eTikit Testing

19 03 2010

eTikit along the Bow River Calgary

Ken from Power in Motion [a Calgary electric bike specialist store] is letting me test the eTikit shown above as well as providing me with a slightly different electric assist kit I’ll mount on one of my Bike Friday Tikits.  I’m stoked to give these kits a thorough test and after a short ride yesterday I can see how this could be a deal maker for people who don’t want to drive there cars to commute, but can’t pedal a bike to work for whatever reasons.

To be honest I’m not an e-bike guy.  Which is why I don’t own an e-bike or talk about them much on this blog.  So I’m coming to this test with no real idea of how I’m going to feel or what’s happening in the e-bike world.  If you are an e-bike enthusiast please feel free to comment on what I write and point out any errors or misunderstandings on my part.  Also if you have any specific questions you want to see answered about these kits for the Tikit leave me a comment and I’ll answer your questions.

I’ll be posting my impressions at various points throughout the next few weeks.  I’ve also started a Flickr set for the eTikit and I’ll be uploading photos there as I take them.

I will also be posting some info about Power in Motion when I have a chance.  I had been in the shop last summer and it was pretty much 100% e-bikes.  When I dropped by the shop yesterday to meet with Ken I was surprised to see a Yuba Mundo, Xtracycle Radish and another Xtracycle equipped bike – cargo bike heaven!  I’m hoping to head back one day in April and do some back to back testing on all the cargo bikes as well as my Surly Big Dummy.  If you are from the Calgary area and interested in cargo bikes Power in Motion is well worth a visit.


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24 responses

20 03 2010
Al

What an interesting concept for the tikit, Vik. What is the range and speed? Trouble with many e-bikes are the limited range -30km or so. I could see the benefits of having an assisted bike esp when traversing the high mountains on my tours…

20 03 2010
bikeboy999

Hey Vik,

You should give the differences in weight, fold ability and some photos of it folded. As for distances for e-bikes, it is depended on how much e of the bike you use. Will you be getting setup with a Bionx 500 watt system?

B

22 03 2010
Vik

Al – the range of these kits is 30km or less with no pedaling. If you pedal you can increase the range. However, these are primarily designed for commuters and don’t work particularly well for bike tourists.

B – The Power in Motion kits don’t use Bionix components so I won’t be testing a Bionix kit on the Tikit. Bow Cycle is a Bionix dealer and mentioned a test kit at one point, but that hasn’t happened….I’m not sure if it will.

22 03 2010
Mark

I’m interested in the battery capacity. Do you have more specific details on the battery used? How many Amp Hours do they have and is it Lithium or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)?

28 03 2010
Ken

This is Ken, the designer of this system

Al:

It is very easy to double or triple up the battery pack to get double and triple the distance. It is matter how and where you mounting the battery on a small bike.

Mark:
Lithium battery is way to go for folding bike setup. NiMh will be too heavy for this setup. The system had no limited for Amp Hours, it is an open system, unlike Bionx it is Lock-down system. As standard it will come with 37v 5.6Ah, optional for 8.2Ah, 10.5Ah, 14Ah, 16Ah. Larger size battery will require rear rack.

I just finished my visit with BikeFriday to review the current configuration and future plan. There will be a new version coming for Tandem bike version for the 20″ wheel size. This is a perfect setup for extended range to use larger battery for greater distance.

Ken

30 03 2010
Al

Exciting developments indeed! Thks for sharing and responding.

1 04 2010
Charles Duffy

My big concern here — if the batteries are lithium, will they be airline-legal? My Optibike can only be shipped class 9 hazmat because there’s too much lithium to be legal on a passenger aircraft.

A folding bike loses much of its utility if it can’t fly.

6 04 2010
Ken

Charles:

The situation is very much the same when you ship a folding bike as a luggage. If you tell the airline that your suitcase contain sport equipment, you just go through without additional charge (assuming the weight is under). But if you tell the airline that you have bike, you will get charge for addition $100 – $150.

