New posts

ebikes on the Shore

June 14, 2022, 10:29 a.m.
Posts: 1310
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: tashi

Most are related to people being stupid with them if the last couple at SRO's are any indication, but stupid is what people does so they kinda have to be designed around that to some degree.

When it comes to e-MTBs what will be key to fire issues is how people respond to damage/problems with their $1K+ batteries. The "safe" answer would be to immediately stop using a battery that has sustained damage or is behaving unusually under load or when charged. Store it outside and get it to someone that can inspect it and repair/replace it as needed. The real world answer might be put it on the charger in the basement for a few days to see if it fixes itself or keep riding it because $1K for a new battery on a $$$ e-MTB is crazy talk. 

I agree that making things more foolproof would be great. Motor controllers that shut off when batteries are not operating within spec and smart chargers that stop sending power to a battery that's out of spec and throw an error code.

June 14, 2022, 11 a.m.
Posts: 1668
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Seems like some posts inferring that only low end bikes will be at risk of fire, and that a lithium battery fire is comparable to something like a gasoline fire.

That's the whole problem with these batteries, they go into thermal runaway as a 2000C° metal fire. Extinguishers don't put them out. They ignite everything flammable around them and eventually explode. Fire fighting procedures and equipment for these things are very different than for other fires.

Airplanes have a completely separate set of equipment for (small) lithium battery fires, because the dozen 9lb halon extinguishers they have on board won't put it out.

The risk seems low of a battery malfunctioning in the first place, but if it does go off it's a hell of a fire. Would seem irresponsible to allow them into a forest that is under fire hazard conditions, for example.

And I haven't seen that lower end bikes run different software than higher end bikes, maybe they do who knows? But I doubt they'll advertise it. Santa Cruz is as about as high end as they get and they recalled the Heckler

https://m.pinkbike.com/news/falling-batteries-and-risk-of-fire-leads-to-santa-cruz-recall-of-2022-heckler-emtbs.html


 Last edited by: Hepcat on June 14, 2022, 10:58 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
June 15, 2022, 12:45 a.m.
Posts: 2388
Joined: April 2, 2005

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/transition-announces-new-lightweight-emtb-but-youll-have-to-wait-for-it-relay-2023.html

shore ebike, who‘s gonna switch his amish bike for that?

June 15, 2022, 8:34 a.m.
Posts: 2250
Joined: April 25, 2003

I can think of why you’d like a bike like that but just from my brief experience with eMTB, the power is pretty key to the experience. These mid-power/weight options just seem like the worst of both worlds.

June 15, 2022, 4:55 p.m.
Posts: 18283
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

Posted by: skooks

Don't blame bike shops for not wanting anything to do with off-brand ebikes. 

https://www.timescolonist.com/bc-news/explosion-of-e-bike-battery-caused-fire-mans-death-at-downtown-eastside-rooming-house-sro-owner-5469404

Makes me wonder if said bike/scooter included a matching charger....

June 15, 2022, 6:53 p.m.
Posts: 283
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: heckler

Posted by: skooks

Don't blame bike shops for not wanting anything to do with off-brand ebikes. 

https://www.timescolonist.com/bc-news/explosion-of-e-bike-battery-caused-fire-mans-death-at-downtown-eastside-rooming-house-sro-owner-5469404

Makes me wonder if said bike/scooter included a matching charger....

IDK, but the fire investigator being interviewed on CBC implied that the battery pack had been modified. He also emphasized that you should always use the charger that came with the bike.

June 16, 2022, 1:29 p.m.
Posts: 125
Joined: March 12, 2021

I thought this excerpt from that article in the Times Colonist was pretty striking:

"In October, Consumer Reports found that 75 e-bicycle fires ignited in New York last year, causing 72 injuries and three deaths."

The batteries are batting 1.000 in terms of injury and or death when failure results in a fire, in New York at least.  That is insane.

And I agree with tashi - the Transition Relay seems like a cool idea, but it very likely is the worst of both worlds.

June 16, 2022, 1:54 p.m.
Posts: 914
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: tashi

I can think of why you’d like a bike like that but just from my brief experience with eMTB, the power is pretty key to the experience. These mid-power/weight options just seem like the worst of both worlds.

I don't think that at all. Every current ebike I've ridden felt way way overpowered. So not only was it super heavy but I found anything to do with climbing or pedalling totally not engaging at all. So basically I'm on a ride where there is no climbing satisfaction but also no descending satisfaction either because the bike is super heavy. But yay more laps. If the climbing isn't going to be a part of the experience why not just have a throttle so you can focus on speed and make it interesting again. 

