Author Topic: Electric bikes  (Read 54443 times)

Clean Shaven

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #200 on: February 18, 2016, 07:30:17 AM »
Syonyk, or anyone else here with experience in rebuilding e bike batteries -

Is there any pro or con to the styles of battery cases, in terms of rebuilding (wiring), strength, support for the cells...  anything? Or is it just aesthetics and whether or not the case fits on the bike?

I'm deciding between the battery offerings from Luna. They're all about the same price, all with the same cells, all the same AH. They have batteries in a bottle style, a "shark", and a "dolphin."  I think any of these will fit into the frame I have, and mount onto the down tube water bottle bolt location.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #201 on: February 18, 2016, 08:44:17 AM »
It shouldn't really matter. They're all likely awful to rebuild.
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Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #202 on: February 18, 2016, 11:10:15 AM »
Since I'm on a Real Keyboard(TM) now:

They'll all be fine.  I wouldn't worry about rebuilding any of those that much, because they're "just batteries."  You charge them, and if they fail at some point in the future, all you need are volts & amps to make the bike work again.

It's really not worth rebuilding a simple battery, because you can just get an improved replacement in 5 years when you need it.

Where rebuilding matters (and what I rebuild) are "complex" battery systems - either batteries built to fit a very specific form factor (the iZip Ultra I rebuilt - the battery is shaped like a banana), or that have a fancy BMS that does things beyond just protecting the battery (anything BionX based).  You can't easily swap those out for a different pack, so replacing the cells makes sense - in many cases, you literally cannot buy a replacement pack.

But were someone to ask me to rebuild a Luna Shark pack or something, I'd look at them funny and tell them to go buy another one.  Then probably tear it down for fun, but not bother rebuilding it.
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Clean Shaven

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #203 on: February 18, 2016, 03:23:05 PM »
Thanks!

Embok

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #204 on: February 21, 2016, 10:57:55 PM »
Larabeth:

My DH and I recently bought two Pedego Interceptors, and really like them.  We got them as a way to start running local errands and biking for fun in our hilly neighborhood as we both need to take more exercise and build more aerobic capacity.  (As we work at home, they will not be used for commuting.)

We are not handy, so building a bike or adding a kit to an existing bike was not going to work for us.

Our Pedego's are heavy, but well balanced and easy for novices like us to ride.  We frequently don't use above the lowest level of pedal assist other than on hills.  More experienced bikers probably would not like the weight nor the upright cruiser biking position, but neither is a problem for us.   The 2 major advantages of the ebike are (1) we immediately became better and more capable bikers, and (2) we can go a lot farther without worrying that we won't be able to make it home.  They are so much fun that my husband, who does not generally like exercise, is starting to initiate bike riding outings.

Larabeth

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #205 on: February 21, 2016, 10:59:05 PM »
Larabeth:

My DH and I recently bought two Pedego Interceptors, and really like them.  We got them as a way to start running local errands and biking for fun in our hilly neighborhood as we both need to take more exercise and build more aerobic capacity.  (As we work at home, they will not be used for commuting.)

We are not handy, so building a bike or adding a kit to an existing bike was not going to work for us.

Our Pedego's are heavy, but well balanced and easy for novices like us to ride.  We frequently don't use above the lowest level of pedal assist other than on hills.  More experienced bikers probably would not like the weight nor the upright cruiser biking position, but neither is a problem for us.   The 2 major advantages of the ebike are (1) we immediately became better and more capable bikers, and (2) we can go a lot farther without worrying that we won't be able to make it home.  They are so much fun that my husband, who does not generally like exercise, is starting to initiate bike riding outings.

Thanks!!!   I appreciate the response.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #206 on: April 10, 2016, 01:49:36 PM »
An update on my e-bike project, for anyone shopping for a conversion:

I bought the BBSHD kit from Luna Cycle, based in Southern California, along with their 11.5ah Panasonic 48V battery, and "Lunagizer" charger (fancier charger that's supposed to be better for the battery life).  Came to about $1200 total.  Kit came with the motor, some bottom bracket spacers, display, thumb throttle (upgraded to a "universal" Bafang one for $5), two brake levers with motor cutout wiring, battery + water bottle mount cage bracket, wheel speed sensor, and the wiring harness to plug it all in.  No instructions were included, but Luna has links on their website to installations w/ instructions and pictures, so that wasn't a problem.

I installed it onto a Schwinn hybrid -- 700c wheels, aluminum frame, steel fork.  Took about 2-3 hours total to install.  Very easy, overall -- much more so than my experience with the Dillenger rear hub motor.

