Poor Man's RV

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 30 2019 11:44am

donn wrote:
May 30 2019 10:02am
kauaicycler wrote:
May 30 2019 9:40am
Other people have suggested a 100mi/day but I'm in no hurry and I have no desire to push myself too hard.
Or your battery. Of course batteries come in different sizes, but it's a lot easier to have a 50 mile range, than 100. You might look at some sample routes while you're thinking about all this, and look at what you're up against in the western US. I haven't checked, might be fine, just thinking it's an important part of the picture.
I've been struggling to map a route effectively. There is a campground a few miles from my home and some map apps I've tried show it and some don't. There are a few paid bicycle map apps that are supposed to show those types of things but I haven't tried them yet. As another poster suggested there are some good bike touring forums, blogs etc. that I'll be checking on when planning my route. I would love to plan my rote on my computer then transfer it to my phone. Would be awesome if maps showed accessible charging outlets :lol:

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 30 2019 3:38pm

100 miles a day may be necessary as you make your way to the more western states. Options for stopping and charging become scarcer.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by dustNbone » May 30 2019 10:03pm

Once you get into the mountains, you'll find your days more dictated by topography.

A days ride might be getting over a pass into the next valley. It might still be only mid afternoon when you arrive but you're not going to make it over the next climb before dark (or dead battery). And you really don't want to spend the night on the summit of a pass.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by parajared » May 31 2019 5:37pm

I'd aim for 30-50mi/day. 50mi/day is a pretty standard rate for bike touring. As long as you can find a campground or town every 30mi, no need to do the 50 unless you feel like it. *shrug*
135 miles is the most I personally have done in one day (https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=80340) and it was a grind. If the intent is to have fun I agree that 50 per day is much more reasonable.

I built my solar recumbent based heavily on what other people did on the website www.thesuntrip.com. I think PVC construction was a bad idea though. I am re-building the supports out of steel to much better effect.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Ford Prefect » Jun 02 2019 2:45am

I read recumbent a whole lot of times now in this thread.

While reading things like RV, taking-everything-I-own, and thousands-of-kms I did automatically think some sort of long tail cargo bike is worth a consideration. Surly Big Dummy, Big Fat Dummy, Yuba Mundo, and Salsa Blackbarrow are the popular solutions but there are definitely way more out there.
You have a long wheelbase, which makes riding for hours really untiring.
You have space and capacity for everything you need, everything you buy, and kWhs worth of battery.
The fundamental laws of thermodynamics will place fixed limits on technological innovation and human advancement.

How would you react if I said that I'm not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » Jun 02 2019 4:06am

Ford Prefect wrote:
Jun 02 2019 2:45am
I read recumbent a whole lot of times now in this thread.

While reading things like RV, taking-everything-I-own, and thousands-of-kms I did automatically think some sort of long tail cargo bike is worth a consideration.
Yes, now we're talking. Long distance comfort in the same league as a recumbent, much better pedaling dynamics, and the opposite of a recumbent's restricted cargo capacity. Plus the dignity of a biped.

The only tradeoff versus a recumbent would be inferior aerodynamics than the best of them-- but still comparable to the most comfortable versions.
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: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » Jun 02 2019 8:00am

Chalo wrote:
Jun 02 2019 4:06am
Ford Prefect wrote:
Jun 02 2019 2:45am
I read recumbent a whole lot of times now in this thread.

While reading things like RV, taking-everything-I-own, and thousands-of-kms I did automatically think some sort of long tail cargo bike is worth a consideration.
Yes, now we're talking. Long distance comfort in the same league as a recumbent, much better pedaling dynamics, and the opposite of a recumbent's restricted cargo capacity. Plus the dignity of a biped.

The only tradeoff versus a recumbent would be inferior aerodynamics than the best of them-- but still comparable to the most comfortable versions.
A long tail cargo bike will probably be what I end up with. I'm looking into a Mongoose Envoy (not available in the US at this time) or a Xtracycle conversion. It all depends on what kind of donor bike is available when I'm ready to start my build. If I find one of "the popular solutions" that I can afford then that's what I'll get. Most likely it will be a mountain bike from bikeisland.com with an Xtracycle conversion.

