Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

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Chalo
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Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 15, 2017 6:54 pm

I finally took a few pictures of my cargo bike set up the way I use it. It started life as a 68cm, 27" wheeled Nishiki Rally road bike, but after using it in a couple of different pedal-only configurations, I decided to donate its rear triangle to my custom frame project. I made the part of the frame forward of the seat tube. It has a 20" front wheel and 700c rear wheel, with 2.0" and 35mm tires respectively.

I fitted a normal 48V 750W Bafang BBS02 with a 46t chainring, but swapped the crank arms for 152mm steel unicycle cranks. They're narrower than the stock arms because they don't flare outwards, and the short length lets me pedal at higher RPM to keep the motor spinning efficiently.
IMG_20171215_162436.jpg
Here you can see the front platform, which I originally intended to carry a passenger seat, but which now carries a flip top tote bin on a thin birch plywood support. I set up the fork to take the drum brake "backwards", because the leading shoe is heavily worn in the forward direction and it works much better in reverse. The fork was a 20" BMX fork with 1" steer tube, but I welded a long 1-1/8" steer tube and crown race seat over it.
IMG_20171215_161830.jpg
I attached the 48V 13.5Ah Shark battery using DMR clamp-on frame bosses and a piece of thin aluminum flat bar as reinforcement and a base for the 48VDC-12VDC converter. At the moment, there are only lights plugged into the voltage converter. Soon I'll install a 48V compatible taillight, and then I can remove the converter and its associated wiring (because the 3W headlights already accept 12-80V).
IMG_20171215_161955.jpg
IMG_20171215_162017.jpg
I use lockable brake levers to make the bike stable for parking, and for this reason I don't have switched levers. The rear brake is a BMX U-brake mounted on an adapter plate. It's very strong and has good progressive lever feel. In the picture, the brake is being applied by the locking lever.

You can see the unusual cassette arrangement, with five out of eight gears placed in the outer positions, and the other three tucked behind as spacers/spare parts. The chainline of this bike causes the chain to be noisy and to drop often when used with the three inner sprockets, so I locked the derailleur out of those gears.
IMG_20171215_161806.jpg
IMG_20171215_161900.jpg
I have electronically limited the controller to 25mph, but I rarely ride that fast. Unless I'm trying to make time getting someplace, I ride between 14 and 20mph. In that speed range, the bike handles well, and I usually have time to react to surface problems so I don't beat up my cargo (e.g. groceries) unnecessarily.

I split my transportation miles between this bike and a bunch of pedal bikes, but I've logged about 600 miles on this e-bike so far. I damaged the first chain by inadvertently shifting under power, and that's the one mechanical part I've replaced so far.

I bashed up my first headlights, which were LED strips attached to the front edge of the cargo platform, and replaced them with the 3W spots in these photos. I leaned the bike against its charging plug at one point, and had to replace the charger's coaxial connector and battery charge port to repair the damage. Those are the only electrical replacement parts so far.

As for future improvements, I'd like to make a fork with more tire clearance, shorter axle-to-crown height, and longer offset to better match the very slack 68 degree head angle. I'd also like to try a 26 inch rear wheel to lower the bottom bracket height and gearing range a little bit.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by tomjasz » Dec 16, 2017 1:38 am

I like it. Looks to be a useful bike.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by John in CR » Dec 16, 2017 3:35 am

How does it handle with a heavy load in the cargo box?

What kind of cargo bike configuration would you suggest for quite heavy and often long loads? Cheap and easy are always part of my equation.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by dogman dan » Dec 16, 2017 8:13 am

That's cool. I like the small front wheel under the cargo, just like a smaller rear wheel on other cargo bikes. Gets that big load low to ride a bit nicer.

Hoping to get back to welding up weird frames soon, but nothing really planned yet. Might take some of your bike and put it into the next one.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Buk___ » Dec 16, 2017 8:33 am

John in CR wrote:
Dec 16, 2017 3:35 am
How does it handle with a heavy load in the cargo box?

What kind of cargo bike configuration would you suggest for quite heavy and often long loads? Cheap and easy are always part of my equation.
Early last Summer, I was riding in the grounds of grand estate now a National Trust place, and I passed a guy going t'other way on what looked like a fairly ordinary hardtail mountain bike, but it had a wide, low-slung sidecar with single. maybe 16" outer wheel, and a woman in a wheelchair on it.

Two things stuck in my head:

1) They were having a very animated, joyful, (if slightly over-loud) conversation; it was a lovely day, and they were really enjoying themselves.

which was all the more remarkable given I was freewheeling down a gentle, but long gravel drive

2) he had too be pretty damn fit given the climb on/through gravel wasn't stopping him from talking.

I had heard of e-bikes, but I wasn't riding (or even thinking about) an e-bike, so I wasn't aware enough to notice, but thinking back I'm pretty sure that it was fitted with a large triangle bag, and was probably an e-bike. Too much gravel noise to hear a difference.

