A very good eBike company

emco5

Active Member
#1
Regarding the thread posted below titled “worst ebike company ever”, isn’t is interesting that one bad apple tries to spoil the entire barrel. In my opinion, a gripe without the full story is just a rant with no credibility.

Last July, I had the opportunity to visit Clean Republic. It’s located in a small business complex a few miles south of the Seattle downtown core where all the high-rise buildings are. Out in their parking lot corralled under cover were a few electric-hub bikes, apparently some of the employee personal transport. Inside, there were displays of the various batteries and hub motors, and four employees active in their jobs doing wheel lacing and other tasks. Around the shop were built-up ready-to-ship wheels, a few modified bicycles, and items awaiting local pickup. I spoke with two shop people who were quite enthusiastic about their power-assist systems. All the questions I asked got real world answers, no tinsel sales baloney common to some retailers. Their recently introduced 350 watt hub got my attention. I asked about it and was offered a ride on the shop's 350w test bike, which I accepted. Compared to 250w geared hubs, the 350w was a hot-rod which pulled strongly on hills during my ride. It was impressive enough that I bought it, and it has functioned flawlessly for nearly nine months of almost daily in-city errands and weekend wandering.
..................

News:
Clean Republic has a new “Horizon” 350-watt geared-hub system that now has a frame-mounted, metered, and lockable battery. That's a worthwhile upgrade over the fabric bag previously offered and make a good kit even better. The new battery is a Panasonic nickel-manganese-cobalt [NMC, like Tesla uses] and it weighs 3 lb. less than the bagged battery on last year’s model. They also give it a higher capacity rating.




I have no connection in any way with this business other than just a pleasant purchase and ownership experience.
 
Last edited:

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#2
Compared to 250w geared hubs, the 350w was a hot-rod which pulled strongly on hills during my ride.
I'm glad to read about your experience with the 36v version - it sounds like a worthwhile power upgrade, and the variable speed thumb throttle is much better than the basic on/off motor power switch in their 24v kits, but do they include a torque arm or mention it in the instructions? I see they have an FAQ on their website that recommends only installing it on a bike with a steel front fork but they really should include one in their 36v kit. They could add pedal assist but then they would also need to add a cadence sensor, brake lever power switches, and a display, and they want to keep this an easy to install kit that adds just a throttle to your handlebar. I tried a 24v hill topper but returned it after a week because it could not pull me up hills and I quickly got tired of having no control over the motor other than the on/off switch, if I were to buy this again I would only consider the 36v version and I would fit a torque arm. Clean Republic accepted the return and refunded my money without question so I was satisfied with their customer service, and with their Seattle location it was relatively easy to be able to ship the lithium battery via UPS ground.
 
Last edited:

emco5

Active Member
#3
> ... the variable speed thumb throttle is much better than the basic
> on/off motor power switch in their 24v kits…..
> ….. it could not pull me up hills and I quickly got tired of having no
> control over the motor other than the on/off switch

24v 250w geared hubs are ‘assist’ motors and don't generate enough power to require a variable-speed throttle. There just isn’t enough headroom between 0 and wide open. A 250w will do frontal assaults up 4% hills without too much rider effort. On steeper grades, you need to assist it. From my experiences, hubs will quickly fall off their power curve if ridden too slowly. It’s been said that when 'climbing' with hub motors, 50% of their rated top speed should be their minimum speed. That means you’ll need to maintain 7.5mph with a 15mph 250w and 10mph with a 20mph 350w. It’s much easier to hold minimum speed with the 350w, and it will assist you up to about an 8% climb before the work gets challenging.


> ….. do they include a torque arm or mention it in the instructions?

The consensus around the net and with the technical crowd at Endless Sphere appears to be that front hub motors less than 500w do not need a torque arm. IMO, the caveat is that an arm isn’t necessary if you refrain from spinning the wheel. The instant shock of regaining traction generates a lot of twisting torque. Wheel spin only seems to happen [rarely] with the 350 on inclines having sandy pavement, or on gravel paths. On both surfaces, though, there is enough slip to prevent traction shock. It would be different if the tire was intentionally spun, then instantly grabbed some clean surface.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#4
It’s been said that when 'climbing' with hub motors, 50% of their rated top speed should be their minimum speed. That means you’ll need to maintain 7.5mph with a 15mph 250w and 10mph with a 20mph 350w...the 350w will assist you up to about an 8% climb before the work gets challenging...front hub motors less than 500w do not need a torque arm.
Thanks for the information, that jibes with my experience with the 24v 250W kit which ran out of energy half way up a 6% hill, the extra weight of the motor and battery on my already heavy steel bike made it a slog standing on the pedals to get the rest of the way up, so I'm glad the 36v kit provides enough power to properly assist up moderate hills, but it is that extra power that prompted my suggestion for Clean Republic to include a torque arm. Justin LeMire-Elmore conducted torque stress experiments on hub motors and reported a Crystalite 400 series 36v hub motor generated an axle torque of 35-40 NM, about the same as the 38.7 NM drop-out spin-out torque with hand-tightened nuts - fitting a 1/8" steel torque arm increased drop-out spin-out torque to 48 NM with hand tightened nuts. As it is now the kit comes with tabbed c washers, the instructions recommend only installing it on a steel fork, and to tighten the axle nuts with a torque wrench to 28lb/ft. It would add safety redundancy for CR to include an inexpensive universal hose clamp torque arm with instructions to install it with the pivot arm along the back of the fork so force would be directed up to pull the front wheel into the drop-outs in the event they were spread and the axle spin-out, but if it were installed incorrectly the other way round with the pivot arm along the front of the fork that would have the opposite effect and direct force down so perhaps it's better off as it is - they are marketing it as an easy to install Class 2 throttle ebike kit.
 
Last edited:
#5
Interesting info about the torque. I typically try to pedal first before I throttle to help with torque. I do go up some steep long hills sometimes and my total weight including bike is about 250lbs sometimes more depending on what I have loaded in my two large Panniers. my 350W 36v Horizon and Ranger batteries seem to handle the load fairly well as I used to get about 18 to 20 miles out of the Ranger bag battery and with the new Horizon Battery I get about 23 miles.

Happy and Safe riding everyone!
RockstarBruski Youtube Channel
 

BVC

Active Member
#6
I may need to check em out. I just bought a western flyer vintage bike (forget what bike the wifey has) and I was thinking of converting it to an e-bike later on in life.

We currently use these bikes as transport from our apartment to the light rail station a couple blocks down the road - full fenders, easy to pedal & no worry about rain as they are old/rusted anyways. Goal was a bike no one would care to steal for our date nights into downtown portland.

But it's a prime setup for a conversion kit once we move and no longer live close to the light rail station! Which will be in about a year :)



Also rad power bikes is in Seattle. I have a rad rover from them and that features a geared 750w hub motor /48v setup so I'm a little worried the 350w may be under powered for me..


IMG_0758.JPG