Got my first e-bike finished

cypher99

New Member
Feb 3, 2009
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USA
I was on here looking at the 80cc gas powered bikes but I decided to go with electric because those were too loud and I wanted to get off of gasoline.

Well, I got mine built. ONly thing I really need to do now is replace the batteries with better ones. I'm using SLA's and I'm going to go to NiCD.

Here are my tips after sorting through all the bull****. HOpefully this can help someone.

Anyone who tells you that you can get 18 miles out of a 12v12ah SLA is LYING !!! When it comes to e-bikes, you want either NiCD, NiMH, or Lifepo4. Don't waste time with SLA's....just don't. I've got 12v8ah batteries and I can't even get 2 miles range out of them. It could be that they are bad. I don't know but I'm not buying any more SLA's.

For those who like speed like I do, here is what I would do if I were you. I built my bike for $500 excluding bike rack, bike bag, and speedometer. I bought a $400 Forsen hub motor which also came with a 48v 1000w controller. The forsen is good motor in my opinion. I've only had it about 4 days but it looks well built. It's 22 lb motor. It's a good alternative to the 5303 crystalyte (phoenix racer) hub motor. It doesn't go quite as fast. It does go as fast as the Phoenix cruiser motor which is a 5304 and it goes faster than the 5305 crystalyte. (5303/Phoenix Racer is the fastest crystalyte hub motor). It goes 36 mph with 48v but eats up a lot of amps too. My bike goes 27mph so not too far behind and that's without pedaling at all.

I'd also recommend getting a front wheel hub so you can still use all the gears on your 10 speed or 18 speed. It's also easier to install.

Here are two options if you want one those goes about 30 mph or over (without pedaling).

1) phoenix racer kit from electricrider.com for $750 then get some NiCD batteries from ebikes.ca total = about $1100 if you get 48v and speed is 36 mph

2) Forsen hub motor from falconev.com for $475 with 30 amp controller and get NiCD batteries from ebikes.ca total = $800 ...speed = 27 mph

The reason I'd choose NICD batteries is they can handle higher amps so if you go with NICD batteries with the Forsen then decide you want a phoenix racer, you don't need new batteries because the NICD can handle that motor.

Anyway, hope this helps. I'm going to probably buy two 36v 8ah NICD batteries from ebikes.ca to use 72v in series on my motor.
 
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deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
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north carolina
I think a lot has to do with the amps you pull on the batteries and what you want your motor to do. One size most likely will not fit all.

I built a 250 watt ez glide front hub motor. I wanted to pedal and I don't have a need for speed. I had a power cord issue so I have not been able to test the range yet. I just got that replaced so I will be making range test today if the weather permits.

Like you I am running a 12ah sla battery pack. I would be very curious to know what your real world experience is with the nicad. I used them in photo equipment for years and found them unacceptable. It was recharge and length of life issues that I found unacceptable,.

I found the newer Nichol hydride batteries much more user friendly. I really am curious please let us know how the Nicads work for you. I'm going to try to use the sla or a while purely for the cost

I need a five mile range so, with the smaller motor I might be able to manage that. I will see.

As for the twenty mile range bs, that a lot like the 150 mpg hype of the china 2 stroke kit hype. I expect it could be done if you used the motor only on the worst of the hills.

I don't care for bikes with gears, though these days all my junk bikes start out with them. I usually trade them for a 20" child's coaster brake rear wheel. I try to run the chain off the larger front chain ring. I have found this pretty effective so far.
 
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cypher99

New Member
Feb 3, 2009
8
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USA
I love my 18 speed. I can put it in a higher gear and speed up my bike along with the hub motor. I've only had my electric bikes for about 5 days. I'm ordering my NiCD pack pretty soon. I might eventually get an x5 crystalyte hub motor but I don't know. I'm pretty happy with my Forsen hub. I haven't tried it at 60v fully charged yet so it could get over 30 mph. I think a 150 lb rider could probably get up to 30 mph and maybe more on the Forsen hub. I'm 230lb and I got it up to 27 mph.

