What I learned today


Active Member
Until today, I did not even know that cadence and torque existed, and I still am not quite sure about the difference, but will get to the bottom of that. I don't recall having seen those specs referenced often if at all. Some bikes claim to have both just like some bikes claim to have throttle and pedal assist.

My goal started out precisely as avoiding the misery box, and I imagined zipping to and from work on a self-propelled bike that was really just a motorcycle in disguise that my family would not notice and take away from me. I have since figured out that I was being delusional. Notthe first time.

Looking back, I also realize that I have always enjoyed biking, but my memories include many times when I was physically done, but we were not home yet. I remember times I got part way up a mountain and ran out of juice. The sense that I have developed is that electric bikes have the potential to extend my capabilities so that I will be less likely to have those experiences. Electric bikes won't prevent them, but they will make it easier to enjoy biking. And if I become more fit and learn how to use bikes properly, my own range and capabilities will improve, and then one thing will feed onto another. In other words, this started out about a quick painless ride to work and has transformed into something about biking.

Truth be told, I also am motivated for my sons. They both have nice Trek bikes, but do not use them. When I was their age, my stupid Schwinn bike was freedom. During the summers, we were free to wander for miles in any direction, and we did. My older son just finished driver's education, and he might be a tough nut to crack. But the younger one is 12. He can ride his bike, but he is very uncertain on it, and he claims that he cannot ride a bike. But I cannot get him to try. He would rather play on his computer. We have tons of biking opportunities around Seattle, our local government wants to turn the airport into a bike lane. So if this provided a way to get him on board, that would more than satisfy all of my wants and needs.

My long term goals are (a) to get to work; and (b) to be able to ride around Mercer Island when I am 80 if I feel like it.

Check out Evelo bikes - they are HQ in Seattle. Think you might like their newer models. Powerful mid motor, throttle and Nuvinci hubs, fantastic 4 yr warranty which includes the battery (almost everyone else only warranties batteries for 1yr).

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
This business about "mid-drives are better for hills" is over-rated IMO. I believe that it may have originated with e-mountain bikes. It may well be true for rugged terrain. I haven't tried that kind of riding, so I'm not trying to be an expert. However, on this forum we have people in various places with both long and steep hills who love their rear-hub motors. We have some steep hills where I live, no long ones, so again my experience is limited. What I find is that if I speed way up just before getting to the hill, the motor has no trouble getting me up and over. It's been said elsewhere that electric motors are more efficient at higher RPMs, and this sure accords with my experience.

Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. That applies to me as well, since I haven't compared a mid-drive to my hub motor on the same hills that I ride. But I think this accounts for the "hills need a mid-drive" deal. Most of us old farts are not attacking the kind of hills you might get while mountain-biking.

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Today, I decided to wander over to Electric and Folding Bikes Northwest, which is in the Ballard neighborhood about 11 miles away.I checked, and they close at 6, which surprised me. So I headed out at 4:30. Some confluence of circumstances apparently caused massive traffic jams throughout Seattle today, and at 5:45, Google Maps said I was still 20 miles away. I really wished I had an electric bike the whole way. I called and asked the guy if he would mind sticking around for 10 minutes so I could pop my head in and take a look around, and he said he would be happy to.

Electric and Folding Bikes was an entirely different experience than E-Bikes Seattle. They carry more brands and have newer models out. They also carry non-electric bikes and are an actual bike store. The guy I talked to was a lot more knowledgeable that the one at E-Bike. I really was not impressed with E-Bike, but I was very pleased with Electric and Folding Bikes. I did not try to test drive anything because it was late and raining, but we looked at a number of bikes and discussed my needs. He said that with my hills, he would tend to prefer a mid -drive bike. He also said that they can build a custom bike using a kit, but apparently the trade war is going to his those kits hard. I asked him out if a carbon fiber frame could be used, and he said it could, but he would not advise it because when carbon fiber fails, it does do catastrophically. I actually looked that up, and it is amazing.

They had a Specialized Turbo Como and Turbo Vado, which both were impressive and a number from Easy Motion. They also carry Orbea, which is a Spanish brand. Their Keram bike is nice, but their Wild FS mountain bike pretty much steals the show

View attachment 22594

Looks like it was well received. It sells for $4,700, but bikebling.com has it on sale for $3,760. The frame looks like carbon fiber, but is alloy, and is has a Shimano Motor DU-E8000 motor and a Shimano Steps E8010 500Wh battery

An article came out in ebike-mtb.com four days ago called "The best eMTB motor 2018 – 6 powerhouses go head to head." The Shimano DU-E8000 was one those included. It did not rank them in the end, just compared. But its discussion of the DU-E8000 was very complimentary

"The compact Shimano motor gives developers and engineers the most freedom when designing frame geometries, which explains its popularity with bike designers and engineers. On top of that, it’s a whole kg lighter than the big Bosch Performance CX, which also requires considerably more room for installation and thus limits both the geometry and the positioning of the bearing points. "

