Complete Newbie. Need help finding e-bike or a kit, also a whole lot of questions.

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nutrick
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Hi, well i'm pretty new on knowing about e-bikes, but I did have a little knowledge on E-scooters. I have a Schwinn S500 which doesn't work anymore.. I think the battery is just disconnected.. But is there any way I could maybe remove the motor, controller, throttle and batteries to maybe put it on a mountain bike? Or would it take too much work? Also, what would be a good ebike or good kit to put on a mountain bike? I'm looking for a reliable, long term kind of bike. My commute going to work is just down the hill (which is good) but obviously going back home is the biggest problem, it's a pretty long and steep hill. My commute to school is a little longer, I'm not sure if I could ride the bike on the freeway, but if i couldn't, then it would be pretty hilly and maybe 2-3 times as long. I weigh about 130 (a little on the light side) but since gas prices are going up, i'd much rather just use an e bike since both my work and school are pretty close. If you need more information, please post it.
My Major Newb Questions:
1. What are the laws regarding E-bikes going less than 40?

2. Would Pedaling be a lot harder since the gear is attached to a motor?

3. Restated again: Could I take out the motor, controller, and whatever else I need off my Schwinn S500 to put onto a mountain bike(since I like the gear switching)?

4. This is how newbie I am: I don't know how to make a parallel circuit w/ 3 batteries, i've tried, but it never worked.

As you can see, I need a lot of help, and there will be a lot more questions coming soon probably, all help is welcome and is needed.

Thanks,
Patrick D

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MB-1-E
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Hi Patrick,

I'm sure you will get some great advice from those more experienced than I, but I'll give you my 2 cents if you take it with a grain of salt and get at least a second opinion here.

Quote:

But is there any way I could maybe remove the motor, controller, throttle and batteries to maybe put it on a mountain bike?

I'd say it's do-able and would probably work ok, but it would definately take some customizing on your part.

You would most likely need to add a sprocket to the left side of the bike which is no small task. (there are left-hand sprockets available but it depends on the mountain bike hub as to whether it will fit or not).
There are also ways to use the existing bike chain, but it gets complicated if you don't want the pedals to turn as the motor powers the bike).

You might want some batteries with more capacity (more Amp Hours) so you can go the distance and you may need a controller with higher amperage, since the bike will be a bit more weight to push than the scooter. (but with your weight, that might not be a big problem)

500 Watts is definately within the acceptable power range for an electric bike.

The laws vary from state to state, so you would need to look up "pedal assist electric bike" laws for your state to be sure.
In general, I think most states will allow a pedal assisted bike to go up to about 20 mph and be up to a listed wattage (this differs per state). The laws are a bit more complex than that but I think most have some provision similar to that to not have to license it as a motor vehicle. (I don't believe you will ever get anywhere near 40 mph with this motor or controller)

As for pedaling while the motor is attached, most systems incorporate what they call a freewheel which will let you pedal or coast while the motor is running. Currie motors, for example, have a freewheel sprocket on the motor.

A parallel circuit connects the positive terminal of one battery to the positive terminal of the next battery and the negative terminal of one battery to the negative terminal of the next.
In a parallel circuit, the voltage remains the same as one of those batteries but the Ah (Amp hour) is increased.

A series circuit connect the positive terminal of one battery to the negative terminal on the next battery to give you increased voltage but the same Ah. With a google search or a search here you should be able to find some diagrams that will help.

Be careful how you hook them up and be sure of what you are doing before attempting to do this. Batteries have a LOT of potential and can heat up, explode or even catch fire if connected wrong or charged improperly (depending on the type of battery).

There are some good kits available. It still takes some work to install them, but it would be a lot easier than using the scooter parts to power a bike, IMO.

