Electric Bicycle?

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
fenwick
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Postby fenwick » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:08 am

I actually am glad that I took my electric assist bike (urban movers).

It made traversing the playa's rather tedious conditions almost a breeze.

Used the juice in cases where I was going cross=playa from intersection of 2:30 and G to the opposing side. Sometimes used the juice on return trips from center camp back home (made the "buzz" that much better...).

The RV has a solar panel and we charged three deep cell batteries as long as the sun shined. he panel was easily accessible from the ground so we can angles it during the day (of course parking the trailer in a North to South configuration.

I would charge the bike overnight.

Due to conditions, battery life was rather limited (extra work of the system to navigate the thick dust, faster drain on battery then typical conditions.)

My bike model's top speed on paved surfaces is 14 mph, and I doubt I ever coasted with battery assistance anywhere near that speed. Conditions of the playa this past year were obviously bad.

Would I do it again versus a beater - all depends on playa surface conditions. Thanks to Phil - early warning was appreciated.

Peace

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Gizmo
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Postby Gizmo » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:16 pm

I had an electric bike on the Playa in 2003. I bought the Wilderness Energy
front hub motor conversion kit ( about $ 400) and put it on a cheap mountain bike. It worked great. It does have lead acid batteries that should (theoretically) be charged every time you ride it. I went from center camp to the trash fence and around the perimeter of the city and still had some juice left when I got back to camp.
Highly recommend it for those whose legs can't take a whole week of pedaling. IMHO, the llc should encourage the electric bike over those
noisy gas scooters. And for what it's worth, most states do not classify electric bikes as motor vehicles.

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:46 pm

Laws on electric bikes are all over the place.
Pedalecs, on the other hand, are legal virtually everywhere except brc.

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Karma
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Postby Karma » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:46 am

Welp, I went ahead and bought an electric kit for my mountain bike for use in BRC this year and have been testing it around town for the last few weeks now. Here is how it goes thus far.

Me = 285 lbs
bike = basic beater mtn bike, 12 speeds, 26" wheels, knobby tires
motor = 650 watt brushless front hub motor
power = 3 12 volt 10ah sla in series for 32v to motor. batts in a single removeable pack.
hand grip throttle control with brake grips designed to cut power when applied. Variable speed controller.
cost = $500.oo installed inc batt pack, 6 led light, horn, batt indicator and kick stand.

So I've been riding this thing around on the street and on soft dirt trails to check out power and range. With me on it (big guy, lots of weight) it has a top speed on flat aspault of about 18mph. Range I'm not sure of yet cause I have'nt come close to draining the pack on a single ride, but the longest trip I've taken was 14 miles with about a third left of charge. Note this is in full electric mode, wide open for 14 miles on mainly flat ground. When I've pedaled to help the motor out, I've come back from comparable length trips with the pack only about a third discharged. Pedaling a little helps alot !

Being restricted to 5mph on the Playa, I'm guessin I can go wherever I like for as long as I'm gonna want to be on a bike between charges.
Charge time after a long ride is about 3 - 4 hrs.

Honestly, it's a kick in the ass. I've been having some good fun on it and am really impressed with how smoothly the system works. My thought is just pedal the bike while in the camp area's then use the assist to cross large open playa.

The other cool part is that it does'nt look like a modified bike. Everything is preety plain looking and the pack just looks like a plastic black shoebox.
Once we have it all lit up and decorated, it will look like a regular playa bike.

Anyway, that's where Im at. Thought I'd let y'all know.

p.s. the brushless motor is stunningly quiet
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".

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unjonharley
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:29 pm

you did not mention the Mighty Joe Young lock your going need so you still own it post BM

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Karma
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Postby Karma » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:23 pm

Maybe I can come up with something so that when I'm away from it, I can flip a switch and electrify the frame.
That would be a shock for any wouldbe thieves !!
^_^
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".



