My electric build - SUCCESS!

Discussion in 'Electric Bicycles' started by veloman, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. veloman

    veloman Member

    I used a single speed road bike I got from ebay for $250. The horizontal dropouts were critical for adjusting chain tension.

    24v 600w motor from cloudelectric. Came with matching controller and twist throttle - $150
    2 12v 17ah Zues batteries off ebay - $75
    80 tooth chainring with #25 chain from electricscooterparts
    Plus a ton of other hardware and unused parts!

    So I took it out for the first time today. Wearing baggy sweats I still got up to about 30mph on flat section. This bike has decent power I'd say, it accelerates modestly, even from 5mph, which is a nice suprise. I haven't taken it up any real hills yet, but the key will be going into them as fast as possible and pedaling to assist.

    Overall, this has a speed of low 20s at about half throttle. I actually am just estimating speed, need to get a computer on the bike. I also need to wearing tighter clothing which will make a big difference at high speed.

    Here are a couple pics, I need to refine the battery mounting and clean up the wiring mounting as well. My only concern with the bike is that the motor stays put and the chain does ok.

    Handling is a little sketchy with the 26lbs of batteries, I think I might spend the money and go to lithium or something more advanced. The other big problem is the motor is the way of my pedaling, so I can't pedal a lot. I will probably redesign the whole bike this winter.

    I must say it was a ton of fun to cruise quickly without any effort. I'm a cyclist and really appreciate this free speed!

    Such a fun project! (Although I did short my batteries once last week and scared myself pretty well. Fried my connectors too. haha)

    I almost gave up on this, but I'm so glad I finally got it working!

    One more thing! This is a chain drive and, it is QUIET as can be! I heard all this talk about how noisy chains are, but this just like my regular road bike, nearly silent, just a nice little hum of the motor! THAT is the reason I wanted electric, no noise! :grin:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008

  2. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    It will be quiet - since you have such a short chain run...

    hope you have fun with it

    Jemma xx
  3. veloman

    veloman Member

    True, and the short chain run is great for efficiency and less likely to slip off too.

    I think eventually I want to build up a much lighter more powerful electric road bike. It will cost me but I think it's doable to have a 1000watt <35lb road bike with simular handling as my normal road bike.
  4. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    Chain Drive!

    You done good! I know its not the velo bike you wanted to build, but these things are done in baby steps. I thought you had given up also. It was really good to see your project. I'm also very happy to see another chain drive!

    That motor has alot more potential. When you start getting the itch for more power you can get a 2nd pack a wire them in parallel. That would double your Amps to 34 without increasing the Volts. It looked up you motor here: The motor is rated up to 36 Amps and the controller is rated up to 40 Amps. This would not increase your top speed but you would have a ton of torque!

    Did you get a battery management system and a smart charger? I wouldn't be overly concerned if you don't have them yet. SLA's are not much of an investment. Just DO NOT completely drain them. Try not to go below 50%. When you upgrade your battery chemistry they will be a necessity.

    As to the noise or lack there of. I believe the primary reason you set up is so quiet is because your motor has no internal gear reduction. That is the reason my e-zip is so noisy. A really long chain may make alot of noise, I don't know.

    That motor maybe one of my many upgrades on the my road to my utlimate goal of the 1500w Lipo powered Cyclone. Did the sprocket and motor mount come with it?
  5. veloman

    veloman Member

    So you're saying I am only getting 17 amps?!?! I didn't think that mattered, I thought I was getting 36amp at full throttle. I'm not an expert on batteries though.

    36amp x 24v = 864watts peak
    I feel that is probably about right since I am able to get up to 30mph or so. I finished fine tuning the bike tonight, put a speedometer on it, so tomorrow I should get some good data going to the LBS to show it off! Definitely not wearing sweats again, it's like a parachute.

    I have a 1.6amp charger that I believe trickle charges when it's done. No fancy management system though.

    I do realize I need to move the motor to above the rear wheel so I can pedal fully, but I will need a strong mount for that, AND either securely mount the SLAs to the downtube or get some lightweight smaller LiPo or simular batteries.

    How do keep from overworking the motor? Is it okay to go full throttle for a minute up a hill? Last thing I want to do is burn out the controller or motor.

