Electric Bicycles

Bicycles for campers, rvers, or just riding around where ever you are

Electric Bicycles

Postby jerry101jlh » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:05 am

Anybody have any experience with these? My wife and I both love to ride, but knee problems she has means no or very short rides. An electric assist type bike might be our answer, but reviews I've found online for the more reasonable priced ones not flattering, short battery life as if need to replace batteries every few months.
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Postby legojenn » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:36 pm

I'd love to find out more too. It seems if the motor is small enough here and over the river in Ontario that they do not need to be licenced or insured. It would be great for commuting in the summer.
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Postby Ratkity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:21 pm

I just got back from my yearly bike ride (The Great Peanut Tour) in Emporia, VA. There was one lady there in past years that had an electric assist bike and she had had multiple knee surgeries. She LOVED hers. She got the blessing to use it from her doc and it helped the last surgery so much by strengthening her battered knees without over doing it.

Have fun finding the right one!

Hugs,
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Postby jerry101jlh » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:49 pm

When I talk or say more reasonably priced ones, under 500. Unfortunately those have not received great reviews in the battery life department. I am researching conversion kits also, one I found 400. Quality of conversion units might be higher than the more inexpensive bikes already equipped.

I don't know of any state that requires registration of a bike so equipped, but haven't done any research on that.
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Postby Ratkity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:10 pm

Only if the pedals don't move or can't propel the bicycle is when it's considered a motorcycle in some states no matter the size of the motor. Some states consider just the size or capacity of the motor. You shouldn't have any problem. Still considered a bicycle.

I've never priced any of the bicycles with the motors already installed, but I recall the woman who had the assist motor had it installed after market.

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Postby Verna » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:46 pm

The local Menard's (yes, Menard's, as in tools, lumber, etc.) has had an electric bicycle all summer. It started out priced just under $800, and it was on sale last weekend for around $500.

I do not know anything about the bike, and I don't know if they still have any left.

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Postby Noob » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:51 pm

performance has a scwinn tailwind, that i test rode has an uphill or downhill feture ... that thing scoots along purdy good. The price is double your budget, tho.
Bend the knees, watch the trees, 5$ please.
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Postby jerry101jlh » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:38 pm

Noob wrote:performance has a scwinn tailwind, that i test rode has an uphill or downhill feture ... that thing scoots along purdy good. The price is double your budget, tho.


From what I see on the Schwinn website all they currently make are ones over 2K. A bit pricey in my opinion. Thanks for the input though.
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Postby Noob » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:22 am

jerry101jlh wrote:
Noob wrote:performance has a scwinn tailwind, that i test rode has an uphill or downhill feture ... that thing scoots along purdy good. The price is double your budget, tho.


From what I see on the Schwinn website all they currently make are ones over 2K. A bit pricey in my opinion. Thanks for the input though.


No problem buddy, I'm here for you ... but, I have yet to see any bikes @ performance that are full msrp ...

Not the "tailwind", that are in stock @ my local pbs... but almost the same bike, same price too.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/CatalogSearchResultView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10551&langId=-1&pageSize=16&beginIndex=0&sortBy=Dollar+Rank%2F%2F1&searchType=resultSet&cn1=&gast=schwinn&searchTerm=schwinn

LOL, they are "AWD"... :lol:
Bend the knees, watch the trees, 5$ please.
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Postby SuperTroll » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:57 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTXeVxFjbWU

Look at this video...I bought this bike from Amazon.com, along with a second battery...just read and heed the battery maintenance tips and the batteries will be fine. My wife loves the bike, I bought it for her.

NOTE!

With TWO batteries installed, this bike is HEAVY....but it runs smoothly, and will carry my 6 foot 200 LBS easily, it runs full electric or pedal assist....
Keep thinking outside the box and all manner of ideas will become reality......

