Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

General Discussion about electric bicycles.

Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby MadRhino » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:50 am

Should be working wrote:Stokemonkey seems to have gone out of existence for now, at least by Grin and Clevercycles. It looks like it's a mid-line motor like Ecospeed. There is something called an E-4 that seems to be similar. And that is what the non-hub motor forum is about that I haven't studied much yet.

Controllers" So the motor has a certain amount of power it can take without frying, I guess that's determined by the motor, so you pick a controller depending on what the motor's safe intake is. Got it. Thanks. Now when I look at motor descriptions it looks like you can pick out different controllers, where does it say how much power the motor can take? Or I guess this is where the ebikes.ca simulator would be used to show after how long the motor would overheat. Or is there a standard way to know this?

Stokemonkey was using a hub motor as a mid drive, the same can be custom built with whatever gear ratio that one need and powered by any hubmotor. This must not be confused with brushed motor kits like Cyclone.

The simulator can help you to find the approximate performance of a combo: Motor, controller, battery. You can simulate various riding conditions with the planned weight and power of your project. It is a very good tool, but it is theory, and require some real world experience to enter proper parameters and read a realistic interpretation.
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https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/464x348q90/r/715/dsc03417ae.jpg

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Santacruz V-10, performance dirt bike
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby dogman dan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:25 am

I can't think of many easy ways to solve this one. Sure, if you are a person into fabricating stuff, wiring up frankenstien batteries, etc. But something "consumer ready" is very tough.

The closest thing I can think of is this. BMX bike or folder with 20" wheels. Bend the frame in so a front hub can be run on the back. No chain, so technically illegal. Then Methods has 2812 motors in 20" wheel, front motor only. Put 72v 20 amps into each motor.

Next best thing, dual 2810 motors. I think you can still get the 2810 in rear, not sure if Methods has front 2810's or not. Ideally, also in a small wheel, which means you might have to relace the motors.

That rig would likely require you to get into complicated Lipo batteries. But there are wiring rigs that simplify that.

Any way you slice it, 29% grade is going to cost $$. Have you even considered a gas scooter? Not cheap china, but a good Japanese one?
THE LIPO RULES. NEVER ABOVE 4.3V NEVER BELOW 2.7V DON'T PUNCTURE

Ideal charging /discharging range for Lipo, 3.65v minimum 4.1v maximum

See battery technology section, FAQ thread at the top of the page for lipo noob info.

See the frankenbike longtail at the thread below.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28389&hilit=bouncing+betty
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:50 am

Yeah, it looks complicated. As I said, that 29% (or sometimes reads as 24%) is only for about 15 ft. I have mapped routes that are 2.5 miles at 8-16%. If a BMC would be guaranteed to work, that sounds like a good choice because it is a readymade thing. No way is my husband going to let me mess around with batteries that have fire risk, even small. I think if we get into dual motors I'm going to bow out. Small wheels would be ok except the roads are so full of bumps and holes here that I would not feel stable enough. So I'll go see ebikessf when they are settled down again and see what they say. I think my max on this would be $3.5K, including the bike, so that is another limiting factor.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Ok, some big updates to make here.

The very helpful SF ebike store young lady BROUGHT me, to my house, several other bikes to try. Very good service. We rode together up the hill a few times, switching off bikes.

SO it turns out that the Ohm battery that I had been using on the bike they sold me seems to have a problem. It cut down power at certain points while she was using it. When that happened to me, it was the first time of me trying ebike on my hill, so I thought it meant the motor wasn't strong enough. She had ridden the other Ohm up the hill with a different battery the first time, and did not have that problem, so it really was an anomalous flaw in the system they sold me.

But she also brought me a Focus Jarifa Speed to try, with a Bosch middrive 350W 36V motor. This thing was really great. It was very energetic and nicer than the Ohm's hub motor. And I was, with some effort, able to make it up my hill! The style is a little sportier than I prefer but I guess I could get the handlebars switched to a more upright style.

http://www.focus-bikes.com/int/en/bikes ... ed-13.html
http://www.focus-bikes.com/int/en/bikes ... ed-13.html

Now I'm wondering whether my grade-measuring all along was off, otherwise how did I make these grades I've been complaining about with just 350W? Or is it that you all in advising me were assuming that I wouldn't pedal, which in fact I want to do for exercise?

