E bike Gearing Why Bother

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Joecool » Apr 21 2018 9:46am

Are any of you E bike guys using just one gear for off road and on road? Im finishing up my first Mountain 26 inch E bike build. Im using a Voilamart 48V 1500W rear hub motor. Ive electrified, fabricated, and modified quite a few push scooters and peddle go karts to E vehicles. All my other builds from my 24 Volt rc lawn mower and 48 Volt e scooter and 48 Volt E go Kart all use a stepper or direct 48 Volt 1500 Watt motor. I adjusted the gear ratios on these items until I got the right amount of torque and top speed that I liked. To do this I would start with the biggest gear ratio that I had on hand. Im using T8F chains and sprockets on all those other builds. The lowest teeth motor sprocket I have is a 9T and the biggest wheel sprocket Im using is a 74T which gives me a ratio of 8.2. This literally gives me standing wheelies on my e scooter and a top speed of 25 MPH on flat concrete. For me I like a blend of off road and on road or a good combo of torque and top speed. This generally will be in the 4.5-5.5 ratio range. Should I just feel out my E bike the same way and then just leave it in that gear? I get the change the gears for hills and again for speed on the flats for maximum efficiency. I just found out about the Sur Ron Bee electric motorcycle that uses only 1 gear and from the videos, it seems awesome off road and on road. The Sur Ron seems to me the exception when talking about 1 gear to multiple gears for E bikes. Granted it is a 60V 6KW beast. For e scooters and e go karts, most of them adhere to the 1 gearing theory. Sorry for the long winded post, just curious if any of you E Bike guys rock just 1 gear.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by dogman dan » Apr 21 2018 12:46pm

Quite a few do, or at least on bicycles, they stick it in the highest gear and never need any lower gears for street.

What I do on dirt is kind of the opposite. I put it in a middle gear, and only pedal when the motor bogs down. This can take a lot of hill or sand though, so some rides I never pedal a stroke in the dirt.

Once you have moped like power, low gears only needed for specific applications, like limiting speed to safer speeds on adult trikes, or towing extremely heavy trailers.

Gears are used a lot on mid drives, that run much lower power though.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by markz » Apr 21 2018 12:55pm

I actually used a 3x7 but honestly I hardly ever pedal. What I like to do is help out by saving juice with pedaling on acceleration and up hills, also I do a lot of fake pedaling to give the illusion I am a regular bicyclists. My ebike sticks out from the crowd, I havent bothered to hide nuffin'. Like for example, for ultra stealthiness using pannier bags on the rear rack to hide the motor, camflauging the controller and hiding the battery in a pannier bag. My setup is quite the sight, wires hanging off the controller hanging off the rear rack, a large wooden mish mash box ontop of the rear rack and a very large direct drive motor. I havent figured out what people clue into first to realize somethings amiss whether its the motor, battery box or wires. Ive asked a few when the chit chat starts.

Where the gears help out is when you are going fast or climbing a hill, and when you run out of juice on a direct drive setup.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by EbikeAus » Apr 21 2018 5:54pm

markz wrote:
Apr 21 2018 12:55pm
I actually used a 3x7 but honestly I hardly ever pedal. What I like to do is help out by saving juice with pedaling on acceleration and up hills, also I do a lot of fake pedaling to give the illusion I am a regular bicyclists. My ebike sticks out from the crowd, I havent bothered to hide nuffin'. Like for example, for ultra stealthiness using pannier bags on the rear rack to hide the motor, camflauging the controller and hiding the battery in a pannier bag. My setup is quite the sight, wires hanging off the controller hanging off the rear rack, a large wooden mish mash box ontop of the rear rack and a very large direct drive motor. I havent figured out what people clue into first to realize somethings amiss whether its the motor, battery box or wires. Ive asked a few when the chit chat starts.

