Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

New to e-bikes - A couple basic questions.

Notices
Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.
 Magic Cycle

New to e-bikes - A couple basic questions.

Old 07-14-18, 03:58 PM
  #1  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
New to e-bikes - A couple basic questions.

Iíve started doing some bike delivery and decided Iím putting down enough miles that an e-bike kit would be nice. My goal is ~30mi range. I donít mind helping with pedal assist getting going and when hills start to get steeper, but Iíd rather not have to be pedaling all the time. Lastly, and most importantly, I donít have a ton of money to throw into this experiment. If it all works out great Iíll upgrade to a better system in the future.

My questions are is an ebike fine to ride in the rain? Would the 36v motor be enough power to not need to pedal most of the time in a fairly flat area? Will a 15Ah battery get me around my 30mi range goal? I weigh ~150lbs. And the kit Iím looking at says 250-350w kit in the title, but 250w motor in the specs. Thoughts? This is the kit and battery Iím looking at. Let me know if you know of something decent for cheaper.
Kit - https://www.greenbikekit.com/electri...-bike-kit.html
Battery - https://bmsbattery.com/ebike-battery...r-battery.html
Also, are batteries like that generally easily removable to take inside to charge or do I need to bring the bike in the charge it?
3speed is offline  
Old 07-14-18, 04:24 PM
  #2  
InTheRain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 1,982

Bikes: 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 (bionx), 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 6 Posts
Let's just say, "you'll get what you pay for." I'd say, save your money... you aren't going to have an e-bike experience with that kit that is anything like a mid-level e-bike that you'll get from a dealer experienced in e-bikes. Today's mid level e-bikes ride like a new honda accord. You're trying to pay for a 1980's yugo and expect that it'll be nearly the same thing. Yes, that kit might work... but it's not anything like the e-bikes that are available today. Go ride one of these to introduce yourself to e-bikes. They are what I would call "mid-level."

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/sh.../ecityvadomens

If you aren't excited about pedaling, I'd suggest a 50cc scooter instead (I have one of those also, just for those few occasions when I need to get around quicker and don't feel like pedaling.)

Last edited by InTheRain; 07-14-18 at 04:30 PM.
InTheRain is offline  
Old 07-14-18, 09:38 PM
  #3  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
I think riding in the rain sucks. How it would get any better on an ebike, I wouldn't know. The most vulnerable part on an ebike, especially the kits, are the LED/LCD controls which have some electronics inside. Also switches. I put a bag over mine when transporting bikes in the rain. The throttle is also somewhat vulnerable.

I've converted over a half dozen regular bikes to ebikes. If you start with a nice riding bike with good brakes and gears, you will probably get a decent ebike. These motors are ridden by millions of riders in China. They work fine for what you get. You get a bike that's good for riding around in a city at slightly faster than bike speeds. The motor takes off the edge off of pedaling. 12 mph feels like you're pedaling at 8 mph.15 mph is easy too, but faster speeds result in a high cadence unless you got road bike gearing.

These are \250W to 500W geared hub motors. These can be easily pedalled if the battery is flat, but are limited in speed to about 20 mph at 36V and 24 mph on 48V on throttle alone. There are 1000-2000W direct drive motors that weigh 14-16 pounds alone, and will push 30 mph. They are a bear to pedal w/o battery and use up your battery faster. Never owned one.

This is my first conversion. It's a 36V 10AH battery ($280) and 500W motor/wheel/kit ($199) . Got them on ebay in 2015. The bike is a Trek I've owned since 1992. It rides quiet. Gears are like butter. Brakes are fine for the bike's top speed. I've not had the motor out of the bike since I put it in. Maybe 1200 miles. It has no display other than a console to indicate battery life and assist level. I don't ride it in winter any more, but battery life is like a third less when it's freezing. I can get close to 30 miles on the 10AH battery, so I expect you could get your range with 15AH in a hillier area. Since this photo, I've added an inexpensive front suspension so I can get a little softer ride.



If you start with a junker bike, and I have also done that, you get something where you pull the shifter and the chain falls off. You squeeze the brakes and the wheels shudder. Work with a decent donor bike and you should be OK.

Shipping from Greenbike and also BMSbattery is quite expensive you know. I bought the Q128H motor from BMSBattery. but it's still sitting on my bench. I have no bike to put it in.