Impressions:
- battery mounts/unmounts very easily into its bracket.  There's a key that extends a nub to lock the battery into the bracket.
- took a little fiddling with spacers on the BBSHD motor "fork" bracket, to make sure it lined up perfectly.  No big deal.
- for a 50# bike, it handles like a normal bike.  Having the motor and battery mounted centrally and low down made a big difference, vs. the Dillenger kit (rear wheel motor and battery mounted onto rear cargo rack -- all the weight was to the rear, and higher up).
- pedal assist feature works acceptably.  Throttle response is immediate.  Brake cutout works well.  I only installed the left brake lever, since my right lever is integrated with the rear shifter.
- stock 46T steel chainring is very ugly and heavy, but should be durable.  Gearing is fine with that chainring and a 11-32 8-speed cassette (came with the bike).
- battery is sufficient for my commute, going one way (about 18-19 miles).  I haven't tried a round trip without recharging, but I can charge at work easily.  I think the BBSHD is kind of power hungry.  OTOH, it makes pedaling up steep grades a breeze, with pedal assist at 1 or 2.  At 3, 4, or 5, I can't pedal fast enough, and it feels even more like cheating.

Luna Cycle's customer service has been great.  Emailed questions are answered within a day -- sometimes within an hour or two, even on the weekend.

I'm very satisfied with the kit. 

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #207 on: May 02, 2016, 06:21:07 PM »
Disclaimer: I know very little about the ins and outs of e-bikes, or how to evaluate them.

Looking for: E-bike that can help me commute further distances (city/urban) and tackle steep hills that are difficult for me. Compounding factor is a rare muscular predisposition that means anaerobic exercise = a high risk of rhabdomyolysis compared to the average mustachian. But flat surface biking/ normal aerobic exercise is no problem. Thus, looking for a good e-bike...  Currently have a great regular bike but I feel limited on some routes/distances based on facts above.  I'd prefer to sell my current bike and buy an e-bike, rather than retrofit.

I've gone to two "e-bike" shops and tried out PAS vs. throttle bikes. Bikes that have only pedal assist weren't ideal because they seemed designed to match my force/speed up hills, but unfortunately, that's when I need to be limiting my output to protect against muscle injury. So a bike with throttle (or both) would be ideal for my use getting up hills. I'm likely going to use the bike to go no further than 20 miles away and back (40 miles round trip), but I really need the battery to not leave me stranded in a pinch.

After testing about 5 bikes, I found I really liked the Easy Motion EVO Street (UV336), buts it priced like a used car ($3k!!!). My city has a rebate program to encourage bike commuting that would offer $300, in addition to whatever I get from selling my current bike (a couple hundred bucks).  Naturally, my family and I are suffering sticker shock so we're trying to understand what other e-bikes out there exist that I should be trying.  I've already tried a couple Pedego, Faraday, a "Classic Comfort Cruiser", etc. but enjoyed the Easy Motion most. Next stop is another bike shop that has cheaper models/brands, including the X-Treme Sierra Trails and other X-Treme bikes that have price points closer to under $1k.

Question: How do I evaluate the difference in X-treme version bikes vs. the Easy Motion option? What factors should I be paying attention to in considering quality, price, specifications, etc., given my needs?

Any quick newbie-level guidance is appreciated since google and youtube are leading me down a rabbit hole of information better aimed at serious bikers.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #208 on: May 02, 2016, 09:13:59 PM »
My advice at this point?

Decide if you want a fatbike (hysterically fun, slightly less useful) or a car replacement cargo bike (useful for just about everything).

If #1, buy a Rad Rover.  $1500 plus shipping.  If #2, buy a Rad Wagon.  $1600 plus shipping.

If you live in Seattle, skip shipping and buy it locally.  Otherwise, $200.

Both excellent bikes with PAS plus throttle, both very, very solid options, and amazingly low cost for what are both excellent bikes.

I have zero financial stake in the company, but reviewed both and thought they were most excellent.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-rover.html
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Jeremy E.

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #209 on: May 03, 2016, 08:58:20 AM »
My advice at this point?

Decide if you want a fatbike (hysterically fun, slightly less useful) or a car replacement cargo bike (useful for just about everything).

If #1, buy a Rad Rover.  $1500 plus shipping.  If #2, buy a Rad Wagon.  $1600 plus shipping.

If you live in Seattle, skip shipping and buy it locally.  Otherwise, $200.

Both excellent bikes with PAS plus throttle, both very, very solid options, and amazingly low cost for what are both excellent bikes.

I have zero financial stake in the company, but reviewed both and thought they were most excellent.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-rover.html
This looks like a pretty good deal, All of my favorite sub $3,000 ebikes are either just pedal assist, or kits you have to install, so I'm not much help :(

Jack

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #210 on: May 03, 2016, 09:45:40 AM »
http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html

Wow, that electric cargo bike is cheaper than most non-electric cargo bikes (e.g. Xtracycle Edgerunner, Yuba Mundo, Surly Big Dummy)! What's the catch?


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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #212 on: May 03, 2016, 11:11:49 AM »
My advice at this point?

Decide if you want a fatbike (hysterically fun, slightly less useful) or a car replacement cargo bike (useful for just about everything).

If #1, buy a Rad Rover.  $1500 plus shipping.  If #2, buy a Rad Wagon.  $1600 plus shipping.

If you live in Seattle, skip shipping and buy it locally.  Otherwise, $200.

