Kranked E Squared Review

Kranked E Squared Electric Bike Kit Review
Kranked E Squared
Kranked E Squared Installed Side View
Kranked E Squared Battery Backpack On
Kranked E Squared Closeup On Twist Throttle
Kranked E Squared Bars View Led Display Throttle
Kranked E Squared Top Down View Power Cord
Kranked E Squared Santa Cruz V10 6
Kranked E Squared Motor Power Cable Connector
Kranked E Squared Installed Crank Arms
Kranked E Squared Closeup
Kranked E Squared Chainring Freewheel
Kranked E Squared Belt Drive Step Down Container
Kranked E Squared Under Shot
Kranked E Squared Inside Battery Backpack
Kranked E Squared Backpack And Large 20 Ah Battery
Kranked E Squared Belt Drive Canister Closeup
Kranked E Squared Top Down Closeup View
Kranked E Squared Chainring Side Closeup
Kranked E Squared Electric Bike Kit Review
Kranked E Squared
Kranked E Squared Installed Side View
Kranked E Squared Battery Backpack On
Kranked E Squared Closeup On Twist Throttle
Kranked E Squared Bars View Led Display Throttle
Kranked E Squared Top Down View Power Cord
Kranked E Squared Santa Cruz V10 6
Kranked E Squared Motor Power Cable Connector
Kranked E Squared Installed Crank Arms
Kranked E Squared Closeup
Kranked E Squared Chainring Freewheel
Kranked E Squared Belt Drive Step Down Container
Kranked E Squared Under Shot
Kranked E Squared Inside Battery Backpack
Kranked E Squared Backpack And Large 20 Ah Battery
Kranked E Squared Belt Drive Canister Closeup
Kranked E Squared Top Down Closeup View
Kranked E Squared Chainring Side Closeup

Summary

  • Offers amazing torque and power for ascending rocky mountain trails, features an 18 to 1 step-down to keep the motor from overheating but you still get a ~30 mph top speed depending on the gear being used
  • Three battery size options to emphasize range or reduced weight, all are "worn" in the included EVOC Rucksack backpack which is handy for extra gear, water and tools
  • Can be preinstalled on the award winning Santa Cruz V10.6 bicycle frame, the mounting plates and custom and very sturdy, weight is kept low and center for improved handling and the reinforced power cable is designed to "break away" in the event of a fall
  • Noisier than most electric bikes, not legal on many trails due to high power and speed, very expensive depending on your options and the bike being used, very basic display (three colored LED lights) and no pedal assist, just throttle mode
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike kit is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

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National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Kranked

Model:

E Squared

Price:

$4,998

Suggested Use:

Downhill, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

7 lbs ( 3.17 kg )

Motor Weight:

13.8 lbs ( 6.25 kg )

Cranks:

Raceface Turbine Chainring (Optional Raceface Aeffect Chainring), Next Crank Arms

Pedals:

Optional SixC Platform Pedals

Accessories:

Custom Kranked Bottom Bracket, EVOC Rucksack Backpack for Battery Storage, Optional EGO Bracket to Fit Trek, Specialized and Other Frame Types

Other:

Designed to Fit the Santa Cruz V10.6 Downhill Bicycle (Compatible with Other Frames), Cylinder Motor Driven Planetary Gear with 9 to 1 Reduction Ratio and 2 to 1 Belt Reduction for Increased Torque and Less Overheating, Battery Size: 10.5 cm x 14.7 cm

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Kranked

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Gearless Motor (Planetary and Belt Step Down ~ 18:1)
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1500 watts

Motor Torque:

100 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 26F

Battery Voltage:

52 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah (Optional 12.5 Amp Hour or 20 Amp Hour)

Battery Watt Hours:

560 wh (Optional 650 Watt Hours or 1,100 Watt Hours)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

2 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles ( 32 km )

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles ( 48 km )

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Capacity (Green, Yellow, Red)

Display Accessories:

Toggle Switch On/Off

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

30 mph ( 48 kph ) (Speed Varies by Gear)