"When it comes to displays, bike manufacturers have the choice. Almost every motor supplier offers a number of options and different sizes. For their Brose motor, Specialized dispense with a display altogether and rely on a minimalist charge-indicator placed on the downtube. You also have the option of sending all of the most important data via Bluetooth directly to an external device such a Garmin or a smartphone. With their high-resolution display mounted behind the handlebars, Shimano currently offers the best compromise between integration, legibility, and protection. Shimano also offers a very intuitive remote system which derives from a Di2 shifter and allows you to switch between support levels. "

"Which motor is the best?
If we were exclusively looking for power, the TQ 120S would be the undisputed winner. However its sheer power is difficult to modulate and eats through a lot of energy in the higher support levels – plus not many manufacturers are using it at the moment. The Yamaha PW-X churns out decent amounts of power at low cadence, but eventually runs out of steam when riding at high cadence. Its turbulent nature in standing starts is not to everyone’s liking either.
The Panasonic is a very reliable motor, but its performance loss at a high cadence is irritating at best and the display integration still needs more sorting.
The Bosch Performance CX is currently the most common motor on the market and has repeatedly proven its capability over the years. Thanks to its updated software and the progressive eMTB mode, it is now even better equipped for all off-road scenarios. Unfortunately, its large dimensions and the noticeable drag above the 25-km/h limit is still a major drawback and represents a serious challenge for ebike designers.

Shimano’s STEPS E8000 motor offers the fewest compromises and suits a wider range of applications. Its intuitive operation system and well-balanced power delivery (especially in Trail mode) are truly pleasant – plus the compact design and light weight are the ideal prerequisites for manufacturers to design the perfect eMTB.

The brand-new Brose Drive S motor offers the most natural and controllable ride. If its predecessor was lacking power, the updated version of the Brose motor stands right behind the TQ motor. On top of this, it runs very quietly, can be finely modulated even in the higher support levels, and presents virtually no resistance at speeds above 25 km/h.

However, the motor is only half of the story. Factors such as geometry, suspension, and spec of a bike are the keys to a comfortable, safe, and pleasant ride. When deciding on a bike you should consider all of these decisive factors carefully."

Overall a surprising and somewhat compelling bike. They did not have one these in stock, but I will check their plans. I will try to head back tomorrow to test a few.

If you sensed a rabbit hole developing, you were right. That article refers to a TQ 120S motor that is described as far more powerful than anything else. TQ used to be Cleanmobile but changed its name. The TQ 120S appears to be a radical development. It is very small and extremely powerful.

I only found one bike for sale with the TQ 120S http://www.togoparts.com/marketplac...1-spitzing-race-850-watt-e-bike-carbon-colour


My 2 cents-You mentioned "The Panasonic is a very reliable motor,". There are not very many E-bikes currently that I have seen with this motor. Back in 2015, Easy Motion had one on a race bike. The other motors you have listed are the most well known brands on E-bikes today, for the exception of the TQ120S. Nice post though about motors and their characteristics. I would pick any of those from the list for each selective terrain you will be riding. Just to know they can be serviced is a big plus IMHO.

Barry S

Well-Known Member
On a related subject, are there rear view mirrors that work?
This clamp-on model has been recommended on these forums before and currently on my Amazon Wish List for my first ebike. Please note there is a specific right-hand and left-hand model. This next mirror is one that I currently use and is also very popular. It gets inserted into the end of your handlebars, which means you'll have to cut the end off of your rubber handlebar grips. Due to its multiple swivel points, it works on either the right or left side and you can have it positioned upright or hang below the handlebar for the best view. I works well for me and is only $13 USD.


Well-Known Member
The TQ 120S looks sexy but puts the emphasis in the wrong places. They put the money into a cool looking carbon fiber frame that surely weighs a few pounds let than aluminum would be, but a few pounds matters little on an ebike. Then they saved money on the derailier and cassette with only a ten speed with an 11-36 cassette. Depending on the front sprocket, I would find a 36 tooth lowest gear to be too high a gear to comfortably negotiate the hills around Bellingham.

My Cube came with a Shimano xt shadow plus with an 11 speed cassette that went from 11 teeth to 42. The bike has the Bosch CX. I found that it lacked a high enough gear for downhill runs and spun out at about 24 mph. I changed the sprocket at the crank from a 15 tooth to a 17 tooth which gave me grip up to 30 mph. Then I swapped out the cassette for an 11 speed 11-46 tooth set up which gave me a real hill climbing, grunter of a low gear.

The best mirror for a bike is the 701 I have on my Riese & Muller Nevo Nuvinci GH it is made by Busch & Muller, folds in easily, stays in adjustment during the ride and is big. You can get it at Propel Bikes in Brooklyn https://propelbikes.com/product/busch-muller-701-mirror-e-bikes/


Well-Known Member
My long term goals are (a) to get to work; and (b) to be able to ride around Mercer Island when I am 80 if I feel like it.

Just rode around MI today with my cadence-sensing Pedego Interceptor. Such fun! :) Here's a picture. Pedego Electric Bikes in Redmond is a fun place to try bikes, and there's also another bike store across the street that sells a variety of other brands, so you can try a bunch of different things on the Sammamish River Trail which is right near the stores.
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