The same thing if you tell the airline that you have laptop battery, it will just go through, if you tell them that you have lithium battery, it will most likely get charge or remove. However, each major city had service centers that can take care of the packaging of lithium battery, and provide you the proper paperwork, with this certification, you will have no problem fly it across the world.

11 04 2010
J

Vik,

It’s Great that you are using a hub motor on the Tikit.

I also have a tikit and would like to have a hub motor on it too.

when do you think it will be available?

Thank you
James

12 04 2010
thelazyrando

Ken can set you up today with a kit. We’ve pretty much completed the testing. All we need to fit in is one last long ride to see how far we can go before we drain the batteries. Everything is ready to rock.

12 04 2010
James Tom

I try email him, but he never responded back.

Can you forward or give me another email address to contact Ken.

Thank you
James Tom

12 04 2010
thelazyrando

I’ll email it his addy to you right now.

12 04 2010
Ian

Hey Vik,
Does that motor also generate power for lights? I would think that would be an essential bit of kit for the urban commuter. I know I would not give up the dynohub on my Tikit just for a little lousy pedal assistance!

12 04 2010
J

Vik,
I have talk to Ken, and he said that you mound the battery on the front.
How the handling on the e-tikit with the battery mounded on front rack?

“Vik and his friend only tried with light
duty battery 37v 5.6Ah on front.”

James

13 04 2010
vik

@Ian – the motor is not a dynohub, but since you are carrying a battery to power the motor you can certainly run a light off it. Ken showed me an excellent LED headlight that would be suitable. I’m testing one version of it at the moment.

@J – In general I like the handling of the Tikit with some weight on the front wheel. Depending how much you have there it will either have no affect or will slow down the steering a bit as the weight increases.

We tried the smaller battery hanging off the stem and that didn’t cause any handling issues. We recommended to Ken that either the small or large battery would be best placed either right above the front wheel using the two sided pannier rack or in a pannier mounted on the right side. Extra weight in this spot will cause no handling issues and will simplify the power and control wiring making the whole system more robust, simplifying the fold and allowing quick removal of the whole e-system [less throttle] for times when you want to ride a normal Tikit.

13 04 2010
James Tom

Vik,

Have you try putting the battery and controller in the front rack mounted pannier?

what the model of the motor, 206 or 209?

I am get a kit from ken, and he is also letting me be a beta tester.

James

13 04 2010
thelazyrando

@James – I have not, but Kurt has setup his eTikit with the battery and controller hanging off the stem at the front. Both of us would setup our own bikes with both items over the front wheel on top of the rack. Since these are temporary test setups we haven’t spent the $$$ and taken the time to do that.

13 04 2010
James Tom

Vik,

Do Kurt have a picture of the setup ?

Also need you need to modify the Tikit in anyway, like file the drop-off.

Thank you
James

13 04 2010
James Tom

Sorry,

Do Kurt have a web page?

Also do you need you to modify the Tikit in anyway, like filed the drop-off.

James

13 04 2010
thelazyrando

I don’t have pictures of Kurt’s setup yet [battery and controller on stem], but I will be posting some soon. I don’t recommend Kurt’s setup. I would put the battery and speed controller on top of a 2 sided front rack.

http://viktikit.blogspot.com/2008/04/tikit-2-pannier-front-rack-photos.html

Ken can sort out a bag for you. No modifications to the Tikit itself are required.

13 04 2010
thelazyrando

Kurt doesn’t have a webpage and we have not taken any pictures of his Tikit yet.

As I said above – “No modifications to the Tikit itself are required.”

13 04 2010
J

That what I plan to do , is put the controller and the battery in the front rack bag and see if
it will effect the handling.
thx.
James

13 04 2010
Vik

The weight of a battery and controller will not have a negative impact on the Tikit when attached to the front rack.

13 04 2010
J

great I will try that when I get the kit from Ken.

I keep in inform.

James

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