Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

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priu
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Hey everyone, first post on the forum!

I have a Sun EZ1-SX recumbent bicycles (modded by the previous owner with 20" wheels... used to have a 16" front wheel), full fairing, and a few other addons... I got it specifically to convert to an electric setup.

I'll be purchasing an electric conversion kit pretty soon - and I've narrowed my choices down to ecospeed (ecospeed.net) or the crystalite Phoenix Racer (www.electricrider.com, and RSDistributers).

Although I've been riding bikes, and commute to school with my mountain bike... and also have a Ford Th!nk electric bike (which is so hard to get parts for - let alone trying to repair anything)... but I've been looking for something fast so I can go around town on bike than gasoline.

That being said, I'm pretty much a complete newb at fixing bikes... let alone trying to do my own wiring and whatnot to get a kit - so that's another reason why I've chosen these two.

Does anyone have experience with them?
After reading the thread on the crystalite - it seems that it may not be such a good choice? IE it seems like you need know-how to be able to work with the kit long-term (breaking spots and whatnot).

The crystalite is by far cheaper, higher e-power top speed (27 vs 25 for the 600W ecospeed), and I can get it far sooner. The Ecospeed is geared, and seems a better system and is FAR lighter... but a lot more expensive and it would take 6 weeks to get the ecospeed 600W.

The weight of the crystalite is about 68 pounds (which is including the wheel around the hub)... and my other concern is that this would be too much weight on the recumbent (I weigh about 125 myself).

Can I get any advice on which system would be more appropriate for me? I would really appreciate it!

PS
I live in a very hilly area... commute to school is very short - 1 mile... but to get around town is longer

Thanks!
(and I'll be happy to report back how the system is!)

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priu
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Joined: 02/25/2007
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Oh and also - I am looking for something that can go some 25 mph at least unassisted... I find nothing more stress-relieving than being pushed into the back of my seat! OK maybe not that much - but I would like any setup that would give me an exhilarating ride.

Appreciate any information!

priu
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Points: 11
Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

I've posted pics of my bike:

IMG00016.jpg
IMG00017-1.jpg
IMG00018.jpg

chas_stevenson
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

priu,

There is another option that you may not be aware of, the Electro Cycle E-4 Kit for EZ-1 and EZ-3 Recumbent Cycles. This kit has been designed for the EZ-1 and EZ-3.

As for the other 2 oprions when I read you first post the last line about living in a hilly area made the decision in my mind. I also live in a hilly area and have several e-bikes and e-trikes. All of them have now been converted to use some type of gearing due to the hills in my area. Using gears has helped my range, top speed, and hill climbing on each bike/trike.

I have come to the conclusion gears are needed for hilly areas. None of my bikes/trikes at this point have large motors. The largest motor I have used is 500-watts, with one bike running a 400-watt motor with a top speed of 23 MPH. Again I think the gears help the smaller motors do the bigger job of hill climbing, with good top speed and longer range.

Chas S.

P.S.
Keep up informed, we all like to hear from others experiences with their EVs.

priu
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Points: 11
Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Hi Chas,

Thanks for the quick reply! I've taken your advice and am no longer considering the crystalite option... also the maker has informed me that I would need to build a battery holder specific to the recumbent I have... add on top off that the 68 pound weight... and no thanks!

Are you using the electroportal motor setup? How does your 500W setup ride (IE as in acceleration and general "feel" of the system)?

I emailed Mr. Howell of electroportal, and he's informed me that the Lithium setup with his motor is about 600W... and may even sell the Ecospeed kit (finding that out).

Thanks again!

chas_stevenson
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

priu,

My setup is very homemade. I took the guts from a Chinies X-Treme X-500 36-volt electric scooter and after some modifications to my EZ-3 created an electric trike. Here are some photos of my EZ-3.




Here is where the motor and 3-speed hub are housed. The blocks of wood holding the jackshaft have bearings inside so the jackshaft spins free.

As you can see this is a real Rube Goldgerg, home brew. I also have 2 batteries packs inside the box each of them are 36-volt 12-AH. When I built this trike 3 years ago I was very new to EVs and therefore not the best EV designer. With that said the trike preforms surprizingly well. With a top speed of 27 MPH on level ground and a range of about 24 miles, 12 miles on each battery pack. Acceleration is good but not great because of the weight of the trike, the gears, 3-speed hub, give it more than enough power for hills. It was a great project and I learned a great deal about EVs. My next bike will be much different, it will still use gears and I am thinking about using the Electro Cycle E-4. I think it will give the best bang for the buck.