My gears are Shimano so maybe you just need a better gear system. When I get the NiCD, I'll let you know how it goes. As far as I know, NiCD batteries are one of the few types of batteries that can handle a 5303. The NiCD handles high amps and so that is why it's recommended.

I've had NiCD RC cars and never had a problem with a battery pack.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
Believe it or not I'm satisfied with the speed of the bike. I'm just out to goof around, get some exercise, and maybe go to the store down the street.

I rode my bike 4.25 miles today on a 12ah fully charged battery. So I can't really complain much. The ten mile range they stated was with a 20ah battery which most likely would do about seven miles. All sellers overstate their product for some reason.

It is my understanding that a sla cell produces 1.5 volts and a nicad produces 1.2 volts. To get to 12 volts you would need one more cell probably which might give you a high amp rating since the cells are combined. then again nicad might produce more amps than sla I really don't know.

I switched in photo lights because the nicad lost its storage capacity after a while and would not charge fully. That was a problem every photographer I know complained of.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
I did that retest of the bike with just a little pedaling to keep the speed up now and then. It was a lot more comfortable to ride. It went to reserve power about a quarter mile sooner so there is not real difference as far as I can tell. About four miles on a 12amp hour battery pack on a 250watt motor.

I have a second slightly older battery pack from my grand daughter's scooter. I think I might just incorporate it into the existing pack should give me plenty of range for my needs. Then again maybe not.
 
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Rayzor

New Member
Feb 14, 2009
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Bako, Ca
I used to have an electric scooter with a claimed range of 12 miles....... i maybe got 4 miles if i was lucky... SLA batteries are the worst! You should definately get some NiCad or lithium polymer batteries :) i agree with you on getting off of oil, i just had such a bad experience with the scooter, im scared off electricity for the time being
 

cypher99

New Member
Feb 3, 2009
8
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0
USA
I've used nicd batteries on RC cars and that battery pack lasted for years. I know because I put my RC car in storage for about 2 or 3 years and pulled it back out and charged the nicd pack and it still work. Amazing.

About those photographers, I don't know what the situation was but I think if you plug your nicd battery packs in everyday or leave them in the charger, I'm pretty sure it kills the batteries. The more you charge them and longer you charge them, the more they wear out. I have a electric toothbrush and I'm pretty sure it uses either nimh or nicd batteries and I charge after every 4 uses and the thing is still going strong after about 2 years. They recommend putting it on the charger each time but that wears the battery out so I just leave it on the counter instead.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
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north carolina
Phot0graphers are anal about fully charged batteries. Nothing worse than running out of lights at a long wedding. I think memory was a lot of the problem. charging them only half empty will create a ghost memory in nicad. I have had that happen many times. Yes over charging will kill those packs. It will even do a number on sla.

I am interested in hearing from someone who has the nicad and someone with the NHm. I would really like to know if they are worth all that extra price. I mean real world not the mfg bs. All us e guys know about mfg claims.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
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north carolina
You will have to forgive me I have some pretty serious memory issues these days.
I did just remember the series of events that led me and most other photographers to forsake nicade for NH batteries.

A nicad battery pack, when used in a photo light power source, would need to be drained completely to avoid memory buildup. So you would need to leave the light on when you finished a job until it drained completely.

Then you charge it when empty to full charge. but you might not use that particular battery pack for a couple of months, so it partially drained power sitting on the shelf. Now it was either drain it completely or give it a quick charge.... Quick charge creates memory and the memory effect gives you less usable power.

We would do all kinds of jobs so draining it and charging just before needed was not an option. Sometimes I would make a photograph on ten minutes notice.

Most of the guys I knew either went NH or they made up disposable alkaline packs. In a toy or hobby device, I suppose you could just switch out the packs but in wedding situation you really don't want a light dying in one place and the spare packs be off in another part of the church or worse still the light flash at half power because the pack is not charging it sufficiently.

That's just my experience with Nicad. It is interesting to note that my experience with the nicad is several years old and I just read something this morning that says it is not as bad these days due to better technology. I do have a battery maintainer so it might not be a problem now.

