Any advice on buying an E-assist folding bike ?

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
belgiangoth
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Any advice on buying an E-assist folding bike ?

Postby belgiangoth » 29 May 2018, 9:11pm

My Mother-in-law thinks she needs an electric assist, so it's worth spending the cash to get her the independence and mobility. I was thinking some sort of electric assist folder, possibly with a BB motor as opposed to on the wheel (not that she will change punctures, but so that someone else/I can without being put off by the electrickery). What's good and what's to be avoided?
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

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robgul
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby robgul » 30 May 2018, 7:47am

Unless you are going to spend upwards of about £2,000 I would avoid an electric folder - there are some real rubbish ones around at prices from about £300 - very heavy, poor manufacture and wheel motors.

... and for an upright much below the £1,000 price point is not worth considering.

There is an electric bike forum called Pedelecs (although the discussion is frequently of the rant variety ... ranging to puerile - in my view - just the odd useful item)

Have a look at EBCO - they sell a few different brands of reasonable quality machines (I sell a few in the shop as well as the Roux ebike)

Rob

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Cunobelin
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby Cunobelin » 30 May 2018, 9:41am

My MiL went down this route and it extender her cycling by some 15 years!

Take a step back, and look at the type of bike she rides. This is in some ways more important as if the bike is uncomfortable, then it will not be ridden, assisted or not

Also look at conversion kits, it can be cheaper to convert the bike she already has than buy something new.

Bear in mind though that there are restrictions, you can buy quite few illegal kits!

250 w output and 15mph assistance are the limits

hemo
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby hemo » 30 May 2018, 9:50am

Mid/crank drive folders aren't cheap and are mostly heavy like hub drive's at about 23kg.

The stand out lightest bike is the British designed and built GOCYCLE GS 16KG.
Other midrives Riese & Muller Tinker.
Tern Vektron.
Haibike Radius

All well over 2K.

For cheaper hub drive folders Brompton have an E version front hub bike otherwise look at Woosh bikes, Wisper bikes aka Amps and Juicy. The later three although make hub drive folders have exempalry customer services.

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Cunobelin
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby Cunobelin » 30 May 2018, 9:52am

The other thing that could be suggested are "solid tyres" to solve the puncture problem.

They have limitations to performance, but unless she is travelling at full speed and drifting round corners, it is unlikely that she will approach the performance limits

hemo
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby hemo » 30 May 2018, 10:07am

A low step thru (dutch style) E -bike is another easy use option depending on bike storage a lot more mid drive options available with Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano steps drives.
The only disadvantage with these drives is they are expensive to maintain/repair should a fault occur after the warranty period of two years is over and there are a lot of incidents of motors having to be exchanged with in warranty periods. Worth enquiring about warranty extensions for future piece of mind.
These motors are not repairable by dealers and are simply sent off to the manufacturer for an exchange motor to be fitted, though often at this point the two year motor warranty starts again I believe.

reohn2
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby reohn2 » 30 May 2018, 10:41am

If she's got a bike already then I'd recommend a conversion kit,I looked long and hard before converting out Circe tandem and we're more than happy with the result.
I think battery capacity needs to be thought of in conjunction with estimated mileage per trip,ours has a 35 to 40mile range with a 17ah battery,solo that would extend by at least 30 to 40% IMO,but if the bike is only used for shorter journeys a smaller battery is all that's needed.

We bought ours from these people:- http://www.electric-bike-conversions.co ... -kits.html who were very helpful and honest about their kits,they do front or rear wheel or BB drive units with a variety of battery packs to suit.
They will fit for a fee but TBH the fitting is a doddle to an average person without much electrical knowledge as it's all plug ins and changing a wheel,though the mid/BB drive until may be a little more involved mechanically but if you can change a BB unit I can't see it being a problem.

Otherwise as Robgul says don't buy cheap if buying a complete bike
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QueenClaudia
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby QueenClaudia » 30 May 2018, 5:04pm

Hi there.

I have arthritis in my knee and could no longer manage hills so my husband bought me an electric bike, although it isn't a folding type one.

We got it from Whoosh and it's a Dutch style, comfortable sit up riding position. Called Santana I think and was just under £1,000.

