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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #1081
    Judd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    So I took a Jump Bike for a spin yesterday.

    2. Not sure if it was the wind, the weight of the bike, some problem with the battery, or me not knowing how to best handle the ebike (in particular what gear to be in and when to shift), but I did not feel I got the same boost as I got in December at HP.
    When you're looking for a bike in the app, it should tell you the charge percentage of each bike to make sure that you're not getting a dud. I've been able to get up inclines pretty easily in one, but nothing as steep as 15th St at Meridian Hill. There was a pretty good northern wind all weekend.

    I hope you used offer code Jump4Judd - if so, take one of them babies out for three more free rides and see if the experience is different. Have you gotten QOTM to try one yet? I'd be interested in hearing her experience of trying one out and whether she'd bike more if she had a ped-elec.

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    extra strain in pedaling, tripping the pedal-assist's safety features and resulting in it cutting out the assist part
    How does this work? What behavior causes the assist to cut out?

  3. #1083
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliasXIII View Post
    How does this work? What behavior causes the assist to cut out?
    Unclear what exactly triggers it. From the GGWash review a few months back:

    On that same trip, the electric assist suddenly turned off as I was nearing 18th and Connecticut. Spokesperson Colin Hughes said, "The brief motor shut-off you experienced is a result of our very safety-conscious electric-assist system: we implemented a number of software controls that shut off the bike's motor if our sensors think a user is not riding normally. Occasionally the safety shut-off is triggered accidentally, as seems to be the case with your trip. After a brief pause, or once the bike has come to a complete stop, the motor turns back on."
    My supposition is that, in my case, the sudden increase in torque from pedalling uphill in the wrong (too high) gear was considered not normal so caused the motor to cut out. Just a theory. Was curious if that was possibly LOTM's experience as well or just a random fluke.
    Last edited by LhasaCM; 03-05-2018 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Hit reply too soon, so finished my thought.

  4. #1084
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    Got it.
    I love Jump bikes, but this strikes me as a really questionable design. If they told people about it, it would be different, but as far as I can find there isn't anything about it on their website or the bikes themselves. (Maybe I'm missing something?) People here are aware it exists, but apparently don't 100% understand it.

    So from a casual user's point of view, the electric assist on Jump bikes appears to work fine as long as you don't actually need it, but breaks right when you want it the most.

    When I first used Jump bikes I ran into the cutoff a couple times, and was on the verge of writing them off as so unreliable as to be useless, until someone at a coffee club told me about this "feature." Now I know to just kinda amble along on them to let the battery do its thing, and if it cuts out to come to a complete stop, and I'm totally hooked. But it's still unintuitive, and seems unwise to depend on word of mouth from their more savvy users to make a product function right. Don Norman would be sad.

  5. #1085
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    Local bike shop ad for ebikes. "More speed." I dunno, while technically true, I can't say I like it. If you want more speed, pedal harder and do so responsibly. But whatevs. It's happening.

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  6. #1086
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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    Do you recall if you had a 3 speed or (the relative rare) 8 speed model? From my (very limited) experience, I found it harder to get into the right gear on the 8 speed, especially heading up hills, which led to extra strain in pedaling, tripping the pedal-assist's safety features and resulting in it cutting out the assist part. I managed to replicate that result on the flat, so I figured it was just in how I was riding it. So long as I kept it slow and steady, things were fine.
    It was a 3 speed.

    I am betting the problem was the cut out. For one, I was doing proper "delaware" stops - slowing at every stop sign, and a full stop for any cross traffic or peds. Aside from the other reasons to do those, I wanted to test the claimed safety advantage of ebikes, of not having to roll a stop sign to conserve momentum. But to get up to what I consider a comfortable in traffic speed, quickly, I had to peddle hard, even getting out of the saddles at least once - but that apparently cuts out the peddle assist? Hard to be slow and steady when A. You are dealing (politely and safely, if not 100% legally) with a grid filled with stop signs, B. You are trying to see if an ebike helps you go really fast or up a tough hill. Not sure any real advantage to Jump Bikes over an owned bike, unless one is carrying a lot of weight, or really tired, or going really far (enough to get tired)

    On the other hand, maybe its not best to compare them to owned human powered bikes, but to other bike share bikes. I guess in that context, even slow steady usage, with pedal assist dropping out often, is still a good bit faster than a CaBi or human powered dockless.

  7. #1087
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    When you're looking for a bike in the app, it should tell you the charge percentage of each bike to make sure that you're not getting a dud. I've been able to get up inclines pretty easily in one, but nothing as steep as 15th St at Meridian Hill. There was a pretty good northern wind all weekend.

