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Old 04-21-2014, 10:37 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Finally pulled the trigger on a motor kit and battery. I bought this 48v 1000w kit off ebay. It costs a little more than their cheapest kit, but it comes with a half-twist throttle instead of a thumb throttle and has a speedometer (we'll see how good it ends up being). Should be here by the end of the week. For the battery, I went with a 48v 15Ah LiFePO4 from Ping. I should get it in a few weeks.

Got the new tires and thorn resistant tubes (no Slime) put on. They're much quieter than the knobbies, but I can't really tell how they compare for rolling resistance. My commutes seem a little easier, but that could easily be attributed to me getting used to it. I've ridden to work a few times with them and no thorns or leaks so far.

I'm still considering getting another bike. Mine is a little tall for me, but about perfect for my wife, who wants a bike. So I could give her mine and I could get another that is a little smaller and has disc brakes. Going to go to a bike shop or two today and see what they have. I would like to go with used, but Craigslist seems to be my only option here. Hopefully these shops will have some used bikes that will work.

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Old 04-21-2014, 10:13 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Having a good bike fit is crucial! See the website for Lennard Zinn bikes to get sizing recommendations for a mountain bike.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:03 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Make absolutely sure the rear axle can't spin out and rip the wires out of the motor. Most bikes will need a torque arm to protect your investment. And, keep track of the motor temp. If you bog it up a long hill you can fry it. See the simulator at ebikes.ca.
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eBike Simulator - Tools
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:00 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant-53 View Post
Having a good bike fit is crucial! See the website for Lennard Zinn bikes to get sizing recommendations for a mountain bike.
Looks like good size calculator, I'll have to measure myself and see what it recommends. The bike shop I went to Monday and the one I bought my bike from both thought the size I have would be fine for commuting. The one I went to Monday said the handlebars would probably be too close on a smaller bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
Make absolutely sure the rear axle can't spin out and rip the wires out of the motor. Most bikes will need a torque arm to protect your investment. And, keep track of the motor temp. If you bog it up a long hill you can fry it. See the simulator at ebikes.ca.

eBike Simulator - Tools
Ya, I'm definitely going to have a torque arm. I'm interested in ebike.ca's version 4 torque arm as it looks like it'll work with the way my frame is around my dropouts, but the shipping from them is almost $20. I found that EM3ev.com sells the same arm and it'll end up being about $15 less including shipping. I'll keep looking, but that's likely what I'll go with.

I don't think motor temp will be an issue, but I will keep an eye on it the first few times I ride it in 100F+ temps. Guys on Endless Sphere have put 2-3k watts into this motor before having any heat issues. My commute is flat besides one short hill, so it should be fine.

I should have bought my battery earlier, I don't know how I'll be able to wait after I get the motor.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:51 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Got the motor kit and battery. Flipped my bike and stuck the motor in and hooked everything up to test it and it seems to work great. It hit 42MPH with no load according to the speedo it came with, so we'll see how it does when its right-side-up.
Waiting on the torque arms. I ended up getting them from ampedbikes.com. I got two, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get them both on. They're supposed to be here Monday, I'm crossing my fingers that they arrive Friday or Saturday so I can ebike to work on Monday.

Last week I found my front tire with just a few PSI in it. I discovered that I had picked up more thorns than I thought, with many of them broken off in the tread. I went ahead and Slimed both tires. It took about 40 miles for the tires to get the flat, and its been 60 flatless miles since I put the Slime in.

I want to mount the battery in the triangle for weight distribution and handling. Unfortunately, it only fits laying down, 6" wide. My crank arms just barely clear it, and that's without any extra casing on it. I think I'll just mount it to the rear rack for to get it going and experiment with triangle mounting later.

Hopefully my torque arms will arrive and I'll have a busy weekend.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:00 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
I'm considering selling my Insight to buy an e-bike to use for my commute instead (will keep Prius because it makes more sense as a sole car, Insight is a little too small).
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:23 PM   #37 (permalink)
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If you have power envy just remember the 1500hp GE diesel locomotive is a hybrid. Of all the bumper stickers shown, the only one I would seriously consider is the one about reducing foreign oil so our troops don't have to go in harm's way. Our son spent two tours of duty in Iraq protecting civilians. It won't be long before farm trucks and SUVs are diesel electric rigs set up to run on natural gas or vegetable oils.

Our local transit buses now have bike racks on the front.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:54 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Torque arms arrived today!!!!

Spent the afternoon getting everything put together. Took about 4 hours. The biggest time consumer was figuring out where and how to mount stuff like the controller and battery.

Took it for a spin around the block and topped out at 32mph! It was kind of scary at that speed, fortunately the speedometer that came with the motor kit allows me to limit the top speed, I set that to 27mph. After making sure it wouldn't fall apart, I let my wife go for a little ride on it, now she wants me to drive the Prius and she'll ride the bike. I rode it to work in about the same time it would have taken by car, so work well as a car replacement.

The battery and controller are both mounted to the rear rack for now. You can definitely tell that there's more weight back there and that most of it is fairly high. I haven't weighed it yet, but total weight should be 70-75lbs, before weight was 34lbs. I cut out the bottom of the bag that came with the motor and set the rest of it over the battery and controller as camouflage.

Disc brakes are definitely going to be a future upgrade. The speed increase doesn't seem that big until you're trying to stop from 25+mph. The current brakes do the job for now, but I would much rather have a non-structural part being worn by the brake pads. The motor came with a rear disc and caliper, but the caliper seems junky. My bike does have the mounts for a rear caliper, so I think I'll convert the rear in a month or two with a disc set that is bigger/better than the one that came with the motor. Not looking forward to eventually paying to do the front, but I think it'll be necessary.

Thanks everyone for your advice. I can see why guys that are into ebikes are crazy about them.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:01 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Which battery and charger did you buy?
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I went with a Ping 48v 15Ah LiFePO4 battery and I'm using the 2A charger that comes with it. Its about 50% more than similar capacity batteries on ebay, but Ping has great quality and customer service. A 5A charger was optional for $44 more, but the range provided should get me through most days with minor pedaling, so overnight charging is good enough.

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