Vekkit test ride around Lake Czorsztyn
The most interesting part of any project is its testing. For a long time, we have been using our e-bike kits every day for commute and short city trips - ride to shops, take children to kindergartens, meet with friends. Now it's time for real high loaded tests for our kits. We decided to choose a route around Lake Czorsztyn, where the gradients on many ascents exceed 12%. We will tell you about the route itself separately, because it is worth visiting, even if you live far from the Tatras. The road from Krakow by car takes about 2 hours, it is better to go on weekdays.
Electric bikes have two main problems on steep climbs - the heating of the controller and battery consumption. For the trip, we made a special screen with statistics in the iOS application, which comes from Vekkit via Bluetooth. For the complexity of the tests, we also attached a trailer with Olivier (45kg extra) to the Creme Cycles city bike. The motor was taken from our city kit - it is really very small and a little bigger than a dynamo hub.
The first 10 km route is quite flat along the lake, but before the castle in Czorsztyn begins a long climb with a gradient of 10% and ends at Polana Majerz, where you can buy traditional cheese - Oscypek. To climb this climb we set the maximum power and see if the controller overheats. The maximum motor power was 36V * 17.2A = 619 Watt (this value is different from what the power meter will show you, but according to our observations not much +-10%). At this power the battery discharges quite quickly and the 7Ah battery (these are on many electronic devices) will be enough only for 15 km. Our first battery was discharged just in this hill, but the advantage of our kit is that we have very small removable batteries cassettes (each weighs only 1.2 kg) and you can take 2 or 4 such cassettes. So we have half a minute to replace the battery and the Vekkit helps Marina climb the hill again. At the top of the climb (Polana Majerz) we checked the controller - Mosfets are heated up to 76C (operating temperature up to 130C) and the temperature around the controller itself is 40C, which is a very good result.
We rode a little less than planned - 36 km, but gained more than planned - 643 m, because we decided to ride through the Majerz hill with a very beautiful view of the Tatras and the lake. Electric bikes save your energy and always allow you to ride more than you planned. We had a battery with 8.4 Ah (less than our travel kit) and we only missed 500m on the last climb. If we had used eco mode, we would have had enough battery for the whole trip. The Vekkit itself works nice - quiet motor, fast response from the cadence sensor, mobile application with different settings, removable batteries cassettes. There is a little vibration from the motor on steep climbs, but we will try to fix it. This is probably due to the rather soft front fork on the bike. At some point, I can't even believe that we did it ourselves here in Krakow and now we know how everything works in our kits. It allows us to fix bugs and adjust the controller settings very quickly.
Many people think that they don't need an electric bicycle, but in fact, it opens up almost unlimited travel opportunities (especially with children) and you won't be thinking about when the next climb will end and how many kilometers until next stop, but you will think about how to take a more beautiful picture.