Hello from Downunder (and question over which type of setup to go for)
Hi from Australia - I just joined the forum and wanted to say hi to everyone. I'm a mad cyclist from Oz looking to do an electric conversion. I'm currently working as a lecturer in computer science at Monash College.
I've been looking around the net for a lil while now :? and there seem to be many options for drive train. I'm already sure of which battery technology I'll be investing in (LiPo) but i'm stuck on motor choice.
there are three in particular i'm looking at:
a hub motor (crystalite dual speed most likely) for the reasons *1 below
currie motor (with possible upgrade)
a www.elationebikes.com.au motor setup (same as Sturdly's)
There are four main stipulations.
1. the bike needs to have a range of 58klms (36miles) (one return trip is 49k)
2. I would like to be able to get decent speeds - what do i mean by this? well i currently do the commute on my road bike. Below we can see my log from the trip home today (I was taking it a lil easy as my legs are tired from 1.5 weeks of commuting but did have a tailwind).
I'm looking for an ebike that will basically match my performance to ride on the off days I don't want to take the bike (eg tomorrow). (average speed of:30kph max of 66.2kph)
3. The setup needs to be weather proof.
4. The batteries have to be removeable ( i have somewhere safe to store them to avoid theft)
*1 most of the setups in Aus are for low (200w) power setups. This is because some lawmaker decided that we should cripple the possibility of electric bikes and restrict them to lower speeds that regular cyclists can ride at on the roads. I'm not really concerned about this limitation ;) as i'll happily ride on bike tracks insted.
I would prefer to get a motor that has good performance pulling up hills, but also a high top speed (if one exists) as the start of my ride is very hilly, and then it flattens out later. a motor setup that worked through the gears would be great.
I have test rode one ebike that did around 20kph on the flat and was utterly dissapointed (200w hub motor). the speed that it went on the flat was the same as the road bike coasting along peddling occasionally.
If anyone has some suggestions that would be great! as while i'm not new to cycling, I'm very much the newbie when it comes to ebiking.
edit: i have no problems in peddling gently, or peddle starting the bike, and i'm happy if the bike goes faster than my average ;) I used to own a yamaha FZR600 so have no quarms about riding at traffic speeds.
The Crystallyte hub motors have a pretty solid track record.
The X5 series will turn a bike into a motorcycle with the right controller.
Another option might be the BMC 'Puma' hubmotor. It's only 8 lbs. or so and has internal gear reduction that gives it great hill climbing ability.
I'd suggest checking the regulations carefully before doing a > 200 watt conversion. My reading of them is that anything greater than this can only be used legally on private property, unless it is inspected, certified as complying with heaps of government regulations, and registered as a motor vehicle. A > 200 watt ebike would never be legal on bike tracks.
It's completely up to you of course, I think the regulation is ridiculous, but I read a good argument on some other forum to the effect that you can probably get away with > 200 watts indefinitely, but if you should ever have an accident of any sort, they may well then find out that your bike is actually classed as an unregistered, uninspected, uninsured motor vehicle, which would cause no end of legal hassles.
It appears that 200 watts really is about the maximum sustained power most cyclists can put out, so if you get an ebike that uses all the gears, you should get pretty good performance. I have been looking at the elation ebike and also at the epacpower kit. The advantages of the latter are that it would, I think, fit on my existing Jamis Dakar frame, and the motor is less in harms way for trail riding. The disadvantage is only 24 volts and SLA batteries. I have not contacted them and their website is a bit out of date, too. Advantages of the elation kit seem to be that it is 36V, uses NiMh batteries, and that Alan does seem to be very into supporting the product.
Has anyone seen/used/had experience with the epacpower kit? http://epacpower.com.au/
The current elationebike kit will give you better unassisted performance than a hub motor of similar wattage but no where near what you are looking for. In fact I think it is safe to say no Oz legal kit will get you there. The elation kit shines as an assist more so than as a scooter. A couple of things to consider about the kit I am using. First with your road bike and the speeds you posted I would guess you have a large ring well over 55 teeth.
As delivered the current elation kit has a riveted one piece triple ring that is a 48/38/28 and changing those would require swapping out the supplied crank set with an IPS stoker crank set from the Hostel Shoppe or something similar. I like theirs because they spot weld the freewheel in place so it eliminates the problem these have of coming unscrewed.
Second I have read that to run at 15mph on the flat no wind you use about 150 watts an hour. The elation kit NiMh pack is 9 amp hours x 36 volts = 324 watt hours. 324 watt hours / 150watts = a little better than 2 hours at 15 mph or around 30 miles range. Increase the speed and the wattage use increases substantially so think hard about just how big a battery pack you would need for a bigger motor or longer range, especially if you intend to carry it around when the bike is parked. I'm guessing a Lipo pack big enough to cover the distance you want at 15 mph with minimal assist in a proper flame retardant enclosure will at minimum run in the 12 pound range a NiMh would be closer to 18 pounds.
As you've discovered when staying within legal restrictions the selection is reduced dramatically and there is no perfect solution in kit form. One of the reasons I think ebikes have been so slow to catch on. Keep us posted , I'll be watching with interest.
Have you ever seen a lipo catch fire ?
