Range Anxiety and a Dealer Wants Their Deposit on Trek XM 700+

On a steep learning curve as a new ebiker - appreciate your grace and patience as I have peppered this board with posts. Or if you can refer me to primer to make sense out of all the electrical stuff. THANKS!

The Trek-only dealer I work with about 100 miles from me called for the rest of my $1,700 deposit today as they have a firm delivery date on my Trek XM 700 + Pedelec ($3,400) between August 8-11. Very happy as originally it could’ve been as late as October.

I am currently a happy and recent owner of a Raleigh Detour iE (20mph), and I am having some range anxiety about the Trek being 10 miles shorter at full assist, with the Trek at just 15 miles minimum and 65 maximum whilst the Raleigh is 25 and 45 miles, and just yesterday I backed off max assist on my Raleigh at night to be sure to get home. My minimum round-trip is 12 miles and I ride at full assist using my legs to give me two to five extra mph depending.

Can someone help me sort out what to expect from the Trek for range and top speed at their three levels of assistance given the comparative motor and battery specs below? I'm trying to know if given equal speeds, will the Trek have greater range than the Raleigh and so the Trek's range hopefully will only suck at 28 mph (full-on assist) but then have greater range at equal speeds with the Raleigh?

Also, are compatible higher capacity batteries available from Samsung who manufactures batteries for Trek?

Trek -
  • Mid mounted gear motor Bosch Performance Speed Generation 2
  • Nominal Output - 350 watts
  • Torque - 60 Newton Meters
  • Range 15 and 65.
  • Samsung Battery
    • Voltage - 36;
    • Amp Hours - 11ah;
    • Watt hours - 396.
  • Tour = 120%; Sport 190%; Turbo 275%.
  • Rear Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub Currie Electro Drive
  • Nominal Output - 500 Watts
  • Range 25 and 45.
  • Battery Voltage -
    • 48 Volts;
    • amp hours - 8.8ah;
    • Watt hours 422.4 (not an error by me, the Raleigh shows more than the Trek).
Just for comparison, the Stromer ST2 ($7,990) gives 60 miles at full 28mph assist and 90 at minimum. It has a Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub with nominal output at 500 watts and peak at 750 from a gearless direct drive rear hub with 42 Newton meters of torque. Batter voltage is 48 with 17ah (optional 20.5ah) and 814 wh with optional 983.

The Light Bulb Example and Watt Hours
Light bulbs are usually referred to by their wattage. For example, a 60W light bulb when on will consume 60 watts of electricity. The rate at which the light bulb consumes the electricity is the power. If you leave that light bulb on for 2 hours, then the light bulb will have consumed 120 watt-hours (2 hours X 60 watts). That is the measure of the energy consumed to do the work of lighting up the light bulb.

You are probably most familiar with electrical energy in the form of kilowatt hours (kWh) which is the unit you pay for on your electricity bill. A kilowatt hour is simply one thousand watt hours. The average home in the US consumes 958 kWh per month - green wording links to US Energy Information Administration.
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I would guess real world at 28 mph on the stromer is closer to 40 max based on my ST2 with the smaller btttery , so many variables to consider though. generally mid drives get better range...more research is needed and do not just compare printed specs , you will be very disappointed after purchase
@Douglas Wever perhaps a bit more explanation is needed as I'm confused that your statement "My minimum round-trip is 12 miles..." At times do you require range for a longer round trip? If so, what's the max range you'll need. And given the Trek specs and your concern, why are you buying it? (Perhaps your only option to have local support?)

Surely do agree with @opimax: Manufacturer range estimates are more likely guesstimates, at least when applied to a given customer. How much does the customer weigh? How steady will the rider's cadence be? Is the bike carrying a U-lock, perhaps a rack with a bag half-full of 'stuff', and likely a couple of lights...thus, more weight? Comfy day-time temps while the testing was done? And was it some lean, 2% body fat weekend racer who works at Trek and did the testing?

Another Q: What keeps you from just asking less of the battery, allowing the ride to be at a more leisurely pace and at a lower power level, thus giving you much more range?

