long ebike trips

pagheca

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I am thinking about a circumnavigation of my small island with my ebike, a Trek Powerfly 7 F.S., sleeping in hotels and possibly also in tents.

In total I should cover about 140 kilometers. That sounds low, but the fact is that the road is always extremely steep, with constant ups and downs. The range here, WITHOUT heavy luggage, is about 50 km, despite the 625 Wh battery and my attempts to use very park settings.

I find this of the most frustrating limitations of ebikes compared to bikes (or feet): the need to lean on a hotel to recharge overnight and to carry around a very heavy and bulky charger.

Has anyone ever tried touring for several days on an ebike here?
 
Wear padded bicycle shorts,
get off the bike seat every 20-30 minutes for a few seconds,
drink plenty of water each time you stop,
charger is small when compared to the food & drinks you should be carrying with you.
 
Yes, I’ve done about 120km per day over 6-7 days with some friends of mine. Compared to a regular touring bike the basics are the same, however an e-bike can afford you some luxuries that you don’t have on a non motorized bike. You can make it much more comfortable which translates into a more enjoyable tour. Since weight isn’t a huge concern within reason on an e-bike, things like comfy seat, fatter tires, shock absorbing seat post, full suspension front forks, handlebars and stem combos to get you in a more comfortable vertical sitting position, etc. can be installed. As I get older, I like this more and more.
But you nailed it on the head with the only real con; that darned battery or batteries. Yep, overnight charging is the way it is. So you pretty much have to plan on staying over where power is available. I run 3 Li-Ion batteries on my touring e-bike totaling 34Ah. I carry two chargers with me. But they are pretty light, considering the other heavy crap I carry like water, electrolytes, snack bars and tools. We don’t carry meals; since we run across a Subway restaurant or other places where we can get lunch. Breakfast and dinner are before and after the daily ride. My e-bike that I use to tour is a 500w rear hub and weighs right at 45kg with empty panniers. Then add another 14kg of stuff in the panniers.
 
Thanks for the insights, guys. I have done in the past some trips withe my bike. The problem is the change of mind required with an e-bike, specially on extremely hilly roads like here (1000-2000 m of level change every 50 km is common).

hsdrggr: Thanks for the real experience, but I do not understand a few things you said. Which is the total energy in your bike's battery in kWh? And why you carry two chargers exactly? In case one doesn't work? I have a single Bosch, pretty sturdy one. One possibility would be to buy eventually a second battery. The time to charge usually is a hour or so.

My ebike weights about 28 without pannniers (that I have to order). It is my intention to recharge at restaurants or bar and possibly sleep outdoor if required. The places where I will pass are very remote and features only old-style shops and tapas bars. No chains and fast food (that is good for me...).
 
Thanks for the insights, guys. I have done in the past some trips withe my bike. The problem is the change of mind required with an e-bike, specially on extremely hilly roads like here (1000-2000 m of level change every 50 km is common).

hsdrggr: Thanks for the real experience, but I do not understand a few things you said. Which is the total energy in your bike's battery in kWh? And why you carry two chargers exactly? In case one doesn't work? I have a single Bosch, pretty sturdy one. One possibility would be to buy eventually a second battery. The time to charge usually is a hour or so.

My ebike weights about 28 without pannniers (that I have to order). It is my intention to recharge at restaurants or bar and possibly sleep outdoor if required. The places where I will pass are very remote and features only old-style shops and tapas bars. No chains and fast food (that is good for me...).
He told us why he carries 2 chargers when he said "I run 3 Li-Ion batteries on my touring e-bike." Simultaneous charging of 2 batteries.
 
Thanks for the insights, guys. I have done in the past some trips withe my bike. The problem is the change of mind required with an e-bike, specially on extremely hilly roads like here (1000-2000 m of level change every 50 km is common).

hsdrggr: Thanks for the real experience, but I do not understand a few things you said. Which is the total energy in your bike's battery in kWh? And why you carry two chargers exactly? In case one doesn't work? I have a single Bosch, pretty sturdy one. One possibility would be to buy eventually a second battery. The time to charge usually is a hour or so.

