Maintaining Your Schwinn

The Schwinn Power Pac

The Schwinn Power Pac contains the latest battery technology going beyond lithium ion to lithium polymer (LiPo). The Schwinn Power Pac is one of the few systems available in a bike that use this technology.

Why is this better?

The Schwinn Power Pac 29.4-volt 10 Amp-Hour lithium polymer battery has about 5 times the power to weight ratio (specific energy) as lead acid, 4 times nickel cadmium, 2.5 times nickel metal hydride or 1.4 times the power to weight ratio of lithium ion.

This means more power for the same weight or the same power in a much lighter smaller space, or a combination of increased power and less weight.

When correctly controlled lithium polymer discharges at a more consistent voltage than other battery technologies so the power output is more predictable. Also, recharging is much faster. At less than 3 hours, a full recharge is accomplished in less than half the time of other battery types. Battery care is similar to a laptop computer, store the Schwinn Power Pac battery between 32 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and charge it up at least once every 2 months, or when there are 2 lights or less showing on the Schwinn Power Pac battery meter. Because the Schwinn Power Pac battery recharges so quickly, there is no need to leave the battery plugged into the charger for extended periods of time, this wastes energy and is not the best for the battery. All rechargeable batteries have a certain number of recharges before they are worn out. Lithium polymer batteries have 2 to 5 times the service life of other types of batteries so don't worry, ride often!

Lithium polymer is not based on a liquid solvent like lithium ion and other technologies so it doesn't need to be contained in a heavy metal shell. The gum-like substance that stores the electricity is also far safer than lithium ion since it is not a flammable liquid. It can also take on various shapes and be made very compact. You may even have a lithium polymer battery in your pocket right now if you have a relatively new cell phone.

The Schwinn lithium polymer Power Pac - lighter, smaller, safer, more reliable and worth the investment because it works!

The Schwinn Plug N' Drive DC Brushless Hub Motor

The Schwinn Plug N' Drive hub motor is light, small, powerful, durable, quiet and efficient.

The core of the system is the Schwinn Plug-n-Ride hub motor. The brushless design means there are no mechanical contact points (brushes) to cause drag, internal contaminating dust or wearable parts to be replaced. The brushless design uses "pulses" of electricity sent from the battery to create power. These pulses are triggered by the motor controller located just in front of the battery in the battery junction box. The junction box is the place the battery plugs into in the rack and where the "ignition" key is inserted. The controller is like the fuel injection system in a car metering out just the right amount of power efficiently at the right time based on rider input and road conditions (wind, terrain, speed etc.)

The motor is internally geared so it can be smaller and provide more torque than other motor designs. When there is no added power desired by the rider, or when bike speed exceeds the motor allowed speed, the hub simply spins silently with very little added drag.

The high efficiency output of the Schwinn Plug-n-Ride motor adds just the right amount of power at the right time for maximum range. Since 20% or more of the battery drain would happen when a rider starts from a dead stop, the automatic pedal assist feature kicks in the motor once the rider has reached 2-3 mph extending the overall range significantly. The rider may also choose to "boost" the pedal assist system by holding the thumb paddle down for about 10% more power when needed, of course this will reduce the range a bit. For safety, the motor will automatically cut out when either brake is applied. The Schwinn Plug-n-Ride motor size and design was carefully chosen by Schwinn to supplement the bicyclist's efforts extending the range and adventures, but keeping the bike a bike. Higher power electric bikes are available but are just too heavy to actually ride as a bicycle. One unexpected trip home experienced with a dead battery and the other older designs wind up getting left in the garage.