Heavyweight vs Flyweight | The Effect Of Rider Weight On E-Bike Range

Heavyweight vs Flyweight | The Effect Of Rider Weight On E-Bike Range


– [Steven] They’re always
trying to get much more range of the batteries in our e-bikes right? – [Jess] Yeah. And one way to do that is put it in eco mode, right? – [Steven] Alternatively
you could shed some weight. – [Jess] What are you trying to say? – I’m trying to say you
need to get your own e-bike. – Wah! – Now it’s widely accepted
that one way to get more range out of your battery is weight loss. But, how much does weight affect the ride and how much can you get on one charge? So, today we’re going to be attempting to answer that question. All things being equal,
can a lighter rider go further than a heavier rider? – [Jess] So for the test today,
Steven and I are gonna be in boost mode from start to finish. We’ve got a trail lined up, which has got a bit of everything. It’s got plenty of climbing, descending and loads of single track. Now, we’ve kept everything that we can as consistent and similar as possible. So, it’s not going to be perfect science, but we’re doing the best
we can, not to be lab rats. – Exactly. And the key thing Jess, is
we’ve got two identical bikes, two Canyon Spectral:ONs. Jess’s is a size medium,
mine is size large and everything on those
bikes is identical, the handle bars, the stems,
the seats, the suspension, the gearing and obviously critically the tire pressures and
wheels on these bikes. – [Jess] Yep – But Jess, we’re going to be also riding in the same gear, right? – Yes, we are, same gear, same cadence, same track, single track,
everything as similar or the same as possible. So, I think what’s really
left to find out is how much do we weigh? – Let’s do it. – Okay it’s weigh-in time, first up, fatty. 96.4, and with a bag of
tubes, and some water, and a gimble we’re looking at 100 kilos point four. And a system weight with the bike of, and this is a size large
Canyon Spectral:ON. 123 kilos, 123 kilos point one. So, my weight with my
kit as I’m wearing it is, a sad 64 kilos. (whimpers) Must be the Shreddies. (laughs) So my system weight then,
with the bike, goes up to 86.6 kilos. – Now we’ve got a variety of
trails to choose from here in Avon Valley in South Wales. Ones such as Blue Scar, Penhydd, W2. But it’s the famous
trail the Wall, or Y Wal, as it’s known locally, is the
one we’re going to choose. It’s a red grade. It’s got a mix of everything single track, double track. How’s long is it Jess? – [Jess] It’s about 23
kilometers in length, with 450 meters of climbing. And as Steve said, it really
does have a mix of everything, which is perfect for this kind of test. And it actually has one of my
favorite descents at the end, which is zig-zag. – Yeah. (engaging music) – [Jess] So, Steven tire
pressures are the same and these bikes are both brand
new with fresh batteries, so we know that they haven’t suffered from any depletion from age. – [Steven] Yeah, and obviously when you’re riding in boost mode, I’m going to be taking
a tow rope just in case I need to tow you back. – [Jess] Oh really! – [Steven] Look, I’m only joking! – [Jess] Oh (laughter) – [Steven] Now if this
is a typical trail ride, tell me about the route, tell me about the surface
conditions along the way. – [Jess] So, there’s a mix
of quite forest single track, so it’s a bit muddy, a little bit rooty. We then come onto a fire road, which is tarmacked and a
bit gravelly in some areas. And then, we open up onto some
rocky traverse in sections. But, I mean it really
comes down to our weight and how far we get,
rather than the terrain. And because you’re heavier than me, I think you’re going to go less miles. It’s just like an overloaded
car going up a hill. So, I think you’ll be good for 20km max. – [Steven] I’ll be good for 20km, really? – [Jess] Yeah, yeah. – [Steven] I reckon there’s
some theories out there that say yeah, yeah, you might be heavy enough for 10 kilometers more than I am. – [Jess] I am going to try and squeeze every kilometer out of this. – [Steven] I’m not convinced
– [Jess] Okay. that you can go 10
