Pedal Friendly emotor?

HighPockets

New member
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
7
Points
3
After a few months of loving the middrive conversion on my trike a few things are starting to annoy me. I am an injured 79 year old commuter, formerly racer and engineer. I need the motor occasionally but keeping the pedals turning is keeping me alive. I am starting to feel like my motor was designed by a motorist who was unaware of basic pedaling needs and that I am a motor assist instead of the other way around. New to the market, I am looking for help finding a motor that has all the following:

Throttle works while pedaling-

Can’t believe I actually have to ask for this. I want the throttle to kick me up my steep driveway or give me a boost out of stoplights to stay with the cars until I can get clear of them but to ask me to stop pedaling to be able to do that is stunningly stupid. The ability to pedal under throttle is an easily achieved configuration choice by the manufacturer. There is no excuse for not having it. When I touch the throttle I intend to use it. It should override PAS and not care about my feet moving.

Motor freewheel-

There is a freewheel on the cranks allowing the motor to spin the chainring without dragging my feet along with it, but why is there not one on the motor so I can pedal ahead of it and all its power robbing machinery when I am not using it? When I slip the chain off the chainring the cranks should spin forward as freely as they spin backward.

Easily configurable PAS levels-

PAS levels should be easily configured to the desired power from the display menus. For instance, the default first level was way too powerful for matching the small amount of power I need to stay with more powerful non-e friends. We should all be able to set our own levels as a matter of course.

PAS levels by power, not speed-

Many ebikers want PAS to be the kind of loose cruise control it is. I like it sometimes too, as some multiuse paths now have speed limits. However, I would prefer cruise (or any other programmed behavior) to be an option on the control console. The option I need is PAS settings that are straight power settings. I do not want any programmed preference for or limitation of pedal speed, pedal force, or bike speed (other than the overall legal powered speed limit). I want to choose that by changing gears. I do not want to be frustrated and confused by a program educating me into how it thinks I should pedal. I am approaching half a million bike miles and know how I want to pedal. I have no need of a crank torque sensor to help the system figure out how much power to give me. Please give me the power (amps) I select. I know how I want to use it.

Are my dreams out there somewhere?
 

Hoggdoc

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
450
Points
43
Location
Longview, WA.
Website
activityphoto.com
Wow I think that's going to be a tall order. Let us know what you find. One comment is I think you would be better off with a system that uses a torque sensor instead of a cadence sensor.

As far a being able to pedal without drag from the motor, my geared hub motor does that pretty well. I'm not sure of how mid drive systems handle that.
 

Vinz

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
56
Points
8
I'm not sure I completely understand your wish list - but what kind of mid drive system do you have?
I have a Bafang BBS02B (installed on a Giant Roam 3) - and the PAS levels are all customizable in regards to both max current supplied, and speed limit. This is not done via the normal display, but by using an app on your phone, or a PC program, and a configuration cable (USB to Bafang 5-pin) that connects your phone/PC to the motor. Sure it's an extra step, but worth it. And you can have throttle on demand, and also set its parameters as well. Throttle on demand is something I could not do without now.
As far as motor drag - yep it's for real. But I have 9 PAS levels, and I have the first level set very low. So low, that in effect, it compensates for the motor drag, rather than giving you a boost. Well, close enough, anyway. But the overall configuration thing can be confusing.
I'm rather jealous of your 0.5M miles! I bought my "regular" bike in June/2020. I converted it this spring, with the Bafang kit. Total mileage so far is close to 5K - with 2K put on it as a regular bike. A motor does make it easier, no doubt, but I stay out much longer now, so I still get plenty of exercise.
 

PeteCress

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
12
Points
3
- Throttle works while pedaling-
- Motor freewheel-
- PAS levels should be easily configured to the desired power from the display menus.
- PAS levels by power, not speed-
You want torque sensing instead of rpm sensing.

My mid-drive Tongsheng TSDZ2 with open-source firmware seems to do all of that. I am 80, in mediocre health, and my needs/desires seem to similar to yours.

Personally, I did not bother with installing the throttle because it's just too easy to dab the Assist Level button a couple of times to get extra power.

