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What climbs steep hills slowly?

Discussion in 'Which electric bike should I buy?' started by topographer, May 14, 2017.

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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    (I dedicate this novel to Mum and Dad.)

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    What electric bike can go up steep hills on throttle alone?

    Yes I know about the regulations and that non-pedelec bikes for sale are becoming rarer but they're still out there and I want one and need help finding a good climber.

    At one point I considered an electrified Brompton because I know small wheels are good up steep hills but I decided 16" was too small for me and I don't fancy DIY. So I think 20" is probably the minimum. I'm not anti-big wheels. If a bike has enough power and the right parameters elsewhere to negate the bigger wheels then I'll consider it but 20" is looking favourite so far.

    I don't care much about speed. Yes I'd still be miffed if I couldn't do 16mph on the flat but climbing up steep hills slowly and relentlessly is OK with me.

    I don't want a motor above 250W tempting as it may be. I feel semi-comfortable breaking the throttle regulations but I wouldn't feel comfortable with a big, illegal beast of a motor. And from what I've read of the Cyclotricity Stealth it's not for me. I might consider a bike that was artificially restricted to 250W and then see how I can get the best out of it. But if some plod sidles up to me and peers at my bike I want the motor to say 250W on it as he'd expect.

    Here's how I've been procrastinating so far:

    I was looking at the Panda XL folder on eBay recently (yes I know Panda Leisure is not Panda Bikes) because it ran at 48V and I thought that combined with 20" wheels might make it a good climber. The item's been taken down now though...and I was a bit doubtful about the El Cheapo components anyway.

    I was intrigued by the EasyMOTION Neo Prox because a site was selling one new for £1150 and it has a 350W motor restriced to 250W (though I haven't the foggiest idea of how or whether you could get the most out of that). It was also stated as running at 48V but other sites say 36V so that may have been an error. I was concerned that it had a frame integrated battery which one day I may not be able to replace. Is it affordable and easy enough to have a battery like that recelled by someone?

    I wondered if the Rich Bit RT-730 folding bike on eBay was any good with its small wheels and 48V but I don't know the nitty-gritty of the motor and controller. They are posted from China as well which has me a bit leery...and 28.5kg seems heavy for a folder.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/48V-250W-...430355?hash=item3d3a9de113:g:deEAAOSwGJlZEXmI

    I realised that ebikes running at 48V are very rare(why?) and bikes with hidden power that can be tweaked to give more aren't common either so decided to see if any mainstream bikes were especially torquey. Without knowing all the detailed specs The Wisper 806 Torque seemed to have potential. It sounded torquey and well made by people who attend to detail, and having fairly wide British distribution would be very handy, especially if something went wrong. But it's throttle is walking speed only...so I went off that one.

    I read about the new Woosh Rio bikes with interest; 80nm sounds nice but I want a half-twist throttle...and perhaps smaller wheels. The Woosh people said they've a new folder coming but it sounds like they've deprecated the half-twist throttle now. Bugger!

    The SmartMotion e20 sounded nice because it has a reputation for being strong and reliable having been designed for heavy use for the New Zealand postal service. Coming with a frame lock is a really nice plus too. But I'm not aware of it being any better than other bikes of its type at going up steep hills.

    Why are there no reviews of the GTech ebike anywhere? I can't find any. You'd think something advertised nationally on telly would be well reviewed.

    I'd love to get a bike that'd go up shall we say 14% inclines without pedaling but I suspect that's not realistic, especially as I've counted out the Bompton and other 16 inchers. So what's the next best thing? I think the Woosh Big Bear can go up 10% without pedalling but if a big bike can do that isn't there a small-wheeled lighter bike that can do a bit better? I've been having soft tissue problems recently, including my achilles, so I'm being super careful.

    I'd rather spend around £600-£900 especially knowing it may get nicked one day, but I'd maybe edge towards £1500 for the right bike. I'm willing to buy second-hand and replace the battery a year down the line (spreading the cost and getting a better bike).

    I'll consider any style except speed racer (that posture hurts my back) but am leaning towards a folder so I can put it in the car.

    Must have mudguards. Rack preferred but could cope without. I like hub gears and belt drive but both those are way dow the list of priorities. I like the idea of a frame lock AND adding a really good heavy chain to slow thieves down. It's a shame about the weight of chains but what can you do? I'm gonna look into tracking devices eventually.

    I don't want a measly battery. What use is 6.6AH? That's another reason why the Woosh Rios were tempting...

    Some of the fat bikes I've seen for sale sound intriguing because they seem to be designed more for the low end rather than the top end, but they tend to have illegal motors from the U.S.

    I'll use it mostly on the road. Some hybrid qualities is nice but for the right bike I'd be OK with no off-roading.

    Plan to go out every day for a few miles, make it a habit.

    I suppose I'll keep it in the big, heavy duty 20 feet shed we have but it's like Fort Knox...with multiple locks. That's good but also bad because it means you can't just jump on the bike for a quick ride or a quick shop run when you want to. Leaving it against the back wall of the house with a chain around the downpipe it tempting but probably silly. The big shed has thwarted a burglary attempt before so it's quite good.

