off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

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off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:43 am

Got the bug I do. 2 bikes into now. I can see a spot welder in my future for building up battery packs.

Got a used e-bike off Craigslist in August (350W 36V direct drive rear hub). A bit of a mismatch for my weight and our hilly area. Dear wife co-opted that one anyway Works well for her being 100# lighter and way more fit (she bike commutes 3 days to work, and out the door 2 days by 0500 for a spin class).

Converted my old MTB to an electric middrive (750W geared reduction motor integrated into the crank bottom bracket). Got it running last week and still haven't wiped the grin off my face. It's a sweet match for our hills and my weight. Immediately obvious I need to be upgrading brakes on mine.


There's all sorts of rabbit holes to go down on the interwebz. A lot of very interesting homebuilds out there. LINK
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Denis » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:20 pm

Lucky you! Have fun.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:00 pm

Acchhh... Dear wife's commuter is down for the count while I return this one and re-order a smaller pack. more fun with batteries...
The used bike I bought first had a battery of undetermined age and condition. So I pretty much just paid the price of the bike sans battery. Figured I'd run it till it died and then improve on the set up. It's a rear top rack mount in a cordura bag. Not an ideal setup for weight and balance. Would like to put the battery low and toward the center in the frame triangle.
10382144_10153026725491046_7354675159187594053_n.jpg


Well, it pooped out. 2 lights out on Battery Mgmt System (battery balancing board) gave a clue. It's what's called a "duct tape" unit so it was easy enough to cut into, get at the connectors and put a meter on it. Was hoping a couple cells were way out of balance and could be brought back with some charger tricks. No joy. Looks like a couple cells went toward zero. Probing 3.7, 3.7, 3.7 then nada, nada, back to 3.7, 3.7...

If I had more time and the tools I'd prefer to build a custom fit battery up in the old SLA battery case behind the seat tube (it's just a placeholder casing now for some of the old wiring and the motor control unit. A custom build is not going to happen at this point. So, I bought a bag that fits the triangle and a new duct tape 20Ah pack that should have fit. The Brown truck of happiness dropped that order off late yesterday.


Houston we have a problem. The product description was 220mm x 140mm (8.66" x 5.51").
It actually is 266.7mm x 146mm (10.5" x 5.75").
The triangles on these new fangled MTB-ish frames are pretty tight so that extra 46mm of length killed it for this triangle.

Got a smaller, spendier, probably better quality Samsung based pack coming in exchange for a about 10% more denaro. The guy pulled one from stock last night and measured it at 8" x 6". If the outline template I test fit is right that should work.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:22 pm

A few pix of my mid-drive install...

Out with the old,
12049663_10153068953311046_345631968026945320_n.jpg

In with the new,
12042922_10153069225211046_3774894358322165259_n.jpg

Turn 'er over and get started on wiring up controller, speed sensor and mounting the battery.
12032925_10153069237031046_7759255789188514465_n.jpg

There she is with the battery in a bottle or "dolphin" pack install.
12042922_10153069225211046_3774894358322165259_n.jpg

Here's a look a the controls.
The LCD display lets you set things like wheel size, speed limiter, kmh vs mph. Inadequate battery feedback, just volts and instantaneous amp draw. That's not much help with Lithium Ion batteries. Voltage stays pretty level till right at the end when it drops off a cliff. Not much help with judging remaining capacity.
Need an amp hour readout. That's on the wish list. I'll be tempted to drop the big coin on a Cycle Analyst unit.

The brake controls were swapped out for units with microswitches that switches off the pedal assist when they are engaged.
To the left on the bars is an on/off;+/- assist level control pad.
To the right is a thumb throttle to override the cadence sensing pedal assist.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:42 pm

I know, I really don't have time for this sort of battery project and shouldn't be contemplating it but...

Here's a great thread with a guy stepping through a big triangle pack build out of 18650's.

Link
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Weetabix » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:45 pm

Dumb question, but with that new crank and motor set up, do the pedals move constantly, or is there some sort of clutch that lets you hold your feet still while the motor does the work.

One more that I may have missed in context: are you retrofitting a regular bike or an originally electric bike?

