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Thread: Newbie Here

  1. #1
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    Newbie Here

    I am looking into getting a e-bike conversion kit and have a couple questions.
    Is a chain drive motor or a hub motor better? For battery life and power/speed.
    What are some diy kits you can recommend for best price and good quality.
    I am pretty handy and will install myself.

  2. #2
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    I think hub motors are better. People sometimes have trouble with the installations of those chain driven motors. Sometimes they'll even bend their frames getting those chain driven motors installed. Also, with hub motors, you don't have to worry about the chain breaking or the motor overheating. Chain driven motors require a specific RPM in order to function properly and if it's not within a certain RPM range, then you'll overheat and destroy the motor. So people often have to route the chain over a few more pulleys or whatever they are called in order to get proper RPM.

    ampedbikes.com
    ebikes.ca
    e-bikekit.com
    hightekbikes.com
    itselectric.ca

    Those are the well known and reputable ones. I think any kit that has a nine continent motor is pretty good. Those being the ones offered by ampedbikes.com and e-bikekit.com and also ebikes.ca sells them too. Hightekbikes.com sells a aotema motor. It's pretty good also and they say goes a little faster than the nine continent. The nine continent is probably better made, though. Itselectric.ca has all the little accessories that are hard to find elsewhere like battery cases and stuff. They have both a U.S. and Canadian store. A lot of people like ampedbikes.com .

    For battery, most anything except SLA's are good. Ebikes.ca has some cheap NICD batteries but their lithium prices are too expensive and you can find a better deal elsewhere. Elitepowersolutions.com is a good place to find decent lifepo4 (lithium) batteries for relatively cheap. They don't sell BMS's though so if you went with them, you'll need a cell log monitor from hobbyking.com ..they are only $15, though. You'll need two, though. It's called a Cell log 8s monitor. Lifepo4 cell range has to be from 2.5v - 4.2v and if you go below 2.5v or over 4.2v, you'll destroy them. Other good places for batteries are:

    evcomponents.com
    pingbattery.com

    And that's probably about it. I can't recommend any ebay batteries or ebay anything for that matter.

  3. #3
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    Morph and I could not disagree more on what motor is better. Sorry old buddy but you don't know beans about chain drive motors. First off both chain and hub motors work the same way. They both run best at their "sweet spot". That is generally in the 70% to 80% of the max RPM. The problem with a hub motor is it's RPM is determined by the MPH that you want to ride. Therefore, the motor is rarely running at the most eff. RPM. Should you have a changing riding condition of flat road and steep hills a hub motor can not be geared to deal with the added load. Gee maybe that's why they put a trasmition in cars or gears on a bike in the first place. I've seen a lot of people using hub motors as chain motors but never seen anybody try using a chain motor for a hub motor. What does that tell us, Hmmm? With a chain motor connected through the bikes gearing you have the best of all worlds. Strong torque for starting and hill climbing and better speed when on the flats. When a hub motor is not in use it adds drag to your peddling efford too. This is because the motor never disconnects from the wheel therefore, the amature is always turning and the magnets and always trying to puy you back. With a chain motor there is a freewheel that 100% disconnects the motor from the gear system when not in use. Therefore, when peddling without the motor there is no drag. In fact you don't even know the motor is on the bike.

    I don't know where you ever heard a chain motor bends the frame. I belong to the same forums you do and read just about everything written and I never heard of that. I have 4 bikes running chain driven motors and I never had any frame bending. What I will say is the mounting brackets for the Cyclone single chaining system is a bit on the strange side and I have caused minor damage until I say want I was doing wrong. Unless your talking about a 2000w motor I wouldn't worry about braking the chain ether. The bigest problem with a chain motor is it is generally made with a gearbox reducer. This is a good thing but all gearboxes tend to add noise Add that to the normal noise caused by the chain while peddling and some people don't like it. Personally I would prefer it to be a little less noisy but it won't cause people to turn their heads.

    I will conceed that a hub motor is generally easier to install. But I have spoken to a few women that have installed chain motors and had no major problems.

    As you can see if you have a hub motor that's what you think is best and if you have a chain drive system then that's what you think is best. I haven't met anyone that has them both to give a true and honest opinion as to which is best yet. So the best you can do is keep asking the question and get everyone opinion. Honestly when I started in ebiking 3 years ago I was going to go with a hub motor but then I came to my senses and bought a chain drive and have been very happy with it (all 4 of them). Actually I am just finishing up on a new project that has 2 chain drive motors on it. Each motor is geared differently. One for torque and one for speed but thet can both actually be run together. So should I now say I have 5 chain drive systems? LOL

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    Dumbass, well, I read something about someone needing his cyclone motor to be in some kind proper RPM range or it would overheat.

