Category Archives: e-bike conversion

converting a bike to an e-bike

A pair of pedals that ARE an electric bicycle conversion

Convert a Bike by adding a pair of pedals!

I just found out about this, and I think it’s a brilliant invention. Wish I’d thought of it. See the image below : a pair of pedals that ARE an electric bike. The pedals turn the bike into an electric bike. but how?

pedal e-bike conversion
these pedals convert a bike

Have you ever had a pedal jam and not rotate? It’s annoying. As the crank goes around the stuck pedal rotates under your foot and makes it hard to pedal. These pedals have the opposite effect. The motor inside makes them rotate with respect to the crank but your foot keeps them horizontal, and that forces the crank to rotate.
Obviously there are limitations in getting motor plus battery into something as small as a pedal. If you have seen my post on the Vivax Assist motor that has 200 Watt motor within a seat tube you know that getting a motor small enough is not such a problem, but getting a battery small enough, and useful enough is.
Therefore these will not replace a 250 Watt conversion nor go as far as a typical 36V 10AH battery but will give some “help”…an extra one third of your power and for 15km they say.
The main benefit of these pedals is that they can easily be added to a bike, any bike, and taken off and put on another bike, and require no battery or wiring. This is similar in effect (but less clever or powerful) to the all-in-one wheel conversions such as FlyKly wheel that I mention in another post here.
Another advantage is that the pedals are in effect a “central motor” because they work on the chain and through the bike’s gears as a central motor does.
The on/off happens by flipping the pedals over. So they are alway on, or always off. There not being a throttle or PAS is a disadvantage.
Find out more about these at Britt technologies

LATEST ON THE FLYKLY WHEEL and WIZE BICYCLE

 

REPORT FROM THE DEVELOPERS OF THE FLYKLY WHEEL AND WIZE BICYCLE

FlyKly’s mission is to promote cycling around the world, help grow a strong cycling community and make cities more bicycle friendly. Our goal throughout has been to develop the best possible products of the highest quality and offer you the best service you could wish for, as well as establish a strong production.

We have progressed wonderfully with our App, as well as with the Smart Light. When it comes to the Smart Wheel, our primary goal is again to give you the product of truly the best possible quality. This is why we have decided to use the technology of ZeHuS, the company that has done a fantastic job with developing Bike+ technology.

With your great support this project become a reality and as a result, FlyKly now offers 4 products: Smart Wheel, Wize Bicycle, Smart Light and the App.

SMART WHEEL

From the start, the concept of the Smart Wheel was a lightweight and highly efficient all-in-one design pedal assist wheel that fits on practically any bicycle. That’s what the old Smart Wheel was and the new Smart Wheel represents. The difference is that the new Smart Wheel comes with big improvements in design, materials and technology, thanks to the patented innovative solutions developed by ZeHuS. It makes the initial concept even more to the point. It’s a lightweight, highly efficient pedal assist wheel. We are proud to present to you a new and improved Smart Wheel.

Old Smart Wheel & New Smart Wheel
Old Smart Wheel & New Smart Wheel

NEW FEATURES

Size

The new Smart Wheel is smaller and lighter, in fact it’s 50% smaller and 30% lighter. It only weighs 3 kg and measures 180mm in diameter. Riding with the new Smart Wheel, you do not feel you have any extra weight or drag on the bicycle because most of the parts are stationary. Also, it’s so small that it can barely be noticed on the bicycle, so the appearance of your bicycle does not change.

It fits on practically any bicycle. The dropout stays the same, 120mm – 135mm, as well as the wheel sizes available; 700C (28”), 26”, and 20”.

New FlyKly Smart Wheel powered by ZehuS
New FlyKly Smart Wheel powered by ZehuS

Range & Speed 

Extensive testing and research have shown that the majority of people don’t ride their bicycle for more than 30 km a day, so we’ve realized it would be much better to have a lighter, smaller Smart Wheel with a 160Wh lithium battery with 30 – 40 km range, than a heavier and larger Smart Wheel with more range. It has proved more efficient, because this way you do not carry around the large battery, with the extra energy and weight.

The top speed Smart Wheel assists you with is 25 km/h. This is required by law in many countries around the world. This means that the Smart Wheel will assist you until you reach 25 km/h. Once you go over the 25 km/h, the Smart Wheel motor will turn off and let you pedal on your own. You can continue to pedal and increase the speed; there is no limit to how fast you can go. But once you get back to 25 km/h, the motor turns on and starts to assist you again.

Housing 

The new Smart Wheel comes with the aluminium housing. To be exact, 6082-T6 aluminium. It’s much sturdier and weather proof. The aluminium helps to cool the motor and the batteries.

