Electric bicycles are becoming more popular everyday. They have many practical usages. In Europe and China they have become a mode of transportation and are helping in the reduction of carbon emissions and pollutants. Senior citizens and baby boomers can now continue to enjoy bicycle riding without the strain of pedaling uphill or other hardships. Individuals with physical challengers have a choice of exercising or using the electric motor for assistance and getting around; it’s an excellent tool for therapy; great for getting to or from work without a sweat or running out of breath. No insurance, registration or license required.
All of our electric bicycles conversion kits come with a pedal sensor (pedelec). This sensor triggers the motor on as you pedal. The throttle over-rides the sensor for constant motor power. The upgrade option allows the rider to choose a mode for ease of pedaling. The rider may also pedal without the motor, simply turn off the electric power. The motor may also be used without pedaling.
Newer electric bicycles have a brush-less motor built into the wheel hub. Which is speed controlled by a throttle and powered by 24, 36, or 48 volts battery with an amp rating. Rider weight, terrain, usage purpose and distance will determine battery and motor size choices. Higher voltage batteries are capable of higher speeds. Higher amperage will have greater distance. Note: Federal and State laws regulate speed limit on electric bicycles. Check with the local authorities for regulations.
The lithium ion battery (approximately 900 cycles) and LiFeP04 battery (approximately 1800 cycles) are the latest technology to power todays electric bicycles; cycles are the amount of rated charges. The SLA (sealed lead acid) battery has approximately 400 cycles. The lithium battery last approximately 2 to 4 times longer than the lead battery; plus they weigh approximately 75% less and are more reliable. SLA batteries are half the cost of their counter part and for getting to and from work are usually satisfactory.
Electric bicycles are clean and usually trouble free. If a problem does occur, here are some basic steps to follow in order to resolve the issue. The electric bicycle doesn’t work. The first step is to test the system with a new battery. A battery can register voltage on a meter but it may not have the energy (amperage) to drive the motor. Sometimes it may drive the motor with no load. Loading the motor i.e. the rider getting on the bike is the true test. If the battery is good but the bike does not work then check the throttle. Note: There is no national or international color-coding code for low voltage wiring. Most manufacturers will have red for positive and black for negative.
Caution: make sure the wheel driven by the motor is off the ground when performing throttle test if the motor is connected. This test may also be done with the motor disconnected. A basic throttle only requires 3 wires; others throttles may have 4 or more wires. The extra wires are for the L.E.D. lights and the on/off switch. Sticking metal pins into the wire make for a good lead connection for checking voltage. Space them apart to prevent shorts. The 3 wires for the throttle will have two wires for the power supply and one for the signal; there will be between 4 to 5 volts dc for the power supply wires, usually the wires are but not always, red for positive and black for negative. The third wire is the signal wire and may be white or green. Place the negative lead of the dc voltmeter on the negative throttle lead and voltmeter positive lead on the signal throttle wire. There will be a voltage reading of approximately 1 volt with the throttle at rest. Gently twist the throttle slowly all the way. The voltage should rise from approximately 1 volt up to 4 to 5 volts. This indicates the throttle is operating properly.
Another possibility may be the brakes safety micro switch inside the brake housing is stuck closed. This sends a signal to the main controller shutting power to the motor. Make sure the brakes are not applied. Disconnecting the brakes electrical leads is a quick check. Then twist throttle, make sure motor wheel is off the ground.