My hill on this bike is still a workout, a tad more than I might want, but then again I rode up that hill TWICE in one hour and feel pretty good. No hip irritation at all, which the Ohm did irritate it slightly. The other question is whether it would be worth it, with this research, to go back to the idea of having one built for me with a similar or slightly higher-power setup. This bike is not cheap, but it is ready to go and works for me. I'm not a techie--picking out a bike to begin with, picking out all the options (likely NOT middrive but BMC geared hub), getting Ilia or someone to build it for me, if they are willing, this is all a little daunting.

Also the Focus is so LIGHT, like 20 lbs lighter than the Ohm, I guess because it's middrive and the bike is just lighter. I think this is why my hip (which is cranky and has steel) feels GREAT now, whereas after the Ohm it was a little irritated.

I know you are the DIY people here, but insights are welcome!
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Ykick » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:17 pm

Focus is a nice BB (bottom bracket) drive and by virtue of low weight probably very "bicycle" like to Ride. 350W into the bicycle gearing can be multiplied significantly when compare to similar Watt hub motors.

We've had a few posts around here regarding the Bosch drive and it seemed to be accepted as a good design for what it is, IIRC?

Good on the shop people for demo'ing the different models and approaches.

Good luck, enjoy the journey!
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:49 pm

Just realized this is the 2011 Focus. It has a Panasonic 300W motor; the 2012 has the Bosch 350W. But according to my shop person, no one is selling the latter yet. And it's new, and she didn't want to take on the beta risk.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Ykick » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Should be working wrote:Just realized this is the 2011 Focus. It has a Panasonic 300W motor; the 2012 has the Bosch 350W. But according to my shop person, no one is selling the latter yet. And it's new, and she didn't want to take on the beta risk.


I rode a Panasonic Pedelec for a couple years. Definitely a pedal class bike but great efficiency for silent, smooth assist.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby teklektik » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:07 pm

Here's a ES thread about a StokeMonkey-like competitor for a Yuba Mundo cargo bike. This is a big heavy bike (47lbs before conversion) and frankly, the mid drive sounds a trifle noisy in the videos. But, it would no doubt zip you up your hill. I have no experience with this - just putting it out there since StokeMonkey was discussed. This is a big moose grocery-getter. I own a converted Mundo, but you may wish for something lighter.

I think it would be worth your while to just drop in on Ebikes SF and see what they have available for you to test (any BMC conversion), just to get a notion of the BMC power. This would give you some idea of whether that option was worth pursuing. If you then shopped for a nice bike you liked (preferably with disk brakes), there would be little techie stuff to know to convert it except choosing a battery size - Ilia would build you up a nice ride and his motor/controller replacement warrantees are solid. They just completed their second move to a bigger storefront next door to their last recent move :D so things should be settling down. This will probably come in quite a bit below the price of the Jarifa. The Jarifa looks very nice but a little extra shopping can't hurt ;-)
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:12 pm

Stokemonkey doesn't seem to be for sale anymore, but it's a great idea.

Yes, I've emailed with Ilia, he has been quite helpful with suggestions. He said I could drop by and test ride something. I'll try to do that in the coming week, likely a BMCV2T. He suggested small wheels for more torque but I like stability and big wheels.

Anyone out there in the East bay with a BMC V2T I could try riding up my hill? I would be really grateful, even pay you for your time.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby teklektik » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:31 pm

Should be working wrote:Stokemonkey doesn't seem to be for sale anymore, but it's a great idea.

