Electric Bike Kit - 250 Watt 24 Volt Hill Topper, Lithium Battery Included
|Price:||$499.00 - $599.00|
- Simple. Convert Your Regular Bike into an Electric Bike, ready to Ride minutes after opening the box. All Parts included (battery, charger, motorized wheel, tire, cableset). No additional tools or skill needed except a wrench.
- Featherweight. The lightest kit in the market (+8 lbs). No drag, ride like a normal bike when power assist is not being used.
- Sturdy. Weather proof (rain, mud). 2 year extensive warranty. Quality product assembled in US. Lithium battery cells have no memory effect.
- Comes in 3 battery options: 8 mile/$599, 12 mile/$699, and 20 mile /$799 (range estimation: 170lb rider, flat terrain, battery power only, no pedaling); and 3 wheel sizes: 24'', 26'', and 700c (To determine which one fits your bike, find the same number on your bike tire's side wall)
- Compatible with 95% of the bikes in the US. To confirm fitting, measure the space between the tips of the front fork of your bike. It should be appx. 100 millimeters (4 inches). Disc-brake compatible
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Clean Republic Hill Topper kit will convert your bike or tricycle into an electric bike. With only 5 minutes and a wrench, you can put a motor on your front wheel to help you climbing the hill or just make biking much more enjoyable. The 250w 24 volt motor makes our kit the lightest one in the market. It provides the power assist equavalent to an adult rider. Top speed is around 15-18 mph depends on wheel size. Comparing to rear wheel kit, this front kit doesn't give you any drag if you don't engage the motor. You can ride like a normal bike when you want and engage the motor when you need. The kit comes in 3 battery options: 8 mile battery ($599 LiFePO4) 12 mile battery ($699, Li-ion Cobalt) / 20 mile battery ($799 10Ah Li-ion Cobalt). Choose your wheel size and battery size in the drop down menu under the title. The test environment of the battery range is: 170 lbs rider, normal bike, flat terrain, WITHOUT pedaling. More information please go to our website at www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx OR you can call us at 1-855-743-3279
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Motor. Now I don't hesitate to tackle any route knowing I can make it up any grade. It's powerful and quiet. All "golden-ager" cyclists
must have this.
Enter this great electric kit..! I'm virtually unstoppable now!!
My only con (hence the 4 star review and not 5) is that San Francisco suffers from pretty bad bike theft... And I have to take my battery pack with me everytime I park. Which is quite inconvenient, considering I still need to unstrap my toddler, lock my bike and put the battery pack away all while making sure my toddler doesn't run to the street.
I ended up taking the kit to my bike shop for installation, as my original front wheel gave me trouble unscrewing it, but if it wasn't for that, it is very easy and straightforward and I should have been able to do it by myself.
Now onto figuring out how to attach the battery pack permanently to my bike...
I imagine with a smaller (not obese) rider, this would be just as quick as a little moped. It's lots of fun!
Hill Topper Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit (SLA battery version)
So I recently received the Hill Topper Kit with SLA (sealed-lead-acid) battery that I purchased direct from the website.
Shipping and handling:
Shipping took about one week. Box was a little banged up, but everything was intact.
This is a 250 watt hub motor, the tire supplied seems like it's a 26" mountain bike tire. and the rim looks like a generic rim. I don't have much knowledge about the quality of the wheel, but it looks pretty sturdy..I forgot to weigh the wheel but I think it was stated to be around 4 pounds.
This kit states it can be installed quickly within 5 minutes. I believe that is true if you have a pretty generic bicycle with the correct clearance for the motor and dropout width. If there is a clearance issue, you're going to have to do some modding; with washers/spacers and filing the dropout to create more clearance width. Unfortunately for me, my bike had slightly narrower dropout width so I filed each end until the axle fit snug. Furthermore, they offer a disc brake compatible wheel version. I ordered this option to fit with my Avid disc brakes, and it worked out great! Overall installation time could have been less if I had a better file (used a small multi-tool file). Took me about an hour to get everything setup ready to go. Although zip-ties are provided, I bought some velcro straps to secure the wires better.
