Em3ev with drop bar commuter - 50 miles/day


10 W
Jun 16, 2010
Alsace, France
ebike with panier ready to go low pix.jpgelectric touring bike low pix.jpgcontroller 40A under the rear rack low pix.jpgfront view with Cycle analyst, throttle on the drop bar and light and cruise control low pix.jpgView attachment 4View attachment 1Hello everyone,

I am Pierre from UK. This forum is really fantastic, a true gold mine. After spending years reading different topics, I decided to electrify my heavy tourer bike. Indeed I am fed up of my 25 miles commute (north of London in UK) each way by car (cost, environmental issues, wasting my time in traffic jam, subsidising terrorist states, etc.). I myself a keen cyclist – a lycra man - and can reach 30 mph without any problem and sustain such speed for 8 minutes. I used to cycle more than 120 miles in 6 hours. However I don’t have access to shower at work and I cannot realistically ride 50 miles every day and do my job properly. I am only riding on tarmac. I am rather lean 67kg (150 pounds) for 1.82 m (6 feet).

The bike and the kit:
I bought from em3ev a mac 8t kit with a 58V 26.6 Ah battery, a 40A controller and the latest version of the cycle analyst. This 2kW kit has been added on my heavy tourer bike (steel frame and unsuspended fork) with racing drop bar (rather unusual) and bar end shifters. The bike is made by orbit in UK. The brake are Shimano deore XT V brakes with Koolstop brake pads. I have no disk brake and no suspension at all. I swapped my 48 chainring with a 56 one in order to pedal at a lower cadence with an 11 sprocket. I just use only 3 speeds, 56 x 14 to start and then 56 x 13 and 56 x 11. The tyres are Schwalbe marathon plus.

I added the following items as I require more space on the handle bar:
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/thorn-accessory-bar-mk1-t-shaped-105-mm-extension-222-mm-0-deg-satin-silver/ to hold the cycle analyst and the switch.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/genetic-neuron-accessory-bar/ to hold the throttle. With this item I can get access to the throttle either with the hands on top of the bar or on the dropped bar.
In order to ride safely during the winter time, I added the following item, a front light 12-85V, 20W motorbike light, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-Headlight-Lamp-12V-80V-20W-Universal-Black-for-Motorcycle-E-bike-UK). I plugged directly to the cycle analyst via a female D jack. I think it is too bright as I have been asked by a vulgar pedestrian to use it as an endoscope : ‘stick your f..ing light into your ass’.:). I will look for something else.

Statistics after the first 2100 km:
To cover my 25 miles, I used less than 11Ah. The 25 miles were done in one hour. I am always pedalling. With a 56*11 chainring, and clipless pedal, I reached a 38 mph (recorded by traffic radar) on the flat; most of the time I ride at 35 mph. I choose to commute only on road where speed is limited to 20, 30 and 40 mph for safety purpose and where there are a lot of traffic radars so drivers respect the speed limit. With 900 W I can reach 30 mph while pedalling strongly. Riding as fast as the car is the best way to avoid accident because you do not annoy drivers. Therefore the 250W law is stupid. I have to cross several towns and village where I have to slow down. Few cars passed me (less than 5) during my one hour trip and several drivers are looking with the thumb up at the stop . On a 7% gradient, I reached 29 mph. There are 2 long hills of 1 mile (7%) and 2 miles (6%) on my commute. My build is very stealthy with the two Ortlieb paniers hiding the motor; the controller is under the top rack. One panier contains the 7.5 kg battery, the other one my old heavy laptop and its charger, charger for the battery, my clothes and safety shoes for work and my lunch (another 6 kg). The bike with everything included weights more than half my weight 37 kg; I can barely lift it. Unfortunately all the weight is on the back and I bent my wheel after 1700 km while going twice through a pothole at 60 km/h downhill. The V brakes are not good enough when the road is wet. Sometime it is hard to handle the bike at high speed with the high gravity center.

About the kit
This setup is not the most powerful for an ebike but it is awesome. Unfortunately there was no instruction coming with the kit so I have to dig information on this website. The bag designed by em3ev which holds the battery is not good for the weight of this big battery. After only 30 miles several handles were torn and I am only riding my bike on tarmac! It is not a problem now since my battery is now hidden inside a panier.

