E-Bike Gravel Road Climbing Comparison | Is A 25Kph Limit Too Slow?

E-Bike Gravel Road Climbing Comparison | Is A 25Kph Limit Too Slow?


– The thing with e-bikes
is that it can sometimes send your senses totally haywire. Especially when it
comes to speed at least. Now we’re talking about
the restriction on e-bikes, and we’ve heard a lot of
incredibly bright people say that 25km an hour is simply too slow. And in this video we’re
gonna be exploring just that. Is it too slow? (upbeat music) 25kms an hour, is it too slow? I think part of the issue
here is the fact that we have turbo, boost, extra power,
call it what you will. And because we have that power mode we feel compelled to use it. And the thing is, once you do that it puts things out of perspective, rather than into perspective, because once you’ve been there you find it quite hard to go back. In fact I’ve heard a
lot of people say that if e-bikes didn’t have turbo mode they wouldn’t be using them. What I think is that, where the hell are you riding your bike? So today we have got a range of bikes to test this 25kms an hour argument. And then see how easy it is to get to and maybe beyond that limit. So three bikes. First off is a road gravel bike. Then we have traditional
mountain bike 140mm travel. And finally an e-bike. And we’re gonna be ridin’ the e-bike, first of all with the motor off then we’re gonna ride it in
eco, trail and boost mode. To go through the three bikes, the first up is a gravel bike. It’s a full carbon frame,
carbon wheels and 28mm tires. It’s actually built for tarmac roads and roads such as these in the hills. Over to the mountain bike. It’s a 29 inch wheel
bike, 135-140mm travel. Carbon frame, it’s got
semi-soft compound tires. And it’s a well known fly machine. Over to the e-bike. Again 135, 140, 150mm travel. Also with semi-soft compound
tires, and disc brakes. And first up I will agree
that the 25km an hour restriction can be quite
frustrating on occasions. And it would be naive of
me not to agree with that. But mostly, it’s on terrains
such as flat towpaths, fire roads, tarmac roads, and on occasion those gently dippin’ single tracks where’s it’s 50/50 where
you’re above the 25k rule. But today, we’re gonna do two time tests. Let’s go and dive in. Now today’s first test is
a reasonably flat fire road between one and a half
and two minutes long. And I’m gonna be ridin’ the
three bikes on this section with a good solid effort from me involved. (upbeat music) Oh, oh man. Oh my god. Wow. That’s a bit of a reminder, difference between a gravel bike and a mountain bike is massive. I mean, even though
there’s 2.35 tires on this the effort involved is considerably different to a road gravel bike. I can tell ya. That was quite interestin’. In the trail. Sorry, in the trail on boost mode, on a flat track it’s quite a smooth track. You can easily get to the 25k restriction. Whereas you can’t get there
so easily in eco on this bike. But what’s noticeable between
the three bikes, five modes is that on the gravel bike you’re not held back at all so you’ve not restrictor on you. So you can go as fast as you want. So one flat road, one sunny day and the results are
really quite interesting. First up we rode the road and gravel bike. And we got a time of one
minute 30 over that distance. And the interesting thing about that was I able to go above the
25kms an hour restriction, I was unrestricted. And my average speed, and sorry to go from kilometers
an hour to miles an hour, my average speed was 17 miles
an hour over the distance. When I swapped to the mountain bike, it felt massively more physical to do the same effort over that distance. And the time reflected
that, with a one minute 52. Which was a huge 22 second
difference over the gravel bike. And then of course we moved to the e-bike with the motor off. And what was quite interesting was the effort was quite similar and the time was also identical at one minute 52. And what’s interesting was the average speed was 13.6 miles an hour. Obviously so that’s
below the 15 mile an hour restrictor on an e-bike. Now obviously we saw a
big drop in the times when we switched the
motor on on the e-bike. We went down to one minute
38 in eco mode on the e-bike which was still eight seconds
slower than the gravel bike. But still a big jump between
it and the mountain bike and e-bike with the motor off. Then of course we went into
trail mode on the e-bike. And again another drop in
time, another five seconds off down to one 33 still not as close as the gravel bike, but getting there. Now the interesting thing here now is that we’re getting into that
25km an hour restriction. So you’re constantly going above and below trying to fight that
restrictor on the e-bike. And finally in turbo mode
we get a one minute 30. Which is exactly the same time
as we got on the gravel bike. So again, you’re trying
to fight that limiter on that e-bike but the
time is exactly the same. Again, one flat track, one sunny day. On a different day it might be different. And now more so than we changed to some rougher terrain, steeper terrain, and then the results
would be quite different. One other thing I need to
