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We've given up on the idea of ebikes for now

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We've given up on the idea of ebikes for now

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Old 05-18-18, 01:12 PM
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moth54
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We've given up on the idea of ebikes for now

Please bear in mind, that we realize that lithium batteries are relatively safe. I'm typing on a laptop running off AC power, but which has a battery in that is continuously recharged. (I use the battery for backup during power failures.)

But, the packs required to run ebikes are bigger, and that means, just that much more energy to 'run away.' And, my laptop is a brand I know, they've sold a bazillion, they have a huge interest in not undergoing another Apple/Dell recall - but if they do suspect something, they will do just that, issue a recall.

Meanwhile we had several nagging questions about the relatively inexpensive ebike we wanted to buy. The bike was fine. The motor was fine.

The battery and charger, uh, that's when the questions started.

How, with no detached or even attached garage with firewall, could we charge the battery pack given we'd be obliged to do it in a room which, if something did go wrong, could mean we set our house on fire? (Yes, we have alarmed smoke detectors in the house, but even so...) I suppose we could use a timer; add an ammo box to contain the packs (except they are supposed to need air to circulate around them, so the protective box couldn't be too tight.)

I also couldn't find out who made the battery in the bike or when it was made. I didn't know the brand of cells used, which considering how important it apparently is not to have metal dust contaminate the manufacturing process, would have been nice to know. I also didn't know who had assembled the pack and added the BMS (battery management system.) The battery charger supplied had a UL logo on it, but, it was supposed to be used only with a 'compatible' battery. Well, if I couldn't describe the battery, didn't know the manufacturer, except that it was sitting in an ebike assembled and distributed by XYZ, how could I check if it was compatible?

And this post , cited in another thread here, was the last straw.

I won the bad luck lotto here. It's not going too happen to each of us. That pack was fine, showing no symptoms of going low capacity, never discharged at high rate, never crashed or dropped. It simply had no reason to go off, even if it had been charging on a dumb power supply. Obviously something failed of course, but the usual result is not a fire, just a pack that shuts off in a half mile.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=87975&start=50

And I remembered why we fell in love with biking. Simplicity. Relatively low maintenance. Now, we're talking ammo boxes for the dang batteries while being charged, timers to keep one from accidentally overcharging, and life was starting to get complicated again...

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Old 05-18-18, 01:59 PM
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linberl
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When, and if, you are ready to reconsider, just purchase a bike with quality name brand batteries and controller. Most e-bike have removable batteries so you can just run a plug outside and charge them if you really worry about it. They take a few hours so grab your coffee and start 'em up early in the morning (while you are awake) and then ride away. Fwiw, I had a Prodecotech bike for a year and a half which I charged nightly and never had an issue; quality units have shut offs once the battery is properly charged. Buy something with recognized quality and you'll sleep better. And make sure your home fire extinguisher is serviced regularly, lol. Seriously, fires are rare compared to the # of bikes/batteries out there.
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Old 05-18-18, 02:42 PM
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moth54
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
When, and if, you are ready to reconsider, just purchase a bike with quality name brand batteries and controller. Most e-bike have removable batteries so you can just run a plug outside and charge them if you really worry about it. They take a few hours so grab your coffee and start 'em up early in the morning (while you are awake) and then ride away. Fwiw, I had a Prodecotech bike for a year and a half which I charged nightly and never had an issue; quality units have shut offs once the battery is properly charged. Buy something with recognized quality and you'll sleep better. And make sure your home fire extinguisher is serviced regularly, lol. Seriously, fires are rare compared to the # of bikes/batteries out there.
thanks for your reply. I do realize the fires are rare, and I don't want to rain on, or should that be, burn anyone's parade. We like the idea of ebikes. Unfortunately we've been through two fires (for other reasons) and believe me, that was two too many. So we're very wary.

The trouble is, if I've understood everything correctly, it seems we're not supposed to let the batteries fall below x percentage charge, and to store during winter with the batteries at something like 50 to 70 per cent. (In fact we were told to recharge once or twice a month throughout winter.) Running an extension cord outside, well when the snow is banked up outside, or when it is really cold, not sure how that would work. Not even sure about how the charging performance would be affected by the extension cord. So, we would be tempted to do it inside and once tempted...With a dedicated room, ideally with concrete floor, which we don't have, it would be less a concern. But the only place we have would inevitably be close to other stuff that would burn (our house is tiny, and while we struggle, the stuff still accumulates).

