EbikeE and BMC for Comfort and Range

General Discussion about electric bicycles.

Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby mr.electric » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:56 pm

Congrats on another nice ebike. Looks like a nice long range machine.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby ryan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:15 pm

Great work, Alan. How are you going to "finish" the gutters so they don't, um, look like gutters?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks for the comments.

Two motors would be nice, but I think I'll crank this one up a few dB and see how it goes.

Those white tubes are definitely distracting. I am thinking perhaps some Krylon Fusion, and I've ordered vetwrap in blue and teal.

Any suggestions?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby lester12483 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:15 pm

Looks good!

I have always liked those bike e recumbents. They kinda look futuristic.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:53 pm

Home commute complete. Another safe trip. Consumed about 5.2 amp hours, considerably less than the trip in. About 250 watt hours. So this trip was under 20 watt hours per mile, which is excellent! A round trip would consume about 700 watt hours which is just over what the mountain bike with 9C takes to just do the inbound trip.

This morning I was following a pair of road bike riders down a slight grade and I noticed that with the three of us just rolling I was overtaking them. Even a bikeE recumbent seems to be more efficient than a road bike when the riders are upright. Amazing!

On the 11% gradient part of the ride home at the start I made 8 to 10 mph with moderate pedaling. Most of the rest of the trip was full throttle non pedaling. On the downhill it rolls well, accelerating up to 30+ mph on the 5-6% grades. On the flats and slight uphills it does 25 mph, I may have set the CA for 25 max, so that may be limiting it.

Image

A question for those experienced with recumbents. Is the stability of the bikeE similar to other bents? Can I do anything to improve it? Or is it just my perception?? Everything seems to be tight. The headset had some play, but I adjusted that out. It seems a bit annoying. Maybe I will get used to it.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby amberwolf » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:10 am

What specifically are you referrring to by "stability"?

With CrazyBike2, I can change the lowest speed at which it becomes less stable by changing the fork lenght or the size of the front or rear wheels, thus changing the angle of the headtube/rake/etc.

So, if this is the problem you have, you can do the same to change that.

If the problem is instability at higher speeds, lower the front end (or raise the back). If at lower speeds, raise it (or lower the back). At least, this works for CrazyBike2.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:32 am

I suppose it is higher speed stability that I'm hoping to improve. Low speed instability probably goes with the territory, and we don't spend much time there.

It is not easy to make the types of changes you suggest on this bike. The front wheel is about as small as it can be, and the rear about as large as it can be. I could move the battery mass if that would help. Is the best place to carry weight right under the seat? or ??

We have heard comments that the bikeE is less stable at speed than other recumbents, and that it is okay compared to others. Being new to this type of bike I'm not sure if it is just my perception, or if this is normal for bents. I don't want to hack up this nice bike, but I'm wondering if it is as stable as it can or should be.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:56 am

Recumbent Stability

http://www.easystreetrecumbents.com/bik ... ningToRide

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index ... 27023.html

One thing that strikes me from reading about recumbent stability is that I need to adjust my seat forward a bit and add a lumbar support to get better connected with the seat. And ride it more. :)
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Maiden Run and Stability

Postby jkbrigman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:40 pm

Alan - congratulations on your successful first commute run, and congratulations on the efficient Wh/mile numbers!!!

I agree with everything your references said about riding a recumbent - it's definitely more of a challenge compared to an upright bike, you have to be on it continuously.

Turning a recumbent is trickier. On my SWB, I have the pedal clearance problem they mention. I'll lean for speed just to make the turn work at all. Then I pedal or increase power coming out of the turn, as the bike will want to fall into the center of the turn.

Starting off, I always "pedal off", I can't push off with the foot on the ground. That makes gearing vital, so I've not considered, yet, getting rid of my front derailleur, although that would be a nice thing for freeing up space on the handlebars.

