Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

General Discussion about electric vehicles.

Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby knoxie » Fri May 30, 2008 5:33 pm

Hello

Whilst being a big fan of the optibike and also understanding that sales blurb esp when it comes to shifting e-bikes can be a little wide of the mark I am a little mystified why the new optibike uk website is pitching their sales pitch for the bike like this? such a shame! here is the blurb with my comments inbetween!

Cmon! Rich old friend did you let this go?



From their website!

Optibike Frequently Asked Questions


Why don't you use Hub Motors?
Hub motors are designed for people who prefer value over performance. A hub motor runs at a fixed gear ratio and is unsuitable for climbing hills or for heavy riders. The Optibike’s patented Motorized Bottom Bracket (MBB) drives through the 9 speed derailleur gear system so you can blast up the steepest hills you can find without sacrificing efficiency. Using a hub motor, you are fixed at a single gear ratio - imagine driving your car in only one gear: The transmission would be cheaper, but your performance would be uh…interesting.

eh? hub motor unsuitable for climbing hills??? TH sell the Puma motor??? hills?? the beauty of electric motors is their wide torque band? you cant equate it to a car engine? its an electric motor? the lotus tesla is a car and has no gears??? the performance of which is pretty interesting

My Electric Bike goes 60 miles on a charge and is much lighter?
There are electric bicycles with advertised ranges of 60 miles and extremely lightweight. If you have one, and you find it actually goes 60 miles as advertised- congratulations, you have violated the laws of physics.

Whats this? I dont get it? what bike advertises that kind of range, the optibike cant do it either without peddle input? both are equally subjective?

How noisy is the Optibike?
Riding the Optibike is a very pleasant experience, the humming sound from the gears is attributed to the high speeds you are traveling at and Optibike riders tend to enjoy it.

Humming sound from the gears? its the gearbox people want to know about, my gears hum on my bike?

My Bike has a 1000 watts, how can the OptiBike be as fast?
The Optibike is the most efficient electric bike produced - over 75% of the battery power is transferred to the wheel. Many other electric bikes are around 30% efficient. So while the Optibike has 850 watts of power, the other bikes actually have far less.
30% efficient??????? eh where is this BS coming from what electric bikes do you know that are this inefficient? the optibike is surely pretty efficient but why deride the efficiency of other bikes which are a lot cheaper?


Why is the battery 36V?
The higher the voltage, the greater the efficiency of the system so Optibike uses a 36v system over a 24v system and is much more powerful and efficient as a result. A 48v system, while more powerful, is a potentially lethal voltage in the event of an electrical malfunction.

Since when was 36V high voltage? and when did 48V become a lethal voltage? uk telephones operate on 50V dc? arrghh this is such a load of BS!


How many amp hours does the battery have?
The Optibike 800Lil comes with a standard with a 20ah, 36v LiCO battery system backed by a 3 year, 30,000 mile warranty. The Womens model comes with a 13ah, 36v LiCO battery system and also backed by a 3 year, 30,000 mile warranty.



How long does the battery last?
The proprietary Lithium battery system offered NEW in 2008 is backed by the longest warranty in the industry, 3 YEARS or 30,000 miles.

How far will the Optibike go?
The range depends on the model you select, your weight, the terrain you are riding on, the amount you pedal, and a variety of other variables. The ranges posted in the model descriptions are based on a 180lb rider on basically flat ground. The ranges we advertise are guaranteed under those conditions.

Can you ride the Optibike like a regular bicycle?
Yes. The motor and drive system produce no drag when pedaling like a standard bicycle. The Optibike only weighs 57 lbs, about as much as a full suspension downhill bicycle, so pedaling as normal is a blast.

If the Optibike is electric do you really get any exercise?
Yes. Because the Optibike is electric, riders actually get more exercise. How? Due to the integration of the Motorized Bottom Bracket (MBB) the rider pedals as he/she normally would a regular bicycle. The Optibike just adds about 20 mph to whatever the rider pedals, making cycling much more fun! Imagine having Lance Armstrong’s legs, that’s what the Optibike does. When riders are having fun, they want to ride longer, and get more exercise in the process.

Do you have to pedal?
No. However, pedaling increases the speed and hill climbing power. Federal regulations limit electric bicycles to 20 mph under electric power alone without pedaling.

Right, some of it is ok but the main points it raises are just so wrong it pains me, I love the bike and Richard and Mark are great guys and have done a great deal for the community as whole, however I cant help but think this BS has been pasted wholesale from the main website, whilst I do understand they have to make the bike look attractive and better than the rest but you don't do this by making false claims against other systems.

