Undecided - electric or gas?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by dnute2006, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    I just went out and tried a BionX motor on a bike. It was great!! Now I would like to see what a gas one is like. The BionX is so quiet!!! :lol:

    Since I don't know any place to try out a gas motor assist, I was wondering if there is someone that would meet me at Cherry Creek State Park for me to see their set up and how loud it is. I've been looking at the Golden Eagle with the EH035 engine set up. Is there anyone near the park in Denver/Aurora that would let me look at theirs and get a chance to see how loud it is? I'm not interested in riding, just looking at it and seeing what it's like and how loud it is. I would really appreciate it and it would help me decide on whether to go electric or gas.


  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi nute; welcome. it sort of depends your riding needs and wants. elec. is nice, quiet and clean, short range and batts. are expensive. an elec. usually costs as much as a subaru gebe set up. the 35cc subaru is around 50-65 decibles. this kit will last many years if the belt is kept true and you change oil. the kit gets 200-250mpg and will run 30mph. search--rack mount or gebe or robin subaru. i hope that helps. look up thatsdax it is near you.
  3. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    Thanks stude13. I've checked the prices of both systems and found it would actually be cheaper for the GEBE. Getting 200mpg would be awesome!! I've looked up the 50 to 65 decibels and it says it's not as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Does that mean if you're riding your GEBE bike next to a regular bike without a motor on it that you can talk to each other without yelling?

    I'll search the threads you suggested. Thanks.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    stude13 makes valid points but I have to question the decibel level. I have a new Robin and while I've not put a decibel meter on it, it surely is louder than a vacumn cleaner. LOL. Actually, I'm thinking about ways to quiet it but that's just me....I want it real quiet...and yes I know what the HT and some of the other 2 stroke sound levels are and that's why I bought a Robin.

    Your larger question is something I think about a lot. I personally think the gasoline operated MB may be in for future legal battles. If they attract the attention of state legislatures I feel they will be regulated and I'm guessing DOT compliance is probably where that will that will end. If that happens, rather than attempting to bring a bicycle up to DOT standards, I think I'd just get a small motorcycle.

    Electric bikes seem to be getting a pass, at least from the feds and some states. The problem for me with electric has been the expense.....a good set-up with decent range, recharge time and battery life is gonna cost some bucks, IE: LI-ON batteries.

    Just my rambling 2 cents/
  5. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    That's a plus of the electric. It's sure quiet and I don't think that many people even notice that you have a motor on the bike. The range isn't what I could get with gas because I have to charge up. BionX says they have a range up to 65 miles on the lowest assist, but I'm skeptical of that. I'd say it's more logically half that. That's one of the problems I see is the range. With the gas I can just fill it up and continue on. The BionX is expensive and then you have to get another battery after so many years, but there is also the changing of oil and other things with the gas motor.

    I guess you can tell I'm very undecided. Right now I'm wondering about the noise level of the gas, but also, which of them is better for getting this big body up some pretty big hills? When I test rode the BionX this morning there weren't any big hills to try it out on. It did great on the small hills though. I also plan on doing alot of riding in Western NY and I'm thinking that the GEBE is going to be very noticed where the BionX wouldn't. Plus, it's illegal in NY and having it unnoticed is a very good thing. But there are some big hills in NY and PA where I'm from and plan to ride besides Colorado.

    I'll take anyones rambling on this. Thanks!!
  6. Simon_A

    Simon_A Member

    Hey bud,

    I have both an electric and a gasser. So I am unbiased.

    The electric is nice to ride, but with the batteries its really heavy. Also to range on all of the electrics are woeful. Battery technology is a oxymoron, as there hasnt been any great leaps and bounds in their development for the last 50 years. The new Lipoly batteries are criminally expensive (about a grand and a half for a 48V setup) and they are still heavy and dont provide a decent range. And electrics arent silent, as the motor itself does make noise.

    The gasser is lighter and does sound like a motor, cos it is, even the HT's arent intrusively loud though. And with the fuel usage it is very economical (literally like the old saying "it runs on the sniff of a oily rag").

    Range for a full tank in a gasser is 10 times that of a electric. Also refueling it if need be is a painless affair. With the electric if you run out of charge you are pedalling a heavy bike home as you cant just plug it in and recharge the batteries in a minute, and I dont personally want to stop mid trip and plug in the bike for a few hours.

    I know its not good news for the electrics, but its the battery technology that lets them down.

    If a battery exists that is even just half the weight of existing batteries and can provide enough charge for say a 50 mile round trip, electrics would rule the roost. But in reality for ease of use and confidence a gasser wins hands down.
  7. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    what he said.
  8. astring

