Would a 250W mid drive be worthwhile for me - a 'reasonably' fit cyclist?

not_the_popo

New Member
Region
USA
I'm just getting familiar with mid drive kits and curious if a 250w motor on a road bike would be worthwhile for me. I'm somewhat fit but I'd like to have that assistance when needed and that nice feeling of moving along at a nice pace. I am a solo rider just calorie burn type rides, no training plan, no goal just cal burn.
It's mostly flat around here with a couple of small to everyone else hills (2% grades). On a good day I'll average 21mph, but usually its around 19.7-20.1 mph.

Would that 250w motor do much for my riding?

thank you
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
I'm just getting familiar with mid drive kits and curious if a 250w motor on a road bike would be worthwhile for me. I'm somewhat fit but I'd like to have that assistance when needed and that nice feeling of moving along at a nice pace. I am a solo rider just calorie burn type rides, no training plan, no goal just cal burn.
It's mostly flat around here with a couple of small to everyone else hills (2% grades). On a good day I'll average 21mph, but usually its around 19.7-20.1 mph.

Would that 250w motor do much for my riding?

thank you
250w is what an average bike racer puts out.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I'm just getting familiar with mid drive kits and curious if a 250w motor on a road bike would be worthwhile for me. I'm somewhat fit but I'd like to have that assistance when needed and that nice feeling of moving along at a nice pace. I am a solo rider just calorie burn type rides, no training plan, no goal just cal burn.
It's mostly flat around here with a couple of small to everyone else hills (2% grades). On a good day I'll average 21mph, but usually its around 19.7-20.1 mph.

Would that 250w motor do much for my riding?

thank you
Sure. Almost all the big brand bikeshop middrive bikes are rated at 250 watts ( and most can peak at twice that much).
The SL ( super light) bikes won't produce more than 250 watts even at peak, and yet people on here climb mountains, ride centuries, and carry heavy loads with them, so riding in the flats you should be good.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
You'll easily get about 400+W at max effort. But since you don't mention the motor manufacturer, it's just a guess.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Riding my 19 lb/59cm frame'd Vitus/Mavic road bike from the 1980's is one thing in terms of the power/weight dynamic. Riding my super lightweight pedelec ebike - that weighs 36 lbs - is another thing entirely (and its likely yours will be heavier). Consider an ebike as a totally new system - and as a bicycle shaped object that is not a bicycle. Don't just look at the wattage output. And don't think your needs/desires will be the same as on an analog cycle, where you just occasionally might want to turn the assist on.

A good way to get the idea is to test ride an ebike for an afternoon. Find a friend who has one, or a shop willing to play ball with you on the subject.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
thank you - I'm still TBD on which one. Either bafang or tongshen: as those are the only ones I have looked at.
If you go Bafang, and you are a cyclist, you will want to change the programming significantly but you will end up with a vastly improved pedelec experience. The settings in the article below, and its follow-on, will work whether you are running a BBS02 or a BBSHD. The key is to not take them as gospel and just use them and the ideas behind them to create what YOU like. there is no such thing as an ideal set of settings. Mine vary by bike at least a little and I have five of the damn things.


As for Tongsheng, over on Endless Sphere there is a HUGE effort undertaken with regard to open source reprogramming of that drive. I am personally not a fan but there are plenty of them out there.
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
250w is what an average bike racer puts out.
If you want "that nice feeling of moving along at a nice pace" I would go with a bigger motor, the motors don't cost much you can get a 1000 w ( hub motor ) for less than $200.
I would suggest a hub motor anyway for simplicity and long life.
You can get whole hub kits with 1200-1500w for $800.
Unless you are restricted by law, why bother with a 250w?
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
What donor bike are you thinking of using?
Here are the 5 bikes that I have rotated the two Tongsheng mid drives that I have (a 36v 500w version and a 48v 750w version.

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1628276467560.png

I also have experience with geared hub drive bikes. The Tongsheng provides a more natural biking experience, other than the weight. Depending on your donor bike and what size battery you use you can achieve 40# or maybe a bit less less final wt.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
My go to bikes are all 350W with the torque sensor, but I am in the San Francisco area and we have hills to climb. With a low nominal rate of power consumption batteries can be smaller and lighter. I just did two with 750W nominal motors but those were cargo bikes that can take a second rider up hills. The one I finished yesterday was a freakish eight feet long. 250W should be great as others have said and the total build weight can be under forty pounds. Try one with the wheel magnet pushed away from the pick up just to see how that feels. Is there someone in your area with one of these bikes?
 

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JES2020

Well-Known Member
My go to bikes are all 350W with the torque sensor, but I am in the San Francisco area and we have hills to climb. With a low nominal rate of power consumption batteries can be smaller and lighter. I just did two with 750W nominal motors but those were cargo bikes that can take a second rider up hills. The one I finished yesterday was a freakish eight feet long. 250W should be great as others have said and the total build weight can be under forty pounds. Try one with the wheel magnet pushed away from the pick up just to see how that feels. Is there someone in your area with one of these bikes?
I got a 1500w geared hub a couple of years ago and I'm glad I did.
Anything less and I would be bored to death.
My bike weighs 60 lbs with a 48v 21ah battery and I can easily hit low thirty MPH without pedaling.
I believe in the principle of buy more than you "think" you need that way you will have a nice margin.
Otherwise you will end up paying for a new more powerful setup in no time.
Buying the extra power up front is MUCH cheaper than buying a whole new set up.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Ebike power ratings for mid drive and hub drives are a nightmare to figure out
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Almost all of the higher end bikes have lower nominal rates of consumption and the motor in the middle. They understate and are smooth light and subtle. The mountain ones are able to burst power for technical situations. That is what I shoot for in my builds and not an electric motorcycle. I also try to make them look nice.
 

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mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
i have two eBikes. one 500w and one 300w (actual max power consumption). 45lb and 28lb. my riding is very similar to yours - get out and see the countryside and burn calories, but we have a LOT of hills here. guess which one i ride 99% of the time that i’m riding for pleasure/exercise?

seriously, the comments about needing 1000w or something are from people who are using their bikes differently. for the kind of riding you describe, first priority is keeping the bike natural, fun, light, nimble, and inspiring.

unless you’re a competitive level cyclist, your average output is likely in the 150-250 watt range. the smallest motor you could get is capable of more than doubling your output. i’m 6’2, 185lb, and can sustain around 200w indefinitely, 250-300 for 5-10 minutes. my 300w mid drive makes me fearless on a long ride - i leave it off 95% of the time but if a huge hill, crazy headwind, or some health issue comes along i can crank it up. turned off, there is no drag and it’s almost as aerodynamic as a traditional endurance geometry road bike. the big downside is lugging an extra (relative to a light climbing road bike) 10lb of bike up the hills when i have the motor off.

my advice - you’ll like having a motor and battery to extend your range and open up new routes, perhaps ones with hills. if you’re going to do short (<30 miles) rides without much climbing, all the motor will do is boost your average speed by 5mph or so and make your bike heavier. (doubling your power from 200 to 400 watts at 19.5 mph is good for 25mph….) it’s critical that the bike still ride like a bike with the motor off or on a very low setting, and critical that you can tune the output based on speed and torque.
 
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JES2020

Well-Known Member
i have two eBikes. one 500w and one 300w (actual max power consumption). 45lb and 28lb. my riding is very similar to yours - get out and see the countryside and burn calories, but we have a LOT of hills here. guess which one i ride 99% of the time that i’m riding for pleasure/exercise?

seriously, the comments about needing 1000w or something are from people who are using their bikes differently. for the kind of riding you describe, first priority is keeping the bike natural, fun, light, nimble, and inspiring.

unless you’re a competitive level cyclist, your average output is likely in the 150-250 watt range. the smallest motor you could get is capable of more than doubling your output. i’m 6’2, 185lb, and can sustain around 200w indefinitely, 250-300 for 5-10 minutes. my 300w mid drive makes me fearless on a long ride - i leave it off 95% of the time but if a huge hill, crazy headwind, or some health issue comes along i can crank it up. turned off, there is no drag and it’s almost as aerodynamic as a traditional endurance geometry road bike. the big downside is lugging an extra (relative to a light climbing road bike) 10lb of bike up the hills when i have the motor off.

my advice - you’ll like having a motor and battery to extend your range and open up new routes, perhaps ones with hills. if you’re going to do short (<30 miles) rides without much climbing, all the motor will do is boost your average speed by 5mph or so and make your bike heavier. (doubling your power from 200 to 400 watts at 19.5 mph is good for 25mph….) it’s critical that the bike still ride like a bike with the motor off or on a very low setting, and critical that you can tune the output based on speed and torque.
I always go for simplicity...because it's smart.
I always go for more power than I need ...because it's safer !
Everyone knows the dangers of riding a bike on the street, with all the idiots out there, if you can keep up with traffic you are safer than getting buzzed by some idiot.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I always go for simplicity...because it's smart.
I always go for more power than I need ...because it's safer !
Everyone knows the dangers of riding a bike on the street, with all the idiots out there, if you can keep up with traffic you are safer than getting buzzed by some idiot.
I don't agree with this and millions of cyclists have proven this is not a thing. there are only going to be a limited amount of roads you could keep up with traffic going 30mph. I have put over 30,000 miles road riding and never saw a need to go 30mph.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I just moments ago 'rode' a hub-drive. I put it in low gear, first, and ghost pedaled at a cadence of 20 with no pedal pressure. None. The thing did 28. That is not riding a bike. And if it went off a curb the spokes would shatter.
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JES2020

Well-Known Member
I just moments ago 'rode' a hub-drive. I put it in low gear, first, and ghost pedaled at a cadence of 20 with no pedal pressure. None. The thing did 28. That is not riding a bike. And if it went off a curb the spokes would shatter.
View attachment 95637
I have no idea what you are on about.
Are you saying you went 28 mph on a 300 w bike? You mean off a cliff right : )
I jump curbs at speed ALL THE TIME, there is a certain level of skill needed, but I have never had my spokes shatter, so you must mean off a cliff not a curb. : /
 

AstroTurf

Member
Region
USA
I just moments ago 'rode' a hub-drive. I put it in low gear, first, and ghost pedaled at a cadence of 20 with no pedal pressure. None. The thing did 28. That is not riding a bike. And if it went off a curb the spokes would shatter.
View attachment 95637
all the more reason to regulate the production and speed of ebikes.

spokes can be replaced in a matter of minutes, compared to the time it takes to heal human body parts.

great argument... NOT!!!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
If you want "that nice feeling of moving along at a nice pace" I would go with a bigger motor, the motors don't cost much you can get a 1000 w ( hub motor ) for less than $200.
I would suggest a hub motor anyway for simplicity and long life.
You can get whole hub kits with 1200-1500w for $800.
Unless you are restricted by law, why bother with a 250w?
A 1000w hub motor will feel nothing like traditional cycling. He'll need something with a torque sensor to get that feel.