Greetings from UK, yet to take the plunge, am thinking DIY so far.

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Hi All
I, i'm guessing like hundreds of others, have been "hovering" for over a year now, taking ages in deciding which is the best way to go. My main excuse is that I fear that my chosen E-bike might not get the use that my non-powered currently gets. and i'm only really considering this route because my health is slowly changing.

Over here, a logical choice would be a Carrera Hellcat plus a Voilamart (possibly?) rear wheel 48 volt 1000 watt kit plus a 52 volt 17 Ampere hour (or more) set-up, am part of the reason for joining is to bounce this idea off some of you experienced E-Bikers (i've probably used the wrong phrase) to see what others think/have done. I've already decided I want to avoid an internal controller, as it seems to present reliability problems long-term.

One question I would love to hear answered is, how far have people pedalled their flattened-battery or broken bikes home?! I promise that i'm not a pessimist at heart but certainly a realist and this is a factor that I have to get to grips with as I love the idea of doing 60 miles total or more again before i get too old.
 

zzRider

Active Member
Hi All
I, i'm guessing like hundreds of others, have been "hovering" for over a year now, taking ages in deciding which is the best way to go. My main excuse is that I fear that my chosen E-bike might not get the use that my non-powered currently gets. and i'm only really considering this route because my health is slowly changing.

Over here, a logical choice would be a Carrera Hellcat plus a Voilamart (possibly?) rear wheel 48 volt 1000 watt kit plus a 52 volt 17 Ampere hour (or more) set-up, am part of the reason for joining is to bounce this idea off some of you experienced E-Bikers (i've probably used the wrong phrase) to see what others think/have done. I've already decided I want to avoid an internal controller, as it seems to present reliability problems long-term.

One question I would love to hear answered is, how far have people pedalled their flattened-battery or broken bikes home?! I promise that i'm not a pessimist at heart but certainly a realist and this is a factor that I have to get to grips with as I love the idea of doing 60 miles total or more again before i get too old.
If you're considering DIY'ing an existing non-ebike to ebike, make sure the frame can handle the extra weight and power. Does your present bike have any suspension? What terrain will you be primarily riding on?

As to breakdowns, consider other problems besides battery out of juice. Pushing a much heavier e-bike due to a flat tire or other mishap isn't fun even if you're close to home, muchless 30 miles from home!

As for Voilamart, I converted my wife's Schwinn using one of their conversion kits, and it was easy.

 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A bike with a rear 1500W Voilamart and a 52V battery should scoot along at 30+ mph and match that red vehicle in your avatar. It won't be much fun as a bike though. It's intended for throttle. Pedalling is overally boosted. If you run out of battery, the heavy magnet drag from that direct drive motor is like pedalling uphill. And I believe, though you will know the UK laws better than me, that since it's over 250W and exceeds 15.5 mph, that you need licence, registration, and insurance? If you lower your speeds, you could probably get 60 miles out of 17 AH, but it will take at least 4, maybe 5 hours to do it, AT 30 mph, you might get 10 miles.

With a geared motor or a mid drive, there's no motor drag (unlike direct drives), so a DIY bike w/o power will pedal just like it did before, only with an extra 8-16 pounds, depending on your choice of motor/battery, I've pedaled my DIY mid drive 26 miles after a battery connector broke. On the other hand, pedaling my store bought fat tire ebike one mile almost killed me last summer, because I had hardly any air in the tires.

That's the tradeoff. Big Voilamart motor. High speed. More for a moped experience. Faster battery consumption. Less like a bike. Small Voilamart geared motor. Lower speed. Intended for pedal assist. Less likely to get checked for legality,
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
If you're considering DIY'ing an existing non-ebike to ebike, make sure the frame can handle the extra weight and power. Does your present bike have any suspension? What terrain will you be primarily riding on?

As to breakdowns, consider other problems besides battery out of juice. Pushing a much heavier e-bike due to a flat tire or other mishap isn't fun even if you're close to home, muchless 30 miles from home!

As for Voilamart, I converted my wife's Schwinn using one of their conversion kits, and it was easy.

Thanks for reply ZZ, I will be sticking to flat terrain. Re: breakdowns, I did add "broken" so covered myself ;) and certainly at home with many 2 wheel breakdowns by now, but not of the flat battery kind, hence my interest. I would be interested to hear how many miles your Voilamart conversion has covered and which combination you went for, and in particular, what's the furthest you/your wife has been on it.
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
A bike with a rear 1500W Voilamart and a 52V battery should scoot along at 30+ mph and match that red vehicle in your avatar. It won't be much fun as a bike though. It's intended for throttle. Pedalling is overally boosted. If you run out of battery, the heavy magnet drag from that direct drive motor is like pedalling uphill. And I believe, though you will know the UK laws better than me, that since it's over 250W and exceeds 15.5 mph, that you need licence, registration, and insurance? If you lower your speeds, you could probably get 60 miles out of 17 AH, but it will take at least 4, maybe 5 hours to do it, AT 30 mph, you might get 10 miles.

With a geared motor or a mid drive, there's no motor drag (unlike direct drives), so a DIY bike w/o power will pedal just like it did before, only with an extra 8-16 pounds, depending on your choice of motor/battery, I've pedaled my DIY mid drive 26 miles after a battery connector broke. On the other hand, pedaling my store bought fat tire ebike one mile almost killed me last summer, because I had hardly any air in the tires.

That's the tradeoff. Big Voilamart motor. High speed. More for a moped experience. Faster battery consumption. Less like a bike. Small Voilamart geared motor. Lower speed. Intended for pedal assist. Less likely to get checked for legality,
I do genuinely appreciate your expertise and comment on the free-wheeling ability of mid-mount versus rear wheel drive, thank you, but re: "red bike" comment i would stick to advising on E-bikes if i were you. ;) oh, and i've just come in from a non-powered cycle ride, where i regularly achieved up to 22 mph and 29 miles per hour downhill (both within road limits) - do you think I ought to turn myself in? :)
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Buy yourself a proper e-bike @Kriis.
Thank you Stefan, i've seen that you post regularly, and your opinion will help me decide finally. It will take a long time to wade through all the different bikes and specifications, and I am guessing that the best choice of bike might be specific to each country to some extent, let alone all the other considerations?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Thank you Stefan, i've seen that you post regularly, and your opinion will help me decide finally. It will take a long time to wade through all the different bikes and specifications, and I am guessing that the best choice of bike might be specific to each country to some extent, let alone all the other considerations?
UK is close to Europe in spite of Brexit. Far closer than to North America. Let me shortly describe my experience.

Like you, I was considering a conversion (in August 2019). My boss convinced me to buy a proper e-bike (I could afford it). Safer way for sure. Not struggling with many issues of a converted trad bike (are you aware some of users of conversion kits use a voltmeter and think in terms of Ah instead of Wh? So strange. Heard of battery fires?)

There is an economic aspect (quids, quids, quids). There is lack of e-bikes in the market due to pandemic, too. I'm not in your shoes either. Still, a proper e-bike bought from a Local Bike Store, the bike that was designed as e-bike, with the LBS support and warranty handling is the most safe and reasonable way.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Hey, just trying to say something nice about your red bike. I rode around on a beater Ducati when I was 18 and didn't die. THe Suzuki almost killed me though.
 

zzRider

Active Member
Thanks for reply ZZ, I will be sticking to flat terrain. Re: breakdowns, I did add "broken" so covered myself ;) and certainly at home with many 2 wheel breakdowns by now, but not of the flat battery kind, hence my interest. I would be interested to hear how many miles your Voilamart conversion has covered and which combination you went for, and in particular, what's the furthest you/your wife has been on it.
My wife doesn't ride the trike much and she/we haven't tested it's range on the 48v/14ah battery; however, it is a heavy machine @~60lbs so I wouldn't expect it to go much more than 20 miles per charge. And since I never hooked up the blue sissy wires (governor limiting wires), it draws the full amperage of the battery which also contributes to poor mileage. But the thing is really fast!
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Hey, just trying to say something nice about your red bike. I rode around on a beater Ducati when I was 18 and didn't die. THe Suzuki almost killed me though.
I was struggling to find a suitable picture, maybe the wrong one for an E-bike Forum. I don't know the model of Ducati that you mentioned, Suzuki should be proud of their gearboxes, certainly superior to the majority from Italy.
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Further to this, the longer I wait the clearer my focus on the route I will go re: set-up, and also the greater range of available products which have yet to increase much in price in the UK so far. I notice that an option for a totally "freewheel" rear wheel drive is being talked about for use in the event of a flat battery and this really gets my attention as after testing/trying out various "D.I.Y." bikes with low battery capacity I still consider this a priority.
 

kmccune

Well-Known Member
You can get one from Canada, Justin of "Grin" converts DD motors to "freewheel style( pricey though) Weight isn't that much problem on the"flat or a RR grade"( just do not get ""Pukin' exhausted, if you convert an "Acoustic' bike make sure the rear dropout is wide enough to accept whatever drive unit you choose, After owning some 350 watt bikes with decent controllers,I was impressed( the bikes I refer too would give you almost that much torque to"stall"" Once you commit to "EBikery' its hard to go back- your knees will thank you and you will be looking for any excuse to ride.
On the regular DD motors you can accommodate" regen", which is a good speed control downhill and brake saver, wouldn't look for extra range though. Shown happy clutter and a "Future victim.
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I went the route you are talking about for my first e-bike several years ago (1500wDD and a big battery). A looonng history of all sorts of motorcycles of all types/sizes, as well as ATV's.

