Optibike 1100R Commuting Data, Summer 2012

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Attached is my spreadsheet for 2012, where I highlight my recorded commute rides with my Optibike 1100R.

I returned it after 90 days for several reasons, mostly apart from the bike itself.

This bike is THE BEST, all around, best performing, highest quality, most expensive, ebike that I personally have ridden.
 

Attachments

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Great Stuff, Dan..!!
No wonder you are enthusiastic about ebikes. You seem have to started off with a bang.

I wanted to share something here...
A thought that always lingered in mind whenever Optibike was mentioned is that "Twist Throttle" only??
I mean, if someone wants to go on a 25 mile ride, isn't tiresome to hold that throttle always?
For me, it would lessen the joy of riding by constantly thinking about throttling up/down....
 
Last edited:

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Ravi,
As humans, we adapt quite well. I rode throttle only on an 850 Opti for 4 years before the 1100. I got a nice callous on the thumb! One trick was to twist the half throttle and lean on it to hold it . I also wired in a thumb throttle into aero bars and it was very easy to apply.

I was ready to try a pedelec. I like a bike with both.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I also wired in a thumb throttle into aero bars and it was very easy to apply.
I like the idea of the thumb throttle wired in. Do you have any pictures or tips for where to get the parts and how to set it up? Also, how did things work out with the return? Which bike are you riding now Dan?

ps. thanks again for the invite when I was traveling on the East Coast, sorry it didn't work out. I've finally arrived in Colorado and am spending some time with family, recuperating from the long drive 9,000 miles. We as humans do adapt... but thankfully I don't have any callouses on my butt, just a sore back and neck :p
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Court, I was able to experiment and improvise with the Optibike 850Li. The company was very good about supporting aux improvements. Originally, it was an 800W bike. They upgrade my controller to 850W. Couldn't tell really.

Key Upgrades:
  • Cycle Analyst was huge.
  • I added the throttle splitter to add the thumb throttle on the aeros. That allowed me to be in a tucked position and crank out at full throttle on smooth, paved backroads of Maryland.
  • I re-engineered the Relay CCA where the on/off switch and aux battery port connects. From the schematic, I added a jumper wire to allow me power and ground off the charge port. This allowed me to pug in the rear tail light and run off either battery, 36V. It was a bright, 8 lead from Justin's ebikes.ca.
  • Aero bars
  • LED head lights save 10W, equal lumens.
  • Jig to allow mounting bike to typical 2-bar car rack. Worked great. At 60 lbs, it was equal to 2 normal bikes and well within carrier capacity.
  • Bought a second battery and wired a plug to run on Aux pack. It was Lifepo4, running at 38.4V normal and did pt out mor epower, but only 10Ahrs, so It got me about 14 miles of 22 to work.
  • 50T front ring. vs 48T.
  • Several tire changes.
Again, the gearing and power of the 850 was very good allowing top average speeds in the 22-25mph range and minimal of 20-22 if in eco or going easy. The 1100R was a new beast and took it to another level.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
When I upgraded to the 1100R, Optibike gave me $3000 trade in for a 4 year old bike/battery with over 12k miles on it. They sweetened the deal for the new bike.

I didn't do the CA upgrade. I did the throttle, 50T sprocket, and aeros on the 1100R, which were easily removed. I really needed the rear Rohloff hub cog changed from 16T to 13T to set the gearing right. I spun out too easily with the 50/16 combo and the active cadence was 95-100rpms much of the time. I prefer 80-90.

This is a general problem with the mid drives being the direct connection between cadence and motor speed based upon gear reductions. A torque sensed hub allows you to grind at 50 rpms or spin at 100rpm independently. Just change gears, but you can get the same torque. The mid drives don't want that. If you pedal at 50rpm, the motor has peak current/torque and could struggle. At too high rpm, the motor torque is less. As I understand it, the smaller geared motors have a smaller operating rpm range than the larger ddhubs. I hope that helps if thinking about mid drives. ie. more pedalling.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
When I upgraded to the 1100R, Optibike gave me $3000 trade in for a 4 year old bike/battery with over 12k miles on it. They sweetened the deal for the new bike...
Wow! That's amazing... I think it's a step above just sweetening the deal, glad everything worked out. Thanks for explaining the different performance on the cog with fewer teeth. I see how changing that can reduce the tendency to spin out and maybe improve how it works at higher speeds as well.
 

MarcD

Active Member
Dan - how do the Optis feel when you are pedaling without assist? Just a heavy bike? It's hard to imagine what the geometry of the M or R series would be like to just pedal.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Dan - how do the Optis feel when you are pedaling without assist? Just a heavy bike? It's hard to imagine what the geometry of the M or R series would be like to just pedal.
Marc,
There is zero motor drag with the double clutch in the MBB, and the wheels freewheel fine. Yeah, it's a 60 lb bike with full suspension, so heavier. Riding 10-13mph, no issue. Front shocks and rear can be locked out.

