Okay, so I imagine I will be shunned by some in the biking community for getting into my latest venture; an electric bike.
What? an electric bike? Well, I took an ordinary commuter bike, threw a big battery on the back and brushless motor hub up front. It has a solid state (electronic) controller that goes between the battery and the motor, and Cycle Analyst to meter my usage (speed, amp hours used, watts, voltage, etc).
Why in the world would I do this??? Well, I've been taking the bus into work everyday for the past three years, and I usually spend about two hours a day going back and forth. My goal was to get my on way commute on this bike down to under a half hour, and my best time yet is 27 minutes. By going back and for on this bike I just and hour of my life back everyday. Not bad. I'm a rather strong biker, but I don't have shower facilities at work and I'd rather save my legs for the trail instead of the road.
What's it like? It isn't super torqueeee, but it is pretty dang powerful. When I take off from an intersection, I usually start of pedaling (not necessary)and I blow the cars away. On flat ground I've topped out at 34 mph, and the range is around 25 miles.
I spent several weeks researching what I wanted out of a bike on www.endless-sphere.com, and purchased my kit from www.comcycle-usa.com.
What do I have wrapped up in this beast? I spent $450 for the bike (REI - Novara Buzz - with chromoly fork and disk brakes), $900 for the 600W BMC electric motor hub and controller w/ thumb throttle, $900 for the 48v 15 ah LiFePO4 battery, and $145 for the Cycle Analyst (stand alone). Sure I coulda got a motorcycle/scooter, but I at the traffic signals I got to the head of the class because I cruise down the bike lane.
Here's video of my project: