Pedego Element or Pedego Ridge Rider?

saytheenay

New Member
Region
USA
My wife and I are looking at our first ebikes for fun and exercise. When we rented an Intercepter and Ridge Rider, and later two Elements with the new suspension forks, we hadn't been on any kind of bike in years. After our last ride on the Elements, we were pretty settled on them--the feel with the forks is very comfortable and the fat tires seem like they can handle trails, bike paths/lanes, and some light off-roading. However, the Ridge Rider was recently upgraded to include a 749 watt motor with 60 nm of torque (the Element has a 500 watt motor with 45 nm of torque), along with a different controller and possibly sensors. We want to go with Pedego due to the LBS service and community. I considered the Pedego Elevate, but that appears to have been discontinued when the Ridge Rider was upgraded. My wife is pretty settled on the Element with the fork suspension and battery upgrades (48V, 14AH), but would it be a good all-purpose ebike for the above scenarios?

We live in an area with a lot of rolling hills with 13%+ grades. Would it be able to handle hills that go on for sometimes 2+ miles (more PAS than throttle)? The power on hills is what really matters--I need an ebike that can get me up the hills in my area (mostly in paved bike lanes). When we rented Elements, it seemed like they were more work (so more exercise) than the Ridge Rider, but they were also more comfortable and seemed to handle my 6', 245+ stature--would it be too little/under-powered for me? Would a Ridge Rider be much better than an Element in handling hills, or does an Element handle hills well? Which tire size is easier to pedal, a 20 x 4 tire (Element) or 27.5 x 2.5 tire (Ridge Rider)?

I have yet to ride a mountain bike off of a paved trail, but I have been getting interested in the sport (though I would likely stick with easy-intermediate trails). Should I purchase based on something I might do (mountain biking) or something I know I will do (bike paths/lanes/trails)?
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
A few comments I can offer:

In general, small diameter, fat tire bikes are harder to pedal than their larger, thinner counterparts. Much of this is offset by the electric assist however. Larger, fatter tires can provide a better ride and won't bog down on soft surfaces. The choice is highly individualized. The best way to deal with the decision is to do what you're doing and test ride as many bikes as possible.

A sustained 13% grade with a heavy rider isn't ideal for a bike with a rear hub motor. Mid drives are far better for handling hills since you have the ability to use a lower gear with the motor assist. You might try test riding Pedego's mid drive Conveyor and compare the performance with the Ridge Rider & Element on a few hills.

There are many other bikes on the market which may be more suitable for the type of riding you plan. However, being a Pedego owner myself (three Platinum Interceptors) I completely understand your reasons to go with Pedego. Their customer support is second to none.

All of the bikes you mention should be able to handle bike trails as long as you stay clear of serious downhill or singletrack. I do a lot of trail riding and some are fairly rough. My preference is for a bike with larger diameter tires for this purpose. My Platinum Interceptor is sold as a city bike but with different tires and a quality suspension seatpost, it does very well on rough trails.

I find Pedego's 500W rear hub motor to be powerful enough for my 6' 2" , 250# stature. I do ride hills but tend to avoid long ones with greater than a 12% slope.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your decision! You've come to the right place to ask your questions.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Hello, I like to play around with Justin Lemire-Elmore’s motor simulator to examine potential performance https://ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html
You can enter custom values for the controller or motor settings to match the two ebikes you are comparing, Grin Tech don’t sell the Dapu motors fitted to Pedego so those don’t show up in the preformatted motor options. You can infer some information from specs eg Court’s review of the Element mentions peak power of 864w which on the 48v battery tells you Pedego set the controller current to 18a.
Then play around with hill percentages, rider weight, etc.
Have fun with your decision
 

saytheenay

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you both for your insights and suggestions! That motor simulator is great (as is their trip simulator)!

We went back to the Pedego dealer in our area and rented both an Element and Ridge Rider (both with Dapu 500 watt motors--they aren't renting the 749 watt Ridge Rider yet). We tried them up the same ~7% grade, 1/2 mile hill (we took turns on each bike); the Ridge Rider had better acceleration, but both got up the hill easily. The Ridge Rider was great, but I am not sure it is twice-the-price great. I tried pedaling both with PAS off and the Element is a bit more difficult, but they were closer than I expected. The hydraulic brakes on the RR are a dream, but I mostly prefer the Element.

