Can I build my own Ebike?
That all depends on you, you need to have basic knowledge of how to remove the rear wheel from your bike and not be afraid to work with tools, in the end there is nothing really complicated about modifying your bike to accept the rear end motor and placement of the batteries and controller, but if you are not at all mechanically inclined then for safeties sake, any reputable bike shop can easily build it for you,whether you take on the build yourself or have your local bike shop do it for you,we here at Ebikedeal.com are just a phone call away from being able to assist you with any information you may need.
What are LifePo4 Batteries? (Updated Jan 2015)
In 2006 my first E bike was in fact a store bought 24volt electric bike, it was powered by 2 sealed lead acid batteries, from my first ride naturally i was somewhat impressed not knowing any better,but as time went on any hill i came too the bike slowed to a crawl and i simply had to pedal to keep it going,and after only 5 kms the power would begin to sag and at 15kms game over no more power. Any wind would also slow the bike to a crawl.
Then I bought my first Crystalyte motor, slapped that on to the frame and added another 12volt sealed lead acid battery bringing me to 36v.The ride was more powerful but still was weak on the hills and in the winds, and lasted to only 17kms range before cutting out.
Lets do a direct weight comparison to a 48v15ah sealed lead acid battery (SLA) and a new 48v15ah lifepo4 pack:
48v15ah SLA pack = 41.2 lbs
48v15ah lifepo4 pack = 16.92 lbs (that is less than half the weight!)
Now lets look at the astounding performance that lifepo4 offers:
A 48V15AH LifePo4 Headway pack will allow me to zip around at speeds of easily 35 to 45kmph (22 to 28 mph) and have an astounding range of no less than 50 kms (30 miles).this is with the crystalyte HS 3540 with the APM display unit set to 16 amps.
All this plus the added benefit that there is virtually no sag in power,,,that’s right,from the very first moment of your ride, right till the end you have the same power when you apply throttle, easily conquering all hills and winds.
SLA batteries will begin to sag after only 8 kms of riding and will steadily become weaker as your ride progresses plus even though an SLA set up has the same specs of 48v15AH you will never attain the ranges that lifepo4 can offer.
Are Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA) Cheaper than LifePo4?
WHEN factoring in all specs the answer is a definate NO! If you buy 4 pcs 12v15ah SLA batteries to build one 48v15AH pack, that will come out to approximately $56.00 per 12v battery thus your 48v15ah build will come to a total of $224 dollars,,,plus you need a 48v charger so add to that $100.00. so total $324.00.
A 48v15ah headway pack will cost you $472.00 + $100.00 for the charger so $572.00.
SLA batteries will only be good for 250 charge/discharge cycles, lifepo4 are rated to over 2000 charge/discharge cycles. This means over the course of 2000 cycles you would only have invested $472.00 for your lifepo4 batteries whereas the SLA batteries you will have to have invested 8 x $224.00 to equal $1792.00. That being said, the SLA batteries perform VERY POORLY during any one ride,with sag taking place after only 8km of riding,or another way to look at it after only less than 25% DOD,from there on out the ride becomes weaker and weaker whereas lifepo4 stays strong till 85 to 90% DOD.
The sad fact is SLA will only give you apx 24kms of range on one charge even though the specs are the same as lifepo4,,,yet lifepo4 will allow a range of no less than 50kms on one charge.
When i started out riding E bikes in 2005 i used SLA batteries,,,in short after switching to LifePo4 i will NEVER EVER go back to SLA’s. LifePo4’s are FAR FAR SUPERIOR to SLA’s WITHOUT ANY QUESTION.