Here is a computer modified picture of my next project.
ev_custom.jpg

Chas s.

priu
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Nice looking bike you have there! I'm impressed with the 27 mph! I had NO idea a trike could boogie like that!

Thanks for the link to electroportal! I will probably be getting the ecospeed 750W... either as a kit from electroportal, or find a custom battery and have it shipped to ecospeed... I think I'll end up getting it via electroportal - less hassle (ecospeed is dropping the 30AH battery in favor of a 37V... and their updated kits won't be available until this summer... too long for me!)... ecospeed sells the powerpack motor w/o the battery - and that one is readily available (electroportal sells the ecospeed kit). I know... 750W is overkill - I am young and I can bike fine on my mountain bike... but I can't resist the urge for an adrenaline rush w/ a far smaller ecological impact than driving a car around town. The 750W w/ 37V batteries is supposed to take the SX 35+ unassisted!!! I will be giving updates! (the E4 is still an option for me... I'll let you know!)

ambersdad
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

I bought the 600 W from Ecospeed and i can't recommend Brent and the product enough. He is great, the product is fantastic. It is very powerful. I have a Sun EZ Rider Recumbent with suspension. I now have two of them as well as an EZ Sport. I only have one Ecospeed.

If hills are an issue and power is an issue, Ecospeed is the way to go. I was a newbie as well and learned a lot. BionX is another choice although the power will be less. The Ecospeed just takes off. The only issue is that it is slightly noisey as compared to the BionX. My wife has the BionX 350 and she loves it. We use both bikes in the country on big hills. On really very steep hills only the Ecospeed can manage because of the gearing. Don't buy the BionX from NYCewheels. I had a very bad experience with them. But BionX themselves are excellent and the product is great. Tough choice but it depends on the riding you will be doing and if you care more about power vs cruising. Hope this helps.

priu
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Thanks for all the help and info!

I ended up going with a custom ecospeed kit... went w/ the 750W powerpack motor.

I got the battery and all the accessories from Brian Howell of electric-bikes.com. The electric setup consists of 2 Li-Ion batteries - for a net of 37V and 30Ah.

Brent is installing a 24 tooth sprocket - for better acceleration and hill power, while still having amazing top speed (I am expecting top speeds - unassissted - from 35-45 mph... and I had asked them that individually, too!).

I intend to attach the batteries to the frame on the underside using hose clamps. If the local ACE hardware has large enough hose clamps - I'll stack them on the long axis with the frame. Otherwise if the hose clamps aren't big enough... then I'll put the first battery on the underside along the long axis... w/ hose clamps... and then make a sort of T by having the 2nd battery placed perpendicular to it - and have the 2nd set of hose clamps go through the bottom of those for the first set.

My kit is supposed to ship around now, and am expecting to get it sometime in the following week!!!!! Can't wait, and will post updates and whatnot!

Russ
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Joined: 04/17/2007
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Keep us posted. Be careful not to damage the batteries with the clamps. You may want to put a piece of wood between the clamps and the batteries. About what does a rig like that cost?

priu
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Thanks for the tip! I am going to attach the batteries this weekend - and am thinking I want everything ready for when the motor comes in. I'll definitely do that!

I'm thinking of also taking duct tape around the battery setup for stability and protection - so it wouldn't be easy to take the batteries.

My other option was to use under-seat racks and put the batteries in those - but the bags aren't all that strong - and w/ that option it would add more weight w/ pannier and bags.... and since there's no real lockup capability - if I wanted to keep owning the batteries I'd have to dismount the 2 bags each time - I think I'll pass on that!

Would anyone have a suggestion if one knows of a better way of mounting the batteries?

--------------

Initially I was going to do a conversion on my mountain bike - with a fairly inexpensive system. My imagination ran wild - and ended up going with basically one of the most expensive kit I could find, lol. There's a rhyme and reason behind it, however - I wanted to be far less dependent on my car... and be able to get around where I live... and places I may live in the future.

This system fit the bill.

The ecospeed kit without battery was $1295. I got a switch box from Brent for $60. The two batteries, chargers (2), and diodes cost a total of ~$1250.

