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What is the quietest e-bike motor?

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What is the quietest e-bike motor?

Old 08-09-19, 09:53 AM
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01 CAt Man Do
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What is the quietest e-bike motor?

Since I find the whine of an electric motor to be somewhat of irritation I find myself wondering if there is an e-bike kit that is known for it's *quietness ( * either imperceivable to the ear or virtually imperceivable to the ear ). This question also applies to bikes already equipped with a motor. What brands are the quietest? My Trek Conduit has a whine that I can hear when using it. While it's not that loud it is enough to irritate me when I'm trying to listen to the sounds of nature. If I'm on the road with traffic or wearing ear buds and listening to music then it's not an issue but sometimes I just want to listen to the summer Crickets and Cicadas without the whine when riding on a wooded MUP.
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Old 08-09-19, 10:06 AM
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The Trek (and all OEM mid-drives AFAIK) has a geared motor (look at the ebikesca tutorials for an explanation), and they're noisier than direct drive (DD) motors (mostly confined to the DIY crowd, Stromer and other hub-drive systems). IMO, the quietest motor will be a DD with a sine wave controller. A Brose mid-drive could be the quietest of the bunch since it has steel gears and can use a belt drive instead of chain for reduction.

Last edited by 2old; 08-09-19 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 08-09-19, 11:56 AM
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Only tried a few. Terns w/ Bafang & Bosch, Oyama & Brompton.
Seems Bosch is the quietest of the ones I tried.
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Old 08-09-19, 03:11 PM
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Crickets and Cicadas annoy me more than any electric or other motor, and summer ones are the worst.
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Old 08-09-19, 04:42 PM
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I agree.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BiciMan View Post
Crickets and Cicadas annoy me more than any electric or other motor, and summer ones are the worst.
You had me going for a minute...till I saw the "winker" at the end. I love the natural sounds of a summer night. The annual summer Cicadas where I live are nice and relaxing to listen to. Sometimes their songs almost seem to harmonize. Also makes good background for some of my more ambient music on my Google play list.

Now it's the 17 year species of Cicada that can be a real PITA. Last time we had those in Md. was 2013. The 17 yr. ones are the noisiest and can fly right into you at times. You also have to dodge all the outer shells when they molt. Yep, the 17 yr. ones can raise a real ruckus when at their peak. Driving down the road you would think it was hail hitting your car windshield.

Used to be when I was a kid that the Whippoorwill was the nocturnal sound I loved the most. They are now a rarity where I live. Every couple years or so I will be fortunate enough to be on the right trail at the right time. Whenever I hear one now I stop in my tracks and the call takes me back in time when I was a boy and riding my bike home from my cousin's house in complete darkness.

My local favorite now are the Hoot Owls. Strangely, I haven't heard any this year which is quite odd.....although i did almost run over an Owl a couple weeks ago that was sitting right in the middle of an MUP. Scared the crap out of me. Usually see them ( or hear them ) while they are sitting in the trees. Anyway, the owl was likely snacking on the local frogs which are quite plentiful this time of year. Last night on my ride I dodged about 5 frogs and one fox that cut across in front of me not more than 15 ft. away. ( I loves the night )

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Old 08-15-19, 10:45 AM
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My 1500w/3000w large hubs with sine-wave controllers are absolutely silent. Even at night, they're eerie - all I can hear is tyre scrub, wind noise and chain noise, like any other bike, but more so due to weight and speed.

I took POV video and heard a low pitched whine from the motor through the hi-fi on playback. Weird to hear the motor. It happened because my camera was bolted to the handlebar, and it was picking up the frequency through the frame..

My 250w small hub is horrible. Sounds like there's a cat in there.
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Old 08-15-19, 04:22 PM
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Pretty sure both of my DD motors have square wave controllers (but don't care since I'm not changing them) since there's a slight, but noticeable noise from them.
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Old 08-16-19, 11:18 PM
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Brose gets the #1 spot.
Some Bosch are very quiet but not all.

