Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

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epictrip   10 µW

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Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by epictrip » Nov 13 2013 11:36pm

Hello All.
I’m hoping you all can help me problem solve and think deeply. I’m quadriplegic and modified an ICE trike w/ full electric awesomeness. It works extremely well for me and I’m planning a 10,000 mile ride circumnavigating the lower 48 this coming May. Aiming for 500 miles per week over 5-6 months w/ support vehicle and girlfriend. On a recent 420 mile pilot trip the trike was flawless. More info at

Here’s my current question: Given my specific build (see below), what trike parts are most likely to fail? Assuming I can’t afford spares of *everything* and tools for *everything* what should I *really* have? I’ll have people back home who can mail me stuff, if need be.

I’m not an ebike expert, so go easy on me. Certainly, I need to become expert on my build before May! Okay wise ES people, hit me!
(Feel free to email me at if you prefer.)


-Top speed 32mph
(typical speeds, open road, 15-25mph)
-Range ~120 miles per battery charge

-Dimensions 5’5″ long, 32″ wide

-Weight 130lbs
-1,300 miles on odometer

-ICE Trike Adventure with full independent suspension.
-Tires –Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Rhinodillos, extra tough tubes
-Mirrors, lights.
-Might add and adapt an Airzound.

-Custom designed mechanical hand-controls

-They allow me to operate the trike extremely well despite my limited hand and arm function

-Twist throttle

-Three independent hydraulic disc brakes (front mirrored Tektro’s; rear Shimano; 180mm rotors)

-Kill/regenerative brake switch

-Lengthened seat base, adjustable

-Footplate, adjustable

-Battery case w/ 4.5″ of ground clearance

MOTOR & ELECTRONICS (from Grin Cyclery)

Crystalyte HS3548 rear hub motor

-Drilled vent holes
-Custom torque arm
Infineon Controller


-Up to 72V

-IRFB4110 mosfets

Cycle Analyst

Auxiliary Charge Ports

-DC-DC converter

-Two 12V ports

-For powering auxiliary devices (e.g., phone, GPS unit, lights)

Dow Kokam Xalt HP 75 batteries (44lbs)

-44.4V Nominal, 49.7V full charge, 42.0V full discharge.


Zivan NG1 1000W Lithium Charger

-3.5 to 4.5 hours total charge time

Trackman417   10 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by Trackman417 » Nov 13 2013 11:43pm

I would go for the slower wind 3540 for lower amp draw at the same speed, which would increase your range and decrease heat produced as well.

Everything else looked good to me. Good luck on your journey! :D
Where, specifically, on the east coast are you headed?
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biohazardman   100 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by biohazardman » Nov 14 2013 12:09am

You will need a full set of tires probably two, extra tubes and at least one maybe two sets of brake pads as well. Fenders would be mandatory, although someone may need to get creative with the mounts, for that kind of ride for me. As for the rest things seem to be good quality so much will depend on your riding habits. Hopefully you have some temperature sensors for the motor? Lower wind motor may produce less heat on hills and you need to make sure of hill climbing ability before you start as that is where so many ebikes fail. I lost an Infineon controller, not the 4110 unit, on a half mile hill when I decided to test my bikes ability to climb without any assistance from me. I wish you luck and as pleasant as possible trip.
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footloose   10 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by footloose » Nov 14 2013 12:35am

What an adventure!

Tires / tubes / brake pads for certain.

Beyond that, who knows what *might* fail? Anything. And you can't really prepare for infinite possibilities.

What might be best is travel light, but with support of ES community? Meaning, if you break down in mid-California for example, I'd be happy to offer garage, tools, knowledge re local resources etc while you fix problem and get back on road. Others might do same. Seems that approach... Might be better than attempting to prepare for every eventuality? And you'd probably generally be within some reasonable distance of someone who'd at least have a general understanding of your trike setup and interest in your project.

I did a month long trip couple years ago. Most useful items were Leatherman tool and GPS.

epictrip   10 µW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by epictrip » Nov 14 2013 2:08am

Thank you all for the support and suggestions! Your confidence in my components and set-up has eased my mind tremendously.

