put our Heads Together
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Bikes: a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
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I have a cyclone kit. One that doesn't work, due to an as-yet-undiagnosed electronics problem. Cyclone has some reliability issues, as do some of the other makers. The most popular kits that I know of (crystalyte, wilderness energy) sound like they are more reliable than cyclone.
In my experience, air drag is the most important efficiency consideration when you have a kit as powerful and fast as my cyclone 500W kit. If you will spend most of your riding time at speeds of 20mph and down, weight may be more important. (but with pedaling plus a 360w or 500w cyclone motor, don't expect to be going under 20mph very often.) If
you are willing to pedal, don't set your bike up to be uncomfortable to pedal, because pedaling increases range a lot. The best improvement I think I could make to my bike if the motor were working would be to put aero bars
on, although they'd look funny with my MTB tires and wheels.
Cyclone kits have about the same range per usable watt hour as brushless hub motors. (range per watt hour is what's important, not range per amp hour.... watt hours are amphours times volts... for SLA batteries usable watt hours are somewhere around 0.5 times rated watt hours) Manufacturer claims about range and efficiency for e-bikes tend to be somewhat misleading.