AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

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Rev   1 mW

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AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Rev » Jan 15 2015 8:37pm

So here I am breaking cover: long time lurker - first time poster.

I've just joined the world of e-biking by fitting an AFT mid-drive kit to a 2009 Giant Glory. This is my first e-bike build, my first e-bike owned and my first e-bike ridden. Once I came across the concept of e-bikes it just made so much sense to me - I just felt I “got” it and it suited my circumstance perfectly.

I really appreciated reading the many build logs on here and found them incredibly valuable (sometimes even entertaining!) when considering a build, so I’ll do my best to return the favour and contribute to the community knowledge. Please note that the bike is not fully finished yet - it still feels like a test platform - a proof-of-concept. There is a still a lot of tidy up work to be done, but it was just too hard to resist using it already

The Reason:

2014 was an unbelievably challenging year for my family and I. We endured personal setbacks that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone so for me I was looking for a project to occupy my hands and head for a while and which would be a bit of a personal reward. For that (and a number of other) reason(s) I resolved fairly early in the piece that I was going to spend the money the project required and not exert a heap of anxious energy wringing my hands over the dollars. Admittedly that means I could have bought a entry level motor-bike for this money, but this was easier to get past my wife!

I live about a ten minute drive from my work’s office but am fortunate that I have access to a bicycle route that takes a solid hour on the pushy through some fantastic bushland, fire tracks, bicycle paths, along rivers and creeks etc. Plus its safe away from cars. For what is pretty well established suburb I can ride most of the way forgetting that I am anywhere near civilisation - I’m pretty lucky. (If you’re in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne PM me for a pointer). The long, scenic route is 15kms each way, the shorter route (which involves taking more public roads and sharing with cars) is about 7-8kms each way)

I figured if I could create a vehicle that could make my commute to work fun then the mental health benefits would be worth the expense.

The Rationale:

I came within a hair’s breadth of buying the Qulbix Raptor - a hub drive beast (and lets be honest, its not off the table completely!) - as that was the bike that first caught my eye and which I spent the majority of the early days researching. Towards this I bought the Giant Glory with the intention of cannibalising the components off it for a Raptor build (brakes, shocks etc). After a while though I realised that I was jumping way in the deep end for my first bike, let alone build! I hadn’t ridden a DH bike before so was blown away with how solid it felt and then I realised that the Raptor was bigger and heavier again. I wondered if motorising that frame was an option and it was then I discovered that one of the better regarded mid-drive kit manufacturers was based in my home town just down the road.
That was a massive plus - I’m not someone who sleeps well after sending packets of hard earned off to something promised on the internet. There were also other people on the forum who had built with AFT and could report on its performance on tracks and hills I know and could relate easily too.

I eventually became convinced by the mid-drive logic that I’m sure you understand too - light weight means lower power required which means smaller, lighter, (sometimes cheaper) motor & batteries and hopefully less mechanical stress on the components. I figured if Lotus’ Colin Chapman designed an e-bike, a mid-drive would be his configuration!
I was also clear that the performance I wanted was a marginal increase on pushbike speeds - I was not looking to build an 80km/h monster. I want to commute on bike paths without upsetting people or risking collision and I want to ride single track. I can’t do any of that at 80km/h - I also don’t want to have to wear body armour or a full face helmet to work.

The Configuration:

Frame:
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2009 Giant Glory. What a beast! It has the thickest downtime you’ll ever see but has a peculiar rear suspension design where the rear shock actually protrudes through the downtube into an inverted turret hanging in front of the bottom bracket. When I first bought this bike it was initially in order to rip its components off so this peculiarity didn’t matter - however it caused some challenges later on.
The thing about this bike is - lets not argue about it - she’s ugly. But for my purposes thats great, because she is cheap! You find me a better spec'ed younger frame bike in Australia for cheaper and I’ll… I don’t know… say “bugger me” I guess.
Anyway I’m pleased with the price. If it broke I’d probably buy another.

Motor:
I bought through AFT. http://www.af-tech.com.au/Products_Ebikes.html

I got excited about e-bike performance, so I do what I think most of us do - we weigh up carefully what our needs and requirements will be, then we go to the list of options and scan to the bottom of the list for the most powerful mutha f$%^ing bad-ass option there is. Then we figure out if we can afford it. Then we justify why we need it.

