Motor cuts on and off

SteveD225

New Member
Region
USA
Hello! This is a question for riders using the Mahle ebikemotion system. I have a Cannondale Treadwell Neo. When in high assist and pedaling along, the bike starts to feel jerky. I'm nearly certain that the motor is cutting in and out. Is this the way the motor behaves when you reach the top speed (20 mph)? At the top speed I would expect the motor to give less and less assist but not cut out completely. It doesn't seem to happen at lower speeds. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
It sounds like that is what it is doing. Orbea Gain's do the same thing. But at about 15.3 Mph. The European standard for a sucky riding experience.
 
Thanks! I'll check it out again with a speedometer. I suppose it will be smooth up to max, jerky at max, and smooth again above max (no assist).
 
When I make bikes I normally disable this feature. Because it is APITA. Here is one of my unlimited bikes. Matching leather washers were used to hold the fenders. It is sooo much fun to blast past guys in spandex on a bike that does not really look electric. You can see the wire from what appears to be a range extender, if you look closely.
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When I make bikes I normally disable this feature. Because it is APITA. Here is one of my unlimited bikes. Matching leather washers were used to hold the fenders. It is sooo much fun to blast past guys in spandex on a bike that does not really look electric. You can see the wire from what appears to be a range extender, if you look closely.
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I road tested the bike again, this time with a speedometer. The assist gets uneven and jerky at about 15mph, so I guess it's another bug. This bike has had troubles since I purchased it.
 
A dealer can reload the firmware and check the hub lockring pickup. Cleaning the speed pickup magnet may do the trick. It is all proprietary. Not DYI on these bikes. 15.3Mph is the European limit for speed. 19.5 is the US limit. That is where is shutters and cuts out.
 
I think it gets uneven at around 10-15 mph. I pretty sure it keeps assisting after 15 mph so that doesn't appear to be the max. I haven't gotten up to 20 mph to see what happens there. Need to do more testing with speedometer. Thanks!
 
At the hub there is a magnet and a pickup. As the wheel rotates it calculates speed. Metallic crud from the road or chain and cog ware is attracted to the magnet and dirties it. Removing that dirt could potentially fix the bike. I am not a expert on these and last rode one three or four years ago. But I used to sell them and have some idea. I also work on eBikes daily. Good luck. What did you think of the bike I made a mid-drive and posted photos of above?
 
I'll look at that and also tell the repair guy your advice. Thanks very much. I think your bike is beautiful. I've never seen one with leather trim like that. The attention to detail is outstanding.
 
Yes, I saw the leather washers. Nice touch!

I did some more riding and discovered that the uneven assist occurs at about 15 mph (consistently). The resistance is smooth again at about 16 mph but I can feel no assist. I had the battery replaced recently to solve a charging problem - now my theory is that somehow the software got initialized to the European max speed of 15 mph. That would explain it!
 
I’ve had a similar issue with the Mahle ebikemotion hub motor briefly cutting out on my Cannondale Neo Tesoro SL, but for me it happens when I’m pushing hard on the highest level of assist, generally when I’m going up a hill. It also won’t charge, which apparently is an issue with the charger. Anyway, thanks for the tips above, I’ll pass them on to the bike shop. I miss being able to run errands on my bike!

Also the bike with the leather trim is GORGEOUS! You can’t even spot the motor!
 
Thanks, @Katy. Hub motors are well known to cut out under high load. Oddly this is the sign of a good motor. It is a failsafe to not burn out the motor. Cheaper ones will melt the internal gears or windings before they cut out. It is what also happens at the speed limit. I remove speed limiters when I use small mid-drives between the pedals. Here is one from last week for a commuter. I set the top speed at 45 with a wheel size of five inches.
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I’ve had a similar issue with the Mahle ebikemotion hub motor briefly cutting out on my Cannondale Neo Tesoro SL, but for me it happens when I’m pushing hard on the highest level of assist, generally when I’m going up a hill. It also won’t charge, which apparently is an issue with the charger. Anyway, thanks for the tips above, I’ll pass them on to the bike shop. I miss being able to run errands on my bike!

