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Old 19th October 2018, 18:45   #16
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

I have an Avon e-scoot. It has no pedals and looks like a scooty. It is road legal. No licence, registration, insurance, helmet required. Never got it serviced in 5 years. Dad rides it everyday for 10 k.m. approx. Got the battery changed after 4 years for 8k. No torque so no tyre wear. No parking charges. Can ride it on cycle tracks in Chandigarh ( the High Court has ordered registration of FIR against motorised vehicles if they encroach upon cycle tracks in Chandigarh ) I and my little kids love rides on it around our neighbourhood! Dont have pics right now as I am sitting by a river in Manali enjoying Dushera break, cant stay away from team-bhp though!
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Old 19th October 2018, 20:41   #17
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by superbad View Post
Superb thread, very informative. This has definitely got me interested in dabbling with e-bikes. Do you think this can work with our desi brands - Hero, BSA etc? Also what about charging the battery? Pedal power or electrical outlet?
Thank you! Compatibility is an issue only with mid-drives. Hub drives can work pretty much anywhere.

Most retrofittable mid-drives are designed for 68mm or 73mm BSA bottom brackets. Unless you buy something particularly fancy like a fatbike, most bikes are made for these bottom brackets. But it's definitely something you want to check.

Re: charging, pedal power would be useless since even with PAS, the battery is supplying 50% of the power. You'd have to park it on a stand and pedal for 1 hour to replace the charge consumed during an hour's ride

So yes, chargers is the way to go. A basic charger can charge an average e-bike battery within 5-6 hours, this can be reduced to ~2 hours with high-amperage chargers.

Quote:
The only thing you missed is the one thing which is most prevalent in India & the main reason people still don't prefer bicycles/e-bikes - theft.
Yes, theft is a concern and you do want to be super careful with a bike costing 40k. However, this is not really an India-specific concern, and there are plenty of bikes stolen in my current city in the US. The idea is to take sufficient precautions and accept a one-off chance as "cost of doing business".

You do want better locks. Most secure ones are U-Locks that have a U-shaped solid metal rod. You use them to secure the bike to a pole or a railing.

Many U-Locks come with an additional flexible cable that you can loop through the rims and lock with the U-thing, this prevents someone from running away with a wheel.

The batteries are also secured with a key, and the screws are placed in such a way that they are unreachable when the battery is locked. They'd have to break open the case to access it.

You'll find that there are not many occasions where you have to leave it in the open for more than 2-3 hours. Security of the bike has never been a problem for me in Bangalore, but depending on the scrupulousness quotient of your area, YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gauravanekar View Post
I have two questions:
1. Is it possible to retrofit this into a gearless 'basicest' btwin, I am worried about front and rear sprocket alignment. Reason being gearless sprockets are closer to wheel bearing compared geared setup.
So there two aspects to the compatibility. (I assume you're taking about mid-drives, because with hub-drives, none of these things are an issue).

1. Bottom bracket - They are designed to work on 68mm or 73mm bottom brackets which is the most popular standard, and would likely fit most of the frames being sold in India. However, you should double check before ordering an expensive kit. There are adapters available for some other BBs, but I think you'll mostly be fine with the standard 68mm kit.

2. Chainline alignment, which you speak of. We do want the chainline to be as straight as possible. However, I don't believe there's a significant difference between a gearless rear sprocket and the largest sprocket in a geared system.

You do not want a mid drive in a gearless system for two reasons. 1 is that they like to spin fast (90-120 rpm). Second is that if you're buying a 70k mid drive, it's good to have a quality light and strong frame to go with it, since you'll be pumping through it the power of 2-3 cyclists.

Quote:
2. How much time it would take for a 25 km 4 lane highway ride without traffic. What's your estimate? Temperature is expected to be benign here in Bangalore early morning
In my experience, time taken on an ebike is not usually a function of traffic, which is what made it most appealing to me in Bangalore

Assuming we're talking about a 250W road-legal bike, I was able to maintain average speeds of 20-ish including the occasional traffic lights and all, highways are likely to be less interruptive (top speed being 25-27, which can be sustained easily on longer drives). So ~65-80 minutes would be a reasonable estimate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Beautiful thread!

