EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

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EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby cachexian » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:11 am

REVIEW of EVS Evo3 kit with 36v 10Ah LiPo battery

I thought that it was about time that I put my opinions down about how the conversion went.

In December I converted my Scott Sub40 flat bar "commuter bike" to electric using the Evo lithium kit available from www evehicle com au. Since then I have ridden it 570km mostly commuting between Haberfield and Manly as well as a few local trips and one long ride of 87km to check the battery capacity was close to its rated 10Ah.

Why an Ebike
I really like riding. When I'm riding for fun and fitness, I don't really care how fast I'm going so it's not important for me to have a superlight carbonfibre road bike. I got the Ebike so that riding the bike could be a realistic alternative to the car on my commute from Haberfield to Manly. The 23km commute takes me about 70mins on my unpowered bike (which is also a Scott Sub40). In the car on a weekday it takes about 45mins (but can take up to 55mins if the traffic is heavy). On a weekend with little traffic it takes me about 35mins in the car. I ride to improve my health. Commuting by bike (and Ebike as it turns out) is a great way to get incidental exercise. It's also much less stressful than driving a car in traffic.

Cost
Kit: A$1595 plus $60 freight to Sydney for 10Ah battery
Cycle Analyst: US$140 plus US$15shipping (ebikes.ca)
Bike: picked up a run out special on Scott 2010 Sub40 for $460
lights, rack etc
Weight: bike, rack, motor, controller, battery weighs 20kg.

Why I chose the EVS kit:
-The main reason is that I like the look of the small Suzhou Bafang 8fun motor. It's small, making it light (3.3kg I think), quiet, and seems to be reliable from the reviews I've read.
-The kit does not have branding written all over it.
-I was also reassured by the fact that EVS has the contract to supply Australia Post with Ebikes for their posties - suggesting that they are a well-established company that will still be around in a year to service the warranty if something went wrong.

Installation
-I did the conversion myself. It was not difficult but took several hours. The aluminium forks of my bike were thicker than the recommended steel forks and I had to file the dropouts to prevent the motor from rubbing as it rotated. The filing of the forks and the wiring of the Cycle Analyst were the two steps that took the most time.
-I initially wired the cycle analyst in a stupid way (between the battery and the key switch), which meant that I had to install a second switch to disconnect the C.A. This wiring was messy and took a long time to do. Later, I realised that I could wire the C.A, between the key switch and the controller using crimp spade connectors from Jaycar that fit with the ones in the kit. This method was much quicker and neater. I now have only one switch and much less wiring.
-I decided that I wanted the battery to be mounted on the side of the rack. The supplied bag has been designed to attach to the top of the bike rack so I bought a leather belt from the local $2 shop and used that as I didn't trust the velcro straps to hold the weight of the battery on their own. (Actually they do fine but the leather is there as an insurance policy).
-I eventually ended up putting the thumb throttle on the left handlebar so that I can freely shift the rear derailleur with my right hand. On the Ebike, I rarely shift the front derailleur - mainly when going down a steep hill when I put it onto the biggest chainring for speed. The thumb throttle is not the ideal throttle for my bike. It interferes with the function of the Shimano EZ fire shifters on both sides so that it must be mounted further away from the shifters than ideal. On the right handlebar, it was quite easy to reach the shifters around the throttle but it's hard to downshift with the throttle engaged and you don't want to be releasing the throttle to change down a gear (ie when you are going uphill). On the left side, it's quite a stretch to reach the thumb shifter around the throttle. But on this side, I only need to shift the thumb shifter when I'm already going fast downhill and the throttle's off in any case.

How it rides
-It feels fabulous to ride
-For me, it feels better to ride than any brand-name Ebike that I tried out. I like the combination of reduced weight, low rolling resistance and faster gearing that I've been able to achieve with my construction. Of course, having thinner higher pressure tyres and no suspension would not appeal to everybody so this is my personal preference.
-The top speed of the motor unloaded with a full battery charge is about 30km/h.
-On a full charge, without any personal effort, the bike will pull my 68kg along the flat at 25km/h
-At the end of the 87km ride, when the battery was practically empty, it was still able to pull me along the flat at 20km/h but was pretty ineffective in assisting up hills.
-At the end of the 87k ride I had used 9.7Ah and the voltage on the pack was 33volts. The low voltage cut out never engaged during the ride so I don't know what voltage that is set to trip at. At one point the voltage sagged to just over 32v.
-On a full charge the pack has an output of 41.7volts, so I guess that the rated 36v is an average.
-On the flat, if I work hard, I can pedal the bike at just above 31km/h which means that the motor is not providing any assistance, but I use the power every time I start up to get me to speed in a few seconds with less effort. It no longer seems much of an imposition to stop at red lights when you don't have to work hard to start again.
-Up hills, the additional power makes quite a difference. For example, when ascending Battle Boulevarde in Seaforth on my commute to work with all my work stuff on my normal bike, I manage about 9km/h. On the Ebike I ride up the same hill at 19km/h
-Downhill, I have no problem reaching a similar high top speed to what I can on my normal bike.
-Overall using the Ebike shaves about 15mins off my 23km commute from Haberfield to Manly if I ride hard. I could also choose to relax more and ride a little slower without much personal effort but that is not what I bought the Ebike for.
-The front wheel motor and rear placement of the battery balances the weight quite well and I really don't notice any change in the handling of the bike. The steering feels no different from steering the bike with the normal front wheel attached. The motor is light enough that I can still lift the front wheel to ride more smoothly over bumps and up kerbs. Although I wouldn't try to ride off a gutter with the additional weight.
-There is no resistance that I can feel to riding the bike without power. The motor has a built in free-wheel, which means the wheel can spin freely in the forwards direction. It seems to work very well.
-Without power on uphill stretches, I can feel the additional weight of the kit but it's not that significant.

