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Old 01-31-2013, 08:19 PM   #481
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So let me get this straight: they want to give a tax break to people who buy fuel efficient vehicles while, at the same time, the government is also trying to figure out how to impose a tax upon fuel efficient vehicles because they're not paying their "fair share" of infrastructure taxes via fuel taxes...
Yes, I think you've just about got it.

Same deal as how the government encourages people to be poor by structuring all federal taxes in a progressive fashion and handing out social welfare money like it was going out of style, while at the same time imposing sanctions against the poor by (insert JasonC conspiracy theory involving farm subsidies, the Federal Reserve, the Glass–Steagall act, and the indirect state-sanctioned scarcity of medical education vis-a-vis somehow managing to simultaneously grant monopoly power to at least three different commercial entities which are in direct competition with one another).
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #482
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Saw this today:



I empathized.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #483
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Figured I'd post here where everyone can share in the info rather than asking any further on Facebook, Joe.

So I re-read this whole thread, and surfed links you provided and googled stuff, and determined the following:

1. I'm definitely doing this.
2. I'm definitely not modifying my Rockhopper for this.
3. Most of the jargon goes straight over my head.

So, I'm heavily leaning toward an em3ev.com package since they accommodate disc brakes (a must for Monterey, IMO). A question about controllers: if I go for the 50v/20ah battery option they sell, which controller do I need? I see a few can handle the voltage but some come with extra FETs, which I assume is a good thing. By my (electrically ignorant) logic, I get the most expensive one since they're cheap anyway.

http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?rou...&product_id=55


About batteries - did they custom make the triangle battery and bag for you? How much extra was that over a rectangular one?

EDIT - For context, I am moving back to Monterey for a few years and will be taking full advantage of the bike path that runs around the peninsula. Riding a bike will keep me from having to feed rear tires to the NSX gods every other month. I'll probably keep the Civic for rainy days, too.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #484
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3. Most of the jargon goes straight over my head.
Yeah, they have their own set of jargon. Fundamentally, though, it's fairly simple. Just picture a drawn-reciprocating dingle arm mounted to a baseplate of reframulated amulite, adjusted so as to maximize sinusoidal depleneration.


Quote:
So, I'm heavily leaning toward an em3ev.com package since they accommodate disc brakes (a must for Monterey, IMO).
This is the same vendor I bought mine from. Looks like he finally took everyone's advise and created a proper website with an actual company name.

Be aware that Paul can be a tad slow to respond to emails, and shipping can also take a while. He's essentially a one-man shop (with a few part-time assistants, plus his wife) and he tends to do everything in batches.

Also, most (all?) of these motors will accommodate a brake disc. With disc brakes, the install is slightly less plug-n-play; you will have to do a bit of fidgeting and fine-tuning to make everything line up properly. In my case, I wound up with a couple of washers mounted between the disc and the motor housing to move the disc into the caliper's range of adjustability, and also to create enough clearance between the disc and the motor housing to prevent the caliper from rubbing on the housing. It's a tight fit back there, but it can be done.

If possible, try to find a bike with either a 6 or 7 speed rear. It's not 100% necessary that the number of gears actually match the markings on the shifter, but it helps. And you will not want to run an 8 or 9 speed gearstack with this motor- it's possible, but the larger gearstack means that getting everything aligned perfectly will be damn near impossible. And yes, you will need to learn how to re-adjust your derailleur. It's neither difficult nor time-consuming, but seems to be something that confounds a lot of people. After the initial coarse-adjustment, I carried a screwdriver with me for a few days and made a couple of minor tweaks while riding.

My bike came with ratchet-shifters on both sides, so I had to replace the right (rear) shifter with a twist-style to accommodate the thumb throttle. If you can find a bike with twist-shifters and either a 6 or 7 speed rear as standard, that's a better starting point IMO than a bike with a higher gear-count and a ratchet-shifter.


Quote:
A question about controllers: if I go for the 50v/20ah battery option they sell, which controller do I need? I see a few can handle the voltage but some come with extra FETs, which I assume is a good thing. By my (electrically ignorant) logic, I get the most expensive one since they're cheap anyway.
There are two basic selections: Voltage rating of FETs and quantity of FETs.

The lower-voltage units use the IRFB3077 FET, and these are suitable for use up to about 50v nominal / 60v max. The units with IRFB4110 FETs can deal with "72v" batteries, which peak somewhere in the 80s. The downside is that the 4110 has a very slightly higher resistance than the 3077, so it will slightly decrease the efficiency of the controller (more heat.) Thus, if you are planning to run a 50v battery, pick the 3077-based controllers.

