Which bike for off-road?

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
I spoke to Bicelleta when the bike came up on here originally.....they confirmed the weight at 23kg which was enough to put me of and the price was £4200 I think?
I think 24Kg with the 15Ah battery. The issue is when negotiating really tricky terrain and having to dismount, could it be carried or pushed easily?? Would this bike be easier to get up more tricky terrain than a non powered equivalent bike because you can keep going with power, bike handling skills would come into play here more, it would be interesting to try out. I've added some photos of typical MTB terrain in the thread.



If it is illegal for road use in the UK you may as well get a powerful hub bike for a quarter of the price
True, but then it's a compromise, there aren't many light full suss normal bikes out there that are cheap. My Marin, which was around £2K 3 years ago weighs a shade over 13Kg (29lbs), the more expensive full sussers (around £6-7K are not that much lighter). Stick a Bionx onto that (the only kit I would fit for this application) and the weight will be around 20-21Kg, range will be compromised because of a more powerful motor, plus it becomes heavy on the rear wheel and C of G would not be centred because of battery position, thereby compromising handling (tricky on rocky descents). Add the total cost of good full susser and Kit and you will be around £3.5K.

Do I really want to change my lightweight Marin into a heavier ebike, not sure, it would be nice to keep it for days when I just want no power, it's a really lovely bike to ride.

TBH - I'm not that bothered about the legalities (until I get caught ).




a 500 watt wisper for instance. I think the carbon framed, high spec wisper 906 xc tourer with air shocks etc.... is looking a bit of a bargain in comparison
Hmm, this bike has had me in a quandry for off-road use. Why make a more expensive carbon frame bike that weighs the same as a 905SE that will do the same job (yes I know the frame offsets the Alfine etc), it would be interesting to know what the frame weights are for the 906xc and 905SE (calling David)? This style of bike is good for rough tracks and off-road and long distance, but not good for true mountain biking, the bike would shake itself to bits on lots of the Lake District for instance. Component spec is OK but not brilliant, the cash has gone into the frame, motor and Alfine hub and possibly a bit in the forks. I would have one of these, but for a different purpose.

The Emotion Cross has been a contender but without rear suss and with 700 wheels, does not a mountain bike make. I am test riding a Sirmium tomorrow.

I think I should have started this thread with a title of which electric MTB, but I'm glad I didn't as it has drawn out all sorts of bikes that could do the job.


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Polar753

Pedelecer
Feb 8, 2010
38
0
Scotland
Great pics, just the kind of stuff I would like to have a go at. Didn't know the new full sus bikes are that kind of money, at that level the X Series is probably what you are looking for, as long as it holds together. Sirmium looks interesting for the money, interested to know how it goes.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Great pics, just the kind of stuff I would like to have a go at. Didn't know the new full sus bikes are that kind of money, at that level the X Series is probably what you are looking for, as long as it holds together. Sirmium looks interesting for the money, interested to know how it goes.
There are plenty of places to have a go, Afan Forest, North Face Trail, your local mountain :D Some of the pics are of the Lakes and Scotland which is true MTB territory, the 3rd one down is more like the 'easier' purpose built MTB areas like Afan.

You don't need to spend mega bucks on bikes to do these sorts of things, however there is a price point where the components will give you the performance and longevity required to make your riding really enjoyable vs making it a misery or suffering with component failures and lots of maintenance. Unfortunately suspension components cost lots for good 'uns, you pays your money....

I'll try and give the Sirmium a good go, but I'll be in work clothes :cool:
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Be very interested in your thoughts concerning the Sirmium
Unfortunately my local Gepida dealer does not have the Sirmium yet, they are due in a couple of weeks, so no test ride yet.

Now who has a Flyer X I can test ride ??
 

eddieo

Banned
Jul 7, 2008
5,070
6
not convinced the flyer is up to this either.. the weight plus the wide and large plastic areas of motor and battery surely would not survive this sort of terrain for long without damage:confused:

sump and side guards? more weight still......
 

Scatty

Pedelecer
Jan 15, 2009
160
1
That is some serious off-roading. If i tried that i would want the lightest bike i could find & id only do it if i were fit enough :eek: would not fancy carrying a electric bike up any hill. :eek:
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
not convinced the flyer is up to this either.. the weight plus the wide and large plastic areas of motor and battery surely would not survive this sort of terrain for long without damage:confused:

sump and side guards? more weight still......
I think you are probably correct for the extreme mountain biking situations (not sure which sub-genre of MTB that comes under) and would possibly account for under 20% usage, I think it would be best to save the Marin for those occasions.

The Flyer would probably make a good allround XC machine and will last for years without too much trouble. It would be good for less extreme but still challenging trails such as Afan, which is mainly single track and forests and would take the strain on some of the hill climbing.

