“Sorry, but we don't stock that part or model any more.”

calvin

Active Member
One of the worries I have when I look at some of the newest bikes from Currie, Pedego, or Prodeco is that many of their bikes come with an very proprietary and uniquely encapsulated battery, centralized battery/ motor mount combination or computer control/display integration. These “high tech”designs are very pleasant to look at! However, I can see that you would be locked into and at the mercy of the manufacturer's profit or planned obsolescence program.

They might decide at any time to charge an exorbitant price for a certain battery, motor, or replacement part, or deem it not profitable to carry that part or worse yet they might go out of business. Then you would be stuck. The smaller, less capitalized companies are even more prone to this scenario. The externally mounted battery and hub motor, without heavy computerization, although unsightly, seems more ready for upgrade modifications and home garage repairs and maintenance.

What do you think happened to the backyard car mechanic, as electronics were integrated into automobile systems design? They were forced out of the backyard and into the dealers garage just for a tune up. Bad for them, good for the dealer. So do you keep it simple and plain Jane, or go for the Hottie?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting points Calvin, I see where you're coming from and indeed nobody wants to invest in a platform that's going to dry up like say... HD DVD from Microsoft a few years back on the XBOX 360 or Sony's famous Betamax. It's true that smaller companies could be more vulnerable to this but the smaller guys tend to borrow standard battery designs rather than customize their own.

Currie has more bike models than just about any ebike company and their battery designs are all over the place. That said, they are owned by a giant conglomerate called the Accell group in Europe and I think they will be around in the long run. Your points about planned obsolescence or rather a focus on "what works" and letting older models fall to the wayside seems most likely with this brand.

Pedego only uses two battery designs (one solid aluminum square and a newer plastic shell design) and they are both fairly blocky and easy to open. Pedego is also a relatively large and profitable company. To me, they represent the best case scenario where replacements are easy to come by, the company isn't messing around with too many designs that could get discontinued and they are actually pretty basic so an end user could probably fit their own cells in if all else failed.

older-pedego-battery-design.jpg

newer-pedego-battery-design.jpg

I'm less familiar with ProdecoTech but their packs are similar to Pedego. Just a big box that sits on the rear rack... That said, I tend to view their designs as more vulnerable and possibly more cheaply produced. The prices are certainly lower and I've heard from some independent dealers that they've had customers come in with broken struts and plastic casings.

Another interesting example here is Easy Motion that has designed a very custom downtube mounted battery pack that would not be fixable by the end user, as it's completely sealed in, but they are using two versions of nearly the exact same design for a very wide range of ebike. One is a bit shorter for the folding and city bikes and one is a bit longer but between these two sets of bikes the batteries are interchangeable. I bet they'll just stick with this same design indefinitely and even if it changes a bit, the new packs will likely mate to the old systems and be backwards compatible without fail. I could see them adding a water bottle mounting point or using the same physical shape but packing more cells in or something (this is happening with some of the 2014 models that have 12 amp hours of capacity instead of just 9 as with the <= 2013 models.

easy-motion-battery-pack-design.jpg
 

sujabi

New Member
One of the worries I have when I look at some of the newest bikes from Currie, Pedego, or Prodeco is that many of their bikes come with an very proprietary and uniquely encapsulated battery, centralized battery/ motor mount combination or computer control/display integration. These “high tech”designs are very pleasant to look at! However, I can see that you would be locked into and at the mercy of the manufacturer's profit or planned obsolescence program.

They might decide at any time to charge an exorbitant price for a certain battery, motor, or replacement part, or deem it not profitable to carry that part or worse yet they might go out of business. Then you would be stuck. The smaller, less capitalized companies are even more prone to this scenario. The externally mounted battery and hub motor, without heavy computerization, although unsightly, seems more ready for upgrade modifications and home garage repairs and maintenance.

What do you think happened to the backyard car mechanic, as electronics were integrated into automobile systems design? They were forced out of the backyard and into the dealers garage just for a tune up. Bad for them, good for the dealer. So do you keep it simple and plain Jane, or go for the Hottie?
See my post today - sujabi - re Velo Trail. Exactly the situation you portray. The battery and eclectrical components are peculiar to each model, manufactured in small quantities hence the ridiculous prices, and the only option is to buy a new bike because your model is beyond economical repair. Worth sussing all this out from the start.
 

Lost

Active Member
This is a very valid concern, and one of the reasons I really like products (Like my Rad Power Rover) that use generic parts. The battery in particular on mine got damaged during shipping. Rad Power was great, sent me another right away, and I was in business. The best part was I got a new battery case easily enough, and with an hour or two of my time have a great second battery. My point is, the case was available, and it works great. There are numerous threads here and on other forums of folks either having to make their own batteries (you better KNOW what you're doing - they call it Kentucky Fried Fingers! https://www.google.com/search?q=ken...=971#tbm=isch&q=kentucky+fried+fingers+ebikes) or having a vendor do the work for $$.
 

Tbone

Member
Couldn't agree w/you more, Calvin! Your thoughts are exactly the reason I put off purchasing an e-bike for as long as I did. That said, I recently chose an e-bike with none integrated battery and motor, i.e. R&M Charger GX Touring. Both battery and motor are bolted on and seem to me a bit more future-proof than other bikes I looked at (even though I'm sure that's wishful thinking). It was between that or the (what I consider purest and best) hub motor and internally integrated battery of a Stromer. Even though both these bikes are supposed to be at the "high-end", i.e. very expensive, I feel OK with my purchase because the design of the R&M doesn't seem as greedy as others. The big turn off of the Stromer was/is the integrated battery--even though I thought it was better than Specialized or BH Emotion bikes. If my R&M lasts for more than a few years, I'm sure I'll be modifying it so that I can control maintenance and upgrade costs. We'll see how that goes. It's really a shame that e-bike commerce has come to this. But to be honest, it's no different in the non-e-bike market or, heck, almost any "market". By-the-bye, I wouldn't even touch an electric car at this point. That these cars don't have solar panels on their roofs is an f'n joke. But I digress.