Good Luck and ask lots of questions, you've come to the right place.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

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nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

hey thanks! you really did help, and maybe you're right, it'll take too long and too much work =] what would be a great E-bike to invest in? i'm looking for something that could go 25mph unassisted, and could tackle a good hill. As for getting an ebike, what if I bought one with maybe a 350W motor, could i replace it with the 500W one and maybe change the gear to a shorter toothed one to increase the speed? not exactly sure what the "gear" is called.. so what's a good e bike (lookin for a mountain e bike) i was looking at the Day 6 bicycle, which seems really great and comfortable, but the price for an electric one is a little... :jawdrop: so what would be a good e bike?

chas_stevenson
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

nutrick,

Unfortunately the $1100 to $1600 price tag is about what a good e-bike will cost. Also that was the price for only the kit, the bike was NOT included. If you just want to get something for short basic transportation to get you feet wet so to speak you might try the Mongoose at Wal Mart. This is the cheapest complete electric I know of. I should also let you know 25MPH on a 350 or even 500 watt motor is not normal. Oh it can be done if you over-voltage the motor but that will just burn it out too fast. I have a 350 watt bike and it tops out at 14.4MPH. It was my first try at an electric bike and I used the parts from a scooter to build it. Lots of work and time, but it does work. To do what you want to do you need to use a good kit with lots of power on a strong steel frame bike with good brakes. I think this is out of your price range for now. I would not try using a small motor then upgrade to a larger motor due to the amount of modifications required for this. Most of the time you must not only change the motor but the controller as well. With the larger motor you will then need a larger battery pack, more Amp Hours. I think you get the point. Please continue to post in this thread with questions, there are lots of us here that can help.

nutrick wrote:

I'm not sure if I could ride the bike on the freeway

I think you might want to learn the Rules of the Road for bikes. No bicycles are allowed on freeways. Bicycles should follow most of the same rules as an auto. i.e. Stopping at stop signs, riding on the right, ect.

nutrick wrote:

1. What are the laws regarding E-bikes going less than 40?

Here are the highlights from the Federal electric bicycle laws for the United States -
SUMMARY: Public Law 107-319, 116 Stat. 2776 (the Act), enacted December 4, 2002, subjects low-speed electric bicycles to the Commission's existing regulations at 16 CFR part 1512 and 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(12) for bicycles that are solely human powered. For purposes of this requirement, the Act defines a low-speed electric bicycle as ``a two-or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.''

DATES: This amendment is effective upon publication in the Federal
Register, that is, on February 12, 2003.

Specifically, section 1 of the Act makes low-speed electric bicycles subject to the Commission's existing regulations on bicycles and assigns responsibility for electric bikes to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) rather than DOT (Department of Transportation).

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, low-speed electric bicycles are consumer products within the meaning of section 3(a)(1)[of the CPSA] and shall be subject to the Commission regulations published at Sec. 1500.18(a)(12) and part 1512 of title 16, Code of Federal Regulations.

Public Law 107-319, section 1, 116 Stat. 2776.
The Act defines the term ``low-speed electric bicycle'' as follows:

(b) For purposes of this section, the term ``low-speed electric bicycle'' means a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 12988, the Commission states the preemptive effect of this regulation as follows. Section 1 of the Act provides that its requirements ``shall supercede any State law or requirement with respect to low-speed electric bicycles to the extent that such State law or requirement is more stringent than the Federal law or requirements referred to in subsection (a)

2. Amend Sec. 1512.2, to revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
(a) Bicycle means:
(1) A two-wheeled vehicle having a rear drive wheel that is solely human-powered;
(2) A two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.

This bill clarifies the vehicle and traffic law to define electric assisted bicycles; establish that electric assisted bicycles, as defined, are bicycles, not motor vehicles; and establish safety and operational criteria for their use. Defining and establishing operational criteria for electric assisted bicycles will clarify for authorities that these vehicles are more akin to bicycles than motorcycles.

Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Thanks, that also helps, besides the Mongoose, what other ones are good, and also that cheap, if there are any? as for the motor upgrade, i couldn't add maybe a powerpack motor to the mongoose, since it sorta does come with everything. or maybe just buy that lashout bike w/ the powerpack motor. it's like 800 or 900.

MB-1-E
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Hello again Patrick,

This site has a pretty good list of some of the electric bikes and kits available, but it doesn't list them all, so these aren't all the options that you have. (such as the Mongoose)

http://www.electric-bikes.com/bikes/buying.html

I've never tried one, but the Lashout sure caught my eye too. I believe it's now called the ElecTrec which succeeds the LashOut. Sure looks like a fine choice but it's now nearly $1000

But as already noted, the Mongoose has got to be one of the best ways to get into electric bikes at a very reasonable cost.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

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nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

ooh yeah i was looking at that, but what are the differences between a "hub motor" and a chain one? I probably would want something quiet, and not a lot of jerking if i go up a hill or something. also could i just replace maybe the mongoose with a power pack motor? or maybe replaces the mongoose motor with the 500W motor on my S500, would 50W make any difference? if anything, what else would i need if I took all the parts off of my Schwinn S500 to put onto a regular mountain bike?

chas_stevenson
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

The difference between 450-watts and 500-watts is like replacing a 45 watt light bulb with a 50 watt light bulb, almost no difference at all.