kilometers more than I can. – [Jess] I am going to try. (vibrant music) – [Steven] Right Jess, that single track was absolutely banging! But I tell you what, all
those square edge hits and all those rocks and collisions are going to be totally
draining my battery. – [Jess] Definitely. Now we’ve just done 5km so, how’s your battery looking Steven? – [Steven] Well, do you know what? Funny you should say that, I’ve just dropped the bar
at pretty much 5km exactly. – [Jess] Really? – [Steven] Yeah. – [Jess] Now I’ve still got all of mine. – [Steven] Really? – [Jess] Yeah. – [Steven] So with another 15 to go, 15 or 18km to go, it’s
not looking good for me. – It’s not. No. – So, what I could do is maybe try and pump the terrain to
get more of my bike, but that’s part of the deal, right? – Yeah. – So, we need to maintain our cadence and our gearing every step of the way. – That’s right. (relaxed dance music) – Tempo on 1km Jess, one bar down again. – [Jess] Yeah. Definitely, I mean I’ve
still got four of mine so, I’m doing alright. – [Steven] Do you know what’s interesting? We’ve done a lot climbing,
a lot of descending as well so, a lot of these range
calculators on e-bikes, they’re actually based on a constant force of the pedals right? – [Jess] They do. Yeah. – So, I reckon we can do even further than the 23km loop that we got. – I think we’re going to have to try going around again. (laughter) – Why not? (relaxed dance music) – [Steven] Hey Jess
over there it’s Swansea, I used to drive there
for kebabs in the bass Hold on, ha! Oh my god seriously, one bar just dropped. – [Jess] Oh yeah? – [Steven] I’m down to two. – I’ve still got three. – That was a really loose climb and I think it was really
sucking the energy out of my battery then. – It really was quite rough, yeah. – Spinning all the way up there. Two bars and, 10.01 miles that’s like, rough calculation, 16.19km. – Sounds about right – Yeah – Do you think, yeah? – Two bars left. We’re definitely gonna be doing two laps. – I think so – It’s great isn’t it. E-bikes are great, lets go. (energetic techno music) – Alright Steven, we just
came to that amazing descent and at the end of it I
just dropped two bars. – Did you, well this might
be a huge coincidence but I’ve gone from two bars to one bar and that one bar is now showing red. – Wow – And that’s at 22.128 kilometers – Okay – So that distance 22.12,
I’ve gotten one bar in the red you’ve gone to two bar, so– – So it sounds like I’m
a one bar ahead of you. – Jess, there you go 23
kilometers done in boost mode. I mean now we probably wouldn’t normally do a trail like that in boost mode, but we’ve tried to normalize
everything like I said the gearing, the cadence, the tire pressures, the type of bike. You know to get some meaningful results without being a lab rat, I
think we’ve achieved that. – I think, yeah. – I’m down to one,
you’ve got two bars left – I do. – Now I don’t think we should
go and try to do another one of those 23km– – I don’t think you’d make it that far. – No? – No, I don’t. – Do you think I’m done? – I think you’re close, I think you’re very close to being done. Which is why I think going
onto a different trail which we’re gonna look at Blue Scar next. So it’s seven kilometers, which isn’t that far but
it’s gonna finish you off. (laughter) – So I reckon I’d maybe
get to the top of the climb and then cruise back down. But I’m interested to see how far you go on your one battery charge. – Me too! (techno music) – [Steven] Oh no Jess, Jess stop. – [Jess] What, what, what, what? – Oh for goodness sakes it’s gone from one bar boost into eco red. – [Jess] Oh. – It’s game over, it’s game over – [Jess] Oh, you are screwed. – Oh, so how did it do that, it literally went from one bar boost to, obviously there’s a very sharp
decline in the battery level once you get to one bar so we’ve gone what, like
a kilometer and a half? – [Jess] Not that far at all. – Not very far at all really, hmm. – [Jess] How far do you
think you’re gonna make it? – Well I’m now in eco mode
so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna continue this
ride, but bare in mind I’m in eco and Jess is in boost so we’re gonna go until you get to red eco – [Jess] Yep.
