I now have about 500 miles on my build completed in April and everything is working well enough that I am ready to call it a success.
Original bike: Easy Racer Tour Easy, vintage about 2002. The only major upgrade was the back rim about three years back – most of one’s weight is on the back wheel and the original rim was too flimsy. I had about 5000 miles on the bike pre-electric, but the 9-mile each way commute would take 45-50 minutes each way and that is hard to do all the time. Now it takes 22-25 minutes, less than five minutes longer than it takes me in my truck, and I can do it more often.
Motor / controller kit: Leaf bike “Newest 20 inch 48V 1000W” with their default winding.
$283 + some oh my god cost for shipping. Actually, it was only $143 for shipping.
$18 for a torque arm. Leaf seems perfectly happy to provide a custom winding and in retrospect I would ask for a slower winding with more torque; though I don’t face many hills here I might someday want to.
I know that everyone says that rear-wheel drive is better but I really very much like the feel of the front wheel drive on the recumbent. It pulls you through curves, and having some extra weight in front feels more balanced than the original, where I was always worried about the light front slipping. The two-wheel drive goes well on grass and gravel, though a recumbent is never going to be a mountain bike.
A Tour Easy is designed to be stable at speed, and this really works. The fastest I have gone on flat ground is 35 mph, and I routinely run 30 on smooth low-traffic roads on my way home from work. This is completely comfortable and I feel totally in control. These speeds are with me peddling in the highest gear, adding 100-200 watts at most. I still have a fairing to put on to add to the speed / efficiency.
The biggest trouble I had in the installation was that the original brake-shifters are integrated. I moved them forward and I now have extra brake handles that do nothing. The shifters are now in a bit awkward position but with the motor I only rarely shift out of the highest gear.
I did not install the peddle assist. The throttle is a bit sensitive but I use the cruise control a lot of the time. I have still not figured out how to turn on or use the regen brake ability that is supposedly there.
The wires are all to long for where I have the controller but they are too short to get the controller back to behind the seat. They are a bit ugly but I wanted to make sure on the controller placement before I did anything drastic. I may shorten the wires some rainy day.
Battery: 23.4 amp-hour 48 V. I made this from 13s9p 2600mah cells. Here are the batteries:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/32pcs-lo ... 78553.html
and I have found they meet spec on testing.
Here is the BMS:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Electric ... 13150.html
I am listing the sources just because I think it would have helped me the first time. Here are a few other minor parts and the charger:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-PC-1M- ... 80149.html
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/54-6V2A- ... 97147.html
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-18650- ... 03364.html
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Flat-Wid ... 67182.html
The battery box is made from acrylic sheets and with clear shrink-wrap, clear tape, and clear silicone, you can see everything in the box clearly, including all my bad solders and spot welds..
I have about $400 in the battery, plus an infinite amount of time. It is a hobby.
Headlight: $6.20 on ebay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/111410166376?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
It is 300 lumens, which is ok. I have to bike home from work after dark pretty often and an ordinary bike light just doesn’t do it. I extended the wires with lamp wire and a DC 2.1 plug and I hook this directly into the charger port of the battery.
I have bought both a new front and new rear tire, total about $45. I wanted something wider and with more tread than the originals.
I figure I spent about $50 on wires, shrink-wrap, waterproofing, pull-ties, etc.
So total out-of-pocket was around $960. I figure that every day that I ride it to work instead of taking my truck I am making a payment on the bike, and it will have paid for itself by sometime next spring.