My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

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Skywaulker   10 µW

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My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Skywaulker » Aug 19 2020 1:02pm

Hey everybody!

I just found this forum through an article I was reading on ebikeschool.com by Micah Toll.

I was planning on having some more time to research things a bit more but as luck would have it, I stumbled across a deal on a bike that I absolutely fell in love with so I'm pulling the trigger much quicker than anticipated.

I live in the Midwest and I'm hoping to get something built in time to do some riding before the Winter rolls in.

The bike I purchased was a foldable Montague Paratrooper. It's a couple of years old but looks like it had been rode twice. The tires still have those little knobs on them! At first, I didn't think a folding bike could hold up but after reading some reviews, it seems this is one of the strongest ones in the folding world.

I'm now in the process of buying the parts and I'm a bit overwhelmed with everything and I really don't know what the right choices would be for everything.

I believe I want a 3kw rear hub motor but I have no idea if I need a geared or direct drive model. From what I've read, it seems direct drive is the choice for higher powered builds, correct? Can anybody offer any suggestions for me? Im also confused as to what size will fit. My current rear tire is a 26 x 1.95. I would like to buy something that's going to fit right in without having to lace a rim as I've never done anything like that?

The other thing that confuses me if I need one that comes with a rear cassette or if I'll be able to use my existing one?

Ideally I would like to just buy a complete kit that would contain most of the parts I would need. I've taken a look at QS and MXUS and again, I'm kind of lost on what I should choose?

I'll probably go for either a 52v or 72v battery depending on what I'm able to afford. As far as matching a controller, I was looking at something like a Sabvoton with a higher amperage (150A max I believe?). Is this overkill? Is there something else that I should be looking for?

Any and all advice or criticism is welcomed as I'm a real newbie with all this stuff. What the little bit of the content I've read on here so far, everybody seems extremely knowledgeable so I'm excited to get some discussion going!

Thanks in advance!Image

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E-HP   1 MW

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by E-HP » Aug 19 2020 2:10pm

Is it a good assumption that you're leaning toward not pedaling?

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by 99t4 » Aug 19 2020 2:21pm

You will get much better and faster advice if you first state your goals:

1. Speeds, avg. and max.
2. Terrain-- hills? steepness? pavement? gravel? offroad?
3. Range
4. Your weight and load carrying, and willingness to pedal
5. Budget

How did you come to decide you need a 3kw rear hub motor?

The battery is the heart of your e-bike. Do Not cheap out on the battery! i.e. Do not look at it like "I'll go with whatever battery I can afford after buying everything else."

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Skywaulker » Aug 19 2020 2:39pm

I'm going to be using it for a commuter. I live in a rather flat area where there isnt many hills. I will only be riding on pavement and not planning any kind of off road use. That's why I've decided on a rear hub motor as much torque isn't much of a necessity outside of acceleration purposes.

I would like something that can travel around 40 - 45+ mph and from the things I've read, something around 3kw would be the best choice, unless I'm wrong?

I have no plans of cheaping out on the battery. I will probably go with 18650s in a shark case if possible. From what I've read the LiPo batteries kind of scare me.. I don't want to make a mistake and have one burst into flames because I screwed something up..

I would like to travel using throttle only for the most part with some occasional pedalling when I feel up to it.

As far as my budget, I would like to spend somewhere around $800 - $1000 for everything if that's doable. The less I can get away with, the better.

Range isn't a huge deal since I can top my battery off while at work. It's about 15 miles from my home to my work and that would probably the furthest destination I would be going on the bike. I would like better quality cells in exchange for less range if that's the choice I have to make.

Hopefully this helps a bit.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by E-HP » Aug 19 2020 4:30pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 19 2020 2:39pm
I'm going to be using it for a commuter. I live in a rather flat area where there isnt many hills. I will only be riding on pavement and not planning any kind of off road use. That's why I've decided on a rear hub motor as much torque isn't much of a necessity outside of acceleration purposes.

I would like something that can travel around 40 - 45+ mph and from the things I've read, something around 3kw would be the best choice, unless I'm wrong?

I have no plans of cheaping out on the battery. I will probably go with 18650s in a shark case if possible. From what I've read the LiPo batteries kind of scare me.. I don't want to make a mistake and have one burst into flames because I screwed something up..

I would like to travel using throttle only for the most part with some occasional pedalling when I feel up to it.

As far as my budget, I would like to spend somewhere around $800 - $1000 for everything if that's doable. The less I can get away with, the better.

