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Increasing torque on Riverside 520e ?

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    Increasing torque on Riverside 520e ?

    Hi all- first post here. Really struggling to find any insight online.

    I’m new to tinkering with ebikes, but I want to give this bike more assist when going up hill.

    I dont really care about speed, just live in a hilly area. A little speed boost would be nice, but only up to like 20mph. Not essential.

    I know a mid drive would help on hills more if sticking to 250w. But I can get a good deal on this specific bike, so wondering if I can just swap the rear motor for a more powerful one (still something under 450w) or if swapping the controller would let that 250 work harder, and have a better time on inclines. Or can I edit the wheel rotation size on the controller somehow?

    Or maybe I’m muddle somewhere. As I said - new to ebike tinkering.

    How would you go about increasing torque on this thing? Controller? Rear hub motor upgrade (Bafang kit?)… would the battery need swapping too?

    Bike specs:
    Shop 70+ sports in-store & online, free shipping on select in-app purchases. Free click & collect. 2-year Decathlon product warranty. Members…

    For a hubmotor bike I would go to Grin Technology. You'll get actual engineers there, not just parts vendors.

    Their prices are in $ CAD so some factoring is needed there.
    Right off the bat I would say a higher Voltage battery, and some Statorade fluid for cooling. But there may be a software hack that will free it up also.
    Last edited by Retrorockit; 04-19-2024, 03:47 AM.


      Thanks, will check them out.

      I’m also wondering if id be better off sourcing a non electric bike (secondhand or new), and converting it with a kit to get the desired torque.

      From what little I can find online, I think for some reason its hard to hack the Riverside controller. But I dont know what combination of new controller/battery/rearhub motor would A) be compatible and B) be required (do all three need changing?)

      I guess I want a 500w rear hub motor, with the result having more torque. Just not sure how to achieve it as its a bit new to me.
      Last edited by Skattotter; 04-19-2024, 08:28 AM.


      • AZguy
        AZguy commented
        Editing a comment
        FWIW - Around eight years ago I got my first electric bike which is a 750W geared rear hub. I recognized early on it would not meet my requirements and had other deficiencies, but heck, you gotta start somewhere to figure out what those requirements are and what will be the appropriate equipment to meet them. One of those issues was since I ride in the backcountry where it is sometimes quite steep a hubmotor would never really meet the needs and with the other deficiencies putting much $$ into it would be rather pointless.

        I bought on off-the-shelf bare bike. Made sure I had quality components all the way around and put on a mid-drive. Seven years and close to 15,000km later not only no regrets but entirely pleased with the bike.

        You do have to start somewhere. If I hadn't gotten that first bike I wouldn't really have known what would be my mission and what the solution for it was. That bike still makes a decent loaner for friends that want to go ride with me in town - and does a decent job of setting a hook for them to go consider a bike of their own...

      Appreciate the insights / experiences. I am very tempted to buy a quality bike with good components, then add a conversion kit. I’m in the UK, and the laws maybe changing soon around ebikes. But they’d still be capped at 500w batteries and a assistive speed limit of 15.5mph (but would also gain a throttle too)

      So I only would be looking at 48v 500w kits / swaps. Ive looked at midrive but Im unsure. They definitely give more torque and better in general it seems, but I am mostly commuting in cities (and many seem to say rear hubs are actually better there) its just the cities im between have pretty steep hills on them… so the 42-45ish torque available on most UK bikes in that price bracket are pretty weak at it. Ive also heard its easier just replacing a rear hub wheel and that middrives can be costly. If I convince myself to middrive, there might be a few more store options - as they generally have more torque.

      My last ebike got stolen a few years back was a rear hub with 80 torque. This is me finally replacing it but wanting to spend less (it was around 3k total), looking to spend half that, and make compromises). So im unsure how different middrive or cheaper rear hubs will feel. As it was a pretty ‘good’ rear wheeler.

      Im not sure if my best bet is getting a bike like the one linked and replacing the controller/battery (and maybe the 250 hub / do that later with law changes). Or if im better off buying a bike and adding a conversion to it. Im also worried swapping the controller may not be so simple if decathlon/halfords make that difficult.
      Last edited by Skattotter; 04-20-2024, 12:46 AM.


      • Retrorockit
        Retrorockit commented
        Editing a comment
        At that speed/ power I would be looking at a hub motor. Grin technology are the hub motor guys.

        But like this forum most users don't have a lot of experience with limited powered bikes. Of course a mid drive will give more torque by using the gears.
        The TSDZ2 mid drive is popular in the more limited EU DIY market. It's designed for 350W world market and is commonly run at 750W. It does need a cooling mod to survive hard use ( I of course prefer the one I developed).
        Post #8420, 8421 here.
        The pedal shaft can break off sometimes due to bad design there... A huge forum exists for those at Endless Sphere.
        Hi, I was made aware of a new offering over at BMSBattery today: "SDZ2 Torque Sensor Central Motor". Seems like a an attractive alternative to the Bafang BBS, $50 cheaper, with torque sensor, better installation guide etc...

        It would be a good choice if you need to carry your bike up stairs.Or maybe on a bus to get home?
        Last edited by Retrorockit; 04-20-2024, 08:27 AM.