It allows up to 9 user-programmable assist levels, but currently I am using only five:
1 = 25%. If I am putting out 100 watts, the
TSDZ2 adds another 25.
2 = 50%
3 = 100%. I.e. the TSDZ2 matches me
watt-for-watt
4 = 200%
5 = Superman mode

I got mine from https://www.electrifybike.com/collections/conversion-kits-mid-drive-motors/products/tsdz2-osf-upgrade-motor-kit-250-750w?F1=Universal Thumb&F3=860C Color Display for TSDZ2 OSF V1.0+

Motor + 14ah battery was about a grand total from those guys. There's another well-regarded outfit that sells the same combo, but I cannot come up with a link at the moment.

It supposedly supports up to 750 watts, but I have mine capped at 400. Assist level 2 will get me up an 8% grade at 3 mph with no problem - assist level 3 if I'm feeling tired.

One caveat: the mid-drive solutions leave you with only one front chain ring, which loses the granny gears. I get around this with a Rohloff geared hub that I had left over from my biking days and, IMHO, is the greatest thing since sliced bread - but new ones are pricey at about $1,500.

An attractive-sounding hub motor solution is described in detail here:
http://www.triketech.com/index.html. You will have to find the page where he describes his MAC-based solution.

Ping me and I will post my TSDZ2 setup parms.
 

HighPockets

New member
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
7
Points
3
Thank you for your helpful comments. Responses to;

Hoggdoc: For me the question is not so much what sensors are available but how they are used. My constant power mode can be accomplished electrically, adjusting by amps, without the use of any torque or speed sensor. Lacking that the controller could use the motor torque and speed to calculate how much power was being provided and adjust to that, but it seems to me the direct electrical method would be preferable. As for a crank torque sensor, I do not want that at all. I do not want the system to know or care how much power I am adding, just give me the additional power I choose.

Vinz: I have an old BBS02 which I mostly like (after being able to reprogram it, which I am a bit irritated at having to do) except for the erratic throttle behavior. Confirm for me that you can actually pedal under throttle please and if so what configuration settings you use to get it. I have been told by my supplier that it is impossible and that none of the Bafang kits sold now have it. I am about to put a microswitch on my throttle to cut off the pedal motion sensor whenever the throttle is used. I would like to avoid that kluge.

As for drag, yes I can set the PAS at a low level to make up for the motor when I don’t need it, but that decreases my sensitivity in ordinary pedaling. Again, I see the motor as the accessory, not my legs. I am also dismayed by what I am hearing about removing clutches to make regenerative braking possible. Even if that were effective for battery charging, which it is not, I live in flat country and the energy lost from turning the motor when I do not need it would be far in excess of any energy I would recover by braking.

PeteCress: See response to Hoggdoc on the torque sensor thing.

I will investigate the Tongshenc TSDZ2 to see how it can be configured.

Discussion about PAS settings are difficult because the industry is so immature we have not yet developed standardized language to talk about them. Manufacturers are all guessing what we want, but many of us want different things. We are all being forced to compromise. As I see it there should be three modes of operation available by choice. All are useful under different conditions. I suggest the following definitions: 1. Pedal Assist – pedal and motor power matching proportioned by PAS setting as you describe, which of course would require crank torque sensing. 2. Power mode – PAS levels by power setting, providing more motor torque at lower speed and less torque at high speed to give constant power from the motor irrespective of bike speed or pedal input. 3. Cruise mode – PAS settings by bike speed, providing whatever power was needed to come to the set speed. I prefer power mode.

You can probably guess I would encourage you to install the throttle. I have come to realize how useful it is, even after my near death accident learning experience from not being aware that when pedaling my throttle only works at full throttle. I have been using it lately and adjusting to its behavior by giving it quick shots. It’s kind of like running a car by dropping pieces of dynamite in the carburetor every few yards. I am jealous that you have one that works and sad you have not discovered it.

As for your offer of Tongsheng settings, I am an old conservationist who uses everything up. I will put up with the drag and not give up on my Bafang unless I cannot make the throttle work properly. ‘til then my thanks but not yet.
 