    I hope you used offer code Jump4Judd - if so, take one of them babies out for three more free rides and see if the experience is different. Have you gotten QOTM to try one yet? I'd be interested in hearing her experience of trying one out and whether she'd bike more if she had a ped-elec.
    I did not know about that feature in the app - I don't think the battery is dead, I think it was more likely that it was the peddle assist going off, and/or that I chose to steep a hill to try.

    yes, I did use your code. I will need to let QOTM know that this still involves significant effort, as she sees the main reason to bike to be help with weight loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliasXIII View Post
    Got it.
    I love Jump bikes, but this strikes me as a really questionable design. If they told people about it, it would be different, but as far as I can find there isn't anything about it on their website or the bikes themselves. (Maybe I'm missing something?) People here are aware it exists, but apparently don't 100% understand it.
    They do have something in their "help" section on the website about the pedal assist cutting out (https://help.jumpbikes.com/hc/en-us/...sist-goes-out-), but it's not spun as a safety feature the way it was in the GGWash quote. It'd be nice to know what it thinks is "unusual" behavior. I think I'll ask; I'll let folks know what I hear back.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    It was a 3 speed.

    I am betting the problem was the cut out. For one, I was doing proper "delaware" stops - slowing at every stop sign, and a full stop for any cross traffic or peds. Aside from the other reasons to do those, I wanted to test the claimed safety advantage of ebikes, of not having to roll a stop sign to conserve momentum. But to get up to what I consider a comfortable in traffic speed, quickly, I had to peddle hard, even getting out of the saddles at least once - but that apparently cuts out the peddle assist? Hard to be slow and steady when A. You are dealing (politely and safely, if not 100% legally) with a grid filled with stop signs, B. You are trying to see if an ebike helps you go really fast or up a tough hill. Not sure any real advantage to Jump Bikes over an owned bike, unless one is carrying a lot of weight, or really tired, or going really far (enough to get tired)

    On the other hand, maybe its not best to compare them to owned human powered bikes, but to other bike share bikes. I guess in that context, even slow steady usage, with pedal assist dropping out often, is still a good bit faster than a CaBi or human powered dockless.
    I'll have to give one of the 3 speeds a try and see how my experience is the same/different, also knowing now what I didn't know on my first test ride.

  9. #1089
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    Oh, so they do! I couldn't find that -- I'd looked for it under "safety".

    lordofthemark's experience sounds a lot like what I found at first. I don't want to sound like a Jump bike shill, but I'd suggest giving it a few more chances. My "amble" comment may have made them sound slow -- they're not. My experience is you have to ride them differently to keep the power from cutting out ... almost like you're trying not to let the bike know you're trying to accelerate quickly, and you're blithely unaware that you're climbing a hill. Just keep a steady, casual, cadence. As long as the power is working, I've found them to be plenty fast, including from stoplights and up hills (though I've only tried smaller hills as well). If the power cuts out, then they feel like they're punishing you for being lazy by using an e-bike in the first place.

    Also, I want to reiterate that I don't actually understand the power cut-out in the first place. So I feel like I'm passing along my homemade folklore. Which has worked for me, but, man. Not good design!
    Last edited by AliasXIII; 03-06-2018 at 11:18 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliasXIII View Post
    Oh, so they do! I couldn't find that -- I'd looked for it under "safety".

    lordofthemark's experience sounds a lot like what I found at first. I don't want to sound like a Jump bike shill, but I'd suggest giving it a few more chances. My "amble" comment may have made them sound slow -- they're not. My experience is you have to ride them differently to keep the power from cutting out ... almost like you're trying not to let the bike know you're trying to accelerate quickly, and you're blithely unaware that you're climbing a hill. Just keep a steady, casual, cadence. As long as the power is working, I've found them to be plenty fast, including from stoplights and up hills (though I've only tried smaller hills as well). If the power cuts out, then they feel like they're punishing you for being lazy by using an e-bike in the first place.

    Also, I want to reiterate that I don't actually understand the power cut-out in the first place. So I feel like I'm passing along my homemade folklore. Which has worked for me, but, man. Not good design!
    I got a bit of an indirect answer when I raised the quote about the "safety feature" and asking for examples of unusual behavior. Ignoring the part of the answer about battery life and summarizing (since I can't pull my e-mail up from this computer and don't feel like retyping the whole thing):
    1. Initially, the motor could shut off when there was pressure on the pedals and the brakes were also applied. This reportedly has been fixed in the software.
    2. They will be "releasing upgrades to the controllers in the coming weeks to reduce the number of motor shut-off instances that are not due to a lack of battery charge."

    Still unclear what behavior really is causing it, but they seem to be working to make it better. The joys of being on the bleeding edge

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