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Electric Bicycles, Trikes and Recumbent Bicycles Electric bicycles are quiet and efficient form of transportation for general commuting.


Zen & pp/e bike

Electric bicycles are quiet and efficient form of transportation for general commuting.


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  #1  
Old 01-14-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default Zen & pp/e bike

When I built and rode my first China Girl bike, I was amazed at how much more I interacted with the world around me. Slowing form 40 mph to 16 to 25 mph changed how I saw the world. The guy on the corner wasn't just a man but he was a real person. I could see the color of his hair and the pattern on his shirt. And yes I could tell a woman from a man and not just by the hairstyle.

After a while the gasoline bikes bored me. I wanted to experience the world not constantly adjust the bike. Also they were just too easy sometimes. So I began working on a DIY ebike. I didn't want to pay 500 or so for a store bike. I might easily get bored with as well. I'm not a rich man just an old retired coot. Plus I just like to build them. Building is at least half the fun of owning a bike for me.

As I began to ride the test bikes I noticed a new phenomena. Not only was I closer to the environment in which I rode. I was more a part of it. I didn't turn heads as the sexy, but noisy, China Girl roared into the neighborhood, I was pretty much ignored. Which meant I didn't just see the guy on the corner staring at me, I saw what he was doing. The man was raking his yard not standing there holding the rake and looking at me. The world took on motion. I began to see how the things fitted together. How the universe turned if I can be so dramatic.

I was going slow enough, and the bike was quiet enough, so that I could say good morning to the ladies and how's it going to the men without skipping a beat. Yes I do have to pedal but that was why I built the PP/E bike. I need to pedal, I'm getting fat again.

I'm looking forward to the bike trail again. To go as far as I can on the PP (people power) then turn on the motor to get me home. I finally feel like I have an engine that will do all that, so today I test ride it to see if it will in fact get me home, without the chrome.

If the PP/E bike works well enough to ride daily, you will probably hear from me now and then when I feel the need to tell someone abut how things feel.
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Last edited by deacon; 01-14-2009 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

Hey Deacon, good to hear from you. I miss your perspective on life that you always so eloquently grace our pages with here. I hope your ebike is all you want and more. Good hearing from you my friend.....................
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by deacon View Post

If the PP/E bike works well enough to ride daily, you will probably hear from me now and then when I feel the need to tell someone abut how things feel.
I will be looking forward to hearing from you even if the pp/e bike doesn't work out.

Zen fo'sho'!
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

quick update on the bike.

It works fine but then of course I plan to make it better while the weather is crappy.

Testing a bike takes the zen out of it. There is no peace since I am constantly listening and trying to feel what the bike feels. Hey wait a minute that is zen. Being one with the bike I suppose.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

The thrift store and the pp/e bike

The frame of the first pp/e bike came from the thrift store, so I do check out their bikes often. Most of my frames come from there and then the parts to customize them as well. I like to combine a 26" frame and the crank and rear wheel from a child's 20" bike.

I went looking for this and that the other day. Mostly I'm thinking that if the pp/e bike is a success I will want to put the engine on a mountain bike with gears. I have never built on a geared bike before, but that isn't the story. I built a lot of weedwhacker bikes for a while. I never saw a Weed Whacker in the thrift store until I went to the PP/E bike. I saw one there a couple of days ago. I have no use for it but it just struck me as perverse that it shows up only after I stop using them.

I mention that because I am in need of a scooter motor for my next build. I thought I would run up there to see if they have a small one. Odds are no. In the true perversity of life, they will have one the moment I decide to never build another E bike.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

It got up to forty degrees so I took the trusty pp/e bike out for a ride. I only went a mile down the test track but found it very doable indeed. I want to run it a few more times on the hood track before I head to the bike trail. It's a long miserable walk back if anything should go terribly wrong.

I noticed a couple of things on the zen front. The bike is less invasive as I said before. I can't quite sneak up on walkers from behind but I can come a lot closer.

Funny but the people know even less what to make of this one than they did the china bike. Is it motor or not? They weren't quite sure till I stopped pedaling on the hill just to show off.

Once I get my mind right with the speed issue, I think I am really going to enjoy this bike. I still have the mind set of the gasoline bike. This one just ain't gonna do twenty miles an hour unless I am coasting down one heck of a hill.

The ultimate hill test will be a trip to the shopping center. There is a three block long hill on that route. I pulled it, no pedaling, with the china bike but it was a strain. I can imagine this is going to be real pedaling but the question is how hard it will be. I am never in a hurry so the speed really shouldn't be a big factor. Just how much of my lung power I have left. An pp/e bike won't stall but it will definitely drag.
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Last edited by deacon; 01-18-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

The first real working version of the pp&e bike is now undergoing tests. Being one with the bike is not only reacting to trouble but anticipating it as well. I don't do that well.

