I am selling my scooter and have been offered a swap, plus $200, for an electric bike. I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with electric bikes and what they think of them.
I can't find a review of the one they are offering anywhere, but it's this one:
They are checking for me if it is a lithium ion or lead acid battery (they don't know coz they've not used it much). It has a cord with an adaptor that you plug into the power point to charge it.
The asking price for my scooter is $1200... but... I just want rid of that.... so... perhaps an electric assisted bike would help my recovery? Who knows. Perhaps it'd just be fun!
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
SLA = Sealed lead acid. I have a LiFePO4 battery and personally, I simply wouldn't consider anything else at the moment.
Electric bikes are a great concept, but most of the ones on the market are junk, unfortunately. (I went the kit route).
Also, I should mention that I am a big fan of geared motors, even if they are single speed, they tend to have a more useable torque range, but more importantly, they freewheel, so they ride like a normal bike when the motor is off!
Geared motors are available as both hub motor, side motor and crank drive (which also drives through the regular gears). Hub motors are maintenance free, but have the obvious disadvantage that they are single speed.
I am in the process of building a chainwheel-drive E-bike at the moment, including assembling the 36V battery from high-capacity LiFePO4 cells...
But, then, I like to tinker. Self-build is not an option for many.
Send a PM to Hozozco he uses an electric bike for his daily commute down south to Flinders hospital and his return is up the steep section of the Veloway. Given how limited you are in where you can currently ride this might be good for you at least as an interim measure.
Actually, I only use the electric when I'm in a hurry. I mostly use my tandem/cargo bike (now fitted with new tyres and a brooks saddle - very nice).
Pip, eBikes can be a lot of fun. You definately want a LiPO4 battery as the difference is immence. The bike in the photo looks to me like a heavy, slow plodder. It would be fun on the flats - though, but I wouldn't rate it in the hills - mind you I haven't ridden it so this is speculation (a bit).
I have a central geared motor on a bottom of the range hybrid. No one can (except petrol bikes) can match me up the veloway. I leave the few hub drive eBikes I see far behind too!
I'm don't know the details of your recovery, so it may be useful but I think the other party might be getting a good deal price wise.
Can you give us details on your scooter? I'm actually thinking of selling my eBike as it's a bit surplus to requirements. My eBike got me fit enough that I rarely use it now. It has been well used, so it's worth a lot less mind you!
Well I still get yelled at from old Commodores, things thrown at me from old Falcons and cut off by new Camrys...so I'm pretty sure I'm cycling!
Oh, and I still get a sweat up (although it's optional), I'm just faster than you up the hills.
Nice come back! I have a bit of a glitch with the whole powered bike thing. I admit its mostly with the ones with petrol engines. I don't think anything that essentially starts to perform like a motorcycle should be allowed on shared paths, bike lanes, etc.
Appreciate they might be better for environment, etc, etc.
I use an e-bike so I can enjoy a longish hills ride, especially as I live at Crafers and every ride anywhere from home keeps the long climb until last. It carries a larger than normal LiFePO4 battery on the carrier and runs a rear hub motor. I bought a rear hub motor as a kit so I could still have 21 speed gearing. It's maximum efficiency is at around 20km/h so with a bit of vigorous pedalling it gets up hills in warm weather without me having a melt down. It means also that for errands to the city I can leave the car home and not be totally exhausted the next day.
If I take the car to the start of an organised or flat ride I generally take the regular bike as it is much nicer to ride. An e-bike feels more like a fully laden touring bike in terms of its handling, except when it's assisting.
I don't give a damn if other "cyclists" sneer at my e-bike because it is there to give me more enjoyment than a regular bike in the conditions I choose to ride it in.
There has been a few posts about ''lecky bikes' on the site, see here.
My only uneducated opinion is the batteries don't last forever and need replacing and they are a major part of the cost.
This is one comparison post, here
I agree with Gus that the batteries don't last forever and are quite expensive.
My LiPO4 is showing some signs that it's 'not new' anymore which is a bugger - replacements are around $500!
A little off topic, but I'd like to see a class of 'light electric motor bike' or something for cycles with motors around 500-1000W. They could even register them if they want (that would confuse the motorists). One of these Stealth Electric Bike would be great to ride (and zero emission), but clearly it's not a 'push bike'. The 200W is great on the flats, you should be able to do 25kph with very little effort but I'd love to haul a cargo bike up the hills at 40kph!
What do you want from it? Ability to (regularly) climb long steep hills, or (in contrast) longish rides mainly on the flat? The answer will help determine what type of drive system, battery discharge rate, etc. that you will need.
What is the battery capacity? (Watt-hours, = Amp-hours x Voltage) This is the equivalent of asking how large the fuel tank on your scooter (or car) is. Does the battery have sufficient capacity to get you where you want to go, and back, without recharging, allowing for motor/drive (in)efficiency and loss of battery capacity over time?