Cyclone Motor Performance Testing
360 Watt Motor - 20" Folding Bike
Model: Downtube VIII
Price: Approx. $250
Tire Size: 20"
Tire Pressure: 65psi
Cassette: 8 speed, 11-28
Bike Weight w/ Batteries: 65 lbs
Rider Weight: 150 lbs
Gross Weight: 205 lbs
Model: Cyclone 360 Watt
Chainwheel: 44 Tooth
Optional Watt Meter: Watt's-Up
Capacity: 24 Volt 13Ahr
Location: Santa Ana River Trail, Orange County, CA
Elevation: 50' Above sea level average
Terrain: Level, asphalt bikeway
Weather: Sunny, Wind 2mph, 72°F
Trip Start Readings:
Battery Temp: 74°F
Motor Temp: 76°F
Top Speed: -
Avg. Speed: -
Total Distance: 0
Trip End Readings:
Battery Temp: 88°F
Motor Temp: 81.1°F
Top Speed: 19.8mph
Avg. Speed: 13.8mph
Total Distance: 21.2 miles
Voltage Drop: 7.57
Actual Whrs vs Rated Whrs: 289.6 vs 312 = 78.19%
Actual Ahrs vs Rated Ahrs: 17.42 vs 13 = 134%
This test was performed side by side with two 20" folding bikes. I rode one bike
and the other was piloted by a much lighter rider at 150 lbs. Our objectives were to
see how far we could go on the 13Ahr NiMH batteries and what the differences would be
between basically identical bikes with one rider at 220 lbs and another at 150 lbs.
Each bike was ridden and shifted differently based on each riders style and feelings.
Because we were trying for maximum range, our riding style was conservative - lower
speeds and gentle acceleration. Both bikes were under motor-only power for approximately
90-95% of the trip.
Cruising for both bikes was in the 12-14mph range in 3rd to 5th gears with average currents
of about 10 amps at around 250 watts. Our bike with the light weight rider went 19.8
miles before the orange LED came on continuously. Being heavier, I had an orange LED
at 17.4 miles. Our light rider got to 22.1 miles before getting a constant red LED,
I only got to 19.8 before being in the red. As shown above, the lighter bike achieved
a total trip of 23.98 miles while my additional 70 pound weight shortened my trip to
21.68 miles. Considering that this is a single, 11 pound battery of only 13 AmpHour
capacity, both of these mileages were pretty impressive.
Most importantly, we demonstrated some pretty high Miles/KiloWattHour figures. The
light-rider bike turned in an impressive 82.8MKWh while I got 74.58MKWh.
The distance and mileage figures for my bike might have been better if I had
not crashed part way through the test. Somehow I did not see a barrier in a
parking lot at the beach (mid point of the trip). I completely flipped my bike
and tweeked the derailleur so that it would not shift into gears lower than 6th.
This meant that I was going up hills, accelerating and even cruising in gears that
were drawing more current and thus draining the battery faster.
Even though the NiMH battery is rated at only 13Ahrs it delivered pretty much
the same speeds and mileages as the 18Ahr SLA batteries - and the NiMH weighs
only 11 lbs compared to 26 lbs for the SLA. I was impressed at the NiMH battery's
ability to go to a very low level of discharge - 16.77 volts. Even though speeds
drop when the voltage gets low, the NiMH battery just kept going. On both bikes
the NiMH was able to put out over 30 amps peak which is enough to climb medium
grades provided you gear down and sometimes do a little pedaling. Also surprising
is the fact that our measured total AmpHour output was well over 100% of the rated
figures for both bikes. 134% for the lighter bike and 113% on my bike. Even though
the battery is only rated as a 13Ahr battery, we actually got 17.5Ahrs average from
these two bikes.
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