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Written Review

Kranked ERIDES is an electric bike kit distributor and manufacturer that has been around since mid 2011. They offer some of the most powerful and extreme systems I’ve seen, perfect for back country freeriding in national forests and other private wilderness. Most downhill riders who use traditional pedal-powered bikes either hike up, take a chairlift or rent a helicopter. This works fine but it does limit how far you can go, what mountains you can explore and what kind of budget you’ll be able to fit. Kranked systems have similar restraints… they aren’t cheap (nor are the recommended bikes they’re designed to work with, the Santa Cruz V10.6 in this case) and not all mountains allow motorized vehicles. For the moments when this system is a fit, you get something totally unique and empowering. The Kranked E Squared was custom engineered to go further, overheat less frequently and match speeds that are comfortable to pedal with as compared to the Kranked branded EGO 2400 or 3400 kits. These systems are louder than most ebikes I’ve tested, the backpack-stowed battery changes body weight and positioning a bit and the throttle-only activation with limited display readouts leaves something to be desired but it’s still one of a kind and super fun to ride. If you enjoy the feel of motocross, power at your fingertips, but appreciate a lighter weight platforms and love unassisted descents with only the sound of your tread smacking the trail then this is one of just a few truly capable climbers. I literally rode straight up steep mountain paths in Whistler BC taking on rocks and roots without issue. It made the climb almost as much fun as the descent and completely changed the way I was approaching the mountain.

The motor driving this kit is a gearless canister drive optimized for high RPM. In order to get the torque and brute force required to climb steep hills a 9.5 to 1 planetary gearing system steps down the speed… and this is complimented by a secondary 2:1 step-down system using a belt drive. I spoke with the founder, Bjorn, about this decision and he was very excited with the speed and consistency being achieved. Rather than going faster than the older EGO kit, this new kit slows things down and makes pedaling along more natural and effective. Rather than further emphasizing pure force, this system is designed to go further and run at top speed for extended periods without the tendency for overheating that other systems have encountered on similar terrain. This is not to say that the E2 is weak or slow in any way… it’s still a Class 4 “off road” style kit with top speeds in excess of 30 mph, it’s just not a sprinter 40 mph kit like the EGO. I really appreciated the sturdy build quality of the bottom bracket mounting design and protective plating. The secondary chain looked very strong and I was able to pedal and ride unpowered very comfortably, balance was good because the ~12 lb motor is low and center. My only complaints about the motor system are that it produces a loud buzzing noise under power and that it definitely adds strain and wear to the primary chain and gearing system of the bicycle. You can limit wear by easing off the throttle before shifting however and this is one benefit to not having pedal assist, it’s a lot easier to care for the drivetrain using twist throttle only.

Powering the system is an awesome Lithium-Manganese battery brick that plunks down into the EVOC Rucksack backpack and connects via an umbilical style power cord to the controller. It’s a unique design to be sure and there are definite trade-offs in balance. The bike is very balanced with the mid-drive mentioned earlier but the added weight of the pack adds stress to your legs, knees, back and arms on rough terrain. I’m not sure there’s a obvious “better place” to put the battery, especially one that wouldn’t further limit bike compatibility. Ultimately, it’s great to see Lithium-ion cells like the Samsung 26F’s used in this pack getting lighter and more energy dense with each passing year. The pack does give you you more space to bring food, water and tools which is nice and the break-away cord stays out of the way when riding. I didn’t take a fall during my demo rides but my feeling is that the battery is well protected by the backpack and your body shouldn’t get too beat up by the 12 lb weight thanks to integrated padding. If you’re coming from the motorcycle world everything here is going to feel super light weight but if you’re into downhill mountain biking it might feel heavy and restrictive. I was too distracted by the power and fun of riding over boulders to think much about the pack and I attribute some of this joy to the long travel suspension and light weight of the Santa Cruz V10.6.

I can’t comment too much on installation because I didn’t install this kit myself. Kranked mostly sells it preinstalled but this raises a question about converting back to “human powered” on occasion. I’ve installed other bottom bracket kits and there are a few unique but affordable wrenches and tools that can come in handy. You might be able to work with a local shop to do this while getting a tuneup but it’s definitely not as easy as a hub motor. The benefit is zero addition to unsprung weight, increased efficiency and torque by leveraging the rear cluster and a more rugged design. In addition to the motor and mounting bracket (which can be swapped for an EGO bracket to fit more bikes) you’ve got the twist throttle up top but that’s about it. To operate this thing you simply charge the battery which takes ~2 hours from empty then don the backpack and plugin near the saddle mount at the seat post (this is where the power cable was zip-tied on my demo bike). Next you push the on/off switch toggle button mounted right on the twist throttle and the bike is live. The upside to limited displays is that there’s less to reflect in your face, distract you or break if the bike tips and the universally understood “twist to go” variable speed throttle performs as expected. the only question marks I have are around arm and hand tension over long rides. You have to steer and handle the bike while delicately adjusting power output with the throttle. This is true of motocross bikes as well but they don’t buck as much due to their heavier weight. The long travel suspension on the Santa Cruz V10.6 helps and overall I was satisfied. The throttle is sensitive though so consider riding on smooth, relatively flat and predictable terrain to get the hang of things before blasting off-road.

