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My First E-Bike Experience - Entry #4

In my last post I detailed some modifications I made to my conversion and gave short review of my first ride impressions. At this point I have logged about 375 miles and have recorded some of my rides with a GPS. I've exported the GPS tracks and loaded them into a mapping program that generates graphs and performance profiles. In this report I showing some "real world" performance data while riding on fairly hilly terrain.

When I first purchased the kit and considered the 350w front hub motor I was a little skeptical as to whether it was handle the up and down grades where I was planning to ride. I'm happy to report that this setup performs very well and exceeded my expectations.

So far I've been riding in assist level 3 or 4 but on occasion I've clicked it up to level 5 to get up some steeper grades. I've posted a couple graphs of a 12 mile ride. You can see from the elevation plot that I am riding on some fairly hilly up/down streets. At level 5, the digital readout indicates the motor in putting out a little over 500 watts when working hard. On level 4 it shows and output of 300 watts. The top speed on fairly level stretches is about 22mph and has been verified by the GPS. When going down some hills I can reach 27-28 mph, which is seems pretty darn fast on a bicycle. When you reach 22mph the motor output decreases to zero watts, which is the invoked by the built-in speed limiter.

Below is the elevation profile of a 12 mile ride. Total climbing on this ride was 2307. Average speed over that distance/terrain was 14.4 mph. Max speed according to GPS was 37mph.


Elevation Data


Below is the speed graph over the same route.


Speed Data


Below is the route shown on a topo map.


Map of the Ozark Mountains wih data overlay


After this ride which took a total of 48 minutes the battery voltage was showing two bars under load and three bars on cruising.
Most of the riding was in top gear 3 - 7, drop to 3-6 or 3-5 as needed. On the steepest grade I had to drop to 2-2 and assist level 5.

If I would have tried this same ride without an hub motor I would have had to really work hard and would have had to use "Granny gear" or even walk the bike to make a couple hills. With the 350w hub motor I was able to do the entire route and get home without breaking a sweat. I saw one biker on the same route really pumping hard. I thought about flagging him down and tell him about the virtues of an e-bike. Maybe another day.

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