To improve balance, I always slide down in the seat. I'm not sure if that's possible on the BikeE, but I'm sure what they talk about in your reference - pushing back in the seat, relaxing the shoulders and keeping a light touch on the handlebars, all hold true. Definitely true on the SWB.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby www.recumbents.com » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:58 pm

Hi Alan,

Yeah, the Bike-E is not known for stability. The "compact long wheelbase" format in general is not great in that respect. The little bitty 16" front wheel doesn't help there either. It's fine for low speed but eventually you will want to upgrade. My full suspension SWB handles great, and a LWB should work well too.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby docnjoj » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:41 pm

www.recumbents.com wrote:Hi Alan,

Yeah, the Bike-E is not known for stability. The "compact long wheelbase" format in general is not great in that respect. The little bitty 16" front wheel doesn't help there either. It's fine for low speed but eventually you will want to upgrade. My full suspension SWB handles great, and a LWB should work well too.

-Warren.

Yep what Warren says. My wife had several accidents on her Bike-e and finally we had to get her a trike. The long wheelbase recumbents are less twitchy and really smooth at higher speeds. The Bike-e not so much. It is a great around town bike but the little front wheel can lock up easy with good brakes that I installed, even with the front hub. Needless to say that trikes solve this problem, but of course create others.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:30 pm

Thanks for the comments. I don't know how much is the bikeE and how much is me, but apparently there are better recumbents of which there is no doubt. But I'm not going to change the bike at this point.

Before I ride this bikeE to work (or a long distance) again I am going to make some of these changes based on the experience I have gained:

1) Reduce the battery pack by 1/3, this will remove 6 pounds from the bike and still give me enough range for a round trip to work. This bike is light, the BMC is light, I want to keep the whole system light. This will still be 12S 16 amp hours or about 700 watt hours and about 30 miles of range.

2) Keep warmer, either by riding in warmer weather or some other measure, perhaps wearing different clothing or pedaling more. I got too cold on this ride in the morning.

3) Control the sun in my eyes better. This was a problem and was/could be dangerous. Perhaps polaroid sunglasses would be adequate.

4) Move the seat forward a bit (which requires a shorter battery).

5) Make the battery packs look better, paint them, improve the mounting, etc.

6) Adjust power level from 1kw to 1.5kw. (20 amps to 30 amps). (Possibly try the Crystalyte analog controller).

7) Add lumbar support to seatback.
Last edited by Alan B on Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:49 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby docnjoj » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:46 pm

I alsays found the Bike-e not easy to ride. One can get used to it, but get on a LWB recumbent like the Easyrider or an older Burley and it is a world of difference.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby chvidgov.bc.ca » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:32 pm

I've tried a bike-e and I would say it is about the same as a Sun EZ1 (20/16) compact LWB. I have a larger 26/20 LWB Sun EZ-Sport as well. The EZ-1 demands a fair amount of attention to hold a perfectly straight line on the road, especially when accelerating from a standing stop. I'm running a front hubmotor on it. It is a bit lower down than the Bike-E, and of the two I found I preferred the EZ1 for its steel springiness and general comfort. Definitely not a long distance machine though. The 26/20 is much better for long distance and general stability. So I think your impression of the bike-e is not a facet of that particular bike vs the 20/16 form factor.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby StudEbiker » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:42 pm

The more time you spend on it, the more you will get it. Keep a light touch on the handlebars and the thing seems to do fine for me. When I first got mine and was just using it pedaling I had a hard time going straight. I have a nice flat asphalt basketball court in front of my place and when I just had it pedal powered I took it over to the court and just rode it around practicing turns and stops and just getting a feel for it. I'm glad I did that. There as no worries about traffic or any obstacles so it was safe and all I had to concentrate on was just getting a feel for it. It didn't take long doing that until when I got on the MTB it felt weird to be on the MTB. Keep riding and it gets easier. I really enjoy it now. It feels like I'm in an airplane now and my e-bike grin is wide and tall. :D
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:24 am

Thanks for the encouragement.

I'm not planning on giving up on it.

Just trying to understand.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:54 am

I moved the seat forward a little today, about 3/4 of an inch. Felt good, have to ride farther to judge it.