Another factor is for how many cycles your bike's battery is rated to supply those range performance numbers. It may be 300, 500 or ??? (not stated) cycles during which the battery *should* perform as specified. After that, as you may have noticed from some of the other posts recently, battery performance declines (slowly or rapidly, depending in part on how its been treated) and those range numbers fall. Obviously, for commuters with their regular all-but-daily use, this is a significant factor. Now add in the current recommendation to not charge a bank to 100% nor draw it down to almost 0%, in both cases to extend the # of cycles it can perform at its rated specs. As one example, that 396 watt/hour capacity may, in practice and on Day #1, only offer 317 watt/hours of capacity (if the battery is charged to 90% and discharged to 10% of rated capacity). And after the # of cycles at which the battery's performance is rated, that 317 number drops with each next trip. That's why you can find the rec here to initially buy more battery than is actually needed.

Lots to mull, to be sure. Riding slower seems one likely solution though, no matter what the numbers all say. Good luck to you.
@Jack Tyler. Thank you for responding.

Boiling it all down: Yes, I often require closer to 24 miles range which at 28 mph the Trek is disappointingly not likely to give me (and the closest Stromer dealer is NE Atlanta).

So, here's the big question: will the Trek give give me 25-30 miles range at lower assist going 18-20 mph? If so that gives me a bike I can go 28 mph on for shorter trips and 18-20 for the longer ones.

Just spoke to Mackenzie at Trek Customer Support chat; she advises on Sport assist (medium) to expect 25 miles range at 20 mph. Identical to my Raleigh on full assist. She also advises a spare battery to be $800 coming from Bosch. That Bosch battery is guranteed for 500 full cycles over two years.
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2nd battery on any bike is nice, depands on your needs, maybe a 2nd charger would do instead, try to negotiate a battery or charger at cost to seal the deal

also if I go slow i can double the range if not more but you said basically floored! If I put in level1 and max at 21 avg 14 or less , i dont know how far i could go. I cant bring myself to do it :)
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Most 'industry experts' (blog writers not manufacturers) suggest it takes between 15 and 20 watt hours per mile. If you don't want to be disappointed figure 20 WH per mile and possibly more in winter if you live where there is a real winter. You can count on a lot less mileage traveling over 20 and the ramp up to speed eats some serious watts, so if there's a lot of stop and go, that's more watts. There's just so many variables it's a tough question to nail down an answer for someone else.

My Easy Motion bike has a 417.6 watt hour battery and just last Sunday I had my best mileage to date, which was 44.6 miles with 15% of the battery remaining. I've had more than a few 40+ mile rides with this bike with similar results, but my speed has always remained below 20 and averages in the mid teens on all those long rides. The bike will top out in max assist around 26 mph and if I go all out as fast as I can non stop I'm in the 20 to 25 mile range.

In the last two years I've been involved with ebikes they have become so much more efficient, due to battery chemistry and motors. I'm really impressed by the performance of this bike, getting below 10 WH per mile and even below 8 WH per mile. I couldn't do that with my first ebike, with it I was stuck in the 12-15 WH/mi. I'm not a skinny fit kid either, like you I'm in my 50's. What ever you buy today will be surpassed in the next model year, there will always be something better on the horizon.

Good luck!
I was reading on reddit that 28-30mph cruising on a Stromer ST2 with a 983wH battery gets you 30 miles. Since drag goes up at the square of speed it makes sense that high speed cruising uses a lot more energy. My Juiced Bikes Cross Current is around 15 miles at doing ~25-28mph on the on the 48V 7.8ah battery.

Is charging the battery at work not an option? If not, the only other suggestion would be to get a second battery.
Interesting discussion on the range for the Trek XM700+. I'm taking delivery of mine in Portland, OR, on July 20th (I live in North Carolina) and heading off for some serious solo touring on the 24th. Up into Eastern Washington and across the Cascades to Vancouver, BC.

So in a month I'll be able to answer a lot of the range questions. I'll be carrying two panniers, electronics, and the usual.

