Author Topic: Electric wheels  (Read 2338 times)

Tigerrr

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Electric wheels
« on: August 14, 2011, 01:19:07 pm »
A couple of nights ago a bloke went past me on an MTB with an electric rear wheel (I think) he was going at extraordinary pace holding easily in freewheel with the traffic - overtaking on a bit of pedal - as he went down Holland Park. I thought electric assists were generally slow but he was flying.  Going like a moped not a cycle!
This has got me thinking about possibility of putting a powered rear wheel on my speedmachine commuter. It is heavy and a pain uphill anyway - the idea of a zippy powered option is attractive. For those lazy days - plus being able to crank up really fast speeds. Do such motors exist or was I imagining mr speedyboy?
Most electric assists seem to me to be almost retarded in performance - are there sportier models out there?
I have had a quick look but can't see anything immediately that is a replacement rear wheel with a good motor. Any forum experience? Is it a very bad idea?
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Biggsy

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2011, 01:53:35 pm »
Aren't they supposed to be limited to 15 mph by law?

I wouldn't be surprised if there's some mod you can make to a "legal" kit to make it go faster.  I would want to be able to do at least 20 mph, if not 25 mph.  I think you'll get stopped by the fuzz if they spot you whizzing along at 45 mph - except if you're wearing a motorcycle helmet and number plate!  :)

Incidentally, the Bluebird people are due to be attempting an electric car speed record today.
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Gus

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2011, 02:03:06 pm »
I know that one of the older models could be overclocked, so it performed significantly better.

Then again he can be riding on an American model that produce  500 Watt and first stops at 45 km/h.

interzen

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 02:04:18 pm »
Have a shufti at www.electricbikemag.co.uk - should help to point you in the right direction.

If memory serves, it's the power output which is limited by law, the consequence of which tends to be a top speed of around 15mph anyway.

Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 02:30:49 pm »
According to an article in the January edition of the CTC mag -
"1983 Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) Regulations - The main restriction is no assistance above 15mph with limits on power and weight of 200W and 40kg for solo machines."  It continues to say "most European countries allow a little more to 25kph but cut it whenever the rider is not pedalling, in Britain you can have  a hand throttle and get power when freewheeling".  Of the future they say "Britain will fall in line with the European standard EN15149 allowing 25kph and 250W".

A point of the limit is so that electrically powered mopeds do not fall into this description since they require helmets, insurance, type approval etc.  So if anybody is riding an electrically assisted machine that does not fall inside EN15149 they are on very dodgy ground and I hope they get caught because if this lawbreaking becomes too popular then it will be more ammunition for people wanting tests/tax/insurance and so on for true pedal cyclists.

Editted to add -
Several times in the last couple of years I've ridden with people who use electrical assistance.  The installations I've seen have been in the front hub on road/touring bikes and on Moultons where the battery sits nice and low on the carrier.  I cannot recall any of the manufacturer's names right now.

Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 03:05:42 pm »
The latest A to B (www.atob.org.uk) has a review of a bike with a BionX Rear hub motor. It was well regarded by the AtoBers; but it's pricey.

Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 05:37:08 pm »
I was (almost) convinced of my unfitness by one of these, bloke overtook me and I didn't see anything other than a bicycle. After 5 miles chasing him (he didn't deign to stop at lights) and near blowing up I caught and passed him( in St Giles, Oxford if you are reading this mr man).
       Realising it was an electric assist I cried in indignation "that's cheating" obviously having humiliated others in this way he just laughed, I am researching a rocket boost to make toast of people like this  :P
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Biggsy

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 05:43:13 pm »
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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 06:08:53 pm »
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Biggsy

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 06:12:40 pm »
Incidentally, a wheel fell off the electric Bluebird car I mentioned above, so it couldn't break the record today  :(
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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 06:22:28 pm »
I was (almost) convinced of my unfitness by one of these, bloke overtook me and I didn't see anything other than a bicycle. After 5 miles chasing him (he didn't deign to stop at lights) and near blowing up I caught and passed him( in St Giles, Oxford if you are reading this mr man).
       Realising it was an electric assist I cried in indignation "that's cheating" obviously having humiliated others in this way he just laughed, I am researching a rocket boost to make toast of people like this  :P


Won't you have to pass them before you can toast them?

