Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Urban Cycling => Topic started by: Tourista829 on February 26, 2009, 10:13:54 am

 
Title: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on February 26, 2009, 10:13:54 am
Wow another shock when I went to Walmart, besides carrying 700c tire tubs, they had a brand new electric bicycle. Price was 399.99 and it came with one battery attached like a rear pannier with the option of purchasing an attaching a second one. Now I realize this is Walmart, but it looked pretty sturdy, top speed 18 mph and with two batteries a range close to 40 miles. Had a seven speed rear derailleur and a single speed crank. It didn't appear heavy in the rear. The motor was like the Curie electric motor. I will try it out next time I am there. If Walmart is offering an electric bicycle, at a truly affordable price (I know some will say stay away from it) to me this is a big thing and makes a statement that just maybe, American attitudes are beginning to change. This was in Tampa, Florida not one of the more bike friendly areas of the country.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: johnsondasw on March 21, 2009, 01:04:12 am
Very interesting.  How does that 40 mile range work? Is that with no pedalling, or some "average amont of pedalling or what?  Any other technical specifics you picked up?
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on March 21, 2009, 10:23:17 am
Believe it or not, no peddling, but you have to have two batteries. Obviously, if you peddle some it may even increase the range. The key here is if you peddle, from a stop and then use the motor or you could do the opposite and use the motor to bring you up to speed. I like the trottle, it has settings for different types of riding. It is also a twist trottle, you do not want a thumb one if you want to keep your thumb. It did say peak power 400 or 450 watts. Charging looked easy. I am not sure what type of battery it was. For $400 it certainly wasn't lithium ion. On the trottle you could tell the state of discharge. The rear end with one battery didn't feel too heavy.

I converted a Breezer Uptown, to a Wilderness Energy 600 watt electric motor, twist trottle, controller, and battery. When it ran it ran great, but there were several problems with it. They battery pack I had, was too heavy for the rear wheel and I got more flat tires than I should have. When it was down, only the dealer could fix it. He was 70 miles away. Finally the magnets went in the motor and other problems, he couldn't get the parts, so I sold it back to him. However, I really enjoyed it, when it worked.

I am on a project down in Sarasota, Florida and there is a large Amish community and I see alot of people riding electric two and three wheel bicycles. The Amish won't ride in cars but I guess an electric bicycle is ok. Interesting
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: RussSeaton on March 24, 2009, 11:47:50 am
I am on a project down in Sarasota, Florida and there is a large Amish community and I see alot of people riding electric two and three wheel bicycles. The Amish won't ride in cars but I guess an electric bicycle is ok. Interesting

No no.  The Amish won't own a car.  Riding in a car owned by someone else is perfectly acceptable.  This using of your neighbor's resources and generosity can lead to bad feelings.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: whittierider on November 14, 2009, 01:27:54 pm
Quote
I'm thinking about getting one next year when I start my work placement for college. Either that electric bike, or an electric scooter.

It might be more appropriate for a senior citizen.  I'm almost 50 and my average speed on a 40-mile ride is higher than the electric bike's top speed, even if I'm not going hard.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on November 16, 2009, 10:33:21 pm
"It might be more appropriate for a senior citizen.  I'm almost 50 and my average speed on a 40-mile ride is higher than the electric bike's top speed, even if I'm not going hard."
I don't know, if you pedal with the motor you could hit 25mph. I like that if Walmart does it, it may not be top of the line, but their standards are high and it makes a statement. Most people just don't get it. More people need to use their bikes for everyday tasks and leave the car in the garage. It is for people who may need assistance, in hilly areas when commuting or doing errands. I can assure you, if you took this to work, you would be a lot less sweaty than what you would do on your bike.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: lender on January 23, 2010, 08:37:08 am
First city they should market it to is Minneapolis/St Paul.  I think there are more bike rides there than any other city in America!
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Turk on February 06, 2010, 09:09:28 pm
Good article in the New York Times last week on electric bicycles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/business/global/01ebike.html?scp=1&sq=electric%20bicycle&st=cse
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on February 06, 2010, 11:40:12 pm
Turk, good article, thanks for posting the link. I really like electric bikes, in fact I used one for a year, to commute to work. I am glad that there is an expanding distribution base, however, I agree with the article, there are areas of concern:

Road Infrastructure is not adequate, in our community.
Difficult to find a place to recharge the battery at work. (if needed)
Difficult to find safe parking. (Theft issues)
Increased weight translates into more rear flats.
Environmental issues regarding disposal of lead acid batteries.
There is still a stigma associated with commuting to work by bicycle or electric bike*

*In Florida, people who lose their drivers license, DWI's, ride electric bikes. People do not understand why any one wouldn't drive a car.

On the Plus side:
I will say I could make a 15 mile trip, each way, almost as fast as in my car, when traffic was factored in.
$15.00 a month for electricity isn't bad either.
No licensing fees, fuel, and insurance costs.
It felt great to be able to ride to work and back. (except in heavy rain, but it could be snow)





Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: whittierider on February 07, 2010, 05:20:08 am
Quote
Environmental issues regarding disposal of lead acid batteries.
They should always be recycled, not merely disposed of.  However, that said, with all the hoopla about gettling lead out of consumer electronics supposedly because it gets into the groundwater from landfills, I will say that we live five miles from a landfill that has had electronics waste thrown into it for many decades and is getting so full that it will have to be closed in a few years, and the groundwater quality report that comes once a year with our water bill says the lead content is only about 1/8 of the action level, and the landfill is not one of the suspected sources.  Erosion of natural deposits is however.