Range isn't a huge deal since I can top my battery off while at work. It's about 15 miles from my home to my work and that would probably the furthest destination I would be going on the bike. I would like better quality cells in exchange for less range if that's the choice I have to make.

Hopefully this helps a bit.

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You won't be able to build a 45mph bike on a $1000 budget. You might want to find the steepest hill you can and see if you can get that bike going 45 mph, then decide whether you think you'll be doing that with any frequency. Unless your roads are glass smooth, you may reconsider once you hit the first pothole going that speed on a hard tail.

99t4   10 W

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by 99t4 » Aug 19 2020 4:33pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 19 2020 2:39pm
I would like something that can travel around 40 - 45+ mph and...
Probably best to find a more suitable platform for those speeds. A good quality full suspension downhill bike would be your safest solution. Even though your folding bike "seems this is one of the strongest ones in the folding world," it's going to be quite a handful to control at those speeds.

bakaneko   100 W

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 19 2020 6:37pm

- Forget about upgrading the controller for this season stick with the stock controller until you learn more about ebikes and next spring
- Link where you are seeing these hub kits; I think most are overseas and no way you will get them before the season ends (mid October?). Make sure you check if it is from overseas or USA stock
- Batteries are cheap now a days. I like some of them on eBay for the LiFePo battery. Get as big as you can.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BtrPower-72V-2 ... SwHk9enrKT

- Im using the Cyclone 3kw; its USA stock via SickBikeParts or Luna for $350-400 and you can get it within 1 week. Its a mid drive and semi easy to install and does about 35-42 top on 72V. I like mid drives for the torque, weight balance, and look (doesnt have a big black circle) but a hub is so simplistic.

- I like that folding bike too. Tried to buy one during height of pandemic was either sold out or 500% mark up so no ty. But, here is a video of someone doing Cyclone with basically your bike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRHOkqVCh0g

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Dauntless » Aug 20 2020 12:25am

https://leafbike.com/products/diy-bike- ... -1179.html

If you're really having so much trouble, just collect a kit. If you get too caught up in trying to pick out just the right thing, you'll be trying to make decisions based on things you really don't understand yet.

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Balmorhea   1 MW

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Balmorhea » Aug 20 2020 1:48am

That's not a good bike for 45 mph. Better at 30, and even then you need to commit yourself to high maintenance, habitual inspection, and better than normal brakes.

Montague folders are pretty OK for folding bikes, but their spec is equivalent to entry level MTBs. 40+ mph will tear them up fast. Tidalforce used Montagues as the basis for some of the most technically advanced early e-bikes. But those were 750W. If you feel you must get into outlaw territory performance-wise, the Leaf Bike 1500W hub motor that Dauntless referenced is a good place to start. That will propel most people on most normal bikes to 35+ at the top end.

Bicycles are designed to cruise at 20 mph. They're good at it. And it's generally quiet and comfortable in that range, where you don't have to have laser focus on the strip of pavement ahead of you. I find that the longer I mess with e-bikes, the more I gravitate towards that speed, even when my bike is capable of going much faster.
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bakaneko   100 W

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 20 2020 7:09am

Balmorhea wrote:
Aug 20 2020 1:48am
Bicycles are designed to cruise at 20 mph. They're good at it. And it's generally quiet and comfortable in that range, where you don't have to have laser focus on the strip of pavement ahead of you. I find that the longer I mess with e-bikes, the more I gravitate towards that speed, even when my bike is capable of going much faster.
its also most efficient. wind resistance becomes a big factor at 22. if you have good high psi road tires, you go far at 20. i did irl runs to test it and equations confirm it. though, if i want to get somewhere fast i go fast though i know im using a lot of juice.

Skywaulker   10 µW

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Skywaulker » Aug 20 2020 11:39am

bakaneko wrote:
Aug 19 2020 6:37pm
- Link where you are seeing these hub kits; I think most are overseas and no way you will get them before the season ends (mid October?). Make sure you check if it is from overseas or USA stock
I have just been looking at some random kits on various websites. I really hope I can find something from a US supplier if thats the case.
bakaneko wrote:
Aug 19 2020 6:37pm
- Batteries are cheap now a days. I like some of them on eBay for the LiFePo battery. Get as big as you can.
I'm kind of worried to use a LiFePo battery after reading some things about them catching fire if you don't know what you're doing. They do seem to have better prices however.
bakaneko wrote:
Aug 19 2020 6:37pm
- Im using the Cyclone 3kw; its USA stock via SickBikeParts or Luna for $350-400 and you can get it within 1 week. Its a mid drive and semi easy to install and does about 35-42 top on 72V. I like mid drives for the torque, weight balance, and look (doesnt have a big black circle) but a hub is so simplistic.
Do you think that's too powerful for my folding bike?? I was looking at something similar from CYC motors. I wouldn't mind a mid drive. Theres definitely enough space for one anyway..
Balmorhea wrote:
Aug 20 2020 1:48am
That's not a good bike for 45 mph. Better at 30, and even then you need to commit yourself to high maintenance, habitual inspection, and better than normal brakes.
Do you think that one of these 1.5kW - 3kW mid drive motors would be alright if I'm not mashing on the throttle??

