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Around the Internet => Continue the Blog Conversation => Topic started by: MayDay on October 05, 2014, 07:30:23 PM

Title: Electric bikes
Post by: MayDay on October 05, 2014, 07:30:23 PM
I thought I would start this thread for any discussion of the most recent e-bike post, and the second one that will be following.

My specific question is whether anyone has used an e-bike to tow a load.  A kid trailer, a trail-a-bike, or a cargo hauler or some sort. 

I can't justify an e-bike at the moment, but I am trying to imagine possibilities in the future.  I am curious how much towing reduces the range you can expect to get, as it seems I am frequently needing to tow either children or heavy objects. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: GuitarStv on October 08, 2014, 06:59:22 AM
I'm kinda curious as to how the range of the battery is affected by winter conditions.  At 20 below how well do these things tend to work?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: train_writer on October 08, 2014, 02:30:15 PM
Spouse of Train Writer checking in, I am testing e-bicycles as a job.
The most important things are

- Type of battery, lead or lithium. Both have advantages, depending on if you use your bicycle mainly for longer distances or for many short errands AND it depends on your climate. You also have hybrides and new li-on and 'all plastic' batteries that can resist temperatures up to +45 celsius and down to -40 celsius. But they are expensive and not easy to fix.

- Total weight of the bicycle. Heavier is good on longer distances. I have tested the heavier bicycles with cargo, 100 kg trailer, and the most efficient can go already almost 70 km on one load.

- Speed, support up to 20 km/h, 25 km/h, 40-45 km/h. The 40-45 km/h have too many bugs still, but my girlfriend train-writer rides one with support up to 35 km/h and that seems to be a sweet spot.

But, IMHO, the better e-bikes are yet under development and are showing very promising test results and especially much easier to be 'tweaked' to be efficient on varying personal situations.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MayDay on October 09, 2014, 11:27:52 AM
To be honest, a faster ebike scares me.  15 mph seems plenty fast enough!  There is a reason I have never been on a motorcycle, those things look like death traps.  Yes, I am a wimp. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: train_writer on October 09, 2014, 01:20:23 PM
Than one that supports up to 20km/h is perfect for you, they are also the most energy efficient and sturdy. What brands are available in the States or are you thinking of building your own or ordering online?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: gimp on October 09, 2014, 06:45:28 PM
Quote
both are still sipping on the tanks of gas I bought them in April 2014.

You might want to see to that. Gas shouldn't sit for six months in your car. I'd probably want to burn a tank every two months or so - just fill up smaller tanks if it's being used so rarely. Or use stabilizer...

Quote
I test drove a 2015 Nissan Leaf over the summer and was floored by its lightning acceleration, solid handling

As some say: "lol."
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: BPA on October 09, 2014, 06:55:10 PM
Spouse of Train Writer checking in, I am testing e-bicycles as a job.
The most important things are

- Type of battery, lead or lithium. Both have advantages, depending on if you use your bicycle mainly for longer distances or for many short errands AND it depends on your climate. You also have hybrides and new li-on and 'all plastic' batteries that can resist temperatures up to +45 celsius and down to -40 celsius. But they are expensive and not easy to fix.

- Total weight of the bicycle. Heavier is good on longer distances. I have tested the heavier bicycles with cargo, 100 kg trailer, and the most efficient can go already almost 70 km on one load.

- Speed, support up to 20 km/h, 25 km/h, 40-45 km/h. The 40-45 km/h have too many bugs still, but my girlfriend train-writer rides one with support up to 35 km/h and that seems to be a sweet spot.

But, IMHO, the better e-bikes are yet under development and are showing very promising test results and especially much easier to be 'tweaked' to be efficient on varying personal situations.

Excellent!  Thanks for sharing.  I used to have a cheap, crappy Canadian Tire ebike that was great but broke after about six months of use.  The spokes kept breaking off.  That was 2010.  I had cancer that year and felt very weak, but could use the motor whenever I needed to, so I still got to ride.  I couldn't wait to cycle under my own power again!  But if I get sick in the future, I would buy another ebike.  I figured that they could only get better.

My boyfriend made one like MMM did from a kit and he pulled his son on the back.  His son was a big kid at the time: 8 and a big boy for his age.



Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Beric01 on October 09, 2014, 07:54:33 PM
I thought sol's comments in a different thread were right on.

Can anyone here reconcile the post promoting electric bicycles (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/) with the post about muscle over motor (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/)?

I still can't wrap my head around why the blog would shill for electric bikes, given the long history of posts encouraging people embrace a little hardship, get fit, flex their stoicism muscles, reject consumerism, and save the planet.  It's like a bad April Fool's Day post, except I think he was actually serious.

All I can figure is that his desire to play with new toys overcame his desire to keep the blog message internally consistent.  Once upon a time he turned down $4k/month so that he could continue to swear on the blog (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/21/i-just-gave-up-4000-per-month-to-keep-my-freedom-of-speech/) but now he's suddenly subverting the entire blog message for a free ebike?

I guess I can rationalize shilling ebikes to a certain audience, a certain way, with the caveat that they're a halfway measure.  A diet soda, an electric lawnmower, a basic cable package.  Not badass at all.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: GuitarStv on October 10, 2014, 05:44:26 AM
At first glance, I was pretty against the idea myself.

The main reason that I'm sort of interested in electric bikes now is that it would be a way to convince my wife to bike to work with me.  We both work at the same place, and it's just over 11 miles each direction.  I don't mind the commute, but she would never do this distance on a regular bike.  Prices are still a bit high, but it would be a way for us to drastically reduce our usage of the car.  If we got one of the pedal assist type e-bikes then both my wife and I would get some exercise doing this as well.

Otherwise when she's off maternity leave she'll drive to work every day, and there's not much point in my biking to the same place so I end up losing my bike commute.  :(
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MayDay on October 10, 2014, 05:55:00 AM
My justification would be as a means to get rid of one of the cars.  It wouldn't work where we currently live, because there are too many highways that it just isn't safe to ride on.  But I hope we move somewhere that I can bike 90% of the time! and if so, extending my range via e-bike would make ditching the car possible. 

My main hang-up is that I have kids.  So all summer, I would be limited by their range as well, since they are too big to stick in a burley but I can only trail-a-bike one at a time.  So it's probably a no go until they are high school age or so, which is fine, as the bikes will only improve between now and then. 

Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: SisterX on October 10, 2014, 12:30:15 PM
I thought sol's comments in a different thread were right on.

Can anyone here reconcile the post promoting electric bicycles (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/) with the post about muscle over motor (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/)?

I still can't wrap my head around why the blog would shill for electric bikes, given the long history of posts encouraging people embrace a little hardship, get fit, flex their stoicism muscles, reject consumerism, and save the planet.  It's like a bad April Fool's Day post, except I think he was actually serious.

All I can figure is that his desire to play with new toys overcame his desire to keep the blog message internally consistent.  Once upon a time he turned down $4k/month so that he could continue to swear on the blog (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/21/i-just-gave-up-4000-per-month-to-keep-my-freedom-of-speech/) but now he's suddenly subverting the entire blog message for a free ebike?

I guess I can rationalize shilling ebikes to a certain audience, a certain way, with the caveat that they're a halfway measure.  A diet soda, an electric lawnmower, a basic cable package.  Not badass at all.

Someone, perhaps MMM himself?, said in the comments that it was meant to be for people who aren't entirely sure about biking all the time.  A starter for the ultimate badassity of not needing electric, if you will.  Also, for people who would like to ditch their cars but can't, ebikes could solve many of the issues.  For me, I would like to get an ebike at some point for many of the reasons other people here have stated.  I'm planning to move to a very hilly area (Seattle) and to haul both children and groceries (at the same time) an ebike would be not only convenient but would force me to avoid car trips since I couldn't justify wimping out with electric assist.  I would still have a regular bike for other rides, but for hauling lots of stuff, an ebike would totally be worth it.

Am also interested if anyone else has done an ebike with a trail-a-bike or trailer?  Also, someone in the comments (this one got deleted) mentioned an El Bota Bota.  Looked into that and would really, really like to hear more as it sounds fairly perfect for what I want to do.  Any reviews?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Druid on October 10, 2014, 01:13:02 PM
I think e-bikes can go with the the mrmoneymustache theme. If a person is looking for a cheap way to get to work then the e-bike would be cheaper than buying a reliable used car. The more extreme followers of this blog would probably buy a used regular bike, but like mrmoneymustache said these people could reach farther distances with an e-bike. So the frugal elites can make this decision based on how far their commute is.

With half of the people in this country being overweight the e-bike may help a lot of these people who are looking for a cheaper alternative to a car. After all $1500 is not that much money when you are saving on car insurance, registration fees, yearly car maintenance, parking costs, and other related expenses. Some obese people might find these bikes as a great way to start on the path to a healthy or frugal lifestyle.

I also can not stress the importance of not having body odor in the work place. If you are "that smelly guy" in the office you will not get the same promotions as the guy who is not smelly and has similar qualifications. The money saved because you choose the ebike and got the promotion may result in you being in a better financial position than the hardcore frugal cyclist who rode to work on a $50 used bike. I know this may sound like a ridiculous point, but companies want their higher ups to be presentable and odor free to deal with their clients and vendors. Some people may shower, use cover up sprays, or have a change of clothes but all of these methods have costs associated with them including the cost of time..

I am considering an e-bike!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: hybrid on October 10, 2014, 02:06:33 PM
I know plenty of folks who are a little older and a lot of out of shape, better to have an e-bike than no bike at all.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: train_writer on October 11, 2014, 04:36:26 AM
We don't own a car and have friends in neighbouring villages and cities. We would probably not own an e-bike if mr train_writer wasn't in that job, but it is great to have one or sometimes 2.

- We go cross country for a family visit if the weather allows
-  Visits to craigslist seller or Ikea to get wood panels/ a mattress/ furniture
- I use the e-bike on Fridays and Saturdays to ride to a certain job which is 30km away.
- At the moment, our pregnant neighbour uses my e-bike on errands throughout the week

All those things are doable on a normal bicycle, and we still do most of the time! But it makes it much more convenient when no car is available or if your physical condition is a -temporarily- problem
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Shropskr on October 12, 2014, 12:35:24 AM
I love my xtracycle radish with electronic assist.  There is no way I would have started biking without it.  2 kids to go on back who were 5&8 when I got it and I live in Seattle.  I couldn't peddle myself the distance let alone me and two kids.  Since I got my awsome bike(my second car) we sold the real second car and became a one car family. 

I make Costco runs with my xtracycle and climb a Huge hill on the way back there is no way I could do it without the electronic assist.  I love my bike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Johnez on October 13, 2014, 08:56:24 AM
Hey Mayday, I think the wind resistance plays a bigger role than weight in affecting an ebike's range. The folks at endless-sphere.com have tons of advice and rides to share. If you've thought about it, someone there has likely been there/done that. There are many cargo bike builds and tricycles, tho I've not seen any trailers.

I'm currently researching and putting together my ebike. If/when it all goes well I'll post a thread. Good luck!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on October 13, 2014, 09:25:13 AM
I thought I would start this thread for any discussion of the most recent e-bike post, and the second one that will be following.

My specific question is whether anyone has used an e-bike to tow a load.  A kid trailer, a trail-a-bike, or a cargo hauler or some sort. 

I can't justify an e-bike at the moment, but I am trying to imagine possibilities in the future.  I am curious how much towing reduces the range you can expect to get, as it seems I am frequently needing to tow either children or heavy objects.

To answer your question, it depends on how hard you pedal, but I would say that when I am alone I get approximately 50 miles range and when I have a passenger I get about 35 miles.  With a 70 pound dog on the trailer I'd say the range might drop to 40 miles.  If you have a load of groceries or other things added it would negligible.

Also, it is funny that I get the "that's cheating" from a lot of people when I tell them about the e-assist (the latest was from a guy that was very over weight, smoking a cig, and drinking a beer :).  The problem in this country is that we always think of bicycling as recreational and not also as transportation.

If you were to ask me I would say that e-assist bicycles are awesome and I would suggest you try them out.

I have a cargo bike and posted the following on another thread:

Escape2020 - I may not convince you since you have such a hardline on this, but I do think you are wrong.  For others out there who are less fixed on this I can offer you a bit of insight into electric bikes.

A little background, and response to Escape, I am capable of riding a bike AND have an electric bike.  In fact I have ridden well over 100,000 miles by bike in my lifetime.  Across many states, mountain bike, road bike, recumbent (100 miles in 4 hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds), and even a folder (bus-bike rides too).  Everything you can think of, I have done it - and continue to do so.

So, I recently purchased and electric bike.  It happens to be a cargo bike by Xtracycle with a Bionx kit on it.  I absolutely love riding this bike!  I have ridden it to work and back 13 of the last 15 days, where I might have ridden my touring bike twice during that time due to schedules and heat/humidity.  That would have cost $65 in my auto and pumped out a lot of pollution.  It cost me about $0.15 on the bike.

I've put over 500 miles on it in the past 3 weeks, carrying 80 pounds of salt home from the pool store, dropping off over a 100 pounds of donations, picking up the kids from school, dropping them at friends houses, etc. etc. etc. In fact my DW who usually picks the kids up in a 5,000 pound vehicle picked TWO kids up from school a few days ago using the electric bike!

Right now my eldest child is on it and across town doing lawn work.  I rode it with trailer attached this morning - with my 70 pound dog in it.

And for those that think you cannot get exercise on one you will be surprised.  Take the extreme of just using the motor (no pedaling).  That is more exercise than sitting on your butt in a car.  I actually pedal the majority of the ride (it has pedal "assist") and get plenty of exercise.  I have ridden 500 miles on it where I might have ridden the touring bike 50.  That is some pretty good exercise!

So, I could go on, but take my word for it, an electric assist bike is awesome.

BTW - you recommend a scooter 2020.  Have you ridden an electric bike or a scooter to provide such a recommendation?  For those of you that take this recommendation remember that there are many places those are not allowed, including most urban trails and sidewalks - and you really cannot pedal them so you skip the exercise option.

I believe that this is a viable option for commuting and doing local errands.  I start my auto and drive it about once a week now, where before I'd do that 5-7 days a week.  I think they will catch on with many people who are healthy and would normally want to ride a bike, but for a lot of reasons end up driving.  You cannot go anywhere on this bike and not get people asking you about it or studying it as they walk by when its parked (it is a long tail bike so it is a bit curious of course).  Imagine if people replaced that 2 mile trip to pick up a Redbox or aspirin at the drug store?  (I did this the other day and was back in half the time it would have taken in an auto!)  We'd have a heck of a lot less pollution and carbon dioxide in the air.

Really though, these are awesome and should not be pushed aside because someone thinks they are "cheating" or don't stack up to a "real" bike.  Are you kidding me!  50 miles vs. 500 - go for it!!

Lastly, you worry that MMM is becoming mainstream and selling their "stuff."  The people that put together electric bikes are very small companies and bike shops that have very little margin of profit.  They aren't what I would consider mainstream like maybe GM, or Apple.  Besides, these electric motors do go on bicycles that are waaay better than the "alternative."

SOl - you get one paragraph added.  The biking rate in most of our country is about .1%, with a few places at a few whole percentage points.  I think we can do better than to say that if you don't bicycle like a real man or woman you might as well drive an SUV.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: KC1983 on October 20, 2014, 06:45:30 PM
Rollin, great post! Sol's comment really annoyed me, and I'll leave your diplomatic response rather than add my own.

I was just in the process of taking a hybrid bike I don't care about too much and set it up to be an all-season commuter when I read this timely post. I didn't realize how far electric add-on kits had come, and how well they can work in electric assist mode. One of the biggest reasons I don't commute by bike regularly is because, with 3 months a year of 100 degree/90% humidity, you arrive at work soaking with perspiration. And the winters are just as bad in the opposite direction, with the need for cold weather/wet weather gear. Add the need to haul a small satchel and bike repair stuff, it makes biking to work an ordeal, and leaves you miserable once you're there. I was hoping I could get myself to bicycle to work at least 2-3 times a week, most weeks of the year. But with an electric-assist motor, I think I can bump that number way up. The beauty of an electric assist is that it really eliminates a lot of excuses. And frankly, often those excuses are valid. I couldn't even ride my bike around my old neighborhood -- the hills literally made me sick to my stomach.

I think MMM is right -- easy electric kits (esp. ones like the Copenhagen wheel and the Flykly smart wheel) are potentially 'gateway' drugs for lots of people to get those bikes that are collecting dust in their garages and drive lots left.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: kendallf on October 20, 2014, 07:40:33 PM
At first glance, I was pretty against the idea myself.

The main reason that I'm sort of interested in electric bikes now is that it would be a way to convince my wife to bike to work with me.  We both work at the same place, and it's just over 11 miles each direction.  I don't mind the commute, but she would never do this distance on a regular bike.  Prices are still a bit high, but it would be a way for us to drastically reduce our usage of the car.  If we got one of the pedal assist type e-bikes then both my wife and I would get some exercise doing this as well.

Otherwise when she's off maternity leave she'll drive to work every day, and there's not much point in my biking to the same place so I end up losing my bike commute.  :(

You know what you need... is a tandem!  :-)

We have a tandem (we have a LOT of bikes) and it gets a lot of use as the evening "get around town" bike.  When we first bought it my wife was not a cyclist and the tandem allowed us to go distances and speeds that she could not achieve alone.  We rode it on the MS150 one year, did a few centuries and other long rides on it. 

These days my wife has her own bikes but the tandem is still the default choice for evening dinner dates, especially if she's going to drink since she's a lightweight!

The saying is, "Whichever way your relationship is headed, a tandem will get you there faster."   :-o
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on October 21, 2014, 06:52:11 AM
Rollin, great post! Sol's comment really annoyed me, and I'll leave your diplomatic response rather than add my own.

I was just in the process of taking a hybrid bike I don't care about too much and set it up to be an all-season commuter when I read this timely post. I didn't realize how far electric add-on kits had come, and how well they can work in electric assist mode. One of the biggest reasons I don't commute by bike regularly is because, with 3 months a year of 100 degree/90% humidity, you arrive at work soaking with perspiration. And the winters are just as bad in the opposite direction, with the need for cold weather/wet weather gear. Add the need to haul a small satchel and bike repair stuff, it makes biking to work an ordeal, and leaves you miserable once you're there. I was hoping I could get myself to bicycle to work at least 2-3 times a week, most weeks of the year. But with an electric-assist motor, I think I can bump that number way up. The beauty of an electric assist is that it really eliminates a lot of excuses. And frankly, often those excuses are valid. I couldn't even ride my bike around my old neighborhood -- the hills literally made me sick to my stomach.

I think MMM is right -- easy electric kits (esp. ones like the Copenhagen wheel and the Flykly smart wheel) are potentially 'gateway' drugs for lots of people to get those bikes that are collecting dust in their garages and drive lots left.

KC1983 where you been?  With one post your writing reads like you've been here awhile :)

Heat/humidity - I can only ride so slow in the morning to avoid sweating.  On the really humid mornings I have just pressed the power button and pedal very little.  I pedal home though because it is so enjoyable and I don't care if I sweat or not.  Now that it is cooler, I pedal all the way in and home.

Hills - erased with the electric bike.  You will be amazed, as they really fly up the hills.  Mine senses the extra effort I put into the pedals and gets me going faster than the flats!

Consistency - when you eliminate a few of the pains associated with commuting by bike you tend to ride more often.  At least that has been my experience.  Also, you really won't hesitate to take the electric bike to run many of your errands, since it is really much easier than the auto IMHO.

Fun - just plain fun to ride!

As MMM stated, you can convert just about any bike you want to.  Start out with something sitting in your garage and see if you like it.  You can always take the system off and transfer it to another bike later if you so choose.  If you look at the long tail cargo bikes you might get hooked.  That is a total discussion in and of itself, but they are very useful - more so than my standard bike.  For something in between, look at the Xtracycle Freeradical to add onto your current ride - http://www.xtracycle.com/freeradical/ .  I'm considering converting my DW's bike to that instead of going to the dedicated long tail Xtracycle (like I have), so that I can save a few $$.

Update since last post: ridden it to work 21 of 25 days, and now have over 650 miles on it (owned it for about 5 weeks now).

Edit:  instead of peddling, I am pedaling :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MayDay on October 21, 2014, 05:53:24 PM
The distance you can go (easily) is what really appeals to me.  Thanks to those who gave me some ideas about how towing would affect things.

All you crazy bike people (said lovingly!) say things like "you have no excuse not to bike if your commute is less than 10 miles!

l o fucking l.

I am a healthy, not overwight 32 year old in fairly good athletic shape due to normal daily activity but not especial athletic training.  I walk and bike and do some yoga and swim laps occasionally.  I bike about 7mph, and a 3-4 mile ride + return trip is plenty far enough, TYVM.  And I LIKE biking!

So then extrapolate that to the general population.  Of course all you serious bikers are going to hate on the idea that someone "needs" an e-bike to ride a bike.  But the vast, vast majority of us are much slower and less physically able than those of you who do these long bike rides.  And a huge chunk has time constraints to their commute (must get home to meet children from school bus or do daycare pickup).  So no, *you* don't need an e-bike.  You are not the target market. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Beric01 on October 22, 2014, 01:17:21 AM
I am a healthy, not overwight 32 year old in fairly good athletic shape

I bike about 7mph

That's your problem. If you want to be Badass™, you need to push yourself! You don't bike fast over long distances without sweating if you don't work your way up to it! I'm a self-admitted cycling wimp who needs to train harder and I can do 14mph minimum over 10 miles. The first time I did that distance I felt like I was dying. Now I do it every weekend and often barely break a sweat. And plenty here could do that at 20mph+ without breaking a sweat.

Bicycling is often faster than driving for me as I have my own personal lane while cars are stuck in traffic.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MayDay on October 22, 2014, 05:20:48 AM
You telling me that my problem is being too slow does not make me think you are less crazy. Saying "push yourself, go faster" is NOT HELPFUL. 

Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: GuitarStv on October 22, 2014, 06:31:35 AM
At first glance, I was pretty against the idea myself.

The main reason that I'm sort of interested in electric bikes now is that it would be a way to convince my wife to bike to work with me.  We both work at the same place, and it's just over 11 miles each direction.  I don't mind the commute, but she would never do this distance on a regular bike.  Prices are still a bit high, but it would be a way for us to drastically reduce our usage of the car.  If we got one of the pedal assist type e-bikes then both my wife and I would get some exercise doing this as well.

Otherwise when she's off maternity leave she'll drive to work every day, and there's not much point in my biking to the same place so I end up losing my bike commute.  :(

You know what you need... is a tandem!  :-)

We have a tandem (we have a LOT of bikes) and it gets a lot of use as the evening "get around town" bike.  When we first bought it my wife was not a cyclist and the tandem allowed us to go distances and speeds that she could not achieve alone.  We rode it on the MS150 one year, did a few centuries and other long rides on it. 

These days my wife has her own bikes but the tandem is still the default choice for evening dinner dates, especially if she's going to drink since she's a lightweight!

The saying is, "Whichever way your relationship is headed, a tandem will get you there faster."   :-o

Huh.  That's something I've never even considered.

