Electric powered bikes, bicycles with motors Stories about electric bikes, powered bicycles

18May/130

Going Electric: the Folding Conversion

If there is one experience that I have noticed consistently blowing bikers' minds, it is trying out an electric bicycle for the first time. The experience is a total revelation. Climbing up hills suddenly feels like coasting downhill, and acceleration to 20 miles per hour or more takes somewhere between little and no effort.

Elegant Electricity

For many, while the electric option is an intriguing one, quality fully integrated electric
bikes are prohibitively expensive. Others don't wish to sacrifice their perfectly balanced bike setups, or the compactness of their folding bike, by adding a clunky electronic component. Fortunately, the Crystalyte conversion kits that we use at NYCeWheels overcome these issues elegantly.

These electric systems have the capacity to electrify almost any folding bike with 20"wheels--the standard wheel size for most Dahon and Tern bikes. The battery and controller (think of it as the system's "brain") are housed in a rear rack-mounted durable nylon bag, and the motor is built into the hub of the front wheel, producing an extremely well-balanced ride.

20 MPH Without Breaking a Sweat

A simple handlebar-mounted console lets you to select the power output of their motor, allowing you to dial in the exact amount of pedal assistance you want. On the lowest setting, pedaling simply feels easier, while on the highest setting you can fly at 20mph without breaking a sweat. And while the 10 amp hour battery will be plenty to carry you through your commute and back, the optional 15 amp hour version will have you biking around effortlessly all afternoon.

Compatible with Internal Hubs

This kit is especially useful for anyone who wants a bike with both an electric motor and an internal gear hub--since the motor is built into the front hub rather than the rear, as is the case with most electric conversion kits, it does not interfere your bike's gearing mechanisms.

It's a smart, convenient little package, so it makes sense that one customer recently had it installed on a Tern Link D8, itself an exceedingly well designed product. I think his face really says it all.

If you want to look that happy about your folding electric bike, look no further than this highly versatile conversion kit from NYCeWheels!

About the Author

Miles Schneider is a folding and electric bike specialist and blogger for NYCeWheels in New York City. He plays the 6-string electric violin and loves dogs.

28Jul/121

E-Brompton Banter–Part 2–Happ-E Feet

Fresh out of the shipping box, My E-Brompton is ready for fun

Fresh out of the shipping box, My E-Brompton is ready for fun

Ever since my first ride on a Brompton folding bike, I have been intrigued with all the benefits it offers. Easy to store, transport, and secure, it just makes bike riding so accessible. Plus, add to that the great lines and quality of the build, and you have one desirable bike. Now with this electric-motor conversion, it has it all.

NYCeWheels set me up with an extended test on a Raw Lacquer M3L Brompton about a year ago. That started a new direction for my interests in bikes. I have even gotten to tour the Brompton factory in England to seal the deal. Their need for perfection and utility is visible in every part that makes up this folding bike. It is said that they are planning an E-Brompton of their own, but somehow I wonder if they could do better than this.

My E-Brompton

Turbo explores the bay on his E-Brompton

Turbo explores the bay on his E-Brompton

My new H3L E-Brompton arrived at my house in two boxes. One with the bike, and the other with the battery. It made it to its destination in perfect shape. A fully assembled and ready to ride folding E-bike popped out of the package. Dressed up in a beautiful white paint job with shiny new parts, it made me smile. Yes, I have happ-E feet. The battery comes in the ‘C’ bag that I like so much. This bag has many pockets, is water-resistant, and comes with a water-proof outer bag that is quick to use, The bag mounts on the steering tube, not the handlebars, so it doesn’t affect the stability of the bike. It has one easy to plug-in connector for the battery, and a nice quick-release that locks it in place. The electrics of the bike are well mounted and don’t hinder the fold. The wiring is tucked in neatly and everything appears to be factory installed. This NYCeWheels E-bike conversion can be done to the Brompton you already have, or included with your new Brompton purchase. Either way, it seems you are assured a professional looking and responding conversion. Up front is a 250 watt brushless and gearless hub motor. Perfectly laced to the front rim, it is as close to silent as they come. Almost un-noticeable, it appears just a few inches larger that a front hub generator. Some might say they think you need more power, but the torque, speed, and efficiency of this combination is hard to beat. It is designed to assist your pedaling, not replace it.

As this series of articles continues, I will tell of the bike, the E-conversion, the ride, the feel, and some of the rides I take. I can get a little whimsical and airy in my descriptions, as may have noticed in my ‘Boy Gets Brompton’ blogs. I already have a plan to take it to a island destination for some fun. I’ve taken it on several rides along the local bays and bikeways since I got it. No telling where else me and my new E-Brompton might show-up. About a dozen cyclist friends have gotten to try it out too.

A quick run down on the Brompton Bike

At this point a run-down on the bike is in order. The ‘H’ designation means it has the new, taller stem that allows the handgrips to be about 2 inches higher that the ‘M’. This is great for riders who prefer to sit more upright, and for taller people like me. The ‘3’ tells that we have 3-speeds available in the rear geared hub. The ‘L’ goes towards the fact that fenders are bolted on and ready for the puddles.

As you might know, a Brompton can fold to a very small size. The uses there are many. Using public transportation becomes more feasible. You can take it with you into buildings and elevators. It can be stored in closets and car trunks without thinking twice. You will find that these pluses will have you riding more and worrying less. These are great attributes in a bike. That is the Brompton way. An E-bike is still a bike. It rides the same as a bike. The power-assist is there if you need it, but just goes along for the ride when you don’t. A grade coming up? Add some power. Getting tired? Add some power. Aches and pains? Add some power. You get the idea. The E-conversion does add some weight to the bike. As you ride, it is all but unnoticeable. After all, it is just the smallest fraction compared to your own weight. The only time it comes into play is when you are lifting the bike. Close to half of that extra heft is in the removable ’C’ bag that you carry with your other hand anyway. By the way, I got the optional 10 Ah battery that will extend my rides by a lot with almost no extra weight penalty.

So there you have it for now. NYCeWheels has made me a happy man with this new test. I will report on my fun and anything else that comes my way. In the meantime, drop by NYCeWheels and take try out the E-Brompton for yourself!

Turbo Bob

“The bicycle can be a philosophical tool as readily as it is a locomotive one. While I don’t see anything wrong with the use of bikes for sport, I do get very bored with the way in which the sporting mentality has penetrated every corner of the cycling world. Many cycle tourists, seduced into seeing themselves as just another breed of athlete, wear funny clothes to prove they are serious about it, and plan their trips as just another kind of race: A to B, quickly as possible. There must be more to life than this.”---Gareth Lovett Jones.