I live in China, the land of the cheap e-biked. I have been tempted to buy one here - can get them for as cheap as $US 120 but the quality and safety (or lack of) has stopped me. Speaking of stopping, the biggest issue is that the braking capabilities of these bikes is not any different from that of a pedal bike, yet the e-bikes are at least 50 pounds heavier and travel at 2.5 times the speed. Below is what I am planning/thinking of. I have not picked a donor bike yet. Please feel free to comment on any point.
- I want the bike to still be easy to pedal and have gears. There are several internal hub gear boxes available here. I was going to put one on the rear wheel and put the motor on the front wheel.
- I saw a motor once that was mounted on the front wheel. It was not a hub wheel but a typical looking motor mounted above the fender, with a chain drive to the front wheel. Is this a good idea? The reason why I want to stay away from hub motors is that they are much more expensive. The bike I saw had a 48 volt 6 or 700 watt motor that cost about $110.
- If I had this kind of setup would I be able to put an internal hub gear box up front also, matched to the motor?
- Would there be any benefit in using a motor with dual shafts, one at each end, and having a chain connecting each side of the motor to each side of the wheel? My initial thinking is that it might make less wear on the wheel because the pull is balanced from side to side.
- Any suggestions on a donor bike? I am partial to the beach type bike because the pedaling position is more upright. I would prefer, however, a bike that had a longer wheelbase. Is it possible to safely modify a standard bike frame - cheap type, common steel, to extend the frame to make a place for batteries, i.e. behind the seat post and in front of the rear wheel? I would also like to be able to often carry another person behind me on the rack.
- Has anyone installed a windshield on their e-bike? If so what was the result?
- Has anyone ever converted a light - 100 or 150 cc motorcycle? I know the extra weight would eat some mileage and performance...but it would look really cool. Would probably not be able to pedal though..or not very comfortably.