Which bike for off-road?

Andrew harvey

Pedelecer
Jun 13, 2008
188
0
Wyre Forest
www.smiths-cycles.com
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.

I had thought the suggestion would have caused more debate. The fact is that the Powacycle bikes aren't particularly high torque,. Torque in regard to electric motors is a function of current, more current more torque. If the Powacycles produced higher torque than the common 36V Bafangs then they should draw more current, but they use similar 20A rated controllers, and similar rated batteries, they are very economical further proving that they do not draw high currents.
The 24v Bionx motors I have used all climb faster and have higher top speeds ( .c. 20 mph ) than the Powacycles and can come with similar batteries, but used in full power only mode the Powacycle have a greater range.
I would suggest that the Powacycles climb well because they climb at a low speed that requires only low power.
In terms of value they win hands down, a complete bike for less than the price of a kit, I'm a fan of Powacycles having sold a few.

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.
But is there any disadvantage?
The Powacycle motors do indeed perform like 36V motors used at part throttle.

My point is that we sometimes chase absolute power for it's own sake. The hub motor with, what I have long felt to be the best combination of speed, hill climbing ability and economy is the 408 Crstalyte run at 36V. It would cruise at 20+ mph, pull my U plus 2 with my 2 boys encouragement, and still manage a respectable range ( when solo over 20 miles on a 8 AH battery), but it outputted only 360W. My similarly rapid Bafang would struggle on more than about 1 in 12 with the boys on tow. I stopped using them only because they are too big, too heavy and too ugly to be fitted to decent bike, built to handle and be as light as possible.

I have currently fitted a controller with a 15 A programmed current limit for my SWXK, the steepest hill I use daily is 1 in 7, I only use this for fun as I could take the short route home, I always use part throttle to climb it.

Can I try another provocative statement?
The only advantage of power even on hills is speed, but this comes at the detriment of range.

Try an experiment next time your on a straight moderate climb, see how far you can throttle back without you or the motor losing vast amounts of momentum. You will slow but half throttle seems to give far more than half speed.
This is akin to the advice given by Cytronix.

As soon as I can find my phone with the images on I have 3 new products, two of which I have tested.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
As soon as I can find my phone with the images on I have 3 new products, two of which I have tested.
Products? What products? Get them in a separate thread then we can rip 'em apart, er I mean critique, your products.

You and your phones, you can build ebikes but can't work a mobile phone !!
 

eddieo

Banned
Jul 7, 2008
5,070
6
Products? What products? Get them in a separate thread then we can rip 'em apart, er I mean critique, your products.

You and your phones, you can build ebikes but can't work a mobile phone !!
That is a bit harsh......I spoke to Andrew during the week re BionX and he had lost phone while out cycling apparently:p
 

Straylight

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 31, 2009
650
2
Can I try another provocative statement?
The only advantage of power even on hills is speed, but this comes at the detriment of range.
Ok, I'm provoked :D

I have a Wisper with a Bafang motor, and find it very handy on hills. The best speed for this is around 10mph, which once reached is easy to maintain by standing on the pedals in the right gear. Anything faster or slower than this, and I'm struggling to maintain a constant cadence. I do, however, find the speed capability useful as it allows me to accelerate to the base of the hill, set my gears to climb, let the momentum drop away in a controlled fashion, then stand up on the pedals at around 11mph. With this technique, hill climbing becomes a breeze :) .

As for range, the answer is simple - ride faster on the flat (i.e. put as much effort in as possible), and get a big battery. The latter, if charged after every ride, gives more ride time in the higher voltages = more torque.
 
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Andrew harvey

Pedelecer
Jun 13, 2008
188
0
Wyre Forest
www.smiths-cycles.com
I don't think the products I spoke of will be ripped apart.
The first was the Raleigh Devon, coming to bike shops near you soon.
My local Raleigh rep. has had a demonstrator delivered to my shop, he's on holiday and intends to collect it Monday. Not strictly a new product I know, but with Raleigh recruiting dealers it will be possible to get Kalkoff products locally rather than of the net with limited ability to test ride.
The second is a the controller/throttle replacement pictured in a previous post on this thread, which will allow throttles to be made Euro compliant. On new bikes or as a retrofit it allows preset power levels, whilst pedaling and allows the throttle to function only when pedaling.
The other would be more controversial and will definately raise eyebrows with some of the claims, again not strictly new but it was only launched towards the end of last year, I have I should point out only had a brief round the car park test on this one.
I will start a new thread today if I get the chance.
What ever you do never lose a phone if you use the 3 network, the hassle it takes to get them to replace it even with insurance will make you want to cancell the contract.
 
