Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
I like the recharge by pedaling feature. On a long commute, you could exhaust the batteries on a hill or headwind and recharge them before the next hill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
wheelbender6 said:
I like the recharge by pedaling feature. On a long commute, you could exhaust the batteries on a hill or headwind and recharge them before the next hill.
Recharge by braking would probably be better.

Do to the inefficiencies of charging circuits and batteries, you'll never get all the energy out that you put in. You'd be better off pedaling up the hill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Azz, gaz or electricity, nobody rides for free

California L33 said:
Recharge by braking would probably be better.

Do to the inefficiencies of charging circuits and batteries, you'll never get all the energy out that you put in. You'd be better off pedaling up the hill.
The C Wheel is in the Segway class of things that aren't necessary in this world but have plenty of backing to get enough press to impress the people that want to believe that something can be had for nothing no matter what it costs.

There are over 20 million e bikes in China at this time and more made every day. The EU is adapting to them also with lots of sales in Germany and the Netherlands, in fact eclipsing regular bikes sales in some spots. These ready made units due to strict regulations that require anemic wattage motors that barely overcome the additional weight of the system on level ground make them a joke, but one that millions are laughing with, not at. Money is changing hands and that is why Trek is getting involved with e bikes and Specialized is not far behind among others. But because they are catering to the EU market and their regs to gain immediate sales they will be a non sequitur in the US market.

There are some serious e bikes (yes with pedals) happening however that are no joke. Mostly coming out of basements and garages the same way that bicycle innovation's have been launched since the beginning. Later on when those ideas are semi accepted by the skeptics the corporations come along and duplicate the innovators for the most part and then that truly gives the skeptics something to believe in. The garage techies move on to the next thing ad infinium. In my life I have seen this happen several times most notably with Mtn. Bikes and lately 29" wheels. It takes about 10 years for the bike industry to catch up with innovation that is truly worth something in the long run but in the meantime all manner of crap is presented to service the old technology that only gives one reason to spend more money to stay on the bubble of bling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
MABman said:
The C Wheel is in the Segway class of things that aren't necessary in this world but have plenty of backing to get enough press to impress the people that want to believe that something can be had for nothing no matter what it costs.

There are over 20 million e bikes in China at this time and more made every day. The EU is adapting to them also with lots of sales in Germany and the Netherlands, in fact eclipsing regular bikes sales in some spots. These ready made units due to strict regulations that require anemic wattage motors that barely overcome the additional weight of the system on level ground make them a joke, but one that millions are laughing with, not at. Money is changing hands and that is why Trek is getting involved with e bikes and Specialized is not far behind among others. But because they are catering to the EU market and their regs to gain immediate sales they will be a non sequitur in the US market.

There are some serious e bikes (yes with pedals) happening however that are no joke. Mostly coming out of basements and garages the same way that bicycle innovation's have been launched since the beginning. Later on when those ideas are semi accepted by the skeptics the corporations come along and duplicate the innovators for the most part and then that truly gives the skeptics something to believe in. The garage techies move on to the next thing ad infinium. In my life I have seen this happen several times most notably with Mtn. Bikes and lately 29" wheels. It takes about 10 years for the bike industry to catch up with innovation that is truly worth something in the long run but in the meantime all manner of crap is presented to service the old technology that only gives one reason to spend more money to stay on the bubble of bling.
Well, I've never understood the advantage of a 29" wheel :) The biggest thing holding back e-bike development has been the lack of a light-weight battery, but that's changing rapidly, mostly due to the laptop computer industry's demand for powerful light batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You may not see the advantage but perhaps it is not all about you?

California L33 said:
The biggest thing holding back e-bike development has been the lack of a light-weight battery, but that's changing rapidly, mostly due to the laptop computer industry's demand for powerful light batteries.
But even the latest and greatest laptop batteries if you gang them together for enough power to propel a bicycle with a 175 lb rider at 20 mph over variable terrain for say 30 miles with a fair amount of input from the rider will weigh in around 15 lbs and the motor/controller about the same or a bit more.

Battery technology has not peaked yet by any means but what is happening is that the LiFePo4 batteries developed to fuel the laptop/cell phone market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery) are now being supplied in enough quantity to allow for their initial high price to be lower. The same battery that only 2 years ago cost over a thousand to purchase now costs less than half of that. The weight is the same however. The Hybrid/EV market had alot to do with this also

As time goes on the newer more powerful battery cells may be lighter by a few grams but will still add up when packaged for e bike use. Also the newer stuff will cost alot until the R&D costs are covered and they drift in to the "affordable" e bike marketplace. So if you are waiting for even a sub 40 lb. e bike with any type of range to happen before you will consider one I would suggest that it is going to be a long wait. In the meantime there have been and will be units sold and used worldwide by the millions. Heavy batteries or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
MABman said:
But even the latest and greatest laptop batteries if you gang them together for enough power to propel a bicycle with a 175 lb rider at 20 mph over variable terrain for say 30 miles with a fair amount of input from the rider will weigh in around 15 lbs and the motor/controller about the same or a bit more.