Both excellent bikes with PAS plus throttle, both very, very solid options, and amazingly low cost for what are both excellent bikes.

I have zero financial stake in the company, but reviewed both and thought they were most excellent.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-rover.html

This was super helpful!  Thank you!


Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #213 on: May 03, 2016, 01:04:39 PM »
I guess the catch is that it's range is 15-40 miles, and might not work for nonprofitER

Range is entirely dependent on how much power you use.  It sounds like the use case is to pedal on the flats, and use throttle on hills, which will save battery for the hills.

You can also buy a spare battery if you really need longer range under power.
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Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #214 on: May 03, 2016, 01:05:35 PM »
Wow, that electric cargo bike is cheaper than most non-electric cargo bikes (e.g. Xtracycle Edgerunner, Yuba Mundo, Surly Big Dummy)! What's the catch?

Apparently it's not *quite* as long a tail as most long tail cargo bikes, so some accessories won't fit properly.

And... beyond that?  I have no idea.  That's why I'm so excited by them.  I can't find the catch, and I spent a day riding them around and looking for one.
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pbkmaine

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #215 on: May 03, 2016, 01:14:37 PM »
Larabeth:

My DH and I recently bought two Pedego Interceptors, and really like them.  We got them as a way to start running local errands and biking for fun in our hilly neighborhood as we both need to take more exercise and build more aerobic capacity.  (As we work at home, they will not be used for commuting.)

We are not handy, so building a bike or adding a kit to an existing bike was not going to work for us.

Our Pedego's are heavy, but well balanced and easy for novices like us to ride.  We frequently don't use above the lowest level of pedal assist other than on hills.  More experienced bikers probably would not like the weight nor the upright cruiser biking position, but neither is a problem for us.   The 2 major advantages of the ebike are (1) we immediately became better and more capable bikers, and (2) we can go a lot farther without worrying that we won't be able to make it home.  They are so much fun that my husband, who does not generally like exercise, is starting to initiate bike riding outings.

DH and I have Pedego Comfort Cruisers and really enjoy them.


NonprofitER

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #217 on: May 04, 2016, 08:27:42 AM »
I guess the catch is that it's range is 15-40 miles, and might not work for nonprofitER

Range is entirely dependent on how much power you use.  It sounds like the use case is to pedal on the flats, and use throttle on hills, which will save battery for the hills.

You can also buy a spare battery if you really need longer range under power.

Yep - this is my intention. Regular pedaling on flat, just need the help up hills.

Rollin

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #218 on: May 04, 2016, 10:13:33 AM »
Pedal up hills too! Cool to go up at 20 mph, regardless of load.

If you rely on battery alone you'll use it up very quick, and your speed will drop considerably.
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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #219 on: May 04, 2016, 11:16:32 AM »
I rode a Pedigo, but it just felt cheap.  Good price point though.  I also liked the Hibike, but didn't have that kind of cash laying around.  I settled on the iZip e3 Path+.  Looks much like a regular bike so it does not draw any attention when tied to a pole somewhere.  It has 4 modes of pedal assist and a throttle only mode.  I'm usually in setting 1 or 2, but will go to 3 and 4 when the hills are steep or the winds pick up.  The assist just eliminates the extra strain.  I really wish I had known the 2016 model was changing to mid-drive instead of hub driver.  I would have definitely waited the 3 months to get the newer one. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

Jeremy E.

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #220 on: May 04, 2016, 11:21:16 AM »
I rode a Pedigo, but it just felt cheap.  Good price point though.  I also liked the Hibike, but didn't have that kind of cash laying around.  I settled on the iZip e3 Path+.  Looks much like a regular bike so it does not draw any attention when tied to a pole somewhere.  It has 4 modes of pedal assist and a throttle only mode.  I'm usually in setting 1 or 2, but will go to 3 and 4 when the hills are steep or the winds pick up.  The assist just eliminates the extra strain.  I really wish I had known the 2016 model was changing to mid-drive instead of hub driver.  I would have definitely waited the 3 months to get the newer one.
Haibike introduced a new motor in some of their new models and are considerably cheaper, however the Bosch motor is my favorite, and I don't know anything about the yamahas. However they are only pedal assist so this doesn't help NonprofitER

nickybecky1

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #221 on: May 04, 2016, 11:32:26 AM »
I have the Easy Motion EVO street and I got it for $2000 instead of $3000. The new models come out in September, so I bought from a place that sells e-bikes and rents them, and they gave me a deal because it was the old model and they needed to trade it out. Still came with the warranty and everything (which I used - the battery had a problem, now resolved). Can you check with bike shops about when they change out inventory and have sales?

I would have purchased on craigslist, but my short height meant that after watching for a couple of months, no bikes that fit me came up. If I were taller I would have gone used.

NonprofitER

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #222 on: May 04, 2016, 05:53:27 PM »
Pedal up hills too! Cool to go up at 20 mph, regardless of load.

If you rely on battery alone you'll use it up very quick, and your speed will drop considerably.