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/alb ... Ul?start=0
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Postby jerry101jlh » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:19 pm

Thanks Super, I'll look at those models again
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Postby DDkwac » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:24 am

redundancies alert
-a hub motor adaptation (or kit) requires no mechanical proficiency whatsoever as long as you know what a wench is (and what it isn't)
you do have to pay attention to details however.

I'm NOT a fan of gas-powered bicycles but ICE bike motors will climb hills and go lots farther than any e-bike. The motor kits start around $200 and includes everything you need to mount the engine to the bike.

about e-bikes
I've owned several of the "cheap" e-zips.
Absolutely the best way for a physically-challenged person to continue riding a bike. The unassisted range of the bikes on flat ground (as if I could find flat ground where I live and play) is around 6 miles-not very far but if one pedals even the slightest amount the range doubles or triples quickly.

I wouldn't have an un-powered bicycle ever again

Do not believe most reviews about, well, anything on the internet as most are written by people who have never owned the products or really are idiots who can't be bothered to read the manual. (RTFM)
The less expensive e-bikes are supplied with SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries.
The more expensive bikes come with lithium-ion batteries of various chemistry.
Li-on batteries are more expensive and require elaborate charging systems and proper storage but their benefits of increased range and lighter weight are worth the hassle.

e-bikes come in various flavors but most will not climb a hill over 5% without some assistance from the rider.

My current bike is a trike (that I recently found out you can get at Menards.) (for 50 bucks LESS than I paid) It runs for around two hours before needing recharging (forget about range which can be as short as 2 miles depending on a 1/4 mile 10% hill I have to climb to check mail lol)

Trikes are the best for replacing your average motor vehicle for going shopping
But a standard delta sit-up-high trike will never win any speed records as they aren't stable when turning.

It cost over twice your budget because of the lithium-ion batteries.

You could build a new one using a similar trike, a hub motor laced to the front wheel, a motor controller and a 10 amp-hour lithium battery setup for about $800-900.

blue grass break down:

A reasonable trike with a single speed to 6 speed derailleur sells for about $300 and up.
Bikes cost around $75 on up (and up) and recumbent bikes/trikes start around $800
Brushless hub motors laced into a wheel start around $200.
Controllers start around $50 and SLA batteries would run about 100

my current project trike uses lithium-ion batteries, (36v @10amps +charger cost about $260) the motor and controller cost $100 and an additional freewheel and chain sprocket cost $25. I expect to have it on the road soon (tomorrow except the winter rains start tomorrow so I guess I'll will wait for nicer days)

this setup uses the motor to drive the chain gears allowing me to use the derailleur with the motor (climb hills better)
-but one has to be at least mildly mechanically proficient to build something like this whereas a hub motor adaptation (or kit) requires no real proficiency whatsoever
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Postby Kermit » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:17 am

You get what you pay for. Go cheep and you'll regret it. The lowball bikes scrimp on batteries, motors, frames, tires, brakes, seats..........
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Postby MegC » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:16 pm

I train inside all winter for bike season (when I'm not playing on XC skis) and seem to munch though a drive train every season on my mountain bikes, so I've been called a "serious" rider... whatever that means for a person who will still stop and take pictures of crazy bugs or roadkill, lol....

But I've been seriously considering adding an electric bike to our stable eventually. The reason is that I have a ~18 mile one way commute to work that gains some elevation and is often into a heavy prevailing wind, but I can't take off until my daughter is on the bus. That leaves me only about 1:10 until I have to clock in.

Yeah, Lance Armstrong might be able to pull that off. Not me.

The Giant Twist DX looks very interesting. Unfortunately I'm not sure if they're still making it. In the meantime I'm watching for pedal-assist electric bikes that have the range I'm after... the technology is evolving rapidly.

I'm also fortunate enough to have a large piece of property that's ideal for both solar and wind power generation. Yeah, it will cost $$$, but some people dump money on golf or train sets or video games.... I'm still quite intrigued with the notion of commuting part of the year without paying for fuel. Other than food that is, lol.
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