I didn't realize the 3540 would extend my range and reduce heat! My 3548 seems fine with the vent holes, no problems on hill climbs, but with lower torque it gets stuck in sand much too easily. Biohazardman, yes, I really I should install a temp sensor.

Trackman, I don't have my route mapped out yet, but soon. I'll be using Adventure Cycling Association maps as much as possible, including their Atlantic Coast map. I used their Grand Canyon Corridor map on a recent trip and it was immensely helpful. Once I have my route set, I'll be sure to post here.

Yes, spare tires, etc. :) Probably an extra rotor, throttle, and hand-control. I ride modestly and don't plan on crashing (haha), so maybe things will be fine! :)

Footloose, what type of GPS do you use? And, so true, we can't ever plan for infinite possibilities, although I enjoying going nuts attempting to. :) Your suggestion to reach out to ES community is terrific, and thank you for your offer! I'll definitely post an S.O.S. here when the time comes.

Thoughts and suggestions on rain screwing up my electronics? Many people say this isn't necessarily a problem, so I'm becoming less and less concerned.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by dogman dan » Nov 14 2013 7:34am

I think you have it just about perfect. You have a small enough wheel to be in a good rpm range for that wheel.

If you have taken it up Mt Lemmon with no problem, you won't run into anything much harder to do on your trip. You don't have to haul everything, so you won't weigh so much up the big passes in the west. If the battery set up allows it, lightening up some could be helpful, not carrying all the pack at once.

I have found 18-20 mph an optimum cruising speed for maximizing range without getting too boringly slow. So you have a good plan I think. At 25 mph and above, I miss too much scenery. Less than 25 mph for most of it will help with breakdowns of stuff.

You will obviously need rim and spoke care along the way. I'd have a few replacement spokes for both kinds of wheel, and maybe even a spare rim bought and ready to fed ex to your location. So you don't have to hunt that down.

Carry tires and tubes of course, and a minimum tool kit. Just the allens and wrenches and spoke wrench. No need to have bb removers and such. But a bike shop might not have the tool if you should need a new freewheel.

On the electric side, definitely have an emergency spare controller in the car, or at least ready to ship fast from a home base. It can be a dinky cheap one, just something to pop on there if you must. A spare throttle will be cheap to bring along too. Have a motor/controller/ throttle tester along in the car. Lastly, just have some spare wire, tape, and contacts for whatever plugs you have, so if you must you can fix an unexpected problem like a rubbed and cut wire.

Absolutely have a smaller, cheaper, slower spare charger. Mabye a 5 amps metal case type. Voltmeter along of course.

Waterproofing. I'd be real inclined to vent the hub covers, but with very small holes. Like 1/8 inch dill. This will prevent water accumulation in the motor itself so you can forget worrying about that. It won't rust much, every ride cooking it dry. For the rest, just have anything waterproofed dryable. By that I mean that rather than seal it completely with goo, put some kind of cover on stuff, but be able to quickly enough get back in to dry it out. Consider making some connections with individual bullets that tape up nice, rather than a hard to seal square plug. Or rig a dry box just for the plugs. You can have the controller mounted in a dryish spot on the bike, but still vented.

Rig a handlebar cover of some kind for deflecting much of the water off the throttle when you must ride in rain. Could be as primitive as a bread sack, but I'm thinking maybe a repurposed nylon bag, section from the arm of a raincoat, etc. Use it only when getting drenched. Cover for the whole bike for when you must park in rain.

Let us know about your trip, and if not needing or wanting to sleep on floors, do plan on meeting up with us for to have us ride a few miles with you. I'm near I 10 on the Texas NM border. If taking the south route, diverting around the 10 for a ride on hwy 70 is very popular with touring cyclists.

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lbz5mc12   10 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by lbz5mc12 » Nov 14 2013 8:32am

I have an idea about the spare controller. Would it be a good idea to switch the controllers out every few hundred miles to cut down on wear and tear. Just keep alternating the controllers so you have less chance of burning one out. Or maybe wire everything to the two controllers with a switch so you don't have to disconnect anything. Then you'd also have an on/off switch kind of like the way I have my two packs hooked up to my controller.

