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Noob here - some quick questions ;)

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    Noob here - some quick questions ;)

    Hi, I'm totally new to ebikes and thinking about putting a hub motor on my girlfriend's bike, as she has to put a lot of miles in for school and work over the next 8 months. I already picked up a bosch powerpack 500 (frame model) as a strange start. It was very cheap, and I figured I'd use it somehow; buy a used bike missing the battery cheap or rig it to a hub dynamo.
    So, first question: is it at all possible or difficult to get a mount for the bosch powerpack battery and use it with a hub motor? Are the voltages and whatnot often or ever compatible between various brands/bits?
    What's the best hub motor to get? Front of rear? Geared vs not? Brand/model(s)? I don't mind spending money for quality.
    Is there any issue with having 8 speed cassettes with a rear motor? Read one bit saying 7 was sometimes the limit.
    How do these hub motors feel? They're just a single speed right? I read they're not hot on hills, but are they all-around pretty nice to use? I've only ever tried a midbike ebike, for 1 minute, so I'm clueless.
    She'd be using it on flat terrain commuting mostly, though we do some touring too, including alpine action. She has a 28" uprightish hybrid european kind of bike.
    How's the longevity of the midbike motors? If I ended up buying a whole bike. Why on earth do they make the gears out of plastic?
    Thanks, I'm reading away, but thought I'd pick some brains to save time too. ;)
    Last edited by siltsunrise; 09-30-2018, 06:56 AM.

    #2
    I'm not sure if I'm understanding your post quite right. Probably not.

    A dynamo wheel-hub is an alternating-current generator. Most are rated at 6V output, and capacities range from 2 to 3 watts typically. These are used to provide a power-source for bicycle lights, which are designed to be compatible with hub-dynamos.

    Hub-dynamos provide very low rolling-resistance when compared to the type of dynamo tilted against the side of the bicycle's tire. I would consider this the most immediate advantage over standard dynamos.

    Dynamo-hub lighting also has advantages. Because they use an alternating current, lights designed for use with hub-dynamos can have some pretty neat features. By sensing the pulse-rate of that dynamo, a "smart" taillight can sense when your speed drops suddenly, and activate a brighter PULSE on you bike's taillight. Or, you may be able to charge your TomTom, or your GoPRO, or your iPhone with its energy, depending on what fancy gadgets you wish to buy.

    Do not attempt to hook a battery up to a hub-dynamo. It will not act as a motor. I would put that on the "very bad idea" list.

    If you have yourself a good battery, you are actually on your way--so don't get discouraged!

    Best of luck with your project!

    Tklop

    Comment


    • joebreeze
      joebreeze commented
      Editing a comment
      What about 'charging' battery with dynamo hubs ?

    • tklop
      tklop commented
      Editing a comment
      Hub dynamos won't recharge your bike battery (well, not very quickly anyway). They produce a 6 volt AC (Alternating Current) signal--generally just a few watts. This signal is useless for anything but bike-lights, unless you have some device which can turn it into a DC signal (for a USB outlet). Hub dynamos are not going to give you a lot of power. However, with the right accessories, they can charge (or keep charged) your cell-phone, or your GPS, or the like. If you wanted to recharge a USB powerbank, they could do that too (if your ride is long enough). But really--they're made for powering lights. The reason you can do more (like charge via USB)--is because LED lights need less energy--so there's "just enough" left over for nifty extra stuff like that (and most modern bikes use LED lights).

      So, no. They're not going to provide "regen" or anything like that.

      Hub dynamos advantage is in their low rolling-resistance, due to their hub-mounted position. Rolling resistance (under load) will be less than the "cogging" of a 1000W direct-drive hub-motor. In other words, there's resistance--but it's negligible resistance to either legs or motors. I've found I have consistently greater range using the hub-dynamo to keep my mobile-device charged, than when I use the USB outlet on my TSDZ2's display--charging straight off my battery. It's hard to understand exactly why. I do know the A/C signal has lower line-losses, but that can't be the only factor.

      Anyways. That.
      Last edited by tklop; 06-14-2019, 12:59 PM. Reason: for clarity

    • joebreeze
      joebreeze commented
      Editing a comment
      One plus point of the Shark or Dolphin pack is the USB output for charging a phone etc , but not if you have a Wolf V2 .

      How would one go about attaching a USB charge port to a Wolf V2 ? , fuses , transformer ? etc ,

    #3
    This reply will make more sense, when the previous one finally appears.

    Honestly--I've also felt incorporating a little dynamo in e-bike hub-motors would be a much more energy-efficient manner of lighting people's bikes. Plus--when the battery is dead--guess what? THE LIGHTS STILL WORK AS ALWAYS.

    But it often seems as if the simplest and most effective solutions rarely occur to those who're pulling the strings--they're only wish is to enrich themselves. They've the wrong goals--and are surrounded typically by all the wrong people!

    But yeah. Do not hook a battery to a wheel-hub dynamo.

    Take care,

    Tklop
    Last edited by tklop; 09-30-2018, 03:59 AM.

    Comment


      #4
      Okay. I thought that might be the case! I get my mords all wixed up sometimes too!

      No worries.

      Tklop!

      Comment


        #5
        That was way too many questions at the top, sorry.
        Anybody know a (european preferably) dealer of various TDCM hub motors? I can't find anything at all. Esp. looking for the ones without the internal gears. Not interested in those particularly. What happens when those gears wear out? The whole thing is shot?
        Who makes the very best hub motors?
        Last edited by siltsunrise; 09-30-2018, 11:35 AM.

        Comment


        • tklop
          tklop commented
          Editing a comment
          You're obviously learning an awful lot, really fast! Hang in there!

