Utility Bikes Archives

GEARS & SPROCKET SIZES & OTHER PRACTICAL MATTERS

What is Cadence and what role does it play with my E- bike?

Cluster & Crank

Speed or Power?
It’s all in the gears.

Park Tool FR-1

The proper tools makes changing gears easy.

It’s how fast you spin your legs & it effects comfort, range, speed, fun, exercise & endurance. It also keeps  those in uniform from thinking too hard about how you manage to go 25 mph without moving your legs.

With all of the information available on E bikes and e- bike conversions I find it puzzling that the topic of selecting gear ratios for our e-bikes is so seldom discussed. Part of this, I’m sure stems from the fact that the majority of today’s E bike conversions are front or rear wheel hub motors and run completely independent of the bikes original drive-train. In addition to a lack of a physical attachment, the subject of cadence, gear ratios, crank sets, freewheels and the 100 year history of everything just mentioned would be large enough to dictate a forum dedicated to that alone. However, whether it’s independent or just to complicated, people, pedals & gears must remain an integrate part of the bicycle’s drive-train. Check out any road bike or mountain bike forum or website and pedal RPM, (cadence) gearing and shifting will be discussed in great detail, yet most electric bike forums rarely discuss the subjects at all. This is, in my opinion an oversight that needs addressed. Regardless of which E-Bike Kit you choose for your conversion project, in order to get the best range and most performance from your newly converted bike, your legs must remain a part of the equation. Since every rider has a certain speed at which they like to spin their legs and we don’t ride in a vacuum we need gears in order to maintain that speed. At this point you might be tempted to say that the hub motor is now doing what the legs and gears were doing before and you would be right. Except that this is not a motorcycle. It’s an electrically assisted bicycle.

That said, I did not pay too much attention to the gearing on my 1st e-bike conversion either. It was on an 1990 Mongoose with a 500 watt Crystalyte hub motor on the front. My gears actually quit working properly after about 6 months from lack of use. I mean aside from needing a place to rest my feet, I’m only going to peddle when I’m climbing a grade or my battery dies. I was far more focused on things like the battery voltage, amps, motor controllers, etc. Perhaps it was the “motor head” in me but It was only after the novelty of the electric motor had worn off and I got into the routine of using my bike for practical transportation that I began to pay attention to practical items like range, cargo capacity, comfort, etc. Let’s face it, in retrospect, the primary reason for electrifying my bike was to increase it’s practicality. NOT taking pedal power into consideration was ,…….. well, very unpractical. Read the rest of this entry

An E-Bike – The Short description

How do I describe an E-bike when someone asks?

Matt

Hmm……, well

Well, … It’s pretty much like riding a regular bike until you’re feeling tired or lazy & then you have help. I also think it’s safer in traffic. The added speed allows you to ride with the traffic as opposed to riding on the shoulder and In heavy stop & go traffic and at intersections you have the extra boost to get going quickly. That was a big benefit for me. “The hardest part of going was getting started”. Going from a dead stop with electric assist to the speed I need to maintain balance is much shorter than pedal-power alone. (almost no distance) All in all, weather permitting it’s a realistic & healthy alternative to taking the car for many of my short trips.

Cycling and bicycles have been a passion of mine for a very long time. I’d like to tell you that I promote both cycling & e-bikes out of my love for mankind & my passion for helping to preserve the environment. Truth be known however, a few years ago when I lost my driver’s license I needed a practical way to get around. My bicycle was great but the distances were far and I would arrive at work or my destination hot tired and sweaty. Great exercise but lousy for your appearance. In addition, if my trip was not a 100% necessity I would talk myself out of what ever it was I was thinking of doing. Knowing there had to be a better way & having the luxury of an Internet connected PC at the house, I did what anybody in my position would do, I asked Google, “How can I get around without a Drivers License?”. My answer came back pretty quick. “Electric bicycles”, 36 volts of DC motivation. The rest is history.

EZgo-Now.com is a culmination of my passions, my knowledge, my work and the desire to keep pace with the ever-changing technologies used in self-propelled two and three-wheeled transportation. It is a website dedicated to cycling, electric bicycles, electric bicycle kits and the technologies tools and accessories that go along with them. I write about, work on, build and sell an alternative form of transportation called e-bikes. It’s fun, practical, safe & inexpensive. If this sounds to you like it might be worth a look. GREAT. You found a really good place to start.

Here’s a few pictures of my e- bike stuff:

 

Battery Bag

Battery Bag

Old Trek 800 Converted to an E-Bike

Old Trek 800 Converted to an E-Bike

First E-Bike

My First 36 volt E-Bike

RideKick

Transporting Bikes W/O a Drivers License

Ready for Work

Company Truck NOT Required

Elect. Mongoose

36 Volt, Gear Drive E-BikeKit on Dual Suspension Mongoose

 

24v Headway LiFePO4 Battery Pack

LiFeP04 Battery Pack using 3.2V Headway Cells with BMS