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Skywaulker » Aug 20 2020 11:53am

In regards to this Cyclone 3000w kit, the banner at the top of the page states "Sorry all included controller options for this kit are unavailable". Browsing around their site, I found this controller:

https://lunacycle.com/60-amp-36-72v-ebi ... ontroller/

Would that work with that Cyclone kit? That specific page also states that "All Finishes available options are currently unavailable". Just the regular stock finish is still available I would imagine, correct? That's more along the lines of like the black controller they have pictured, right?

Balmorhea   1 MW

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Balmorhea » Aug 20 2020 12:55pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 20 2020 11:39am
Balmorhea wrote:
Aug 20 2020 1:48am
That's not a good bike for 45 mph. Better at 30, and even then you need to commit yourself to high maintenance, habitual inspection, and better than normal brakes.
Do you think that one of these 1.5kW - 3kW mid drive motors would be alright if I'm not mashing on the throttle??
Mid drives (that use the bike’s gears) are nice in that they feature PAS with different assist levels, so there are several ways to moderate power delivery: choice of gear, choice of assist level, pedaling cadence or torque, and throttle. You can get really good range and efficiency that way. My own 750W mid drive performed every bit as well as my current 1500W hub in top speed, and even better in climbing ability. And I got noticeably better range with the mid drive.

However, bicycle drive gears are designed for about 200W with occasional bursts of up to maybe 1000W. Using them at higher power and torque levels beats them up. If you’re not into repairing and replacing your cycle parts regularly and frequently, high powered mid drive is not for you. That was my experience of using a 750W mid drive as my main daily transportation. I would not look forward to maintaining a much more powerful version. On top of that, the higher powered mid drives like Cyclone 3kW have reliability problems in their own right, with the freewheeling chainrings and motor mounting brackets being chronic issues.

A system like Bafang BBS02 or BBSHD would package very well on the Montague, because it doesn’t have a downtube. The only drawback I can think of is that the cable entry to the unit might tend to ingest water when rotated to that angle.
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Skywaulker   10 µW

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Skywaulker » Aug 20 2020 1:02pm

I've dialed back on the power I was originally looking at in regards to everybodys comments.

I was looking at this:

https://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-b ... t-987.html

Would this be a good choice? Is this also the correct option for a rear hub motor for my setup?

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by E-HP » Aug 20 2020 1:03pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 20 2020 11:53am
In regards to this Cyclone 3000w kit, the banner at the top of the page states "Sorry all included controller options for this kit are unavailable". Browsing around their site, I found this controller:

https://lunacycle.com/60-amp-36-72v-ebi ... ontroller/

Would that work with that Cyclone kit? That specific page also states that "All Finishes available options are currently unavailable". Just the regular stock finish is still available I would imagine, correct? That's more along the lines of like the black controller they have pictured, right?
It won't let you add it to the cart because none are available. I was thinking of picking up their mini-sine wave controller, and same thing; doesn't allow you to add it to the cart.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Balmorhea » Aug 20 2020 1:26pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 20 2020 1:02pm
I've dialed back on the power I was originally looking at in regards to everybodys comments.

I was looking at this:

https://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-b ... t-987.html

Would this be a good choice? Is this also the correct option for a rear hub motor for my setup?
That’s a good choice for a hub motor, but the default speed is too high. That kit is set up to maximize top speed, but at the cost of lower torque, lower efficiency, and more motor heating in other riding conditions. If you really want to jet around at 35 mph regularly (and burn through your battery’s capacity as quickly as possible), then the default speed is probably the right choice.

