Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 20 2020 4:57pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 20 2020 1:44pm
Yep Facebook. I'll be able to secure the bike indoors and charge the battery for the ride home.
You'll likely see other forum member ebikes there. I recall at least 2 or 3 threads last year of new members, building bikes to get there from other parts of the bay area, with some pretty long and challenging commutes. Good luck and stay safe!

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 20 2020 5:27pm

Thanks!
Also really appreciate the responses so far.

So it sounds like my best bet is going to be a mountain bike with dual suspension (aluminum rather than carbon) and a direct drive 1000w hub motor, plus a 52v battery with at least 17.5ah capacity, and a controller to go with it.
So which motor should I go with, and are there 'kits' that would be somewhat simple to install? Do the motors typically come laced in a wheel already, or will I need to buy a rim+spokes and have it built by my wheel builder?

Another question: do these hub motors typically come with built-in controllers? That would be nice so I'd have less wiring and less components mounted to the bike frame.

torker   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1619
Joined: Oct 16 2008 8:46pm
Location: Udall, Ks.

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by torker » Feb 20 2020 6:25pm

I noticed the last time i looked ar em3ev. I have two of their batteries. They have controllers built into some of the batteries. Most kits come laced to a wheel. Also i think em3ev will lace to a custom wheel.
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

Giant Rincon w rear 9C 6*10 36 v x 20 amps
Specialized FSR Comp 9C 6*10 48v x 30 amps

User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 20 2020 8:25pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 20 2020 5:27pm


Another question: do these hub motors typically come with built-in controllers? That would be nice so I'd have less wiring and less components mounted to the bike frame.
Most folks wouldn't recommend a hub with a built in controller, since both the motor and controller produce heat, which isn't easily dissipated. Since you're going the non-mid drive route, that frees up some dollars, so you could splurge on a Phaserunner controller, which is tiny, has FOC, and many features; plus a Cycle Analyst 3 display to go with it.

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 21 2020 10:32am

E-HP wrote:
Feb 20 2020 8:25pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 20 2020 5:27pm


Another question: do these hub motors typically come with built-in controllers? That would be nice so I'd have less wiring and less components mounted to the bike frame.
Most folks wouldn't recommend a hub with a built in controller, since both the motor and controller produce heat, which isn't easily dissipated. Since you're going the non-mid drive route, that frees up some dollars, so you could splurge on a Phaserunner controller, which is tiny, has FOC, and many features; plus a Cycle Analyst 3 display to go with it.
Nice I'll look into those Phaserunner controllers and Cycle Analyst 3 displays.
What motor would you recommend? I'd like:
1) Reliable
2) Quiet
3) Easy to install/setup
4) Ability to increase voltage above 52v (with new controller) in the future if I want more speed/power

User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 21 2020 11:47am

Since you have a decent budget, I’d get the leaf bike 1500w motor since it has a good reputation and is very efficient.

Any direct drive motor will be dead silent with an FOC/sine wave controller like the phaserunner. Motors will handle just about any voltage, but it’s a matter of how long. If you have an 80% efficient motor and put 5000w into it, 1000w would go to heat, which you’d need to continuously shed, or the motor will heat up. So good for short bursts, but will meltdown if run for a long period if you can’t shed it fast enough. Higher power rated motors will handle the power longer (usually with a weight penalty). There are ways to shed more heat from a motor so you don’t have to get a bigger heavier motor, such as adding Statorade, or cooling fins, with a lower weight penalty.

You can use the Grin ebike motor simulator to see how various motors perform, and whether overheating is an issue.

Except for the speed (my motor is slow wound), my cheap $140 eBay motor would easily do that commute both directions twice with a 20Ah battery, but I pedal and keep it under 20.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 21 2020 4:44pm

E-HP wrote:
Feb 21 2020 11:47am
Since you have a decent budget, I’d get the leaf bike 1500w motor since it has a good reputation and is very efficient.

Any direct drive motor will be dead silent with an FOC/sine wave controller like the phaserunner. Motors will handle just about any voltage, but it’s a matter of how long. If you have an 80% efficient motor and put 5000w into it, 1000w would go to heat, which you’d need to continuously shed, or the motor will heat up. So good for short bursts, but will meltdown if run for a long period if you can’t shed it fast enough. Higher power rated motors will handle the power longer (usually with a weight penalty). There are ways to shed more heat from a motor so you don’t have to get a bigger heavier motor, such as adding Statorade, or cooling fins, with a lower weight penalty.

You can use the Grin ebike motor simulator to see how various motors perform, and whether overheating is an issue.

