Ebike offroad gearing
Not taken mine offroad yet but was talking to a mate and he was saying that he never has to drop down as low as 1st & 2nd gear off road locally.Posted 6 months ago
Got me thinking if that was the case in more ‘hilly’ areas of the UK for others, obviously fitness comes into play I know……?
Not the answer I know but it puzzles me why e MTBs have such low gears. hy do we change to a lower gear? Because we are not strong enough to push a higher one at the speed and cadence we want. With another 250 watts there surely we can push a higher gear and thhus avoid those whopping cassettees with crappy gaps in the ratios. After all those cassettes are probably too big for analogue bikes.Posted 6 months ago
Usually, the motor is most efficient at 80-90 cadence so a spin style, not a grind…
You can ride the torque and rely on motor power, barely spinning the cranks but I’ve found that tech uphill, this just doesn’t work. The slightest tree root and you can’t push hard enough and you stop. A lower assisted gear at a lower power, I’ve found is more better in climbing and I do use the 50 cogs to climb the occasional steep bit at the lowest assisted power, I want to do some work!
This IMHO does give the drivetrain, chain, freehub an easier time as there isn’t 90 Nm plus my leg power hauling everything up a hill…Posted 6 months ago
talking to a mate and he was saying that he never has to drop down as low as 1st & 2nd gear off road locally.
Where does he live? Holland?
Simply put, he’s not climbing anything steep enough.
One of the most fun things on an eeb is attempting ‘impossible’ climbs.
I’ve used my biggest cassette ring loads doing silly steep climbs.
Also, depends how much assistance you use. If you go around in higher assistance levels, you’ll obviously not need to spin so much.
You want to be kind to the motor too. You can get up hills by upping the assistance, or dropping the gears and going a bit slower (like on regular bikes).
If your climbs are on fire roads, then yeah, you can enjoy a swift and low effort climb. If they’re up steep tracks, then you do still tend to use the full range of gears available to get the bike over technical terrain balancing traction and momentum.
I can honestly say I never put my bike in turbo either. It was a laugh when I first got it, but I never use it now.
Edit- @rickmeister put it very well above.Posted 6 months ago
As others say, the assist levels are there to map against your gearing, I use the granny gear now and then on big climbs, steep stuff and so on, if I didn’t have a 50t range and had say a 40t I would just use more assist.
I also like using all the range on the cassette as I’m cheap and like to wear across the range, smaller cogs cause more stress as well, and if you’ve ever had a chain explosion on an ebike you start backing off when you feel heavy resistance 😂Posted 6 months ago
it puzzles me why e MTBs have such low gears.
Trying to ride up a stupid steep bank straight off a flat road in turbo while stood up and cranking like it was a single speed. 🙄
I must add I don’t normally try and ride it like that.
Normally spin it up more to keep the motor smooth.
In answer to the OP.Posted 6 months ago
11-46 and use all the range as I want to get as much climbing as I can out of the battery on a ride.
There is a climb from the bottom of Wacko Jacko/domduro in Risca to get back to the top of wacko Jacko that goes up a really steep path that I’ve had to use 1st gear on. Other than that I rarely go anywhere above 3rd gear on a climb as the cadence is just too high and you’re not in a good position to clear roots/rocks.Posted 6 months ago
i have used 1st gear (largest sprocket) in the depths of winter but ive never used teh smallest 2/3 sprockets (in a year and a half ownership) and i very rarely did on a normal bike. i`ve gone 10sp and a smaller chainring to get a more usable range.Posted 6 months ago
I think 11-36 would be great, until the battery runs out or you want to use it in a low eco setting.Posted 6 months ago
I think the range of use on an eMTB can be quite a bit wider than on a normal MTB. I know I’m quite a strange example but commuting on mine in turbo I’m only in the smallest sprockets whilst on group MTB rides I usually have it switched off so spend a fair bit of time on the easiest gears hauling a hefty bike uphill without assistance. And I’m about to take the long way to work with a very steep off-road climb so those lowest gears get used with power too.Posted 6 months ago
yeah, as above, I use the full range on my ebike (10-52 tooth cassette + 34 front ring on a 29er).
