Electric Bikes - Noob To E-Biking
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09-26-10, 09:16 PM
Hey guys, as you may have seen from the post title, im new to the whole experience, and am in desperate need of some pointers in the right direction. So i have a few questions:
but before that here are some things you need to know about me
I live in the country, long open mountainous roads.
I have a budget of 300 - 500 dollars. =/ I know....
1. I was wondering about this ebike conversion kit, what do you think:
2. Do you think this motor could take me 5 miles in around, 15 minuets (mild hills, smooth pavement, im 140 pounds)
3. If it cannot, what do you recommend?
4. I want to go at somewhere around 27 - 40 mph, could this kit take me there?
5. What do variations in watts, and volts do when talking about performance.
6. Is there any way i could get a similar kit (48 volts, 1000 watts) for cheaper (like buying the parts separately)
7. If you recommend i buy the parts separately....how would i know they are compatible with each other, and where could i find them (on the internet).
8. Do you recommend any batteries (not Lifepo4 too expensive), or motors?
9. What exactly is the purpose of the "controller".
thank u so much for reading...and if u do...replying...it really clears things up for me
Probably want to put this in the Ebike forum, lest us commuters flog you for not buying a "real" bike :P
09-27-10, 12:45 AM
You do realize it is a kit without a battery included? The battery is the most expensive part of the kit, a good LiFePo battery can easily run $300+, take a look here: http://www.pingbattery.com/servlet/StoreFront
Some say these are good, so say they are not, but they have mostly positive review's for the price. So count as a bare minimum for the kit + battery to spend around $600. That is for you requirements, that is a kit that will take you up to about 25-27 mph on flat ground with no headwind. If you want more speed, prices go up, you namely need a controller capable of higher voltage, a better motor also capable of going higher in voltage an power and speed, in that case you're looking at a minimum $1000 for good quality parts, easily more.
Talking about distance, I can cover on my own power around 5 miles in 20 minutes, so with a good setup you should be able to cut that at in half to about 10 min. In any case, if you wish to do it right, what you absolutely should use for good performance is a LiFePo battery, as ordinary lead acid batteries have a lot of problems in practice. The most notable are weight, they are tremendously heavy, and poor performance cycle. An 10 Ah LiFePo battery will be about 10 lbs, while the equivalent lead acid will weigh between 50 and 60 lbs, while having much worse performance. With batteries, discharge current is important, and lead acid cannot take high currents (high speed riding, quick takeoffs, sustained hills) for very long before it kills them. If you ride lead acid battery on a regular basis at high load (and with high speed and some hills you would definitively do that), you will kill that battery in as few as 150 to 200 charges. It's performance will degrade fast, and at about halfway point of 100 cycles, you will have maybe around 70% of starting capacity, that you won't be able to use as voltage drop will be too severe for controller to work properly. In reality, lead acid batteries are a very bad idea for any trips over 5 miles total, and for hills especially as range drops to practically nothing once you drain them hard for a time.
Also, look at rear hub motors as a start, front ones can be a bit finicky to ride, and you must have a proper steel rigid fork upfront, no suspension forks or aluminum or carbon. There are problems with wires continually twisting as you move the steering around, and the length of the wires from controller to motor makes for some additional losses due to higher impedance in longer wires - usually controller is mounted around the seat tube, so power phase wires have to be longer to reach up front.
Controller is used to drive the motor, and to regulate how much current the motor is going to draw from the battery, and to regulate the speed - from standstill, over gradual acceleration, to full power, and everything in between.
I gave you the rough basics here, for much more info and everything you need to know to make the proper decision, take a look here, register and read, you will see there is so much more you need to know before doing your first conversion: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/
That is the most complete forum about e-bike conversions and builds that I am aware of.
1. Sounds too good to be true
2. Quite possibly.
3. Stock end-to-end solution from a bicycle manufacturer. Trek, Giant...
4. Buy a motorcycle instead. Did you _ever_ go > 25mph on a bicycle?
5. Watts are what moves you. Higher voltage solutions are usually mode efficient.
9. Controller is a piece of electronics that controls the motor. You don't have to think about it if you went with me on (3).
Probably want to put this in the Ebike forum, lest us commuters flog you for not buying a "real" bike :PAgreed. I'm moving this to Electric Bikes forum (from Commuting).
--Juha, a Forum Mod
09-27-10, 08:14 AM
Raidthewood, are you new to riding bikes?
You seem keen on the idea of riding at 27-40mph. 40 is awfully fast on a bike; any type of bike. Adding a motor will help you get up to speed, sure, but it won't help with braking or handling.
