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Old 01-18-19, 03:40 AM
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E-Bike Wisdom

With lithium battery technology advancing each and every day, would it be wise to spend the $$ to acquire an E-bike today?

Are these bikes readily upgradeable to battery advancements without having to spend a small fortune swapping out other major integral parts (Will I desire an entirely new e-bike 5 years down the road)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-18-19, 05:44 AM
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48V (or 36V, 52V. . . I can go on; but I am sure that you get the point) is going to be the same. So, there probably won't be a need for any major changes. If you are able to tinker, or know someone who is, you can upgrade the battery technology with no other big changes, other than the possibility of a new charger.

That being said, stay away from any Sealed Lead Acid, sometimes called Gell Cell, they are a dead end. However, they can, and should, be upgraded to modern batteries. So, I wouldn't worry much. The only technology change that will affect your e-bike is battery technology, and those are generally upgradable.

There will be better bikes (I forsee Mid Drive with torque sensors taking over the market), however, your e-bike won't suddenly stop working.
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Old 01-18-19, 09:21 AM
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Most ebikes are good these days. Mine came with a 2 year warranty and free lifetime service adjustments. I figure in 2 or 3 years I'll upgrade/replace the battery or just purchase a new ebike if there is enough advancements to warrant a new bike. You can find some good deals on ebikes right now. I got mine for $2k and it's from Trek so I feel confident they'll stand behind it. I don't know why I waited so long to purchase an ebike. I honestly don't expect that much change from lithium batteries in the near future. I hope the prices drop because that's the most expensive part of the bike.
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Old 01-18-19, 03:06 PM
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I wouldn't, and don't, worry about it. Speaking as a EE, but not involved with lithium ion batteries in my career, it doesn't look to me like the battery tech is improving much at all. Maybe you get a couple of percent better capacity next year, but it's certainly not like "Moore's Law" from the old days in computer performance, doubling every couple of years (although we hit Moore's law's limits in computers about a decade ago).
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Old 01-26-19, 10:15 AM
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+1

Batteries will get better at energy density. But voltage is voltage. It can't magically be something else. And since all modern batteries are groups of cells, they can be rebuilt, upgraded in the same case and re-inserted into frame or mount. Battery replacement is the maintenance item for e-systems.

Not to worry. Your bike can live a long time
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Old 01-26-19, 02:06 PM
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If you have bike skills, consider a kit. You will be spending ˘˘˘ or maybe $ on ebikes, rather than $$, At worst, you give it away or sell it w/o losing much money. Buy a good battery and you can use it elsewhere.

I'm seeing products on amazon now that now have wiring packages like production ebikes, as opposed to the junky connectors that required more electrical skills to figure out and assemble.
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Old 01-26-19, 02:52 PM
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I wouldn't buy one now with the idea you might want one in the future.

I think the issue will be generic vs proprietary parts. There will be special battery packs/mounts that might be maintained for a decade, then just go away.

You may be able to rebuild an old battery pack with new batteries, or fit an auxiliary battery into a rear trunk bag. But, may not be able to get "vintage" OEM battery packs in the future.

As with everything, the E-Bikes will depreciate. Drop $4K now, and in a couple of years (or weeks), you'll have a $2K bike. And, in a few more years, a $1K bike, and a bit longer, a $500 bike, and wait more, and you'll have troubles giving the thing away.

Buy the bike & technology that you need today.
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Old 01-26-19, 03:02 PM
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if i were to wait for $500 ebike i'd be dead.
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Old 01-26-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by antokelly
if i were to wait for $500 ebike i'd be dead.
I see them pop up on Craigslist and at local Thrift Stores from time to time. Usually not fully functional (battery issues?), but one can find low priced E-Bikes if one hunts.
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Old 01-26-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I see them pop up on Craigslist and at local Thrift Stores from time to time. Usually not fully functional (battery issues?), but one can find low priced E-Bikes if one hunts.
ah i'm on the other side of the pond CliffordK ,i see ebike coming up every now and again but 1500 euro cheapest i spotted was around 750euro but looks terrible.
i have a couple of top quality bikes Terry Dolan carbon road bike and Thorn Audax neither of which i ride anymore because on bad back, so a good ebike would suit me fine.even if i sold my 2 lovely bikes i still could not afford a quality ebike.
something wrong somewhere me thinks.joe public being ripped off yet again.
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Old 01-26-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by antokelly
if i were to wait for $500 ebike i'd be dead.
Yesterday Hobby King had a good-looking one (250w, Samsung batteries) for $300; sold out and now priced at $888. Check endless sphere where an individual who purchased one discusses it.
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Old 01-26-19, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by antokelly
ah i'm on the other side of the pond CliffordK ,i see ebike coming up every now and again but 1500 euro cheapest i spotted was around 750euro but looks terrible.
i have a couple of top quality bikes Terry Dolan carbon road bike and Thorn Audax neither of which i ride anymore because on bad back, so a good ebike would suit me fine.even if i sold my 2 lovely bikes i still could not afford a quality ebike.
something wrong somewhere me thinks.joe public being ripped off yet again.
I was saying used prices do, and will crash. And, electronic/mechanical devices are worst for holding their values.

Here are a couple of local bikes for about $700.
https://corvallis.craigslist.org/bik...784652778.html

https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/...803895317.html

But, I'm sure I've seen more battered ones for less.

As far as being "ripped off"... it is all new. The builders will milk it for what it is worth for a while. Then who knows, the prices may crash on new bikes. Especially as more used bikes in good condition start flooding the market. Department Stores?

One issue is that quality lithium ion battery packs are still very expensive, and can cost several hundred, although costs may be slowly coming down (or not increasing with inflation).
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Old 01-27-19, 08:39 AM
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Some eBike battery suppliers don't think that cell prices will go down for any particular reason. They might even go up. This is because there is enough demand or potential demand to keep up with any reasonable increase in supply. I figure holding out for battery costs to go down is fruitless. Just take the plunge!
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Old 01-27-19, 09:37 AM
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Battery prices and technology seem to have stabilized over the last several years. There have been hints of potential breakthroughs, and I thought that Tesla's $400 million battery facility would be promising with trickle down to e-bikes, but nothing yet. For now, I complete most off road rides (15 or so miles, 2,500' ascending) with a Luna "mini", 3.5 pounds, 52V, 6 ah which is adequate for me.

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Old 01-27-19, 06:18 PM
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there are people searching desperately for higher energy densities, but nothing to exciting that I've seen. Lithium batteries have made improvements in charge/discharge area, but that's not a fundamental improvement that would be worth waiting for. your replacement battery will be better, that's all
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Old 01-27-19, 10:13 PM
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@2old, Luna MIni and BBS02 mid drivekit for $650. I bought them separately. Paid about $530 for the BBS02 in 2016 and $330 for the Mini the following year. Funny. I've never run the BBS02 on the Mini. At my speeds, I estimate 25-30 mile range on 6AH. Yeah, I'm slow.

https://lunacycle.com/bafang-bbs02-sale/
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Old 01-27-19, 10:41 PM
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DW; thanks for the information, but I have enough of them. I used a GT Zaskar donor bike with carbon fork and light wheels for the BBS02/"mini" combe. Total weight < 35 pounds.

Last edited by 2old; 01-27-19 at 10:51 PM.
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