The number of FETs more-or-less corresponds to the amount of current which the controller can handle. Additionally, the larger controllers come pre-programmed for higher current limits. In practical terms, this means that "full throttle" on a 6 FET controller will get you 25 amps, while full throttle on a 12 FET controller will get you 40 amps. It changes the effective scaling of the throttle, making it more sensitive.

In my case, I have the CycleAnalyst ECU sitting between the throttle and the controller, which allows me to re-scale the throttle, impose my own dynamic current limits, etc. Without that, a high-current controller will be a tad twitchy. It is possible to re-program the controller (they even offer the cable needed to do this) however I personally find the software used to do this to be exceedingly cryptic. Basically, I took one look at it and said "Nope, I'm gonna leave it stock and do everything with the CycleAnalyst."

Then you have a bunch of choices of motor winding. They refer to these as "12T", "10T" etc, down to "6T." Physically, this is describing the number of turns of wire per pole inside the motor. A 12T motor has twelve turns of wire per pole, a 6T motor has 6 turns of wire, and will generally use thicker wire.

What does this mean in the real world? All else being equal, a motor with a lower number of turns will be capable of operating at a higher speed and sinking more current, however it will have *less* torque for a given voltage and current. So a 6T motor would be what you'd want if you're trying to set a speed record at Bonneville, while a 12T motor would be the best choice for climbing mountains.



On my bike, I am running a 50v battery on a 9 FET 3077 controller, with a 10T geared motor. This was based on the recommendations of multiple users over at Endless-Sphere, and it does in fact seem to be the sweet-spot which provides me with good hill-climbing power and still allows me to be irresponsible and use the motor to attain unsafe speeds on the flat parts if I want to.

EDIT: I just remembered that while I had ordered the 9 FET unit, they accidentally shipped me the 12 FET unit by mistake. And since that controller is programmed for 40A, this is why I am using the CycleAnalyst to re-scale the throttle and impose an external 25A limit. I would not recommend running 40 amps with a geared motor on a commuter bike without an external limiter- this is "too much" power.


Quote:
About batteries - did they custom make the triangle battery and bag for you? How much extra was that over a rectangular one?
At the time I bought mine, the triangle battery was a semi-standard configuration for them. The price was a bit lower, as it's only rated at 11.5 Ah, whereas the current offerings all seem to be 20 Ah. I'd suggest contacting him- I am sure they'd still be willing to make one to order. The triangle battery, IMO, is the absolute best solution in terms of weight distribution and compactness.

The bag is from a company in Florida called Falcon EV. When I bought mine originally, the bag came with the kit (I'm not sure if they were shipping them to China and then back to Florida, or if Paul was simply buying them from the same OEM that makes them for Falcon.) I took a spill late last year and tore the bag, so I bought a replacement directly from Falcon. You can see the bag on their page here: Lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, Lithium ion batteries, LiMn, scooter batteries, e-bike batteries

My suspicion is that this bag was originally intended for people who are rolling their own batteries out of large numbers of RC-grade packs, which is a procedure that nets you a very light, very powerful, very inexpensive and highly unsafe battery.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 03-27-2013 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #485
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Yeah, they have their own set of jargon. Fundamentally, though, it's fairly simple. Just picture a drawn-reciprocating dingle arm mounted to a baseplate of reframulated amulite, adjusted so as to maximize sinusoidal depleneration.
Makes sense now.

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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Be aware that Paul can be a tad slow to respond to emails, and shipping can also take a while. He's essentially a one-man shop (with a few part-time assistants, plus his wife) and he tends to do everything in batches.
That's fine by me, but thanks for the heads-up. I'm going to try to put this all together while I'm in NC, before I head west. Or if by a while you mean months, maybe I'd be better off waiting until I have a CA address to place the order.

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[disc brake and derailleur fitment]
Seems easy enough. Recently, we decided that since my eldest was 5 that she should learn how to ride a bike. So we went out and got a 20" (she's tall) bike to give to her for christmas, which just so happened to be a "mountain bike" in the most liberal sense (you know, because putting a cassette on a BMX bike makes it a mountain bike), which made mounting the training wheels interesting. Santa spent some time in the garage rummaging through the spare bolts and washers that night.

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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

My bike came with ratchet-shifters on both sides, so I had to replace the right (rear) shifter with a twist-style to accommodate the thumb throttle. If you can find a bike with twist-shifters and either a 6 or 7 speed rear as standard, that's a better starting point IMO than a bike with a higher gear-count and a ratchet-shifter.
I'm actually more a fan of the rapid-fire shifters myself, can't do the grip shift. I might try the twist throttles if there's an incompatibility with rapid-fire shifters. Or maybe mount a thumb throttle on the handlebar extensions? I dunno. It's all a matter of ergonomics and personal preference anyway, so I'll cross that bridge later I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post

There are two basic selections: Voltage rating of FETs and quantity of FETs.