I don't mean to discourage your idea but you did ask - what else would i need if I took all the parts off of my Schwinn S500 to put onto a regular mountain bike?

Well the biggest problem is the gearing. the motor you have turns about 3000 RPM and you need to gear that down around 240 RPM for the wheel. These numbers are only examples. The average gear reduction used in a case like this is about 13:1. Here is a picture of the back of my EZ-3 (Recumbent trike). I used a 500-watt motor from a scooter running at 36-volts and a 3-speed bike hub so I could change gears for hills. The EZ-3 is not light so it takes a very low gear to pull hills.

As you can see there are many sprockets and chains but it does work and anyone who wants to do this can. It is a lot of work but I have a blast with this trike. First gear will go about 8 MPH second gear about 14 MPH and third gear will reach 19.8 MPH according to the bike computer. I wanted to get as close to 20 MPH as I could without going over so the trike would follow US Federal law. I'm just waiting for an officer to give me trouble. I carry a copy of the law in the back of the trike. I have only talked to one officer in my area and he was adamant about an electric bike being a moped and required registration. I plan to find out what his beat is so I can ride around it this summer. The officers in my immediate area just wave as I ride by. They have seen me riding around town and following the rules of the road so they don't bother me. I also have a secret switch, the trike carries 6 batteries so I can switch in the other pack and it will reach 35 MPH. I can also select which battery pack to run from so if one gets low I have the other as a backup. I live about 5 miles from town in the country and use the extra speed to get me to town.

You also talked in an earlier post about how batteries are wired. I thought this might help.

Old Rebel,
Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

you know those pictures do help.. thanks =D let's see.. should i just get a mountain bike like on craigslist (i've seen one that I like, it also has 26" wheels too, but i'm not sure if it's aluminum frame or not) and maybe get a kit? would a powerpack motor work? or would i have to get the actual e bike that has the powerpack motor. thanks chas, i might not have enough time to work on getting all the mechanical stuff goin, so i might just save up, plus i want something a little more subtle and that isn't very heavy.
maybe to make it easier, i'll outline all the things i'm looking for
- lightweight ebike or kit, one that doesn't add a lot of weight to the bike
- not too obvious that it's an ebike, don't want anything sticking out
- reliable
- not too pricey, i might consider the mongoose, if not, i'll have some serious saving up to do.

so i'm just wondering, if i could either 1. buy the mongoose and just replace everything with the powerpack kit, and probably add an additional battery, 2.get a nice mountain bike and add the powerpack motor, or 3. buy the 600W Electrec Bike that has the powerpack motor in it.

I'm guessing 3 is the easiest work wise, since it's pre made, but not the cheapest, 2 will have alot of work, but is pretty cheap (since the mountain bike i saw was $60) and 1 if it's possible, that might be my option since it sort of balances out both money and work.
help me decide =]

Oh and also, i saw that alternative to the phoenix i think? the synergy cycle one that's around 700, do they still sell those? and if so, anyone have any experience with them?

MB-1-E
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Hi Patrick,

Before you decide to convert a mountain bike, check out my MB-1-E blog to get an idea of what's involved (it takes a lot of planning and work). I'm pretty mechanically inclined and it's definately a challange for me. Another thought is that it can get expensive too. I already had my mountain bike an by the time I got all the parts it cost several hundred over what I originally thought it might.

A good kit would be easier than starting from scratch, but still takes patience and some custom work to get it right.

If you don't want people to immediately recognise that your e-bike is an e-bike, the best might be a hub kit ... that, too, can get fairly expensive though.

Just some things to think about.
Good luck in whatever you decide.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

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Sturdly
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Listen to Chas and Dave as they have it right. The scooter stuff can be modified to work but it takes time, talent and some$$$$. If you want an acceptable entry level bike get a Mongoose while you still can. It looks like the iZip stuff will replace it and at a cost of an additional $200 or more.

