Help with choosing an electric bike please

Poppppy

New Member
Hi everyone , advice please . I want to replace my electric bike ( a Carrera cross city foldable bike ) because I want more power on hills and the battery to last for more miles . My current bike gets about 25 miles in on low to middle power . . I have looked at two e bikes : boardman hyb 8.9e and Carrera crossfuse .
I am confused between a few things.

Is it better to have more power or to have a lighter bike ? I mean does a lighter bike not need as much power for instance to get it up hills .
I know I want a lot of miles to the battery . I would like to cycle about 40 miles with full on power in one go .
I would like to negotiate hills like I am almost on the flat .
The boardman seems to have a low power of 250 W compared to the carrera crossfuse of 400 W. So I worry will that get me up a hill easily . The boardman seems to only have same W as my current bike but is so much more expensive !!! Why ?
Any help would be great
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Hi everyone , advice please . I want to replace my electric bike ( a Carrera cross city foldable bike ) because I want more power on hills and the battery to last for more miles . My current bike gets about 25 miles in on low to middle power . . I have looked at two e bikes : boardman hyb 8.9e and Carrera crossfuse .
I am confused between a few things.

Is it better to have more power or to have a lighter bike ? I mean does a lighter bike not need as much power for instance to get it up hills .
I know I want a lot of miles to the battery . I would like to cycle about 40 miles with full on power in one go .
I would like to negotiate hills like I am almost on the flat .
The boardman seems to have a low power of 250 W compared to the carrera crossfuse of 400 W. So I worry will that get me up a hill easily . The boardman seems to only have same W as my current bike but is so much more expensive !!! Why ?
Any help would be great
My only observation would be (owning a Crossfire e) ..40 miles on full power in one go would maybe be pushing it. I dint generally ride in full power, try to keep to eco mode and i think i'd now get around 40 to 50 miles, remembering my battery is now around 2 years old. Thats based on a circa 417Wh / 11.58Ah battery and i seem to remember they quote 60 miles range...and i suspect that is'nt on full power, probably eco mode.

Battery capacity is going to be very important to you to get 40 miles on full power.
 
Firstly - just to make sure that you know - but the legal limit for a legal ebike in the EU is 250W - hence the rating you mention above for the Boardman.
You seem to have the rating for the Carrera wrong - it is 400 Wh not 400 W - this is a measure of the battery capacity not the motor power - the 2 motors are both rated as 250w.

My current ebike (Raleigh Motus) uses the same power systme as the Carrera (Bosch) but has a smaller battery - I know that I generally can get over 40 miles out of one full charge. However this is normally on the second lowest power setting and there are no serious hills around here. I think you might get 40 miles on full power with the bigger batteries (measure in either Wh or Ah) on the Bosch systems.
As far as the Boardman goes - it looks like a much better system - better bike and better motor - but may have less torque to get you up hills (???) and you need to check the battery capacity of the 2.
As far as weight goes - th Boardman looks much better - but that is misleading. The majority of the weight the bike is pulling along is just you (unless you are very very small and light!) so saving a few grammes in the bike makes very little difference in percentage terms to the total. I would suspect that you would be better off with a motor with more torque rather than one that is a bit lighter

You might try looking at the Raleigh range as well as the others - look at the Motus Grand Tour possibly - or the Woosh range
 

the snail

Guru
Location
Chippenham
I think the lighter weight options tend to give less assist than you want. I think you need something with good torque and gearing to get you up the hills, and a big battery to give you range. I think 40 miles in very hilly country on max assist carrying a lot of weight is a big ask. I have a tongsheng conversion with 17.5ah battery, and it will do what you want, just about. One advantage of going for a more generic system like tongsheng or bafang is that batteries are cheaper than bosch etc, so it might be feasible to buy a spare battery to extend your range. Woosh etc would be worth talking to.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Thje 250w vs 400w is a bit misleading.
The crossfire Suntour system is 250watt, but they also state 400w max. I think thats maybe the maximum output, perhaps under load, pulling away, but it is 250w under normal load.
You may find its a bit of advertising gimikery, probably most manufacturers have a peak wattage over the legal limit or 250w, but that's just normal.

Torque is what you need to be interested in with hills. The Suntour system is 50nm, quite grunty tbf. Many systems are less, thats where you will struggle on hills.
 
OP
P

Poppppy

New Member
My only observation would be (owning a Crossfire e) ..40 miles on full power in one go would maybe be pushing it. I dint generally ride in full power, try to keep to eco mode and i think i'd now get around 40 to 50 miles, remembering my battery is now around 2 years old. Thats based on a circa 417Wh / 11.58Ah battery and i seem to remember they quote 60 miles range...and i suspect that is'nt on full power, probably eco mode.

