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  1. #1
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Motorized bicycle for extended commuting.

    I normally would never tell anyone on a bike forum I have a bicycle with a motor on it, but I do! I have a Chinese bicycle engine on an old Raleigh Newport cruiser I use for Sweat less commuting. Don't get me wrong! I have several other bicycles and use them but there are times when I don't want to take the automobile but a standard bicycle would be questionable transportation option as well. This thing fills a necessary void. Starting early in 2007 RevoPower will start selling an EPA and CARB approved motor wheel which will replace the front wheel on bicycles with 26 inch wheels. I call it a motor wheel, as the engine is located in the front wheel. It's a very slick design. I have already sent in my money to reserve one. If anyone else is interested you can check it out here.
    www.revopower.com
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    I went down the electric path myself, and there are a few others here who have powered bikes. People scoff, but it's a great bike.


  3. #3
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    n4zou,
    I'm starting to see the benefit of a helper motor (now that I'm riding home in 95 degree weather). That revopower engine looks great but New Jersey doesn't allow gas engine additions on bicycles. Gas is the way to go for long distance touring in the boondocks.

    AllenG,
    I've been looking at the same Giant model you have. How do you like it? How many miles have you put on it? How do you like it with the Rohloff?
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  4. #4
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    I am interested in a motor for my longer commutes tell me what you htink of the wheel, when you get it.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Zoridog,

    I've had my Giant for about a year now. I have 2,800 miles on the frame, 2,200 are since January. I love this bike. I'm a photographer and use it to haul heavy equipment around (100 pounds+). I get around 30-35 miles of range on a charge if I go a little easy on the battery. 20-25 is typical if I just turn it on and ride.
    Electric Bikes North West still has them listed on their website, and may still have them in stock. Giant, regrettably, quit manufacturing the Lite and Twist this year.
    The Rohloff is absolutely fantastic. It has a much wider gear range than the SRAM hubs that I have gone through in the past, and has always operated perfectly. The Lite has a 42 tooth front ring, and the gearing with the Rohloff is reminiscent of a rickshaw, so I find myself primarily using the top gears. However when I have been caught out with a dead battery, having some wall climbing gears is a nice thing to have.

    --A

  6. #6
    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    the revo power will be too loud
    Electric motors I've heard are quiet enough though. I think the tech to make them 5-7lbs and self regenerating is here. To be more generally useful, the motors need to contribute power at any speed rather than just hit a max RPM level.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    My battery is 7 pounds. I could charge it with the dynamo hub that runs the lights, but it would take hundreds of miles of riding to do it. And braking regeneration, like some hybrids have, does not give back much power as one would hope. The motor will contribute power up to 20 mph, after that it cuts out, partly to save power, partly to keep from having to be licensed as a moped.

    --A

  8. #8
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Motorcycle was my route for extended commuting.
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  9. #9
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I setup an Electra Townie with a BD-36 electric hub motor from We R Electrified for a handicapped friend. It works exceptionally well. He does a 6-mile commute to work one way and he charges it at work for the return trip. He does not pedal or help it at all. He also runs the throttle wide open on that 6-mile trip.
    http://www.werelectrified.com/unibikekit.html

  10. #10
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godspiral
    the revo power will be too loud
    Electric motors I've heard are quiet enough though. I think the tech to make them 5-7lbs and self regenerating is here. To be more generally useful, the motors need to contribute power at any speed rather than just hit a max RPM level.
    RevoPower is posting 65 dBa as the noise level. Thatís very low! People typically produce 60 dBa talking normally at 3 feet.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure

  11. #11
    Senior Member godspiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    RevoPower is posting 65 dBa as the noise level. That’s very low! People typically produce 60 dBa talking normally at 3 feet.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure
    (If I had to guess a number for electrics it would be 52-55db.)

    Its quiet for an engine... but its basically car behind you at 25kmh sound level. Louder than poorly shifted chain noise. Loud enough to annoy someone 50 feet away on a bike path for example. I'm unsure about exhaust in your face either.

    It sounds much quieter and pleasant than a motor scooter or lawnmower level noise, but talking on a bicycle already involves some voice stress when not side by side, and this would add a lot. I guess if you just want to get somewhere, without worrying about charging, its good.

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