A Drone Motor Does E-Bikes

On paper, the motors from both an electric bicycle and a drone can both take about 500 watts or so of power. Of course, their different applications make them anything but equivalent, as the bike motor is designed for high torque at low speed while the drone motor has very little torque but plenty of speed. Can the drone motor do the bike motor’s job? [Pro Know] makes it happen, with a set of speed reducing and torque increasing belts.

The build takes a pretty ordinary bicycle, and replaces the rear brake disk with a large pulley for a toothed belt, which drives a smaller pulley, and through a shaft another set of pulleys to the drone motor. The bracket to hold all this and the very large pulley on the wheel are all 3D printed in PLA-carbon fiber mix.

When it’s assembled, it runs the bike from a small lithium ion pack. That’s not unexpected, but if we’re honest we’d have our doubts as to whether this would survive the open road. It’s evidently a novelty for a YouTube video, and we’d be interested to see how hot the little motor became. However what’s perhaps more interesting is the choice of filament.

Could carbon fibre PLA be strong enough to print a toothed belt pulley? We’d be interested to know more. We saw the same filament combo being tested recently, after all.

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Can A Drone Push A Bike?

It sounds like a rhetorical question that a Midwestern engineer might ask, something on the order of ‘can you fix this bad PCB spin?’ [Tom Stanton] sets out to answer the title question and ends up building a working e-bike with a drone motor.

You might be thinking, a motor is a motor; what’s the big deal? But a drone motor and a regular e-bike motor are made for very different purposes. Drone motors spin at 30,000 RPM, and an e-bike hub motor typically does around 200-300 RPM while being much larger. Additionally, a drone motor goes in short spurts with a large fan blowing right on it, and an e-bike motor can run almost continuously.

The first step was to use gears and pulleys to reduce the RPM on the motor to provide more torque. A little bit of CAD and 3D printing later, [Tom] had a setup ready to try. However, the motor quickly burned out. With a slightly bigger motor and more gear reduction, version 2 performed remarkably well. After the race between a proper e-bike and the drone bike, the coils were almost melted.

If you’re thinking about making your bike electric, we have some advice. We’ll throw in a second piece of advice for free: use a larger motor than the drone motor, even though it technically works. Video after the break.

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