These kit motors will not have the torque sensors in the pedals found on high end bikes. some owners gotta have that. I've ridden them and they are nice, but I'm fine with the cadence sensors used on most kits.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-15-18, 04:28 PM
  #4  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
By the way, being in Madison, there's an ebike shop in town where you can take a demo. Try their lower end EG models, which are pretty similar to a kit bike. We bought one in 2015. One of their 250W or 500W hub drives will perform very comparable to what you can get from a kit. Might have a used model you can buy for under $1000.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-16-18, 07:22 AM
  #5  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,674
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 436 Posts
Agree with DW; EG has good bikes in the lower price ranges. A friend purchased one and has nothing but good things to say. Also, I've converted bikes with mid-drives, front hubs and rear hubs (even the dreaded 48V, 1000w YES COM $200 direct drive system which is beastly heavy, but performs very well --- 33+ mph with a 52V battery, and no problems in three years of use).
2old is offline  
Old 07-17-18, 08:06 PM
  #6  
MikeyMK
Cycleway town
 
MikeyMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Milton Keynes, England
Posts: 1,402

Bikes: 2.6kw GT LTS e-tandem, 250w Voodoo, 250w solar recumbent trike, 3-speed shopper, Merlin ol/skl mtb, 80cc Ellswick

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Liked 169 Times in 117 Posts
Pedalling is the most comfortable form of cruising. My e-bike is 2,000w and i regularly cruise at 30-45mph, but i still pedal.

There are two main reasons for doing so;
1) The pedals activate the motor. When i stop pedalling i have to use the throttle, which is less comfortable.
2) I say less comfortable because pedalling is the most comfortable way to sit in a sustained manner. You get reduced saddle discomfort, and keep a symmetry - remember, not pedalling, your legs are in two different places..

Obviously i don't put any effort into it. If i don't want to. Sometimes i do, just because i'm a 'push forward' kinda person. I run up stairs etc, so i like to be active. But still, pedal assist is the most natural and comfortable way to use an e-bike.
MikeyMK is offline  
Old 07-18-18, 04:56 AM
  #7  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
^ I did end up deciding on a 36v 500w kit with pedal assist. I was kind of thinking the same things you mentioned. It has that and a small lcd display for the pedal assist setting and battery level. It was cheap, but as long as it works for 3-6 months so I can get an idea of how I like using an e-bike then Iím happy.
Iím looking at a generic Chinese battery. Iím skeptical, but have read in a couple of different places that this site is decent. They have a warehouse here in the US and offer an 18 month repair or replace warranty - I would have to pay shipping back to US warehouse. Charger and Li-ion battery with 18650 cells with 13Ah rating for $200. Thoughts?

Last edited by 3speed; 07-18-18 at 08:21 PM.
3speed is offline  
Old 07-18-18, 06:22 AM
  #8  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
You're alllowed to name the potential vendors for feedback.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 06:15 AM
  #9  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
US No Taxfree shipping 36V 13 Ah Hairon ebike electrical battery pack with 42V 2A charger can working on 500W motor - PSWPOWER.com

This is the battery.

Will this quick release from my bike so I donít have to leave it on the bike if I go inside somewhere?
3speed is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 04:24 PM
  #10  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
I have purchased several controllers and the TSDZ2 motor from PSWpower. The product ships fairly quick and Paypal adds a comfort zone/ I did have a bad controller, but I had modified the wiring so I couldn't dispute that.

You're buying an inexpensive battery made with chinese cells. My first battery was similar, and actually came from PSWPpower when they were known as elifebike. Mine is a 36V 9AH battery, now 3 years old and working OK. I would prefer their 48V batteries with Samsung or LG cells vs the generic chinese cells. Another $100, but hard to go wrong with the name brand cells. Nonetheless, I have no complaints about my first battery. It was $280 shipped from China. By the way, all lithium batteries bring in some risk of fire and dealing with that is another topic. One reason to buy better grade batteries.

What motor did you have in mind?
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 04:45 PM
  #11  
Nightcap 
Senior Member
 
Nightcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brewster, MA
Posts: 161

Bikes: Bianchi Boardwalk, Specialized Roubaix, Dahon Speed D7, Specialized Roll Elite, Pedego City Commuter Platinum

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Pedalling is the most comfortable form of cruising. My e-bike is 2,000w and i regularly cruise at 30-45mph, but i still pedal.