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eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
I don't think the products I spoke of will be ripped apart.
The first was the Raleigh Devon, coming to bike shops near you soon.
My local Raleigh rep. has had a demonstrator delivered to my shop, he's on holiday and intends to collect it Monday. Not strictly a new product I know, but with Raleigh recruiting dealers it will be possible to get Kalkoff products locally rather than of the net with limited ability to test ride.
The second is a the controller/throttle replacement pictured in a previous post on this thread, which will allow throttles to be made Euro compliant. On new bikes or as a retrofit it allows preset power levels, whilst pedaling and allows the throttle to function only when pedaling.
The other would be more controversial and will definately raise eyebrows with some of the claims, again not strictly new but it was only launched towards the end of last year, I have I should point out only had a brief round the car park test on this one.
I will start a new thread today if I get the chance.
What ever you do never lose a phone if you use the 3 network, the hassle it takes to get them to replace it even with insurance will make you want to cancell the contract.
Nice one Andrew, look forward to the update ;)
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
I don't think the products I spoke of will be ripped apart.
The first was the Raleigh Devon, coming to bike shops near you soon.
My local Raleigh rep. has had a demonstrator delivered to my shop, he's on holiday and intends to collect it Monday. Not strictly a new product I know, but with Raleigh recruiting dealers it will be possible to get Kalkoff products locally rather than of the net with limited ability to test ride.
Hi Andrew, I thought 50 Cycles had the agency for Kalkoff in the UK?

All the best

David
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
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).
Andrew had the only Wisper ever to have developed a crack in the frame, there was a problem with the weld. We have replaced his frame and designed out the possibility of a reoccurrence in later bikes.

The 6 levels of assist are very simply position one is off and the other 5 are 20, 40, 50, 60 and 80% power available from the motor, if you need 100% twist the throttle. I leave my bike on level 2 and use the throttle to fine tune up to full power when I need it.

All the best

David
 

Caph

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 29, 2008
440
11
Nottingham, UK
Apologies for joining the thread so late on. Better late than never I suppose.

I do indeed have the Galileo Full Sus 24speed 24V MTB and it's been great for years now. I'd thoroughly recommend it. I mainly commute on it (only 1500 miles a year) but I get out in to the middle of nowhere as often as I can. If I come back and I can see more bike than mud then it's not been a good day. 8 hour off road rides are will within the remit of this bike.

The most important points I think I can pass on are:-

1. The full suspension is worth it's weight in gold. I've tried a hard tail with a suspension seat post and it is not even in the same ballpark. I hit 30mph on a rocky downhill once and strangely the faster you go the smoother the ride, if you can turn off your internal fear sensor. That said, some of our roads round here are almost as scary with the chronic pot holes caused by this winter. Also, the battery benefits from the full suspension which is important too.

2. I much prefer a 24V MTB over a 36V MTB (I own both). The 36V I find too powerful. Also the lower powered 24V will easily do 40+ miles due to it using less power.

3. Go for front wheel drive! I think the more off road you do and the worse the conditions you plan on cycling in then the more important this is. And don't worry about hub power, I can get up the most ridiculously steep hills on my Galileo if I drop down to 1st gear and let the front hub slowly but surely pull me up.

4. Forget rim brakes, go for dual disk. The difference is night and day and is accentuated when off-roading in bad conditions.

That's about it really.

Oh, and don't forget Sherwood Pines if you are looking for somewhere to off-road. It seems to have been overlooked in the suggestions for good off-roading.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,532
23,366
Hi Andrew, I thought 50 Cycles had the agency for Kalkoff in the UK?

All the best

David
The Raleigh gmbh and Kalkhoff bikes are both made by Derby Cycles, badged differently but the same models:

Kalkhoff Agattu = Raleigh Leicester

Kalhoff Tasman = Raleigh Leicester de Luxe

Kalkhoff Pro Connect = Raleigh Devon

For component supply/availability reasons some components can differ at times, typically rims and tyres, but the qualities are normally the same.
.
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
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Sevenoaks Kent
Kalkhoff

Thanks Flecc

After the stirling job the 50 Cycles guys have done promoting Kalkhoff in the UK, it would have been a sad day if they had simply been pushed aside.