Aren't they un-maneuverable and generally shitty to ride in city traffic?  I don't think I've ever even seen a tandem bike in real life.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Johnez on October 27, 2014, 03:44:14 PM
You telling me that my problem is being too slow does not make me think you are less crazy. Saying "push yourself, go faster" is NOT HELPFUL.

I'm not gonna rag on you here as I fully support your ebike idea, but I'm pretty sure you can go faster than 7 mph.  Something must be wrong with your speedometer (incorrect wheel setting perhaps?) as a normal person can WALK at about 3 miles an hour-I think it's actually harder to bike slower as you have to work harder to balance yourself. 

I must say though, your negative reaction to someone saying "push yourself" is interesting considering this entire blog/forum is about people pushing themselves. 

I will also say this-ignore the people ripping on you for getting an ebike.  People will always find a way to criticize.  It's your life man.  Mustachianism isn't about making life harder, it's actually the opposite lol.  Some folks here have the wrong idea.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: kendallf on October 28, 2014, 05:57:45 PM
That's your problem. If you want to be Badass™, you need to push yourself!
>>SNIP

You telling me that my problem is being too slow does not make me think you are less crazy. Saying "push yourself, go faster" is NOT HELPFUL.

This made me laugh..  Beric01, how do I say this tactfully?  Maybe ease up on the lecturing tendencies?  I may be remembering your "law abiding cyclist" posts, which also made me laugh..

FWIW, I'm a masters racer, I have ridden 100 miles in 3:46 (yes, that's 26+ mph average).  I would absolutely rock an electric bike and I'm seriously considering one.  Don't let the naysayers stop you, MayDay.

You really would rock your world if you got serious about riding more and more intensely, though.. took me from a fat guy to a not-so-fat guy.  I'm still bald, though.


Huh.  That's something I've never even considered.

Aren't they un-maneuverable and generally shitty to ride in city traffic?  I don't think I've ever even seen a tandem bike in real life.

It's a bit like a tractor trailer at first, but they're perfectly maneuverable on city streets.  You just have to watch when you want to do slow speed turns, and starting and stopping require care.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on October 29, 2014, 06:21:01 AM
FWIW - and probably considered by some un-mustachian, I have ordered a second electric assist cargo bike (yesterday - a Surely Big Dummy with the same BionX system as my Xtracycle).  There is a lot of competition at the house for the one I have, and since I have it at work most days the fam either doesn't go where they want or need, or they get driven by DW in the SUV. :(

So, while expensive, it may help us save a little more of the world, and have fun at the same time.


Update - working on 800 miles in less than 2 months on the Xtracycle.  Also, picked up 2 gallons of chlorine, 1 gallon of acid, and a large (4'x2'x1') box containing a new pool cleaner (I asked for and received a $60 discount!) Saturday on the Xtracycle.  Easy peasy too!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: KC1983 on October 30, 2014, 08:16:48 PM
Hey Rollin,

Thanks for the good words. Your posts are super helpful and very supportive, which I think is what this forum is really about.

Yes, I've been happily reading MMM for a couple of years, though the electric bike post what the first time I felt motivated to join the forum. I think you have done a very nice summary of why I'm excited about electrifying a bike I was on the verge of selling (2008 Fuji Absolute 2.0). It's the bike that got be back into bicycling, and then I moved up to a Cannondale road bike (to keep up with my wife), but the road bike is less than ideal for commuting for a variety of reasons. After doing some more research, I think I'm going to try to fit a Bafang bbs001 mid-drive system to the Fuji. It sounds almost perfect for me (preserves the 9 gear rear cogs, better balance, proven system, reasonably light, can probably do it myself, etc.). I just need to confirm that my bottom bracket is the right size, and pick a battery and a battery mounting system.

I have the feeling that this is going to really take off over the next couple of years, and these systems will get cheaper. I would love to do this all for the price of a Copenhagen wheel, but in any event I'm going to try to spend no more than about a grand.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on October 31, 2014, 06:39:59 PM
The mid-drives are very efficient and also work well because they use your existing gearing.  I've not heard anything bad about the Bafang either.  My first choice years ago was a mid-drive, but at that tame there wasn't much available.  It you can afford it, I'd go with a Lithiom Ion (or other Lithium...) battery.  The lead acid batteries might be cheap, but they are very heavy, are wonky when it comes to when you can and cannot charge or discharge, and only have a fraction of the life of the LiPo batteries.  They are well worth the extra dollars.

The Fuji looks like a great bike to use.  However, you may never use the mid or small chainring again :) since you'd be riding five + miles faster everywhere!!

Enjoy - and if you have the time, please update us on your decision and experience.

BTW - did you see this post?
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachian-marketplace/fs-bafang-electric-mid-drive/msg360077/#msg360077

Not sure it is still for sale, but...
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MoneyCat on October 31, 2014, 08:33:41 PM
I could see the e-bike being very useful for someone who wants to commute by bicycle to work but whose job does not provide showers on site.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on November 01, 2014, 09:09:58 AM
I could see the e-bike being very useful for someone who wants to commute by bicycle to work but whose job does not provide showers on site.

Yes, it is cool here now, but I used it for a few weeks before our cooler weather and I could get to work (7.5 miles) without sweating.  Another good reason for having one relates to the difference in time it usually takes to ride a bike for an errand or to work vs. an auto.  If you are really in a hurry the extra 5 or more mph vs. non-assist can really make a difference.  I would say that I am faster on on the e-bike for <4 mile round trips than the car, and maybe only 10 minutes longer from door to door for the work trip (25 minutes vs. 35 minutes).  The more "city" the driving the more the bike has an advantage (or more accurately, the less the car's capabilities can be taken advantage of).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: KC1983 on November 02, 2014, 05:38:05 PM
Hey Rollin, yes I will definitely be getting a Li battery!

I was thinking of trying to put the who kit together myself, but then I found this: http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=45&product_id=183
This vendor gets high marks in the Endless Sphere community (where there's a 150 page thread on these motors!), so I will probably pull the trigger soon. I hadn't seen the ad you linked to -- if he was in my neck of the woods I'd get to bargaining, but with shipping I'm pretty sure I can get a new system with a warranty for about that, if not a touch less.

And I will definitely update here when I get it on the road!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on November 02, 2014, 07:37:43 PM
That looks to be a well integrated kit.  Often I see these with all kinds of what look like mismatched parts, but not that - and a very good price.  I didn't see the actually battery though - maybe I missed it.

Yes, I will be looking forward to your taken it once you get to using it a few times.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: innkeeper77 on November 02, 2014, 07:50:20 PM
EM3EV is great! My wife and I both have batteries from Paul at EM3EV, and she has a bafang mid drive as well. We had a problem with the batteries (the "bottle mount" ones like in the kit you linked) where they would no longer turn off. He realized a bad batch of BMS's were sent out, that had seemed fine in testing but were not. He upgraded to a different supplier, tested the new ones well, and sent me- for free- new BMS's, an adapter cable (to connect to the old style connector on our batteries) and told me what to do. Only a tiny bit of soldering, and we have two perfect batteries. So, even if you are in the 1% of people who has a problem with a product, they will take care of you! (Though a bit of technical ability and comfort with soldering made it a lot faster, since we didn't have to sent the whole batteries back to Hong Kong- expensively and slowlt)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on November 03, 2014, 06:45:36 AM
EM3EV is great! My wife and I both have batteries from Paul at EM3EV, and she has a bafang mid drive as well. We had a problem with the batteries (the "bottle mount" ones like in the kit you linked) where they would no longer turn off. He realized a bad batch of BMS's were sent out, that had seemed fine in testing but were not. He upgraded to a different supplier, tested the new ones well, and sent me- for free- new BMS's, an adapter cable (to connect to the old style connector on our batteries) and told me what to do. Only a tiny bit of soldering, and we have two perfect batteries. So, even if you are in the 1% of people who has a problem with a product, they will take care of you! (Though a bit of technical ability and comfort with soldering made it a lot faster, since we didn't have to sent the whole batteries back to Hong Kong- expensively and slowlt)

That is great to hear, since product support is so important on these systems.  That's one of the reasons I went with BionX.  I do however like the mid-drive units as they are likely the most efficient electric assists you can find.  Do you agree?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rickk on November 03, 2014, 06:52:08 AM
EM3EV is great!

I will second this.  I bought my kit from Paul as well and have only good things to say about working with him.
My only complaint was the cost involved in both shipping and money conversion.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 12, 2015, 05:42:50 PM
Since there were some unanswered questions in this thread, I thought I'd go through and answer a few of them.  I've been playing with ebikes for a few years, and my current one is my "daily driver" for pretty much everything - commuting to work, running errands, bouncing around town, etc.

I'm running a custom ebike with a ~1300W geared rear hub motor in a 26" mountain bike frame and a 500WH LiFePO4 battery (~2x my normal daily usage).  I've gone to a single large front chain ring as it's a dedicated ebike, and my solution to "The motor has failed and there's a hill" is "walk it if it's steep enough."  I don't see a need for additional complexity for incredibly rarely used situations.  The rear shifter is a twist grip on the left bar (it shifts "backwards" but you get used to it quickly).

I'm in the Seattle area, so hills are a bit brutal here.  I *can* pedal bike to work, but the "showing up sweaty" thing and I don't get along, so the ebike it is (most of the time).  It's now also faster to ebike than drive, so I really only drive to work once a month or less if I have a lot to carry or am dressed in a suit for whatever reason (it's rare enough that a bicycle suit carrier is not worth it).

I consume 25-30WH/mile (give or take - I don't have exact numbers, but this is about what I've determined based on range) under normal riding, so about an order of magnitude better than a Tesla or Leaf - you can, in fact, call them electron guzzlers.  Depending on what you eat and how your power is generated, it can actually be lower carbon than a regular pedal bike.

I'm kinda curious as to how the range of the battery is affected by winter conditions.  At 20 below how well do these things tend to work?

Somewhat poorly if the pack gets cold.  Search for "[battery technology] temperature curve" and you'll see charts that show capacity/power dropping off quickly as it gets below freezing.  I can certainly feel a difference in the winter (around 32F) vs the summer (70-80F) in power delivery.

However, the good news is that there are some easy enough solutions to the problem.  One simple solution is to add additional pack capacity so that even a reduced temperature pack has enough range.  Another is to, in the cold weather, keep the bike indoors (or at least the battery pack indoors) and insulate the carrying case.  The pack will start out warm and it's internal heat generation while discharging will keep it warm enough for a normal range ride.  Finally, you can buy battery heaters that run off the battery and keep it warm.  This probably isn't worth it for a typical ebike use case unless you're riding 20-30 miles in the cold, since a well insulated pack will be perfectly fine if it starts out warmer.

On the plus side, if you have enough additional pack capacity, you could install heated grips or run heated gear in the winter (this is common for people who ride motorcycles year round).  And, you can just pedal a bit harder in the winter to generate your own heat. :)

- Type of battery, lead or lithium. Both have advantages, depending on if you use your bicycle mainly for longer distances or for many short errands AND it depends on your climate. You also have hybrides and new li-on and 'all plastic' batteries that can resist temperatures up to +45 celsius and down to -40 celsius. But they are expensive and not easy to fix.

I respectfully disagree.  There is no reason to use a lead acid battery on an ebike now.  They're heavy, short lived, and dreadfully inefficient at higher discharge rates that are common for EVs (even ebikes).  A lightweight lithium pack will outperform a lead acid pack in every metric, and the costs have come down enough that it's not even worth bothering with lead anymore.

There are a few different lithium battery types, though, and most ebikes use a standard lithium ion battery.  This is typically good for a few hundred cycles before losing significant capacity.  I'm actually a big fan of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries for ebikes.  You need a physically larger pack for a given capacity, but they have a cycle life measured in thousands, are a bit safer (though it's not really a big issue anymore with a decently designed system), and, nicely, have a nearly constant voltage across their discharge cycle, so end-of-ride voltage (and power) is almost identical to start-of-ride voltage (and power).  It's also a bit more expensive, but for a serious ebike build, the high cycle life means the total cost over the years is radically lower as they'll last almost indefinitely if cared for reasonably.  And constant power throughout the discharge is a nice perk, though it does mean you won't have much warning before the batteries quit on you if you run the pack out.

The spokes kept breaking off.

This is, sadly, a common issue.  The best option seems to be to get a motor/wheel assembly from a reputable ebike vendor.  The lacing pattern is a bit different with a large motor than with a normal hub, and many motors are drilled for larger spokes than standard for bicycles.  If you use the proper size spoke and a lacing pattern that works with the motor diameter, it's far less likely to be a problem.  It's also a good idea to go with a heavy duty rear wheel if it's offered as an option.  I've not regretted the extra money I've spent on getting heavy duty rear wheels, as they break spokes far less frequently.  An ebike is typically going to be heavy, and run fast, so it puts a lot more stress into the wheels than typical bicycling duty.  Combined with a heavy rider, you can easily overstress a lightweight wheel build and cause it to start failing.

I thought sol's comments in a different thread were right on.
[insert sol's comments about how ebikes are not hardcore enough and MMM is selling out]

I know plenty of folks who are a little older and a lot of out of shape, better to have an e-bike than no bike at all.

I've had this conversation numerous times, since I work on a team with a rather hardcore bicyclist.

My view is that it strongly depends on the situation, and an ebike is still radically better than a car.

If you're FIRE, potting around town on your own schedule, in good shape, and don't care if you're a bit sweaty, great - a regular muscle-bike is the best approach.  If you work in an environment with showers, and don't mind getting to work hot, showering, cooling off, changing, etc, then a muscle-bike is also a great way to get around.  However, not everyone is in that environment (or wants to spend the extra time in the morning showering/cooling off/etc).  An electric bike allows you to, for example, use a good motor assist going to work so you can get to work cool, and pedal more on the way home when it doesn't matter as much.

An ebike is also a great solution if, for whatever reason, you're not able to fully power yourself around (hills being a common problem for many people).  A surprising amount of interest in my ebike comes from older people who haven't cycled in years due to knee/hip trouble.  In many cases, there's "that one hill" that they cannot comfortably deal with getting home, and a small motor assist would enable them to bike instead of driving.  Not everyone lives in the flatlands, and I'm not one to tell a 60 year old to suck it up and get in better shape (though, if they're bicycling instead of driving, that happens anyway).  Many of them didn't even know that electric bicycles were a thing.  I have no idea how many have actually gone out and picked one up, but there are quite a few who now know, if they want to bike, there are options they can work with.

As my boss pointed out when I was arguing about carbon output between ebikes and pedal bikes, "FFS, you're both on bicycles and using a fraction the energy of a car to get around.  You're not the problems!"

I think everyone would agree that an electric bike is a radically better transportation solution than a car.  Going back and forth about bicycles vs ebikes is hair splitting way off on the end of the bell curve of transportation methods.  Either way is radically cheaper and better for the environment and the person than a car.

The folks at endless-sphere.com have tons of advice and rides to share.

Endless Sphere is a slightly silly place, at times.  There are far too many people interested in going way too fast on way too cheap a vehicle to do it safely.  They will certainly help out for dirt cheap ebike ideas, but well executed, safe, reliable ebikes are a bit rare at times there.

The beauty of an electric assist is that it really eliminates a lot of excuses. And frankly, often those excuses are valid. I couldn't even ride my bike around my old neighborhood -- the hills literally made me sick to my stomach.

Yup.  "Oh, it's too hot, I don't want to show up drenched in sweat" goes away as an excuse with a motor assist.

Quote
I think MMM is right -- easy electric kits (esp. ones like the Copenhagen wheel and the Flykly smart wheel) are potentially 'gateway' drugs for lots of people to get those bikes that are collecting dust in their garages and drive lots left.

I tentatively disagree, mostly because things like the Copenhagen Wheel have yet to actually be released.  I'll have a better opinion on them once they're available, but from what I've seen, they're radically inferior to either an electric bike available now, or one you build.

The Copenhagen wheel is still vaporware, as far as I'm concerned.  A few demos does not a viable product make.

The FlyKly is also mostly rubbish, IMO.  A 250W motor is not worth sacrificing gearing on the rear for (it's only available as a single speed rear, as far as I can tell), it only works with rim brakes, and it's rather of expensive for what it is.  You could put a 250W front wheel hilltopper kit on a bike for substantially less money and still keep your gearing.

The "fancy" ebike conversion wheels are limited in power, limited in range, and are mostly a set of compromises determined by "I'm going to fit everything in an unmaintainable wheel!"  Build something with more traditional parts and you have a more powerful, longer range ebike that's easier to work on.  I'm sorry, I don't feel the need to sync my ebike to my smartphone.  I want a minimum of things to go wrong.

Bicycling is often faster than driving for me as I have my own personal lane while cars are stuck in traffic.

At least in Washington, ebikes can also use the bike lanes. :)  I'd feel bad about blowing past people uphill, except I rarely see other people in the bike lanes anyway.  But, yes, it's faster than driving for me as well.  A car commute (in the evening) is typically 25-30 minutes for 5 miles, with a peak of 45 minutes one day.  I can get home on my ebike in about 18 minutes, regardless of traffic (I suppose if it's really, really bad, I might take 20 minutes because of a few lights that stay against me longer).

The mid-drives are very efficient and also work well because they use your existing gearing.  I've not heard anything bad about the Bafang either.

The mid-drive motors are certainly efficient at any speed, but I'm not entirely sold on them unless you need one (for a heavy cargo bike or heavy towing).  Mostly, you're putting a LOT of power through a chain system that's not built for it, and this stretches the chain and wears the sprockets quickly.  Replacing chains and sprockets adds up quickly, and at some point, a more powerful geared hub motor in the rear wheel is likely to be cheaper in the long run.

Anyway, sorry for the long reply.  Hopefully it helps a few people.  I'm happy to answer any other questions people have.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 13, 2015, 12:55:24 PM
Syonyk - great reply - sums it up!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 13, 2015, 02:44:13 PM
No problem.  Glad you found it useful!  I'm happy to answer any other questions people have as well.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on April 13, 2015, 08:27:26 PM
Syonyk - thanks, very interesting. I've been off the forums for a while - is there a thread, or somewhere off forum, where you describe how you built your ebike? I'd love to know more.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 13, 2015, 08:29:37 PM
No. I should work on something though.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Erica/NWEdible on April 13, 2015, 08:45:25 PM
If you opt to, I'd love to see it. You seem to know your stuff - maybe a downloadable ebike conversion PDF booklet could be a side hustle for you! :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 13, 2015, 09:27:27 PM
Eh. I've got enough side activities already.  Might work on my website though.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 14, 2015, 05:59:01 AM
It's still difficult in many parts of the country to drop into a bike shop and buy something pre-made.  Also, if you do usually the bicycle quality is so low that you really end up overpaying for the package.

There are those shops that specialize in this and you end up with much higher quality, but you pay the price.  I ended up somewhere in the middle, working with my local shop to build from quality bicycles (a Surely Big Dummy and an Xtracycle - both cargo bikes) and adding a Bionx system because I couldn't seem to get enough comfort with aftermarket systems.

However, if you are more knowledgeable or have someone that can guide you that works well to getting you on a decent quality bicycle with a great e-assist.  Not that I'm volunteering Syonyk, but the information offered from him/her? is very helpful in getting one started.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 14, 2015, 08:09:00 AM
BionX is definitely a good company to get a conversion from, though a bit underpowered for the cost and a direct drive motor on at least most of the kits. You get regen, but there's a "cogging" drag without assist that's not present on a geared motor with one way clutch. It's probably the best of the fully integrated kits, though, and at least doesn't put the battery in the wheel like so many of the current crowd funded vaporware.

I've considered starting my own line of ebikes at some point, but it would be down the road some years. Plenty of higher income things to take care of first...
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 14, 2015, 09:11:17 AM
BionX is definitely a good company to get a conversion from, though a bit underpowered for the cost and a direct drive motor on at least most of the kits. You get regen, but there's a "cogging" drag without assist that's not present on a geared motor with one way clutch. It's probably the best of the fully integrated kits, though, and at least doesn't put the battery in the wheel like so many of the current crowd funded vaporware.

I've considered starting my own line of ebikes at some point, but it would be down the road some years. Plenty of higher income things to take care of first...

Agreed on all points.  When you are not using the assist there is considerable drag from the magnets, and when coupled with the heavier cargo bikes it is not something that I would enjoy doing 30 miles from home!  I always make sure to borrow the second battery when I go over 40 miles away so that I have enough "juice" to return.

I went with the Bionx because it is so well integrated, but then you cannot use another company's battery and things like the controller are expensive (and proprietary) - don't ask me how I know!

As far as the power it has been great for us.  Again, they are on cargo bikes and we often carry a passenger or heavy load (80 pounds of salt, plus 2 gallons of chlorine) and still move along without pedaling at 20 mph.  One can easy peddle up our shorter hills with a passenger at 18-20 mph.  Not sure this system would be best for loads if you have steep hills.

I went with direct drive hub motor due to the durability and lack of noise (from the gears in a geared hub), as I use a multi-use trail that says no "electric-bikes" which is a grey area arguement that I could win based on federal and state law, but it is better to be quiet, considerate, and responsibly than to argue so well that the next round of legal arguments closes any loops.  I wanna ride, not argue!

BTW-I have about 2,000 miles on each and have only had these since last summer.  My van sits in the driveway for weeks at a time now.  My estimate for weekly ride to work is about $0.10/week as opposed to $25/week in gas for the vehicle.  I still haven't offset the cost of the bikes, but will eventually.  That was only part of the reason to get the bikes though.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 14, 2015, 12:23:57 PM
Stealth ebiking is certainly a strength of direct drive motors, especially if you use panniers to hide the motor fully.

The geared motors are a lot smaller physically, but definitely have a whine to them.  I haven't had any people complain on my commute (which is on a trail that I don't think allows ebikes), but I just cut the throttle and pedal past people when I'm passing them.  I figure the number of people who are on the trail who know what an ebike is and how to identify one is small enough that it's not likely to be a problem.  Worst case, if someone official yells at me, I can always go back to my old commute route.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 14, 2015, 02:34:23 PM
Stealth ebiking is certainly a strength of direct drive motors, especially if you use panniers to hide the motor fully.

The geared motors are a lot smaller physically, but definitely have a whine to them.  I haven't had any people complain on my commute (which is on a trail that I don't think allows ebikes), but I just cut the throttle and pedal past people when I'm passing them.  I figure the number of people who are on the trail who know what an ebike is and how to identify one is small enough that it's not likely to be a problem.  Worst case, if someone official yells at me, I can always go back to my old commute route.

Or ride like the wind and let 'em try and catch you!

Yes, on the cargo bike the rear tire is completely obscured by the panniers.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: alsoknownasDean on April 15, 2015, 05:14:21 AM
Yeah, I get the whole 'What about muscle vs motor?' thing as well. Although, MMM has indicated in his article that it's a gateway drug, a good way to get people riding who otherwise wouldn't (older, live in hilly areas, longer commutes, etc). Insisting on a manual bike in that situation might be a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I started commuting via (regular) bike a month or so ago. Originally I was going to keep taking the tram and then convert the bike to electric for bicycle commuting in the spring (currently mid autumn). Instead I decided just to ride anyway and build my fitness up, and now I'm riding in work clothes without an issue (although the cooler weather has helped there too).