This looks really cool.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:06 pm

The crank freewheels if you don't pedal. You don't have to pedal constantly. The more you pedal and the lower your assist setting the less current you draw. You can take direct control by hitting the throttle... To infinity and beyond!!!

Basically senses cadence and then adds assist to help maintain the cadence depending on how much you are working. There are more advanced torque sensing systems (vs cadence sensing) out there.

Yep, this is a retrofit to my old bike. It's not been getting much use at all. Too hilly around here for a fat outta shape guy to just run off quick to the grocery (1 mile one way).

Every ride is a full committment to a training ride and a shower (and a push up the hill home). Now I pedal up the hill in first with only first level of assist at 8-10 mph and at pedaling between 60 - 80 rpm. Goldilocks solution for me-- just right.

By law to be street legal classified as a bike, no registration or license, it needs to be 750W max and max no-pedal speed of 20mph on flat road with a 170# rider.

Out in the flats I run up past 25mph pedaling with assist.
I could swap out rear cluster to an 11T high gear and get higher top pedal speed. Probably wouldn't be prudent at this time. First there's going to have to be a brake upgrade to disks.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:09 pm

Just saw this news. Looks like CA did something right in the ebike law that just was signed into law.

LINK, RTWT
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby JAG2955 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:45 am

So on a regular bike you can go as fast as you want, but if you have an electric assist, you have to limit your speed to 20mph or less.

Yay, government. You make so much sense sometimes.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:30 am

Not quite. It's limited to either 20 or 28mph with no pedaling -- throttle only.

Pedal while running assist and you'll be more concerned about the limits of your brakes than the speed limit in throttle only mode. I see 30mph pedaling my MTB with 26" tires and a 42T chainring.

On a 26in rim with 52x11 gears, 100bpm gets you 36mph.

700mm tires with 52x11 gears and 80bpm gets you 30mph, 100 bpm get you 37mph, 120bpm gets you 45mph. With motor assist you can sustain higher gears longer and with more slope.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Cobar » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:01 pm

Wow.

That would have been one heck of a fun project when I was younger. Around here is a really bad place to ride bikes.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:35 pm

Western NC? You have what we would call hills out west, no? The mid-drive I installed would be perfect -- keep you rolling up hill. The gear reduction has the motor spinning 22:1 into the crack, then you've got additional advantage of the rear gear cluster.

A simple direct drive hub motor at low rpm and heavy loadwill get hot and suck the guts out of your battery. If you regularly see better than 5% grade then a mid-drive is the ticket.

There's some videos of crazy steep MTB riding with pedal assist. Long tail cargo bikes with electric motors adding to the crank are getting a lot of use in steep cities out west (e.g. Seattle, Portland, San Fran).

Here's a guy making a fairly flat offroad speed run with the same drive I installed. link

Not sure if you've seen the fat-bike craze hit back there or not. Ridiculous oversize flotation tires. Here's bit of hill climb action. Link
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:48 pm

The sub-category of cargo bikes is really deep hole to down. There's a lot of ideas being tried. Rear carry, front carry, small tire, big tire and so on. For example

I'll be tempted to do a build for a Home Depot/Dixieline runner. A mid drive assist with that and/or a trailer and 8 ft sheet stock becomes a possibility. I think I can resist that for a while. I think I can, I think I can.


Trailers? Did I say trailers? Oh yeah
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Weetabix » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:54 pm

I've driven through western NC. IIRC, it's steep, full of kiss-your-ass curves on narrow roads, and it has so much roadside vegetation you can't see what's coming up on you. Not sure I'd ride a fast bike there either. :D
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby HTRN » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:12 pm

blackeagle603 wrote:By law to be street legal classified as a bike, no registration or license, it needs to be 750W max and max no-pedal speed of 20mph on flat road with a 170# rider.


And yet, there are hub motors that hit 10,000 watts. :shock:

Would be neat to use one to build a three wheel solar car..
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Darrell » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:24 pm

Not to stray off topic, but here's an electric car for ya:

http://www.zombie222.com/

The Zombie 222 '68 Mustang, 800 hp, 1,800 lb/ft of torque. There are a couple of very impressive vids at the link.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:27 pm

Just made a run to drop a ~ 15lb package at the UPS store, then across town to the Mower/Chainsaw shop to have a chain sharpened. Got up to over 30 for a long block at one point.