The most important consideration as far as I'm concerned is the terrain. If you have steep hills to deal with you won't be happy with the Mongoose or iZip as the 450w motor they use is actually a 250w Unite motor which I have found is not enough for Frisco type embankments. Sadly all the new Currie stuff is not using the planetary gear reduction so that rules out adding the higher watt motors to their offerings.

Personally I have an elationebike bb drive which is great for the flatter stuff but lacking in the steep climbing department. I'm currently waiting on Allan as he is to send me some new higher powered and better geared stuff to Beta test.

Another option is to watch Ebay and Craigslist for used stuff, usually available for pennies on the dollar. Over the last three months I have seen locally in Seattle a couple of Lee Iacocca ebikes for $500 for the pair, fully accessorrised and with practically 0 miles, a great deal. Now I am looking at a Merida for $375 asking price for a malfunctioning unit, probably a good deal and a Norco with Bionx, 2 battery packs and a bob trailer for$3000 about $6000 worth at retail.

Step one define performance requirements.
Step two define $$$ available.
Step three shop around for the best deal.

In the mean time absorb as much information as possible related to steps one through three. Also remember light weight costs even more...... it's all about the jewels/batteries.

MB-1-E
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

http://www.greenspeed.us/lashout_electric_bicycle.htm

http://www.electrikmotion.com/LashOutBikeMain.htm

Dave

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Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
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nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

thanks everyone for all your help and advice, i might just go with the mongoose for now. but probably upgrade later on, unless i could just buy the powerpack motor, and maybe upgrade it like that, anyone think that might work?

Sturdly
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

The Mongoose uses the Unite 250w motor with gear reduction built in. To use the powerpack motor on one you would need to reduce the RPM of the motor. This can be done by using a Pro Drive planetary gear reducer, it won't be a bolt on though. Some modification required.

It would be a bolt on for a Lashout or Elec Trec.

MB-1-E
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Let us know what you decide to do, we're always interested in hearing about any EV stuff.
You can always keep asking questions too, it helps come to a sound decision. The Mongoose looks like a good choice if that's what you decide on.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
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nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

i'm really interested in just upgrading the mongoose to the powerpack motor, but how much does a pro drive planetary reducer cost, and what type of modifications are needed?

chas_stevenson
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

nutrick,

I don't know of anyone who has upgraded the current Mongoose so you will more than likely be the first, so tell us how it's done. :) I don't think this bike used a planetary gear. All you should need is the motor and controller from EVdeals. Take a look here on their motor page. I might be wrong about this and to answer your question the planetary units are just under $50.oo. Here is one place you can get them.

I also ran across this Mongoose site. It has different styles of the Mongoose. I know more choices just make the decision harder.

Keep the questions coming, I don't have all the answers but I will help when I can.
Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

Oh alright, thanks chas. So overall this is what I need to upgrade the Mongoose:
Mongoose Bike (getting the mountain bike, probably at walmart or costco)
Planetary gear (Evdeals)
Powerpack Motor Kit (w/Controller and Motor)
Extra Battery in Parallel Circuit (i'm probably going to take out the 2 batteries from my S500 and add an additional battery I found which is 12v 17aH)

What else would i need?

chas_stevenson
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

nutrick,

Let me think .

The only other item I can think of is the throttle. I am not sure if the throttle will work with the new controller so it might be a good idea to e-mail the people you get the controller from and double check.

Gee I think you are ready to go.

Two other things you will need, time and patients.

Please don't forget to let us all know how the stock version of the Mongoose runs.
Good Luck,
Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

Sturdly
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

I think you will need more than the planetary gear. Looks to me like you need the whole drive assembly with planetary gear, cover, drive gear, etc. The $149 part on the same page.

Also check to see if the sprocket on the rear bicycle wheel hub is a #25, if not you will need one of those and some #25 chain.

I could be wrong so best contact the head dude at EVdeals. I'm sure he can enlighten you as to the level of complexity

nutrick
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

alright, i think first i'm gonna buy the mongoose, and then upgrade later later on with the powerpackmotor :) i've come to my decision :D

matisamd
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Re: Need help finding e-bike or a kit ... lot of questions.

how did they come up with the laws for 'ebikes' was it the usually 2 days of smoking crack and shooting up on smack ?

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