Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

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Mik
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Any ideas on how to legally use a (useful) E-bike on this part of the bubble???

Quote:

QUEENSLAND (Australia)

Rules for motorised bicycles

A motorised bicycle is a bicycle to which an electric motor is attached. The motor must not be capable of generating more than 200 watts of power. It is illegal to ride a bicycle on roads or road-related areas (such as paths) if the bicycle has an internal combustion engine (for example, a petrol or diesel motor) attached.

http://www.zbox.com.au/legal.htm

With all my Vectrix troubles I wonder if I should just revert to reason, and to the most efficient mode of transport known to (wo)man in an asphalt world:

The bicycle!!

Back when I knew this to be true with every fiber of myself, when I religiously practiced it by day or night ( albeit in the absence of alternatives...) in all sorts of weather in a far away country with miserable weather, I was a wee bit younger. And a lot fitter.
Not as fit as I could still become if this was the main aim in life for me, which it is not, but I digress...

Anyway, the thought of getting some electrical help comes to mind each time I ponder if I should be honest and get on the bike again....of course I should!

But 200W sounds just too whimsy and useless!

If I could have a bike that uses batteries switched in parallel to gain lots of range - could those batteries be switched to series via a self-resetting relay whenever I reach private property?

The default setting would be parallel, with lots of range.

Switching it via relays (shorted onto themselves so they are only active after activation and only until turned off, battery empty or crashing) to series would increase the power and reduce the range when on private land, where the road laws would not apply.

Every time the bike stops it would automatically revert to the "legal" limit until the override for private property is activated by a knowledgeable rider, on private property, of course.

But is there any way around that apparently very restrictive wording: "The motor must not be capable of generating more than 200 watts of power.????

Mr. Mik

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andrew
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

A motor doesn't normally generate, so it could be a regenerative braking restriction :P

Given the speeds one can achieve with a stock bicycle with the right physique and setup, this is a ridiculous regulation. I can get up to 35 on a mountain bike down a hill with nothing special and I don't ride often. What I'm getting at, is I would have no moral problem just sticking a high powered motor on and riding it. If you make a custom bike, then I would have a label or sticker place make a 200 Watt sticker and put one on the motor, as well as the battery box.

It would appear that the only way they can prove otherwise is with a dyno test. There's no way to do that on the spot if they try and give you a ticket. Do they require only certified approved bicycles be ridden?

It may also be helpful to hide the fact that it's electric somehow. Maybe use a geared drive instead of a hub motor, though this would make noise. And, use a small battery pack with high energy density batteries in a bag on a rack so the batteries aren't clearly visible.

andrew
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

Sorry, I forgot to answer the original question.

Quote:

Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

No, it's not even worth considering unless you can't pedal, are injured and can't pedal much, or are very old. I had a 400 watt currie ebike that wasn't worth the weight in electrics for me. It may have been if geared higher and with NiMH or lithium though. But 200 watts? Not even good for helping much on the hills IMO (though I haven't had much experience with ebikes). Even my currie had a 35 or 40 amp fuse (can't remember which), meaning it could draw probably up to 30 amps or more on the hills meaning over about 600 watts output at least. I weighed about 120 lbs at the time, and carrying no cargo.

Mik
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

andrew wrote:

Sorry, I forgot to answer the original question.

I think you got it, alright! Thanks.

I am pondering an ethical version "Plausible deniability" here...

Mr. Mik

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edealsbargains
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

yes for sure 200w is enough when:
No licence or Rego needed
Legal kit for Australia for ON-ROADS USE riding anywhere is 24 volts 200 watts. >42kph All our kits use the bicycles existing chain & gears to give 6-9 speeds...This means now you can have a 6-9 speed electric bicycle

Do i need to pedal always when motor is running?.....NO! You need only pedal when you choose to...all our kits run on a free-wheel system
When using the electric motor you can pedal if you want for extra boost & speeds.....or no pedals and just power along with electric motor....your choice!
3 way ride system!
pedal only...or...electric only...or...pedal assist with electric
www.edealsbargains.com.au/page3.php
see this great ebike kit
180-500_kit_picture_updated.jpg

Mik
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

edealsbargains wrote:

Legal kit for Australia for ON-ROADS USE riding anywhere is 24 volts 200 watts.

Is this the same motor as for the higher Watt rated kits with a different controller?

Can the motor be over-volted, and how high?

What are the specs / model of the motor and controller, please?

Mr. Mik

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reikiman
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

Ignoring specific kits that are available.. let me address "But 200W sounds just too whimsy and useless!"