So, yeah. I don’t mind admitting that I like more power than I need. I’m a car enthusiast so I researched and bought a fast car for my money. Im now also an e-bike enthusiast so… (*evil grin*)

1680 watt kit, e-max upgrades, ceramic bearings, all anodised black which fits my frame perfectly. ISIS crank, Wipperman chain.
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Due to my weird rear suspension mount the motor hangs lower than it otherwise would, but the upside is that I can bolt the mount plate to a frame hard-point, instead of the regular downtube clamp that most people use. (To be fair to AFT the customer feedback on the clamp is still very good) I made my own cross brace to fit from steel pipe.
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Battery:

As per AFT’s advise I bought through http://em3ev.com/store/

This (http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route= ... uct_id=134) battery:

50V 22Ah 29e cell pack. I weighs about 5.5 kgs and is the size of a small thin shoebox.
Also through em3ev I ordered the CAv3.

I pondered the battery mount location for a while. I wasn’t convinced by the backpack option as I was averse to being tethered to the bike and more so after feeling the weight of the battery. I didn’t like that as a commute option. Unfortunately a frame mount wasn’t possible due to the side and shape so that left up on the forks. For protection I bought a pelican-style case and cut-and-shut it down to size and mounted it to the front shock posts.
Its not perfect (and you’ll note that I’ve lashed the case together due to the glue’s separation - temporary solution only) so I think I’ll keep looking for a long term solution, which may mean trying it on my back, but this is getting me out on the bike for now.
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The Experience so Far:
I am new to e-biking. Unlike the impression i get of some (many?) on this forum I am not an engineer or scientist in my day job. I am a reasonably handy, reasonably cluey, but nonetheless ordinary bloke. Some of the setups I read on here dead set frighten me - I didn’t want to build something that needed to be plugged into the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise to charge safely.

I did find getting all the information I needed a challenge, mainly because I didn’t know what I didn’t know and the EV stuff is new tech and new industry - the easy customer experience side will come as the industry matures. I reckon I asked people some pretty stupid questions at times but I thank them all for their patience. (Especially I should acknowledge the people who I made contact with but ultimately didn’t purchase through (or could I say yet?! Thanks and apologies if It caused any inconvenience to Hyena in particular and the guys from Qulbix. At the time I was making enquiries regarding the Raptor they were still midst establishing agent arrangements and testing set ups.)

Feedback on AFT:
I haven’t read any criticism of Jim from AFT - people only say good things and you can tell on speaking with/meeting him that he takes deserved pride in looking after his customers and giving straight answers. He knows the product is reliable and can deliver on its promise so they don't gold-plate things. That means as a customer I develop trust. Little things like advertising the power figures they do: they use the figures the motors can spin away at all day, not the peak power figures that can only be held for a few moments. Jim talks in real world numbers from real world testing and I think is a credit to the e-bike community and industry. It helps me that he is local (I accepted his offer to come around to my house and help review the custom arrangements my frame required) but nothing I have read of reviews on the forum lead me to believe there is a better mid-drive self build kit available. I'd happily point my friends to AFT.

Performance:
Ah so this is where I would have skipped down to if I was reading this! I have only ridden it all of four days so far.

The glory number - top speed! I have hit 55km/h. I know it will go a smidge faster but I wanted the battery to take me further.
I can comfortable sit between 30-40km/h which is a perfect sweet spot for the paths and tracks I want to ride.
I am finding a really unexpected matching of pedal cadence with motor power/efficiency band. Just when the cadence become too fast to pedal in each gear seems to match the motor's sweet spot to change gears for comfortable cruising. Or you can wind the motor out a bit past that in each gear for a faster ride. (That's just a function of its integration with the standard set up on the Glory)

Range:
Yesterday I didn’t take my charger to work. (Other days I have taken the charger and topped up while at work.) I 90% charged it over night (as per the advice of em3ev for batt longevity) and I was running a touch late so I blasted to work pedalling some, but mainly riding it on motor power. I averaged 35km/h for the 15km trip to work and did it in 25 minutes. Thats on twisty bike tracks, some road stretches, some gravel fire track.
On the way home (without any charging in between) I wasn’t under time pressure so explored some single track and took an even longer route home. I rode 20 km at an average 20km/h for almost an hour. Some pedalling and light “commute” mode paying attention to amp draw but also real periods of blasting through the bush (inventing tracks as I went!).
So today I got 35km in total with some really heavy fast riding in there out of a single battery charge. I’ve no doubt I could stretch that significantly in a self imposed “efficiency” mode.

See some screen shots of an exercise app for elevation and speed data.
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So - comments welcome!

This bike is not finished yet, but I can’t resist anymore so I’m riding it as is for a bit while the weather is good. Bits and pieces need painting black such as the cross mount I fabricated and the battery pack, and I will in fact be thinking hard about alternate battery mount points. But I thought I'd share some of this while its still a work in progress rather than a finished product.