Cost and environmental savings
My 46km commute to and from work:
In the car: costs about $12 in petrol and tolls and generates 11.5kg CO2.
On the bike: costs about 10cents worth of electricity and generates 0.2kg CO2

What's not so good about it
-The supplied Alex Ace17 rim seems to be a slightly smaller diameter compared to the Alex rims supplied with my bike although they are both 700c wheels. This makes seating the bead of the tyre difficult and I find that the bead easily slips off the rim when inflating the tyre. (This happened once when I had the pressure at 70psi and the resulting explosion of the innertube bursting was impressive!)
EDIT: Also the rim tape was pretty thin - I've had to replace that. Not an expensive modification but annoying considering how they talk up the quality of the rim.
-The battery bag, being designed to sit on top of the rack, is a little disappointing. This means that you can't use the top of the rack for luggage and getting access to the side rails to attach panniers is also not easy because the battery bag is slightly wider than the top of my Topeak rack. The resulting side attachment is a bit messy and the battery cannot be easily removed if I wanted to park the bike outside somewhere. Some other retailers supply a much more elegant rack where the battery slips into a slot under the rack. In retrospect, this would have been better. On the bright side, the battery bag in the pannier location gives a lower centre of gravity and does not look like a battery.
-I was hoping for more assistance between about 30 and 35km/h. If I had done more research, I probably would have found that this kit does not provide that. As Joe has written elsewhere, you have to trade low speed torque for a high top speed, so if I had a higher top speed, I'd have to struggle up the hills more and would not be able to accelerate as fast from the lights. In that case, I'm not sure that I'd be happy with the result.
-Because of the lack of assistance at the higher speeds I find that on the flat and slight inclines my speed as a cyclist is a little inconsistent. This means that I might pass another cyclist on a steep hill but then they have to overtake me again later when the incline reduces. I hate to be that person who overtakes and then effectively slows down in front of the person I just overtook.

What I would do different
-I will probably swap the tyres over for Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres when my current ones wear out. Changing the tube on the motor wheel is a pain. Although my tyres do have puncture protection I've still a couple of flats. I've now put Mr Tuffy's inside the tyres so we'll see if that helps.
-I would try to find a kit with the more elegant rack and battery solution.
-I think that a half-twist throttle on the left handlebar would probably be the best throttle for me - but EVS does not currently supply these. They are available on the market (ebikes.ca) and I might look into this in the future.
-When the warranty expires, if the RTA changes the rules to 250W, I will see if it's possible to swap the controller for higher amperage or introduce another battery in series to give a higher top speed and more assistance up hills. I'll need to do more research about this.
-On this bike, I now spend most of my time in the top 4 gears so I'll probably eventually change the sizes of the chain rings to give me a wider gear range when the current cluster wears out.

If anyone is out there thinking about buying an Ebike, it's been a positive experience for me. You'll be able to get some advice from the people who follow this forum so please feel free to ask any questions or for any more details.

For those with more experience than me with Ebikes - please feel free to make suggestions as to how I can improve my setup.

Thanks, Cachexian.
Last edited by cachexian on Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Sub 40 with 200W, 36v Ezee geared front hub motor
and...
Trek Madonne 3.1 driven by left leg and right leg
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by BNA » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:46 pm

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Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby Joeblake » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:46 pm

A good report. Thanks for that.

A point to consider about left hand versus right hand throttles is when moving to the right, say making a right turn at a T-junction, that in order to signal one's intentions one has to take one's right hand off the handle bar. With a right hand throttle, this means you've got no electric assist when dashing across the road before the following car catches up to you.

I've got two electrikes, one with a left hand throttle, one with a right. It's VERY dangerous on the right.

If you do decide to upgrade your controller to allow more power, make sure your thermal protection will handle the extra energy/heat, especially climbing hills.


Many happy K's riding to you. :wink:

Joe
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Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
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Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby cachexian » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:17 am

Thanks Joe.

I don't think that my motor is quite as high spec as your Heinzmann. I'm not sure that it has a thermal cut out protection.

From reading Endless Sphere the nylon gears on the Bafangs tend to melt at about 1000w so I'd be hesitant to change the amps or voltage much without taking advice from the experts - and certainly not during the warranty period.

Cachexian.
Scott Sub 40 with 200W, 36v Ezee geared front hub motor
and...
Trek Madonne 3.1 driven by left leg and right leg
cachexian
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby Aushiker » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:16 pm

cachexian wrote:Cycle Analyst: US$140 plus US$15shipping (ebikes.ca).


Thanks for the review which has been informative. I am curious but about the "Cycle Analyst." I am guessing this is an electronic control box of some sort and that the EVO3 kit does not include such a beast?

That right?

Andrew
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Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby John Lewis » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:51 pm

Here you go Andrew.
http://www.ebikes.ca/drainbrain.shtml

John
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Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby Aushiker » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:30 pm

John Lewis wrote:Here you go Andrew.
http://www.ebikes.ca/drainbrain.shtml

John


Thanks John. Found that after I posted ...

Andrew
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Re: EVS Evo3 lithium kit - review

Postby cachexian » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:14 am

The cycle analyst is most useful with a plug and play controller - such as that available from Ebikes.ca (Grin cyclery) or EM3EV.

It is still a very useful watt meter and trip meter with any kit but with the direct plug in controller, it can be used to control all sorts of features.

Cachexian.
Scott Sub 40 with 200W, 36v Ezee geared front hub motor
and...
Trek Madonne 3.1 driven by left leg and right leg
cachexian
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:39 pm


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