Where the gears help out is when you are going fast or climbing a hill, and when you run out of juice on a direct drive setup.
Glad I'm not the only one doing "fake pedalling" lol
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by EbikeAus » Apr 21 2018 5:56pm

Joecool wrote:
Apr 21 2018 9:46am
Are any of you E bike guys using just one gear for off road and on road? Im finishing up my first Mountain 26 inch E bike build. Im using a Voilamart 48V 1500W rear hub motor. Ive electrified, fabricated, and modified quite a few push scooters and peddle go karts to E vehicles. All my other builds from my 24 Volt rc lawn mower and 48 Volt e scooter and 48 Volt E go Kart all use a stepper or direct 48 Volt 1500 Watt motor. I adjusted the gear ratios on these items until I got the right amount of torque and top speed that I liked. To do this I would start with the biggest gear ratio that I had on hand. Im using T8F chains and sprockets on all those other builds. The lowest teeth motor sprocket I have is a 9T and the biggest wheel sprocket Im using is a 74T which gives me a ratio of 8.2. This literally gives me standing wheelies on my e scooter and a top speed of 25 MPH on flat concrete. For me I like a blend of off road and on road or a good combo of torque and top speed. This generally will be in the 4.5-5.5 ratio range. Should I just feel out my E bike the same way and then just leave it in that gear? I get the change the gears for hills and again for speed on the flats for maximum efficiency. I just found out about the Sur Ron Bee electric motorcycle that uses only 1 gear and from the videos, it seems awesome off road and on road. The Sur Ron seems to me the exception when talking about 1 gear to multiple gears for E bikes. Granted it is a 60V 6KW beast. For e scooters and e go karts, most of them adhere to the 1 gearing theory. Sorry for the long winded post, just curious if any of you E Bike guys rock just 1 gear.
I have the same kit but the 1000w version. I leave mine in highest gear, however mine is throttle only :D
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by markz » Apr 21 2018 6:32pm

EbikeAus wrote:
Apr 21 2018 5:56pm
EbikeAus wrote:
Apr 21 2018 5:54pm
Glad I'm not the only one doing "fake pedalling" lol
however mine is throttle only :D
I think many people are like us, throttle only and fake pedaling.

I want to see what Chalo has to say on this thread title.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Chalo » Apr 21 2018 10:30pm

I'm glad to have variable gearing on my BBS02, even though I mostly run it in the lowest two gears.

When I first set up my mid drive, I used it almost exclusively with PAS, and I switched mostly between 46/16 and 46/19. Then I installed shorter cranks on it, so I could follow the motor up higher into its RPM range. After that, I used mostly 46/19 and 46/21.

But as I accustomed myself to getting the best out of the motor, I gravitated towards using the throttle to spin the motor up all the way, and only pedaling on startup and when climbing. So now I mostly use my 46/28 gear to cruise at about 18mph, my 46/24 gear to hustle at 20-21mph, and my 46/34 gear to climb or to dawdle at about 14mph.

The gears I have available are 14-19-21-24-28-34. I rarely use the 19t anymore, and never touch the 14t.

When I had a big ol' DD motor, I used the whole range of seven gears I had available. Back then I was using lead, so every watt I could contribute added valuable range and helped the motor run at greater efficiency.

If I had several kW of motor power available, I imagine I'd ride the thing like a scooter and rarely pedal. But that's related to why a multi-kW bike isn't usually classifiable as a bicycle.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by motomech » Apr 21 2018 11:42pm

Although I'm on PAS almost all the time(I use the throttle to mount the bike), I rarely shift on my 2 KW 2-W.D. I start w/ the frt. mini(Cute) because it has more torque off the line than the super smooth, but sedate old Ezee V1(It's the classic car of hub motors, understressed and stately).

But I'm writing this post to note an unintended side effect on shifting by the E-conversion. I run lot's of blk, silicone (LUv Turnigy)wires and in an effort to hide them, bunch them up under the frame tubes, right along w/ the shifter cable. And even though I use soft, velcro straps to secure and don't chinch them tight, there is some contact between the wires and the cable, causing some resistance, making the shifting a little hard. I've thought about addressing it, but, like I said, I hardly ever shift so it's NBD. Riders that like to shift alot, should ck their cable to make sure none of the ebike stuff is interfering.
I've been working w/ both my PAS systems lately and have come to some conclusions;
1)A simple 3-speed, speed limiting PAS works fine on on a low-powered ebike that doesn't go much faster than 20 mph. Above that, the slowest speed setting is too fast for times you just want to low speed cruise. And w/ controllers less than 25 Amps, there is no tendency to "rush" up to speed when a higher range is engaged.
2) Changing to a disc w/ more magnets does not lessen the reaction time(At least when going from a 5 mag. to an 8 mag.). The delay, both in starting and stopping, is the worse thing about a "dumb" PAS set-up. About 1 1/2 sec.
If there was an easy way to install a single 11T sprocket on the free wheel boss of the Ezee, I would. Replacing the entire DNP every 3 or 4 years, when the rest of the gears look brand new seems to bit of a waste. Unlike a cassette(or other free whl.s, I suppose)it is not possible w/ the DNP.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by MadRhino » Apr 22 2018 1:54am