Except for the speed (my motor is slow wound), my cheap $140 eBay motor would easily do that commute both directions twice with a 20Ah battery, but I pedal and keep it under 20.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Great info! Just a couple questions:
1) Is the main advantage of getting a phaserunner controller that it's smaller in size and has technology to make the motor quieter?
2) Does the 1500W motor you mentioned above (LeafBike) come available without the controller? I see the "kit" without battery is about $385 which seems super reasonable.

Thanks!

miro13car   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mar 26 2007 1:30pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by miro13car » Feb 21 2020 5:17pm

You must remember that all those DD kits covinently forget about thermal protection.
Say you have hilly commute , so you risk burning your motor every ride.
There no way around it
Controller need to read from motor to protect from oveheating .
read motor temp outside of motor?
If you dont burn motor for 20000 miles it means you use it with large marging of safety
meaning you do not use full potential of your motor, motor underused to me.
Eplus, Bionx

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 21 2020 6:55pm

miro13car wrote:
Feb 21 2020 5:17pm
You must remember that all those DD kits covinently forget about thermal protection.
Say you have hilly commute , so you risk burning your motor every ride.
There no way around it
Controller need to read from motor to protect from oveheating .
read motor temp outside of motor?
If you dont burn motor for 20000 miles it means you use it with large marging of safety
meaning you do not use full potential of your motor, motor underused to me.
I don't 100% follow what you mean, but it sounds like you're saying that if I get a 1500W motor and run it at 2500W constant, the motor will overheat. When you say the "kits" forget about thermal protection, are you saying the controllers that they provide are underpowered, or that the motor rating isn't what it should be run at constantly?
Is the solution to get a motor that is oversized?
My route is flat, but I do plan on going fast for about 13 or 14 miles.

User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 21 2020 7:43pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 21 2020 4:44pm

Great info! Just a couple questions:
1) Is the main advantage of getting a phaserunner controller that it's smaller in size and has technology to make the motor quieter?
2) Does the 1500W motor you mentioned above (LeafBike) come available without the controller? I see the "kit" without battery is about $385 which seems super reasonable.

Thanks!
The advantages of the phaserunner are that it's small, has a wide operating voltage range (flexible so that you can run different voltages, or upgrade), uses FOC so efficient through the rpm range, proportional regen, and field weakening (it does more, but these are the feature I would want it for). It can also run sensorless.

My understanding is that the leaf motor is great, but the kits (i.e. controller) isn't the best, and support is so-so. This is based on the posts here on ES. I recall when I was thinking of getting one, the shipping was pretty high.

If you get the leafbike motor with a temp probe, the phaserunner has thermal rollback to cut power to the motor to keep it from overheating too.

ScooterMan101   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2032
Joined: Oct 06 2012 4:45pm
Location: South of San Jose, California.

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by ScooterMan101 » Feb 24 2020 2:13am

Falco E-Motors seems to have the only hub motor with a good controller inside of it. Others have failed but the Falco's are used by many of the Tadpole Trike people who put many miles on their comfortable bikes.
If you want to try one out ( to rent for a while to see if you want one ) I have one you can try . It is a 29 er wheel which is also 700c , and 36 volt battery .
PM me if you are interested, I have one that I am thinking about selling,

https://falcoemotors.com/

Hub motors are heavy so PM me as to which bikes have a good enough rear swing arm to handle a hub motor.
My first conversion ... Sold

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=71378&p=1077497&hil ... 1#p1077497

It's 2018 already, ( now 2019 ) lets get some real , improved e-bike / e-velomobile / e-motorcycle designs .

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 24 2020 2:03pm

E-HP wrote:
Feb 21 2020 7:43pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 21 2020 4:44pm

Great info! Just a couple questions:
1) Is the main advantage of getting a phaserunner controller that it's smaller in size and has technology to make the motor quieter?
2) Does the 1500W motor you mentioned above (LeafBike) come available without the controller? I see the "kit" without battery is about $385 which seems super reasonable.

Thanks!
The advantages of the phaserunner are that it's small, has a wide operating voltage range (flexible so that you can run different voltages, or upgrade), uses FOC so efficient through the rpm range, proportional regen, and field weakening (it does more, but these are the feature I would want it for). It can also run sensorless.

My understanding is that the leaf motor is great, but the kits (i.e. controller) isn't the best, and support is so-so. This is based on the posts here on ES. I recall when I was thinking of getting one, the shipping was pretty high.

If you get the leafbike motor with a temp probe, the phaserunner has thermal rollback to cut power to the motor to keep it from overheating too.
That all good to know - thanks!
Do you know if the leafmotor is offered as a standalone motor+wheel rather than a whole kit, or is it best to order the kit and just not use their controller, but use everything else? Are the connectors usually pretty standard?