Also we tried finding out about the quality of the cells, chargers etc. in retail bikes and the staff don't seem to know. Certainly in this place the guy wasn't a confidence builder. (Example, he insisted we could take the folding bikes, with batteries, on a given airline and I know that isn't true, the airline's own website makes it very clear they won't.) But I take your point about quality bikes. The brand you mention, Prodecotech, at least gives the brand of batteries in their bikes (Samsung.) However, when I go to the Samsung website, it mentions nothing about battery packs devised for e bikes, only their phones. This is the hard part, trying to cross reference the source parts. (Yes, I know I'm anal. But I also went through two fires !)
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Old 05-18-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
thanks for your reply. I do realize the fires are rare, and I don't want to rain on, or should that be, burn anyone's parade. We like the idea of ebikes. Unfortunately we've been through two fires (for other reasons) and believe me, that was two too many. So we're very wary.

)
I get it. I'm going to direct you to a forum where the people know e bike batteries from a scientific point of view, user point of view, etc. These folks know their stuff. If you find a bike you like, you can always check in with them about the specific unit. You also may be able to get suggestions from other cold weather e-bike owners as well. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/vi...f039aad35f623d

There are battery specific forums (as above) and also ebike user forums. I've learned a TON from reading their postings. I'd bet if you post your concern you will find a number of solutions =)
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Old 05-19-18, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I get it. I'm going to direct you to a forum where the people know e bike batteries from a scientific point of view, user point of view, etc. These folks know their stuff. If you find a bike you like, you can always check in with them about the specific unit. You also may be able to get suggestions from other cold weather e-bike owners as well. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/vi...f039aad35f623d

There are battery specific forums (as above) and also ebike user forums. I've learned a TON from reading their postings. I'd bet if you post your concern you will find a number of solutions =)
Thanks again for your reply. and the link. You are right about 'endless sphere' it is a very rich source of information.

For many, ebikes are a way of staying in the bike game after various (human) body parts start to fail. That's a huge reward.

But I'm beginning to understand why the board promotes certain brands. It isn't that other brands might not be as good, it's getting the knowledge base about them to verify that they are 'as good' (or better, or worse).

Below is an example of the kinds of specifications I like to see about bikes, or for that matter about anything: detail and a standardized scale of relative performance. In this case, it is about how much water exposure is acceptable for a given rating, which tells one what would constitute abuse for the bike: Because simply being told, as we were, "Don't ride it in the rain" isn't much help, when rain could be a foggy drizzle or a downpour.

https://flx.bike/blogs/news/rain
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Old 05-19-18, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
Thanks again for your reply. and the link. You are right about 'endless sphere' it is a very rich source of information.

For many, ebikes are a way of staying in the bike game after various (human) body parts start to fail. That's a huge reward.

But I'm beginning to understand why the board promotes certain brands. It isn't that other brands might not be as good, it's getting the knowledge base about them to verify that they are 'as good' (or better, or worse).

Below is an example of the kinds of specifications I like to see about bikes, or for that matter about anything: detail and a standardized scale of relative performance. In this case, it is about how much water exposure is acceptable for a given rating, which tells one what would constitute abuse for the bike: Because simply being told, as we were, "Don't ride it in the rain" isn't much help, when rain could be a foggy drizzle or a downpour.

