EBike Kits

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Electric bicycles are fast, efficient and fun! And now you can convert your own bicycle into an electric bicycle with my e-bike kit!

This is from the Kickstarter author, NOT me Smile

For anyone who is just now stumbling upon this page, because the Kickstarter campaign is over, you will no longer be able to get the ebike kit I assembled here. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still build yourself an awesome ebike! There are many other options for sourcing a great quality kit to match your needs. I want to highlight my favorites here so that you can see a few other options for building an ebike in the future. They might not have the same low price as my kits, but each is worth it and you can find some even more powerful kits than what I offer.

Grin Technology (www.Ebikes.ca) – I might as well start with the best, and the best is Ebikes.ca thanks to their quality parts and their unmatched service. There is a consensus among the DIY ebike community that Ebikes.ca is essentially the high water mark of the industry, and the golden standard by which most other ebike suppliers are judged. Whether you need a small geared motor, a medium sized direct drive or a big powerful motor, they’ve got you covered. Ebikes.ca is also home of the Cycle Analyst, which is a great electric bicycle wattmeter and diagnostic tool that functions like an instrument panel for your ebike. Anyone looking for a quality North American parts supplier can find everything they need with Grin Technologies.

Electric Rider (www.ElectricRider.com) – Electric Rider is a great US company for someone who wants a powerful ebike. Between their geared and gearless kits, Electric Rider offers some of the most powerful ebike kits available for beginners and experienced ebike builders alike. Their service is also great, they have an amazing packing method to get your parts to you safely, and the quality of their kits is excellent. I recommend Electric Rider to those who are looking for a powerful ebike kit.

Hill Topper (www.electric-bike-kit.com) – The Hill Topper kit by Clean Republic is what you want if you’re looking for an affordable way to get into electric biking. Their kits are some of the most affordable options around. The downside is that they aren’t the most powerful kits out there. But that’s ok, because what they lack in raw power they easily make up for in price and ease of install/use. The different power levels they offer are adequate for most people, and it’s hard to beat their prices. I’d recommend going for a larger battery upgrade if you can swing it, as you’ll always wish you could get just a few more miles. The Hill Topper kit is also one of the easiest to install, making it one of the best kits for absolute beginners and those that don’t feel as confident with their ‘tech’ skills. A few basic tools and 20 minutes is all you need to install this kit on your bike.

EM3EV (EM3EV.com) – EM3EV has great quality mac motors, which are geared motors of a higher power level than most other geared motors. Their kits are excellent quality, but where they really shine are their batteries. These don’t come cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. They use the highest quality cells and also build triangle shaped battery packs that fit perfectly in the front section of your bicycle frame. Shipping is from China, but the great customer service makes you feel like they are located in your own state. Also their shipping is very fair, especially compared to other Chinese companies that gouge on shipping costs. If you’re looking for a powerful geared motor or great quality batteries, check out EM3EV.com.

Falco E-motors (www.falcoemotors.com) – Falco is doing something innovative in the ebike industry with their 5-phase motors and great quality batteries. Falco is a little less well known on the retail sign but they come from a long line of great ebikes and ebike parts and have a proven track record of great quality and matching service. If you’re looking for a unique, worry free system that will work well for many years than you can’t skip Falco.

Ping Batteries (www.PingBattery.com) – Ping makes great lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that have been proven to last many years. My first Ping battery was install on a bike with a motor that was over twice the rated power. Even at that abuse my battery was still going strong two years later when I sold the bike. Ping batteries are rated at 2,000 cycles and are worth every penny.

Ebay kits – Ebay kits can be hit or miss, and I’m including this here partially as a recommendation and partly as a warning. I’ve gotten some great deals by finding ebay kits, and I’ve also seem some garbage too. Some sellers are known to be reputable. For example, the seller Sun-Thing28 is known to sell good, reasonably priced batteries and the seller xcceries is a well known provider of good quality direct drive kits.

The important thing is to search around and look at many options before buying. Do your research to make sure you find a kit that is best suited for you. Some companies overcharge for parts that you can find cheaper elsewhere. I haven’t listed those companies. Any companies I’ve listed above are well worth their prices and have the customer support that you’d expect when you’re making an investment like this. There are some great options out there and I’m sure everyone can find an ebike kit perfect for their own needs.

