First race in two years today at the Tweedlove Ebike challenge. Yes, Ebike racing is a thing. Tough course with some massive stages. Took in lots of the Glentress black but also some natural trails, with a crazy tricky climbing stage UP two of the enduro downhill trails.
Stage 3 was a beast, from the Mast all the way to the bottom of Deliverance. Ridden those trails quite a few times but never nonstop in a oner. Was wrecked by the end of it. Thankfully the food stop was at the top of the next climb.
Great event and the weather even held out.
Did it with my mate Peem, even if he go for the easier version, and was nice to have some company round the transit sections.
Managed to catch of with ZigZag on Friday night. Good to see him even if he did take us to a questionable choice of pub. Still trying to forget some of those sights.
As a matter of interest, what sort of range does an ebike battery need for an event such as the tweed love one. What amount of amp hours does your bike have Clubby?
I am realising my fitness is kaput and unlikely to return so I need to start thinking ebike although purchase probably years away. Range is what interests me not power as I am less interested in off road than I used to be.
Not sure on the amp hour of the battery, ebike manufacturers tend to use watt hour. Makes comparisons easier as some systems run on different voltages.
Mine is a 625 which was the biggest Bosch did at the time but new version will be coming out with 700. Some of the Chinese kits are coming with 900. Bigger not always better though as the jump from 625 to 700 adds another kg of weight.
Tweedlove course was 20 miles and 3500ft climbing and I got back with 2 (of 5) bars left on battery, although I reckon it was close to dropping to 1. Estimated range was 6 miles. Course was pretty tough on battery and I used higher power modes than I might have normally because I was “racing”. My mate has a Shimano 630 battery and even though he was on the slightly easier shorter course, our batteries dropped at about the same rate, although interestingly, his estimated range was always way higher than mine. He also had 2 bars left but the computer reckoned he had 15 miles left.
Least it’s ever done was at Comrie on my own, where I did 20miles and 3000ft. Had one mile left when I reached car.
Only time I’ve ran out was at Glentress last year where I chanced my luck with an extra loop up to the mast (3 times total that day) and the battery died at the bottom of Zoom or Bust after 26 miles and over 4000ft. The mellow climb up the green, past the skills park is a different kettle of fish on a 25kg beast after a full days riding.
Less steep terrain is a lot less demanding on the battery though. Did 40 miles of Clubbytrails from the house with 3 bars left and 26 miles up round the Lochs at Dunkeld with the same left and that one was all off road. Less gradient meant I could keep it in Eco more.
I think one would be great for you Velo. You could get out without being worried about running out of energy or being knackered for days afterwards. Obviously cost is an issue, but for road and light trail use there are lots of add on kits available which can be adapted to existing frames.
The mate I mentioned earlier was a total skeptic until he tried one. His riding has really improved since he got one. Without being so tired he is enjoying the off road more and with getting longer rides in his skills are improving. They’re not for every ride but are great fun.
I have had 2 ebikes previously, a powabyke about 15 years ago and a hub gear kit about ten years ago but I crashed and broke that one on an icy cycle path. I am a follower of ebikes but alas have not been able to afford decent batteries. That's the weird thing, all the complicated bits for a basic hub powered bike are relatively cheap but the batteries are mucho more pricey. Not interested in the e mtb scene since I am pretty rubbish at mtb these days. Plan to get road miles in if I can get my cheapo kit working
I have a basic 24v chain drive motor kit that powers the rear wheel but alas for the moment the battery power must be lead acid units recycled from a bust mobility scooter.
Oh and amp hours(ah) translates into aH x V to equal Watts.
Trail day up at Golspie with Ride Out Coaching. Morning working on fundamentals then a climb up to the top in the afternoon to put it into practice. Amazing the difference small changes to riding style can make.
Amazing trails too, just a long way north. Be good to go back for longer and maybe catch up with the Northern clan members.
Today got stuck into selling off stuff in my house via ebay to raise some ebike battery cash. Also realised that to get more bangs for my currently poor buck I'd better learn to build battery packs for myself.
Now I know folks are going to start saying that's stupid as Lithium batteries in their various forms can be hazardous if you don't get it right and require a good battery management system (BMS). Guess what, you are absolutely right and I am too much a feardy to go that route.
I am going a bit more old tech, I will use NiMh batteries. Building the pack is the same as Lithium but requires no BMS and no Lithium Battery specific charger so chances of blowing myself up are considerably reduced.
Admittedly NiMh is not as good as Lithium as regards longevity ie 1000 recharge cycles compared to up to 2000 cycles for say a Lifepo4. Otherwise though use able outputs about the same. Prices for 1.2v AA cells is about the same for Lithium cells at the moment. I am aiming low for a first build to with a 40 cell pack giving me 216 Watts with my 24v motor.
If all that works, especially if I master the soldering bit which is a skill to gain first I may at some distant point produce a more serious pack.
This should keep me busy through the dark nights but if a sudden loud noise and bright light occurs in Midlothian in the coming months then maybe I might have got it wrong