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State limit me to 500 watts. So any suggestions??

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    State limit me to 500 watts. So any suggestions??

    Hello all, I am dreaming of a new hobby I would love to pursue. My State limits my built to 500 watts and it is treated as a normal bike. So if I have two 500 watt hubs does that equal 1000 total? Does that help? I am no speed freak but don't want to get ran over either. Will mid located motor give me best performance. Any way to get a bigger motor and utilize only 500 watts. I live in the country, probably would ride a lot in the city. Any how I am just looking, reading, dreaming. It is so darn cold outside it is a good time of year for planning. Thanks for any suggestions, comments for helping me get the most out of 500 watt kit of some sort. Thanks

    #2
    It depends:
    lots of folk build higher power bikes and ride on the road as it's very unlikely that any sort of enforcement will understand the law, let alone how to check. Lots of folk on this site from the US will scoff at 500 watts.
    But:
    I ride a Bafang 36v 500 watt and I can tell you that it is more than enough for most people. You can easily exceed 25mph or climb any hill with 500 watts. And in my humble opinion you don't want to be going any faster on a push bike.

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      #3
      Hello Freewheelingf, thank you for taking the time to comment. I am glad to hear about 36v 500 watt being suficient. I am physically disabled, the last time I got out on my bike I nearly did not make it back home. I have been thinking about getting a cruiser style bike next time instead of my aluminum cannondale. I loved the weight of the bike and I got upgraded gears but it is really uncomfortable on my neck and spine in general. I do not have much money and so my thinking was if I ever invested I would want to buy the best I can get for my dollar since I don't have much to start with. I did not want to get 500 watt and then, wish I would have gotten 1000 or something different. Ebikes look like a wonderful alternative to pure peddle power. The bafang motor seems pretty popluar. I may try matching it with a good battery brand. I saw a samsung battery I believe it was, it was pricey but maybe worth the extra? Sort of a new world for me, I enjoy reading other peoples stories. Thanks again for your comments'

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        #4
        Guaranteed a comfortable cruiser bike with a 500 watt motor would be practicle and tons of fun. Spend good money on a good battery, it's worth it, they're not cheap but a quality battery with a decent amount of amp hours is worth spending the money.

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          #5
          It's a hobby. Cheaper than fixing up cars. Build what you want, and have fun. If it looks like a bike, and you ride like a responsible adult, no one will bug you. That's my philosophy, anyway.


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            #6
            Originally posted by HarryS View Post
            If it looks like a bike, and you ride like a responsible adult, no one will bug you.
            I have lots of big hills where I live, some exceed 20% grade, so I build 1000watts or bigger and have never been stopped by the police because I ride in a rational manner. Err..well, most of the time! ;)

            Comment


            • thebootfitter
              thebootfitter commented
              Editing a comment
              In my experience, riding in a rational manner is all it takes. And that "most of the time" comment... Well, if there is no one around on a wide open smooth road with no chance for creating an accident, then maybe cranking up past 30 mph is "rational" too. :-)

            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              If there's no one around to see it happen.... did it? =]

            #7
            Thank you group for your comments. I guess I am done with this route for a little while. I found a unit on craiglist yesterday and purchased it. I have some troubles so will post another post and see if anyone can point me in the right direction. I do believe I will get the 500 watt and the best battery I can just incase I caused an accident or somethng. I am over 50 and don't have any speeding tickets. I definately am not a rebel, lol. I was trying to read on my state laws. It states 500 watts and no more than 30 miles per hour. I do not know if 500 watts can even get to that speed? I think you guys are right. Just keep my nose clean and ride with common sense and I should be fine what ever I get. Most cops are not techies I would not imagine. Thanks again everyone.

            Comment


            • Freewheelingf
              Freewheelingf commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck FunGuy. With the correct gearing the 500w might just be able to even reach 30mph on the flat, but 25mph is easily achievable. Sorry if you've already worked this out, and I'm therefore stating the obvious but going for top speed on any 500w+ motor is the fast way to drain your batteries fast.

              I haven't seen or done a scientific test but the power to watt hours used isn't linear. The amount of watt hours used to travel at 30mph is more than twice the watt hours used to travel at 15mph.

              I use a 500 watt hour battery (14ah pack in a 10s4p configuration - 14ah * 36v = 504 watt hours). In theory I can max out for one hour. In reality I get about 3hrs of off-road riding, which is slower but harder in terms of gradients and ground drag. On the road I am guessing that I could travel at a constant 20mph for 2 hrs.

            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              Ideally the draw is proportional to the square of the speed - but there are so many factors (wind, slope, pedaling, etc.) so that's really rough. My experience has been that it's a good general rule though and that 20mph does draw about 4x 10mph (etc.) and if this is the case, the range at 20mph would be half that of 10mph - you'd just get there in half the time but no more battery or get there in twice the time and still have half the battery =]

            #8
            AZguy, the inner nerd in me so wants to do a real world test. Until then I'm probably talking through my own arse. But would I be correct in saying that the effect of drag compounded by the mass and drag inefficiency of a large man on a bicycle is enough to make a significant difference between 15mph and 30mph?

            I'm looking at the calculations and explanation from Sheldon Brown. His figure 3. seems helpful. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/aero/formulas.htm

            On a fully upright bike 150w of power is required to do 24kph (15 mph) but well over 500w to do 48 kph (30mph). You'd need an aero bike to do 30mph with 500w.

            The peak power of a bafang 500w motor may be enough to hit 30mph but you'd get much less than a hour with a 500 watt hour battery, obviously :-)

            However you might realistically get 3 hrs travelling at 15mph.

            Comment


            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              I've got a batt-man and set the PAS to constant current (power) so it's pretty easy to see... but the effects of slope and wind are very significant so it's hard to get a lot of precision.