    But wow it's so much fun to feel that silent pull as I effortless twist the throttle on my personally built project!
  6. veloman

    veloman Member

    This will likely be the motor on my next project bike. If I could mate this with a nice compact 36v 50+ah lithium battery pack, performance increase would be substantial. Put that on a 20lb road bike and I'd be getting speeding tickets. 1000watts continuous - I'd be cruising the fast sections (false flat downhills) at 40-45mph!

    Do it for about $1000, possible? (not including bike) But motor, controller, batteries, charger and some other parts.

    Regarding my current setup, it's funny how I got a motor that is designed for a 15mph scooter, and I am able to get 30mph on my bike with it. haha, not bad. I think the gear ratio I have, 15 x 80 tooth is perfect for flat riding.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  7. veloman

    veloman Member

    Did 7 miles on it today with no problems. Took on a decent hill, 8% for 1/3 mile and with moderate pedaling to assist it, it easily cruised up at 20mph at normal (half) throttle. Very happy with that, the key is keeping the speed up so the motor doesn't get over geared too much. Total weight with me on it is 270lbs.

    It seems to have a relatively narrow throttle range, and anything much past half throttle gets little speed and just heats up the motor. Not an issue really, I was cruising at 22-25mph on the flats with relative ease.

    Hit 33mph on the flat (after a small downhill lead up), which is just about right considering the wattage, 864w peak. I might experiement with different gearing, perhaps a 90 tooth sprocket instead of the 80, since I don't keep it above 28mph for any extended period - too wasteful.
  8. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    Warning: Noob Also! LOL!

    Don't start rewiring things on my advice! LOL! I'm more of a mechanical guy that electrical. I have yet to start experimenting on my e-zip.

    How can you get 36 Amps to the motor when the batteries on only provides 17 Amps? Teh 40 Amp controller does'nt provide Amp only controls the Amps from a range of 0-40 Amps. The batteries are wired in series correct?

    I believe your equation is flawed. I'm totally open to the possibility that I'm wrong. I believe its 24 v x 17 amps = 408 watts
    Others have said the same as abudabit.

    Are your feet hitting the motor? Shame I thought that location looked cool. That much weight on the rack is a little wily. Putting the batteries on the down tube would be a good move.

    I think your a long way away from having enough power to burn up anything.

    It definitely is FUN! I have not experienced the personally built thrill. I needed something fast. I was experiencing bad leg cramps from unassisted pedaling to and from work.

    Your making me rethink that Cyclone motor! Not the rest of the Cyclone design, just the motor.

    It is nice and alot cheaper. 26" tires have over twice the circumference as those little scooter tires thus, twice the speed. I don't know about doing a road bike, the seem too spindly and unstable to me.

    Boy you have a tiny chain. Wonder if there is some mechanical advantage. I couldn't find rear sprockets for it. I was directed to eKart for the chains.
    Well I can't use those motors for the Cyclone. It wouldn't mate up with the freewheel crank. Unless there are really large 15 pitch sprockets I could bolt up to it. I know ran into that website before. Maybe that was why I dismissed using them.

    Please post more pics in the Picture Gallery. Electric need exposure, rather than just being buried down here in the ghost town that is the Electric Motors & Related Components. LOL!
  9. veloman

    veloman Member

    I believe it doesn't matter what the batteries are concering amps. The 17ah is not a limit on amps, its the amount of amps per hour. So you could probably draw 100amps for a short while on these batteries (with the right motor/controller). The motor will draw as many amps as it can regardless of how the batteries are wired.
    I have a 24v system, and the motor is rated at 36amps so that equals 864 peak watts.
    The controller can handle up to 40amps. The throttle has nothing to do with anything except adjusting how many amps are drawn.

    The batteries I have wired in series, 2 x 17ah each equals 34ah or energy. Times 12v for the batteries = 408 watt hours. (although much less thanks to SLA inefficiency!)

    I didn't feel any weakening of power at the end of doing 7 miles at about 22mph average speed. I read that I should try to never deep cycle these SLAs though. I would estimate I was about at half way (22mph average with some hills would require about 400watts).

    I want to work on designing a heavy duty frame mount for the motor so it can be placed behind the axle and completely out of the way. The issue is keeping it completey rigid and in line with the sprocket. The frame rack is pretty sturdy and I remember as a kid having friends sit on these types of racks (>100lbs) and nothing broke. So 26lbs of batteries is nothing. I just don't like the handling of the bike with the weight up so high.

