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eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 2:32pm
by QuietRush
After a chat yesterday with a new player, dusting off work that I started back in 2011-2013(ish) to explore some patterns for an OffRoad eBike racing format, after having enjoyed racing them in a go-kart track format for the Hunter EVFestival 1500class. Wanted to run that discussion under at least its own thread here on E-S to keep things tidy.

I've previously spoken with race stewards across both MC and MTB, so we've got at least a high level view of what would need to be factored in. There's an upcoming race experiment https://www.facebook.com/events/2471005886541629 that we'll explore to rough out some of the concepts, which currently look to have four classes in our race series:
1. Electric Bicycle Class
2. Unmodded SurRon Class
3. Modded SurRon Class
4. Open Electric Class

Interested to connect with others who've explored similar in their own local patches, see if we can build some momentum together. Haven't been active in the space for about 5yrs (life got in the way) but things have changed since then, with a lot more people on eBikes, so it might be a bit less niche now and timely to explore.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 5:54pm
by markz
I'd say months ago, some member on MTBR forum was putting forth the same idea as you, an ebike racing league.
You might want to contact them if it wasn't yourself.

Why are you focused on SurRon classes?
How many people do you think own a SurRon ebike and of those how many are modifying their SurRons?
Going a step further, how many are willing to race their SurRons?
Then theres how many are just in the area willing to race or not. Sure some would be willing to travel, how far is the question.

Is #1 class store bought ebikes, if so they come in many different flavors from hub motors to mid drives with varying power levels the same thing is true for #4 class, open class as one person could have BBSHD and another a Cyclone Coaxial 4kw or 18kw, or a MXUS 5kw hub motor vs Leaf 1500W vs MAC geared hub.

It would be very hard to get enough people racing who have the same setup, same controller, let alone same controller power levels, to having the same voltage then theres the whole rigid vs suspension framing.

It'll be very hard to get a level playing field for all the racers there's just to many various products out there on the market.

I'd say you'd need to break down #1 and #4 even further into even more classes of sub groups which is putting the whole idea into a very small niche.

Another aspect you'd have to look into is how do you verify each racers setup. Will you open up controllers and do tests, inspect each battery.




QuietRush wrote:
Dec 09 2020 2:32pm
four classes in our race series:
1. Electric Bicycle Class
2. Unmodded SurRon Class
3. Modded SurRon Class
4. Open Electric Class

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 9:15pm
by Pinotman
G'day Markz,

I am part of the group know as Australian Electric Racing Club - that have put the feelers out on a race series.

You have some fair points in your email, but we need to start somewhere, if we focus on all these negatives between classes and which classes etc.. it will never get done and we wont get a start.

At this stage what we have arranged to start this process is a come and try day January 17 2021 and see who is interested and numbers and we intend to take on board rider feedback before we settle the relevant riding classes.

For the first time ever we have Moto club and the relevant association support and encouragement to give it a go.. this is partially due to the excellent work Brian Hill has done in the past to open doors and recent recognition from gas/petrol racing associations that electric bikes and Emotos are a big part of their future survival and sustainability of their tracks and their clubs.

Noise at these tracks is a major issue and electric bikes will help significantly to further stakeholders claims for continued or more race days etc.

So... with the Ron's - specifically there are a fair few surRons that i know of that are keen to race and some modded ones too - hence that class.

Ebike class will be interesting to see who we get that wants to ride and sub categorize or handicaps' around that particular interest.

Hope this forum continue to be a great place for open kind of ideas and on this E racing spectrum.

cheers
Nic.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 10:18pm
by QuietRush
Thanks for jumping in Pinotman.

First important racing course design question: do we factor in a water obstacle/creek crossing? :lol:

Will be a pretty quick differentiator in quality of builds and IP ratings.

Regarding the bicycle class, yes, there'd need to be subdivisions within it, know how much variability we saw in the 1500Wh class for a 10lap race on a go-kart track. All of the questions asked are valid, and have to be factored into scrutineering processes to come up with an effective handicap model to accommodate the variability. The complexity of that may well see it permanently constrained to a novelty race, unless a class was designed to have a homologated design only - know different manufacturers have played with this idea.