I'm still kinda keen on riding an electric bike and maybe buying/building one, but some of them are expensive. I may be keen on an ebike conversion, but not if the conversion costs almost as much as a brand new 125cc scooter. Some kits are cheaper (~$700 or so) though. Here they need to be no more than 250W to be road legal.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 15, 2015, 05:44:22 AM
Yeah, I get the whole 'What about muscle vs motor?' thing as well. Although, MMM has indicated in his article that it's a gateway drug, a good way to get people riding who otherwise wouldn't (older, live in hilly areas, longer commutes, etc). Insisting on a manual bike in that situation might be a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I started commuting via (regular) bike a month or so ago. Originally I was going to keep taking the tram and then convert the bike to electric for bicycle commuting in the spring (currently mid autumn). Instead I decided just to ride anyway and build my fitness up, and now I'm riding in work clothes without an issue (although the cooler weather has helped there too).

I'm still kinda keen on riding an electric bike and maybe buying/building one, but some of them are expensive. I may be keen on an ebike conversion, but not if the conversion costs almost as much as a brand new 125cc scooter. Some kits are cheaper (~$700 or so) though. Here they need to be no more than 250W to be road legal.

I often compare the price of my bike(s) with cars (or scooters) like you have with scooters and its not pretty.  I have a $10K van, but just paid $7K for two electric bikes, and have about $7K more in other pedal bikes.  However, I use them almost daily and keep them for years.  They all have many thousands of miles on them and yes I save the world one pedal stroke at a time and I'm in shape, but there is something else that I get from riding as opposed to twisting a throttle or pushing a gas pedal (e-assist or not) and that is the freedom to be out of an automobile or off my motorcycle.  Sometimes I feel trapped when I drive.  However, on the bikes I can take just about any route I want, my mind is not stressed - ever - as compared to the auto or motorcycle (less so with that).  I'm really feeling this difference lately as I normally commute 15 miles by bike.  However, I am having to drive 1 hour in the morning (about 30 miles) in tough traffic and then since I have the auto I have to drive home.  I miss my bike commute.

On comparing costs with a scooter make sure you factor in the maintenance, license, insurance, etc.  Not saying they are a bad idea, just that there are extras involved.  Once you buy a bike you are usually done for a long time.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: alsoknownasDean on April 15, 2015, 06:25:28 AM
Yeah, I get the whole 'What about muscle vs motor?' thing as well. Although, MMM has indicated in his article that it's a gateway drug, a good way to get people riding who otherwise wouldn't (older, live in hilly areas, longer commutes, etc). Insisting on a manual bike in that situation might be a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I started commuting via (regular) bike a month or so ago. Originally I was going to keep taking the tram and then convert the bike to electric for bicycle commuting in the spring (currently mid autumn). Instead I decided just to ride anyway and build my fitness up, and now I'm riding in work clothes without an issue (although the cooler weather has helped there too).

I'm still kinda keen on riding an electric bike and maybe buying/building one, but some of them are expensive. I may be keen on an ebike conversion, but not if the conversion costs almost as much as a brand new 125cc scooter. Some kits are cheaper (~$700 or so) though. Here they need to be no more than 250W to be road legal.

I often compare the price of my bike(s) with cars (or scooters) like you have with scooters and its not pretty.  I have a $10K van, but just paid $7K for two electric bikes, and have about $7K more in other pedal bikes.  However, I use them almost daily and keep them for years.  They all have many thousands of miles on them and yes I save the world one pedal stroke at a time and I'm in shape, but there is something else that I get from riding as opposed to twisting a throttle or pushing a gas pedal (e-assist or not) and that is the freedom to be out of an automobile or off my motorcycle.  Sometimes I feel trapped when I drive.  However, on the bikes I can take just about any route I want, my mind is not stressed - ever - as compared to the auto or motorcycle (less so with that).  I'm really feeling this difference lately as I normally commute 15 miles by bike.  However, I am having to drive 1 hour in the morning (about 30 miles) in tough traffic and then since I have the auto I have to drive home.  I miss my bike commute.

On comparing costs with a scooter make sure you factor in the maintenance, license, insurance, etc.  Not saying they are a bad idea, just that there are extras involved.  Once you buy a bike you are usually done for a long time.

True, there's all of those other costs associated with a scooter, and they can't go on bike lanes/paths, but I guess I just baulk at the idea of paying over $1500 (even over $1000) for an ebike. My conventional push bike was $350 new.

With my ~4.5 mile, fairly flat commute, an ebike isn't really necessary though (it takes about 30min on my current bike). However if I end up buying a place in a couple of years, property prices in this city will necessitate me moving further out, and then an ebike may come into its own.

Still would be fun to have one, though. Maybe I'll just have to think of it as an expensive toy that's saving wear and tear on my car. :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on April 15, 2015, 07:42:14 AM
Yeah, I get the whole 'What about muscle vs motor?' thing as well. Although, MMM has indicated in his article that it's a gateway drug, a good way to get people riding who otherwise wouldn't (older, live in hilly areas, longer commutes, etc). Insisting on a manual bike in that situation might be a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I started commuting via (regular) bike a month or so ago. Originally I was going to keep taking the tram and then convert the bike to electric for bicycle commuting in the spring (currently mid autumn). Instead I decided just to ride anyway and build my fitness up, and now I'm riding in work clothes without an issue (although the cooler weather has helped there too).

I'm still kinda keen on riding an electric bike and maybe buying/building one, but some of them are expensive. I may be keen on an ebike conversion, but not if the conversion costs almost as much as a brand new 125cc scooter. Some kits are cheaper (~$700 or so) though. Here they need to be no more than 250W to be road legal.

I often compare the price of my bike(s) with cars (or scooters) like you have with scooters and its not pretty.  I have a $10K van, but just paid $7K for two electric bikes, and have about $7K more in other pedal bikes.  However, I use them almost daily and keep them for years.  They all have many thousands of miles on them and yes I save the world one pedal stroke at a time and I'm in shape, but there is something else that I get from riding as opposed to twisting a throttle or pushing a gas pedal (e-assist or not) and that is the freedom to be out of an automobile or off my motorcycle.  Sometimes I feel trapped when I drive.  However, on the bikes I can take just about any route I want, my mind is not stressed - ever - as compared to the auto or motorcycle (less so with that).  I'm really feeling this difference lately as I normally commute 15 miles by bike.  However, I am having to drive 1 hour in the morning (about 30 miles) in tough traffic and then since I have the auto I have to drive home.  I miss my bike commute.

On comparing costs with a scooter make sure you factor in the maintenance, license, insurance, etc.  Not saying they are a bad idea, just that there are extras involved.  Once you buy a bike you are usually done for a long time.

True, there's all of those other costs associated with a scooter, and they can't go on bike lanes/paths, but I guess I just baulk at the idea of paying over $1500 (even over $1000) for an ebike. My conventional push bike was $350 new.

With my ~4.5 mile, fairly flat commute, an ebike isn't really necessary though (it takes about 30min on my current bike). However if I end up buying a place in a couple of years, property prices in this city will necessitate me moving further out, and then an ebike may come into its own.

Still would be fun to have one, though. Maybe I'll just have to think of it as an expensive toy that's saving wear and tear on my car. :)

That's sounds about right!  I have pedalled to work since 1986 (not exclusively) and only went to e-assist recently.  Do I need it - no.  I like it though and ride it to do errands and socially waaay more than I would ride my pedal bike.  Also, in the summer here you can just stand outside at 6 AM and start to sweat, so no matter how slow I ride to work I get there moist.  The e-assist helps, and when I really want to not to sweat I just hit the "red" button and fly along at 20 mph with no effort at all.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 15, 2015, 09:30:37 AM
I like it though and ride it to do errands and socially waaay more than I would ride my pedal bike.

This pretty much covers my experience as well - I ride the ebike a lot more than I rode my pedal bike, and longer ranges as well.  Being able to run to the store in the summer and not come back dripping with sweat because it's 90F out is nice (living on a hill, pretty much anywhere I go involves grinding up the hill at the end of my ride).  Also, I'll ride the ebike in jeans, because putting out power is less important, so I can just jump on and go without changing into something more appropriate for bicycling.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Mirwen on April 15, 2015, 07:23:59 PM
Starting in the fall I will need another vehicle to take my oldest to kindergarten while my husband is at work.  I haven't ridden a bike or exercised seriously in about 10 years and I'm pushing 40.  I didn't want to buy a second car, so I ordered an electric bike last night.  His school is 3.3mi steadily uphill from my house.  I'll need to carry two children with me and I don't really want to get heat stroke trying this during the Las Vegas afternoon August heat on a standard pedal bike.  I'm hoping an electric bike would make the impossible possible for me and eliminate the need for a second car.  I'll have time to make some practice runs this summer before I depend on it for daily transportation. 

I agree with the view of the e-bike as a gateway drug to bike commuting.  I really wouldn't consider it seriously at all without the motor assist.  Maybe one day I'll be buff enough to do it without the motor, but that day is not today and I'll get there a lot faster by riding an ebike instead of riding in a car.

For those interested I bought an IZip Path (original not plus) for $799 plus shipping.  I'm worried the frame might be too large, but I couldn't pass up that price.  I'll report back once I do some range tests with the bike trailer and precious cargo.  I'm excited about my new toy.  It should pay for itself after 7 months by my calculations (assuming $.50 per mile for car use).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 15, 2015, 07:44:43 PM
Good luck. I'll be interested to hear how it works.

My experience so far is that a cheap ebike is not worth getting, especially for towing, but they are getting better.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Mirwen on April 15, 2015, 08:15:43 PM
The Izip Path was originally priced at $1600 but has been discontinued.  It has a 24V 10Amp system with lithium battery.  The newer model has the 48V battery that seems to be the standard now.  The range is only 15-25 miles and I'm expecting to have to pedal, but I think it will be enough to get me 7 miles with cargo.  If I run out of power the return trip is all downhill : ) .  It's my understanding that the main issue with the smaller battery and power is top speed and range.  I'm not interested in going very fast with an infant in a trailer anyway.  If there are other issues I should be aware of, please let me know.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on April 15, 2015, 08:19:05 PM
That should work. I didn't realize it was a blowout price - the retail price is sane for something low power but decent. There have been a lot of "cheap awesome ebikes" on crowd funding sites lately that seem questionable.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on May 12, 2015, 09:42:00 PM
There was a request at some point for details on my builds.  This should do!

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-first-ebike-lessons-learned.html

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-second-ebike-properly-good-build.html
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Mirwen on June 11, 2015, 02:46:23 PM
As promised, here is my report on switching from a standard bike to an electric bike:

Background:  I'm 36, overweight, and out of shape.  I don't exercise regularly.  I'm generally healthy and eat well, but I'm just not strong.  My goal is to be able to bike 3.3 miles up the hill to my son's charter school with 5yo and infant in tow.

I first tried biking with an standard hybrid commuter bike I had without the trailer.  I got about halfway or 1.5 miles up the hill before I felt I should turn around.

I finally bought an electric bike.  The first deal fell through and I bought a Diamondback Lindau step-thru instead.  It is a 48V 8.8Ah battery with 500w motor, so it's about twice as powerful and only cost a couple of hundred more than the Izip Path.  I believe it to be a rebranded version of the Path Plus.  There is a problem reading the battery status and Currie technical support has been amazing.  I'm really impressed.

So, with the new bike and Burley Bee I've been able to go the entire 3.3 miles including the steep hill at the end.  I had to pedal as hard as I could up the hill (the bike couldn't do it alone) but we made it.  By the time we got back I was very hot and red faced and it took me a long time to cool off.  It was only 90F outside.  I'm a little concerned about doing this in late August and early September, but it does seem possible.

Verdict:  Yes an electric bike can turn an out of shape car clown into a bike commuter overnight!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 11, 2015, 02:51:35 PM
Woohoo!  You made it, with a trailer! :D

It only gets easier from here!

Remember to drink a lot of water.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on June 11, 2015, 03:09:48 PM
Awesome!

i feel like no matter how you ride (or don't) and electric bike will increase you time on two wheels!  I do many thousands a year.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 11, 2015, 03:52:14 PM
I certainly take my ebikes places I wouldn't take a normal bike. Especially in the hotter weather, I don't enjoy sweating heavily while shopping or at work.

Mine are genuine car replacements for most of my needs. Even heavily loaded. I'll get 50 lbs of groceries in a hiking backpack and not think twice. I wouldn't do that on a regular bike. Living on top of a hill has it's downsides.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on June 12, 2015, 08:55:27 AM
Syonyk - thanks, very interesting. I've been off the forums for a while - is there a thread, or somewhere off forum, where you describe how you built your ebike? I'd love to know more.

Erica, here's my commuter ebike build thread on endless-sphere. There are many threads like this where people document building their own ebike.  http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45993

Synonk commented that E-S is sometimes silly, and I think he's got a point. Some E-S members think building an ebike for the daily commute is mundane and boring - they go for building light motorcycles with gobs of power and publish stories about those builds that usually end in destruction of the bike. However, there's a ton of great information here - what the good ebike conversion kits are, what to look for in a bike to convert (dropouts need to be large and flat, steel frames are best) and more importantly, what things DON'T work.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 12, 2015, 02:00:00 PM
My problem with ES is that a lot of the information, especially about batteries, is dangerous and harmful. It's hard to tell the difference without knowing an awful lot.

If the phrase "Bulk charging b-grade hobby lipos" doesn't strike a good bit of fear into you, for instance, you shouldn't be following ES battery directions.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: furrychickens on September 01, 2015, 08:02:51 PM
Resurrecting this thread in case anyone on the forums wants to talk about the latest MMM post. I'm not in the market (yet) for one but I love reading about them:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/08/31/electric-bike-reviews/
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 01, 2015, 08:09:36 PM
Still loving mine. :)

They do breed, though... I'm up to 3 plus a full BionX kit I'm rebuilding the battery pack on (going from 9.6AH to 13.5AH in the process).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: furrychickens on September 01, 2015, 08:11:51 PM
Still loving mine. :)

They do breed, though... I'm up to 3 plus a full BionX kit I'm rebuilding the battery pack on (going from 9.6AH to 13.5AH in the process).

At least you have the excuse that you're resurrecting formerly dead bikes ;)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 01, 2015, 09:30:59 PM
Yup!  With one exception, all of mine were obtained stone dead (that exception being my commuter, which I built from parts).  I've rebuilt one BionX pack for profit, and this other one is going to be (hopefully) sold for a tidy profit as well once I get it rebuilt.  I'd like to get more packs to rebuild, since there are some serious economies of scale I can leverage if I'm rebuilding a lot.

The Tailwind is probably going to get loaned to a friend for use to replace his car, and to get some test miles on it - it doesn't have the range or hill climbing ability for my commute (even with the motor, the internally geared hub doesn't go low enough for one of my climbs, and it's hell on my knees), but it is a useful test mule, and I might get around to building a replacement pack for it that's more general.

Overall, I'm really pissed at Schwinn, though.  They've released a bunch of different ebike variants, and don't support any of them.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 01, 2015, 09:41:45 PM
Yup!  With one exception, all of mine were obtained stone dead (that exception being my commuter, which I built from parts).  I've rebuilt one BionX pack for profit, and this other one is going to be (hopefully) sold for a tidy profit as well once I get it rebuilt.  I'd like to get more packs to rebuild, since there are some serious economies of scale I can leverage if I'm rebuilding a lot.

The Tailwind is probably going to get loaned to a friend for use to replace his car, and to get some test miles on it - it doesn't have the range or hill climbing ability for my commute (even with the motor, the internally geared hub doesn't go low enough for one of my climbs, and it's hell on my knees), but it is a useful test mule, and I might get around to building a replacement pack for it that's more general.

Overall, I'm really pissed at Schwinn, though.  They've released a bunch of different ebike variants, and don't support any of them.

Oh, The Tailwind! I still have a soft spot in my heart for that ebike.

Performance Bike carried them for awhile and toward the end, they went on CRAZY DISCOUNT. I could have had one for, like, $399. I almost bought one. I'm sure eventually I would have changed out the motor and/or upgraded the pack to get it to do something reasonable....

Performance Bike now carries a Diamondback-branded rear hub motor ebike and it's a very nice ebike. I would consider one except I'm not able to put money toward that right now - I think it's $1500 on sale right now.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 01, 2015, 10:06:29 PM
It's... not very good.  IMO.

I need to write up a blog post on it sometime here soon, now that I've had time to play with it, but I don't really understand it.  It's a bunch of neat ideas woven into an incoherent whole, with iffy performance and a very small battery pack.

I wouldn't push much more power through the front forks.  The 250W is plenty, and it already messes with the steering if it's working hard.  And you can't use a mid-drive or rear-drive on it without radically reworking the bike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 02, 2015, 01:42:28 PM
It's... not very good.  IMO.

I need to write up a blog post on it sometime here soon, now that I've had time to play with it, but I don't really understand it.  It's a bunch of neat ideas woven into an incoherent whole, with iffy performance and a very small battery pack.

I wouldn't push much more power through the front forks.  The 250W is plenty, and it already messes with the steering if it's working hard.  And you can't use a mid-drive or rear-drive on it without radically reworking the bike.

You mean the old Tailwind, right? No, it wasn't a very good ebike.
But the Diamondback they are now selling is pretty nice and a good value for an $1500 (on sale) ebike....
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 02, 2015, 02:15:07 PM
You mean the old Tailwind, right? No, it wasn't a very good ebike.
But the Diamondback they are now selling is pretty nice and a good value for an $1500 (on sale) ebike....

Yeah, the 2008-2009 era Tailwind.

Which Diamondback?  Is that a Schwinn brand?

I can't say I'd touch anything Schwinn and electric with a ten foot pole anymore.  They literally do not stand behind their bikes.  After they've stopped selling it, they pretty much wipe all knowledge of it and tell you to go away if you ask for any parts/information.

They're just a pain to deal with. :/
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 03, 2015, 07:53:50 AM
You mean the old Tailwind, right? No, it wasn't a very good ebike.
But the Diamondback they are now selling is pretty nice and a good value for an $1500 (on sale) ebike....

Yeah, the 2008-2009 era Tailwind.

Which Diamondback?  Is that a Schwinn brand?

I can't say I'd touch anything Schwinn and electric with a ten foot pole anymore.  They literally do not stand behind their bikes.  After they've stopped selling it, they pretty much wipe all knowledge of it and tell you to go away if you ask for any parts/information.

They're just a pain to deal with. :/

I thought Diamondback was a subsidiary of Giant - something they could give to stores that would not violate the sales channel agreements with those who sell Giant?

I honestly can't tell you WHO "Schwinn" is any more - I thought the original company has long ago winked out of existence and the name was bought by a holding company and is now stuck on chinese and taiwan import bikes.

About 4 years ago, the Performance Bike store I frequent trotted out an aluminum touring bike with the Schwinn name on it: a 2008 "World Adventure" that had been forgotten in a warehouse somewhere. Original list on the bike was, like, $1400. It has full-hydraulic Avid Juicy BB7's and similar super-high-qual stuff on it like a Truvativ bottom bracket, trigger shifters and a Shimano Alivio internally-geared rear hub. It's a spectacular heavy-tourer that I've enjoyed a great deal. Recently added a SON B&M high-end dynamo powered headlight and taillight, and right now it's my favorite grocery-getter and long-distance slow-and-heavy rider. The Vittoria Randonneur tires have performed spectacularly. (knock on wood)

http://www.performancebike.com/reviews/performance/power/pwr/product-reviews/Specials/Spin-Doctor-Pro-Bike-Build/SCHWINN/p/30__1409-Schwinn-World-Adventure-Commuter-Bike-U-S-Exclusive.html

They call it a "Commuter" in the ad, but it has all the braze-ons for front and rear racks and all the stuff you would need in the main triangle. Quality of the frame build seems to be very, very good: the welds are all big, robotic, flawless welds and the frame members meeting around the bottom bracket are gigantic.

Some reviewers call it "the best bike I have ever owned". While that may be true for myself, my old Trek 1220 is still my favorite, by far, because it's faster than this bike by at least a good 2 or 3 mph over the same identical route. But the Trek is just a straight-up aluminum road bike with reasonable rim brakes and lacks all the braze-ons and heavy lift capability of the Schwinn.

Performancebike is selling the HELL out of "bike store lower-grade" bikes labeled Schwinn. They aren't what I shop for these days but they seem good value and reasonable for what they are.

I'm not a big fan of Diamondback - they have lower-qual versions I've seen in Wal-Mart and Target. But the ebike product PerformanceBike is selling looks pretty darn good. I recognize all the components, they seem to be of the mid-slightly-lower stratum, the $600-$1000 bike range. The motor, display and controller look to be Bafang. The frame and componentry looks awful similar to their $600-or-so hybrid bike with the cable-operated disk brakes.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: CanadianMike on September 03, 2015, 01:42:42 PM
My 22km commute is moderately hilly, and I've started being tired enough at the end of the weeks that I take the bus in the rain instead. And I've got some longer trips planned, but usually after a 100km day I'm too tired to do much of anything. I'm thinking an ebike kit is right up my alley, but I have two issues;

1) Price. I'd like to stay in the 600-900$ CAD range, but from what I hear, that gets you poorly made garbage. Wait a year or three? Strong preference for LithiumIon batteries. Does EndlessSphere have a "Suggest a Bike Kit" type thread?

2) Theft. My current commuter is a beat up 70's raleigh frame with chipped paint, so despite having some nice parts on it, nobody looks twice at it. I suspect with an ebike kit people would look twice at it --- in particular, stealing the battery the battery. I already find carrying paniers around somewhat annoying sometimes when they're fully loaded...so I don't particularly want to add the weight of the battery. Are there batteries that you can solder directly to the bike, then charge via extension cord?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: synonym on September 03, 2015, 02:40:51 PM
for kits around that price i'm still pretty happy with my Dillenger kit http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/350w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html
I've put around 800 miles on it with no problems. It probably can't do 100km without some serious assist, but since you're already cycling that amount it should provide a good amount of tailwind
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: CanadianMike on September 03, 2015, 05:03:50 PM
Unfortunately, with exchange rate and shipping, that'd probably run 1200$, which is outside the range I'm looking for.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Lian on September 03, 2015, 05:32:03 PM
To be honest, I never thought an e-bike could be for me until I read the post. But eventually, I will retire, my old beater car will die, and I will no longer need to commute across town in all kinds of weather. An e-bike will actually suit my needs and budget better than a car will. I think I'm on my last car.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 03, 2015, 05:55:58 PM
Unfortunately, with exchange rate and shipping, that'd probably run 1200$, which is outside the range I'm looking for.

Dude...Canada is home to the "North American Ebike Capital City": Vancouver, BC!

I have two suggestions:

1) Go to http://www.ebikes.ca/ and shop awhile. Then give those blokes a call and let them lay some of that ebike mojo on ya!
2) http://www.goldenmotor.ca/ You can also call those folks too and they have great ebike mojo!

