Consider an eMTB

Randall

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I bought an eMTB about 2 months ago. It is so much fun. I really think this type of bike is in a sweet zone - it's legal wherever a bicycle is legal. Part of the reason is it's limitation - the pedal assistance gives out at 25kmh. In the bush, speeds greater than 25 don't seem to happen that often. Even down hill - that could be the type of trails I'm riding and my reluctance to take my eyes off the line between or over the rocks to look at the speedo. Since the whole isolation thing I've been doing more exploring on the bike; the purpose made tracks at mtb parks are closed. So, I've been checking out 4wd tracks, single track, fence track, fire trail - all sorts of stuff. Sometimes a bit of road, but only when I have too. Were you a kid who used to explore? It's just like that. Just head out and try different tracks. I don't use gps; I couldn't be bothered. I tend to have land marks to work with - Tassie is like that. The other great thing is that I haven't lost any fitness. Around the burbs I ride this ancient heavy mtb and I'm probably fitter than what I was. Where I take the eMTB it is mostly up or down, and really steep and technical. So, 20 or 30km is a real workout. I take a 30litre pack with some tools, tube, water, nut bars, and survival gear, extra light top, phone, compass - you know, all the good stuff. Still only about 3kg. Picture is of the bike I have, but there are lots of good bikes.

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T.C.

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I've been seriously thinking of getting since I sold my motorbike.
 

Randall

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I've been seriously thinking of getting since I sold my motorbike.
In a way, they are kind of more freedom than a motorbike. They are expensive, in comparison, if you're not familiar with mtb. Mtb are generally much higher quality components etc than motorbikes. I've been amazed that I've been able to have such a bike for the cost. Yesterday I went for a ride with a friend, it was mostly exploratory. We were gone for three hours and only did 28km. We were both pretty tired; some monster climbs and descents. And we managed to get from my place to an mtb park through bushland :p; it was such a good ride. Lots of steep dead end tracks that were made short term for wood gathering - we'd ride straight up the other side to the ridge to get out. I still like non e mtb, but the emtb is awesome where it is steep. We ride up track that people generally only ride down. I remember riding in the same area and I was buggered after 10km - just a couple of big climbs and some walks with bike on shoulder. I bushwalk too, but many of these tracks are so steep and loose that they are precarious to walk down or up. Even using one as an suv, exploring forestry and 4wd tracks. If you're reasonably strong (I'm not, but I work on it) you can lift it over fences and gates too - I've had to many times now. And fallen trees - sometimes the bush is so tight that it is easier to climb over the tree. On a motorbike, I'd just have to turn back or look for another way. And, if you're running out of day, you can always hit a road if one is close by, legally, without registration, and zoom home in a nano second :) I try to avoid roads though - I consider them danger spots.
 
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Kindliing

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Don't know much about them mate, any idea what they'd be like with a pack trailer in tow?
Maybe man's best friend with a seat back there too navigating?
 

Randall

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Don't know much about them mate, any idea what they'd be like with a pack trailer in tow?
Maybe man's best friend with a seat back there too navigating?
Whatever works for an mtb will work with an emtb. Emtb's are just heavier. Around 22-24kg. Mine is about the 24kg. Consider the range though. The steeper and rougher the country, your weight, assistance level, tyre choice etc - all effect range. Where I am and what I ride (generally steep and technical), low assistance - 40km with some to spare (probably another 5km). With a bit more assistance I'd expect 45km with some to spare. On undulating forestry road I'd expect 60 - 70km (60km on trail mode, 70km on eco mode). I'm about 80kg. I'd just leave it on low assistance (eco for economy) for easy going gravel road. By myself I stay on eco, boost it up to trail (it's about low med) for very steep technical stuff (beyond the average 4wd); when I ride with a fit friend who is also on an ebike, I leave it on trail. A trailer would take more of a power hit of course. Climbing is what uses the power most. Some dudes go by feet climbed. This is a pretty good eMTB youtube channel, lots of general information. For bike reviews, especially what's available in Australia, I really like this guy. If you were going on a trip, I'd probably stick to a normal mtb. You should do the same km if you're reasonably fit, and not have to worry about recharging. The e bike would be awesome if you were just going out for the day, with or without your trailer and dog. If you were taking a trailer, there'd be no reason not to take an extra battery; they are expensive though, up to $1,000? Mine is suppose to be good for 1000 charges, which is insane. That's around 30,000km; that's really the life of a bike. I often ride around 25 - 40km, but I'd recharge just in case because I'm pretty random :) The battery will also deteriorate a bit over time - I'm working on 10 years; so I'm going to use it as much as possible within that 10 years. I would be impressed if I get anything near 20,000km with the riding I do. I will have used about 5 sets of drive train (2 chains, 1 cluster, front chain ring is one drive train), wheels will be knackered, brake rotors worn through or replaced, bearings (including frame linkage bearings) replaced, suspension overhauls etc. It could retire to an easy urban life, which is what I've done now with my old mtb. Like all things though, I expect batteries will get much cheaper in the near future. I believe ebikes will be much more common in the next few years, so scale of economy. Although our dollar is going to take a huge hit yet. If you can, I'd probably try to buy before new stock is ordered in - a 2020 model; not wait for a 2021 model which will come out mid year or so. Realistically I might get 10 or 12,000km, and just get a new battery? Just forestry type roads expect many more kms; 2 or 3 times more I'm guessing.
 
