POLL: Speed Limit Per Level

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
I recently bought a Level step-through for my wife and we're both finding that the assist is too abrupt throughout the range, and particularly in PAS 1. And this is a bike with the new controller that purportedly addressed the issue. I found that setting the top speed to 20 mph makes PAS 1 much more forgiving, with slower acceleration up to 8 mph instead of a quick sprint to 12 mph. Unfortunately, one then loses the 28 mph top speed!

In my opinion, Aventon should allow the speed setting for each PAS level to be user-defined. In my case, I would choose something like: 1-8, 2-10, 3-12, 4-20, 5-28. That's because we tend to either ride at a leisurely pace, or else want a good turn of speed to keep up with traffic or to get somewhere fast. Rarely are we in the 13-25 mph range.

What would you all set as your PAS speed limits?

PAS 1:
PAS 2:
PAS 3:
PAS 4:
PAS 5:
 

Limeybastard

Member
Region
USA
City
Florida Unfortunately.
Is that behavior that you are experiencing similar with all other e-bikes? Im asking as I dont know.
 

Jacko

New Member
Region
USA
I recently bought a Level step-through for my wife and we're both finding that the assist is too abrupt throughout the range, and particularly in PAS 1. And this is a bike with the new controller that purportedly addressed the issue. I found that setting the top speed to 20 mph makes PAS 1 much more forgiving, with slower acceleration up to 8 mph instead of a quick sprint to 12 mph. Unfortunately, one then loses the 28 mph top speed!

In my opinion, Aventon should allow the speed setting for each PAS level to be user-defined. In my case, I would choose something like: 1-8, 2-10, 3-12, 4-20, 5-28. That's because we tend to either ride at a leisurely pace, or else want a good turn of speed to keep up with traffic or to get somewhere fast. Rarely are we in the 13-25 mph range.

What would you all set as your PAS speed limits?

PAS 1:
PAS 2:
PAS 3:
PAS 4:
PAS 5:
I have 2 bikes an Izip Dash and a Bagi 27. The Izip has 4 levels of assist so it jumps out fast in level 1 and continues the boost in the 3 remaining levels. Now the Bagi on the other hand has, would you believe 9 levels! This makes a more progressive step up in assist which I prefer. Many folks, myself included don't really like that "snappy" assist that bikes like the Izip give. It would be nice to easily program your own bike, which I believe some brands offer.
 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
Is that behavior that you are experiencing similar with all other e-bikes? Im asking as I dont know.
Basically there are two main options in the ebike world: cadence sensor bikes and torque sensor bikes. Cadence sensor bikes like Aventon are generally alike in that the motor is either on or off and it's going to deliver a fixed amount of power at a given PAS level. Most, but not all, hub motor bikes use cadence/speed sensors only. One exception is Juiced, which is my other bike (CrossCurrent X) which has cadence and torque sensors. I believe most/all mid-drive bikes use torque sensors.

As the name implies, a torque sensor bases its output on the amount of force being applied to the pedals. So in PAS 1 (Eco) mode on my CCX, the motor will put out anywhere from around 25w to 150w of power based on how hard I'm pedaling, and that range increases as I move up the PAS levels. In my opinion the torque sensor delivers a more natural riding experience.
 

Limeybastard

Member
Region
USA
City
Florida Unfortunately.
Basically there are two main options in the ebike world: cadence sensor bikes and torque sensor bikes. Cadence sensor bikes like Aventon are generally alike in that the motor is either on or off and it's going to deliver a fixed amount of power at a given PAS level. Most, but not all, hub motor bikes use cadence/speed sensors only. One exception is Juiced, which is my other bike (CrossCurrent X) which has cadence and torque sensors. I believe most/all mid-drive bikes use torque sensors.

As the name implies, a torque sensor bases its output on the amount of force being applied to the pedals. So in PAS 1 (Eco) mode on my CCX, the motor will put out anywhere from around 25w to 150w of power based on how hard I'm pedaling, and that range increases as I move up the PAS levels. In my opinion the torque sensor delivers a more natural riding experience.
Thanks for the explanation. So in essence could one merely have PAS set to zero and just feather the throttle for assistance for max cardio?
 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the explanation. So in essence could one merely have PAS set to zero and just feather the throttle for assistance for max cardio?
Theoretically you could do that, but Aventon disables the throttle in peddle-only mode. Juiced does not.
 