It takes passion, and a flair for writing, to draw in petrolheads into reading a thread about bicycles. And you've achieved it marvellously.

I'm sure anyone reading this thread will immediately start thinking of getting one, so infectious is your enthusiasm.
Thank you for the kind words! I like the idea of cruising down the highway on a 400 bhp V8 as much as the next petrolhead, but it's like using a sword to chop chillies in cities!

Quote:
Then, I look down at my waistline and think "Hmm, I'm sure there's a few thousand kilowatts in those inches". Maybe I ought to skip the 'E' in e-bike!
Hahaha, the thing about e-bikes is that you end up using them a lot more often than regular bicycles purchased in a fit of fitness, so it actually ends up making more of a difference in the long run!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
As much as I'd like to join the bandwagon, fact is that Delhi NCR is just too polluted during winter months. Any kind of outdoor physical activity cannot be good when PM levels are consistently over 300.
Yes sir, these are valid concerns one must consider before adopting bicycles. Pollution masks do a good job, but at the end of the day you should be comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGK View Post
Thank you Anku for your timely thread. I had a chance to look into Hero Lectro EZephyr brought by my friend.

His observations are

1. Tyre width is very small and the jerk is felt.
2. The handlebar is not comfortable for long rides.

He had contacted Hero cycles for replacement of tires with wider ones and a comfortable handlebar. I took a small test ride and felt a cushioning saddle is a must.
Good e-bikes have the DNA of an MTB. Which means thicker tires and softer suspensions.

Reputed international brands like Giant, Scott, Cannondale, Trek have been researching frame geometries and body postures for decades. They have four sizes for each model, unlike the two-size fits all approach taken by Indian manufacturers.

I would advise switching the front fork to one from a good quality MTB, I am not confident in Hero's willingness to use third-party forks. Sprung saddle and fatter tyres are much easier upgrades that can be done without involving the manufacturer.

Another tip I got to know from pro-cycling friends is to raise the seat height. The idea is not to touch the ground, but have the knees be almost straight when the pedal is at its lowest. This simple trick helped me maintain one gear higher on my rides.

Quote:
In India, E-bikes will be a success if prices come down and a good infrastructure is built. (separate lanes, no car zone etc).

Having said that, climate plays a vital role in e-bike success. Unfortunately, tropical climate is not ideal for day to day usage.
Mass manufacturing coupled with a concerted government effort is what made e-bikes succeed in China.

Our govt. is trying to push EVs too, but the focus is entirely on cars, bigger bikes and the like. They do not realize the role of e-bikes in being able to decongest a city.

Re: tropical climate, you're right and biking is not really feasible in 40 degree summers. However I would argue that our winters are a lot more bearable and 5 degrees is not a problem with light winter gear, and it is feasible to bike 8 months of the year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Informative. Thanks.

Sometime back I was searching DIY stuff to covert a normal bicycle into an e-bike and there are oodles of them in the internet. Products like these are available online from 3000/- excluding battery. Also YouTube DIYs are plenty and many of them claim a budget of 8000/- for a basic e-bike conversion.

I understand from your post, a quality conversion would easily cost 35000/-. In which case this is still an enthusiast hobby and cost would be a main deterrent for mass adoption. Bajaj CT-100B is just about the same price.
Interesting, I had not looked at the cheaper kits! The problem with these, as you pointed out, is the quality. Longevity is a concern, and these motors have to operate outside of their design envelope quite frequently. I've ridden my 35k e-bike through inundated Bangalore roads during monsoons and hot Bangalore summers for 4000 km with zero electrical problems, often hitting 400-500W while accelerating, and maintaining 300W on flyovers, as opposed to a design limit of 250W. Doubt one can say the same for the cheaper kits .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
I have an Avon e-scoot. No parking charges. Can ride it on cycle tracks in Chandigarh
I love Chandigarh but didn't know you guys had cycle tracks there, go green!
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Old 19th October 2018, 21:59   #18
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

A very good thread. However, I want to add my two cents here.

