Garrick_s wrote:Grant it, I do understand why.....no room anywhere else.
And the Pelican boxes are great boxes for that application, but the location just sucks.
Please Oatnet, do not take this little rant personally. I love your work.
Thanks, don't worry, I hear this a lot, it is the misconception I am trying to change. I know looks different from the mainstream, but honestly, what sucks about it?
I'm always looking for a new angle, I've tried just about everything, but since I went front I've never gone back.
I've done the backpack thing, a lot of people default to that when they recognize the challenge of mounting, but it is not a comfortable long-term solution for my long-range bikes. I've done rear mounted packs, and found that having all that mass in over the rear wheel makes the front wheel lift in sharp turns, with disasterous results. I've done center-mounted packs, and while a lot of people like it, I found pedaling awkward, and I have the knee scars to prove it.
When I dabbled with a front-mounted pack, and experienced the superior handling it offers, I knew I was on to something.
When we convert bicycles to eBikes, we double, if not triple, its mass. Where you place that mass impacts the handling significantly. I define handling as how the bike responds to my steering inputs. Where do those inputs happen? They happen at the handlebars. If you put the mass at the handlebars, right between your hands, steering inputs affect the battery mass instantly.
However, if you put the mass in the middle or back of the frame, then your steering input has to translate through the the frame, and the frame acts as a lever that RESISTS your steering input- hence the problem with rear pack/front wheel lift in turns. Further, bicycle frames were not designed to support these loads, so they flex, oscillate, and just feel squishy to me by comparison.
Think about a motocross rider - they are crowding the handlebars, getting their weight over the front wheel, and it doesn't matter how the back end slides around or bounces. Think about where an extended range gas tank is mounted on a KTM - high, up front, as close to the handlebars as possible; of course, they don't have to worry about knees during pedaling so they can put it on the rider side.
The downsides I see: A front pack is lousy with a kickstand, even one of my double-leg kickstands, but the DH frames I have used on my last few builds don't have a place for a kickstand anyhow. If block-long wheelies are your idea of fun, this is not a good choice, although I can easily lift the front end on jumps, and frankly at higher power levels I welcome the help keeping the front wheel on the ground. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the snappier/faster handling, and learn how to leverage the mass to improve that handling. Luke also said he felt that having the mass impeded a series of rapid adjustments, I lack the refinement to feel that myself. I can see his point but I am suprised that the gyroscopic effect of the spinning front wheel is not more difficult overcome than rotating a mass around some bearings. In fact, I think I balance the mass against lean turn/angle to snap the bike from side to side in transitions, they seem much faster. Either way, I think Gensem's build, with the battery mounted to the headtube instead of the stanchions, is the next evolution of front-mount packs, because it decouples the front location from steering inputs.