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Various E-bike Motor Performance Comparisons recorded with Komoot, Strava and Garmin

Nov 4, 2022
I commute by e-bike between 11 and 15 kilometers each way, depending on route, and up or down 500 - 600 meters, depending on direction.
I compare my 'cheap' e-bike kits with borrowed production e-bikes from friends and family and compare their performance over my commute route options and am posting them here for people to see. The comparisons are basically trip records from either Komoot, Strava and/or Garmin and/or bike proprietary apps.
At the time of writing this intro I have comparisons of
48v 500w Front Wheel Kit (FWK) with a 20A max KT controller from TDRMOTO.
48v 500w Rear Wheel Kit (RWK) with a 30A max KT controller from TDRMOTO.
48v Tongshen TSDZ2 Mid-Drive Kit with an 18A max KT controller and supposed 90Nm of torque.
36v Bosch Performance Line CX motor - nominally 250w with 75 or 85Nm torque- in a Focus Thron and Focus Adventura
36v Shimano Steps E8000 - nominally 250w with 60Nm torque- in a Merida E-One Sixty
36v Yamaha/Giant Core - nominally 250w with 50Nm torque - in a Giant Talon e.
36v Rear Hub Motor - nominally 250w - in an Earth Ant TX20 Folding Bike.
The comparisons are limited in that there are no real controls that are consistent, with variables in wind, temperature, traffic, time of day, what app I collect the data from, interruptions in my starts and stops of devices and my motivation levels.
While my motivation levels are variable, I am not posting my slower times here, and I never get home without a healthy sweat even in temperatures around zero degrees centigrade.
I have now been commuting for two years and have done in excess of 7000kms, mostly on my kits and I will only post a fraction of the kit data for comparison to the production bikes, or specifically the production motors, I get the chance to try.

Why -
We're in a climate emergency and I hate using fossil fuels.
I first had an Aprilia Enjoy back around 2004 but the 27kg bike, with a 10Ah battery and a genuine 250w motor, 24v battery and 10A controller, that was barely equal to the hill. When it died, my hope and faith in e-bikes died too.
And I returned to fossil fuels.
In early 2021 I had car troubles so I bought a 48v 500w Front Wheel Kit with a 16Ah battery - the cheapest kit I could find due to my afore-said lack of faith. I deliberately over-looked the 'Not Legal on Public Roads' warnings as I knew from experience 250w was not equal to my commute. This configuration gives/gave great assistance up my 500m high climb with gradients over 20% in places, on some routes, and I haven't looked back.
I soon got the chance to borrow a friend's 2020 Focus Thron with the Bosch Performance Line motor and by the analogue gauges which are my legs and heart it felt about the same as my 'Not Legal on Public Roads' 500w motor. So I started a project of curiosity to see how different bikes compared in times for me to get home so I started recording trips on Komoot as the app was free and local groups were using it for hiking. I then started to record segment speeds on Strava and then measure my work rate with a Garmin Fenix three fitness tracking watch.
Because of this progression of recording trips, I have data from different sources.

From memory, the up Norton Summit Rd commute took about 45minutes on the Aprilia Enjoy and when I tried riding up Greenhill Rd on the Enjoy it ran out of battery. Not enjoyable.
My best times riding by pure leg power on < 10kg bikes were around 56 minutes.

Spoiler alert-
All e-bike motors get me home in around the same time on the same route with similar effort except the TSDZ2 kit (generally slower and harder) and the Rear Wheel Kit (generally faster and easier).
Take Home Message-
A production 'street legal' e-bike for under $2000 Australian, from a reputable store that provides after sale service, will give you about the same assistance to get up hills as an over $6000 e-bike. Going down hills with the power of gravity pushing you, and smooth handling at speeds over 40kph is a different story.
Feel free to follow Charge Up the Hill on Strava to see selected trip updates, or Ian Bourne, to have a swamp of daily trips to wade through.
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I don't know how to transfer the Strava details here, so if you're interested in the detail message me or just search Charge Up the Hill or Ian Bourne on Strava.
I just bought a cheap ($399 US) rear wheel 48v 13ah 500 watt (750 peak) e-bike conversion kit to help get my fairly heavy older Iron Horse mtb and me up some hills here on the Denver Colorado front range area, mostly around the Denver metro area. I was hoping to see more data on here especially if my cheap kit was one of the ones used but I see that it's not. This would be an excellent resource if it were much more on depth with more kits and especially more of those expensive e-bikes that most of us can't afford. Are there any more threads here or similar sites with comparison models like this?
Yeah, I'll agree that the TSDZ2 kit make me work the hardest. I can run at 5-6 WH/mile at 12 mph with my 48V TSDZ2 on an old steel 10 speed. My hub motor bikes with 20A controllers are about 8-10WH/mile.