    I do notice that the controller and motor will get relatively hot if I had gone full throttle for more than a few seconds. I plan to do my best to rarely or never use full throttle since it barely puts any more power out do to being overgeared.

    I calculated out that when I went up the 8% hill at 20mph it took a combined wattage of 1000watts. I was putting out about 250-300watts with my legs, so that means the motor was still pushing at least 700watts at a relatively slow speed for that gear, and below full throttle. Not bad at all!

    I'm not familar with the cyclone motor, do you have a link?

    This is really getting me excited to upgrade to the 1000watt motor I spoke of. I think I might just go ahead and buy it now to make sure I get it. I talked to my friend today about my electric bike and he told me he would be interested in one. For ~$300 plus bike, you can cruise at 24mph for up to an hour, in near silence. That's value. haha.

    The chain I use is a typical #25 scooter chain. Yes it is small! But you don't need a motorcycle chain for a <2hp motor! The sprocket is an 80 tooth I also got at electric scooter

    The best thing about these motors is the freewheeling front sprocket. So great to have, can coast any downgrade and save your juice.

    I've been super busy with school this week so not much time to ride it, but I'll be using it this weekend for sure. I plan to take it to the cycling group ride sunday morning and show the guys. And maybe motorpace them for a bit too! haha.

    And yes electric is underrated I believe. The cleanliness and quietness is priceless. I really can't say how much fun it is to get that effortless pull with a mild humm.

    If I am able to move the motor out of the way of my pedalstroke, this bike will haul a$$ as a pedal bike if you want the exercise of pedalling too. Right now its a bit hard to pedal with my left heel, but at least I'm rolling! (the goal was a little-to-zero effort bike anyway).

    Do you have pics of your cyclone? I assume its a package deal you bought or a complete bike?

    I just bought the 1000w motor from cloudelectric. That is such a good deal only $140 for such a powerful light motor. Although I prob won't build up my second bike for a while yet.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  10. veloman

    veloman Member

    Some more pics.

    Attached Files:

  11. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    All the math doesn't really matter

    I don't have a Cyclone YET. But I've wanted one since before i bought my e-zip.
    Here are links to both:
    Cyclone home -
    Cyclone order -
    E-Zip -

    I forgot to add in my last post. All the math doesn't really matter, what matters is it work and your having a blast!

    I just ordered direct replacement batteries for my E-Zip from! Small World!

    Its late and I'm tired. Rode E-Zip home for 1st time in a light steady rain.
  12. veloman

    veloman Member

    That cyclone site is impressive. They seem to have done a good job for electric bike kits. Still a bit more expensive than my design, but definitely more efficient being able to use the bikes gears.

    Are those wattages peak or sustained? If sustained, that's very impressive.

    The motor I ordered is 1000w sustained, should be 1500 peak, or almost double what the one I have right now is.

    Too bad the batteries are so expensive. Man, that is the only thing holding back electric bikes. Otherwise you could strap up 30ah of LiFePo batteries and take you anywhere you need to go realistically. I have about 20ah of "useable" energy from these two SLAs, and at $70 shipped they aren't too bad. Although I don't expect to ever "save" money overall with this bike, it's still worth it for the fun.
  13. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    LiPo's are not expensive at all in my opinion. They last 10x's more cycles 5X's the range from each cycle. You would have to get 50 of those $70 SLA packs to go as far as 1 pack of 20Ah 24VLiFePo4 batteries. SLA would cost $3500. LiPo would cost $750 and the all important BMS & charger is included. What's the better deal? But there is a technology that may put SLA's on top of the value heap. Electronic Desulfators.
    I asked about them at, but I may have stumped the brain trust. LOL
    Electronic Desulfators:

    Oh, back to the Cyclone, the key to thier design is the crank freewheel. You could use any batt and any motor. The crank freewheel ships for about $100.
    The watts are probably peak bigger #'s sell.

    You'll save money with your bike if you USE it. I have close 1000 miles on my E-Zip. 50 cents a mile and dropping.
  14. veloman

    veloman Member

    The cyclone kit honestly looks like the smart choice for someone who wants to electric their bike. Might cost a bit more but the less hassle would be worth it.

