If you’re like most people, your first real mode of transportation was probably a bicycle. Bikes are great because they’re relatively quick, incredibly energy-efficient, and entry level models are dirt cheap. But, you do still have to pedal them, which kind of ruins the whole experience. If you want the benefits of a bike without having to pedal, why not follow YouTuber James Bruton’s lead and build a simple and inexpensive electric bike?
Bruton’s design stands out because it’s probably as cheap as an electric bike could possibly be, but it still works well. All of the structural elements were designed in Autodesk Fusion 360, and then cut out from plywood on a small CNC router. If you’re not lucky enough to own a CNC router, you could probably print some templates and do the routing by hand. The wheels are a pair of plastic casters, and the entire thing can be assembled with wood screws and glue.
To make it all move, Bruton used a hobby brushless electric motor. It’s bigger than what you’d find on an average drone, but still small enough to be affordable. The motor gets its juice from a 24V LiPo battery paired with an open source SK8-ESC from Turnigy, which Bruton has used on previous electric skateboard projects. The finished bike is capable of getting up to 15mph by Bruton’s estimates, though battery life probably leaves something to be desired.