Next! Going from Giant Dirt-E to what? Struggling!

AnastieByte

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 19, 2019
16
1
I’ve ridden bikes for years. As I’ve got older my knee causes pain and discomfort on hills so moving to my Giant Dirt-E MTB solved that. I tend to ride around 30-40 miles at a time. I use lowest eco setting for 90% of my rides until I get to inclines and then go to max setting to get me up the hill.

I’ve owned the 2018 model for over a year and it’s been reliable and fun. I intend to keep it for trails and gentle forest rides.

However, I find cycling on roads with friends with non electric bikes hard work due to the weight of my Giant and what I suspect is drag from the motor above 15 mph. I struggle to keep up! So I’m on the search for a second bike. At first I considered a road bike due to lighter frame such as carbon. But they usually have smaller batteries and I reminded myself that I’m not keen on drop bars due to weight on wrists.

I looked at a Giant fast road flat bar bike which looks like my dirt E with slicker tyres but can’t be sure it would not have the same drag issue?

Any thoughts on alternatives that are lighter than my Dirt E, faster on tarmac and have flat bars? I’m struggling to find anything. I have a budget of £4500

Cheers
 

Artstu

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
2,397
911
I'm pretty sure the only way you'll keep up with fit riders riding light racing bikes is either on the same type of bike or an ebike with a much higher assist speed.
This is probably the closest bike to what you describe and has the best chance of keeping up on an out-the-box bike.
38672

 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,814
2,174
Serious ebikes shouldn't have a drag issue; there is sometimes a perceived drag issue once assistance stops, especially if it cuts off too quickly. To keep up with fit riders of light bikes you will be going fast enough the motor on a legal bike won't be assisting at all; though the motor will help with hills and acceleration.

You don't necessarily have to spend a huge amount: what about Woosh Faro https://wooshbikes.co.uk/?faro
Not nearly as light as the lightest ebikes, but much lighter than most. I'm pretty sure it ticks the boxes for alternatives that are lighter than my Dirt E, faster on tarmac and have flat bars? (though I don't know how heavy the Dirt-E MTB is, Giant are very coy about it ). It should be good at what you are asking for, just as good on reliability, and much cheaper in maintenance (especially if anything does go wrong). It won't have the sophistication of bikes at 3 times the price; maybe you have other requirements you didn't mention.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

AnastieByte

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 19, 2019
16
1
All very helpful replies thanks. I had not looked at Woosh or Specialized. The Ribble I looked at. The only other two factors I forgot to mention were a reasonable battery size above 300w possible and I'm concerned about going from an 80nm torque motor to one half the torque. I mention this as the lower torque if I understand it right could require more effort from me on the steep inclines?
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,814
2,174
You'd probably want the bigger (heavier and less discrete) battery if you went for the Woosh; that is just over 600wh. The small one is only just under your 300wh.

Any lighter bike is likely to have a less powerful motor. Should still be easy to keep up with your non-electric friends on the hills; and once on the flat the motor won't be working as I mentioned before.

I'm not sure what motor the Faro has: it does admit The Faro is best if: You are tall, slim and live in a flatish area and are used to fast pedalling. That could rule it out for you; I think the other Woosh bikes are all quite a bit heavier. Another couple of ranges of bikes to check are Juicy and Oxygen.
I have no experience of either, and I'm not sure if they have suitable bikes in their ranges, but they get well recommended for value/reliability/support by other posters here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
But none of these suggestions are going to help our colleague keep up, beyond the 15.5mph cutoff. He is with fitter people on lighter bikes. Unless he uses the hills to get ahead of the pack, but then he's no longer 'with' them. We're talking speed pedelecs now aren't we. How about the Cube?

Cube speed pedelec
 

AnastieByte

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 19, 2019
16
1
I'd never heard of "Speed Pedelecs". Reading up on them they may not be for me as they require registering with DVLA etc. I'm reasonably fit other than a knackered knee and thought it was motor drag stopping me from keeping up along with the sheer weight of the bike. Hence considered a carbon frame. However, it may not be as straightforward as that.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,814
2,174
I just noticed another thread on drag on some Giant's.
It may be worth looking into, though the drag mentioned there seemed to come from odd power shifting behaviour rather than drag once the motor stopped pushing.

But none of these suggestions are going to help our colleague keep up, beyond the 15.5mph cutoff. He is with fitter people on lighter bikes. Unless he uses the hills to get ahead of the pack, but then he's no longer 'with' them. We're talking speed pedelecs now aren't we. How about the Cube?
Cube speed pedelec
Speed pedelecs would resolve things as you say, but bring the legal issues mentioned. There are several ways a different ordinary ebike might make enough difference.

Weight won't make a significant difference keeping up with the rest at over 15.5mph; a big difference in acceleration and hills, but a motor will help with those.

Different tyres and pressures would make a big difference. He could even fit those to the current bike, but that would rather destroy its main purpose. Any of the bikes mentioned above would have much faster tyres than the Giant MTB.

A lower (almost certainly less comfortable) riding position would help. OP explicitly says he doesn't want drops which I fully appreciate, but flat bars will mean more effort for him at those higher speeds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Maybe we're better off investing this tidy sum into a non-electric roadbike for those group runs and keeping the Giant for the gravel trails.

I'm curious as to what a 5 grand racer feels like to ride, but not curious enough to spend that sort of cash to find out!
 