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Kindliing

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Whatever works for an mtb will work with an emtb. Emtb's are just heavier. Around 22-24kg. Mine is about the 24kg. Consider the range though. The steeper and rougher the country, your weight, assistance level, tyre choice etc - all effect range. Where I am and what I ride (generally steep and technical), low assistance - 40km with some to spare (probably another 5km). With a bit more assistance I'd expect 45km with some to spare. On undulating forestry road I'd expect 60 - 70km (60km on trail mode, 70km on eco mode). I'm about 80kg. I'd just leave it on low assistance (eco for economy) for easy going gravel road. By myself I stay on eco, boost it up to trail (it's about low med) for very steep technical stuff (beyond the average 4wd); when I ride with a fit friend who is also on an ebike, I leave it on trail. A trailer would take more of a power hit of course. Climbing is what uses the power most. Some dudes go by feet climbed. This is a pretty good eMTB youtube channel, lots of general information. For bike reviews, especially what's available in Australia, I really like this guy. If you were going on a trip, I'd probably stick to a normal mtb. You should do the same km if you're reasonably fit, and not have to worry about recharging. The e bike would be awesome if you were just going out for the day, with or without your trailer and dog. If you were taking a trailer, there'd be no reason not to take an extra battery; they are expensive though, up to $1,000? Mine is suppose to be good for 1000 charges, which is insane. That's around 30,000km; that's really the life of a bike. I often ride around 25 - 40km, but I'd recharge just in case because I'm pretty random :) The battery will also deteriorate a bit over time - I'm working on 10 years; so I'm going to use it as much as possible within that 10 years. I would be impressed if I get anything near 20,000km with the riding I do. I will have used about 5 sets of drive train (2 chains, 1 cluster, front chain ring is one drive train), wheels will be knackered, brake rotors worn through or replaced, bearings (including frame linkage bearings) replaced, suspension overhauls etc. It could retire to an easy urban life, which is what I've done now with my old mtb. Like all things though, I expect batteries will get much cheaper in the near future. I believe ebikes will be much more common in the next few years, so scale of economy. Although our dollar is going to take a huge hit yet. If you can, I'd probably try to buy before new stock is ordered in - a 2020 model; not wait for a 2021 model which will come out mid year or so. Realistically I might get 10 or 12,000km, and just get a new battery? Just forestry type roads expect many more kms; 2 or 3 times more I'm guessing.
They do sound a little expensive still for someone who's only mildly curious.

However they do sound like an amazing getaway machine on forest tracks if you live close enough to a town to go home to recharge.

Your right about batter technology , batteries are getting amazing these days.

Be good to plug a solar panel into it out at a bush camp.

Even to have a solar panel fixed to the pack rack or trailer to charge while moving .
 
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Randall

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I don't know about solar charging Kindling. Mine is a 504 watt hour battery. Most are around this size, some are bigger. If it's nearly flat I think it takes up to 5 hours to charge. I'm guessing you'd need a pretty big panel and a fair bit of time. Your idea might be feasible for mobile phone, aa batteries for lights etc. If I was camping I'd go non e bike. No, not for the mildly curious unless you're decadently wealthy :).
 
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Kindliing

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Once the solar panel formula babble starts I'm outta there. :oops:

I'm waiting on a panel and a battery now I ordered for camping btw.

Your right , lights and charging mobile phones.

Emtbs maybe good for people after knee surgery.

The normal mtbs be getting pushed up hills.
 

