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Electric Bike Buying Advice - All Articles

What are the stand out features of the best electric bike systems for 2017?

We will continue to update this information as details become available.

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Progress in Lithium Battery Technology As the electric vehicle (EV) and ebike market continues its rapid growth in both the US and the UK, some exciting news has recently been announced which will have a major effect on the industry. Researchers have developed a new battery system which will allow EVs to be recharged almost instantaneously.  This technology, dubbed the ‘Ifbattery’ by its creators, can be produced cheaply and is environmentally friendly. It uses a system known as a flow battery, but has been adapted to work without the membranes usually used in such units. T..

Haibike Flyon ePerformance System

Haibike Flyon ePerformance System

Haibike Flyon New for 2019

Wow! Haibike have returned to their innovative routes and if you like clever, thoughtful bike design and if you love eBikes there'll be plenty here to interest you.

Pre-order the 2019 FlyOn and be amongst the first to receive them.

Flyon Motor

The Flyon motor has a continuous torque capability of 120Nm. Haibike set out to design an eBike that best represents their brand promise 'ePerformance'. To do this they've designed a totally new bike and considered at each part of the design process where they can demonstrate their 'ePerformance' credentials to the benefit of their customers and quite likely....the tears of their competitors.

To do this they've partnered with a German company called TQ who design and manufacture TQ motors. The chief engineer/inventor Toni Rossberger has a deep understanding of the challenges of eBike motor design and has invented a few technologies to overcome them. For instance he has managed to create a gear reduction ratio of 1:37 in only one step which means the motor can spin at 3000RPM when the cycling cadence is 80rpm and the form factor remains small while producing high torque density. The motor is a recent winner of a German Design Council award and Haibike have been testing it for 2 years while designing the Flyon.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that 120Nm of continuous torque is huge. The Bosch CX motor peaks at 75Nm and the Yamaha PWX at 80Nm. The key fact is that both Bosch and Yamaha deliver the power reliably which is something that hasn't been the case for other motors / eGroupsets on the market. Delivering a reliable 120Nm is no mean feat but TQ like Haibike have a history of innovation and success in challenging product areas. Also with this much force the transmission (chain etc) strength is important as is good gear shifting behaviour.

The TQHPR120S comes with the ability to sense gear shifting and cut the power just long enough to allow the gear change to go through with less loading on the transmission. 

Concerned about the ability of electric bike chains to withstand the forces this motor will produce I spoke to KMC one of the largest bicycle and eBike chain manufacturers in the world. They are not concerned about chain strength suggesting that with the larger chainring and chain tensile strength above 10000 Newtons the forces will be well within limits. They've also improved the rivets to protect against what they call 'poor shifting behaviour' on eBikes with powerful motors.

When riding above the motor speed limit the dual flywheels allow it to completely decouple ensuring that it feels just like a non electric bike with no motor drag whatsoever.

Flyon Battery

The battery is of course lithium ion although the specific lithium chemistry is as yet unknown I would imagine it's LiNiMnCo2O4 because this would allow the right balance of power and energy density to make this system practical. If they use LiMn2O4 they can achieve a higher energy density but with a lower current performance however they may have overcome this restriction by moving to a 48V battery pack.

Yes you read it here 1st the Flyon will use a 48V battery pack and it will be 630Wh and located in the downtube removable via the base of the downtube. It looks like it will remove even with the rear wheel in place but you'll almost certainly need to elevate the bike to remove it. I'm looking forward to seeing just how tight a fit it is and how tight it is inside the tube.

They are using a Rosenberger EnergyBus power and data connector set for charge and discharge and in our experience there can be very little lateral movement on these connectors so the tolerance will have to be tight to ensure there are no issues. The connectors themselves are good and with the magnetic properties they locate easily and have a very reassuring connection. They can also have some movement protection built in but if the movement is too big then the connector can be damaged. I'm mentioning this because we've witnessed the problem on other products but I'm not at all concerned about Haibike's implementation given the quality of their design and manufacturing. It should also be noted that the connectors were generation 1 from Rosenberger and we've simply avoided products using them until now.

Flyon Chargers

Haibike will have a standard high power 4Amp charger but they will also offer a market leading 10Amp charger that will charge the large battery to 80% in 1 hour. That is a great feature but it's possible it should come with a warning or advisories regarding it's use because fast charging causes more wear and tear on the battery cells and as they age more heat which also speeds up the degradation of the cell chemistry. There are various technical ways to reduce this negative effect one used by Samsung galaxy Note phones (and not to blame for their fire issue) is to split the pack into 2 for fast charging. This works by charging at 10A but half the pack (24V) and alternate high current charging blasts between the 2 half packs. This works well because it can optimise the charging for each half pack and switch when various indicators are met to protect the cell chemistry and structure. We will be asking Haibike for comment on this and other topics once this blog is complete. Ni Pics of the chargers yet.

Haibike Flyon Display

The display is centrally mounted with a very integrated look and a really clear colour screen. Colour is an important feature because the thumb remote control located for the left hand thumb has LEDs that change colour depending on the assist level being used and this colour is reflected on the display. The idea behind this is not so much to match your mood as to match your need for 'information at a glance' while your pushing your limits on one of the worlds most powerful eBikes. If you look at the thumb control you instantly know your assist level without looking at the screen - if you look at the screen and you have your thumb on the control you know what level you've just changed to and if it's the one you want.

FlyOn Integrated Performance Lighting

Of course you need lights! If you're considering spending this much money on the best electric mountain bike you can buy you won't want to be restricted in any way and that means that night rides are a possibility. Haibike Flyon builds the rear lights right in. This is a first for a mainstream eBike manufacturer but I doubt it will be the last. Now that bikes have power we can add more technology and make them more useful. The selling point thrown around traditional bike shops for decades that weight is king no longer applies in the same way - functionality is king....and 'ePerformance' is the rest of the royal family.

And so you have rear lights beautifully integrated into the rear swing arms and the front light....well it's a 5000 lumen beast. You'll look like a train coming through the forest or down the track and in front of you it may as well be daylight.

The front light is controlled via the thumb control and it is nicely integrated with the display mount so they mate well and look great. The angle can be adjusted to the limit of the display which Haibike feel allows for the most functional beam angles.

Speed Sensor

For 2019 bikes using Bosch's ABS system will come with multi point speed sensors next to the brake disc. Although the Haibike Flyon does not use the ABS system they've decided to use this speed sensor technology because of the more accurate data provided. They've also mentioned that it is tamper proof referring to the trend of speed tuning or de-restricting current ebike systems. Let's see.

FlyOn Design - cable routing

The bike uses a carbon fibre frame which helps it to look absolutely amazing, aggressive but gentle on the eye, it's almost more Italian in it's design than German. The head tube of the bike has a grill or air vents that head into the downtube for cable routing. I will be asking if this allows air to flow around the battery to enhance the performance. The grill certainly looks striking and I think is another eBike first and a very characterful feature and I'm sure 'me too's will follow in subsequent model years.

Pre-order the 2019 FlyOn and save 10%. Contact a store for details.
Posted by Eddie Kehoe