I saw Justin's post about his trans Canadian trip and his bike had a pedal forward design which allowed him to wear regular clothes. I think something like that might be ideal. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » Jun 02 2019 8:23am

parajared wrote:
May 31 2019 5:37pm

135 miles is the most I personally have done in one day (https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=80340) and it was a grind. If the intent is to have fun I agree that 50 per day is much more reasonable.
50 miles a day is pretty easy. Depending on terrain and assuming an easy pace, that's just 3-4 hours of riding per day. I did this 58 mile trip in about 4 hours and I made one medium long stop and two short ones.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 0#p1356427

Warren's trips are about 90-110 miles per day on his converted recumbent cargo bike and he seems to have time to stop for lunch, talk to folks and take pictures.

100 miles a day probably means 6-8 hours a day in the saddle. And that may be more than many people want to ride. This is also one reason to consider a recumbent. But 8 hours is only a third of a day. That leaves 8 hours for all the other stuff and a full 8 hours to sleep. I'd think this would be a pretty doable pace in good weather. But the reality is that the OP will have to figure this out for himself. Once he gets his "RV" built, he should plan on a few day trips and then use what he learns to plan some two and three day trips before embarking on the long journey. Then he'll have a good idea of his own tolerances and what works for him. It will probably be somewhere between 50 and a 100 miles per day.

But whatever the expected daily range, I think it is a good idea to have around 100 miles of battery range (2000 watt hours) cuz I think some days you will need it just to fight winds and/or to get up steep climbs.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » Jun 02 2019 8:38am

kauaicycler wrote:
Jun 02 2019 8:00am

I saw Justin's post about his trans Canadian trip and his bike had a pedal forward design which allowed him to wear regular clothes. I think something like that might be ideal. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Justin is younger and lighter than you. How adaptable are you to things like unconventional bike steering? Is that something you could rig up and do a good job of building? That said, "on paper" I like his approach. But I'd have to try it to see if it would work for me. I've spent many miles riding upright and I'm not sure how I'd adapt to the semi-recline. But I think it would probably make the miles easier if you could.

The regular clothes thing would be of no consequence to me. I'm used to cycling shorts and my seat is comfortable enough for me that really don't even need them. For a long trip like you are considering, I'd probably either buy some cycling cargo shorts or just wear cycling shorts in lieu of underwear underneath conventional cargo shorts - assuming a conventional bike seat.

Keep in mind, I haven't done any cross-country touring. My longest bike rides have been some two-dayers that went about 150 miles on standard bikes. A couple more long distance threads for inspiration and info.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 29&t=61893
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =3&t=52355
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » Jun 02 2019 9:46am

wturber wrote:
Jun 02 2019 8:23am
100 miles a day probably means 6-8 hours a day in the saddle. And that may be more than many people want to ride. This is also one reason to consider a recumbent. But 8 hours is only a third of a day. That leaves 8 hours for all the other stuff and a full 8 hours to sleep.
I never went across the country or even the state, but I did go out for a couple multi-day trips in my youth, and that long summer day is why most of the time I made well over 50 miles. As long as I don't have anything else to do, might as well ride. And yes, everything hurt, by the end. Feet, butt, hands, neck; I think the neck was the worst, really. An upright bicycle is OK for short trips, I guess.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 10:18am

Chalo wrote:
Jun 02 2019 4:06am
Plus the dignity of a biped.
The real reason for the rejection of recumbents comes out. Lying back is seen as as a sign of submission.

I have ridden many thousands of miles on recumbents, going back to the 1980's, in addition to many thousands on upright road bikes before and since.

I have ridden my electric assist recumbents 53,500 miles since 2011. Friday was a typical day. I rode a pleasant 98 miles for lunch, in street clothes.

