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!