There is often a trade off in life, one thing for another. Eg. The more organic you want your broccoli, the less money you’ll have to spend on beer. The more beer you drink, the worse you’ll feel in the morning. Well, the trade off in electric biking is the faster you go, the less distance you can cover. If you stick your head out of a car that’s not moving you don’t feel any wind. If you stick it out the window at 100km/h then it’ll blow your ears off. That increase in air friction is essentially the drag that you have to overcome with either pedalling or electric motor. The faster you go, the more friction there is and hence your distance will be less. It’s not a linear relationship either, which is what creates a problem for people wanting to travel long distances at higher speeds. A customer needed to travel the 35km he was commuting daily but wanted to do it at 35km/h and not 25k/h so opted for a 500W motor. He could manage this distance with an 11.6Ah 36V Panasonic tube battery but when his need increased to travel 70km he had to get more battery power. We did this by getting another 11.6Ah tube battery and running them in parallel. Doing this is very simple, you take the red leads from the battery and crimp them together and do the same to the black ones. Then connect this to the controller. You can control which battery you use by the switches on the bottoms of the batteries. Running them both together gives you a slightly greater speed. All worked well and he’s a happy customer covering a lot of ground through the week.
These are two of our greatest creations of late. One is a little baby girl and the 2nd is a downhill bike converted with a Bafang mid drive motor. The mid drive kits are really well worth a visit, they’re a little more comlicated than hub motors to set up but have some nice features. The Bafang (8fun) kit is probably the best on the market as a retro fit kit. They’re available in powers of between 250-1000W. This one here is the 750W model and it runs a 48V 11.6Ah SAMSUNG lithium ion battery. The battery had to be attached upside down on the down tube as often with dual suspension bikes there is no room within the frame. Rack mounted bikes are tricky also as unless it’s a seatpole mounted battery it won’t work. This bike rides like a dream, it gets about 25km range on the top level at about 45km/h. The mid-drive kits allow you to run through the gears so essentially speed depends on the gearing system. This one still delivers power at slightly above 50km/h but that’s pedalling at top speed as well. Larger chain rings are available if you need to go faster but that is pretty quick on a bicycle. Once you ride a dual suspension bike it’s hard to go back. It feels like a combination of a flying carpet, bicycle and hover board.
Vallkree are a group from Byron Bay who are designing, building and importing some pretty good looking electric bikes. We’ve got a few on our shop floor now so if you’re interested in this style of bike then please come by and take one for a spin. They have a rear wheel motor, pedal assist and also open throttle control. They’re suprisingly comfortable and look great. They have a variety of styles, accessories and colours available. Please check out their website here.
One of our new eye catchers is the converted Norco Indie with a mid-drive conversion kit. Before conversion, this was already a great bike with 8-speed gears, disc brakes and a stiff frame. We converted the Norco Indie to an electric pedal assisted bike featuring a 750 Watt Bafang mid-drive motor which together with a 48V 11.6Ah battery will take you quickly to your destination. The mid drive motor assists you pedalling along the streets while you enjoy your morning-midday or afternoon rides. All in all, a great bike that will draw some looks with you riding it.
This is the GIANT Halfway. It’s a folding bike that was interesting in its production because both wheels had stub axles, if you look closely you’ll notice that there is only one side to the fork and only half a rear triangle. This made installing a hub motor impossible so we put on one of the new SOLAR BIKE mid-drive kits. These new motors are smaller than all of the other ones and they come with torque sensing. It came together beautifully and performance of the bike was only changed by having lovely and smooth electric assistance coming from the cranks. Another nice custom conversion!
The brand new La Belle reinvents an old Malvern Star name from years gone by but wraps it up in a stylish and sophisticated modern way with more than a nod to the comfort and practicality of the famous ‘Dutch’ style ladies bikes. Whatever outfit you’re wearing, its ready to simply get on and enjoy the ride. Made even better with a Solar Bike long range 36v 17ah rack battery electric conversion at Ace Cyclery.
This is my old mountain bike – called the Centurion – that’s probably how long it would have lay about not getting used until I converted it to electric. I took it into the Solar Bike shop in Fremantle and put on a pretty beefy kit! It’s got a rear wheel 1000W motor and 48V battery now and the boys in there let me put it all together in the shop and give it a basic service for free – well I bought them a slab of beer actually for their assistance. Was great to have their experience with the assembly work. A couple of new tyres, some new cables and pads and it was the best birthday present a bike could get. It goes like brand new but feels like Cadel Evans is pedalling it for me. It’s made life much easier getting around town now. No traffic, no sweat, no public transport stress and no more cost for me getting around for a few years till I need a new battery. The bike is great to ride but the motor is a bit fast. I can’t keep up to the speed of the motor when I pedal so I’ll either have to get a few more teeth on the front cog or else ease up a bit on the throttle. I love it and suprisingly am getting a pretty good daily workout
Bill, Feb 2016
This was a conversion put together by Ace Cyclery for a customer who had a light weight carbon Colnago. Some purists may be appalled at making such a beautiful thing electric but not the customer or creator. It was a challenge to find a suitable fork and some handlebar modifications were performed but now it is an increidbly light weight electric bike that will cover thousands more kilometres than it already has. It has a 400Wh Panasonic lithium ion battery in the frame and a light mini-motor up front. On a bike like this with a little input you could easily expect a 50km range. The new upright riding position will make it very comfortable.
Ace Cyclery, February 2016
The Boda Boda is an elegant looking cargo bike made by YUBA. The step through version is very nice but it’s hard to find somewhere to locate the battery when converting it to become electric. Alex, the crafty mechanic from South Beach Cycles, has found a solution. He cuts and laminates a piece of ply wood and creates a 2nd layer under the carrier rack. With holes in the correct locations it’s possible to turn the switch on and off and also get the key in there to remove the battery. If you’re looking for an electric cargo bike then these guys are the ones to visit for sure.
Here we have a couple of electric bikes we put together and they couldn’t have been more like chalk and cheese. The first one was brought in by a customer and in all honesty it was such a piece of junk that it was hard to talk the customer out of converting it. Anyway, ahead we went and put on the motor and battery he wanted. In the end, we had to put a new rear wheel on, new brakes, new cables, new seat post brackets etc. Was a lot of work scrubbing the grit out of the chain but in the end it was a pleasant surprise and it rode ok.
The next bike however was a pleasure to put together. A new Carpe 50 from ORBEA, everything went together so smoothly and the bike ran like a dream. This is really a top model for a great price. We used the Panasonic 11.6Ah 36V lithium ion tube battery pack and a rear mounted hub motor. These bikes have such nice geometry for a flat bar road style bike that it feels more like a hybrid but with great handling. All up a busy morning here.
Solar Bike, January 2016