Lithium chemistry is considerably more expensive than the “old school” lead acid chemistry. If you are buying a battery pack or a bike that already has a battery pack, be familiar with the chemistry that you’re buying. For example, its hard to find a good e-bike for under a thousand dollars with a decent-sized lithium pack. Lithium is pricey. Be realistic in your expectations when e-bike shopping on http://electricbicycletechnologies.com much the electric bike will cost compared to what kind of range, performance, and life expectancy you will get out of a lithium battery pack.
When it comes to buying your cells, you might be able to find a local source, or you can order them straight from Asia. I prefer the second option, as you’ll usually get a much better price going straight to the source, even when paying for international shipping. One caveat though: do your best to ensure that your source sells genuine cells and not knock-offs. Do this by checking feedback and using a payment method that ensures you can get your money back if the product isn’t as described. For this reason, I like to buy my cells on Alibaba.com and AliExpress.com.
I finally made it happen on BMS #3 (the unfortunate thing about AliExpress is that every dumb mistake that kills a part is another month added to the project) and the battery seems to work great, though it only has a couple miles so far.
What could I build to go up a mountain path? say 4000 ft long. It’s too steep for me & most bikers to pedal. I want to assist ..but the motor drive train will do most of the work. Down hill one needs good brakes or something electric generating. I bike 5 miles now up and down local hills but walk up the steep hills for sure. For a good bike rig …I would enjoy building a few prototypes. Any advice appreciated…I love to bike on green trails!
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I love this article and I am inspired by the knowledge here, I have a question, I need to build a 72v battery and the one I’m looking at is using 38160 cells, these cells are very expensive so how can I manage this the best using the smaller normal size cells like you’re using! Do I really have to make a battery 20 cells deep to reach this and to bump up the amp hours I would let say go 10 wide for a 30 amp hour right? Pretty close! Big battery but is it feasible or is there a better product
The Stromer ST2 uses an exclusive hub motor developed by TDCM for Stromer that is being marketed as “Syno-Drive.” The Syno-Drive hub motor has a number of design changes that make it perform better, weigh less, and run smoother than any other drive system we’ve tried.
The Panasonic NCR18650B cells you have are very good quality cells. I used similar cells also made by Panasonic, but mine are the NCR18650PF (not B). The difference is that yours have more capacity (mine are 2900mAh, yours 3400mAh) but yours have a lower constant current draw rating. I don’t remember what it is off the top of my head, but I don’t think it’s much more than 5A per cell. So just make sure that you either use enough cells in parallel and/or limit your controller to not draw more power than the cells can handle. Check the cell specification sheet which you can find on Google somewhere to ensure that you are staying within the cells’ limit.
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Also, since the negative electrode is the entire bottom and sides of the cell (formed by a metal cylinder) these cells can take some bouncing around. Be aware if you scratch the plastic wrap on the cylinder, the metal shell underneath is energized to the negative electrode, so…an electrical short may be possible.
Regarding you question, if I understand you correctly, it seems that your 18650 lithium battery will be smaller than the old NiCad battery, so you have extra room in the battery box that needs to be filled, correct? My recommendation is to use some type of fairly rigid foam to fill the space. It adds almost no weight and it also helps cushion the battery pack.
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This article first appeared in Electric Bike Report in June of 2013. Since then, we’ve made some changes to our motor selection – our Direct-Drive motors are now all High-Torque 6×9 wound, so they run slower (approximately 15mph at 36v or 20mph at 48v), and our Geared Motors have been replaced by a 500w version, (approximately 20mph at 36v or 28mph at 48v). The Direct-Drive is now our Heavy-Duty motor and the…
In 2012, the future of LiPo in e-bikes looks bright. Most large EV manufacturers are focusing on LiPo as the lithium battery power of the future. LiPo technology is developing fast and becoming safer, more reliable, cheaper, and with a higher life expectancy. Since LiPo cells are being developed to be safer, more efficient and more economical (mostly for main stream products such as the automobile) the electric bicycle industry will be able to piggy-back and utilize the newly available technology at an affordable price. Currently, the latest “best” chemistry involves Manganese-Cobalt which is a lot more stable than the cobalt chemistry of the past.
