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  1. #1
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    Just starting out...

    I'm gathering the components for a build, just wanted to put my ideas out there to see if I'm on the right track. I'm starting out with a schwinn heavy duty http://www.americasbikecompany.com/2...9heavyduty.htm I bought used (planning on upgrading the brakes obviously). What's nice is the bike already has rear dual racks for mounting everything.

    Only thing I have so far is the motor, did a little research on Heinzman motors and they seemed well made (the price was right too):
    http://cgi.ebay.com/36-volt-electric...Cycling_Parts_...

    looking at controllers on ebay, would this work?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/36V-500W-Brush-M...AU_Toys_Hobbie...

    and of course, batteries. I'm probably going to go the SLA route (3x 12v 10AH) just because it's the cheapest at this point, hoping to upgrade as new stuff comes out. My daily commute is going to be 4 miles one way, max. I usually take my fixed gear road bike, but it sucks riding to work when it's hot out, and I can't carry much. I've been building bikes (mostly mountain) for a few years so I'm pretty handy on that end, just starting out with the electric stuff. Any input is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    You sure you want to go with SLA batteries? They really suck.

    If you are planning on spending $150 - $200 for something that will last 1 or 2 years. Why not buy 3 of these 12v lithium packs http://elitepowersolutions.com/produ...products_id=74 for about $312 + shipping ...and if you live in the USA, shipping is usually only about $20. So $335 for 36v20AH thundersky lithium pack that will last 5 yrs or more or........you could buy a $150 - $200 SLA pack that will last maximum 2 years and that's if you baby it. Plus, lithium pack will get you 2 - 3x the distance. My advice would be pay the extra $100 - $150 and get the lithium. You can charge these with a 12v SLA battery charger too. And the lithium is half the weight of the SLA. If you don't already have a 12v sla charger, buy one of those....then buy a 3.2v lifepo4 2amp charger at all-battery.com and manually balance the packs. It'll save you money. Just make sure you know how to use lithium if you do decide to buy the packs. Those are the packs that I'm using on my bike. I don't work for elitepowersolutions. I just think it's kind of a bad decision to not buy lithium when it's only $100 - $150 more.

    By the way, good choice on the motor. Heinzmann is a quality motor. For the controller, I don't know about those. I've always heard good things about the Infineon controllers so I'd probably recommend that. Besides, it has option for running either 36v or 48v battery. So you could increase the speed later with 48v if you wanted. Make sure you ask someone who knows what they are doing if this is the right controller or that one that you picked out is. Not all controllers are the same.

    the only one I can find is $110....I didn't look very hard. You could probably find it for cheaper
    http://www.cycle9.com/c9store/electr...2e200e71a2b11e
    Last edited by morph999; 03-05-10 at 03:37 AM.

  3. #3
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    Was actually hoping to just buy some scooter batteries (10AH) since my daily commute is only about 4 miles and I can charge at work, I was hoping to get away with about $30 per cell (3 total)... not sure if this is realistic. I just need something to get me to work when I don't feel like riding my road bike, and maybe for getting groceries. I know I'll eventually go with lithium, but I'm going to wait and see if prices come down in the next year or so. Then again, if SLA ends up running much more than $100 i'll probably just end up taking your suggestion. Being new to this, my instinct is to get everything up and running, and then let UGI takeover

  4. #4
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranal View Post
    Was actually hoping to just buy some scooter batteries (10AH) since my daily commute is only about 4 miles and I can charge at work, I was hoping to get away with about $30 per cell (3 total)... not sure if this is realistic. I just need something to get me to work when I don't feel like riding my road bike, and maybe for getting groceries. I know I'll eventually go with lithium, but I'm going to wait and see if prices come down in the next year or so. Then again, if SLA ends up running much more than $100 i'll probably just end up taking your suggestion. Being new to this, my instinct is to get everything up and running, and then let UGI takeover