The higher-voltage units use the IRFB3077 FET, and these are suitable for use up to about 50v nominal / 60v max. The units with IRFB4110 FETs can deal with "72v" batteries, which peak somewhere in the 80s. The downside is that the 4110 has a very slightly higher resistance than the 3077, so it will slightly decrease the efficiency of the controller (more heat.) Thus, if you are planning to run a 50v battery, pick the 3077-based controllers.

The number of FETs more-or-less corresponds to the amount of current which the controller can handle. Additionally, the larger controllers come pre-programmed for higher current limits. In practical terms, this means that "full throttle" on a 6 FET controller will get you 25 amps, while full throttle on a 12 FET controller will get you 40 amps. It changes the effective scaling of the throttle, making it more sensitive.

In my case, I have the CycleAnalyst ECU sitting between the throttle and the controller, which allows me to re-scale the throttle, impose my own dynamic current limits, etc. Without that, a high-current controller will be a tad twitchy. It is possible to re-program the controller (they even offer the cable needed to do this) however I personally find the software used to do this to be exceedingly cryptic. Basically, I took one look at it and said "Nope, I'm gonna leave it stock and do everything with the CycleAnalyst."

Then you have a bunch of choices of motor winding. They refer to these as "12T", "10T" etc, down to "6T." Physically, this is describing the number of turns of wire per pole inside the motor. A 12T motor has twelve turns of wire per pole, a 6T motor has 6 turns of wire, and will generally use thicker wire.

What does this mean in the real world? All else being equal, a motor with a lower number of turns will be capable of operating at a higher speed and sinking more current, however it will have *less* torque for a given voltage and current. So a 6T motor would be what you'd want if you're trying to set a speed record at Bonneville, while a 12T motor would be the best choice for climbing mountains.



On my bike, I am running a 50v battery on a 9 FET 3077 controller, with a 10T geared motor. This was based on the recommendations of multiple users over at Endless-Sphere, and it does in fact seem to be the sweet-spot which provides me with good hill-climbing power and still allows me to be irresponsible and use the motor to attain unsafe speeds on the flat parts if I want to.



At the time I bought mine, the triangle battery was a semi-standard configuration for them. The price was a bit lower, as it's only rated at 11.5 Ah, whereas the current offerings all seem to be 20 Ah. I'd suggest contacting him- I am sure they'd still be willing to make one to order. The triangle battery, IMO, is the absolute best solution in terms of weight distribution and compactness.

The bag is from a company in Florida called Falcon EV. When I bought mine originally, the bag came with the kit (I'm not sure if they were shipping them to China and then back to Florida, or if Paul was simply buying them from the same OEM that makes them for Falcon.) I took a spill late last year and tore the bag, so I bought a replacement directly from Falcon. You can see the bag on their page here: Lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, Lithium ion batteries, LiMn, scooter batteries, e-bike batteries

My suspicion is that this bag was originally intended for people who are rolling their own batteries out of large numbers of RC-grade packs, which is a procedure that nets you a very light, very powerful, very inexpensive and highly unsafe battery.
10T does seem to be a good pick for me, since there are just a few gentle, rolling hills most of the way and then a crushing, 2.5-3mph "kill me now" hill once you turn onto the base. I'd say it took 10-15 minutes of what was a 45-minute ride to climb that hill, which is most of the reason I'm looking into this. The 10T's torque would be welcome, for sure.

Thanks for your input, Joe. I'll definitely be contacting him directly once I have the bike I'll be using for the project secured (not totally sure I want to use a 29er for this).
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #486
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If there wasn't a specific ban on motorized bicycles on our local trails, I'd have already started this project. The trail is so close to both home and work!
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #487
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If there wasn't a specific ban on motorized bicycles on our local trails, I'd have already started this project. The trail is so close to both home and work!
Would LEOs be likely to enforce this prohibition on an electric bike?



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That's fine by me, but thanks for the heads-up. I'm going to try to put this all together while I'm in NC, before I head west. Or if by a while you mean months, maybe I'd be better off waiting until I have a CA address to place the order.
Well, I just went back and checked my email history. I first sent an email to Paul on April 15, 2012, and his first response was on April 18. A long email trail follows (with relatively prompt replies), and I placed the order on April 21. The order arrived in two shipments, with the motor, controller, etc showing up on May 17, and the battery on June 8.

