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ebike/electric/hybrid bike experience/recommendations? Options
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:29:05 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Would any of you have experience with ebikes (sometimes called hybrid bikes, or electric bikes, with minor distinctions between them), or recommendations you'd care to share?

I'm considering an ebike for my very hilly 8-mile commute. There are paths and quiet side streets for almost the entire route.

Why am I not just getting a regular bicycle? For several reasons: the electric power boost could be critical in some cases where I'm in a hurry; I am not sure I can do it alone over some of those hills, at least not for the first few months till I'm back in better shape than I've been in for a while; I'd like the option to show up at work without being bathed in sweat; and I love the technology!

I drive a hybrid car with excellent mileage. This will still save money, free up the car for when my wife needs it, and be a more responsible option on those days when weather permits, which would be most - it's very sunny here.

We are already very careful. For example, we live in a house much smaller and less expensive than we could afford and we have only one car (and that is a hybrid).

So far I've evaluated the high end Schwinn and the middle of the road Schwinn and the Giant Twist, and read about so many others, including Currie Technology's stuff and a whole bunch of kits. I'm not averse to kits, or other alternatives.

Local options for purchase of an electric bike through a retail store are limited to Giant and Schwinn and whatever I can find used. Otherwise, it's a kit or one shipped from afar - which I'm hesitant to do because I've never seen/touched/ridden. A trip up to Denver/Boulder area is not out of the question, which would open more options, at least including Currie and Optibike (which is out of the question for me, at $4,000 - $13,000, however excellent the bikes may be).

Going the kit route opens up a lot of options, especially in something like a 3-wheel recumbent, which appeals for enhanced stability.

So - have you any advice, experience, words of wisdom? Know somebody who does? I'd be glad to hear.


#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:29:05 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I added motors to my bike using motors that were part of a kit. I just bought the motors from a surplus store after the company that made the kit went out of business.

I used a small AGM lead acid battery I had on hand at first  and that only lasted about 4 miles at ~25Mph.

The large battery's pictured above were too big and made the bike unstable. I've since lost weight and could put the battery's in the back now.

I think it turned out well for the ~$60 and the time I spent on it.

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