@markz - is this the thread you're referring to on MTBR? https://forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/uci-org ... 89460.html Noted it was triggered by UCI post about trying to wrangle some sense of order in the racing model.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 10:51pm
by markz
No thats not the thread, as I read through your link. Like I said it must've been 4-6 months ago was the last time I was even on MTBR and I do remember reading something along similar lines as the OP of this thread. I just tried searching and couldnt find what I was looking for.
QuietRush wrote:
Dec 09 2020 10:18pm
@markz - is this the thread you're referring to on MTBR? https://forums.mtbr.com/e-bikes/uci-org ... 89460.html Noted it was triggered by UCI post about trying to wrangle some sense of order in the racing model.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 11:12pm
by efMX Trials Electric Freeride
ecobike adventure / lost Sierra has ran a successful ebike annual race events.. might be worth a look:).. and a lot of bike and moto racing events are adding ebike classes..

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 09 2020 11:15pm
by QuietRush
Thanks @markz - no problem, I know I've seen this pop up several times over the years on MTBR/pinkbike, though there's generally a bit less hate these days for eMTB now that they've demonstrated traction in product sales. There's some good valid posts in there about course design though. As an ex-MTB-racer, I'm not in it for the silverware, more for the fun of the experience. No doubt there's potential for manufacturers to game the system for their advantage, which would also need to be factored in.

Tellingly, no UCI points recognition for the racing class keeps it novelty value only, but they will also only recognise pedelec 250W/25km/h cutoffs, which ignores the existence of s-pedelec standard in some countries.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 10 2020 10:38am
by Rix
Following this thread with great interest.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 10 2020 12:29pm
by Chalo
I'm thinking it might be most effective to separate classes by bike weight, or perhaps bike weight as a percentage of rider weight. Certainly that would be easier to implement than a limit on power output or battery capacity.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 11 2020 5:40am
by QuietRush
There's a part of me that wants to see this also seed real world relevance, in range, load-carrying capacity and portability of battery as a power source, something I'll bet DARPA/DoD/ADF/DSTO would have an interest in, since it also replicates some of the field testing trials they'd be putting candidate bikes through. Call it the Utility Cup.

Carry a nominal load of rider + cargo, charge a thing, be light enough to get over some tricky terrain, provide a light source, handle human power augmentation to extend range. Helps take some of the focus away from ultra performance/speed to real world relevance, but also has a hefty engineering challenge component to it. If an EV can be factored into micro-grid designs as a mobile energy source, so too can an eBike. Could see some interesting innovation responses...

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 11 2020 9:22pm
by Cowardlyduck
Having ridden a variety of E-bikes over the years that would fall into various categories mentioned above, I don't think weight, or power, or anything like that is the best way of classifying competitiveness.
The track can do that for us!
What I mean by this is, there is no way you are going to be able to lug a Stealth Bomber up a steep/tight twisty incline, or at least if you try...you won't be winning, whereas a light weight mid drive like the LMX 161 would be far better suited to that.

The only competitive bike I have currently is an LMX 64 which I've tuned to put out 3KW and as much torque as my Fighter did at 7KW. I would have no chance in a high speed flat track style course, but add in some gnarly rock gardens, steep inclines or other technical stuff and I can get ahead of any hub motor easy.

Anyway, just my 2c...let the course dictate the winners and mix up the power/weight etc. that way you don't have to worry about setting any limits. :D

Cheers

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 14 2020 10:15am
by Stealth_Chopper
Oh !
Before covid 19; I had imagined:

An entrepreneur rolls in with a spectacular color wrapped tractor trailer full of 20 eBikes { ~ $2K ea. retail )
Location is like a fairground with parking, some pavement and grassy hills and dips, with a simply marked race course.

1st Prize = the bike ridden to victory after a timed race ~ 1/2 hour ( ~$100 riders entry fee )

The gravy;
Offer the used eBikes , riders first, for sale upon signature and down payment all agreed before the race.
:idea:

Nevermore
Mountain_BikeBike.JPG
Mountain_BikeBike.JPG (140.68 KiB) Viewed 495 times

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 19 2020 1:35am
by QuietRush
The ride+race format is something I'd considered when first coming online as a Stealth dealer, but the investment cost to offer that was a massive hurdle and HIGHLY speculative, glad I didn't put my cojones on the block for that. Would take a pretty brave/deep pocketed individual to take a chance like that - was hard enough to just keep demo stock rolling with the damage they'd incur from 1-2 riders at a time being careless..

