This is a great question that we have gotten more than once:
Answer: Building an electric bike that is Optibike quality requires the WHOLE bike to meet the standards of performance that Optibikes do. For example, if you put a V8 engine in a gocart with a 1 gallon gas tank with substandard brakes- it would be fast, and you would be able to say ” I have a V8″ but the overall performance would be limited- you would not be able to go very far, and you would not be able to stop well, among other things. I digress.
Great design is about balance. At Optibike, we tried a 1000 watt motor, and we determined that in order to achieve the balance of long range, light weight, perfect handling, and long battery life- we would need to incorporate a much bigger battery than the 20ah battery we currently use. This means a frame redesign and adjusting the center of gravity of the bike so it will remain balanced- this gives you good handling.
A 1000 watt motor with a 9 or 10ah battery means you are beating the battery to death. literally. That battery will have serious lifespan issues after only 50 cycles. For example, an Optibike USV has a 500w motor and a 13ah NiMH battery. If a customer wants to upgrade to the 700w motor in a USV, a battery upgrade to a 20ah Lithium Battery is mandatory. This is not because we want to charge more- it is because if you try to consistently pull 700w out of a 13 ah battery, the life of the battery is significantly shorter than if you pull out 500w max. If we wanted to sell high volume, substandard bikes so we could sell you replacement batteries later- we would sell you a 700 or 850w motor with the NiMh and make a killing selling you replacement batteries. Optibike did not offer a 800 or 850w motor until we had a battery that could handle the current draw of these motors. With a battery that is designed properly- the warranty is long, ours is 3 years/30,000 miles. How long is the “other” electric bikes warranty? Exactly.