Rather than thinking of an electric motor as something that will help you go fast, you should think of them as something that makes hills easier and enables you to ride further, easier.
1. This looks like a Golden Motor kit. Golden Motor is known for their low prices and, more or less, reasonable quality (you get what you pay for...). The GM forums may give you an idea what, and what not to expect: http://goldenmotor.com/SMF/
BTW, My experience with Yescom.com has been very good (quick shipping and very good packaging).
2. Range will typically depend on batter capacity (amp hours), terrain, average speeds, rider weight, and how much peddling you do. In your case this will probable fall within the lowest factory specs (which would seem to be well within your goals).
4. Your speeds with the GM kit should be about 26 mph or so (depending on battery condition (new, old, properly maintained, etc) , batt type (lead acid, Lifepo4, etc), and state of charge. BTW, 26 mph exceeds most U.S. regulations concerning electric bicycles. This isn't really a big deal as long as you use common sense (btw, always wear a proper helmet).
5. Watts = volts x amps. Higher volts generally = higher speeds while, higher amps = more torque (better hill climbing and acceleration)
6. Buying the parts "separately" will often result in slightly higher prices (unless you really "shop around"). Buy parts separately usually works well when you're assembling a vehicle with demanding and/or specific performance goals rather than for "saving money".
8. I highly recommend Lifepo4 batteries due to their superior performance and greatly reduced weight. These batteries almost always are cheaper in the long run as compared to sealed lead acid battery types. However, if you're truly restricted to SLA then, just be sure to buy a reputable brand from a reputable dealer. Keep in mind that SLA performance will begin to drop off just as soon as you start using them while Lifepo4s offer a relatively stable output during use (their performance remains pretty much the same through their use cycle). Hopefully other BF members can give you more detailed advice on SLAs...
9.The controller has a number of purposes which include (but are not limited to): control of speed (of course), regulation of maximum current (amps), reg of max speed (if equipped with a speed limiter for legal purposes), battery management (low voltage "cutoff" and high V cutoff), multiple speed settings (hi, medium, and low).
Good luck and good riding!
09-27-10, 12:18 PM
I just jumped in to the whole thing, didn't really research it much. I originally was going to use a ICE engine on my Xtracycle build, (again, just jumped in) I decided that an ICE wouldn't work for me. As I hung out more on the Xtracycle board, I heard about e-assist, decided that would be an option. I checked out Cycle 9. They have a (well deserved) good rep on the Xtracycle board.
I bought a complete kit from them, so that I knew everything would play nice with everything else. I went with a front hub, because I was/am playing with the idea of either an IGH, or a NuVinci rear hub.(someday)
Whitecat is absolutely right: The battery is the most expensive/important part, not a place to cheap out. The only point I disagree on is about front hubs being finicky to ride with.
The endless sphere forum sounds like a good resource. I have no experience with them.
09-27-10, 05:04 PM
http://www.conhismotor.com/Diy_eBike.asp raid the wood here you go configure the kit as you'd like it. Not sure on the quality of a kit that cheap.
10-03-10, 02:10 AM
40mph (65km/h) is a fairly frightening speed on any bicycle!
If you really think you're gonna be cruising around at 65km/h then you need to be investing in a 50cc ICE scooter. Pushbiking definitely ain't for you my friend!
10-03-10, 03:34 PM
Being an ebiker for the past 4 years I can tell you 40 mph can and is done. However, as so many have told you here already you have to be half (or more) to go that fast on a bicycle. I will go 30 on mine but have no interest in going any faster. As the saying goes "speed cost money".....how fast do you want to spend? If you really want to do 40 you best have some rreally great brakes and one hell of a bike. If you hit one little stone you'll be nothing more then a red splush spot on the pavement. trust me and keep your speed under 30mph.
As whitecat correctly told you the bettery is the most expensive part of the ebike setup. I carry twin 24v 20ah lifepo4 Thunder Sky packs. Total investment for the packs, LVC alarms and chargers is close to $1,000. You could also go with a lipo pack for less but it adds a little risk and is not for everyone especially a noob.
Winter is coming so take the time to do more reading and for sure check out http://endless-sphere.com/forums/ and even http://www.ebikeforum.com/ . You could start out low cost with an EZip bike under $400. It's a complete ebike not a kit. My wife and I each have 2 ebikes and we both have an EZip. It's a good starter ebike starter for low cost but also low speed as if comes from the factory (16mph). However, there are a lot of ways to increase the speed and distance of this bike. There is a lot of info on it at http://www.ebikeforum.com/ . But as I said speed cost money but at least this bike gets you into ebiking at a low cost and you can build on it as time and money allows. The one negitive is it's a little louder then most hub motor (geared on non=geared).
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