Anyone want to hit some tracks in Eastern suburbs of Melbourne? ;-)

jk1   1 kW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by jk1 » Jan 15 2015 10:31pm

Woww Awesome clean and high power first ebike build !

Rev   1 mW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Rev » Jan 16 2015 4:37am

Thanks JK - I look forward to going to work now because its an opportunity to ride the bike again! I head out at lunch for a 20 minute blast to clear my head and come back buzzing.

The main issue is bugs in my teeth because Im like this :D all the time!

I went for another ride this arvo and I had the opportunity to push the speed envelope a bit further. I said above that I felt it could push a bit beyond the 55km/h I had peaked at so far.

I happened upon a straight stretch of flat (perhaps ever so slightly downhill) concrete (beautifully smooth concrete!) and hopped in top gear and opened her up. I was tracking my speed with the gps fitness app on my phone mounted on the handlebars and while it updates only every two seconds or so and I was paying more attention to staying upright and not hitting anything than to the number on the screen I saw 67km/h with Wide Open Throttle before I began to feel I was running short of road. I think with a mild tailwind I could fudge 70km/h but thats really probably the limit. That also means ripping the amps out of the battery so shortening the overall ride markedly.

I took some more photo's on today's ride.
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Would you believe this place is actually called "the Eastern Portal"?! It kind of suits its futuristic look. It the eastern entry to a freeway tunnel. This is another thing I am loving about e-biking - by taking the bike paths and backroads I am discovering all these different places around me that I had previously only ever driven past at 100km/h.
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Choke it up in your traffic suckers!

These photo's give you a better idea of ground clearance with the motor hanging off the suspension mount in front of the bottom bracket. I tested it out up and down some stairs in the park today and basically it cleared anything I had the balls to ride up or down! I've not ridden motocross before so I feel I am on a learning curve as to how to actually handle this beast.

I love the freedom and flexibility the motor gives me to explore. I can just point down any track without worrying that it might lead me miles off course and forced to pedal my way back. Now I kinda hope it does! If I am riding on the asphalt bike path I'll stop and go back to any side trails shooting off the side just to see where they go.

cheekybloke   1 kW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by cheekybloke » Jan 16 2015 6:29am

Nice bike matey,
Welcome to the club, my first build is an AFT 1680w too.
Hope you enjoy it as much as i do.
Darren

dypsomaniart   100 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by dypsomaniart » Jan 16 2015 8:25am

Welcome to the AFT eglory club :)
Ive put a bit over 1000km of mainly offroad bush bashing and singletrack on mine and it hasnt missed a beat. Awesome bikes, awesome motors :)
I will warn you to locktite the chainwheel bolts and the little grub screw on the freewheel, as they can work loose over time i found.
The backpack battery option worked well for me, i like the bike to feel like a bike still, and with a good camelbak or something similar- with back brace/padding- you forget its even there once you twist the throttle.

If you ever head down the peninsula give us a yell and ill take ya for a lap around red hill. Ive done a ride around some of the yarra trails up your way, youve got some nice riding ahead of you!

Happy trails :)

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stuntmanmike   100 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by stuntmanmike » Jan 16 2015 9:21am

Congratulations!! Brilliant!! The way you mounted it to the frame pivot, I can see how that prevents any frame slippage or rotation. I ran into some problems with the frame brackets slipping and twisting the motor bracket, but Jim is the best & I think its sorted now..
Any chains thrown?

dypsomaniart   100 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by dypsomaniart » Jan 16 2015 11:10pm

Stuntmanmike, i think once you get the frame mount rigid you shouldnt have any chain issues. I know my glory has the box section frame, which means zero chance of the clamp slipping, but i havent had a single chain drop ever. If the clamp cant slip and all your chain guides are in the right spots you shouldnt get chain drops at all. Mine has zero flex as well under load. I think if you are getting flex and chain drops something still isnt right in the mounting: the triangulated brace should be 100% solid if its all tightened right, which means tight on both sides of the clamp, and between the clamp and the mount, and to the brace at both ends. If every side of the triangle is equally tight it cant flex.

drew12345   10 kW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by drew12345 » Jan 17 2015 8:11am

Welcome to club. Look forward to hearing more about it.

Megsy73   1 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Megsy73 » Jan 17 2015 4:21pm

Woww awesome clean build Rev! good choice in going mid drive over hub for hilly terrain.
That's a lot cleaner and more compact then the GNG/LR kits. Combining that and the black anodised looks really cool, it blends into the black bike very well and gives it less of a motorcycle look then bulkier the LR.
What is the weight of the whole setup? The AFT is all aluminium brackets now isn't it? and smaller than the GNG/LR kits so i bet it's a lot lighter as well ??
All you need to do now is paint the pelican case black and the battery will also blend into the bike a lot better :)

Rev   1 mW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Rev » Jan 20 2015 1:59am

Thanks for the comments all - Pretty much all the people whose builds I have checked out on this forum have checked in here. Seems to be a bit of an AFT club/community developing which is great. Im sure I'll continue to have questions to ask you all.