I guess some modification to the battery area (duct tape) would help in reducing vibration etc. The bike comes with full suspension which is going to take some of the pain out of the ground anyway and should protect the battery better than no suspension.

Falls and crashes are inevitable if MTB'ing, I wonder how durable plastic cases are and what protection could be added, lightweight alu plates on the sides? Consideration to cooling might need to be given.
 
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Gepida uk

Pedelecer
May 11, 2009
75
0
Hi Aidan,

Are you sure the frames are welded in Hungary. I reckon these are Chinese made frames that are at the best option sprayed in Hungary. On my last trip to China I've seen enough and was shocked how ''European'' brand were Chinese really. I won't say which EU brands were saw being made in China but it was very surprising .
Hi Andy,

Our frames are made in Hungary for the Gepida Electric bikes, You are almost correct with regards to Some of the normal cycle frames that Gepida use are in fact made in China and shipped over in containers.
Regards
Aidan
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
8
Crowborough
Hmm, this bike has had me in a quandry for off-road use. Why make a more expensive carbon frame bike that weighs the same as a 905SE that will do the same job (yes I know the frame offsets the Alfine etc), it would be interesting to know what the frame weights are for the 906xc and 905SE (calling David)? This style of bike is good for rough tracks and off-road and long distance, but not good for true mountain biking, the bike would shake itself to bits on lots of the Lake District for instance. Component spec is OK but not brilliant, the cash has gone into the frame, motor and Alfine hub and possibly a bit in the forks. I would have one of these, but for a different purpose.
I think the main aim for the 906XC was to increase the strength of the frame so it will stand up to a lot of rough tracks for touring. I have snapped a 905 frame after a few thousand miles on London streets and dirt tracks, the design has been changed since but I wouldn't want to submit it to repeated MTB trails. Thankfully the frame has a six year warranty. :)
The 905 wouldn't have the gears for MTB trails either, the Alfine hub will be much better.
 

arkwright

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 9, 2010
14
0
That is some serious off-roading. If i tried that i would want the lightest bike i could find & id only do it if i were fit enough :eek: would not fancy carrying a electric bike up any hill. :eek:
Being fat doesn't help, Scatty:D
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
I think the main aim for the 906XC was to increase the strength of the frame so it will stand up to a lot of rough tracks for touring. I have snapped a 905 frame after a few thousand miles on London streets and dirt tracks, the design has been changed since but I wouldn't want to submit it to repeated MTB trails. Thankfully the frame has a six year warranty. :)
The 905 wouldn't have the gears for MTB trails either, the Alfine hub will be much better.
Interesting - what part of the frame snapped ? There aren't many cheap MTB's made in carbon and those that are, are prob used by racers and treated as throwaway items because you never know the true state of carbon following a crash.

Do Wisper put any terms and conditions in their warranty ref the use of their bikes, eg no mountainbiking?

Is the 906 a bling bike or is it a real world bike that could handle the crashing trails ?
 

Andrew harvey

Pedelecer
Jun 13, 2008
188
0
Wyre Forest
www.smiths-cycles.com
Being doing some research on high torque Bionx the current retail should be around £1800, even trade prices are well over a grand, plus the VAT.

This makes the Hienzmann look excellent value, it will handle these conditions in high torque mode.

Looking at the options if you only want the motor for assistance you don't actually need enough power to pull you up these hills, only help. a motor geared to give a maximum assisted speed of 15 mph, rather than the more usual 18, would be ideal. You can lower the top speed by fitting a 700 motor in 26" wheel this gives a bit of help, but it used to be possible to find motors with lower gearing. Most of the common high power motors use controllers that are current limiting, this effectively flattens the power curve but means that they draw high current until near high speed. Most geared hub motors produce maximum power at over 10 mph one popular bike produced maximum power around 15 mph when derestricted.

We tend to see high power as being the solution to all.
Why is it that Powacycles can climb hills so well on only 24V with low current consumption. Is it because the're low power and also low speed, producing maximum power at hill climbing speed rather than cruise speed.

Lateral thinking, take a high power 36V motor geared for a no load speed of around 20mph and a cruise speed of say 18mph, run it at 24V, the power drops, the cruise speed drops, but so does the effective gearing, the motor no longer produces 500w at 14mph, it produces say 350w at 9mph.
Which is more use for off road use?
 

eddieo

Banned
Jul 7, 2008
5,070
6
Thanks Andrew

£1800 is a mad price for a kit IMO never mind how sophisticated it is:confused:
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
We tend to see high power as being the solution to all.
Why is it that Powacycles can climb hills so well on only 24V with low current consumption. Is it because the're low power and also low speed, producing maximum power at hill climbing speed rather than cruise speed.
If you lower the gearing, you lower the speed and increase the torque. If Powacycles can climb well then this indicates that they have high torque.