I'm not 100% certain why he shipped in two packages. The battery is the longest lead-time item, as he actually builds them himself, to order. There was some specific shortage which drove the delay in the battery, but on the whole I'd figured on a month being a safe average between placing the order and receiving the hardware.






Quote:
Thanks for your input, Joe. I'll definitely be contacting him directly once I have the bike I'll be using for the project secured (not totally sure I want to use a 29er for this).
One of the reasons I chose to stay with the 26" size on build #2 was for the added mechanical advantage you get with the 26" wheel vs. the 29/700 wheel. All else being equal, the smaller wheel will give you slightly more torque with a slightly lower top-speed.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:59 PM   #488
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Would LEOs be likely to enforce this prohibition on an electric bike?
Any LEO that even notices a bicycle with an electric assist (if it's going at a normal bike-speed) is probably smart enough not to cite the rider for it, as they would recognize the benefits and intent of the law, though I have encountered some very uninformed officers of the law in the past; specifically involving bicycles.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:30 AM   #489
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One of the reasons I chose to stay with the 26" size on build #2 was for the added mechanical advantage you get with the 26" wheel vs. the 29/700 wheel. All else being equal, the smaller wheel will give you slightly more torque with a slightly lower top-speed.

Right, I wonder though - if the 10T can make it up the presidio's grade with a 29" tire, why go 26"? I mean, other than ubiquity of parts, lower initial cost, and lower gearing. :P

I just like the 29ers because they soak up bumps better. But whether or not it's a viable option for me, I'm not sure because of that damn hill. It'd be a shame to order up all of the hardware for a 29er and then discover that I can't make it up the presidio when that's 95% of the reason for the conversion in the first place. I guess I need to see if I can find out the slope.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:23 AM   #490
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:09 PM   #491
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I just like the 29ers because they soak up bumps better. But whether or not it's a viable option for me, I'm not sure because of that damn hill.
Well, it's not a massive difference. Using the nominal values, a 29" tire has a circumference about 11% greater than a 26" tire, so that's the difference in gearing. Unless you're trying to climb up a vertical wall, I'm sure it'll be fine. The motor will just be working a tad harder.

I find this tool to be handy for determining inclines: MapMyRide ride Mapping Editor | MapMyRide

A word of caution- it tends to want to compute average incline rather than showing peaks, so you need to really zoom in and select a path which covers only the area of greatest importance.



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Interesting - cantilever brakes out back, disc up front. Saves having to set up the rear disc.

Amazon.com: Jeep 29er Comanche Mountain Bike (18.5 Inch, Satin Copper): Sports & Outdoors
That looks like it'd be an excellent choice, actually. 21 speed, so it should be a 7 speed rear stack. That's ideal, since you can match it with the new wheel configuration.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:27 AM   #492
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Excellent tool, Joe. You know, I've used the Map My Ride app to log singletrack runs before but never used the website.

So looks like a 10% grade. Shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:09 AM   #493
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One of the reviewers on Amazon pointed out that the Jeep bike is probably the same as one Wal-Mart sells for cheaper. Apparently it's badge-engineered as a Jeep and given a different paint job and a markup.

29" Genesis Mountain Bike - Walmart.com
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #494
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The more I think about it, the more I want to make this as much of a sleeper as possible. More fun to buzz past someone if they can't figure out how you're so much faster...

Most of the stuff can be pretty easily hidden, the electrics under the rear rack like you've done, the motor itself is mostly unnoticeable, etc. But the battery...

I'm thinking between the seat post and the basket. Would be out of sight from behind the bike, and have a very small profile from the side. Thoughts?
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #495
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panniers will hide a hub motor

just stick your batteries in the frame tubes.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:31 PM   #496
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The motor hides well enough, IMO, and I think the entire frame would have to be batteries for that to work. Like, it would have to be designed from the outset to be a frame with batteries in it.

The batteries tend to be in big chunks. The small battery offered by Paul is 250x175x95mm (or appx. 10x7x3.7" in real money) and weighs 6.7Kg (14.7lbs).

The large one, which is what I'd use, is 250x170x125mm (10x6.7x5") and weighs 8.8Kg (19.4lbs).

That's a big heavy chunk, and it has to go somewhere. My between the seat post and basket idea would be an easy place to secure it and probably one of the only places it could be hidden (in plain sight) from the casual observer. The drawback being putting the heaviest part above the rear tire, which isn't ideal, but I think maybe not the worst thing ever.

