Super quick-install kit
I've got limited mechanical skills. Any advice on this quick-install kit I'm considering v.s. others people know of? http://cleanrepublic.com/hill_topper...rsion_kit.html
There are several things you need to consider when choosing an e-bike conversion kit. Do you have an aluminum fork? If so, you'll need to go with a rear wheel kit since the drop outs on aluminum forks can fail without warning when you use a hub motor in front. Even with a hub motor mounted on the rear wheel, you should consider attaching torque arms. Most kits are pre-wired so installation's generally not too bad. I installed a Currie conversion kit this summer. This is a rear wheel kit. I had the LBS spin off the freewheel from the existing wheel on my bike and put it on the new Currie, motorized rear wheel. I did everything else myself. Good luck.
Hi nwmtnbkr, Thanks so much for your fast reply! And thanks for the note about the front fork issue with those big motors. I have a question about that motor (looks powerful) in your picture and how it relates to the smaller looking one in the http://cleanrepublic.com/hill_topper...rsion_kit.html link, but I'll go over to the other thread and post it there to keep the threads straight. Thanks!
Here is a general guide for installing a hub motor kit:
For the most part, if you have basic mechanical skills you can install a kit - especially a front-mounted one. Rears are a little more difficult since you have to deal with the gearing and derailer. You'd need a little more "bicycle skills" to handle a rear, but it's doable. Lots of help available online. Or, if you get stuck you could always call or visit a local bike shop.
ALSO, be sure you know what you need out of a kit. The one you referenced is slightly under-powered with a low capacity battery. If you just need assistance or don't have an extended range (over 6-8 miles) it might be OK. Otherwise, you may want to consider some of the other options out there...
that's a good link, thanks! I like the clear movies. I see how the rear wheel kits are a little more complex but surely doable as I saw in some of the other videos. The battery seems to be one of the biggest considerations, like you said 'getting what you want' out of the kit. I'm still comparing everything under the sun and just noticed that the one I was talking about before now has a
lithium polymer option: http://www.cleanrepublic.com/hill_to...rsion_kit.html
it's certainly a difference compared to the lower capacity SLA pack, so more thinking to do...
Originally Posted by NewbE-biker
Sorry I didn't see your post with the question for me earlier. The motor on the kit you're looking at is 250W. It's probably a generic Chinese kit made for a world-wide market. The EU and parts of Asia have very strict limitations on maximum power and speed and 250W is about the legal limit. There are restrictions in North America. (For example, in the US, federal statutes require more powerful ready-made e-bikes with motors over 750W or speeds over 20 MPH to meet safety standards for mopeds/motorcycles set by the US Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Low-powered, ready-made e-bikes that have motors under 750W and speeds 20 MPH and under only have to meet the rather anemic safety standards for consumer bicycles set by the Consumer Product Safety Administration. At present, conversion kits aren't covered by these safety standards but I expect that to change as more powerful hub motors get shipped from China.)
The performance of the 250W motor may be adequate if you don't need much torque. However, if you live in a hilly area or are a larger rider, you may be unhappy with it's performance. I added the Currie kit, which as a 450W geared motor, because it has excellent torque and I live in the far norther US Rockies and my local rides are on roads with steep grades. I've been very impressed with the Currie kit. I added it to a 21-speed mountain bike so I have a slight speed advantage over the ready-made Currie bikes with the exact same motor since the Currie bikes are only 7 speeds. I normally pedal all the time and use power assist on the hills but I did check out the top speed with my kit without pedaling--it's 17 MPH on very knobby tires, if I changed out the tires, I could probably increase the top speed by 2 MPH. However, I don't really want electric assist for speed, I want it for help up the hills and I need very knobby tires to ride the unimproved gravel forest roads around me.
As far as the battery on the kit you're looking at, it may be lithium, but they don't specify that it's LIFEPO4 so I suspect it's simply a standard Li-ION battery. It's also only 8 AH, which won't give you power for very long. You could always go with a kit that offers SLA batteries and add a second LIFEPO4 battery later. Next month, I'll be building a 24V 20AH LIFEPO4 battery using Thunder Sky prismatic batteries to use as a second battery with my Currie system. The cells cost $256 at elitepowersolutions.com. I'll also be building a battery box for them that will slide into the Currie battery rack.
Before you pull the trigger on the system you're looking at, check out the following links.
I'd suggest that you check out Endless Sphere's forums. http://endless-sphere.com/forumsThere's very detailed information on e-bike motors (hub and non-hub), controllers and battery technology. The more you research, the happier you'll probably be with your choice of a conversion kit. Good luck.
That 8 AH SLA pack won't be anywhere near enough ....not even close. You'll need at least 15 AH in SLA (lead acid) to get decent range. And about 10 AH of Lithium to get good range.
And your probably better off with a aotema kit from hightekbikes.com for $330 rather than that one. Or check e-bikekit.com too for some good deals.
If you let people know here what your needs are, you can get really good feedback. Your weight, mileage needed, speed, hills, etc.