While this is true for most MMMers - it won't work for me, per my original post about having a genetic metabolic muscle issue that puts me at high risk of rhabdo (muscle/kidney damage) doing anaerobic bursts - such as going up steep hills.  Fun fact, I don't make lactic acid! Because lactic acid is a byproduct of the metabolic process my muscles can't do (convert muscle stored glycogen into energy)  But I am able to do normal aeorbic exercise (per blood circulated glucose), and very few people in my "real" life would ever know the difference about my body, since it doesn't come up often in day to day life. IE, I'm not usually expected to sprint up a hill, or power lift a ton of weights. :)

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #223 on: May 04, 2016, 05:54:18 PM »
I have the Easy Motion EVO street and I got it for $2000 instead of $3000. The new models come out in September, so I bought from a place that sells e-bikes and rents them, and they gave me a deal because it was the old model and they needed to trade it out. Still came with the warranty and everything (which I used - the battery had a problem, now resolved). Can you check with bike shops about when they change out inventory and have sales?

I would have purchased on craigslist, but my short height meant that after watching for a couple of months, no bikes that fit me came up. If I were taller I would have gone used.

Great points!  A few of our bike shops do rent out e-bikes for tourists and I have noticed many use the Easy Motion EVO Street - so perhaps I can talk with them about this.

Rollin

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #224 on: May 05, 2016, 07:26:13 AM »
Pedal up hills too! Cool to go up at 20 mph, regardless of load.

If you rely on battery alone you'll use it up very quick, and your speed will drop considerably.

While this is true for most MMMers - it won't work for me, per my original post about having a genetic metabolic muscle issue that puts me at high risk of rhabdo (muscle/kidney damage) doing anaerobic bursts - such as going up steep hills.  Fun fact, I don't make lactic acid! Because lactic acid is a byproduct of the metabolic process my muscles can't do (convert muscle stored glycogen into energy)  But I am able to do normal aeorbic exercise (per blood circulated glucose), and very few people in my "real" life would ever know the difference about my body, since it doesn't come up often in day to day life. IE, I'm not usually expected to sprint up a hill, or power lift a ton of weights. :)

Sorry you have to go through that. I see you must be careful. The cool thing about an electric assist is that you can peddle the same effort or cadence up hills and that power is usually expanded through the assist. So, you'll still want to peddle, but again only as you normally would on the flats. That way you will save a lot of battery life and stress on the system. If they are really steep hills you will need to peddle regardless (unless you get something like a Stokemonkey).

Bottom line is that most everyone can enjoy and benefit from an electric assist bicycle. I have essentially replaced about 99% of the trips I take in a vehicle, and when it is super hot and humid out I don't melt!
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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #225 on: May 05, 2016, 07:33:48 AM »
Pedal up hills too! Cool to go up at 20 mph, regardless of load.

If you rely on battery alone you'll use it up very quick, and your speed will drop considerably.

While this is true for most MMMers - it won't work for me, per my original post about having a genetic metabolic muscle issue that puts me at high risk of rhabdo (muscle/kidney damage) doing anaerobic bursts - such as going up steep hills.  Fun fact, I don't make lactic acid! Because lactic acid is a byproduct of the metabolic process my muscles can't do (convert muscle stored glycogen into energy)  But I am able to do normal aeorbic exercise (per blood circulated glucose), and very few people in my "real" life would ever know the difference about my body, since it doesn't come up often in day to day life. IE, I'm not usually expected to sprint up a hill, or power lift a ton of weights. :)

Sorry you have to go through that. I see you must be careful. The cool thing about an electric assist is that you can peddle the same effort or cadence up hills and that power is usually expanded through the assist. So, you'll still want to peddle, but again only as you normally would on the flats. That way you will save a lot of battery life and stress on the system. If they are really steep hills you will need to peddle regardless (unless you get something like a Stokemonkey).

Bottom line is that most everyone can enjoy and benefit from an electric assist bicycle. I have essentially replaced about 99% of the trips I take in a vehicle, and when it is super hot and humid out I don't melt!

Yep. Totally agree. I've already cut out driving a lot over the past 12 months with a regular bike, but getting an E-bike will allow me substantially more trips/routes that I currently avoid.  If I can bike commute and cut car driving (with a muscular issue and a 6yo) ANYONE CAN!

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #226 on: May 08, 2016, 03:12:39 PM »
I posted earlier on in the thread and it's amazing how much ebikes have changed in such a short time.  The main change is PRICE!  I don't mind sharing on here that I just sold 40 electric bikes (currently being built) to a rental company in Lake Tahoe.  Last year they tried to make a deal with another company but it didn't work out.  The prices dropping is what made it possible for the business to be feasible.

Point is, I'm using this as a starting point for a line of affordable electric bikes.  The Radrover bikes aren't bad, but they're still adding a decent markup.

I'm just excited to see the interest growing, the timing is right.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #227 on: May 08, 2016, 04:22:51 PM »
I don't mind sharing on here that I just sold 40 electric bikes (currently being built) to a rental company in Lake Tahoe.