My ebike weights about 28 without pannniers (that I have to order). It is my intention to recharge at restaurants or bar and possibly sleep outdoor if required. The places where I will pass are very remote and features only old-style shops and tapas bars. No chains and fast food (that is good for me...).

A full charge in a hour or so? That can't be good for the battery can it?
 
I actually kind of exageerated: let's say "in a few hours"... If done time by time shouldn't be a big problem, like charging 100% before a long ride. What I mean is that if you stop at a hotel for 10 hours you should be able to fully recharge 3 batteries.
 
pagheca - which eBike do you have?

The funny thing about eBikes is that to circumnavigate your island on one charge, the eBike either has to be light and efficient enough that you can do a lot of the pedaling or it has to have a lot of battery capacity, which will make it big and heavy enough that you have no chance to pedal it uphill. :cautious:

Here are a couple examples:

Extreme Example 1 - Trek Domane+: An expensive & lightweight, but not-too-powerful road eBike. Use electric sparingly to help with the steeper hills and you might make it on one charge. This will depend on your fitness, too! If you don't make it, that bike is still pedalable uphill. Bring the charger in some minimal luggage; it's worth the bulk & weight. This would be more of a bikepacking trip (pack light, probably no panniers, but luggage that would fit in and on the frame of the bike itself.)

Extreme Example 2 - Aventon Aventure: A less expensive, but bigger, heavier and less efficient eBike. Front & rear racks & panniers would be no problem on this bike and you could carry about as much luggage as you want. The more you bring, the shorter your electric range. It's not going to be pedalable up steep hills, so plan on adding some more weight & expense in the form of spare batteries.

Middle Example - Aventon Level.2: It's about mid-way between the two above examples in both efficiency and weight. I've found that using the juice sparingly on PAS1 only against stiff headwinds and uphill, I can get 60 miles on a charge. Pack one spare battery or stay overnight once somewhere to charge and you'd be good for your whole 140 km.
 
@Smaug: I own a Trek Powerfly 7 Full Suspensions.
Bike info at Trek.com

How far do you find you're getting on a charge?

It does not seem to be a great bike to carry luggage on, so I see your concern for carrying stuff. It looks like you could get a top tube bag, handlebar bag and a medium under seat bag on it.

On the other hand, it has some MONSTER sprockets on the cassette and a small chainring up front, so I guess you could always keep pedaling when she dies.
 
60 km typically with almost no luggage and setting on eco for most of the time.
 
Bike info at Trek.com

It does not seem to be a great bike to carry luggage on
Can you tell me why? What defines a good bike for carrying luggage?

Unfortunately the brands and models selection here was limited to 2-3, and I did not want to risk problems with assistance ordering from another island or the mainland.
 
He told us why he carries 2 chargers when he said "I run 3 Li-Ion batteries on my touring e-bike." Simultaneous charging of 2 batteries.
Yes, I carry a 48v 2amp charger and a 48v 4amp charger. The 2amp charger charges my 10.4ah in-the-frame battery, and the 4amp charger simultaneously charges the 2 other 11.8ah batteries which are wired in parallel (one in a frame bag, and other in a truck bag).
I don’t run a BMS on the dual parallel batteries, just fused with balancing boards. That way I can charge both batteries by hooking to just one of their charging ports.
If I only charged the dual batteries with a 2amp charger it would take too long to charge them on a layover.
 
thanks. May you share a pic of your ebike fully loaded and ready to afford a long trip? How much does it weights full loaded?
 
Can you tell me why? What defines a good bike for carrying luggage?

Unfortunately the brands and models selection here was limited to 2-3, and I did not want to risk problems with assistance ordering from another island or the mainland.
It doesn’t seem to have the threaded holes for racks and since it is full suspension, there’s not much space for strapping bags to the frame. (A lot of the frame actually moves)

Trek makes very good quality bikes, no problem there; it’s just that you picked one aimed toward rugged single track trails or downhill racing, rather than long distance travel.