Both vendors have been in business for a long time and know there stuffs! Hoohaa!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 03, 2015, 06:13:36 PM
for kits around that price i'm still pretty happy with my Dillenger kit http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/350w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html
I've put around 800 miles on it with no problems. It probably can't do 100km without some serious assist, but since you're already cycling that amount it should provide a good amount of tailwind

Any thoughts on something like this?

http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/1000w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html

$900 for the entire package (incl battery + charger), rear wheel, disc brake compatible, twist grip throttle -- looks pretty good to me.  I could convert an existing 26" mountain bike with this kit, easily.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 03, 2015, 06:20:21 PM
1) Price. I'd like to stay in the 600-900$ CAD range, but from what I hear, that gets you poorly made garbage. Wait a year or three? Strong preference for LithiumIon batteries. Does EndlessSphere have a "Suggest a Bike Kit" type thread?

Pretty much, at least if it's a full bike.  If you have an existing bike, you can probably get a conversion kit for something around that and be OK, though you may have to charge at work.

Quote
2) Theft. My current commuter is a beat up 70's raleigh frame with chipped paint, so despite having some nice parts on it, nobody looks twice at it. I suspect with an ebike kit people would look twice at it --- in particular, stealing the battery the battery. I already find carrying paniers around somewhat annoying sometimes when they're fully loaded...so I don't particularly want to add the weight of the battery. Are there batteries that you can solder directly to the bike, then charge via extension cord?

There exist battery mounting systems that are keyed, though they're rare.  The BionX pack attaches to the bike with a key, and with the pack in the mount, you can't access the screws needed to remove the mount.

But, really, people don't mess with ebikes that much.  Battery theft just doesn't seem to be a big problem, at least with the people I know.

The 48V/10AH/1000W kit looks like a decent enough bit of hardware - it should work fine.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 03, 2015, 06:20:38 PM
for kits around that price i'm still pretty happy with my Dillenger kit http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/350w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html
I've put around 800 miles on it with no problems. It probably can't do 100km without some serious assist, but since you're already cycling that amount it should provide a good amount of tailwind

Any thoughts on something like this?

http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/1000w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html

$900 for the entire package (incl battery + charger), rear wheel, disc brake compatible, twist grip throttle -- looks pretty good to me.  I could convert an existing 26" mountain bike with this kit, easily.

It looks good. I've never bought from the Dillenger guys but I'm familiar with the componentry and nothing sounds the alarm. Also, if synonyk says "it's good", I trust him! He's been up to his elbows in ebike stuff probably more than I have....
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 03, 2015, 08:35:30 PM
Thanks for the input - might have to pick this up. It'd save a decent amount on gas $ for my un - Mustachian commute.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 05, 2015, 06:18:03 PM
Hey Synonyk! Looks like we've won Pete over to "our side"!!!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/08/31/electric-bike-reviews/

It appears, after a year of testing, eBikes Pass Muster. Yay!

I love his blog posting: I'm in total, 100% agreement with what he writes and I use my ebike the same way he describes using his.

The "bike" part of it is equally as important as the "e" part.  I don't want an electric scooter. If I wanted one, I'd make one. I want an electric BIKE. Plus, the ebike does NOT replace my non-electric bikes. I gladly use them when time and speed are not as important.

EDIT: Here's MMM's original posting where he discovers the ebike idea and begins his testing and evaluation:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 05, 2015, 07:18:41 PM
I saw that. I still like my bike lane legal motorcycle. :) Though I pedal plenty.

For me, it's more about consistent commute times.

Also, if anyone in the Seattle area is interested, I'm rebuilding a 350W BionX kit. 13.5AH to replace the stock 9.6AH.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 05, 2015, 08:11:58 PM
I saw that. I still like my bike lane legal motorcycle. :) Though I pedal plenty.

For me, it's more about consistent commute times.

Also, if anyone in the Seattle area is interested, I'm rebuilding a 350W BionX kit. 13.5AH to replace the stock 9.6AH.

Hey, no contradiction there. The "consistent commute times" aspect is essential to me. I cannot use my manual bikes for my commute, would just take too freakin long.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 06, 2015, 04:34:08 PM
Anyone have any experience with mid-drives? I'm thinking about putting a Bafang BBS02 (http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=45&product_id=187) on my road bike for my 26 mile round-trip commute. Then maybe moving the kit over to a more comfortable commuting bike after I've saved enough money by bike commuting to pay for the new bike. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 06, 2015, 04:49:37 PM
They're popular and efficient. Pay very close attention to chain stretch or you'll be replacing sprockets frequently.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 06, 2015, 05:56:58 PM
Anyone have any experience with mid-drives? I'm thinking about putting a Bafang BBS02 (http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=45&product_id=187) on my road bike for my 26 mile round-trip commute. Then maybe moving the kit over to a more comfortable commuting bike after I've saved enough money by bike commuting to pay for the new bike. Thoughts?

I have a kit in the garage right now that I'm doing same with - putting it on a flat-bar road bike with a Shimano Nexus sealed hub. The bike is already built-up to be a commuter, with a rear rack, fenders and lighting.

There's an Endless-Sphere member in Ireland who has the 250 watt BBS02 on her road bike and regularly does 100 mile rides, using the motor only for uphill to keep her pace and average speeds high.

Synonyk's advice is good, you have to watch carefully for drivetrain wear if you run the mid-drive at higher power. I bought the 750w motor but plan to run it at wimpy amounts of power, like 250-350 watts for that very reason. I don't want to be replacing chains, I just want a little more help and speed on the bike.

I'll probably do a build thread over on Endless-sphere.com, will edit and post the link here if you want.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 06, 2015, 06:35:52 PM
(on a proper keyboard now)

Personally, I think you're better off with a rear hub motor than a mid-drive for "general commuter use."  There are absolutely good uses for mid-drives (cargo bikes hauling heavy loads up hills, pedal taxi type workloads, etc), but I'm not convinced the benefits are worth the cost in increased chain wear for "daily commuter use."  And have argued this in my blog.

If, like mefla is doing, you're going to use an internally geared rear hub and a "straight" chainline with a thicker-than-usual chain (I think BMX chains are generally stronger), this can make sense.  But if you're going to use it with a multiple sprocket rear cassette/freewheel, the chain stretch & chain wear seem like a lot to deal with.  I see many people happy to get 1000 miles/chain out of mid-drive bikes, and with a 26 mile round trip, that's a chain every month and a half.

A rear hub motor has several advantages for a commuter:
- The load is not run into the chain, so the chain/sprockets last longer.  At about $40-$50 for a chain and set of rear sprockets, this adds up.
- You have two independent drive systems.  If you snap a chain, the motor will still drive the bike.  If the motor fails, the pedals still work.  With a mid-drive system, a chain failure leaves you sitting there, and depending on how the motor is designed, it may interfere with pedaling if it fails (though this is less likely).

There are advantages and disadvantages to both setups, but I just don't see "regular daily commuting" being the strong point for a mid-drive setup.

If you have a lot of hills, get a geared rear hub motor (better torque, less top speed), and if you're doing a lot of high speed riding, go with a direct drive rear hub motor (less torque, more speed).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 06, 2015, 06:53:15 PM
(on a proper keyboard now)

Personally, I think you're better off with a rear hub motor than a mid-drive for "general commuter use."  There are absolutely good uses for mid-drives (cargo bikes hauling heavy loads up hills, pedal taxi type workloads, etc), but I'm not convinced the benefits are worth the cost in increased chain wear for "daily commuter use."  And have argued this in my blog.

If, like mefla is doing, you're going to use an internally geared rear hub and a "straight" chainline with a thicker-than-usual chain (I think BMX chains are generally stronger), this can make sense.  But if you're going to use it with a multiple sprocket rear cassette/freewheel, the chain stretch & chain wear seem like a lot to deal with.  I see many people happy to get 1000 miles/chain out of mid-drive bikes, and with a 26 mile round trip, that's a chain every month and a half.

A rear hub motor has several advantages for a commuter:
- The load is not run into the chain, so the chain/sprockets last longer.  At about $40-$50 for a chain and set of rear sprockets, this adds up.
- You have two independent drive systems.  If you snap a chain, the motor will still drive the bike.  If the motor fails, the pedals still work.  With a mid-drive system, a chain failure leaves you sitting there, and depending on how the motor is designed, it may interfere with pedaling if it fails (though this is less likely).

There are advantages and disadvantages to both setups, but I just don't see "regular daily commuting" being the strong point for a mid-drive setup.

If you have a lot of hills, get a geared rear hub motor (better torque, less top speed), and if you're doing a lot of high speed riding, go with a direct drive rear hub motor (less torque, more speed).

synonyk, I need to confess to you: I'm talking about building up a bike with a mid-drive, not a rear hubmotor. Yes....I'm considering dabbling in the darkside. But it is single-speed on the crankset and a rear nexus internal hub, so the chainline is simple as it gets and it's a relatively big chain, not a 9-10 speed chain....

Everything you've said about mid-drive is true. It's really not the optimal solution for commuting. Indeed, I've broken a chain already on the commute home from work and used the motor to get to the bike shop. It was a godsend to have the two independent systems. But I'm gonna build up the bike and give it a try, see what it's like. I'll report back on what I find out....

Maybe our poster could try a front-drive hubmotor. I know that's non-optimal also, but it provides the benefits of a hubmotor without the pain of dealing with rear-drive complexity....
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 06, 2015, 07:13:23 PM
synonyk, I need to confess to you: I'm talking about building up a bike with a mid-drive, not a rear hubmotor. Yes....I'm considering dabbling in the darkside. But it is single-speed on the crankset and a rear nexus internal hub, so the chainline is simple as it gets and it's a relatively big chain, not a 9-10 speed chain....

Did you read my post? :p  I explicitly mention what you're doing as a reasonably sane way to do a mid-drive bike.  A straight chainline with a single speed chain and an IGH is about the only sane way to do a mid-drive, IMO.  Though I still wonder how the insanely expensive geared hubs will hold up to the power, long-term.

Mid-drive is a great solution for some things, and (in my current opinion) a bad option for other things.

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Everything you've said about mid-drive is true. It's really not the optimal solution for commuting. Indeed, I've broken a chain already on the commute home from work and used the motor to get to the bike shop. It was a godsend to have the two independent systems. But I'm gonna build up the bike and give it a try, see what it's like. I'll report back on what I find out....

Mmhmm.  And... AntiochOG wants to do a 26 mile round trip commute.  So, "not the optimal solution for commuting" seems like something less than optimal for commuting. :)

I'm quite interested in what sort of chain life you get on that setup.  I don't know anyone who has put thousands of miles on a single speed/IGH setup, so hurry up and finish it!  Then ride it a ton!

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Maybe our poster could try a front-drive hubmotor. I know that's non-optimal also, but it provides the benefits of a hubmotor without the pain of dealing with rear-drive complexity....

Have you ever ridden a front-drive bike?  Even with 250W, the steering gets really floaty and vague when climbing hills.  Higher power front hub motors are well known for spinning the front wheel, and most front forks won't take the torque of a moderately powerful motor for very long before they fail.  You have to be really careful with torque arms & such, and a front dropout failure generally means you're going over the bars without warning.  A rear dropout failure is radically easier to "ride out" and remain upright to low speed.

I do not think a front hub motor is a good solution for pretty much anyone.  Most of the weight is on the rear wheel.  Drive the rear wheel with a motor, one way or another.  Then, perhaps, consider a front drive for a 2WD hill climber, but you simply won't get much traction down from the front wheel on a bicycle.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 06, 2015, 08:06:55 PM
Syonyk and mefla, thank you for your replies. It sounds like  a rear hub motor will be a better fit for me. I'll probably go with direct drive, as the only real hill in my commute is the one I live on, and I don't mind working hard and getting sweaty on the way home.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 06, 2015, 08:16:51 PM
Are you looking for a prebuilt kit, or are you more of a DIY/wire it up yourself person?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 06, 2015, 09:46:54 PM
Are you looking for a prebuilt kit, or are you more of a DIY/wire it up yourself person?
Probably a prebuilt kit. Reading your blog has convinced me I probably don't want to use my existing road bike either, and should probably buy a mountain bike frame to base my build on. I guess I'll have to keep saving. :(
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 06, 2015, 09:57:55 PM
I mean, if all you have is a road bike, you can certainly convert it - it's going to be slightly more efficient.  But for dedicated builds, I strongly prefer mountain bike frames.  However, I'm also focused on a build for an area with a lot of hills, so things are a bit different from your commute.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 07, 2015, 01:29:30 AM
synonyk, I need to confess to you: I'm talking about building up a bike with a mid-drive, not a rear hubmotor. Yes....I'm considering dabbling in the darkside. But it is single-speed on the crankset and a rear nexus internal hub, so the chainline is simple as it gets and it's a relatively big chain, not a 9-10 speed chain....

Did you read my post? :p  I explicitly mention what you're doing as a reasonably sane way to do a mid-drive bike.  A straight chainline with a single speed chain and an IGH is about the only sane way to do a mid-drive, IMO.  Though I still wonder how the insanely expensive geared hubs will hold up to the power, long-term.

I know what you been doing, you been sniffing the fumes from the silver solder again?!?!? :-) Here's your blurb:

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If, like mefla is doing, you're going to use an internally geared rear hub

I don't own an internally geared rear hub. Up to now, I've only used rear direct-drive motors. I'm too big and I carry too much stuff to go with anything besides rear direct drive.

Which, actually goes to your point to the OP. When it comes to my money, it's always been a rear direct-drive hubmotor. This thing I'm doing with the mid-drive is an experiment with a bike that, if I can't make it any more useful than it is right now, I might as well get rid of it. So it's a last-ditch effort to preserve a bike that has some sentimental value to me.

BTW: my dream bike would be a Surly Disc Trucker. Full fenders, racks, a CA3, Lyen controller and rear DD motor. A motor so small and lightweight that with panniers, you can't tell it's an ebike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: DMoney on September 07, 2015, 06:16:03 AM
Hi, there, looking for some advice.  Appreciate reading through all the comments to date from you e-bike experts!

My current commute is a soul-crushing 32 miles one way in DC.  (Husband refuses to move and give up his 1.5 mile biked commute, and I can't quit or change jobs since I'm in the military.)  The drive takes about 55 min in the mornings, and 75 min in the evenings.  I've biked it a few times but even hauling-butt I can't get there faster than 2hr 15 min.  I'm in great physical shape.  But I don't have 4.5-5 hours a day to bike.

So I'm wondering if an e-bike would be a solution for me. I'd be satisfied if I could get the ride down to 1.5 hours each way.

So my questions:  Is this possible?  Is range going to be an issue?  Will charging during the work day be adequate?

If I can make it work, I'm thinking I'd replace my Tues afternoon and Weds morning commute - or something like that, leaving my car at work.

thanks!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 07, 2015, 10:39:33 AM
I know what you been doing, you been sniffing the fumes from the silver solder again?!?!?

Nah, just the good stuff.  Lead-free solder is miserable to work with. :p

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I don't own an internally geared rear hub. Up to now, I've only used rear direct-drive motors. I'm too big and I carry too much stuff to go with anything besides rear direct drive.

I'm confused.  You said:

I have a kit in the garage right now that I'm doing same with - putting it on a flat-bar road bike with a Shimano Nexus sealed hub. The bike is already built-up to be a commuter, with a rear rack, fenders and lighting.

Unless I'm badly mistaken, the Shimano Nexus is an internally geared rear hub?  *confused*

Though I think you're referring to a geared hub motor, which is distinct from an internally geared rear hub (like the Nexus).  I'm saying a mid-drive combined with an internally geared hub makes sense, since you can use a straight chainline and hopefully avoid some of the wear/stretch you'd otherwise suffer.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 07, 2015, 11:28:12 AM
My current commute is a soul-crushing 32 miles one way in DC.  (Husband refuses to move and give up his 1.5 mile biked commute, and I can't quit or change jobs since I'm in the military.)  The drive takes about 55 min in the mornings, and 75 min in the evenings.  I've biked it a few times but even hauling-butt I can't get there faster than 2hr 15 min.  I'm in great physical shape.  But I don't have 4.5-5 hours a day to bike.

Oof.  Wow.  I'm sorry. :(  That sounds like a good working definition of hell.

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So I'm wondering if an e-bike would be a solution for me. I'd be satisfied if I could get the ride down to 1.5 hours each way.

What does your ride look like?  Is it a lot of steady speed running on roads, a lot of bike trails, or heavy start/stop on surface streets?  What does the elevation profile look like?  Lots of hills, or mostly flat?

In any case, you should be able to cut a lot of time out with an ebike.  Getting down to 1.5 hours is probably doable, though it will probably involve speeds under motor power that, strictly speaking, may not be legal (20mph is technically the fastest you're supposed to have a motor assist, though... just don't draw attention to yourself and you should be fine a bit faster).  You'd need to average 21mph, which is entirely doable, especially if you're on some sort of road bike that you've modified.

If your run is on stretches where you can cruise at 30mph for long distances, you could probably even get it below 1.5h.  If you're in shape, with the right paths, you might be able to run close to your evening commute times.

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So my questions:  Is this possible?  Is range going to be an issue?  Will charging during the work day be adequate?

Possible?  Yes.  Cheap?  Less so.  Range isn't a problem, it's just a matter of "how much battery do you want to pay for?"  You could easily do a round trip without recharging, if you want to carry enough battery, but if you've got somewhere to plug in at work, plan for about a 40-45 mile range (battery packs degrade with time) and you should be fine.

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If I can make it work, I'm thinking I'd replace my Tues afternoon and Weds morning commute - or something like that, leaving my car at work.

Lame. :p  Bike every day!  It beats the hell out of sitting in traffic.  Seriously.

==========

Depending on the conditions of your commute, your needs might be well suited to a road bike with a motor in the back (probably a direct drive motor for higher speed running).  A mid-drive motor would give you better speed through the gearing, but you'll be replacing a chain about every month if you do that, so I'd suggest going with a rear motor.  What are you riding now?

A speed-unlocked BionX kit (you'll have to find an older one) would work well, though it's a bit pricey, and you *might* not have the range you desire with the stock pack on those.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: DMoney on September 07, 2015, 01:12:04 PM


What does your ride look like?  Is it a lot of steady speed running on roads, a lot of bike trails, or heavy start/stop on surface streets?  What does the elevation profile look like?  Lots of hills, or mostly flat?

Yeah, that's the key there, isn't it.  So the route I usually take is mostly a series of bike trails connected by a few urban areas (think stop lights, stop signs).  A portion of the trail close to home (maybe first 5 miles?) has a posted 15 mph speed limit on the trail.  Not sure if it's really enforce or not.  And then there are some portions that are just rather twisty, at times going over wood bridges, etc.  These are mixed use bike trails shared by joggers, etc.  So can't really go a lot faster on those portions than I already am.  However, I'm thinking once I get within 11 miles of work I could get on a highway and maybe get up to 30mph w/ and make up for lost time.

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  Possible?  Yes.  Cheap?  Less so.  Range isn't a problem, it's just a matter of "how much battery do you want to pay for?"  You could easily do a round trip without recharging, if you want to carry enough battery, but if you've got somewhere to plug in at work, plan for about a 40-45 mile range (battery packs degrade with time) and you should be fine.

awesome, thanks.  I'm not too worried about cheap.  I'm a lousy Mustachian, as evidenced by my commute :)

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If I can make it work, I'm thinking I'd replace my Tues afternoon and Weds morning commute - or something like that, leaving my car at work.

Quote
Lame. :p  Bike every day!  It beats the hell out of sitting in traffic.  Seriously.

==========

Depending on the conditions of your commute, your needs might be well suited to a road bike with a motor in the back (probably a direct drive motor for higher speed running).  A mid-drive motor would give you better speed through the gearing, but you'll be replacing a chain about every month if you do that, so I'd suggest going with a rear motor.  What are you riding now?

A speed-unlocked BionX kit (you'll have to find an older one) would work well, though it's a bit pricey, and you *might* not have the range you desire with the stock pack on those.

Agreed.  Lame!  Okay, I'll try to do more.  you have to admit 3 hrs a day of biking 5 days a week is a lot for a full-time employed mom of 3 toddlers, though, right?  but so is 2+ hrs of clown car commuting, sigh. 

I have a few options for bikes to mod at home.  My *nice* bike is my all carbon Specialized Rubaix which I bought new several years ago when I was a triathlete prior to kids.  (with insurance money after my former road bike got totalled along with my face in a car vs. bike collision)  It sits in the basement on my trainer which I get on about once a week.  In the attic, we have my husband's even less used road bike we bought at a pawn shop, it's a Fuji.  I also have a Trek 7.2 hybrid got off craigslist, used for hauling kids in trailer, occ grocery shopping and other in town errands, trips to gym, pool, etc.

thanks for the advice and helping me think through this!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 07, 2015, 03:56:41 PM
A portion of the trail close to home (maybe first 5 miles?) has a posted 15 mph speed limit on the trail.  Not sure if it's really enforce or not.  And then there are some portions that are just rather twisty, at times going over wood bridges, etc.  These are mixed use bike trails shared by joggers, etc.  So can't really go a lot faster on those portions than I already am.  However, I'm thinking once I get within 11 miles of work I could get on a highway and maybe get up to 30mph w/ and make up for lost time.

Those trails may prohibit electric bikes - if they do, then you should consider either finding another route, or "stealth" ebike builds.  If you have a rear hub motor and panniers, you can get bags that hide the motor nicely.  It's nice for bike balance to have the battery pack up forward, but if stealth matters, you should hide the pack (or just spray paint it or something so it's not blindingly obvious).

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Agreed.  Lame!  Okay, I'll try to do more.  you have to admit 3 hrs a day of biking 5 days a week is a lot for a full-time employed mom of 3 toddlers, though, right?  but so is 2+ hrs of clown car commuting, sigh. 

It's up to you, but I'd rather ride 3 hours a day on a bicycle than drive 2-2.5 hours a day.  That's just me.

As for which bike to mod, it's up to you, but any of them would do it, and for your commute distance, the nice road bike might be the one to swap.  Seriously, it's on a trainer? :p  Get that thing outside!

Regarding the conversion, that gets a bit harder, since you've got somewhat specialized needs (long range, high speed, stealth).  Are you or your husband DIY-friendly with electronics?  If so, you can probably build something a bit easier than you can buy what you need.  If not, I'd suggest getting an integrated kit, and for your commute range, the BionX is worth considering, if you can get it speed-unlocked (stock, they limit to 20mph).  I've pinged a friend to see if the new 500W kits can be unlocked.

You also probably want to go with a pedal assist system instead of a throttle for a ride that long.  Basically, it detects how hard you're pedaling and throws in proportional effort, so it's just like a "boost" - you still put in a good bit of energy, but it goes about scooting faster for you.  I like my throttle system, but I'm running a short 5 mile commute, and I don't get into a groove even running a pedal bike.  For something like your commute, where you're going to be leaned over and running hard for long distances, pedal assist is a better solution.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 08, 2015, 03:46:44 AM
I have a kit in the garage right now that I'm doing same with - putting it on a flat-bar road bike with a Shimano Nexus sealed hub. The bike is already built-up to be a commuter, with a rear rack, fenders and lighting.

