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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm new to eBiking and actually only ride the eBike about 1 in every 10-12 rides or so, but as I've gotten more time in I have some questions about what gearing or pedal cadence is "best" with an eBike while climbing or even spinning on flatter terrain.

The reason I ask is I've discovered that the power delivery feels stronger, smoother, and more constant when I'm in a higher gear, pedaling slower than my normal cadence. And when I say higher gear, I don't mean higher than I would be in on my analog bike, I mean higher than I would be in on my eBike while pedaling the same cadence as my analog bike.

Is this hard on the motor or drain the battery faster? Is it just preference? Seems like low end torque is where the eBike motors really shine. It also lends itself to better traction while climbing steep, loose, or technical sections.

Another observation I've made with the higher gear/slower cadence (or really with e-motor assist in general): I love how effective and easy ratcheting a pedal in tricky climbing sections is, especially once you get used to the half stroke of extra pedal power the motor yields after you stop pedaling. Very useful for super tricky, steppy, tech climbs.

What else should an e-noob know about pedaling with e-assist?
 

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I don't own an e-bike. But I would think there are efficiency trade offs at some point. If you crawl uphill in granny on eco at 6kmh at say 70rpm, then surely it's better on the battery than being on turbo and your smallest cog and doing 30rpm for the same speed.

At my local riding spot I see plenty of seat down, tiny cog climbing and assume they must have the power turned all the way up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't own an e-bike. But I would think there are efficiency trade offs at some point. If you crawl uphill in granny on eco at 6kmh at say 70rpm, then surely it's better on the battery than being on turbo and your smallest cog and doing 30rpm for the same speed.

At my local riding spot I see plenty of seat down, tiny cog climbing and assume they must have the power turned all the way up.
Yeah, that makes sense. But I’m not talking about the extremes (I see a lot of that too, in fact my wife does that).

I’m talking about maybe 3-4 gears higher than the analog bike with a cadence of 60-65 vs 1-2 gears higher than the analog but similar cadence (70-75).


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I think every model bike has it's own characteristics as efficiency and cadence. My Rise definitely gives better power with higher cadence. That's in the info from Orbea, but I do notice it to be true for me.
From Orbea:
Our custom electronics are tuned so that the peak power delivery come at rider cadences of 75-95 rpm
No coincidence, as this range happens to be where experienced riders produce the most power and efficiency. This way we optimise human and bike interaction and enhance natural riding.

That might be some marketing jargon, but it really does seem to be true for my bike. I find that if I ride my bike (gearing and cadence wise) just like I ride my analog bike, I get the best power delivery and ride experience. My son's Orbea Wild and my wife's Trek deliver power very different from my Rise. My bike has almost none of the "over run" of a half pedal stroke of additional power. When I stop pedaling, with in less than half a second, power assist is smoothly off. I definitely notice on both of their bikes the over run power. If it happens right in a corner, it can throw me off a little bit. If I just rotate to reset the pedals to avoid a rock, I can get a burst of power sometimes,. My son has learned to reset his pedals rotating backwards to avoid that. I guess with having said all of that, to answer your question, I don't know for your bike. Kind of a waste of a lot of words, huh?
 

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Higher cadence lower gear is always going to be your best bet, that was one of my initial lessons learned, just keeps you better prepared to react to what may lie ahead rather than being forced to downshift for technical section, thats just me talkin though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Higher cadence lower gear is always going to be your best bet, that was one of my initial lessons learned, just keeps you better prepared to react to what may lie ahead rather than being forced to downshift for technical section, thats just me talkin though.
Yes, 25 years of mountain biking has taught me that as far as analog bikes go, but it seems to be a little different with my Turbo Levo. I still try and plan ahead for an upcoming steep, or technical section by down shifting to a lower gear, but I'm finding that being in a little taller (too tall?) gear is not as big deal with the Turbo Levo and often seems to be preferable. That 90nm motor really seems to help me torque my way through stuff like that pretty well and the slower cadence seems to be smoother.

Sort of like the difference between a small displacement two-stroke dirt bike (gotta keep the revs up) and a larger displacement 4 stroke (better to lug it and chug through).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think every model bike has it's own characteristics as efficiency and cadence. My Rise definitely gives better power with higher cadence. That's in the info from Orbea, but I do notice it to be true for me.
From Orbea:
Our custom electronics are tuned so that the peak power delivery come at rider cadences of 75-95 rpm
No coincidence, as this range happens to be where experienced riders produce the most power and efficiency. This way we optimise human and bike interaction and enhance natural riding.