I would look into more road-oriented tires, a big seat bag, a tip tube bag and a handlebar bag. Maybe a backpack if you’ll be camping. Then plan one charging spot along the trip and use battery sparingly.
 
I would not use a bike with rear suspension for heavy loads. If that’s all you have then try it. If you can lock it out 100% then it would work. Otherwise the rear suspension will bob and absorb some of your pedaling effort. Also, do not even consider a step-through frame, it’s way too weak. Some e-bikes have really curvy top and down tubes, these can work depending on design, but straight bar triangular frames flex less and carry weight well. My touring e-bike does have a slightly curved top tube and a straight down tube. The frames to stay away from are the frames that have the top tube and down tube curving the same direction: basically like parallel pieces of spaghetti. My frame is rated for 160kg load max. I am under that barely with loaded panniers.
 
thanks. May you share a pic of your ebike fully loaded and ready to afford a long trip? How much does it weights full loaded?
Fully loaded it weighs about 60kg, plus me 100kg = 160kg total.
Here’s some photos but panniers are empty, just hung 2 for the pic.
5D4D212A-3DFE-4D8C-BDA3-2A70CCCD70A2.jpeg
289306E2-D009-4610-9A5A-695854111F53.jpeg
48E9F115-FC8C-4D89-B9E4-924C44ED43CF.jpeg
 
Fully loaded it weighs about 60kg, plus me 100kg = 160kg total.
Here’s some photos but panniers are empty, just hung 2 for the pic.
Wow, that's look like a pretty serious setup.

Do you travel with tubeless? They tend to puncture more often, according to what they say, but then you can change the inner tube (which weighs less and are easier to repair. So, I am a bit uncertain about that.
 
It doesn’t seem to have the threaded holes for racks and since it is full suspension, there’s not much space for strapping bags to the frame. (A lot of the frame actually moves)
I was thinking to buy this: https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B01N6RORTM/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_4?smid=A1AT7YVPFBWXBL&psc=1 and this https://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00ASSQJYU/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_3?smid=A1AT7YVPFBWXBL&psc=1 . Any hint?? I already own some Ortlieb bags quite similar to the one in @hsdrggr's picture and the classic underseat bag (just 2 liters).
Trek makes very good quality bikes, no problem there; it’s just that you picked one aimed toward rugged single track trails or downhill racing, rather than long distance travel.
Yes. Unfortunately there was nothing available on the market here for long distance trips. Also, I haven't considered this opinon when I purchased it.

It's a very small island, but very hilly. They say it's the inhabited island with the highest average altitude in the world. While i am not convinced about that, it's true roads are very steeps and filled with turns.

I would look into more road-oriented tires, a big seat bag, a tip tube bag and a handlebar bag. Maybe a backpack if you’ll be camping. Then plan one charging spot along the trip and use battery sparingly.

Tubeless? Consider that many roads I am planning to go through are not sealed and pretty rough.

Thanks so much for your time and suggestions too.
 
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Here's my bike loaded up. I don't have anything on the front.

The one pic shows the trunk bag without the panniers deployed. This is my everyday setup. The next has the panniers folded out and full of groceries. They're not as big as dedicated panniers like what hsdrggr has, but I like that they fold out of the air stream when not in use.


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My point above is that the racks required for either my setup of hsdrggr's would not be mountable on your bike. I think you could get by with a lot less luggage for a trip around your island. It is relatively short, as bike tours go. You would tend more toward "bikepacking" than "bike touring."

With bikepacking, people tend to strap luggage directly to the bike's frame, rather than customize the framework of the bike (by bolting in racks) to carry more. Here's an example from us.alpkit.com (no affiliation)

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You could probably fit all those bags except the frame bag (due to rear suspension motion) to your bike and get the job done. Maybe add a backpack if you can't travel that light.

Edit: You said you already have a 2L underseat bag; just add the top tube bag and handlebar bag and you're set!
 
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