I hope they get the site patched up before the Gadget shows airs and people check in to it and read up this twaddle, its a brilliant bike on its own and doesn't need this kind of misinformed advertising?? Cmon Rich sort it out!! the videos and the user comments will sell the bike, why doesn't the blurb do more to describe how well the bike handles? why doesn't it centre on the fact that the weight is very well distributed and the bike handles better than other e-bikes which is the truth?

It isn't as fast as a lot of the other bikes but it for sure will handle better and can be used off road unlike most of the rides on here, I am not bashing it as i love it but!! jeez!!

Knoxie
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Miles » Fri May 30, 2008 5:41 pm

The Optibike is the most efficient electric bike produced - over 75% of the battery power is transferred to the wheel.


Yeah, right :roll:
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Link » Fri May 30, 2008 6:06 pm

Wow, epic failure. -_-

knoxie wrote:eh? hub motor unsuitable for climbing hills??? TH sell the Puma motor??? hills?? the beauty of electric motors is their wide torque band? you cant equate it to a car engine? its an electric motor? the lotus tesla is a car and has no gears??? the performance of which is pretty interesting


Gears do have the win over hubs when it comes to hill climbing, but with a suitably torquey motor you shouldn't really have a problem unless you live on Everest. :roll:

n00bz wrote:My Electric Bike goes 60 miles on a charge and is much lighter?
There are electric bicycles with advertised ranges of 60 miles and extremely lightweight. If you have one, and you find it actually goes 60 miles as advertised- congratulations, you have violated the laws of physics.


Since when is there a limit to the amount of energy you can store in a finite amount of space? :?

n00bz wrote:My Bike has a 1000 watts, how can the OptiBike be as fast?
The Optibike is the most efficient electric bike produced - over 75% of the battery power is transferred to the wheel. Many other electric bikes are around 30% efficient. So while the Optibike has 850 watts of power, the other bikes actually have far less.


Exaggeration bordering on LIES. LIES I tell you! No motor of reasonable size could handle that kind of heat without frying.

knoxie wrote:Since when was 36V high voltage? and when did 48V become a lethal voltage? uk telephones operate on 50V dc? arrghh this is such a load of BS!


I think 50V is officially the line between low and high voltage. While you "could" kill yourself on 48V, you'd have to be really trying. In the rain. And have a heart condition.


It seems like a nice bike (albeit overpriced), but, c'mon. :|
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 31, 2008 3:01 am

It's absolutely right that you draw attention to this Knoxie before the website starts getting lots of traffic. It seems like a good product, but whoever writes this needs at the very least to do some decent research before putting out such guff. It's downright misleading and could do more damage to the brand than good.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Sat May 31, 2008 3:02 am

aww... don't lose any sleep over it.
It's just yer typical marketing ad-copy as Link pointed out, aimed square at the n00bz, the rest already know the score.
Every ebike maker lies, so anyone that wants to compete in the marketplace is forced to play the game, otherwise their product comes off looking limp & it don't sell.
I don't like it either but it's a fact backed up by sales figures.
Potential buyers that don't know any better do their comparison shopping based on manufacturer's 'specs'.
It's sad but you know that's how it is with any product.
Case in point, there are people that continue to get sucked in by Batteryspace & Tenergy who swallow whole as absolute gospel whatever number amp-hours is printed on the heat shrink, so it's proven devestatingly effective.
If you feel strongly enuf about it then just do your bit here to set the record strate.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby knoxie » Sat May 31, 2008 6:55 am

Hi Guys

Yeah I know its the sales blurb but it racks me off a little when they make misleading claims and dont actually push the things the bike is better at than most of the others such as the handling and the quality and the centre of gravity of the the batts etc!
Its a shame as I think the bike is great and want it to sell, if people are going to spend so much they may do some research and come on to forums like ours and ask questions, they may then go away thinking that the sales blurb it trash and not buy the bike.

I think at the lower end then maybe they have no option other than to play the game but at this price the bike should be sold on its merits alone as its obvious its quality from the spec and the user feedback, thats all you need pages of user feedback, the videos and the ride reports, the faq bit they could just chop, they didnt mention the legality of it either as of course here in the UK its not road legal, not that its a problem in itself as they are going to limit them but tell the owner how to bypass it for off road use.

I hope Rich gets it fixed, I am pretty sure that they just copied the American site and pasted it in?