Replacing a Worn Out Bike Light Mount With Sugru + Magnets

F2P6ECTHRI984BH.MEDIUMI have a worn out Planet Bike LED Bike Light Mount.  It lasted many years and now it simply doesn’t click the lock closed dependably.  Online costs for a new mount seemed too high, appropriate, and yet, functionally, not a direction I wanted to go.  I couldn’t use the bike light as a helmet light while using my much bright Cygolight from my non-commuting bike. 

I am going to try this Instructable How to make bike lights with sugru + magnets and see how it works.

Winter Riding Clothes: Novara Headwind Pants

aff6da54-86ad-42ef-8155-65f8dc88282cPant vs Pants?  Not important.  Last year I went through two pairs of Novara Tights due to zipper failure.  REI was excellent about taking each pair back, especially as the zipper failed for no particular reason and certainly not from overuse, unless the tights were designed to be on a shelf and not worn. 

This time the Novara brand has a real winner here.  They are not flattering for a shape they are far superior to the tights for stopping wind and rain.  I have only ridden down to 32 degrees but they have performed far above the tights and my old favorite Sugoi tights.  The extra length stays over the tops of my Shimano boots and keeps water out of leaking through the top and there is easily enough room for thermal tights when the weather gets into the teens.

I did purchase these with my 20% off member coupon earlier this fall, so I feel like I have a real deal.   And there is a pocket, big enough for a wallet, and in this temp, weather I am storing my apartment keys, bike lock key, or all purpose rag, the pocket is a long overdue feature in biking pants. 

Ride on!

Superpedestrian“Copenhagen Wheel” transforms a normal bicycle into a hybrid e-bike

bits-wheel-tmagArticleI found this on the NYTimes chasing the new MIT wheel.  I think it appears destined for fixee style bikes, who else pedals backwards.  I might like one on my commuter though.

Superpedestrian, a start-up in Boston, announced on Monday that it has received $2.1 million in financing to help build a wheel that transforms some standard bicycles into hybrid e-bikes.

The product, the Copenhagen Wheel, is a design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Laboratory. The original goal of the wheel was to entice more people to more bicycles in large cities in lieu of cars by giving them help from a motor.

“If you think about today’s cities, they have been developed for the scale of the automobile, with people being required to travel great distances that are quiet large,” said Assaf Biderman, founder of Superpedestrian and associate director of the SENSEable City Lab. “Most cities are built around topographies that require motorized transport and it can make cycling and walking very difficult.”

Superpedestrian’s solution is to slip a motor into an existing analog product: the bicycle.

While the new wheel is still round, it has technology that makes it different from most normal bike wheels.

The Copenhagen Wheel replaces the rear wheel of a bicycle. It includes a motor powered by a built-in battery and sensors. When someone pedals with the new wheel in place, the bike uses sensors and an app on a smartphone to measure the amount of effort the rider is putting into each pedal. It then offers an additional boost when necessary.

One of the most interesting components of the new wheel is that the rider doesn’t need to tell the bike when help is necessary, the wheel just figures it out using the sensors and gives the bike a push.

“Riding on a flat surface, or up a hill, will feel exactly the same,” Mr. Biderman said.

The wheel doesn’t need to be charged or plugged in on a nightly basis, either. Instead, the wheel captures the energy from the brakes when a rider goes down hill and then stores that power in a high-capacity lithium battery. The motor also acts like a generator, creating power for later rides when the rider pedals in reverse.

The company said the wheel will last for 15 miles in each direction and will fit on most standard bicycles.

Superpedestrian is expected to start taking orders for the wheel next month and will begin shipping to customers at the start of next year.

The financing round is being led by Spark Capital with participation from David Karp, the founder of Tumblr.

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CopyMySports to Link Garmin Connect and Strava

logo_100x115I want to automatically copy by Garmin Connect information to Strava.  Trying CopyMySports

Garmin Connect keeps my actual precise data and because of its method of calculating the information is more accurate than Strava.  The simple explanation is that Strava has to include phones and “non-Garmin” devices and so is slightly different.  But Strava is more fun, both with sharing, competing over segments, courses, and teams. 

A friend recommended a product called GarminSync which is now being renamed Garmin Connect.  While it is currently having issues, it looks like it could be a good solution until Garmin or Strava catch on to what they should be doing and why.