Tracking / Security 

The App enables you to track and map your rides. If you wish, you can anonymously share your ride info with the city officials to help build more bicycle friendly cities. This feature uses the GPS from your smartphone. The App also locks your Smart Wheel. This is the first step in security.

In case the Smart Wheel gets stolen, we have previously been planning to install GPS in the wheel. Instead, we have developed a superior security system. All the Smart Wheels will be registered to their users. FlyKly customers will need to create an account, register the Smart Wheel and connect it with the App. So in case your Smart Wheel gets stolen, the thief will need to connect the App to the Smart Wheel with the pin code in order to use it. When connecting the App and the Smart Wheel, we will receive the thief’s info and location from their smartphone. This way, we will be able to track your Smart Wheel by location and by who is currently using it. This is a much more secure, elegant system, with no bypass.

Bluetooth

We have secured all the certificates, so the new Smart Wheel comes with the Bluetooth 2.3. This opens a much broader range of smartphones available to be used with the Smart Wheel.

Brakes

The new Smart Wheel comes with a much improved motor brake. This is possible due to the technology provided by ZeHuS. When you start pedaling backwards, the motor slows down the bicycle with the regenerative braking. While, braking the motor also regenerates energy. This is a great feature but by the law the bicycle has to be equaled with at least one mechanical brake in the front or back. Incase you would like to have the rear brake, the Smart Wheel works with the v brakes. Disc or coastal brakes do not work with the Smart Wheel.

https://vimeo.com/92347308Video: Regenerative braking, charging & riding uphill.

Colors

The new aluminium housing is perfect for colors and the most popular colors so far are white, silver and glow in the dark.

In the Box

FlyKly Smart Wheel powered by ZeHuS already assembled and fitted to a wheel rim of your choice, along with a bicycle tube and a tire. FlyKly Smart Light with an adhesive surface for holding your smartphone and a dynamo generator included. An electric charger for charging the Smart Wheel.

At Glance

WIZE BICYCLE 

FlyKly bicycle with the Wize hub powered by ZeHuS is state of the art in terms of technology and efficiency. It is the first product of its kind on the market. The Wize hub comes with all the features of the Smart Wheel plus the Bike+ technology, which enables the no-recharging function. Bike+ just won a prestigious golden prize for innovation in China Cycle 2014. This is truly a breakthrough in the development of electric vehicles.

Wize Bicycle #000
Wize Bicycle #000

The Wize hub 

The Wize hub is packed with the patented technology called Bike+ developed by ZeHuS and inspected by Extra Energy Lab. It’s not just pedal assist: it’s a technology that measures your effort, motor effort and the slope assistance. Special formula developed by ZeHuS makes calculations to provide the proper assistance and recharge the battery when the assistance is not necessary.

In other words, Wize Hub assists you by working with your body, assisting when you need it and regenerating the energy when you are going down a slope, braking or can sustain the speed on it own. Although there is a charging plug, there is no need for external sources of energy, the Wize hub has no range limit.

Regarding the battery, the depletion depends on the conditions of the ride. In some conditions (constant speed) the assistance is limited, and in other conditions (typically long ascents) the battery can get deployed. This can also happen when you chooses the pedal assist mode, which gives you the maximum assistance and the battery level will decrease. The App allows you to set the levels of assistance and regeneration. The subservience of the Wize hub is 90% max and the regeneration is 80% max. Read more

Smart Technology 

The Wize hub holds several international patents.

Bicycle 

Wize hub needs to be preinstalled on a bicycle. Special mounting is required, therefore we do not offer the Wize hub separately. We developed a bicycle that fits best with the Wize hub and we offer it as a complete product.

In the Box 

Wize hub assembled on the bicycle. Bicycle with all the necessary components. FlyKly Smart Light with an adhesive surface for holding your smartphone and dynamo generator included. An electric charger for charging the Smart Wheel.

APP

We have updated the iOS app with new updates. Thank you all for your feedback so far. The Android app is in the works and will be available through Google Play soon.

The SDK Kit is also on its way and will be available in July 2014. Backers who got the SDK Kit will get a special access to our serves and direct contact with our development team. We are looking forward working with you and have you on the team. We can’t wait to see what you will be working on. We would be happy to hear and discuss any ideas / plans with you so please reach out so we can start working together.

SMART LIGHT

The Smart Light is in production and is shaping out nicely. We’ll write more about the Smart Light in the following updates.

PRICING / OFFER

We increased the price of the Smart Wheel and introduced the new Wize Bicycle last week. The new price for the Smart Wheel is $800. The price for the Wize Bicycle is $1800.

You, our backers, will not be affected by the price increase. You will receive the new Smart Wheel at the price you pledged: $550 Early bird, $590 and $700 SDK kit.

