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Electric bikes

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schmittel
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:15 pm

Electric bikes

#1

Post by schmittel »

I'm giving serious consideration to buying an electric bike. Basically to fill two roles - occasional alternative to car if I need to nip to shops and occasional hobby go for a ride, not looking for a work out but a bit of light exercise would do me no harm.

I live semi rural, about 5km from local town, some of roads near me would be rough enough, so looking for something sturdy. Budget 1500 max, current favourite is RadRunner - https://radpowerbikes.eu/products/radru ... 0781276253

Anyone here had one and any top tips to share?
Hairy-Joe
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:33 pm

Re: Electric bikes

#2

Post by Hairy-Joe »

There are two Thompson folding electric bikes at home. They are about the same size (frame and wheel) as that one you've linked. Just a few points on them.
  • The wheel size makes them uncomfortable on slightly rough roads (imagine our typical broken tarmac road). Unless you need the small wheels, try to get bigger wheels
  • Range is about 40km but I don't know battery size
  • Bike is terrible to cycle with no assistance. It's energy sapping
  • The Thompson has front wheel drive. Don't get that as it can Scrabble for grip on low grip surfaces. Crank motors are the best
  • For carrying loads, get two pannier bags and balance the loads. Due to the small frame, the panniers may clip your ankles when peddling if not placed appropriately
Edit. My 70plus mother wouldn't think twice about jumping on the Thompson and cycling 20km to 30km. She doesn't like gravel through
schmittel
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Re: Electric bikes

#3

Post by schmittel »

Hairy-Joe wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:30 pm There are two Thompson folding electric bikes at home. They are about the same size (frame and wheel) as that one you've linked. Just a few points on them.
  • The wheel size makes them uncomfortable on slightly rough roads (imagine our typical broken tarmac road). Unless you need the small wheels, try to get bigger wheels
  • Range is about 40km but I don't know battery size
  • Bike is terrible to cycle with no assistance. It's energy sapping
  • The Thompson has front wheel drive. Don't get that as it can Scrabble for grip on low grip surfaces. Crank motors are the best
  • For carrying loads, get two pannier bags and balance the loads. Due to the small frame, the panniers may clip your ankles when peddling if not placed appropriately
Edit. My 70plus mother wouldn't think twice about jumping on the Thompson and cycling 20km to 30km. She doesn't like gravel through
Thanks, helpful to get some thoughts.

Presumably terrible to cycle without assistance is only an issue if you run out of battery? I'd be mostly within a 5-10k radius of home so would hope not to get caught short.

How are hills? Does your Thomson have gears? Is folding a big plus for convenience, or does it feel weaker? (I have got it into my head that folding bikes are more likely to break, and have largely dismissed them)
Hairy-Joe
Posts: 297
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:33 pm

Re: Electric bikes

#4

Post by Hairy-Joe »

schmittel wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:45 pm Thanks, helpful to get some thoughts.

Presumably terrible to cycle without assistance is only an issue if you run out of battery? I'd be mostly within a 5-10k radius of home so would hope not to get caught short.

How are hills? Does your Thomson have gears?
Gears are three in the rear hub.

Yes terrible with no battery.

Hills are not a problem at all. If in Killarney, the 70plus mother (dodgy back, arthritis, etc) will tear out to the top of the Gap of Dunloe without really noticing the hills. Towards the top, it's a case of upping the assistance.
kadman
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Re: Electric bikes

#5

Post by kadman »

I know my brother has an electric bike and uses it quite often. But as i understand it, you need to peddle most of the time at least to keep the battery charged, but I am open to correction on this.
Hairy-Joe
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:33 pm

Re: Electric bikes

#6

Post by Hairy-Joe »

It's electric assistance. The motor kicks in when you pedal. Sometimes there can be a delay of a second and that can be a shock if not ready. If the bike allows for electrical motion without user input, it's not really legal (as it's then a mechanically propelled vehicle)

What's worse is if starting and the assistance is set to high is that there can be a right kick when it starts. I've seen someone come off their bike due to the assistance being set to the highest and not being able to manage the kick. They came off and broke their wrist. Starting off, the mother has no assistance and after a few seconds turns it on. She finds it the best way to manage the assistance clicking in when starting.
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peasant
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Re: Electric bikes

#7

Post by peasant »

All the standard (and expensive) e-bikes with Bosch, Yamaha or Brose motors have crank mounted motors with torque sensors. The harder you pedal, the more the motor assists..and then you can choose different levels of assist on top of that.
This setup makes for a very natural cycling sensation...no kicks, no jolts, just extra power. Plus you have the added bonus of regular gears at the rear wheel.

Cheaper bikes (be they hub or crank motor powered) usually don't have the torque sensor but just detect the rotation of the crank (more or less well) and then kick on the motor. This can be good (you can fly along even though you're not really pedaling but just turning the crank over lightly) or bad (it kicks you off the bike, as described above)

1500 is not going to buy you an e-bike with a Bosch motor, not in the current market.

Personally I would recommend this

https://wheelsgo.net/tongsheng-tsdz2-mi ... rsion-kit/

I've got this motor in a factory bought touring bike (mounted by the factory) some years ago and I'm very happy with it.

