- Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Here are some of my thoughts from this week:
The effort to maintain 28mph depends heavily on terrain/wind. I finally found the best place to test the bike's top speed for longer periods of time - a bike track in a park. There, I didn't have to worry about pedestrians/animals and could set it to gear 5 and PAS 5 to see how it looked like. As I mentioned before, I could reach/maintain 28mph while spinning the pedals in the 95-100 RPM range. It is definitely a fast pace, but felt comfortable most of the time. The speed felt like an appropriate reward for the amount of effort made. However, different scenarios led to vastly different experiences. Even in the track, when going against the wind I had a hard time breaking 25mph. Going the other way was, literally, a breeze. Similarly, on slight downhills it was very easy to reach 28 mph, while in slight uphills, I seemed to be stuck around 24-25mph.
The brake cable is scratching the front of the bike. This is a silly comment, but just something that I happened to realize. Last week I noticed some scratching on the front of the bike. I didn't immediately realize what it was. I was a bit disappointed in myself for having scratched the bike this early in my ownership, but didn't know what it could have happened. Later, I noticed it was getting worse - then, it dawned on me. With the way the front brake cable is clipped to the side of the bike, it rubs against the frame as I turn. I didn't know it could do such damage! As a solution, I will add some clear tape to protect the high contact area.
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Battery readings are confusing. This part might be common to all ebikes. However, since this is the only one I own, I'm gonna talk about my experience. Today I went on a short 6 mile roundtrip ride. The first leg consists of mostly downhill - about 120 ft of elevation gain, 300 ft of elevation loss. The return is a bit tougher - there's about a mile on a 10% hill. So far I had only tackled hills (even steeper ones) spawning one or two blocks. This was my first chance to test the performance over a longer stretch. I started the ride with 5 bars. By the end of the first leg, I had 4 bars. Not bad, but expected, since it was mostly downhill. The bike handled the return beautifully - I didn't want to risk running out of leg halfway uphill, so I cranked the motor up to 5 during that 1 mile stretch. When the climb ended, my display still read 4 bars. I thought: wow, this is much better than expected! I reduced power back to 1 and rode for another minute or two. When I looked again, I had only 1 bar left! I guess this is the voltage sag from the load applied during the climb. I just didn't expect it to kick in only after the climb was over. Another minute of riding and I was back to two bars. I rode on flat for another 10 minutes on 2 bars, until I stopped for a drink. When I powered the bike back again, I was at 3 bars! Another five minutes of riding and I was back to 2. Now, I understand that there is variation due to the load, but this was kind of stressful. I didn't know whether I should pack it up and go home charge the bike (1 bar), or if I still had plenty of battery left (3 bars) and what number to trust.
Bonus photo from said ride:
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The battery bar graphs are terrible at best. One thing though, is that there is a possibility some of that erratic behavior might go away after the battery gets a few charges through it. It's not too unusual for them to show sag under a big load, only to return to normal afterward, but it would be a bit unusual (in my experience) for that sag to show up AFTER the fact.
In any case, you'll get used to it as you get some time on it, the same as you would with a crummy gas gauge in a car.