https://flx.bike/blogs/news/rain
Hopefully, as ebikes continue to gain popularity (more so in other countries) the info and ratings will improve. Often ratings apply to the motor but not the cables or connectors, so it's important to add protection to those points. I find this to be helpful in understanding water exposure: Water Proof, Water Resistant, and IPX - What Does It All Mean? - Outdoor Tech Blog
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Old 05-19-18, 10:13 AM
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Don't charge the battery until you are getting ready to ride the bike.
Buy quality... you get what you pay for.
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Old 05-29-18, 08:53 PM
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I started riding when I was four, and was in the hospital from falls twice before I was eight. Bike riding is not the safest activity anyway, and at my advanced age, the next serious fall could be my last. I ride less fast and more cautiously otherwise, but the electric is probably one of my safer rides for reasons cited above. Your battery matters are still important points to ponder and I'm going to brush up on bike battery safety. Ride defensively and stay safe, y'all.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:14 PM
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The chargers won't overcharge. The computer won't overdraw. I can actually set minimum voltage on my computer, I have it at 45v but could go down to 40v. I use Chinese computers, chargers and batteries on both bikes, never had anything miss a beat. Ensure your charger is double insulated (square-in-square symbol). I charge them in my living room, admittedly the plug socket is always switched off when charging is complete and i never charge when I'm out.
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Old 06-02-18, 05:53 PM
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Do you by any chance have a car in that garage ? Do you keep gasoline in the tank of that car? I'd be far more concerned about that than the energy stored in a battery. If an electric bike meets your needs for range or weight capacity or any other considerations I just don't see the incidence of catastrophic failure numbers that would dissuade me from buying a battery powered bike from a reputable vendor.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:49 AM
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I can understand the hassle of charging and planning required with an ebike over a conventional bikes simplicity. That said, the power assist far outweighs that hassle for me. Modern quality batteries with proper battery management systems and a quality smart charger shouldn’t be a safety issue. Personally I would still avoid most ebikes under about the $1,500 amount and do detailed research on any ebike purchase; especially the battery used and if you can use any battery pack with the ebike being considered. I only have ebikes that take any battery of proper voltage so I can select a battery of choice with quality cells, BMS and #S#P makeup. There is a steep learning curve with ebikes in general that a salesman pushing Chinese crap will not inform you of. He just wants to sell his inventory before it is outdated and worthless.

I will also state that adding a motor to an existing bike, means you always still have a pedal bike when you’re done with electric assist and don’t want it anymore or you have a motor issue that isn’t worth fixing. A manufactured ebike will never be a pedal bike, so many are basically disposable when there is a major issue or their proprietary battery fails. Something to keep in mind when considering which way to go...

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Old 06-13-18, 09:33 AM
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I don't think I have ever outlined, point by point, my decision not to do something to total strangers online. Unsolicited. I doubt they care very much about my particular set of idiosyncrasies, and I guess I am missing the gene that makes me want to influence the decisions other people make over what to do with their money, their safety or their lives.
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Old 06-16-18, 07:12 AM
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lots of sophisticated English here.
I charge my batteries at my house. has very relable HVC -high voltage cut off.
the thing is what kind of battery do you use on your bike.
Lithium Polymer is famous for fires not just on ebikes also RC hobby.
I would worry more about my car sitting in the garage with even half tank of gasoline which has much more energy than my ebike battery.
As like others wrote above buy from reputable seller brand name ebike 2000 dollars plus and you will be safe.
If you paranoid just charge in the fireplace .
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Old 06-21-18, 10:06 AM
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fire and brimstone

Been there, done that: bought ebay general replacement batteries for my Makita, set them in the Makita charger, and smoked up the garage. Plenty of fire to go with it, and lots of fire extinguisher residue to clean up.
Tesla cars have caught on fire.
I have 24 Nissan Leaf modules, they've proven very stable. They sit in the belly of the Leaf, NO air conditioning, no fan. I've not read of any incidents with them.
For my two Schwinn Tailwinds I've studied their Lithium Titanate literature and I like what they have to say, how the batteries perform, and how they're not the 18650 design.
But with ALL of them, my charging station sits away from the garage: it's a discarded cast aluminum bar-b-que that should contain the cannonfire when lithium goes incendiary. It's only been during a charging event that I've experienced the bad stuff.
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Old 06-22-18, 06:16 PM
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If you think the weanie 36V batteries on retail ebikes are scary you'd hate what I've got coming in the post from china...

Lithium batteries are entirely safe so long as they aren't used improperly, meaning that they aren't smacked around, aren't subjected to a bad charging circuit, and have a little bit of breathing space.

The way you use the battery in your laptop is pretty bad, although I don't blame you for not knowing. It's an open secret in the industry that taking a lithium battery up to 100% damages it, and leaving it there for a long time is very damaging. Going from about 10% to 80% charge makes them last twice as long before wearing out as if you go from 10% to 100%. 100% is really like making the Enterprise go Warp 9 - you can do it for a few minutes but Scotty will have a huge mess to clean up afterwards.

A sensible thing for the industry to do would be to limit batteries to 80% in the BMS and advertise them as only having such a capacity. But having them wear out prematurely creates replacement sales.
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Old 06-23-18, 09:42 AM
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I've got five eBikes, all which I've peeked inside. Some of real sketchy, with dry soldering, and some are pretty good. None are perfect yet somehow it all seems to work.

