What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experience ?

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
Post Reply
bahaa.zahika   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 21
Joined: May 23 2015 1:44pm

What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experience ?

Post by bahaa.zahika » Dec 08 2015 11:29pm

What is the best wheel size for e-bike via your experience ?
Share you ideas and thoughts.
I've started with 26 inch wheel and I really think it was a very bad choice.

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7573
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by Dauntless » Dec 08 2015 11:34pm

Okay, that last sentence makes a great point: WHY were they a bad choice? Someone who wants a small folding bike will like the 16" wheels a lot better than some of these people talking about topping 40mph. Tell what the purpose of the bike is and it's easier for people to offer opinions. Which is largely what they'll be.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

bahaa.zahika   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 21
Joined: May 23 2015 1:44pm

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by bahaa.zahika » Dec 08 2015 11:39pm

I want to reach high speeds, and I want them to bare a high load 26 inch rims break so easily and spokes get lose easily too I've heard the small sizes are better

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 34925
Joined: May 17 2008 12:53pm
Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by dogman dan » Dec 09 2015 5:04am

For high speeds, which I define as above 35mph, you should be looking towards a motorcycle rim and tire. Or similarly, high speed scooter tire if you choose a smaller wheel.

Sure, better bike rims, spokes, and tires can go faster than 35 mph, but long term durability is needed if you will ride that fast regularly, on trashy bumpy streets.

At sub 35 mph, I found suspension helps a lot with rim and spoke breakage. So does making the rear of the bike longer.

User avatar
Ykick   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 5558
Joined: Nov 26 2009 6:10pm
Location: San Diego, California

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by Ykick » Dec 09 2015 8:38am

Perhaps you need moto stuff but you haven’t stated any actual desired speeds??? 20, 30, 40mph?

At any speed, I’ve yet to see a Chinese hub motor wheel build worth the difference in money it costs to ship it.

I would advise anyone to not make a final judgement about rim/spoke longevity until they’ve tried a decently built hub motor wheel.
Talent must not be wasted.... Those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.

- Frank Sinatra

User avatar
Drunkskunk   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7159
Joined: Apr 14 2007 11:37am
Location: Dallas, Texas. U.S.A.

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by Drunkskunk » Dec 09 2015 9:18am

My first and third bikes were 29ers. I found the large wheel rolled much better and gave a great ride. But everything else has been on 26" with fatter tires. I've found they work better over a larger range of situations.

But none of that has anything to do with your problem. If your wheels are breaking at higher speeds, it has nothing to do with their size. Bicycle wheels were designed to handle human power at speeds humans can power them. Anything more will over stress the wheel. A well built, high quality wheel will take more abuse than some walmart toy bike wheel, but no bicycle wheel will do as well as a motorcycle wheel, if you're powering your bike to motorcycle power levels.

Tell us what you're riding and how, and what kind of failures you're having. Someone here has probably been there and done that, and can tell you how to make what you have work better.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Monster Bike:http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=38667

User avatar
TheBeastie   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1828
Joined: Jul 28 2012 12:31am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experienc

Post by TheBeastie » Dec 09 2015 9:38am

bahaa.zahika wrote:I want to reach high speeds, and I want them to bare a high load 26 inch rims break so easily and spokes get lose easily too I've heard the small sizes are better
Sounds like another China built wheel just like what I was saying to this guy.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 9#p1128252
Its not the wheel size but the rim/spokes and build quality of the wheel, you will find people here with 700c/29er wheels with 1500w motors on them doing 100km/h with no problems to people with tiny wheel builds with no problems, but they all take the wheel build very seriously.
When I took my China built wheel to my local Trek store to see if they could fix it their eyes popped out of their head like I never imagined possible, wish I had a gopro strapped to my chest or something as it was the closest thing I have ever seen in terms of some ones eyes really popping out in natural pure shock, they were not putting any acting on. They said my wheel had serious liability issues, I fully rebuilt my wheel my self, but I had to use new rim and spokes.
Speed Kills Range, 10mph = 46 miles range, 20mph = 20 miles, 30mph = 8 miles rangehttps://goo.gl/1JNL53
Over Charging Kills ur battery bit.ly/1hzWKl4
Consider PAS as your only throttle https://goo.gl/Kg1F8F
Fuel-Cell is the ultimate battery coupled with 4th-gen Nuclear
https://goo.gl/TcKtHs https://goo.gl/ZhFFot https://goo.gl/gfa215
10 Square Miles of solar panels = 0.12GW average power! https://goo.gl/Ub1S39

jordanjozsef   10 mW

10 mW
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 03 2018 1:00pm

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experience ?

