Advice for disabled rider on steep climbs - realistic?

stuck-indoors

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 26, 2018
14
8
Peak District
Hi,

Just joined this forum, and I don't know any the jargon around ebikes. I'm disabled, and while I can 'ride' a bike, my heart rate has to stay very low. Basically I mustn't get out of breath, or start sweating, and there is no chance I'll be able to get 'fitter' through regular practice :(

Is it realistic to be looking for an ebike that will get me (85kg) up the steepest Peak District roads (up to 20%) with practically no effort on my part? just spinning the pedals? I don't care how slow it is, just so long as the bike can make it. (Walking up hill isn't possible for me either.)

Oh, and I have a couple of nice lightweight carbon bikes (road + hardtail MTB) from before I was disabled. Would I be better off looking at a conversion kit, rather than selling those bikes and buying a new ebike?

Many thanks for any advice from you experts! :D
 
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Andy McNish

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 28, 2018
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What is very low? Under 120BPM?

Best bikes for hills are those with the Yamaha PW or Bosch CX mid-drive motors - look for Haibikes from around £1500 in the sales.

The important stat to look out for is the max torque in Newton metres. You'll be wanting at least 70.

Rear hub conversions can't take the same advantage of the bike's gearing and usually are set up for the flat, so probably won't have enough oomph.

The silent touring mid drive motors (like Bosch Activeline Plus) can take on the Peak's hills if you are relatively fit or light - certainly up to 20% gradients - but they top out at 50 Nm, so aren't really what you are looking for.
 

Crossroads

Pedelecer
Apr 22, 2017
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You need a Bosch Performance Line CX - 75NM Torque 300% assist on Turbo
 
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anotherkiwi

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Jan 26, 2015
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You need a Bosch Performance Line CX - 75NM Torque 300% assist on Turbo
Or a Yamaha motor with double front chainring, that will climb walls (at low speed) in the lowest gears, check out the Giant range.
 
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tommie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 13, 2013
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I would in your case strongly recommend a `cadence` based bike or conversion. What has been mentioned before are all `torque` based motors, ie you must put a certain pressure on the pedals for the system to work.
With the `cadence` type you can just sit there and turn the pedals without putting any effort or pressure into it.

The Bafang mid-drive motors would suit you well.
 

Artstu

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
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Yes you'll need something powerful to tackle the steep roads around here. I've no experience of kits but I'd say you need a powerful rear hub motor.

ETA Just wanted to add that it sounds like you may have M.E ? apologies if not.
 
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sjpt

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Jun 8, 2018
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Mainly agreeing with the others. You probably need a mid-drive for Peak district. But the commonest mid drives have torque based motors so you might still need to provide quite a bit of effort unless you had really low gears.

I doubt that conversion is going to work well with those bikes.

Juicy Bikes are in the Peaks and claim to know about hills, and I have seen quite a few recommendations for them. No experience of them myself. https://www.juicybike.co.uk/
 

Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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wooshbikes.co.uk
Is it realistic to be looking for an ebike that will get me (85kg) up the steepest Peak District roads (up to 20%) with practically no effort on my part? just spinning the pedals? I don't care how slow it is, just so long as the bike can make it. (Walking up hill isn't possible for me either.)
85kgs + bike @ 20% = too much for e-bikes, especially without much user input.
In any case, you need an e-bike with cadence sensor and a full throttle as a backup, something like the Woosh Big Bear.

all those bikes with torque sensors use a torque multiplication system, they are great at hill climbing but not suitable for the disabled.

Tony
 

stuck-indoors

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 26, 2018
14
8
Peak District
I would in your case strongly recommend a `cadence` based bike or conversion. With the `cadence` type you can just sit there and turn the pedals without putting any effort or pressure into it.
The Bafang mid-drive motors would suit you well.
Thanks. I've just emailed Brighton E-bikes for their advice. They appear to specialise in conversions using the Bafang mid-drive motors?
 
it is impossible to climb 20% with no effort of the driver with a street-legal pedelec, 28" wheel and a system-weight of maybe 120kg. Simply forget this idea.
Best hill-climbing Motor at the moment would be the Heinzmann cargo-Motor but it is not cheap and not easy to get as a consumer. That motor provide more than 100nm torque (real not just on the paper). I could climb a steep road easy with a 50kg cargobike and myself 140kg with nearly no effort but with no effort it will not work because of the pedelec-Law. The Motor is offered with integrated torquesensor and without torque-sensor, in your case better without torquesensor.
The throttle does not give full power to the motor so you need to pedal to get full support.
I was at Heinzmann factory and have driven the Prototype of that Motor and it was really impressive what this Motor can do, that Motor is for sure the most powerfull "street-legal" pedelec-motor I have ever driven and I assume that untill now I made tesriding with nearly any ebike Motor in the world (street-legal hubmotor and centermotor up to 500watt).
https://ebike.heinzmann.com/en/systems/cargopower/motor

btw. I know all the chinese "street-legal" Motors (hub and center up to 500 watt) and none of them can compete with the Heinzmann Cargo even in the broshure-paper is written a higher "nm" number;)