Knoxie
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby TylerDurden » Sat May 31, 2008 6:57 am

knoxie wrote: I am pretty sure that they just copied the American site and pasted it in?
Almost. The US copy also claims it has survived live sniper-fire in Bosnia. :wink:
Have a Nice Day,

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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Jozzer » Sat May 31, 2008 8:16 am

I was going to wait until I had tried one before saying anything, but I agree Knoxie. It is a very common aproach though, quanta make similar comments about thier bike. (they claim 2 hours runtime from a pack the same size as I can get 20 mins runtime on a similar sized bike). Lifebatt did the same when talking about competitors cells too..

Part of the problem I suspect is that with such a magnificent price tag, the specs need to be bloated to match!
Mazda MX-5. 300KW power. Soliton 1 controller, 11" Kostov motor, 20KW/H Turnigy Lipo for 60-100 miles range. 120mph top speed.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby Ian » Sat May 31, 2008 9:18 am

funny though, imo, optibike's marketing doesn't really follow the typical advertising principles. if you have a product targeted at the high end of the market, or a niche market, then you NEVER attack or even refer to the competition - there's no need to, "what competition???" - you just play on your strengths. these would be quality, warranty, service, handcrafted, distinctive, handling, quality, service, handcrafted, handling and so on etc etc. In time just the brand name, the tradition of it, is the selling point. at this end its always "money is no object, this is simply the best product" so you have to give it some kind of overall aura, a lot of people have 9k if you think about it - but normally would spend on other things.

the competive comparision stance (which is especially in usa a "everything goes" typically amoral philosophy to denigrate/ ridicule/ demean/ etc the competition) always is required at the lesser levels. here, the pennies count, its "value", are you getting an iota more product for the same price as the other guys, etc.

an example of this in advertising would be rolls royce, or cadillac, mercedes benz. versus pickup trucks.

as a slight aside, check out the blurb for that new "terminator/deathhead/skull and bones/genetically designed/area51 e-bike the m-55, coming out of Hungary. $20,000! http://www.m55-bike.com. its hilarous not to mention insane, but you can see the typical principles at work!! theyhave to, you are paying 20 grand for nimh. but the techie names of the components are typically incomprehensible for most normal people so it must be frakkin good!!! haaa
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 10:12 am

As a rule:

If a hub motor and a multispeed motored ebike are compared head to head with the same power you get:

:arrow: 25% more power overall with the geared bike.

:arrow: 25% better efficiency overall with the geared bike.

:arrow: 33% less heat overall with the geared bike.

...I know you guys want to imagine otherwise, but I can tell you that single speed is really not the answer unless you can overvolt and that's illegal for a manufacterer to do.

So if it's the "letter of the law" then the geared bike is valid in their claims of being better.

"Outlaw" overvolted hub motors will beat legal bikes though...


It's a two or three to one ratio that you need to remember:

"A hub motor must produce two to three times the peak power to equal the performance of a geared bike"

...it's just basic physics.
Last edited by safe on Sat May 31, 2008 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby TylerDurden » Sat May 31, 2008 10:14 am

safe wrote: As a rule:

If a hub motor and a multispeed motored ebike are compared head to head with the same power you get:

:arrow: 25% more power overall with the geared bike.

:arrow: 25% better efficiency overall with the geared bike.

:arrow: 33% less heat overall with the geared bike.
Says who, besides you?
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 10:17 am

TylerDurden wrote:Says who, besides you?

If you owned a geared electric motor bike you would know.

If you don't you will remain in the dark.

...rather than complaining about it you ought to try it. :P


You're going to see more gears in the electric vehicle world as time goes on and things become more sophisticated. The lowered power requirements means you can use smaller lighter weight components.

Smaller motors running at higher speeds (see Recumpence's recumbent bike) combined with gears will be how things will mature in the ebike area. There will always be hub motors, but the other options will come to dominate over time.

It's just the natural progression... you will see... give it time...

The hub motor is sort of the "bigger hammer" approach.

(the "Big Iron" as we've come to know it)
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby TylerDurden » Sat May 31, 2008 10:23 am

safe wrote:
TylerDurden wrote:Says who, besides you?

[color=#0040FF]If you owned a geared electric motor bike you would know.


Nobody.

You got no validation... real, third-party validation. Data. Temperatures.


Applying your rationale: anyone who hasn't owned a hubbie will never know either.



:roll:
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby dogman » Sat May 31, 2008 11:59 am

Geared is better, that's why you leave the tranny in your converted electric car, and select a gear for the drive you are doing at the moment. It is also true, that if you have no hills and need no gears, the hub motor works great too. They don't both do all, but the gears do more. It don't matter if you live in florida. Fortunately, the Link method works great for us hub motor folks if we do need more power. Now that we do have battery choices, geared or not geared will get less important. Just add more power, like an american. I do feel sorry for those that believe all advertising they read.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby EMF » Sat May 31, 2008 12:17 pm

The electric motors I have seen though, are simply motors with drive gears inside that are not "shiftable". Therefore, I would think that any advantage would be if the set of gears matched the task at hand. Once you have a terrain or load change, maybe you are sudddenly at a disadvantage. This is why you can select gears in a car I guess.