I could get away with a smaller range if the front ring was smaller, so I might change to a smaller front ring at some point, to enable a switch to a smaller range,cheaper,lighter cassette. But the front ring is what the bike came with.
I think if you only used turbo mode, and only rode flatish stuff then you’re not going to need the lower end of the cassette on an ebike, but if you use all the assist levels, plus go up fairly steep stuff , then the whole cassette is used.Posted 6 months ago
on teh flat the motor cuts out waaaaay before i need to shift into teh smallest cogs on teh cassette. if you are doing 15mph in teh smallest 10/11t sprocket you must have a ridiculously slow cadence. or a teeny chainring. or a chipped emtb.Posted 6 months ago
Just to add i do ride over the motor speed! just that to use teh smallest sprocket i need a long gradual road downhill and i need to be pedalling hard. which doesnt really happen. i`d rather spin out on the (very occasional) road use than have gears i never use the majority of teh timePosted 6 months ago
Most eBikes are, IMO, over geared not under geared… What use is a 34T chainring when the pedal assist stops at 25km/h? OK, so it might make sense for the US market with their 32KM/h assist limit, but try pedalling most (not all) ebikes above 15.5km/h without a reasonable downhill and you’ll see how fruitless it can be. And if you’re pointing downwards, then you’re not pedalling anyway. I have literally only used the 11 and 13 tooth cogs on my current eBike whilst setting the gears up, they have never been used on the trails. The 51T bottom gear gets used all the time!
With another 250 watts there surely we can push a higher gear and thhus avoid those whopping cassettees with crappy gaps in the ratios.
You do realise that eBikes are a pedal assist system that enhances what you put in by a predetermined %, not a brick wall of 250W assistance whatever?!?!
After all those cassettes are probably too big for analogue bikes.
No, really, they’re not… I will use every gear reasonably often on most rides on a 10-50T Eagle cassette on my normal MTB’s (combined with a 30 or 32T cog respectively). The better eBike motors are tuned to be most effective and efficient in the 75-95rpm cadence ranges or thereabouts. I’ve often used half the battery power on mine because I can pedal @ 90rpm all day long and tend to keep my ebike in eco or very occasionally up to trail mode, compared to friends who pedal slower and rely on turbo/boost most of the time.
To stop stuff like this happening
Which is a very real problem when you consider how relatively weak and fragile MTB drivetrains are, and how much torque these eBike motors can supply instantaneously in some cases. One of the biggest complaints from new eBike owners seems to be the price of cassettes and chains and how often they need replacing from shops I speak to.Posted 6 months ago
Thanks for the feedback guys, interesting reading that.Posted 6 months ago
My Rise Pro has a 10-51 cassette and 34t front, pretty standard for an MTB. I took it up the steepest road hill round here and though you could crank it in a higher gear (if you had the legs, I haven’t hence having an ebike!) the motor wouldn’t work as well – it responds differently in lower gears.. hard to describe really, but you get a lot less assistance from the motor if you’re in the wrong (ie. too high) gear.Posted 6 months ago
If you look at the power graphs for ebike motors, the better ones plateau near full power from about 60-110 rpm (obviously this is after their reduction transmission!). Below 60 rpm the torque remains fairly constant which means the power drops proportional to the revs, so the slower you pedal, the less they can help.Posted 6 months ago
Use the low gears a lot, especially in tech terrain. Motor responds so much better that way. Easier to get over root and rock steps as well. Battery life much better with this approach as well.
Can spot ebikers that have never mountain biked much, a mile off. Going fast but very slow cadence using the higher modes. Experienced mountain bikers tend to spin the same as they would on normal bike.Posted 6 months ago
Still not had a chance to get out yet and put all of your info into use!Posted 6 months ago
High rider torque plus high motor torque plus suspension induced chainstay growth equals knackered sprag clutches in the motor.Posted 6 months ago
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