Wait, is that an eBike? Your guide to the new TQ-HPR50 motor.
As you may know, electric bikes have been blowing up in popularity and every brand now has a bike that they claim to be the best. These bikes all come with different specs, different geometry, different weights, and, most importantly, different motors. By now, you will know of motor brands like Shimano, Bosch, or Mahle, but a brand called TQ has stepped up to the plate delivering a motor that should be high on your list of must-haves for an eBike.
The new, as of September of 2022, TQ-HPR50 eBike Drive system has taken the market by storm. BMC and Scott have both released road and mountain bikes with this drive system. The most common thing heard when a new customer sees one is, “Wait, is that an eBike?” TQ’s system is sleek and integrates into these frames with ease which often makes it difficult to tell that it is an eBike without being up close.
What was TQ Shooting For
Instead of going for just power and torque, the HPR50 motor focuses on weight and preserving a natural ride feel. This motor was designed to be almost indistinguishable from a bike without a motor. TQ wanted to create a motor that would give you assist when you need it, instead of a motor that makes a bike unrideable when powered-down. This motor is also the quietest crank-driven motor available, which makes the bike a silent killer on the road and trail.
One of the main goals of the TQ motor was to save as much weight as possible. The complete system, the battery and motor, weighs just over 8.5 pounds. Nearly three pounds lighter than the Shimano EP8 drive system, this bike enters a weight range we thought impossible just last year. The Scott Lumen 900’s claimed weight of 34 pounds should be the lightest eMTB out there, edging out bikes like the Orbea Rise M-LTD.
With the weight savings of this system there must be some drawbacks. Those disadvantages come when looking in the power and torque department. Since this motor was designed to preserve a natural ride feel, it maxes out at 50 Nm of torque as opposed to the 85 Nm of Shimano’s EP8 system or the Bosch system at 80 Nm. In my honest opinion, 50 Nm is plenty of torque as once you get higher than that your rear wheel often spins out when trying to put power down.
The TQ motor assists to 300 watts with a 360Wh battery. With this motor and battery, the range should be about two hours in the max assist level for someone who is about 165lbs. The range will vary depending on the elevation gain or loss, and the weight of the rider and the gear on the bike. TQ motors are all pedal-assist offering three different levels assisting up to 20mph (MTB) and 28mph (road/gravel).
TQ offers a 160Wh range extender for those looking to get extra distance out of their bike. This range extender is the size of a 500ml water bottle, so it won’t dominate the frame and the rider will still be able to store other things around it. It attaches using the magnetic FIDLOCK system, so if you have one of their water bottles, you will be able to use the same mount for the extender or the bottle. One thing to note is that each bike will need a specific cable to connect the extender to the bike, so please contact us if you are unsure on which cable you need.
TQ chose to give this system a two-inch screen integrated to the top tube of the bike. With this screen you are able to see your assistance level, your speed and your range and also allows customization. The screen is backlit, so you will be able to see it even in dark and low-light conditions. This screen is operated by one button at the base of the display allowing you to turn the bike on and off and run through the assist levels.
To customize the TQ display, you will need to download the TQ E-Bike app for your smartphone. This will allow you to customize the display, but also to use your phone as your bike computer and fine-tune the motor to a specific rider’s needs or ability. The phone app even allows you to contact TQ for any help and to answer any questions.
For those riders not comfortable taking their hand off the grip to operate the display, there is an optional button to go directly on the bar. Sadly, for the roadies out there, there is not a great place to put the switch on the drop bars. This switch also gives you a walk-mode option.
- Most silent mid drive motor in its class
- Tuned for a more natural ride feel, like a Shimano EP8 RS
- Sub 1900g motor
- Full system is 3900g
- 50 Nm of torque
- 360 Wh battery
- Frame display with bluetooth connection
- Handlebar remote
- 160 Wh extender
- Phone app lets you see battery life and customize displays
- Main top tube display has one button, super simple to use
- Perfect for lightweight off-road oriented bikes
While the TQ motor is not the most powerful motor, for those looking for a motor that will preserve a lightweight and natural feeling ride, this is likely the motor for you. Capable of supporting you through long days, the motor will assist you when you need it and fade away when you don't. The TQ system is extremely user-friendly and is a great option for those wanting to add some assistance to their ride.
If you have more questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to help you find the right bike for you, so call or email us for more information. We finally have some bikes with the TQ motor, so come check them out in our Salt Lake City or Park City stores.