Unless I'm badly mistaken, the Shimano Nexus is an internally geared rear hub?  *confused*

Though I think you're referring to a geared hub motor, which is distinct from an internally geared rear hub (like the Nexus).  I'm saying a mid-drive combined with an internally geared hub makes sense, since you can use a straight chainline and hopefully avoid some of the wear/stretch you'd otherwise suffer.

You are right, I misread your comments. I thought you were talking about an internally-geared rear HUBMOTOR. My bads!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 08, 2015, 11:47:01 AM
Nope.  It's confusing, though.  There are two things "Geared rear hub" can refer to, both radically different.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 08, 2015, 11:54:15 AM
Syonyk and others with experience on e-bikes -- what are your thoughts on converting a cargo bike ("longtail" style)?  Something like a Kona Ute or Surly Big Dummy.  I can't think of anything that would be much different vs. converting a standard wheelbase bike, and it might provide greater utility.  Maybe the wiring would need to be longer.

It'll definitely weigh more though...
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 08, 2015, 12:58:21 PM
Syonyk and others with experience on e-bikes -- what are your thoughts on converting a cargo bike ("longtail" style)?  Something like a Kona Ute or Surly Big Dummy.  I can't think of anything that would be much different vs. converting a standard wheelbase bike, and it might provide greater utility.  Maybe the wiring would need to be longer.

It'll definitely weigh more though...

The weight doesn't matter with a motor. :)

There's really nothing different.  A mid-drive makes a bit more sense on a cargo bike that's regularly rolling heavy as you can use the gearing, but you'll be going through chains quickly.  A torque-focused rear hub motor (the geared ones are nice for more low end torque) is also a very good option, and combined with the small wheels, makes a little hill monster.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: DMoney on September 08, 2015, 02:57:17 PM
Syonyk,  I spent the afternoon in a electric bike shop test riding and chatting with the owner and employees.  I rode some Pedego's (too much like a beach cruiser, slow, clunky), an A2B (okay), Easy motion evo (okay) and Bosch cross (a little better) and THEN I got to ride the POLICE BICYCLE they had built and was sitting there waiting for the lucky officer to pick it up.  It was a Fuji-something (like a cross, Absolute maybe) with a e-RAD mid-drive kit 500w and WOW.  That thing was awesome.

So now I'm thinking about going that route.  Purchasing a Fuji cross with disc brakes (like a Silhouette 1.7 disc) and getting the eRAD kit installed.  To answer your prior question, Syonyk - no, hubby and I are not handy with electronics.    Are disc brakes a necessary safety feature if I'm going to be riding 60 miles daily at high speeds?  Or should I trim corners and get a kit installed on one of our road bikes (specialized or fuji) which don't have disc brakes?

The guy in this shop was much more in favor of the eRAD mid-drive's rather than the BionX on the hub, although he is a distributor of both.  BionX are more pricey.  But I'm worried about the eRAD tearing up the chains.  What say you?

thanks!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 08, 2015, 03:41:24 PM
Syonyk,  I spent the afternoon in a electric bike shop test riding and chatting with the owner and employees.

Sounds fun. :)  I haven't actually spent any time in ebike specific shops.  My local shop sells one, and that's about it.  The ones that actually sell ebikes are over in Seattle, which may as well be a foreign country for how easy it is to get there.

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I rode some Pedego's (too much like a beach cruiser, slow, clunky), an A2B (okay), Easy motion evo (okay) and Bosch cross (a little better) and THEN I got to ride the POLICE BICYCLE they had built and was sitting there waiting for the lucky officer to pick it up.  It was a Fuji-something (like a cross, Absolute maybe) with a e-RAD mid-drive kit 500w and WOW.  That thing was awesome.

Yeah... it does suck that a lot of the bikes on the market seem to think you're going to be retired and pedal around your flat town on a very glacial schedule.  It's sad.

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So now I'm thinking about going that route.  Purchasing a Fuji cross with disc brakes (like a Silhouette 1.7 disc) and getting the eRAD kit installed.  To answer your prior question, Syonyk - no, hubby and I are not handy with electronics.    Are disc brakes a necessary safety feature if I'm going to be riding 60 miles daily at high speeds?  Or should I trim corners and get a kit installed on one of our road bikes (specialized or fuji) which don't have disc brakes?

Seems reasonable.  The mid-drives are definitely going to get you more speed than the commercially integrated hub motors like the BionX (sadly, federal law limits ebikes to 20mph under motor power).  Gearing is a nice thing, and if you're going to be cruising long distances, there's something to be said for being able to get up and *go* when you want.

As far as brakes go, I would highly suggest disk brakes, and preferably a set of dual piston hydraulic ones, not the cheaper cable operated ones.  It makes a big difference in being able to come down from speed quickly, and if you're commuting in the rain, it keeps the rotors dry, so you can stop NOW, instead of the wet-rim-brake style of braking which amounts to sending a telegraph to the engine room.

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The guy in this shop was much more in favor of the eRAD mid-drive's rather than the BionX on the hub, although he is a distributor of both.  BionX are more pricey.  But I'm worried about the eRAD tearing up the chains.  What say you?

A mid-drive on a road bike does seem like a good fit for your needs.  It's going to run faster on the flats, and if you're going with somewhat integrated kits, it's going to be a good bit quicker than a BionX kit.

As far as chain stretch goes, this is something I'm still working on getting data for.  I don't know anyone who commutes long distances on a mid-drive bike, and the few people I know with them have built hill climbers, not commuters.  I believe you can get around 1000 miles on a chain, but you should absolutely have a chain stretch check tool and check the chain wear regularly.  Get good at replacing them.

One thing to consider (which actually I just learned about) is that there are companies that make ebike specific chains for mid-drive systems.  Something like this: http://www.connexchain.com/en/e-bike-chains.html

I would definitely get a few of those if you're using a mid-drive.  And certainly let me know how it goes, wear-wise!

One question you might want to ask is if the BionX kits can be speed unlocked/unlimited.  Otherwise, they'll top out at 20mph (you can pedal faster if you want, but that's less useful), which isn't well suited to your commute.  If yes, that would be a good option to consider - the 500W direct drive looks like a very nice free running drive system, but only if you can get it to assist up through 30-35mph.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 09, 2015, 09:48:18 PM
One thing to consider (which actually I just learned about) is that there are companies that make ebike specific chains for mid-drive systems.  Something like this: http://www.connexchain.com/en/e-bike-chains.html

Thanks for sharing this! I still really like the sound of mid drives, if it could be done reliably.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: tyort1 on September 09, 2015, 10:15:39 PM
I bought a 3G beach cruiser bike a year ago for $399.  It basically sat in my garage after that.  I'm 43, wasn't in the greatest shape, and live in the middle of a hill.  This year I bought a front wheel hub/motor from Clean Republic (the "hill topper") and I use my bike WAY more now.  I find that I mainly use it to power through hills.  The rest of the time I don't even engage the motor, I just pedal away under manual power. 

The other time I find having the motor option is when I'm in a hurry.  In the old days I'd jump into my car to run an errand because it was "fast".  But with the option to hit the motor and pedal my heart out and I have the ability to get where I'm going almost as fast as my car would take me. 

Net result, I spent way more time on my bike and way less time in my car this past summer.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 14, 2015, 11:17:08 PM
How does the steering work on your bike with the motor running?  I've just finished a review of an older Schwinn Tailwind and the front drive makes things really weird while climbing hills.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/09/schwinn-tailwind-review-in-2015.html

Though... if someone isn't intimidated by battery pack repair (I document the process elsewhere on my blog) and wants a super-cheap ebike with a very, very upright riding position for use in the flatlands, you can get those for $350.

They're not great, but at $350, if you can repair the pack yourself, it's still one hell of a deal if you live in the flats.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Embok on September 15, 2015, 09:04:05 AM
Thanks for the info. Am considering an e bike for hubby, who needs to exercise, hates the gym, and is out of shape.  I like biking, as does he in theory, but he can't keep up with me, which frustrates us both.  Maybe an e bike would help?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 15, 2015, 10:08:41 AM
Certainly! That's a common use, when one partner is in better biking shape than the other.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Embok on September 15, 2015, 11:11:01 AM
Any suggestions for an appropriate bike for a 270 lb man, approximately 5'10" tall, to use in a somewhat hilly area (suburbs of Los Angeles).  My research suggests the Pedego Intercepto, but would love any other suggestions.  We are not handy, and won't be DIYing from a kit.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 15, 2015, 11:39:50 AM
That looks like a good option.  It's got a nice range of gears in the back, which is important for hill climbing.

If you're not going to DIY it, that probably also implies you're going to have a bike shop do a lot of your maintenance, and at that point, I'd strongly suggest sticking with whatever your local electric bike shop sells and works on.

The CurrieTech bikes are also quite solid, though I'm not terribly familiar with their new lines.

If you've got particularly steep hills, you might want to consider a mid-drive bike.  They're harder on chains, but are much better hill climbers than rear hub motors until you start putting a lot of power through the motor, which commercial bikes don't.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Embok on September 15, 2015, 11:48:40 PM
Thanks Syonyk!  I live in the same LA suburb where CurrieTech is located, and a local bike shop carries their bikes, so they are on the list to check out.  There's a Pedego dealer about 7 miles away also.  My husband truly detests exercise, but has realized that he must start doing something:  after 50, it's all maintenance!  O
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: abbot31 on September 18, 2015, 02:07:50 AM
It is great fun to have an electric bike.  I have bought this electric bike http://www.scootercity.co.uk/electric-bikes/z1-7-speed-compact-folding-electric-bike-20-black.html
I am using it for about eight months now. It is 20” speed folding bike with 250w electric motor. Its maximum speed is 25km/h which is road legal and I can ride it without a license or tax. This is really awesome bike and its affordable. I am really happy with it.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 23, 2015, 12:16:39 PM
Any thoughts on something like this?

http://dillengerelectricbikes.com/electric-bike-kits/1000w-electric-bike-kit-10ah-upgraded-by-dillenger.html

$900 for the entire package (incl battery + charger), rear wheel, disc brake compatible, twist grip throttle -- looks pretty good to me.  I could convert an existing 26" mountain bike with this kit, easily.

This kit is currently on sale for $800 from Dillenger -- I just ordered one.

I bought a cheap hybrid bike for conversion -- this Schwinn, also currently on sale at Nashbar for about $277 (with shipping):
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_583268_-1___

The Schwinn arrived a few days ago, and looks to be of decent quality, esp. for that price.  Aluminum frame, chromoly fork, weld quality on both is acceptable.  Bike has front and rear braze-on mounts for racks and fenders, though the lower left rear rack mount will take some fiddling to get it to clear the disc brake.  Cheap shifters/ derailleurs/ brakes/ crankset, but usable (low-end Shimano shifters & derailleurs, cheap Tektro cable brakes).

Hopefully this will all work well such that I'll have a powerful e-commuter bike for around $1100 total.  Will update once I've got it all together and functional.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on September 23, 2015, 02:27:34 PM
Syonyk and others with experience on e-bikes -- what are your thoughts on converting a cargo bike ("longtail" style)?  Something like a Kona Ute or Surly Big Dummy.  I can't think of anything that would be much different vs. converting a standard wheelbase bike, and it might provide greater utility.  Maybe the wiring would need to be longer.

It'll definitely weigh more though...

I have an Xtracycle and a Big Dummy and both have BionX rear direct drive hub motors.  Hard to ask for anything else out of them.  If you are in hilly areas and carrying a lot of weight look to the Stoke Monkey or 8Fun mid drives.  ebikes.ca can give you some ideas.  I like my hub motors, but if I had a lot of hills and weight I'd consider the mid-drive.

BTW - just rode 110 miles Friday and Saturday on the Big Dummy - took it camping.  Way more fun than on my standard bike, as I could enjoy all that mileage and scenery and didn't need to worry about killing my legs and lungs (still a challenge though).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 23, 2015, 10:39:19 PM
I bought a cheap hybrid bike for conversion -- this Schwinn, also currently on sale at Nashbar for about $277 (with shipping):
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_583268_-1___

The Schwinn arrived a few days ago, and looks to be of decent quality, esp. for that price.  Aluminum frame, chromoly fork, weld quality on both is acceptable.  Bike has front and rear braze-on mounts for racks and fenders, though the lower left rear rack mount will take some fiddling to get it to clear the disc brake.  Cheap shifters/ derailleurs/ brakes/ crankset, but usable (low-end Shimano shifters & derailleurs, cheap Tektro cable brakes).

Hopefully this will all work well such that I'll have a powerful e-commuter bike for around $1100 total.  Will update once I've got it all together and functional.

That is a REMARKABLE value for the money you paid - $277 shipped and you got DISC BRAKES and trigger shifters?!?!? Nice!

Three comments:
1) You may need a shim for your rear brake disc to make it fit whatever space has  been defined.
2) The motor wheel came with a freewheel, right? Most rear motor wheels (one exception) take freewheels instead of cassettes
3) You are going to HAVE to install at least one, and maybe two, torque arms on the rear dropouts. Those teensy tiny formed dropouts aren't too friendly for use with hubmotor axles.

Good luck, and keep us posted!!!! I think you're gonna have a KILLER build!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 24, 2015, 08:04:51 AM


This kit is currently on sale for $800 from Dillenger -- I just ordered one.

That is really tempting. I just started bike commuting one or two days a week. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but this would make that 50-55 minute commute so much faster.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 24, 2015, 09:29:01 AM
It'd probably cut your 50-55 minute commute down to 40 minutes or so, if my experiences with time saved are correct.  It mostly depends on the terrain.  On a flat commute, you can often go faster yourself than with a motor (unless you build something built for free running at speed), but the real value is in chewing up hill.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 24, 2015, 10:48:15 AM
I bought a cheap hybrid bike for conversion -- this Schwinn, also currently on sale at Nashbar for about $277 (with shipping):
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_583268_-1___

The Schwinn arrived a few days ago, and looks to be of decent quality, esp. for that price.  Aluminum frame, chromoly fork, weld quality on both is acceptable.  Bike has front and rear braze-on mounts for racks and fenders, though the lower left rear rack mount will take some fiddling to get it to clear the disc brake.  Cheap shifters/ derailleurs/ brakes/ crankset, but usable (low-end Shimano shifters & derailleurs, cheap Tektro cable brakes).

Hopefully this will all work well such that I'll have a powerful e-commuter bike for around $1100 total.  Will update once I've got it all together and functional.

That is a REMARKABLE value for the money you paid - $277 shipped and you got DISC BRAKES and trigger shifters?!?!? Nice!

Three comments:
1) You may need a shim for your rear brake disc to make it fit whatever space has  been defined.
2) The motor wheel came with a freewheel, right? Most rear motor wheels (one exception) take freewheels instead of cassettes
3) You are going to HAVE to install at least one, and maybe two, torque arms on the rear dropouts. Those teensy tiny formed dropouts aren't too friendly for use with hubmotor axles.

Good luck, and keep us posted!!!! I think you're gonna have a KILLER build!

That Nashbar Schwinn was a better deal than anything I could find elsewhere, and I don't have to cannibalize one of my existing (nicer) bikes for this project.

Re: comments - 
1) I have an assortment of small spacers I can use if needed for the disc rotor -- thanks for the heads up.
2) The Dillenger motor wheel has a freewheel hub (thread-on).  I waited for the Schwinn to arrive to see what it had before ordering the Dillenger kit; the Schwinn has a cassette hub, so I bought this Sunrace freewheel from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GSQL6W?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00

FWIW, the Schwinn has a 3x8 drivetrain, with cheap Shimano integrated shifter/brake levers. 

3) I think the Dillenger kit comes with one torque arm.  The Schwinn rear dropouts are bulky; guessing they are forged aluminum.  Hopefully the size/shape won't be a problem for fitting a torque arm.  FWIW, the Schwinn has a standard 10x135 rear spacing; standard 9x100 fork spacing.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 26, 2015, 02:43:08 PM
Schwinn has a cassette hub, so I bought this Sunrace freewheel from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GSQL6W?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00

YOu're going to want an 11-32 or 11-28 freewheel. Here's what I use:
http://www.amazon.com/DNP-Epoch-Freewheel-Nickel-Plated/dp/B007A8RS7I/ref=sr_1_2?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1443300147&sr=1-2&keywords=11-32t+freewheel&refinements=p_89%3ADNP

Get the freewheel remover tool also. You'll need it someday.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on September 26, 2015, 10:15:49 PM
If you do get a freewheel remover tool, get a thin walled/deep well one.  The more normal ones often won't work with freewheels on a rear hub motor.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on September 28, 2015, 06:45:18 PM
Thanks - I have a Park freewheel tool already. I'll use the Sunrace freewheel for now, as it's not cost effective to ship it back.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Faraday on September 28, 2015, 07:20:20 PM
Thanks - I have a Park freewheel tool already. I'll use the Sunrace freewheel for now, as it's not cost effective to ship it back.

I have the Sunrace freewheel tool and it was too short. Now: you can get away without it if you are only installing a freewheel on the motor, but if you ever have to move or remove the freewheel (to put a spacer in, for example), then you are stuck.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: alsoknownasDean on October 10, 2015, 08:17:06 AM
Are the mid-drive bikes a better option than hub drive?

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.

Are bikes with rim brakes a bad idea for electric conversions?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: patrickza on October 10, 2015, 10:58:07 AM
Some E-S members think building an ebike for the daily commute is mundane and boring - they go for building light motorcycles with gobs of power and publish stories about those builds that usually end in destruction of the bike.
Time to fess up. I have two of those bikes and I absolutely love them. No destruction of either one. The great thing about an ebike is you can have the power without any efficiency penalty. My 15 mile each way commute is the most fun of my day.

My small bike: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10256
My brute: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=45514
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 10, 2015, 11:20:56 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."

Quote
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.

Some E-S members think building an ebike for the daily commute is mundane and boring - they go for building light motorcycles with gobs of power and publish stories about those builds that usually end in destruction of the bike.
Time to fess up. I have two of those bikes and I absolutely love them. No destruction of either one. The great thing about an ebike is you can have the power without any efficiency penalty. My 15 mile each way commute is the most fun of my day.

My small bike: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10256
My brute: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=45514

Neither of yours look like you could ride them in a bike lane for long without someone calling the cops...  neither, also, is remotely legal as a bike.  If you're riding them purely in the street, cool, but that is no better than riding a motorcycle - for me, bike lanes and such are the whole point.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 10, 2015, 06:40:39 PM
I'm assembling my e bike project, and have a question : as I understand it, the torque washers (the ones with the bent tab sticking out) are supposed to fit into the dropout on the bike. Is that correct? Mine don't come anywhere near the dropouts. 

Also,  my kit didn't come with any torque arms. Are these necessary for a direct drive rear hub motor, on an aluminum hardtail? Motor is 1000w, 48v.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 10, 2015, 06:58:43 PM
Yes, the torque washers should fit into the dropouts.  And while you don't, strictly speaking, need torque arms at 1000W, you might want to consider them.  I'm pushing 1300W without them, but I really should order a set, as I've seen some damage to my axle from torque.  I *think* that was from the bike shop not properly tightening the nuts, though.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 10, 2015, 07:44:13 PM
Thanks. I'll do some searching and see if I can locate some torque washers that'll fit, and a torque arm that'll fit on these dropouts (cast or forged aluminum, and have quite a bit of shape to them).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 20, 2015, 10:54:49 PM
As an update of sorts, I am having trouble with my ebike kit from Dillenger. The kit they shipped had exposed wiring on the cable connecting the battery to the controller. After several emails and photos (with Dillenger customer service trying to argue that the split insulation didn't really exist), they promised to send a replacement cable. It has not arrived, and Dillenger refuses to provide a tracking number, despite admitting that the package is trackable and claiming shipment one week ago.

I taped around that wire to provide some insulation while waiting for a replacement, and installed the rest of the kit. It functioned briefly (maybe 10 miles), then died. The computer screen (which controls everything) does not power on. I suspect either the computer display or the controller unit is faulty, or perhaps both.

Dillenger refuses to address the display or controller issue until I try the replacement power cable.  Since it is now temporarily insulated and conducting power (tested with multi meter), I do not see how the power cord could account for the rest of the system being completely dead.

Dillenger CS leaves much to be desired. I am quite close to opening a Paypal dispute and also pursuing a credit card chargeback.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: cort1977 on October 30, 2015, 10:34:48 AM
Sorry to hear you are having trouble with Dillenger, hopefully they will fix the issue in the end.

I recently decided to get an electric bike after reading the MMM posts on the subject and taking a closer look at what I was actually paying to commute and park on the days when I drove to work.   I have always commuted to work by bicycle to a greater or lesser degree depending on the length of the commute.   I currently live in Houston and my commute is around nine miles, I am fortunate that this is almost entirely on bike paths.   Some areas of Houston can be quite bike-friendly contrary to popular belief.   Prior to getting the e-bike I found I was often only riding two days per week, if I rode Monday and Tuesday by Wednesday I would not feel much like riding to work, particularly in the summer months when the humidity can be brutal here.   Running some rough calculations and just looking at the cost of gas and parking I figured that the payback period for an e-bike kit would be less than 6 months for me so I convinced myself this would be a financially responsible decision and began to look around for kits.
The various types of kits have been much discussed here and there are valid pros and cons for most systems.   For my situation I was attracted to the idea of a kit to convert an existing bicycle as none of the dedicated e-bikes appealed to me being mostly ‘cruiser’ style bikes retailing at prices getting close to what I would pay for a car.   Also, I like to work on bicycles and felt that a conversion kit would be within my capabilities.   Looking at the kits available the Currie Izip 3 seemed to be what I was looking for, hopefully a good quality kit from a reputable manufacturer.   I believe that these are discontinued but are still available if you look around; I found them substantially reduced here: http://www.thesuperkids.com/cu24vo500wah.html.   This kit is quite nicely packaged, front wheel drive for better weight distribution and the disadvantages of the configuration such as grip on wet hills would not be a problem on my flat commute.   The kit consists of a 36V 500W geared hub motor, combined rack, control box and 11.4Ah Li-Ion battery giving a range of 20 miles.   This seemed to meet all my needs and it was $850 with shipping.
The kit was eventually ordered from superkids after the payment was initially stopped as suspicious by my bank and was shipped promptly.   The instructions were straightforward to follow, it was easy to install, if you can change a wheel and fit a rack to a bicycle you can fit this kit.   My conversion bike is an early 90’s Specialized steel frame mountain bike.   This was picked because it has stable geometry, a strong steel fork, fittings for attaching fenders and racks and cantilever brakes.   All original components but still serviceable, the brakes may not perform as well as today’s disc brakes but they are adequate for my needs.   Also, I bought the whole bike for $100 after searching for a big enough frame for a while.   
A big advantage is that this bike is unlikely to be a target for thieves.   I park in an open area close to the entrance of our building downtown, it is watched by security but there have been thefts in the past.   The battery does have a lock to lock it in the frame but it is wedged in there fairly tightly, I had to use a lever to get it out when I removed it so hopefully it is secure enough.
The installation was smooth, the only tricky part is assembling the spacer washers and reaction arm to suit the fork and holding them in place as you slide the wheel in to the fork dropouts.   You can assemble the kit with a set of hex keys and wrenches, no specialist tools are required.   After checking the spacing carefully and making sure the nuts were suitably tight it was simple to fit the rack and set up the throttle on the bars.   The cables are black and you do have two thick cables running along the bike, but I think it looks OK.   Once installed I took the bike out for a test run and it performed perfectly.   I was impressed at how the kit performed out of the box, no adjustment required.   
Riding the bike is not that different to riding a normal bike, it’s just slightly faster and you make less effort.   This was the primary goal for me allowing me to ride every day and still have some energy left at the end of the week.   Top speed under pure electric power is 20mph on the flat, I weigh about 180lbs and the base bike is 34lbs without the kit.   I tend to pedal for the most part but the intensity is less than for a non-assisted bike.   With pedal assistance I can average 21-22mph and I wouldn’t want to go any faster on a shared bike path.   My bike is legal in Texas and I yield to other users on the path happy in the knowledge I can soon zip past them when it’s clear.   The front wheel motor does not have a noticeable effect on handling, possibly the steering is a little slower but that is hardly a problem for a commuter bike.   I have found that the greater speed doesn’t make a great difference to journey times due to slowing for pedestrians and road crossings but definitely achieves my goal of bicycle commuting every day.   
Since getting the e-bike I have ridden every day and have clocked up over 500 miles so far.   By a very rough approximation of saving $10 per day on parking and gas I am well on the way to paying off the investment.   An unexpected result is that I am seriously considering getting rid of my car; it sits in the driveway unused all week.   I would thoroughly recommend this kit and the whole concept of ebikes to all mustachians, it really can make a big difference in your life.

