Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

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ZOMGVTEK
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Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

I purchased 3 1000w 48V rear hub motors from China in hopes of shoving them onto a few cheap bikes. Im hopeing I can run about 20mph, but id be fine with a solid 15... maybe even 10. Good ol SLA's will be running these units. 4x 12V 18AH 1/2 U1 batteries. I have 6 U1 battery boxes on the way as well. The plan is to run the batteries on the side of the rear tire anywhere nice and low.

Im expecting about 16-18 mile range running about 50% throttle where the motor is more efficient. Total cost for the project is $377.02 per kit, so im not terribly concerned if its a total failure...

Any real problems with these motors or my plans? I already purchased the stuff, but you can still say negative things of course.

dogman
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Hard to say much without knowing what motor you bought. Motors tend to be pretty reliable, but controller quality can vary a lot. In general a 48v 1000 watt motor will go 25 mph or more with a rider under 200 pounds. But that speed can be lower depending on winding count and things like speed limiters on the controller. At those speeds,25 mph, range will be short on sla's. At half throttle, say 15 mph, 10-15 miles is my prediction. The batteries will not last long if rode that far daily, but 6-10 miles between charges will be a practical distance that will make the batteries last.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
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ZOMGVTEK
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Well if the controller has a relay in it, im removing that in place of some thick wire. Any current limiting shunt will need to be marginally modified as well. Im considering running an additional battery to step it up to a nice and even 60V, replacing the transistors of course. Im probably going to put some big caps on the thing as well, and replace the cheap chinese caps with Panasonic FM's.

The motors appear to be 'Golden Motors' from the pics, as they have the black paint with silver stripes and whatnot. And they will be on 26" rims...

I will probably ride the bike 2-4 miles a day max, likely less. The most Id ride it until the batteries die would be about every other week or so.

ZOMGVTEK
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

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It came with this spiffy bag...
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Batteries!
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//i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/ericspda/Bike/th_Cam-2009-06-0122-57-36.jpg)

It has more torque than expected... I have 15 miles on the cells as of now, and im still hitting my top speed of 22mph. Its not even like a casual cruising 15 miles, more of a WOT run then hard braking, repeat... I calibrated the speedo with a GPS, its very close to perfect.

Is there a limiter generally built into these controllers?

Heres a general description of the kit. I had to pull the cassette and add two extra shims into the thing to get it to freewheel properly, but it works great now.
http://s87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/ericspda/Bike/?action=view&current=Cam-2009-05-2911-31-14.flv

ZOMGVTEK
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Well... I put a little over 20 miles on a single charge today. About 10 miles each way, only stopping once. Near top speed most times, no pedal assist. It sure lacks a bit of low end grunt, but its still hitting almost top speed, right at 20-21 mph.

//i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/ericspda/Bike/IMG_0471.jpg)

She needs to sit on the charger tonight... I have the killawatt on the charger to see how many KWH the charger consumes to charge the pack from nearly flat to full.

chris.troutner
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

I have ridden well over a thousand - close to two thousand now - miles on my eBike. It has the 1000W hub motor from Golden Motor (displayed in the picture posted) and it has held up great! Absolutely no problems. I live in Seattle, so we get *A LOT* of rain and that hasn't given me any problems either.

West Edge eBikes - Custom Electric Bicycle Conversions
http://www.westedgeebikes.com

GaryAZ
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Hi all ....
New guy here. Saw my kit with a question attached so I had to respond :) This kit seems to be picking up in popularity. Purchased it from Ebay as most others have I guess. These are the guys that will give you a killer deal if you buy both the kit and Lifepo4 battery from them. Mine was $750 with shipping. Got the thumb throttle and 5A charger. Non regen controller.

My setup can be seen here:

http://www.evalbum.com/2699

As a large man at 6'2" 275 lbs, I find this kit to be in short .... FUN! I'm not running SLA's but a Li-Ping 48v 20ah Lifepo4 pack. Rear mounted as I have it now, it's a little top heavy but really not all that bad. Had to put the rear kickstand on so she wouldn't tip over. I use a Mio C230 GPS with Mio Pocket installed to track speed, distance, course. I can view all my runs on Google Earth now. At any given point I can see what speed I was at as well as altitude. Kinda cool.

Speed? I've gotten 35 mph on a very short down hill (maybe 4-5% grade) run. I'm too much of a speed brake past 30 or so. Average is around 23 mph with 50% throttle on flats and calm wind. Full throttle I can maintain around 27-28 on the flats with an occasional dip into 30. Breezy conditions either help or hurt you a lot. I find myself these days puttering along at 17-18 mph so I can help with pedaling.