    astring Member

    The eho35 has a pleasant sound, I like it.
  9. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    The same reasons why electric cars are just pipe dream. There is going to have to be some sort of breakthrough battery technology, along with a clean way to charge those batteries before electric vehicles gain traction. What is the point of an electric car if it is charged from a coal or natural gas powered generator. It is still a vehicle powered by fossil fuel.
  10. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I run a Mitsubishi TLE43 2-stroke and it's not very loud at all. I can actually barely hear it over the wind in my ears when I'm up to speed. The only time I find the noise a bit irritating is if I have to gear my setup down to creep up a really long, steep hill or when I ride past a building that is right at the curb at full throttle and I get the engine noise plus the echo bouncing back in my right ear.
    I also have both gas and electric and what you've read here is pretty much true. The electrics are better for an assist whereas the gassers can mostly be ridden like a moped and hardly pedaled at all if you wish. A good gas engine has almost no maintenance or repairs same with the electric except for the occasional battery replacement. My setup I literally just mix the gas/oil and a little stabilizer every gallon and clean my foam air filter for every gallon or so I put through it. Other than that its mostly bike and chain maintenance.
    On a side note electric vehicles were already proven in California a decade ago and many high density/low cost batteries have been developed but are kept out of production for what I believe are obvious reasons.
  11. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    I can tell everyone enjoys their motor assists whether gas or electric, but I believe it sounds like the gas is more favored. The cost of the battery for the BionX is $1000 and man that's high!!!! A person certainly can't just buy a second battery to use for more range. At least, I can't. I rather like the gas motor and using it to get me around without peddling constantly. My husband wants me to be peddling so he is favoring the BionX, so it looks like that's the one I'll be getting. He's figuring that the cost of batteries will go down, but I'm not convinced of that.

    Thank you all very much. You've all been a big help!
  12. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Wow - I didn't realize that there were claims of 65 miles on an elect bicycle. After riding gas for a while now - I like the power - distance - noise is not bad -- Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  13. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    I have another question about the gas, mainly the golden eagle eh035. When I was riding the BionX it gave me "assist" when I pushed hard on the pedals without touching the throttle. Is this what the GEBE does? Or you have to hold down the throttle every time you want to go a little more? I also notice on their website they have the trail gear for climbing. Is that the #11 or the #13? From reading it I'm thinking it's the #11 for the trail gear with the lower-torque. It comes standard with the #12.
  14. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    decisions decisions huh.. lol..

    Battery tech is advancing, but take it from someone who has spent 1000's of $ testing the options ( received a box of 48 cells last week = 2000 $, no charger included !! and i have to build the packs myself ! )

    Electric is just fine for 30 kms, more than that requries bigger batteries, that add weight, that require a bigger motor, that adds weight and requires more battery etc... not impossible but gets expensive. !

    My daily driver has 72v 20ah worth of lithium, bike, battery, motor = 85 lbs or so.. it will travel at 40 km/h for 2 hours on a charge ( no pedaling ) but ran me 3700 $. and will charge in 2 hours from empty with the right charger.

    The " Right Charger " is what comes next in the battery game, the cells i just got will charge in 30 minutes from empty but it goes something like this :

    48v 10ah = 480 watt/hours = 480 watts for 1 hour. 30 minute charge = 960watts of charging power.. that's 8 to 10 amps from a wall socket * rough math.. give or take a bit ..

    Even better would be A123 cells, found in DeWalt 36v power tools but once again $$$$$ but can be charged really fast if you have a big enough charger.

    I like my electrics, i have all 6 of my rides in the house, no smell, no drips, midnight rides don't wake up the neighbors, no " warm up " or starting problems, no oil or air filter changes..

    I'm about to order up a Gebee kit for hands on testing and to quench my curiosity of Gassers.. :cool:
  15. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    Hey Mountainman, I don't believe I'd get even close to 65 miles because it says that is with it done on a flat road with a 150 pound man. Not even close to the conditions I would use it for.

    I have to admit that when I was riding the BionX I was pushing the throttle to get more power up the small hills I was doing. I guess more power and/or having it right there when I want it would be quite good. I'm not looking to go 30mph, but I certainly would like to get up to 20mph and that's without having to pedal all the time. I think I might wear out a battery pretty quickly on the electric.
  16. CalgarysFool

    CalgarysFool Member


    A fellow who seems to have a lot of experience (and expense) with electrics just posted a thread, yesterday I think, in this section of the forum.

    See here: http://www.motoredbikes.com/showthread.php?t=14723

    Hoping that I am not putting words in his mouth, he is switching to gas after finding battery bikes to be both unsatisfactory as well as inordinately costly.

  17. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    60 miles on a 36v 8ah pack = you pedaling ALOT.... and barely feathering the throttle..

    36v x 8ah = 288wh

    Most ebikers average 8 to 12 wh/km = 25 to 30 kms for us normal people.
  18. dnute2006

    dnute2006 New Member

    Thanks for the link Calgarysfool. I see that people say the GEBE has alot less problems than the other motors. I don't have the smarts for doing the work on small engines, or big ones for that matter. I need something that is going to let me ride with just some small upkeep. It sounds like the golden eagle is the way to go if I go gas.

    Ypedal, let me know how you like yours when you get it.
  19. Ypedal

    Ypedal Member

    Lol.. i'm not switching, but rather exploring the possibilities..

    I'll put up my BMX with a crystalyte X5 at 72v 50 amps up against just about any gasser on this forum, ( i bet this is a flame war waiting to happen lol)

    The future is electric, but the current situation has room for Fuel ! no doubt about it..
  20. CalgarysFool

    CalgarysFool Member

    Dohhhh! I did put words in your mouth. Or, keyboard....

    Sorry 'bout that.

    That said, you're the guy I thought could tell dnute if she could meet her mission with e-power for a reasonable cost.