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Thread: New to E-Bikes

  1. #1
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    New to E-Bikes

    Just looked at some videos on youtube of some really powerful e-bikes and am interested in putting something together. I am completely new to this whole concept and after browsing this forum for the last hour as well as other sites, I am looking to improve my understanding of e-bikes.

    I am eventually looking at putting something together capable of doing at least 50mph, preferably more with a range of at least 30 miles.

    What kind of battery would I need as well as motor and how am I best getting started?

    Is there any specific kind of bicycle I should be looking for that I play around with?

    Thanks!

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    For that speed you need to step up to a motorcycle.
    After 25 or so miles per hour you need to be tagged as a moped or motorcycle. You also need the stouter frame, brakes, and other components to be safe.

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    This is for off-road use. Already ride a R1 which unfortunately doesn't give me access to the trails and scenery in my small town.

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    50 mph and off road is going to be beyond the capacity of a bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loltrafficlaws View Post
    Just looked at some videos on youtube of some really powerful e-bikes and am interested in putting something together. I am completely new to this whole concept and after browsing this forum for the last hour as well as other sites, I am looking to improve my understanding of e-bikes.

    I am eventually looking at putting something together capable of doing at least 50mph, preferably more with a range of at least 30 miles.

    What kind of battery would I need as well as motor and how am I best getting started?

    Is there any specific kind of bicycle I should be looking for that I play around with?

    Thanks!
    50MPH+ off road bike, with a range of more than 30 Miles... http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/ca/?g...FShxQgod0HEAdQ
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    Going "only" 50km/h makes me scary
    I do not think even high end MB frame can be safe at 50mh

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    I don't feel safe going much over 20mph on a bike, it just isn't made for it. If someone was going along at 30 on a bike path I'd be screaming at them. No one expects that so it's extra dangerous.

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    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    What you need is the Stealth Hurricane H4.5. It will do 50 mph with a range of (as the company says) 45 to 50 miles. But it will cost you 7,700 USD.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

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    Quote Originally Posted by loltrafficlaws View Post
    Just looked at some videos on youtube of some really powerful e-bikes and am interested in putting something together. I am completely new to this whole concept and after browsing this forum for the last hour as well as other sites, I am looking to improve my understanding of e-bikes.

    I am eventually looking at putting something together capable of doing at least 50mph, preferably more with a range of at least 30 miles.

    What kind of battery would I need as well as motor and how am I best getting started?

    Is there any specific kind of bicycle I should be looking for that I play around with?

    Thanks!
    Have you looked here?

    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/

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    dgk02,
    you mean Mountain MTB bikes ?
    or road bike which can easly travel at 30mph pedalled by strong rider?
    there are bike paths and bike paths, one bearly 1m wide with broken asphalt and there are long stright wide path streaches with no people on them for kilometer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powell View Post
    dgk02,
    you mean Mountain MTB bikes ?
    or road bike which can easly travel at 30mph pedalled by strong rider?
    there are bike paths and bike paths, one bearly 1m wide with broken asphalt and there are long stright wide path streaches with no people on them for kilometer.
    I mean normal bike paths and roads here in NYC. What happens when you hit a pothole or some garbage when you hit it on a bike at 30 mph?

    But the thing I really dislike about a 50 mph "bike" is that it will make it tougher for those of us using regular ebikes that only go 20 or so. Lots of calls for licensing, registration, insurance, and so on. Folks think ebikes and lump them together.

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    Ego
    I see your point

  13. #13
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    I regularly ride a road bike at 30mph in training group rides with people who race regularly. It is quite a workout. Top speed on flat ground is about 40mph. I do prefer the velodrome because there are no potholes there. and no brakes either ;-)

    We do live in a short window of zero regulation in the US. The day comes when someone seriously gets hurt (or hurts someone else) on an ebike is when you will see all the laws change. Enjoy it while you can, and if we all ride responsibly maybe we can minimize the regulation. Technically in the US you are not allowed to go over 20MPH on an ebike (private property exempted).

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    Yes and the 20mph fed limit on an ebike is absurd. Its not too hard to exceed 20 on a pedal bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CigTech View Post
    What you need is the Stealth Hurricane H4.5. It will do 50 mph with a range of (as the company says) 45 to 50 miles. But it will cost you 7,700 USD.
    Looked into Stealth quite greatly but if I have 7,700USD to throw around, it's going towards a motorcycle or car. Looking in the range of $3,000 tops for an e bike. My specs that I desire probably exceed what's realistic to expect for the money I want to put into it but the closer I can get to those specs, the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by rotiferuk View Post
    Have you looked here?