There are two main reasons for doing so;
1) The pedals activate the motor. When i stop pedalling i have to use the throttle, which is less comfortable.
2) I say less comfortable because pedalling is the most comfortable way to sit in a sustained manner. You get reduced saddle discomfort, and keep a symmetry - remember, not pedalling, your legs are in two different places..

Obviously i don't put any effort into it. If i don't want to. Sometimes i do, just because i'm a 'push forward' kinda person. I run up stairs etc, so i like to be active. But still, pedal assist is the most natural and comfortable way to use an e-bike.
Um, unless you built your own electric motorcycle, you canít do 30-45 mph either in Milton Keynes or Les Etats Unis. The British limit is 25 kph (15.5 mph); the American limit is 20 mph. But my wife agrees that pedal assist is better than throttle.
Nightcap is offline  
Old 07-24-18, 01:46 AM
  #12  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
I have purchased several controllers and the TSDZ2 motor from PSWpower. The product ships fairly quick and Paypal adds a comfort zone/ I did have a bad controller, but I had modified the wiring so I couldn't dispute that.

You're buying an inexpensive battery made with chinese cells. My first battery was similar, and actually came from PSWPpower when they were known as elifebike. Mine is a 36V 9AH battery, now 3 years old and working OK. I would prefer their 48V batteries with Samsung or LG cells vs the generic chinese cells. Another $100, but hard to go wrong with the name brand cells. Nonetheless, I have no complaints about my first battery. It was $280 shipped from China. By the way, all lithium batteries bring in some risk of fire and dealing with that is another topic. One reason to buy better grade batteries.

What motor did you have in mind?
OK, I can't figure out this site. Is there a way to Not pay with paypal? They have a bunch of credit card logos, etc, at the bottom of their site, which implies to me that you can pay with a card. I can't find anything to click on that doesn't lead to paypal payment. Is there something obvious I'm not seeing here?

This is the kit I ended up going with. This one doesn't have any reviews, but their higher powered kit does and they seem to be good. I figured those reviews will probably fransfer to this one also.
https://www.amazon.com/Voilamart-Con...+kit+voilamart
3speed is offline  
Old 07-24-18, 03:45 PM
  #13  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
It's a direct drive motor you picked there. It's going to drag when not powered, because the magnets will inhibit coasting. In fact, someone comments in the Amazon page that it's like riding uphill when there's no power. I suspect most people ride the 1000W motors like motorbikes at 30 mph and don't worry about pedaling. This motor will not go that fast, and it might not climb too well on its own on steeper hills so you will have to help with the pedals. Personally, I have never cared to try a DD motor because I know I'd never ride it much.

I think you're into this for the utility anyway and not for the sport of biking. As long as your battery holds out, the food gets delivered. Direct drive has no moving parts to break like a geared motor so it ought to run and run.

If you set up a login on the pswpower website first, you can probably pay with a credit card.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-24-18, 04:21 PM
  #14  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,674
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 436 Posts
The "coasting inhibition" is a "drag" (pun intended by me at least), but you can activate the throttle minimally, just enough to overcome it and it's not a problem. I purchased an inexpensive DD kit like the one you reference just to see what it was like, and it's surprisingly well made IMO. There are individuals on endless sphere who claim 20,000 + miles with similar DD systems. My 48V, 1000w system climbs the hills in my vicinity like a scared goat on steroids, but they're not extreme like in San Francisco.
2old is offline  
Old 07-24-18, 09:34 PM
  #15  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
I was actually pretty surprised how decent of quality everything looks. I didnít expect much given the price. Iím considering this a cheap test before throwing, what would be to me, serious money at it for a nice e-bike. I figure if I find out I like the basic concept after a few months of curising around in nice weather with long days, Iíll invest in something nicer before the foul weather comes in and having a nice bike to ride will be more of a priority.