I build single, the ratio that makes the bike comfortable to ride unpowered. When powered, crank work is useless because it couldn’t add any significant power or speed.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by miro13car » Apr 22 2018 7:41am

I use only 2 gears out of seven on cassette ,
Completely enough.
I pedal for the show only usually when people around.
No pedalling on bikepath with people around ???
out of decency I pedal maybe 80% of the time and for exercise
Also my top speed on the street depends on me NOT ON THE MOTOR.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by miro13car » Apr 22 2018 7:44am

City of Calgary changed by-law recently and ebikes are finally allowed on pathways , so great news for Calgary riders.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by markz » Apr 22 2018 2:45pm

miro13car wrote:
Apr 22 2018 7:44am
City of Calgary changed by-law recently and ebikes are finally allowed on pathways , so great news for Calgary riders.
You ever see any authority at all besides bike fuzz on the pathways anywhere, besides downtown and area? I see bike fuzz roaming around streets n such.

I see the provincial park warden drive fish creek park pathways but thats about it.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by torker » Apr 22 2018 3:03pm

Yep 1 gear. If you look at my posts my FSR had no pedal drive for a couple years. Now it has a 45t-15t and 145 mm bmx cranks. I can help out at any time which with my 28-10 dd motor with 20 " rear is only 16 mph :D
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by markz » Apr 22 2018 8:09pm

It feels weird for me when the pedals have no tension due to a missing chain or what have you. There have been a few times my chain flung off the crank and it felt quite odd while riding. I like to have the inside pedal on a turn up, other times I like resting a pedal on some tension, or do a fake lazy pedal, its good to have a bit of tension on the pedals. Today I never pedaled once. 8)

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by amberwolf » Apr 22 2018 11:12pm

Heres another thread about this, for more info

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=14419


Theres others, but that came up in a few seconds search. ;)


That said, on my CrazyBike2, in its most recent incarnation, it only had one gear ratio because I couldnt really pedal it along anyway, so I just went with something that let me help out during startups from a stop if I wanted to, and would let me move it along for a few feet at a time pedal only if I absolutely had to (it was generally easier to just walk it along for the same distance, and hurt my joints less).


So on my SB Cruiser trike, it has a 3speed IGH in the frame plus a front triple, so I can pedal it if I have to (or want to) at really low speeds (about 1-2MPH is the best I can do for any distance, and not a lot of that; it might be possible for someone else to pedal it at up to about 10MPH with the top gear combo, but not me).

Both bike and trike are DD hub systems, so no gearing for the motors.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Alan B » Apr 23 2018 12:25am

One gear for motoring, one for dead battery. Help it out on starts and steep hills. :)

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Joecool » Apr 27 2018 7:45pm

Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it. I installed the freewheel cassette onto the rear hub and have it installed. I figure Ill try it with the gears first and see first hand if it makes a difference. My gut tells me it should but since this is the first hub motor Im installing I dont know until I finish the build if the gears will make a difference. I mean if it does not make a difference I can always use my chain breaker and remove the chain if its not beneficial. Im so used to working with direct gear ratios that this very different. Do these hub motors have a internal gear ratio? Planetary gears? This I have no idea. I was concerned about the speed limiter and pas system. I dont want or need either of those. I wanted the full 1500W and dont want to pedal. On my bench it works just fine without any of that stuff connected.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by amberwolf » Apr 27 2018 8:32pm

Seems like you need to clarify exactly what question you wanted answered, because the question people have answered seems to be different than the one you may want answered.