One thing that struck me seemed to be the assumption that the assist had to be on all the time. I've never encountered a completely level route, and envision long stretches on the Trek with the assist turned off. All it takes is a very slight downhill or a 5-10mph tailwind and no help is needed to go 20mph.

Anyway, more after I've done some serious riding.
Altho' @Steve Barsby 's point may/may not apply to @Douglas Wever 's specific circumstances, I'm really glad he made it. (And Steve, it sounds like a great trip! Please do report back on all your impressions.) One piece of advice I received here, just before test riding a wide range of ebikes to make my choice, was that I should place a priority on those bikes which rode well without e-power. And that proved to be very helpful advice. I assumed that, because most of the bikes I was considering weighed within a few pounds of one another and had similar gear sets, they would all 'feel' the same absent power and be equally unsuitable for the kind of recreational, urban and commuter riding I would be doing. In reality, that didn't prove to be true at all and I find riding my ebike, at least on slight grades and level ground, to be quite enjoyable without power. Best wishes on the 'trek', Steve.
Thanks for your knowledgeable posts. I just took delivery of my Trek HM700 and love it. I find that I have a 50 mile range easily when riding exclusively on eco mode (the lowest) and get much more mileage when I ride with no assist on level stretches. I looked at the Stromer and the Optibike when I was shopping, but service was one of my key criteria, and Trek is located all over southeastern PA where I live. I'm disabled and really appreciate the assist. I went to the ebike after being unable to keep up to the wife, despite my carbon framed hybrid. In any case, I really like my new Trek.
Jeff, congrats on finding 'the right ebike'! And thanks for offering a personal bike report too, which I'm sure others will benefit from. I'm envious of your range but only because 'more is better'. I'm finding my smallest-battery CrossCurrent gives me all the range I need, and it's a wonderful thing that Tora thought ahead and offers multiple capacities in the same mounting form factor, when that circumstance changes. Isn't it great that we're all delving into this slice of lifestyle together and sharing about it as well.
Manufacturer posted ranges are mostly bunk, just like most battery life claims. Take the number of watt hours in the battery and divide it by your typical usage. Light motor usage, flat ground, low winds, human power is about 10 - 20 Wh/mi. Heavy motor usage, headwinds, throttle will be 20 - 30 Wh/mi. Mid drives are more efficient than hub motors for the most part. Spinning is winning so make sure you keep your cadence high if you are using pedal assist.
Manufacturer posted ranges are mostly bunk, just like most battery life claims. Take the number of watt hours in the battery and divide it by your typical usage. Light motor usage, flat ground, low winds, human power is about 10 - 20 Wh/mi. Heavy motor usage, headwinds, throttle will be 20 - 30 Wh/mi. Mid drives are more efficient than hub motors for the most part. Spinning is winning so make sure you keep your cadence high if you are using pedal assist.

5 Ebikes in the past 3 years.
ALL got the mileage the manufacturer claimed they would get on the battery supplied with lower levels of assist and healthy rider peddling.
The only times I've gotten less mileage than the high end of the stated range is when I'm tired or lazy and ask the motor to do more than I am.
I"m guessing that's the case with most bikes.

My Bosch setup (36v 11ah) has never yielded me less than 40 miles on a charge, but again I'm usually on Eco or Sport (Seldom Tour and never Turbo) and always peddling. It's also flat here and I'm cruising at 15-17mph usually. Battery life at 28mph is like flooring the gas on your car. Watch it go down. ;)
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I have second batteries for both my neo Jet and FSRX (ouch was that expensive). I never have range anxiety since and it makes the idea of going out all day on your bike stress free. Depending on what my ride is like a may or may not take the second battery. If I'm willing to ride around 16mh or so average, the range on the bosh drive is easily 40 miles and typically more like 80 with me doing more work and having lower speeds. what is nice about second batteries is that you only take them when you need them otherwise you can forgo the added weight. When you crash at 28 mph you will no longer want that extra speed and be more satisfied with slower but longer rides.