The popularity of a bicycle with an electric motor wheel is growing all over the world. In China, they far outnumber cars, and in Europe, there are incentives to use an electric bicycle wheel instead of a car to cut back on emissions. There's no doubt that a bike with an electric motor wheel will soon become a viable mode of everyday transportation in the U.S. as well.
With so many different electric bicycle wheel options, many people are hesitant to install one on their bike, for fear that it isn't safe enough. This isn't unwarranted, since bikes with electric motor wheels can travel at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. On a city street, this is as fast as a car. Are these bikes in any sort of danger, especially if an older bike has been retrofitted with an electric bicycle wheel? Here are a few things to check on before you add a high-powered electric motor wheel to your bike:
Chances are, if your bike has been sitting in a basement for five years and there's some kind of clicking noise going on, it might not be the best candidate for an electric motor wheel. An electric bike shop will usually tune up a bike along with the electric bike wheel installation, but in some cases it is a lost cause. Putting a high-speed electric motor wheel on a rickety old bike is not a good idea, so either buy a new bicycle for the installation, or simply buy a ready-made electric bike.
This is related in some ways to the previous question. You won't find a good candidate for an electric bicycle wheel at a department store or a clothing store. Sure, going green is all the rage right now, and you can buy a bike along with your designer jeans, but that doesn't make it a good quality product. Bicycles are vehicles, and should be treated as such. Go to a bicycle shop that specializes in electric motor wheels and talk to the employees about a good quality bicycle for the conversion. Why spend less on the bicycle than the electric motor wheel? You want a durable, long-lasting electric vehicle.
No. An electric motor wheel has a much higher torque and must use a bolt-on axle. If you have a rim that you love, there's a good chance you'll be able to build a motor into it. However, the axle is going to have to change, especially if you're using a hub motor.
Essentially, as long as you pick a solid bicycle that is fully tuned up, it will be safe to install an electric bicycle wheel. The motors are powerful, but they are well balanced and many have speed limits built in. Using a hybrid electric bicycle, the motor is only powered when the rider is pedaling. This makes the ride more like a bicycle ride and less like a moped. Hence, an electric bike feels safer.
There are many different types of electric bicycle wheel kits available to pick from! Put one on your bike and get electrified!