Skipped breakfast and had been pruning for a couple hours, got pretty dry so downed a Snapple at the half way mark waiting on the chain sharpening. Then back up the hill. 6 1/2 miles >300' ft elevation gain, 45 minutes with 2 stops. Could hardly do any better in my car and got in my min cardio workout for the day to boot.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Cobar » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:41 pm

Weetabix wrote:I've driven through western NC. IIRC, it's steep, full of kiss-your-ass curves on narrow roads, and it has so much roadside vegetation you can't see what's coming up on you. Not sure I'd ride a fast bike there either. :D


Pretty much. If it was an empty road, sure. With any kind of traffic no way. The liqourcycles cause enough problems on the road let alone bicycles.

For getting around here anything not a car, truck , or real motorcycle is bad. Now on trails an electric assist would be nice.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:49 am

<pops up from the rabbit hole to point out that..>

Man is there ever some cool stuff being done with bikes. I've gone off looking at internal geared hubs line the Shimano Nexus. (cool vid of internals here).

That's the hot ticket for a mid-drive motor. No muss and fuss with chain line and forgetting to let up a moment to shift while under power (grind, chunk, chunk). Smoother shifting with an internal hub and I suppose longer chain life (and no wearing out rear clusters from shifting forgetting and under heavy power).

Anyhoo... That all wasn't surprising. I've seen internal geared hubs. Somewhere along the way was lookng at crank/chainring discussion and I fell into this hole aboutinternal 2-speed cranks. I had no idea... For some reason this somehow strikes my fancy as extra cool. Definitely no chain line issues and first impression is that's it's sort of elegant (in the technical solution sense).
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:01 am

...and then you take that 2 speed crank, do some machining, hang some different chainrings on it and install it in your high speed e-bike (like so).
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby HTRN » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:55 am

Darrell wrote:The Zombie 222 '68 Mustang, 800 hp, 1,800 lb/ft of torque. There are a couple of very impressive vids at the link.


At what cost? You want scary? Hot Rod took a boneyard 4.9L LS motor(they initially thought it was a 5.3L), swapped out the bottom end hardware for ARP, did a mild porting job, and decided how much boost they could squeeze in the motor before they blew it up.

They managed to get it to 1200hp, 27PSI, before giving up. For something like 50+ passes.

And I was talking about something like GM's "Sunraycer" - a 3 wheeled, ultralight, low drag "ufo".
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Cobar » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:07 pm

That belt drive video on the patterson site looked really smooth.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby BDK » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:33 pm

blackeagle603 wrote:...and then you take that 2 speed crank, do some machining, hang some different chainrings on it and install it in your high speed e-bike (like so).


So, I didn't really get into it too much, but at that point, are you mainly just pedaling a generator?

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:56 pm

When does a moped become a motorcycle?

I dunno. Some of the extreme builds are basically motorcycles and being ridden that way. The pedals are a technicality. The way I ride mine it's similar level of work for a non-powered bike but with higher average speed, quicker back to speed from a stop light and open up lots of possibilities when it gets steep. If you want any real range you need to manage your amp draw and put out some effort (or carry a massive battery).
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby SoupOrMan » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:39 pm

This would be awesome for morning commutes... if I didn't have to deal with school buses and shit drivers with cars full of kids.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:12 pm

Drove part way this morning, parked on side street then rode 5 miles in to the office. That's the 5th time in 2 weeks I've had time free.

Takes 20-21 minutes to drive that stretch and 18.5 - 20 minutes to ride it (depending on lights). Have to add some time at each end though for getting bike set up and locked up (getting that dialed in better each trip). Then it up 120 steps to the 5th floor and my desk.

Yeah, after that, me and my two lava lamps have a pretty good glow on in the office.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:23 pm

On thing about riding bikes regularly is that you have to be good with a bit of regular fiddling. Dear wife headed off last week to work on her electric bike and then had to turn around and push it up the hill home with a front tire going flat. Need to get her pre-flight disciplines going. ;)

In the meantime she reverted to riding her pedal MTB hybrid. This morning she took off down the hill to work at the school in her Halloween costume tutu flapping in the breeze. Heh, would have been a great picture if I'd been ready with the camera.