Memory Effect - What it is and what you can do about it
 
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NewAge

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
28
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California
Phoenix Racer Rules

Don't waste your time with low power units, the only real choice is the Phoenix kit
My Phoenix Racer utilizes 4x12v-12ah SLA batteries and depending on conditions I get ~10 miles per charge, performance is great, almost 40mph on flat ground, and pulling moderate grades with ease.
My battery packs last 150 or so cycles but if you only discharge the pack 50% between cycles you may get up to 300.

I use a Paktrakr 600 on my system, it provides real time state of charge status and pack health information, a must have item.

I personally prefer SLA packs because they provide good dependability, good power delivery, are cheaper, and are readily available, I don't rule out upgrading to a more sophisticated array at some point but I'm gonna give the industry some more time to sort it out, besides my Soneil charger and Paktrakr are set up for SLA.

I'm happy with my current setup right now.

 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
I find my drive (homemade) more than adequate for my needs. 600amp motor pulling a 10" scooter wheel on top of my rear bike wheel. My only issue is battery power. If I run the motor full throttle, I can get about 80% of the power I got from my china bike kit which is more than enough for me under most circumstances.

My complaint is range and weight. If I can ever get those two in line, I will be perfectly satisfied with ebikes. Right now I am pulling a small trailer with sla batteries equivalent to 19ah and they seem adequate for my needs. Still I lust for a set of 40ah liths. But I will never own one I know.
 
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pre-war Schwinn

New Member
Nov 15, 2009
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70
Los Angeles 90039
E is for electric I actually live on a street called Electic st. Me aned My dad named it when he bought this hill and built homes in 1965
I have SLA'a on two rigs. why? because I can get them for next to nothing
(note) APC are SLA's with a premium fill. Sealed lead acid jut means toilet paper jammed in the caps
I run 4 12v 12 amp SLA's at 9 pounds each on a Schwinn Electric Stingray
I run 4 12v 9 amp APC SLA's two and two for double range on my Currie E zip Mountain trails 08
the ones offered for a chap price are just a LIE
out of date APC Emergency Back Up packs are designed to work when the Grid fails the are our silent hero's but every tow years they get pitched out and replaced at a high price they wer fully charge sitting in a drawer for two years and many of them are as good as new if you live near a town that has Craigs List look in FREE thats the clue.

I now own three packs of four they have different ranges I tested them all one day and kept the 4 super stars pic to follow.shft.
 
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deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
Don't you find that those batteries on the luggage rack makes the bike unstable when sitting still. I had one setup like that throw me into a flower bed when i tried to get on it. That was a while back though.
 

NewAge

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
28
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0
California
It is definitely a good idea to locate the batteries as low to the ground as possible for stability, my current project is a Dyno stretch Roadster which will have the batteries mounted level with the rear axle.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
I had a couple of baskets that actually bolted onto the rear axle. they were not the right size to hold any battery so I never sued them.I would think a strong shelf bracket and a couple of pipe bands from the hardware store might work pretty well.
 

pre-war Schwinn

New Member
Nov 15, 2009
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Los Angeles 90039
That's what I like think think think! after having my currie for eleven months you can bet most of that time was figuring out the batteries.
the currie electro drive has taken" Heir Currie " his fortune his time and his brain for over 10 years. He likes to think he is a American success story having controlled such corporations as Aircraft aluminum and Electronics until he got this stupid Idea he could build commuter bikes. His scooters have the amazing history of shooting straight into brick walls with immense speed on Christmas day and failing a month later due to batteries. Now. if a doctor had his battery fail he could blame it on no one but himself right? He called for APC ! and that is what I use.. they weigh 5 pounds and produce 9 amps. two of them run the currie for ten miles.. if I have 4 9 amp 5 pound APC's up on my rack I have beaten the system. I can even hang it on an Amtrack Bike hook by hitting throttle and popping a wheelie straight up in the air! Hook and go! as afar as a train can get.. I met hot chicks on line in Orange a 37 mile trip who would wait for me to stop by and bang... if she pissed me off I could catch a train home to Union Station LA up till midnight by sitting on the platform at Anaheim Stadium ..the next stop is LA so the conductor could not throw me off till then any way... a 20 pound pack is not bad, and 18 amps is about right! LOL
 
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