Vancouver Island, BC

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bill Tarling, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    I ended up buying one of the ebikes that looks like a scooter -- bad knee from old injury, so I have a lot of trouble peddling without it giving out in pain all day if I do (plus, at just over 6'5" and size 18-19 shoes, I find standard bicycle frames just don't fit me well).

    I'm in BC (Canada), and mainly use it for getting back and forth to work, and for running [no pun intended] into town. I'm kinda in the middle of nowhere (barely any street lighting in my area), and most of the trip is hilly.

    So far I'm pretty pleased with how the bike is running. Handles the hills (including a few steep ones) without any trouble.

    I added in additional flashing brake lights and side running lights [or rather, the guys at work hooked them up for me -- I'm a computer geek, but useless at anything mechanical]. That's made the biggest difference in riding in traffic -- the cars notice me pretty well now, and I've noticed them giving me a lot more riding room on the road.

    Main thing is, I bought the bike to replace our old 2nd car that died. Seeing the difference in fuel savings already [huge!], I figure the bike will end up paying for itself pretty quickly.

    As well, my daughter is of driving age [hasn't got her license yet], and needs to get back and forth for school, visiting friends, etc. I figure she'll claim my bike as her own -- which is cheaper than her getting a drivers license and our gas bill quadrupling each month if she does.

    I had figured I would let her have the bike, and just get something a bit more powerful for myself next spring, but the bike seems to be getting me around so well that I may just get my daughter her own ebike so I can keep this one for myself.
     

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Hello Bill and welcome aboard.

    Lot's of good info here. But it sounds like you're already pretty well set up.

    Photos of your bike would be good. See you around.
     
  3. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    Thanks for the welcome...


    A group of motorcycles (Harley) pulled up beside me at a stop light. I told the front guy I would race him down the street if he gave me a two-week head start. He laughed and said he would just wait for me at the gas station about a mile with a coffee if I ever got there [they were all low on gas].

    Sure enough, I saw them at the station minutes later, so I couldn't resist and pulled in. True to his word, the biker had a fresh hot cup of coffee waiting when I rode in.
     

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  4. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    That's a really good looking machine. Obviously silent, too. A big plus.

    What sort of range does it have?

    How about cost?
     
  5. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    My ebike does just the speed limit allowed [32kmh] -- but the biggest relief was that it seems to handle the BC hills here pretty well. Most hills it climbs on its own at a pretty steady 25kmh, though it slows to 15kmh on the really steep climbs.

    I added a full size motorcycle case to the back [tons of room], plus the under seat storage holds my charger, toolkit, extension cord, stereo, accessories, and large thermos: I need my morning coffee when I get to work.

    I also added rear lighting strips along the back end (wired into my running lights), and some flashing led brake lights for better road visibility by drivers. I find drivers now give me way more road space than before I put the extra lights on.

    I'm only putting on 600-700km a month travel on the bike so far, but the single charge seems to be holding out pretty strong at about 70-80km runs that I've done [with running lights on].

    Price wise, the gas we've saved in just the first month means the bike will pay for itself pretty quickly.

    It's a Veloteq Commander Sho-GT:
    48V/20Ah (4 x 12v/20AH Valve Regulated Absorbed Glass Mat)
    500W BLDC gear reduction motor, 400rpm Highest Idle
    controller rated at 750W

    I charge it whenever I get home. No idea about specs or such, but I found out that recharging before it was completely discharged seems to increase the life 4-6x longer.

    I know old batteries were best depleted before a charge (they had a memory charge if only partially depleted). I ran the bike about 55 km last week (all lights on, including headlight hi-beams), and the bike still had about 76% charge left -- though it did drop whenever I needed to climb the steep hills. Whenever I got back to more level roads [or even shallower uphill climbs], the bike still had plenty of charge left (went right back up to about where it left off).

    I've never actually depleted it fully, so I have no idea how far the bike could go fully -- if it's fairly flat terrain, the thing just seems to go on forever.

    I actually lucked out with the added lights... I work at the company that carries them (I'm just their computer geek in the back room). Computers I can rebuild blindfolded, but I'm completely hopeless with anything mechanical. The guys in the front saw me eyeing the lights everytime I went into the warehouse, so they came to my rescued and grabbed some, and popped them on for me.

    I can't believe the difference it's made with motorists. I would definitely recommend anybody with an ebike should add the additional brake lights, and some rear side lights -- regardless of what brand(s) they want to use. I'm almost kicking myself for not having put extra lights on the bike when I first bought it. I just never thought it would make that big a difference when riding.

    All in all, I've been surprised at how well the bike gets me around.
     
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Am I doing my conversions right? It would seem that 32 km/hr would equal 18 mi/hr?

    Would seem that the bike is not fast enough to get out with traffic.

    and, say, 75 km would be about 40 miles? that's not bad.

    But that bike looks like it could go faster than 20 mph.
     
  7. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    *lol* naw, it is just a bicycle... albeit one I can actually fit my legs and feet on.

    Your conversions are pretty close.

    In Canada, electric bikes aren't allowed to run (using a motor) over 32kmh without being reclassified as a "Motor Vehicle" (which then must be licenced, etc).

    Even my old moped I had in 1976 would freak them out now. It averaged 45mph [everything was in miles back then in Canada], and I had it topped over 60mph [unmodified] one time. That was the best bike I ever had -- even better than my old motorcycle. It got 212 mpg, and I put over 3000 miles/month on it. Heck, I even rode it throughout the Ontario [Canada] snowstorms back then. That bike handled like a dream!


