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View Poll Results: How should I go about my project?

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  • Option A, Hub Motor.

    1 50.00%
  • Option B, Direct drivetrain motor

    1 50.00%
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  1. #1
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    Need a commuting solution

    Hello all

    I have been reading a little bit here and I have an idea of what I want to do. Currently, I commute 6.5 miles one way via bicycle, and it is going to stay that way for some time. What I would like to have is an electric bike that would be either full electric or pedal assist (I'd probably get lazy and not really pedal all that much anyway).

    I am looking for speeds in the 20-25 mph range. I am not a speed demon who is going to buzz small children, I just want to get to where I am going in a timely fashion. This bicycle is meant to be a car-killer. I do not own a car and have no intention of owning one anything soon if I can help it. Currently, I try to average 13 mph or so, but if I have favorable wind I'll try to pedal 20mph. (I once had really favorable wind and did it in 21 minutes...average speed 17.42 mph)

    Option A would be your usual Hub-motor job, I would buy a kit online and refit my bike (for future reference, the bike who is going to be involved in the project is named Betsy...) and have it be a conventional setup.

    Option B would be to take a motor with a sprocket on its shaft and chain it directly to the forward set of gears (I have a 3x7 setup) via the smallest gear. I will probably take a hacksaw to the cranks and lop them off to avoid the manic-ankle-breaking-spinning-pedals problem.

    I would prefer Option B. It would make sense to me that this arrangement would enable higher speeds through the use of the bicycle gearing. As I said before, the speed factor is to get there, not because I have to have a gale whipping through my hair.

    That said, what motor/battery setup would the forum recommend? What means of mounting the motor would you recommend?

    Please, constructive criticism is wanted. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    If you're in the States, as long as your bike doesn't travel over 20 MPH you generally don't need to worry about registering it and insuring it. (If you're in NY, technically, you cannot legally ride an e-bike anywhere but private property, but I don't think the police are actively enforcing it--might be another matter if you're riding one and involved in an accident. A bill to amend NY law to allow e-bikes to be ridden on public roads has, unfortunately, stalled in the New York Legislature.) From anecdotal evidence on various forums, it would appear that police seem to be stopping gas-powered bikes more than electric ones, so you might get away with speeds slightly more than 20 MPH.

    I wouldn't cut off the pedals, battery technology has improved a bit but it's still the weakest link in e-bikes and you may well need to pedal on occassions. Also you can develop problems with your controller, throttle or motor that will necessitate pedal-powering the bike. It's not uncommon to read about such system failures. Plus, pedaling is fun.

    What price range are you looking at? There are a variety of kits. One of the most expensive components will be the battery if you go with higher tech batteries like LIFEPO4; be prepared for sticker shock. I added a Currie conversion kit to my mountain bike this summer because I needed the torque for the mountainous forest roads that I ride. It's one of the most affordable kits and comes with an SLA battery--it's been on sale for $299 for everything, plus free shipping.

    Here's a page with links to various kits available. Good luck, have fun shopping. http://www.electric-bikes.com/bikes/kits.html

  3. #3
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    I'm in the Astoria, Oregon area, so I should not have a problem there.

    The bits that I would be opening up this beast on are back roads, so I should be able to scoot under the radar there. While on main roads I'll keep my head. One bit in particular I think it would be preferable that I go faster to avoid having cars ticked off at me (bit of a narrow, moderately busy really old bridge)

    To be honest, if I'm going to pedal I'll just ride Bertie (the other bike that I am currently riding) and use my own power to get me where I'm going =)

    I'm looking at turning this thing into a fully electric bike. (that is if I dont decide to go the hub motor route.)

    I'm not very worried about being stranded, I'll just walk to whichever end of my route is closer, or call one of my buddies. If Betsy really broke down, I have Bertie to fall back on...

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