In retrospect of 2 years without the monoquoc frame, I would be more excited to try the SIMBB with a traditional frame and ligher bike. However, if you need full suspention (off road or heavy commuting), the M and R series bikes have top quality components and the huge battery.

5 years ago, if a quality bike with a decent battery (15ahrs+), weighed 55-65 lb, that was pretty good. Now, that is a tad heavy unless you can justify it with more Whrs and higher power (not the praying kind). Power increases speed, which requires higher quality and heavier gauge parts, and a bigger battery to keep the C factor low. All of it adds weight for a safe and reliable ride.
 

MarcD

Active Member
Thx Dan. The SIMBB is definitely on my watch list. I would really love a bike I can truly dual-purpose. By that I mean electric assist, but also ride as a solely human powered bike when I want. Like using electric assist to the start of a group ride, ride with the group on pedal power alone, then e-bike it home.

I absolutely love my Turbo, but in my world it is a commuter/transportation only bike. I don't really use it much for sport.

Anyway, for the next week I am e-bike free while on a tour in the Michigan UP. Seven days, about 275 miles if we do the optional spurs, and hopefully some great camping. Taking my heavily modded Salsa Vaya. Swapped out the drivetrain with SRAM X9/Rival, added a dynamo hub and lighting with USB charge option, and swapped the bars with Zipps and comfy Deda cork tape. Really looking forward to it. Here is the route:
RouteOverview.jpg
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Marc,

How was the bike trip last Summer? How is the Turbo holding up to use? For DDhub speed pedelecs, I think Specialized did a good job on the Turbo with a solid frame and performing components.

I re-read this thread just now... hard to find a bike to do-it-all. I went from a throttle mid-drive to a pedelec speed ddhub... pluses for both.

For long range commuting, speed and range, marginal hill terrain, the ddhubs with speed pedelecs are just as efficient as mid drives and less fuss with shifting issues. To kick around town, I'm thinking the geared hubs, with a nice pedelec drive, like an Easy Motion bike would be great for an all around bike and the geared hub will free wheel and be lighter, so it rides closer to a bike. To ride assist free means less weight. This, the compromises will be a traditional battery size (10ahr) and a 20mph speed limit if you have a less rugged frame and no disk brakes. Tradeoffs.
 

Robert Clark

New Member
I like your mods on your Optibike! Why did you decide not to but a CA on your R-11? I have put LED bulbs in my R-11 and like it. I commute 22 miles to work one way. Would it be possible buy an aftermarket battery say from Luna Cycle and wire it into the optibke?
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Hi Robert ,
I didn't do the CA on the R11 because I only had it for the 90 days and sent it back. If I kept it, I would have.

do you have an R11?
 

Robert Clark

New Member
Hi Robert ,
I didn't do the CA on the R11 because I only had it for the 90 days and sent it back. If I kept it, I would have.

do you have an R11?
Yes, I bought a 2012 R-11 from a doctor who rode it for 6K miles while he was an intern. I paid 5K for it and been riding it for a year commuting 22.5 miles each way to work. The problem I'm having now is the battery is starting to lay down. I can only ride in eco mode, averaging 17 mph with moderate pedaling. And I must put it on the charger on either end of my trip. I was considering buying a 48V 21a battery pack from lunacycle and wire it into the aux. port. Sometime later I will have to replace the main battery. The green light turns off in about 8 miles of riding. I'm not a fan of the 3 light system. Is it difficult to wire in a CA? Thanks.

I also have a used R8HD I bought from Jim at Optibike, it was good until I was run over by an automobile after 6 weeks of ownership. It had the new 23 amp battery, but only at 36V. I can see big difference between the R8 and the R11.

This is the auxiliary battery I want to hook into my R11. http://lunacycle.com/batteries/48v-samsung-inr18650-30q-21ah-high-power/
do you think this will work if I find the right connector for the rear plug?
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
So the battery is getting on 4 years old? How far can you get on fast mode, 15-18mi? Does it kick into the flashing red light? That is the battery voltage hitting a low limit and going into Safe mode to allow 200W and limp home. If you recycle power on the fly, it comes back up, as I expect you have discovered.

I found the Opti power and speed to be addictive. Riding in eco at 17mph seemed so slow, but it really isn't that bad compared to normal ebikes.

That battery will work fine. The 1100 pulls about 25amp max, so a 21ahr is ok.

Do you have a clamp on rack? The battery is 13", so spec out a set up before you order.

Good rides!