Yep - just to be clear: this is not a StokeMonkey, but similar product. Again - I think this may be more bike than you really want unless you are looking to do Minivan-type hauling :) .
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby sk8norcal » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:42 pm

from Illiad site,

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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby sk8norcal » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:44 pm

teklektik wrote:
Should be working wrote:Stokemonkey doesn't seem to be for sale anymore, but it's a great idea.

Yep - just to be clear: this is not a StokeMonkey, but similar product. Again - I think this may be more bike than you really want unless you are looking to do Minivan-type hauling :) .


http://urbancommuterstore.com/

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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:48 pm

More details on the Jarifa, although again I know you guys here at E-S are not off-the-rack types:

It is zippy, almost like that little folding electric BH Volt I tried, again because the weight is good I guess. It has three levels of assist (Ohm had 4) in addition to non-assist mode. Ohm's levels 1 and 2 were not so impressive, but the Jarifa's lowest assist level (called 'eco') gave me an excellent push. And high assist was great. There is no throttle like Ohm had, so pedaling is always required. I'm fine with this, the highest level of assist felt stronger than the Ohm's WOT.

It has, as I said, lower handlebars but weirdly the posture didn't bother me at all, even less than the Ohm's slightly more upright posture had, the latter had made my shoulders sore.

The battery can only be charged off-bike, which I don't see as a problem. The brakes are hydraulic disk. I did like the regen better on the Ohm, because it slows me down so well on descent.

I like it that the motor is more discreetly behind the seat post. The Ohm's huge battery in the step-through was a bit conspicuous for my taste. There was a little humming while I rode but I think that was just the sound of me pedaling, not the motor? Definitely acceptable.

Here are the slight annoyances:
The handlebar grips aren't as good as the Ohm's. After the 3-mi ride down the hill the heel of my hand (is that what it is called?) was a little sore. Perhaps the thing I most wish were redesigned is the gear-changing mechanism. You press once with your right thumb to increase gears, and twice to decrease, but really the "twice" is more just like a bigger, harder press. I like those twisty gear changers instead. There is a bar to step over instead of step-through, but it is not as awkward for me as the Ohm was with that huge battery in the step-through.

Rethinking the build-with-Ilia option: How much would a plain non-ebike as good as the Jarifa's basic bike cost? Need to do some more research.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:51 pm

correct link:

http://www.newwheel.net/Store/Focus%20J ... index.html

EDIT: again tried to get the truly correct link
Last edited by Should be working on Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Alan B » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi folks. Interesting thread. Received a PM about it. This location is not far from where I work. I may have to try my ebikes on this hill. It sounds a bit steep. I should probably go take a look at it. Going a few miles farther to avoid the steepest grade might be a good solution with the ebike since a few miles are quick and easy and the motor more suitable to the lesser grades.

I have two ebikes running now - a 9C 2810 (from Methods) 72V on a mountain bike that climbs well, and a BMC V2 in a 20" wheel from Ilia on a BikeE recumbent at 48V that climbs moderately well. I have links to my bike build threads here on ES in my signature. The third bike is not complete yet, but it will climb even better when it is done.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby teklektik » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:39 pm

SBW- It sounds like you are asking the right questions and noticing the right things. I'm thinking trips to local bike shops and trial rides are in order.

BTW - The Rans and Breezer that were recommended are not really semi-recumbent, they are crank-forward designs for a more upright riding position, low step-over, and flat foot on the ground. Think 'comfort bike'. Might not be what you will like, but I think your remarks about desired posture may have steered the fellow in that direction.

Needless to say, since you can get anything converted there's little need to compromise, if you don't love it don't buy it... :)
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby MadRhino » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:10 pm

Should be working wrote:... pedaling is always required. I'm fine with this, the highest level of assist felt stronger than the Ohm's WOT.

Tssst Tssst ! You don't want that as is,
It has to be modified before you ride it up those steep streets.
Pedal start stalls starting uphill, before long you won't be fine with this.
You want hard start, half twist throttle on any bike that you want a climber
The other hand enjoys the grip shift, yet shouldn't have to use it much and that is fine.