If was more into downhill riding I think I’d be obsessed with kits like this… The Kranked E2 delivers the power and speed of a a thrilling downhill bike without impacting handling and weight in a drastic way. It’s a lot of money to spend and the motor noise can be annoying but the rush cannot be denied. If I owned a bunch of land up in the hills this thing would definitely be on my wish list. It’s still a lot quieter and easier to service than a gas powered bike… not to mention lighter. As always… with a kit this powerful and fast, please be considerate of how and where you ride. You could seriously injure or even kill another rider or pedestrian at high speed while that’s true of human powered bicycles to some extent (especially b-lining down large hills and mountains) the risk is ever-present with a 30+ mph ebike “all the time” setup like this.

Pros:

  • Designed to handle high torque, high power environments over longer distances with more traditional pedal cadence and because it has a total of 18 to 1 step down ratio the motor is less likely to overheat
  • Built to interface perfectly with the Santa Cruz V10.6 World Cup winning downhill bike and turn it into more of an enduro all-mountain platform
  • Because you wear the battery pack with this kit (in a backpack) you don’t have to modify the frame as much as some other kits and the weight that you do add is kept low and center for improved handling
  • The motor mounting plate is custom designed specifically for use with the Santa Cruz V10.6 bicycle and you can order it pre-installed from Kranked, they also sell an EGO bracket that’s compatible with ~70% of other bike mountain bike frames
  • As a mid-drive motor, this system leverages any sprockets you’ve got in a rear cassette (10 on the Santa Cruz V10.6 I tested) so you can optimize for torque or speed by shifting gears traditionally
  • Given the type of terrain that this system is designed for (rugged off-road) the motor casing is super sturdy and you get a solid two year warranty that’s all inclusive
  • Capable of climbing up to 80% incline or 40° degrees slope, that’s more than any other kit I’ve tried to date other than the Kranked EGO kit

Cons:

  • This kit isn’t able to offer the same acceleration or top speeds as the EGO kit but is more natural to pedal, goes further with the same battery size and is less likely to overheat
  • The kit is very expensive compared to lower speed options, especially if you also get the premium Santa Cruz bike, but there are three battery sizes to choose from to reduce price slightly
  • There’s no advanced display with speed, distance, time, power, estimated range or remaining battery level so you either have to install a secondary cycle computer or deal with the basic “green, yellow, red” battery charge estimator
  • Due to the higher top speed and enormous power of this kit it’s not classified as a low speed electric bike and therefor not legal on most traditional paths and trails
  • As you can hear in the video, the motor makes a loud sort of buzzing noise… it’s not as bad as most gas powered motors but definitely louder than most other electric bicycles
  • Batteries are contained in a backpack which means the weight is higher up and may impact your comfort and ergonomics of riding at 10+ pounds varying by size
  • This system only offers throttle on demand, it’s variable speed and quite responsive but you end up using your wrist and arm muscles to control bike handling as well as speed which can take a toll over rough terrain, a pedal assist option would be nice to see

Resources:

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More Kranked Reviews

Kranked EGO 2400 Review

  • MSRP: $3,998
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

One of the highest speed, most powerful mid-drive electric bike motors available, top speed ~44 mph varying by sprocket. Leverages a canister style gearless motor from EGO stepped down 9 to 1 with a…...

Jake
1 year ago

This kit looks really cool, I like the idea of wearing a battery on your back verses trying to attach it to the bike frame which might not be designed to bear a heavy load at the back or along the bottom.

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SuperGoop
2 months ago
I answer that question in another thread:
https://electricbikereview.com/foru...a-lot-harder-with-ebikes-being-heavier.10040/

Quoting myself:
SuperGoop
Flats and declines are no problem to pedal without power since there is only the additional (heavier) inertia to overcome. Inclines are exponentially more difficult because gravity is added to the equation, and the extra weight begins to resist exponentially.

For example, I can push a bowling ball, as easily as a ping pong ball, on level ground with no effort once I overcome the initial inertia. However, as soon as there is an incline, the force (Force = Mass x Accelaration) required to push the bowling ball would exponentially increase since gravity is exponential (9.8 m/second squared at 100% incline).
SuperGoop
2 months ago
Flats and declines are no problem to pedal without power since there is only the additional (heavier) inertia to overcome. Inclines are exponentially more difficult because gravity is added to the equation, and the extra weight begins to resist exponentially.

