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Old 12-30-2015, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best e-bike or add on?

Which one is the best, within a reasonable price range, either a add on kit or complete bike. I would sacrifice some range for top speed around 35 mph.

I think Virginia still allows them to go unlicensed without DMV fees that are getting ludicrous.

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Old 12-30-2015, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I went and test rode an E-Bike recently.

It was a lot of money ($5K here), and really heavy (25kg+).

Since I already have an 11kg MTB I'd probably only add around 5kg with a DIY conversion and it would cost a fraction of an off the shelf bike.

Depending on exact specs, (for most of the world 250W is the legal power limit) you'll spend about $1000 on a quality conversion, but unlike an off the shelf model, you won't be stuck with anything proprietary that you can't later fix or upgrade yourself.

You can also start with a bike you already have or a cheapy you've picked up that needs work.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unless the rules have changed in the last ten years the Feds limited motor power output to 750 watts and a maximum flat land speed of 24 mph to be considered a bicycle in the U.S.

I built a kit version in 2006 with a 750 W hub motor that would go 30 mph pretty easily. Just rarely ran it that hard. Powered it off two 36 V Dewalt battery packs connected in series for a 72 volt system. Still runs but I don't use it much any more. The good thing about the hub motor is that is has minimum maintenance. Bad thing, fairly heavy. I hear they are much lighter now for the same power output.

My total original cost was under $1000 including the motor, controller, batteries, and bike. Bought a used Gary Fisher mountain bike because I figured I would need a heavy duty frame to handle the power. I was right.

I'd probably try an inline motor if I were to build a new one because they are lighter weight for the same power output. But then there is more maintenance, alignment concerns and mounting issues. Nothing major, just things that need to be considered.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I built mine. about 1400 dollars maybe. 44lbs. 14ahr litium battery. 750watt motor. It'll go 20 miles motor only. max motor-only speed 22 mph. 36 volt system. mine is a roadbike with MTB front forks (for the motor). A bike with close to this combination of range and speed and weight that my neighbor bought was 2500 bucks. But he has lots of proprietary stuff and he complains about the 42 tooth top gear. The aluminum road bike frame I used has a 52 tooth top gear. His bike is prettier, but I think my capacities are stronger. The only bikes I have seen that are actually lighter than mine and have my range and power or better start at $7,000.

I hope that's helpful. I did a thread on the build here at EM too.
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I need to go back and read that thread, thanks.

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Old 01-11-2016, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Kit is the best value. I paid about $1000 for my 1000w motor and 48v 15Ah LiFePO4 battery. Bike cost is up to you. A full suspension mountain bike would probably be best for those speeds. Max speed I can get is 32MPH, but I'm on the smaller side. I can theoretically go 25-30 miles on a charge at 28MPH (never ran it all the way out).

The federal power and speed limits for ebikes are generally considered to be meant for manufacturers of complete ebikes. Check your local laws and don't ride like a hooligan and you shouldn't have any issues.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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48V 1000W Electric E Bike Bicycle Pedal Assist 13AH Samsung Battery Seagull | eBay

How about this one?

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Old 01-17-2016, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Can't find much about it on Endless Sphere, but what I can find points to it at least not being terrible. You could do better building one yourself for that much. You could also do much worse for a prebuilt. Probably not a bad one to go with if you don't feel like tinkering with it as much (hopefully).

One thing to note is that it looks like the one you linked to works off of sensing pedal movement to act as the throttle (PAS). Some of the seller's other bikes don't mention having PAS, so I assume they have a throttle. There's no mention of the linked one having a throttle in addition to the PAS. I've never ridden one with PAS, so I can't comment on what it's like. I would contact the seller to see what options there are.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No real hurry here, I'll keep an eye out for some reviews. I like the name brand components especially the battery, but the listed battery cycle life seems short. Listed top speed of 28 mph would be fine especially if it was without pedal assist.

I've seen some signs of improvement in quality in Chinese made products, otherwise I would not even consider either an add on or factory built. The 30 day return policy, as long as it starts upon receipt of the bike would work well enough for a decent quality review.

Based on what I have read about building your own, personally the difference in price and the compounding of reliability issues with building from components, including my habitually bad luck when making purchases, makes me seriously consider this option.

Another factor is the only way out of my neighborhood is route 143, which drops from 55 mph, just east of me to 45 mph for 2 more miles to the west make me want something that has power and speed.

Considering the $300 it would cost to license and insure any motorcycle, I like the e bike option.

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mech
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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$150

This could be you:

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