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ebikes: lots of bad ideas



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 28th 08, 04:58 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
johns
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..

1. Front wheel hub motors can generate enough torque
to break the front forks. So that company only
recommends rear-wheel hub motors.
2. Most hub motors .. no matter what their "power
rating" don't have enough torque to pull more than
a 4% grade.
3. Only gear motors ... even low power ones .. can
generate enough torque to pull an 8% grade.
4. ( another group ) .. Gear motors weigh about 35
to 40 pounds. WHAT ???????????
5. Regenerative braking is a joke. To recharge a
battery using RB, you would have to coast downhill
for 20 hours. Ordinarily, RB can return about 3% of
your charge.
6. Hub motors are unsprung weight. They cause a
very uncomfortable ride. The emotor should go up
between the pedals, and drive the chain.
7. Battery ratings are for flat terrain at about 10 mph.
In real life, they get about half their rated milage per
charge.
8. The average finished ebike will weigh more than 60
pounds.
9. Some of the ebike "kits" require machining of your
bikes parts in order to fit. They also require calibration
of the hub motor sensors in order to get the motor to
rotate in the proper direction. These operations can
void your kit warranty.
10. An ebike can save you $20,000.00 over 3 years,
so it is worth the $14,000.00 they are asking for it.

Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.

johns
Ads
  #2  
Old May 28th 08, 06:21 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,611
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On May 28, 5:58*pm, johns wrote:
Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..

1. Front wheel hub motors can generate enough torque
* * to break the front forks. So that company only
* * recommends rear-wheel hub motors.
2. Most hub motors .. no matter what their "power
* * rating" don't have enough torque to pull more than
* * a 4% grade.
3. Only gear motors ... even low power ones .. can
* * generate enough torque to pull an 8% grade.
4. ( another group ) .. Gear motors weigh about 35
* * to 40 pounds. WHAT ???????????
5. Regenerative braking is a joke. To recharge a
* * battery using RB, you would have to coast downhill
* * for 20 hours. Ordinarily, RB can return about 3% of
* * your charge.
6. Hub motors are unsprung weight. They cause a
* * very uncomfortable ride. The emotor should go up
* * between the pedals, and drive the chain.
7. Battery ratings are for flat terrain at about 10 mph.
* * In real life, they get about half their rated milage per
* * charge.
8. The average finished ebike will weigh more than 60
* * pounds.
9. Some of the ebike "kits" require machining of your
* * bikes parts in order to fit. They also require calibration
* * of the hub motor sensors in order to get the motor to
* * rotate in the proper direction. These operations can
* * void your kit warranty.
10. An ebike can save you $20,000.00 over 3 years,
* * *so it is worth the $14,000.00 they are asking for it.

Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.

johns


No wonder I've never seen one.

Joseph
  #3  
Old May 28th 08, 09:03 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
DougC
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,276
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

johns wrote:
Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..

........

Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.

johns


One thing I noticed right off when I started looking into gas and
electric bicycle engine kits, was that the people with electrics always,
always ended up wishing they could ride longer. During a short test ride
the torque/acceleration can seem impressive, and you usually cannot
explore the limitations of the battery endurance.

With gas engines you can ride all day if you keep pouring gas in. Most
of the gas ones don't do real well up hills either, because they only
allow one drive speed. The Staton/NuVinci setup seems to be the first
that allows variable drive ratios.

A few people have built bikes using the cheap Lifan moped/motorcycle
engines, 50-to-100cc engines that only cost around $300 and come with a
3- or 4-speed transmission. These are usually over legal
displacement/power/top speed limits but the multiple gears totally
eliminates the problem of hillclimbing. And the engine/trans weighs
around 40 lbs.
~

  #4  
Old May 28th 08, 11:35 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
johns
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