We expressed our concerns about the Element being able to handle hills at my weight (especially since some hills in my neighborhood are steeper than I thought--closer to 15-20%), and the dealer said if it's not powerful enough (assuming we are also pedaling) we could work something out by exchanging the Element for a RR and paying the difference (they said they don't do refunds). Another option is renting them for a day and trying them out in our area. Either way, it seems less risky than being stuck with new bikes that can't perform in local conditions.
 
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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
You are in the same boat me and my wife were two months ago. You are also exactly my size. We also bought them because we rented them while we were on vacation. I’m not sure how old you are but I’m 59. I can ride up some very long grades on my bike.

we bought Trek Verve+3 bikes. For comparison they have 50 nm torque motors. I tried a Verve+2 and it had a 40 nm motor and you could feel the difference but not a huge difference. We rented Pedigo‘s while in Steamboat Springs Colorado, I don’t know which model, but it had the power to climb hills with a hub drive.

We are on a month long vacation in Moab Utah and we brought our bikes with. Our bikes are probably considered a hybrid but they are not even close to a mountain bike. There are some very nice places to ride on pavement but the mountain bike trails are unlimited. I was almost wishing I had a mountain bike until I watched someone. He had a mountain bike and it was so rough he was going about 2 miles an hour and it looked like it was beating him up. It’s just not for me at my age but only you can answer if you want to mountain bike.

Will you get in better shape riding? It sounds like you are overly concerned about hills. I’ve done some pretty long climbs here in Moab and so has my wife. For example yesterday we took a 26 mile ride. On the way out we were going into a headwind. I finally turned up the assist level. I didn’t realize we made a long steady climb until we headed back. On the way back I didn’t pedal hardly at all for 5 miles and was going between 20 and 25 mph. I just checked the bike app on my phone, it was about a 4 to 5% grade into the wind for 5 to 6 miles long. I checked another ride on a bike trail, 15% grade for 2 miles. I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a grind but I turn the assist up and this is where an e bike shines. I pass people that are younger on regular bikes. I go about 8 mph while they grind along at 4 mph.

Good luck in your quest. Take the plunge, I have 650 miles on mine and it’s been great.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
You are in the same boat me and my wife were two months ago. You are also exactly my size. We also bought them because we rented them while we were on vacation. I’m not sure how old you are but I’m 59. I can ride up some very long grades on my bike.

we bought Trek Verve+3 bikes. For comparison they have 50 nm torque motors. I tried a Verve+2 and it had a 40 nm motor and you could feel the difference but not a huge difference. We rented Pedigo‘s while in Steamboat Springs Colorado, I don’t know which model, but it had the power to climb hills with a hub drive.

We are on a month long vacation in Moab Utah and we brought our bikes with. Our bikes are probably considered a hybrid but they are not even close to a mountain bike. There are some very nice places to ride on pavement but the mountain bike trails are unlimited. I was almost wishing I had a mountain bike until I watched someone. He had a mountain bike and it was so rough he was going about 2 miles an hour and it looked like it was beating him up. It’s just not for me at my age but only you can answer if you want to mountain bike.

Will you get in better shape riding? It sounds like you are overly concerned about hills. I’ve done some pretty long climbs here in Moab and so has my wife. For example yesterday we took a 26 mile ride. On the way out we were going into a headwind. I finally turned up the assist level. I didn’t realize we made a long steady climb until we headed back. On the way back I didn’t pedal hardly at all for 5 miles and was going between 20 and 25 mph. I just checked the bike app on my phone, it was about a 4 to 5% grade into the wind for 5 to 6 miles long. I checked another ride on a bike trail, 15% grade for 2 miles. I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a grind but I turn the assist up and this is where an e bike shines. I pass people that are younger on regular bikes. I go about 8 mph while they grind along at 4 mph.

Good luck in your quest. Take the plunge, I have 650 miles on mine and it’s been great.
Great description Dodgeman. Ebikes totally annihilate wind and hills.
Many wonderful miles to you and your wife. 😄😎🚴🏼‍♀️🚴🏾‍♂️
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Another consideration is availability. We bought our bikes the day we got back home from our trip where we rented e bikes. We unloaded our luggage and headed to the bike store an hour drive away. We knew they had what we wanted in stock. You should buy what you want and need but availability is a problem like a lot of things these days.
 