Voltaire

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unjonharley
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:27 pm

Karma wrote:Maybe I can come up with something so that when I'm away from it, I can flip a switch and electrify the frame.
That would be a shock for any wouldbe thieves !!
^_^


Then get drunk and forget the switch.. Might sober ya up enough to get you back to your tent

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Karma
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Postby Karma » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:08 pm

good point
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".



Voltaire

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rodiponer
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Postby rodiponer » Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:10 pm

Does it have much torque?

I have thought of electrifying my bike to help pull a kiddie bike trailer with my daughter in it. She is handicapped and can't walk more than a couple hundred feet at a time. She is sixty pounds, I am two hundred pounds, and the trailer is pretty light, so we weigh about the same as your setup, but I think the two wheels on the trailer would add a lot more drag in the soft spots of the playa. It certainly does when I take her to the beach, as soon as we hit the sand it's nearly impossible to push the bike and the trailer about 15' to the bike racks, it's much more difficult than just pushing a bike without a trailer through the sand, so I am not sure if an electric motor would help other than letting me coast on the hard parts and save energy for where we'd get bogged down.... Or are the soft spots on the playa not that bad? What do you think?

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Karma
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Postby Karma » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:14 am

Though the Playa last year was pretty soft compared to previous years, it's still not nearly as bad as a beach in most spots and if it's in even a little bit better condition then last year, you should be able to pull her and the trailer along pretty well without an electric kit if youre in good shape. So adding one I think would definately help.

Mine has some pretty decent torque and will easily pull me away from a dead stop. Combine that with a flat playa and the 5mph speed limit and you would find the Playa quite easy to navigate.
I've been taking mine out on softer dirt trails and have'nt had any issues.
http://www.ampedbikes.com/
Try this guy for videos and specs or just google electric bike kits.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".



Voltaire

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unjonharley
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:05 pm

rodiponer wrote:Does it have much torque?

I have thought of electrifying my bike to help pull a kiddie bike trailer with my daughter in it. She is handicapped and can't walk more than a couple hundred feet at a time. She is sixty pounds, I am two hundred pounds, and the trailer is pretty light, so we weigh about the same as your setup, but I think the two wheels on the trailer would add a lot more drag in the soft spots of the playa. It certainly does when I take her to the beach, as soon as we hit the sand it's nearly impossible to push the bike and the trailer about 15' to the bike racks, it's much more difficult than just pushing a bike without a trailer through the sand, so I am not sure if an electric motor would help other than letting me coast on the hard parts and save energy for where we'd get bogged down.... Or are the soft spots on the playa not that bad? What do you think?


Burning Man DMV will lic. you a motorized for your kid//

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rodiponer
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Postby rodiponer » Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:01 pm

Karma, thanks for the information.

[quote="unjonharley"]Burning Man DMV will lic. you a motorized for your kid//[/quote]

Yes, thanks, I will apply to license the bike so we are certain to get it through the gate. I briefly looked at bringing a golf cart for her, but that's expensive and a big thing in our garage for the rest of the year.

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:06 pm

They make hubmotors in different gearings.
Look for a low gear for a trailer or get a setup that allows gear changes like stokemonkey or other chain drives.

Wider tires will help and get smooth tread for any tire.
You may want to look at the longtail setup from Xtracycle instead of a trailer.
There is a wide tire version too.


I suggest hardened alloy chain and a heavy lock or the heavier hoop locks made for motorcycles.
I will be using Abus or Assa on my electric, but the Master shrouded lock is good too.
Master has a heavier hoop lock too.