I rode motorcycles for 20+ years as my only
transportation ... and lived through it :-)
I could ride for days and just camp on the road,
and I never got tired of it. Only reason I stopped
was BMW started producing crap bikes, and
I sure wasn't going back to all that repair and
downtime with any other brand. BMW put garbage
brakes on all their new bikes, and I have a rule
about unsafe motorcycles. Only in the last year
have I even thought about it. There's a small
lightweight touring bike in Europe that looks just
like my old Penton 125cc Enduro. I had the 6-day
bike, and I rode it for a hundred miles in the dirt
in races. It would make a good modern road
bike. Mine got about 65 mpg, and it could have
been tuned down to get more. Only weighed
200 pounds. So, what I'm saying ... if I go
back to a motorcycle, it will be a real bike
with good handling. I'm seeing ebikes that I
think cross the line to emotorcycles ... and
are not safe at all.

johns
  #5  
Old May 29th 08, 12:54 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
John Tserkezis
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 204
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

johns wrote:

Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..


Similar thing to what I keep telling people when they ponder the idea of hub
motors for assistance.

If you take the typical weight of a hub motor, batteries, and control
assembly, and lose that weight from around your now massive arse, you would
more than make up for it, and it cost a whole lot less than the asking price.

And I want to dispute the saving of $20K over three years. Against what? A
car? You can't compare apples and oranges you know.

Want to compare against another bike? Sure, take that $14K price tag,
donate it, buy Enron shares, burn it, whatever, and you'll save more than that
60 pounds in bike weight in body weight loss, and improvment in health over
the next few years, AND save that in healthcare costs.

Hub motors have their place, but not for those who have functional legs,
heck, even ONE functional leg is enough (seen a fellow commuter amputee who
did it without a damn motor).
--
Linux Registered User # 302622
http://counter.li.org
  #6  
Old May 29th 08, 02:23 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On Wed, 28 May 2008 08:58:31 -0700 (PDT), johns
wrote:

Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..

1. Front wheel hub motors can generate enough torque
to break the front forks. So that company only
recommends rear-wheel hub motors.
2. Most hub motors .. no matter what their "power
rating" don't have enough torque to pull more than
a 4% grade.
3. Only gear motors ... even low power ones .. can
generate enough torque to pull an 8% grade.
4. ( another group ) .. Gear motors weigh about 35
to 40 pounds. WHAT ???????????
5. Regenerative braking is a joke. To recharge a
battery using RB, you would have to coast downhill
for 20 hours. Ordinarily, RB can return about 3% of
your charge.
6. Hub motors are unsprung weight. They cause a
very uncomfortable ride. The emotor should go up
between the pedals, and drive the chain.
7. Battery ratings are for flat terrain at about 10 mph.
In real life, they get about half their rated milage per
charge.
8. The average finished ebike will weigh more than 60
pounds.
9. Some of the ebike "kits" require machining of your
bikes parts in order to fit. They also require calibration
of the hub motor sensors in order to get the motor to
rotate in the proper direction. These operations can
void your kit warranty.
10. An ebike can save you $20,000.00 over 3 years,
so it is worth the $14,000.00 they are asking for it.

Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.

johns



Well, I'll respond to a few of these points.

1- If the hub motor can produce enough torque to break the fork,,
either the fork is so weal it is already unsafe, and/or Number 2 has
to be wrong.

2_ If this is the case, the fork must be extremely weak and unsafe,
even without the motor.

3- Even a low powered gear motor may not be able to pull an 8% grade.
And just because it is a hub motor does NOT mean it is not a gear
motor. There are planetary geared hub motors out there.

4- Look at a Currie 450 watt gear motor. Can't weigh much more than 5
lbs. Then again, a mobility scooter motor can weigh anywhere from 5
to 40 lbs (for an aproxemately 350 watt motor) I have motors at both
ends of the scale.

5- I'd agree. Regenerative braking is oversold. It is ONLY viable with
a direct drive hub motor. Any other setup gives away too much
efficiency by having to back-drive it whenever running without power
on.

6- Yes, hub motors are unsprung weight. So are geared motors mounted
at the wheel like the Currie.
And so are ANY motor mouinted to a non-suspension bicycle.
Yes, mounting them close to the bottom bracket and driving through the
chain (allowing use of the gears) IS the most efficient - and requires
a free-wheel crankset.