I've knocked up about 170kms in the last week - commuting to work as well as finding an excuse to get out on my days off for a blast. Loving it.

I gave it a serious work out today (my day off) and rode every bush track I could find (which was a fun experience just in itself). The power and torque on this thing is stunning - it just keeps rushing forwards like a jet engine.

One track a short ride from me is the old Templestowe Hill Climb Track. Most of you will know that Hill climbing is a rather anachronistic motor sport whose golden age has passed (though great for historical gatherings) leaving some tracks to have been abandoned and left to decay. Templestowe is one such track, formerly out in farmland but now caught up by urban sprawl. At its peak (1950's) it was known as the best hill climb track in Australia with its defining feature being the final 50 meters or so which rose at a gradient above 40%. It was known as "the wall" and saw many competitors halted short of the finish line. It is said that "the wall" was/is the steepest grade of asphalt ever laid in the country. Some of the track remains today: about 600 meters of variously cracked, broken or missing concrete and asphalt. The best preserved part of the track today is happily the final 100 meters making it a perfect challenge for cyclists and, today, an e-biker on his Glor-E!

Here is some history of the track if you're interested: http://www.vhrr.com/general_articles/Te ... lclimb.htm

Here is a youtube clip of a cyclist (I've no idea who) attempting the climb to give you in idea of grade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9gBpnZXizA

I don't have a goPro to make my own films yet but I'll try to make something do soon. Anyway I'm happy to report I made it all the way up! I was surprised though. I tried to hit the hill at speed which is tough to do because the whole thing really goes from moderate grade climb to stupid grade climb, not flat-to-steep, so building speed is tough without risking overheating the motor up hill. As soon as I hit the base of the wall I dropped right back through the gears and pegged the throttle wide open, standing and leaning forward to keep the front wheel near the ground. By about half way up I began peddling as well and kept going to try and keep the motor revs high in the low gear rather than bogging down down low.
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The rest of the ride I spent on fire tracks and on access roads under power lines - some of which were so steep I couldn't believe it climbed it (I was crapping myself riding down some of them let alone contemplating heading up the other side. Ill have to get a camera to show you how steep they are!

Gab   100 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Gab » Jan 24 2015 5:21pm

I just noticed AFT have updated their website and it seems their is some new Ultimate kit ?? and lower pricing in 2015 ?

http://www.aft-ebike.com/kits--pricing.html

Also the USA crowd may grab a bargain now as AFT sell in AUD not USD and the AUD Vs USD is probably the lowest its been in 5 years and has recently dropped like 20%.....

drew12345   10 kW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by drew12345 » Jan 26 2015 8:07pm

Thanks for update on website.

Rev, that is a serious hill! Curious, what size rings are you running?

mrburns4695   1 µW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by mrburns4695 » Feb 11 2015 3:53am

Wow nice build! I too think a nice comfortable battery pack strapped to your back would be the go.

Battery pack pack inspiration below, bit of overkill as its designed to be used for extended periods.

http://www.stihl.com.au/STIHL-Products/ ... ttery.aspx

Megsy73   1 W

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Megsy73 » Apr 14 2015 5:02pm

Hey Rev, any updates? How is this build going?
How many Kms have you done, are you happy with it?

Rev   1 mW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Rev » Apr 21 2015 8:42pm

UPDATE: April 2015

Thanks for the interest people. I’ve been out clocking up the first 500kms so can update with a progress report. I should cover the questions raised already, but point out if I miss any.
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So - what has changed?

I think I’ve said it already, but a kit you build yourself is never 100% complete in the builders mind so I have made a few adjustments and refinements as well as responded to issues as they have arisen. Some of these tasks have required waiting for me to get around to tooling myself up for the job. (I didn’t have any bike tools previously)
A few big ticket items, a few small - they are:

BATTERY - I have moved the placement of the battery from a peli-style case on the handlebars/front fork to a custom metal box under the downtube. The reason for this is primarily weight distribution (more central and lower) and a cleaner look. The case on the handle bars was functional and I definitely could have continued there (though the box itself was in need of a tidy-up).
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You will likely note from the photos the ability of the front wheel to rub on the box when at maximum compression - a shortcoming of this configuration, no argument - but I have found that riding style can largely avoid this. I have to be either trying pretty hard or not paying attention to bottom it out, and if I do the consequences are not significant.

