Electric motors on bicycles


Old 02-04-11, 06:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Greece
Posts: 103
Electric motors on bicycles

Hi! I was recently checking some diy projects on the net where electric motors and batteries are placed on bicycles. This with a speed controller gives a boost on the bicycle and some seemed to be very fast.
The battery packs seem to come on either 24, 36 or 48 volt packs, and the motors are placed instead of a hub on the rear wheel. Then a speed controller is placed on the handlebar.
I read this book called "Bicycle science" and I remember reading there that an average rider produces an average 500 watts of power on a bicycle. Some of the projects that I checked on the net claimed to produce 1000watts... Is that something to worry about? If I make such a conversion am I just looking forward to a broken chain and a cracked frame? (if not a horrible accident )
The weight gain is rather substantial too, about 4kg for the battery pack and another 3kg for the motor. If those are installed in a 14kg bike then the total is about 21kg which is not very light at all. Do you think that I could possibly use a electric hub motor with a quick-release pin on the wheel? In that case I could just remove the motor wheel and battery and have a second wheel with a normal hub too.
Do you think its a good idea to make such a conversion on a bicycle? I was thinking of making something like that for going uphill.

Last edited by Volnix; 02-04-11 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 02-05-11, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,801
Hi Volnix,
I'm afraid you have more information on these products than I do as I haven't seen many on this side of the pond. Years ago my shop sold Motobecane Mopeds and they did present a problem with being able to go much faster than the riders were prepared for. Add-on motors were a friction drive and huge. Motor technology has improved greatly and although a bit out of the traditional biking methods, I would suspect they will pull more than their own weight.

Look for one you can test ride if you can.


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