decent folding electric bike?

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Mentaluproar
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Joined: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 02:16
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decent folding electric bike?

I'm looking to cut down on fuel costs and start exercising a bit. Living in an apartment, a folding bicycle seems like the way to go. Unfortunately, I live at the bottom of a killer hill. After the hill, most places are on pretty level ground, but it's that starting hill (and perhaps one at a destination I am not likely to visit often) that are very steep.

As far as getting a full size bike, while they allow them in our apartments, and I am on the first floor, I really don't have that kind of room. Besides, I don't like the idea of leaving my bike outside when I go somewhere anyway.

NYCewheels had a Dahon Bionx and electric Brompton that I liked, but I am concerned about the motors. The bionx has a 350 watt option and the Brompton only has a 250. I'm a pretty light guy (130 lbs) but don't want to risk buyers remorse here.

The furthest destinations I would travel on bike are only about 8 miles away.

From what I can tell, hub motors would be a bad idea for hill climbing so it looks like I'd have to get a mid-drive electric kit. Looking at the mid drive though, it doesn't look like I'd be able to ever relax if the motor is engaged. I would have to keep the pedals moving, right?

I'm pretty handy, but admit that I haven't tried something like this before, and the mid-drives look more difficult to install, and they might not even fit right on a folding bike.

Would any of you have experience with electric folding bikes? What about power? I'd like to remain around 15 mph as much as possible, though I'm not averse to hitting the 20 mph limit.

little_lonnie
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Last seen: 11 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sunday, June 5, 2011 - 19:23
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Re: decent folding electric bike?

I just joined, saw your post. I have moved from an area mostly flat occasional hill to lots of hills. I have just converted my 24V EV Global EBike with a 400W motor and 7 AH lead battery to a 48V 1000W hub motor kit and LiFePO4 20 AH batteries, and that sucker took me up a 2 mile hill at up to 28 mph, whereas the old system overheated and "rested" partway up. No problem with the hub motor- you must add torque bars, but that's easy.
I purchased kits from Chinese suppliers, and they are reasonably foolproof.

As you save weight with the Li batteries even gaining amp hours, the only constraint is cost. I'd bet, as a thin young guy, you could do a 36V 800W hub motor and a 36V 15AH battery and still enjoy your hills. A 500W motor might do, but you only choose once! A 10 AH battery might do for your short trips, too. You might also get an old "clunker" bike and add the above for less than buying new. In that case, consider front wheel motor.

Good luck!

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