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You never forget how to ride a bike

Old 06-02-10, 10:18 PM
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currahee
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You never forget how to ride a bike

Hello all! I haven't ridden a bike in .. almost 20 years!? I'm 32 and want to get outside more and hopefully into a little better shape. I purchased an ebike that should arrive in the next couple days and I'm really excited to ride it. I do have one question- I live in a very hilly area which is one of the main reasons I wanted an ebike, I'm not in that great of shape anymore. I actually live on top of a hill on a fairly flat surface, can I ride my ebike without the battery? I understand the bike is a lot heavier then normal, but are there any negative effects on the bike itself?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-03-10, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by currahee View Post
Hello all! I haven't ridden a bike in .. almost 20 years!? I'm 32 and want to get outside more and hopefully into a little better shape. I purchased an ebike that should arrive in the next couple days and I'm really excited to ride it. I do have one question- I live in a very hilly area which is one of the main reasons I wanted an ebike, I'm not in that great of shape anymore. I actually live on top of a hill on a fairly flat surface, can I ride my ebike without the battery? I understand the bike is a lot heavier then normal, but are there any negative effects on the bike itself?

Thanks for the help!
currahee,

Welcome. You shouldn't have any problems riding your e-bike without using power assist. If the battery is removable and you're comfortable pedaling up the hills without power assist, you could remove the battery to make the bicycle lighter. You should have lots of fun exploring on your new e-bike. Enjoy your adventures.
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Old 06-04-10, 02:08 AM
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Get a motor that doesn't cog much. I don't know which ones are the best for pedaling. Definitely not the crystalyte x5's. I think the best ones for pedaling are the ones with the least amount of torque because it seems the amount of torque is related to the cogging effect. My forsen hub motor, I can pedal that easily up to 15 mph or more without the motor but on my crystalyte X5, I can only pedal about 10 mph and it's not as fun to pedal. I think the Bionx motors are great for pedaling. I've seen people pedal those and they are always going pretty fast with minimal battery assistance. I don't know what hub the bionx uses. I don't recommend buying a Bionx bike because it's too expensive and you can put your own together for cheap. I think Bionx uses a bafang or heinzmann or something like that. I'd do some research because you don't want to get a motor that has a lot of cogging on it. My Forsen works well and it's about a 15 lb motor and I can still pedal pretty well. I bet if you got an even smaller motor, it'd be even better.

Here is a bafang motor. See how small it is. This might be what you are looking for. Might want to ask around on people who have a bafang motor and see how easy they pedal it. I bet it's pretty easy. It looks very lightweight. This bike was built at itselectric.ca ...they also have a U.S. Store.
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Old 06-04-10, 02:12 AM
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Oh, I mis-read your post. You already bought one? Ok, well most of them are easy to pedal. As long as you didn't get a crystalyte X5, you should be okay.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:09 PM
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morph,

I'm surprised you're seeing slower speeds pedaling a rear hub motor. I don't have a hub motor, I've got the Currie conversion kit (rear wheel) installed on my mountain bike. It doesn't affect the rear freewheel at all. The added weight of the kit and batteries make the bike a bit heavier, but I can still reach 17 MPH pedaling on my own only (no power assist) on the very few flat areas here and that's with very knobby tires that create significant rolling resistance. (I ride unpaved forest roads and really need knobby tires for traction.) Up hill, well they're steep here and my old runner's knees balking at them is what led me to get the conversion kit. However, I still pedal up hills, I go down into a granny gear and lightly hit the throttle so my knees don't have to go it alone.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:34 PM
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The crystalyte x5's are about 22lbs and they cog a bit so it's not really a hub motor designed for pedaling. It has awesome torque but there are drawbacks to having so much torque. My forsen hub is just fine, though, but it doesn't have much torque. Both are front hub motors. I think if I ever put together another e-bike, it'll be more like the picture above with some LIPO batteries just for short trips. My crystalyte X5 setup can even use 24v of batteries so I could put together like a 6s LIPO pack ..that's 33v I think with a 5000 mah capacity and use that. On 24v, it goes about 15 mph. I got it up today almost to 30 mph just on 36v pack with a slight wind at my back. The great thing about a 6S LIPO pack is that it would only cost about $80 at hobbycity website and you could these small $5 chargers to charge it. I think they have a small LVC board with an alarm that you could also use probably. Throw it in a backpack and it'd be great for a short 5 mile trip.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:41 PM
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I still love my X5, though and it's my main bike that I use because it's so fast and I don't have to pedal at all no matter what situation that I'm in. It will just carry me almost like a moped. It will even carry me up small hills. I was going 30 mph today on a bike path. So fun. No one was around, though.
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Old 06-04-10, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by morph999 View Post
The crystalyte x5's are about 22lbs and they cog a bit so it's not really a hub motor designed for pedaling. It has awesome torque but there are drawbacks to having so much torque. My forsen hub is just fine, though, but it doesn't have much torque. Both are front hub motors. I think if I ever put together another e-bike, it'll be more like the picture above with some LIPO batteries just for short trips. My crystalyte X5 setup can even use 24v of batteries so I could put together like a 6s LIPO pack ..that's 33v I think with a 5000 mah capacity and use that. On 24v, it goes about 15 mph. I got it up today almost to 30 mph just on 36v pack with a slight wind at my back. The great thing about a 6S LIPO pack is that it would only cost about $80 at hobbycity website and you could these small $5 chargers to charge it. I think they have a small LVC board with an alarm that you could also use probably. Throw it in a backpack and it'd be great for a short 5 mile trip.
I don't think I'd have a LIPO pack on my person; it's still dangerous to have them close to your seat. Safety has improved some, but they can become thermally unstable if discharged too deeply or overcharged. The last thread I read on LIPO pack problems on Endless Sphere involved large LIPO packs like you described that became unstable when discharged too deeply. Fortunately, the rider realized they were swelling (can precede visible thermal runaway) and he didn't get injured. I'm not sure Goodman's complete LIPO LVC solution is available to the public yet. My understanding is that he sent pre-sale proto types to Aussie Jester for his latest e-bike build. If Goodman can get his LVC system out soon, I believe there'll be a lot of LIPO converts. At present, though, you still get mixed signals at Endless Sphere. Everyone sings their praises because of the energy density but then immediately discourage you from trying to build a pack if you aren't an "experienced" LIPO user.
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Old 06-04-10, 09:51 PM
  #9  
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I know enough to know that I shouldn't be trying to build my own battery packs.
I think that I am better off buying something that was designed and built by people who know more about it than I do. I just need it to work.