    I've got a bum knee (injury from long ago), so even short peddling distances on a regular bicycle would just leave me in too much pain -- I couldn't even ride the exercise bicycle at physio.

    Don't forget though -- a heck of a lot of long hills here (hard to find flat terrain where I live). A lot of cycling groups are riding around, but even most of them get off their bikes and walk up some of the hills.

    For regular stretches, even with the slower ebike speed in Canada, I still seem to catch up to and pass most of the cyclists here.

    We do have bike lanes along most of the roads (even along the expressway), so traffic isn't too bad. Some sections don't have the paths in town, but since I added in the extra tail and brake lights, the cars move over to give me plenty of room when they pass.

    I thought it would be a pain getting to work on the ebike instead of driving, but with all the turns, lights, and stop signs; it's actually only taking me about 6 minutes longer to get to work.

    The front shield of the bike has been pretty good rain wise as well. Even with the heavier rain, only my kneecaps [for the most part] are wet -- I had expected to be drenched.

    I've also added the windshield. I tried the bike without it one day, but was just too windy riding through the valleys.

    If I can dig out my old speakers, I'm hoping to hook up the stereo on the bike in a couple of weeks -- tunes should make my trips feel faster. You'll be able to hear myself signing "Get Your Motor Running [putt putt putt putt] Heading Down The Highway [putt putt putt putt] BORN TO BE MILD!!!" *lmao*

    I know, the bike is silent, but I needed to add some "putt putt" noises to keep beat. :cool:


    Overall, the way I look at it, the bike keeps a pretty steady pace (I'm often catching up to the cars at lights), so I'm pretty pleased with how it's running.

    And as I first said, my daughter will likely claim the bike for herself so she can get around. Anything that'll keep her from getting her licence means she also won't be quadrupling our gas bill borrowing the car. That alone should pay the bike off fast and makes me smile *lol*
     
  8. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    It sounds like an excellent set up. I was a bit surprised at top speed because the bike looks like the type of scooter that can go faster. But 20 mph would suit me just fine. I never ride my MB faster than that.

    and with bike paths everywhere that there's enough space, it sounds as though you are in riding-heaven-on-earth. I wish we Americans had the brains to learn a thing or two from our friends.
     
  9. Ghost0

    Ghost0 Guest

    Looks very similar to my EVT scooters. The company I work for is one of the importers of these scooters and the employees got a good deal on them so I bought 2. One for me and one for the wife. Bet you can't guess which one is hers? They go about 35mph and will go about 30 miles on a charge. I ride them to work and back when I am not riding my MB.
     

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  10. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    Nice -- I like the styling, and it looks like a decent size carrier case too.

    How's your visibility (by drivers) when riding?

    I'm always watching driveways and intersections ahead, but found rear side lights and back lights helps with the drivers slightly out of view.

    The added speed would definitely help in traffic. Luckily for me, there are only a few short stretches of roads I use that don't have bike lanes.
     
  11. Ghost0

    Ghost0 Guest

    Haven't been hit yet, knock on keyboard, but the lights on it are excellent and lots of reflectors too. They are a lot bigger than people think so being seen is not too bad, they are bigger than most 50cc gas scooters.
     
  12. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    Good to hear. It's surprising how many people tend to look at the extra lights, reflectors, reflective vest (etc) as just minor additions to "eventually" get.

    I had looked at the electric scooters in my area [about the same rang], but that would have left me just short of the distance I need each day. Plus, if my daughter does claim my bike for herself, I don't want her running out of power between here and the city.

    A guy came to my company's office a couple of weeks ago, riding an electric motorcycle (the equivalent of a 400cc bike). He said he averages about 80 miles on a charge (up to a little over a hundred on a fresh charge). Pricey, but most definitely built for comfort. I'll see how things go next year -- that may be the best solution for all my own riding needs.

    I do have a link for some video of my ebike bike, but didn't want to post it here because it's actually on the site from the company I work for [I just do their computer stuff]. They supply vehicle lighting, so the guys knew I wanted/needed some on my bike, and hooked me up. I can PM the link if you're curious about my little ebike and how it runs/looks.
     
  13. Bill Tarling

    Bill Tarling New Member

    Well, it's (almost) official...

    My daughter decided to finally try my electric bike (to get to school, and do some running around afterwards) -- I was stuck using [pardon the foul language] 'the car' for getting to work. Her reaction: "Wheeeee!!! I want it!"

    My bike is a bit big for her (about 50lbs heavier than most of the same type, wider and longer because I needed the extra room for my height and shoe size), but I may get her one of the smaller ones in the spring so I can keep my own bike.

    I asked the guys at work if they would mind if I included a link to my bike pics and video (I have them on their site showing the extra lights I asked them to put on for me): [Photos] [Video]

    I was hesitant to post the link, but the bike is so much fun to ride... Let me know if you would prefer me to remove the link.

    Happy Riding All
     
  14. beast775

    beast775 Guest

    hi bill

    greetings from victoria!it sounds like you have a great setup.my first ebike i built stopped midway on the mallahat,was a bad day for my knees.pedalling up those hills wasnt fun at all.the fastest i ever went on a bicycle was unpowered on the mallahat 54 miles an hr.all i could think of was are my axles tight enough?welcome.:cool:
     
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