Seeker's Max Range = 45 miles w/ 5,000 feet of vertical


Well-Known Member
So I thought I'd try hypermiling this last charge to see what my maximum practical range would be, and calculate whether I will actually be able to ride some of the routes I have planned. (This information might also be marginally useful to people who are thinking of buying an eMTB with similar specs.)

Many of you are already familiar with my bike: Motobecane Ultra E-Adventure 418Wh Battery, Class 1 mid-drive eMTB w/ Shimano Steps E5000, 250 Watts, 40 nm torque, 46 pounds after mods + maybe 3 to 4 pounds of clothes, bike lights, tools & water, 930 miles on the odometer. Rider is 65 years old, 150 pounds.

The strategy was to start with tires at 50 PSI (10 PSI less than their limit), push myself a bit in terms of exertion but never to the point of gasping or getting dizzy, just delaying the increase of power from OFF to ECO, ECO to NORM, or NORM to HIGH a little longer than usual. On level ground I would turn the motor off completely about half the time, and spend the other half in ECO, because I think that's how a lightweight eMTB is designed to be ridden. Part of the point of having a lighter frame is that when it's flat, you're riding it like a bicycle. Terrain was about 45% asphalt, 35% gravel and badly cracked pavement, and 20% dirt trails with small rock gardens (just the way it is here!), maximum grade was probably between 15 and 20%.

Maximum range came in at 44.4 miles with 4,900 feet of vertical just as I hit the reserve. Remaining indicated range was: High=0 range, Norm=2 miles range, Eco=2 miles range. I think we can call that 45 miles of range with 5,000 feet of vertical. Average speed was slow, about 10.2 MPH, but hey, there were a lot of hills.

Of course, there are variables that make my projections difficult-- wind, heat, surface, and over 20% grades will shorten my range. I've got to sit down with the mapping software and run some numbers, but I think I'm going to be able to get from my house to the Los Flores entrance in Glendale and ride pretty much the entire spine of the Verdugo mountains (definitely to Burbank, possibly even to the edge of Sun Valley) and back home again, though I probably won't try it until the fall, when it's much cooler!
Now have about 1,100 miles on the odometer, and still haven't tried this ride yet. Had to rehearse for and play a couple of shows back east, moderate flareup of migraines and connective tissues symptoms in late September through October, and then my busier season at work.

Now I'm getting close again in terms of physical conditioning, but I'm hearing some friction from somewhere near the rear axle, I have a slow leak in the rear tire, and it will be WAY too cold in the Verdugos! Another couple of months, however, and maybe I'll get this done!