Author Topic: Audaxing on an e-bike  (Read 3491 times)

Audaxing on an e-bike
« on: July 07, 2018, 03:35:58 pm »
Had a conversation, over a beer or two, with a friend who's ridden Audaxes for over 20 years.

I mentioned that somebody that I knew was planning on doing a BP event on an electrically assisted bike.

My friend was not happy about anybody using pedalling assistance on any sort of Audax, even when I brought up the fact that it was only a BP.

Anybody else have an opinion concerning e-bike use on an Audax?
I don't want to grow old gracefully. I want to grow old disgracefully.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 03:42:16 pm »
Audax UK does, and I think it's perfectly reasonable.

"You can ride but we won't validate your brevet."  AIUI
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 03:49:44 pm »
Indeed: 12.1 Machines: Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) may be ridden but such rides
are not eligible for validation

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 03:54:40 pm »
I don't see an issue in allowing them... there is an issue with validating brevets obtained with an e-bike, especially those brevets potentially leading to awards.

I suspect battery life combined with "dead mass" would limit their use to BP only regardless of AUK rules.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 03:59:32 pm »
I suspect battery life combined with "dead mass" would limit their use to BP only regardless of AUK rules.

I believe JennyB OTP has form for this sort of thing.  At the current state of technology, on longer rides it becomes a non-trivial challenge in battery management, not dissimilar from the challenge of managing sleep.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2018, 05:01:51 pm »
I suspect battery life combined with "dead mass" would limit their use to BP only regardless of AUK rules.

I believe JennyB OTP has form for this sort of thing.  At the current state of technology, on longer rides it becomes a non-trivial challenge in battery management, not dissimilar from the challenge of managing sleep.

Back of an envelope calculation, more or less you get 500Wh on a modern ebike battery. So at best, you can benefit from some meaningful help for about 5 hours.
Assuming someone who uses an e-bike is not a racing snake, it is realistic to think of a moving time for a 200 BR of about 10 hours... so half of the time the ebike helps, the other half hinders. With a wise use of the battery only on the inclines, it might still be an advantage. As the distance increases, I suspect it's more a hassle than anything... unless charging points become available

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 05:09:52 pm »
You can’t charge one from a dynamo?
R10000 x 2   RRtY x 6    SR x 7    E = 128

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 05:30:19 pm »
You can’t charge one from a dynamo?

That would be silly... considering no process is 100% efficient, you will spend more power to charge it than you get in return... also, I suspect charging a 15 Ah battery with a 36 V output with a dynamo might take some time.

To give you an idea... it's got the same charge of 30-40  modern smartphones

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2018, 06:00:11 pm »
I suspect battery life combined with "dead mass" would limit their use to BP only regardless of AUK rules.

I believe JennyB OTP has form for this sort of thing.  At the current state of technology, on longer rides it becomes a non-trivial challenge in battery management, not dissimilar from the challenge of managing sleep.

Back of an envelope calculation, more or less you get 500Wh on a modern ebike battery. So at best, you can benefit from some meaningful help for about 5 hours.
Assuming someone who uses an e-bike is not a racing snake, it is realistic to think of a moving time for a 200 BR of about 10 hours... so half of the time the ebike helps, the other half hinders. With a wise use of the battery only on the inclines, it might still be an advantage. As the distance increases, I suspect it's more a hassle than anything... unless charging points become available

And then you have to consider the tradeoff of how much charger weight you want to carry vs how much time you spend charging, and what the optimal battery pack size is.  And how that all fits in with sleeping, eating and the route.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2018, 06:29:05 pm »


And then you have to consider the tradeoff of how much charger weight you want to carry vs how much time you spend charging, and what the optimal battery pack size is.  And how that all fits in with sleeping, eating and the route.

True... although dedicated charging points would be more sophisticated than a normal 240 V socket, providing the correct voltage (around 5 V) already... so a simple cable would be enough.

I don't see a future in randonneuring, but in touring definitively...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2018, 06:56:07 pm »
True... although dedicated charging points would be more sophisticated than a normal 240 V socket, providing the correct voltage (around 5 V) already... so a simple cable would be enough.

Dedicated charging points for e-bikes are unlikely to happen any time soon, simply because it's reasonable to charge one from a bog standard ubiquitous mains socket (that the batteries are small enough to be carried makes this vastly more practical than with electric cars).  It might eventually happen if one manufacturer's system becomes a de-facto standard or if some EU regulation to reduce electronic waste creates a suitable standard for charging devices in the hundred-watt-hours range (think laptops and power tools), as they have with micro-USB for smaller ones.

E-bike batteries are typically a nominal 36V (24V is rapidly going out of fashion, and 48V isn't uncommon in high-performance systems).  They do not charge at 5V, and to do so (with appropriate converters) would either make for silly heavy cables and connectors (and needless I2R losses), or impractically long charging times.  Charging lithium-ion batteries quickly and safely requires electronic control, not a simple voltage source, so there's got to be something to control the charge either in the battery pack, or in the charging point.  If the charger is generic (as with electric car DC rapid charging points) the battery will need to identify itself so it can be charged appropriately, which would require a standard.  Until then, it's going to be a case of carrying the mains charger around with you, though there's no reason manufacturers couldn't integrate that with the battery pack if they wanted to, so you could just plug an IEC 'kettle lead' (or similar) in.


Quote
I don't see a future in randonneuring, but in touring definitively...