That might be some marketing jargon, but it really does seem to be true for my bike. I find that if I ride my bike (gearing and cadence wise) just like I ride my analog bike, I get the best power delivery and ride experience. My son's Orbea Wild and my wife's Trek deliver power very different from my Rise. My bike has almost none of the "over run" of a half pedal stroke of additional power. When I stop pedaling, with in less than half a second, power assist is smoothly off. I definitely notice on both of their bikes the over run power. If it happens right in a corner, it can throw me off a little bit. If I just rotate to reset the pedals to avoid a rock, I can get a burst of power sometimes,. My son has learned to reset his pedals rotating backwards to avoid that. I guess with having said all of that, to answer your question, I don't know for your bike. Kind of a waste of a lot of words, huh?
Good point. I hadn't thought of the different characteristics of different motors. In some ways having the power delivery be more like your Rise (more like a normal mtb as far as cadence goes) would be better and more natural but I think I like that grunty, torque of the 90nm Brose motor. Makes it kind of fun for steep technical climbs. More calm, less frantic pedal, pedal pedal so you can pick your way through things a little easier. Like you, I found the 1/2 stroke overrun of power when you stop pedaling a little weird and disconcerting at first (especially in climbing switchbacks), but now that I'm used to it (and even getting to where I'm expecting it), I can really use it to my advantage.
 

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Interesting thots on gearing and cadence with e-bikes, some things that I’ve thot about since getting a Turbo Levo Comp a few weeks back and riding about 150 miles so far.

One thing that stood out in the buying process was help from a sales person who said he had demoed one for a few months. He said he rode it several hundred miles, mostly in turbo mode, and he claimed he beat the crap out of the bike, wearing out a chain, cassette and front ring in the first 300 miles.

With that in mind, I tend to ride the Levo in a gear and cadence that almost matches what I would be doing on an analog bike in the same conditions, maybe up a gear, two at the most. I figure that the torque of the assist on the higher cogs is what will stretch a chain the quickest, and prematurely wear the drivetrain. I’m planning to try to make it last a little longer than 300 miles.
 
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Each motor has characteristics that might be different and the software also is an influence.
You should be one with your bike to get the most of it just like for a pro the raquet is
just an extension of him/herself.
For most Ebikes i suggest to ride it almost like their regular bike.
Your problem might be not spending enough time in that saddle.
Generally pushing at a low cadence your system sensors will assist more so you will be draining your battery faster.
When you come to a stop that you plan to stop at you should switch gears just like a regular bike.
When it is rocky you might want a lower cadence to simplify the ratcheting.
Some riders play with assist levels to go up, etc but we can use our transmission.
 

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Makes it kind of fun for steep technical climbs. More calm, less frantic pedal, pedal pedal so you can pick your way through things a little easier. Like you, I found the 1/2 stroke overrun of power when you stop pedaling a little weird and disconcerting at first (especially in climbing switchbacks), but now that I'm used to it (and even getting to where I'm expecting it), I can really use it to my advantage.
KRob, you are discovering and adapting to tech climbing made possible by EMTB - I have found that picking lines, spinning low gears, with quick ratcheting works best. You can also LOWER your saddle, shift weight back and balance your way up a super steep climb. Embrace it brother - use your rider skills and new found power to ride up those "unridable climbs" of the past. :cool:
 

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KRob, you are discovering and adapting to tech climbing made possible by EMTB - I have found that picking lines, spinning low gears, with quick ratcheting works best. You can also LOWER your saddle, shift weight back and balance your way up a super steep climb. Embrace it brother - use your rider skills and new found power to ride up those "unridable climbs" of the past. :cool:
I'm gonna try that next time, one thing I've noticed on chunky climbs is that if I stop and start up again the acceleration can throw me off, probably manage it better with saddle lowered some
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
KRob, you are discovering and adapting to tech climbing made possible by EMTB - I have found that picking lines, spinning low gears, with quick ratcheting works best. You can also LOWER your saddle, shift weight back and balance your way up a super steep climb. Embrace it brother - use your rider skills and new found power to ride up those "unridable climbs" of the past. :cool:
Good points. It's been fun discovering these new possibilities. Partly the reason why I started the thread was to get confirmation on the things I'd discovered and also to get advice from more experienced eBike riders about things I hadn 't discovered yet.

For instance: Your seat height suggestion. I do ride it with lower than my normal saddle height mainly because with the assist I've found that I can without stressing my knees and because it's my wife's bike and I don't want to mess with her saddle height. However, I did notice the lower saddle height was an advantage on those types of tricky, tech climbs. Easier to balance weight transfer, and get my chest down over the bars on super steep rock/slickrock climbs to keep the front wheel down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interesting thots on gearing and cadence with e-bikes, some things that I’ve thot about since getting a Turbo Levo Comp a few weeks back and riding about 150 miles so far.