Anyway, it strikes me a similarly low-slung side car would give room for at least 2 meter long cargo, and potentially 3 or 4 if evenly distributed.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by rojitor » Dec 16, 2017 8:39 am

Great build. You can carry a lot of stuff in that box.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 16, 2017 2:18 pm

John in CR wrote:
Dec 16, 2017 3:35 am
How does it handle with a heavy load in the cargo box?

What kind of cargo bike configuration would you suggest for quite heavy and often long loads? Cheap and easy are always part of my equation.
This bike is stable and steers well on its moderately elongated wheelbase. Because it has a short, BMX bike amount of fork offset combined with a very slack head angle and a loaded front wheel, the steering has a stronger than normal tendency to self-correct at speed, like a motorcycle but without all the front end mass and inertia. So there is some headshake when I let go of the bars. The more weight is in the box, the stronger this tendency becomes. I've had over 100 pounds in the box and it rides fine with good control, but the wiggle starts to be detectable even when my hands are on the bars. Given that most adult passengers are significantly over 100 pounds, I don't want to put a passenger seat on this bike until I make a fork with correct offset for the job.

If I had started out to make a box bike, I would have situated the load platform lower and more level over the front wheel. This one was designed to keep a passenger firmly against the seat back, with feet up out of harm's way.

For big loads, I have a trailer I built with a 6 foot by 2-1/2 foot load bed, and heavy duty 20" wheels. I've carried 400 pounds on that with no problems. I also have a smaller 26" wheeled trailer I built to haul a bin that's larger than the one on my cargo bike, and the bin sits just four inches above the ground. That one would be good to carry lots of weight, but the bin is only rated for 100 pounds. Another practical load limitation of both those trailers is the hitch.
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Back in 2003, I built a cargo sidecar trike to compete in the Cycle Messenger World Championships cargo race. Later I made a skid with chairs to haul old folks and people with babies to an outdoor wedding. Before it got the chairs on it, it carried as many as seven adults.

I placed the sidecar wheel forward of the rear wheel for better weight distribution. That was a mistake, because the wheel scrubs annoyingly in turns. Take my word for it that the only place for a sidecar's wheel is in line with the rear axle.

Image

Knowing what I know now, and if I wanted to build a bike to haul things that are longer than the bike and heavier than a passenger, I'd make a custom frame with a hinged sidecar that allows the bike to lean. I know from experience that a trailer works for this kind of load, but it's better to keep the overall length moderate and to be able to monitor your load while underway. Hitching to a regular bike becomes an intractable problem as trailer weight rises, too.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Buk___ » Dec 16, 2017 6:37 pm

Chalo wrote:
Dec 16, 2017 2:18 pm
I placed the sidecar wheel forward of the rear wheel for better weight distribution. That was a mistake, because the wheel scrubs annoyingly in turns. Take my word for it that the only place for a sidecar's wheel is in line with the rear axle.
Have you ever watched sidecar racing?

It has been described as: "The most exiting form of motor sport to watch". As a participant, it is either exhilarating or terrifying, depending upon which seat you occupy. Both are needed; both contribute equally to results; each requires an entirely different mentality and skill-set.

The point: there is nothing wrong with putting the third wheel forward of the rear axle -- and much to commend it; the world championship winning machines for the last 50 years all did so. The secret sauce is that you need to toe-in the third wheel to match its position. (An unlimited tyre budget helps also :) )

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 16, 2017 6:51 pm

I thought of giving the sidecar wheel a limited amount of castering ability to allow it to align itself to the turn, but I never pursued it.
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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by 1JohnFoster » Dec 18, 2017 2:03 am

Chalo wrote:
Dec 15, 2017 6:54 pm
I use lockable brake levers to make the bike stable for parking
Thanks for mentioning, I didn't know these existed. Any suggestions on make/model?

Also any suggestions for lockable steering?

I hate loaded bikes flopping around when parked. On my last bike that got stolen I rigged up cables from the the seatpost to the ends of the handlebars. It did hold them very tight when parked, but I was worried while riding the cables would fall out and snag in the chain ring or rear wheel. So now I'm thinking of making something that clamps to the front forks and swings up to lock to the down tube. Are there workable products or better ideas out there?

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 18, 2017 2:32 am

These are the ones I use:

http://www.jbi.bike/site/product_detail ... mber=12005

The description says caliper or cantilever brakes, but I find that their pull ratio is close to that of a v-brake specific lever. They're probably optimum for cantilever or drum brakes, and usable for calipers and V-brakes.
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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by amberwolf » Dec 18, 2017 3:10 am

1JohnFoster wrote:
Dec 18, 2017 2:03 am
Also any suggestions for lockable steering?
I drilled a 1/4" hole in the headtube and steerer of SB Cruiser, and use a 1/4" diameter ball-bearing stainless steel cotter pin on a split-ring and cable (to hold it to the tube behind the headtube when not in use) as a steering lock.

