eZee Conversion Kits
The geared hub motor kit from eZee bike is one of the nicer complete ebike conversion packages available. It is light weight, well engineered, torquey, and fully compatible with North American bicycle standards.
When we first got in touch with eZee in late 2007 it was apparent that this company stood apart from all the others we have dealt with in their understanding of western expectations for quality and product support. Since then, we have worked with eZee to tailor a version of this kit to match our own product line, including the Cycle Analyst port on the motor controller, universal battery voltage compatibility, interchangeable throttle standards, a rear wheel option, and a high RPM 20" version. With the choice of either front or rear hubs and full disc brake compatibility, there is an eZee kit suitable for just about every model and style of bicycle or tricycle out there.
The stock eZee kit includes the base items required to convert a bicycle to have electric assist.
- 500 watt internally geared eZee brushless hub motor laced in a double walled rim
- Schwalbe Marathon puncture resistant tire and inner tube
- A 25 amp (IRFB4110 mosfet) motor controller
- Your choice of a thumb, twist, or half twist throttle
- An assortment of cable ties, controller mounting bracket and a connector housing
- Two-piece Torque Arm, for those who want extra security against axle spinout
Plus, you have the option of getting the following accessories:
- Direct Plug-in Cycle Analyst, to display information about the battery and performance of the vehicle
- Pedal Assist (PAS) magnet ring sensor, or full torque sensing bottom brackets
- Ebrake Levers, causes the power to shut off as soon as the brakes are squeezed
- High capacity 36V 15Ah, or high speed 48 volt 11Ah eZee lithium battery packs
- Battery racks, if you would like a tidy mounting system for your battery
eZee Battery Options
The eZee kits can be used with any 36V or 48V battery packs capable of handling 25A of continuous discharge current, but since the eZee controller does not have it's own ON/OFF switch we recommend choosing a pack that does. We stock two hard case batteries from eZee that are perfect most most needs. For those who require signficant range but don't need high speeds, the 37V 15Ah option is made from Panasonic V3 cells is an excellent choice. For those wanting a faster setup, you can upgrade to the 48V 11Ah pack and achieve ~40 kph (25 mph) cruising speeds. Each battery choice comes with a matching 150 watt charger.
The standard kit includes a full-length twist throttle, which works well with thumb lever shifters. If you have twist shifters, then you may want to consider either a thumb throttle or a left-side twist throttle, which we can substitute in place of the twist throttle at no charge.
Cycle Analyst Upgrade
The kit comes with a handlebar-mounted 3-LED battery level indicator. The Cycle Analyst upgrade provides a display console with precise information on speed, power usage, and efficiency, and it also gives the advantage of programmable current, voltage, and speed-limiting features. Read more about the Cycle Analyst here.
Freewheel Choice (rear only)
The rear wheel kits are supplied by default with a 7 speed 11-32 tooth freewheel, which fits fine on the eZee hub inside the standard 135mm rear dropout width. There is the option of getting an 8 or 9 speed freewheel instead, but because these are wider a spacer washer is required that extends the axle length to 138mm so that the small gear does not rub against the frame.
Battery Rack Option
The standard kit comes with a battery and charger, but for those looking to a way to mount the battery on the bike we offer three options: first is a battery bag that uses velcro straps to secure the battery to an existing rack. The second is a double decker rack that has a space for the battery to slide into and lock using the bolt mechanism on the eZee battery and the third is a seatpost rack that uses the same idea.
Specifications and Installation Manual
We are still in the process of writing an updated 2011 version of the eZee installation guide, that includes both front and rear hub motors and the flat pack battery options. In the meantime our 2008/2009 Version 2.3 install guide and user manual contain most of the relevant information.
We still have available the original install guide for the eZee hub motor system that was written for the 2007 version of this kit.
The 5:1 planetary gear drive in the eZee hub motor makes it possible to have a high torque output without all the bulk and weight of a direct drive machine. The eZee motor weighs just 3.8kg compared to 6kg for a comparable 400 series Crystalyte motor. Both the sun and ring gears are steel. The planetary gears are a machined (not cast) nylon, and easily replaceable should they ever wear out.
The motor core has been upgraded to use 0.35mm thick stator laminations, giving higher peak efficiency and lower no-load losses than other comparable geared hub motors in this power class.
