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Bought kit online and fitted it himself

Jason Chanine was riding his e-bike to work in Melbourne when the battery caught fire. The electrical apprentice said he had converted his bike into an e-bike after getting “a cheap Chinese kit online”.

“It was fine, then on the way it just exploded, it went crazy,” he told news.com.au.

Chanine took the battery off the bike when it started smouldering, but said that people living nearby were terrified – “they thought it was a bomb”.

We reported on a similar story in June when a cyclist in south-west London saw the battery powering a motor he’d had fitted to his mountain bike burst into flames.

Witnesses said it continued to burn for half an hour, with several explosions sending debris into the air.

Bike lights explode, almost burn down cyclist's house

Following the London incident, Dave from our sister site ebiketips, said: “There are a lot of aftermarket e-bike kits readily available in the UK, some of which are legal for use on UK roads and some which are not: if it's over 250W, has a throttle instead of being pedal-assist, or doesn't have a speed sensor to cut the motor above 25km/h, it's not legal.

“Obviously when you're buying direct and cheap you're putting yourself at the mercy of a manufacturer's quality control, and it's often difficult to know what the build quality of a system is even after it arrives.”

He added: “Our advice would be to choose carefully, and not just to go for the cheapest system you can find.

“If you do want an inexpensive e-bike then there are manufacturers of both full bikes (B'Twin, Cyclotricity, Powacycle) and retrofit kits (Panda, Dillinger, Woosh) that will back up their bikes or systems with a full UK warranty.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

13 comments

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [545 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes

"Man surprised when device capable of storing lots of energy, built in country with no standards controls, suffers catastrophic failure".

Honestly, this is why places like the EU have safety standards.  If you go outside the EU in an attempt to save money, you deserve whatever happens to you.  I just hope that it only happens to you and nobody else.

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wellsprop [505 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

"Man surprised when device capable of storing lots of energy, built in country with no standards controls, suffers catastrophic failure".

Honestly, this is why places like the EU have safety standards.  If you go outside the EU in an attempt to save money, you deserve whatever happens to you.  I just hope that it only happens to you and nobody else.

Agreed. The number of reviews of cheap/knock-off carbon components and Li-ion batteries bought cheaply via the internet - that have then catastrophically failed.

Don't get me wrong, China has some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world - after all, it's where the majority of the worlds carbon fibre bikes come from - they just also produce a lot of knock-off rubbish.

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nniff [209 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

I used to work at a place where people played with lots of dangerous and potentially explosive things.  They even had a fire crew who were knowledgable about metal fires.  A battery being charged caught fire and the upshot was that it burnt the building to the ground - to be fair, not just that one because of all its mates joined in, but they couldn't put it out.  And that was a fancy, high performance battery that was supposed to behave itself.  I've been cautious ever since.

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Yorkshire wallet [1565 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Well just wait until every car is full of the things. Look at that Richard Hammond incident for something to be wary about.

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OldRidgeback [2826 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Lithium:

"Light my candles in a daze
'Cause I've found god"

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Andrew Southard [12 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

These stupid Australians who buy stuff outside the EU... what do they expect?

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Andrew Southard wrote:

These stupid Australians who buy stuff  expect?

Probably stole it anyway. Leopards and spots...

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cyclisto [329 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I would be a little more sceptical beforw starting shaming no name chinese stuff. First of all batteries and cars can more easily fire than you would expect.I had lended once my 18650 batteries and charger to a friend, she put them the other way and a little fire started. Second I have written again about a horrible tacx set of lights that it broke down 3 times without working consistently more than 2-3 months

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
cyclisto wrote:

Second I have written again about a horrible tacx set of lights that it broke down 3 times without working consistently more than 2-3 months

 

People just can't take their cueues.  It's just like the food - have a meal, 20 mins later need another one...

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cyclisto [329 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
BarryBianchi wrote:
cyclisto wrote:

Second I have written again about a horrible tacx set of lights that it broke down 3 times without working consistently more than 2-3 months

 

People just can't take their cueues.  It's just like the food - have a meal, 20 mins later need another one...

Well I had the original and two sets that were replaced under warranty. As the third broke down, I didn't even bother for a refund, I just quited...

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WillRod [250 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

To be fair, this is why electricians are called sparkies.

 

Lithium batteries are not to be messed with, and although diy can be done, it probably shouldn’t be done by an apprentice.

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kie7077 [932 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

Well just wait until every car is full of the things. Look at that Richard Hammond incident for something to be wary about.

Of course diesel / petrol isn't flammable and ICE vehicles never catch fire thankfully. God job there's no pollution or environmantal concerns with ICE vehicles, considering how many of them there are.

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whobiggs [127 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

"Man surprised when device capable of storing lots of energy, built in country with no standards controls, suffers catastrophic failure".

Honestly, this is why places like the EU have safety standards.  If you go outside the EU in an attempt to save money, you deserve whatever happens to you.  I just hope that it only happens to you and nobody else.

 

Oh there you go setting us remoaners off again, this is the future! noindecision