Friday, July 3, 2009

Warning about using aluminum forks with hub motors

You know boys, I love the taste of concrete in the early afternoon!

The local boys survey the damage to my bike and my body.

Although I was planning to advise against using an aluminum front suspension along with any hubmotor, I decided to play the fool and see how well it would hold up to some hard riding.

Here is the painful lesson I learned today...

Aluminum + hubmotor = missing teeth!

I came flying into the parking lot of a coffee shop at 50km/hr and as soon as the front wheel hit the curb edge, the dropouts snapped off and I went down for the count. The bike rolled over me twice, and although I have a bad ankle and some "cool looking" road rash, I think I ended up much better than the bike.

The forks and frame are bent. The rim is warped and there are damaged spokes. The wires have ripped right out of the hubmotor as well.

So let me repeat the lesson I have learned today...

DO NOT consider using any aluminum frame or forks with a hubmotor. Aluminum fails instantly without warning and becomes brittle over time due to vibration.

Now I get to limp for a week and spend the day picking little rocks out of my palms.

At least now I have a photo for the plans showing why aluminum forks are bad for electric bikes!

Brad <- official crash test dummy