    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/
    Yes. Very good information over there and have already started pricing things out and looking at exactly what I need.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgk02 View Post
    I mean normal bike paths and roads here in NYC. What happens when you hit a pothole or some garbage when you hit it on a bike at 30 mph?

    But the thing I really dislike about a 50 mph "bike" is that it will make it tougher for those of us using regular ebikes that only go 20 or so. Lots of calls for licensing, registration, insurance, and so on. Folks think ebikes and lump them together.
    I obviously won't go 50mph in front of everyone or in traffic, but when I hit a stretch where there's no one, I am going for it. Also might do it on a highway where there's a speed limit in excess of 60mph. I'll probably do around 30-40mph and no one is going to be able to know the differential.

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    That isn’t an e-bike, it is an e-motorcycle. endless-sphere is where the extreme people go (and people with some pretty deep technical knowledge).

    Your big expense is going to be battery, and that is going to determine your range. The more amph/hours the greater the expense and greater the range.

    You need a good steel framed mountain bike with some incredibly good brakes. Most people recommend a bike with disk brakes for those speeds. Getting a solid hub motor and a high voltage battery can get you close to those speeds. Just taking a 48v 1000 watt system and overvolting it to 60volts is relatively straight forward and can get you 40mph right there.

    But regardless what you do, the bicycles are not designed for being electric motorcycles, sooner or later something is going to break when you are doing 50 mph, and you are going to seriously hurt yourself or kill yourself.

    Are you in the US? The speed limit on e-bikes is 20mph. Technically above that you need to license the vehicle if you use it on public roads. If you are doing 30-40 mph, people will know you are riding an unlicensed motor vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    Are you in the US? The speed limit on e-bikes is 20mph. Technically above that you need to license the vehicle if you use it on public roads. If you are doing 30-40 mph, people will know you are riding an unlicensed motor vehicle.
    Canada. The area where I live has as many trails as there are streets. I said previously that I wouldn't push 30-40mph where I blend in or where there's public presence. On a highway where everyone is doing 60mph+, 30-40mph looks like you're crawling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
    . . . Are you in the US? The speed limit on e-bikes is 20mph. . .
    A slight clarification on that one. Federal requirements in the U.S. limit the speed of commercially built and sold complete e-bikes to 20-mph if they want to sell them with no additional requirements, licensing, inspections, regulations to meet, etc . . . beyond that of regular pedal only bicycles. Which means home-built are exempt from that Fed. requirement which only applies to commercial manufactures and even commercial manufactures can build ones that go faster if they are willing to meet the more stringent standards that apply to Mo-Peds and scooters.

    The actual "street legal" standards are set by each of the individual 50-states in the U.S. For example my state (MT) allows a 30-mph maximum speed but has the additional requirements of the motors power not exceeding 2-hp (1,492-watts) and also requires that the drive system function "directly or automatically only and does not require clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged". Since it uses the exact wording "does not require" that is generally interpret as it is okay to have a mid-drive that runs through the bikes gears so long as you can pull away from a dead stop in any of the gears and thus you don't "have to shift" if you don't want too. Other states have other exact rules for what is and is not street legal, many adopt the 20-mph top speed that is in the Fed. manufacturers standards but not all of them. The vast majority (including my state) require that the pedal drive continue to be on the bike and continue to be usable for it to be street legal, I think that is a very good requirement personally. Some states like Texas also limit the maximum weight of an e-bike to some sensible amount.

    Basically, check your state laws and don't go just by the Fed. manufactures requirements since that technically applies to the manufacturer not the end user (you) as far as street legal requirements.