For example, I can push a bowling ball on level ground with no effort once I overcome the initial inertia. However, as soon as there is an incline, the force (Force = Mass x Accelaration) required to push the bowling ball would exponentially increase since gravity is exponential (9.8 m/second squared at 100% incline).
Chris Nolte
3 months ago
Got it. Sounds like the controller and/or a connecter issue. Sometimes these issues can be a bit tricky, but hopefully your dealer can get you squared away.
Mike Radenbaugh
4 months ago
Hey Barkme,

Glad you got it all sorted! Spokes are covered under the warranty if there is a defect, but anything that is associated with normal wear and tear is not covered under warranty (brake pads, tires, spokes that are damaged from impact with a curb, etc)..... but in any case I am glad tech support got you squared away, let them know if anything else is needed! All the RAD bikes use 36 hole rims and 12 Gauge Stainless Steel spokes and nipples to help reduce the frequency that wheel service is needed.
George S.
5 months ago
Umm... Two 12 volt batteries that don't actually seem to be connected to anything? I can see two red terminals, so it looks like two maybe 12 ah SLA batteries. In series you would have 24 volts, but not for very long.

The squared off sides of the axle are supposed to go tightly into the drop outs. That is floating in the the dropout, so maybe it's a floating axle? The way that is sitting, why would you think it would stay in place?

It's a joke, right?
Jim123
1 year ago
George S., the Kranked E squared video review on EBR had the interviewee saying that the kit had a reduction gear and was equivalent to a 500 or 700 watt system at the drive train. Court still listed the might be illegal warning label on the review. It would sure be nice to get clarity on how all this wattage measuring will work (from the California legislature ideally). The Haibike going from bike of the year to removed from dealer, shows the tumult in the Ebike industry. Reminds me of the computer industry in the 1970s.
John ware
1 year ago
I haven't rode on mine yet so I'm anxious to see if I experience a similar squeak. My axle came with two spacers, one squared off and one beveled, a flat washer and a locknut. I used the squared off spacer (non beveled) which when placed alongside the original axle matched the length/space exactly.


View attachment 4862
Nirmala
1 year ago
Reddy Kilowatt
I love the Two Fish strap-on water bottle holder. It's made of stainless steel, has a wide Velcro strap, came with a bottle, and I got it from Amazon for under twenty bucks with free shipping.
The rubber block is curved for conventional tubes, but it works a treat with the squared-off top tube on my Optibike. You can mount it wherever you have some free space.

Allen
Thanks! That looks perfect for my Ui5 which does not have round tubes. I just ordered one.
Mike Smith
2 years ago
Reddy Kilowatt
I love the Two Fish strap-on water bottle holder. It's made of stainless steel, has a wide Velcro strap, came with a bottle, and I got it from Amazon for under twenty bucks with free shipping.
The rubber block is curved for conventional tubes, but it works a treat with the squared-off top tube on my Optibike. You can mount it wherever you have some free space.
Here's a picture:

View attachment 3387
Allen
#5

Good placement, or you could also go with something under the cross bar for about $4.00 on ebay which works well, see my picture for more details. On top of the cross bar, ouchhh! on the privates when you have to stop or get off the saddle in a hurry, not much room to spare there. On the handle bars water bottle holders will definitely mess with your Feng Shui and safety, imo.
Ace
2 years ago
George S.
The basic answer is probably no. If you buy a camera Canon may sell a battery for $50, but there is a version on Ebay for $12. That's what I think of with 'aftermarket'. But the bike industry, the ebike industry, is too small to support that. There may be some 'standard' designs that you could buy, probably from China. But anything that fits a frame or inside a frame is probably proprietary. There are two fairly standard batteries that use the mounts for a water bottle. One is cyclindrical, the other more squared off. You will see these on bikes from small companies.

The battery for my Prodeco X3 is designed to slide onto a frame, so it's what Prodeco offers. To work around it means connecting another battery, and setting it up some place else, or just attaching a pack to the existing mount. You want a second pack so it has to fit your mount and be fairly simple to connect.

This is why people may look at kits. On a kit there is a connector with the positive and negative, so you match that to the battery pack. Where do you put the battery? That's the problem. A manufacturer can make something very nice looking, hiding the battery in the frame or whatever.
This was a very helpful explanation thank you. I suppose it sounds like I'll just have to deal with the high prices as I have very little to no interest in trying to custom outfit a battery to my off the shelf e-bikes. I purchased off the shelf because I don't want to do any advanced customization but was hoping for an aftermarket battery, similar to your canon digital camera battery example.
George S.
2 years ago
The basic answer is probably no. If you buy a camera Canon may sell a battery for $50, but there is a version on Ebay for $12. That's what I think of with 'aftermarket'. But the bike industry, the ebike industry, is too small to support that. There may be some 'standard' designs that you could buy, probably from China. But anything that fits a frame or inside a frame is probably proprietary. There are two fairly standard batteries that use the mounts for a water bottle. One is cyclindrical, the other more squared off. You will see these on bikes from small companies.