Recharged the onboard batteries with a new Hyperion 1420i charger, balance charged the whole pack at once. :)

Took 6000 mAh to fill them up. Very nice charger. :)

Readjusted the rear brake which had slipped a bit on the cable. It howls pretty loud when applied hard. But it works. :)
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby litespeed » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:56 pm

I've been wanting to try a recumbent for a long time after hearing about how easy they are on the riders rear end. I just rode a non motorized BikeE for the first time today and definitely have mixed feelings towards it. On one hand the seat was super comfy and I really enjoyed the reclined "easy chair" ride. The suspension on the rear was also a nice plus but once I started peddling the bike just felt a bit unstable. As I rode it more (2 miles max) I felt more comfortable but it always had a twitchy feeling at higher speeds. I honestly think after a good 35 mile ride it would be like anything I have ridden. Not sure if they all do but this one had the 3 speed internal hub and the 7 speed derailleur and I found it to be a dog. More of a slow speed bike. On my bike with 700 wheels, BMC V2 Speed and 75 volts I'm greeted with lots of wheelie inducing torque and 34 mph. Not sure I would want to put this motor in a 20" wheel and slow myself down that much but I'm sure it would pull a small car up a hill though. I guess I should look into one of the 700 wheeled recumbent bikes. Yours looks perfect.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Thanks for the comments. :)

I picked up another piece of vinyl downspout material today, cut four 18" pieces off with the 120 tooth Oshlun blade in the chopsaw, and ripped them down to 2-1/2" wide using the bandsaw. This was much better than ripping on the table saw. I will paint them and downsize the battery pack soon to save six pounds and make it look a bit less hacked.

I cut some aluminum with the new chopsaw blade and it is like a hot knife through butter. Very little noise or vibration and a clean cut. It looks like a mirror with a few scratches in it. Really nice for PVC and Aluminum.

The sun came out for a few minutes and I took the readjusted bikeE for a quick spin around the neighborhood. It feels better with less reach to the handlebars and better contact with the seat. I'm also working on not gripping the bars much as is frequently recommended. It felt pretty good but it was a short ride.

The weather this week is going to be wet so I'm not planning another commute run till it dries out and I get a few more things done on bikeE.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Warren » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:58 am

"Is the stability of the bikeE similar to other bents? Can I do anything to improve it?"

If you can handle the math. Bill Patterson did all the work, years ago. His work is spot on.

http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

http://bicycle.tudelft.nl/bmd2010/CDPro ... cation.pdf
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:42 pm

Warren wrote:"Is the stability of the bikeE similar to other bents? Can I do anything to improve it?"

If you can handle the math. Bill Patterson did all the work, years ago. His work is spot on.

http://www.calpoly.edu/~wpatters/

http://bicycle.tudelft.nl/bmd2010/CDPro ... cation.pdf


Thanks for the links!

The paper looks quite interesting. It would take a bit of effort to develop the spreadsheets to analyze the equations for the bikeE. It would be interesting to do. I'm sure I don't have enough time to do it at the moment. :(
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby curious » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:09 pm

Here is another EbikeE that I built for my wife. Shot in the process of charging with the balancer attached (you can see bunch of white LEDs on the top of the battery).
bikee.JPG
bikee.JPG (94.24 KiB) Viewed 384 times
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bike2: bikeE FX recumbent, sensored bafang front on a 16" rim, 16s a123;
bike3: work in progress (slow), long range SWB touring recumbent, >1.5kwh pack TBD, Kelly KBS72101, likely HT35 hub, proportional regen.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:58 pm

Nice, how does that front motor work out?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby curious » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:38 pm

Alan B wrote:Nice, how does that front motor work out?

My wife rides slow and gentle, it is perfect for her needs. However when I try to ride it - the front spins when starting at full throttle (even on a dry pavement). Otherwise handling is not affected.
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bike3: work in progress (slow), long range SWB touring recumbent, >1.5kwh pack TBD, Kelly KBS72101, likely HT35 hub, proportional regen.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Postby Alan B » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:31 pm

Weather has been bad, turned nice today so I took the BikeE out for a spin. 15 miles along the road by the lake. They call it Dam road. :)

Windy, but the BMC powers through it well. Makes about 20-24 mph up on the level and moderate uphills.

The bike doesn't feel totally stable to me, but it goes where I want it to.
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