Vinz

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
56
Points
8
HighPockets...
Yes, I can confirm that the throttle operates while pedaling. Most times when I use the throttle, I pedal up to a certain speed, then engage the throttle, as to not present a sudden load to the motor. To extend motor life?? That's my thinking anyway. Anyway, when I engage the throttle, the bike starts to accelerate, so then I stop pedaling.
But there are other times that I use the throttle with almost no pedaling involved. Like to get out of a situation I don't like.

>I have PAS 0 set to 1% current, and 1% speed. This allows for the use of throttle in PAS 0, but I don't remember if this is what also allows for throttle on demand.
>I have the throttle set to use PAS 9 for it's values - and my PAS 9 is set to 100%, 100%. I started at lower PAS levels however, till I got used to how things worked.
>And the throttle mode is set to Current Mode. This is the most natural behavior for me.
>My overall current limit is set to 20A (out of 25A max for the BBS02), so that PAS 9 can't exceed the max current for the motor.

Yes the BBS02 has shortcomings - I would love to have torque sensing, for example. But this is my first ever experience with an eBike, and maybe I'll make a bigger investment on a different bike in the future.
 

Hoggdoc

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
450
Points
43
Location
Longview, WA.
Website
activityphoto.com
Thank you for your helpful comments. Responses to;

Hoggdoc: For me the question is not so much what sensors are available but how they are used. My constant power mode can be accomplished electrically, adjusting by amps, without the use of any torque or speed sensor. Lacking that the controller could use the motor torque and speed to calculate how much power was being provided and adjust to that, but it seems to me the direct electrical method would be preferable. As for a crank torque sensor, I do not want that at all. I do not want the system to know or care how much power I am adding, just give me the additional power I choose.

Vinz: I have an old BBS02 which I mostly like (after being able to reprogram it, which I am a bit irritated at having to do) except for the erratic throttle behavior. Confirm for me that you can actually pedal under throttle please and if so what configuration settings you use to get it. I have been told by my supplier that it is impossible and that none of the Bafang kits sold now have it. I am about to put a microswitch on my throttle to cut off the pedal motion sensor whenever the throttle is used. I would like to avoid that kluge.

As for drag, yes I can set the PAS at a low level to make up for the motor when I don’t need it, but that decreases my sensitivity in ordinary pedaling. Again, I see the motor as the accessory, not my legs. I am also dismayed by what I am hearing about removing clutches to make regenerative braking possible. Even if that were effective for battery charging, which it is not, I live in flat country and the energy lost from turning the motor when I do not need it would be far in excess of any energy I would recover by braking.

PeteCress: See response to Hoggdoc on the torque sensor thing.

I will investigate the Tongshenc TSDZ2 to see how it can be configured.

Discussion about PAS settings are difficult because the industry is so immature we have not yet developed standardized language to talk about them. Manufacturers are all guessing what we want, but many of us want different things. We are all being forced to compromise. As I see it there should be three modes of operation available by choice. All are useful under different conditions. I suggest the following definitions: 1. Pedal Assist – pedal and motor power matching proportioned by PAS setting as you describe, which of course would require crank torque sensing. 2. Power mode – PAS levels by power setting, providing more motor torque at lower speed and less torque at high speed to give constant power from the motor irrespective of bike speed or pedal input. 3. Cruise mode – PAS settings by bike speed, providing whatever power was needed to come to the set speed. I prefer power mode.

You can probably guess I would encourage you to install the throttle. I have come to realize how useful it is, even after my near death accident learning experience from not being aware that when pedaling my throttle only works at full throttle. I have been using it lately and adjusting to its behavior by giving it quick shots. It’s kind of like running a car by dropping pieces of dynamite in the carburetor every few yards. I am jealous that you have one that works and sad you have not discovered it.

As for your offer of Tongsheng settings, I am an old conservationist who uses everything up. I will put up with the drag and not give up on my Bafang unless I cannot make the throttle work properly. ‘til then my thanks but not yet.
I have be investigating the Bafang Mid Drive systems with an eye to a future conversion of my current hub motor bike. It's truly disappointing to see them lock down their motor systems preventing the owners from programming the operations to their needs and desires.