EDIT: This is maybe not the same load I'd be carrying this time around, but to give an idea of how much the stuff in the basket would hide the battery from view if it were in front of it:


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Old 03-28-2013, 02:08 PM   #497
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Like, it would have to be designed from the outset to be a frame with batteries in it.
And there are some factory-built bikes that have exactly that. The downside is that their battery capacity tends to be comparatively small- usually 24 to 36 volts at perpahs 10 Ah.


Quote:
That's a big heavy chunk, and it has to go somewhere. My between the seat post and basket idea would be an easy place to secure it and probably one of the only places it could be hidden (in plain sight) from the casual observer. The drawback being putting the heaviest part above the rear tire, which isn't ideal, but I think maybe not the worst thing ever.
If I were installing that battery on my bike, I'd probably sit it on top of the rear shelf. It would overhang the baskets a tad.

The downside to having the battery up high is that it de-stabilizes the bike when at rest. When I added the two SLA batteries to the basket on the last bike, it always wanted to tip over when it was on the centerstand, especially if I had additional load in the basket as well.

I have also seen people build mounting boxes in order to attach the battery to the front of the bike, clamped to the tube which is between the handlebars and the fork. (Not sure what the proper name is for that part of the frame.)

But I'd strongly suggest that you inquire about the triangle battery. It has a lower capacity, but even 11.5 Ah is enough to give me 30+ miles range on hilly terrain.




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Excellent tool, Joe. You know, I've used the Map My Ride app to log singletrack runs before but never used the website.

So looks like a 10% grade. Shouldn't be too bad.
I had no idea they had an app- I've only ever used the website to map routes which I intend to explore.

But based on what you've posted, I can't imagine you'll have a problem. Here is one particular section that I ride in the afternoons when I am coming home the long way:



I'm not going to lie- that stretch is a challenge even with the motor going full-tilt-boogie. You feel every last bit of the 20% grade at the end.

But on the other hand, my morning commute involves numerous short stretches of 10% grade, and those are no problem at all.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #498
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And there are some factory-built bikes that have exactly that. The downside is that their battery capacity tends to be comparatively small- usually 24 to 36 volts at perpahs 10 Ah.
Yep. And they don't really look like bicycles anymore either, eh?

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A
But I'd strongly suggest that you inquire about the triangle battery. It has a lower capacity, but even 11.5 Ah is enough to give me 30+ miles range on hilly terrain.
30+? That's not bad. I'll think about it..

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But on the other hand, my morning commute involves numerous short stretches of 10% grade, and those are no problem at all.
You pedal in addition to using the motor, right? About what sort of speed can you do uphill? I'm assuming you have a speedo somewhere.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:45 PM   #499
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Oh, and that's a fork tube or steer tube, or steering tube, depending.

I think I saw the one you're talking about on ES. Some aluminum bracketry holding what appears to be a cutting board to the front of the fork tube, and then a tough-case looking thing with the battery inside latched to it?
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:03 PM   #500
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Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
30+? That's not bad. I'll think about it..
I'm estimating, of course, based on my actual usage. This morning, for instance, I used 2.2 Ah to go almost exactly 5 miles, for 23.3 Wh/mi. But my afternoon commute is usually less strenuous, and I typically wind up hitting 18-20 Wh/mi in total after the full round-trip. So even with my especially severe usage, I'd expect a minimum of 25 miles range. And for less strenuous terrain, I could easily extend that by quite a lot. There are very few flat sections on my commute- it's quite literally uphill both ways.


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You pedal in addition to using the motor, right?
Oh, absolutely yes. And on the flat sections, I tend to run on pedal power alone, with the motor off.

There's a reason that I'm riding a bicycle as opposed to a traditional motorcycle, despite the fact that I could have bought a used Nighthawk 250 for what I've got invested in this one.


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About what sort of speed can you do uphill? I'm assuming you have a speedo somewhere.
Yes, the CycleAnalyst includes a speedo / odo function.

Speed varies greatly, depending mostly on the sort of mood I'm in. On a typical uphill stretch of maybe 8-10% grade, I can do 10 MPH effortlessly, 15 MPH under ordinary circumstances (throttle at 75%, moderate pedaling) and get it up to 20+ if I've got the motor at full throttle and am working the pedals hard. I'm not kidding when I say that on any kind of serious incline, I can easily pass an Olympic-level cyclist as though they were standing still.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
I think I saw the one you're talking about on ES. Some aluminum bracketry holding what appears to be a cutting board to the front of the fork tube, and then a tough-case looking thing with the battery inside latched to it?
I've seen a couple of different setups like this. All were along the general lines of the basket that ET rode in on Elliot's BMX.
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