Have you ridden an electric bicycle and do you have grounds for a fair assessment of this claim? Yes you've been riding that Vectrix and it runs at far more than 200W but a bicycle is not a maxiscooter. I've ridden both and to me they adequately serve different uses.

A bicycle is best serving a performance envelope of: max 20-25 miles/hr, 20 miles range, carrying a single person and modest cargo. A maxiscooter has a much bigger performance envelope.

A while back DaveW made a blog post talking about "Circles". The way I remember the post, the performance envelope of your chosen vehicle gives you a circle within which you can operate. That's the first question to resolve, can an electric bicycle satisfy the range you require? And will the slower speed get you to your destination within the time you require?

What can you do with 200W ??

That's an interesting question isn't it? One possible area to explore is the relative energy efficiency of different vehicles. You could imagine, couldn't you, a contest where the goal is to go the farthest or fastest on a given number of watt-hours.

Anyway I've been reporting testing results on one of my bicycles. It's an Electra Townie bicycle (despite the name Electra bicycles aren't electrified) with a Wilderness Energy 36v brushed motor and I'm using 36v LiFePO packs from PingPing. Most of that's unimportant but the basic result is, with this setup, using approx 200 watts I was able to ride at a nice leisurely pace which may have been 20 miles/hr.

One time I heard the founder of this company speak: http://electrobike.com/Pi/Pi.html .. ignore the $7500 price, the model he showed in April he claimed would sell for $4000. I don't remember the figures but as he talked he quoted the power required to move at a specific speed, and the power using that bicycle was less than the power required for the Electra Townie setup I just described. Since this bike has the motor arranged so it gains the mechanical advantage from the NuVinci rear hub .. that means this bike ought to be capable of more efficiency.

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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

200W is weak. I'm running excess of 2000W now and I still want moar :P.

But yeah, if you don't ever plan on going more than 20mph and can wait a year or so to get up there 200W is fine. :)

The switched parallel/series thing is doable. I plan on a 36/72V switch myself, actually. Not too hard to do, but finding suitable relays can be a pain.

A pair of 36V 10Ah packs will give you excellent top speed or a lot of range depending on configuration. If you don't need the performance of some of the bikes we run over at the ES, a pair of 24V 15Ah packs won't give the same top speed, but will give you more range than you know what to do with.

200W is kind of a silly restriction, and even more so with a hub motor that can't be geared. But I find it...interesting...that they put the restriction on the motor (which is ratable with any number of conditions), and not the controller (which is the true bottleneck of the system). Oh well }:).

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Mik
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

reikiman wrote:

Ignoring specific kits that are available.. let me address "But 200W sounds just too whimsy and useless!"

Have you ridden an electric bicycle and do you have grounds for a fair assessment of this claim? Yes you've been riding that Vectrix and it runs at far more than 200W but a bicycle is not a maxiscooter. I've ridden both and to me they adequately serve different uses.

No, I have never ridden an electric bicycle.

I did not mean to offend anyone with a 200W bicycle, I am just asking for advice.

I am not trying to compare the two, but I need to find some transport that works for me.

The main problem is that I have one long and gentle, and several short moderate climbs on the way home. (20km x2 commute)
The sun is setting in front of me on my commute home and at times I will be very hard to see for car drivers approaching from behind, often going over the 80km/h speed limit.

Some of the moderate climbs approach a cusp, are very narrow and have a double unbroken middle line and no side strip. It is impossible to see if a car is approaching from in front.
Either the cars pass me with no lateral safety distance, or they risk hitting oncoming traffic if they cross the middle line. Or they slow down to 10-15km/h and crawl along behind me - LOL!

If I can get up and over those few narrow cusps at double the speed, I'll halve my risk!

How fast is a 200W bicycle with 100kg payload up a 6% incline?
How fast with 400W or 600W?

If the electric range and speed is enough to let me rest from pedaling a lot, then I will be able to contribute about 500W pedal power, at least for short distances.

I was regularly cycling to work and back a few years ago, 13km x2, at average speeds of 20-23km/h. (My Velo 2 stops counting and calculating average speed when stationary at traffic lights, though.)

Mr. Mik

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NickF23
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

200 watt peak is a waste of time, unless you needed a tiny bit of power to offset a disability or similar use.

200 watt continous (say 500 - 700 watt peak) can be made to be fun depending on what you want it for. A variable gear train is definatly recommended, as in the Australian kit posted above.

dogman
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Re: Is a 200W E-bike worth the hassle???

that sounds sketchy to me, the only reason i'm on a bike again is the great bike paths in my town. that and the worst bus system in north america.

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