User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 24 2020 3:06pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Feb 24 2020 2:03pm
Do you know if the leafmotor is offered as a standalone motor+wheel rather than a whole kit, or is it best to order the kit and just not use their controller, but use everything else? Are the connectors usually pretty standard?
Yes, just choose your rim size and cassette vs freewheel:

https://www.leafbike.com/products/e-bik ... inch/c-19/

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 35582
Joined: May 17 2008 12:53pm
Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 25 2020 9:20am

Well not supposed to shill here.

But there are two really excellent kit vendors in north America. One pays for this forums costs, Grin Technologies. Grin has lead the charge to develop e bike kits to new levels for more than a decade. He's in Canada. Also there is a vendor in Pennsylvania that I used to work for before I fully retired. He puts out a basic kit that suits the needs of the basic commuter, or less technical inclined enthusiast. E-BikeKit. EBK kits have a very neat wiring system, featuring a functional but simple display. My bikes, I still really prefer a Grin cycle analyst display. But EBK kits have some nice features, nearly waterproof, minimal wires.

Both companies have very good CS, unlike the cheaper priced options such as you see on ebay.

Put the kit on a decent 26" bike. Mtb, FS mtb, or commuter bike, with some rise and sweep on the bars. But you know, as a cyclist, to buy a bike that fits you. Don't buy a teen size bike for the price. All you will ever need is the highest gear, so 7 or 8 speeds is more than enough.

User avatar
E-HP   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1217
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by E-HP » Feb 25 2020 10:13am

dogman dan wrote:
Feb 25 2020 9:20am
All you will ever need is the highest gear, so 7 or 8 speeds is more than enough.
Yup, I'm pretty sure I haven't shifted in about 5 months or so. I only shift if I'm climbing above 15% or so, in order to keep my speed up, but short of that, higher gears work better for maintaining speed on hills, at least for me. A decent sized hub motor is like driving an automatic, you end up shifting just a little bit more with a hub that you'd shift to low in your car. A mid-drive that uses the bike's drivetrain is like driving a stick shift, since shifting is necessary to keep the drivetrain and motor happy.

cbr shadow   100 W

100 W
Posts: 298
Joined: Feb 14 2012 9:37am
Location: Daly City, CA -USA

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by cbr shadow » Feb 26 2020 3:42pm

It looks like the "Vector Storm" frame will suit my needs nicely, but I'm wondering if there's enough space in the frame for the battery size that I'd need.
Battery-size max dimensions: 44.5cm x 11.5cm x 9cm

Can i get a good 52v 20ah battery in those dimenisons? Will the leafmotor 1500w motor fit in this frame well (dropout size)?
This looks like a good solution if I can get the power out of it that I need. What're your thoughts?

ScooterMan101   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2032
Joined: Oct 06 2012 4:45pm
Location: South of San Jose, California.

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by ScooterMan101 » Feb 26 2020 6:33pm

Yes that motor has a dropout spacing of 135mm,
and
The Vector Light frame has the same spacing . ( unless you order it with the fat bike swing arm instead of the regular swingarm )

Yes those types of frames are made mostly for rear hub motors. only a few mid drives would work, and those that do are too low performance mid-drives to even bother with since the whole reason for a e-bike specific frame is for faster speeds and space to install larger than 10-12 amp hour packs.

Only the Vendor that sells you the battery pack can tell you if there is enough space inside of that frame . Be aware that the pack enters from the bottom on that frame.
Keep in mid also that you will need the right cells when ordering a pack made from 18650 cells. You need high discharge cells, ( Not ) higher capacity cells.
If you want to be assured you can put high power into any hub many people use lipo's for high power / high amps like over 30-40 amps .
They are what most of the High Power and Faster Riders use on their e-bikes. There is allot of research on your part if you want to use Lipo's. The battery section has some threads on it. They are for evening reading , too long to do on your breaks at work.
I was once against them , but now use them all the time.
My first conversion ... Sold

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=71378&p=1077497&hil ... 1#p1077497

It's 2018 already, ( now 2019 ) lets get some real , improved e-bike / e-velomobile / e-motorcycle designs .

miro13car   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1756
Joined: Mar 26 2007 1:30pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

Re: Best Value fast ebike for my commute?

Post by miro13car » Feb 27 2020 2:58pm

Cbr shadow
Controller the best in the world needs input about motor temp. To limit power, right?
Cheap kit manufacturers know that you can overheat motor going uphill.
It can happen in tens of scenarios, long mild hill, short steep hill, you name it.
Driving your ebike with big motor would keep you from burning it.
But why do it like that?
Why carry the weight?
Is it not much better to use motor at its rated power with thermal protection?
FALCO motor cannot be destroyed even on steepest hill , themal protection kicks in reducing power
not cutting off power like with chep primitive drives.
That why it costs money.
Eplus, Bionx

Post Reply