The battery for my Prodeco X3 is designed to slide onto a frame, so it's what Prodeco offers. To work around it means connecting another battery, and setting it up some place else, or just attaching a pack to the existing mount. You want a second pack so it has to fit your mount and be fairly simple to connect.

This is why people may look at kits. On a kit there is a connector with the positive and negative, so you match that to the battery pack. Where do you put the battery? That's the problem. A manufacturer can make something very nice looking, hiding the battery in the frame or whatever.
Reddy Kilowatt
2 years ago
I love the Two Fish strap-on water bottle holder. It's made of stainless steel, has a wide Velcro strap, came with a bottle, and I got it from Amazon for under twenty bucks with free shipping.
The rubber block is curved for conventional tubes, but it works a treat with the squared-off top tube on my Optibike. You can mount it wherever you have some free space.
Here's a picture:

View attachment 3387
Allen
MLB
2 years ago
First ride today! Good and bad, though the bad isn't Falco's fault. The system seems to run flawlesslessly, though I still don't know how to change screens around on the display so i don't know how much battery I used, etc.
The trike isn't shifting cleanly on the top 4 gears of the freewheel, so I shifted onto the big ring up front so I could stay in a lower range on the back. Well, apparently I'm not nearly strong enough to activate the torque sensor (at current settings) pushing the big ring, except under very heavy load, THEN I could feel it, and significantly. But under normal riding I never got any more than "maybe" making up for the extra weight of the motor and battery. I wasn't any faster than prior to motor, though to be fair I went 20 miles at my "normal" speed when in fact this was first ride of the year for me (beyond 2-3 miles) AND I'm just coming off 60 days of inactivity to let my back heal. So I would otherwise be VERY weak. LOL
As the miles went on and I didn't feel much if any difference (some slight assist at times, offsetting the extra weight) I got disappointed, though the tuning options are vast with this setup. As I got within a half mile of home I stopped at a 4 way and shifted onto the middle ring up front. Well don't you know it, THEN I got assist early and often! So the last 1/2 mile was quick and fun and very very inspiring!
Gotta get the shifting squared away and I think I'm gonna love it.

Downs: It's very heavy.(the trike w/kit is 56+lbs w/0 battery. 62.5 with). Any bump is a rather more of an impact than you'd like, so choose your line and if you must hit, hit with a front wheel. I'll be putting a Big Apple back there pronto and probably running it at reduced air pressure.
Quiet!! Very slight whistling when the motor is running.

I brought the console inside, so another session getting to learn the settings. Maybe I can retrieve my data.
George S.
2 years ago
Speed kills the battery because aerodynamic drag increases exponentially, not linearly.

http://bikecalculator.com/how.html

Aviation people distinguish air resistance as parasitic and induced drag, but the critical thing to understand is that drag increases as the square of speed. That is, while power increases in a linear fashion, drag increases exponentially with speed, in a parabolic function. For example (neglecting the effect of rolling resistance), if 100 horsepower would push a certain vehicle 100 miles per hour through the air, doubling the speed to 200 would require two-squared or 400 horsepower to overcome air resistance, while 300 miles per hour would require 900 horsepower.
Pace
2 years ago
Ok, I took a look at the bike this morning and got everything squared away. Bike shop called me back too which was good, though I had kind of identified the problems by then.

I ran through all the diagnostics, everything looked good except the brake cut-off sensor, which was reading 001 (instead of 000). This was due to the the right brake lever not returning all the way to a fully open position after being released. In the brake lever housing there's a small set screw that determines the open position stop, it was screwed pretty far in (much more so than the left lever). Backing out that set screw several turns let the lever return fully open back into the lever housing, and the diagnostic went back to reading '000' again. The set screw must have been on the edge of too much/too little as it doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that would have changed on its own through vibration over a couple of days. In any case, that was the main culprit.

After tweaking the right lever, the pedal assist started working again in full, w/ no 14-15 limit.

