The ebike SX was one of the higher end EV Global Motor electric bikes designed by Lee Iacocca who is famous for engineering the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars. After leaving Ford he served as President and CEO of Chrysler from 1978 and as chairman from 1979 until retirement in 1992. In 1999 he became the head of EV Global Motors, a company formed to develop and market electric bikes in the US. It is said that he was inspired by innovation happening in Asian markets and wanted to bring his expertise from the automotive space to enhance bikes in America.
Powering the ebike SX is a beefy 500 watt geared brushed rear hub motor made by Heinzmann (known for their high quality systems). This is one of the more powerful motors of its time and is capable of moving larger riders. That said, motors from this time period were more prone to having gears stripped if used forcefully up hills without assistance. The motor is activated by using a trigger on the right handle bar. The left handle bar features a grip shifter which controls 7 gears on a standard rear cassette. It also features an adjustable side mirror for keeping track of passing cycles and vehicles.
The battery pack on this bike was built right into the oversized downtube and consisted of a 36 volt 8 amp hour sealed Lead-acid pack. This technology was state of the art at its time but does not rival modern Lithium-ion cells which tend to be much lighter and more capable of enduring thousands of charge cycles before losing capacity. That, compared with just ~250 estimated for the ebike SX and other bikes using SLA technology. In addition to the battery pack being located within the frame there is also a controller board and charging system. Newer ebikes tend to externalize the charger converter in a brick attached to the cord with the plug.
While the range, charge cycles and top speed on this bike are not very impressive by today’s standards, the fenders, horn, shock absorber, built in cruise control and design aesthetics still ring true. In fact, the SX and other EV Global ebike models look strikingly similar to the popular R series by Optibike. By integrating the wires, battery pack and controller into the oversized downtube, the chances of direct damage and weathering are greatly reduced. Considering the 75lb weight of this bike, the front disc brake was a welcome edition for riding in wet conditions. In terms of ride quality, this bike doesn’t feel as stiff as many newer ebikes but that’s due in large part to the weight.
The front and rear lights are ultra-bright and massive when compared with more modern offerings that often forgo lights altogether. The seat post shock makes a difference when riding over bumps and compliments the front shock well. If you see this bike at a garage sale or used bike store be sure to consider the lack of replacement parts available. Everything from the twist throttle to the controller and especially the batteries are hard to find. In the video review above you may notice the bike I was testing has a battery pack strapped onto a rear rack. This is due to the challenge of finding custom sized batteries that can fit inside the downtube. I’ve been told that if the trigger throttle on this bike breaks you can sometimes retrofit a throttle from Currie Technologies.
The ebike SX is an electric bike that led the way, inspired others to join in and ultimately proved to be ahead of its time. It’s not a very useful machine these days due to the limited replacement parts and abundance of new high-tech offerings but it’s still iconic and fun. For a collector or tinkerer this could be a worthwhile project but for most people it’s just something to be appreciated and acknowledged as a forerunner to modern ebikes.
Powerful motor capable of moving larger riders and ascending medium hills with pedal assistance
Super bright front and rear headlights keep you safe at night
Front fork shock and seat post shock smooth out the bumps
Front and rear fenders keep dust, mud and water away
Front disc brake provides great stopping power in wet conditions
Includes a kickstand and metal bash guard on front chain ring
No longer being produced, replacement parts becoming rare
Stock sealed Lead-acid battery was heavy and could only endure ~250 charges before losing capacity
No pedal assist mode, throttle only
Heavy bike with awkward frame that’s hard to lock up and a challenge to fit on hanging style car racks due to the lack of a top tube
Brushed style motors wear out faster and this older gear style may be prone to stripping if pushed too hard
Built in cruise control made riding over longer distances easier on the thumb
Hanle van Niekerk9 years ago
We bought an Electric Bike a few years ago and struggling to get it working again. We are based in South Africa.
Can you please advise us on how to get the wiring diagram for the bike or who we can contact to assist us in this matter.
Thank you and regards,Reply
Hanle van Niekerk
Court Rye9 years ago
Hello Hanle, there are ways to get the ebike SX and other EV Global Motors electric bikes going again. Usually it has to do with replacing the battery but it sounds like you’re looking for help with wiring. There is a thread talking about this over on the forums at https://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/evg-ebike-upgrades.244/ and some more information at NYCeWheels http://www.nycewheels.com/ebike.html
I hope this helps you! The biggest challenge may be finding the right components in Africa to fix your existing bike. Feel free to join the discussion in the forums and ask for more advice :)Reply
Sally Dillon9 years ago
Hi, I have 2 ebikes in my garage. They are probably 15 years old? Need new batteries and tires. What is the best place to source these items, or to resell my bikes to other ebike enthusiasts?Reply
Court Rye9 years ago
That is a great question Sally… I really have no idea about this but have seen some of the older EV Global ebikes on display at shops in California and Florida just for fun (like a museum). You could always post them in the deals forum here for sale or ask around for help from other ebike enthusiasts in the EV Global Motors forum.Reply
Eric Borcherding8 years ago
On the EVG SX36 e-bike by Lee Iaocca. What a machine, and what a dream! One can convert these bikes to quite good performance:
1) Using the stock battery case fit in a LiNiMnCo 37V 10.8 AHr from BatterySpace (special order). At an astounding 6pds greatly lowers 15pds from L.A. 6 pack conversion of 6 x 6V * 9Ahr Powersonics (21 Pds). Big step…
2) Or try a 38.4V 15AHr LiFePO4 imotor @12pds bearing phenominal range / speed. 32KPH max, range of 60KM alone. This pack is simply, Kick-Ass. Snug fit into compartment with required BMS and connector mod; try 6 pack trailer connector. This is bested by 2 x 18.5V 18650 Lions self-build 7pd packs with a tricky BMS, dual chargers and stuffed full battery compartment fill, for more range.