Right now, I have my bikes original 7 speed sprockets set up for my hub motor bike, so tall that not many people could pedal the darn thing in top gear. Ha! When I went to the bike shop to change out the gear on the nexus hub and told the guy which sprocket I wanted, he looked at me like I was nuts! But he did not know I had a ebike. *snickers* But I can pedal this puppy when assisted by my hub motor. I can assist the hub motor even a 23 MPH by pedalling at a decent cadence. So this helps the hub motors efficiency by removing load at cruising speed.

Having said that (and I wonder if anyone has done this) IF you could configure a motor somehow that would drive the rear wheel via a chain and sprocket set, and you could still use your derailuer to shift gears on the back set, I think this would really add to efficiency. If it could handle the power of the motor. I think ths would be very cool to try somehow. Especially if you had a way to monitor the RPM of your motor and could tell when it needed to be downshifted to stay in it's most efficient RPM range. I guess I have seen motor setups here that can do this. But I have not read any reports yet.

Here is the one I am thinking of! http://www.cyclone-tw.com/newkits.htm Damn, I suddenly want one of these. :shock: Only I would of course opt for a different battery pack than lead. It appears Ypedal has a 500 and 1000 watt kit. Gary Goodrum just bought the 1000. I must find out the status of these projects!
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 1:35 pm

:!: Hey, I just broke a record for my bike today. I posted it over in the photo's section for Project #001... over 30 mph average for a range of over 10 miles. (streets too, not some oval)

There's just no way to do that without gears... I'm sure of it... there are so many situations where I cut energy "costs" by being able to downshift that had I tried to do such a thing with a hub motor I would have drained my batteries empty before I got through.

Anyway...

What I'm excited about is the project by Recumpence that uses an RC brushless motor. Those things weigh next to nothing and produce big time power. If you used one of those and gears too then you could achieve just about the best power to weight ratio possible.

That's the "Holy Grail" of setups as far as I see it... :)

The "Big Iron" is fine for now... it's a quick way to get lot's of power... but the other options are better.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby TylerDurden » Sat May 31, 2008 2:16 pm

safe wrote:...over 30 mph average for a range of over 10 miles. (streets too, not some oval)
There's just no way to do that without gears... I'm sure of it...


If Bill's 406 can do 30mph for 20mi, I'm pretty sure it can manage >10mi on streets.

:roll:
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby dogman » Sat May 31, 2008 2:41 pm

Indeed it can, but how steep was the hill? To emf, i think safe is referring to the motor driving the chain, which can change gears. That way you can run the motor at it's most efficient rpm, and do the same trip on less watt hours. But now that I own a ping, who cares? My bike is as fast as I want, and goes as far as I want, and I like the electric motor simple and gearless. I still want the gears on the bike though, so I can peadle along with it at speed and my butt doesn't go to sleep. i think a lot more bikes will be built in the future that take advantage of gearing and chain drive so they can go farther and climb hills without blowing all the watts. But for kits and do it yourself, i think the hub motor is here to stay.
THE LIPO RULES. NEVER ABOVE 4.3V NEVER BELOW 2.7V DON'T PUNCTURE

Ideal charging /discharging range for Lipo, 3.65v minimum 4.1v maximum

See battery technology section, FAQ thread at the top of the page for lipo noob info.

See the frankenbike longtail at the thread below.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 3:59 pm

TylerDurden wrote:If Bill's 406 can do 30mph for 20mi, I'm pretty sure it can manage >10mi on streets.

I asked him about that (this is the bike in the e-Power race right?) and he said that when he tries to use his aerodynamically contained recumbent bike thing on hills and turns and all it doesn't do so well. Like the best average speed he could get was in the middle 20's.

Gears help most in real world circumstances where you are starting and stopping and climbing a hill and then going down the other side. A big oval tends to favor a fixed gear because you just get up to your top speed and then go to sleep while maintains it's constant speed.

A "real world" average of 30 mph means 20 mph up some of the steeper hills, 35-40 mph on the flats and 50 mph downhill, so it's a mix of speeds and conditions.