One thing that stood out in the buying process was help from a sales person who said he had demoed one for a few months. He said he rode it several hundred miles, mostly in turbo mode, and he claimed he beat the crap out of the bike, wearing out a chain, cassette and front ring in the first 300 miles.

With that in mind, I tend to ride the Levo in a gear and cadence that almost matches what I would be doing on an analog bike in the same conditions, maybe up a gear, two at the most. I figure that the torque of the assist on the higher cogs is what will stretch a chain the quickest, and prematurely wear the drivetrain. I’m planning to try to make it last a little longer than 300 miles.
Makes sense. Yeah, after 25 years of normal mtb riding I'm pretty attuned to preserving my gear, hence the question. I tend to keep it in Eco mode for most general riding using gearing to adapt to varying climbs like I would on a normal bike. I kick it up to trail mode for steeper or more techy climbs (or when I'm getting tired). I've only used turbo once mainly out of curiosity at the end of a long ride. There's a super steep pole line road about 100 yards long that returns you to the TH. I had a couple bars left so thought, why not fly up it? Pretty crazy.
 

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So I'm new to eBiking and actually only ride the eBike about 1 in every 10-12 rides or so, but as I've gotten more time in I have some questions about what gearing or pedal cadence is "best" with an eBike while climbing or even spinning on flatter terrain.

The reason I ask is I've discovered that the power delivery feels stronger, smoother, and more constant when I'm in a higher gear, pedaling slower than my normal cadence. And when I say higher gear, I don't mean higher than I would be in on my analog bike, I mean higher than I would be in on my eBike while pedaling the same cadence as my analog bike.

Is this hard on the motor or drain the battery faster? Is it just preference? Seems like low end torque is where the eBike motors really shine. It also lends itself to better traction while climbing steep, loose, or technical sections.

Another observation I've made with the higher gear/slower cadence (or really with e-motor assist in general): I love how effective and easy ratcheting a pedal in tricky climbing sections is, especially once you get used to the half stroke of extra pedal power the motor yields after you stop pedaling. Very useful for super tricky, steppy, tech climbs.

What else should an e-noob know about pedaling with e-assist?
Each brand of motor has a sweet spot for torque/cadence and battery usage. For Brose (Specialized) , the sweet spot seems to be over 85 cadence up to a a certain point. So the more you can shift gears to keep around 85 cadence, the better performance and better battery usage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
For Brose (Specialized) , the sweet spot seems to be over 85 cadence up to a a certain point. So the more you can shift gears to keep around 85 cadence, the better performance and better battery usage.
Hmm. Sure doesn’t feel like it on my bike. Higher pedal cadence feels like I’m not as in sync with the motor. More of an on/off push/pull feel. Slower cadence seems much smoother, consistent power delivery on my Turbo Levo. Maybe the SL is different.

I can see where higher cadence, lower gearing would yield better battery range, but I typically get 40+ miles and 5-6k’ climbing with a full charge.


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I ride a Brose bike, Mag-S, and there is definitely a sweet spot of matched gearing, cadence, and power level, but for me, it's spinning at a higher rpm than I normally do on my analog bike. My guess would be that lower rpms and a taller gear will put more strain on the motor, belt, and battery. I rarely, almost never, use Boost or Eco power modes. 99% of my time is spent in the middle Tour and Sport. (those are the names of the 4 power modes on Bulls bikes).

One other thing I've noticed is that pedaling harder to put down more power than the motor is making seems like it's just hitting a brick wall, or like the extra effort doesn't get transferred to the rear wheel, like I'm exceeding the 750w max rating of the bike or something....so I tend to pedal lighter/faster than I do on the analog bike.


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One other thing I've noticed is that pedaling harder to put down more power than the motor is making seems like it's just hitting a brick wall, or like the extra effort doesn't get transferred to the rear wheel, like I'm exceeding the 750w max rating of the bike or something....so I tend to pedal lighter/faster than I do on the analog bike.
Maybe that's the feeling I'm trying to describe. I'm a pretty strong rider so maybe when I'm "pedaling harder to put down more power" my power output is just not in-sync with the motor's output (?).
 

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Maybe that's the feeling I'm trying to describe. I'm a pretty strong rider so maybe when I'm "pedaling harder to put down more power" my power output is just not in-sync with the motor's output (?).
What is your bike? Your system? The assist level you are using? That happens at what speed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What is your bike? Your system? The assist level you are using? That happens at what speed?
Sorry I missed this question. 2021 Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Brose 2.1 motor. I usually notice this sensation on Eco but sometimes on Trail mode, on flatter or rolling terrain with speeds around 10-15 mph (?)
 
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