You should be able to fit this to any standard bike yourself (or with a little help with removing the original crank). That way you can pick a good used bike that really suits you.

this is what my e-bike looks like:
Image
schmittel
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Re: Electric bikes

#8

Post by schmittel »

peasant wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:42 pm All the standard (and expensive) e-bikes with Bosch, Yamaha or Brose motors have crank mounted motors with torque sensors. The harder you pedal, the more the motor assists..and then you can choose different levels of assist on top of that.
This setup makes for a very natural cycling sensation...no kicks, no jolts, just extra power. Plus you have the added bonus of regular gears at the rear wheel.

Cheaper bikes (be they hub or crank motor powered) usually don't have the torque sensor but just detect the rotation of the crank (more or less well) and then kick on the motor. This can be good (you can fly along even though you're not really pedaling but just turning the crank over lightly) or bad (it kicks you off the bike, as described above)

1500 is not going to buy you an e-bike with a Bosch motor, not in the current market.

Personally I would recommend this

https://wheelsgo.net/tongsheng-tsdz2-mi ... rsion-kit/

I've got this motor in a factory bought touring bike (mounted by the factory) some years ago and I'm very happy with it.

You should be able to fit this to any standard bike yourself (or with a little help with removing the original crank). That way you can pick a good used bike that really suits you.

this is what my e-bike looks like:
Image
Cheers, had a quick look at that and does sound interesting. And I love a good rabbit hole.
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peasant
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Re: Electric bikes

#9

Post by peasant »

just saw this ... somebody in Wexford that does just this conversion:

https://www.donedeal.ie/bicycles-for-sa ... n/28934253
Hairy-Joe
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Re: Electric bikes

#10

Post by Hairy-Joe »

I learned something new about the crank motors and the torque sensors. I never realised that as my experience was all with hub motors.

Gubu is good for some things
schmittel
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Re: Electric bikes

#11

Post by schmittel »

So, thanks to peasant, have spent most of my weekend thus far glued to YouTube videos of DIY e-bike builds.

I did find some time to rummage around the shed and unearth this:
before.jpg
before.jpg (120.77 KiB) Viewed 55 times
Which is going to be my donor bike for the Tongsheng TSDZ2 kit linked earlier.

Initially thought could clean up and keep most parts, but after some enthusiastic dismantling have decided to replace everything bar the frame. So now the bike looks like this:
IMG_20211114_091312 (1).jpg
IMG_20211114_091312 (1).jpg (97.23 KiB) Viewed 55 times
Apart from the new motor and crank etc, it will get new wheels, brakes, gears, saddle, handlebars etc etc.

Undoubtedly it would be cheaper to buy a decent quality second hand bike, but where's the fun in that? Did I mention I love a good rabbit hole?
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peasant
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Re: Electric bikes

#12

Post by peasant »

Well ..have fun down the rabbit hole :mrgreen:

Just one thought though:
If this frame was originally set for you, with its very long saddle tube and handlebar extensions ..I wouldn't use it, it's too small.

Sure, the motor "only" pushes you to 25 km/h, but trust me, you will be going a lot faster on average than you used to on a pure pushbike and this whole setup looks a bit wobbly to me.

When I was still able to commute to work, I used to get average speeds of 23 - 24 km/h. Because of the motor assist you can really power up hills, which means you're going down faster as well as you start with a higher initial speed from the top. Neither while powering up nor while flying down do you want a bike that's all loosy-goosy under you.
schmittel
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Re: Electric bikes

#13

Post by schmittel »

peasant wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 1:31 pm Well ..have fun down the rabbit hole :mrgreen:

Just one thought though:
If this frame was originally set for you, with its very long saddle tube and handlebar extensions ..I wouldn't use it, it's too small.

Sure, the motor "only" pushes you to 25 km/h, but trust me, you will be going a lot faster on average than you used to on a pure pushbike and this whole setup looks a bit wobbly to me.

When I was still able to commute to work, I used to get average speeds of 23 - 24 km/h. Because of the motor assist you can really power up hills, which means you're going down faster as well as you start with a higher initial speed from the top. Neither while powering up nor while flying down do you want a bike that's all loosy-goosy under you.
Ok, that sounds like quite a good point. Not set up for me, wife's old bike, and it did feel a little small at that seat height etc.

I'd considered size and bought a bigger fork second hand, but this was largely with comfort in mind, and I'd still need a long saddle tube. Must admit had not really considered size impact on stability.

But will do so now. At the moment not too far into this frame to bin the idea and buy second hand.
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peasant
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Re: Electric bikes

#14

Post by peasant »

Something with bottle holders on the frame (the welded -on fixing points) might come in handy ...makes for a very good fixing point for the heavy battery. You don't want that high up on the rack either.
SmartinMartin
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Re: Electric bikes

#15

Post by SmartinMartin »

This is the one I have, using it for the last year. 70km distance with a range of assistance. On sale within your budget, for the price it's unbeatable.

https://www.halfords.ie/bikes/mens-bike ... 45998.html
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