    Don't expect any type of Lithium batteries to go down in price; instead, they will go up. Why? The US Department of Transportation is about to issue new regulations that will require any type of Lithium battery--including traditional Lithium Ion batteries used in most portable consumer appliances like cell phones, laptops, etc.--to be treated as hazardous material. That means transportation and handling costs will go up significantly for Lithium batteries as well as all consumer items that ship with internal Lithium batteries. The UN's revised regulations on the international transportation and handling/storage of batteries will also probably have the affect of driving up costs. I've ordered LIFEPO4 batteries to make a second pack for my bike. I'm even considering bumping up the purchase date for a new laptop.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
    Don't expect any type of Lithium batteries to go down in price; instead, they will go up. Why? The US Department of Transportation is about to issue new regulations that will require any type of Lithium battery--including traditional Lithium Ion batteries used in most portable consumer appliances like cell phones, laptops, etc.--to be treated as hazardous material. That means transportation and handling costs will go up significantly for Lithium batteries as well as all consumer items that ship with internal Lithium batteries. The UN's revised regulations on the international transportation and handling/storage of batteries will also probably have the affect of driving up costs. I've ordered LIFEPO4 batteries to make a second pack for my bike. I'm even considering bumping up the purchase date for a new laptop.
    That's really interesting, I did not realize that. I'm really curious to see what happens though, because increased production SHOULD drive down costs, in theory, because of economies of scale. I'm also not sure how much this would actually drive up costs, as I'd hope companies would already be handling lithium batteries with certain amounts of care already. I can think of a few things already considered "hazardous materials" that aren't very expensive. In any case, thanks for the heads up!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by morph999 View Post
    You sure you want to go with SLA batteries? They really suck.

    If you are planning on spending $150 - $200 for something that will last 1 or 2 years. Why not buy 3 of these 12v lithium packs http://elitepowersolutions.com/produ...products_id=74 for about $312 + shipping ...and if you live in the USA, shipping is usually only about $20. So $335 for 36v20AH thundersky lithium pack that will last 5 yrs or more or........you could buy a $150 - $200 SLA pack that will last maximum 2 years and that's if you baby it. Plus, lithium pack will get you 2 - 3x the distance. My advice would be pay the extra $100 - $150 and get the lithium. You can charge these with a 12v SLA battery charger too. And the lithium is half the weight of the SLA. If you don't already have a 12v sla charger, buy one of those....then buy a 3.2v lifepo4 2amp charger at all-battery.com and manually balance the packs. It'll save you money. Just make sure you know how to use lithium if you do decide to buy the packs. Those are the packs that I'm using on my bike. I don't work for elitepowersolutions. I just think it's kind of a bad decision to not buy lithium when it's only $100 - $150 more.

    By the way, good choice on the motor. Heinzmann is a quality motor. For the controller, I don't know about those. I've always heard good things about the Infineon controllers so I'd probably recommend that. Besides, it has option for running either 36v or 48v battery. So you could increase the speed later with 48v if you wanted. Make sure you ask someone who knows what they are doing if this is the right controller or that one that you picked out is. Not all controllers are the same.

    the only one I can find is $110....I didn't look very hard. You could probably find it for cheaper
    http://www.cycle9.com/c9store/electr...2e200e71a2b11e
    can i put my two penny worth in here. i'd like to blow the trumpet for sla for a change. ive used sla on my bike for 12 years and have only replaced them once and that was 4 years ago and they are still holding around 70-80% charge.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranal View Post
    That's really interesting, I did not realize that. I'm really curious to see what happens though, because increased production SHOULD drive down costs, in theory, because of economies of scale. I'm also not sure how much this would actually drive up costs, as I'd hope companies would already be handling lithium batteries with certain amounts of care already. I can think of a few things already considered "hazardous materials" that aren't very expensive. In any case, thanks for the heads up!
    Quote Originally Posted by lpranal View Post
    That's really interesting, I did not realize that. I'm really curious to see what happens though, because increased production SHOULD drive down costs, in theory, because of economies of scale. I'm also not sure how much this would actually drive up costs, as I'd hope companies would already be handling lithium batteries with certain amounts of care already. I can think of a few things already considered "hazardous materials" that aren't very expensive. In any case, thanks for the heads up!

