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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out at the Bike Press Camp last week and was stoked to try out one of the BionX bikes. Essentially, this is a stock Trek 6000 (hardtail, sub $1000) with a BionX battery, hub generator, and controller installed.

We have a couple of these coming to the Mtbr offices, so stay tuned for a more in-depth review.

Information and photos on the BionX is here:
http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/bionx-electric-powered-pedal-assist-mountain-bike/

Video interview with Vincent from BionX is here....explaining some of the features and uses of the BionX.


Anybody out there own one of these? Or at least had a real test ride on one??
 

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i have ridden a trek hybrid with the battery setup. works just like they say only assists when you pedal. level 4 gives a huge boost. the wheel is heavy. we have some battery issues at the shop, received 2 dead ones but trek has been good on replacements
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Keski, thanks for the info! How long have you been using yours now? For trails or commuting? If for trails, what kind?

I will find out a lot as soon as my test unit comes in, but what I'm really interested in, is just how "trail-worthy" is the bike. I'm thinking that on certain technical downhills, the significant weight increase will be hard to get used to. But on the climbs, of course, the e-bike would pay dividends.

-g
 

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I like the battery box on the BionX (instread of a wrinkled canvas rack bag).
The price keeps me away from owning a BionX kit.

Love the paint scheme on the Vertex.
 

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I have demo'ed a Bionx converted hardtail MTB at the bike shop in Elko, NV. and I have ridden the new trek electric commuter. These are both very impressive performing machines. The hardtail battery location makes for a balanced ride. I do want to convert my cargo bike.

Although there are the ethical questions surrounding an electric bike being used on the trails, there are circumstances when the electric assist is the best answer to many questions.
 

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BionX is the leader right now in bike motor technology. I've been riding our test bike around the office the last couple of days and the rush of acceleration from 5-12 mph is unbelievable! Then it goes all the way to 19 mph before the electronic limiter kicks in. This is all without pedaling on flat ground. I went over a freeway onramp today and was still at 15 mph by the time I crested without pedaling.

The downside is it is heavy at 20 lbs. But it is a portable system and can be transferred to different bikes. We plan to put it on some high end full suspension bikes!

Trek uses this system on all their high end electric bikes right now. The have a new cargo bike with this system and it is sooooo cool.

fc
 

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The BionX seems like a pretty decent package

As far as add-ons go but at $1500-2000 just for the parts without a bike you have to wonder how many they will sell.

I keep looking at electric assist bikes and if they're going to be that expensive, I'll probably wait until there's something as light and unobtrusive as the setup that was supposedly hidden in Fabian Cancellara's bike at Paris-Roubaix. :)

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/64147...ating-by-using-motors-ahead-of-tour-de-france
 

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This BionX will shut down the motor at 20mph. When one is pedaling with the motor on, getting up to 30mph on flat ground should be no problem.

But because the motor shuts down at 20mph, it becomes impractical to ride over 20 mph. It's like hitting a wall that shuts on and off.

This is really a severe limitation in my opinion. Are there laws that require this 20 mph max?

There used to be a way to disable the 20mph limit. Now it doesn't seem to work with the latest firmware as BionX has completely disabled it. Anybody get around this?
 

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20 mph seems to be federal law in the US

francois said:
This BionX will shut down the motor at 20mph. When one is pedaling with the motor on, getting up to 30mph on flat ground should be no problem.

But because the motor shuts down at 20mph, it becomes impractical to ride over 20 mph. It's like hitting a wall that shuts on and off.

This is really a severe limitation in my opinion. Are there laws that require this 20 mph max?

There used to be a way to disable the 20mph limit. Now it doesn't seem to work with the latest firmware as BionX has completely disabled it. Anybody get around this?
For the definition of an electric bicycle. Probably a legal or liability thing where BionX are reluctant to publish a way to defeat the 20 mph turnoff even if there is one.

