Every Spring we spend a solid 2 months in Asia between the Taipei Cycle show and China Cycle show. We travel so much to mainland China we have a fair number of Expat friend’s (mostly English teachers.) These guys love to trick out their e-bike scooters and it’s always exciting to see how far the SLA scooter e-bike has come.
In 2009 when Best Buy started selling e-bikes surprisingly one of their best sellers was a Chinese domestic e-bike (in the west referred to as an electric scooter.) The Baja SLA e-Bike, sold with vanity pedals so it’s not classified as an electric scooter. By most western quality standards it was sub-par, but in reality it was generally reliable and had a high user rating.
Flash forward half a decade and the SLA battery is still king in China (although slowing changing.) However, most young kids like to trick out their e-Bikes with CNC anodized parts from Thailand, custom LED lighting, loud horns, upgraded disc brakes, high performance suspension and the goal is to remove as much of the plastic Tupperware as possible.
One thing we found interesting is while most Chinese e-bikes sell stock at 48~60 volts, many people are spending big money to over-volt their e-bikes to 96~144 volts. An interesting find from friend Chris Nunes of Changzhou, CN is a new liquid cooled radiator to help keep the controller cool.
The liquid cooling system costs about $75 for parts and installation labor. The radiator can be filled with water (in the summer months) but it is suggested to use antifreeze for higher performance.