1st of the 2 "lessons learned" that might apply here was that direct drive hubs were gutless in stop and go situations even when compared to 500w geared hubs. The geared hubs are MUCH sportier accelerating from a stop, and climbing short hills. The geared hubs are also more miserly when it comes to the distance a battery charge will cover reliably.

2nd lesson was that I was clueless regarding how much battery I needed for that first bike. I planned on these all day circuits taking several hours to travel. That was before I found that my butt had a 20 mile range. Anything beyond that became way more than I was interested in riding, even when taking occasional breaks to get the blood circulating back there again. That first battery would go in excess of 50 miles, more than twice what I needed. One of the reasons that bike was sold was the excess weight of that battery was something I had to drag around any time I was on the bike. It didn't take long to figure out the next bike would have a much smaller/lighter battery.....

Back to the direct drive vs. geared hub battery mileage comment. The bike that replaced that first bike started out life as a 750w direct drive. It didn't take long to figure out that motor needed to go, so I replaced it with one with twice that rating, a pretty decent 1500w direct drive hub using a KT 35a controller. That set up would go 25 miles easily, a little further if I was really paying attention, on it's 14.5ah battery. Eventually, after climbing a hill that left that motor and it's rider pretty much breathless by time we got to the top one too many times, it became clear that even with a 35a controller, that 1500w direct drive motor wasn't going to be enough.

Enter a nice 1000w geared hub motor (a MAC 12t, an absolute torque monster). That motor replaced the 1500w direct drive, and with no other changes, battery mileage jumped 10 miles on a charge. The bike would now run 35 miles easily - AND - had power to spare taking me to the top of any hill in the area I ride pretty much effortlessly.

Last, I would note I'm 6'2"/300lbs/70 years old, and often ride in an area with some pretty significant hills. I would also note that the 2 nice analog bikes (Trek) we had when we first tried our early electrics were never ridden again. They finally collected enough dust just sitting there where they were dusted off and sold. The wife and I now ride daily, weather permitting, 12 months a year. The e-bikes make any concerns regarding hills, wind, and the surface you are riding on disappear. They were quite literally a game changer. We ride enough where whatever a bike costs us (within reason) is easily justified. Now on bikes #6 and 7....
-Al
 

DiggyGun

Well-Known Member
Region
United Kingdom
City
Buckinghamshire
Hi Kriis and welcome to the forum. We are also from the UK.

Both my wife and I are on our second eBike each.

My wife’s first bike was a Cyclotricity Sahara, (front hub motor) but that kept falling to bits each time we used it. The final thing that happened was the rear rack came undone and slipped down over the mudguard. This in turn snapped some of the wires and shed had to pedal this home with no power and said that it was a pug to ride.

Her second bike is a Wisper 705 (rear hub motor), but not used without assist, so can’t comment.

My first bike was a Raleigh Motus GT (crank motor), but not used without assist, so again, can’t comment.

My second bike is a Riese and Müller Nevo3 gT Vario GX (crank motor), this is a heavy bike and have used this without assist and was easy to ride.

My advise would be to buy an eBike, all ready to go, less hassle if there’s an issue.

Hope that this helps.
 
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Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Many Thanks for your replies, and thank you for your specific reply DiggyGun. I am happy with no immediate acceleration as am a non-powered cyclist for about 30 years and happy to go 70 miles if my health is up to it. I take onboard what several are saying re: buying a "turn key" Ebike, and i'm sure if I found an incredible bike with good back-up* then I would be tempted but call me cynical, I haven't got the time or patience to find this*. I'm sure many of you at a similar age (i'm 66) can relate to experiences in parallel with this when buying new electrical etc products, naively thinking that buying brand-spanking new/top of the range meant an end to reliability problems!
As said, just fine-tuning the details now and will be joining you all soon - i.e.- actually experiencing an Ebike rather than procrastinating. :)
 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
I do like the look of that Mike, it's not yours though? - would love to read more about that as it looks like simplicity itself as far as the mechanical drive goes.
 

Mike_V

Active Member
I do like the look of that Mike, it's not yours though? - would love to read more about that as it looks like simplicity itself as far as the mechanical drive goes.
Not mine ( BBBS02 )
That Marino is a CYC X 1 stealth drive with hobby king battery pacs

 

Kriis

Member
Region
United Kingdom
I have today, bitten the bullet and bought a rather well used Oxygen S cross MTB just to get me started. It has as std a Bafang 250W rear wheel drive and a Dorado type 36v/13.5 Ah battery. It might be a whole waste of time and money but busy refurbing and cleaning and might turn out ok.