TL, DR – The Currie Izip kits are good; I got one and am very pleased with all the money it is saving me!


Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 30, 2015, 12:03:32 PM
Excellent!  Glad to hear you enjoy it!

An ebike really is much more of a car replacement than a regular bike if you aren't already retired (and therefore perhaps care about not being a sweaty mess when you get to work).

My commuter build is still holding up fine.  I had to replace the chain/rear freewheel assembly at one point, but other than that and a flat, it's been the most boring vehicle I've ever owned, which is exactly what I wanted.

I do have a cheap inline power meter on order, though - I want to actually figure out how much power I use on my commute.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Salim on November 02, 2015, 02:38:09 PM
I'd been watching Craigslist for a few months to find a used trailer in good condition within easy driving distance, but didn't find one. I broke down and bought a new Burley Flatbed, bungied a plastic tub on it, and went on a grocery adventure today. The trailer worked out very well. (To make the day even better, a week's groceries came in at $59!) Here's a pic of the new rig.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on November 02, 2015, 02:56:39 PM
Are the mid-drive bikes a better option than hub drive?

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.

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

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.

ETA -- that kit in 2003 was the start of a 3 year ebike kit import / sales business.  A bit ahead of curve, but we learned a lot.  That is partly why DH wants to build the most skookum** ebike as a substitute for a motorcycle or car, that can take all 250lbs+ of him up a hill with the trailer.   We will need to overpower it for the local laws, (750W to 1000W- don't tell)  but speed limit it to the legal ebike limit.  Driving on"bike lane" on shoulder of a 2 lane industrial road with lots of large trucks.

**most skookum => regional term.  :-)

Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 02, 2015, 05:42:20 PM
I saw someone at the park with a fancy cargo bike one day and thought it was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen, there was a mom driving with 2 little kids on the back of the bike and a trailer full of groceries yet she was still going about 15mph, I stopped her and asked what this amazing thing was and was told it was a Yuba Spicy Curry. It's far out of my price range but I might build my own some day. Ever since then I've been obsessed with Ebikes, I'm tempted to buy one or a kit but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I currently ride my bike to work almost every day, but that's about it, I always drive to the grocery store, etc. Here are the coolest ones I've found,
1. Riide Electric bike ($1,999)
2. Izip E3 Pro Tour (coming soon) ($3,200)
3. E-Rad 500W Mid Drive conversion kit ($850) (New and improved Bafang BBS02)
4. Specialized Turbo ($3,000)
5. Easy Motion Evo Race ($2,999)
6. CUBE Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 29 ($2,999)
7. Potentially the 2016 Izip Express or 2016 Izip E3 Dash, they weren't finalized when I last checked up on them.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on November 02, 2015, 09:03:37 PM
Just do it. Build one, buy a used one, whatever. Or buy the BionX kit I'm selling.

Get something, start learning, and go from there.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 03, 2015, 10:07:52 PM
Just do it. Build one, buy a used one, whatever. Or buy the BionX kit I'm selling.

Get something, start learning, and go from there.
what BionX kit are you selling? and how much?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 04, 2015, 04:22:33 PM
Just do it. Build one, buy a used one, whatever. Or buy the BionX kit I'm selling.

Get something, start learning, and go from there.
what BionX kit are you selling? and how much?
Nvm, just dropped $2,999 on a Haibike Xduro RX 29, seems like the most unmastachian purchase of my life. But instead of doing my 17 mile commute by bike 2-3 times per week, I'll commute by bike 5 times per week instead.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on November 04, 2015, 04:44:32 PM
Not relevant anymore, but a BionX PL350 kit with upgraded battery.  It's a 13.5Ah battery instead of a 9.6Ah battery, with brand new cells.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/08/rebuilding-bionx-36v-96ah-battery-pack.html

Nvm, just dropped $2,999 on a Haibike Xduro RX 29, seems like the most unmastachian purchase of my life. But instead of doing my 17 mile commute by bike 2-3 times per week, I'll commute by bike 5 times per week instead.

You'll love it!  That looks like a really solid bike.  17 miles each way, or round trip?  You'll also be able to do a lot more with the bike than just commute.  They're awesome. :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 04, 2015, 08:20:50 PM
Not relevant anymore, but a BionX PL350 kit with upgraded battery.  It's a 13.5Ah battery instead of a 9.6Ah battery, with brand new cells.

http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/08/rebuilding-bionx-36v-96ah-battery-pack.html

Nvm, just dropped $2,999 on a Haibike Xduro RX 29, seems like the most unmastachian purchase of my life. But instead of doing my 17 mile commute by bike 2-3 times per week, I'll commute by bike 5 times per week instead.

You'll love it!  That looks like a really solid bike.  17 miles each way, or round trip?  You'll also be able to do a lot more with the bike than just commute.  They're awesome. :)
17 miles each way, but I can charge at work. 12 Miles is on gravel, 5 miles in city. Do you think I should keep the mt. bike tires on it?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on November 04, 2015, 08:52:57 PM
What kind of gravel?  Large chunks or fairly nicely packed/fine gravel?

I don't like riding on pavement with knobbies.  I'd go with a road-focused tire, thick tubes, and slime.  Heavy, but very, very puncture resistant.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 04, 2015, 09:35:19 PM
What kind of gravel?  Large chunks or fairly nicely packed/fine gravel?

I don't like riding on pavement with knobbies.  I'd go with a road-focused tire, thick tubes, and slime.  Heavy, but very, very puncture resistant.
Large Chunks
On my current bike I have 32C tires and they work pretty well, but the current tires on the new bike are 2.25" so I think if I want tires skinnier than say 2" I'd probably need new wheels which I don't plan on doing soon. I will just stick with the tires on it and when they start to get worn out I'll decide what to do.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on November 05, 2015, 02:24:57 AM
Posted my car on craigslist, will get rid of it and just stick with the ebike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on November 05, 2015, 09:57:18 AM
Bold, but cool!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: cort1977 on November 18, 2015, 11:57:15 AM
At the risk of being accused of spamming for Currie bikes I found this review: http://www.electricbikeaction.com/currie-retro-conversion-kit/   Note that you can find them under $800 now.

Mine just topped 700 miles and is running well.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on November 18, 2015, 12:07:56 PM
As an update of sorts, I am having trouble with my ebike kit from Dillenger. The kit they shipped had exposed wiring on the cable connecting the battery to the controller. After several emails and photos (with Dillenger customer service trying to argue that the split insulation didn't really exist), they promised to send a replacement cable. It has not arrived, and Dillenger refuses to provide a tracking number, despite admitting that the package is trackable and claiming shipment one week ago.

I taped around that wire to provide some insulation while waiting for a replacement, and installed the rest of the kit. It functioned briefly (maybe 10 miles), then died. The computer screen (which controls everything) does not power on. I suspect either the computer display or the controller unit is faulty, or perhaps both.

Dillenger refuses to address the display or controller issue until I try the replacement power cable.  Since it is now temporarily insulated and conducting power (tested with multi meter), I do not see how the power cord could account for the rest of the system being completely dead.

Dillenger CS leaves much to be desired. I am quite close to opening a Paypal dispute and also pursuing a credit card chargeback.

As a further update:

Dillenger provided the replacement power cable (discussed above), and also a replacement controller.  These replacement parts did not cure the problem -- it still doesn't work.  I have requested on multiple occasions that Dillenger either ship a complete replacement kit (and I will ship back the defective kit), or that Dillenger send a shipment call label and issue a full refund.  Dillenger refuses to do either.

Dillenger is now ignoring my emails.  I have filed both a credit card chargeback and a PayPal dispute.  It appears that PayPal is deferring to the credit card chargeback outcome.

I cannot recommend doing business with Dillenger.  Their customer service is horrible.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on November 23, 2015, 04:38:56 PM
:/ That really sucks.

If my commuter build (pretty much all DIY) breaks, I can just get replacement parts.  That's a downside of going with a nice factory integrated bike - it's hard to replace things if they break.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: tyort1 on November 23, 2015, 04:51:06 PM
I also like the conversion kit from Clean Republic because it's pretty dang simple - a new front wheel with the hub in it.  It connects to a separate battery pack.  Beyond simple.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: hoping2retire35 on December 16, 2015, 07:03:59 AM
Does anyone know what a typical state rule is regarding getting insurance/registration on a electric bike? I have a low speed moped where all you have to have is a drivers license, so I guess it would depend on the speed capability of the bike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on December 16, 2015, 09:13:35 AM
Yep. I think federal rule is 750 w max with speed limited to the equivalent of 35 km per hr.
Below that and you are a bicycle.

Above that and you need to check with your state for requirements to register as a limited speed motorcycle or motorcycle. Those may require brake lights, headlamp, speedometer, signal, and maybe a brake check

Some cities or states reduce the ebike federal guideline cut off to 500w. City bylaws may govern where you can ride on paths, etc.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on December 16, 2015, 02:17:43 PM
In the  U.S. you can have 20mph ebikes without any requirements. Not sure about 28mph pedelecs, they might  also be okay. Anything 30mph+ for sure has extra requirements
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on December 17, 2015, 12:28:11 AM

Here is the wiki (I hate referencing Wiki, but I am lazy today and had cross checked this to the actual US legal text last year, so I think it is ok..

The federal Consumer Product Safety Act defines a "low speed electric bicycle" as a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals, a top speed when powered solely by the motor under 20 mph (32 km/h) and an electric motor that produces less than 750 W (1.01 hp). The Act authorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect people who ride low-speed electric vehicles by issuing necessary safety regulations.[49] The rules for e-bikes on public roads, sidewalks, and pathways are under state jurisdiction, and vary.
....
Low Speed electric Bicycles have operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W (1 hp), and a top motor-powered speed of less than 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) when operated by a rider weighing 170 pounds.


Minimum age of around 15 or 16 in effect for quite a few states.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws)

Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on December 17, 2015, 12:07:19 PM
Does anyone know what a typical state rule is regarding getting insurance/registration on a electric bike? I have a low speed moped where all you have to have is a drivers license, so I guess it would depend on the speed capability of the bike.

"You don't have to."  California allows pedal assist bikes up to 28mph, and pretty much everywhere else allows 20mph and 750W (Washington allows 1000W) to be considered in the same class as a bicycle, so no registration/title/insurance/etc.

Some states are a bit more confusing (Idaho doesn't actually have a concept of an electric bike, and their "What is it?" flow chart is dreadfully confusing for this case), so I tend to go with "Nobody cares enough to know what it is, so if it looks like a bicycle and you're riding it like a bicycle, nobody will think it's anything but a bicycle."
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on December 17, 2015, 12:17:41 PM
Does anyone know what a typical state rule is regarding getting insurance/registration on a electric bike? I have a low speed moped where all you have to have is a drivers license, so I guess it would depend on the speed capability of the bike.

"You don't have to."  California allows pedal assist bikes up to 28mph, and pretty much everywhere else allows 20mph and 750W (Washington allows 1000W) to be considered in the same class as a bicycle, so no registration/title/insurance/etc.

Some states are a bit more confusing (Idaho doesn't actually have a concept of an electric bike, and their "What is it?" flow chart is dreadfully confusing for this case), so I tend to go with "Nobody cares enough to know what it is, so if it looks like a bicycle and you're riding it like a bicycle, nobody will think it's anything but a bicycle."
Hooray for my home state, I love Idaho.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on December 20, 2015, 07:26:29 PM
Hooray for my home state, I love Idaho.

:D I'm moving out there in the next year.  Seems a wonderful place!

=========

I put a rebuilt BionX kit into a medium frame Specialized tonight - good fun.  I've still got a lot to do to finish making a "good commuter" out of it, but it's basically a "to sell" build - the battery pack is freshly rebuilt with greater-than-stock capacity (as I can do), and it seems easier to sell a fully functional ebike than just the kit.

The things are rather breeding in my garage.  I need to get rid of a few, but some of them are R&D bikes, and others aren't quite ready to sell yet (mostly because I haven't finished building or R&D'ing them).

It's quite the fun hobby! :D
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: hoping2retire35 on January 19, 2016, 12:47:48 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on January 19, 2016, 01:01:54 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.

I would be more apt to purchase a brand name used then one that was put together from various sources.  Not to say that they are a problem, but for example my Bionx kit is tried and true.  Maybe I would see what the original battery was expected to do and do a test on the used one just to make sure it was still in good shape.  Of course, a lot depends on the price too.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on January 19, 2016, 01:27:16 PM
I'm back to square one with doing an e-bike conversion.  Anyone have any (current) recommendations?

FWIW, I recommend not buying anything from Dillenger.  After 3.5 months and a credit card chargeback dispute, I finally got my full refund for the defective conversion kit. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on January 19, 2016, 01:32:16 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.
I bought a complete electric bike and the frame is quite different from a normal bike(see picture) however I don't think there would be a lot of options for a complete tandem ebike so making your own might be a good idea, it might be a bit tricky with 2 cranks, I'd probably recommend a rear wheel kit. Bion X definitely makes the best rear wheel kits but they are also the most expensive.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette on January 19, 2016, 01:39:34 PM
In full disclosure, I started a business regarding electric bikes about 6 months ago.  It's a side gig and is doing fairly well.  It's an interest to me, so I like doing it.  For anyone looking at a mid drive, the Bafang brand has some good options.  I'll be carrying them myself soon, along with some hub motors.  If you live in a flat area, a rear hub motor is all you'll ever need.  In hilly terrain, a mid drive is more ideal, but you can get by with either.  I've been commuting up rather steep terrain for the past several months mainly with a hub motor, occasional with a mid drive setup.  Just depends on the weather.  (One is a velomobile, so I use it when raining.)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on January 19, 2016, 01:40:29 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.
I bought a complete electric bike and the frame is quite different from a normal bike(see picture) however I don't think there would be a lot of options for a complete tandem ebike so making your own might be a good idea, it might be a bit tricky with 2 cranks, I'd probably recommend a rear wheel kit. Bion X definitely makes the best rear wheel kits but they are also the most expensive.

I was alluding to the (cost of Bionx), but I have to say that when I had an issue they handled it (actually replaced the rear wheel hub with a brand new one).  I have two Bionx kits BTW (one on the Big Dummy and one on the Xtracycle).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on January 19, 2016, 01:46:58 PM
I'm back to square one with doing an e-bike conversion.  Anyone have any (current) recommendations?

FWIW, I recommend not buying anything from Dillenger.  After 3.5 months and a credit card chargeback dispute, I finally got my full refund for the defective conversion kit.
I've never done an electric bike conversion, but If I was going to convert a bike, I'd try and find a decent steel framed hard tail, and get a 500 watt e rad mid drive conversion kit for it, probably get a battery from em3ev.com as I've heard great things about them. If you want to spend as little as possible then I'd probably go for a bafang BBS02 350 watt mid drive conversion kit and make some LIPO batteries with LIPO from HobbyKing.com. Electricbikereview.com reviews lots of bikes and kits, the endless sphere forums can give you a lot of good information as well. You can get more reliable products with faster shipping from stores like em3ev.com, but if you want less expensive(and potentially more risky) products you can try aliexpress and alibaba.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on January 19, 2016, 01:50:10 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.
I bought a complete electric bike and the frame is quite different from a normal bike(see picture) however I don't think there would be a lot of options for a complete tandem ebike so making your own might be a good idea, it might be a bit tricky with 2 cranks, I'd probably recommend a rear wheel kit. Bion X definitely makes the best rear wheel kits but they are also the most expensive.

I was alluding to the (cost of Bionx), but I have to say that when I had an issue they handled it (actually replaced the rear wheel hub with a brand new one).  I have two Bionx kits BTW (one on the Big Dummy and one on the Xtracycle).
I was only replying to hoping2retire, I wasn't talking about anything you said I just think that Bion X makes the best rear wheel kits, but they're very spendy. It seems you also back Bion X so that makes two of us.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: dogboyslim on January 19, 2016, 03:37:14 PM
I was thinking about one of these and looked at my insurance policies to make sure my liability was covered.  For my bicycles, my homeowners liability covers me, but it excludes liability for a motor vehicle, which is a defined term to include any vehicle that is powered wholly or in part by a motor.  I called my agent and she said I'd need a separate e-bike liability policy.  Terms vary by carrier, so I'm not saying you aren't covered for liability, but please check your specific policy.  Given the faster speeds of e-bikes, I can see an accident having potentially larger damages that would give the insurance companies reason to deny coverage.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on January 19, 2016, 05:21:47 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.

If it's for a tandem, do it yourself.  IF you can find a commercially built tandem, you're going to pay obscene amounts of money for it.  Commercial electric bikes are generally quite pricey for what they are. :/

And as for finding a commercially built tandem, used?  Good luck.  I doubt you can find a single one for sale.  That's so far down the weeds of weird builds that it's likely to be impossible to find.

If you want "bolt on and go," get one of the newer BionX kits with a heavy duty wheel.  Replace your rear wheel, and go.  You'll probably need to order some extension cables to be able to mount everything where it needs to go.  The kit is expensive, especially with a large battery, but it really does just work, and they've done a nice job with their torque sensors.  It's "set the assist and go."  Also, more usefully on a tandem, you have regenerative braking, and a tandem is heavy enough that this may well be useful.  One downside is that the kits generally limit at 20mph (US federal limit), and tandems can cruise a lot faster, so you wouldn't have assist at cruise.

If you want to pure DIY, the sky is the limit.  I'd generally suggest a rear hub drive, as that avoids the complexity of trying to figure out a mid-drive with a tandem.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin on January 22, 2016, 07:07:55 PM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.
I bought a complete electric bike and the frame is quite different from a normal bike(see picture) however I don't think there would be a lot of options for a complete tandem ebike so making your own might be a good idea, it might be a bit tricky with 2 cranks, I'd probably recommend a rear wheel kit. Bion X definitely makes the best rear wheel kits but they are also the most expensive.

I was alluding to the (cost of Bionx), but I have to say that when I had an issue they handled it (actually replaced the rear wheel hub with a brand new one).  I have two Bionx kits BTW (one on the Big Dummy and one on the Xtracycle).
I was only replying to hoping2retire, I wasn't talking about anything you said I just think that Bion X makes the best rear wheel kits, but they're very spendy. It seems you also back Bion X so that makes two of us.

No disagreement here.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on January 28, 2016, 01:18:05 AM
OK, what is the running opinion of buying a kit for an existing bike versus a new(read used, but new to the buyer) complete electric bike?

I am thinking of doing this for a tandem, so if that makes a difference please post.

If it's for a tandem, do it yourself.  IF you can find a commercially built tandem, you're going to pay obscene amounts of money for it.  Commercial electric bikes are generally quite pricey for what they are. :/

And as for finding a commercially built tandem, used?  Good luck.  I doubt you can find a single one for sale.  That's so far down the weeds of weird builds that it's likely to be impossible to find.

If you want "bolt on and go," get one of the newer BionX kits with a heavy duty wheel.  Replace your rear wheel, and go.  You'll probably need to order some extension cables to be able to mount everything where it needs to go.  The kit is expensive, especially with a large battery, but it really does just work, and they've done a nice job with their torque sensors.  It's "set the assist and go."  Also, more usefully on a tandem, you have regenerative braking, and a tandem is heavy enough that this may well be useful.  One downside is that the kits generally limit at 20mph (US federal limit), and tandems can cruise a lot faster, so you wouldn't have assist at cruise.

If you want to pure DIY, the sky is the limit.  I'd generally suggest a rear hub drive, as that avoids the complexity of trying to figure out a mid-drive with a tandem.
Agreed!

Hub drive is much easier for do it yourself.   You can take in your existing wheel, and the hub drive to a bike shop and pay them to respoke it.  easy.  attach the controller / battery / throttle / light and you are pretty much done.

 Mid drive, and there are a lot more parts to consider, as I just discovered, like what rear cassette to use, other parts.     We are building a mid drive bike now, so will see how noisy it is when done, but excited to do it.

Bafang - man, I wanted one of those (with nylon gear for lower noise) but they are so expensive.  Over $800 the last time I looked, and the CDN dollar keeps falling.   We went with a different drive, similar to Bafang but much cheaper.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: hoping2retire35 on January 28, 2016, 06:07:20 AM
Has anyone done a front drive?

this seems like a pretty affordable option. What are the downsides?

http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on January 28, 2016, 09:53:41 AM
Has anyone done a front drive?

I've ridden one.  http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/09/schwinn-tailwind-review-in-2015.html

Quote
this seems like a pretty affordable option. What are the downsides?

Many.

1. You can't use a front hub drive with suspension forks unless they're designed for it.  Which is to say, don't use a front hub drive with suspension forks.
2. The handling is goofy at best.  Bike geometries are not designed for power through the front wheel.  Handling gets vague and rather dangerous depending on the power and geometry - much like how a high power front wheel drive car is weird under power, the bike will do the same thing.
3. You run a much higher risk of spinning the wheel up from the power if it's wet or slick out.

If you are going to do it, make sure you use non-suspension forks and good torque arms.  If your front hub tears the dropouts up and falls out, you're going to crash, probably quite violently and painfully.  Front wheel failures are no fun at all, from what I hear.

If you live in a very flat area and are willing to go with a 250W kit or so (max), it's borderline acceptable, but it's still not a good general solution.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: synonym on January 28, 2016, 02:40:54 PM
I've had no trouble with riding/handling my front wheel electric bike kit (350W Dillenger).
(Installation did require some grinding to open out the dropout, otherwise it's an fairly clean install).
My bike is an electra Townie - no suspension, steel forks, long wheelbase.
I ride it on roads and bike paths, occasionally gravel/dirt, though performance with slick tires is not the best when its loose and steep. That would be a job for a different bike/motor though.
Typically i tool around at anything from 10-25 mph, only mostly flat or comparatively gentle slopes.
Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Making Cookies on February 02, 2016, 07:42:14 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nd13ARuvVE

I thought this electric bike "problem" was interesting.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 02, 2016, 09:07:04 AM
I don't care a bit about the drama of competitive cycling. :)  Hopefully this gets the concept of an electric bike in front of a few more people, though.