Eu224

Member
Region
USA
My wife and I have owned Pedego Boomerangs for a few months. They are perfect for us. Quality enough for our needs though many believe Pedego uses average parts and charges a premium. To that I say you must evaluate the entire package including your needs and not just the individual components. We are in our early 70s, lifetime riders, and expect to ride into our 90s if possible.

With what we know now about ebikes we'd never buy without trying them out. The older you get the more fussy you should get about your bike choice. It was easy to ride just about anything in our 20s-30s.

These are quite unique in design. We need them for easy get on and off capability...yet still need comfort, stability, and power when required. We bought for our primary use: paths/lanes/paved and gravel trails. For that they are ideal. They are also very stable and comfortable. Certainly not mountain or heavy duty off road bikes. These bikes will allow us to enjoy biking for years longer than normal bikes.

We've climbed some very steep inclines and these bikes have power to spare. The fact you want to test your potential bike in the locations you bike shouldn't be underestimated. Pedego allows you to do that by renting. Regardless of which bike you finally purchase having a local dealer who is well equipped with parts, repair expertise, and who does warranty work quickly without issues is key for us. Pedego does all these right. Just ask any Pedego owner.
 
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saytheenay

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for your responses. We decided to take the plunge and purchased Pedego Elements today. We were able to get them with 14ah battery upgrades, front lights, fenders, racks, suspension forks, convertible bags, had the tires Slimed--the works!

We got them home, strapped on our new helmets and went out for a ride. I took it up a 13.8% grade hill at PAS 3 to see what it could do--the hill is maybe 400-500 feet long, and we have hills like this in every direction). I had to drop to PAS 1 and 1st gear about a 1/3rd of the way up, and had to push pretty hard the rest of the way (still sitting, but almost needing to stand and grind). I then tried another hill at about an 11% grade and while I still had to drop to PAS 1 and 1st gear again, that was much easier. I tried the first hill again and tried throttle-only--nope, it stopped about 2/3rds the way up. Tried it a third time at PAS 1 and 1st gear and had to push a bit harder. For someone my size, a 500 watt motor with 45 nm of torque doesn't seem to flatten hills as much as I'd hoped. But I certainly got a workout climbing this hill three times! However, other than this less-than-hoped power issue, I love this bike! The fit, the finish and the acceleration on less steep terrain is great. Would a Ridge Rider with a 749 watt motor and 60 nm of torque have helped all that much?

As a beginner/newbie to ebikes (and cycling in general), any tips/suggestions/links for climbing hills that might make it a bit easier and/or help improve my efficiency? Until I get in better shape, should I just plan on dropping into 1st, standing up and pumping hard, or is there some other technique I am missing?
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
I'm not sure what you mean by "drop to PAS 1". Usually, PAS 1 is the minimum assist level. You should get more assist with a higher PAS setting.

In general, rear hub motors aren't the best for hilly terrain and can overheat on long sustained hill climbs. As far as I know, this isn't an issue with Pedego though. The 500W rear hub motor on my Platinum Interceptor does get warm on long hill climbs but I've never had it overheat. I don't know about the Element though. You might do a touch test on yours after a climb just to be sure.

My Interceptor will also stall eventually on an 11% grade using throttle only. I don't think this is unusual. I get the best hill climbing results in first gear using PAS 4.

The larger, more powerful geared rear hub motor on the Ridge Rider may give you a significant improvement under the conditions you describe. The larger diameter, smaller profile tires will also have a bit less drag and will reduce the pedal effort somewhat. The only way to tell for sure is to try one. Perhaps your dealer can get one for you to test. Many Pedego dealers will let you trade bikes if you're not happy with the one you bought.

Another possibility is to swap the rear cassette with one that has a larger first gear cog. I did this with my Interceptor. I removed the OEM cassette that had 42 teeth with one that has 46 teeth. This won't help with motor assist but it makes it easier to pedal in first gear. For me, it made a big difference in hill climbing ability. I don't know if this is possible on the Element though. It's something you need to ask your dealer.
 

saytheenay

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for your response. I took your advice and used PAS 5 today to get up a 15% grade hill (several hundred yards long) at almost 15 mph on my Element! I have been watching a lot of videos on climbing hills with e-mountain bikes, cadence and gearing, so that helped too. The Element has a 32 tooth first gear cog, so I may look into a larger cog--especially if I find myself walking it uphill regularly.