There was also a noise coming from the rear wheel.... I'm pretty sure that is just some loose spokes. I tweaked a few on the rear wheel and the noise is mostly gone, I'll fiddle with that a bit more. I expected to have to keep on top of spoke tension anyway, as the city part of my commute is in Boston and the road surfaces are 'interesting'.
Larry Pizzi
3 years ago
Dylan Garrison
Hi all, new member here. I purchased a new Dash on July 5th and lost pedal assist on July 10th with around 85 miles on the bike. Luckily the throttle assist kept working so I was able to get home. I was really loving it up to that point. I came across this forum and post while looking for solutions to my problem and emailed both Curri contacts listed in this post last Thursday (the CEO and someone else). I have since emailed two more times (Thursday evening and again this morning) and have yet to get a response. Before emailing I also called the customer service line and my call was dropped twice. On the second call I asked if they could take my number to call me back if the call dropped as the wait time had been several minutes, I was told they could not because, "they were just a call center". Not sure what's up with that but needless to say I have not yet been impressed or even remotely satisfied with the customer service. In frustration I took the bike back to the shop I had bought it from over lunch today. Not the two hour drive HH had to deal with but it was an hour out of my day all the same.
Hi Dylan - So sorry for your problem. Looks like Chawn has already responded and hopefully we can get you all squared away with the bike shop you purchased it from. Please keep me posted - my email is lpizzi@currietech.com. And if you would please, can you resend the email that you sent on the 10th and also let me know who you spoke to in Customer Service? I'm afraid that I did not see your email. My apologies if it was somehow missed.

Larry Pizzi
805-915-4901
Court
3 years ago
Sweet looking helmet there! I always go by what's the most comfortable but style is a nice bonus replacement tips from helmets.org and an interesting quote that supports the more rounded design you chose.

As new styles have become more "squared-off" and designers have begun adding unnecessary ridges and projections that may increase the sliding resistance of a helmet shell, there is good reason to stay with one of the more rounded designs of the early to mid 90's. Those round, smooth shells like the original Bell Image that Consumer Reports rated highly in 1993 are more optimal for crashing than some of the newer designs. So think twice about "moving up," and look for a rounded, smooth-shelled design when you do.
EddieJ
3 years ago
A proper write up to follow, but I now have yet another MTB event under my belt.

E-mtb's also don't get muddier, and come to think about it, neither do the riders. This was a very wet tough one!

View attachment 938

Even the tyres are squared off with mud. Note the new front mudguard.

View attachment 942

View attachment 940View attachment 941
Court
3 years ago
Hey guys, great thoughts here!

Assertion: given two full suspension bicycles with the same frame, suspension setup, tires and overall weight (including rider) the one with less unsprung weight will experience better traction. This is due to momentum that builds as the wheel changes position when traveling over obstacles at speed.

Quick point, not saying you implied this but I want to cover it... a heavier wheel does not fall more quickly back towards the earth, this violates Newton's law... Remember, an apple and a pencil both fall towards Earth at the same speed 9.8 meters per second squared. Now, a heavier wheel may "prime" suspension springs more fully (I think this was your point Ravi) creating a stronger rebound but this will also result in bouncing forces that may compromise traction as well.

To expand a bit more, if we had a super duper strong and fast suspension fork that could slam the wheel right back down immediately after being engaged we might actually be talking about the equivalent of using no suspension because the force required to activate it would have to be so strong. This kind of thing may be possible and comfortable if it were computerized... but that's not the reality with the bikes we're talking about here.

As you called out, maybe the mass of the motor and wheel would benefit a system that requires more force to engage springs... In this case, the ground has to push up extremely hard in order to move the wheel at all (back to momentum, equation) putting a lot of force on the tire, tub, rim and spokes as they tug at the weight of the motor up. As a result, everything on the wheel, dropouts and suspension arm would have to be reinforced and much sturdier (likely heavier) like a car... which does't sound too great for riding up hills and stuff.

Ultimately the forumula momentum=mass*velocity (p=mv) helps us understand that with less mass we will experience less momentum (given the same velocity of force acting upwards on the tire as you hit rocks or bumps) and that means that the wheel can rebound more quickly, staying in contact with the riding surface more often, and this enables better traction. Here's a quick video I shot do demonstrate exactly how this works using a couple of basic props.



