Fastest Folding Bike For Electric Bike Conversion? Dahon Matrix or Speed Pro/TT with X-Lyte 5303 +72V Cystalite 40A controller?
I am in the progress of buying a folding bike to go to work. I need something fast in terms of speed & MPH. I'm 170lbs & 37 years old. My current candidate would be either the Dahon Matrix or the Dahon Speed Pro & possibly the Speed Pro TT. Which one do you think is faster? Or are there any faster folding bikes? I will be putting the Phoenix motor from ElectricRider.com (X-Lyte 5303) and possibly using the 72V Cystalite 40A controller. Any suggestions if money is no object? :)
the fastest will be the a combination of:
the bike that has the least rolling resistance (ie get high speed slick tyres pumped as much as possible)
largest tyre diameter on the motor (might need high power to get to speed)
and also gives the smallest aerodynamic drag at speed (with you on the bike)
and finally which one is lightest
i personally know nothing about folding bikes, esp types or brands, but the above is true for general bikes.
you will get by far the most bang for your buck, speed-wise, by focusing on a motor that can put out lots of power at high speed. Suitable candidates include crystalyte motors run at 72v or the 1000W cyclone-tw.com kit.
If you are running 1000+ watts of motor power (and hopefully pedaling as well?) then most of your energy will be used overcoming air resistance, which means an aerodynamic bike (time trial style, or even better an aerodynamic recumbent, and add fairings if you want super-speed) will be the best choice. If it must be a folder, Dahon has some nice bikes with low bullhorn bars... slightly more aero than your average folding bike, but really nothing to get all excited about.
you better make sure those light weight frames can handle that kind of power. I've seen the more powerful hub motors tear the dropouts right out of aluminum frames and forks. Those Dahon bikes are nice folders, but I question the strength of their frames for any really high powered motors.
your motor choice is questionable, too heavy
The last two posts have worthwhile points. Other things equal, a heavy bike is slower than a light bike, BUT you might want to go for a heavy bike if you're running 1000 watts of power in order to get the extra reliability. I know I chose a bike intentionally with heavy wheels and tires because the bigger clunkier parts are more durable... that was before I went electric but now that i have a motor on it the extra weight barely matters.
Thanks for your input guys. I have actually purchased 4 Dahon bikes. They are 2004 Roo El, 2005 Helios, 2006 Speed Pro, 2007 Cadenza. In addition, I have purchased a Currie bike. Also I have bought multiple motor kits and a few DeWalt & Nimh batteries, brushed & brushless controllers. There's also a bunch of scooter (big & small) I bought since my last post. I am very very addictive to the electric bike & scooter stuff now. I now understand the the importance to have a strong frame bike after I had my modified Currie bike running at 32MPHs. Bumping on pot holes at high speed is what makes me re-think the potential dangers. Anyway, I am still not giving up the ideas on building my fastest folding bike since I have already spent thousands of US$$$. My currently build is a Dahon Cadenza with a Kollmorgen (some people called it Kollmorgan - not sure which spellng is right however...) running on the least rolling resistence tires (Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX Tires) with 2 x 700c dual disc & caliper brakes compatible wheels (very lightweight also) with ultra lightweight self sealing tubes). I will try to utilize the lighter weight of the Lithium polymer rather than the LiFEPO4 and/or the NiMH batteries (4LBs Polymer, 5LBs LIFEPO4, 8LBS for NiMH). My goal is to make it go about 30MPH with less than 40LBS of weight. I will post some pictures of my electric weight wheelie soon. :)