Very, very cool!  I think the biggest barrier right now is simply getting people on ebikes.  They're not for everyone, but so many people have no idea what they are.  I haven't let a single person ride one of mine who didn't come back with a stupid ebike-grin on their face.

Quote
Point is, I'm using this as a starting point for a line of affordable electric bikes.  The Radrover bikes aren't bad, but they're still adding a decent markup.

The Rad Rover is a neat toy, but the Rad Wagon is a genuine car replacement as far as I'm concerned.  I'm far, far more interested in that one.

Quote
I'm just excited to see the interest growing, the timing is right.

Same!  The interest is there, the price is almost there, and the fun factor is absolutely there.

Part of my ebike marketing is simply showing up places on mine.  My next build is going to be a blindingly obvious build - classy, well done, but obviously electric, and a very vivid color.  The reason for this is because I *want* people to ask me about it.  I'm even thinking about putting a flexible/roll up solar panel on it that I can deploy when it's parked.  The energy I gain is minimal, but the "Wow, electric bike!" factor should be huge. :)
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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #228 on: May 15, 2016, 04:19:13 AM »
Opinions differ on mid-drives and the like.  I'll share mine.  You'll probably get an absolutely conflicting opinion from someone else. :)

Are the mid-drive bikes a better option than hub drive?

"It depends."  I don't have any mid-drive bikes, but I can push a lot of power through a hub and be fine.  At the time I was building mine, there really weren't options for heavy duty ebike chains, and I hate changing chains, so... I optimized for "not wearing the chain out every few months."

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I'm keen to do an ebike build at some point in the future, but we're limited to 250W for an ebike to be road legal. I'd assume that a mid drive would be a better option then as I could use the gears of the existing bike.

If you're limited to 250W, and are planning to actually obey the limit, yes, a mid-drive setup is going to be more efficient and will get you better hill climbing by a large margin.

Quote
Are bikes with rim brakes a bad idea for electric conversions?

How hilly is your area?  I destroyed two wheels with rim brakes in the Seattle area from the grit on the road, which is why I run disc brakes now (speaking of, I need to screw with them, because one piston is sticking).  If you're fairly flat, or reasonably dry, or both, rim brakes are fine.  They're not ideal, but they'll work acceptably.

My commute is pretty flat (a few minor hills), but at times there's high winds which slow me down a lot. I probably don't need an ebike now as I can complete the (4.5 mile) commute quite easily on a conventional bike, but if I can cut five or ten minutes from the commute it'll make all the difference, especially if I move a bit further away from work (likely given housing prices here).

It depends on the price of the things. It seems like ebikes under about $2000 and conversion kits under $1000 are all hub-drive anyway.

I am going to chime in here.  We are buying another ebike and going mid-drive this time.

I installed my first hub kit in 2003, with lead acid batteries and the going kit / controller at the time.   Technology today is so far advanced compared to that, and I still LOVED it.  No problem getting uphill pulling a trailer (lived on a big hill), and that lead acid battery lasted 20 min full throttle and 1 hr on partially pedalling (such as typical commuting).


Challenges with HUB - THEN:
The bike balance is off -- the hub adds weight where you don't want it, if you are used to jumping curbs or small bumps.  Big change to a hardtail mountain bike feel.  Pedal resistance is a big problem.  If the battery dies (rare now, not then) then you have a lot more effort to get home.

Even if nothing had changed, any ebike including hub, is still a major recommendation.

But wait -- Today, you get much more -- lithium batteries, free wheel internal parts to the hub motors and lighter designs -- these are amazing upgrades.
Hub motors are QUIET.  CHEAPER than mid-drives-- use the extra $ to buy a nice charger / battery / cycle analyst.


That said, this time around, we have chosen a mid-drive.   Mainly for the bike balance and feel.
We (DH) is buying a Luna Cycle cargo bike, installing fat tires (? not sure why, but he has gravel on his commute), and a free-wheeling mid drive hub motor.   I want a Bafang (reliable / quiet)  he thinks there is better value out there....   we shall see.

Yeah mid drives seem appealing, but it depends on how much extra they are compared to a hub-drive bike. I'm a bit reluctant to pay more for an ebike than what I paid for my car :)

kendallf

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #229 on: May 26, 2016, 12:55:00 PM »
My advice at this point?

SNIP>>
car replacement cargo bike (useful for just about everything).
SNIP>>
If #2, buy a Rad Wagon.  $1600 plus shipping.

I'm glad I read this thread and saw your review of the the Rad Wagon (among others).  I think I will probably buy one later this year.  I'm trying to go down a couple of bikes and get back to full time bike commuting (I'm finishing a house right now and driving a lot, which is annoying me). 
In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.
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b4u2

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #230 on: May 26, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »
I would like an ebike just because I sweat like a horse and do not have a way to shower at work, which would be pointless since I'm two miles and roughly 8 minutes from work. I like the idea of using the bike to keep the miles off my vehicles as well.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #231 on: May 26, 2016, 03:32:48 PM »
I would like an ebike just because I sweat like a horse and do not have a way to shower at work, which would be pointless since I'm two miles and roughly 8 minutes from work. I like the idea of using the bike to keep the miles off my vehicles as well.

