I am honestly a little intimidated to post this because there is still so much I don't know. I have been lurking for a month, trying to read as much as I can, but sorry in advance for my gaps in knowledge. For reference, I am 28, in decent shape although a new cyclist, 6'1", 165 lbs in the Dallas, TX area.
I currently do a mixed commute, biking 2 miles to the train, taking the train into downtown Dallas, and then ride 2 miles through downtown into the office. I have been doing this consistently since January as a trial run to see if I will actually commute regularly on a bike in all types of weather and moods--so far, so good.
I would love to move from a mixed commute with public transit to biking the whole way to work, and I think an ebike can make that happen. Currently, my commute is 50 minutes door to door when I take the train. I ride with a Topeak rear rack and bag, and use my bag for lunch, a change of clothes, and other miscellaneous stuff. If I were to bike on roads (mostly residential) it would be 15 miles one way. If I were to deviate to all bike paths, it would be 20 miles one way. Both routes would be very flat, on paved roads with a fair amount of bad quality cement and potholes (more on the road than the paths). My wife wants me to take the bike paths because she is worried about unobservant drivers. I want to take the roads because I think my speed will be limited to be safe on bike paths that are frequented by joggers.
I want to keep my overall commute to the same or less time than my current commute, meaning if I take the 15 mile route, I am hoping for an average trip speed of at least 20 mph (including traffic stops). I think this would mean an average cruising speed of ~25mph. I am not interested in building a hotrod, just a commuter that will allow me to navigate city streets safely along with traffic, arriving to work not a sweaty mess. I think this means I don't need to go much faster than 28mph as top speed, though my expectations may be off--feel free to correct me. I also want to be able to pedal the whole trip meaningfully, meaning decent PAS as well as a gearing set up that doesn't leave me meaninglessly spinning at top speed while the motor does all the work.
For this build, I will be purchasing a bike to convert, as my current ride is a Giant Via 1 https://bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeSpe ... em=1405952, which I think may be too stiff of a ride given the quality of the city streets at my top speeds, and the 3 speed IGH will likely not provide enough of a gear ratio. The bike I have been looking at is a Jubilee 8 Speed with Disc brakes from bikesdirect http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... -bikes.htm. My ideal bike will have an IGH (I prefer it for maintenance and aesthetics), a front fork (for riding city streets), disc brakes (stopping power), and will allow fenders and a rear rack (although I am fine to just use P clamps if there are no eyelets).
Ideally, I would spend no more than $1500 including the cost of the bike purchase and all accessories (fenders, rack, bag, etc.) Looking at pre-build bikes, the Juiced CCS/X seems to have a lot of what I'm looking for. If it weren't for the price, the lack of IGH, and wanting to wrench around a bit, I think that's the direction I would go. But it seems like DIY will be more fun and more bang for buck. Chas58's 25^3 build has really intrigued me as a starting point, and lots of related builds have been most of what I have studied.
I think what I am looking for is a front hub motor so I can accommodate the IGH. I really don't need a mid-drive given how flat my commute is, and I think I will be okay without a rear hub. I was really interested in the Q100/Q128 and that Bafang BPM, but I am wondering if a cheap eBay kit would do the job just as well. I have also been looking at a 48V/17aH battery pack from em3ev. Not sure what I want to do for a controller--the advice that I have been able to find on the forums often seems a bit outdated.
Can you all help me out here?:
- What have I forgotten? What am I not considering?
- Do I need a front fork to commute comfortably at this speed? Chas58's had none, but he may be made of stronger stuff than me
- What motor will suit my needs at my price point? I have been stuck in analysis paralysis here
- Will I be safe riding on city and residential roads where traffic has maximum speeds of 40mph? I will map my commute to neighborhoods as much as possible
- Would you recommend a different bike than the Jubilee 8? In particular I want to make sure the gear ratio on the Nexus 8 is high enough so that I can meaningfully pedal at my top speeds
- What PAS do I need if my goal is to meaningfully pedal at all points in the ride?
- Please feel free to tell me what electronic components I need with the motor you recommend. I get lost once we start talking about controllers.