Which Electric Motor for my Electra Townie ... ???

vja4Him
vja4Him Posts: 39
edited November 2008 in Workshop
I'm researching which electric motors to choose from for my Electra Townie ... ??? I'm hoping I can spend at least $1,000.00, or more (depending on my tax return).

Any suggestions ... ??? What has been your experience with electric bicycle motors?

-- riding4Him
- Riding 4 Life
«1

Comments

  • JC.152
    JC.152 Posts: 645
    i dont know anything about them but whats the point of them?all your doing is carrying a lot more weight to go slower than a normal bike and paying as much as a moped or scooter
  • JC.152 wrote:
    i dont know anything about them but whats the point of them?all your doing is carrying a lot more weight to go slower than a normal bike and paying as much as a moped or scooter

    Not true ... !!! There are some very powerful bicycle motors out there ... !!! Doesn't even matter how much weight you carry ... The motors will get you around much faster than anybody can pedal, even a bicycle racer ... !!!

    Opposed to the cost of driving (at least $6,000.00 each year for me ... !!!), the investment in a high quality electric bicycle motor with high-end lithium batteries, is a very wise investment.
    - Riding 4 Life
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Sorry, I don't know anything about them either, but:

    I reckon "electric cyclists" are in a no-mans (and no-womans) land, maybe not quite fitting into cycling or motorbiking communities. I reckon the Bikeradar forum should have a section dedicated to them, we should welcome them and make them feel at home (their users, anyway). Lets face it, they are here to stay, and wouldn't we prefer one more electric bike and one less car?
  • alfablue wrote:
    Sorry, I don't know anything about them either, but:

    I reckon "electric cyclists" are in a no-mans (and no-womans) land, maybe not quite fitting into cycling or motorbiking communities. I reckon the Bikeradar forum should have a section dedicated to them, we should welcome them and make them feel at home (their users, anyway). Lets face it, they are here to stay, and wouldn't we prefer one more electric bike and one less car?

    Hello there "alfablue" -- Thanks for the positive comment ... !!! Some people misunderstand those who are interested in adding a motor to their bicycle! I have no interest whatsoever in a real scooter or motorcycle. I've been there, done that for years.

    I still pedal lots ... !!! Had a nice ride to work yesterday, only around four miles each way. I work at a different school everyday, and never know where I'll be the next day ... With extend range, I could commute to work as far as maybe 15-20 miles each way. That would be a big help to our financial situation (single dad struggling to raise my two boys on my own).

    I enjoy early morning rides (3:00-4:30 a.m.), before there is much traffic, and the air is cleaner and cool ... Also, late night rides ....

    I have serious health problems, so I can't push the pedals hard for very long, and if I have an extra boost from a motor, I can commute longer distances to work, which will give me more working days each month .... Also, will make running errands and grocery shopping easier and quicker!

    I'm about to give up with driving altogether ... My van needs serious engine work (I may get around to doing the necessary work someday???), but I'll be putting my insurance on parking status (only $3.00/mo), and getting a non-operational registration soon ...).

    I've been spending around $500-600 every month driving ... (will most likely be more with the increase cost of gas). That's between $6,000.00-7,000.00 each year!!! Or $60,000.00-70,000.00 every ten years ... !!! I could take that money and invest as much as $10,000.00 in several high quality bicycles with top of the line electric motors and high-end lithium batteries, and still only spend around $100.00, or less, (10-year average) each month for two motorized bicycles ... !!!

    Has anyone posted on this forum who has experience with electric bicycles? Not scooter, but real pedal bikes with an electric motor? I want to be able to continue pedaling just like a regular bicycle, but also use the motor sometimes ....
    - Riding 4 Life
  • JC.152
    JC.152 Posts: 645
    sounds like it does make a lot of sense to have an electric bike for you as it'd save a lot of money without having to worry about pedalling too much once you've stopped using your car as much and are using your electric bike all the time...

    ...and I take back what I said about them being heavy and slow cos I've just googled electric bikes and some of them don't look that bad.

    electric bikes aren't really seen very often around where I live except for this one bloke every now and then on a old looking electric bike who never pedals when we see him and is going at about 10mph in a suit
  • JC.152 wrote:
    sounds like it does make a lot of sense to have an electric bike for you as it'd save a lot of money without having to worry about pedalling too much once you've stopped using your car as much and are using your electric bike all the time...