Sounds like an easy solution to me. :)

It won't take much longer, you won't sweat on the way to work, and you can pedal your way home if you want for a bit of exercise.
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swiper

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #232 on: May 26, 2016, 04:24:41 PM »
I'd like to build an ebike this year for my 12 miles each way commute (all road/paths, few small hills)

Bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29_expert.htm

Motor kit: http://lunacycle.com/motors-and-kits/hub-motor-kits/golden-motor-v5-magic-pie-complete-kit/

I was thinking front mount, for better weight and for easier regular bike <-> ebike switch.

Battery: 52V ~10-13 ah (again likely from luna)

Thoughts?

k-vette

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #233 on: May 26, 2016, 04:49:49 PM »
I'd like to build an ebike this year for my 12 miles each way commute (all road/paths, few small hills)

Bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29_expert.htm

Motor kit: http://lunacycle.com/motors-and-kits/hub-motor-kits/golden-motor-v5-magic-pie-complete-kit/

I was thinking front mount, for better weight and for easier regular bike <-> ebike switch.

Battery: 52V ~10-13 ah (again likely from luna)

Thoughts?

I just bought two bikes from bikesdirect to convert.   That style is a good choice.   Lots of room for the battery. I'd recommend using the torque arms if using a front hub motor.

Aside from that you're likely to get high cruising speed and a good 20 mile range.  :)

Goldielocks

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #234 on: May 26, 2016, 08:54:07 PM »
I'd like to build an ebike this year for my 12 miles each way commute (all road/paths, few small hills)

Bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29_expert.htm

Motor kit: http://lunacycle.com/motors-and-kits/hub-motor-kits/golden-motor-v5-magic-pie-complete-kit/

I was thinking front mount, for better weight and for easier regular bike <-> ebike switch.

Battery: 52V ~10-13 ah (again likely from luna)

Thoughts?

I just bought two bikes from bikesdirect to convert.   That style is a good choice.   Lots of room for the battery. I'd recommend using the torque arms if using a front hub motor.

Aside from that you're likely to get high cruising speed and a good 20 mile range.  :)

Looks good,  we had good success with golden motor hub motors... (DH used to sell them).  For your range, you don't need an expensive battery, lower range ones for less $$ will be great.   Realize that for a front hub motor that you won't be jumping curbs or large tree roots, and that there is rolling resistance with it turned off.   (Mainly a bother if your battery dies, which is quite rare)

Switch out was not that fast for me, once I installed a front hub and hooked up and hid the wiring, I did not want to take the time to fiddle with the wires again.  You may not mind the few extra minutes, though, just include a quick connect when you set it up.

Oh, and we just bought a mid drive motor and frame from Luna Cycle and DH recommends them for customer service!  He is quite happy with the owner's response rate and tech savvy.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #235 on: May 30, 2016, 05:40:34 PM »
Lol @ the latest post.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/05/25/recipe-for-a-badass-diy-electric-mountain-bike/

The progression of MMM:
Ebikes are interesting, but I really do like pedal power... http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/
Ebikes are awesome, but I swear I'm not using them to be lazy, and I really do get out more and pedal hard before I hit the throttle... http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/08/31/electric-bike-reviews/
HOLY SHIT 750W MID-DRIVE IS AWESOME! http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/05/25/recipe-for-a-badass-diy-electric-mountain-bike/

Two years to full conversion. :D  He's a long holdout!

//EDIT: I entirely missed that this was a guest post about a build.  Whoops!

Still.  I think high power ebikes are getting some MMM love lately.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 06:13:08 PM by Syonyk »
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Goldielocks

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #236 on: May 30, 2016, 09:44:29 PM »
Syonyk,

I just wish he would put a disclaimer at the bottom of his ebike posts about needing to limit speed or power in most states, else the ebike needs to get a limited speed motorcycle license (and zero pathways allowed at that point).

Touting the over powered ebikes without a disclaimer acknowledging the law is just misleading.

Colorado is one of the more progressive / lax states, and has a maximum speed of 20 mph, and 750W, for example.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #237 on: May 30, 2016, 10:14:38 PM »
That's a good point.  40mph isn't legal on an ebike anywhere I'm aware of, including states with no ebike laws (I *think* mine are legally mopeds here... not really sure, since they talk about ccs of displacement).
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k-vette

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #238 on: May 31, 2016, 01:52:32 PM »
Syonyk,

I just wish he would put a disclaimer at the bottom of his ebike posts about needing to limit speed or power in most states, else the ebike needs to get a limited speed motorcycle license (and zero pathways allowed at that point).

Touting the over powered ebikes without a disclaimer acknowledging the law is just misleading.

Colorado is one of the more progressive / lax states, and has a maximum speed of 20 mph, and 750W, for example.