I suppose it's possible this would weaken some headtubes/steerers enough to worry about, but so far no issues on the trike despite the loads/etc it sees.

Apparently I don't have any pics in the trike thread about it, but it's basically drilled straight in from the side of the headtube, into the steerer, right in the middle of the headtube vertically. In my case I wanted the wheel straight (so I could push the trike forward thru a narrow doorway from behind where I can't reach the handlebars, for instance), so I had the wheel straight when drilling the hole, but you could put it at any angle when drilling and then that's where it will lock it.

The actual pin used is like these, 1/4" diameter and about 2" long, IIRC. Mine came from some powerchair, I think, used to hold accessories on. Might've come from one of the jogging strollers I got years back to try to make a trailer from (they were held together by these pins so you could easily collapse them for storage).
https://www.google.com/search?newwindow ... AVhRVhIuvU


Also, this thread might have other info you could use
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =1&t=68790

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Lurkin » Dec 18, 2017 3:12 am

Nice. Is that frame welded or brazed?

I'd be interested to see your hitch arrangements particularly for the longer trailer. I've decided I would quite like to be able to pick up larger stuff without having to burn more dinosaurs but the hitch is continually the design flaw/weak point.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by amberwolf » Dec 18, 2017 3:54 am

There's a number of ideas here
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =1&t=37931
but the pintle hitch Mundo uses looks good.


I use a car hitch ball but it isn't remotely necessary--I'm using it because I had it and it'll definitely handle all the weight the trike (and bike) could actually pull, and because I could also haul an actual automotive-hitch style trailer if I had to.

If I hadn't already had the ball stuff, I'd probably be using a pintle hitch now.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 18, 2017 9:05 am

Lurkin wrote:
Dec 18, 2017 3:12 am
Nice. Is that frame welded or brazed?
It's mostly welded, but it's brazed where I attached to the bottom bracket and added a third set of rear stays. The original frame was brazed and I had to accommodate the existing filler material.
I'd be interested to see your hitch arrangements particularly for the longer trailer. I've decided I would quite like to be able to pick up larger stuff without having to burn more dinosaurs but the hitch is continually the design flaw/weak point.
I use the Burley Classic hitch on both my trailers, and I take care to keep the tongue weight low. I chose this one because it's easy to incorporate into a custom trailer frame, and because it switches easily between different bikes without tools and without risk of harming the bike's frame.

Mind you, Burley rates their own trailers for only 100 pounds maximum. But I have had no issues hauling much more than that, with pedal power and with low levels of electric power. I'd think twice before hauling a significant load at traffic speed with this hitch.

Image

If I wanted a little more integrity, I'd use the Burley steel hitch. That one's not as convenient to switch among different bikes, but it has less to go wrong with it. It also stays a little farther out of the way of your feet. It uses the same elastomer link to provide angular articulation.

Image
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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by eCue » Dec 19, 2017 9:54 am

Image

I like this little e delivery option and with a trailer it would be slick then slick


$92 on Amazom

Image


Shipping weight 26.5 lbs , will carry up to 100lbs with Steel structure

Water resistant cover keeps cargo dry on any adventure
16" quick-release wheels
Quickly disassemble and is compact for storage or transportation
Loading area dimension:29.53x20.87x16.54 inch
Solar charge station on wheels = distance not limited by the wall sockets :D

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 19, 2017 9:26 pm

Good price. My Action Packer trailer is stronger and lighter, with 26" wheels. But I spent almost twice that much for only parts and materials, then had to make the thing myself.
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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by markz » Dec 19, 2017 11:31 pm

You could easily make a trailer out of discarded bicycles, or better yet, one of those tow behind kids bicycles. Everytime I see one of those I think, yeah that'll make a cool trailer. Its all ready to go, just need to bolt on the carrying part on either side of the frame.

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Re: Chalo's cargo bike with BBS02

Post by Chalo » Dec 20, 2017 12:09 am

markz wrote:
Dec 19, 2017 11:31 pm
You could easily make a trailer out of discarded bicycles, or better yet, one of those tow behind kids bicycles. Everytime I see one of those I think, yeah that'll make a cool trailer. Its all ready to go, just need to bolt on the carrying part on either side of the frame.
The first photo link in the post I made above features my powered pusher trailer made from a tagalong bike. In a later iteration, I mounted big ole Wald rack-mounted baskets on it. The extra weight made the trailer wag around at disappointingly low speeds, even though it helped reduce wheelspin which had been a problem. I carefully shimmed out all the free play in the front joint, made sure all the fasteners were tight, shifted the baskets as far forward, down, and close to the axis of the shimmy as I could-- all without being able to make it settle down. When anything went into the baskets, I had to ride at a crawl.

That experience cured me of spending more time trying to repurpose trailer bikes for cargo.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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