Limeybastard

Member
Region
USA
City
Florida Unfortunately.
Theoretically you could do that, but Aventon disables the throttle in peddle-only mode. Juiced does not.
According to the attached statement they dont anymore. But that document isn't clear where one knows what they are purchasing.

 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
According to the attached statement they dont anymore. But that document isn't clear where one knows what they are purchasing.

Well, not exactly. I have the updated controller, and while it does allow you to use the throttle before peddling in modes 1-5, the throttle doesn’t work *at all* in level 0. Very annoying.
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
Well, not exactly. I have the updated controller, and while it does allow you to use the throttle before peddling in modes 1-5, the throttle doesn’t work *at all* in level 0. Very annoying.
Annoying, but critical for safety. You do need a setting where the computer is on and can be manipulated without the risk of the bike moving under power. That is what PAS 0 is for. You can view or change settings, troubleshoot things, or use your walk mode as desired without the bike lurching away because you bumped the pedal or the throttle.

My own bike (Not an Aventon) allows the throttle to 'top up' the torque sensor regardless of the PAS setting, so I can be lollygagging along in PAS 2, and then hammer the throttle for a big hill or quick pass of a car or other biker. The ability to get the full beans on demand is invaluable to me.
 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
Annoying, but critical for safety. You do need a setting where the computer is on and can be manipulated without the risk of the bike moving under power. That is what PAS 0 is for. You can view or change settings, troubleshoot things, or use your walk mode as desired without the bike lurching away because you bumped the pedal or the throttle.

My own bike (Not an Aventon) allows the throttle to 'top up' the torque sensor regardless of the PAS setting, so I can be lollygagging along in PAS 2, and then hammer the throttle for a big hill or quick pass of a car or other biker. The ability to get the full beans on demand is invaluable to me.
My Juiced bike is the same, but as mentioned, also has the throttle active in PAS 0. It's nice for those times when I'm out to get some exercise, but still want the throttle on occasion to zip across an intersection or up a steep incline. I don't consider it terribly dangerous. If I'm moving the bike about I just turn off the electronics. Of course the throttle can also be disabled altogether in config settings as well.
 

pkchari

New Member
Region
USA
City
Redmond, WA
Yeah, Aventon can easily do that, but the thing is that they don't make any of the components. They have designs and contracts with third-party manufacturers and they take care of assembly in-house. This is how most e-bike brands are -- they are not manufacturers, they're designers. At most, they do assembly, and some don't even do that. Some just buy common parts through and through (why you see so many identical-looking bikes from different brands) and some have their own custom designs for certain parts (which I think applies to Aventon for the frames at least). So in order to have that level of programmability, the only thing they can do is start sourcing a different controller and/or computer from the same manufacturer(s).

But to answer the original poster's question --

PAS 1: 5 mph
PAS 2: 10 mph
PAS 3: 15 mph
PAS 4: 20 mph
PAS 5: 28 mph

The lower speeds in the lower PAS levels are pretty key. 5 mph is slow enough that even if it jerks off the start, it's a slow enough speed to not jar anyone. Though to be fair, I choose that as my speed mainly because my bikes are also shared with in-laws in their 70s -- not just myself and my wife.
 

AdamW

New Member
Region
USA
the throttle doesn’t work *at all* in level 0. Very annoying.
I completely agree. My wife and I tested Aventons last weekend as we specifically wanted bikes with throttles. I road a Throttle After Pedal version and loved it, but the bike my wife tried was the Throttle on Demand (Version 2), and she absolutely HATED the fact that the throttle didn't work when in PAS 0. Living in a city (and sometimes riding with children who don't have an E-Bike), we have times we need to go slower than PAS 1 (about 10 mph), so you have to be on PAS 0 to navigate safely, such as in congested areas. Not having throttle on PAS 0 was a deal breaker for us and I believe it to be a really bad decision by Aventon. Fortunately, we were able to find my wife a Throttle After Pedal version at another dealer, so we are now both enjoying our new Aventons.