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Elorrum
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Postby Elorrum » Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 pm

I pulled my electric bike out from under the tarp (after 2 1/2 years of total neglect) charged the battery and rode to work the last week and a half. WHEEEEEEEEE! It is a mountain bike with a cyclone motor kit, 5 speed derailleur on back. I've got about a 7 mile commute with two overpasses and it takes me about a half hour. I peddle assist, and the motor easily allows me to maintain a good cadence in high gear. I have a watts up meter, and average pulling around 10 amps. When I am really pedaling, with just a little help, or gong down hill I can get that down to 4-5 amps. (max speed to date down the overpass is 27mph) With a 7 Ah battery, I could see a lot of charging and little riding at burning man. Then I think of how easily I could get get around the edge of the city, out past the temple, any time of day.

but, I won't bring it to the playa... I just think it would get too messed up, and after reading the SWARM people's article on electrical connections on the playa, I think it would be close to ruined. If I had a spare I'd do it in a heartbeat. (I think it's a good rule to consider loss or destruction of any possession you bring to burning man) um, and yeah, It's against the rules. The cyclone motor mounts under the bike, and although it is not obtrusive, it isn't as stealthy looking as a hub motor. It also right down there so near the dust.

preivious poster mentioned and I concur, poor surface conditions not only make it hard to peddle, it also adds a larger problem of hitting the dunes and just tipping off. Having a motor wouldn't solve that. maybe a trike is the way to go. (Something about a trike to me just screams old lady shopping cart with small dog on pillow in the basket.. ) So the tipping issue is solved by a trike, but is the peddaling and traction difficulty still a bear?

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Sun May 03, 2009 10:17 pm

Do I understand the cyclone is a chain drive?
How is it over all?

For dust issues and traction, check out the thread on wide rims.
Surly has some big tires.

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Elorrum
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Postby Elorrum » Mon May 04, 2009 6:06 pm

Yes, the cyclone drives the chain, so you can still use the gearing on the bike to maximize the motor use and your pedaling. I like that it centers the weight of the motor in the middle of the bike, low on the bike. I think this keeps the handling of the bike pretty much the same, as you don't have a large weight on the front wheel from a front hub motor, or torque issues on the front axle that a regular set of forks might have problems with. Going over gaps in pavement can be managed the same as with a regular bike by hopping a bit to lessen the impact (like on overpasses when there are big pavement gaps or ridges) Clearance between your seat downpost and your back wheel becomes a bit of an issue with the mount fitting in that space. I have very little clearance there now between the mount and the back tire, and if I had knobby tires, it wouldn't work. I use smooth street tires, and it's been working great. Bikes that have the main sprocket more forward on the frame, like the townie series would be great donor bikes for the cyclone. I have owned it for about three years, but only recently started riding it regularly. It allows me, out of shape, to do a commute that I wouldn't be able to do (right now) with a regular bike. It's fast and it's fun. I get to work energized and in a great mood, as opposed to dripping with sweat and worn out. Today I forgot to plug my charger in, and I got home o.k. (14 miles round trip total) but the motor was starting to lose juice by the last hill.

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rodiponer
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Postby rodiponer » Mon May 18, 2009 10:53 am

Image
I picked up this tricycle from Craigslist, with an old style electric assist-- there's a 12 volt motor that rubs up against the front tire. It works better than it sounds. It's certainly not as good as a modern system, but the whole package cost less than either a new trike or motor.

My plan is to cut off the back basket and weld some kind of seat onto the back for my handicapped six year old daughter. Her wheelchair has small wheels that I think won't work at all on the playa.

However, this tricycle is really hard to pedal. There seems to be a lot of friction. It's probably two or three times harder to pedal than my normal bike. It does not coast when you stop pedaling, it slows down as fast as a normal bike as if you were lightly breaking... With the electric motor I can easily go as fast as I do on my normal bike, without pedaling, but if the motor breaks I'd be screwed.

What do you guys think I should do to fix this? The back wheel is the kind where it brakes if you try to pedal backwards. Do these hubs get old and start to brake all the time? Are they easy to rebuild or should I try and buy a new one, or ditch this style of hub and replace it with the kind that clicks and lets you pedal backwards-- does that style have less friction?