For instance: I made sure the road was nice and clear when I pedaled the PP&E onto the road. I got it to the point of kicking in the motor when I heard a thud and the crank began to free wheel. Yes the chain came off and yes I have coaster brakes. However I was going pretty slow, and there is some drag on the front wheel from the motor when I drop it, so I did. I got the bike onto the sidewalk without incident.

On this bike I am using a combination of a mountain bike three ring crank set and a coaster brake rear wheel. I have a coaster brake chain so there is some play in the front chain ring. I also use the chain on the largest ring which is not perfectly lined up with the rear sprocket. So losing the chain might force me to move it to the interior ring. That way the large ring would keep it in line better. I use the large one because it allows me to pedal sooner when the bike starts slowing down on the hills. I might have to switch rings and just let it slow more.

The plastic keeper ring broke off, I suppose from the chain flying around. I removed it and like any other casualty in a battle (me vs bike) I left it lay where it fell. So much for a green bike mentality..

I put the chain back on a couple of time then tightened it again. I'm hoping for the best but expecting to adjust the chain. Then I get to feel the zen of breaking the chain, since it will be one link too long.

Still the bike, after some motor position adjustments, did well. It picks up well and climbs the hills pretty darn good. I am a little surprised since the bike loses some power through the chain to drive wheel arrangement. It will need more adjusting Im sure. Most likely the skateboard wheel will have to go. I just can't get it centered. It wobbles still. The caster wheels can be center drilled to fit the axle then wedged with nuts and washers.

But there is nothing like riding a bike to help with my balance issues. It's also just good therapy in general. It's hard to hate the world when you are on a bike that you pretty much rebuilt to your own liking. Right or wrong it belongs to you a lot more than one you would buy from Wallymart and just just ride off into the sunset.

Even the breakdowns are therapeutic. Very few of the real problems in my life can I fix, but I can fix my bike. Well some of the time.
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Last edited by deacon; 01-20-2009 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

The wheel turns your way sometimes.....

It seems that I complain about things not working as they should all the time. So when I had a day where everything seemed to work out just right, I could hardly believe it. Yes it was cold, and yes my hands did hurt now and then from it, but I got things done and they didn't fall apart two minutes later.

First of all I managed to figure out a way to tighten a chain without any major repairs. Now that was a blessing. The chain was on a motor which I had salvaged from my trash can a couple of days ago.

Then I managed to remove a motor from a bike without it being too much trouble. I thought I had welded it down but the weld didn't take. That was a good thing as it turned out.

Then I was able to cut the old drive axle out without too awfully much trouble. I salvaged the sprocket and even the skateboard wheel which I have no use for now,

I replaced the skateboard wheel with three caster wheels I managed to find laying around in my shop. I got them apart no problem and even got them drilled without ruining them. The new assembly can be taken apart without cutting I hope. I'm going to have to wait and see what happens with that one. I expect that tomorrow I need to melt a little metal onto the axle to keep the drive wheel from walking but that shouldn't be a problem at all.

So it was a day that I touched the bike and we were one with the universe. Okay maybe that is a bit much, but it was one of those days when things go right and they don't happen all that often in my world. I'm convinced that it was a mystical experience...
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Last edited by deacon; 01-21-2009 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

I finally got to test ride the bikes today. The #25 which is the one with the least amount of changes from stock did okay. It was a lot of work but it did what I wanted. It climbed the hills for me just fine but was very very slow.

The bike with the home made sprocket drives was faster but had some mostly worn out batteries so it got real weak.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another good day so I have a few more tricks up my sleave.

One thing about the ebike is that I was really really shaky when I finished. It was a lot of work to ride it and I need that badly. I'm going to have to work up to real rides though. I can tell now that I'm really in bad bad physical condition.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Zen & pp/e bike

I learn humility from building experimental bikes. Today I rode the 300 watt bike and it did pretty good. I wish I could say the same for my body. I rode the test mile and was absolutely shaky again. I am so far out of shape it isn't funny.

I also found that the 500 watt motor will not run the bike chain. that sprocket is not on the bike solid. If I want to do that I need to start with a new engine one I have screwed up yet.

I'm sure it can be done, just have to do it right to being with. Like I said they don't beat me but they do humble me. I am pretty sure that when I get this motor perfected, I will put it on a bike with gears. That one mile track just kicks my butt.
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