To me, the whole point of the throttle is to use it when you aren't using PAS, which means you would often be in PAS 0. I understand the safety feature of not wanting throttle on demand to work right when you turn on the bike. The Throttle On Demand bikes we tried were pretty scary - I tested the Throttle on Demand while not on the bike and the kick was so much that I still just about dropped the bike even when I was expecting it. It would certainly get dropped if the throttle was triggered on accident. Aventon might want to consider a start-up mode of PAS-00 with no throttle, but then also offer a PAS-0 with no pedal assist but throttle. I honestly believe that not having the throttle feature on PAS 0 will be a deal breaker for many. Some of us want to ride without PAS at certain times (like in congested areas), and to me, this is when the throttle is most useful. If I can't use the throttle in PAS 0, then why have it at all?

I agree with the original poster that we should be able to customize speeds for each PAS level. While we love our Aventons, we often find the PAS 1 just a bit too fast for in town riding (we have even taken the top speed down to 20, so our PAS 1 seems to sit at about 9-10 mph). If Aventon isn't going to allow for customization, I would vote for the same speeds at pkchari. I either want to be able to go slow or fast. The middle ranges (20-28) aren't really that important.

PAS 1: 5 mph
PAS 2: 10 mph
PAS 3: 15 mph
PAS 4: 20 mph
PAS 5: 28 mph
 

Cloudsplitter

New Member
Region
USA
I just don't understand why anybody would want the motor to quit helping at ANY speed lower than the selected max speed. PAS should just affect the level of pedal assist, so you can have a little, or a lot.

And why would anybody think they need to ride in PAS 0 to keep the bike from pushing too hard. Just quit pedaling.

And I, for one, would not be getting an Aventon for my daughter if they hadn't fixed the throttle so it works without first pedaling. The whole reason for getting an ebike is to ASSIST, and if it can't help you start up on a hill, what's the point?
 

pkchari

New Member
Region
USA
City
Redmond, WA
And why would anybody think they need to ride in PAS 0 to keep the bike from pushing too hard. Just quit pedaling.
To me, the number 1 use case for PAS 0 in the context of prevention of too hard a push is when you're in crowded areas or need to navigate a tight spot where it is harder to maneuver at high speeds. i.e., situations where you will still have to move but will have to vary your speed to a much finer degree than is possible with a cadence sensor assist. In any case, these are not situations where anyone should need assistance, but the point is that "quit pedaling" also does not suffice. PAS 1 on these bikes can indeed be too much in that context because it simply cannot even allow you to go that slow.

Granted, I still use PAS 0 for large portions of my rides, but that is because it is a personal goal on my part to make as much effort as I can on my own and utilize pedal assist only for that which I cannot do on my own. It's just that for me personally, that scenario listed above is the only case I can think of where PAS is "too hard" of a push. While it doesn't account for huge portions of any ride, it does occur in all bike rides I have ever taken in my entire life, even as a child. Of course, that is for me -- my bikes are also shared by others in my household, including people in their 70s and up who aren't as well equipped to handle the sudden onset of power that comes from a cadence sensor, and that's my strongest motivation for having some milder PAS options. When you've seen a 68-year old woman get on an e-bike and get flipped off the back because it shot forward too hard to her, that will make your blood boil a bit.

Sure, we could all get mid-drive bikes and this would be a lot easier even with pedal assist on, but I'll have to double my net worth before I'd consider it.
 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
There are some torque sensor bikes that don't cost a whole lot more than the Level, FWIW. Juiced's CrossCurrent starts at $2k, for example. I have the CrossCurrent X and in my opinion it provides a much more natural riding experience. Unfortunately they don't make a step-through version, which is why I got the Level for my wife. The least expensive step-through with torque sensor that I know of is a Ride1Up model at $2,200, but that won't be shipping until Q3 of next year. There could well be others, too.

I wouldn't buy another bike without a torque sensor, but that's just me. I know there are plenty of folks who are happy with the cadence sensor experience.
 

Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
As I near 100 miles with my Level (TOD), I use PAS 2 and ride. I find it to be the perfect assist level for the purposes of aerobic exercise in the hilly areas around where I live. On the hills, I downshift as needed in order to maintain a knee friendly cadence. The issue I am working through is how many miles can I actually ride...
 

pkchari

New Member
Region
USA
City
Redmond, WA
There are some torque sensor bikes that don't cost a whole lot more than the Level, FWIW. Juiced's CrossCurrent starts at $2k, for example. I have the CrossCurrent X and in my opinion it provides a much more natural riding experience. Unfortunately they don't make a step-through version, which is why I got the Level for my wife. The least expensive step-through with torque sensor that I know of is a Ride1Up model at $2,200, but that won't be shipping until Q3 of next year. There could well be others, too.
Yeah, well, I looked at a lot of options even when I was shopping around initially. But $2k is already more than 1.5x the cost of a Pace 500. And yeah, the lack of a frame size that would fit the shorter riders in my house makes it pretty much a non-starter. In fact, it was also the deal-breaker for me when it came to Ride1Up's offerings, in spite of the fact that they are generally a better value across the board.

The only torque sensor bikes I'm aware of in the reasonable price range are the Eunorau E-torque, which is a good price at $1200-$1300, but is underpowered with its 350W motor (that won't cut it with the hills out here -- 500W is the minimum), and also lacks some basic things like motor cutoff with brakes... the Buzz Bikes Buzz, which is mid-drive, but still pretty underpowered and cuts costs by using many parts of questionable reliability... and the Ariel C-Class, which is already pushing the limits on price for my taste. At the end of the day, these things are recreational and exercise tools, so I see no need to spend through the nose.
 

Cloudsplitter

New Member
Region
USA
You riders with mid-drive, torque sensor, envy need to understand their drawbacks. Back when they first came out, I got my wife an Electra Townie, while I kept riding my old mountain bike, until this spring, when I got a cadence bike. Torque control IS more quickly responsive, but the only time you need that is when you're going very slow, up a rutted hill, or similar challenging situation. The PROBLEM is it only pushes in proportion to how hard you push. That may be fine for young folks, but here in hilly West Virginia it's just too much of a challenge, so we never rode it far from our home, and that includes me, riding out alone. I just didn't have the energy.

As soon as I got my Radrover, I realized that my wife needed a more helpful bike as well, so she could also ride out from our home, so she got a Radrover, too. I offered the Townie to my eldest daughter, but she wouldn't take it, because she knew why we didn't want it (I gather that this model, which was last called the 8i was selling for about $3,000 when it was discontinued in favor of the less expensive 5i -- 5 internal gears, vs 8). The younger daughter decided to take the Townie, so now I'm helping the older one find the ebike she wants, so she can keep up with her husband and kids.

Admittedly, part of the challenge with that Townie is its wimpy, 250 watt, motor, but part of the problem is having to put out everything you've got, all the way up every hill, in order to get the motor to put out everything its got. That may be fine for younger folk, but I'm too darn old for that.

Another challenge with mid-motor bikes, is that on most bikes, every chain wheel is bigger than every freewheel sprocket, so whatever torque they put out is REDUCED by that gear ratio. There are exceptions to that, such as a $5,000 Giant mid-drive bike with a 52 tooth gear on the freewheel, and a 36 tooth chain wheel. but who want to be spinning the pedals that fast, just so the motor can help more?

A more fair comparison is the iZip Vibe 2. Its motor puts out a wimpy 40 NM, the front sprocket has 38 teeth, and the largest rear sprocket has only 32 teeth, so torque to the wheel: 40*32/38= 34 NM. Not enough to get you up those hills, for which you bought the ebike.
 

AdamT

Member
Region
USA
FWIW, Juiced uses torque sensors on rear, geared hub bikes. Mine has a 750 watt nominal, 1300 watt peak motor. In the top PAS levels it requires very little pedal assistance to move in a hurry. You also have the option of switching between torque and cadence sensors in config settings.