I have two fire detectors and a carbon monoxide detector, five fire extinguishers in my one bedroom apartment, two extinguishers in my car, and I still wonder if that's enough. I do had renters insurance for all of this.

Honestly having 5000 kWh of batteries, lipo and lithium, in my wood apartment feels sketchy as hell, it feels like a matter of when not if. Still, with all my electric propelled scooters and such, I love them all like they are my children.

If you have a concrete floor in a semi detached garage then that's ideal. Personally I just leave my batteries lying around on my wood flooring while charging (the room gets noticeably hot) which as visitors say is breathtakingly dangerous.
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Old 06-24-18, 03:30 PM
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by moth54 View Post
Meanwhile we had several nagging questions about the relatively inexpensive ebike we wanted to buy. The bike was fine. The motor was fine.
The battery and charger, uh, that's when the questions started.
I also couldn't find out who made the battery in the bike or when it was made. I didn't know the brand of cells used, which considering how important it apparently is not to have metal dust contaminate the manufacturing process, would have been nice to know. I also didn't know who had assembled the pack and added the BMS (battery management system.) The battery charger supplied had a UL logo on it, but, it was supposed to be used only with a 'compatible' battery. Well, if I couldn't describe the battery, didn't know the manufacturer, except that it was sitting in an ebike assembled and distributed by XYZ, how could I check if it was compatible?
And I remembered why we fell in love with biking. Simplicity. Relatively low maintenance. Now, we're talking ammo boxes for the dang batteries while being charged, timers to keep one from accidentally overcharging, and life was starting to get complicated again...
You get what you pay for. So cheap noname ebikes could lack the quality of external parts.
But you can stick to well known brands like Bosch or Yamaha.
By the way, my Bosch Pedelec has done 6000km without any service other than oild and replacement parts.
Batteries and charger have all the safety standards which apply in the European Union. Battery pack is made in Poland and has an up-to-date BMS.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't think I have ever outlined, point by point, my decision not to do something to total strangers online. Unsolicited. I doubt they care very much about my particular set of idiosyncrasies, and I guess I am missing the gene that makes me want to influence the decisions other people make over what to do with their money, their safety or their lives.
I intended to sleep on this for awhile because my first impulse was to reply in like tone, and my second impulse was to realize that doing so wouldn't improve things, it wouldn't make for a positive contribution.

Well, I've 'slept' for quite awhile. I must have been having fun (as I hope everyone else reading has had) because time has flown. Here we are, ten months on or so on, and I have these thoughts to contribute:

When people ask for opinions or advice, they arguably want, leisesturm, for their respondents to do exactly as you disparage - to outline, even a 'point for point' outline, why one might (for example) go to this movie or that one, vote for this candidate or that one, visit this country or that one, choose an ebike-specific product as opposed to a conversion, choose this brand or that one, follow this procedure or that habit - and often, indeed very often, their comments reflects their own preferences and perspectives, or to use your description, a particular set of idiosyncrasies. Sometimes they haven't even asked for an opinion, but they still read what someone (yes, even a stranger!) might have related regarding that latter person's own personal experience.

Ultimately all of the decisions I've listed above are personal ones. If the management of this board were to ban discussion of personal preferences and idiosyncrasies, on the grounds that someone perceives a threat to their autonomy over their time, money, and other resources, I submit there would be the sound of crickets on the board as nobody would be able to reply.

I believe a straw man argument is when a party points out the weaknesses of an argument that their discussion partner didn't actually advance. I do not agree that you have made a strong case for my trying to interfere with people's autonomy in the manner you have accused. I indicated I didn't want to try to dissuade anyone from ebiking ("not rain on anyone's parade" I see were the words I actually used) and I left the door open in my title to be persuaded or encouraged to get past my fears, i.e. I indicated only that we'd given up the idea ..."for now" [sic.]

I am certainly open to being persuaded on many things, ebiking being one of them.

Anyway, I appreciated the attempt all those months ago by various of my respondents to help put things in perspective by pointing out that a car also has a lot of stored energy. I valued those who grasped that fear isn't always rational, nor is it desired even by the party suffering from it. Sort of like people who know their fear of flying is irrational but they still get sweaty palms as they board the plane anyway - they know it would be in their better interests to get over their fear, but they are not likely to do so by being shamed out of it. Just a thought.

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