Having said that i have a number of them that i use in my electric helicopters
im not sure i would be keen to use one on a bike
I ordered my conversion kit from www.elationebikes.com.au last week and i await its arrival
my bike is all stripped down and ready for the conversion
cant wait to give it a go
Lipos are expensive and dangerous
if you crashed you could also burn LOL
Post some pics after you get it installed I'd like to see one on another bike. I understand that Allan has made some improvements that allow a little easier installation on some of the diamond frames since I purchased mine.
No Probs will do
can i ask does the crank at the front have a one way bearing
what i mean is if the motors running are the cranks going around
ie: can you cruise with the motor without pedaling ?
Yes, there is a freewheel on the crankset and the motor will turn the rest of the drive train without turning the pedals.
i was worried about that
it arrives at 9.30am the courier assures me
cant wait to get it all together
will post pics when i done
My brother is starting a business selling EPACPOWER kits. He has had one for almost a year now, it is still going strong. My Mum and I just got one each. Mum had hers fitted to a Learsport cruiser, while I have mine fit to my Azzurri racer. Mum got the basic kit as seen on the website, and yes you are right about the website it is out of date, the email link is a good place to ask questions and get updates, leave your phone number and my experience is he does ring back promptly. These basic kits are well made at a really good price, but I was a bit concerned about the weight of the SLA batteries, I don't know if I was just lucky or what but in ordering my kit I asked for some customisations. 1st I sent EPACPOWER my racers left crank arm and they managed to fit the motor drive onto my onto my original gearing (I have a need for speed) and 2nd I asked if they did a lighter battery, a week or two later I got my kit and it came with the new 24 volt Li-ion. I'm yet to weigh my bike and the only pictures I have are off my phone (so far).
I'm impressed with the speed I can get out of the racer, while peddling the peak speed of the motor seems to be around 46km/hr. I have a few assignments to do for Uni at the moment but if anyone is interested I'll do a bit of riding and data collecting. I would be interested if there are faster lighter 200-watt set-ups than my new EPACPOWER.
Re the epacpower kit:
Sam--did the Li ion battery pack cost extra? Do you know what sort of Li battery it uses? I gather from reading around that some types of lithium ion batteries (standard LiPo) are regarded, at least by some people, as potential fire/explosion hazards, while other types are less of a worry. Is there an option for NiMH batteries?
Also was wondering--I think in the basic EPACPOWER kit the pedals always spin when the motor is engaged, so you can't let them freewheel while the motor is doing the work--is that correct? I think there is another version where they don't, but it only has one chainring, so you have only the gears on the rear wheel?
Yep I'm in Australia, country NSW, Kalaru near Bega/Merimbula/Tathra/Far South Coast. 7hr drive from Melbourne, however I'm planing on riding down to Melbourne and back on my E-bike between the 12th and 16th of April. Monday the 16th there is a group riding E-bikes from Melbourne to Sydney along the coast (check the website www.suitabletransport.com) so I'm hoping to join them, but I'll be stopping at Bega) I'm in the process of making a solar charger/trailer/camper. Its going to be a lot of fun.
When I have it built I'll chuck a picture of it on the forum :)
Yeah it did cost more, it was closer to $950 for the full kit may be more at RRP, but is a lot lighter and better than the $750 RRP kit with the SLA batteries.
I really don't know much about the batteries other then the details on the battery charger (24 volt charges at 5 amp)
I haven't run them below 50% yet riding 20 km's between charging.
Yes the motor drives directly to the crank, so unless you attach some foot pegs your legs will always be moving while the motor is running (its good exercise). And I haven't seen it or herd much about it but I do believe Geoff has a new design coming out that allows u to rest your legs on the peddles and keep the motor running at the same time.
I'm looking forward to giving my bike a good endurance test, about 1200km should sort it out. I have been doing some shopping on eBay, found a fold out 12/24 volt solar charger, a 24 volt regulator, and bought 4x 12 volt 8ah NiMH batteries (I'm planing on using them for my second and third batteries, to use while charging the Li ion pack) they are also very light weight. 1.5kg each. I was told they should be fine on a E-bike. :P lol I hope so, I don't like walking pace.
Newbie, also from Oz!
Just in the process of building my first E-bike. I'm using parts sourced from a supplier in Australia, Island Earth.
Very helpful chap, gets all his products from China.
Anyway, building an 'Elation' type bottom bracket drive system, using a slightly oversized 250 watt motor (is actually identical to the elation motor!), running at 24 volts.
Will use SLA initially, until I decide which battery tech to go with next, but reckon the SLA's will do the trick for me in the short to moderate term.
I'm using an slightly older MTB that I was going to retire, but now decided to refire!
Its a Shogun TB200, steel frame, 21 speed Sure Fire Shimano setup. Should be a half reasonable test bed.
Welcome to our V is for Voltage Community, so glad your here. Be sure to check out the Building E-Bikes Collaborative Hand Books in our growing V is for Voltage Forums Community Hand Books Library.
eLation is one of our high search words, and we have very little information about them, so any updates on your progress would be greatly appreciated.
Moderator Team Captain
Welcome to our V is for Voltage Community, we're so glad your here.
We would like to hear and see updates on your progress.
Before this Downunder thread gets to Kangaroos and Koala Bears, I suggest we start a new thread in the Bicycles and Pedelecs or if you prefer a Blog which several fellow community members have done here.
Make sure there is something in the subject that describes you project, which will help other locate it. Then it can also be added to our Building E-Bikes Collaborative Hand Books in our growing V is for Voltage Forums Community Hand Books Library
Looking foward to seeing more on your project.
Moderator Team Captain