You will need to get or make torque arms to keep the axle from damaging your bike’s frame and tearing out the motor wires.
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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 20 2020 5:09pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 20 2020 11:53am
In regards to this Cyclone 3000w kit, the banner at the top of the page states "Sorry all included controller options for this kit are unavailable". Browsing around their site, I found this controller:

https://lunacycle.com/60-amp-36-72v-ebi ... ontroller/

Would that work with that Cyclone kit? That specific page also states that "All Finishes available options are currently unavailable". Just the regular stock finish is still available I would imagine, correct? That's more along the lines of like the black controller they have pictured, right?
You can get it from SickBikeParts and they have plenty of parts. This motor is fine for that folding bike; you just have to be sensible to not go 40 in a 25 mph zone or do anything stupid.

http://sickbikeparts.com/electric-shift ... -products/

LiFePo is relatively safe. Listen all batteries are literally the same just chemistry; you short it bad things gonna happen, you accidently overcharge it (cant happen with good BMS) bad things gonna happen, you take a sledge hammer to it BAD THINGS GONNA HAPPEN. An cylindrical 18650 cell is just a pouch pack rolled up like a tootsie pop with a hardshell and less energy density per volume. TBH, I rather be able to see if my cells are starting to puff/damage with a pouch and deal with it rather than have no idea until the 18650 cell pops and destroys the entire pack, bike, and etc.

regardless of what cells you get, always charge in the garage or outside and disconnect power when not in use of all circuits. put in an ammo box with possible sand extinguisher setup for off season. take a look at video below, no where did the actual LiFePo catch on fire it just puffs and vents hot gas. Safest is LTO but that is expensive and heavy; you can literally saw it in half and nothing bad will happen, LOL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzt9RZ0FQyM

I dont mean to doubt you but I doubt you find a powerful hub kit from a USA seller. Just trying to manage your expectations; I could be wrong. Cyclone does not come with PAS but I will try to make it usable in my YT channel via 3 speed switch and the app.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 20 2020 5:37pm

Skywaulker wrote:
Aug 20 2020 1:02pm
I've dialed back on the power I was originally looking at in regards to everybodys comments.

I was looking at this:

https://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-b ... t-987.html

Would this be a good choice? Is this also the correct option for a rear hub motor for my setup?
That is without shipping. Shipping is like $155 and then I think the kit is still from China they are just a middle man but they can still get it to you in 5-10 days so they say. I know because I asked about the 60V 1500W hub motor from them. If you are going to dial it back, the leaf kit cost what $600 with shipping. I would rather get a Bafang BBSHD hot rod mode with a PAS. Its just a little more expensive and you will love the quality of the BBSHD, display, and just refinest of the kit. The leaf bike is fine but its just a generic china kit. A lil more and you get a quality Bafang, yes I know it still China I am not bashing on China; its just China has different levels of quality and genericness.

One of the good things about the Cyclone is that it has a controller that can accept a range of voltages so 36-72V nominal. I have a 60V but I fooked up one of my cells so to be safe I need to pair down my battery to a 52V. I can do that with the Cyclone no problemo and when I am ready I will do a 74V battery from 52V. I just loose 2V on the Cyclone as I wont charge battery to full but then I can also lower the low voltage cut off to make up some lost power/range. The cyclone is not refined; it has no native PAS and no display (voltage LED only). It has an app but the thing is useless except for pairing down the throttle. I will try to make the PAS usable but thats gonna be a while. However, the Cyclone is the cheapest at like $350-400 shipped and has a controller with a range of voltage (36-72). BBSHD has a 72V option too but you gotta get it from ERT and then install it onto your motor; should not be difficult with patience but its not like the Cyclone where you can literally just swap or add batteries (series) to get to 72V.

IMO, if you are going 52V go for the BBSHD from luna. Their website is ultra confusing so I would just email, chat, or call them. You would be happy with the speed, PAS, throttle, and torque of a mid drive. I would go with that LiFePo battery from ebay but research it. I feel LiFePo is very safe and these prices are good. When many of the other folks started here, we would pay 2-3x for that same battery you are going to start with.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Balmorhea » Aug 20 2020 9:54pm

bakaneko wrote:
Aug 20 2020 5:37pm
I would rather get a Bafang BBSHD hot rod mode with a PAS. Its just a little more expensive and you will love the quality of the BBSHD, display, and just refinest of the kit.
Bafang BBSHD is a nicer kit, but I don’t think it is a very good introduction to e-biking (except for folks who really enjoy wrenching on their bikes).

I paid about the same including shipping for my BBS02 kit as I did for my Leaf 1500W kit (hub only, no wheel laced to it). But in the first year or so, I spent approximately the BBS02’s purchase cost just replacing broken and worn-out parts that have not needed any special attention on my hub motor bike. Mid drive is more expensive overall, with more down time. It’s more fun and engaging to ride, but also more demanding.
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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by AngryBob » Aug 21 2020 5:45am

There is another new user in your situation.