              While I'd question a thing or two on Sheldon's page it suggests that wind is the dominant drag source on level ground at static speeds and that the "wind" (apparent wind) resistance is proportional to the square of the speed... which is sort of what I'm saying.

              So yes, the drag between 15 and 30mph is very significant. Based on my last batt-man log that is dicey because there were periods of lots of wind - I'm seeing reasonably flat hard multi-use paths it takes ~300W to to go 14mph... now i don't go 30mph at all frequently but 20mph was taking about 700W... so if we go by the square rule (20/14)^0.5 * 300W = 612W.... close enough for me!

              Some day when it's windless I may go along the same path at all 9 different fixed power levels with the batt-man and actually test with this in mind - give me a reason to go ride (like I need that!!!)...



              There is plenty of power used in acceleration but I was ignoring that. I can say for sure that accelerating slowly running low power gets very significantly more range than high power acceleration...

            #9
            Laws like that rub me the wrong way. The first step is to acquire a sticker that says "500W". Next is to plan on a system that doesn't have a hand throttle, just a PAS throttle, where you have to pedal to get any power.

            That way, you can never accidentally zoom past a cop without pedaling. You could use two small geared hubs to make the low power limit believable, with the rear motor obscured by cargo bags.

            My favorite type of commuter is a longtail cargobike. If the rear tire is a 20 inch, it would be really easy to hide a large direct drive hub behind cargo-bags.

            another strategy is to use a small motor with high volts. Looks weak, but it is powerful, for the hills.

            Comment


              #10
              AZGuy, we've ended up hijacking this post

              Comment


              • AZguy
                AZguy commented
                Editing a comment
                Not terribly bad - it's related..... sort of =]

              #11
              You guys all rock. Thank you for so much, good information. I guess my next search will be for a PAS throttle. With my disability or different abilities I am only able to fully use one leg. So If a pas throttle relys on me, I am relying on it an equal amount, lol. I have another unrelated to this posting question to ask well actually several, but for this post I have walked away with lots of good informantion and I thank you,

              Comment


                #12
                So Ive never seen anyone check the bikes wattage. Personally Id just drive it responsibly and try to stay off the radar. Extra step would be getting a nice professional looking 500Watt Decal and sticking it on the motor, unethical maybe. But its highly doubtful your going to run into a cop with the tools to check it. Unless your riding it like a motorcycle blowing redlights and down right being a menace. Then you probably deserve what you get. but seeing how you asked the question, Id say you're probably good and not worry bout it!

                Comment


                  #13
                  I'm not concerned about getting a ticket or any encounter with LEO's over it being an e-bike...

                  Two years ago riding along our multi-use trails I saw maybe three other e-bikes the entire year.

                  Last year I saw maybe dozen.

                  Already I've seen more than that this year and as always there's a share of yahoo's drawing way too much attention to themselves. Not really breaking laws or tearing things up, just having fun riding up and down the hills in the park, hollering and riding very fast. But drawing a lot of attention and many folks will draw their conclusions rightly or wrongly or just a different perspective and it's easy to see that some will view them as hooligans tearing up the park and just being a general nuisance.

                  I'm concerned about next year or the year after signs that say "no e-bikes". It's easier just to ban them and then there's no concern about how much power, classes, throttles, stickers, speed limits or whatever. It has a motor and..... you're out of there!

                  Then I'll be far more concerned about LEO encounters...

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Just ride responsibly. You won't have any issues with any law enforcement officers checking power levels.

                    Something worth clearing up that every regular understands but hasn't said yet: Your motor power rating is meaningless. It has no bearing on the speed you will achieve. Power to the ground - expressed in watts - comes about as a result of the volts output by your battery multiplied by the amps in your controller. The motor wattage rating is solely a rating on how much punishment a motor can take ... and some motor manufacturers - Bafang in particular - underrate their motors by a mile.

                    So watts to the ground.... I have a 52 volt battery - where the 52v battery is actually 58.8v fully charged. I have a 35a (peak... i.e. momentary only) controller. 58.8 x 35 = 2058 watts to the ground at a peak moment. My motor by the way is a 750w Bafang fat hub. Widely available. It can take that kind of power level no problem.

                    Likewise the Bafang 350w motors - note they say '350w' on them in case the Bike Police come after you - are perfectly capable of taking 1000 watts literally forever (52v battery and a 20a peak controller). Oh and the Bafang 250w motors that are sold to the EU where 250w is the limit for common ebikes? Those are 350w motors with 250w stamped on the casing.

                    500w is what you make of it with other components in the equation. And if The Man ever comes for you, chances are pretty good he won't have the slightest idea he should be reading the battery and controller labels.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Hey, here I am again. Thank you guys again for sharing your experience. I saw today a guy selling his bike and it was a multi speed, he said speed 1 was around 10 mph, 2=20 and 3=30. Does anyone know anything about this type of set up? I live in the country, I have 5 acres, Speed on my own property would be great. I would like to get some dirt halled in sometime and make a small play area. Having a little extra power for the dirt could bog me down I would imagine. I weigh 210. That great information MoneyPit. I like your setup alot. I may think like a rebel but I very rarely act upon it, sometimes I don't use my turn signals, lol. I do have a good history of staying out of trouble. The last think I want is attention. So unless I am just unlucky for what ever reason. I should not have any troubles with police. I am past 50 and still haven't even had a speeding ticket. My first car had a 455 in it while I was going to auto school. I "was" pretty wreckless, I enjoyed having gun. I would like to say I am more mature and wiser than once upon a time. Although my family say I act like a kid. Well thanks again. I am going to go ask a question on bike choices. Have a great day.

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