That law is pretty normal for most of the US actually.  Unfortunately in other countries you're right.  In California a pedal assisted ebike can have a maximum speed of 28mph, that's part of a new law making things a bit clearer on what's what.  If you register something as a moped it's legally allowed to go 30mph and roughly 3,000 watts on electric power.  More regulations, but an option for more powerful ebikes.

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #239 on: June 08, 2016, 07:03:31 PM »
My Rad Rover just shipped today! I haven't been this excited since I don't know when :) I've been bike commuting for over a year and actually gave my car away last December. While I could absolutely ride my bike everyday, the truth is some days I'm just exhausted and don't want to (but I do because I don't have any other choice). These days take some of the joy out of biking and I have found I ride A LOT less for recreation and fun on my off days. Call me lazy if you like but I gave it a true blue try. I think the electric bike will be a blast  and can't wait to take it for a spin!

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #240 on: June 08, 2016, 07:51:42 PM »
Very, very interested in your opinions of it after you get it and ride it for a while.

I loved it during my test ride, but that's a limited timeframe.  I know someone who bought one, and he absolutely loves it - takes it down forest single track and can get places he hasn't been able to before.
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coin

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #241 on: June 26, 2016, 10:41:00 PM »
I've been looking into getting one. Tried one out yesterday and it was far nicer/zippier than I presumed. It looks like it definitely would be able to take me to work comfortably, the current distance is a bit too far for me to make on my own.

Luckily my SO and sister dragged me away else I would totally have impulse-bought a new ebike.

tyort1

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #242 on: June 27, 2016, 10:37:35 AM »
Just an update on my eBike - I bought a 7 speed cruiser all-steel bike, then added the Hilltopper kit from Clean Republic (front wheel replacement).  I hurt my back pretty badly in January and have not been able to do much of anything for the past 6 months.  But I'm happy to report that I can now ride my bike again and having the motor is a god-send.  I can take it easy on my back but still get around easily because I can just push the button any time I hit a hill or get tired.

tl;dr - I am able to exercise again much sooner than I would have without the motor.
Frugalite in training.

swiper

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #243 on: July 02, 2016, 04:36:12 PM »
After much research, I'm getting closer to actually ordering the parts for my first build. Wondering if some of you more experienced builder have some thoughts.

Commute: currently 15 miles each way, dropping to 10 miles soon, little to no elevation.

Motor Kit: Leaf 1500W rear hub kit ($348): http://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-bike-conversion-kit/700c-electric-hub-motor-kit/newest-700c-inch-48v-1500w-rear-hub-motor-bike-conversion-kit-989.html
Cassette mount, instead of free wheel (special request)
Wide rim (special request)
Torque arms (2X ~$40)
Disc brake mount flange/spacer ($18)

Battery: Luna (warm-fuzzy site) 52v Samsung 26f 10-ah($349 - out of stock :( )
http://lunacycle.com/batteries/packs/52v/52v-samsung-26f-10-ah-1/

Charger: Luna variable 52V changer ($80)
Mount: Luna bag ($25)

Bike: Motobecane Fantom 29 Expert 29er (already have) (http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mountain_bikes/fantom29_expert.htm)
-150mm rear dropout
- 700x36H rims (2.1 tires)
- 9 speed sram cassette
- tektro hydraulic disc brakes

Concerns:
  • ill it all fit together? (eg will Torque arms fit on my dropouts as the dropouts look pretty recessed, will my stock 9 speed cassette fit, will disc brake body hit motor? etc)
  • I think i should be ordering some extra connectors (battery to controller as they are from different companies), not sure what type
  • Will the 48V generic controller work fine with 52V pack.
  • Battery is out of stock :(
  • Need to find disc brake sensors, as I want to keep the hydraulic brakes
  • Need to find high speed tire ... Marathon etc
  • Ill need to find a dorky downhill helmet and some armor(?)








Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #244 on: July 02, 2016, 04:58:07 PM »
Commute: currently 15 miles each way, dropping to 10 miles soon, little to no elevation.

Are you planning to charge at work?  30 miles round trip would require around a 1000Wh battery for a throttle-based ebike, though if you're going to use the pedal assist more, you could probably round trip it on your battery.

Quote
Motor Kit: Leaf 1500W rear hub kit ($348): http://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-bike-conversion-kit/700c-electric-hub-motor-kit/newest-700c-inch-48v-1500w-rear-hub-motor-bike-conversion-kit-989.html
Cassette mount, instead of free wheel (special request)
Wide rim (special request)
Torque arms (2X ~$40)
Disc brake mount flange/spacer ($18)

Seems sane enough.  I didn't realize they could do cassette mounts - huh.

Quote
Battery: Luna (warm-fuzzy site) 52v Samsung 26f 10-ah($349 - out of stock :( )
http://lunacycle.com/batteries/packs/52v/52v-samsung-26f-10-ah-1/

Charger: Luna variable 52V changer ($80)
Mount: Luna bag ($25)

That'll work fine.  If you're going to charge at work, it might be worth leaving a charger there.