7- Rated mileage on mine says "with normal pedaling" These are
ELECTRIC ASSIST BICYCLES, not electric motorcycles. I have no doubt I
can get the rated mileage if I use the motor only as an ASSIST. I was
going to find out today by attempting a 35 KM jaunt (mile is rated,
IIRC, at 20 miles maximum range) but I ended up having to cancel
because I needed to take the truck and cxover a LOT more distance in
less time.

8- Yup.

9- Machining on the bike voids the kit warranty? You need to adjust
something on the motor to make it work, which voids the warranty?
Sounds like a rather halfassed kit with no support - likely an "import
it yourself" chinese box of junk.

10- You paid HOW MUCH for it???? The marketing hype has pushed a LOT
of E-Bike prices into the stratosphere. I just bought a pretty decent
fully equipped e-bike for just over $600, all taxes in.
It has fenders at both ends, a rear carrier, stand, lights, mirror,
bell, reflectors - everything I need. It IS heavy and has a "limited"
range - as advertized - but 8 tanks of gas for my van will pay for the
bike at TODAY'S prices.
That should be doable just going back and forth to the office for one
summer.
I'm adding a 26ah battery pack on the rack to supplement the 12ah pack
for longer trips - and possibly going to 36 volts instead of 24 for a
bit more power. I'll still have under a thousand dollars tied up in
it, even buying the heavier charger required for the "premium"
batteries.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #7  
Old May 29th 08, 02:26 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On Wed, 28 May 2008 10:21:32 -0700 (PDT),
" wrote:

On May 28, 5:58*pm, johns wrote:
Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..

1. Front wheel hub motors can generate enough torque
* * to break the front forks. So that company only
* * recommends rear-wheel hub motors.
2. Most hub motors .. no matter what their "power
* * rating" don't have enough torque to pull more than
* * a 4% grade.
3. Only gear motors ... even low power ones .. can
* * generate enough torque to pull an 8% grade.
4. ( another group ) .. Gear motors weigh about 35
* * to 40 pounds. WHAT ???????????
5. Regenerative braking is a joke. To recharge a
* * battery using RB, you would have to coast downhill
* * for 20 hours. Ordinarily, RB can return about 3% of
* * your charge.
6. Hub motors are unsprung weight. They cause a
* * very uncomfortable ride. The emotor should go up
* * between the pedals, and drive the chain.
7. Battery ratings are for flat terrain at about 10 mph.
* * In real life, they get about half their rated milage per
* * charge.
8. The average finished ebike will weigh more than 60
* * pounds.
9. Some of the ebike "kits" require machining of your
* * bikes parts in order to fit. They also require calibration
* * of the hub motor sensors in order to get the motor to
* * rotate in the proper direction. These operations can
* * void your kit warranty.
10. An ebike can save you $20,000.00 over 3 years,
* * *so it is worth the $14,000.00 they are asking for it.

Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.

johns


No wonder I've never seen one.

Joseph



I've got one factory built unit and am building a "homebrew". It will
have 7 speeds and front wheel drive, with 18 or 21 speeds on the rear
"pedal power unit" The geared motor I am using IS a bit heavy - and
the front fork is VERY beefy. NO suspension.

The ebike is here.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #8  
Old May 29th 08, 02:31 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On Wed, 28 May 2008 15:35:47 -0700 (PDT), johns
wrote:

I rode motorcycles for 20+ years as my only
transportation ... and lived through it :-)
I could ride for days and just camp on the road,
and I never got tired of it. Only reason I stopped
was BMW started producing crap bikes, and
I sure wasn't going back to all that repair and
downtime with any other brand. BMW put garbage
brakes on all their new bikes, and I have a rule
about unsafe motorcycles. Only in the last year
have I even thought about it. There's a small
lightweight touring bike in Europe that looks just
like my old Penton 125cc Enduro. I had the 6-day
bike, and I rode it for a hundred miles in the dirt
in races. It would make a good modern road
bike. Mine got about 65 mpg, and it could have
been tuned down to get more. Only weighed
200 pounds. So, what I'm saying ... if I go
back to a motorcycle, it will be a real bike
with good handling. I'm seeing ebikes that I
think cross the line to emotorcycles ... and
are not safe at all.

johns

A lot of the socalled "e-bikes" I am seeing in Ontario are poorly
disguised electric motor scooters - which you would NEVER pedal in
normal use, and definitely no more than a block.

