How to get the most range out of your ebike?


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6:47 AM
Jun 16, 2018
  • Shifting - Change gears more often. Don’t just jump for the power button first. Get your gearing right first. It’s still a bicycle principally propelled by human effort after all.
  • Settings - Use your motor’s "intelligent" mode eg. Bosch’s eMTB mode or grab your smartphone, fire up your e-bike motor manufacturer's app and have a look at what your motor is set up like. Simply turn down the power-level of a couple of power levels, or go for one of the presets. It’s also well worth keeping on top of your ebike’s firmware by making sure you have the latest version for it.
  • Cadence - The biggest problem with some e-bikers is their addiction to low cadence (sub-60 rpm). Not only does it drain power quicker (and cause the rider to complain about not getting the claimed mileage) it also eats drive trains quicker too. To keep the motor delivering peak power, you’ll need to spin rather than grind. Aim between 70 to 90 rpm. Keep twirling the cranks and you’ll maximise assistance.
  • Proper bike setup - Suspension: Baggy bouncy suspension will eat your efforts. We’d recommend running higher pressures in your suspension fork and shock compared to a regular suspension bike to take account of an e-bike’s extra mass. Around 15 per cent front and 20-25 per cent rear seems to work well. Tyres: To avoid squirming sidewalls and frequent punctures go for higher pressures (as much as 30 per cent extra) and heavy-duty tyres.
  • Battery - Keep your battery fully charged whenever possible. Lithium batteries, like any battery, will obviously get the most range when they are completely topped off at 100% charge. You aren’t going to go as far on half a tank, so to speak.
ebike motor.jpg

Any other suggestions?
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It's simple. The more power the motor draws the quicker the battery drains.
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Wouldn't want that battery to run down for that last climb so you'd have to PEDAL the behemoth UP the hill!
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There may be another "too obvious" solution to extending range. It is reducing rider weight. Maximizing the power/weight ratio is well known in all cycling disciplines, and I think it should apply to riding ebikes too.
Try riding it with pedals on the crank arms.
It's much more efficient that way. ;)
Review your thread after submitting; you might find that you used the same image in triplicate.
One thing I am doing more of when I know I have an epic climb ahead of me is shutting the motor to off when I am on long semi-descents or descents that I know won't have punchy ups. Rolling zero or 10% for as long as possible, 30% for beginning and mid-ride gradual ups and 100% only when things get super punchy. Progressing up the % during a ride feels magical whereas if you start with a lot of help at the front end of a ride, going down makes in assist the bike feel so heavy and sloggy. This strategy has helped me gain a couple bars per epic ride. (Doesn't work if the people you are riding with are strong and fast which seems to be my world...I just have to try to keep up so stay in 30% most of the ride).

Grappling with the idea of pumping up tires to high PSI if the ride is a lot of up at the start....reduce rolling resistance for this first part of ride might help.

And finally, secretly attaching a tow rope to your buddies bike will help keep your battery loaded.
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Ride slower. Wind resistance at higher speeds dominates as wind resistance is proportional to the square of the speed and power required to overcome wind resistance is proportional to the cube of the speed. Speed wastes energy.

Spin faster. Motor heat loss is proportional to the square of motor current which is directly related to torque. The motor is most efficient at higher cadence.

Avoid climbing steep hills. Steep hills require high torque which makes the motor less efficient; very few eBikes have a granny gear that would avoid this high-torque, high-current motor condition. Steep hills are the biggest range-killer for me.
Ride in analog mode as much as possible. Save the power tools for the long and steep climbs but try to use hand tools as much as you can. Try to think of it as an acoustic bike, it might help you to ration the electricity.
1) Stay in Eco or Trail mode/Stay out of Boost mode...
2) Pedal more/pedal harder...
3) Flow, baby, flow...
Whatever you do, don't become the eMTB equivalent of those douchebag Prius hypermilers...if you want to ride slow, don't bring your eMTB...
You mean I gotta speed up! Damn, TMB "To Many Birthdays" But, But I don't need momentum on the eMTB so I don't need to keep the speed up anymore. Some truth but said tongue-in-cheek.
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Aside from the other methods of increasing battery mileage.

You could use the cruise control function, if your controller has such an option.
I know with the KT display kits, its just connecting two wires, then when the speed is constant for 10 seconds it will enable cruise control at whatever speed you were constant at. Other controllers, I know my Greentime/EVFitting controller has the cruise control wires. I had purchased a KT kit 5 years ago, but sold it after a few months, and the cruise function was desirable. Coming to think of it, every cheap controller I purchased on ebay had the cruise function wire pairs.

Why is cruise control important
- Its just too easy to ride faster, riding faster depletes the battery capacity wh faster, making your total riding distance shorter.

- Thats where the cruise control function comes in handy.
- You wont be going faster unconsciously. Can be very handy!

- You can settle in behind some Lycra riding a road bicycle and set cruise control of the Lycras speed, hopefully Lycra's riding at a constant speed. Thats what I always do, except in the time of covid-19, I dont want to breathing in, or riding into someone elses breath particles, so I just pass them as quickly (and reasonably) as possible, for health reasons that is.

------------------> Do the store bought ebikes have cruise control ?????
wallke x3 pro has cruise control if enabled in the CRU advanced settings on the controller
My on line purchased Juiced HyperScorpion has CC. Min 10 MPH max 20 MPH for engagement. That said I haven't tried to engage it above ~19 MPH.
Still laughing about the 'Lycra' and the hypermiling Prius.
Nearly got smacked in the WV mountains; some idiot in a KIA hybrid came buzzing at 90 on the downhills, and was on his hands and knees on the uphills. Your mirrors are your friends; I look in mine more than all the Kardashians combined.
I am going to strongly disagree with the advice to keep the battery at 100% charge as much as possible. This will have very negative effects on battery longevity. It is pretty well documented now that the less time spent at full charge, the better.

You want to spend as little time as possible above 80% or below 20%. This is why selectable chargers have become available. Charge to 80 the day before, then right before riding, take it to 100. Never let it sit for days at full charge.

Also, electric motors are generally most efficient at, or very close to, maximum RPM. So, if your bike will do 40mph, or even 30mph, but you spend 99% of your time doing 20 or less, you are wasting battery power and would be better off with a slower speed motor, in terms of power efficiency.

Then there are drivetrain losses for mid-drives, plus the maintenance issues. Hub motors have efficiency advantages, far less maintenance needs, do not require $1500 internally geared rear hubs to solve simple chain-line issues, last longer, cost less, and, when properly selected and setup, will out-perform a crank-drive. You dp have to actually devote some thought to motor selection. and gain some understanding of the systems you are dealing with, though.

Not nearly as hip or cool as the current fad crank-drive, but far, far more practical.

You can easily use pedelec control with a hub motor, or simply pedal-assist with throttle only, at whatever power level you choose to supply, you do need to get a bike with gearing which makes this possible, the same holds true with crank-drives but you are limited in choice of crank gear and rear gearing will need to be replaced regularly, along with chains.