Since purchasing my electric bike (Solar Bike NUTCASE) 6 weeks ago I have travelled 1000 kilometers to and from work. The round trip is approximately 26 kilometres depending on the route I take. With the 500 watt motor I recharge at work. With minimal wind the battery handles it well but with head winds I need to put in quite a lot of effort and in my state of fitness this is hard. Yesterday I had someone ask if I had lost weight. He is the first person to do so. Without a big change in diet I have lost weight and had to buy new jeans. To help with the head winds, I have since fitted another battery and with Matt’s help put them into relay. I only turn on the second battery when head winds are strong or if I pushed myself hard the day before. My fitness is gradually increasing with this method, instead of pushing myself too hard, as at my age this could cause me health problems. If you are thinking of purchasing a e-bike I thoroughly recommend Matt from Solar Bike.
I just built this cruiser bike with a 200 watt mini-motor, it looks great and performs really well with the single speed gearing of the cruiser bike. The water tube bottle mounted well on the top bar and looks a little like a petrol tank. Very comfortable and stylish electric bike I think, perfect for around here in Sydney.
I used to cycle quite a bit with my daughter (now 4 years old) in the trailer for any trip less than 10km return. The trips got shorter with my second child (now 2 years old). But my main problem was my daily commute (2-3 times a week) to drop off the kids to their respective day care places and then go to work. It’s a 50km round trip and there is no way I could do that on a normal bike. I found driving frustrating and a waste of time and money. I then somehow thought of an ebike.
Since acquiring my 200W water tube battery conversion kit from Solar Bike about 6 months ago I have not only used it for my daily commute to work (I have a second charger that I leave at work) but also to go shopping, to the beach, playground and any other trips with safe cycling conditions less than 20-30km return. The kids are as happy in the trailer as they are in the car or pram, and mum is definitely much happier.
So far I haven’t come across a single slope where my ebike hasn’t been able to pull the three of us up. On a flat road without wind and light pedalling I travel at a speed of 20-25kph. Any faster would become dangerous in my opinion. Braking distance greatly increases with 2 kids at the back.
My only regret is that I hadn’t discovered Solar Bike earlier!
Elizabeth from Perth!
Having bought the 36V 200W front wheel mini motor and battery, I found myself wishing I had purchased a more powerful motor for the 50km per day commute. Rather than start again, I put a 1KW motor on the rear wheel and ramped up the voltage to 48V by purchasing another 36V and 12V battery to give me both range and speed.
The result: a range of 50km with light pedalling when using the front motor (which cruises at 33kph) or a range of 35km with light pedalling when switching to the rear motor on long straights (which cruises at 60kph). Essentially, using a combination of the two allows for the open road with the rear motor, and around town with the front motor give the best results. Common sense must apply – cars and people do not expect a cycle to come towards them at high speed so the rear motor is reserved for special circumstances – no traffic / cyclists / pedestrians in sight!
I have recommended Solar Bike to a couple of people who have taken the plunge and wished they had done so sooner. Some people may argue that this type of conversion distorts the definition of cycling, but I still pedal, and I am sure other cyclists would rather see me on the bike instead of breathing the fumes from my car. Now, where did I put my radar detector…
I just love my electric two-wheel drive (Australian designed) Cruzbike, which I have been using for five months. With the Solarbike hub motor on the rear it’s a dream to ride, the motor is so smooth and quiet.
I find saddles on upright bikes very uncomfortable, so always had a longing for those big seats I saw on recumbents. I purchased one of Cruzbike’s cheapest recumbents, their Sofrider model. It was a very steep learning curve riding this type of bike and it took a couple of weeks to get the hang of it; the hub motor is a great help for starting off uphill at the beginning.
Having just reached retirement, I was looking to make a bullet proof super reliable machine. After a bit of research I put on Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres and swapped the derailleurs for a Nuvinci CVP continuously variable transmission hub gear on the front. I researched various electrical assist options and Solarbike’s maintenance free, one moving part hub motor was the perfect choice! It was very easy to fit to my bike, I designed a simple aluminium holder for the battery and put the control box under the seat. I chose the larger 500 watt motor because I’m eventually planning to buy a trailer to take my two dogs regularly to the beach, with an all up weight of 26 KG, the extra power should help greatly up some of Albany’s hills.
As my riding is mostly recreational for keeping fit, I put as much effort into pedalling as I can. I use the motor minimally on flat roads, except with strong headwinds, and only use the throttle minimally on slight inclines just to maintain a reasonable speed. I use full power on steeper terrain. I do a regular two hour ride and only use 40% of the battery capacity. The electric boost is great for quickly getting across busy main roads. I have tried winding the power up on a quiet road just to see how it goes, it has amazing acceleration up to a high speed and is a very exciting ride!
I can highly recommend Solarbike products and you get great customer service.
Rupert from Albany, WA
I have visited China many times and witnessed the large amount of the population on bicycles, many of which were electrical, and they were being used for everything from transportation to commercial vehicles. I have been bicycling for over 50 years and realized that in the present world environment, this is the future. I have investigated the Internet for e bikes and was overwhelmed by the myriad of “kits” available for converting a normal bike to e bike status…some good and some not.
I decided to search for a proper bike candidate for conversion. I settled on a 2010 Fuji Crosstown 4. The bike is perfect for conversion. It has a high quality aluminum frame as utilized on the entire Crosstown line and a steel fork. The derailleur is a basic wide range Shimano 7 speed cluster. Finding the right conversion kit was a bit of a challenge. I finally discovered Solar Bike, and I immediately realized that this was the quality Green thinking company that I was looking for. After initial contact with Matt, and expressing my needs to him, we assembled a proper kit. It is a Swift mini-motor kit with thumb throttle. Continuing exchanges modified the kit for my specific use.
The whole project took a little while as I am in America and there were lots of emails passed, assembly took me about 3 hours. I also slightly modified the stock bike, including a softer saddle to accommodate my aging 70 year old body as well as a bipod type kickstand to better support the heavier load, front and rear racks, and a cup holder for hot coffee – very important! I am extremely satisfied with the final result. The bike is awesome and has been exceeding all my expectations. The quality of the product shows! Many people are amazed at the results! All the parts supplied are of the highest quality and I thank Matt for all his help, I could not have done this without him. I have already recommended Solar Bike to several people.
Alan Simon, Oxnard, California, USA
Here is my finished electrically converted Cross City 4. It has the 200W front mini-motor and the new 9Ah Panasonic tube battery. I just took it for a 21 km ride and it performed very well. I averaged 21.8 km/h, using power for all the uphill and acceleration. The battery is still showing 75% and I felt pretty fresh for an old dude without much fitness. I was pleased that there is very little rolling resistance from the motor and it is quite fast enough for my needs. I fitted a Spanninga 36V front light and wired this up to the tube battery and that works quite well.
Thanks for all your help with the bikes Matthew and I wish you every success.
Here’s my 500W converted bike with a battery put in a school lunch box with keyed relay inside. I made another torque bar for the other side of the hub that is not as flash as the one that comes with the kit but it is functional. The leads on the controller were just the right size for the bike and I kept the battery leads as short as possible. It works great, plenty of power and I barely need to pedal for any length of time up hills. I reckon a 48 volt controller with a 48 volt batery on a 36 volt hub would really make it go. I dont think it would do the motor any harm provided the duty cycle is kept low. At 65 years of age I still like a bit of excitement!!!