my Radrover into the Sandia foothill trails in Albuquerque; which, can be very rocky in places with elevation between 6000-8000 feet. The Radrover just doesn't have enough gears, too heavy (especially in the tail), minimal suspension travel, and mechanical brakes to be a serious hill climber. The Radrover 4" fat tires help with grip and softening some of the rough roads a bit (along with suspension seatpost). I would say the Radrover would be comfortable on any gravel road you would drive your family Honda CR-V as a comparison (similar to the roads in JRA pics).

One thing I like about the Radrover is it has a lot of utility and haul +275lbs. It has three bottle cage attachments, place for a rear rack, can add a top tube bag, handle bar extension for lights/cell phone, and triangle bag. It would be a good choice if you need to ride, carry a lot of gear, and camp overnight
 

dogdad

New Member
Dogdad, hi, in reply to yours: I'll keep an eye out but I've moved on from that particular brand. I'm sure it is a great bike but for right now with as many new manufacturers and bikes that are coming out, it's truly a buyers market. My three issues with the brand we mentioned are 1. They don't have a rear fender that can mount in unison with a rear rack. The components both use the same mounting location. I'm sure that a make shift fender could be zip tied onto the rack somehow somewhere, but that usually creates rattles or rubs. 2. I don't like the skull pattern on the tire treads. While the manufacturer stated that it is a great tire and nearly impervious to flats, I'm 61 years old and not "down with" or "cool enough" to leave skull prints in the dirt everywhere I go! Just a personal preference and I'm sure that there are a million younger folks that will think that a skull print is exactly what they've always wanted. 3. I think it's entirely crass and in poor taste for a manufacturer to have one of their marquee sales videos use an experienced expert bike rider that has to use the f-bomb to explain how good the bike is.
Hey I'm just one old guy getting back into biking so my opinion isn't likely shared by the masses, but there it is.
Dogdad, hi, in reply to yours: I'll keep an eye out but I've moved on from that particular brand. I'm sure it is a great bike but for right now with as many new manufacturers and bikes that are coming out, it's truly a buyers market. My three issues with the brand we mentioned are 1. They don't have a rear fender that can mount in unison with a rear rack. The components both use the same mounting location. I'm sure that a make shift fender could be zip tied onto the rack somehow somewhere, but that usually creates rattles or rubs. 2. I don't like the skull pattern on the tire treads. While the manufacturer stated that it is a great tire and nearly impervious to flats, I'm 61 years old and not "down with" or "cool enough" to leave skull prints in the dirt everywhere I go! Just a personal preference and I'm sure that there are a million younger folks that will think that a skull print is exactly what they've always wanted. 3. I think it's entirely crass and in poor taste for a manufacturer to have one of their marquee sales videos use an experienced expert bike rider that has to use the f-bomb to explain how good the bike is.
Hey I'm just one old guy getting back into biking so my opinion isn't likely shared by the masses, but there it is.
I have a Radrover I use for work commuting and single track trail riding in NM. I've taken my Radrover into the Sandia foothill trails in Albuquerque; which, can be very rocky in places with elevation between 6000-8000 feet. The Radrover just doesn't have enough gears, too heavy (especially in the tail), minimal suspension travel, and mechanical brakes to be a serious hill climber. The Radrover 4" fat tires help with grip and softening some of the rough roads a bit (along with suspension seatpost). I would say the Radrover would be comfortable on any gravel road you would drive your family Honda CR-V as a comparison (similar to the roads in JRA pics).

One thing I like about the Radrover is it has a lot of utility and haul +275lbs. It has three bottle cage attachments, place for a rear rack, can add a top tube bag, handle bar extension for lights/cell phone, and triangle bag. It would be a good choice if you need to ride, carry a lot of gear, and camp overnight
Hi,JimBow ,Thanks for the reply > I listen cause I am 66 and no nothing about E bikes ,and we have forgot more than the young people know ! But I have to rely on what other people know about ebikes ,I likeded xtream bikes cause of the power and the fwd sounded good .I f you find any bikes with 1000w or more let me know . Have you heard about the fat bikes from NY ,been out about 3 yrs .? Thanks Dogdad.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Hi,JimBow ,Thanks for the reply > I listen cause I am 66 and no nothing about E bikes ,and we have forgot more than the young people know ! But I have to rely on what other people know about ebikes ,I likeded xtream bikes cause of the power and the fwd sounded good .I f you find any bikes with 1000w or more let me know . Have you heard about the fat bikes from NY ,been out about 3 yrs .? Thanks Dogdad.
Don't let that advertised watt number be the deciding factor in the bike you purchase. To add some perspective, I have a friend with a stock 500 watt E-Bike Kit brand kit on a Diamondback bike that peaks at 1035 watts on my 18% grade road. Big hill that's 2.2 miles long, culminating in that grade, and he's going 15 mph, not breaking a sweat. I have a 350 watt bike, peaks just around 750 watts and a 500 watt bike that hits 800 watts. Then there are several bikes available today with the advertised 750 watt motors that never peak over 850 watts. Some of that information is available in the professional reviews, some from the manufacturers and some by user reviews. They all can do the job in most cases. The best way to get a sense of what will work for you would be to test ride some bikes. Many bikes will surprise you, some will disappoint. Another surprise is the amount of us baby-boomers on here ;) Good luck!
 
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dogdad

New Member
Thanks Jimbow, I am going to get the Moose 1.0 from Bitrix it is a new bike but the owner is giving me a big break > the reviews on all their other bikes are great ,and I talked to him on the phone and he is right on ,no BS just facts .I will let you know how it goes when I get the bike . Best Dogdad.