On the other hand it seems some OEM mfgs are doing the same with their hub model bikes, restricting max speed and maximum watts by eliminating options in their programming menus. I'm not sure why they are doing this, maybe fear of liability claims or state & local laws limiting speed & power of ebikes.
 

bpratl

New member
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
10
Points
3
Location
Gloucester, MA
I purchased a HUB drive ebike early this year in order to keep up with my grandsons. I loved the bike but I felt that it was controlling me and I had no means of modifying it to my liking. I did not like the quick acceleration from a dead stop or on tight U-turns. After two mishaps I decided to convert my 25 year old Trek to a TSDZ2 mid drive with a 860C display and OSF V20.1.3C. This combination gives me the most natural feeling while biking off or on road. It allows me to set it up to my liking where I can achieve a very smooth transition from PAS to throttle. I love it and at 79 I'm now getting the exercise and fresh air that I need. My 6 month old HUB drive, with fat tires, is now being used by my 13 year old spoiled grandson who uses it more like a motorcycle that a ebike.
 

Hoggdoc

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
450
Points
43
Location
Longview, WA.
Website
activityphoto.com
I purchased a HUB drive ebike early this year in order to keep up with my grandsons. I loved the bike but I felt that it was controlling me and I had no means of modifying it to my liking. I did not like the quick acceleration from a dead stop or on tight U-turns. After two mishaps I decided to convert my 25 year old Trek to a TSDZ2 mid drive with a 860C display and OSF V20.1.3C. This combination gives me the most natural feeling while biking off or on road. It allows me to set it up to my liking where I can achieve a very smooth transition from PAS to throttle. I love it and at 79 I'm now getting the exercise and fresh air that I need. My 6 month old HUB drive, with fat tires, is now being used by my 13 year old spoiled grandson who uses it more like a motorcycle that a ebike.
Yep the torque sensors in your system makes the ride more natural feeling I'm told. Maybe one of these days I'll get to try one for myself.

UPDATED: 11-2021. Keep in mind the torque sensor equipped bikes require pedaling with actual force input (no ghost pedaling) to make the bike move when using pedal assist modes.
 

PeteCress

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
12
Points
3
Yep the torque sensors in your system makes the ride more natural feeling I'm told. Maybe one of these days I'll get to try one for myself.
It seems like there are three bike schools:

* Those who want an electric motorcycle

* Those who want to pedal, but want complete,
constant, instant control over the power
assist

* Those who want to pedal, but have the assist
transparent and automatic.

I am with the 3rd school, but my TDSZ will
accomodate any of the three except that it's
not so powerful and maybe some of the 1st
school will find it wanting.
 

PeteCress

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
12
Points
3
...I decided to convert my 25 year old Trek to a TSDZ2 mid drive with a 860C display and OSF V20.1.3C. This combination gives me the most natural feeling while biking off or on road. It allows me to set it up to my liking where I can achieve a very smooth transition from PAS to throttle.
+1 on the TSDZ2.

The OP seems to have blown it off, but it still seems to me like the TSDZ2 with aftermarket firmware is capable of doing exactly what he wants.
 

LTK Honolulu

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
34
Points
8
After a few months of loving the middrive conversion on my trike a few things are starting to annoy me. I am an injured 79 year old commuter, formerly racer and engineer. I need the motor occasionally but keeping the pedals turning is keeping me alive. I am starting to feel like my motor was designed by a motorist who was unaware of basic pedaling needs and that I am a motor assist instead of the other way around. New to the market, I am looking for help finding a motor that has all the following:

Throttle works while pedaling-

Can’t believe I actually have to ask for this. I want the throttle to kick me up my steep driveway or give me a boost out of stoplights to stay with the cars until I can get clear of them but to ask me to stop pedaling to be able to do that is stunningly stupid. The ability to pedal under throttle is an easily achieved configuration choice by the manufacturer. There is no excuse for not having it. When I touch the throttle I intend to use it. It should override PAS and not care about my feet moving.

