This is a guest post from Andy Martwick of Portland, Oregon (a member of the Electric Bike Report community) who recently purchased a Busettii Big 50 electric bike and has prepared the second part of his review for us. Here is Part 1 of the Busettii Big 50 Electric Bike Review.
NOTE: Please make sure you read the comments below this review.
Performance Report after about 150 miles or so.
- 13 Amp Hour battery at 52 volts, 2.4 Million Joule capacity
- About 25 mile range under adverse conditions
- 20-22 mph top speed
- 300 lb capable
- Good Great hill climbing
- 500-600 watts delivered to the road on long climbs
- 6 ½ hour recharge time from empty
I received a new rack, a new thorn-proof tube, a spare tire and a giant cable lock (for my efforts?). From previous rides most of the spokes were loose. I applied loctite to each spoke, put it on the truing stand and got it tight, round and true again. Back on the road, I noticed an immediate improvement in handling with the tight wheel. The new rack was also improved, moving the battery somewhat forward and improving the handling.
Range: Windy and Flat
With the wind blowing 10-15 mph I went full throttle with a little pedaling, doing some work up the hills but not breaking a sweat. The wind direction was mostly crosswind. Loaded with gear, I was rolling along at a massive 280 lbs total weight. The terrain was gently rolling with about 13 full throttle starts and stops for traffic lights. The average moving speed was 19 mph. The total elevation change was 245 feet. The battery started fully charged, and it went empty at mile 23. I calculated a rolling power output of around 450 watts, consistent with a 13 amp hour battery.
Recharge from Empty
Recharging occurred at a rate of 110 watts measured on my Kill-a-watt meter. It took a total of 710 watt hours to recharge, so the total recharge time was 6 ½ hours. In terms of battery capacity, 710 watt hours is 2.5 million joules. The battery is rated at 13 amp hours at 52 V, or 2.4 million joules. Assuming a 90% efficient charger, the battery capacity would be 12.77 Ah. This is consistent with a 13 Ah battery.
Long and Climbing, no wind
It does a really good job of climbing. My commute requires about 2 amp-hours from the battery just to lift the weight of the bike to the top of the hill. On a few particular segments of two miles for a 4% grade I let the bike climb under electric power only, and used the GPS to estimate that between 500 and 600 watts of power was delivered to the road. The battery level gauge has four levels and fluctuates according to the load. After 12.5 miles it varied between ½ and ¾. The average speed was a respectable 18.9 mph.
On a different trip, I used the maximum pedal assist mode only and did not use the throttle. Definitely more work on my part to keep the speed up and I pedaled hard up the hills. My average speed dropped to 18 mph and the battery varied between ¾ full and full.
I recharge the battery at work, but believe it would make the 25 mile round trip on a single charge. In pedal assist mode I would expect to get pretty close to 50 miles.
The sections of 10% grade hills were too short to calculate power using the GPS. The speed dropped to about 12-14 mph which is consistent with 800-900 watt output.
Power and Energy Calculations (for those interested in such things)
The amount of energy it takes to climb a hill is simply the (weight) x (the change in height)x(gravitation constant). The amount of energy required to propel a bike through the wind is a combination of air drag, rolling resistance, and mechanical losses. I use the power calculator at http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/ProdDiss/Bicycle/bikecalc1.htm to approximate this power, and calculated the energy required to climb hills as reported by my Garmin 305 GPS data. Dividing the energy by the amount of time gives the power.
You can easily do this calculation yourself. The climbing energy = m * h * 9.8 , where m is the mass in kilograms and h is the change in height, in meters and 9.8 is the gravitational constant. The climbing energy is in Joules. Divide this number by (52*3600) to get the number of amp hours it takes away from the 52 volt battery. Divide the energy by the time it takes to climb to get the climbing watts. Add to this the power from the power calculator and you have power delivered to the road.
The energy consumed accelerating is ½ m v * v, where the mass should be in kg, the velocity in meters / second. Convert this into amp hours by dividing by (52 * 3600) for the 52 volt battery.
For my commute the big 50 is a good fit. It is the first Ebike I’ve had so I have nothing to directly compare it to. I can get at least 23 miles under adverse conditions that drain the entire 13 Ah battery.
It does a very good job of climbing hills up to 10% grade. The handling is acceptable for a tail heavy bike, although a little scary on some of the faster descents. Overall quality is OK. The rear wheel needed to be tightened, possibly a shipping issue. The hub motor seems to be delivering up to 600 watts reasonably efficiently. The battery seems to be about 13 Ah, more or less.
It accelerates well. All my friends that have tried it gave out a hoot as they take off, and are all smiles coming back. A few have said, “I’ve gotta get one!”.
The range depends on the speed, the wind, the riding position and the amount of pedaling. With a little care in riding position, 25 miles should generally be no problem with little pedaling on a windy day. No doubt 50 miles is possible, but not at full throttle in an upright position. The speed is 20-22 mph on electric only. Pedaling it past 22 mph speed is difficult. I have not been able to pedal it to 27 mph as claimed on the website, it is a heavy bike. But for my commute and buzzing around town I find 22 mph is plenty fast. 18+ mph up the hills is great!
The website is not well organized and the company seems to be going through growing pains. Possibly they are swamped with orders. So far the support has been good, although sometimes they are hard to reach. It certainly helps that I can do my own work on the bike, including wheel truing.
Overall I’m pleased with the bike. It seems to be similar to other bikes at this price with 2x the battery life and lots of climbing power. In the future, I’ll need to add front disc brakes for my steep descents. It is possible that one of my friends will be getting the folding bike in the near future. If so, I’ll be able to add a review for that one.
About the reviewer
Andy has been riding for over 30 years and has completed the Tour of the California Alps five times, dozens of centuries and a number of double centuries. He bike commutes to Portland State University where he is an adjunct professor in the physics department. He can be reached at martwick_at_pdx.edu.
What do you think?
Do you have any questions for Andy about the Busettii Big 50 electric bike? Please leave them in the comment section below.
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