Quote
$15.00 a month for electricity isn't bad either.
True, but an electric bike shouldn't cost anywhere near that much in electricity.  That might be the amount for completely depleating the charge every single day (not just weekdays) and topping it off every night, similar to having it gas-powered and rolling into your garage on the very last drop of fuel and having to fill it up to the top every night.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on February 07, 2010, 02:48:44 pm
Whittierider, I agree with you about proper disposal and breakdown of mineral deposits. If the other was the case, all the car batteries would cause a very big problem. Still lead is lead and lead is heavy. (Batteries alone were 25 pounds) Regarding the cost of electricity, If fully depleted, 70 cents a charger and I used it an average of 23 days a month. (at 30-35 miles a trip, I was fully depleted) I had a Wilderness Energy 600 watt motor with a 36volt 12 amp system. Charging time fully depleted 4-6 hours. Pedaling, I could get up to 35 miles an hour, average 27 miles an hour. In Florida, with no hills, range 20-25 miles depending on how much I pedaled. Maybe 300 charges a set. Newer technology is lighter, more expensive, and they claim 2000 charges, Lithium PO4. Overall, I liked the electric bike option for commuting to work, especially in the warm weather.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: EV on March 20, 2010, 12:27:50 am



If you really live electric bikes checkout

http://www.facebook.com/#!/BestBuyElectricVehicles?ref=mf





Wow another shock when I went to Walmart, besides carrying 700c tire tubs, they had a brand new electric bicycle. Price was 399.99 and it came with one battery attached like a rear pannier with the option of purchasing an attaching a second one. Now I realize this is Walmart, but it looked pretty sturdy, top speed 18 mph and with two batteries a range close to 40 miles. Had a seven speed rear derailleur and a single speed crank. It didn't appear heavy in the rear. The motor was like the Curie electric motor. I will try it out next time I am there. If Walmart is offering an electric bicycle, at a truly affordable price (I know some will say stay away from it) to me this is a big thing and makes a statement that just maybe, American attitudes are beginning to change. This was in Tampa, Florida not one of the more bike friendly areas of the country.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: mucknort on March 20, 2010, 09:21:02 am
I'm not a fan of the Evil Empire's corporate policies, etc., etc., but here's a link to the 5 electric bikes they sell:

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=electric+bicycle&search_constraint=0&tc=0&ic=48_0&ref=+125871.413746&clicked_tab_value=All
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: solarbike on May 15, 2010, 12:51:00 pm
You can check out our electric bicycles (http://"http://www.solarbike.com.au"), it can be recharged using a solar module or normal household power. The solar module is not mounted on the bicycle. The module is designed to stay at home in a sunny area collecting energy all day, when you return home in the evening you connect the two systems and the energy is transferred from the solar module to the bicycle. If you are not ideally positioned to use a solar module then you can recharge the bicycle from any home power outlet. We have in development a few different systems of solar charging that use a direct connection from the solar panel straight to the bicycle battery, we look forward to providing these to the public soon.
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: playpiano1980 on July 28, 2010, 11:22:20 am
I'm thinking about getting one next year when I start my work placement for college. Either that electric bike, or an electric scooter.

Have you guys ever considered building your own electric bike? I have, it seems like it'd be a fun little project!
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Partygurl on October 26, 2010, 01:39:55 pm
I just started biking and the idea of an electric bicycle rocks! I've never even heard of this!

It would be really useful on those long uphill trips. An electric bike could really help you in the moments where you just need a break.


Thanks for the 411 guys!
Title: Re: Walmart Electric Bicycle Affordable To The Masses
Post by: Tourista829 on October 26, 2010, 10:20:45 pm
Although I don't have experience with the "Walmart Bike," I used my modified electric bike to commute to work and do errands. Because the system was a twist throttle, I could ride, in my work clothes, to work and not pedal. On the way home, change my clothes, and got a good workout. In heavy traffic, I almost made, 13 miles, the same time, as the cars. I put 2500+ miles on it before a magnet went in the motor. I sold the motor, batteries & controller.* I do miss it.

I had a Breezer Uptown with a Wilderness Energy Motor and Controller. The system was awesome. The torque from the brushed motor was powerful and independent from a pedal assist. I could ride 25 to 30 mph** on the flats and very fast downhills. That was with pedaling and wished I had had a higher gear. The only down side was the weight of the system especially the three 12 volt lead acid batteries. (Which alone weighed 25 pounds) The motor was 13 pounds and not recommended on bikes with front forks. With the contoller the total package was 40 pounds added to a 30+ pound bike is a bear to pedal without assist. Range when full out 20 miles 25 miles light assist.

The placement of the battery is crucial. Mine was high on the rear rack causing several problems. The height caused some control issues. The weight, on the rear wheel caused more than my fair share of flats. Recharging, unlike London, there are very few places to recharge the bike while at work. The lead acid batteries had 300 charges in them. Their cost was much lower than LI batteries. However, LI batterries had 4 to 6 times more recharges in them than LA batteries. (so the cost over time, may be less for the LA batteries.)

The new bikes are lighter due to lithium ion batteries and brushless motors. They handle better with different battery placement. Faster recharging, and pedal assist, cause them to be smoother and easier to maintain. Some come with dual, saddle bag  batteries inceasing range to 75 miles. (I have not confirmed this yet) There are those, that feel electric bikes are not true bicycles but I feel the electric bike have there place. With the cost of recharging at 10 cents per charge, it sure beats the polution & $2.70, a gallon, gasoline. Besides, it is a blast to ride and expression of drivers is priceless, for the rest there is Master Card.

*Used motor and install $325
  Sold it for $175 Net $150.00
Cost of throttle        $40.00
100 charges x .10 =  $10.00
6 tubes 4.00        =  $24.00
Out of pocket total   $224.00
 
100 gallons x $2.50 = $250.00

On positive side $26.00
 
**Top speed on the flat 38mph flat.