Amoto65

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
807
500
58
Cheshire
I decided to go for something a bit lighter after owning a Carrera Crossfuse and a Wisper 905 and ended up getting a Specialized SL Turbo Comp Carbon Evo and I have to say it is stunning , there is no drag from the motor after the cut off and it only weighs 14kg . So I reckon the Vado even though it is heavier would be a good choice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Artstu

richtea99

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 8, 2020
310
208
I'd never heard of "Speed Pedelecs". Reading up on them they may not be for me as they require registering with DVLA etc. I'm reasonably fit other than a knackered knee and thought it was motor drag stopping me from keeping up along with the sheer weight of the bike. Hence considered a carbon frame. However, it may not be as straightforward as that.
The Orbea Gain F range (F30/F40, etc) and Boardman Hybrid HYB8.9e are worth a look. The Orbea is similar to the Ribble, and Boardman is a Fazua-based design.

As you say, 15.5mph is the law, as is the 250W limit, and these both adhere to it. Anything else is literally cheating. :rolleyes:

In terms of battery, if you're only using it intermittently already (as I do on my Gain) the battery size on these bikes isn't a worry unless you're going 80+ miles. I get 5 or 6 15-20 mile rides out of mine.

The only problem left is what to do with the money you'll have left over!
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

Atlav4

Pedelecer
Feb 16, 2020
174
75
Another vote for the woosh Faro I own one with the internal battery and regularly ride 20 miles with elevation of about 1100ft this achieved at average 15.5 mph No drag after passing assist level and the bike can motor using no assist. I normally return with 3 bars remaining on display.Mine weights just under 15kg with stock forks, seat post, saddle and marathon plus tyres. Would believe weight can be further reduced with carbon variation of the above components and lightweight tyres. I altered assist levels 1-5 to 25%,50%,75%,85% and 95% riding using level 2 mainly then toggle between 1 for descents and 3 for inclines. This gives a range over 30 miles but at my fitness levels I would struggle to achieve 40 miles . Must say not sure of nm of motor but have tackled some nasty banks in weardale and never used levels 4 or 5 or been in first gear and as stated fitness levels aren’t great. Sorry for the long post I honestly don’t think there’s much between the range of lightweight light assist models mentioned by others you’ll probably chose by aesthetics but do try as many as possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,945
Basildon
Another vote for the woosh Faro I own one with the internal battery and regularly ride 20 miles with elevation of about 1100ft this achieved at average 15.5 mph No drag after passing assist level and the bike can motor using no assist. I normally return with 3 bars remaining on display.Mine weights just under 15kg with stock forks, seat post, saddle and marathon plus tyres. Would believe weight can be further reduced with carbon variation of the above components and lightweight tyres. I altered assist levels 1-5 to 25%,50%,75%,85% and 95% riding using level 2 mainly then toggle between 1 for descents and 3 for inclines. This gives a range over 30 miles but at my fitness levels I would struggle to achieve 40 miles . Must say not sure of nm of motor but have tackled some nasty banks in weardale and never used levels 4 or 5 or been in first gear and as stated fitness levels aren’t great. Sorry for the long post I honestly don’t think there’s much between the range of lightweight light assist models mentioned by others you’ll probably chose by aesthetics but do try as many as possible.
I think you're getting a bit mixed up. Let's do some physics.

If your bike weighs under 15kg, you have the 8Ah 288wh battery. You come back with 3 bars on the meter so that would be about 120wh of use. 20 miles at an average 15.5 mph would take 1.3 hrs so to use 120wh from the battery. In that time, you were therefore drawing an average of 93w from the battery, but your system is only about 70% efficient, so you got an average 65 watts of assistance.

What you're saying is that you can average 15.5 mph over 20 miles with you pedalling plus 65 watts, and that journey includes 1100ft of climbing.

To compare with my regular short ride of 22 miles that also coincidentally includes 1100ft of climbing. When I was at my fittest, I could average 14.5 mph on level 5 (restricted to 16 mph), which would completely deplete my 400wh battery. I was able to keep up with most club cyclists on my road bike, especially over long distances, but not the serious ones. Today, I'm a bit compromised by health, so I can pedal about as hard as an average ebiker. For the same journey, adjusting the power to what I need, I average 10mph and deplete the battery.

Here's what I conclude: Either you're very strong and fit, in which case what you're saying is a bit misleading because other people won't achieve that, or you get all those things you said, but not all in the same journey, which is why I said that I think you might be a bit mixed up.

I'm not saying that the Woosh Faro is a bad bike. I'd just like to see a more realistic explanation of what it can do for an average person.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnastieByte

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
16,637
14,398
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
you can reduce the weight a fair bit by removing the kickstand (about 700g) and replacing the crankset, saddle, seat post and pedals with lighter kits without breaking the bank.
 

Amoto65

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
807
500
58
Cheshire
you can reduce the weight a fair bit by removing the kickstand and replacing the saddle, seat post and pedals with lighter kits.
Agreed and rate your bikes highly, but the person who posted previously stated the bike weighed under 15kg and was totally stock and as VFR said his post appears to be misleading as on your site you state the lightest version weighs 16.5kg.
 

Atlav4

Pedelecer
Feb 16, 2020
174
75
16.5 kg minus kick stand, rear rack, lights, bottle cage and with lighter tyres comes in around 15 kg certainly not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. This route is 4.7 miles short of stated ride but the elevation of the remaining miles is 150 ft on good roads E3CB4A02-2644-4B34-B8CE-2D8C2706D59F.jpeg