Quote
Will it all fit together? (eg will Torque arms fit on my dropouts as the dropouts look pretty recessed, will my stock 9 speed cassette fit, will disc brake body hit motor? etc)

Lol.  You find that out when the stuff shows up and you try.  There's pretty much no guarantees, or even mechanical drawings available to use.

Quote
I think i should be ordering some extra connectors (battery to controller as they are from different companies), not sure what type

I use Anderson PowerPoles (45A tongues) for all my power connection work.

Quote
Will the 48V generic controller work fine with 52V pack.

It should be fine.  The controller low voltage cutoff won't be reasonable, but the pack BMS should handle keeping things safe.

Quote
Need to find disc brake sensors, as I want to keep the hydraulic brakes

Good luck.  I've never bothered, but I don't have a pedal assist system either - I just let off my throttle when I'm on the brakes.

Quote
Ill need to find a dorky downhill helmet and some armor(?)

... you can, sure.  I just wear bike gear.  *shrug*
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 05:05:30 PM by Syonyk »
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swiper

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #245 on: July 03, 2016, 08:42:32 AM »
Commute: currently 15 miles each way, dropping to 10 miles soon, little to no elevation.

Are you planning to charge at work?  30 miles round trip would require around a 1000Wh battery for a throttle-based ebike, though if you're going to use the pedal assist more, you could probably round trip it on your battery.

yes, and I'll likely charge slowly to 90% to prolong the battery and pedal assisting. I'm hoping this build gets home much faster and out more often.

Motor Kit: Leaf 1500W rear hub kit ($348): http://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-bike-conversion-kit/700c-electric-hub-motor-kit/newest-700c-inch-48v-1500w-rear-hub-motor-bike-conversion-kit-989.html
Cassette mount, instead of free wheel (special request)
Wide rim (special request)
Torque arms (2X ~$40)
Disc brake mount flange/spacer ($18)

Seems sane enough.  I didn't realize they could do cassette mounts - huh.

Yeah, most seem to come with freewheels.

Leaf offers a 1000W version with cassette mount on their site and a few endless=sphere guys have special requested the cassette mount on the 1500W version.
http://www.leafbike.com/products/e-bike-hub-motor/gearless-20-24-26-700c-28-inch/48v-1000w-rear-spoke-hub-motor-electric-bike-motor-spline-cassette-1015.html

I like the cassette mount option as i think i could reuse the sram 9 speed which came with my bike. Cassettes also seem better/newer (in my n00b mind).

Will it all fit together? (eg will Torque arms fit on my dropouts as the dropouts look pretty recessed, will my stock 9 speed cassette fit, will disc brake body hit motor? etc)

Lol.  You find that out when the stuff shows up and you try.  There's pretty much no guarantees, or even mechanical drawings available to use.

Yeah this is pretty much the main thing holding me back. I like research these things to death, but the info from china is conflicting and confusing. I think it'll work with the disc brake fit being the biggest potential issue. I think your right, just gotta jump.

I think i should be ordering some extra connectors (battery to controller as they are from different companies), not sure what type

I use Anderson PowerPoles (45A tongues) for all my power connection work.

Thanks!

Need to find disc brake sensors, as I want to keep the hydraulic brakes

Good luck.  I've never bothered, but I don't have a pedal assist system either - I just let off my throttle when I'm on the brakes.

I have a feeling that my rear brake's hydraulic body will be in the way of the motor, so I might just replace that one with the kit brake, set regen up high to use that as my "no panic" brake system.

Thanks for your thoughts :)

Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #246 on: July 03, 2016, 12:05:20 PM »
I like the cassette mount option as i think i could reuse the sram 9 speed which came with my bike. Cassettes also seem better/newer (in my n00b mind).

*shrug* I've never owned anything with a cassette, so I have no idea what I'm missing, I guess.

Quote
I have a feeling that my rear brake's hydraulic body will be in the way of the motor, so I might just replace that one with the kit brake, set regen up high to use that as my "no panic" brake system.

That's a very reasonable way of doing things.

If your brakes fit the KoolStop Electric Bike compound pads, get a set of those.  They're awesome.
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The One Dude

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #247 on: July 08, 2016, 08:07:54 AM »
I've always thought of this but never pulled the trigger. I may have to now!
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Syonyk

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #248 on: July 08, 2016, 08:35:25 AM »
I've always thought of this but never pulled the trigger. I may have to now!

Go test ride one if you can.  I let as many people as I can ride mine when I'm out and about, since it puts the "ebike grin" on people's face. :)

They're really, really awesome (though I may be biased).
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Jesscj81

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Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #249 on: September 19, 2016, 02:29:37 PM »
I got a pedal assist mid drive bike last month and started commuting to work, so far 3-4 days a week 32 miles round trip. I didn't build one, I got a Trek 700+ and I enjoy it very much. Every time I let someone ride it they are usually giggling coming back. So far range and speed have been great, but very dependent on what mode is used eco,tour,sport,turbo. I could see towing a trailer easily with this bike and have good range. even on the higher assist levels.
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