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by arkmundi » Nov 14 2013 12:57pm

I'm in awe of your courage, imagination and tenacity challenging yourself with this epic trip. You seem to have assembled a bike and team that will carry you the distance. Wisdom? You'll be in a class of your own here. I'd make sure to have Internet connectivity throughout your excursion. That's a challenge in itself, but will improve your ability to stay in communication with people, including the ES community, and local to wherever you may be, for support & inspiration. With outstanding shipping services available these days, you'd also thereby have access to any part you may need on the road. Best of luck!

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The fingers   100 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by The fingers » Nov 14 2013 1:56pm

That's awesome. Hope you have several GoPros for completely documenting your journey. 8)
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footloose   10 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by footloose » Nov 14 2013 2:04pm

epictrip wrote:... what type of GPS do you use?
Used a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, loaded with maps for the Netherlands.

Have to say, user interface is not elegant (though how much elegance can you really expect with just a couple buttons to work with?), but GPS results knocked me out.
Small screen, but you can zoom in and out easily.
Zoomed out, gives clear sense of where you are within the geography.
Zoomed in, you could almost put a bag over your head and use it to steer by... phenomenal positional and mapping accuracy.
(Not suggesting anyone actually do that, but it would be fun experiment... maybe I'll try it at 3:00 a.m. in a parking lot sometime.)

Cool thing was, I was able to pre-plan routes, download them the GPS, then either follow them if I wanted or veer off in interesting directions and pick them up later in the day.

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by FeralDog » Nov 14 2013 2:41pm

Looking for knowledge ... or wisdom?
I was once associated with mapping & routing the precursor to the American Solar Challenge: the Sunrayce USA . ... t-history/
Knowledge? 10,000 ,miles ?
- I can't see your vehicle on the road very good on those web pics. You may want/need some more visibility (flags, daylights, etc).
-- Have 2 complete trikes to take on your journey AND another complete vehicle in parts. You will need all three..... maybe more.
--- Strip your vehicle down completely and rebuilt it at least 3 times for practice.
---- Stage your trip with a community of like minded spirits. You will need help, the road gets very rough and lonely. Have destinations on route with like minded folk who can assist you mechanically, provide you with spirit, and be ready for human & animal weirdness.
------ Finally ,the weather and things you encounter on the road will be worse than you can plan for. Practice evasive actions and have a Plan B (and Plan C, and Plan D, and Plan E , etc etc)

You will make it .... it will be bigger than you could ever imagine it would be.
Watch how these guys ride & prepare
I recommend this movie to impress upon explorers the immensity of their journeys

Wisdom of the road?
"The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." -- Lao-tzu
Last edited by FeralDog on Nov 17 2013 12:08am, edited 3 times in total.

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cal3thousand   1.21 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by cal3thousand » Nov 14 2013 6:03pm

Go ahead and plan your trip and share the locations on a thread where some of us might be able to help along the way. You might not be able to carry everything, so having some guys on your side that might be able to help with an obscure need could really come in handy.

10,000 miles is alot of abuse to put on your drivetrain in short period of time. How mechanically inclined are you? I would bring extra wheels and tires. You might be able to forgo the wheels if you bring extra spokes and and spoke wrench. Also prepare as best you can for all the different weather/climates you will encounter.
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LSBW   1 kW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by LSBW » Nov 14 2013 6:49pm

I would also plan trip like yours with exact distance between each point and grade on the way.
Would really suck to run out of battery before reaching your next charging point.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by dogman dan » Nov 15 2013 6:42am

I don't see much range anxiety, with 75 ah aboard. Even out west here, very few stretches of more than 70 miles town to town. 75 ah of 48v should be 100 mile range with ease.

Easy to carry a small generator in the support vehicle too. It might not run the big charger, but it will run a 5 amps one.