    ...and I take back what I said about them being heavy and slow cos I've just googled electric bikes and some of them don't look that bad.

    electric bikes aren't really seen very often around where I live except for this one bloke every now and then on a old looking electric bike who never pedals when we see him and is going at about 10mph in a suit

    There are some very nice/cool looking bicycles equipped with motors (electric or gas-powered). I'm seriously considering installing a 49cc gas-powered motor on my ancient 18-speed Mongoose Switchback for my oldest son to ride around.

    For now, my Electra Townie will be my main transportation. Even bus fare and Dial-A-Ride for three of us is expsensive!
    - Riding 4 Life
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Ok i can see if you have health problems a motor may make sense - but not otherwise ?
    Why get a motor for your sons bike ?
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    vja4Him wrote:
    Not true ... !!! There are some very powerful bicycle motors out there ... !!! Doesn't even matter how much weight you carry ... The motors will get you around much faster than anybody can pedal, even a bicycle racer ... !!!
    So how fast will an electric motor on a bike make it go on the flat over there? At least in the UK (this is a UK based forum) the legislation means that an electrically assisted bike can go no more than 15mph before it becomes a proper motorcycle, at which point you need a licence, MOT, insurance, proper helmet etc - 15mph is a lot slower than a racing cyclist!

    I'm guessing the legislation is different over there, but I suggest you check before putting a gas powered motor on a bike for your son - that would make it legally a motorcycle over here, hence your son would need a proper licence and helmet. Even if it is legal, I have to wonder about the wisdom of putting something on a bicycle which will make it go fast whilst keeping the original brakes and tyres which will rather limit the dynamic capabilities compared to a proper motorcycle.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest there is no point to electric bicycles at all - particularly if you have health problems, but in the context of a UK based form what you are proposing makes little sense.
  • richara3
    richara3 Posts: 153
    I may be wrong ..but I think electric assist bikes are restricted to 20mph in America where it is 15mp in the uk... I certainly would not mind being able to travel at20 mph with only gentle pedaling.

    that extra 5mph makes alot of difference as i am sure all the pedal only cyclists will agree.And I am sure there is a way around the speed restriction that will allow the motor to provide assistance regardless of speed. It would be hard for any leo to say you were not just peddaling like crazy as you zipped along at 25mph or whatever..
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    richara3 wrote:
    I may be wrong ..but I think electric assist bikes are restricted to 20mph in America where it is 15mp in the uk... I certainly would not mind being able to travel at20 mph with only gentle pedaling.
    Can't say I'd be that excited by the idea, though could see the merits if I was a lot less fit, and it certainly is a big step up on 15. Certainly nowhere near racing cyclist speed still.
  • cougie wrote:
    Ok i can see if you have health problems a motor may make sense - but not otherwise ?
    Why get a motor for your sons bike ?

    The Switchback is my bicycle! I could use that as a backup, or just for fun .... !!! My son also goes riding with me to work out at InShape, then we do our grocery shopping afterwards. First stop is Food 4 Less, right next to InShape. Then we stop off at Cost Less, 99 Cents Store, Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Big Five, Home Depot, K-Mart .... Then haul everything home.

    Total ride is three miles each way ....
    - Riding 4 Life
  • aracer wrote:
    richara3 wrote:
    I may be wrong ..but I think electric assist bikes are restricted to 20mph in America where it is 15mp in the uk... I certainly would not mind being able to travel at20 mph with only gentle pedaling.
    Can't say I'd be that excited by the idea, though could see the merits if I was a lot less fit, and it certainly is a big step up on 15. Certainly nowhere near racing cyclist speed still.

    If I was much younger, in better shape, with no (or very limited) health problems, then racing my bicycle (certainly not a Townie though!!!), would be really cool ...

    BUT ... just try racing your bicycle while carrying half a dozen bags of groceries!!! Or a large backpack to work!!! Bet that would be quite a challenge, even for the racers in excellent shape ... !!!

    I have serious problems with high blood pressure, chest pains, plantar fasciitis (terribly painful!!!), back trouble (can't lean over to ride a racing bike), so I have to ride sitting up straight, be careful when pedaling (too much pressure on my heels, and my feet are history!!!) ....
    - Riding 4 Life
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    3 miles isnt worth getting the bike out for ! I'd run there !

    Dont your supermarkets do home delivery ?
  • richara3 wrote:
    I may be wrong ..but I think electric assist bikes are restricted to 20mph in America where it is 15mp in the uk... I certainly would not mind being able to travel at20 mph with only gentle pedaling.

    that extra 5mph makes alot of difference as i am sure all the pedal only cyclists will agree.And I am sure there is a way around the speed restriction that will allow the motor to provide assistance regardless of speed. It would be hard for any leo to say you were not just peddaling like crazy as you zipped along at 25mph or whatever..