I am an avid cyclist and I have the following two rides.
  • Cannondale Quick5 2015 model
  • Surly Cross Check (The most versatile cyclo-cross Chrome Moly bike that is ever produced)

Both of them are world class bikes in hybrid category. I was always averse to buying any bike over 12kg of weight for the pure reason that these should be light enough to be carried on the shoulder to cross hurdles - and that means you can't afford to have suspensions either at the front or the rear since they are made of steel and would add about 2.5kg. Also I'm of the mindset that an MTB is too much for a city - even for Bangalore.

The golden rules I follow when I bike to office and back:
  • Don't over inflate the tyres. You can under inflate the tyres a bit (provided that you use tyre liners to counter punctures). This will even out rough surfaces to a large extent.
  • Use light weight steel frame for your bike (like my Surly above - steel frames absorb impacts a lot better than typical Al alloy bikes - this is why our Hercules Dutch bikes still offer comfortable rides which are way cheaper than the modern day Al alloy bikes. If one is not bothered about weight, then these old school bikes are the best bet in my opinion.)
  • Reduce the weight to be carried as much as possible. This will mean reducing your own weight, shoulder bag's weight. I don't use the BTwin silicon gel seat - it never works and it adds about 300gms to the bike! Use pannier bag friendly cycles if you are bothered too much about carrying a shoulder bag.
  • Invest in a good brand - My Cannondale Quick 5 is a rocket. I achieve 35-40kmph at max usually. I get an average of 20kmph in my office rides. Needless to say, I beat traffic easily - always. One needs to ride better brand bikes and compare it to the Montra or any other bikes from local Indian manufacturer to know the difference. A better researched bottom bracket will be a lot faster and easier to ride than that of a local brand.
  • Upgrade to better tyres - can improve your avg speed (hence you will be less tired after each ride) about 2-3kmph. The Surly Cross Check comes with a Surly Knard set which was replaced by 28mm Panaracer tyres from Panasonic. It is a myth that one needs an MTB for rough roads in the city - can be done easily by Cyclo-cross tyres as well.
  • Research enough on each item you plan to buy for you commute - this should help you getting least irritation/distraction when you ride which is an important thing about cycling - most of the people with MTB give up cycling by blaming everything in the initial stages.

An active cycling life helps a lot w.r.to your BMI as well - I had shed close to 8kg of my body weight in almost 2.5-3 months with an average healthy diet.

The thread helps people immensely - just that I wanted to add some wisdom that I follow. Wishing everyone happy cycling, everyday!
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Old 19th October 2018, 23:28   #19
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Mod Note : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum. We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further. Request to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 13th November 2018 at 07:54.
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Old 20th October 2018, 12:57   #20
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by anku94 View Post
Thank you! Compatibility is an issue only with mid-drives.........



Can you throw some more light on batteries. I thought Li-Polymer batteries were slowly becoming the norm in e-bikes. Is it worth waiting?
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Old 20th October 2018, 18:38   #21
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
As much as I'd like to join the bandwagon, fact is that Delhi NCR is just too polluted during winter months. Any kind of outdoor physical activity cannot be good when PM levels are consistently over 300.

There is this thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...-bikers-4.html (Anti-Pollution Masks for Bikers)

Scroll to post 47.

When i read this, i was in Delhi and so popped in and bought a N99 mask and borrowed a friend's motorbike and spent the day riding around. Maybe i was under some placebo, maybe not but i felt that this mask works and so i bought some more of them to take back with me.

They are a tight fit inside my helmet but they are worth it i feel, so much so that i cannot ride around without them whether it is summer or winter.

This is completely off topic so sorry for the small diversion.
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Old 21st October 2018, 04:06   #22
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodvayyat View Post
An active cycling life helps a lot w.r.to your BMI as well - I had shed close to 8kg of my body weight in almost 2.5-3 months with an average healthy diet.

The thread helps people immensely - just that I wanted to add some wisdom that I follow. Wishing everyone happy cycling, everyday!
Thanks, always good to have avid cyclists around! These are very helpful tips, I personally know squat about cycling. Hopefully will pick it up as I accumulate miles

Btw, that Surly sounds like a mean bike with all those Deore/Tiagra components!

Quote:
Originally Posted by av8er View Post
Thank you for all the info and please keep publishing more on ownership issues and reviews so we are also aware of what to expect.
That's great to know!

I can tell you that a bicycle's ownership and lifecycle is quite simple.