If anything I want an ebike that takes a little of the edge off the high end pain to allow for ever greater climbs, fewer rests, more fun descending, and a liveable ride home if I run out of juice. The Relay is like an actual bike with a little extra, not a wannabe e-moto.


 Last edited by: craw on June 16, 2022, 1:56 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
June 16, 2022, 3:26 p.m.
Posts: 1310
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: craw

If the climbing isn't going to be a part of the experience why not just have a throttle so you can focus on speed and make it interesting again.

Throttles will be a thing. You'll just have to pay extra for a post-purchase upgrade.


 Last edited by: Vikb on June 16, 2022, 3:27 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 16, 2022, 4:09 p.m.
Posts: 2388
Joined: April 2, 2005

Posted by: craw

Posted by: tashi

I can think of why you’d like a bike like that but just from my brief experience with eMTB, the power is pretty key to the experience. These mid-power/weight options just seem like the worst of both worlds.

I don't think that at all. Every current ebike I've ridden felt way way overpowered. So not only was it super heavy but I found anything to do with climbing or pedalling totally not engaging at all. So basically I'm on a ride where there is no climbing satisfaction but also no descending satisfaction either because the bike is super heavy. But yay more laps. If the climbing isn't going to be a part of the experience why not just have a throttle so you can focus on speed and make it interesting again. 

If anything I want an ebike that takes a little of the edge off the high end pain to allow for ever greater climbs, fewer rests, more fun descending, and a liveable ride home if I run out of juice. The Relay is like an actual bike with a little extra, not a wannabe e-moto.

that’s why i bought the rise, makes the uphills here in switzerland bearable yet don’t feel sluggish on the way down. i tried the other extreme too, a norco sight with the 900wh battery. super fun blasting up the hills, but i felt every kg on the tight switchback trails  that are common around here. with the rise i usually pedal up in trail mode, which lasts me about 1200-1400 vertical with the internal 360wh battery. thats more than enough for most days as i usually start a ride with the postauto bus which has a carrier and takes me up 800m vertical.

June 16, 2022, 4:36 p.m.
Posts: 2250
Joined: April 25, 2003

My assumption would be that the low power options would still be heavy enough that they would feel sluggish, therefore not worth the meagre power boost.  Sounds like they have a place, and one that's probably more appropriate alongside non-motorized users in a lot of situations.

The bike I rode had a tonne of power but climbing was still very much part of the equation, depending on the situation.  On fire roads the pedals were basically a switch, spin them and I keep moving at a perfectly acceptable pace with almost no effort.  Steep tech (stupid steep and stupid tech too) I was sometime putting in more effort than a normal bike - the power kept me moving up serious stuff, but I needed to keep on top of the pace the whole time as the motor wouldn't be able to keep me moving on it's own, throttle or not.  The effect was similar to motor pacing - it's "easier" but you're going to end up working super hard because you'll maintain a super intense pace.  On the way down it was a plow machine due to the weight and I just wanted more travel and a stiffer fork to ride it that way - the result was that it was less fun and actually slower than my regular bike.  The bigger ride tradeoff wasn't worth it at all to me due to the DH performance.

June 17, 2022, 12:31 a.m.
Posts: 2388
Joined: April 2, 2005

i feel the weight only on trails that get so steep you can’t ride them up anymore and need to carry the bike

June 17, 2022, 7:23 a.m.
Posts: 914
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: tashi

My assumption would be that the low power options would still be heavy enough that they would feel sluggish, therefore not worth the meagre power boost.  Sounds like they have a place, and one that's probably more appropriate alongside non-motorized users in a lot of situations.

It will be interesting to see how bikes like the Relay play out in real life. How much do they actually weigh? Given that a regular carbon Spire must be close to 34lbs then a motor and battery will add at least 5lbs but that's still pretty reasonable. And then what kind of performance and burn time will you really get? The Relay also uses the Fazua 60 motor which is a bit of an unknown as far as durability, performance and how much drag happens when the motor isn't in use. I'm glad this lighter weight lower power ebike option is coming. More choices is good.

Can anyone comment on life on a Levo SL?

June 17, 2022, 8:06 a.m.
Posts: 2388
Joined: April 2, 2005

Posted by: craw

Can anyone comment on life on a Levo SL?

wait for the new one…

June 17, 2022, 9:12 a.m.
Posts: 453
Joined: April 15, 2017

Is anyone aware of how E-unicycles fit into any of the motorised vehicle/bike/whatever framework as I see a trio regularly riding on Fromme these days

Forum jump: