Electric bikes are the new hot thing, and the COVID-19 pandemic that is here to stay for some time has surely strengthened its market. From retailers offering them to NHS workers for free in London to New York City re-legalizing their use to help support food deliveries, we can say they are having a moment in history since people are looking at other ways of commuting to ensure physical distancing.
However, the most common electric bikes in the market today range from $400 to $2000, so getting hold of one can be a bit tricky. One Redditor, who had a 20-year-old bicycle and a washing machine laying around, had a pretty innovative solution for that.
Used a washing machine's brushless DC motor
Redditor, Jimminecraftguy, who is out to get his electricians degree in 2 years, built quite the DIY project indeed: After taking his washing machine's brushless DC motor out, which runs on 1,100 volts but is made to run on 48 since he doesn't want "to die anytime soon," he placed it in the center of his old bike's frame and connected its drive gear to one of the front chainrings. This way, he was able to send power to the rear wheel, making everything run smoothly.
The post's caption read, "Finishing up the electronics and cover and I'll have a bridge picture in 1 month."
All custom fabricated
What you're seeing has all ben custom fabricated including the mounts and the electronics, except the motor of course.
In response to another Redditor, he wrote that the bike is capable of hitting speeds around 110 kph (68 mph), which they say was enough to make them pretty scared.
If you're worried about the tires getting tired like we were, he also stated that the tires were fine; however, they do get worn out and "tend to lose air because of the high usage."
Also, he modified the crank to include a freewheel so that the motor can operate without spinning the pedals.
You can watch him go 65 kph (43 mph) on his homemade electric bike here.
He still needs to make some improvements
The innovator has also stated that he is out to make a few more improvements such as better batteries before he can call it done.
For more details about the washing machine bike from its creator;