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by dannyboyohyeah » Nov 15 2013 11:14am

Mr Epic~
My hat is off to you entirely....and I nearly sleep with my hat on.
I've done 3x back&forth times across the US before I discovered ebikes.
No matter what anyone says, you will discover that you are better than you thought. And you will have problems, which adds to the adventure and this is primarily how you meet the best people of all.
Ironman in Hawaii is a huge deal. I lived there 22 years, (participated at the Medical tents).
A very dear friend of mine was a paraplegic and did the hand-bikes for about 12yrs in a row. He was tragically run over by a support van of another athlete who did not see him and that was the end of him and his illustrious career of defying all limitations, as you are about to do.
More than ANYTHING.... you need a lighted strobe-beacon that is higher than all car rooftops, so EVERYONE knows exactly where you are. You are instantly hidden by every passing car.
Joyous journey~~!!!!!!

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by amberwolf » Nov 16 2013 10:27pm

I would also HIGHLY recommend automotive-brightness headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Motorcycle stuff is available in LED form that's relatively cheap (especially used, and you might be able to get it for next to nothing from a local motorcycle shop that does aftermarket lighting upgrades, cuz they may have the OEM stuff they pulled off sitting in a box in the back room). And I'd run that lighting day and night, cuz it really does make you more visible, when in motion especially.

Use the physically largest surface area lights you can--it's not necessarily about how *bright* they are, but about being easily visible and making you look like you're closer so other vehicles will pay attention to you sooner. (pinpoint bright lights can be seen easily enough, but they look farther away, and AFAICT most drivers react by ignoring them because their mind has been trained that a car light that far away is no threat to them. bigger surface area lights that appear closer becuase of their size can be much more likely to trigger their avoidance response, and have them go around you instead of thru you).

If you can put an *additional* set of these lights up on a mast way over your head, where they can be seen even over other cars that may be right behind you, hiding you from cars driving closely behind *them*, you'll be at least a little safer. It's extremely common for cars to drive right up behind me and hten suddenly change lanes or swerve around me when they finally notice I'm not going anywhere near as fast as they are, on roads where I can't ride to the right or where there is not enough lane space to share a lane with a car and riding to the right would be more dangerous (common around here), and then the car that is right behind *them* has very little time to react to my presence, because they have no idea why the other car did what it did, and usually all they see is an opportunity to go *faster* and it takes them time to discover my presence, and more time to react to it....I'd like to add a mast like that, too, but on a bike in the city it is more a hazard to me than a help, cuz when I lean hard over for a turn it could hit something at that corner (including a pedestrian leaning out or walking off the sidewalk unexpectedly, which happens quite a lot, too). On a trike that owuldn't be an issue (unless it were a leaning trike, and even then that could be fixed by having the mast not lean).

If riding at night, I'd also add white downlighting under the trike and at the top of the seat back to shine over the back end of hte trike to light it up (like a license-plate-light does on a motorcycle, especially like the older big incandescent types did), cuz this will make a big pool of lit-up road around the trike and make it look "bigger" on the road, which makes it much more noticeable.

If you have a mast, put downlights on that, too, to light up the entire trike from above.

Just make sure none of hte white lights are actually visible themselves from behind the trike, and they should be perfectly legal in most places (or rather, not specifically *illegal*, and in those cases I think most police would rather you be that much more visible than they would to bug you about it--it's certainly true here in Phoenix with my CrazyBike2).

I'd also recommend one of those SMV (slow moving vehicle) signs, which are meant to make it very clear to anyone behind a vehicle bearing one that it isn't going to be going any faster than 25MPH.

See the most recent few pages of CrazyBike2's thread in my signature for pics of how the lighting looks in the dark and in the light.

I use the HSR3548 motor, and it's good enough for my purposes, but I would definitely be better off with the 3540, if that is a slower winding (I don't remember). Even at limited throttle with my 48V (58.2Vpeak) the 3548 could easily hit 25-30MPH, and I don't need that kind of speed, really. It is nice to have the capability, in case I am already at my usual 18-20MPH and someone does something stupid that braking won't get me away from but acclerating *would*, so I could GTHOOTW of them. ;) But the lower speed motor would give more startup torque at a lower power cost, and startup quicker, as I understand it, given the same wheel size.

