Have to pedal like crazy to reach max speeds.... wrong gearing?

philippe_kruse

New Member
Region
Europe
Sorry I don't know the bike technical terms here.

I just got on the ebike wagon last week, with a nuviolo gear bike, class 3/speed pedelec 45km/h.

My problem is even if I pedal like crazy on a straight road I am nowhere near max speeds. At that point there is zero resistance in the pedalling, it's just very exhausting because of having to move my feet so fast, not because it requires a lot of force.

I feel like the gear tops out too fast. I always never use the lower settings, always at max gear (highest?) except right when starting from zero. Is it possible to fiddle around with the mechanics of it so that you can increase max speed, ie make it require more force to pedal?

BR
 
Welcome!
Would you please post a photo of the middle of the bike from the right side? First place and tape any object that is 100mm long, such as a strip of paper where the pedal arm attaches to the middle of the bike. We will advise you on chainring options based on things such as BCD and the number of ringbolts. Members can define those more technical terms later. Note: It would require a new longer chain.
 
Do you mean enviolo CVT hub shifting with a belt? If so, you should have a 310% – 380% gear ratio range. Normally, a cadence sensor alone plus lack of sufficient gearing will have you beating eggs when you reach the 18-20 mph speeds; at that point your no longer able to use your pedaling power to supplement the electric assist you're getting from the bike's battery/motor to reach the 28-mph class 3 rated speed. Most throttles have limiters at 20 mph. More often than not manufacturers are using a combination of torque and cadence sensors today; but you also want at least a 9-speed drive train with a large chain ring.
 

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We will need to determine if it is 110 BCD or 130. And if it is 4 bolt or five to the spider before we can talk about relevant chainrings.
 
Hi. Here are some pictures. I wrote "nuviolo gear" but it's actually called enviolo, previously known as NuVinci. Stepless gear, manual with an internally geared hub. In my bike app it just says "Enviolo 380, 36H".
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Hi. Here are some pictures. I wrote "nuviolo gear" but it's actually called enviolo, previously known as NuVinci. Stepless gear, manual with an internally geared hub. In my bike app it just says "Enviolo 380, 36H".View attachment 153465
This is a Riese & Muller, with a torque sensor; a high-quality bike and a good company to deal with when it comes to support, call them (or the bike shop you bought it from) for advice on a solution to adjust the motor programing and/or parts that are available to fit this bike. You should not be having a gear insufficiency problem with that hub as it has a 310% – 380% ratio.
 
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The Enviolo is a continuously variable transmission, so there's nothing to indicate if the shifter is set up wrong (no clicking etc), you'll just be unable to reach one end of the gear range. Enviolo have youtube videos about adjustments, but if it's new I'd just take it back to the shop.
 
It's new but while the sales people at the shop are nice, the bike repair people are extremely rude :-(

I have contacted a different shop in my area and they say they can probably adjust it but need to see it in the shop.
 
You're aware that the manual shifted CVT's must be completely unloaded to shift correctly, right? You have to literally stop pedaling long enough to upshift (when accelerating). Just letting up on the pedaling pressure while upshifting may not unload it enough! Downshifting is much more easily done. You barely need to ease up on the pedal pressure while doing that.

Also, shown in the second pic above is what you use for a "shift indicator". That flat line as shown in the pic would mean the CVT is set for max speed on a level surface. When you see the flat line form "a hill", the trans is downshifting. How far it has downshifted shown by the height of that "hill" on the indicator. This probably would make more sense if you could actually see it working. A little difficult to describe here....
 
I could easily be wrong - and this does not bear on the reported problem in this thread - but that pic of the rear looks like the belt is loosened somehow. Looking at the Homage on the R&M web site, there should be tensioners on the thing that keep that belt up close to the sprocket down low, and not bowed out as it is.
 
The belt ring cog by the pedals will need to be swapped with a larger one in order to raise the gearing so you are not spinning out.
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This also means a new and longer belt. Click here and scroll down to download the calculator tool. Or just send the link to your new bike shop so they can order the parts based on your needs.
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I could easily be wrong - and this does not bear on the reported problem in this thread - but that pic of the rear looks like the belt is loosened somehow. Looking at the Homage on the R&M web site, there should be tensioners on the thing that keep that belt up close to the sprocket down low, and not bowed out as it is.
Good eye, I think you are right as the "tensioner" in the pic is installed wrong and is supplying no tension to the belt. It should be facing forward with the roller on top of the belt pushing down on it to provide tension. There is an adjustable type dropout that is also being used to supply tension to the belt. As I understand it there are specifications as to how much tension the belt should be under.

Screenshot 2023-05-12 at 11.09.46 AM.png
 
As-installed, the rear tensioner appears to be worthless. It certainly isn't needed to keep the belt on... unless it IS since the belt is loose? All it does is hold the belt tight to the sprocket.
 
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but that pic of the rear looks like the belt is loosened somehow.

Huh....

I had some problems with a squeaky belt but thought it was just due to the belt itself needing lubrication. But what you said made me think again, and comparing the belt in my girlfriend's similar bike, it was clear mine was loose.

Measuring with the Gates belt app, it said 20 hertz. The recommended number is 50 hz but definitely not below 40! After tightening the belt, I realized the two sides were not in alignment. The left side was 3-4mm out of whack compared to the right side, seems like the mechanics didn't really bother with adjusting the belt at all.

After this the belt runs great, no squeak, and I even got a bit more top speed - not quite 45 but 40-42ish so pretty close.

I also adjusted my girlfriend's bike, her belt was wayyyyy too tight at 75 hz, I took it down to 50. And again, both sides not aligned at all.......


EDIT: The tensioner does not touch the belt at all, is it meant to? I couldn't figure out if it's supposed to touch or if it's just there to keep the belt from jumping off.
 
When I first got my Nevo 3 (R&M) I was unable to reach its 28 mph max speed. I corrected the problem by resetting the hub to full overdrive. It's not too complicated and Enviolo has a clear video describing the process:
 
Thanks will def try that out. It looks like the little gear thing that moves around the hub does not go all the way to the end point in full overdrive, so that could also be part of the issue.
 
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