-SP
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Old 08-19-19, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
The Trek (and all OEM mid-drives AFAIK) has a geared motor (look at the ebikesca tutorials for an explanation), and they're noisier than direct drive (DD) motors (mostly confined to the DIY crowd, Stromer and other hub-drive systems). IMO, the quietest motor will be a DD with a sine wave controller. A Brose mid-drive could be the quietest of the bunch since it has steel gears and can use a belt drive instead of chain for reduction.
If I was to use a DD rear hub motor ( 26" wheel ) with a sine wave controller would I still be able to run the same rear cassette ( 9-speed ) that I currently use? What would be the best brand to look into? Currently I am favoring a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive kit ( 750 watt ) since I found what looks like a reliable USA distributor that deals primarily with e-bike kits. I like the idea of dealing with a USA distributor direct because one; they can answer all my questions before I buy and if something goes wrong I can send the unit back more easily. Your thoughts....
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Old 08-19-19, 04:16 PM
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I don't know of a DD rear hub system that will accommodate a 9-speed cassette (there may be one I haven't heard of). IMO, contact ebikesca (not inexpensive) for assistance. My wife and I ride off road on BBS02- equipped hardtails, and they seem perfect if a little ponderous. Bafang manufactures 850,000 (as of 2017) motors a year, so don't expect any problems.
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Old 08-19-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
If I was to use a DD rear hub motor ( 26" wheel ) with a sine wave controller would I still be able to run the same rear cassette ( 9-speed ) that I currently use? What would be the best brand to look into? Currently I am favoring a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive kit ( 750 watt ) since I found what looks like a reliable USA distributor that deals primarily with e-bike kits. I like the idea of dealing with a USA distributor direct because one; they can answer all my questions before I buy and if something goes wrong I can send the unit back more easily. Your thoughts....
Very few hubs take a cassette, but I have a 10-speed 11-36t spin-on freewheel on mine. I use that with a 2/3x10 Shimano XT DynaSys groupset. So spin-on threaded hubs aren't quite the groupset killer they're reputed to be..
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Old 08-20-19, 06:11 AM
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Unfortunately one of the quietest is no longer in production. My BionX D500 DD motor is almost silent, just a slight hum. The hub also uses cassettes. Mine is a 9 speed.
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Old 08-20-19, 09:15 AM
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Too bad about BionX; their 500D motor was the one of the best that I've ridden and the 350 iteration(s) were good too. The only DD bikes that compare and are still manufactured are by Stromer.
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Old 08-23-19, 05:35 PM
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I have tinnitus and work in a prison, so what's a little engine whine??? Be Well. Bluesfrog
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Old 08-26-19, 03:37 PM
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Vado 6

I must admit I have only tried two ebikes. Specialized Vado 6.0 is very quiet.
Almost silent.
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Old 08-28-19, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Too bad about BionX; their 500D motor was the one of the best that I've ridden and the 350 iteration(s) were good too. The only DD bikes that compare and are still manufactured are by Stromer.
I currently ride a 350 watt Bionx. You're absolutely correct... very quiet. I've seen a lot of rad power bikes in the Seattle area (their retail store is here) and it appears that they use a direct drive motor. I'm tempted to go ride one. They are extremely competitively priced... most under $1500 for the complete bike. I'm wondering how you can get a quality direct drive when the Bionx motors were pretty expensive and the Stromer bikes that use direct drive are also very expensive.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:32 PM
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RW, Rad Power has been lauded in every article AFAICR, so probably good products. Part of the difference in price between BionX, Stromer and them is BionX motors were assembled in Canada and Stromer's in Germany while theirs are Chinese. Also, although the Stromer frame is from Asia, everything else is assembled in Sweden (or is it Switzerland?). All that said, I've built about 10 bikes for myself, wife and friends all with Chinese motors, and they've performed admirably.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
RW, Rad Power has been lauded in every article AFAICR, so probably good products.
But they are still just a cheap Chinese bike.

-SP
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Old 09-10-19, 10:35 AM
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Tandem

I love to make our tandem into an electric. Any idea of cost and who can do this?
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Old 09-10-19, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy25 View Post
But they are still just a cheap Chinese bike.

-SP
A bit off topic, but in what context are you using the word "cheap" here? To me, when talking about Rad Power bikes, it means "more affordable", not "sub par" quality.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:42 PM
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Yes, and Apple is just a "cheap" Chinese computer. The Chinese motor systems (BBS02, YES 48V, 1000w rear hub, ebikeling 48V, 1200w front hub, and others) that I've used have performed impressively. Many OEM products (including Bosch based on my comments with their R & D individuals) use "Asian-based" components.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:14 AM
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My tires make more noise than my Yamaha!
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