and beyond. We wanna see exactly how much we can get out of these batteries. (techno music) – It’s that worrying moment
where my range finder suddenly says zero. No kilometers left, it’s
only minutes now before I’m gonna be peddling without any battery on my e-bike. But do you know what on this
Shimano bike it’s not that bad and in weather conditions
like this it’s just, it’s just you’re out on
your bike so why not. It doesn’t really matter. Still on zero just
waiting for that moment. Waiting for that moment, come on Jess! Oh Jess I’m dead, I’m dead. – [Jess] Ha! See ya later sucker! I’ve just gone red! (laughter) – [Steven] Wow amazing. Coincidence, synchronicity? Call it what you will. I’ve just run out of battery on my bike and Jess has just gone into
the red as well which means she’s actually one bar
ahead of me on this route. But it’s gonna be interesting now to see exactly how far and how high Jess can go on her remaining one bar of battery. (vibrant music) – So Steve’s battery ran out just a little bit further down the trail, and I powered on whilst I still had the remaining bar left on my battery and then it very quickly
started flashing red and switched me into eco mode, and oh my gosh could
I tell the difference. Going from turbo all day
suddenly into eco mode felt like I was peddling through treacle. Now, I carried on climbing
so it did drain the battery a lot quicker than if I
was on a flat for example. So it’s now, it’s now dead. It’s dead to me now. This bike is depleted completely
of battery and of life. Oi, Steven wake up! Hey! – Oh dear, Jess I was only
just dropping off there. – I know – Why are you back so soon? – Batteries dead, completely dead. – But literally I’ve just nodded off. – I know, I’m just as
surprised as you are. – Get out of here! – It is off – That’s insane, how
much further did you go? – Guess? – Well I was thinking about, we’ve been doing tracking
about five km per bar. So I’m thinking you’ve done
probably five, six kilometers? – Not even close. – Really? – 1.75 – No, you’ve got it wrong,
you must have got it wrong – No, no, no from when
your battery went dead and we checked the Garmin stats. – Yeah. – To when I just checked my
Garmin stats when mine went dead 1.75 kilometers that’s,
that’s as far as I got. – Okay alright, what
about the height diff… what about the height gain? You must have done, what
couple a hundred feet? – Couple of hundred feet higher than you, but I’m still surprised. – This is blowing my mind,
so all day we’ve been, you’ve been one bar ahead
all day, through the day at five kilometers, 10
kilometers, 15 kilometers, 20 kilometers, and all of a sudden you’ve fallen off a cliff. – It’s like you said as
soon as you hit into that, that red zone, battery just
doesn’t last much longer. – So what we’re concluding then, is that you’ve been ahead all day so weight against range
has affected us all day. However, when it comes to the
final analysis that last bar, it seems to have all
come back close again. – Yeah – This is really frying my brain. – I am, I am just as surprised as you I honestly, I was really hoping to get a good five, eight km maybe on you. – So. – So. – So hold on 98 kilos, bag and helmet. 64 kilos, bag and helmet,
and at the end of the day we’re one and a half km apart. – That doesn’t sound right does it. – Same cadence, same gearing, we’ve measured this through
the day very closely. – We have, we have been
as precise as possible. – [Steven] Which begs the question why? Well purely and simply,
there’s a lot going on here. Why was Jess using less
battery for more of the day? We need to do a ride
here with a power meter to answer that question, is fitness affecting this in any way? This then was simply one loop on one day, a different loop with
different climbs and tempo might actually yield different results. What, for example, would be
the outcome on a different bike with different motor? So many questions but ultimately we have answered the question. And that on this test, weight had less of an effect
on range than we imagined. But it seems that Jess has actually done 2.4 kilometers more riding than I have and also what was the height difference? – 423 feet – So there you go, a bit
of imperial bit of metric for you to work out, but bottom line not as much as we thought
it would be, right? – No, I know. I really
thought I was gonna get about five to eight km more than you today. – Mhm. – So I’m a bit disappointed. – So what you’ve actually got is half a descent or half a climb – Which is nothing really, is it? – Nothing really
– No – So there you go. If you wanna see more
technical e-bike videos there a video that I did on is the 25 kilometer an
hour restriction too slow? Down by there, what else we got Jess? – And if you really wanna make those two and a half kilometers back, then you can have a look
at this video over here on fat burning. – Fat burning! – Fat burning! – Yeah like I said, two
point five was nothing right? – No – Don’t forget to give us a thumbs up and leave us your comments below. – Yeah, and don’t forget to hit that globe to subscribe to the channel. – Jess, get back down the hill!