Hi Court, great site and appreciate your insight, and obvious care. I am also ebike noobie, but have been doing my homework (hours of googling). Personal specs are, old guy, out of shape (5′ 10″ 270# but physically intact), looking to “upgrade” self. I am a mechanic for living, so nothing technical worries me. You have done great job of laying out the general parameters and options, so now I “get” that, and have evolved to the confused info overload stage. Application would be recreational/touring, hills/long grades are always in play, some trail riding, but no serious mountain biking at all. Range not so much a big deal, and plan to “pedal” for the exercise, assist would be for hills, and overextending (needing a lift back to the barn). Issues for me are quality/durability, and rider stability including push off and simple shifting (as opposed to complicated timing and planning routines). I may also see a fair amount of urban stop and go when vacationing etc.I don’t see myself speeding along at 30mph (scares the bejeebers out of me to even think about that speed on a bike). Lots of questions, but will focus on one … It seems like most of the issues (other than battery, range, regeneration and such) revolve around drive train concerns. I like the idea of the mid-mount, but am concerned about the shifting and stress on chain etc. Can a quality mid-mount add on kit, easily work with an internal shifting rear hub. The idea being simplicity…no front shifter, single cog, and easy rear shifting (especially when stopped, or going slow). I am a little confused over the internal geared options, seems like several methods Including external gear set for more increments). Problem may be the shifting while motor engaged. But I believe the internal shifting (similar to the old 3-speed bikes) can be done while pedaling or not, so likewise would not be affected by motor load. If true, that reduces the need(benefit?) of a motor disengage feedback when shifting. This setup also seems like it would benefit from a torque(? not sure I understand this) aware feedback mechanism (seems cadence ones are not really so great) for the “assist” with a few selectable assist modes. If not applied to an external geared internal hub, then only 2 cogs now, and perhaps can use the gates belt system, which seems like a good (dependable) upgrade (not sure how well gates deals with hard shifts if that is a concern). Anyways, hopefully I have asked a reasonable (as opposed to ridiculous!!) application question. If viable, could you suggest the actual brands/models you would use? Thx again.
Hi Court. Thanks for your prompt response. Based on your input and further consideration I have narrowed my selection down to three Bulls e-stream brose MTB models: Evo 3 29er, Evo 3 FS 27.5 plus, and Evo 45 FS. I selected Bulls for a variety of reasons but I have to admit I am a pushover for good looks. Bulls offers a wide range of models and there is a dealer in PA within a reasonable drive from my home in MD. Unfortunately, they do not stock any MTBs but may be getting one or two in soon I can test out. I am still on the fence with regards to a full suspension bike but I realize my back is not getting any younger and I may learn to appreciate the extra comfort on the paved and unpaved hilly roads I ride. One of the suspension seat posts you suggested would definitely help with the hardtail but these are heavy and fast riding bikes (especially the EVO 45 FS which you reviewed in February) so if comfort is of prime concern a full suspension probably is the way to go.
You’ll see two dots where the weld was performed. Test the weld by pulling on the nickel strip (if it’s your first time using the welder). If it doesn’t come off with hand pressure, or requires a lot of strength, then it’s a good weld. If you can easily peel it off, turn the current up. If the surface looks burnt or is overly hot to the touch, turn the current down. It helps to have a spare cell or two for dialing in the power of your machine.
GNG now has a different version of the mid drive where the belt reduction (prone to failure) has been replaced by a gear drive at the end of the motor. Has anyone tried it? You can’t argue with the price, but what’s the quality and longevity?
Place your orders now for the new Phoenix II XT (Super Brute) Pedicab Kit, which is replacing the 4840 Brute as the new Pedicab system of choice. Some major events are coming up and there are it seems there are never enough motors to go around. The Phoenix 4840 Brute has been one of the most famous of electric pedicab kits among the pedicab industry due to its unbeatable power and reliability…..but there’s a new player in town, and it’s what we like to call the “Super Brute” motor for pedicabs It’s identical in appearance to the Phoenix Brute motors but is wound for even more torque, which is what most pedicab owners need. Installing an electric pedicab kit is a great way to seriously increase your income, especially when it comes to events like the famous Made In America Fest, Coachella, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Fun Fun Fest, Warped Tour, and the list goes on!
An electric bike kit allows the do-it-yourselfer to transform just about any standard pedal-powered bicycle into an electric-powered vehicle. Monster Scooter Parts offers several high-quality electric bike conversion kit models suitable for the traditional bike rider with no more than a scant-to-average mechanical ability. Our e-bike kit models listed below are some of the best known in today’s e-bike community.
We’ve learned some users love connectivity to our Electron app, while others will prefer to ride without it. That’s why we’ve engineered an app that lets you choose whether or not to use its features like distance and speed tracking, battery life readouts, assist levels, and ride mapping. If those aren’t for you, just calibrate your wheel once with our app, and then enjoy the wheel free from any device.
Hi Vincent! In my opinion, there are a whole bunch of great possibilities out there. Luna has high powered stuff and the BBSHD worked great for me when reviewing a Lectric Cycles conversion a year back (using their e-RAD kit). Of course I also like BionX but the stuff is more expensive and proprietary. I’m doing less conversions these days (at least review wise) so I’m a bit behind on the category. For me, the frame makes a big difference and depending on what sort of terrain I’m encountering I’ll lean towards hubs for smooth and zippy feel or mid-drive for better climbing with the understanding that it might wear my drivetrain down, especially without shift sensing. That’s one area where e-RAD and maybe Luna now too, have some good options and accessories.