-----------------------------------------------

Federal Laws and Regulation
[edit] Defined

The U.S. NHTSA Code of Motor Vehicle Safety simply defines low-speed electric bicycles as consumer products and not Motor Vehicles for safety standards.[22] In doing so they vest authority over commercial safety standards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) stipulates that commercialy manufactured low-speed electric bicycles, or tricycles, must have fully operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W of power and a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) with a rider weighing 150 pounds.[23] An electric bike remaining within these specifications will be regarded simply as a bicycle for purposes of safety standards. This supersedes any state law that is more stringent, but only regarding safety equipment required on electric bicycles and the standard of manufacture they must meet.[24] The legislation enacting this amendment to the CPSC is also known as HR 727.[25]

No known federal regulations apply to the manufacture of homebuilt electric bicycles.
[edit] Use

Where federal funds have been used in the construction of bicycle or pedestrian paths, electric bicycles (defined as "any bicycle or tricycle with a low-powered electric motor weighing under 100 pounds, with a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour" (23 U.S.C. § 217(j)(2)) ) are not permitted unless state or local regulations permit. Title 23, U.S. Code § 217(h)(4).[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#Federal_Laws_and_Regulation
 

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The EU electric bike market is driving the bus. Bion X is a feature on many bikes over there including Ducati and Opel to name a few and TREK as usual is just following the path of least resistance trying to get a market share there.

But the problem is the anemic wattage restrictions there. 250w is their limit and Bion X is in line to sell stuff so that is what they supply. They do make a 500w kit, but boys, the legal wattage limit here in the US is 750w most states and 1000w in quite a few also. You think the lower wattage gives you launch Francis you should try doubling it:thumbsup: The 20mph speed limit for electric assist bicycles is a factor for sure but for me it is all about how fast you get there, how much freight you can pack and how long you can soak the battery for.

As mentioned the Bion X system is expensive and proprietary to the point where any parts and service in the future will also be expensive. There are many more hub motor systems out there that are cheaper and just as reliable if not more so. Endless Sphere dot com has a really informative forum about all that stuff and anyone with any real interest in this subject would be well informed to check it out. (not trying to drive them away G and F but knowledge is power and perhaps that power will come through more here if people are better informed?)

After 10 years of messing around with all manners of small motors on bikes, both gas and electric I have come to the conclusion that motorized bicycles are never going to please me. Sure I have had some fun but any combo, including the Bion X system, only leaves one wanting just a bit more:arf:

I had to laugh about the overpass no pedaling scenario. The only way I ride is to pedal as much as possible. You are missing out on all the big ring time if you don't pedal and you just as well might be on a scooter. One time I had crank issues on the Bumvee on a 25 mile trip to town and had to abandon pedaling and motor in. By the time I got to town I was cold and bored whereas every other time I arrive all warmed up and ready for action.

So to all you knaysayers out there that say just get a motorcycle. Go ahead. But I will continue to seek a motorcycle that you can pedal. In fact my next setup will be a hybrid gas/electric machine capable of across town or across country rides. At considerably faster than 20mph:devil:
 

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MABman said:
The EU electric bike market is driving the bus. Bion X is a feature on many bikes over there including Ducati and Opel to name a few and TREK as usual is just following the path of least resistance trying to get a market share there.
......
So to all you knaysayers out there that say just get a motorcycle. Go ahead. But I will continue to seek a motorcycle that you can pedal. In fact my next setup will be a hybrid gas/electric machine capable of across town or across country rides. At considerably faster than 20mph:devil:
Awesome info. We are indeed in the infancy of assisted bicycles.

Two cool things have occurred this week since we have two BionX mountain bikes at work.

- one of our employees who hasn't ridden much this year and is many lbs overweight bike-commuted to the office. One way is 30 miles!!! He said it took 2 hours one way and he had a blast pedaling and assisted most of the way. The battery was drained at the office and he recharged back up before heading back home.

- my 10 year old son has biked with me 3x this week. The rides are over 10 miles long on road, smooth trail, and mountain. He had zero interest prior and was completely focused on ball sports. Now, he says, this is more fun that video games. When I go on a full effort on flat or a climb, he can smoke me. He is pedaling 95% of the time and these are all 1-2 hour workouts for both of us.

fc
 

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More fun than video games is a good start.

Fun and fitness is where you find it. Nothing wrong with either scenario as posted and there are many more options available. Let the games begin!
 

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Here's a photo from a recent ride. We've been doing 1000+ foot climbs every day now. It is close but he is faster than me on every single climb. I have a 17 lb bike and his is 48 lbs.

We are extremely careful on descents but he is learning so much since he gets to do so much descending each time.
 

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Kid with big grin on bike=priceless.

Great application for assist. But just one of many that will develop over the next 10 years or so.

You guys are going to have to start up a new site and call it emtbr:)
 

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Bionx system and mountain biking

Hi All~

I am an experienced mountain biker with a love for single track but have developed a muscle disease that is robbing my leg strength- so that I just can't "make" many sections along a typical mountain trial ride. I so want to keep riding so I am looking at the Bionx systems- but can not find anyone who has ridden real mountain bike trials. The 350 does not fit my Santa Cruz superlite so I am hoping to be able to use the 250 lite-but don't know if it has enough power. I am light- under 115 and have good technique. Has anyone out there used the bionx on trials? Please share your experience Thansk KIM
 

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I looked into this a few years ago before my back operation. I like the Bionx system, but found information showing it is limited when it comes to long hills. I have not ridden one up a long hill myself. Batteries drain quickly because the motor does not have reduction gears. Your advantage is light weight. You may be able to take advantage of Bionx and have a slightly extended range because of your weight. At any rate you will have increased range and pleasure over what you have now. From what I have seen the Bionx is good in rolling terrain with shorter uphill stretches.

I would say having a premium battery is more important than the wattage for your application. I have ridden a 250 and it gives a good boost. I weigh 50 lbs more than you.
 

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My son, pictured below did a thanksgiving ride with 1000 other riders recently. He was on that Bionx Trek bike and we climbed 2700 feet in 6 miles. Bionx has 4 levels of assist and he put it in level 2. Since it was a casual ride, our group took a break about 4 times. The hill is very steep in the end averaging a 12% grade for miles

Well the kid is 10 years old and he blew us all away. He waited about 5 minutes for us at each junction. He made it all the way to the top on that single charge, riding for about 1.2 hours and he had about 3 bars left on his battery (out of 12).

It was perfect and blew away my expectations.

The next day, I took the bike out on the same hill and tried to do a record run. I put it on level 4 and pedaled all out hoping to cut my hill climb record in half. I was climbing at about 12-14 mph consistently on the steeps. But alas, the motor shut down after 3 miles. I think it overheated and went to 1/4 power. It need a long break before it would go full power again.

fc
 

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francois said:
My son, pictured below did a thanksgiving ride with 1000 other riders recently. He was on that Bionx Trek bike and we climbed 2700 feet in 6 miles. Bionx has 4 levels of assist and he put it in level 2. Since it was a casual ride, our group took a break about 4 times. The hill is very steep in the end averaging a 12% grade for miles

Well the kid is 10 years old and he blew us all away. He waited about 5 minutes for us at each junction. He made it all the way to the top on that single charge, riding for about 1.2 hours and he had about 3 bars left on his battery (out of 12).

It was perfect and blew away my expectations.

The next day, I took the bike out on the same hill and tried to do a record run. I put it on level 4 and pedaled all out hoping to cut my hill climb record in half. I was climbing at about 12-14 mph consistently on the steeps. But alas, the motor shut down after 3 miles. I think it overheated and went to 1/4 power. It need a long break before it would go full power again.

fc
Want it, Need it, Gotta have it!:thumbsup: How well does it work with the FS design:p

I've seen one on the DaHon, man the guy just haul ass, no actually I did, he was just cruising at 20mph.:p
 
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