He came to the conclusion that he needs to STOP planning and spend a few months reading.

He is a wise man.

You did get a good deal on a decent bike. You did NOT repeat NOT get a bike that is at ALL suitable for what you currently think you want to do.

Do you intend to register your 40+mph bike legally, which is essentially not possible, or do you live in an area with minimal law enforcement, or maybe you have a "cloak of limited visibility"?

Seperate what you WANT, what you NEED, and what you HAVE TO HAVE. A 40 mph ebike that is also safe for the street, AND reliable as a 9-5 commuter, assuming your job falls in the "have to have" category, is certainly possible, but for $1000, it ain't happening.

Reliable, safe, with the bike you have, legal, for $1000, you get 20-25mph, IF repeat IF you choose very carefully, with FAR MORE knowledge than you possess right now.

Start with learning how LIPO and LIFEPO4 are very, very different. Think long and hard about those differences, and attempt to understand there are many, many more such things which you simply do not yet currently understand.

Unless you have lots of money to waste, and even if you do, you are going to mess yourself up unmercifully if you don't spend some serious research effort.
"Not being treated like a dumb dick is one of the incentives we have to become less stupid." - Balmorhea.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 21 2020 9:38am

AngryBob wrote:
Aug 21 2020 5:45am
There is another new user in your situation.

He came to the conclusion that he needs to STOP planning and spend a few months reading.

He is a wise man.

You did get a good deal on a decent bike. You did NOT repeat NOT get a bike that is at ALL suitable for what you currently think you want to do.

Do you intend to register your 40+mph bike legally, which is essentially not possible, or do you live in an area with minimal law enforcement, or maybe you have a "cloak of limited visibility"?

Seperate what you WANT, what you NEED, and what you HAVE TO HAVE. A 40 mph ebike that is also safe for the street, AND reliable as a 9-5 commuter, assuming your job falls in the "have to have" category, is certainly possible, but for $1000, it ain't happening.

Reliable, safe, with the bike you have, legal, for $1000, you get 20-25mph, IF repeat IF you choose very carefully, with FAR MORE knowledge than you possess right now.

Start with learning how LIPO and LIFEPO4 are very, very different. Think long and hard about those differences, and attempt to understand there are many, many more such things which you simply do not yet currently understand.

Unless you have lots of money to waste, and even if you do, you are going to mess yourself up unmercifully if you don't spend some serious research effort.
he wants to ride before the season is over in the midwest. legally? half the bikes on this forum are not "legal". just be sensible and dont do 40 in a 25 mph zone. this shit is not that complicated. pick a motor kit, spend a bit more for quality if possible, buy the biggest battery you can get with good discharge rate and go. RED with RED and BLACK with BLACK. Unless you are color blind this is not all that complicated. i did gas motor bikes for a while and that is more complicated than ebikes and even that is not that complicated. and, you can have multiple ebikes. its not like the first has to be damn near perfect and have 20 safety redundencies. Vortecks has like 4-5 reiterations to get it just right, but each iteration was fine as a bike.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Tommm » Aug 21 2020 3:44pm

You won't find anything coming close to these guys in value.

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400029865 ... cae&is_c=Y
https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400083839 ... 3d22GrzX7T

48v packs are higher wh, better value.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by E-HP » Aug 21 2020 4:53pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 21 2020 3:44pm
You won't find anything coming close to these guys in value.

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400029865 ... cae&is_c=Y
https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400083839 ... 3d22GrzX7T

48v packs are higher wh, better value.
How is their shipping time?

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by bakaneko » Aug 21 2020 8:30pm

E-HP wrote:
Aug 21 2020 4:53pm
Tommm wrote:
Aug 21 2020 3:44pm
You won't find anything coming close to these guys in value.

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400029865 ... cae&is_c=Y
https://m.aliexpress.com/item/400083839 ... 3d22GrzX7T

48v packs are higher wh, better value.
How is their shipping time?
saids before 10/30 or refund. not a bad deal for kit + battery. nice lcd display too.

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Re: My First eBike - I'm Overwhelmed..

Post by Tommm » Aug 22 2020 1:59am

E-HP wrote:
Aug 21 2020 4:53pm

How is their shipping time?
Ship time isn't great, at least to europe. I asked for air shipping quote instead of ground, they said $80 extra but it wouldn't be any faster, do I still want it. :lol:

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