New commuting vehicle

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stuartcnz
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:06 pm

Just finished riding home from work, and it was raining cats and dogs the whole way. It was a good test to see how this bike goes in the wet and it performed admirably.

At least in this summer weather, I now know that the bike doesn't need to be dry weather only.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:37 pm

Here are a couple of photo's of my bike as it is currently set up, with the rigid carrier. These were taken a few days ago.
Image
Image

This is what it looked like when I first set it up.

Image

It rides much better now with the lower centre of gravity.

I received my Yuba Mundo a couple of days ago, and assembled it the same day. Today, I pumped up the tyres and started getting the gears adjusted, this will probably require more tuning. It is much lower geared than my other bike, so I will probably need to change the sprocket clusters, before I electrify it.
I haven't taken any photo's of it yet, will try to in the next few days. At this stage, my impression is that it is very different to any bike I have riden before. It seems very well thought out so far.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby rlaggren » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:02 pm

It would seem that CG would be even better if the battery could be mounted in the triangle. Is the physical size of the battery the limiting factor there or does something else cause problems? If it's battery size, I wonder if a "flat" battery configuration is possible - don't know what the basic cell format is...

Rufus

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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:36 pm

rlaggren wrote:It would seem that CG would be even better if the battery could be mounted in the triangle. Is the physical size of the battery the limiting factor there or does something else cause problems? If it's battery size, I wonder if a "flat" battery configuration is possible - don't know what the basic cell format is...

Rufus


I think that you would be getting to the point of dimishing returns pretty quickly, headed in that direction. For some reason the ride seems more comfortable with the bulk of the weight concentrated over the back wheel, rather than spread between both wheels. Also I have made a point of keeping as much of that triangle area as possible, clear, for peddling convenience.

In other news, here is a photo of my new Yuba Mundo.

Image

This is going to be a much longer term project than I had initially expected, as I will be changing more parts than I first thought. The frame itself though, is every bit as good as I had hoped. Also My existing bike is getting more and more useable, as I make various tweaks, which is much cheaper than doing the Yuba now.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby GoodClue » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:52 pm

Hi Stuart ... went to the web site to study the Yuba ...

http://yubaride.com/

Interesting bike ... will study it further ... is yours electric? :thumbup:
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:12 pm

Hi Doug,
My bike isn't yet electric, though it will be eventually (basically the same set up as my other bike). I have the motor and torque arm ordered, but nothing else yet. It will take quite a bit of modifying it, before I do the conversion. It needs new shock forks, to handle the braking stresses and make the ride more comfortable. Also the gearing is currently to low for electrification, so will need some new chain sprockets. It is geared very well as a regular pedal powered cargo cycle, though. I will, more than likely, change the handle bar, to a mountain bike type as well.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby rlaggren » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:38 pm

> keep triangle clear for peddling...

Curious. How clear? For example, would piece of sheet metal filling the space bother you? Or is it actual obstruction to the knees that matters and in that case would 3" (1-1/2" each side of center) cause problems? Trying to get a feel for the possible boundaries here - never thought about it but seems to me my knees are at least 6" apart when riding. Electric bikes may have a large future in which case optimized batteries might have a market. Most people who have ridden both seem to like the way BMW boxers handle compared to the upright Jap bikes so that's what got me thinking about putting the weight low and in the middle. Idle speculation here.

Cheers,

Rufus

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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:36 pm

3" would probably be fine from a practical perspective, though would be more complex to fit than what I have. I have to remove the battery for charging at home, so it needs to be removed/replaced as simply as possible.

A flat sheet of sheet metal filling that space would more than likely cause unpleasantness in strong cross winds. I sometimes have enough of an issue with cross winds as it is.

On my Yuba, the battery will most likely be placed under the seat, just behind the seat post, in the rear triangle, which is probably a best case scenario in my mind. The Yuba is a very different bike, allowing different possibilities. Time will tell.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby rlaggren » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:34 pm

> battery in rear triangle...

Ah, yes. That looks very "right".

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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:44 pm

Update on my Yuba Mundo.
I am no longer going to be setting it up the same as my commuting bike.