    Yes, you are correct. The limit is 20 mph in the US. Any faster than that, you need a moped license, which I plan on getting, along with the plates. Then, if I understand correctly, the limit is 30 mph.

    I'm still researching the issue ... Hoping that there might be some provision to ride faster than 30 mph (with insurance, plates, tags, license, lights).
    - Riding 4 Life
  • cougie wrote:
    3 miles isnt worth getting the bike out for ! I'd run there !

    Dont your supermarkets do home delivery ?

    With bad feet, I have trouble walking any more than about 10 blocks (1/2 mile). Sometimes I can't even walk two or three blocks ....

    Never checked on the home delivery ... They might, but I wouldn't want to pay for the extra cost!! Would probably be the same cost if I just bought stuff from the corner stores ... Milk is up to $6.00 a gallon at some of the smaller stores nearby.

    I can ride to Cost Less (only 1.5 miles each way) and get fat free milk for only $2.15/gal!!! By shopping around, we cut our food costs by at least $100.00 (that's one hundred dollars!!!) each month ... !!! Well worth the ride ... and bicycle exercise, plus swimming, free weights and machines at InShape City.

    And, I get to spend quality time with my oldest son, which is high priority!!! And after what we've been through ... Man I'm elated that my son actually wants to do anything with me!

    We are recovering from a very dysfunctional family (violent divorce, serious trauma, physicaly abuse, violence). My son was distancing himself from me, threatened to kill himself, went to a group home three times, locked up in Juvenile Hall for 43 days.

    So, this is a wonderful opportunity for my son and I to build our relationship. And he wants to ride with me, and work out together at the club, and help me do the shopping. I'm teaching him how to be thrifty with spending, read the labels on the food, looking for healthier food items, and I let him help decide many of the food itetms.

    I've got my son eating salads now!!! Wow ... never thought that would happen ... !!!
    - Riding 4 Life
  • Forgot to mention that there is no problem with my son riding a bicycle with a gas-powered motor under 50cc. No license required. The only requirements: must be 16 years old and wear an approved helmet (DOT).
    aracer wrote:
    vja4Him wrote:
    Not true ... !!! There are some very powerful bicycle motors out there ... !!! Doesn't even matter how much weight you carry ... The motors will get you around much faster than anybody can pedal, even a bicycle racer ... !!!
    So how fast will an electric motor on a bike make it go on the flat over there? At least in the UK (this is a UK based forum) the legislation means that an electrically assisted bike can go no more than 15mph before it becomes a proper motorcycle, at which point you need a licence, MOT, insurance, proper helmet etc - 15mph is a lot slower than a racing cyclist!

    I'm guessing the legislation is different over there, but I suggest you check before putting a gas powered motor on a bike for your son - that would make it legally a motorcycle over here, hence your son would need a proper licence and helmet. Even if it is legal, I have to wonder about the wisdom of putting something on a bicycle which will make it go fast whilst keeping the original brakes and tyres which will rather limit the dynamic capabilities compared to a proper motorcycle.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest there is no point to electric bicycles at all - particularly if you have health problems, but in the context of a UK based form what you are proposing makes little sense.
    - Riding 4 Life
  • You need to visit the proper forum for 'leccy bike advice.

    You'll get more help here http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/ than you could ever imagine.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • Oh yeah, for those who don't think electric bike are 'proper bikes' I commute 15 miles a day on my electric Mistral and MTB up to 18 a day on my bacon sandwich powered Rockrider.

    There are very many reasons why electric bikes should be represented on Bike Radar it's just that Pedelecs has a better understanding of the user.

    It's commuting efficiency for me, 7.5 miles in 24 mins on the Pennines is a no brainer, electricity maintains a high average speed and gives great acceleration, most bikes have a variety of riding modes from no power to 'bursting' the motor for hill climbing at high wattage.

    It's also a giggle blasting past serious lycra clad loons on race bikes.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    If you're going to get a moped license then why not just get a moped (electrically powered if that's what you want)?

    Oh, and I quite happily manage riding a normal "racing" bike to work with a backpack of clothes (doesn't need to be that big a backpack). An electric assist bike might be quicker with a top speed of 20mph, but I'm not totally convinced given the longish stretches of slight downhill where I go faster than that, but a 15mph max (all we are allowed here) would definitely be slower. Half a dozen bags of groceries would easily fit in the trailer if I kicked my son out, and I normally also average >15mph pulling that :D Nothing against electric bikes - they certainly have their place and I'd far rather see somebody on one of those than in a car doing a 2 mile commute - just that for a fit cyclist non-electric powered is generally faster.

    cougie - are you deliberately being an idiot?

    seataltea - you're in the UK? Do you not have a 15mph limit to the assist?
  • aracer

    I am in the UK, the bike has been simply derestricted and with electric assistance tops 23mph on the level, faster with the electricity turned off (due to resistance from the motor) and 42mph downhill (which I would say is enough).