Post by jordanjozsef » Feb 03 2019 2:20pm

My experience is that the smaller wheel is better. Here's why:

My first E-bike had 28" wheels, because this is the size that I use for a normal bike too. And I though it will be faster than a small wheel. And yes it was fast, at 48V, the max. speed was around 50km/h with a 500W controller. Then I tried a stock 300W E-bike which looks like a scooter, it has 18" wheels and damn, even with the weak stock controller, it had much more torque and had better throttle response, because smaller wheel has better torque. So I started using the E-scooter instead with the 500W controller, it pops wheelie from standstill and from 52V 33Ah, it gets me up to 40km/h in a few seconds. You can still go fast with small wheels and still have great torque if you increase the voltage. I did some test with that E-scooter, I bought a 108V controller, so I was able to test those 18" wheels with 96V. It had impressive torque even with those heavy SLA batteries and the max. speed was 70km/h! The 28" wheel with from 84V got me up to speed 70km/h too, so the voltage was lower, but it was really weak and the motor got warm, because the large wheel is really ineffiecient. If you use ebike.ca's motor calculator, you can find out, at around 75km/h, the larger wheel will actually be slower, when everything else is the same. But the smaller, 16" will be slower too, the optimum is the 20" wheel.

So that's why my new E-bike will use 20" wheels, all suspension frame and a 104V 33Ah battery pack.

Also, higher voltage requires less current, and it will be better for the battery pack and for the cables too. If you double the voltage, you will only need half current to maintain the same speed so you will have a better range.

User avatar
nicobie   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2183
Joined: Aug 07 2008 1:48pm
Location: Central Coast CA,USA

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experience ?

Post by nicobie » Feb 03 2019 3:59pm

Out of all the sizes I've tried, I like a 18" moped rim the best.
Image

May your tote always stay tight and your edge eversharp :wink:

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7289
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: What is the best wheel size for ebike via your experience ?

Post by markz » Feb 03 2019 4:17pm

I have always used 26" bicycle rims laced into a rear direct drive motor. Over the past few years I have bought different dirt bike rims. The last one I bought was a 18x1.85 aluminum rim and previous to that a 16x1.60 steel rim because I wanted the torque of a smaller wheel, I dont care about top speed, but I care about torque for hills and getting going and keeping everything cooler. Large diameter wheel means things get hotter. I have yet to install them, but after the current rim, I am ready to lace into a motorcycle rim.

Everything is a balancing act. Buying a motor with a low tooth count like a 3T means it will be slower taking off but faster top speed for a given voltage, 36V 3T vs 36V 8T. Also the 3T motor can take more amps for longer because it has shorter wire that is thicker, compared to the 8T which has windings that are longer and thinner and can take way less amps.

Must choose wisely.

Motorcycle/Scooter - Bicycle
17" is equal to 20" bicycle rim
18" is equal to 22" bicycle rim
19" is equal to 24" bicycle rim
20" is older and rarer but equal to 26"
21" is equal to 28" bicycle rim - The 21" is usually a front rim.

Rim widths
1.50 (WM0) I havent seen any of these
1.60 (WM1) common
1.85 (WM2) common
2.15 (WM3) common

When lacing a motorcycle/scooter rim, the nipples need to be bigger. HolmesHobby may still sell various sizes of nipples, along with precut spokes. You could use smaller spokes, nipples but you'd need to use washers, and contour the washers to fit.

I have gone through a lot of rims, my current rim bought locally is the Crystalyte in 12G and it did not last long. 380lb plus battery, bike, 20lb motor. Only buy good quality rims, like the Sunringle DM models, DM18, DM24 if they are still available, I see them around for sale.

Post Reply