I sure like my Schwinn/Currie I-Zip from Canadian Tire.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #9  
Old May 29th 08, 02:39 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On Thu, 29 May 2008 09:54:38 +1000, John Tserkezis
wrote:

johns wrote:

Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..


Similar thing to what I keep telling people when they ponder the idea of hub
motors for assistance.

If you take the typical weight of a hub motor, batteries, and control
assembly, and lose that weight from around your now massive arse, you would
more than make up for it, and it cost a whole lot less than the asking price.

And I want to dispute the saving of $20K over three years. Against what? A
car? You can't compare apples and oranges you know.

Want to compare against another bike? Sure, take that $14K price tag,
donate it, buy Enron shares, burn it, whatever, and you'll save more than that
60 pounds in bike weight in body weight loss, and improvment in health over
the next few years, AND save that in healthcare costs.

Hub motors have their place, but not for those who have functional legs,
heck, even ONE functional leg is enough (seen a fellow commuter amputee who
did it without a damn motor).



Some of us "old guys" don't have the legs or the lungs to do the
distance we need to go without assistance - and particularly not
without getting all sweated up on the way to the office. With my
e-bike, I pedal, but not strenuously, for about 18 minutes to get to
the office instead of driving the van for 8 minutes. I get the
exercise I would not get driving, and arrive at work in better shape
than I ever would with my normal bicycle - which has not beed ridden
much over the last several yearsdue to a bad knee, among other things.
To do the trip with my old 21 speed bike would take me half an hour
and I'd arrive sweaty and worn out. There are several pretty good
hills on the route (the main highway is much leveler, but no bikes,
mopeds, e-bikes, pedestrians, etc allowed)

As a kid of about 15, I lost a pedal on a SINGLE SPEED bike 30 miles
from home, and rode it back, up hill and down. I'm not that young any
more!!!!
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #10  
Old May 29th 08, 03:36 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,092
Default ebikes: lots of bad ideas

On May 28, 1:03 pm, DougC wrote:
johns wrote:
Before I start building my ebike, I'm reading everything I can find
on what is available. So far, I'm learning more about what not to
get ..


Sounds to me like the ebike has a ways to go.


One thing I noticed right off when I started looking into gas and
electric bicycle engine kits, was that the people with electrics always,
always ended up wishing they could ride longer. During a short test ride
the torque/acceleration can seem impressive, and you usually cannot
explore the limitations of the battery endurance.

With gas engines you can ride all day if you keep pouring gas in. Most
of the gas ones don't do real well up hills either, because they only
allow one drive speed. The Staton/NuVinci setup seems to be the first
that allows variable drive ratios.

A few people have built bikes using the cheap Lifan moped/motorcycle
engines, 50-to-100cc engines that only cost around $300 and come with a
3- or 4-speed transmission. These are usually over legal
displacement/power/top speed limits but the multiple gears totally
eliminates the problem of hillclimbing. And the engine/trans weighs
around 40 lbs.


It seems like at that point, you're getting into
"just buy a moped" territory.

I used to live in a hilly area and knew
some people who got E-bikes or Curries to
commute up the hill to work (elevation gain
800 ft, a real hill). They work for that -
only need a fairly short ride time, twice a day,
power gets you up the hill, but not at car speed.
I preferred riding a much lighter plain old
people-bike, but not everyone wants to get
that much exercise.

However, people who want the ebike to cruise
at high speeds or have a really long range
are basically asking it to be an imitation
moped, scooter, or motorcycle. I doubt
that one can make a decent faux moped without
making it as heavy as a moped, and then it
would probably be better and safer to actually
get a moped. The same goes triple for
motorcycles. Electric scooters could be an
interesting, and quieter, niche.

My pet peeve: people who ride loud gas-powered
"bicycles" on bike paths. Get on the road.

Ben

 




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