    I have the distinctive calf muscles which identify me as a daily cyclist by the way.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    Ah, so it's illegal then.
  • It's only illegal if you are caught, until then it's great fun.

    I'm happy that my local officers are fighting global terrorism and local drunks rather than watching for those 'pesky 'leccy bikers', it's not quite Pinky and the Brain.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • earth
    earth Posts: 934
    There's a guy in the UK called Cedric Lynch. He developed the Lynch motor and uses it himself to power a recumbent thing. I don't think its actually a bicycle but I'm sure it could be used to power a recumbent. He has done 30K+ miles in it, never had to service the motor, does 150 miles on one 40p charge and does up to 50mph etc.. etc...

    The lynch motor looks a bit big for a bicycle but it looks like it would work great in a recumbent.

    It appears there are a few companies that make his motors.

    http://www.agnimotors.com/home/index.ph ... &Itemid=37

    http://www.lemcoltd.com/

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xbVTqkE_F1U
  • earth
    earth Posts: 934
    Update, got the spec slightly wrong.

    It does 150 miles on one charge - 30p.
    Does up to 60 mph.
    He has not had to service it in 50K+ miles.
  • seataltea wrote:
    You need to visit the proper forum for 'leccy bike advice.

    You'll get more help here http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/ than you could ever imagine.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I joined the Pedelecs Forums.
    - Riding 4 Life
  • seataltea wrote:
    aracer

    I am in the UK, the bike has been simply derestricted and with electric assistance tops 23mph on the level, faster with the electricity turned off (due to resistance from the motor) and 42mph downhill (which I would say is enough).

    I have the distinctive calf muscles which identify me as a daily cyclist by the way.

    Yeah, I can relate to those calf muscles ... !!! And mine are still geting bigger and stronger. I do lots of exercises to strengthen my legs and arms. Have to be careful with my back (auto injury).
    - Riding 4 Life
  • earth wrote:
    There's a guy in the UK called Cedric Lynch. He developed the Lynch motor and uses it himself to power a recumbent thing. I don't think its actually a bicycle but I'm sure it could be used to power a recumbent. He has done 30K+ miles in it, never had to service the motor, does 150 miles on one 40p charge and does up to 50mph etc.. etc...

    The lynch motor looks a bit big for a bicycle but it looks like it would work great in a recumbent.

    It appears there are a few companies that make his motors.

    http://www.agnimotors.com/home/index.ph ... &Itemid=37

    http://www.lemcoltd.com/

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xbVTqkE_F1U

    Wow ... !!! I just finished watching the video with Cedric Lynch and his totally awesome electric bicycle ... !!! That was so cool ... !!! Thanks a bunch for sharing that ... !!! I want one of those, seriously ... !!! Maybe someday .... ?
    - Riding 4 Life
  • vja4Him

    Just seen your webpage and am regretting our contact.

    You appear to be religious and approaching a level of Christian fundamentalism which would worry UK security services.

    Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • aracer
    aracer Posts: 1,649
    seataltea wrote:
    It's only illegal if you are caught, until then it's great fun.
    Is that like it's only illegal to kill somebody if you get caught?

    The thing is you said that an electric assist bike could be faster even for a fit cyclist when what you meant was that an electric assist bike could be faster even for a fit cyclist provided you modify it so it's illegal. The trouble is that whilst you might not get stopped by a policeman, if you were involved in an RTA I can see an insurance company wriggling out of their liability if your bike isn't totally road legal.
  • earth wrote:
    There's a guy in the UK called Cedric Lynch. He developed the Lynch motor and uses it himself to power a recumbent thing. I don't think its actually a bicycle but I'm sure it could be used to power a recumbent. He has done 30K+ miles in it, never had to service the motor, does 150 miles on one 40p charge and does up to 50mph etc.. etc...

    The lynch motor looks a bit big for a bicycle but it looks like it would work great in a recumbent.

    It appears there are a few companies that make his motors.

    http://www.agnimotors.com/home/index.ph ... &Itemid=37

    http://www.lemcoltd.com/

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xbVTqkE_F1U

    The Lynch motor is quite impressive ... !!! 5,000 hours of use!!! At 10 mph, that would give you around 50,000 miles!!!
    - Riding 4 Life