    There have been handling/storage precautions in place for a long time. However, the hazardous material (HAZMAT) designation will be rather onerous. Analysts are predicting a noticeable impact on the cost of consumer products that have internal batteries, which has some industries jittery, given the recession.

    Most LIFEPO4 and other Lithium batteries are made in China. As far as increased production reducing costs, I'm not sure there will be much increased production available for foreign markets, given the Chinese government's mandated move away from SLA batteries for e-bikes. It's quite likely that increased domestic demand in China will actually diminish the volume of LIFEPO4 batteries available for sale to foreign markets. Revised UN transportation safety regulations will also affect the cost of international shipping/handling.

  8. #8
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    My SLA batteries lasted about 7 months then I could only get 2 miles out of them. The max I ever got out of my 60v 9AH SLA pack was 6 miles with moderate pedaling. Now with my 36v20AH lithium, I have yet to reach the maxium range on it without pedaling. I've still breaking the battery in but I've already went 6 miles easily on just 3.5 AH of battery and it's a 20 AH pack !! That means I can go 18 miles without any pedaling on just half the pack. I could probably go 25 miles on 75 % of the pack. That's good enough for me.

  9. #9
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    Battery issues aside, I'm kind of wondering if this hub motor has a brake, and if it does, will it be enough for this bike? I've been reading around and (forgive my ignorance on the subject, i'm new to hub motors) I can't tell for sure that if the motor is in an unpowered state it acts as a brake. Unfortunately, the cruise I was planning on using doesn't have brake bosses (it's using a coaster brake right now.) I could probably swap out the fork if I have to , but only if that's necessary.

    Thanks for all the responses so far, it's definitely helping the process along...

  10. #10
    Lost? No, seeing America.
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    The hub motor does not brake. Even if it did put resistance on with a regen mode, it wouldn't be sufficient for stopping needs all the time. It should fairly well coast when there is no power applied, but the weight alone will drag it slower. If you mount it on the front forks, you can still use your coaster brakes. Just use two torque arms, with a steel fork!!!
    Wow, for $100 plus 25 shipped, it sounds like an inexpensive way to test out e-bikes. Maybe I'll pick one up. I've heard Heinzmann are durable.
    '02 Fuji Finest AL
    '97 Trek Multitrack w/Amped rear 500w 36v15ah Ping
    13 mile roundtrip commute, 150 days/school year

  11. #11
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    Slowly but surely getting everything figured out. Found a few reasonable quality SLA 17AH 12v batteries on ebay for $37 shipped /each, got the brake situation figured out (going to use a different frame), bought a throttle and controller. can someone direct me to a source for connectors? Also if there is a decent guide for hooking everything up, it'd be a nice reference. Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Amazon.com has powerpole connectors. Or go to powerwerx.com

    For a few of my connectors, I just used the local hardware store and bought a couple of these steel bars that clamp down on the wires. I can't remember what they are called. They are $3 a piece though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranal View Post
    That's really interesting, I did not realize that. I'm really curious to see what happens though, because increased production SHOULD drive down costs, in theory, because of economies of scale. I'm also not sure how much this would actually drive up costs, as I'd hope companies would already be handling lithium batteries with certain amounts of care already. I can think of a few things already considered "hazardous materials" that aren't very expensive. In any case, thanks for the heads up!
    When the government is involved, economics go out the window. I'm really not that surprised about this, politicians wouldn't be able to sleep at night if they didn't try to screw something up during the day. As I get older I grow more pessimistic about government day after day. I wish they could learn to stay out of my life and my wallet.
    DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible for any offense taken. Should you have taken offense to my comment my lawers will be in touch. Said lawers are most often seen flying disk shaped vehicles accompanied by men in tin foil hats. Should this DISCLAIMER offend you, you are hereby declared a lost cause and the men in tin foil hats will be in touch.

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