Old guy e-bikes

Discussion in 'Electric Bicycles, Trikes and Recumbent Bicycles' started by indian22, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    I had lots of parts laying about and some developing interest in e-bikes so I jumped into an area of biking that I had and still have little knowledge of. That said I'm absorbing more information, as I proceed, concerning the motive forces involved and options available to the builder.

    I've built a fat tire, single speed, 48v. 1000 watt, front drive hub as a quick exercise and test of the basics involved and the utility and fun one can derive from an electric bike and, over the last couple of months, I've found them quite useful and very enjoyable.

    The next step was to order a 500 watt, 36 volt front hub for my favorite mountain bike and couple that to a 36 volt lithium 20 amp hr, BMS pack and controller. These new items are scheduled for delivery today and I'm ready to see them mounted. I've already stripped the chain rings and shifter mech & I'm left with 8 speeds driven by a single36 t sprocket. I've been riding this setup for several days and think I've a decent selection of ratios to choose from without resorting to the extremes of cross chaining.

    I've been riding this bike for 5 years and it's held up well. Absolutely nothing remains of the donor bike other than the aluminum frame. It's full suspension Rock Shox's air ride both front and rear, dropper seat post, Sella saddle, 160 mm Avid disc & calipers front and rear etc. etc.

    At my age I can see that I won't be able to long endure the demands a pedal bike places on my 71 year old legs. Electric appear to be the answer to prolonging my pedal bike experience and I find the expense of converting a couple of these to electric a non factor if I can extend my time pedaling on two wheels!

    Consider this thread an old codger's musing's about that of which he knows little, and feel free to jump in with your own thought's etc. etc., pro or con. My personal goal is not achieving great speed or touring tremendous distances, but rather all round, daily transport and the added health benefits derived from moderate exercise.

    Still just having fun!

    Rick C.
     
    #1 indian22, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  2. FOG

    FOG Member

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    After 67 orbits around the sun I'm not far behind ya Rick and agree wholeheartedly on the benefits of some exercise. I didn't know it until I retired but have since found out ... I LIKE exercise. Who knew? I routinely walk 6 or pedal 12 just about everyday and believe me, if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be doin' it!

    But that can't last and that's where the 49cc Schwinn I'm building enters the picture. As long as my sense of balance is good enough to stand and walk upright I'll still have a ride.

    From what I can ascertain E-bikes have come a long way recently but as usual I'm behind the curve. For instance, what is a BMS pack?
     
  3. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Fog! It stands for battery management system & is used in conjunction with lithium ion battery packs & remember I'm not an authority but as I understand this limits overcharging or over discharging of the batteries that comprise the pack. Either overcharging or over discharging the Lithium batteries can cause them to explode/catch fire. Lead acid cell batteries don't require this feature of course. I'm sure others more knowledgeable than I can elaborate and explain more fully than I on the subject.

    I retired in 1990 & was still relatively young and really active, but like you I eventually hit the age where I knew a more systematic exercise program would be necessary to maintain my overall health & wellness...work alone couldn't and wasn't enough. I also like the exercise & miss it when weather forces me indoors and I'm constrained to using Bowflex & other machines only.

    I've three China girl powered bikes and two others with 4 cycle motors & enjoy them all With the completion of the three electric bikes I should have my transportation via motorized bicycle complete, but hope I've a few additional bikes to build just for the exercise!

    Rick C.
     
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  4. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Front hub arrived and assembly began first problem followed soon after with disk caliper offset spacing being a fraction off with the rotor. I ran out of time, but feature it will work out fine. Lithium pack scheduled delivery today & my Fed Ex deliveries are usually made at the end of their day.

    I'm not confident that I have enough space inside the frame (rear shock is vertical type) to mount the battery case, but have a rear rack that I can mount it on. Controller? Maybe mount it inside the frame or also use the rack as a mount location.

    Rick C.
     
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  5. Tom from Rubicon

    Tom from Rubicon Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget "Newsboy style" front battery storage Rick.
    Just a thought. I'm an I.C.E. guy the day I die.
    Though I am interested in all new tech developments.
    Back in the 80's I machined up all the components for a electric car controller. A series of power MOSFETS to pulse the motor maximizing battery life.
    Trick potentiometer throttle control.
    That was mostly analog, digital controls made it obsolete.
    Cool as ****, in those heady days. Should have taken photos.
    Keep up the good work Rick
    Tom from Rubicon
     
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  6. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tom. Back in our past we didn't have time to sleep let alone take photos. I've always been that guy that likes old things especially anything that had lots of mechanical busyness and made some noise, just fascinates me, especially fossil fuel motors and drive trains. I owned a company that specialized in prototypes developed for 'govment departments which quickly involved bridging the analog/digital current...get caught memorializing that crap in any form got you maximum jail time and loss of contracts!