          I too had many of the same thoughts and concerns getting started.

          Opinions may vary, but I don't think you should worry too much about those internal gears failing or wearing out. Whether for Cyclone mid-drives, or Bafang BBSxx series mid-drives, they both use internal gears--and there are ways of replacing those too, if it ever becomes necessary.

          I imagine the same is true for at least certain BLDC geared hub-motors. Replacement gears and bearings may be available for those too.

          I'm not an expert on everything out there--far from it. I've plenty of pockets of ignorance in my head, when it comes to e-bikes myself--and I will be the first to admit that. It seems the more you dig in, the more you discover there is left to learn! I say this, because I must admit I just do not know what you mean by a TDCM hub-motor--so I cannot speak to that.

          Similarly, the "best" motor out there--that's a tough question to answer. Your plans for use will help narrow down the field of choices a bit--you'll see that as time goes on. But also, opinions I'm sure vary widely as to which is "best" --and according to whom.

          In my region (Utrecht area, The Netherlands), there's a company called "Juizz" which sells and services e-bikes. I don't know if they're a "parts dealer" per-se. I doubt it.

          In The Netherlands, almost nobody will take on a "DIY---Do It Yourself" project. Not for their home, not for their car, not for their bike. The Dutch want ready-to-ride, and will refuse to do any bike maintenance at all--pretty much ever. So the market here obviously isn't so good for the DIY crowd. If the same is true in Germany, you may indeed need to expand your search to more of Europe--or on to Asia. The other simple truth, is that all those various vendors you'll find, are buying the same products the rest of us are--the same motors, controllers, batteries, and other components--but they will include their own profit-markup to the prices.

          Don't get me wrong: For the convenience of a "local dealer" I'd be willing to pay a little more--I'm not against that. But my experience with retailers in The Netherlands, is that they've never anything useful "in stock". I've visited bike-shops which told me they had to "special order" standard-size Schwalbe tires and tubes. I've been also told, they needed to "special order" one-speed bicycle chain. Their shops are full of bicycles--but to fix customers' bikes, they have to order (and wait for) their parts to arrive from some outside on-line vendor. There is no advantage to buying parts from local bike-shops here--unless you're lucky enough to need one of the eleven odd items they actually have in stock. Under such circumstances, I am clearly better off ordering the same things online myself--and take out the useless middle-man.

          Online parts vendors in Europe offer some choices when it comes to e-bike parts, but not much. Until or unless some big shift happens in the market--an explosion in DIY projects (for example), it is not likely there will be much local European support for the e-bike industry at all. Everything I've seen here is focused on ready-made factory-model bikes. There's nothing wrong with that--except that conversions can be done for a whole lot less money.

          If one of the rare sorts of people capable of putting together a project by yourself, you too can get the "DIY discount" ---so-to-speak; all you buy is the parts.

          If, as you keep discovering things here, you decide "to heck with all this DIY trouble" then you can buy ready-made too!

          Best of luck to you!

          Tklop
          Last edited by tklop; 09-30-2018, 10:20 PM. Reason: for clarity

        #6
        Thanks. Next issue is figuring out exactly what is legal here 250 watts or 25 km/hour. But what exactly that means, I don't know. Peak power, average power, etc.
        TDCM makes high end hub motors. Some insanely expensive swiss ebikes use them, so they must be top notch.

        Comment


          #7
          Originally posted by siltsunrise View Post
          Thanks. Next issue is figuring out exactly what is legal here 250 watts or 25 km/hour. But what exactly that means, I don't know. Peak power, average power, etc.
          TDCM makes high end hub motors. Some insanely expensive swiss ebikes use them, so they must be top notch.
          I'm not going to say that it isn't so--those "high-end" motors being pretty good. I have never heard of them. Is that what they're using for the Stromers?

          Well, who knows...

          In my opinion a Stromer--is a fast way for a rich fool and his money to become separated from one another--in exchange for what amounts to a pretty mediocre e-bike. I've seen quite a lot of them here, and I am not impressed at all.

          "Expensive"--it is important to remember--is a thing that is good for the sellers first and foremost. Sometimes expensive means better quality--sometimes it only means more profit for the seller.

          But that's why this forum is so helpful too--you can get an awful lot of valuable information before choosing. Informed choices are almost always better choices.

          By selecting and assembling components, riders can get far better performance, ride comfort, and style--with even more "bells and whistles" if they want them--for a fraction of the cost of a Stromer.

          I carried a Stromer and its rider in my bakfiets to a local bike-shop the other day. The man had passed me a moment earlier. But when he got a flat, he was out of luck. He could not push the bike with a flat tire, and knew nothing about his car-priced bicycle, he was stranded. I was glad to be able to help the guy, but yeah. It struck me as pretty sad and pathetic. Here's a guy with a geared BLDC rear-hub motor, battery, display and controls. That's all a Stromer e-bike is--no matter what the "badge" says on it. His bike can go over 25 KPH, so it's classified as a "Fiets Pedelec" and he needs insurance, and license-plates for it. Yet after all that investment and trouble--the guy can't deal with his own flat tires? Very sad indeed. But a DIY Fiets Pedelec that exceeds every one of his performance specs could have been made--including a brand-new frame--for a fraction of what he paid.

          Anyways--sorry...

          Keep looking around--don't commit to spending anything until you have... Maybe those TDCM motors are fantastic--maybe they're the same as everyone else's--with a great-big price tag. Maybe worse still, they won't be compatible with anything else on the market, and will require buying still more overpriced "exclusive" components. It happens. Ever own a Mercedes Benz?

          Take care,

          Tklop
          Last edited by tklop; 10-03-2018, 10:54 PM.

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