    Are all your chain driven e-bikes still working? What I meant by bending the frame was that some people with the cyclone kits have had trouble mounting their motors and they actually ended up squeezing the steel or aluminum tube that it was supposed to mount on.

    Dumbass, I read something about people with those cyclone motors needed to drop down to a 20 inch rim in order to prevent their motor from overheating. You never read that?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by morph999 View Post
    Dumbass, well, I read something about someone needing his cyclone motor to be in some kind proper RPM range or it would overheat.

    Are all your chain driven e-bikes still working? What I meant by bending the frame was that some people with the cyclone kits have had trouble mounting their motors and they actually ended up squeezing the steel or aluminum tube that it was supposed to mount on.

    Dumbass, I read something about people with those cyclone motors needed to drop down to a 20 inch rim in order to prevent their motor from overheating. You never read that?
    Well Morph I think your confusing the Cyclone motors with hub motors. There is no reason to down size the rim with a cyclone kit but I've heard a lot of people looking to do it with hub motors becasue they can't get enough torque. THe problem is a trade off with a hub motor (good torque or higher speed) But that's why you are connecting a chain driven motor to the gear system so you have the best of all worlds. I ride a lot of bike trails and I have watched people get off there bikes and walk the bike up some of the short hills on the trails. But I have never had to do that wven with my little 360w Cyclones motors.

    As you well know any moter even a good gear motor can overheat if it is over voted or over loaded. But again this is as least as common to happen on a hub motor then on a chain motor.

    Yes all 4 of my chain setups are still running. @ of them are 3 or 4 years old (cyclone kits) and the other 2 (Currie) are a year old.

    You are correct.....As I mentioned the Cyclone mount can damage the frame tube if you do not mount it correctly. This is what I did with one of my bikes. Again it's not the problem of the kit but of the way it way incorectly installed. But I have read 100 reports about hub kits damaging the fork dropout for every 1 chain kit problem. That's why even you recommended to be sure to upgrade the dropout if using a hub motor.

    Like I said there are pros and cons with both setups. A person has to deside what they prefer and what the intended use is for the bike. I would like to have a more quite motor like a hub system but I would never give up the advantages of having an adjustable geared setup of a chain driven system.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    I would agree with dumbass. As for safety, even the hub motor aficionados at Endless Sphere will admit that mounting a hub motor on the fork, even steel forks, is potentially dangerous. A hub motor can distort the dropouts on steel forks, not just the cast dropouts on aluminum forks. That's why a torque arm is essential. However, I've read posts and seen photos where front wheels have come off even with torque arms installed.

  7. #7
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    The only real advantages hub motors have is their simplicity, and a slight efficiency advantage if run at speed over long stretches without starts and stops.

    Chain drives require a transmission, and usually a custom installation. There are very few chain drives available as kits compared to hub motors. The real high quality stuff means a DIY approach. If you're not riding a 26" wheel bike chain drive is alot better since hubs a made for 26" rims mostly and everyone else has to "make do" with the speed/torque balance. Its very easy to chance that balance with gearing on a chain drive.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CowtownPeddler's Avatar
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    OMG guys... You'd never know you were friends...

    Okay, a hub motor's top speed is limited by the volts (RPM, then multiply by the rim size and you have a set top speed) and torque by Amps draw, a combination of controller and battery C rating, etc - ultimately, the same limitations apply to both technologies.

    The geared motor's top speed depends on where it's interfaced in the system, gear ratios, and such. At this point, you realize that torque in a different gear becomes "variable."

    Not sure what a geared system would weigh, but from what I saw, it could ultimately be less than a 28lb hub setup.

    Wind resistance is next - the faster you go, the more wind resistance, torque requirement and so on.

    I think new's setup is rear mounted, so it doesn't take advantage of the front gear ratio - front mounted systems require an upgrade to a freewheeling bottom bracket (just replaced mine and it's not fun).... At that point, I would point you at some of the RC plane motors for speed/torque/strength ratio pwnage.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CowtownPeddler's Avatar
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    I should say - I haz a rear mounted hub motor....

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    Its noted that hub motors are nowhere near as good on the hills would you like to drive your car up a hill in near top gear now peddle to help that motor you might think like i did why all the weight i could do better with just no motor at all .Driving from the crank & Worlds best is Cyclone say 1200 w(48v) but your government laws can dictate 300w is max in our country & 500w is the same size so thats what as a cyclist is best but 1200(48v) wow it must go which i'll get next.

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