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Old 01-27-2008, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Making an electric bicycle (looking for advice)

I love riding my bicycle and I only work 5 miles from where I live. I was wondering if there is a relatively simple way to convert a bicycle to have an electric motor on it. It doesn't have to go particularly fast, maybe a top speed of around 20 mph. I am just looking for a way that could get me to work more quickly then my own power can do that does not require me to use my car since the commute is so short. I would also use this to get to the grocery store and around campus since I live in such an urban area.

If you know of any tutorials or links to kits or instructions I would really appreciate it, I have found a few but none really go into much detail about setting up the speed controller and making the drive train / the drive train is too elaborate for my means of fabrication.

Also, there is an electric bicycle club at my college which I am going to look into tomorrow but I figured that you guys might get me a head start on this since it's a pretty small organization on campus.

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Old 01-27-2008, 11:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would expect to see Lazarus jump into this thread. He just went through the same series of questions you asked, and has started using his newly converted e-bike.

Obviously it's a great way to get around if you're concerned about efficiency but want to be able to use 2 wheels outside of your normal comfort zone (distance or speed wise).

I know you don't need convincing, but did you see this thread? Test: 250w electric bicycle efficiency = 1512 MPG equivalent
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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NoCO2. Welcome to the site. I just went through the same thing as Metro stated. I have varying commutes lengths and was looking for some way to close the gap between biking and the car. I went with the a conversion kit that has a plug and play more or less. I not very mechcanicaly inclined so it worked out well for me. If you look on the EM blog under Laz cycling log it will give you more detail.

I'm 160 pounds and with the motor only it tops out at 22 mph. I use it as an assist and not just as an electric bike so I've easily gone 25 miles and the pack still has a lot of life in it. With moderate effort I can cruise around 20 mph and taking it easy 17 mph or so.

Here's another thread on making a e-bike
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Last edited by Lazarus; 01-28-2008 at 12:02 AM.. Reason: added thread
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's great, I weigh about 200lbs (give or take some depending on what I ate that day) so I could probably expect between 18-20mph from what it sounds like using that kit you used. I am mechanically inclined, but honestly a bit lazy so something that just bolts on would really be ideal since I don't have time these days with all my schooling to do much else other then study and work and occasionally tinker with things on the weekends.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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wildernessenergy.com seems to be down or something right now, I will check it out when they are back up though.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCO2 View Post
That's great, I weigh about 200lbs (give or take some depending on what I ate that day) so I could probably expect between 18-20mph from what it sounds like using that kit you used. I am mechanically inclined, but honestly a bit lazy so something that just bolts on would really be ideal since I don't have time these days with all my schooling to do much else other then study and work and occasionally tinker with things on the weekends.
The speed would also depend on what kind of bike you put it on. I have it on a road bike. If you put it on a mountain bike it would be slower due to weight and tire size. I was hoping it would be a little faster but it does cut my commute time down considerable on shorter, less then 10 mile, commutes. I'm also pleased with the battery life. Although I do not just run on battery power only I have yet to dig very deep into the batteries with recharge time less then 1 1/2 hours.
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Last edited by Lazarus; 01-28-2008 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Putsaround - '96 Toyota Camry LE
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90 day: 33.29 mpg (US)
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I would be outfitting my Trek 1000AL road bike with it, more then likely. The bike is made from carbon fiber and aluminum so I don't think weight will be that much of an issue...

Is there another place I can get this kit from instead of wildernessenergy.com? It has been down since yesterday.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There seems to be something wrong with their web server setup. (Looks like someone made a typo - when you go to wildernessenergy.com, you get redirected to "widernessenergy.com", which of course doesn't exist.)

But if you go straight to their index page, it seems to work:
http://www.wildernessenergy.com/index.php
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCO2 View Post
I would be outfitting my Trek 1000AL road bike with it, more then likely. The bike is made from carbon fiber and aluminum so I don't think weight will be that much of an issue...

Is there another place I can get this kit from instead of wildernessenergy.com? It has been down since yesterday.
Just do a search for wildernessenergy conversion kits or even e-bike conversion kits. There are a couple of others out there. The kit adds about 45 pound on the bike and with the battery pack mounted high on the seat rack it takes a hit on low speed stability.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
There seems to be something wrong with their web server setup. (Looks like someone made a typo - when you go to wildernessenergy.com, you get redirected to "widernessenergy.com", which of course doesn't exist.)

But if you go straight to their index page, it seems to work:
http://www.wildernessenergy.com/index.php
Fixed it thanks. I though I checked that?

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