-t
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
There is some good news. Now that sales are increasing companies are popping up to build batteries for bikes with proprietary battery designs.
Some are priced well below what the OEM's were charging. My biggest reason for staying away from many bikes was the battery replacement issue.
Sadly I've seen some really good bikes given up by owners when they thought there were no options other than a $1500 battery replacement. Good for a guy like that can build his own custom pack, but a shame for the original buyer. I think we'll see more companies stepping up and configuring replacement packs.
 

sujabi

New Member
Thanks Thomas for a very helpful reply. If I were younger - I am 89! - I would not hesitate to just get a new bike and put it down to experience. I am a UK contributor, and the replacement battery for this old Raleigh bike is £380 - plus in my case a replacement for the LED display (dead) for £105. The dealers are not interested - unless you start talking about a new bike. I looked at similar volt/amp batteries on eBay, but by the time one had rearranged all the wiring etc it was not worth it. One day they will standardise, and it will be like buying a car battery for £60, but they have a captive market at the moment. I would be very wary about buying an electric car for the same reason.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Thanks Thomas for a very helpful reply. If I were younger - I am 89! - I would not hesitate to just get a new bike and put it down to experience. I am a UK contributor, and the replacement battery for this old Raleigh bike is £380 - plus in my case a replacement for the LED display (dead) for £105. The dealers are not interested - unless you start talking about a new bike. I looked at similar volt/amp batteries on eBay, but by the time one had rearranged all the wiring etc it was not worth it. One day they will standardise, and it will be like buying a car battery for £60, but they have a captive market at the moment. I would be very wary about buying an electric car for the same reason.
I have quite a few friends in the UK. I'd guess there would be someone willing to give an assist to an "adult". Congratulations! I hope to be riding at your age. I'm closing in, but have a little more than a decade to catch up. 380GBP isn't really expensive as batteries go. I'm guessing it may be 24V or maybe 36v? If you use Facebook there is a good ebike page. Interested? I'd love to see you find a better deal!
 

sujabi

New Member
Thanks Thomas (Tom?) - I'll check out facebook. I took a couple of tumbles, and figurered that a third one might land me in hospital - not good at my age! Happy cycling. You may be interested in a book I am reading "Rides of Passage" - very funny - by Arthur Lamy who is a native of Jersey (CI) where I live. Check it out on Amazon.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Tom is good by me! Thanks for asking!
Sorry to rend about tumbles. I'm loosing me balance at a younger age, and have been looking for solutions. One cargo bike had an outrigger, but I've not found any solutions other than trikes. A delta, upright trike, would work ok, bust just OK. The damn things are big and heavy. A Brompton stlye with an outrigger seems to be the best idea I can sort. One more fall and its a delta.

Some of the younger builder crowd are grandparebt friendly. Ive had a few who've been very helpful.

Good luck! Anything i can do from across the pond...just poke me....

All the best,

Tom
 

sujabi

New Member
Thanks, Tom. I did try an electric tricycle, and was surprised to be asked if I had ever used one. I said not since I was three, but when I had a go I found it had a mind of its own and would not go where I wanted to. There is some technique apparently , so I said thank you, but no. Attempts to try a Vespa are grounds for divorce. Do you suppose it is possible to re-wire the assembly so that the current goes directly to the motor at top assistance without fussing around with assistance levels? I only used to bike at top assistance. All the best - Bill
PS - I am staying on the forum as I may have somthing helpful to impart to others.
 

fxr3

Active Member
I think/know I am far less worried about Stromer batteries avaibility and pricing than r&m bosch batteries. Bosch likely does a lot of stuff well- but the replacement part business has always been what I've know them for. Many companies in many areas live on the parts business and I'm sure battery sales are profitable and worst case- aftermarket battery mfgs
Are already likely designing a non oem battery for most major ebike mags. God for consumer- not allowing anybody to abuse thesystem
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I think/know I am far less worried about Stromer batteries avaibility and pricing than r&m bosch batteries. Bosch likely does a lot of stuff well- but the replacement part business has always been what I've know them for. Many companies in many areas live on the parts business and I'm sure battery sales are profitable and worst case- aftermarket battery mfgs
Are already likely designing a non oem battery for most major ebike mags. God for consumer- not allowing anybody to abuse thesystem
There's a fellow online that sells Bosch factory reject battery packs. So I've seen their design. Other than a proprietary BMS they are nothing special. If the BMS isn't blown they should be an easy replacement and repair. I suspect as they become more popular, alternative will become more readily available.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Tom. I did try an electric tricycle, and was surprised to be asked if I had ever used one. I said not since I was three, but when I had a go I found it had a mind of its own and would not go where I wanted to. There is some technique apparently , so I said thank you, but no. Attempts to try a Vespa are grounds for divorce. Do you suppose it is possible to re-wire the assembly so that the current goes directly to the motor at top assistance without fussing around with assistance levels? I only used to bike at top assistance. All the best - Bill
PS - I am staying on the forum as I may have somthing helpful to impart to others.
Hi! Was it the recumbent style or the traditional upright? If you go to Facebook please poke me. I'll help if I can!