If you are interested in Wize Bicycle, you can use your pledge towards the price of the Wize Bicycle and pay the difference. In the next update, we will also explain the registration process and how to choose the product you want in more detail.

SHIPPING 

The production was moved to Italy. Extra shipping costs might apply, but we’ll have more information on this in the following updates.

PRODUCTION / DELIVERY TIME 

Production of the Smart Wheel and Wize Bicycle is located in Italy. We already have most of the tools ready to start the production. The final part we are waiting on is the molds for the aluminium housing. It will be ready in July. The app is in the final stages of development and testing. Certificates for most of the components were approved. In the following updates, we will take you behind the scenes of our production and show you how things are made.

Delivery time has moved and we will start to ship in September 2014. The delivery of the Wize Bicycle will start in December 2014. The SDK kit app will become available in July 2014.

We decided to offer you the new Smart Wheel instead of the old Smart Wheel now, because we didn’t want to deliver the old Smart Wheel to you and in 3 months offer a new, much improved Smart Wheel. We want to provide you with the best product and service and we believe that offering the new Smart Wheel and Wize Bicycle to you now is great.

We are very happy about where we stand today. We have improved and better products, a production to produce the highest quality products and a team to innovate and improve our products even further. The concept of the Smart Wheel is now a reality and very close to becoming a part of our everyday life. In a long road of bringing this concept to life, we are at the final step: the production! It wouldn’t be possible without your support and help and we really appreciate it! We have come a long way together.

In the following update #14, we will introduce the process of registering as a FlyKly customer and choosing the product. In the following updates, we will focus on the production and report to you the user experiences from our test drives. We have test drives available in our offices in Milan, Italy. If you would like to come visit us, please let us know. Some of the backers already scheduled the visit. In May we will have test drives available in New York City, San Francisco & Los Angeles. After that we will do more test drives, so please let us know where would you like to see us.

Best Regards,

FlyKly & ZeHuS

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VIVAX ASSIST 4.0

VIVAX ASSIST 4.0
Central drive conversion motors are becoming more talked about. I see a lot of lookers for the Bafang unit. That’s quite discreet but here is a very much neater and “invisible” conversion.
With this motor installed it is not at all obviously an electric bike. The motor is completely hidden within the down tube and secretly drives the pedal axle . In order to do that the makers (Gruber Antrieb GmbH)

Vivax Assist - an invisible conversion
Vivax Assist – an invisible conversion

have designed an extremely thin motor…so thin that it fits in a bike’s down tube. 200 Watts in such a thin motor is quite an achievement. Not all bikes though have a tube thin enough. The tube needs to be 31mm clear, and maybe it needs to be filed at the junction with the bottom bracket. In keeping with the secret motor the battery hangs from the saddle and looks like a bike tool bag. One little problem with that is that the battery …30v and 5.5AH … has only less than half the capacity of a typical 36v 10AH bike battery. Though, the whole conversion, motor and battery is etremely light at a hardly noticeable 1.7kg!.
I can’t see these being installed on any ordinary bike. Why? The recommended price is EUR2550 and EUR159 to install. That’s over $AU4000! Well, it’s the ultimate sneaky conversion for anyone who doesn’t want to look like they are riding an electric bike.

E-Bike Conversion – the basics

Yes you can convert just about any ordinary bicycle into an electric bicycle.

In US about half of the e-bikes on the road were once an ordinary bicycle. (In europe less so, because they are less DIY there)

Many brands of electric bike were made as on ordinary bike frame and the electric bike factory added motor and the battery.

You need to think about where to put the motor and battery.

If you have any rear wheel gears other than the very ordinary screw on gears then you probably won’t want a rear hub motor.  There are not many rear hub motors that can keep your casssette gears ( if you have those) and they are more expensive. 

If you have rear sprung suspension then you can’t add a rack above the wheel to hold the battery.

Otherwise you can have the motor in front or rear wheel, or centrally near the pedals ( See E-Bike Motors – front, rear or mid) and the battery on a rear rack or attached to down tube, seat post or anywhere else it fits.

There some forums where enthusiastic devotees of DIY conversion describe (brag about) their conversions. For instance Endless Sphere

There are countless videos on YouTube about bike conversion. Just search those words and there are so many to choose from. If you need to you can get confidence from a few of those. But probably you won’t need to because converting your bike with a basic front or rear wheel conversion kit is quite easy.

There are many shops selling a basic conversion kit. There are also many on EBay. Many of those will not be in stock locally and will come from China. You can get a conversion kit direct from many sites in China yourself, but do make sure about what you order.