All the best

David
 

Andrew harvey

Pedelecer
Jun 13, 2008
188
0
Wyre Forest
www.smiths-cycles.com
Sorry for any confusion, I didn't mean to imply thet 50 Cycles had been ousted.
The Raleigh range have been advertised in the UK for about 3 years now, forgotten who by, but now Raleigh are importing them them selfs.

I've been sceptical of the Panasonic system ever since I first tried a Lafree, I still snapped up the chance to buy a wrecked one second hand to play with.

I'm now much more convinced of there usefullness, hope to report later.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Apologies for joining the thread so late on. Better late than never I suppose.

I do indeed have the Galileo Full Sus 24speed 24V MTB and it's been great for years now. I'd thoroughly recommend it. I mainly commute on it (only 1500 miles a year) but I get out in to the middle of nowhere as often as I can. If I come back and I can see more bike than mud then it's not been a good day. 8 hour off road rides are will within the remit of this bike.

The most important points I think I can pass on are:-

1. The full suspension is worth it's weight in gold. I've tried a hard tail with a suspension seat post and it is not even in the same ballpark. I hit 30mph on a rocky downhill once and strangely the faster you go the smoother the ride, if you can turn off your internal fear sensor. That said, some of our roads round here are almost as scary with the chronic pot holes caused by this winter. Also, the battery benefits from the full suspension which is important too.

2. I much prefer a 24V MTB over a 36V MTB (I own both). The 36V I find too powerful. Also the lower powered 24V will easily do 40+ miles due to it using less power.

3. Go for front wheel drive! I think the more off road you do and the worse the conditions you plan on cycling in then the more important this is. And don't worry about hub power, I can get up the most ridiculously steep hills on my Galileo if I drop down to 1st gear and let the front hub slowly but surely pull me up.

4. Forget rim brakes, go for dual disk. The difference is night and day and is accentuated when off-roading in bad conditions.

That's about it really.

Oh, and don't forget Sherwood Pines if you are looking for somewhere to off-road. It seems to have been overlooked in the suggestions for good off-roading.
Thanks Caph, interesting bike at only £999. Are you able to list any of the components as the website shows nothing, e.g. shock, forks, gearset, brakes, rims and tyres? How has it all held up over time? 40 miles out of a 240wh battery is going some, are you a fit rider ?

My experience when trying a bionx off-road is the same as yours, only a low level of assistance is needed otherwise you can get out of shape pretty quickly, but the assistance is great when ploughing through mud and on those long uphills with 26" wheels.
 

Bigbee

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 12, 2008
445
1
Andrew had the only Wisper ever to have developed a crack in the frame, there was a problem with the weld. We have replaced his frame and designed out the possibility of a reoccurrence in later bikes.

The 6 levels of assist are very simply position one is off and the other 5 are 20, 40, 50, 60 and 80% power available from the motor, if you need 100% twist the throttle. I leave my bike on level 2 and use the throttle to fine tune up to full power when I need it.

All the best

David
Nice one David ,I love it when some one calls " off " a level! So it is the same Dapu( Dapush as you call it) as on our new £800 bikes that arrive in Spring/Summer.We call ours 5 level,plus it has a throttle of course
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Nice one David ,I love it when some one calls " off " a level! So it is the same Dapu( Dapush as you call it) as on our new £800 bikes that arrive in Spring/Summer.We call ours 5 level,plus it has a throttle of course
What bikes are these Bigbee, got any info, a website ?
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
Same motor?

Nice one David ,I love it when some one calls " off " a level! So it is the same Dapu( Dapush as you call it) as on our new £800 bikes that arrive in Spring/Summer.We call ours 5 level,plus it has a throttle of course
Probably not Bigbee! :)

All the best david
 

Tim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2006
770
78
London
Try a Raleigh, buy a Kalkhoff :cool:
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
Can I try another provocative statement?
The only advantage of power even on hills is speed, but this comes at the detriment of range.
This is true, and using no throttle will give you the best range :D

But seriously, using less throttle on a hill can help range for two reasons if you are pedalling. The proportion of human input is increased, plus the motor can be run at an efficient rpm.

Without significant rider input, less throttle is likely to reduce range by lowering motor efficiency.

On the flat, speed generally reduces range due to the increased wind resistance.