Also the bike with the leather trim is GORGEOUS! You can’t even spot the motor!
I was able to resolve my problem by contacting [email protected]. The team in Spain sent over new software to reprogram the motor. Apparently my motor was cutting off at approx 15mph, which was incompatible with the U.S. gearing. The correct behavior is to cut off at approx 20 mph and to ease back on as you dip below the threshold so that the transitions feel smooth.
 
@Katy, I am giving it's older brother a total rebuild and makeover today. It has been ridden hard daily for years. These Crème bikes are only available in North America from BC and Montreal at about $1200 before shipping and not yet electric or with the special custom details. This one is getting all new goodies.
 

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@PedalUma That's very helpful, though disheartening (that it's normal and intentional behavior for the motor to cut out under load). I've found that it only happens after the battery has been run down a little bit, to below 75%. Is that still normal behavior?
 
@Katy, This is part of the nature of hub-drives. These drives are not run through the drivetrain's gears. These motors are stuck in one gear. If you had a Corvette or Porsche that was stuck in third gear it would lug in some situations and over-rev in others. Try putting 'hub-motor cuts out ebr.com' into a Google search or search from within EBR. I cannot call it normal, it is very common with these types of bikes particularly on climbs. @SteveD225's problem was firmware and that was solved.
 
@Katy, This is part of the nature of hub-drives. These drives are not run through the drivetrain's gears. These motors are stuck in one gear. If you had a Corvette or Porsche that was stuck in third gear it would lug in some situations and over-rev in others. Try putting 'hub-motor cuts out ebr.com' into a Google search or search from within EBR. I cannot call it normal, it is very common with these types of bikes particularly on climbs. @SteveD225's problem was firmware and that was solved.
Thanks for the info in this thread. Spring of 2023 I purchased three new Cannondale Neo e-bikes: Treadwell, Tesoro SL EQ, and Topstone SL. All were approx 2 years sitting in bike shops ... all required new batteries because of early firmware problems (don't understand why they couldn't just put on new firmware but required new hardware, but I was glad for the new batteries because I'm sure sitting for 2 years isn't good for any battery). With the new batteries/controllers installed, the Treadwell and Tesoro both cut out at 16 mph which I know is the European spec. I have the bikes back at the Cannondale shop today to get USA firmware on them, which they said they can do. So the good news is that even though the bikes were older stock and I got them all at a hefty discount of 25-40% off, I should be back up to 20 mph max before cut off. I like to ride at 19-20 on the Topstone and usually around 16-17 on the Tesoro (which may be loaded with panniers). Wife rides the Treadwell step-thru and rarely gets above 16, but it is good to have nonetheless.

I LOVE these hub bikes because they look like normal bikes, weigh in the 30 pound range so are not too heavy, and they give a very good work out but just allow one to travel faster and farther under their own power. My inaugural ride on the Topstone (road-looking bike) I passed a guy in a road kit on a high end Trek going up a steep hill. He turned on that section of the trail just before me and I had a little momentum and with my motor passed right by him. On the straight he caught up to me and was looking at my Topstone Neo SL as he passed and said "You got a motor on that thing?" I should have said "yeah, me!" LOL It was funny to see his reaction. He said he was doing 500 watts up that hill when I went by him. The implication being he looked at my 50's overweight body and probably thought "No way!" LOL I got a good laugh out of it. He rode with me a bit and we chatted until we ended up having to go different routes.

As for the info about about the electric motors I quoted above, electric motors do not have "gears," so cannot be compared to a Corvette or Porsche gas vehicle which has gears. It is like an EV, which also has an electric motor with no gears (one gear, if you will) and never shifts. There is no "lag" or "over-revving" in an electric motor. I drive an EV, and the thing is like a rocket at low speeds and even when going 65mph and you go to pass someone and kick it up to 90 mph the thing just takes off. The electric motor on the e-bikes should be the same way as far as performance, depending on the level off assist selected. I experienced a little of the "pulsing" I would call it on the Treadwell. But it was more due to reaching the speed limit of 16 mph and the motor was cutting in and out since I was at the threshold. When I get back up to 20 mph, and I cycle below that, I expect the pulsing to be gone.
 
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