You will see a picture like this

electric bike conversion kit
electric bicycle conversion kit

These include a hub motor and a “controller” that connects to it and either or both a throttle and a pedal assist sensor. One or a pair of brake levers are usually included. They replace the brakes that you had and are added safety because they stop the motor when you brake. They are not essential but recommended for safety. If you have a brake and gear shift combined you can keep them but they won’t stop the motor. Increasingly an LCD screen showing speed, distance and more is included. 

Most of the conversion “kits” will include a battery. However most shops will sell the wheel and controls separately from the battery. The battery is the most expensive component of a conversion. In general any battery of appropriate voltage and capacity can be matched to the controller of the motor. You are likely to get a better total price if you shop for battery (and rack or attachment) separately.

I have conversion kits with front or rear hub motors, or bottom bracket replacement central motors here and various electric bike batteries and racks here (all at a good price)

This year 2014 “smart wheels” will start to be produced. These are all-in-one conversions and may be a suitable simple easy conversion for some. See Smart wheels – a simple easy conversion

Next posts : E-Bike Conversion – Front or Rear Hub

E-Bike Conversion – Central Motor

SMART WHEELS – simpler electric bicycle conversion

Anyone who has ever messed with electric bike conversion kits will be familiar with the controller with its tangle of wires and sockets, and attaching a battery somewhere on the bike frame.

There has been some progress in simplifying the procedure. The number of separate socket pairs for the wiring up  has been reduced. The 8 wires going to the motor are now commonly connected by a single multipin socket, and sensorless motors needing only 3 wires are now available.

Golden Motor has been producing motor wheels for several years that have the controller within the wheel. For those the throttle, brakes and power lead connect directly to the motor wheel.

I have electric bikes that have their battery within the rear wheel hub in a case like the case of a direct drive motor.

The logical next step would be to have battery, controller in with the motor in its case around the hub. That had to happen and now several companies are producing, or about to produce, such an integrated all-in-one motor wheel.

These “smart wheels” make a simple neat e-bike conversion…for just about any bicycle. As well as being simple you get to keep the old bike, so to speak. There is no battery, controller, rear rack, and wiring to remove. You can simply swap out the smart wheel for the old wheel, and un-convert your bike. 

There is not even the wiring from handlebar to the controller in the wheel because the wheel is smart enough to get its control and send its feedback (and as much data as you’ll ever want) by wifi either to a smart phone or device mounted on the handlebar.

THE ELECTRON WHEEL

electron wheel
Electron wheel

The first wheel of this type to be actually produced is available now from Currie Technologies (www.currietech.com) in US at $US999 ($Au1120 + shipping) and I don’t think it is available anywhere else. At present it is only made for 26″ front wheels. It is less sophisticated communication wise than the wheels by other companies that will be available later in 2014.

There is no throttle as with most conversions and the other all-in-one wheels. The wheel has “a mind of its own”. Sensors within the wheel detect your accelerating and your going uphill and THEN add power,
and vice versa reduce power when you slow down or go downhill.

The assistance is always there, more or less. If you want to ride without assistance you change back to the original wheel. (which is easy and quick). Another limitation is the range. The system is 24v and the 10AH battery has less range than the 36v wheels.
For more about this wheel including video : www.electronwheel.com

FLYKLY WHEEL

FlyklyWheelThe next wheel likely to be available is Flykly. They are getting this into production by crowd sourcing from Kickstarter. They say it is only 4kg and that is 4 or 5 kg less than the usual battery + motor. Given that there is no way of reducing the weight of a lithium battery of any given voltage and AH that implies that the range will also be less.

This version of the all-in-one conversion wheels is 26″ rear wheel. (20″ version may be available). This wheel has onboard sensors and also wifi connectivity to your phone. It comes with a handlebar light which has a mount for your smart phone, which becomes your interface with the motor. You get the usual readouts of speed and distance etc and you control the assistance you want.

Enough people pledged to put money upfront for a wheel and now it will soon be in production with the first wheels going to those who pledged – in May, they say.  You can read about them and see video at www.kickstarter.com/projects/flykly/flykly-smart-wheel

COPHENHAGEN WHEEL

Copenhagen Wheel
Copenhagen Wheel

A similar more sophisticated wheel called the Copenhagen Wheel will be produced in 2014. As with the FlyKly wheel this version also has wifi phone controls, also including locking, GPRS tracking, and various sensors of noise and pollution.
To quote from the Copenhagen Wheel website:
 “Smart, responsive and elegant, the Copenhagen Wheel is a new emblem for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units. The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need
a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion,
and road conditions in real-time”.

You can read about this project and see a video at www.superpedestrian.com

The Copenhagen Wheel is also now available for pre-order (US$699 + US$79 delivery) with delivery said to be around March 2014.