Looking for Suggestions
Hi! I'm new to ebiking, and biking in general really. But I'm wanting to get into it. I'm actually looking to get an ebike because I plan on becoming a world traveler when I turn 21, and wanted some sort of vehicle so I wouldn't have to rely on hitch hiking. I figured an ebike would be perfect, since I wouldn't have to pay for insurance or anything like that, can recharge it pretty much anywhere, and can pedal it if I'm unable to recharge it for some reason.
So, I'll need a bike to suit my journeys. It will have to be durable, able to handle a good bit of abuse and withstand a variety of climates. It'll need to be able to carry about the weight of two grown men, to accommodate myself and my supplies (and have a bit of endurance to spare.) I will need racks to attach my bags of supplies, or at least a frame that could securely accommodate racks I could put on myself. I would obviously like it to be as strong and fast as possible, although I understand that the law limits it to 20 MPH. Since opportunities to recharge my be far between, I would like a high charge capacity. A bike with relatively easy maintenance and repair would be mighty helpful as well.
Hm...the only other feature I could think of would be a left handed throttle instead of right, although this is just a very minor preference, at the absolute bottom of my list of needs out of this bike.
This may be a tall order for a single machine, but I believe in asking for exactly what you want and lowering your expectations bit by bit, until you find the possible. So, any suggestions?
"World Travel" has legal issues for e-bikes. They aren't legal everywhere and where legal the power and speed limits for legality vary considerably and some jurisdictions have special restrictions like PAS only systems.
"World Travel" has charging issues, you have to charge off of the electricity that is offered and it comes in a great variety of voltages, phases, and degrees of quality with a massive variety of plug styles. Some heavy duty surge protection capabilities are probably going to be mandatory where grid power has significant quality issues.
You may be better off with just a pedal only bike with a good low gear range, still faster then walking.
I'm no world traveler, but anything beyond 100-miles round trip and e-bikes are not an option for me and I do 600+ mile round trips by bike at least several times every year.
For those long trips if time is of the essence I use an micro internal combustion engine assisted bicycle that is a hybrid cycle that combines the human motor with the very small clean burning ultra high mileage internal combustion engine. Works just like an e-bike only with a micro internal combustion engine instead of an electric motor. 2-gallons of liquid internal combustion fuel (I mix in as much alcohol with the gas as possible) last hundreds of miles longer then an equivalent weight or size battery pack running an electric motor at similar power levels do and refueling is a whole lot faster then recharging.
If time is not of the essence then I will usually use either just a pedal only bike or a "hill climber helper only" e-bike where I only use a small amount of battery power on the occasional big hill and have to strictly ration myself so it actually lasts out the day with a small light weight battery pack.
Long story short, e-bikes don't have the range or endurance for all day long constant motor on power use for traveling long distances. Battery technology just isn't there yet. And the only reason I can use the micro internal combustion option is because its legal in my area. Not going to be legal in a lot of other places (at least not unless its registered and licensed and insured as a motorcycle even though its more bicycle then motorcycle).
You could probably go 120+ miles on one of these things per day as long as there's sunshine... ttp://www.hi-powercycles.com/
Solar power, interesting, but expensive. I also noticed the folding bike, I didn't know those existed. Do those have any major problems, or are they fairly sound? Something like that would let me hitch hike too.
Folders are good so long as you buy a good one, some of the cheaper ones just don't last.
I personally can average about 300 miles per day on my human/micro-IC hybrid powered bikes per day including climbing the occasional mountain with both running the motor constantly and pedaling strong and steady traveling from just before dawn to just after dusk. For a pedal only bike, cut that down to 200 miles max on the flat, cut it down further for where there are hills, and definitely no more then 100 miles if I've got to climb a mountain pass pedal only powered. E-bike with hill climber only helper motor which doesn't add much extra weight basically pushes the hills and even mountain passes it back towards the 200 mile per full day on the flat that I know I'm capable of. For full blow e-bikes with the extra weight its all about the range capabilities of the batteries. So far 100-miles range capability with a big battery and either a small motor or running a motor on low power is about the best I've been able to do and 60-miles range capability for an e-bike is far more of an achievable long range goal although many off the shelf designs struggle to provide half of that even !!!
In my mind e-bikes (with the exception of hill helper only builds) are short range vehicles that provide better speed then possible by human power alone for the ranges they are capable of.
Someday battery technology may get to the point where electric bikes and cars can run a 14+ hour day at full speed and be recharged and ready to go again in less then 6-hours recharge.
That day is not today.
I've got one cargo bike in my fleet that is capable of doing half of that with a 7-hours endurance if you don't run the motor at full power all the time and keep pedaling strong yourself. That's the closest I've been able to come with current technology without things getting ridiculous. But to accomplish that I have to load it up to full with all battery pack sockets full up (modular battery system) which is just barely under 50-lbs of batteries to do that and it doesn't go very fast only averaging about 15-mph when loaded unless its really flat and I don't loose time and power climbing hills which on the east side of my state where it is really flat I once was able to squeeze out a little over 170 miles out of it but I also had favorable winds to my back as well as the long flat plains that allowed me to have a higher then average speed and lower power usage on the motor. On a cargo bike that kind of battery load and lower speeds is acceptable but not on a regular e-bike at least not in my mind.
Left handed throttle works great. Usually because the shifter is on ur right side and it just is easier to work the brakes too.