Battery (SLA battery):
So I am speaking only for the Sealed-lead-acid battery. And it is pretty heavy at 10.4 pounds! I got this version instead of the lithium primarily because of the cost difference. At this current time, the SLA battery range [about 10 miles] and price point [$399 for entire standard kit] seemed to fit my purpose in the kit. Lithium battery range and lightweight advantages seemed to be just more convenience to me. The 2 buckle straps used to secure the battery to the top-tube seems a bit weak yet it does the job so far. I just purchased a rear rack and front basket so I will have more options to place the battery securely. In the future when I'm due for a battery replacement, I might switch to the lithium version (20 mile or 40 mile range options).
Usage/First ride impressions:
On my first ride around the neighborhood I was able to conquer all the hills where I would have to struggle up it. It makes climbing hills easy so you don't have to sweat and gas out by the time you get up top (which is its primary purpose). On flat-ground I am able to go about 14-15 mph without pedaling. This is what the motor speed is limited to. You can pedal to go faster. As for how far I am able to do this I have not yet tested but from forum users I think it would be about 6-8 miles no pedaling. I'm not sure if this is just a powering up thing or if it is due to the SLA battery, but when I press the button for power, there is a 'powering-up' of the motor delay before I get any power to the wheel. I guess in car-talk terms, call it 'turbo-lag' feeling. In a way it's a good thing for dead stops and accidentally pressing the throttle button. This kit is not intended to accelerate you quickly from a dead stop without pedaling, but it will help you accelerate much quicker while pedaling from a dead stop. The nice thing about this kit is if you run out of battery, the bike still works normally with minimal drag (if any due to the extra weight) because it is a freewheel.
Charging is simple and seems like there is a specific sequence to charge correctly. 1. connect battery to charger 2. connect charger to AC outlet 3. turn battery switch to ON. 4. wait until charger charging light turns red to green. 5. turn battery switch OFF and disconnect everything. Haven't depleted the battery yet, so not sure how long it takes to charge an empty battery.
My primary reason for this kit is to help me get to work quickly without having to exert too much energy or sweat by the time I get there. Being able to cruise at around 15 mph with minimal pedaling would be great in this case! Not having to find parking and also use up gasoline would also be some more advantages. As for durability of this kit I will find out! looks like the battery has an estimated life of 1-2 years at full usage.
Other electric bicycles I have ridden:
Sanyo eneloop electric bicycle. This bike was a pretty bike. It was pretty much a concept bike and had all the bells and whistles (Li-on battery, 250watt front hub motor, regenerative braking, fenders, rear rack, bell, front and rear lights, battery level indicator). I sold it because of a couple reasons; it stops assisting at 15 mph so going faster than that takes quite a bit of effort, it is hard to pedal the bike when it is off because of the regenerative motor (not freewheel like Hill topper), and this bike is pedal assisted so it requires you to pedal for the motor to activate. I sold this bike for about the price of the Hill Topper standard kit! And it was totally worth it in my opinion and criteria in electric bike purpose.
Other complete kits I had considered:
Currie (great pricing but requires rear wheel install), BionX (20mph max!,seems well made and customer support, entire kit seems awesome with great features, installs on rear wheel, and unfortunately for me it is not compatible with a gear hub wheel.) I even though of buying complete E-bikes, but I decided I just wanted to work with what I already have and save space and money.
currently it is my first impression after a few rides.. but overall it stands at 5 stars for what it offers. I will be updating after a few months of riding.
UPDATE #1: 10/15/12
So I just installed a rear bike rack and the cable length is just the right amount.
I realized the battery bag should have come with some kind of locking mechanism to secure the bag/battery to the bike. Also attaching/removing the battery is somewhat of a pain to do as it is. Now with the Topeak rear rack and bag installed, I just set it on top using the bungee cords to secure it.
So the power issue about the power-lag I think has to do with the battery voltage/amperage. After reading up on the forums this is the gist of what I read: higher battery voltage rating = faster top speed, higher amperage rating = more torque (less power-lag). For example, the SLA battery supplied is rated at 24V/7.5amps (should get around 14-18mph on flat ground). One customer said they added a 3rd battery to increase the voltage to 32Volts/7.5amps and that increased the top speed by about 18-24mph. This modding WILL void the warranty. The battery controller is for 24volt system also. I don't know much more about battery configurations than the above and am not willing to risk it just yet!