mention is the fact that not all e-bikes are made different. So when you actually get beyond that 25km an hour restriction. Then each motor reacts quite differently. So on some e-bikes it’s
actually harder work to cycle past the 25km an hour
restrictor than on others. Now the reason why it’s
easier on some bikes to pedal past the 25km an hour restrictor. Is that some e-bikes decouple
when you get to that point. So it’s actually like
pedaling a normal bike. Whereas some bikes it’s a
little bit heavier effort when you get past that 25k’s. For the second test we move
to a gradual hill climb. It’s nothin’ serious, we’ve gone from flat to somethin’ a bit like that. Again, the three bikes head to head. Surface conditions are super smooth. So it doesn’t really matter
so much about the tires, as on the previous stage, so. Count me in Josh, and
let’s just go for it. Three, two, one. (upbeat music) Whoah, oh my god. (pants) Wow, quite different. Quite a difference there. Even on a slight gradient the difference between a
road bike and mountain bike and an e-bike is really quite significant. But before we take a look at the results, I want to talk about a few other things that are gonna impact the times when it comes to climbing up hills. The first thing is a rider’s weight. Now, a rider who weighs 50 or 60 kilos is obviously gonna be a
lot quicker up the hill than a rider who weighs 90 to 100 kilos. So that’s one things that’s
gonna impact on the results. The second thing is the
tires and the tire pressures. Now high tire pressures,
harder compound tires are gonna be quicker uphill. So that’s also, it’s gonna have impact also on you reachin’ the 25km an hour restriction on your e-bike. And as I mentioned earlier, the gradient. We’ve just done quite a mellow gradient. As the gradients become
steeper and steeper, so I’d imagine becomes your possibility to keep your sustainable
speed limit up that hill. Now it obviously no surprise
that this gradual hill is gonna yield quite different results to what we found on the
flat fire track earlier on. So, got times in. The gravel bike did the
climb in 1 minute dead. And average speed about 8.8 miles an hour. Obviously the longer this hill goes on, the more difficult it’s become for you to sustain that climb. Mountain bike, one minute 12. So 12 seconds slower
than the gravel road bike which is no surprise. And then the e-mountain
bike with the motor off was three seconds slower again. So one minute 15 on the e-bike motor off compared to the gravel bike on that climb. However, it’s when you switch the power on on the e-bike that things really begin to change quite significantly. Now remember this hill
climb is quite gradual, it’s nothin’ serious. But the time differences
are quite significant. Remember that the road and
gravel bike did one minute with an average speed of
about six mile an hour. Now the e-bike in eco
mode did an average speed of 12 mile an hour, in 36 seconds. So that’s almost half the time
of that road and gravel bike. When you go up through the modes into trail and into turbo modes, the times are not too dissimilar. About 36 and 35 seconds,
again in trail and turbo. And this shows again
in those average speeds of about 12 to 13 miles an hour. So where does this all come into? Well the argument that
is that 15 mile an hour or 25k’s as a conversion. Is actually too slow. Well, we’ve just proved on
a very gradual hill climb, you’re still under that limit. So that’s only gonna get even lower when you get onto steeper
and steeper hill climbs. So I’m not so sure it’s
such a good argument. Because it all depends on where you ride. So if you ride on flat
roads, or tarmac roads, you might actually be better
off with a gravel or road bike. Whereas if you ride in the mountains, you need a mountain bike. If you’re ridin’ hills
you need a mountain bike. And you definitely need an e-bike. I think more than anything what
this short test has proved, is how quickly an e-bike
can mess with your senses. It really can send them haywire. Especially with that
turbo and trail button. It’s also proved another couple of things. And that is how made for purpose
a road and gravel bike is. Especially when it comes
to smooth surfaces, tarmac and fire roads. What was also quite interesting was the fact that an e-bike,
even with the motor off was quite close in time
to a normal mountain bike. Now obviously that will
become a far bigger gap when you got a bigger hill, and you can’t sustain such a climb. But nevertheless it’s
really quite interesting. But I think when it comes back to, is 25k too slow? Then maybe you should recalibrate. Have a look at riding your e-bike in eco mode far more often. Try to ride your e-bike with your mates on normal mountain bikes more often. Try to ride different routes. Try to make different e-bike tracks. Instead of ridin’ your e-bike
on mountain bike tracks, try makin’ specific mountain
bike tracks for your ride. Hope you like this feature,
give us a thumbs up if you do. If you want to see more hill
climb or feature type videos check out Olly Wilkins 1000 Foot Dead, I think’s it’s down in this area. Please subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already done so. And definitely leave your comments below. Because we know this
is quite a hot subject. Thanks for watching.