    I've been asked a lot of questions about the electrics over the past few years & responded with vague generalizations and recently decided to experience some specifics, which for me means put a few together & learn things. I've proceeded with boring caution. Powered the fat bike with sealed lead battery's & single speed hub front wheel & am taking that information forward on the Mountain bike, another front hub, but using lithium cells this time and coupled to the 8 speed cassette drive train. I'm thinking I'll eventually convert my Extreme V Cannondale frame to a rear e-hub fixie configuration & up the power to 72 v. 3,000 watt range.

    For my personal use the hub drives are fine, but I have mid drive motor, 48 v. 2,000 watt & controller I can mount on something as well. The frames/style bikes I currently have aren't really good candidates for the mid motor and my sedate riding style isn't either. Front to rear balance is actually pretty even on both the fat bike and the mountain bike with the batteries mounted on the rear rack and the front hub. I don't find the pulling wheel a handicap on my low wattage setup fat bike and the mountain bike power is half that....though on narrower tires; I've a pair of Maxxis Holy rollers on order for the MB in 2.4" width, but still narrow compared to 4".

    The mid drive mounting position does lower the bikes center of gravity, but so does loosing 25 or 30 lbs. of rider's body weight! The mid mount also scores points when used on suspension bikes over the front or rear hub drive, as the hub adds un-sprung weight to the rolling assembly (tire, wheel, hub & brake) and puts added stress on both springing and damping efforts, regardless of the hub being mounted forward or aft. My mountain bike is full suspension and uses air shocks for both damping and springing both front and rear, so having ridden this setup for several years I'll quickly notice any degradation of ride/handling qualities experienced by adding the substantial weight of the front hub motor. I'm sure some added air will be needed to offset the rear battery as well. Rick C.
     
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  7. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the last post; the Fat tire bike is fully rigid and without e power rode noticeably smoother than it did after adding the front hub motor: so if the mountain bike fork suspension does a really good job of handling the bumps and humps with the added hub weight; I'll probably go to a fork suspension on the fat bike as well. What I said earlier about added stress to the active suspension due to added weight still stands...suspension forks will take more of a beating, but better them than me!

    I also like the idea of all wheel drive with the front hub motor and pedal to the rear, especially with multiple gearing. One of the aspects of the mid motor that I'm skeptical about is the forces placed on the drive train. Motor power plus leg power places a lot of strain on the small chain when it's absolutely straight, but with even modest cross chaining the forces get ridiculous. The more powerful the legs and motor combination; the greater the chance of chain failure, in whatever form even with a perfect chain line selection. Mid motor chain, or belt, failure and the rider is on foot 'cause you can't pedal or drive the under e power. With e-hub you're still riding under power even without a chain. I really like redundant systems in mechanisms. Fail safer?

    I'm using direct drive hubs, but well constructed geared hubs have the advantage of reduced drag when under pedal power. Regen braking isn't a big factor in my personal e-bike use. Still having fun and looking for others input on all biking including e-bikes.

    Rick C.
     
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  8. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Avid 160 mm rotor & caliper won't work on my hub setup, though the instructions states 160 mm for the fronts. I'm running Rock shock forks with 74mm brake post standoffs and the caliper is into the motor housing case. I've got 180 mm rotor & adaptor on order & that should clear the motor case contour, if not 203mm will definitely allow the caliper to clear the case.

    I ordered the Maxxis 2.4" x 26" Holy Rollers for the mountain bike also. I'll wait on all the tire and brake parts to get in, along with c washers that will seat fully in the drop out recesses of the forks. Round washers won't flush up without trimming...& I don't 'wanna.

    Lithium battery took a full charge, but the pack is too long for in frame mounting so I'll modify the rack to allow the battery to lock & release smoothly. I'm thinking the small controller will mount to the water bottle inserts if I fab a small bracket for the purpose.

    Looking like late next week before I can really make any progress on the MB, but no hurry right? Two hour builds aren't in and never have been in my wheel house, but some probably do it in less time with a 30 minute break thrown in....

    Rick C.
     
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  9. Tom from Rubicon

    Tom from Rubicon Well-Known Member

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  10. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    No Tom I hadn't visited that forum but it looks a good one thanks! Lightning rods is also new to me, but several parts they offer stand out. I didn't see any photos or explanation of the primary drive setup, but I'm thinking it may be staggered rollers under compression...like a roller/tire drive only with jack shaft instead of a tire.

    Took another look and decided it's belt and pulley primary.

    Rick C.
     
    #10 indian22, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Hi Fog,
    I've posted this before but here is what happens when you don't have a BMS with lithium cells. This chap rebuilds and parts out damaged Tesla's so he's no neophyte. He was short cutting and he admits that he knew better and pushed it too far.

    Steve.