    I'm 6'1" and 14st8lbs. That's 92kg or 204lbs. Yeah, I know...

    I won't get anywhere near everything I want but someone must know a good, low end, grunty climber.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The End
     
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    soundwave

    soundwave Pedelecer

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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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    TG,
    do you know that it is very difficult to make a bike that can go up steep hills slowly?
    Your goal excludes all the bikes fitted with direct drive motors and a large proportion of geared hub motors. Only crank drive motors and a few geared hubs like the Ezee motors are left in the running. Evenso, geared hubs will struggle at over 12%-13% on throttle alone, most of the crank drives have torque sensors, meaning you have to input between 25% - 50% of the required energy.
     
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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    Your GSM (250 W, 15 Amp controller, 37 V Lipo battery), 32 tooth chainwheel, 28 on the cassette will climb walls and the 34 tooth cog?... :eek:

    I try not to climb many walls because I'm to scared to come back downo_O

    Crank drives will do what you want OP. You just need to find the right one...
     
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    Wicky

    Wicky Pedelecer

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    A motorcycle...

    [​IMG]
     
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    danielrlee

    danielrlee Pedelecer

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    A tortoise with a winch?
     
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    Amps Electric Bikes

    Amps Electric Bikes Trade Member

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    Hi,

    Great novel! :D

    Thanks for considering a Wisper 806T.

    Strictly speaking the twist and go throttle is only to help a rider push a bike up a hill and should not be activated when the rider is on the bike.

    Our throttle does work up to 15.5mph as long as the pedals are turning forward. This is considered assistance control.

    We do have a few 806T with slightly damaged paintwork, we would be pleased to supply one of these models at £200.00 off retail. If you are interested please drop me an email.

    All the best, David
     
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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    Out of interest, speaking purely academically, if you took the drive system out of the Big Bear and put it in a fairly light bike with 20" wheels, what could it do?
     
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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    Presumably, the chain wheel and cogs are only relevant when you pedal.

    I'm hoping to get an off the shelf bike but one thing I've noticed about the whole market is there are a huge number of sellers but a surprisingly little variety. So many bikes are just derivative of each other, especially in the electric/drive area.
     
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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    And Shanks' pony.
     
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    JuicyBike

    JuicyBike Trade Member

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    You should take a look at our Compacts - in particular the Compact Plus, which is better suited to your height. You should of course take a test ride to confirm best fit for you.

    We have some without the Aikema motor (prototypes) that are available off-line (phone us), nearer to your price point at £1,155. Aikemas are now out of stock. These can be fitted with a throttle too...
     
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    Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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    you can calculate the torque as inversely proportional to the radius.
    But it is difficult to lace a large and powerful motor to a 20" rim.
    Fit a BBS02 in a 20" bike, it will climb very well at low speed.
    You can always fit a smaller chainring to push the torque even higher.
     
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    topographer

    topographer Just Joined

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    Hi, and thanks for the offer. I'm not sure I want to pay £1399 for a bike that won't let me put it in cruise control. 'Ultra hi torque' is a great sounding phrase but it's a little vague. I've seen pictures of that bike with a derailleur and pictures of it without one; are there two versions?
     
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    willywombat

    willywombat Finding my (electric) wheels

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    what's this idea you have about small wheels climbing well? interested as never heard that before .
     
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    danielrlee

    danielrlee Pedelecer

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    This is true for a wheel with a hub motor laced into it, since it gives improved torque and lets the motor operate in it's efficient zone more quickly from a standstill. Otherwise known as 'gearing down'.
     
    #16 danielrlee, May 15, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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    willywombat

    willywombat Finding my (electric) wheels

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    OK ..i understand ..thanks
     
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    anotherkiwi

    anotherkiwi Pedelecer

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    I was talking about turning the pedals without effort. My test was done just spinning the pedals and the motor doing all the work on a very steep (Basque Country) hill. It managed 7-9 km/h IIRC.

    There are electric mopeds on the market, no pedals, very quiet, but a 125 cc four stroke is probably more convenient. And MUCH cheaper...
     
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    Kudoscycles

    Kudoscycles Official Trade Member

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    Wow ,Tolstoy would have been impressed.
    I will keep it short....our Kudos Secret will do most of what you want,we still have some 2016 models available with full speed throttle,
    I am 16 stone (yep lost a bit due to cutting out the red wine),my own Secret bikes will go up very steep hills with minimal rider input.
    I did a full review ages ago of using these bikes in the Greek mountains,perhaps someone clever can find it.
    The Secret must be one of the best selling 20" folders in the UK,we have progressively improved it with a bigger battery,dual height seatpost and bigger chainring but the same original concept.
    price £795.00 incl vat and delivery.
    KudopsDave
     
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    Trevormonty

    Trevormonty Pedelecer

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    If you don't want to pedal then motorbike or scooter is your best option. These are called ebikes not eScooters for reason.

    Any mid drive with low enough gearing will get you up a 15% hill sweat free with some pedalling. For real hill climbing ability you can't beat Bosch CX drive, 30% are well within its capabilities with MTB gearing.
     
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