Chigger

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Only a month ago bought this NCM Moscow Plus EMTB and am very pleased with it. Quite a large 48V 16AH battery and 250W motor. Have taken it for a long ride plenty of hills mostly bitumen with a 15km stretch of rather corrugated dirt road.

Did a lot of pedal assist at first as did not want to be marooned well out of town with a flat battery. Some steep hills nearing home.

50km run and I did not need to worry about flat battery as there was still plenty of battery capacity left. Have read these NCM's will do 72km's on charge with care taken.

One thing I really like is the rigid frame which enables a pannier rack and panniers to be fitted which I have done.

As soon as the virus travel restrictions are lifted will go out on some overnight camping expeditions which I am looking forward to.

Many of the places I go have little or no water at the campsites so being able to carry quantities of water will come in handy. It is pain hauling water for more than one day so all going well the NCM will come in handy as a water hauler.

NCM EMountain Cycle.JPG

Around town for shopping and the like with panniers the NCM is a really useful thing, as good as having a around town electric motor scooter.
 
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Randall

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Never heard of them - it sounds like you've done your homework though. Is it russian? Is it a hub motor? Mine is only pedal assist; it sounds as though yours can be pedal assist or just powered without pedalling :p. If I stop pedalling, there's no assistance. Awesome chigger. Do you like the freedom of it? I really think they're amazing. Oh, and it looks like you have normal length cranks - sheesh. Mine are small, 160mm - I normally run 175mm. I think eMTB that have the motors central have a lower ground clearance. In the bush I usually clunk a rock with one of the pedals each ride - I rarely did that with my non e MTB. It must be a benefit of your hub motor. Do you have the 25km/h limit with the assistance?
 
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Randall

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Thought this was interesting; other countries (UK, Europe, US) have been reporting the same thing.
 

Chigger

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Never heard of them - it sounds like you've done your homework though. Is it russian? Is it a hub motor? Mine is only pedal assist; it sounds as though yours can be pedal assist or just powered without pedalling :p. If I stop pedalling, there's no assistance. Awesome chigger. Do you like the freedom of it? I really think they're amazing. Oh, and it looks like you have normal length cranks - sheesh. Mine are small, 160mm - I normally run 175mm. I think eMTB that have the motors central have a lower ground clearance. In the bush I usually clunk a rock with one of the pedals each ride - I rarely did that with my non e MTB. It must be a benefit of your hub motor. Do you have the 25km/h limit with the assistance?
NCM are German origin although the cycle is made in China which seems the practice nowadays. The build quality is to a high standard and very strong construction. Came across the cycle on another forum and saw a guy I was acquainted using one so got the gen from him on his NCM. He was very pleased with his.
The reviews were good, a bug or two there but all the reviews gave the thumbs up on the machine. The NCM is a lot cheaper than the Trek's I saw down at the local cycle shop. The Trek's are more a sport adventure type machine.

A hub motor with pedal assist. That is start pedalling and the motor kicks in depending on the load. The amount of motor power can be set to different levels on a control panel.

No assist (that is motor switched off), light assist to full power. When set to full power is really torquey in the lower gears. Once in a moment of exhuberance had the front wheel lift up when taking off from the lights.

The 48V battery works out at 768W.

A largeish heavy cycle I think suited to riding on dirt roads, tracks and the like. Not a sport type machine where there would be jumping, sliding etc.

Has a feature that in real rough stuff can dismount and use walk assist. That is press a button and the motor will activate at a slow walking pace which should be handy when laden with panniers in rough country.

There is 25km/h limit so as to comply with the law although sometimes have seen 28 km/h. Guess it depends how hard one pedals.

Again, around town its like having a no registration costs electric scooter for zipping around town. With the two large Ortlieb panniers as in the photo can carry quite a large load.
 

Chigger

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Thought this was interesting; other countries (UK, Europe, US) have been reporting the same thing.
Saw that, on a Sunday ride at a local bike/walking path nearly ran over new chum cyclists wobbling all over the place.
 

Randall

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NCM are German origin although the cycle is made in China which seems the practice nowadays. The build quality is to a high standard and very strong construction. Came across the cycle on another forum and saw a guy I was acquainted using one so got the gen from him on his NCM. He was very pleased with his.
The reviews were good, a bug or two there but all the reviews gave the thumbs up on the machine. The NCM is a lot cheaper than the Trek's I saw down at the local cycle shop. The Trek's are more a sport adventure type machine.

A hub motor with pedal assist. That is start pedalling and the motor kicks in depending on the load. The amount of motor power can be set to different levels on a control panel.