A week ago, I did an "electric bike demo day" at work - I have three of the things in my garage right now (my commuter, my long range bike & the one my wife rides, and one I'm building for another guy with a rebuilt battery pack), so I took them to work and showed them off/let people ride them.

I got to see a lot of "ebike grins" - the silly grin people come back with after taking one for a spin the first time.

No idea if it'll get anyone to switch from their car, but at least it's planting the seed.  Parking at work is radically better with the new building online, so the parking aspect is less important now.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Making Cookies on February 02, 2016, 09:52:33 AM
Oh I'm not into the competitive bike thing either but the way the motor was integrated into the bike was interesting to me from an engineering standpoint.

The e-bike kits have gotten nicer along the way over the past decade. I'd like to build a mid-drive and integrate the batteries into the frame somehow.

Definitely want one to help conquer the hills around here which are steep. I want to ride more but don't want to struggle up curvy roads where I might not be spotted by the yahoo racing along at 50 mph on a country road with no shoulders.

The e-bike tech would help me minimize the time spent on dangerous portions of various roads I ride. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 03, 2016, 01:38:20 AM
Has anyone done a front drive?

I've ridden one.  http://syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/09/schwinn-tailwind-review-in-2015.html

Quote
this seems like a pretty affordable option. What are the downsides?

Many.

1. You can't use a front hub drive with suspension forks unless they're designed for it.  Which is to say, don't use a front hub drive with suspension forks.
2. The handling is goofy at best.  Bike geometries are not designed for power through the front wheel.  Handling gets vague and rather dangerous depending on the power and geometry - much like how a high power front wheel drive car is weird under power, the bike will do the same thing.
3. You run a much higher risk of spinning the wheel up from the power if it's wet or slick out.

If you are going to do it, make sure you use non-suspension forks and good torque arms.  If your front hub tears the dropouts up and falls out, you're going to crash, probably quite violently and painfully.  Front wheel failures are no fun at all, from what I hear.

If you live in a very flat area and are willing to go with a 250W kit or so (max), it's borderline acceptable, but it's still not a good general solution.

I rode one for several years, including a daily bike commuter and towing a trailer with kids in it up hills.

It was terrific.  Low cost and a lot of power.  Ran on the lead acid battery for at least 30 minutes, and hour with pedalling.  Batteries today are so much better, too.

Disadvantages (which is why we are building a mid drive bike now):
Heavy front wheel -- I wasn't jumping a full 4 inch square curb or large roots on trails anymore.
When the battery is dead, there is a lot of internal rolling resistance in the hub motor (front or back).
Our kit had a lot of wires zap strapped to our bike frame (it was a kit, so no wires fed from through the tubes).

BUT Advantages-- it was under $500, simple to install and operate, we installed on an existing bike, all the normal bike accessories worked (paniers, trailer, trail a bike).  The hub motor is so quiet, and it had lots of power.  Hub motor is enclosed so dirt, sand and puddles are not a problem.  Simple to shift gears and less gear shifting needed.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Making Cookies on February 12, 2016, 10:23:28 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on February 12, 2016, 11:51:37 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.
I have a Bosch mid drive, which I think is the best, but I don't think they sell kits. I think the best mid drive kits are the E-rad kits
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 12, 2016, 12:56:42 PM
The Bosch kits are apparently insanely good, but also insanely expensive.

The E-Rad kit is a Bafang BBS02 unit with a bunch of nice goodies added (stuff you'll want anyway).  They're quite good, from what I hear.  I haven't actually owned a mid-drive bike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on February 12, 2016, 01:02:13 PM
The Bosch kits are apparently insanely good, but also insanely expensive.

The E-Rad kit is a Bafang BBS02 unit with a bunch of nice goodies added (stuff you'll want anyway).  They're quite good, from what I hear.  I haven't actually owned a mid-drive bike.
they are a newer version of the BBS02 unit, engineered and designed by a different company, but made by the same company
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 12, 2016, 01:47:32 PM
Ah, interesting.  I thought it was just a rebadged unit.  Neat!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 12, 2016, 09:49:13 PM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.

Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on February 13, 2016, 02:53:06 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.

Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
It will last longer because it has 300watts? That makes no sense, it's like saying a car will last longer because it's 300hp
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on February 13, 2016, 07:57:33 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.

Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
That's interesting - much less than the Bafang kit. What's so hard about installing that? The Web page makes it sound difficult but doesn't say why.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 13, 2016, 08:42:44 AM
Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
It will last longer because it has 300watts? That makes no sense, it's like saying a car will last longer because it's 300hp

Well, 3000W, not 300W.  Plus not using that most of the time.  And it's reasonable.

It's heavily overspec'd for the legal speed limit (usually 20mph, at least in the US).  Rolling at 20mph on a motor will typically consume around 600-700W electrical from the battery - so cruising at less than a quarter of rated power.  Even running hard up hills, it's likely to be less than the rated 3000W, so it's going to be cooler running and should last basically forever.

Running a motor (and controller) well under it's rated power is a good way to keep them going for a long time.  I'm doing the same thing - my motor is rated to about 80v, and my controller is a 60A/50A capable unit I'm currently running at 36v/35A (though I never see more than 32A and about 1100W through it).  I did this because it's my daily commuter, and my previous build finally failed from me pushing the motor too hard (it had a lot of other problems early on as well, all related to power handling).

So, yes, using a 3kW motor on a street bike should make for a very reliable motor & controller pair when run at street power settings.

Also, a lot of ebike parts come with "Chinese power ratings" - which should generally be interpreted as the power it will handle, once.  I usually assume about a 50% derate for highly reliable use.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on February 13, 2016, 11:44:34 AM
Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
It will last longer because it has 300watts? That makes no sense, it's like saying a car will last longer because it's 300hp

Well, 3000W, not 300W.  Plus not using that most of the time.  And it's reasonable.

It's heavily overspec'd for the legal speed limit (usually 20mph, at least in the US).  Rolling at 20mph on a motor will typically consume around 600-700W electrical from the battery - so cruising at less than a quarter of rated power.  Even running hard up hills, it's likely to be less than the rated 3000W, so it's going to be cooler running and should last basically forever.

Running a motor (and controller) well under it's rated power is a good way to keep them going for a long time.  I'm doing the same thing - my motor is rated to about 80v, and my controller is a 60A/50A capable unit I'm currently running at 36v/35A (though I never see more than 32A and about 1100W through it).  I did this because it's my daily commuter, and my previous build finally failed from me pushing the motor too hard (it had a lot of other problems early on as well, all related to power handling).

So, yes, using a 3kW motor on a street bike should make for a very reliable motor & controller pair when run at street power settings.

Also, a lot of ebike parts come with "Chinese power ratings" - which should generally be interpreted as the power it will handle, once.  I usually assume about a 50% derate for highly reliable use.
I guess that makes sense, although I think you meant going 20mph will run the motor around 600-700w not consume that much of the battery, as you measure a battery by watt hours, not watts.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: KMMK on February 13, 2016, 11:55:12 AM
Posting to following as I'm thinking of buying an e-bike in a year or so.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 13, 2016, 12:09:29 PM
I guess that makes sense, although I think you meant going 20mph will run the motor around 600-700w not consume that much of the battery, as you measure a battery by watt hours, not watts.

Yes, that's what I said.  I suppose "consume" may not have been the best term, though. 

"Steady state power use at 20mph on flat ground is about 600W" may be a better phrasing.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 14, 2016, 01:12:11 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.

Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
It will last longer because it has 300watts? That makes no sense, it's like saying a car will last longer because it's 300hp

It needs stronger gears to carry the 3000W versus a 500 W motor.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 14, 2016, 01:14:20 AM
Which mid-drive kit are you using? Link? Thanks.

Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
That's interesting - much less than the Bafang kit. What's so hard about installing that? The Web page makes it sound difficult but doesn't say why.
We are about to find out...   I think it means more difficult than a hub motor, which was so simple even I could do it.  The mid drive will take my DH a little longer.  I think because you want to get the chain drive / tension just right, but we will see.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 14, 2016, 01:18:19 AM
Cylone mid drive motor...

3000W  so it lasts longer.  we will limit the speed to legal limit, but let it climb hills under load...

http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/ (http://lunacycle.com/motors/mid-drive-kits/cyclone-mid-drive/cyclone-mid-drive-3000-watt-planetary/)
It will last longer because it has 300watts? That makes no sense, it's like saying a car will last longer because it's 300hp

Well, 3000W, not 300W.  Plus not using that most of the time.  And it's reasonable.

It's heavily overspec'd for the legal speed limit (usually 20mph, at least in the US).  Rolling at 20mph on a motor will typically consume around 600-700W electrical from the battery - so cruising at less than a quarter of rated power.  Even running hard up hills, it's likely to be less than the rated 3000W, so it's going to be cooler running and should last basically forever.

Running a motor (and controller) well under it's rated power is a good way to keep them going for a long time.  I'm doing the same thing - my motor is rated to about 80v, and my controller is a 60A/50A capable unit I'm currently running at 36v/35A (though I never see more than 32A and about 1100W through it).  I did this because it's my daily commuter, and my previous build finally failed from me pushing the motor too hard (it had a lot of other problems early on as well, all related to power handling).

So, yes, using a 3kW motor on a street bike should make for a very reliable motor & controller pair when run at street power settings.

Also, a lot of ebike parts come with "Chinese power ratings" - which should generally be interpreted as the power it will handle, once.  I usually assume about a 50% derate for highly reliable use.
  Wow Syonyk, that is pretty much verbatim what my DH said.   Including the Chinese power rating bit...  ... wait a minute -- are you my DH in disguise?....
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 14, 2016, 06:20:30 AM
Pretty sure I'm not. No 3kW bikes in my garage...
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on February 14, 2016, 07:27:57 AM
We are about to find out...   I think it means more difficult than a hub motor, which was so simple even I could do it.  The mid drive will take my DH a little longer.  I think because you want to get the chain drive / tension just right, but we will see.

Please update us on how it goes.  I have no problem doing any "normal bike" work -- have all the necessary tools, and am a former shop mechanic.

FWIW, installing a rear hub motor kit took me hours.  It was sold to me as 8-speed compatible, but the 8-speed thread-on freewheel didn't fit on the hub body without the freewheel locking up.  I had to chamfer the hub mating surface with a Dremel in order to make it fit (and still freewheel properly), and to maintain a 135mm OLD measurement -- i.e. no freewheel spacers, which would just spread the rear triangle and screw up chainline.  That wheel was really made for a 7-speed.

I'm interested in the mid-drive (and triangle-mount battery, or water bottle cage mount battery) in order to try to keep that weight low and balanced F-R.  The hub motor kit + rear rack battery made for a very rear-heavy bike, with the battery weight high off the ground.  I can also use normal Q/R wheels (not the shoddily-built hub motor wheels), and not have to futz about with filing the dropouts. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on February 14, 2016, 08:15:57 AM
Just spent awhile reading all the things I can find online about the Cyclone 3000W motor.  I can see now why it's described as difficult to mount.  The hose clamp + giant zip tie seems like a fairly hokey way to hold the 10-pound motor in place.  I'll have to do some more reading on it, and on the Bafang ones, which look like a much better integrated kit (no exposed drive chain, motor mounts to BB threads w/ built-in bracket).

Anyone know if the Bafang bottom bracket can be replaced when it wears out?  e.g., with a Shimano square taper BB?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on February 15, 2016, 03:32:18 PM
Just spent awhile reading all the things I can find online about the Cyclone 3000W motor.  I can see now why it's described as difficult to mount.  The hose clamp + giant zip tie seems like a fairly hokey way to hold the 10-pound motor in place.  I'll have to do some more reading on it, and on the Bafang ones, which look like a much better integrated kit (no exposed drive chain, motor mounts to BB threads w/ built-in bracket).

Anyone know if the Bafang bottom bracket can be replaced when it wears out?  e.g., with a Shimano square taper BB?
Yeah,,,,  I wanted Bafang, too, but the cost was horrendous, as the CDN dollar tanked, it jumped up about another 50% in cost.  Well over $800 just for the motor.
I think we can accept hose clamps and such.   DH is actually making both a batter cover / bracket and motor bracket in the shop to address this.

To the other post about matching up the hubs and drive train, we hoped to avoid large issues by finally just accepting the recommended rear hub parts and ordering them.  A bike shop will put together the basic bike, we are just mounting the motor, battery, throttle, etc.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Larabeth on February 16, 2016, 03:45:54 AM
Who all has a bike instead of the kit?  What are the favorites in the Ebike department?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 16, 2016, 09:25:12 AM
Who all has a bike instead of the kit?  What are the favorites in the Ebike department?

What are you asking, specifically?  Who has a factory built bike instead of a conversion they did themselves?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on February 16, 2016, 09:59:49 AM
Who all has a bike instead of the kit?  What are the favorites in the Ebike department?
I really enjoy my haibike xduro rx 29, I've found it for as cheap as $2,800 recently, while still very expensive(especially compared to converting your own bike), I think it's okay if you use it for your main mode of transportation (I sold my car to justify buying it, I paid $3,000)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: shadesofgreen on February 16, 2016, 01:07:39 PM
I inherited an Electra Townie bike which I still have not ridden. I have just started to look into using it. I have the feeling YouTube will be in my future. I carpool and my commute is over 35 miles round trip so this bike will not be used for getting to work.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on February 18, 2016, 08:44:17 AM
It shouldn't really matter. They're all likely awful to rebuild.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven on February 18, 2016, 03:23:05 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Embok 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Larabeth 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Clean Shaven 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. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. 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 :(
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jack 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?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on May 03, 2016, 10:15:16 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?
I guess the catch is that it's range is 15-40 miles, and might not work for nonprofitER
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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!

Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: pbkmaine 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on May 03, 2016, 01:15:15 PM
https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radwagon/
Here is another review of it, he seems to like it a lot too
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Uturn 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. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. 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
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: nickybecky1 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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. :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Rollin 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!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: NonprofitER 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!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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. :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: alsoknownasDean 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."

Quote
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 :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: kendallf 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). 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: b4u2 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: swiper 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?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette 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.  :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: slockett11 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!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: coin 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: tyort1 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: swiper 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:







Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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
I’ll need to find a dorky downhill helmet and some armor(?)

... you can, sure.  I just wear bike gear.  *shrug*
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: swiper 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 :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: The One Dude on July 08, 2016, 08:07:54 AM
I've always thought of this but never pulled the trigger. I may have to now!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk 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).
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jesscj81 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.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on September 19, 2016, 03:23:06 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.
I think the Bosch mid drives are the best mid drive motors on the market, love mine.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: TheDude on September 19, 2016, 03:31:58 PM
What do you guys think of this bike

http://boulder.craigslist.org/bik/5778351473.html
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette on September 24, 2016, 11:09:19 PM
What do you guys think of this bike

http://boulder.craigslist.org/bik/5778351473.html

Not a lot of power, but looks really nice components wise.  Good brakes, Nuvinci hub, pretty cool overall.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: slockett11 on October 03, 2016, 03:52:29 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.

Thanks to Syonyk's recommendation and all the info on this thread I purchased a Rad Rover almost 4months ago and have clocked right at 1,000miles on it. The quick summary is that its FREAKING AWESOME! lol You can read the long version here: http://saraholockett.wixsite.com/schlocketts/single-post/2016/10/02/A-1000-mile-journeyon-my-electric-bike

There is also a Rad Power owners facebook page that I found very helpful: https://www.facebook.com/groups/radpowerowners/

Happy to answer any questions anyone has :)
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 03, 2016, 10:28:48 PM
Nice!  Glad to hear you like it!

I've... been motorcycling more lately.  Living in the country on a 55mph road has something to do with that.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: MandyM on October 04, 2016, 07:01:20 AM
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.

Thanks to Syonyk's recommendation and all the info on this thread I purchased a Rad Rover almost 4months ago and have clocked right at 1,000miles on it. The quick summary is that its FREAKING AWESOME! lol You can read the long version here: http://saraholockett.wixsite.com/schlocketts/single-post/2016/10/02/A-1000-mile-journeyon-my-electric-bike

There is also a Rad Power owners facebook page that I found very helpful: https://www.facebook.com/groups/radpowerowners/

Happy to answer any questions anyone has :)

After months of deliberation, I bought a Rad Wagon in August. Love it! Thanks for the FB group link.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: bmiles62 on October 06, 2016, 11:12:16 AM
I am also one of the ones being lured in by the Rad Power Bikes. I was really zoning in on the Rad Wagon to run errands, grocery store, etc. I love the idea of being able to haul lots of groceries and even put my wife on the back occasionally. (She has never ridden a bike and only weighs 100 lbs.) My commute to work will be 17 miles each way (Dang it!) which i would try to do at least 3 times a week. (Hopefully more.) The rad wagon seems like it would make the most sense by far but then I saw the video of the guy having so much fun on the Rad Rover that I am being drawn to that is well. Any opinions on which bike would be the best pick for me. Obviously the Wagon can haul more but do the 34 mile round trips to work take it out of the running? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 06, 2016, 01:00:47 PM
The range on them is similar.  I'd get the Rad Wagon and an extra battery pack - you may have to charge one at work.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: slockett11 on October 10, 2016, 04:09:08 PM
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

I love the Rad Rover and plan to get the rack so I can haul stuff. But if I had to it over again I think I would have seriously consider the Rad Mini for a couple of reasons
1. It already has a front and rear rack built into the frame for hauling stuff
2. The fact that it folds up makes it very transportable. The Rad Rover (and the wagon) need a car hitch type bike rack. I don't have a hitch for my car so I would have to get one (around $200) and then buy a rack specifically for fat tore bikes (another $200-$300). The Rad Mini I could just fold up and put in my trunk.

I think the wagon is awesome if you are in that urban environment and want to go 100% carless. It seems to be a great option if you want to haul children around too.

That's my 2c anyway 😁
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: swiper on October 10, 2016, 07:46:22 PM
I just noticed that luna cycles has started offering full builds:  http://lunacycle.com/e-bikes/ (http://lunacycle.com/e-bikes/) I've found they have good prices and quality stuff.

There is even a 30mph scooter in there, yikes!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on October 11, 2016, 01:03:33 PM
Hi all, I am looking for recommendations for a rear hub kit, that allows free wheeling ( no or low rolling resistance when turned off or dead).

DH 's Luna cycle mad workshop adventure did not result in a bike that I enjoy riding. Mainly due to the fat tire frame does not handle well and hard to straddle. He likes it. I also don't need the expense of another mid drive. DH can keep it.

I am planning this for grocery trips and errands.  I don't need extra powerful or extended range. So I can save on battery. Thanks.

I used to have a front hub kit but those are a bit front heavy for my taste.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 11, 2016, 03:05:09 PM
Hi all, I am looking for recommendations for a rear hub kit, that allows free wheeling ( no or low rolling resistance when turned off or dead).

Any geared hub motor will have zero rolling resistance when not powered.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on October 11, 2016, 05:14:54 PM
Hi all, I am looking for recommendations for a rear hub kit, that allows free wheeling ( no or low rolling resistance when turned off or dead).

Any geared hub motor will have zero rolling resistance when not powered.

Yes, and I would love your recommendation!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 11, 2016, 05:30:59 PM
Do you have a bike to convert, or are you looking for the whole thing?

I'd suggest looking at a local ebike shop and riding a few - that's going to be a lot easier than trying to find something you like the feel of on the internet.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on October 11, 2016, 05:43:03 PM
Do you have a bike to convert, or are you looking for the whole thing?

I'd suggest looking at a local ebike shop and riding a few - that's going to be a lot easier than trying to find something you like the feel of on the internet.

I have a bike to convert. Just looking for a kit and brand names. It's been a while but we used to deal in crystal motors, wilderness energy, golden motors, more recently hooked up with Luna cycle and alternative to bafang ( love but pricey). ..  but you ( sonyk) are much more current, any  current internet brands that you would include on a lookup list.?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 11, 2016, 07:29:26 PM
Not really. Sorry. I've been focusing on BionX reverse engineering lately.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on October 12, 2016, 01:11:39 PM
Not really. Sorry. I've been focusing on BionX reverse engineering lately.
  Thanks anyway-- just a bit more research work for me...



A different question --

I really don't need a Lion battery, and a lead acid will get me the modest distances and power  I am looking for.  (It used to be, anyway, and the kits are better now, it would be heavier and larger than a small LiIon though)...

BUT -- do you think the reduced cost of a lead acid versus LiIon is a frugal (value) or a cheap choice?  I have not closely tracked costs / power ratios, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Jeremy E. on October 12, 2016, 01:45:35 PM
Not really. Sorry. I've been focusing on BionX reverse engineering lately.
  Thanks anyway-- just a bit more research work for me...



A different question --

I really don't need a Lion battery, and a lead acid will get me the modest distances and power  I am looking for.  (It used to be, anyway, and the kits are better now, it would be heavier and larger than a small LiIon though)...

BUT -- do you think the reduced cost of a lead acid versus LiIon is a frugal (value) or a cheap choice?  I have not closely tracked costs / power ratios, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.
I think some of the better kits out in my opinion are bionx and the erad bbshd, I think lead acid is a terrible choice, a cheap option for batteries is making your own with lipo packs from hobbyking lipos, there are some YouTube videos that can show you how. Some people worry about using LiPos as they can catch on fire or something, so you'll want to have a non-flammable place to store it.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Goldielocks on October 12, 2016, 01:57:25 PM
Not really. Sorry. I've been focusing on BionX reverse engineering lately.
  Thanks anyway-- just a bit more research work for me...



A different question --

I really don't need a Lion battery, and a lead acid will get me the modest distances and power  I am looking for.  (It used to be, anyway, and the kits are better now, it would be heavier and larger than a small LiIon though)...

BUT -- do you think the reduced cost of a lead acid versus LiIon is a frugal (value) or a cheap choice?  I have not closely tracked costs / power ratios, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.
I think some of the better kits out in my opinion are bionx and the erad bbshd, I think lead acid is a terrible choice, a cheap option for batteries is making your own with lipo packs from hobbyking lipos, there are some YouTube videos that can show you how. Some people worry about using LiPos as they can catch on fire or something, so you'll want to have a non-flammable place to store it.

I'll check it out.   and BTW, I have had a battery catch on fire, and while it was exciting and dramatic and involved a quick removal of my bum from the seat, it alone would not dissuade me from making my own pack, if I liked the idea.

Doesn't anyone remember the concern about LiIon catching fire all the time? you know, because they did...   technology improves with increased adoption...   
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on October 12, 2016, 02:18:55 PM
I really don't need a Lion battery, and a lead acid will get me the modest distances and power  I am looking for.  (It used to be, anyway, and the kits are better now, it would be heavier and larger than a small LiIon though)...