I can see some former randonneurs who are unable to ride unassisted due to disability/injury continuing to participate socially with the aid of e-bikes, but that's only ever going to be a small minority, and mostly on the shorter rides.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2018, 07:08:36 pm »
HK and I have been seeing tourers and loaded tourers using e-bikes in France for a couple of years. Some of the Swiss fast e-bikes are very impressive machines. Most of those we've chatted with seem to carry two batteries plus charger.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2018, 07:13:28 pm »
I suspect battery life combined with "dead mass" would limit their use to BP only regardless of AUK rules.

I believe JennyB OTP has form for this sort of thing.  At the current state of technology, on longer rides it becomes a non-trivial challenge in battery management, not dissimilar from the challenge of managing sleep.

Yes, I  tried the first Mille Failte and only managed the first day, mainly  because my night navigation was crap. Report here.

At that time my fitness level was such that my long distance  rolling average was about 20 kph on an unassisted bike, and around 25 kph assisted, using about 5 watt hours per km. I was carrying 20 amp hours of 36 volt battery which at that usage gave me well over 100 km between charges, so the plan was to take two rest, eat and recharge stops per day of a hour each, and recharge again while sleeping. I was using two 6 amp chargers in parallel, feeding directly into the battery. The trick is to use a Cycle Analyst to check how much current you used, and time the charging to stop when you reach 80% full. That way you don't go through the lengthy balancing phase, an hour will give you a full 12 amps

Needless to say, this is not the kindest way to treat a battery. I never had a bms on that battery, and now, with 4 years of abuse later, it's down to about 8 amp hours. Get the biggest battery you can afford, and charge it as slowly as you can bear, and only charge as much as you need to.

In short, with proper planning an ebike is a definite advantage over 200 km or so. Beyond that, there's probably no time advantage, but you'll get another hour or two of rest during the day.  When cycletouring I normally bring the battery in and recharge at cafe stops. I've never been refused yet.
Jennifer - walker of hills



Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 06:14:07 pm »
Nobody wins a prize for completing an audax and it has no bearing on my ride if others are on an E-bike.

I don't think there is much scope for hiding that you are on an e-bike and I'd imagine people would have a good reason for using one IE old age or injury?

Just be prepared to give me a tow in a headwind!


Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2018, 06:24:13 pm »
Indeed: 12.1 Machines: Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) may be ridden but such rides
are not eligible for validation

hmm, I though the validation was OK for BP's but not BR's; but apparently not

in which case why did peeps go apoplectic about it at the AGM a few years ago?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2018, 06:28:43 pm »
Because the Board allowed validation for BPs originally. More than half of those who subsequently voted on the subject thought that equating motor-assisted rides with human-powered rides in brevets was not appropriate.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2018, 06:32:57 pm »
ok thanks



Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2018, 06:43:29 pm »
So riding an e-bike is allowed in both BPs and BRs? But no validation.

I don't think there is much scope for hiding that you are on an e-bike
AIUI many big manufacturers like Canyon and Giant are now making road e-bikes which don't really look electric. The battery is integrated into the frame inconspicuously. So you could hide the fact that you're riding an e-bike if you really wanted to. But then audaxes don't have bike (thinks of trikes) cycle (thinks of eliptigos) vehicle checks anyway, so you could be riding anything.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2018, 08:01:42 pm »
Strictly speaking, AUK allows e-bikes to be ridden in BPs but not in BRs. Regardless of BP or BR, e-bike rides are not eligible for validation.

I think that AUK's event insurance would be somewhat compromised if ebikes were ridden in a BR but I'm not sure how compromised it would be.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2018, 08:04:57 pm »
Surely the potential insurance problem applies equally to BPs?
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2018, 08:07:28 pm »
No, because AUK specifically allows BPs to be ridden on e-bikes.

It was because of the insurance issue that the Board initially accepted e-bike rides for validation. The subsequent rule revision to allowing rides but not validation was acceptable to the majority of AUK members.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2018, 08:09:13 pm »
Ok, I thought you meant if AUK allowed e-bikes in BRs, and that the insurance somehow distinguished between the two.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2018, 11:30:11 am »
Give it a few years and e bikes will be virtually identical to ordinary bikes and batteries able to cover way longer distances than the present technology.

That will be my excuse when being overtaken by an elderly lady with a basket full of shopping.

BeMoreMike

  • Tries often, fails frequently.
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2018, 01:18:39 pm »
If we're currently witnessing the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine, thus seeing the rise of electric motorbikes where then will the line between e-bike and motorbike be drawn ?
Considering that Moped is a portmanteau of motor/pedal and if you go back to the pre war years small petrol engines that you retro fitted to bicycles were very popular

What would the reaction have been if you'd turned up to a brevet on one of these ?....actually, if e-bikes are now allowed could i dig one of these out of a museum and ride it now ?? :facepalm:

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Audaxing on an e-bike
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2018, 01:36:07 pm »
The arbitrary line drawn by government is that encompassed by the EAPC regulations - now harmonised with the EU 'Pedelec' definition (25kph, 250W, has to be electric, pedals have to turn, etc.), but older cycles conforming to the former BRITISH EAPC regs (basically the same but 200W for solo bikes and hand throttles allowed) are grandfathered.

AUK appears to be referring to this definition when it says:

Quote
12. Modifications of organisation and conduct applicable to Brevets Populaire
12.1 Machines: Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) may be ridden but such rides
are not eligible for validation

So combustion engines - even if restricted to 25kph and 250W - aren't allowed.  And neither are electric motor vehicles (which, in UK law, is anything that's not an EAPC or an Invalid Carriage).  Or class 2/3 Invalid Carriages, for that matter (though a class 2 wouldn't be able to achieve the minimum speed for a BP anyway).
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...