As with most geared hub motors, the hub itself can spin freely in the forwards direction without any motor drag. With no cogging torque, you can rest assured that the presence of the hub won't interfere with the rideability of the bike when you aren't using electric assistance. It spins freely just like a regular bike wheel.
Rim, tube, and tire
The hub motor is pre-built in a black alloy double-walled eyelet rim, with quality 13 gauge stainless spokes, and a pre-inflated tube and puncture-resistant Schwalbe tire to boot. All that is required for installation is removing the original front wheel, replacing it with the eZee wheel, and connecting the wires.
From our perspective, one of the nicest details of this kit is the considerable attention that eZee has put into keeping water from damaging any part of this rig. The motor cables are completely sealed where they come out of a hollow in the centre of the axle. The motor controllers have an o-ring seal around the lid and a fully conformal coated circuitboad.
However, water can get into the controller housing by tracking along inside the wire sheath, and if the insides of the controller stay pooled up with water then erratic behavior will result. So it is very important to install the controller with the wires exiting at a downwards angle so that they don't funnel water into the casing. If the particular cable arrangement doesn't allow this, then you can also drill holes through the enclosure casing at the lowest point in your installation so that any water that gets in will drip out.
Cycle Analyst Compatibility
Our eZee motor controllers are compatible with our Direct Plug-in (CA-DPS) Cycle Analyst device and include a label with the exact RShunt value for calibration. The 6-pin connector on the controller plugs into the supplied 3-LED battery indicator by default, but if the Cycle Analyst upgrade is purchased for the kit then the CA can plug in here instead. This adds a range of additional functionality such as programmable low-voltage cutout, speed and current limiting, and precise, quantitative battery pack monitoring.
At 36V, the eZee kits can easily maintain the legal ebike speed limit of 32kph (20mph) while still outputting an appreciable 200-300 watts of power. Up hills, the speed will slow down until the motor is supplying sufficient torque to overcome the load. For exact details please see our motor simulator. The 20" eZee kits have the motor wound for a higher RPM, so that the speed on the road is roughly the same as with the 26" kit.
For people who require faster speeds than this, there are two options. One is to use a 48V battery pack. The other option is to start with a high rpm 20" wheel kit and re-lace it into either a 26" or 700c rim. With this latter approach you can achieve 40kph speeds while staying with a 36V battery, which provides many more off the shelf battery choices.
Both the front and rear eZee hubs have an integrated 6-hole ISO disk mount to accommodate disk brakes on the left side. The narrow design of the hub allows sufficient space for the most calipers to be mounted without clearance issues against the side of the motor.
Update on 48V Operation
As of 2010 our eZee controllers are now all custom made with IRFB4110 mosfets, similar to the infineon controllers, so that they run cooler and have no issues handling 48V packs. So for those wanting additional speed and power from their eZee hub, there is the opportunity to simply run the system as-is but with a 48V battery. Note that this is one of our own customizations, and stock eZee controllers and kits sourced through other distributors do not have 48V compliance.
There are a few reasons why the eZee geared hub motors might not be ideal for your application, and a direct drive motor could be more suitable instead.
No regenerative braking
Less Opportunity to Overload
As with any freewheeling setup, it is not possible to use the hub for regenerative braking even if combined with a regen motor controller.
Compared to other geared drive systems, the eZee motor, with its nylon planet gears, is relatively quiet; the faint buzz of the gearing is dwarfed by traffic noise. However, for absolute silence nothing compares to the direct-drive motors.
Since the eZee motor is smaller and being run at its optimum power and RPM level, it is not as tolerant to being pushed beyond the specified design parameters as the larger direct drive hubs. Warranty is voided on the eZee motor if the input power to the hub exceeds 1000 watts.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are also a distributor of the eZee conversion kit to bicycle shops and other businesses that are dealing with and installing electric bicycle conversions. This could be great timing if you run a bicycle store and are looking to branch into electrics. For mainstream bike shops it offers a viable alternative to BionX, without the low quality components that usually constitute imported kits. We keep inventory ready for next day shipping from Vancouver, can offer full local support and warranty service, and could help your business stay at the forefront of this exciting development to the world of cycling. Please contact us via email with some background about yourself for more information.