    How do you figure that LiFePo4 batteries get 5x the range of equivalent ah SLAs? I would agree they would be about double, but FIVE TIMES???? And yes the life span is much longer, so in the long haul they are worth it. I probably will invest in a 36v pack for my new design, my goal was a faster lighter electric bike for under $1000, and that will be possible.

    Cyclone says the peak watts of it's 1500w motor is 1855, still pretty good. Haha.

    What do you think of the China LiFePo4 packs listed on ebay in the $500 range?

    How far can you go on your 24v 20ah LiFePo4 pack? At what speed and how much pedaling?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  15. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    See my time of post. honestly guessing at range :rolleyes: don't have them. i think read it somewhere someone was going 50mi.

    I avoid eBAy entirely for anything. Its like a a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get!!

    I don't think pedaling is much of a factor with those. It would go faster that you can pedal in high gear.

    Move motor here?? see pic

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  16. veloman

    veloman Member

    Well, with the rack there, that's not a great option. But I am thinking of having a very secure stiff mount designed so that the motor can be placed behind the axle, away from everything, and help the center of gravity be lower. Hmm maybe even underneath the axle... Won't be super aero, but that's a very small factor at these speeds.

    My intention is to make it secure enough that I don't worry about it budging loose on bumpy roads.

    Hmm 50 miles? Well, 36v x 20ah = 720 watt hours. If you pedal a lot (only use motor on hills) you could probably do that. But I assume that normal riding will consume 250-400 watts an hour depending on hills.

    50 miles would be my max and desirable range though. I like to go to the shoreline/campground and it's 23 miles one way. It would be a dream to cruise there and back on this electric bike.
  17. ozzyu812

    ozzyu812 Member

    I was thinking you use the rack in a similar fashion you used the frame.

    23 miles, you get just about to that with another set of SLA's.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  18. NeoY2k

    NeoY2k New Member

    I want to make a bike the same way you did yours.

    Could you tell me how you hooked that additional dented wheel at the left of your rear wheel?

    Do you think it would be possible to have a gear shift there?

    I have an additional question: would it be possible to add a cassette to an automatic gear shift? Of course motor would be on the right then. But it would allow to keep motor's chain short, not having the pedal chain running, and... An automatic gear box!

  19. veloman

    veloman Member

    Go to to find the rear sprocket. I hooked it onto the fixed gear bike wheel using a corresponding freewheel mechanism found on that site. The sprocket easily bolts to the freewheel mechanism. I used extra long bolts which driver the spokes, since the threading on the hub is the wrong direction when used on the left side of the bike. It's not a great design, btw. But it works.

    If you want gears, your best bet would be to use the bikes gears (cassette). But the problem is mounting a compatible front sprocket on the motor.

    The above links in the thread to cyclone are prob the best choice if you want gears. Their system is already tested and much easier to apply.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  20. NeoY2k

    NeoY2k New Member

    Ok so I think I'll end up without gears. Is your bike ok with steep hills?
    I want an electric bike because I live in a place quite high and it's not very well desserved by bus in the evening or the weekend... And it's a pain to walk to go back up that hill xD or to wait an hour for a bus to go down it...
    Plus it's fun to make one, and it's inexpensive (why I don't want a ready to use kit: I don't want to put +400$ in it!).

    Geared systems are quite noisy. Yours is not, and that's cool :) .
    I noticed the 1000W motor you pointed is the same as in Currie 1000W systems, also...
    Can we remove that 15T wheel from the motor axis and use another, compatible with bike gears, if I ever want to?

    I don't fully understand what you made to put all that together:
    On the rear wheel, you had to put a 80T sprocket, matching with the motor's one. Ok.
    But why did you added a freewheel? I thought there was one included with these motors. Was it to lighten the load when pedaling? Or because there is no other way to bolt this rear sprocket to the wheel?

    What did you screwed this sprocket on? Could you maybe give me some more photos of your setup, or a little drawing?

    Last one: If I'm right, with DC brushless motors, the lower the voltage the lower the speed, but the higher the current higher the torque. And, the lower the speed the higher the torque. So if I run at slow speed but with sturdy electronics behind allowing it to pump a lot of Amps, I may have a lot of torque too... So to run up the steep hill, and compensate for not having a cassette. Is it correct?

    Thank you very much :)