I also highly recommend moped or light motorcycle tires instead of any bicycle tire--simply because they are tougher and thicker and will last you longer, keeping you on the road more, given the likelihood of running across really bad stuff on the road that could take out even armored bike tires, with a heavier vehicle (my bike is a little heavier than your trike presently is, and I think your trike will be a lot heavier by the time you get all the stuff on it you'll want). I don't yet use such tires but am on the lookout for a local deal for some that will fit on the ex-Zero 20" rims from Ypedal that my 3458 will be finally laced in soon(ish).

That's the other thing--don't bother with the spokes or rim that those motors come with--get them (it?) laced into better wider rims right off, using better spokes. If you use a 20" wheel they can be done radially or with a modified rim a 1x could be done. (AFAICT, would need to ovalize the holes in the rim and used cupped washers so the nipples will seat and not bend the spoke at the nipple exit.)

Also, if your trip takes you thru Phoenix, AZ, I'd love to meet up with you.

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arkmundi   1 GW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by arkmundi » Nov 16 2013 11:19pm

amberwolf wrote:I would also HIGHLY recommend automotive-brightness headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals....
All excellent suggestions, up until changes in the rim & tire. He's already committed to a build and I'd take what was delivered, excepting the tire & tube. I'd get one of the better tires and tubes on the market, well worth the price. I put my tire advise in the Need advice on tires thread, along with much other good opinion on tires & tubes. With the right set of choices, a treker like this may well role in back home on the tires he left with. But, take the spare all the same.

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by John in CR » Nov 17 2013 12:00am

On his in progress trip around Australia Solarshift has had the most issues with spokes, so I second the suggestion to have an extra set of front wheels in the support van. For the motor wheel I'd change it out to a 14" motorcycle rim with moto tire and moto spokes.

While you have the wheel off pop the motor open primarily to replace the bearings with quality bearings. Xlyte tends to use the cheapest parts they can source, so no way I'd trust them for a 10k miles adventure. Also while you have it open, coat the stator with a specialty coating and install a temp sensor. Add a moderate uphill grade to continuous running with the motor a few inches above 140° asphalt, and motor temps can get critical in a hurry. If your ventilation approach is only holes, then add blades.

Since you have good mileage already, while you have the motor open look for road grime accumulation inside the motor to evaluate whether what gets sucked in flows right back out of the exhaust holes, and if not then adjust the holes to get all the way to the perimeter. If grit and grime stay in, then muddy water will too if you get caught in a T-storm.

I can't tell from your pic, but it doesn't look like you've got a drip loop on the wiring harness going into the motor. If not, then remedy that.

In addition to tubes, spokes, and wheels carry an extra charger, an extra controller (preferably a sensored/sensorless), an extra set of halls (pre-wired and tested), and an extra throttle. If you don't have an ebike tester, pick one up.

It sounds like an awesome trip, so have a blast and keep us informed. I'm sure plenty of members will want to ride with you for a day.


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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by glend » Nov 17 2013 6:44pm

Looks like you have put a lot of thought into your trip. Coasting on long trips probably easier on your trike than stop/start in city traffic so wouldn't worry too much about bringing too many spares but would be tempted to put zipper fairing to reduce drag and veltop roof to reduce effects from sun and rain.

Wish you luck and lots of fun for your trip.

epictrip   10 µW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by epictrip » Nov 17 2013 11:56pm

Wow! Your feedback, suggestions, and support are all fantastic. Thank you all so very much! I'll reply properly in a day or two...but I have some deadlines to meet first. I'll get back to you all in a day or two.

epictrip   10 µW

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Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by epictrip » Nov 20 2013 11:13pm

Thank you, again, for all of your thoughtful replies! Your suggestions end encouragement truly are priceless. I’ll do my best here to address your points.