I have decided that I only need a bike as fast and powerful as my commuting bike, to get to and from work, which I already have.

The Yuba is to be my general purpose, around town, car replacement. I live in a small city, so power, or more particularly, speed, is not as important.

I am probably going to use a new mid-mount motor (on the pedal cranks), with a single free-wheeling sprocket. For the rear, I have ordered a NuVinci http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuVinci continuously variable transmission hub, so I can do away with both deraillieurs. I found a previous model on sale, for a lot less than the new price. Being able to gear down the motor, means I can get away with less power, for climbing hills, than is needed with a fixed rear-wheel motor.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby GoodClue » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:43 am

... Like that bike ... both, but the Yuba Mundo, sweet. Keep us updated on how it performs as a utility carrier ... Thanks. GoodClue
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby Lostranger » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:47 am

Hi Stuart,

I've followed your electric bike project from the beginning, but I reread it today. I'm a long-time commuting and touring cyclist, but I've found myself riding little the last couple years. Part of it is being too busy with life, and part is aging. I had been vaguely aware of electric bicycle assist before reading your thread, but you have caused me to pay attention. I have several fine bicycles from which to choose an electrification candidate, but I've been in no hurry because we're still putting every available nickel into the bus conversion.

I have been doing my homework, however, and I'm interested in your opinion on my current top hardware pick. I like the Bionx kit with 48v lithium battery mounted on the down tube and the 350 watt motor. I believe it's called: S 350 DT. I'm also curious about the wattage of your motor. Some reviewers of the Bionx claim that 350 watts is not enough, but I'm in no hurry. I primarily want help with hills and headwinds.

One of the big changes we've made in our nomadic life is that we no longer plan to tow a car when we travel. Since we do not have slides, extendable TV antennas and the like, driving the bus from a campsite to a nearby town is not a big deal. I've never been stumped for a parking place if we want to attend a concert, eat out, or go sight seeing. I always carry a bicycle to use as a resupply vehicle. Electric assist would be great on the road, and I would also use it extensively at home base. We own a fine Cannondale tandem, and even though my wife no longer rides, I could see the tandem as an excellent "toad" for our bus. The extra length of the bike would make it easier to carry cargo when she is not in the stoker seat. I'm not going to electrify the tandem at first, but I see that as a later possibility.

I am interested in an update on how your electric bike has performed as a commuter vehicle and if you have any thoughts on what you might do differently if you were starting today.

Wishing you the best as always,

Jim

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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:36 am

Jim, I've not enough time to reply just now. If I don't reply in the next day or so, give me a prod, to remind me.
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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby Lostranger » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:31 pm

No hurry, Stuart.

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Re: New commuting vehicle

Postby stuartcnz » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:34 pm

In all honesty, I haven't really paid much attention to the latest fads in E-Bike technology. When I built my bike, it was for a very specific use, and built accordingly.

The system (hub motor) that I used was both well tested, and still the current type of system in vogue. Since then the latest fashion has included geared hub motors, which reduce the size and weight of the motor. But they do need pulling apart periodically for greasing. And now the current trend seems to be mid mount motors, which connect to the pedal crank cog. The benefit with the later, is that because it is essentially driving the chain, therefore driving through your bike gears. A smaller motor and power consumption will climb the same hills as the older systems.

That said, my bike will ultimately be a stronger hill climber, and lower maintenance over time. As it was built built for a very specific use, it is still, likely to be the best option for me. Given that; if my bike was intended for general round town cycling, the mid mount systems would probably be a better option at the moment.

I've just had a look at what a Bionx kit is. Depending on your local terrain, and what you want to do with it, it could be a good option. If you are in hilly country, the small amount of power will frustrate you in a fairly short amount of time. It is also EXPENSIVE if the prices I saw are still correct.

A good article on the Bionx kit is here: http://www.electricbike.com/bionx/

By my understanding, hub motors are the quietest electric assist bikes.

P.S. I have now done about 9,500 KMs / 5,900 miles on my bike. Battery capacity has lost around 15%. Given that I draw more power than the battery is rated for and use it on big hills, I'm still very happy with it.
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