The recumbent I bought used (as pictured sans the side mirrors) for $600. And then I also got standard accessories such as lights, and tailsok (specifically for recumbents).

pdg
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

I decided on Crystalyte and I had my first eBike ride today ... great fun!

My DIY ride is at http://web.mac.com/pguild8/iWeb/pdg%20iFlick/eBike.html

Regards, Paul

priu
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Nice setup Paul!

I got the ecospeed kit in yesterday and have been working basically nonstop to get it up (totally new to both bike mechanical work and working with electronics, connectors, crimpers, etc).

The great news is that the electric system is running flawlessly. The bad news is that I'm trying to work the sprockets, and bike mechanics to get this working. I keep getting chain derails and whatnot - and the 2 batteries are hose clamped to the bottom bar... right now I'm working to try and move the DIY battery hose clamp assembly such that it won't brush with the chain - hard to do! No matter what it just seems that I can't keep the chain from rubbing - but I think I may be onto at least a possibility of getting the battery set shifted away from the chain.

I'm very adamant about getting this method to work - as the center of gravity is simply amazing. I can almost balance this RECUMBENT bike at a complete standstill!!!!!! These bikes tend to be a bit unstable until you're faster! The stability with the 2 batteries at the bottom bar - well I can't put into words how good it felt on the maiden "voyage" (that is, until a chain derailed :( ). I've attached 2 pics of the bike - one before the motor mounting showing the battery - and another with the ecospeed mounted. I've emailed Brent about it so am waiting reply to get advice on the chain slippage.

Photo_129.jpg

Photo_131.jpg

If anyone has any suggestions, or any experience w/ the ecospeed mid-drive... I would really appreciate it!

In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can get this battery set shifted - I'm thinking there's a shot it'll work and the chains won't derail if I can just do this (added some links in one of the chain).

chas_stevenson
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

I was curious to know why the photos you posted are in mirror image ( backwards)?
Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

priu
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Points: 11
Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Hey!

Sorry I didn't update any sooner! The bike has been working great now for 2 weeks... the problem is my career path leaves me little time for other things.

The pictures are backwards because they are taken on my macbook's camera!
Nice attention to detail! I'm impressed!

I'm posting pictures of the bike... the setup is an ecospeed 750W... with two 36V 15 AH batteries making for a total of 36V, 30 AH.

So far I've taken it to ~39 mph on flat ground (could go a bit faster than that!) - maybe even a tiny decimal of a degree uphill. That is without pedalling, and without the fairing! I have yet to install the tailsok as well! I just got done putting on the fairing and installing. The batteries, motor controller, on/off unit (bought from Brent - nice unit!) have all been attached via hose clamps.

Also - Boblbee (sp?) hardshell backpack, Craft RX6 Evolution helmet, Icon Pursuit red perforated jacket

The recumbent bike is a Sun EZ1-SX.

Tomorrow I'm getting the Big Apple 2" wide 20" tires installed.

It does great with traffic - speed and all! I love it!

Photo_179.jpg

Photo_181.jpg

Photo_182.jpg

Photo_185.jpg

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Photo_219.jpg

Russ
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Are those lead acid batteries?

priu
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

They are lithium ion batteries.

williammcc1
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Joined: 10/02/2007
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

I use a wildernes energy on my homebuilt and I can get 20 mph with a 36 volt set up.
I also have a sun ez1 sx and I am not sure a hub moter would fit in the drop outs as the axle is quite large.
I do wish you the best though. I have some pics of my home built here. http://imgsrc.ru/williammcc1/a226067.html

CheckUrSix
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Hi as well!

My first post also...

I too have just received my EcoSpeed......I will mount this on the Sun X-3 SX...If you go to EcoSpeeds home page ...go to Products open to "EMD" and scrol to the very bottom this is my bike.

I have a Lipo Lith batt 36Volt 15 AH from "Ping".

What might I need to know about the install of the motor and adj of chain?

Pic of motor on bottom of Product to EMD and to the vary bottom hit "detail"

CheckUrSix
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Joined: 04/27/2009
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Re: Converting my bike... ecospeed vs crystalite?

Hi

Might you forward pics to me...can't see these...I too have a delta trike Sun X-3 SX http://www.ecospeed.com/prodemdu.html (scroll to Very bottom to see my bike)

I am just putting this together....
Any insight to pit falls?
Thank you very much!
dbonner@davidsongroup.com
Donald 1 415 893-1020 Ext 204

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