But my honest opinion is, If you want ride ebike as a disabled in steep-hill terrain forget ebike.
Better buy a normal ebike and drive with your bike by car to a flat or slight hill area to get a better health condition and then slowly try some mountain to check how steep is ok for you. There are also heart-rate guided ebike-system´s on the market but this is also not cheap. Kalkhoff should have such bike and "heart-go" also have developed such bike-controll-system

Or you say; "I don´t care about the law!" then you have more options and you just need to think about how much power for the Motor and how big must be the battery to support that motor
 
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anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
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If you use the correct gearing a legal 250 W mid-drive will climb anything up to 17% with little effort. I haven't tried 20% yet, mostly because there is too much trafic and as it is very steep they are all driving like maniacs... I am using a 48 v battery (44.4 v in reality).

With a mid drive the secret is gearing but most people are so hung up on climbing at high speed now that they have electricaly assisted legs they never pedal in bottom gear any more. The GSM stalls at >17% with the 46 tooth standard chainwheel and an 11-32 cassette. With 32 on the front and an 11-36 it hasn't yet. Those are real world numbers for a rider without disability, I never use bottom gear. Today you can buy cassettes that are 11-50 and if you use a small enough chainring the limiting facor is "can I keep the speed of the bike above 7 km/h or so so that I don't fall over?".

Can you pedal at 80 RPM without your heart rate going over 120 BPM? I am talking about spinning without applying force.

Will your heart rate stay below 120 BPM coming down a >20% gradient? I know mine won't!
 
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stuck-indoors

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 26, 2018
14
8
Peak District
If you use the correct gearing a legal 250 W mid-drive will climb anything up to 17% with little effort. I haven't tried 20% yet, mostly because there is too much trafic and as it is very steep they are all driving like maniacs... I am using a 48 v battery (44.4 v in reality).

With a mid drive the secret is gearing but most people are so hung up on climbing at high speed now that they have electricaly assisted legs they never pedal in bottom gear any more. The GSM stalls at >17% with the 46 tooth standard chainwheel and an 11-32 cassette. With 32 on the front and an 11-36 it hasn't yet. Those are real world numbers for a rider without disability, I never use bottom gear. Today you can buy cassettes that are 11-50 and if you use a small enough chainring the limiting facor is "can I keep the speed of the bike above 7 km/h or so so that I don't fall over?".
Thanks, that is really useful. I probably don't need 20% hill climbing, it just would have been nice ;) So long as I can get up most roads in the Peak (10%?) and if I do get over-ambitious with a steeper hill, I can always stall, turn around and try a different route.

Can you pedal at 80 RPM without your heart rate going over 120 BPM? I am talking about spinning without applying force.

Will your heart rate stay below 120 BPM coming down a >20% gradient? I know mine won't!
lol. Both good questions! I need to do some test rides before I spend any money. As for steep downhills, I remember bombing down Winnat's Pass on my road bike (no disc brakes) and it was bloody terrifying knowing that an idiot car driver could block the narrow road and I'd have no way to stop in time... and then I remembered there was a cattle grid at the bottom... !!
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
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Forget carbon bike conversion, BB will be to bulky for a mid drive to fit an dropouts unsuitable for modifying usually.
A lot of replies have ignored or not read the OP's opening post, as very little assist has been asked for so rules out all torque drive systems like Yam/Bosch etc. A good hub will climb 10% and as mentioned a cadence rear hub with a full throttle is required with a low wound (rpm) hub motor with 15 or 16 motor code.

A bbhsd could work with low gearing and the parameters reprogrammed so some are set for flat terrain riding and low to mid torque and the rest set for high torque slow speed climbing, and the additional of a throttle for use when legs or stamina say no.

A 48v kit or bike is the option to look at but not the gearless Direct drive hubs, d8veh always claimed the two speed Xiongda hub was/felt like a winch on steep hills and he was at one stage 100kg.
 
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Andy McNish

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 28, 2018
303
202
Well according to Strava at the end of a 2 hour ride today I flew up the hill to my house (7.4% gradient) at max assisted speed (25kph) and 122 BPM.

And that was just using 280% assist on a 50NM motor.
And I weigh more than you.

So I would have to imagine that 300% assist on a 75NM motor would get you up a 10% gradient very easily at 120BPM (especially if you were happy to be doing it slower than 25kph). I don't think you would need to do anything other than spin the wheels in lowest gear at 25% of unassisted effort.

20% is a different kettle of fish though and it's a good point that a cadence sensing motor may make better sense than a torque sensing one in your particular circs. for that.