By getting rid of the front shifters, changing the front chainring, cranks, and the chains, my drivetrain was virtually brand new. The only thing still unchanged was the rear cassette.

Apparently, it's usually recommended to change the chain and the cassette together, since they wear out in sync with each other. An older cassette and a new chain don't mesh well together.

Since my older cassette did not look very worn out, we decided to see if we could get it to work. We managed to tune it at the shop, but when I rode on inclines, the chain starting skipping cogs under load. I tried playing with the tension and now the entire shifting is messed up.

I just got a new cassette today, and someone from the shop helped me tune the limits and tension on the rear derailleur, and it seems to work flawlessly now.

Also, my city has very unpredictable weather, and you can have summer, winter, and rain all within one week, so I've decided to start waterproofing things. Just ordered dielectric grease that I'll use on gaps and joints to keep the moisture away.

And also ended up ordering velcro straps from Amazon to secure the battery, since it's hanging in there only by a single screw. It'd be better if I can drill a hole through the metal plate for the other screw, but I don't seem to get around to it.

Hopefully that's all the updates I'll have on the ownership issues for a while

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cents View Post
Can you throw some more light on batteries. I thought Li-Polymer batteries were slowly becoming the norm in e-bikes. Is it worth waiting?
I did read about them a bit but did not explore further.

Li-Poly seems to be very niche as of now. They do have a slightly higher capacity and discharge rates, but they're also a lot more dangerous and require expensive chargers to ensure they're not overcharged, although the actual cells are not all that expensive from what I know.

If you're building a 36v 250W road legal bike in India, I feel that's going to be a bit overkill. Li-Ion seems to be the safe de-facto standard and that's what most resellers have in stock.

Anyway, I don't understand Li-Poly all that well. Hopefully someone else can throw more light on these.

Last edited by anku94 : 21st October 2018 at 04:09.
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Old 21st October 2018, 11:12   #23
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

This is a part of our future along with many more buses and metro trains. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 09:15   #24
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by anku94 View Post
Btw, that Surly sounds like a mean bike with all those Deore/Tiagra components!
Yep, the construction of any Surly bike is that way - built for reliability and endurance. Barring the Cowbell handlebar, it might just look like a local Hercules or a Hero . A modification friendly bike in all sense.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 10:17   #25
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

There is a new (relatively) company by Rakesh Dhawan.

The kits are Manufactured in Pune but are officially not sold in India.

(EDIT: the website is showing INR prices so not sure if they are selling in India or not.


Website


Old video

Official youtube channel
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Old 22nd October 2018, 16:50   #26
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

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Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
There is a new (relatively) company by Rakesh Dhawan.

The kits are Manufactured in Pune but are officially not sold in India.

(EDIT: the website is showing INR prices so not sure if they are selling in India or not.


Website

The prices quoted on the website are quite steep. They cost 2 Activas and a Btwin.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 00:21   #27
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

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Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
The prices quoted on the website are quite steep. They cost 2 Activas and a Btwin.
Exactly - I'm not sure I see the value proposition.

You buy a hub drive if you're on a budget or if you want insane power (couple of KWs). Otherwise you usually go for a mid drive. This seems to have average power (500-750W) and double the price of a quality mid drive.
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Old 24th October 2018, 02:32   #28
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

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Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
The prices quoted on the website are quite steep. They cost 2 Activas and a Btwin.
May be its converted from $ to as the $ prices are also exactly same.

Ill try to get in touch with them, if they are willing to sell in India with Indian prices!

Last edited by jeepster : 24th October 2018 at 02:35.
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Old 24th October 2018, 09:05   #29
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

An apt title to the thread. It indeed is an comprehensive guide on e-bikes.
Thanks to tons of ideas you have shared, I am now a step closed to converting my old bicycle to e-bike.
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Old 24th October 2018, 10:03   #30
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Re: E-Bikes (electric bicycle) : A comprehensive guide

As an avid cyclist, marathoner and bicycle fabricator myself, I cannot see electric assisted bicycles as a serious thing at all.
If you want to enjoy your surroundings while being fully connected with all your senses, bicycling/running is the only way.
Any other method of transport while adding certain aspects certainly takes away certain aspects.
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