Battery capacity is going to be very important to you to get 40 miles on full power.
Thank you so much . I notice the battery capacity of my old bike is 313wh and the boardmans is 250 wh . Yet they suggest I can do 30 miles on my old bike and 60 miles on the boardmans . Which doesn't make sense on those figures alone . I am learning therefore to the carrera crossfuse as it sets the capacity at 400 wh and 80 miles range is quoted. So sounds like it would do my 40 miles more convincingly
 
OP
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Poppppy

New Member
I think the lighter weight options tend to give less assist than you want. I think you need something with good torque and gearing to get you up the hills, and a big battery to give you range. I think 40 miles in very hilly country on max assist carrying a lot of weight is a big ask. I have a tongsheng conversion with 17.5ah battery, and it will do what you want, just about. One advantage of going for a more generic system like tongsheng or bafang is that batteries are cheaper than bosch etc, so it might be feasible to buy a spare battery to extend your range. Woosh etc would be worth talking to.
Thankyou for this . I note the boardman is only 7 ah and my old bike is 8.7 ah so does that mean the boardmans has a lesser range . But it is quoted as 60 mile range and my old bike as 30 mile range
. I dont understand that .
 
OP
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Poppppy

New Member
Thje 250w vs 400w is a bit misleading.
The crossfire Suntour system is 250watt, but they also state 400w max. I think thats maybe the maximum output, perhaps under load, pulling away, but it is 250w under normal load.
You may find its a bit of advertising gimikery, probably most manufacturers have a peak wattage over the legal limit or 250w, but that's just normal.

Torque is what you need to be interested in with hills. The Suntour system is 50nm, quite grunty tbf. Many systems are less, thats where you will struggle on hills.
Thank you for that as I didnt see the torque for the crossfuse in halford spec .
So is that crossfuse torque is 50 nm and it says boardman torque is 60 nm . So does that mean it could be more powerful than the carrera .
A kind person on here has said they are all 250 watt power by law . It's the battery capacity that is referenced in wh that differs 400 wh for the crossfuse and 250 wh for the boardman. But as my old bike is 313wh then does that mean the miles I will cover is less on the boardman than my old bike ?!
 
OP
P

Poppppy

New Member
Firstly - just to make sure that you know - but the legal limit for a legal ebike in the EU is 250W - hence the rating you mention above for the Boardman.
You seem to have the rating for the Carrera wrong - it is 400 Wh not 400 W - this is a measure of the battery capacity not the motor power - the 2 motors are both rated as 250w.

My current ebike (Raleigh Motus) uses the same power systme as the Carrera (Bosch) but has a smaller battery - I know that I generally can get over 40 miles out of one full charge. However this is normally on the second lowest power setting and there are no serious hills around here. I think you might get 40 miles on full power with the bigger batteries (measure in either Wh or Ah) on the Bosch systems.
As far as the Boardman goes - it looks like a much better system - better bike and better motor - but may have less torque to get you up hills (???) and you need to check the battery capacity of the 2.
As far as weight goes - th Boardman looks much better - but that is misleading. The majority of the weight the bike is pulling along is just you (unless you are very very small and light!) so saving a few grammes in the bike makes very little difference in percentage terms to the total. I would suspect that you would be better off with a motor with more torque rather than one that is a bit lighter

You might try looking at the Raleigh range as well as the others - look at the Motus Grand Tour possibly - or the Woosh range
Thank you so much for this . You stopped me making a big error on deciding which is best so thank you . Can I ask you further then . I now see the torque on boardman is quoted as 60 nm . Someone quoted on here that the crossfuse carrera is 50 nm .
So I am thinking similar . But the wh which I think you are saying denote the miles you can do on a full battery are as follows .
Boardman 250 wh miles suggested does 60
My old bike 312 wh " " " 30 !!!
Crossfuse 400wh " " " 80

I am confused as to why boardman seems to have less capacity than my old bike. So do you think it wont cover the miles it says and will be just as bad in mileage as my old bike .
I dont mind so much if I end up with a new bike of similar power to my cross city carrera but I would be upset if it couldnt cover much more mileage for the same setting ( power or speed or feel of effort I am putting in ) if you know what I mean.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Lots of questions Popppy, that's good. Another way to think about things and the mileage you can achieve.
You state you want to run 40 miles, full power, on one charge.
Why full power ?
Is it because you want to go fast, to get to A to B fast, or is it to minimise the effort you put in
The way it can work is, and this is why when you study the mileages a particular bike can achieve, they state say 80 miles, but that's in eco mode. As you use more power, it say sprint or climb mode, the mileage you achieve out of the same battery decreases. But you know that.
In realty you can think about it in another way...
If I ride in eco, I will use x amount of the battery and ride at say 12.5 mph at a steady pedalling force, or effort from me.
If I ride in turbo, I will use far more battery, but my speed will be, say 15.5 mph....and this is the important part, using the same pedalling force.
In short, using higher modes simply makes you go faster, your pedalling force stays generally the same if you want it to.
If you pedal harder, once you reach 15.5 to 16 mph the motor cuts out and you are the one providing the power.