There are a number of things that make Bionx unique. Bionx pioneered the introduction of torque-sensed pedal assistance by creating a drive system with a torque sensor and controller integrated into the motor. This allowed for clean and easy installation, minimized reliability issues that can result from faulty wiring, and simplified servicing. In 2010, under Magna’s direction, the sophisticated CANbus communication system was built
Monster Scooter Parts is a worldwide distributor of electric bike parts. Our inventory of electric bicycle parts include a number of very popular electric bike conversion kits. These cleverly designed bicycle parts convert an old but functional pedal bicycle into a really convenient and economical battery powered work horse.
Has anyone found a battery case maker that makes cases that will fit into the main triangle of a men’s mountain bike? I find having the hub motor and rack battery in the rear makes the bike feel awful to ride.
Cheers Court! Maybe you have some insight into a great question a friend asked me: “If there were a scientific experiment done where all variables were the same with the exception of the drive motor, one being a mid drive and the other being hub drive (both of good quality and used on higher end mainstream e-bikes), is there a clear winner when it comes to which drive system delivers more efficient power. I guess what I’m hoping to find out with this question is: Which style of drive system more efficiently transfers the potential energy in the battery into actual motion. I could see this being answered with units like distance or speed, but remember the only thing I am comparing is two types of drive systems… Things like battery size, pedaling effort, rolling resistance, total bike/rider weight, air friction are all constants. So is there a clear winner???”
If you have time, I’d be curious to hear about the pros and cons of this kind of approach. Is the main drawback simply the cumulative size of the plastic housing? Or is there some other limitation to this kind of hardware that makes it unsuitable?
The new Electric Bike Kit Owners group on Facebook has taken off within the first week of its creation. Around 400 people have joined the online group with new members being added every day. E-bike riders are sharing the various ways that they have converted their bikes using the E-BikeKit Complete Electric Bike Conversion System. Each one of the electric bike conversions is more unique than the next. Some e-bike…
I am looking to purchase my first electric bike. I have test ridden many and narrowed my favorites to the eMotion City Wave and the Pedego City Commuter, with 28″ wheels. I don’t anticipate lengthy trips – likely up to 30-40 miles tops, however we live in the hills of NH, so I would be using pedal assist and/or throttle for the tougher climbs. While I love the City Wave ride, I worry a bit about the 350W vs. the possible 500W on the Pedego. I am 5’8″ and weigh 138 lbs. Your thoughts?
These guys (Applied Future Technologies) are in Australia, and although they use the same motor and geared reduction as Cyclone, the rest of the kit parts are heavy duty and this fixes many of the complaints from Cyclone users. The distinctive added fins help the Headway motor shed heat much faster.
The Netherlands has a fleet of 18 million bicycles. E-bikes have reached a market share of 10% by 2009, as e-bikes sales quadrupled from 40,000 units to 153,000 between 2006 and 2009, and the electric-powered models represented 25% of the total bicycle sales revenue in that year. By early 2010 one in every eight bicycles sold in the country is electric-powered despite the fact that on average an e-bike is three times more expensive than a regular bicycle.
Hi, First of all, thanks for all the information we can find on EBR website, and a special thanks for the video reviews. I’m living in South of France, I have two baby girls of 2 and 4 and currently I have simple bike, with a Hamax seat at the rear and a Yepp seat at the front on the handle bar… so I am looking for the next bike I’ll need daily for carrying my growing girls, down and up hills, with electric assistance. I’ve seen the Yuba elMundo and the competitive RadWagon. I tried the elMundo with the girls, but there is still a strong torque and a balance limitation with the passengers weight and the high center of gravity, especially at low speed, in town when we have to stop or slow down with the traffic. The Xtracycle EdgeRunner and the Yuba Spicy Curry that lower the center of gravity with a 20 inches rear wheel seem a good, but very expensive, option. So my question is: have you planned to make some video review also about the Spicy Curry cargo bike (with a Eurobike price) which also seem really adapted for kids transportation? Regards, Pâmini
As we transition into mid-drive systems, imagine this scenario. A rider with a hub motor driven electric bike approaches a very steep hill, stops completely and then uses a twist throttle to power forward. The motor is likely going to struggle because it is designed for relatively flat surfaces and provides “peakey” output as mentioned before. So the motor groans and slowly pushes the rider forward. Without pedaling along, most hub motor designs just cannot carry an average sized passenger up a steep incline from rest. This is where we get into the benefits of a mid-drive system.