Your reply above implies you may think the pedal chain gearing and freewheel is going to change how the DD hubmotor operates. It doesnt, because it is just a pedal chain and gearing, and it only works for the pedals, because the hubmotor directly drives the wheel via the spokes--it doesnt go thru the chain so it cant go thru the gears.

It does matter if you pedal along with it, as pedalling will help if you have it geared right for the speeds you are after--but since you now say you dont want to pedal, then it wont make a difference, as there will be no input on the chain as the pedals wont be moving.

It also doesnt seem to be the question you were asking in the first post--that question seems to boil down to be whether one should bother with pedal gearing, and thats the question everyone has answered. (it did mention gears on motors but only on scooters and karts and such, which dont have pedals and dont work the same way as bikes, unless you run the motor the same way those do. the hubmotor you got is directly in the wheel (unless you took it out), so it doesnt transfer power the same way the stuff that goes thru gears/chains/belts does; theres no ratio to change).

The first post doesnt mention anything about the PAS or speed limiter, so no one has answered that.


If you had a middrive rather than a hubmotor in a wheel, then it would matter to the motor speed/torque whether the gearing was multiple or single.

As for whether the hubmotors have gearing or not, that depends on which kind you bought. If it didnt say it was a geared hub, which has gears inside, then it probably is a direct drive hub, which doesnt have gears inside.
Last edited by amberwolf on Apr 27 2018 8:47pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Chalo » Apr 27 2018 8:46pm

Joecool wrote:
Apr 27 2018 7:45pm
I wanted the full 1500W and dont want to pedal.
Weak.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by motomech » Apr 27 2018 9:39pm

You still want the best gear ratio(Lowest numericly)that you can get even if you are not shifting thru the gears and that is an 11T sm. on the free wheel and as big a chain ring as will fit. W/. a mountain bike like I use, the largest chain ring that can be used is around 50T and since the largest gears on the free wheel are not used, a longer chain is not needed.
AW is right, you asked one question and now you are answering another(Incorrectly). Nobody said anything about taking the chain off, we still pedal at times, especially when it's cold. And with the chain off.the pedals are pretty much useless as footpegs.
Another thing, if I give my bike a full 2K Watts, I can hardly shift fast enough to keep up.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Joecool » Apr 28 2018 6:28pm

Yeah I should of looked harder at more powerful hub motors. I dont think 1500W is powerful enough but you gotta start somewhere. I also stumbled upon a Sur Ron e bike that looks good as does the KTM e bike line. It seems most of the e bikes out these days are way to under powered. 250W - 500W why bother. Just do some more squats at the gym and there you go. Any of you guys have any recommendations for stronger hub motors at least at 3Kw or higher?

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by Joecool » Apr 28 2018 6:32pm

Chalo wrote:
Apr 27 2018 8:46pm
Joecool wrote:
Apr 27 2018 7:45pm
I wanted the full 1500W and dont want to pedal.
Weak.
Haha I hear ya. I actually have the opposite problem. I have a high metabolism and have trouble putting weight on. People say the older you get the slower your metabolism but I would argue that also since Im in my 40s. Im 6'4 and 195 lbs and still wear the same size pants when I was in high school and college.

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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by neptronix » Apr 28 2018 6:34pm

I pedal all the time, even on higher powered motors. Both for exercise, and for maximizing my range.

Gearing does matter. In particular, the front chainring needs to be large enough to account for the top speed of the motor. Otherwise, pedaling input won't do much for you.

ps, i have arthritis and still pedal. Because walking is difficult, but biking is easy on my legs, biking is the only thing keeping my legs moving and thus going through a cartilage regeneration cycle. It keeps my pain levels down. I'd recommend pedaling if you don't do a lot of walking.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by docnjoj » Apr 29 2018 7:49am

I use my gears all the time. I'm 210 and my Steintrike with Cute 100H weighs about 75#. We have one or two steep (5%) long hills and I need to pedal my butt off in low gears or the trike will not get up them. I run 36 volts, so it is truly "pedal assist". I need the exercise as an old guy so this is the way it works for me.
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Re: E bike Gearing Why Bother

Post by docw009 » Apr 29 2018 9:22am

I likes to pedal, I wanted more gears. I added a front derailleur to my fatbike with geared rear hub. Turned out to be redundant, but who cares.

Informal survey says five of fifteen responders still pedal and need gears.

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