Lateral thinking, take a high power 36V motor geared for a no load speed of around 20mph and a cruise speed of say 18mph, run it at 24V, the power drops, the cruise speed drops, but so does the effective gearing, the motor no longer produces 500w at 14mph, it produces say 350w at 9mph.
Which is more use for off road use?
Lowering the battery voltage has the same effect as using less throttle and certainly won't improve hill climbing. So there is no real advantage in doing this.
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
Bling? No sir it's not sir!

Interesting - what part of the frame snapped ? There aren't many cheap MTB's made in carbon and those that are, are prob used by racers and treated as throwaway items because you never know the true state of carbon following a crash.

Do Wisper put any terms and conditions in their warranty ref the use of their bikes, eg no mountainbiking?

Is the 906 a bling bike or is it a real world bike that could handle the crashing trails ?
Currently our warranty does not discriminate, however if the bike had been involved in a crash we would have to take a view.

The 906xc bike is not simply bling it really is very tough and has superb equipment.

The Vogue magnesium air shocks can be pumped up to suit the weight and riding style of the rider and having 6 levels of adjustment including lock out remotely controlled from the handle bars is an amazing development and VERY useful.

The Shimano Alfine 8 gear box is strong and of course is not effected at all by mud and water.

The front wheel motor effectively gives you a 2x2 drive system with the riders effort on the back wheel and the motor's on the front, this makes hill climbing in the mud controlled and powerful.

I need not reiterate the importance of a very powerful 504Wh battery and lithium polymer is a flexible system and therefore far more likely to stand the rigours of bashing up and down hills than the more rigid Lithium Ion type.

The wheels are made using stainless spokes and superb ultra strong double walled Alexrims.

Brakes are Shimano Alfine disc on the back and Shimano disc on the front with the Dapush motor rotor. Levers are the superb Tektro comfort the best available electric bike levers (Later in the year we will be upgrading to the new Tektro hydraulic brakes and will offer the upgrade to all existing XC users for £75.00 (retail will be over £200 for this system!)

I rest my case!

All the best

David
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Currently our warranty does not discriminate, however if the bike had been involved in a crash we would have to take a view.

The 906xc bike is not simply bling it really is very tough and has superb equipment.

The Vogue magnesium air shocks can be pumped up to suit the weight and riding style of the rider and having 6 levels of adjustment including lock out remotely controlled from the handle bars is an amazing development and VERY useful.

The Shimano Alfine 8 gear box is strong and of course is not effected at all by mud and water.

The front wheel motor effectively gives you a 2x2 drive system with the riders effort on the back wheel and the motor's on the front, this makes hill climbing in the mud controlled and powerful.

I need not reiterate the importance of a very powerful 504Wh battery and lithium polymer is a flexible system and therefore far more likely to stand the rigours of bashing up and down hills than the more rigid Lithium Ion type.

The wheels are made using stainless spokes and superb ultra strong double walled Alexrims.

Brakes are Shimano Alfine disc on the back and Shimano disc on the front with the Dapush motor rotor. Levers are the superb Tektro comfort the best available electric bike levers (Later in the year we will be upgrading to the new Tektro hydraulic brakes and will offer the upgrade to all existing XC users for £75.00 (retail will be over £200 for this system!)

I rest my case!

All the best

David
David - are you able to provide motor specs? E.g. Peak wattage, continuous wattage and torque?
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
8
Crowborough
Interesting - what part of the frame snapped ? There aren't many cheap MTB's made in carbon and those that are, are prob used by racers and treated as throwaway items because you never know the true state of carbon following a crash.

Do Wisper put any terms and conditions in their warranty ref the use of their bikes, eg no mountainbiking?

Is the 906 a bling bike or is it a real world bike that could handle the crashing trails ?
The adjustment for seat height was a weak spot and the seat tube split apart, the design of later bikes had already been changed so it shouldn't happen on most bikes and it took me over 10,000 miles to find it.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
The adjustment for seat height was a weak spot and the seat tube split apart, the design of later bikes had already been changed so it shouldn't happen on most bikes and it took me over 10,000 miles to find it.

Either that or you just weigh more than design limitations allowed for :D, 10,000 miles, not impressed :rolleyes: how are you supposed to go around the world on one!

Anyhow - does anyone know how the 6 levels of assist work on the 906xc ? Is it a kind of cruise control or crank torque sensitivity or just 6 levels or a sophisticated blend of all three? (I'm guessing David might have the answer here).