-Yes, no probs up Mt. Lemmon, into the Kaibab forest, and other steep hills. Good brakes going down, too.
-My trike’s weight is already maxed out for the ICE chassis. I can’t add anything else with substantial weight.
-Yes, definitely spare spokes, prob a spare front wheel. Maybe rear wheel w/motor.
-Spare controller & throttle! Great to know those are potential weak spots. And wiring etc.
-My charger travels in a rugged waterproof camera box, but yes on the spare, too.
- Yes on the waterproofing, wiring ideas. My motor cover is vented. Awesome handlebar cover ideas –that’ll be easy to rig. I’m starting to sew together a layered riding skirt for warmth & rain (it’s hard for me to change my pants), and a fitted emergency rain fly.
-I’ll DEFINITELY keep you all posted about the trip, and while on the trip. You all truly are a fantastic community.

-Interesting ideas! I really like the idea of two controllers with a switch, ready to go if one fries! But what if the both get drenched? Hmmm. Starting to sound like the controller really can be a weak spot.

-See, you all rock! When I broke my neck 23yrs ago I never imagined I’d be able to do something like this –or even have a good life. As part of this project I really want to encourage people to push themselves (safely) and create an epic life.
-I’ll have my laptop. And I have AT&T, pretty good national coverage. What’s the best way to access ES on an iPhone?
-Also, built into my travel plan is the option to drive in the support vehicle to the closest town for help with repairs (including contacting ES on the web). Of course if I drive off course, I have to return to the same route point to complete the trike ride. No cheating!

The fingers:
-Thanks! I have a Drift POV camera. I’ll be posting video and pics on my blog! Check out my year-old videos at Time to post some new ones!

-Cool, I’ll take a look at the eTrex!

-Thank you for the encouragement, knowledge AND wisdom!
-I have a big yellow flag…I’ll use it, I promise ;)
-YES, absolutely –practice trike repairs and evasive weather action! I already got my butt kicked by a hail storm. I was unprepared and being cocky. I learned my lesson!

-Did I mention that I regret not coming to you all for my trike build? Well, I do. I had some great guys helping me (the Outrider USA guys, Grin Cyclery guys, and friends here in Tucson). I read the forum, but got a little bashful and didn’t jump in.
-you’ll be happy to know that I have a CycleAnalyst AND a multimeter! Ha!
-I have friends who can mail me parts and tools as need be.
-My girlfriend is somewhat mechanically inclined, and I am too –but my hands don’t work well so I usually direct others to fix my stuff. Or ask for help.

-Yes! But if I have to drive to lodging and electrical outlets, I will (see above).
-I have 120 mile range per charge

-suggestions on small generator makes and models? My minivan and cargo box is starting to fill up w/ travel gear!

-So true! We are all much better than we think. Except for narcissists, of course. Haha.
-I’m so sorry to hear about your friend! Oh geez. Horrible. Yes, sometimes I worry about my own SAG running me down…so easy for drivers to get distracted.
-Time to start shopping for a strobe that I can plug into my 12v port.

-I will strongly consider your lighting ideas. Maybe also an Arizona Whip
-I will also have my SAG wagon tailing me in more dangerous areas, so that’ll help. But yes, the more visible the better!
-And a horn, too.
-I have a SMV sign on the back of my SAG and a sign that reads “CAUTION WHEELCHAIR BIKE AHEAD”
-Will moped tires fit on a 20” bicycle rim?
-Great ideas on the rims! I’ll look into it!
-I’m in Tucson, first stop is Phoenix!

-I’m using Schwalbe Marathon Plus’ w/ Rhinodillos and heavy duty tubes.
-Maybe Industry 9 hubs & spokes?

John in CR:
-I’ll look up Solarshift. Does he have a blog?
-Will your moto rim idea work with my Crystalyte hub motor?
-quality bearings! Yes! Suggestions on good bearings?
-same with temp sensor and coating –sounds good.
-I’ll research drip loops…hmmm
-Ideally an extra motor, too.
-I’d love to have you all come along for the ride! Another good reason to keep you all posted.

-Good ideas. I’ve thought a lot about fairings and velotops. But I think I’ll have to pass…just too much stuff…I already feel like I have too much stuff. Although, I know there’ll be many times I’ll really wish I had fairings!

