The Factors Affecting EMTB Range | How Far Can You Travel On An E Bike?


– Getting stuck in the mountains or the woods with an e-bike with no battery left is certainly not a very good look. So knowing your range, the amount you can travel
on one charge is arguably, well probably, definitely one of the most important
pieces of technical knowledge you can have for you and your e-bike. You could argue I suppose
that you could do all that. You could find your range
from an app sat in a cafe, but does that really give
you the true picture? (bright music) As some people would argue that an e-bike has a fuel gauge which tells you just how much juice you
have left in the tank, or an app or software
which helps you predict whether you can get round
a particular loop or not. But having detailed knowledge about what you and your close partner are capable of is absolutely invaluable when it comes to riding
an e-mountain bike. (short warped whooshing) Now before we start, I should’ve point out that not all e-bike batteries are linear. And that means that some discharge quicker when they get closer to empty status. Now, the bottom line is actually only you know
what you’re capable of. And that’s dependent on so many factors. So let’s have a look at some of them. (warped whooshing) The first factor is battery capacity. Whether you’re talking 400Wh, 500, 625 or 700Wh, the bigger the battery, the bigger the range. The same time, the bigger the rider, the less range. Now as an example of rider weight, a 50 kilo rider on a 700Wh battery might be able to climb 10,000 feet, whereas maybe a 90 kilo rider might only be able to do 5,000 feet on an equivalent battery. Yes, rider weight really is a big factor because a lighter rider will probably be able
to ride in Eco Mode more during the day than a heavier rider who might be riding in Trail Mode. But it’s when you get
to those punchy climbs, that lighter rider will
be able to use Turbo Mode because they’re simply going
to be taking less charge from the battery. So for light rider, it’s win win win. Now tire profile and compound will have a big, big
effect on battery range. For example, on a 20
minute technical climb, you could be looking
at up to 20% difference between a soft compound tire
and a hard compound tire in amount that it takes from that battery. Well that’s a smooth surface dude. Now surfaces will have
a big effect on range. I mean just look at those geese behind me gliding along on that
smooth water surface. Now if that water surface was choppy, then those geese would definitely need a bit more bread. (warped whooshing) And it’s not just the surface conditions. It’s the track type and
the ground conditions too. Whether it be mud, rock, roots, or even obstacles such as this. They’re all going to have an
influence on your battery range. (warped whooshing) So are there any quick answers to this whole range puzzle? Well, actually yes there is. Now many brands have range
finders on their websites. On which you can actually calculate how much distance you on your bike can go actually based on some of the variables we’ve already discussed in this video. Now here then is a rangefinder
on the Specialized website. Now my weight riding hilly terrain, with infrequent stops, I have these numbers on a Levo. Now that’s with a 500Wh battery and riding in Turbo Mode. So 23 miles and just over
2,000 foot of climbing. So that’s pretty reasonable, but now change that to a 700Wh battery and it becomes a very different picture. More distance, more height. Nearly 10 miles more and nearly
1,000 foot more altitude. And what about a 400Wh battery. Now here’s a Hardtail Levo in Turbo Mode, and still not a bad day out. But now look at these
two measurements based when you switch down an
assistance to Trail Mode. Now note the difference
though when you change from hills to mountains. You could either get more
miles or more climbing. But what about the reality? (fast drums rolling) Now I’m going to talk you
through two big rides, which I’ve been on recently and I show you just how
changing ground conditions will actually affect the
battery range massively on an e-bike. Now our first examples of a ride that I did back in the summer, slightly wet conditions, I’m 70 kilos. I was riding a 700Wh battery, mostly in Trail Mode
with a little bit of Eco. I stay on these fairly trails this year, mix of feral climb, single-track climb and technical descents. Now when you look at the numbers, they’re actually pretty close. And I got 5,500 feet
out of one 700Wh battery with actually quite soft tires. And actually I got more mileage than that was actually predicted on the Specialized rangefinder tool. So when you take in account the different ground
conditions all over the world, it really is incredibly accurate. However, as good as the
basic range finders are, although they’re becoming
increasingly sophisticated, there is simply no way
they can take into account the different tire compounds, the different gradients
that you find on a route, the different rider styles, and of course a rider’s
use of the mode button. And what about the weather and the wind? Nice weather for, those are geese, not ducks, and then you head into the mud. Now the tires, tires are going to be sliding, the bike’s going to be
putting on pounds per second on the drag. What is that going to do
if not take massive amount from your battery range. Have a look then at the numbers of this particularly nasty ride, which I did in the winter. As you can see, there’s only 3,000 feet of climbing on one battery. That’s two and a half
thousand feet less than on the previous ride and 10 miles less in range as well. So what contributes to
such a massive difference? Well, it’s all the things
I mentioned earlier such as the added weight, which is getting on your bike because the mud is piling on there. Plus such things as the
mud getting tangled up in the gearing and the derailleur, all contributing to more drag
and drain on your battery. So if it goes less
strange in one direction, imagine then if you went
to a super dry country, with low profile tires, hard compound tires and loads of pressure, then the rangefinder actually
might underestimate the rides. You might be actually getting more out of the bike than less. (warped whooshing) So far we’ve looked at
the Specialized system, but what about comparisons of what we’ve done today
with say, a Bosch motor? Well, as I mentioned earlier, the surface conditions
do have a huge impact. A 500Wh battery in hilly terrain, well somewhere between 17 and 28 miles. And when you consider the
Specialized at 23 miles, it’s pretty close. And what about Shimano? Well the guys at Shimano reckon on about 50 kilometers in boost mode. My actual experience is
about half that distance, but with about 450
meters more of climbing. So do range finders work? Well out of the basic ones
we’ve looked at today, yes, they do to a certain extent. But I’m sure you’ll agree that the picture isn’t
that straightforward. And it really is important for you to know what you and your e-bike
have got in the tank, so to speak. The reason I say that
as I’m giving an example of an event we went to last year. Day one featured 17,000 feet of climbing and I knew that on three 700Wh batteries, I could only do 15,000 feet. But nevertheless, I knew
what I was capable of. And I actually knew what
my colleague at 50 kilos was capable of. Because I knew he could do
probably about 10,000 feet. So I knew that he could
actually take up the shortfall, which I had. The question is, do you
know what range you’ve got from you and your e-bike? Because it really is important, especially if you’re getting into dangerous mountainous terrain. Give us thumbs up if you like this video and also don’t forget to follow us on social media.

