How far can you ride on a charge?
This is probably the number one question we get asked. And because there are so many variables, it is a difficult question to answer. It’s like asking “how long is a piece of string?” But as a guide, use the following numbers:
When riding on gently undulating paved surfaces and applying a reasonable degree of leg energy, you can expect to use around 7.5 watt-hours per kilometre;
When riding on hilly and windy off-road trails where you are often using higher levels of pedal assist and sometimes also using a thumb throttle, you can expect to use around 12 watt-hours per kilometre.
So, if all of your riding is going to be on paved surfaces and you never expect to ride more than 30 kms (which may take you 1 1/2 hours) then a battery size that would be adequate for you would be 300 watt-hours (30kms at 7.5 watt-hours per km = 225 watt-hours, but 300 watt-hours would give you some reserve).
On the other hand, if you want to be able to tackle a 40km trail ride – one which involves some steep-ish hills and tight turns – then you would want a battery size of at least 500 watt-hours (40 kms x 12 watt-hours per km = 480 watt-hours).
How do I calculate the watt-hours in a battery?
Watt-hours are calculated by multiplying volts x amp-hours. So a 36 volt bike with a 16 amp-hour battery is 36 x 16 = 576 watt-hours.
How do I maximise the distance I can ride on a charge?
First, use as much leg energy as possible. You have up to 200 watts of potential energy in your legs.
Second, always make sure you are using the mechanical (derailleur) gears first, followed by the battery assist. In other words, if you see a steep hill coming up, change down into 3rd gear or 2nd gear in your derailleur, then start increasing your pedal assist level.
Third, do as much of your riding as possible in the lower levels of pedal assist – level 1 or level 2.
And finally, remember that if you’ve gone into a higher level of pedal assist to climb a steep hill, revert back to a lower level as soon as you reach the crest of the hill.