I finally got around to pulling the wheel on her electric and patching the tube last night. First time I've touched these new fangled bike disc brakes. Noticed the disc is dragging on one side. Caliper isn't centered. Had a momentary head scratch about what to do. Thank goodness for Youtube and all the guys posting tips there.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby toad » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:28 pm

I've been looking at three wheeled bikes due to balance problems and the grocery carrying capacity.
They've got foam inner tubes you don't have to inflate and Kevlar tires that are pretty puncture resistant. Only dang problem is a pintle mount for the .50 cal to keep the druggies and drunks from running me over.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:33 pm

Only dang problem is a pintle mount for the .50 cal to keep the druggies and drunks from running me over.


Gun trailer!
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby randy » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:45 pm

blackeagle603 wrote:
Only dang problem is a pintle mount for the .50 cal to keep the druggies and drunks from running me over.


Gun trailer!


Maybe you could modify a wheelbarrow!
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby toad » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:12 pm

Well I suppose you could tow a wheel barrel backwards. Maybe train a trunk monkey to operate the gun.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:16 am

oh my... I think I'm in love. Fat tire Jeepin'

Bare frame can be had for $485. First iteration had a 7000W motor and 50mph. I heard it said you can melt those fat tires with friction between tube and tire if you run too long above 20mph.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Cobar » Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:09 am

Yeah they do need to make that box curved. Reminds me of some of the original motorcycles.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:35 pm

Yep, only design beef I have with it. Though it's a form follows function issue and I can live with that. Maybe some ammo can or jerry can graphics would help.
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:20 am

<necro-posting>

Got the e-grin back on my face. Was back on e-bike for a quick 1.5mi run around the 'hood after work today.

First time since my unexpected hospital stay 05FEB. Balance seems to be fine, running out of excuses to start back to my ride to work.

Here she is with some changes made since my original post last fall.
IMG_20151227_170414965.jpg


The Mr Bean handlebars were a great addition. Closer to the width of my shoulders and the hands position is more natural that the original straight pipe MTB bars.

That basket comes off with a spring latch. I only use it on some weekend/evening store runs. Regular commute I used a grocery sized open top detachable pannier to carry my laptop and lunch.

The seatpost is a Suntour suspension unit. Spendy and worth every dime. Thank goodness for E-bay. Scored from German shop for almost 50% les$$ than available anywhere in the States. Without it the aluminum frame would really bust my tail riding over cracks in poorly maintained commute route.

Better rear rack added. My grocery bag pannier gets heavy on the commute and the cheapy old rack would let the bag rotate into my spokes (wore a hold in my bag).

Hardwired in lights. Probably should fuse the supply line now that I think about it. I think you might be able to weld with that headlight. The tail light has 5 LEDs, Not as bright as I'd like. It's off a scooter. Seems to handle the 48Vdc source fine.
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blackeagle603
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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby blackeagle603 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:26 am

Here's a (not very good) closeup of that suspension seat post.

Nifty roller cam sort of arrangement to compress the center piston. There's tension screw at the bottom of the seat post you can fiddle with if you take the seat post out.

IMG_20151227_170425316[1].jpg
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"The Guncounter: More fun than a barrel of tattooed knife-fighting chain-smoking monkey butlers with drinking problems and excessive gambling debts!"

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic;" Justice Story

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby BDK » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:24 pm

That "Jeepin" bike is quite cool!

Any suggestions on where to buy that seat suspension component?

The SO is a fan of bicycles, and I'm supposed to do as much as possible to reduce my stress levels - I'm think riding a bicycle may help.

I'm getting to the age where one has more than one doctor, and I never have enjoyed driving, unless on a track.

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Re: off the deep end: into electric bikes and batteries

Postby Cobar » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:11 pm

That is one thing I always disliked about bicycles. The way the seat beats you to death. The last time I rode a bicycle was before they were putting any suspension on them.

I would always just stand up and let my legs absorb the shock but my knees would not appreciate that nowadays.


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