3) Change 12V35W Halogen to Xenon QuteQueen LED H3mod 5W@14V, 82% energy saved for motor in night rides.
4) Alternately the Heinzmann PE speed motor at 470W vs. 500W brushed motor adds a few KPHs.
5) Choose tires with solid narrow center rubber, pumped at ~45PSI, like German made Chamberlands brown walls.
6) Keep the bike lubed and drivetrain / bearings clean, adjust brakes for no-drag.
Happy Trails… EricReply
Court Rye8 years ago
Awesome information on conversion Eric! Thanks for sharing this. I checked out your website on LED’s and found it interesting. Looks like you’re pretty skilled with electronics and hardware :)Reply
greg znamenacek7 years ago
Where might I find use parts for ebike LX thank gregReply
Court Rye7 years ago
I’ve visited a couple of shops that have units in the back and they might be willing to sell you parts or the entire bike for a good price. One such shop is The Electric Bike Shop in Sacramento, California and the other is Myron’s Extreme Machines in Fullerton, California. No guarantees on either, they may or may not still have them but I have seen this unit in both shops over the past several years. Also, you could ask around in the EBR Community Forums here under For Sale or Q&A and ask for Ann M. who used to own a shop in Austin, Texas. She might know :)Reply
GB7 years ago
You can also get parts from: electricwheelsofflorida on eBay. They have OEM parts for the e-bike. Good Luck!Reply
Rad2 years ago
Now moved to electric wheels of Utah. Still on ebay. They purchased all the spare parts when EV Global went under. I have purchased a couple items from them.
I still ride my 24 volt bike regularly. Brushes wore out at 7,000 miles. Replaced the motor from a second parts bike. The third controller blew at 10,000 miles and I replaced the motor/controller/battery with a 48 volt Chrystalyte setup. Never got over 10 miles without pedaling. Top speed was 14 mph. Now with lithium 48 volt battery I get 20+ miles without pedaling and 31 mph top speed.Reply
Court2 years ago
Wow, that’s a fantastic performance boost. Thanks for the tip about the Electric Wheels of Utah, looks like a great shop :)
Jennifer5 years ago
Court Rye5 years ago
Hi Jennifer, Perhaps you could post in the EBR forums here. I believe that there are some electric bike shops in your area, and possibly one that could service this older EV Global Motors ebike :)Reply
Ron Warrick4 years ago
Have an LX I’m willing to part with cheap for anyone who can pick up in central New Jersey. Solid bike for building up.Reply
Court4 years ago
Thanks for the heads up Ron! You can post your used ebike for sale in the EBR FSBO forums here and it’s free. This might get more attention, and will allow you to include photos and reply to people easier :)Reply
Daniel Nielsen4 years ago
needabattery. Give meacallemea call please.Reply
Court4 years ago
Hi Daniel, your best bet might be to contact a company called FTH Power, they offer battery repacking services and I’ve created an article about it here. Hope this helps! Please reply back if you try it, so we can learn from your experience :)Reply
Pete3 years ago
Hi all, I have an E bike which needs a battery, which I can deal with, but the bigger problem is that the key broke off. Is there any way to get another key or to hot wire the switch?Reply
Court3 years ago
Hi Pete, there is a company that can help re-pack old ebike batteries. I’m not sure if they can do this particular one, but they’d be worth contacting! I made a video with them and wrote a guide about it in the forums. Check it out here and good luck!Reply
Arnaldo Sanchez3 years ago
I need a motor controller:
Brushless Motor ControllerReply
Battery Voltage 36/48V
Cut off Voltage 28/38V
Current Limit 15A
Display Meter KD26EM
Order Number 170602
Court3 years ago
Cool, perhaps someone will see your comment and help you find one! You can also post it in the EV Global Motors forum here. A long time ago, I visited a shop in Davis, California that had a bunch of older ebikes, including ones from EV Global Motors. Perhaps you can find them if you call around!Reply
K Private10 months ago
Hi, I am looking for collectors or those interested in the EV Global Motors Company’s electric bikes designed by Lee Iacocca. I have 2 that I would like to give to anyone that would like these 36 volt bikes. I really feel someone would appreciated them. I do not know what to do with them and if no one is interested in them I guess they will have to go to the metal recycler. Please email me if there is anyone that is interested in them. Thank you, email@example.comReply
Court10 months ago
That’s a very nice offer! I think the bikes can continue to be used, and the batteries can be repacked with high performance Lithium-ion using a company like FTH Power. Perhaps someone here will see your comment, and you could also post in the EV Global Motors forums here. It might help if you identify your general location, to make pickup easier :)Reply
douglas Birgfeld7 months ago
looking for parts for the battery box I have one with gell batterys in it it is a blue bike 24Volt two 12 volt batteries in itReply
Court7 months ago
Hi Douglas! I hope you’re able to find the parts you need. You could also post and ask around in the forums for EV Global Motors here.Reply