Range? Depends on speed and area (hills vs mostly flat) I'm riding in. Speed plays the biggest part in my range. My best calculated * range is around 37 miles chewing a mere 26 Wh/mi. My riding was kept 20 mph and under with moderate pedal assist. Nothing that pushed me hard physically but I was helping to the degree that felt comfortable for me. I did crank out one WOT run for about a mile on this ride. Even if you are trying to ride on the conservative side, you still gotta "open 'er up" at least once!

My worst range was a fun 12 mile full throttle only back road rampage :) Kept speeds above 25 and ran around 27-28 with the occasional dip into 30-32 mph. Wh/Mi chew was around 45 with a calculated * total range of only 21.5 miles. Kept to fairly flat terrain winds were calm. I keep my Schwalbe XR's at 70 psi.

Acceleration? Meh. With full on hard core pedaling, I can get to 25 mph in maybe 5-7 seconds. Power only, maybe 10 seconds to 20 mph which is still OK by me. It's still a blast to ride ;)

Braking? Ouch. There's where my rig falls on it's face. No disc brakes to be had on my older MtBike. Only rubber. With higher speeds, I have to be *very* aware of what's happening to stay outta trouble. I keep my high speed fun for the back roads.

That's about all I can say on this kit right now. Keeping throttle at or below 50% seems to be the ticket for best range. I too had to shim the freewheel to get it to spin with this kit. I did replace the computer wiring that came with for 10 gauge twisted. The old wire felt like it was going to burn up after a WOT run of say a mile. Controller runs much cooler too.

Bottom like, for the money I like this kit. I've put just this side of 300 miles on so far with no problems other than one flat. The Schwalbe's are flat "resistant" not flat proof. Carry tools and a spare!

My personal recommendations for this kit are:

1. Get the front hub vs the rear for ease of installation & better weight distribution. You won't have to hassle with gearing and removal for a flat will be easier.

2. Take your new motor assy straight away to a bike shop to have things tightened and trued. For $15 bucks, it's worth every cent. I fiddled with loose / noisy spokes with my own wrench forever and only made it worse.

3. Replace the wimpy computer wiring for heavier gauge wiring - I went with twisted 10 which is probably overkill. Price wise, not much difference between 10 & 12 gauge so I went with overkill.

4. Replace the cheezy fuse & holder that comes with for a 30A automotive "blade" style fuse with beefier wiring.

5. Place a 30A 120V circuit breaker inline for a switch - nice not having to plug / unplug each time I ride. I'm sure there are other switches for this ... maybe even keyed ones - I just happen to like my circuit breaker idea. Works very well and it was cheap. Can't beat a $5 switch :)

6. Get a motor that is disc ready. My opinion is, with the extra weight and speed, disc is a must. Can't have too much stopping power. Well I guess you can ... it's called an endo :O

* calculated - I multiplied my pack voltage (48) times amp-hour rating (20) to come up with a total of 960Wh available power. I use a kill-a-watt meter to measure how much goes back into the battery during charging. I divide my total input Wh by total miles ridden to come up with Wh/Mi. I divide total pack capacity by Wh/mi usage to find my calculated total range. Later I'll run the pack dry just to see it's true total capacity. Past this, I'll get a Cycle Analyst or Watts UP meter for a more accurate "gas gauge"

nineball
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

I have a similar China direct kit, 48v 1000w, rear hub, sliver (not black), came with tire mounted, pedal sensor, brake levers,twist grip and charger.

Ran it on 4 12ah sla's for over 800 miles (would hit 30mph easy), after reading about controllers in these forums, I decided to look inside the controller, turns out it has (15) 72 volt Fets, and 63 volt caps, plenty for a 48v setup and prolly save for 60v. So...I added another 12v pack. Also added a switch and relay to switch from 48v to 60 on the fly....works great...over 400 miles that way and I love the extra torque and speed...will hit 35 like it did 30, and will go 40+ down grade. I'm not getting the range in the previous posts, but my local comutte is only about 5 miles, so it's not a problem for me, and I get there pretty quick, about 3 more min than driving, and I haven't bought gas in over 2 months. 700c wheels too.

decibel1
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

I recently purchased one of the 1000W 48V 26" front drive kits on Ebay for $299 including shipping. As I already have two bikes equipped with Crystalite Phoenix Cruiser front drive systems, I was curious as to how these cheaper Chinese kits compare. My Crystalite kits (each now costs about $750 plus shipping) were installed on cheap all-steel Roadmaster "Mt. Fury" bikes purchased at WalMart for $47 (great conversion bikes but unfortunately not sold anymore) and upgraded with better brakes, etc. Both bikes have Ping 48V, 20AH LiFePo4 packs on them, and my wife and I have ridden them for thousands of enjoyable miles without problems. I mounted the new, cheaper, kit on a lighter weight steel alloy mountain bike I purchased many years ago from L.L. Bean. That bike had quick release dropouts on it and the motor quickly attempted to leave the bike behind (not a happy occurance) by splaying the dropouts and pulling itself out of the fork. I then bought a new tensile steel fork from BikepartsUSA for about $20 plus shipping, and bought a torque arm from a good ebike outfit in Vancouver. The system now is completely together and operational. This new kit came with a thumb throttle which I didn't like so I substituted a twist grip throttle which works fine. The battery pack is a 48V 20AH Thundersky LiFePo4 pack. All three bikes have Watt's Up meters on them. A few quick conclusions:

1. The cheap kit came with the brushless hub motor mounted on a good quality rim with heavy duty spokes and a decent tire already mounted on the rim. The axle around which the motor spins is a 14mm axle with an odd assortment of washers on both sides. There are no lock washers but the nut is abbrated on the tightening surface presumably to reduce slippage. The power wiring to the motor goes through the axle into the motor on one side, so the washers and the nut cannot be removed without taking the connector off the end of the cable. I did not want to do this so I spread a split lock washer and squeezed the cable into it on the power feed side of the motor. I added a lock washer to the other side of the axle as well.

2. All connectors to the controller are easily made and hard to do incorrectly, as the connectors are all unique. The kit came with brake levers with power switches on them but I did not install them.

3. The cheap kit is quite powerful and moves the lighter bike almost as easily as the Phoenix Cruiser moves the heavier steel bikes. The top speed appears to be slightly higher than the Cruiser's 30 mph - I would guess around 32 mph (I weigh 160 lbs). The power wiring seems a bit too light (about 14 gauge would be my guess), but the wiring did not become warm to the touch on an 11 mile ride I took today in cool weather.

4. Power consumption seems to peak at about 1500 watts on the cheaper kit, whereas the Phoenix Cruiser will get to more than 2000 watts under heavy loads. No load (but power on) power consumption is about 4-5 watts on the cheap kit and about 2 watts on the Crystalite system. Average power consumption seems about the same, and I have driven the older bikes 33 miles and only used 70% of the theoretical stored energy in the battery packs (this is at high gear pedealing speed (about 15-16 mph), not at full throttle). I predict the new conversion will do about the same.

5. Acceleration is smoother and better controlled on the Crystalite system, but the lighter bike would be easier to pedal home if the electric system had problems. The new bike is lighter both because the frame is lighter and because the hub motor weighs less than the Crystalite motor. I am able to use a standard kickstand of the new bike, whereas I had to put a special two-legged kickstand on the heavier bikes. The Crystalite controller seems to be better made than the one that came with the new, cheap kit, but only time will tell if it is more reliable.

6. The cheap kit came with *no* instructions of any kind, and the seller did not answer my questions about the washers in a way that indicated they had any idea of what they were selling. The Phoenix Cruiser systems come with a very good instruction manual, and the assistance I got from ElectricRider (from whom I bought the Crystalite systems) was informed and excellent.

7. The cheap kit comes with a handlebar mounted kill switch and battery level indicator, although the latter is pretty much useless (this is true for most of these, including the Crystalite kit), as well as an inline fuse.

These are not good side-by-side comparisons, as I mounted the cheaper kit on a different and lighter frame than the Crystalite system. Nevertheless, the new Chinese kits seem to be good values all things considered. I would not recommend that anyone without mechanical skills and knowledge install the cheap Chinese kits, and I wouldn't install either kit on a bike without a strong steel front fork. I would also not install these kits on a bike with a front suspension.

decibel1
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Another addendum on this topic. I recently posted about a new E-bike controller from Goldenmotor (who makes these hub motors) with lots of neat features. The best feature in my opinion after riding several hundred miles is the true regenerative braking, which really helps to slow these heavy bikes down and minimizes brake wear. Upon further use, I have now concluded that average power consumption is about 30-40% lower than on the Crystalite Phoenix Cruiser kits I installed on the heavier bikes mentioned in the last post. Today I rode 7.5 miles to work at highest gear pedaling speed with only light pedaling effort and used only 100 Whrs.

GaryAZ
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Re: Hows The Reliability On The China Hub Motors?

Decibel ....
In your experience, what would be the cause of the efficiency difference (30-40%) between the Golden and Crystalite? I like the idea of using only 100Wh for 7.5 miles. Would give me a range of 75 miles which would be awesome on my small 1kwh battery. I have heard elsewhere too that the Crystalite motors were more efficient. Just don't know why.

Also, do you know how the regen braking works with the BMS on a Lipo4 battery? I've thought alot about regen given my personal weight and the weight of my all steel bike. Going through brake pads quickly. What is the model of the regen controller?

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