Aren't the commercially available LIPO packs safe to use??
That is the reason I bought the system/kit (motor, controller, and battery pack) I thought that they would be designed to play nice with each other.
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Old 06-05-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
I know enough to know that I shouldn't be trying to build my own battery packs.
I think that I am better off buying something that was designed and built by people who know more about it than I do. I just need it to work.

Aren't the commercially available LIPO packs safe to use??
That is the reason I bought the system/kit (motor, controller, and battery pack) I thought that they would be designed to play nice with each other.
xtrajack,

It's easy to get confused about Lithium batteries. There are several different chemistries in the current generation of Lithium batteries. LIFEPO4 batteries are safe and are what many e-bikers are using; they aren't subject to thermal runaway (fire) the way LIPOLY pack are. LIFEPO4 packs use a different cathode--Iron Phosphate. (LIPOLY really has been used more extensively by RC hobbyists.) The cathode in LIPOLY batteries is a Polymer. Although LIPOLY have become a bit safer, they're subject to thermal runaway when too deeply discharged or over charged. In fact, you are still supposed to charge them in a fire-proof bag and are warned not to charge them in a structure that can burn. (Best to charge them outside.) LIPOLY, however, are cheaper and have extremely dense energy (their C-rating is much higher than LIFEPO4). Even traditional LiION, which have Cobalt Oxide or Magnesium Oxide as a cathode, can suffer thermal runaway. However, it will continue to be used for consumer appliances such as cellphones, laptops, etc, because you can pack a lot of dense energy in a small package.
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Old 06-06-10, 06:49 AM
  #11  
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nwmtnbkr,

Thank you putting my mind at ease, yet again. As always, I am impressed by your knowledge base. You seem to know more about batteries, e-bikes, etc. by accident than I do on purpose.
again, thank you.
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Old 06-07-10, 10:54 AM
  #12  
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Hey thanks for all the help. And the rundown on LiION batteries, kind of makes me scared to charge my battery...

Yes morph I've already purchased one, one that I'm already having buyers remorse over. I purchased an iZip Via Rapido Diamond frame (2009 edition). I thought it had TAG + PAS, but it only has a 'PAS with a twist' thing going on. Luckily it is helping me get outside more, unfortunately it's not helping me get up that hill. I've been out 3 times now, it's very easy to ride without the battery. It's not correctly slipping into 7th gear (that's probably a post for another thread) but I can ride it on flat surfaces very easily.

With the battery in and on the PAS kicks in very early to help get going, that's not a big deal as I could get going very easily on my own. My problem is when I start going up this hill to get back home. I live in Iowa where you might think it's flat but I live on the Mississippi where it's very hilly, steep hills. I think San Francisco hills would be a good comparison. As soon as I start up them I twist the throttle, which is supposed to kick in extra motor power. The extra kick I can feel when riding on a flat surface, the motor seems to run longer. While going up the hill though I don't even hear the motor kick in. I definitely don't feel it! 3 rides now since I got it and I'm walking my bike up the hill each time huffing and puffing.