The seller should accept to do the mod
That is something to bargain with

Don't bother the handle grips, not the feel of the saddle
For we don't select a horse by the style of the harness
Rather the horse's work he can give
Sensored instant start motor is a willing horse
If he climbs anytime, it'll be worth harnessing right
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.

Norco A-Line, 50+ Mph dirt bike and winter commuter... sold

Specialized Demo 8 performance dirt bike
https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/464x348q90/r/715/dsc03417ae.jpg

Santa Cruz Heckler, lightweight road racer

Santacruz V-10, performance dirt bike
http://imageshack.us/a/img89/2403/1vfi.jpg

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http://imageshack.us/a/img29/4421/ugd1.jpg

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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:32 am

Mad Rhino, I'm sure the dealer will not modify the bike, that would void the warranty, and I don't know if this can be modified. The throttle on the Ohm was also not so great for hard starts, but the good news is that my winding-street huge hill is pretty empty of traffic and stop signs, so I rarely have to stop.

Now here's something in the description of the 2011 Focus that I want to know about, it says: "With speeds of up to 40 km/h, this fast e-bike counts as a category L1e moped." Does this mean I'm not legal if I ride this without a motorcycle license?? I know you guys do stuff like this all the time, but this seems pretty intense. I am not someone who wants EVER to ride more than 15mph on any bike, uphill or downhill.

Obviously this solution is more expensive than buying a bike plus a kit. But then there would also be labor costs if I use Ilia, and while he is clearly a reliable and ethical dealer, it's not the same as having an integrated system that my shop would be in charge of and responsible for, with a brand behind it as well.

I'll go try Ilia's bikes next week, this is certainly a wise suggestion, but I'm leaning toward sticking with the Focus for several reasons. First, it's standing in my living room ready to ride (next step would be figuring out where to store it, we don't have a garage). Second, my husband is really sick of hearing all about bikes, hub motors, batteries and everything I've been studying since joining this forum, and this is starting to preoccupy me and take away from how I SHOULD BE WORKING, and I am not a hobbyist, I just want to ride. Third, since having hip surgery 13 yrs ago and therefore giving up running, I have NEVER found any exercise or activity that made my legs feel well-worked without irritating my hip. That includes vigorous walking, hiking, swimming (each hip was operated differently and they have opposite rotation restrictions, so most strokes/kicks require one or the other hip to do something it doesn't like to do). I rode on flat land last year in Europe and felt my hip a little. The Ohm sort of worked on my hill, but I felt my hip. With the Focus, I didn't feel it AT ALL and my legs were wonderfully tired and well-worked-out. It was like it ONLY worked my legs, not my hips. I've never felt like that on a bike, even on flat land. So I could mess with building a bike and then end up with one that I feel in my hip. I don't know why I don't feel the Focus in my hip--weight, geometry, feel of motor--but to me this is a huge benefit, albeit a costly one.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Ykick » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:53 am

SBW - weight seems to be an important consideration without a garage you may need to lift up stairs, etc. My Panasonic Pedelec was extremely lightweight and very easy to carry in/out of my NYC apt. I really like those drives although not a powerhouse they maintain a bicycle-like nature which is prefered by some riders.

I change riding geometry with a stem riser for threadless headsets which appears the Focus uses. You'll tweak things to your liking and if the bug really gets hold of you, perhaps look at adding a "hot rod" bike later down the road? LOL...

Enjoy!
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby teklektik » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:11 pm

Should be working wrote:With the Focus, I didn't feel it AT ALL and my legs were wonderfully tired and well-worked-out. It was like it ONLY worked my legs, not my hips. I've never felt like that on a bike, even on flat land. So I could mess with building a bike and then end up with one that I feel in my hip. I don't know why I don't feel the Focus in my hip--weight, geometry, feel of motor--but to me this is a huge benefit, albeit a costly one.


This is almost certainly due to the 'inefficiencies :) ' of an upright 'comfort bike' posture that pretty much preclude using major muscles that incidentally put a load on your hip. You are quite right - it is a geometry thing ('crank-forward' like the Rans/Breezer).

