Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Seriously Jonesing for a Simple E-Bike Blues (Cheapos take note)

All images from today's post can be found at http://www.eco-wheelz.com/forum/topic/funny-facebook-graphics/

(Those of you not interested electric bikes might find this one worth skipping. And, I pity you those of you who are not interested.)

Yes, it may be raining today, but it was hot yesterday. Very hot yesterday. Summer is upon us, and those triple-digit temperatures actually scare me a bit, especially with my commute home landing at 5pm. I am not a big fan of stroke and/or heart attack, and those would definitely defeat the purpose of riding a bike to work.

My electric bike dreams have been pretty simple lately. I have been commuting to work a few days per week on a non-electric bicycle, and it has been great to know that I am capable of that. And the ride is one of the best parts of the day. But I show up very tired and quite sweaty. Applying extra deodorant is a must! Most days I average 9-10 mph and the ride takes 30 minutes. Windy days slow me down a great deal and triple digit temperatures are a great struggle. I live in a hot and windy place, and I want some electric assistance to overcome those two obstacles. But I still want some exercise.

I'm a rebel, Dotty!

The goal looks something like this:
15-18 miles per hour
15-18 mile range
Less than $500 in the conversion

The plan looks something like this:
Thirty-six volts. Five hundred watts. Ten amp-hour. Rear, geared hubmotor. I have the bike already, a garage sale hardtail mountain bike that I have already enjoyed a great deal. I am hoping to keep the conversion money under $500. I want a pedal-assist setup. I would love to have a torque-sensor setup with no throttle, but that would require a much bigger cash outlay. I want the geared hubmotor because they are smaller and lighter than direct drive and (most importantly) they maintain the ability to freewheel, so I can pedal without a friction penalty.

Shouldn't her e-bike be invisible?

I want to do something like this kit from Green Bike Kit. It looks well under my budget until you throw in the $200 for shipping. It goes downhill even further when you start factoring in reported shipping times of up to 6 weeks - mid August, snagit! It may be time to raise the budget or gamble with something from Ebay.

We are going to need a lot more batteries and a bigger wrench over here!

The reality looks something like this:
Snagit even more, the family budget is not quite up for a $500 or more hit right now. So, maybe I need to leave earlier and pedal slower. Maybe I need to sell off some other projects. (Anybody wanting an EVT 168 electric scooter, a Rally 200 project, a Voloci, a couple of vintage balloon-tire cruisers, or my first diy electric bicycle?) It is pedal and peddle time!

May you get over your jonesing for an e-bike blues more quickly than I do!