Did I buy the wrong bike? Even though I'm getting good exercise, and the trips DOWN the hill are fun and nostalgic. I would think a true TAG bike would get me up that hill wouldn't it?

Thanks again for all the replies!
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Old 06-07-10, 01:19 PM
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Can you still take it back? Depends on how steep the hill is but yeah, for small or medium hills, a good e-bike should be able to take you up a hill without pedaling. I can ride my 5303 around all day without pedaling at all. It's more of like a moped but I love it because I have leg problems but I can ride around.

A good e-bike usually is at least 500w motor. It's hard to find a good e-bike that comes readily made. I think the A2B e-bikes are good but they are about $2700. For a good e-bike, I recommend building one yourself.

Good e-bike motors are
ezee
nine continent
crystalyte

If you like pedaling, though, along with the motor, I don't recommend a crystalyte 5303. It cogs too much. The nine continent is probably the best kind of motor to use if you like pedaling. Or maybe an Ezee or even a Bafang.
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Old 06-07-10, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
morph,

I'm surprised you're seeing slower speeds pedaling a rear hub motor. I don't have a hub motor, I've got the Currie conversion kit (rear wheel) installed on my mountain bike.
You're Currie free wheels when electric is not applied, doesn't it?

Most geared hub motors are set up this way as well. My direct drive DISTINCTLY adds to the resistance when pedaling. This is simply because the when the wheel spins, the motor has to spin, and the magnets slide past the stator coils, and a "back-EMF" is generated, or cogging, or a number of other names. But basically you feel resistance because you are fighting the opposing force generated by a moving magnetic field on a coil of conductive wire.

Whereas the geared hub motors do not engage the motor when the wheel spins i.e. pedaling without power, so the only resistance you would feel is inertia from the added weight of the hub motor plus batteries.
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Old 06-07-10, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthSensate View Post
You're Currie free wheels when electric is not applied, doesn't it?

Most geared hub motors are set up this way as well. My direct drive DISTINCTLY adds to the resistance when pedaling. This is simply because the when the wheel spins, the motor has to spin, and the magnets slide past the stator coils, and a "back-EMF" is generated, or cogging, or a number of other names. But basically you feel resistance because you are fighting the opposing force generated by a moving magnetic field on a coil of conductive wire.

Whereas the geared hub motors do not engage the motor when the wheel spins i.e. pedaling without power, so the only resistance you would feel is inertia from the added weight of the hub motor plus batteries.
The rear wheel that comes with the Currie conversion kit is identical to the less expensive Ezip and Izip Currie bikes. There's a freewheel on the left side of the wheel that's driven by a short chain attached to the non-hub motor when the throttle's depressed. The non-hub motor doesn't create any resistance when just using pedal power. Here's a photo of the Currie wheel from the installation manual, before the torque arms are added.

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Old 06-11-10, 04:14 AM
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currahee
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Yes that's exactly what my bike looks like nwmtnbkr. It kicks in early and gets me up to speeds, I go from first to 4th or 5th gear on flats. But when I need it most i don't even hear it kick in! I'm going to return it.

I'd really like to buy a bike that was pre-made, instead of going with a kit. Only because it would make my decision making easier! I was also looking at the XB-300li bike. I would have no idea where to even begin selecting a bike and a kit, any recommendations? My budget should probably stay under $1200. Although I am mechanically inclined I would also trust someone MORE mechanically inclined to get the most bang for buck assembling it. I'm sure a local bike shop could help with that though right?
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Old 06-11-10, 07:22 AM
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Has anyone fixed a rear wheel flat with this yet?
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Old 06-11-10, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyro View Post
Has anyone fixed a rear wheel flat with this yet?
Shouldn't be hard to do. I broke two spokes after hitting a very deep rut on a dirt forest road. I didn't have a problem removing the wheel or taking the motor plate off to take it into the nearby shop to have the spokes replaced and the wheel trued. I am glad that I installed a bipod kickstand. It makes it easier to remove the wheel without having to have a bicycle stand. You need a 15mm wrench for the outer nuts and a 17mm wrench to remove the nut that holds the motor plate (if you ever break a spoke). If you don't have a 15mm wrench in your on-bike repair kit, put one in.

I will say that given the posts stating that many local bike shops are reluctant to replace spokes and true wheels with hub motors, the Currie design has another advantage. With the motor plate off, your wheel is a regular bike wheel that simply has an additional freewheel on the left side.
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Old 06-15-10, 12:04 PM
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what did you pay for it?
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Old 06-20-10, 12:58 PM
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It was $900. I'm going to return it and get the 2010 version since, and only if, it has true TAG ability.
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