Bike Friday eTikit Review – Part 2

29 04 2010

Temporary front mounted battery setup on eTikit...

I’ve given back the blue eTikit shown above, but before I did Kurt rigged up a temporary front mounted battery configuration to test out.  I also installed the 209 [standard] motor in place of the 206 [high speed] motor.  Kurt used tape and some stiff plastic to rig this up on a single pannier Bike Friday Tikit front rack.

Cabling is minimized...

As mentioned in my Part 1 eTikit review by placing the battery and speed controller directly over motor you are able to reduce the length of cable and its vulnerability significantly.  Folding the bike is simplified and handling is slowed down a bit. This will make installing an eTikit kit of your bike much easier and will also allow you to swap out the motor and battery/speed controller very quickly if you want to pedal your Tikit without the e-assist.

Max speed with this [209] was slower at ~30kph.  I didn’t have time to do a range test with this motor, but Kurt did one using both the 206 and 209 motors and the 5.6Ah battery which we will discuss in Part 3 of this review.  I did notice slightly more torque with this motor vs. the 206 motor, but not enough to justify the loss in speed.  If I was buying an eTikit kit I would definitely get the 206 high speed motor.

Production setup will feature a custom bag and a 2 pannier front rack....

Having used the eTikit with both a rear rack mounted battery/speed controller configuration and this front mounted setup I would definitely want a front mounted eTikit.  The slower handling is not an issue after 2mins of riding the bike once you’ve gotten used to it.  Once Ken has the production setup ready you should be able to use two front panniers on your Tikit without affecting the eTikit components.

2 pannier front rack provides a better mounting platform...

Note that you can simply put the battery/speed controller in a pannier on the right side of a single pannier Tikit front rack, but a 2 pannier front rack like the one shown above provides a better platform and by mounting the battery directly above the wheel you have no negative affect on the bike’s handling vs. putting all that weight on one side.

A third alternative is to mount the battery on the steerer tube/stem for use on a Tikit with no front rack.  Kurt tried this and we’ll discuss the pros and cons in Part 3 of this review.



4 responses

30 04 2010
James Tom

Kurt, Vik,

How do the bike fold up with the battery mounted on top?

James Tom

1 05 2010

Would this work with a pocket llama or a bropton? How can I get this kit?

1 05 2010

I took a 20mile ride today with the battery and the controller inside the front pannier, and half way thur the ride the controller cut-off.

The controller was very hot to the touch, after it cool off the motor started up again.

Kurt, Vik,
Did you every put the controller inside a bag, and did you have this problem?


3 05 2010
James Tom

Hi! all,

Just uploaded some photos to flickr with the battery on top of the racks.

The balance is a lot better and you can still fold the bike.

I think this should be the way to go.
James Tom

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