How fast? How far? How much?
What do you want in a bike?
250w - 500w
past you at 15-20mph, the rider pedaling along nicely, you might not
even notice anything special about this bike. These stealthy little
geared hub motors are low power, but they're fairly cheap. The low
powered and more efficient geared motor also means a smaller less
expensive battery. While you won't get anywhere fast on these bikes with
out adding your own power, they can be a great way to get to school or
work out of breath but not covered in sweat.
These bikes can be done fairly cheap, and the components drop right in. A geared kit can be had for as little as $200 shipped
, and pair great with a small plug and play $350 battery.
The only change you need for the bike is bag and rack. Good ones are around $100, but worth every penny.
500w - 1500w
Probably the most common bike, these are still very much a bicycle, but are capable of speeds up to 30mph. Typically, the kits on these bikes use direct drive hubs and start at $300. However,
as you get up above 20mph
the price begins to rise. Not only from the need for a larger battery
capable of putting out the power to overcome the exponentially increasing
but also from a greater need for safety: larger tires, better brakes,
A modest battery capable of 25mph and a 30 mile range will be between $400 and $700.
fast, and heavy, These bikes are rare because of the price and the
modifications needed to make them; you can't just strap a 10hp motor and
40lbs of batteries on a stock bicycle and expect smooth sailing.
However, these are the sort of bikes that will redefine how we see
transportation; less expensive than a traditional ICE motorcycle, yet
just as quick, it could the easiest and least expensive way to get
around town for many people.|
The bike above was built by an ES member and was the subject of his ebike how to ebook. It has a $1500 battery pack that takes it up to 55mph. It's heavy, but it can still out run light motorcycles.
| Lipo bike|
you mix the performance of a down hill mountain bike with the light
weight and high c-rate of lithium ion polymer(lipo), you get a bike with the
power of a motorcycle but the weight of a bicycle. Most ebikes have
batteries in the 15-20lb range, but because lipo is capable of such high
rates of discharge a 5lb battery can put out all the power you need! The large r/c (remote controlled vehicle) market has
made these high rate lipo batteries the go to for building inexpensive
and powerful bikes. It does require a fair bit of know
how and some very rigorous safety precautions, but it's the cheapest, lightest, and most powerful option
While the type of down hill bike pictured above can easily start at $3k just for the bicycle, people aren't just using lipo to build 60mph monsters! For those with the know how, it's become the chemistry of choice for all their ebikes.