    Obviously for off-road use your options are pretty open, but if you want to use trails in a national forest or on state owned forest trust lands or such you will have to check with the agency in charge of that section of public owned land. Usually they will treat anything with a motor including an e-bike the same as an ATV (4-wheeler, etc . . .)
    Last edited by turbo1889; 04-24-13 at 08:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loltrafficlaws View Post
    Canada. The area where I live has as many trails as there are streets. I said previously that I wouldn't push 30-40mph where I blend in or where there's public presence. On a highway where everyone is doing 60mph+, 30-40mph looks like you're crawling.
    Yes, 32 KMs/Hr is crawling, on the roads in general, but that is where the limit is set in Canada for an E-assist bicycle... you want to go 50MPH/80 Km Hr. That's NOT an E assist bicycle, it's a motorbike... Insurance, registration, licence is required... I would be ecstatic with 40 KMs/Hr limit but that is not the way it's set up and was pissed off as to the why not, as that speed does seem a bit too slow? ... And now... I understand the reason, it's set up the way it is... It's because of people like YOU...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 04-25-13 at 10:58 AM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    Did I mention you might kill yourself? You wouldn’t be the first person on a homemade e-bike to die. Bike tires are not designed for that amount of speed. A sudden blowout at 50mph is going to hurt. Or, break your front fork or headset doing something the bike wasn’t designed to do, and you are going down hard. There is an impressive video out there somewhere about a downhill rider trying to set a record when the front end of his bike gave way. It wasn’t pretty. No bicycle is designed for a motor, and once you get above 30mph, you are starting to go outside of their design specification, and certainly when you start adding all of this weight to it you are pushing the design limits even farther.

    Seriously, 30mph is pretty fast for a bicycle based e-motorcycle (and too fast for some of the cheaper off brand bikes). If you are careful you might even not get into trouble with the law. But, if you are doing 30mph without pedaling, it is pretty obvious to anyone watching you that you will need a vehicle and operators license.

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    Here's the problem with off road and ebikes: front hub motors are awful from a design standpoint*, you need a full gear range and the rear drive hubs will severely limit that, and mid drive motors (which will allow you feed their power through the bike's gearing and give you the torque you need for climbing) require a custom built frame. And the mid-drive units are hard to come by; you really have to custom build one. Next problem is batteries. You want them low for good balance. Racks are a poor place for them because it gives you a high CG and puts a lot of stress on the rear triangle. Again, one needs a custom frame.

    50+ mph. Look at bicycles that typically go 50 mph (downhill bikes). You are adding a motor and battery weight to that, so one needs to use a downhill frame as a bare minimum starting point. Without modification a downhill frame is going to run $3k. You will be lucky to prototype a 50mph ebike for the price of that $7.7k emotorcycle posted earlier.

    *--front hub motors suffer from their placement on the bike frame. Typically a bike transfers its power to the ground through the rear wheel. That wheel is mounted to the main triangle at 4 points along one of the triangle's long axises, 2 seat stays, 2 chain stays. One's headset is mounted to the frame at one point and rather than the stress being distributed along a long axis it is concentrated at the corner of the main triangle. On top of that it is mounted to the end of the fork which is a long fulcrum arm. Even starting slowly you are putting hundreds if not thousands of pounds of stress through the headset every time you touch the throttle.

    Also front hubs are poor choices for off road use because of ride characteristics. One needs to be able to raise the front wheel to clear obstacles. Hard to do when you loose power as soon as the front wheel leaves the ground.
    Last edited by Allen; 04-25-13 at 12:52 PM.

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    It is all about pedaling
    Popular perception is that if you pedal it must be a bicycle

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Also front hubs are poor choices for off road use because of ride characteristics. One needs to be able to raise the front wheel to clear obstacles. Hard to do when you loose power as soon as the front wheel leaves the ground.
    Not to mention, lifting a front wheel under front wheel power is a common way of breaking your front fork. The sudden jolt when the wheel regains traction often snaps the wheel right off the fork.

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    My observation is that there are two kinds of folks looking to use ebikes. One is like me, older or otherwise finding that regular biking is a bit too demanding. I find that 30 miles r/t commuting, with hills and headwinds, is a bit much for being 61. The other kind of folks are those that have lost their drivers license and are looking to get places as quickly and dangerously as they did before they lost their license. With a nic like lootrafficlaws, I would guess that the OP falls into category 2.

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    A mechanic told me once there are two types: The weenies and the geeks.

    The weenies are kinda lazy and just want something easy. Lack of complexity and lack of maintenance are important, as they just want something to make life easier. This is the bulk of people he sees in his shop.

    The geeks are tinkerers who like to experiment and modify and try something new. Most of the people here may fall into that category – they are often pushing the boundaries and the limits.

    I would say there is probably a 3rd category – people who don’t have the strength that they used to have and still want to enjoy biking like they have much of their life.


    Or, I could break it down to the people who want to pedal (and generally have motors around 250 watts) and people who would rather have an electric moped and have motors of 500 watts or more.

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