Motor freewheel-

There is a freewheel on the cranks allowing the motor to spin the chainring without dragging my feet along with it, but why is there not one on the motor so I can pedal ahead of it and all its power robbing machinery when I am not using it? When I slip the chain off the chainring the cranks should spin forward as freely as they spin backward.

Easily configurable PAS levels-

PAS levels should be easily configured to the desired power from the display menus. For instance, the default first level was way too powerful for matching the small amount of power I need to stay with more powerful non-e friends. We should all be able to set our own levels as a matter of course.

PAS levels by power, not speed-

Many ebikers want PAS to be the kind of loose cruise control it is. I like it sometimes too, as some multiuse paths now have speed limits. However, I would prefer cruise (or any other programmed behavior) to be an option on the control console. The option I need is PAS settings that are straight power settings. I do not want any programmed preference for or limitation of pedal speed, pedal force, or bike speed (other than the overall legal powered speed limit). I want to choose that by changing gears. I do not want to be frustrated and confused by a program educating me into how it thinks I should pedal. I am approaching half a million bike miles and know how I want to pedal. I have no need of a crank torque sensor to help the system figure out how much power to give me. Please give me the power (amps) I select. I know how I want to use it.

Are my dreams out there somewhere?
Suggest a 750 watt motor, but not less than 500 watt. Talk to local bike shops before online. The shops may not have the trikes you want on display, but can order any trike, any brand. Have your list of needs ready. You must follow up as they are busy or unconcerned, human nature.
Grease the skids. Last hope is you order online. Any bike shop can adapt a throttle for $50-100. Higher the power the more adept controlling the bike, could be dangerous.
 

PeteCress

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
12
Points
3
Keep in mind the torque sensor equipped bikes require pedaling with actual force input (no ghost pedaling) to make the bike move when using pedal assist modes.
I have the highest assist mode on my Tongsheng programmed for what I call "Superman Mode".

Basically, it calls for maximum assist and emulates ghost pedaling as well as I would want it to.

My present cap on the motor is 400 watts and it dumps all 400 into the drive train once my own wattage exceeds something very low like 50 watts - which is subjectively effortless.
 

LTK Honolulu

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
34
Points
8
After a few months of loving the middrive conversion on my trike a few things are starting to annoy me. I am an injured 79 year old commuter, formerly racer and engineer. I need the motor occasionally but keeping the pedals turning is keeping me alive. I am starting to feel like my motor was designed by a motorist who was unaware of basic pedaling needs and that I am a motor assist instead of the other way around. New to the market, I am looking for help finding a motor that has all the following:

Throttle works while pedaling-

Can’t believe I actually have to ask for this. I want the throttle to kick me up my steep driveway or give me a boost out of stoplights to stay with the cars until I can get clear of them but to ask me to stop pedaling to be able to do that is stunningly stupid. The ability to pedal under throttle is an easily achieved configuration choice by the manufacturer. There is no excuse for not having it. When I touch the throttle I intend to use it. It should override PAS and not care about my feet moving.

Motor freewheel-

There is a freewheel on the cranks allowing the motor to spin the chainring without dragging my feet along with it, but why is there not one on the motor so I can pedal ahead of it and all its power robbing machinery when I am not using it? When I slip the chain off the chainring the cranks should spin forward as freely as they spin backward.

Easily configurable PAS levels-

PAS levels should be easily configured to the desired power from the display menus. For instance, the default first level was way too powerful for matching the small amount of power I need to stay with more powerful non-e friends. We should all be able to set our own levels as a matter of course.

PAS levels by power, not speed-

Many ebikers want PAS to be the kind of loose cruise control it is. I like it sometimes too, as some multiuse paths now have speed limits. However, I would prefer cruise (or any other programmed behavior) to be an option on the control console. The option I need is PAS settings that are straight power settings. I do not want any programmed preference for or limitation of pedal speed, pedal force, or bike speed (other than the overall legal powered speed limit). I want to choose that by changing gears. I do not want to be frustrated and confused by a program educating me into how it thinks I should pedal. I am approaching half a million bike miles and know how I want to pedal. I have no need of a crank torque sensor to help the system figure out how much power to give me. Please give me the power (amps) I select. I know how I want to use it.

