Electric Hub Motors ... ???

Discussion in 'Electric Bicycles' started by vja4Him, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    I'm really a dummy when it comes to anything mechanical or electrical! If I understand correctly, if I buy the electric hub motor for my Electra Townie, I will no longer have the gears that came with my bicycle available for pedaling?

    I need to keep the gears that came with my bicycle, so I can still ride my bicycle with no motor as often as possible. I need the exercise and enjoy riding, but also need to commute to various job assignments where there is no bus service, and too far for me to pedal (10-15 miles each way).

    I want to get something that will last many years, and allow me to attain speeds of at least a good solid 35mph (45mph would be better, so I could ride on the country roads where the speed limit is between 45-55mph), with my weight, plus groceries (will not be riding fast with groceries!!!, only around 10mph then!).

    When I go to work, my weight is around 210, plus my large backpack, which normally weighs around 15 pounds. Groceries will add another 15 pounds, sometimes more ....

    So, I need a good quality motor that will easily carry over 250 pounds, reliable, effecient, long lasting ..... I've been checking around on different websites, but am still a bit overwhelmed ... !!! Help please ... !!!! Thanks!

  2. mabman

    mabman Member

    Your top speed is unrealistic. Federal regs and thus state regs top out at 20 for electric assist. Of course you can do whatever you want but an electra townie would not be my first choice for even going that fast.

    However you can use a hub motor in conjunction with your current gearing setup but not so that it will operate your gearing. Electric motors are either wound for torque or speed or in between and are limited in that fashion. Any of the stock kits you see will only net you up to 20 mph and that for a short time until the batteries lose power.

    To achieve your goals you probably are looking at a gas engine run through a gearing system. Also considered illegal. Welcome to the world of motor assist where you must learn to bend like the willow......
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    true -- it would be very hard to find that kind of speed with elect

    in Calif -- mophead --- M-2 drivers license -- gas -- should be legal to

    ride that THING
  4. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Licensing My Bicycle As A Moped ... ???

    What about licensing my bike as a moped? I don't mind doing that. I would really like to get more than 20mph. Even 30mph would be much better! I'm not going to be riding at high speeds for great distances, most likely one or two miles at top speed. And once I get to work I can charge the battery up.

  5. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Moped License for a Bicycle ... ???

    What does it take to get a moped license for a bicycle? Will I need to have brake lights, tail lights, head lights, turn signals and an electric horn as well?
  6. mabman

    mabman Member

  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    So you're a dummy and unrealistic about speed and maintaining, and you want years of reliability.

    Buy a 150cc Vespa scooter and maintain it religiously. A motorized or electric bicycle is not the answer for you.
  8. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Which Electric Motor for my Townie ... ???

    A scooter is not the answer for me ... I need the exercise from riding my bicycle, and besides, I enjoy riding ... My boys and I ride around town often. It's just a little too difficult to ride long distance .... With several physical and medical issues, I'm limited with pedaling.

    I can only average about six to seven mph when pedaling around town. Looks like I will probably go with an electric that will get me 25-30 mph. Now, to decide which motor system to install on my Townie ... ???
  9. TwoWalks

    TwoWalks Member

    The biggest problem that I see is the batteries. The more you weigh and the higher the speed you travel, the faster the batteries will run down. There are some great battery choices that would give you the mileage, but not at those speeds. Batteries to give you longer range could run you as much as 500 to 1000 dollars. I first was interested in going electric until I really weighed the options and the batteries were the reason I went with gas.
  10. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Gas or Batteries ... ???

    In the long run, I think batteries or gas would cost about the same ... ??? Has anyone figured that out in dollars .... I estimated, and it seems like it's pretty close ....
  11. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    You will be better served with a GOOD quality scooter.
  12. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    Bicycling Is More Fun and Better Exercise ... !!!

    I don't want a scooter ... !!! I want to be able to ride my bicycle, but need an extra boost sometimes when I'm traveling to work ...

    I'm counting on my bicycle lasting for many years ... !!! My 18-speed Mongoose Switchback is 17 years old, and still going strong, almost like new!!! And I left the Mongoose outside in the rain for 8 1/2 years (no room in our tiny apartment!).

    I plan on taking much better care of my Townie, and have cleaned up my Mongoose. Both are inside, where they will stay. My dad has an old English bike that must be at least 50 years old, and still rides very nicely.

