I was 'Transportation Challenged' for a time back in 2010 so I looked around for how I could get around legally without a license or breaking a sweat.
A little googling around and I found MB's, read up on them, then built one.
A guy offered me a wad of cash at the grocery store for it just a couple days later so I took it and walked home, built 2 more with that wad, and so on and so forth.
Every time I build myself a new ride I try to push the look, quality and function envelope a little farther. It never ceases to amaze me what a little engineering skill and creativity can do with a bicycle and have it still legally here in Phoenix, AZ still be considered just a bicycle.
The technically not-so-legal builds are even more fun and I have a petition on my web site to bump AZ from 48cc to 66cc and from 20MPH to 30MPH and a couple state house reps prepared to introduce that bill next January when the new legislative session starts. ;-}
Originally Posted by placidscene
I started out looking at ways to do a e-bike, but I forsaw more problems and lack of longevity/power with batteries. Unless you can spring for the $400 lithium ion ones!
Yep, that $400 figure is about right for a 36V 960W LiPo pack.
24V batteries are less, 48V more.
This 7-speed shifter customer build has that size battery, 36V controller and spiffy motor that will take 24V to 48V in.
It's hard to justify $400 for just a battery when you can build an entire 2-stroke direct dive on a good bike for that.
Then again if you want to use your bikes gears with the motor that is another story.
That $400 direct drive jumps to $600 with a jackshaft, a shifting 4-stroke $750 and those are just parts costs with a $200 bike.
That electric doesn't need a jackshaft, the motor turns clockwise on the right and it's just a matter of replacing the bottom bracket cranks with freewheel pedals and a sprocket for the motor.
Two chains, the same as a direct drive, but way more efficient.
Besides the rear wheels freewheel and pedal arm freewheel, the motors drive sprocket is a freewheel too!
And then, when you let off the throttle there is no 'idle', no clutch to pull in, the motor just turns off and you coast friction free.
Virtually friction free just pedaling as well.
Sure they cost more than the above but still under $1,000 on a $200 geared bike. They are only good for ~20 miles continuous balls to the wall flat out haul A$$ but the beauty of Lithium batteries is they like being charged before they shut down, and the internal circuits do just shut them off.
I'm hooked on electrics and my next personal ride will be an electric shifter.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Big Red 4-stroke 3-speed shifter but it's way more than I need and I just can't help but love how clean and easy they are.
The only oil is on the chains and no gas, I can turn the thing upside down if I want which is handy if you want to fix a flat tire.
I 'start it' with a thumb switch on the throttle. Pedal 'bump start', pull a rope till it goes? Nope. Jump on, flip a switch, twist the throttle and haul A$$ ;-}
You might want to look back into them Placid, rumor has it a major motorized bicycle vendor may have complete electric shifter kits available this Fall ;-}