Ugly But Functional
For the last few years, an ebike has been my primary means of transportation. I use it to get to work, to go shopping and to just generally get around. I can zip through traffic and park just about anywhere. The rules about ebikes are not strictly enforced, so you can ride pretty much what you want and get away with it. Things to avoid are giving people rides for money and having a bike over 35kg. Besides that, I think you can do just about anything. I’m talking specifically about where I live and you must carefully read and understand the rules in your area. (Update: Shenzhen has gotten fairly strict about motorcycles. Anything that resembles a motorcycle, even if it’s electric can get you into trouble. Just know your area and be careful)
My first ebike was commercially produced but I soon found it too slow and too heavy. You can see it in the pictures here.
I changed lead acid batteries for lithium (homemade pack), changed the motor, motor controller and wiring and eventually the frame too. I also added a rear disk brake for a bit more safety. There was nothing left of the originally purchased bike. The end result was a bike that did about 50km/h. Though not particularly sporty it did get me where I was going fairly fast and had decent range. Apart from rainy days, it was great.
Here is a view of it here on a particularly unlucky day. It was later stolen anyway…
V2 was much the same as V1 and I still have it and ride it when I need to give someone else a ride. I’ve ridden fairly far with combined rider weight of over 170kg. Pretty impressive for a bike that costs just a few hundred dollars.
My dog has ridden a few thousand kilometers in the basket. She’s a real pro. It isn’t much to look at, but it really has proven to be bullet proof. The motor is actually left over from the original bike I bought and had replaced. I upgraded the motor phase wires and the controller and got it up to about 50km/h. Adequate for the job.
There is however, only so much practicality a man can take and the day must come when something needs both form and function or is at least fun to drive…