His machine doesn't produce much power... like maybe 600 watts... so he would be losing lot's of time based on that. I'm running 1400 watts at the rear wheel now... which is a little excessive, but.... :)


Trust me... if you saw the turns and the speed I'm carrying through those turns in a lean there's no way MOST bikes would be able to keep up just based on geometry and handling of the bike. My speciality is the "road racer" and I know my stuff... this is "my turf" so to speak. :wink:

My club of "electric bicycle road racers" presently has only me as the member. :lol:

(hopefully this will change)
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby TylerDurden » Sat May 31, 2008 5:22 pm

safe wrote: Trust me... if you saw the turns and the speed I'm carrying through those turns in a lean there's no way MOST bikes would be able to keep up just based on geometry and handling of the bike.


30mph? Ask Lowell. :roll:
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby EMF » Sat May 31, 2008 5:53 pm

dogman wrote:Indeed it can, but how steep was the hill? To emf, i think safe is referring to the motor driving the chain, which can change gears. That way you can run the motor at it's most efficient rpm, and do the same trip on less watt hours. But now that I own a ping, who cares? My bike is as fast as I want, and goes as far as I want, and I like the electric motor simple and gearless. I still want the gears on the bike though, so I can peadle along with it at speed and my butt doesn't go to sleep. i think a lot more bikes will be built in the future that take advantage of gearing and chain drive so they can go farther and climb hills without blowing all the watts. But for kits and do it yourself, i think the hub motor is here to stay.

I blissfully can't see Safes post, so I was not referring to any of his comments. But, Dogman I agree with what we're saying. Check out the Cyclone kits. They look to do what you and I are talking about. Ypedal and GGoodrum are going to try both the 500 watt and 100 watt kits. With this gearing ability, even with a Ping pack or whatever, you *should* be able to extend range, which is always a goal of mine. I've got the speed, but I can be wasting watts I think. http://www.cyclone-tw.com/newkits.htm
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 6:13 pm

TylerDurden wrote:30mph? Ask Lowell.

Lowell's bike is the only bike that might handle well enough and have enough top speed to be competition.

:arrow: But still...

Riding high atop a mountain bike like that and going through turns with 25 lbs of "Big Iron" in your rear wheel is going to be scary. Not recommended that's for sure. Lowell would confess that he would like to get his bike to handle better than it does... we haven't heard from him for a long time. I hope he's okay. :shock:

(maybe he crashed due to bad handling?)
Last edited by safe on Sat May 31, 2008 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Sat May 31, 2008 6:15 pm

EMF wrote:I blissfully can't see Safes post

That's the problem with the "Foes" concept... in theory I could make fun of you and you would never know. It just seems like putting your head in the sand.
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby dogman » Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:17 pm

I suppose cornering a big heavy hub motor with the power off would be scary. I learned to goose the throttle when I was scared I'd entered a corner too fast a long long time ago. I really like the way that works with the front hub now. Especially on the dang trike, the front motor pulling me along while one of the back wheels may or may not touch ground is a real help. Gears obviously help all engines, human, elcectric, ice, but again, it is sure easy to do without with electric motors. Just get out the wallet, and pour on the wattage. I like the cycleone motor, but just don't like the way a lot of that type of thing bolts on the bike, especially if it goes below the frame. I like the clean look of the hubs especially in a state like mine where the bikes legality is vague at best. But if the discussion is about what type can do more varied terrain, haul loads, and such and retain some range, its gears all the way.
THE LIPO RULES. NEVER ABOVE 4.3V NEVER BELOW 2.7V DON'T PUNCTURE

Ideal charging /discharging range for Lipo, 3.65v minimum 4.1v maximum

See battery technology section, FAQ thread at the top of the page for lipo noob info.

See the frankenbike longtail at the thread below.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28389&hilit=bouncing+betty
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Re: Optibike FAQs? Dont stack up?

Postby safe » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:28 am

dogman wrote:Gears obviously help all engines, human, elcectric, ice, but again, it is sure easy to do without with electric motors. Just get out the wallet, and pour on the wattage.

That pretty much sums up the issue... as the old saying goes:

"You can always throw money at the problem."

...most folks just want to buy products and ride them (and that's okay) but for the small few that are "developers" of this stuff as a full time obsession the design issues are important.

The ideal bike would place the battery in the middle of the bike (for better weight balance) use a small lightweight brushless motor (much like the RC motors) and gears. That sounds great, but the "complete package" doesn't exist yet, so we have to simply describe things that aren't being sold yet.

One day all the truths will come out.

I can remember having a vision in my mind of a fully suspended mountain bike with gears back in the 1980's and it took 10-15 years before that bike was something that could be bought. Now I feel like the mountain bike has been "done" (not much room left to make them better) and the electric bike needs to be given the same attention. (I was building custom welded mountain bike frames back in the 1980's)

This time I think it will take less time... like 10 years or less...
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