I am riding mostly at full throttle. What should be the maximum temperature I can reach without damaging the mac motor? At the end of my 25 miles trip I reached temperature between 90 110 C. Is it too much? It seems that the output power is limited once I reach 100 C by the cycle analyst.
I purchased the 5A NCM/Li Ion chargers from em3ev with the battery with a 3 position switch. I always charge to 57.4V to lengthen the number of cycle and I charged the battery twice a day (so far 27 cycles). However it took nearly 5h to charge 10Ah so it is not a 5A charger but rather a 2A! Maybe I should inquire along Em3ev.

Future ebike: a recumbent 20-26
I think I need suspension. My back is suffering as well as my neck due to the tuck position. I cannot ride every day my bike (usually 4 days over 5 when I work onsite). I am thinking of purchasing a recumbent bike (26-20 so easy to stop and start in city) like the Nazca Paseo (Dutch steel frame) or the Azub six (Czech aluminium frame) with disk brake. I tried one last month with dual suspensions and I was quite pleased with it. I haven t seen a lot of such setup on endless sphere. I might purchase the Paseo steel frame and build my own bike with maybe moped rims if it fits the frame. i can add the battery under the seat to lower the gravity center. Any other ideas?

Many thanks for reading.



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1) suspension seatpost will alleviate back issues.
2) handlebar style & handlebar height helps hand & wrist fatigue.

If your still getting body alignment problems
1) relaxed postured bike.
a) two wheeled bike gives you maneuverability
b) 3 wheeled recumbent is nicest but you sacrifice a lot of freedom
-bigger profile
-heavier to lift up if you don't have a garage to store it

Keep reading the various threads and try what others seem to work.
Super cool bike and super cool application. Good to see a lycra getting what ebikes can do.

I have noticed a lot of people are setting up ebikes in a way where pedaling is impossible. A lot of people think of an ebike as a motorcycle these days, so this post was refreshing. I follow the same ethos as you though and ended up with a 53T crank to 11t on a bike that can do 40mph steady with a spin-class esque cadence. I get a workout too and i love it.

You may find yourself in suspension land soon. I can't recommend a dual suspension bike strongly enough at speeds you are going. Drop bars on a FS mtb would be killer. Especially with a battery in the triangle.


( sorry to spam your post with a pic of my bike, but i just wanted to show what my 2011 suspensionless MAC cruiser evolved into for inspiration )

As for your motor temps, 100c is a prudent stopping point but the MAC is amazingly heat tolerant in my experience. Still, once you hit 100c, your motor efficiency has dropped quite a bit and it will exponentially rise pretty easily. I would tune the bike down a hair or perhaps change your gearing so that a little more pedal power makes it to the wheel if you aren't at a high cadence already.

Cheers and welcome to the forum!
I have done this exact thing many times, but with the charger plugged into a Kill-A-Watt meter, showing the charger's power usage...also with a Satiator, which has its own power displays. Your charger gives 5 amps maximum charge rate. It is pushing 5 amps initially, but as the pack voltage nears the 57.4 volt you set it to, the current tapers. The only way to push 5 amps the whole time, in your situation, is to set it to 58.8 volts, and disconnect the charger from the battery after the appropriate number of minutes. Say you Cycle Analyst shows you pulled 10.50 Ah from the pack. That would be 10.5/5 = 2.1 hours. If the resting voltage is slightly less than 57.4 volts, as I typically see a minute after disconnecting the charger, just charge for a few minutes longer.

bike setup:
I rode upright roadbikes for decades, and 50 miles was my comfort limit. Day after day would get old very fast. It is the rare person who can do it. For commuting, where you are often forced to ride over stuff you'd rather avoid, I'd definitely want suspension.

battery bag:
I have heard others mention the straps having a problem with large batteries. I suggest using reinforcing eyelets and large zip-ties, like this bag.

neptronix said:
ended up with a 53T crank to 11t on a bike that can do 40mph steady with a spin-class esque cadence. I get a workout too and i love it.

I have no idea what a spin-class esque cadence means. Is that super fast?

I am thinking of doing a 50+T to 11T myself
Nice, all the features you need on a commuter. 50 miles a day is a huge ride, but I used to wish mine was longer. 15 miles, especially in the AM, seemed too short a lot of days. I wanted to keep riding.

Personally, I'd lose the drop bars. In my case, the homer simpson look doesn't allow me to be comfy in a tuck anymore. But more importantly, you really, REALLY, need to sit up and watch the traffic. 50 miles in a tuck is dangerous, if this ride is in the city. If you ride 20 miles to get to town, different story of course.
Hi, Pierre.