They do different sizes and have a petit size and one for over 16 stone which is called The Big Bear.

Can recommend the company they seem very good and knowledgeable.

Paul20v
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby Paul20v » 30 May 2018, 5:06pm

robgul wrote:
There is an electric bike forum called Pedelecs (although the discussion is frequently of the rant variety ... ranging to puerile - in my view - just the odd useful item)


Rob

Your not wrong there with the pedelec forum
Theres more moaning and general abuse than anything else unless your into politics that does seem to be its main interest which I find strange for an ebike forum
There not all Pratt’s in there but the majority seems to be the norm.

gregoryoftours
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby gregoryoftours » 31 May 2018, 8:13pm

We have quite an expensive and good quality e folder at work. I can't remember the brand but due to the small wheel size and power of the motor (it's a rear wheel drive) the front wheel wants to launch itself skywards worryingly easily. Front drive e-bike models of any type can be quite dicey in conditions where traction isn't great. We loan out mid drive bikes with Bosch and Shimano motors respectively. I feel that the power transfer is smoothest and most predictable with Shimano steps system. Both Bosch and Shimano mid drive e bikes are top dollar, of course. Ours are in the region of 2k.

rotavator
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby rotavator » 1 Jun 2018, 9:55am

Gregoryoftours:

Are the Shimano steps drive units reliable? If so, can you recommend an e-bike with a steps drive and a conventional top tube, i.e. diamond frame, please.

Mark R
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby Mark R » 1 Jun 2018, 11:53am

I'm going to blow against the wind here and say that It ought to be possible to get a decent performing ebike for well under £1000

For this price it would be a hub motor design but IMO the pros of mid drives only outweigh the cons in hilly areas....

You get what you pay for to some extent but in my experience the generic Chinese kit is pretty decent. A major advantage of generic Chinese products vs something more 'boutique' is that DIY repairs are possible using inexpensive 'off the shelf' parts. With more high end products repairs are less straightforward and buyers can end up getting held to ransom by the importers/agents.

If you have an eye for build quality, and price is a factor, then don't be scared of generic ebike brands. In China there are multiple factories all producing similar designs - the quality can be variable but not necessarily bad.

I can offer the example of my top of range German made Heinzmann hub motor which has failed and cannot be repaired with standard parts (and Heinzmann will not sell spares) vs a cheap 'no name' Chinese offering which is slightly less powerful but better in just about every other respect.

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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby hemo » 1 Jun 2018, 11:36pm

For hub kits best bang for your £ at the mo is the Yose hub kit from Yosepower.com shipped from their Berlin warehouse. 16 nub kit's on offer all with KT(Kunteng) software and lcd's etc.
I have a 36v kit which I run at 48v with a 20a controller and it draws nigh on 900w in assist level 5, I obtained nearly 30mph in a one off test I did just to try out it's true potential.

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Cunobelin
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby Cunobelin » 5 Jun 2018, 10:45am

hemo wrote:For hub kits best bang for your £ at the mo is the Yose hub kit from Yosepower.com shipped from their Berlin warehouse. 16 nub kit's on offer all with KT(Kunteng) software and lcd's etc.
I have a 36v kit which I run at 48v with a 20a controller and it draws nigh on 900w in assist level 5, I obtained nearly 30mph in a one off test I did just to try out it's true potential.


...... and totally illegal for use on public roads in the UK

To be road legal in the UK it must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph

Also requires type approval, insurance, a License, VED and registration, including visible number plates

hemo
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Re: e-bike, is this the right place to ask

Postby hemo » 5 Jun 2018, 1:56pm

Most ebikes produce more than 250w max output, the motor rating is a test of the motor without overheating at 250w continuous.
Legal OEM ebikes sold have motor rating of 250w, most will have a 15a max rated controller for a 36v system the output nominal wattage is 540w and legal. With a fully charged battery at max wattage it can be as high as 620w.
What counts is not the wattage output but the manufacturers motor rating. There is no stipulation of amps applied however max battery stated is 48v, though manufacturers take it to be nominal 48v which is 54.6v fully charged.
A legal 48v ebike with 250W rated motor will have nominal wattage output of over 720w - 960w.