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 19 2020 10:11am
by Skaiwerd
QuietRush wrote:
Dec 19 2020 1:35am
The ride+race format is something I'd considered when first coming online as a Stealth dealer, but the investment cost to offer that was a massive hurdle and HIGHLY speculative, glad I didn't put my cojones on the block for that. Would take a pretty brave/deep pocketed individual to take a chance like that - was hard enough to just keep demo stock rolling with the damage they'd incur from 1-2 riders at a time being careless..
I agree. It seems tricky to foresee how to get more people buying ebikes and maybe profit some of you can.
Have you been brainstorming options? Info sessions, bike building classes? Ideally convince future enthusiasts to skip the beginner store bought Ebike to save money and a few months or years and build or buy a conversion done locally. Maybe more riders will come from this approach? Then some racing. I’ve ridden a few hay fields and the farm owner said the fields had a one mile circumstance and it was crazy terrain made for an Ebike. Hummm. Maybe a corny title like ride crew. I’m working on a budget steel frame fat bike conversion now. I want to revisit the fields with a more appropriate Ebike, along with the beach and woods.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Dec 31 2020 4:51pm
by John in CR
QuietRush wrote:
Dec 19 2020 1:35am
The ride+race format is something I'd considered.
Here's an idea for the hopper. I have a good friend here in Costa Rica who's been into ebikes for 20 years and solar power and green energy for longer than that. He has a property with a kilometer of beachfront on the Gulf of Nicoya. The property has a max altitude of nearly 300m with much of it in it's natural form, so great for cutting trails. It has 3 guest houses along the ridgeline and the primary one could easily sleep 12 or more. He has several Haflinger 4x4's that I've been bugging him to convert to electric, because they're so well suited for it due to light weight, flat roof for solar panels, and originally had only a 25hr ICE motor. He wind surfing rigs and catamarans including a high performance 20ft Hobie Miracle. It even has a lagoon with crocs. Only a small portion of the property is used for farming and cattle, and the rest including the guest houses is sitting there doing nothing.

It's a bit rough right now and the water quality in the gulf isn't like on the ocean and no waves for surfing, but add in some high performance offroad ebikes and cargo ebikes for the short run to town and it could be a great place for a relatively cheap vacation location away from it all with fun e-toys and space to use them. Then include after-vacation sales of ebikes and emotos, since nothing sells a high performance electric better than riding one.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Jan 04 2021 12:17am
by Pinotman
Hey all! We are getting to the cut-off point for the Race Park Day Event and Race Series Expressions of Interest. We will be making the final decision tomorrow (5 January 2021) at 5pm as to whether we proceed as planned or postpone to later in the year.

If any questions please ask.

If you have any friends who would be interested, please invite them, share the event around, and if you are coming, let us know by saying you are going in the event!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2471005886541629/

thanks

Nic.

Re: eBike OffRoad race format

Posted: Jan 04 2021 7:33pm
by Stealth_Chopper
I'm no salesperson so,
Imagine a well prepared peddler with mid drive kits, batteries, adapters, wires & 'wrenches' at the trail head:
"Your bike could be electric,".
Power to go right up that hill.
Skaiwerd wrote:
Dec 19 2020 10:11am
QuietRush wrote:
Dec 19 2020 1:35am
The ride+race format is something I'd considered when first coming online as a Stealth dealer, but the investment cost to offer that was a massive hurdle and HIGHLY speculative, glad I didn't put my cojones on the block for that. Would take a pretty brave/deep pocketed individual to take a chance like that - was hard enough to just keep demo stock rolling with the damage they'd incur from 1-2 riders at a time being careless..
I agree. It seems tricky to foresee how to get more people buying ebikes and maybe profit some of you can.
Have you been brainstorming options? Info sessions, bike building classes? Ideally convince future enthusiasts to skip the beginner store bought Ebike to save money and a few months or years and build or buy a conversion done locally. Maybe more riders will come from this approach? Then some racing. I’ve ridden a few hay fields and the farm owner said the fields had a one mile circumstance and it was crazy terrain made for an Ebike. Hummm. Maybe a corny title like ride crew. I’m working on a budget steel frame fat bike conversion now. I want to revisit the fields with a more appropriate Ebike, along with the beach and woods.