Motor/Battery Recommendations?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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JacobLeSann   1 µW

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Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by JacobLeSann » May 24 2021 1:50pm

Hey all, I’ve been in the process of building a velomobile for the past year and a half, and now that I’ve got more funds I’m thinking that I want to use an electric assist to pursue higher speeds. At the speeds I want, it really won’t be an exercise machine anymore, but I’d rather ride normal bicycles on my off-days for that purpose. The only problem is I have no experience with electronics; it’s quite literally like magic to me :). I’m willing to learn, though.


Here are the specifications I want:

-70-80 km/h max speed
-Highest range possible at 70-80 km/h; preferably at least more than 100km (it can be charged at both my workplaces and my grandma’s house in town, so a low range isn’t a deal breaker)
-20x1.50 wheels are what I’ve already built the frame for.
-Id prefer to use a rear wheel assist, which doesn’t need any brakes (it’s a tadpole trike)
-I’m 145-155 lbs (my weight fluctuates)
-I ride on flat prairie terrain with no wind coverage (I’m in Manitoba). There are no bike lanes and the pavement is absolute garbage. It’s 90% highway, with a short jaunt through town traffic, which I usually skip these days as the drivers are insane. Very little, if any, hills. The biggest obstacle is the wind, which can get up to 35-40 km/h sometimes. The wind has stunted my usual 45-50 min commute to over 2 hours sometimes, to give an idea.
-My budget is preferably lower than $2000, but I have saved $10,000. I’m only 20, though, so I need that money for my future.
-I want something that can handle cold, and any possible wet weather. The velomobile’s fairing should help quite a bit.
-I MUCH prefer quiet vehicles.
-At such speeds the pedals really won’t be useful, but I’d keep them in case the police somehow actually care. It would be cool to use them to charge the batteries for my extras (lights, signals, sound system, etc.)

I’m situated in Northern Manitoba, Canada, if that helps.
Last edited by JacobLeSann on May 24 2021 4:07pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by Chalo » May 24 2021 3:45pm

90 kph, on 20 inch wheels, on bad pavement. I don't think you'll enjoy that at all. Did you build any suspension into your trike?
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JacobLeSann   1 µW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by JacobLeSann » May 24 2021 4:09pm

Yep, it has full suspension, based on the types use in Cycle Kart racing. I think I’ll lower that top speed to 70-80 km/h. Just enough that I don’t get cars harassing me to get off the highway.

999zip999   100 GW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by 999zip999 » May 24 2021 4:14pm

Any pics ?

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by neptronix » May 24 2021 4:18pm

JacobLeSann wrote:
May 24 2021 4:09pm
I think I’ll lower that top speed to 70-80 km/h. Just enough that I don’t get cars harassing me to get off the highway.
Are you aware that you'd get busted pretty fast in your country for doing that?
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My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500 MTB.
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JacobLeSann   1 µW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by JacobLeSann » May 24 2021 4:22pm

Working on the front end rn, can take pics when I’m done. It’s essentially a Greenspeed Aero trike with a polymer suspension setup. Modified MTB fork in the rear, and sliding pillar suspension in the front, like a Manco Dingo. I’ve got a friend who builds bikes for Battle Mountain races, who’s helped me design the frame.

I’m aware, but I think I’d be fine locally. It’s a velomobile, and they can go that fast even without assist. I’ve been pulled over before, and it showed me that the local cops don’t even understand bike laws. I know a guy with a gas powered bike as well.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by dogman dan » May 25 2021 6:37am

Well, this is where I diverge from the pack here at ES. You want to keep up with traffic, be warm where its cold, etc.

One of these will do the trick nicely. Its fast, quiet for a motorcycle, and the fairing is outstanding in cold weather. Some engine heat is directed to your hands, which I find delightful. Surprisingly good exercise too riding a big motorcycle.
20107_0_1_4_r 1150 rt_Image by BMW. Published with permission..jpg
20107_0_1_4_r 1150 rt_Image by BMW. Published with permission..jpg (124.86 KiB) Viewed 212 times
But you of course want a bike. For that I cant stress enough, keep it down to bike like speeds. 40-50 kph is easy with any 48v, 1000w hub motor kit. So get a decent 48v kit, preferably from the outstanding Canadian dealer, Grin Technology.

qwerkus   10 kW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by qwerkus » May 25 2021 6:44am

Is this what we are talking about:
image.jpg
image.jpg (446.64 KiB) Viewed 210 times
Basically a tadpole trike with a fancy fairing ? In that case 90km/h active (driven by motor power) is pure suicide. Even 45km/h active is quite dangerous, especially when cornering. You need special motorcycle clothing + helmet, plus a motorcycle license. Wouldn't recommend it though. One crash at that speed, and it's all gone. Like dogman pointed it, a motorcycle (they also make trikes) would be a better option.

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The Toecutter   10 kW

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Re: Motor/Battery Recommendations?

Post by The Toecutter » Jun 10 2021 11:41pm

If you described your vehicle's specs(especially wheel base, ground clearance, front track, length, width, height, mass, drivetrain components, tires, ect) and posted pics, I might be able to give you some good information. I built my own electric velomobile for slightly under $3k materials cost to replicate it, and have front suspension(link in my signature).

Your goals outlined are quite feasible in a custom build, depending on what will be consumed by your budget. Is the $2,000 for the bike PLUS EV components, or just the EV components? Describing what the bike has already, assuming it is now functional, will go a long way towards letting me know whether meeting that cost limit is feasible. Depending upon how slippery the design is, pedaling could actually be quite useful at 70-80 km/h speeds and possibly extend your range 50% or more vs. throttle-only operation. A stock Milan SL velomobile does 50 km/h on 150W and 80 km/h on 600W without any aerodynamic work or special tires, and with those things, an example has done close to 100 km/h using only 400W at Battle Mountain, NV. Yours probably won't be that slippery, but depending upon the design, it could still do well. Keep in mind a fit rider can probably do 150-200W continuous, and a professional athlete, up to 300W continuous.
Custom electric velomobile, 1500W: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=110298

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