Are my dreams out there somewhere?
Try a torque sensor bike. Its not motor assist. Its true pedal assist.
 

Funky

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
3
Points
3
I go out cycling with a mate, his is a Halfords mid motor bike with a single front chain wheel and nine gears, with four power settings, cost around £2000, including extras. My bike has a £54 250watt motor with nine teeth fixed to a welded on bracket driving a 32 tooth chain wheel on a freewheel on the left side. The triple chain wheel and eight speed cassette are all standard except for a granny gear for a couple of very long very steep hills I cannot avoid here in Wales. My only control is a thumb throttle which gives me full control of the power output. When the motor is not being used the only drag is the left side free wheel clicking which is nothing. While the motor is running so are the cranks, easy to get used to and I can monitor the power I am adding to my propulsion by the voltage display on the thumb throttle. The more volts showing the greater my input. My whole set up cost less than £200 including the bike.
 

Calsun

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
25
Points
3
After a few months of loving the middrive conversion on my trike a few things are starting to annoy me. I am an injured 79 year old commuter, formerly racer and engineer. I need the motor occasionally but keeping the pedals turning is keeping me alive. I am starting to feel like my motor was designed by a motorist who was unaware of basic pedaling needs and that I am a motor assist instead of the other way around. New to the market, I am looking for help finding a motor that has all the following:

Throttle works while pedaling-

Can’t believe I actually have to ask for this. I want the throttle to kick me up my steep driveway or give me a boost out of stoplights to stay with the cars until I can get clear of them but to ask me to stop pedaling to be able to do that is stunningly stupid. The ability to pedal under throttle is an easily achieved configuration choice by the manufacturer. There is no excuse for not having it. When I touch the throttle I intend to use it. It should override PAS and not care about my feet moving.

Motor freewheel-

There is a freewheel on the cranks allowing the motor to spin the chainring without dragging my feet along with it, but why is there not one on the motor so I can pedal ahead of it and all its power robbing machinery when I am not using it? When I slip the chain off the chainring the cranks should spin forward as freely as they spin backward.

Easily configurable PAS levels-

PAS levels should be easily configured to the desired power from the display menus. For instance, the default first level was way too powerful for matching the small amount of power I need to stay with more powerful non-e friends. We should all be able to set our own levels as a matter of course.

PAS levels by power, not speed-

Many ebikers want PAS to be the kind of loose cruise control it is. I like it sometimes too, as some multiuse paths now have speed limits. However, I would prefer cruise (or any other programmed behavior) to be an option on the control console. The option I need is PAS settings that are straight power settings. I do not want any programmed preference for or limitation of pedal speed, pedal force, or bike speed (other than the overall legal powered speed limit). I want to choose that by changing gears. I do not want to be frustrated and confused by a program educating me into how it thinks I should pedal. I am approaching half a million bike miles and know how I want to pedal. I have no need of a crank torque sensor to help the system figure out how much power to give me. Please give me the power (amps) I select. I know how I want to use it.

Are my dreams out there somewhere?
What will suit you best is a Class III e-bike that provides pedal assist up to 28 mph in the USA. My Specialized Creo SL has three different assist levels that I can program with a smartphone app and switch to with a push of a button on the top tube while riding. And there is always the option to drop to a lower gear as with any bike.
 

Nelson37

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
271
Points
28
A crank drive in flat country is the wrong motor kit for your needs.

The TSDZ kit does seem to offer much of what you want, especially with the Casainho(sp?) software.

A simple geared hub, possibly with a much-better Domino or Magura throttle, is IMO a better answer, ESPECIALLY in flat country.

The basic throttle and three-speed controls on a standard, small geared hub kit gives very, very good control over motor input, plus the ability to pedal as much and as often, or as little and as infrequently, as you choose to do. Complete selection of normal bicycle gearing as available, and you just choose the amount of tailwind you want. Or coast freely with no effort.

Simple solutions are often better than over-complicated, over-hyped "solutions". Crank-drives are significantly more expensive, much higher profit, and there are a fairly large number of posters who get paid to sing their praises. Hub motors, not so much. They just work, very cost-effectively.
 
Top Bottom