Well, I know I’ll have more questions and excitement to share over the next five months. You’ll definitely be hearing more from me!
-Hey, no one has suggested extra batteries. What’s up with that?

All the best -Chris

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by dogman dan » Nov 21 2013 7:16am

I assumed you had that sorted pretty well, and would not need new batteries at all. But, knowing where to get a replacement cell if you do need one would be good. 75 ah shouldn't be getting much strain, so I'm thinking you will not burn out your pack.

Chances are you won't need to use a generator. And sure shouldn't need to carry one the whole way. Even in the west, 60 miles between towns is common. 120 miles range gets you in and out of some pretty remote places. And in a pinch, you could run a small charger off the car with an inverter.

But a generator would work well if your plan was to camp in the boonies a lot. Just a cheap small one from Harbor freight will run a small charger.

epictrip   10 µW

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Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 05 2012 7:38pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by epictrip » Nov 22 2013 11:45pm

Hey thank you dogman. Rather than bring spare batteries I'll try to arrange to have them available to be mailed to me if I find myself in a battery bind. I'll start researching inverters and generators too. I'd like to have the option to stealth camp, so having an on-board charging system is certainly ideal for saving time even if we are near a town.

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teklektik   10 GW

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Location: CT, USA

Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by teklektik » Nov 23 2013 2:27am

I highly recommend the particular Optronics taillight and LED flasher that I used in my build (see signature for link). It's a truck/trailer LED brake light and I have gotten may remarks from drivers about how far it can be seen in daylight. One of the matching oval white Optronics backup lights would be good up front - run from the same flasher module.

Motor temp monitoring is recommended. If you really don't want to pull new wiring, a reasonable second best approach is to monitor the axle temp. Here's a post about this approach - it can be done easily without disassembling the motor. In either case the thermistor can be hooked to your V3 for throttle rollback to prevent overheating.

As far as the motors are concerned, I ran some simulations and there is little difference between the HS3540 and HS3548 if operated at the same speed (at least in the cruising speed range you propose) - although your motor has a higher top speed on the flat. I know these plots put some readers to sleep, but I highlighted the interesting results in the tables at the bottom.

Here's a comparison running at about 20mph - the simulator would not allow exactly matching the speeds but you can see things are essentially identical.
HS3548-vs-HS3540.png (166.84 KiB) Viewed 2149 times
Here's a comparison chugging up a 7% grade at 15mph.
HS3548-vs-HS3540-7percentgrade.png (176.07 KiB) Viewed 2149 times
In this run the interesting result is the time to overheat as shown in the tables at the bottom - the same. There may be circumstance where the HS3540 might be of benefit, but in these sample situations, they appear to perform essentially the same although the required throttle settings are clearly different.

I'm sure there are anecdotes about the motor differences, but based on these runs, there seem to be no worries over your choice.... :D

BTW - I adjusted the aero drag and rolling resistance until the other bike specs you gave achieved the reported 32mph, so the model should be reporting reasonably accurately for your particular bike. With that setup the simulator reported a range of 119mi at 25mph.

Awesome bike and an amazing challenge - best of luck!
Last edited by teklektik on Nov 24 2013 12:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dogman dan   100 GW

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Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: Got wisdom for 10,000 mile ride?

Post by dogman dan » Nov 23 2013 8:03am

Best small generator would be the small 1000w honda. But whew! pricy as hell. What really worked good for me on a recent tour, was the generator on a trailer I was towing to carry the cargo bike to the place I wanted to ride. If space wasn't so constrained, you could get a cheap 3000w generator.

I was doing there and back touring. Drive to spot, ride out and back, drive some more, repeat. I could charge while rolling to the next spot, then shorten the wait to ride again once there.

My tour is much less, but over a few years I have covered every inch from El Paso to Santa Fe. 30 miles at a time, for a 60 mile day. That was about my max range, and now it's even shorter. Plus other outings in the Gila and Sacramento mts, about 70-90 miles from home so good for an overnight camp trip. A small generator in the camp worked great for the mts.

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