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  1. #1
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    Newbie Question: Torque vs. Speed?

    Greetings!

    I'm usually parusing the commuting threads in the summer, but commuting my 25m RT in the winter (car died) has me convinced that I should take the plunge into the world of electric bicycles! My budget is 1200 dollars. I don't need to go above 25 mph, but I do have a few nasty hills, and I would like to be able to haul 60 lbs of groceries from time to time. I am a 5'4" 135 lb female.

    I've done a lot of preliminary research, and yet I cannot find the answer to a couple of specific questions, so I hope you don't mind my asking these newbie questions. From what I read, the general consensus is that I should spend the bulk of my money on nice LiFePo4 batteries (from Ping, of course), and spend less on the motor/controller. I don't mind pedalling, I do that now. I'd just like it to be a lot less tiring, and my commute time won't depend on how fresh my legs are. I would be nice to have both pedal assist and throttle control in case I don't feel like pedaling at all, but I understand that isn't common unless you are buying one of the nice (and expensive) complete kits.

    I was looking at some of the pre-made phoenix systems. What is the difference between 36v and 48v? With my longish commute and some hills, I need range and power. I just can't figure out how voltage affects speed and torque vs. range.

    With these things in mind, how "low can I go" in terms of components. Maybe I don't need to spend the money on a crytalyte x5 if something less expensive is going to do the trick? One more stupid question: are the adapters from the LiFePo4 batteries interchangeable with most of these power-system only kits? I am not talented enough to cut and splice!

    Thanks in advance!

    ~Minerva

  2. #2
    Banned
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    The higher voltage will have an impact on torque - but very little (if any) on range.

  3. #3
    Electricity Lover
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Specialized Hardrock, one folding e-bike, and one Phoenix Racer E-bike Kit by www.wattcycle.com using a cheap Schwinn Cruiser frame
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    Hi Minerva - I've put lots of info up on our blog. We try to answer just about every question you may have. www.wattcycle.com
    Our online store is here: www.wattcycle.com/shop/home.php

    Remember that a kit with nice high speed such as the Phoenix Racer system will go faster with a higher voltage. You'll also have a more balanced system if you're going to be using the more affordable SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries. My personal system is a 48 V 40 A system. It's really fast (37 mph) - maybe a little too fast for the common user - I just think it's fun for tooling down to the store a few miles and back - I can actually put it on the road and keep up with the cars.

    The great thing is that you can really choose a kit for whatever you need. If you're looking at doing around 25 or so, try looking at a Crystalyte Roadrunner kit. They're cheaper and more efficient than the really fast ones and give you a longer distance.

    We also have a complete electric bike that will go about 20 mph as well. It's got a range of around 20 - 25 miles depending on how you ride it. Lithium batteries as well.

    Congratulations on the consideration of an e-bike!
    Wattcycle.com for everything electric bike related. Including the new X-Treme™ XM-5000Li - using a multiple lithium battery bank with a top speed of 60 MPH and a maximum distance of 85 miles.
    Complete Crystalyte bike kits available as well.
    Wattcycle Blog here.
    Wattcycle E-commerce shop here.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    For the kind of distance and performance you're looking for, I would suggest you steer clear of the large crystalyte 5 series motors. They are heavier than necessary, more expensive than necessary, and there's a loss of efficiency that comes with using a motor that has more torque than you actually need.

    the nine continent motors (which are supposed to be more efficient than crystalyte and provide better performance as well) seem like a good choice for your situation. you can buy em at ampedbikes.com or ebikes.ca
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  5. #5
    stop and you die
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    I also recommend checking at http://www.ebikes.ca/index.shtml
    They also carry a geared hub motor, the eZee which has lots of torque for hills and weights less than the more conventional hub motors. That system will eat up your $1200.00 + but they include a 36V 10Ah lithium battery. You might get away with using a Crystalyte 408, that with a contoller and throttle would set you back about $600.00 or less allowing you to shop for batteries. I hope you have somewhere to recharge when you get to work.

  6. #6
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    Thank you so much everyone for replying. I appreciate the recommendations that I've recieved, and I am looking into a couple of the systems mentioned. I feel I have a better idea now what kind of system I need, and, of course, what kind of system I don't need pay for!

    Thanks again!

    ~Minerva

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