As for setting up an account there to use a card, I thought that too and registered, but I saw no change in payment options. Iím just gonna find something else. That battery didnít quite fit my frame and mounting it would have been a hassle anyway.
3speed is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 04:44 AM
  #16  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
I got everything on the bike tonight and took it for a test ride of a couple miles. I will say I didnít notice a lot of drag. The bike felt heavier, naturally, but it didnít feel like much electrical/magnet drag at all. There was one point when I went off of a sidewalk and two of the wire ends touched. All of the sudden there was a Lot of drag and could definitely feel the notchy feeling of the magnets passing in the motor. Otherwise it felt similar to when I load up bags for a bike-packing trip. That makes sense to me given that the kit is adding a lot of weight and slight motor drag to the bike.
3speed is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 10:20 AM
  #17  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
I've ridden the Stromers and Elby's with lower powered direct drive motors that feel like bikes when I turned the assist power off. Perhaps they keep the coils slightly energized and it would be different if the power were really off.

These kits are mass market in China, and in my opinion, arrive well packaged and are of good quality (aside from wobbly brake levers). Where they miss out is in the quality of the instructions. I've never seen polarities reversed on a battery or the colors on the motor wires be incorrect, as many of the ebike oldtimers who have been involved longer than me with ebikes will warn.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 07-30-18, 04:20 PM
  #18  
MikeyMK
Cycleway town
 
MikeyMK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Milton Keynes, England
Posts: 1,402

Bikes: 2.6kw GT LTS e-tandem, 250w Voodoo, 250w solar recumbent trike, 3-speed shopper, Merlin ol/skl mtb, 80cc Ellswick

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Liked 169 Times in 117 Posts
Originally Posted by Nightcap View Post


Um, unless you built your own electric motorcycle, you canít do 30-45 mph either in Milton Keynes or Les Etats Unis. The British limit is 25 kph (15.5 mph); the American limit is 20 mph. But my wife agrees that pedal assist is better than throttle.
I did, and i do, but it also has road legal mode as Speed-1 and cruising around in that is still best pedalling even in the very long top gear (pedalling is also legal requirement, no limit to how slow you can pedal afaik), and the act of pedalling meaningfully when going downhill or activating the brake sensor (without binding) increases the amps of regeneration charge back into the battery, too.
MikeyMK is offline  
Old 08-02-18, 08:21 PM
  #19  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
So I have a few longer rides on the bike now. Itís pretty great. The one thing I was wondering is if thereís a way to limit speed other than simply not using as much throttle. Obviously I can do that, but in the quest for maximum range per charge, it would be nice to have something that will keep me in the range I want. Iíve read that higher speed equals less distance, so Iíd rather not be running all out all the time. The kit has a built in speed limiter, but itís only ~12mph. It gets even slower up hills. With the speed limiter unhooked I end up going 20+. Ideally Iíd like to be right in the middle, around 16mph. Is there any sort of modification that would limit my speed to mid-teens/hr?
3speed is offline  
Old 08-03-18, 09:35 AM
  #20  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
With a decent controller, one can control the speed with the pedal assist level, but it sounds like your kit doesn't do so, as it doesn't have multiple levels, and the default level must be too strong. Does it go to max speed as soon as the pedals spin? I had a controller that worked like that, Had to scrap it.

You just have to get used to holding the twist throttle like a motorcyclist. If you're electrically inclined, you can wire in circuity to limit the voltage on the throttle as needed. The throttle output changes from 1V at rest to about 4 Volt at max.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 08-03-18, 03:02 PM
  #21  
3speed
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 22 Posts
Iíve just been experimenting with throttle for now. Iíll hook up the pedal assist tonight after work. I didnít even think to control it at the throttle. I was thinking more complicated than that. Would it be as simple as wiring a resistor in line to reduce the current flow or is it more complex than that? I know how to solder and have the slightest bit of electrical knowledge, but not much.
3speed is offline  
Old 08-03-18, 04:41 PM
  #22  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,674
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 739 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 436 Posts
I built a bike for a friend, and it had a t-speed switch wired into the throttle system. One could control throttle activity with this switch, although, as you say, the throttle is a potentiometer AFAIK and you can control it that way. My 1000w, 52V has a thumb throttle which I use to control speed.
2old is offline  
Old 08-03-18, 05:28 PM
  #23  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,320

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 156 Posts
Try the PAS. Maybe it works for you.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
phtomita
Electric Bikes
18
11-03-19 10:37 AM
Looncan
Electric Bikes
4
01-14-15 01:12 PM
Tallbear
Electric Bikes
3
04-29-12 04:57 PM
GTR2EBIKE
Electric Bikes
13
12-15-09 05:23 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.