Remember, the overall weight of the bicycle and rider in this scenario are constant, we're just talking about how easy it is for the wheel to stay glued to the ground and it is easier if the wheel weighs less because it experiences less momentum... which takes time to recover from. Increased recovery time = decreased traction time.
  • What's easier to turn or stop given the same speed, a large heavy truck or a small light weight commuter car?
  • Have you ever been skiing? What feels better, heavy long skis or short light weight skis? Does this impact how quickly you can move your legs given the same groomed slope conditions?
  • If someone told you that you had to run doing the grapevine for a mile and that you could either put the weight around your ankles or in a backpack, which would you rather do? How do you think your leg muscles would feel in each scenario?
Just wanted to share these fun scenarios to help you wrap your head around how mass behaves. I personally love the Neo Jumper line and believe that the strength, speed, lower noise and independent nature of hub motors offer benefits that may outweigh the unsprung weight benefits of a mid drive, but that doesn't mean that unsprung weight doesn't have an adverse impact on traction, all else equal. More on momentum back at Wikipedia.
Court
3 years ago
Hey Brambor, there's no such thing as a dumb question here so no worries! Also, I just fixed your title - thanks for pointing it out

This is actually a very interesting and potentially complex question. It makes me think about cars which tend to get their best gas mileage at ~50 miles per hour. I did some research and found an interesting statement put out by fueleconomy.gov as follows:

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
So that part about "or range of speeds" seems to indicate that each gear on the car has an optimal speed which is leveraging the most natural and efficient RPM (rotations per minute) of the motor. This is not as true with electric motors and there are differences between geared and gearless designs but let's just assume there is an "optimal" output for them as well.

The other big factors to consider are aerodynamics, drag and speed. A Toyota Prius is much more aerodynamic than a Toyota 4Runner which is much more aerodynamic than a typical person riding a bicycle... Yep, you read that right! Even though a person on a bike is much smaller than a car, most cars produce way less drag. We're like big flat sticks with no windshields or curved edges or spoilers to direct airflow... unless you're on a recumbent bike and that makes a big difference, especially at higher speeds.

I found some stats at Outrider 422 Alpha recumbent ebike so cool and efficient!

So wind resistance increases as speed increases, basically more of your energy goes towards "pushing air" and this means you get tired or run your battery out faster. Here's some more science from a guy at this forum talking about motorcycles vs. cars and note that motorcycles have slick sides, windshields etc. vs. a bike that is usually completely exposed.

Total drag (Dt) and drag coefficient (Cd) are two completely different but related things. Cd is equal to the coefficient of parasitic drag (Cdp) plus the coefficient of induced drag (Cdi). Cdi is minimal on motorcycles though so it can be effectively disregarded.

Total drag (in lbs) can be found by multipyling the Cd, dynamic pressure* (q), and surface area (S).

* dynamic pressure is made up from the density ratio (local air density accounting for local altitude, temperature, and barometric pressure measured against standard density) multiplied by the air velocity in knots squared. The resultant of that is then divided by 295.

The formula looks like this: Dt=Cd(q)S

As you can see, drag is determined by five factors. Cd, surface area, local pressure, local temperature, and air speed.

High end sports cars generally have Cd numbers in the mid 0.3s. Motorcycles however have Cd numbers close to 1.0 depending on the model bike, size of rider, and riding position. In looking at the formula you should be able to deduce one major point. Drag increases exponentially with speed (unless the wind is blowing really hard in the same direction you are riding). Plugging in some generic numbers helps to demonstrate this.

Variables: Standard atmosphere (sea level, 15 degree C, and a barometer of 29.92), Car at .35 Cd. Bike at 1.0 Cd. Car surface area at 19 sq. ft. Bike surface area at 7 sq. ft. (surface areas and Cds are approximate numbers).

50 kts
  • Bike Dt = 59.32 lbs
  • Car Dt = 56.35 lbs
100 kts:
  • Bike Dt = 237.3 lbs
  • Car Dt = 225.44 lbs
150 kts:
  • Bike Dt = 533.90 lbs
  • Car Dt = 507.20 lbs
Conclusion:

In the case of cars vs. motorcycles, the bikes generally have triple the Cd but 1/3 the surface area so Dt remains about the same regardless of speed. Cars kick the crap out of bikes at high speeds because at high speeds the predominant factor is aerodynamics. As speeds increase the rate of acceleration decreases and the superior HP/weight ratio that gave the bike superior acceleration at low drag speeds cease to be the deciding factor. At high speeds where rates of acceleration are minimal you need horsepower to overcome the drag factors. As we have seen, aerodynamic drag is approximately equal so whoever has the most horsepower wins.
I did a bit more research on the coefficient of drag on bicycle riders and found the following stats at this site which support the quote above. We are about ~1.0 Cd which is what the motorcycle was in his example. Note that the bullets below vary between different handle bar setups and that is in large part due to body position, the further you're bent forward the smaller the forward surface area is and thus, drag is reduced:
  • Wing or Teardrop: 0.005
  • Ball: 0.5
  • Person standing upright: 1.0
  • Flat plate face-on to airflow: 1.17
  • Brick: 2.0
  • Cyclist (regular bars)*: 1.15
  • Cyclist (hooded bars)*: 1.0
  • Cyclist (drop bars): 0.88
  • Cyclist (aero Bars): 0.70
So anyway, I think it all boils down to this: "Aerodynamic drag increases with the square of speed; therefore it becomes critically important at higher speeds." regardless of motor efficiency, you're going to encounter more drag at higher speeds and for this reason and the fact that people on bikes (who aren't wearing triathlon helmets) are already producing a lot of drag, I'd say yes! The 20 mph speed cap on the Elite is going to extend the range... but I don't think that's why they did it and the energy saved will likely be negligible.

