Voilamart Rear Hub - It Runs! -Review

prof_fate

New Member
I got a voilamart rear hub kit off ebay, $197 to my door (4 days, availa on amazon for 225 also). A unitpackpower 49v 20AH battery off amazon, $355 to my door (3 days)
Put this on an early 90s Schwinn Moab mountain bike I bought new from a schwinn store.

In addition to the kit I got a rear rack ($25 amazon), a handlebar extender to hold the electronic screen and my phone ($13 amazon), and a thumb throttle since the kit only had the choice of twist throttle and my bike has gripshift.

The battery included the extra connectors needed to solder onto the controller. I like the grips with the kit. The LCD (900 model) includes NOTHING on programming, mine came in KMH..lots of youtube vids on how to program it. All the other settings where spot on. It's readings are delayed a bit, like MPH. Otherwise seems pretty OK. The rim had nice spokes, all tight, double wall rim too, and included the tire, rim band and tube. Tire seems a tad thin, but I'll run it for now. More zip ties were needed than were in the kit.

It includes a bag that will hold the controller, but I"m gonna opt for something better as I have a bag already that went where this goes and I need a container for the battery, so perhaps an underseat bag for the controller/wiring and a rack bag for the battery (it's currently in a cardboard box on the rack..looks like I'm carrying a parcel).

Two kit issues on install - the PAS sensor ring has no way to attach to the bottom bracket. Directions say to 'superglue' it...yeah, no. So I left the PAS off. If I can find a way to mount or replace the magnet I'll install it.
Second issue is while the kit says it fits a 135mm drop out and mine is that, the spacing on the cogs is different than what my bike had, so the small gear hit teh frame, I had to put some washers in there to space it out more for clearance. that took 2 people (or 3 hands).

Bike issues: It has the grip shift..I could convert to thumb or just get a thumb throttle. Not enough room on the handle bar to mount the LCD, and it wouldn't likely have fit on the bar due to the diameter of it. Works perfectly on the extender though. My brakes (shimano) are such that the only way to get the old handles off is to pull the cable back thru all the casing..after 25 years the ends are frayed so I'd never get them back in. I'm keeping my brake handles, so I won't be able to use the cut out switches. Not an issue with throttle only..if I go to PAS I may have to get a cut off switch that mounts on the brakes. It' snot particularly stable on the side stand..never was and now it's worse. Still pondering the options while I just lean it against things.

I got a torque arm for the rear, amazon $9, not sure if it's needed. Has to go on the gear side since i can't thread the motor wires through the hole. Not the best fit on the bike as to how my shifter cable runs along the frame.

Until my thumb throttle arrives I put the twist throttle on and went for a 10 mile ride.

Performance: I've never ridden an elec bike (or car). Golf cart or kids ride on toys. So I find the acceleration a tad slow...I'm told elec motors produce their torque from zero rpm..i'm underwhelmed. However, my fear of nailing the throttle and having the bike wheelie out from under me is a non-issue. It will start without using the pedals, even with my 235 lbs aboard.

Speed: It's weird...it's so effortless to get to speed that you don't realize how fast you're going. I road out and back and on one pretty level stretch (very slight grade) I chickened out at 36mph but it was still accelerating under throttle alone! On the reverse run I got to 32mph.

UPhill - there are 2 good sized grades on the ride and on throttle alone 11.5 mph was the slowest it went. Felt like crawling. I stopped to shift (since my gripshift isn't on the bars) so that I could pedal some - I need to adjust the indexing for the new cassette - pedaling was easy to get to 13mph. The overall ride speed averaged 18mph (i know the distance, the bike agreed with my car's odometer, and I used my phone as a stop watch).

Brakes...I've seen mention that rim brakes aren't up to the task of an ebike and well, yeah. Riding a pedal bike at 10, 15 mph, with odd spurts to 20 the brakes are fine. Doing a curvy road with cars, dogs, etc at 20-25mph (which it does with ease) is another thing...that stop sign up ahead requires some forethought! I have kool stop pads coming, we'll see how that works out. Bike doesn't have the tabs for disk, or the mount on the front wheel. A hydraulic disk would be great..may ponder that addition.