    Besides, I really do need the exercise ... !!! I have hypoglycemia very, very, very bad, and have to eat quite often, so keeping my weight down is a constant problem ....
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2008
  13. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Good luck finding an electric that will fulfill your needs .
  14. Meer123

    Meer123 Member

    adjust your expectations

    you need to adjust your expectations - where did you get the idea that a merely average electric assist set-up would get you anywhere close to 35mph ? Also, what is your priority ? Fitness ? Going Fast ? Biking with your kids ? A 911 Turbo can't do what a Suburban can do and vice versa - looking for a machine to last a long time - go as fast as a baby motorcycle AND get good mileage is a dream - actually, it's a reality that can be acheived but it'll take a huge (relative to the normal price of current kits) financial investment.

    Typical hub motor will get you to 17 to 20 mph - do not believe everything you read on the description of hub motor sellers on E-bay ! Typical SLA battery set-ups will go 10 to 14 miles - longer with Metal Hydride or "Li" style batteries. Obviously, there are folks who have hot-rodded set-ps on these boards and I think that's very cool but I can assure you that it is not the majority. If you have the skill and the means - more then a few people will happily give you advice on how to make your set-up more efficient or go faster - just follow the blogs.
  15. mabman

    mabman Member

    Get a MoPed and use the pedal feature on it with the motor off in intervals, that should get you some (serious) exercise and get you the speed and distance that you need when you need it. You can even find one really cheap on Craig's List I would imagine.
  16. vja4Him

    vja4Him Member

    I'll Stick With The Real McCoy ... !!!

    Not interested in any kind of moped or scooter ... I'm sticking with the real MacCoy ... !!! Just need extra boost for commuting, running errands and shopping. I will probably get the 49cc gas-powered motor for my 18-speed Mongoose Switchback, so my oldest boy can ride along with me sometimes ....
  17. QuadManiac

    QuadManiac Member

    "In the long run, I think batteries or gas would cost about the same ... ??? Has anyone figured that out in dollars .... I estimated, and it seems like it's pretty close ...."

    Well, quick back of the envelope calculation -

    Gas at $3.00 / gal (lower right now, but it'll be back) with a ~50cc HT motor getting around 100 mpg


    Somewhere around $600 in Li batteries... (an easy number to use for comparison)

    $600 is equivalent to 200 gallons or around 20,000 miles to make batteries come close to equivalent in cost to gas (ignoring the electricity cost to charge the batteries)... but 20,000 miles at an assumed 20 miles per charge is 1000 charge cycles; you may be near having to replace your batteries again.

    Cost does end up being close to the same from that standpoint... but there are of course a lot of other variables.
  18. Pete

    Pete Guest

    You really need to have a serious think about your requirements. You may be better off with your townie for fun and a moped / scooter to get you to and from work. Don't simply blow off the idea of infernal combustion power especially with your stated requirements. Be objective and realistic

    35 - 45 Mph is do-able with electric HOWEVER
    Safety; your townie was not designed to do 45 mph. The chassis dynamics are all wrong, your brakes will not be up to the task, there is a reason why intelligent motorbike riders wear leathers.... 45mph is an awful lot of strawberry jam to scrape off the road.

    in round figures, 500 for a motor that is up to the task
    300 for the controller
    and the kicker, at least 1500 for a LiFePO battery that's won't be stuffed after 300 cycles because your motor is flogging it to death
  19. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    He's about right.

    You would probably have to go with a dual (front and rear) hub motor setup. That's gonna cost you a bit of change along with the Batteries you will need.

    Even if you spend 500 on EACH motor (48v Motor) and 300 for the controller, and considering a 48v 20ah LiFePo4 battery itself costs in the neigborhood of $400 and you'll need at least TWO (one for each motor) AND that will only get you about 10 miles. So if you're figuring about 30 miles round trip, you'll need 2 48v 60ah hours each and those will run you about $1200 each, so your grand total will be..

    Motor(2) $1000
    Controller(2) $600
    Batteries(2) $2400

    You're looking about about $4,000! If you're gonna spend that much just to ride your bike at 35mph and get 30 miles out of a single run, and THEN you have to charge the batteries EVERY DAY, you'll end up kicking yourself for doing that.

    One of the other guys was right. Buy a decent scooter for going to work and use your "townie" for light trips and only go with a small Front Hub Motor kit for ~$500, you'll be MUCH happier in the end.

    Just my .02


    FYI... It would cost you approximately .20 per mile (in electricity costs) to ride it. It's the cost of the equipment that's the killer.