After the delivery of the first series UNIMOKE Utility e-bikes, we still receive many questions about range, power choice and how heavy load operations are influencing performance of your UNIMOKE E-Bike. We hope that this article clarifies some of the myths and misconceptions about electric bike performance numbers and capabilities:
E-Bikes, even strong and sturdy utility bikes like the UNIMOKE, are electric assisted bicycles and are powered by quite small engines that will assist your riding efforts with 250-1000 W of peak engine power. BUT: They are still bicycles!
The amount of mileage you will get out of your vehicle depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Total weight (bike + rider + cargo)
- Terrain and road conditions
- Assist level selected
- Tire pressure
- Average speed
- Wind and weather influences
- Battery condition
- Tyre type and maintenance status
Everyone born before 1970 will still remember the small powered bicycles (mopeds or mofas) of that era and their limited power: Going uphill or against a strong headwind made a real difference in regards to range and maximum speed. Taking your girlfriend on your backseat could work, but could be just as well not possible on a longer stretch up a steep road.
The same goes for e-bikes:
Although they have a very high potential in carrying a lot of stuff around, some limits apply and actually, this is part of the fun.
It is easy as that:
If you ride along (alone) on a flat, even surface with perfect tyre pressure and a fully charged and new battery on a no-wind day on assist level 2 (25 km/h), your UNIMOKE will take you up to 45 km without any problems.
But if you try to do the same thing on a rough surface, a strong headwind and going uphill, you may end up with your low-battery warning blinking way before that.
The same goes if you decide to be lazy and use maximum assistance, high speed settings or if you decide to carry a lot of stuff or a passenger around: Your range will be considerable less than under optimum conditions.
It is just like with cars: The faster you go and the more you carry, your performance in regards to maximum speed or range will decrease.
More power in terms of max. wattage will affect mostly your ability to go fast or to create more torque in order to climb steeper hills at a given speed.
More power does NOT necessarily reduce your range, as it is your choice of how much of this power you actually use. But it WILL affect your range if you make use of this power.
So: If you choose to use the maximum power available on your e-bike and if you happen to have a high-power version, you will use more energy and reduce your range accordingly.
If used smart, you will obtain the same range out of a high-power version, but still have the excess power available when needed, for example overtaking a slow vehicle safely or going up a steeper hill. So, it is a bit like riding a Porsche at normal speeds.
The UNIMOKE is designed to carry a lot of weight. That means, its structure is designed to withstand high vertical loads and everything will still be in one piece even if you took your wife for dinner with it given the conditions were right.
It does NOT mean that you can take passengers of ANY weight at ANY speed in ANY terrain!
Using the UNIMOKE double seated is limited to 60 kg maximum weight (140 Total including rider), speeds below 20 km/h on even, dry and flat surfaces for short trips around town.
Additionally, the rider should be confident nd safe riding his bike and know the limitations of going with a passenger. Just like us kids of the 70ies: We knew when it worked, and we knew when it did not.
The UNIMOKE is NOT a double seat bike. It is a bike with the option of occasional double seat riding, conditions permitting!
The same applies to trailer or cargo operations:
Respect the limits and you are fine. If you think your UNIMOKE is a tractor, think again: Even 1000 W engines are less powerful than your average vacuum cleaner...
We hope that clarified some misconceptions of an utility e-bike and we wish you a LOT of fun with your UNIMOKE!