I started out with a heavy mp1 direct drive hub motor on a hardtail GT aggressor 3 (from halfords). Was a good entry to ebiking but i learnt from that experience that having the old heavy limn battery on the pannier rack and heavy hub all in the back of a bike meant bursting inner tubes and broken spokes when i hit Britain's lovely potholes. I since build my ebikes around DH frames with full suspension but i will say that the added weight of these less than minimal machines (DH Ebikes) and the suspension do steal some of your energy both while pedalling (through suspension) and just in weight, its harder to accelerate the greater mass.

Now i am working on a carbon fibre mid drive DH bike with drop bars but its not going to be very stealthy cause it has a noisy motor, but it will be light and comfy

Anyway things you may try out
1) 2 small hub motor drive like d8veh 's,
2) could make cheap aerocovers like the guys who play bike polo use which would also serve to hide the hubs, especially behind disc brakes too.
3) suspension seat post dropper with lock out (so can lock it out and can pedal stronger when you are on better roads)

If you are going down the recumbent route you want to look in to aero mods as it makes a huge difference especially as you are riding into the 30mph and beyond mark.

There is a semi recumbent bikeE on ebay for £100 at the moment thats a fun bike to convert, and comfortable to ride.

Anyway hope ive helped a small bit there, thanks for posting.
Dear ebikers

Many thanks for your replies.

In the last two weeks, since my last post I added 450 miles on the bike achieved in 8 days. On my 25 miles commute, a third is done in the city. Physical performance improves quickly when you ride 50 miles a day. I limited the max output power of the Mac to 1500 W and still can reach 38.5 mph on the flat while pedalling crazy for several minutes. It is really a good exercise.

I notice that most of the ebikers are riding a DH full suspended bike with the battery inside the triangle. I guess it is obviously for comfort and security at high speed. At one time I was thinking of purchasing a flux frame, a boggrunner, an e4bike or a raptor, etc. However with this type of bike, it is very difficult to add a proper touring rack able to carry a lot of weight (20 kg); most of the rack are attached to the seat post. Nevertheless I have found this one

I am often carrying food, groceries and I need a panier for it as well as my tools for work and clothes. Basically the panier is the trunk/boot of my bike. The only touring bike which is full suspended is the panamerica.

I am always in the tuck position as it is much faster to brake and I really need to brake very quickly particularly when I am going uphill in the city at 33 mph and cars do not stop at the crossing, thinking I am slow because I am cyclist! However the tuck position is painful for the neck and the bottom of your spinal column.

I could swap the drop bar to a straight one, add a suspension fork with disk brake and a suspension post (can creek). But I am not sure it will worth spending £500 for a setup which is far from ideal to do so many miles per week. It explains why I would like to join the club of the ‘benders’  with a low side racks (see the Azub and Nazca). I don’t really mind so much the cost because I am saving a lot of money/time on cycling so many miles per week and I enjoy it. I might also go AWD with adding a front Mac 6t in order to avoid overheating the Mac motor (92 C after the 25 miles).




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Welcome to the 21st century! My only question is, "Have you ridden a recumbent before?" Bike type, like sexual preference, seems to be innate. There are folks, who find riding a recumbent an unnatural act. No list of intellectual arguments will change their feelings. If you haven't tried some, I strongly suggest going to a shop, with a good selection, for some test rides.

I have ridden both types for decades. I have always preferred a recumbent for everything but climbing. I hate sitting, and twiddling in a low gear on any bike. Standing is the only way that seems nature, to me. Electric assist solves that issue nicely.

I've been riding short wheel base bents for several years but my commuter is an up right (fatty) as it can handle curbs, has better visibility in traffic etc. My current bent is a cruzbike Q so adding the motor system in the rear will be easy since no gearing etc back there. Love the bent for cruising in the country, multiuse path, park area etc. just can't recommend it for commuting in the city......

Good luck

I ride my bikes in a small college town often. I ride like other traffic, when on the street. I also have the option of riding bike trails, which works better for some parts of town. I see guys, on YouTube, jumping on and off of sidewalks on their bikes, and while I admire their bike handling skills, I have to say it doesn't endear them to other people.


I generally don't ride in traffic ( tourist town, retirement town and texting drivers.....lol). Actually, rarely need to go up and down curbs but do occasionally if no traffic nearby and I'm "j" riding across a street. The fatty is overkill for town but I do go up trail roads alot and those tires shine (float) on the sugar sand.

I like my bent better but the visibility or lack there of and not be able to get off the seat for bad bumps, holes etc, which we have a lot of around here, are the main reasons I don't use the bent for commuting. If I had better surface conditions and didn't have to mix with traffic at intersections, it would be another story.