Went down one star, ONLY because a true 5-star rating would meet or exceed all areas.
UPDATE #2 10/20/12
Used the bike twice this week for work with a round trip of 7 miles. Used the motor all the time and would pedal lightly on the flats to get the bike up to 16-18mph. Without pedaling I managed to get 15mph on the flats. Coming home there is a VERY steep hill to climb. I have to be in first gear with motor on to get up it. I bought a front basket with the purpose of placing the battery in it, but with the SLA battery(11 pounds) it was too heavy and would make bike handling terrible/dangerous. With the amount of riding I do each time, it seems like it takes 2-3 hours to charge back to full capacity.. So far this kit is doing its purpose; getting me to work not sweaty and tired! Just wish it went 20mph stock :p
UPDATE #3 2/20/13
So as with most things I have bought, the amount of use decreases at an exponential rate.. The heavy SLA battery that came with my kit proved to be a hassle due to lack of security to just leave it on the bike in public. For example, if I go to the supermarket I would have to bring it in (unless I want to take the chance of having it stolen). Because of this (as well as the weather), I haven't used my bicycle since the last update haha, my car's MPG is decreasing and the gasoline bill is rising, The Clean Republic website has released a light 2 pound lithium battery (10-mile range) on their website. Since Spring is coming up soon, I bought one and waiting for it to arrive! Hopefully this battery will solve my battery weight/security issue. At 2 pounds, taking it off/on should be easy and carrying it into the store should be simple as well. I'll update when I can.
UPDATE #4 2/28/2013
So I got a chance to test out the new 2.3 pound lithium battery with 10-mile rated range. It is SO MUCH more convenient in weight!!! Had I actually got to hold the lithium battery and the SLA battery side by side, I would definitely pay the extra money and go for lithium. On top of being light, I realize that I don't have to secure the battery down to the rear rack as much as the SLA and worry about it sliding off since it is so light! I still can't get over the fact that it is so compact. I plan to ride to work tomorrow with it to test range (~7 miles round trip). An initial test showed 15 MPH motor-only easily. I was hoping it would do 20 MPH motor only but you gotta pedal heh. I got a 3 speed bicycle, so if i pedal moderate I can do probably 17 MPH. All I can say at this point is, lithium battery is the right way to go. Going SLA route first, will only make you want a lithium battery later. and once you do go lithium, you end up having a unused SLA battery.
UPDATE #5 3/8/13
Got a chance to ride the bike to work. The battery handles well. The top speed motor only is around 15.0- 15.3mph based off my GPS (My Tracks app). Was hoping it would go 20mph motor only, but I guess because of the battery voltage/amperage configuration (and/or battery controller) it will do max 15mph. Even though it didn't increase the motor-only top speed, I am satisfied with this light-weight lithium battery upgrade! The smaller size allows more cargo space in my trunk bag. And carrying it into work is simple now. If I had to recommend this kit, I would get the kit with the 10-mile lithium sprinter battery. BUT if you like speed and are lazy like me, you are probably better off looking at more powerful motor kits (500watts and up) to go 20mph+. I got this kit because it was inexpensive, front wheel and pretty much plug and play. Not many companies offer that.
UPDATE #6 8/13/14
Wow can't believe it has been this long since I've had this bike kit. I just wanted to let you guys know I'm truly lazy and leased an electric car! I really wanted to buy a Zero electric motorcycle or upgrade to a prodecco outlaw as (25+mph), but every time I ponder it, I see a motorcycle related accident. So I went the "safer" route. I've sold all my bikes. Therefore my kit is packed in its box. I can't tell you how reliable it is. I should have updated you guys earlier, because I did have an issue with the lithium battery where it wouldn't charge. Sent battery and charger back, and the seller sent me a replacement under the warranty agreement. There is only one replacement no matter what. So if there is another issue, I'm on my own. Probably another reason why I plan to sell my kit. I don't want to deal with a broken kit if it ever comes to that point. Take away is if I could afford a higher end brand with a great warranty I would have saved up for proven reliability. If I knew more about battery and wiring and didn't mind for fast speed and can't afford more, this would fit the bill.