BUT -- do you think the reduced cost of a lead acid versus LiIon is a frugal (value) or a cheap choice?  I have not closely tracked costs / power ratios, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Don't buy a lead acid battery for an electric bike.  They're dreadfully heavy, put out a good bit less power than you'd expect, and have a lifecycle measured in single digit months if you actually use more than about 20% of their capacity.  They're false savings, and you should not buy a lead acid battery for an electric bike.  If you get one that's big enough to be useful, you stand a good chance of cracking your frame (I know someone who learned this the hard way).

Get a small lithium battery if you must, but get a lithium battery.

I think some of the better kits out in my opinion are bionx and the erad bbshd,

I fully support people buying BionX.  I make very good money rebuilding their batteries after they've died and BionX has left the owners out to dry.  It's not a good choice if you care about money, though.  They're entirely proprietary, and people who spend their time and energy reverse engineering them don't tend to sell the results cheaply.

Quote
a cheap option for batteries is making your own with lipo packs from hobbyking lipos, there are some YouTube videos that can show you how. Some people worry about using LiPos as they can catch on fire or something, so you'll want to have a non-flammable place to store it.

And ignore this advice.  Hobby lipo packs are a fireball waiting to happen.  They're great, if you want to build a super high power Pike's Peak racer or something, but there is literally zero reason to use them for a daily ridden bike.  They require careful charging and maintenance, and those packs don't have a battery management system most of the time - the BMS will do things like "keep you from damaging your pack" and "allow you to plug a regular charger in instead of having to fiddle with micro connectors daily for charging."

Over on Endless Sphere, there are "perpetual battery thermal event" threads and such, for people to document when their damned lipo packs catch fire and try to burn down the house.  It's stupid.

========

Any of the Luna Cycle kits should work fine - they sell good stuff.  I just haven't built a new kit recently, and the next one I build is going to be a 30mph highway cruiser, so not really relevant to most people.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: bmiles62 on October 13, 2016, 07:39:04 AM
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

I love the Rad Rover and plan to get the rack so I can haul stuff. But if I had to it over again I think I would have seriously consider the Rad Mini for a couple of reasons
1. It already has a front and rear rack built into the frame for hauling stuff
2. The fact that it folds up makes it very transportable. The Rad Rover (and the wagon) need a car hitch type bike rack. I don't have a hitch for my car so I would have to get one (around $200) and then buy a rack specifically for fat tore bikes (another $200-$300). The Rad Mini I could just fold up and put in my trunk.

I think the wagon is awesome if you are in that urban environment and want to go 100% carless. It seems to be a great option if you want to haul children around too.

That's my 2c anyway 😁

Thanks for the 2c. You bring up some good points on the rad mini. I would so love to try these bikes out before purchasing but living on the east coast makes that impossible. Hopefully I can figure this out soon.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: bmiles62 on October 13, 2016, 07:42:59 AM
The range on them is similar.  I'd get the Rad Wagon and an extra battery pack - you may have to charge one at work.
Thanks! I am still trying to figure out the best one for me. Leaning towards the wagon in just about every way except for my 34 mile round trip commute. For the commute the rad rover sure looks comfortable especially with the front shock.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: bmiles62 on November 10, 2016, 10:03:21 AM
Just an update. I ended up going with the Radwagon. I got it about a week ago and have already ridden 200 miles. Mostly commuting to work and back. (31 miles round trip.) Tomorrow I am throwing my wife on the back of it and we going to spend the day sightseeing around town. I ended up getting an extra charger that I keep at work so I can charge it before I head home. Very happy with this purchase so far.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Just Joe on April 23, 2017, 10:34:54 AM
So I built a Lunacycle BBSHD kit on an old mtn bike. (Just one retailer of a kit you can source many different places). I'll brag on Lunacycle though b/c their customer service was really fast and friendly when my battery charger turned out to be a dud.

AMAZING ride experience. It also revealed all sorts of bicycle maintenance issues that I was happily overlooking. Once fixed I rode it all around town.

It flattens the hills. I ride it on the lowest PAS setting most of the time b/c it is enough to roll be along at 10-15 mph. It also has a thumb throttle so I can boost the assist as needed.

In low bike gear it feel unstoppable.

25 miles was about the limits of the battery after I decided to ride 7-8 miles without pedaling just to see if it would do it.

Will be the key item in a push for more fitness and losing some weight. Had to be compatible with my commute to work. It is.

Problems: crank arms are made of soft AL. Replaced them with something better from a recumbent parts supplier (Utah Trikes). Also the 46T front sprocket might be better if it was a 42T or 44T. I haven't done anything about that yet.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: bblinley on May 08, 2017, 10:15:04 PM
Just an update. I ended up going with the Radwagon. I got it about a week ago and have already ridden 200 miles. Mostly commuting to work and back. (31 miles round trip.) Tomorrow I am throwing my wife on the back of it and we going to spend the day sightseeing around town. I ended up getting an extra charger that I keep at work so I can charge it before I head home. Very happy with this purchase so far.
Great idea on the extra charger, had not thought of that...
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on June 12, 2017, 05:48:25 PM
Bumping this thread because the latest blog post has me lusting after an electric bike again.

What are the best sites to order e-bike conversion kits?

Does anyone have any predictions related to how much battery prices are expected to drop in the next year or two?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 12, 2017, 06:39:56 PM
Luna is good, Grin is good. And don't expect small pack prices to drop that much. Labor is the same regardless of cell cost.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: SustainableStache on June 14, 2017, 10:24:42 PM
I just purchased a RadWagon and it should arrive tomorrow. If anyone is on the fence and wants a review or pics or whatever, just let me know. And if you decide to take the plunge and order your own, definitely take advantage of their referral program. Send me a message and I'll get back to you with my name so we can both get $50!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: RidetheRain on June 20, 2017, 04:48:25 PM
I've been thinking of biking to work for a while, but I just can't get my fitness up to snuff (plus other worries). I'm concerned about the cost of an e-bike though.

Basically, I have a 7-mile commute each way and I have zero ability to bike that far on the hilly roads of LA. My current bike is a $50 cheapo from Walmart. I'd love to bike to work at least a few days a week, but e-bikes seem really expensive. Are they really good enough that someone that struggles with a 2-mile loop can feasibly commute?

I currently spend about 27/week on gas and have $0.10/mile insurance so I'd save almost 50 a month if I ride only twice a week. I would love to save the money and make a healthier choice, but I don't know if that's possible.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on June 20, 2017, 08:31:04 PM
Are they really good enough that someone that struggles with a 2-mile loop can feasibly commute?

My understanding is that you could do your entire commute without pedaling, depending on how your bike is setup, if that's what you wanted.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 20, 2017, 09:11:57 PM
Yup.

Buy a halfway decent one. It will replace your car.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Hikester on June 27, 2017, 01:37:43 PM
Syonyk, in your experience which electric bike battery is the best performing for warm climates, up to say, 115-120 F?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on June 27, 2017, 02:43:22 PM
Syonyk, in your experience which electric bike battery is the best performing for warm climates, up to say, 115-120 F?

There's not really much difference in how lithium chemistries handle heat - poorly.  If it's in the shade, it's probably fine, but you may kill the battery in 5 years instead of 7.  If it's in the sun, take the battery in with you - that's just not good for lithium.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Sydneystache on July 03, 2017, 02:20:53 AM
I'm seriously thinking of dropping serious cash on an e-bike. I talked to my LBS and he's got one for me but just want to do a bit more shopping.

Does anyone have an e-bike that folds and uses a Gates belt? If so, how much and what's been your experience?

Looking for quality here rather than race to the bottom cheapness. I justify the potential cost because it will replace my car. I want an e-bike so I arrive decently at the office, folding so I can store it under my desk and not in the common bike rack and Gates so it's less maintenance and no grease.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Hopper on July 18, 2017, 07:54:33 AM
Can. Not. Let. This. Thread. Die. :)

Considering a copenhagen wheel or a rad mini.  Or, you know, just suck it up and bike with my current regular bike.  Thoughts?

I really enjoyed reading about the different bike options people have tried.  I live 9.5 miles from work - trails for about half of that.  I also live about 1.3 miles from the subway, and could bike to/from there, with a transit-subsidy paying for my commute.  Moving closer to work isn't something I will do.  I used to bike semi-regularly to work in the nice weather before baby #2 last year.  Now, I drive to save time. 

I could bike more now that some of my post-baby logistics are getting easier, and I am drawn to buying an e-bike to get over the mental-hurdle of a long, uphill slog home (downhill in the morning, wee) and that will shave some time off my bike commute.  But the cost of an ebike has stopped me for a long time.  (I have been following the copenhagen wheel for about 5 years: https://content.superpedestrian.com/). 

The (cheapest) car parking near my work is $8/day.  I probably park 200 days a year.   I drive an electric car (a used nissan leaf- such a fun car), so filling up is relatively cheap.  Not counting wear and tear... I could make up the cost of the ebike in a year of commuting.  If I did it most days. Winters are cold but relatively snow free.  I could still bike, but probably wouldn't every day.

I worry about theft with a fancy bike, but I can park in a pretty secure building.  If I got the radimini (https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radmini-electric-folding-fat-bike?variant=17586850561) I could bring it into my office and not worry at all about it walking off.   

I am drawn to the copenhagen wheel because it seems so easy to use-- I am not very mechanically inclined.

Any thoughts on what kind of ebike I should look at?  Thanks!



Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on July 18, 2017, 10:48:13 AM
Considering a copenhagen wheel or a rad mini.  Or, you know, just suck it up and bike with my current regular bike.  Thoughts?

The "Wheels" of any variety are stupid, and only appeal to people who don't have any sense of engineering tradeoffs.  No offense intended, but you're exactly the target market - doesn't know enough to understand why they're silly.

Putting batteries around the motor means you have a very heavy wheel, and the heat goes straight into the cells, which don't like being hot.  And there's not much room in there, so you pay a price in terms of low capacity, not being able to handle a proper multi-speed cassette in the rear, no disc brake support, or all of the above.

Get anything with a remote battery.  You'll be a lot happier.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Hopper on July 19, 2017, 05:59:22 AM
Thanks for the input, Syonyk.  I appreciate the simplified explanation- I am sure that I am definitely their target demongraphic, but it does sound like that a remote battery makes sense.  And all of the weight on the wheel can't be good either - anecdotally, Cwheel riders have complained about flats and such.   
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Uturn on July 19, 2017, 03:58:04 PM
I have a 2015 model iZip Path3 Plus.  It's the one with the motor on the rear hub and the battery on the rear rack.  I really with I had waited for the new model.  That much weight in the rear makes it handle oddly and the spokes get loose rather quickly.  The newer model had a mid drive motor at the crank.  My battery also likes to come loose on bumps, sometimes just the little crack between the street and a parking lot.

Don't get me wrong, I love having an ebike.  However, if I were to do it again, I would look for something with a vertical battery and mid drive.   
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Hopper on July 21, 2017, 10:17:48 AM
Thanks Uturn.  I am now solely looking at bikes with a vertical battery located mid-bike.  Although I am really thinking that I should try again without an ebike for a bit and see if how I feel about the commute on my current bike. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on July 25, 2017, 03:16:47 PM
Just saw that Luna Cycle is having a sale on their  BBS02 mid drive kits (https://lunacycle.com/blog/luna-cycle-2-year-anniversary-bbs02-kit-sale/). I really want to get a newer bike that has disc brakes, the ability to add a rack, and a little more relaxed geometry, but I'm really tempted to buy this and add it to my current road bike.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: coin on August 06, 2017, 06:19:12 AM
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.

An update on this a year on - I ended up buying a folding electric bike about a month after I made that post and have been hooning about town on it since.  (The Perth mustachians can confirm this - I think I've ridden it to every meetup since I've had it).

While I can't say I ride to work every day (I think I average about 2-3 days a week, there was a period of about 2-3 months where I had a recurring chest infection so didn't feel up to riding at all), it's my first choice when I need to run errands.  I've also found it as fast or faster than a lot of the more 'normal' options, too - I took it into the city to look at an art exhibition with my friend, we said goodbye at the city train station only for me to ride past her walking home from the station near her house about 20 minutes later (the cycle path runs parallel to the railway line). 

The fact it folds is really useful, I'm glad my husband talked me into getting the folding model because it means I can do things like ride about all day running errands, meet up with my husband at a friends house or the pub and we'll fold it up and put into the boot of his car.  Or if I need to, I can bring it on the train in peak out so long as it's folded (you normally can't bring a bike on the train with you during peak hour).

That being said, there is a downside - hot weather seems to kill the battery.  I've had it conk out on me a handful of times, either because I forgot to charge it or due to really hot weather.  In those cases, though, it's not the end of the world - it's heavy as sin so it sucks to ride home, but it's doable.  Or if I'm really far out I can always fold it and take it on the train or call an uber/my husband to come pick me up.

Another downside - you have to bring everything with you.  Everything.  All the things.  On Thursdays I ride to work with three different sets of clothing - one for riding, one for work, one for judo.  Then there's also the usual stuff like lunch, maybe breakfast and coffee, etc.  None of these things are particularly heavy, it's just bulky and a heap of organisation making sure it's all nicely packed into the pannier bags in a logical manner.

But overall I'm enjoying it!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on August 07, 2017, 09:39:28 AM
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.

While I can't say I ride to work every day (I think I average about 2-3 days a week

Did you go from never riding before the electric bike to 2-3 times a week with it?
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: coin on August 09, 2017, 08:18:11 AM
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.

While I can't say I ride to work every day (I think I average about 2-3 days a week

Did you go from never riding before the electric bike to 2-3 times a week with it?

Well, yes, but I bought this bike specifically for this job because it's slightly too far for me to ride on my regular bike. Some weeks (like during the summer) I will ride pretty much every day. During the winter it's more dicey and dependent on the weather.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: GuitarStv on August 10, 2017, 05:17:21 PM
So, last weekend I was half way into a 120 km bike ride, didn't pace myself properly, and was heading into a brutal head wind for a large chunk of it.  I spotted a guy on an e-bike heading the same direction, caught up, and drafted behind him for about 10-15 km.  I've never felt more love towards e-bikes.  :P
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 12:56:29 PM
I know Rad e-bikes get a lot of love, but what about Juiced? http://www.juicedbikes.com/crosscurrent-air/

The Crosscurrent Air comes in significantly cheaper (by about $400-$500) and has a max speed of 28 mph.  It has a 37 mile range standard, or up to 100 miles with an upgrade.

Still deciding on what I'm going to get, but I think the Crosscurrent Air from Juiced has jumped to the top of the list.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Optimiser on September 05, 2017, 01:15:15 PM
I know Rad e-bikes get a lot of love, but what about Juiced? http://www.juicedbikes.com/crosscurrent-air/

The Crosscurrent Air comes in significantly cheaper (by about $400-$500) and has a max speed of 28 mph.  It has a 37 mile range standard, or up to 100 miles with an upgrade.

Still deciding on what I'm going to get, but I think the Crosscurrent Air from Juiced has jumped to the top of the list.

I think it might have just gone to the top of my list too. It looks like a really nice bike for the price.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: DarkandStormy on September 05, 2017, 01:19:51 PM
I know Rad e-bikes get a lot of love, but what about Juiced? http://www.juicedbikes.com/crosscurrent-air/

The Crosscurrent Air comes in significantly cheaper (by about $400-$500) and has a max speed of 28 mph.  It has a 37 mile range standard, or up to 100 miles with an upgrade.

Still deciding on what I'm going to get, but I think the Crosscurrent Air from Juiced has jumped to the top of the list.

I think it might have just gone to the top of my list too. It looks like a really nice bike for the price.

Thankfully there's a local shop selling them that will let you test ride them.  I don't *need* one now, so I'll probably hold off until my current bike becomes unusable before purchasing - or perhaps if I hate biking in the snow.  We'll see.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: nickybecky1 on September 05, 2017, 02:56:45 PM
When I was test riding bikes, the cadence sensor ones were all much cheaper and felt a lot less like riding a bike because the movement doesn't respond the same way a bike would. I see you can upgrade to a torque sensor, but it's just something to keep in mind as you're comparing bikes, especially for those who can't test drive them. The torque sensor ones feel more like riding a bike but a bit faster.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: coin on September 05, 2017, 08:46:16 PM
My ebike was stolen over the weekend. I'm a little annoyed - it needs a key to switch on, so they've basically stolen an ugly, heavy bike. The mind boggles at the stupid things people will steal.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: nickybecky1 on September 05, 2017, 09:42:38 PM
Oh bummer! Our car was stolen about a month ago and then recovered when the thief tried to sell it on craigslist without changing the plates. And after having put diesel in it so it wouldn't run. I was pretty impressed by the level of hubris involved in that actually, once I got past being annoyed.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Hikester on December 01, 2017, 08:15:53 PM
We recently got electric bikes from Sondors and I am hooked! I use it for everything including grocery shopping, and I am finding that it makes me want to ride my bike a whole lot more than drive around town. I look for excuses to go places so I can ride. We have the kind that also folds and love the long range of the battery (somewhere between 50-85 miles) depending on rider size and the terrain. They have several different models all under $1,000 so we decided to take the plunge. And the technology has come a long way. These bikes are much smoother and fun to ride than bikes I tried years ago.

I am riding much more and further than I was riding with my regular bike and because you can adjust the pedal assist I can adjust how much of a workout I want. Some days I don’t even use the battery at all and use it as a regular bike. I do like the option to adjust how hard you pedal at any given moment and the idea of efficiency, affordability and health benefits have me addicted to electric biking. It feels great not being so dependent on a vehicle these days. It’s liberating in a way. MMM was right! Compared to a car the savings and benefits to health are huge. And the fun too!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: sixup on December 02, 2017, 08:20:55 AM
I built a 1000W kit from Luna Cycle and ride it daily for my 20 mile round trip work commute. I've put about 1000 miles on it so far and love it. I only use pedal assist, mostly at level 2 which keep me around 15mph going uphill or 25mph on flat with moderate-hard pedaling. I still bust my ass pedaling the thing. Interval style mostly, hard as I can at points then slow down for a bit and repeat.

I feel much better mentally riding the bike instead of driving. It puts me in a great mood usually. My morning ride I take streets for about 4 miles and I'm fortunate to have a trail that covers 6 miles to work. It's uphill the whole way to work which takes me about 35-40 minutes and on the way back I can do it in about 25 typically. It's about 15-20 minutes by car depending on traffic so I am getting an hour of exercise that only costs me an extra 20 minutes of my day. Love it.

 I've lost 2 inches on my waist too so that's cool.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: JanetJackson on December 04, 2017, 05:26:37 PM
Hi all!
I am jumping in so that I can follow more of this conversation.  I read through everything and about 40% of what everyone said made sense to me.

I previously cycled a lot when I lived in North Florida (very flat) and got out of the habit/lazy when I moved to the hilly north.  I bought a hybrid vehicle, which is great because I commute a lot for my side hustle (pet sitting) although I only serve a 5-mile radius (which seems ideal for cycling)... HOWEVER I have a day job that is a 23 mile round trip commute 3-4 days per week.

Long story short, my transmission blew yesterday... the car has almost 200k on it, is 18 years old... and I just don't know if it's worth fixing.  Luckily it's a neat car and otherwise in amazing shape (it's a 2000 Honda Insight- 1st Gen) so I can sell it for more than scrap... but now I'm seriously considering if an E Bike would be a good fit for me.  I have access to a company car for very snowy days or longer trips at a $0.22/Mile reimbursement rate... so I may be able to make this work.

I'm slowly gaining an understanding of how they work, which have good reputations, etc... but here's a very vain question... are there any that are nice looking?  I hope that doesn't come off wrong... I generally believe in function over form... but I'm a fan of straight flat lines, matte, etc... I had a single speed/fixed gear flip hub when I lived in florida and is was very plain and sleek.
So far I sort of like how the Sonders Thin 7 looks, although I don't know that I'm a fan of the fully blocked in center look... but just curious if there are other nice looking bikes that will perform?

Thanks ahead of time for the advice.  The poor instant chats on these E Bike websites are getting SO MANY questions from me right now.  Ha!
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: JLE1990 on December 07, 2017, 03:32:03 PM
Hi I'm buying an ebike kit and combining that with a batter from amazon and an ebike frame I found on craigslist. I'm not sure what kind of lights to put on them though. Does anyone have ideas about which to use? I'm looking for super bright ones and the kind that go in the wheel spokes. These are what I've found so far. I really want as much light as possible so that I don't end as a bug on a windshield. I'm hoping to slightly mimic an emergency vehicle so people pay more attention. Not enough to get in trouble. But I'm hoping a purple and white light is similar enough to a police siren to scare someone into paying attention. What do you guys think?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077CZK75L/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICK6QCF45N7JP&colid=7ZBXSX0VZVQ5&psc=0

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077CZK75L/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICK6QCF45N7JP&colid=7ZBXSX0VZVQ5&psc=0

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077CZK75L/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICK6QCF45N7JP&colid=7ZBXSX0VZVQ5&psc=0

Spokes lights

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JLHGB0G/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I110Z6EHTXL7EZ&colid=7ZBXSX0VZVQ5&th=1
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: sixup on December 08, 2017, 05:15:54 AM
Those spoke lights are cool haha. Go for it. Can't hurt. I still wouldn't expect anyone to see you, so continue to ride like they don't. Personally my goal is to ride in a way that it doesn't matter if they see me or not. Stay alert and know where the cars are at all times.

I do like to put my headlight on blink mode when I'm going through busy intersections with no traffic light, or any roads where cars are more likely to turn in front of me (either from the right or oncoming and turning left). Doing this seems to help a little. Luckily I only have a couple of those kind of spots on my commute.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: Syonyk on December 11, 2017, 08:51:54 PM
I wasted a lot of time and money adding lights.  They don't make a bit of difference.  I ran out of bar space before I was able to get enough lights on my bike to keep Priuses and Escapes from trying to kill me by pulling out in front of me.

What did make the difference was a neon helmet cover (I went with neon green), and a horrifically clashing neon yellow riding shirt/jacket (depending on the weather).  Once I added those, people saw me, and the number of Priuses trying to kill me dropped to about zero.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette on December 14, 2017, 12:57:40 PM
I'm happy to say that an ebike store is being opened in my area.  The best part is that I create the bikes!  :)  If anyone wants to take one for a spin in northern California, check out Sierra Ebike. 
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: JLE1990 on December 15, 2017, 01:26:26 PM
k-vette

Hey that's about 20min from where I grew up! I just was down there for Thanksgiving as well. Next time I'm near Penn Valley I will definitely stop by.

Syonyk

That's how I will say goodbye from now on: "May the number of Priuses trying to kill you drop to zero."
But that is a good idea, I think mine will be a neon orange that looks like an ironman helmet. DIY of course.
Title: Re: Electric bikes
Post by: k-vette on December 21, 2017, 12:10:22 PM
k-vette

Hey that's about 20min from where I grew up! I just was down there for Thanksgiving as well. Next time I'm near Penn Valley I will definitely stop by.

Syonyk

That's how I will say goodbye from now on: "May the number of Priuses trying to kill you drop to zero."
But that is a good idea, I think mine will be a neon orange that looks like an ironman helmet. DIY of course.

Nice!  Happy to have you, word is spreading and people are starting to drop in.