donderdag 27 juni 2013

Why Build An Electric Bike?

You may be wondering why you should build your own electric bike when you can go buy an off the shelf electric bike or scooter at your local Wall-Mart or Canadian Tire for a reasonable price. The main reason is these bikes just plain suck. They are underpowered with small motors, low amperage controllers, and weak batteries. This is fine if you just want to cruise slowly at 30kph (18 mph) on a flat road down to the local corner store and back and do not mind pedaling to make it up any hill, but I don not see them as a replacement for a car. You see them pedaling like mad to make it up a small hill or sometimes pushing them because their battery died. Traffic gets backed up behind them on narrow roads because they are moving so slowly and cars cannot pass them.

There are a few companies that do make very nice high quality electric bikes but only if you are willing to spend up to $10000 and most of them are still not as fast as a bike you can build yourself for a fraction of the cost. If you are serious about replacing your car and cutting the umbilical cord to the oil companies you need to build the bike yourself, hand pick good quality components and modify some parts to increase performance and reliability. This way you can build a bike that perfectly matches your specific needs and will last for many years.

Find out how to build the electric bike from the picture, click here

You may be thinking why not just build an electric motorcycle instead of using a bicycle as a platform. Well the bicycle has several advantages. In most places you do not have to license or insure an electric bicycle, which can save you thousands of dollars a year alone. You can also ride an electric bicycle on designated bike routes and paths. On a motorcycle you are obligated to obey the same rules as a car so you are stuck waiting in traffic with every other vehicle. A bicycle weighs much less than a motorcycle chassis, which means it will require less power to move it. This translates to a more efficient vehicle that can use a smaller (therefore cheaper) battery pack to travel the same distance. One final advantage of a bicycle is it can be locked up to a bike rack instead of parking in a stall saving you even more money by not purchasing a parking pass.

Electric Bike Batteries - Three Important Things To Know

If you are thinking about building an electric bike you will obviously need a battery pack. Many people get confused when they started shopping for batteries because there are so many different types and various specifications for each brand of battery. Hopefully I can help clear up some of the mystery for you to make you decision easier.

The first thing to consider is what voltage battery pack you need. The top speed of your bike depends directly on the voltage of the battery pack, the higher the voltage the faster the bike. If you want a motor just to assist you while you pedal your bike continously you will probably only need a 36 to 48 volt battery pack. On the other hand if you want to use the bike more like a motorcycle and cruise around at high speed without pedaling something in the 72 to 100 volt category would provide much better performance. You also need to make sure your motor and controller are rated for the voltage of battery pack you are using.

Next thing to consider is the battery capacity which is how long a battery will last on a single charge. It is measured by how many amp-hours (Ah) it can discharge before it is empty. If a battery can discharge 1 amp continuously for 1 hour it has a capacity of 1 Ah. The more Ah of capacity a battery has the larger its physical size will be if you are comparing the same chemistries. A 10Ah battery will be twice the size of a 5Ah battery if they are the same type and be able to get your bike twice as far if riding at the same speed. Multiple batteries can be connected in parallel (all the positive terminals connected together and all the negative terminals connected together) to increase the capacity or Ah to your desired level.

Last thing to consider is 'C' rating or discharge rate of the battery. The 'C' rating of a battery is a number that represents the safe continuous discharge rate (in amps) of the cell. A battery rated at 1C can discharge its rated Ah capacity in current without damage. A 2C rated battery can put out twice the number of its Ah rating in amps. If a 10Ah battery is rated at 1C, its maximum safe discharge rate is 10 amps, if the same 10Ah battery has a rating of 3C, it can safely discharge 30 amps. Likewise if that 10Ah battery is rated at .5C it can only put out 5 amps safely.

One last thing about batteries, there is a guide available that will show you exactly how to recondition almost any old battery, click here for more info

Hope this helps clear up some of the mystery of what to look for when shopping for batteries for your electric bike.


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