I think your observations are very valid and the Focus will make you very happy.... in the end, that's what you want. After a bit of biking, your strength will improve and the hill will get flatter, making your Focus even more attractive.

Even if the forum didn't get you a custom solution, I think you should feel comforted moving forward that you pretty thoroughly explored your options and made an informed decision.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby MadRhino » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:37 pm

If Ilia agrees to build a bike for you, it will be what you need and he will back it with better after sale service than any "branded" commercial Ebike.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.

Norco A-Line, 50+ Mph dirt bike and winter commuter... sold

Specialized Demo 8 performance dirt bike
https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/464x348q90/r/715/dsc03417ae.jpg

Santa Cruz Heckler, lightweight road racer

Santacruz V-10, performance dirt bike
http://imageshack.us/a/img89/2403/1vfi.jpg

Trek Session 10
http://imageshack.us/a/img29/4421/ugd1.jpg

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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:58 pm

MadRhino, point taken. He's a guy, not a company, and a local guy, and like you all truly obsessed with the ebike thing.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby teklektik » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:57 pm

Should be working wrote:The very helpful SF ebike store young lady BROUGHT me, to my house, several other bikes to try. Very good service. We rode together up the hill a few times, switching off bikes.

But she also brought me a Focus Jarifa Speed to try, with a Bosch middrive 350W 36V motor. ...how did I make these grades I've been complaining about with just 350W?

Your Focus Jarifa Speed appears to be a true mid-drive with 300-450W motor. This puts it in the same general design class as the StokeMonkey where where the motor drives through the sprockets and you have the option of downshifting to attack steeper hills or upshifting to go faster on the flat. This design is the about the best hill-climber you will find and a few Watts go a long way because of the normal bike gearing. You might like to try attacking your hill trying different lower gear settings to keep the motor spinning happily - the results may be interesting. I believe that you will find that you may need to go slower because you may need to downshift further, but you will always be able to climb a hill.

With the German Bosch mid-drive, Avid hydraulic brakes, etc, there is no doubt the Focus is very deluxe solution. The local bike shop that sent a lady to help you sounds quite good, and they will (should) be your repair and warrantee interface, not the company itself.

I have purchased motors/controllers from Ilia (+ recommended him above) and his service is exceptional (I actually just got a warrantee replacement controller from in the mail 2 hours ago :) ). I do believe he can put together a good build for you. So, do see what Ilia can do for you. Technically, it will probably come down to a 600-900W geared BMC hub motor (Ilia's Watt recommendation for hill-climbing) vs a 300-450W mid-drive.

In the end, it's a Quality of Life issue and you will need to look at the best way to trade bucks for years of enjoyment...
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Alan B » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:07 pm

Category L1e moped

In the UK this is defined as a 45 kph 4kw machine.

In California an ebike is allowed 1kw 20mph which is 32 kph, and the motor should not go over that speed.

The Jarifa Speed indicates it can get to 40 kph.

So technically it is out of the ebike class by a few kph, but with that low power and bicycle appearance it should not be in the moped class. It certainly is not a 4kw machine.
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Re: Someone needing e-bike help on bike forums

Postby Should be working » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Teklektik, it's the 2011 Jarifa Speed, hence a Panasonic 300w motor, not the newer 2012 with the Bosch. Brakes are Avid Elixir but I think those are good too. I'm glad you think it's a good object, and indeed my only question is whether I want to spend more time and energy on this to save money, or part with the money and be happy. Trying Ilia's bikes is the fork in the flow chart on this point; if I like the BMC on a 26" wheel as much as the Focus, then I could consider giving back the Focus and working with Ilia instead in order to save money. If I like the feel of the Focus better, then I'm done. I'm trying Ilia's BMC 26"wheel bike early next week, will write reviews.

Yeah, the SF shop I bought it from provides lifetime tuneups and lots of support. They are, however, themselves a totally new venture so I can't be sure they will be around forever for servicing the bike.
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