Tigerrr

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2011, 11:53:55 am »
There is a wheel on the BIONX website that delivers 500w - this looks like the sort of thing I might have in mind.  However there appears to be a legality issue - only legal in Switzerland. Drat.
I am sure there are ways round that given it would only be used on private property. Not ever for zooming around London.
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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2011, 04:53:44 pm »
Absolutely  ;D

I was (almost) convinced of my unfitness by one of these, bloke overtook me and I didn't see anything other than a bicycle. After 5 miles chasing him (he didn't deign to stop at lights) and near blowing up I caught and passed him( in St Giles, Oxford if you are reading this mr man).
       Realising it was an electric assist I cried in indignation "that's cheating" obviously having humiliated others in this way he just laughed, I am researching a rocket boost to make toast of people like this  :P


Won't you have to pass them before you can toast them?
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.

Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 11:12:23 pm »
I can vouch for the Bionx, I have one on my Scorpion FS commuter and I fly uphills, not really much use if you maintain 15mph under human power but up hills I breeze past just about any roadie.  They're silent too which adds to their bewilderment as this laidback fattish bloke on 3 wheels with panniers and a fairing comes past apparently pedalling furiously (which I am, it's a pedelec so you only get back what you put in) at twice (or more) their speed.

Get the HT (high torque) for the hills.

Tigerrr

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2011, 02:29:50 pm »
I can vouch for the Bionx, I have one on my Scorpion FS commuter and I fly uphills, not really much use if you maintain 15mph under human power but up hills I breeze past just about any roadie.  They're silent too which adds to their bewilderment as this laidback fattish bloke on 3 wheels with panniers and a fairing comes past apparently pedalling furiously (which I am, it's a pedelec so you only get back what you put in) at twice (or more) their speed.

Get the HT (high torque) for the hills.

Aplogies not familiar with the scorpion - is it a recumbent? Is yours the 500w version or the 250w?  When you say not much use over 15mph - do you mean you get no additional push? I was really wanting something that would put me into the 30mph zone.  Incidentally Bionx in switzerland on radio silence re direct imports - huh.
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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 09:45:34 pm »
The Scorpion is HPVelotechnic's recumbent tadpole trike,  the FS is full suspension.

The only Bionx you can get in the UK is the 250W and you need the HT version if it's  hilly. The controller limits the speed where you can have assist to 15mph then it cuts out. I view mine as an uphill and awesome acceleration assist and it's great. It makes a 60 mile, 6000ft of climbing round trip commute possible. It increases my average speed by around 50%.

Bionx make 350 and 500W versions but they are only legal in some places, not the UK! Early Bionx versions could be overridden to defeat the limits but they've made the new version tamper proof it seems.

Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2011, 08:57:18 am »
I see a couple of regular electric assist cyclists in Hyde Park.  One older gent has 5 different electric bikes, including that lovely Gocycle design.  It looks so beautiful and classy.  He also has another one with very chunky tyres, almost those of a scooter, and the whole thing looks like a bicycle crossed with a motorcycle.

There's a different rider with this same model of bike, and I'm sure his is illegally modified as he often comes through at 20mph plus.
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Tigerrr

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2011, 02:46:14 pm »
I see a couple of regular electric assist cyclists in Hyde Park.  One older gent has 5 different electric bikes, including that lovely Gocycle design.  It looks so beautiful and classy.  He also has another one with very chunky tyres, almost those of a scooter, and the whole thing looks like a bicycle crossed with a motorcycle.

There's a different rider with this same model of bike, and I'm sure his is illegally modified as he often comes through at 20mph plus.

I wonder if he is the guy I saw that prompted this interest - really blasting along Notting Hill.  Sounds like it might be. My guy was doing well over 20.  It was an immediate IWOOT for me.
I have established that the thing I seek is illegal on the street in the UK - hence trying to import direct from switzerland.
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Biggsy

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2011, 05:12:59 pm »
Heinzmann kits were suggested as being good on http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=51244.msg1031686 - and their blurb does look impressive, claiming their motors are superior to others, etc.

I can't find the page that mentions the exact speeds now, but I think you can buy a non-road-legal one that will propel you to around 20mph or just over from Kinetics in the UK.   http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/the_motor1.shtml . You can also modify the controller - just by snipping one component lead - to override the pedalling sensor, to enable power without pedalling.

Go much faster than that and you risk being stopped by the fuzz.

It's not illegal to sell non "road-legal" stuff in the UK because you can legally use it on private road and paths, so you don't necessarily have to import from abroad.
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Valiant

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2011, 12:38:26 pm »
O.oh regenerative braking? I wonder if it's possible to link two motor wheels and build them into my trailer for the sound system with a common use battery for the wheels + sound system.
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Biggsy

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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2011, 05:06:07 pm »
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Re: Electric wheels
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2011, 10:16:12 am »
I reckon if you're going for one of these call it straight and get a motor bike
The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves, and wiser men so full of doubt.