2014 update: e-bike parted out after a few thousand miles under its belt. I've moved thrice since its original build: Seattle --> Long Island --> Seattle --> Denver. I now bike commute on a non-electric 29er, drive my Land Cruiser occasionally, and the wife tools around in her leased LEAF.
>>>>>>>>> old content below
August 24, 2012 update reflecting its v2.0 rebuild with a 9C 2806 hub motor, 48V 10Ah LiMn and a 48V 35A regen-enabled Infineon controller:
original post with original, V1.0 specs below:Maiden ride has been accomplished in grand fashion: 8.2 miles, 4.6 Ah, 27.8 Wh/mi. Max speed without pedaling, wide open throttle was around 27 mph on flat ground. With me pedaling along I could get it up to 30 mph. Comfortable cruising speed was more in the range of 23-25 mph while pedaling along, throttle part of the way open. Max indicated power from the battery to the controller (so less at the wheel due to motor inefficiency) was about 1600W at 27 mph. Max regen coming down from 25 mph was around 550W, decreasing as speed decreases. Overall I regened 6% of power input on my errand run today.
update april 16, 2009 with a test-ride video!As detailed here I've ditched the idea of converting my Klein road bike. It'll stay in the stable unmolested, the perfect ride for short trips and for pure speed or exercise. Instead, my commuter will be a separate bike. Which bike, you ask? Well, that's still a bit up in the air. I do know what electric components it'll run, however, since I ordered them today from ebikes.ca:
Crystalyte 407 in a 26" front wheel
48V 12Ah LiFePO4 battery with the proper charger
was: 36V (48V capable) 35A immediate start controller along with a twist throttle
now: 72V 20A pedal-first controller after Hall sensor failures in the Seattle rain
Cycle Analyst DP
Before anyone asks: Why front wheel given the freedom of platforms? Well, I last ran a freewheel on my personal bikes in 1995. They frankly sucked. If C-lyte rear hubs came in 135mm spacing with a proper cassette freehub body then I'd use one without a second thought, but they don't. A second answer: Why 26"? Increased bike choice (including the two models I'm particularly interested at at this juncture), the possibility of running wider city slicks if need be, and fractionally increased hill climbing torque over a 407/700c setup.
Background info from the previous road bike thread: 26 years old, current but weary bike commuter on a triple-crankset full-on road bike, Seattle so hills in the commute, distance from 4-13 miles one way, 200 lbs, shooting for 20 mph average with some pedaling effort on my part.
In the next post I'll go over my thoughts on bike choice.
Electric Bike Test Ride (hosted on vimeo)