     
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  12. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Steve since you first posted this video I've kept it in mind as I moved forward with my e bikes. It's a sobering reminder that tech should be fundamentally understood and properly incorporated in our designs and in the components we select from our vendors. Safety being of foremost concern.

    Batteries in general, not just lithium should be handled with respect and care as the amperage in these packs is quite potent & lethally dangerous.

    Rick C.
     
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  13. Tom from Rubicon

    Tom from Rubicon Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of Rick's sobering reply, I about pee'd myself laughing. The play by play comments are a hoot!
    Thanks for posting Steve !
    I bought the Misses a Lith. powered week whacker and I keep a cautious eye on the power pack at every recharge.
    Tom from Rubicon
     
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  14. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Tom most "experts" wouldn't post such a humbling event, but they checked their ego at the door and it is quite funny & no great harm done 'cept for poor Daisy! Great object lesson as well.

    Rick C.
     
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  15. Tom from Rubicon

    Tom from Rubicon Well-Known Member

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    Alas poor Daisy! I knew her, Horatio, a auto of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
    Tom from Rubicon
     
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  16. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    Very "Great Gatsby"-ish in flavor,Tom.

    Rick C.
     
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  17. Tom from Rubicon

    Tom from Rubicon Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Rick, this is a eBike thread. I will try and stay on topic. But that YouTube was a hoot!
    Tom from Rubicon
     
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  18. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    The thread topic is 'kinda the destination but the detours are what makes it interesting....

    I'm into more of an ongoing stream of consciousness thread rather than a stick up my bu** lecture. so as long as we don't sell fake documents I'm pretty good with it! Dennis Hopper would probably feel quite at home posting to my threads man, but I probably couldn't follow half of what he'd bring up.

    Rick C.
     
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  19. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    So I got out in the garage and assembled some things on the mountain bike last evening and now have the removable lithium battery pack securely mounted on the rear rack, controller on the bottle bracket inserts. Tied wiring up & hopefully out of harms way and rode her four blocks. Not a bad experience, but not much to look at with mis-matched tires & wheels & missing front caliper etc. Maxxis 2.4" Holy rollers will really improve the look when they get here. At any rate it all works and seems to ride the same as before, full suspension air shocks are quite forgiving, though I'm sure the shocks air pressure will require adjustment. I'll not mess with fine tuning until after I mount the new rubber, just a waste of time.

    The rear disc, brakes it pretty well but even on my brief short ride I missed having front stoppers! I'm hoping the 180mm rotor & post adaptor is the answer to my caliper to wheel motor housing clearance issue. I might require a 203mm rotor instead...

    Rick C.
     
    #19 indian22, Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  20. indian22

    indian22 Well-Known Member

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    My180 mm rotor was delivered, but unfortunately the recipient lives in Los Vegas! So another is on the way to the Old guy's domicile in Indian Territory. Small setback for sure, "often the slip between cup and lip" but the USPS has a very good record with my deliveries through the years.

    I rode the heck out of the mountain bike yesterday and worked out a couple of irritating problems. Lengthened the prop stand about an inch and a half & relocated it further aft to properly counteract the weight of the battery pack on the rear rack. I've new found confidence that my bike won't fall over every time I walk away from her. I don't have mountainous terrain here in I.T, so dumping a bike to the ground or propping one against buildings etc. is just clutter in town riding, and I'd count the public bike racks at four total in my small hometown so a great working kickstand is a big deal to me on all my bikes.

    The second fix was to apply 3M double sided tape to the slide mount of the removable battery pack and that stopped the worst rattle I've ever heard coming from any bicycle...ever. I left vinyl on the tape so the battery will still be removable whenever I need that (seldom) to happen. One would think a manufacturer would address this problem in the design stage of things!

    My gps showed a consistent 25 mph, no pedal on flats, as top speed and I'm good with that. I'm not a heavy weight so I expected I'd get pretty good speed out of 500 watts & 36 volts. When I upgrade the fat bike to lithium (48 v. 1000 watt) I'll not really expect much more speed from it either. At any rate moderate pedal assist brings speeds up in a hurry on the MB & cars that have often crowded me coming from behind after dead stops aren't any longer and that's fun!

    I readily admit that I miss the clean look of my old traditional MB The "addition" of parts and wiring for the electrics to me detracts from the aesthetics of a well designed standard bicycle. I'll adjust to it. Mid motor placement is, to me, better looking on all but vintage style bikes; where the hub motors give the appearance of a drum brake both front or rear mounted. Even on vintage bikes the mid-motor setup looks well when done well. For full suspension MB's some of the manufacturer's are designing beautiful frames that address the bolt on, cluttered look that I'm referring to. Some of the guys on this forum have also designed e-bikes that really look amazing and perhaps one day I'll approach an electric build with that in mind, but for now I'm just bolting on parts and still having fun!

    Rick C.
     
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