Previously, I was using PAS 1 to get up hills because my car is a stick shift—I thought a lower PAS/speed would be more torque. This may be obvious to many on this forum, but this is my first electric-powered anything, so it wasn't obvious to me. But at PAS 5, it flattened that hill twice (and several more during the ride, including the 13.8% hill twice)! PAS is much more powerful on this bike (maybe all e-bikes?) than throttle-only.

While local hills can't be avoid (I'm surrounded), I also don’t want to burn out the motor. What is the best speed for maximum efficiency and/or torque when hill climbing with a hub motor? And how long can that be maintained before damaging the 500 watt, 45 nm torque hub motor that comes in the Element (a Dapu M155 CH, I think?)?

The Ridge Rider is tempting, but several ergonomic factors resulted in me choosing the Element initially, even though it is less powerful: upright position, less pressure on my wrists, thumb shifters, etc.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Yay, it’s great every time feeling the motor assist you when climbing a hill. My BBS01 36v controller is also set to 18a current and that generally means it’s happy to climb hills at 8-12mph for 5 minutes without overheating. You are planning to ride your 350/500w motor at stock voltages, current settings, up average terrain, you don’t need to add a temperature sensor inside your hub motor, that’s something for DIY folk who overvolt, climb long massive hills, or haul very heavy loads. My advice when climbing hills is simply to always try to pedal along, use throttle sparingly to get going then use pedal assist. I generally find myself riding up hill in PAS level 4 of 5, but use as much as you need.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
While local hills can't be avoid (I'm surrounded), I also don’t want to burn out the motor. What is the best speed for maximum efficiency and/or torque when hill climbing with a hub motor? And how long can that be maintained before damaging the 500 watt, 45 nm torque hub motor that comes in the Element (a Dapu M155 CH, I think?)?
Let heat be your guide. Touch the motor housing with your finger. If it's too hot to touch or nearly so, you're overworking the motor.

As I posted earlier, Pedego's Dapu motors are not known to have overheating problems. I've climbed some long steep hills in the 3 years I've owned my 500 W rear hub Platinum Interceptor and have not had any issues. It's best to check it though, just to be sure.
 

HCooke

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for your response. I took your advice and used PAS 5 today to get up a 15% grade hill (several hundred yards long) at almost 15 mph on my Element! I have been watching a lot of videos on climbing hills with e-mountain bikes, cadence and gearing, so that helped too. The Element has a 32 tooth first gear cog, so I may look into a larger cog--especially if I find myself walking it uphill regularly.

Previously, I was using PAS 1 to get up hills because my car is a stick shift—I thought a lower PAS/speed would be more torque. This may be obvious to many on this forum, but this is my first electric-powered anything, so it wasn't obvious to me. But at PAS 5, it flattened that hill twice (and several more during the ride, including the 13.8% hill twice)! PAS is much more powerful on this bike (maybe all e-bikes?) than throttle-only.

While local hills can't be avoid (I'm surrounded), I also don’t want to burn out the motor. What is the best speed for maximum efficiency and/or torque when hill climbing with a hub motor? And how long can that be maintained before damaging the 500 watt, 45 nm torque hub motor that comes in the Element (a Dapu M155 CH, I think?)?

The Ridge Rider is tempting, but several ergonomic factors resulted in me choosing the Element initially, even though it is less powerful: upright position, less pressure on my wrists, thumb shifters, etc.
Remember, your Pedego has a 5 year warranty.
 

gobolts

New Member
Region
USA
PAS is not a gear, I think you were treating it like a gear, it's just the amount of assist you get, so if you need more assist just go to a higher PAS. For the hills you need higher. As far as gears and cadence, I'm not an expert on that at all but from what I've read it doesn't matter at all for hub motors, only mid drives. What I've read is hub motors don't care what gear you're in but mid drives do, but of course YOU may care what gear you're in as far as how easy it is to pedal. I do not worry about burning anything out, I just ride my bike and use whatever level works best for each situation. We have two Elements and a platinum Interceptor.