Battery technology has not peaked yet by any means but what is happening is that the LiFePo4 batteries developed to fuel the laptop/cell phone market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery) are now being supplied in enough quantity to allow for their initial high price to be lower. The same battery that only 2 years ago cost over a thousand to purchase now costs less than half of that. The weight is the same however. The Hybrid/EV market had alot to do with this also

As time goes on the newer more powerful battery cells may be lighter by a few grams but will still add up when packaged for e bike use. Also the newer stuff will cost alot until the R&D costs are covered and they drift in to the "affordable" e bike marketplace. So if you are waiting for even a sub 40 lb. e bike with any type of range to happen before you will consider one I would suggest that it is going to be a long wait. In the meantime there have been and will be units sold and used worldwide by the millions. Heavy batteries or not.
The motor unit for the Gruber power assist is only about 2 pounds. Their complete (non retrofit) bike weighs in at around 32 pounds, and I believe it's aluminum. True, it doesn't have a 30 mile range at 20MPH. (Indeed, in many states, an electric bike capable of 20MPH wouldn't be considered a bike at all.) I'm guessing with current technology, you could make a CF bike capable of _helping_ the rider up hills (huffing up hills and showing up at their destination sweaty is one of the main things keeping 'regular' people from using bikes for short range transportation) weigh less than 30 pounds. It wouldn't have a 30 mile range, but wouldn't need it, either. I'm guessing one of the primary uses for e-bikes could be for short trips and short commutes that people get into cars for today.

About a year ago I saw my first e-bike on a MUT. I talked to the rider. He uses it to go to work about 7 miles away, and has enough range (with a comfortable buffer) to go both ways, with his lights on. I'm not a 'sky is falling' the car is destroying the planet kind of guy, but I recognize that building infrastructure for bikes is far less expensive than for cars. If folks rode bikes when a car wasn't needed, they'd save money (on maintenance, gas, and insurance) and their taxes could be less (since less infrastructure would be needed). That's win-win. Besides, unless you're 16, riding a bike is more fun than driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
California L33 said:
The motor unit for the Gruber power assist is only about 2 pounds. Their complete (non retrofit) bike weighs in at around 32 pounds, and I believe it's aluminum. True, it doesn't have a 30 mile range at 20MPH. (Indeed, in many states, an electric bike capable of 20MPH wouldn't be considered a bike at all.) I'm guessing with current technology, you could make a CF bike capable of _helping_ the rider up hills (huffing up hills and showing up at their destination sweaty is one of the main things keeping 'regular' people from using bikes for short range transportation) weigh less than 30 pounds. It wouldn't have a 30 mile range, but wouldn't need it, either. I'm guessing one of the primary uses for e-bikes could be for short trips and short commutes that people get into cars for today.

About a year ago I saw my first e-bike on a MUT. I talked to the rider. He uses it to go to work about 7 miles away, and has enough range (with a comfortable buffer) to go both ways, with his lights on. I'm not a 'sky is falling' the car is destroying the planet kind of guy, but I recognize that building infrastructure for bikes is far less expensive than for cars. If folks rode bikes when a car wasn't needed, they'd save money (on maintenance, gas, and insurance) and their taxes could be less (since less infrastructure would be needed). That's win-win. Besides, unless you're 16, riding a bike is more fun than driving.
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws

Federal Laws and Regulation
[edit]Defined
The U.S. NHTSA Code of Motor Vehicle Safety simply defines low-speed electric bicycles as consumer products and not Motor Vehicles for safety standards[21]. In doing so they vest authority over commercial safety standards to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) stipulates that commercially manufactured low-speed electric bicycles, or tricycles, must have fully operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W of power and a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) with a rider weighing 150 pounds.[22] An electric bike remaining within these specifications will be regarded simply as a bicycle for purposes of safety standards. This supersedes any state law that is more stringent, but only regarding safety equipment required on electric bicycles and the standard of manufacture they must meet.[23]. The legislation enacting this amendment to the CPSC is also known as HR 727[24].
No known federal regulations apply to the manufacture of homebuilt electric bicycles.


I agree fully that an electric bicycle can serve the need for a relatively inexpensive single person/single purpose mode of transport. However some have longer distances to travel to work than others and also including side trips during the day I believe that 30 miles or so between charge cycles is not alot over the range that many would need. Perhaps not every day, but when necessary good to have. There is also the need by many to carry additional load beyond the rider to make using an ebike necessary and that can sap amp hours which lessens range. YMMV.

The Gruber system is ok and light weight for sure but expensive. As an option for those that can afford it and live within its capabilities it will work, but not sure when if ever it will come to the states. Having the lightest e bike out there is an admirable goal but as with regular bikes it is not that important for the average end user whereas economy and reliability is.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top