Tour de France

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Mik
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Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3739

I got sucked in watching one leg of the Tour de France a few days ago.

This made it very clear how woefully inadequate the current EV's are, compared to a top athlete with top cycling gear and support crew.

I am wondering if there is an electric vehicle out there that could make it to the finish line of one, or several or all of the individual stages of the race.

Is there a vehicle that could actually win one or several or all stages of the tour?

Imagine cost was not an issue at all (those bicycles cost more than a Vectrix), could one build an electric vehicle that could keep up?

Say, with a 45kg rider, to make it easier...
.

Some of the specs needed:

On the long climbs the riders apparently produce something like 400W continuously.

Many stages are around 200km long.

Downhill speeds reach 100km/h.
.

How many kilos of batteries would it take to store enough energy for any of the stages - could a bicycle carry these and still break sufficiently safely for the downhill hairpin turns?
.
To make it a "fair" comparison, some sort of recharging on the run should be allowed, because the riders take in copious amounts of fluids and calories during the races. These are carried by team members and support crews and also handed out by spectators, it seems.

So you might want to allow a group of EV's working together, with one or more carrying several spare batteries, handing them over and then falling back from the lead. But they must make it to the finish line to be allowed in again the next day and continue their supporting role.

What group of EV's and what kind of strategy would be needed?

Mr. Mik

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dogman
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Joined: 04/29/2008
Points: 830
Re: Tour de France

My We motor could outperform most of the peloton, but would also need a car following with more batteries, much as the peloton is supplied with food. It's not the bikes that are lacking, its the batteries. Something you could ride an hour and and a half and then charge in 15 minuites would be all I would need to ride huge mileage. Weight is a big issue, with hubmotors at at least 15 pounds, and the battery at least another 15. Strap 30 pounds on those guys and make em ride a 30 pound bike and they won't be so fast. So really our ebikes have pretty good performance, especially when you consider most of us weigh 50 or more pounds more than a TDF rider. Put em on a mtb with 80 pounds on their back and they would crawl.

My brused WE bike could go about 22mph carrying two ping 48v 20ah batteries, and would likely have about 50 mile range. A fresh set at a feeding station would get me as far as 20 miles from the finish. Yesterdays stage though, would take a battery every ten miles or less. 15,000 feet of vertical climb on that stage.

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Tiberius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
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Re: Tour de France

Mik, Dogman, (Think we may have met on endless-sphere)

This is something a group of us in England have been looking at. There is a Tour of Britain cycle race that runs after the TdF each year. Last September we did a test run over one of the stages on e-bikes. Basically, if you are careful you can get enough batteries on a bike to do the stage and keep within the legal weight limit

The idea has got potential and we hope to do a bigger event in September 2009.

More info here: www.re-voltage.eu/exmoor2008.html

Nick

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