No assist (that is motor switched off), light assist to full power. When set to full power is really torquey in the lower gears. Once in a moment of exhuberance had the front wheel lift up when taking off from the lights.

The 48V battery works out at 768W.

A largeish heavy cycle I think suited to riding on dirt roads, tracks and the like. Not a sport type machine where there would be jumping, sliding etc.

Has a feature that in real rough stuff can dismount and use walk assist. That is press a button and the motor will activate at a slow walking pace which should be handy when laden with panniers in rough country.

There is 25km/h limit so as to comply with the law although sometimes have seen 28 km/h. Guess it depends how hard one pedals.

Again, around town its like having a no registration costs electric scooter for zipping around town. With the two large Ortlieb panniers as in the photo can carry quite a large load.
Awesome. Yes, you're right, most high end bikes are made somewhere in Asia - mine was made in Taiwan. Wow, big battery, mine is only 504wh. I have walk assist too, but it isn't intelligent. What I mean is it runs at one speed. So I'm usually on a really steep climb struggling to stay on my feet, so obviously I'm in the lowest gear. The assist feature is about 2km/h in lowest gear :ROFLMAO:. Ideally, if it is about 10th gear it is useful; but I'm not about to take my hands off the brakes (the bike and me are helping each other not to slide) to lift the rear wheel and work through the gears. My friend has a giant brand, and no matter what gear he's in he gets usable support. I've only ever used the highest setting for assistance once. Eco mode can get me up any hill that isn't technical; trail mode if I'm climbing over rock ledges etc on the hill. If I don't make it it is because of my skill level. I did 28km yesterday - all bush, monster hills :) On the descents I have to focus on brake and release so that the oil doesn't boil in the brake lines. It's a furious ride down, exciting, trying to pick a line, dodge rocks, in and out of big wash out ruts.
 

Chigger

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Downhill runs can be exciting at times, that is for sure and brake overheating has to be kept in mind.
 

Randall

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This is on top of the nearby range. I ride from our front door - it's about 800m on very steep road to get to the trail head. From the trail head it's about a 2km drop down then about a 2km climb up to this point. It's rocky and wild. This is in the Meehan range mtb area - I cross the boundary about 1km back. I have a plethora of tracks to choose from here; I don't often see anyone. I really love this freedom and adventure.

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Chigger

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Over the past week have done a number of rides on my eMTB exploring an area of forest I used to drive about in. Refreshing my memory of tracks not visited for quite a few years.
Next ride will be to look for a suitable campsite for a overnight camp. Here is an collection of photos taken on different rides.

A mud wallow was encountered.

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A view before descending

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Down further on

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On a rocky track found a aged tree fungi which is the first I have seen for a few years. Collected this for fire lighting with flint and steel.

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This steep rocky track went for more than 2 kms. Not possible to ride due to the loose rock so had to hoof it using walk assist mode which was a great help.

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All in all gained a great deal of knowledge on the capabilities of the NCM Moscow Plus. Sorted out a number of issues such a putting on a pannier bag to carry heavy items which lowered my centre of gravity and could then have somewhere to put extra or excess clothing.

Think I have sorted things out and will not be long before a overnight camping trip which for sure in the middle of winter will be good and chilly.

One of the reasons purchased the bike as many of the tracks have deterioated to the point are no longer negotiable by 4WD.
 
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Randall

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I'm not fond of mud myself :ROFLMAO:. Got caught in the rain the other day - too much work cleaning things up again (drive train etc). That rocky climb you've got is similar to what I have, along with deep erosion channels. The weight bias with these things is to the rear. Would you consider putting a racks and small panniers on the front? It would help with climbing. May the adventures continue :)
 

Chigger

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Mud is a confounded nuisance and on the next run got off the bike and walked around the bogs. To much cleaning and re oiling of chaingear etc.

Would like to put panniers on the front forks but unfortunately there are not any studs there for a rack. Will look around and see if there is a pannier that will fit. Have to be careful though as NCM are really toey about modifications and warranty.
 

Randall

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I'm thinking of setting up my ancient urban mtb so that I can take it touring - Maria island for example. It's a cheap heavy frame with cheap heavy suspension forks but it's tough and robust. I will probably get this rack, or a similar design by no name company. The beauty of this rack is that it keeps the weight low down which makes steering easier. The disadvantage is if you're manoeuvring between big rock, logs or there is bush crowding the edges of single track - things like that. I don't think I'd do a technical ride if I was touring though. Maria island is pretty easy that way.
 
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