31 comments

  1. Is it worth buying an ebike to help with social distancing? Will it repel other riders in the way I think it will?

  2. I bought my Levo Expert last September. I ride Boise's foothills near my home. I ride nearly every weekend. In the beginning I've pushed my bike 5 times for 4+ miles back to my car riding different loops. Now I know my limitations for each beforehand. Lessons learned. Happy🚲trails. 🥳👍

  3. I don't ride these types of bikes so range finders am no good for me but if I did buy a prebuilt bike it's good to know how accurate these range apps actually are

  4. Im a 95kg rider. (💪😉) i dont have an e bike yet. 5 more years. When im 40 and have improved more on power and battery general tech. But no matter this does make me think my mate is like 50kg skinny we wont be able to do anywhere like same rides

  5. Not a problem when you do the same loop every other day, 19 miles, full turbo mode, back to home with 2 bars remaining, 3 bars remaining if I crank up the tyre pressure, but that makes the ride rough and less enjoyable.

  6. Last summer did a ride over Long Mynd 30 miles with 5500ft climb on my 500wh Cube/ Bosch on one charge with some to spare. Did the same ride in the winter on my new Cube/ 625wh battery and run out of charge on the last climb! Mixture of cold and wet weather along with wider softer tyre caused less range with larger battery. I can do a relatively flat 30mile ride in cold wet weather only my 625 battery and only use around 50% capacity.

  7. I get 86Km range over trails on my new Scott Genius. Its got the new Bosch gen 4 motor which is incredibly efficient, that coupled with 625Whr battery is a real gane changer.

  8. My Yamaha PWX with a 500 battery averages about 70 miles on pavement, level 3 power. About 35 miles offroad using levels 3-5. Im 180 pounds, FS bike with 2.8 27.5 tires.

  9. I'm in Australia and never ride in mud. Altitude means nothing, the climb could be shallow or steep. ECO mode doesn't do anything, waste of time. EMTB mode (auto) is ok but i nearly always ride in Turbo. Too many variables to factor in so range figures don't mean much. Just an indicator but I've achieved 56klm in Turbo. Mixed conditions and remember it cuts out over 25kph so a lot of the time I'm not using any power.

  10. They'll learn. In future they'll get better and better. You'll be able to put tyres, weight everything you know in to it but it'll also learn from your rides.

  11. 44 of your earth miles. Day 2 Trans Camrian Way 2018 and its on my you tube channel . Serious haibike 500wh battery management 👌👍 2019 however was a different story. Ground conditions were so wet it sucked the electrical petrol so a battery change every day 🤦🏻‍♂️

  12. I am finding that spring riding is not draining my battery line winter. Warmer temps make it last longer. But I am so use to,the trail system,I,ride mostly i can calculate in,my brain how much power i will use. And going to diffeent places I can generally jyst need to know how step and avout how much climbing and figure it myself.

  13. On my diy build my display i can bring up how many wh watt hours I have used and real time battery voltage also my battery management system BMS is a smart version so I can connect my phone to battery via a app and I can view how ah i have left maximum amps drawn individual cell voltages ect ect. So its quite easy to estimate remaining range

  14. I have a Trek FS 5 Powerfly they have a range calculator built in. I have found it to be very accurate. I was surprised at how dramatically things change, like having a tail wind and then next minute a head wind the range calculator could drop 20+ks then you are in a sheltered area and the range climbs back up to within 5ks of the previous range. It's just fantastic that I don't have to put in any info and the Bosch computer does it all for me.

  15. Has anybody done a range test on a Haibike Flyon 2020? I have heard even on eco mode range is not that great? Anybody experienced this?

  16. I'm 100kg and on my 625 battery I get about 2600m of climbing and 60km of range .
    I used all modes when needed and it was a mixed surface ride.
    I'm happy with that. On an easier ride I can definitely see that range increasing quite a bit.

  17. I’m really enjoying these videos, just two blokes doing stupid shit and taking the piss out of each other, it’s like the grand tour with bikes…..and one less person.

  18. Gents, I’ve been thinking of buying a emtb. One question I can’t seemed to get over. Does the power of the motor really make up for the difference in the added weight over a standard mtb? Thanks

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