Range: No clue yet. the meter has 5 bars, after 11 miles all throttle and nearly 2 miles of that uphill (and well, 2 down hill on the ride back) it has dropped 1 bar. It was down 2 bars on the last hill,but one bar returned when the ground leveled. That tells me it should do the 30 miles I want, perhaps 40 if I stay on level and pedal some.

This weekend the weather is cold, but next week (throttle arrives monday so I can have my gears back) I should be able to commute back and forth to the farm a few times and put 40-50 miles on it.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
My pas magnet wheel came with spring plastic that would grip the shaft on a modern 3 piece crank. So a little superglue would keep it from rotating. I had a 1 piece 1990's Huffy crank, so I had to wallow the hole out to fit over the bend of the arm. then I had to fill the extra space with 3 wood wedges. I glued them in with 3M weatherstrip adhesive.
I clamped my controller to the seat stem with spam can lids and #10 stainless machine screws. Wires down so the rain drips off instead of running in. Use safety glasses in using drill motors.
Experts here said throttles sometimes fail full on, so get your switched brake handles on soon. Fets in the controller can fail shorted, also. New brake cables are available from modernbike.com in IA or thebikeshopstore.com in NY. I like the stainless ones, jaguar and clarks. New brake cable housings are available in 25' rolls, unfortunately.
I like mechanical disk brakes fine. Repair is easy. You can wrap the fork strut with a steel bracket to hold the caliper in position. However, to install a disk on a wheel you have to buy a new wheel.
DD motors accelerate slowly from a stop. Geared hub motors have plenty of torque from 0 rpm. As I cross a lot of hills to my summer property, I bought the latter. People that have a great height to climb as the parks above LA or Seattle, should not buy geared hub as they will overheat if run full throttle uphill over 15 minutes.
Glad to hear there is an amazon battery vendor that is not selling warrenty returns. btrbattery sold very fully specified garbage, that would collapse the voltage at 5 amps. Specified current limit was 50 A.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
Nice report.

I find the e-brakes useful for slow speed maneuvers when I don't want the motor to start up on me from the pedal sensors. If you're on throttle only, they are less important unless you get the throttle fault. A broken ground wire will act like full throttle. Water in the connector gives you part-full throttle. We've seen both, but only on our slower ebikes. So I think ebrakes are worth having,

On some kits, the pedal assist experience can be poor. The controllers often see the PAS like an on/off switch and ramp up to whatever speed is programmed for the assist level. My ebikeling SW900 controller would take me to 18 mph no matter what assist level was selected.

I've done many ebike kits and never been able to fit the PAS sensor ring under a bottom bracket nut as intended. Usually fashioned a bracket and clamped it around the frame.

At least 100 bucks to get a disk compatible wheel and a front fork. Another $40-50 for a rotor and a caliper. I've done that.
 

prof_fate

New Member
For the cost of putting a disk on the front I could buy a bike off marketplace that already has one.
This is more stable than I thought it would be...still interested in a cruiser with a vintage motorcycle look.

Nice report.

I find the e-brakes useful for slow speed maneuvers when I don't want the motor to start up on me from the pedal sensors. If you're on throttle only, they are less important unless you get the throttle fault. A broken ground wire will act like full throttle. Water in the connector gives you part-full throttle. We've seen both, but only on our slower ebikes. So I think ebrakes are worth having,

On some kits, the pedal assist experience can be poor. The controllers often see the PAS like an on/off switch and ramp up to whatever speed is programmed for the assist level. My ebikeling SW900 controller would take me to 18 mph no matter what assist level was selected.

I've done many ebike kits and never been able to fit the PAS sensor ring under a bottom bracket nut as intended. Usually fashioned a bracket and clamped it around the frame.

At least 100 bucks to get a disk compatible wheel and a front fork. Another $40-50 for a rotor and a caliper. I've done that.