Would it help to put larger wheels on the trike-- either just back wheels or replace the front fork and put a bigger front wheel on, too?

Any help is appreciated, I haven't taken a bike apart since I was a kid and don't know what part could be making this thing such a bear to pedal.

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oneeyeddick
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon May 18, 2009 11:06 am

The motor is prolly slowing the thing down when not engaged, try taking it off for a while.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Mon May 18, 2009 2:04 pm

Will it take a standard hub?
Or is it too specialized?
Coaster hubs in good shape should be okay.
A gearhub is worth considering (3-14 speeds available).

Wider tires will definitely help, and get as smooth a tire as you can for the playa.
Knobbies are awful out there.


Wide Rims
viewtopic.php?t=26065

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rodiponer
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Postby rodiponer » Mon May 18, 2009 2:54 pm

I haven't seen this kind of bicycle wheel before. It's only supported on one side. An axle goes through a round tube that has a bolt on the other side (see photo below).

Do you know what this type of hub or rim is called? If I know the name I can probably find a new rim and hub with a wide tire on Google...

If this one sided hub is a problem, I could weld a tube on the outside of the rear wheels with a little notched plate so a conventional quick release wheel would work. As long as I could find an axle that long..? But I'd rather not since this bike is already very heavy. I've even been thinking of making her seat out of aluminum and bolting it on, rather than adding more steel to this thing.

I've seen a few beach cruisers around here that have about 3.5" wide tires (the current ones are marked 2.10"). But it's seems like there is not much of a tire selection for these 24" wheels (that are usually used on little kid bikes).

Thank you guys!

Image
Image

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rodiponer
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Postby rodiponer » Mon May 18, 2009 7:52 pm

Ahh, the trike is a lot lighter now. I flipped it upside down to take the wheels off and water poured out of the tubes. :)

I removed the wheels. All of the friction is in the sprocket brake pedal thing.

The wheels just have a rod sticking out of them (see below). I'll get the big fat tire rims and figure out how to stick the rod into them...

Thank you for your help and links.

Image

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Mon May 18, 2009 11:07 pm


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Elorrum
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Postby Elorrum » Tue May 19, 2009 8:34 pm

hollow hub wheels. many trike kits I've seen require them.
clean and lubricate the chain. it looks pretty seized up with rust. that might make a big difference for little cost. If you want to replace the drive hub, you could try a three speed or greater internally geared hub, that would make pedalling easier. You can also pedal along with the motor for speed, or longer battery life. here are some sites that sell trike kits and parts, wheels, and new drive hubs, if you want some retail pricing information. for $59.00 you could get a new single speed hub with coaster brake.

http://www.aztlanbicycle.com/lowrider-trikes.html

http://www.bicycledesigner.com/defaulth ... %20coaster

http://www.choppersus.com/store/

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gyre
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Postby gyre » Wed May 20, 2009 1:18 am

Cute picture.

Just a thought, but if you can't get wider rims, could you use a pair of rims on each side with that type hub?

mrs yow
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Postby mrs yow » Mon May 25, 2009 1:56 pm

A few burns ago I was challenged to a race by a guy in a mobility scooter dressed up as an old lady.

I wonder if he thought that I was "dressed up" as an old lady.

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Postby Colonel Monk » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:12 pm

On second thought, rather than reviving this zombie thread in the wrong forum, I'm going to move it. Find it in Politics and Philosophy...

CM
dust.

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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:57 pm

Is there a Monk Colonel, too?
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Postby MikeVDS » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:44 am

It was my understanding that electric bikes weren't allowed unless you registered them, either as a ranger, mutant vehicle, or handicapped. I know some of the examples above are for handicapped, but are the others registered, just sneaky, or not disallowed and I have a misunderstanding of the rules?
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FIGJAM
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Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:50 am

The newest jrs says two and three wheel electrics are ok this year.

Im bringing mine.


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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:02 pm

You go ahead and decorate the fuck out of that thing. :)


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