I used an old steel toolbox which I cut up with the angle grinder. It had remarkably appropriate dimensions for the battery pack to begin with. I have been able to mount it at the rear to the same suspension hard point used for the motor front mount, and then have used two lengths of stainless hose clamps to secure the battery box to the downtube.
The improvement in balance and lightness of steering is pleasing.
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full bike
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DRIVETRAIN - A few things to note here. I have shortened the front drive chain (motor to pedals) as the supplied length was too long. I can’t emphasise enough how important the alignment of this chain is. My configuration means I am probably running my motor further forward than most, and definitely hanging it further from the downtube than most. This means that the ability for the motor to twist and pull sideways under load is higher so I have to be extra careful to support it adequately.

I have spent a lot of time trying to get this right and taking extra care whenever I’ve pulled the crank etc to add or adjust other elements.

Re: the regular drive chain (pedals to wheel) - I snapped my first chain (which was the old one on the bike when I first bought it. I decided to change from a 9-speed rear sprocket to an 8-speed (same spread of gears 11T-34T just different intervals between) to allow me to run a slightly thicker/stronger chain. I’ve become totally aware that this power level is pushing the limits (hard!) of bicycle components so strength is needed. So far I seem to be able to cope with the altered sprocket intervals without changing derailleur.
The torque of the kit mean I could happily drop to a 5-6 speed but that would involve changing derailleur etc. One positive is that weight is less of a concern than strength which sometimes means the components are cheaper.


I’m chewing up the rear tyre! A result of the kms of asphalt bike path (my regular commute is 15-20kms half gravel, half asphalt)
I’m going to try a smooth-style tyre pattern for the replacement.

Some figures from the CAv3 just after my ride to work this morning. (Pretty much ridden solely on the throttle)
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Max Speed
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So ongoing impressions?

Still really loving the experience. Happy with the mid-drive choice (but would love to try a hub too at some stage!).
Power is at the limits of what a bike can take and some mechanical sympathy is needed to keep it all happy.
I would consider a lighter frame next time just to further enhance power to weight ratio. I don’t think I’d be losing too much stepping away from such a full-on Downhill bike to a more Cross Country/Free ride bike.

The updated AFT website has the new Ulitmate kit - that is basically my set-up. The only thing I didn’t include was the optional Thermistor which could have been built into the motor. The CAv3 uses this to program power rollbacks as temps increase etc. I chose not to, but I would consider it in future (partly because I had spent that much money so far, why scrimp here!) I have had thermal cut-outs when I haven’t been paying attention - and this thing is a heavy beast to pedal without assistance! But I can manage to avoid these by remembering its a power-assisted bicycle: not a twist and go motorcycle. (The power means I sometimes forget!)

Warren   100 kW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Warren » Apr 22 2015 9:01am

Wow! 32.8 kWh average is over 4 times the average I have ever seen on my CA. So you have about 600 kilometers on that chain, so far?

Rev   1 mW

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Rev » Apr 23 2015 7:43pm

Yeah its a high return isn't it?! That figure (32Wh/km) was for that morning's trip only - I reset the CA before each ride to track the AH used so far on each trip, like a fuel gauge. That morning I rode fast on pretty much throttle only - with a few tracks thrown in! Average elevation was also a climb over the trip.

On the afternoon ride home it dropped to 22-24Wh/km. Still mainly on the throttle but a general decrease in elevation. The bike is pretty heavy too - I reckon pushing 30kgs.

Any other reasons you can suggest why it might be high?

The first chain I had (the chain on the bike when I bought it - so unknown age) lasted 500kms before breaking. I have only just changed the sprockets to 8-speed and started running the new chain. Keen to see how long this one will last.

A question for any other builders - do you have any fuses in your wiring? If so where and what specs?

and switches? I like the look of the keyed switches some people have but I'm unsure where to find one of adequate spec.

Lastly where can I find an example of running a front light off the main battery? (So running a step down transformer with a switch etc to a led light bar)?

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Re: AFT Giant Glor-E (Glory Glory Hallelujah!)

Post by Gab » Apr 26 2015 5:22am

Thanks for the update. Awesome build ! also that's an impressive top speed 65kmh !

What is the peak current and power you see on the CA ? is the shunt calibrated correctly?

Another thing you can check is the full throttle no load current. Put the back wheel in the air and like 4th or top gear.. and full throttle and see what the no load current is to see if their is any problems.

Was that ride on very hilly terrain and you were on full throttle most of the way with no peddling ?

A good place to put a fuse is between the battery and the controller, on the main battery cable is a good idea hence if a FET fails it will save the battery.

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