The other part of your question mentioned battery sizes but if I understood correctly you'd be upgrading so both packs would be the same. The big difference is top speed right? So yeah, if you use more of the battery fighting the wind at higher speed because we aren't very aerodynamic and drag increases with the square of speed... then yep, you'll use the battery quicker

Yay for learning! ps. the drag coefficient of a Toyota Prius is 0.26 and the drag coefficient of a Toyota 4Runner is about .36 and again, a person on a bike is ~1.00
muresbiketraffic
2 days ago

It freaks me a little bit wearing the battery on your back

ombra306
6 months ago

i love that it regenerates on the downhill!

turbolevo
12 months ago

Bjorn,looks like you’re grin is almost hurting,awesome man.

Ray Hyder-Artist
12 months ago

I have been a die hard mountain biker in British Columbia since 1992 , all
disciplines . A purist ..But this bike truly excites me , it is forging a
new genre of hardcore mountain biking , no longer the suffering obtaining
access to remote big mountain back country riding. 10k foot climb for that
1 hour downhill , no problem ! During the review you mention questions of
appropriateness in multiple riding scenarios , I think it is wrong to
compare this bike that way . Thankfully it isn't meant for the bike path,
and It really is intended for pushing the limits of the sport in
challenging terrain ! :)

Mike
12 months ago

There is nothing hardcore about putting an electric motor on a downhill bike

David Causon
1 year ago

I have one and love it.

David Causon
1 year ago

Loads of places, mainly trail centres.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+David Causon Really?! That's awesome... where do you take it to ride
mostly?

Łukasz Malik
1 year ago

Ha! Finally :) Thanks a lot :)

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+Łukasz Malik Sure thing :)

forest greenwald
1 year ago

like your reviews, but would like to see more recumbent electric assist
reviews... both trike and bike recumbents....

forest greenwald
1 year ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com mahalo for thinking of me and considering the
request... great interview, love that velotecknic scorpion, similar to me
own 48 volt trike, but with lots more cool features and suspension....

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+forest greenwald I hear ya, thanks for the feedback! I've covered a few
more this past year but they just aren't as common as mountain or city
style bikes. My favorite electric recumbent so far is the HP Velotechnik
Scorpion
http://electricbikereview.com/hp-velotechnik/scorpion-fs-26-s-pedelec/

James Jacocks
1 year ago

Doubt the noise on the trail would be a problem. Yea, that Santa Cruz is
quite a piece. Love the objectivity.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+James Jacocks Thanks James! I do my best, interesting to review a bike
with the founder standing right there, I don't feel like I covered every
little detail but it was fun to show it in action and hear Bjorn's thoughts
:)

ski usa (nick)
1 year ago

Wow really nice job bike looks and rides great

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+ski usa (nick) Thanks! It was a blast riding this thing, amazing to speed
uphill even on rough terrain like that.

Marc Ariss
1 year ago

Interesting, but I think putting it on a Santa-Cruz v10 is blasphemous.

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+Marc Ariss I know right?! It's not an easy kit to take off so you've
basically got a full time electric assist super downhill bike. Tons of fun
to ride, completely new experience but the stand alone bicycle without
power is also amazing.

jc hg
1 year ago

Amazing,,,thanks for all these reviews in so little time

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+jc hg I got sick at Interbike this year and missed most of the show. Will
be heading to LA soon to catch up with some of the models I missed :)

jc hg
1 year ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com Just waiting for those videos. I think Interbike is
gonna give us a lot of surprises

ElectricBikeReview.com
1 year ago

+jc hg Doing my best! I'm not able to write the full reviews right now
because I'm in transit, just wanted to get the videos online and backed up
(in case something happens to my laptop). Figured I might as well publish
given Interbike incoming and all of the reviews that I'll be doing there :)