So if you want to pootle or are not interested in maximising speed, you dont need to ride in the highest power mode. You will do your 40 miles easily but take a bit longer.

If you want to get from A to B as fast as possible, or be as fit as you can be, then of course you need a high power mode.

Sounds obvious and apologies if I'm stating the obvious...
 
The mileage quoted seems to be a bit of marketing more than actual facts
b)
There may be an accepted way of measuring it but I have never seen one and I have seen a lot of dubious claims

If you think about it the mileage claims are not all that relelvant because it totally depends on circumstances
e.g.
a) since the weather has warmed up I have noticed that my battery lasts a lot longer
b) if I get a move on I can get up beyond the 15.5. motor cutoff on some long flat stretches - hence I may be doing some of the distance with the motor not contributing - hence not using any battery
c) the wind is different every day - as is the traffic. If I am riding into the wind I will use more battery - if I am constantly slowing down and re-accelerating then this uses loads more battery - a smooth clam ride uses a lot less than a ride where you are constantly changing speed
and a lot of other stuff

so any quoted mileage will be based on the lowest power setting - they almost never quote range in max modes - and on nice flat windless roads - which is not really relevant to any real world situation

so - the only mileage you can trust comes from real people who use a similar bike in the real world. e.g. my ebike has a Bosch ActiveLine motor with a Powerpack300 battery (8 ish Ah I think) and I can easily do over 40 miles in Tour mode (second lowest assistance) on fairly flat roads
I assume the bigger batteries will simply increase the range in proportion to their capacity
This is now - when the weather was cold and windier the range would struggle to get to 40 miles - even though the battery is always kept indoors and warm when not being used!
 

gzoom

Senior Member
I replied party to your query in the other thread, but both the Boardman and Crossfire will a much nicer ride than your current folding bike.

With the Fazua system you really are getting a 'premium' software/support experience, the latest software update is very good and allows you to 'overboost' the motor to over 250Watts.

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Am currently getting about 60 miles 'range' out fo the Boardman, the system is very good for hills but sadly will not let you 'negotiate hills like I am almost on the flat'. You still need to put the effort in, this video below shows that the Fazua system is designed to do. Watch from the 4:10 mark, you can see the difference it makes to climbing up a reasonable climb, but if you want to sit back and chill it will not do that for you.

View: https://youtu.be/SqyPQ5eAgCY?t=259


The analogy I can make is climbing a 5-10% incline on my Boardman feels just about as hard as on my sub 8kg carbon road bike, though if your spinning it in bottom gear the Boardman is 'easier' but not any faster, if the climb was to go for over 0.5 miles I think the Boardman would win out interms of effort though some of that is the gearing on the bikes, but without the electric support the Boardman couldn't get close to my Trek. The fact the Fazua system can make a bike like the Hybrid e get anything close to the climbing performance of a out and out Trek Carbon road bike shouldn't be under-estimated.

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I'm going to do a little experiment later this weekend if I have time, and go on a tackle a decent 0.5 mile hill I did last week on my road bike that ramps up to nearly 14% at one point on the Boardman and report back. My suspicion is the Boardman wouldn't be any quicker but will feel easier, but I bet I will still be pretty breathless at the top of the climb!! Will report back if I get time to go out :smile:.

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Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The Boardman achieves its range because it has a 'light assist' motor, which is cleverly controlled by the premium Fazua system.

Crank drives also tend to be a little more economical than hubs because they encourage the rider to make use of the gears.

I'm not familiar with the motor on your folder, and the controller plays a part, but most legal hub motors give a similar amount of poke.

In other words, don't expect a huge power difference from any of the bikes on your shortlist.

A test ride would be wise to avoid disappointment.

That might be hard to arrange in today's climate, and hard to arrange in any climate for the Halfords bikes.

The Raleigh Motus is an excellent bike with the same Bosch motor, and is sold by dealers who almost certainly do test rides.

The answer to your other query is shorter.

You are most unlikely to get 40 miles on full chat from any ebike.

A 500wh battery might stand a chance, but you could really do with a bigger battery.

Bosch make a 600wh+ version of their Powertube battery which would almost certainly do the job, but bikes using that battery tend to be spendy.
 

gzoom

Senior Member
I'll do more detailed write up later, but with the Fazua assist on 300Watts, I managed to get the 14% hill within 5 seconds of the Trek road bike. Considering the Trek weighs 7.8kg with pedals versus 15.6kg of the Boardman, is running ultra stiff DuraAce Carbon wheels, with full clip on shoes, and the ride I just did now was with mudguards, rear light, in normal work shoes that is might impressive display of what electric assist can do!!

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I than went up the hill again but with no assist, nearly 30 seconds slower!

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For good measure, I did the same hill a third time with the assist on 250Watts, barely 2 second slower than my first effort.

HOWEVER to the OP, these efforts were pretty hard going, I thought I was going to fall off at one point one of the runs, it most certainly wasn't like cycling on the flat :sad:.

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