I long ago gave up any hope for humanity.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » Jun 02 2019 11:45am

Warren wrote:
Jun 02 2019 10:18am
The real reason for the rejection of recumbents comes out. Lying back is seen as as a sign of submission.
For Chalo maybe. For me it is length, cost and city visibility. But I've been thinking about doing some long distance rides and a recumbent seems like an attractive option to me. Even though I've always ridden uprights, your conversion was my first recommendation to the OP.
Warren wrote:
Jun 02 2019 10:18am
I long ago gave up any hope for humanity.
No need for hope. Gotta just run with acceptance.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » Jun 02 2019 2:07pm

Warren wrote:
Jun 02 2019 10:18am
The real reason for the rejection of recumbents comes out. Lying back is seen as as a sign of submission.
...
Friday was a typical day. I rode a pleasant 98 miles for lunch, in street clothes.
Which seems like it would take average speeds near the 30mph range, to do that. Flying along feet first on two wheels, sitting back in a sort of lawn chair, it doesn't square with my picture of "submissive". Nor "dominant" of course, it's more like a rare combination of "exhilarating" and "sensible."

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Electric Earth » Jun 02 2019 3:51pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 30 2019 9:40am
I read somewhere that they make sandals that clip into pedals, any thoughts on that from your perspective?
Personally, I don't think being clipped in makes sense for touring. I like to stop often and look at the beautiful sights I see, maybe stop in a shop for coffee in the first town I get to that day, stop somewhere for lunch, stop later for a snack, stop somewhere along the way every two or three days for food(dinner in camp, other snacks, etc). Lots of stuff other than just riding the bike. I don't want to have to change into normal shoes every time I stop. Other than having the clips on the bottom of the shoe, they're also stiff and not comfortable for regular walking around. I especially think it makes less sense on an ebike. The theory behind being clipped in to the pedals is that you can pull up with your back foot and gain more power than just pushing with your front. They're good for people on race bikes who want to go as quickly as they can. You're not gonna be concerned with getting the most power out of your pedal stroke while ebike touring. All you'll succeed in doing is getting your feet stuck in them and falling over with a bike that has 50lbs of gear loaded onto it. If you're unlucky, maybe break a derailer or brake lever in the process? I'd just get some decent quality mountain bike pedals. Ideally if your budget allows, you want something that has a large platform and sealed bearings. A slim profile is nice too, but not necessary for touring. I think you'd be just fine on any OK quality aluminum flat pedals. As long as they spin smoothly and don't seem like cheap garbage, they should get you across the country. I would avoid cheap plastic pedals. Expensive plastic pedals would be OK, but no need to spend that money. I've never understood why those exist.

I personally use these pedals on two of my bikes. Nashbar was a company that sold bike parts for low prices online. Unfortunately they were bought out by a larger company(who also bought other companies like Performance Bike). The website still exists, but it's pretty basic and generic now, and is no longer a good value. Anyway, you can't get these particular pedals anymore, but they're a good example of what to look for. You might be able to find something similar in the $20 range on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Nashbar-Verge-Pl ... op?ie=UTF8

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Electric Earth » Jun 02 2019 4:06pm

These are plastic of some sort, but seem to have a good rating after lots of reviews. They might be a good value.
https://www.amazon.com/Imrider-Lightwei ... way&sr=8-3

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 4:29pm

Electric Earth wrote:
Jun 02 2019 3:51pm
kauaicycler wrote:
May 30 2019 9:40am
I read somewhere that they make sandals that clip into pedals, any thoughts on that from your perspective?
Personally, I don't think being clipped in makes sense for touring.
I wear my old lace up Specialized MTB shoes until the temps get to 70 F. Then I wear my old Keen bike sandals. Both have flush mount, SPD style cleats, and are totally fine for hiking around. I don't have any use for the stiff sole racing footgear.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 4:39pm

Electric Earth wrote:
Jun 02 2019 3:51pm
Nashbar was a company that sold bike parts for low prices online. Unfortunately they were bought out by a larger company(who also bought other companies like Performance Bike).
Nashbar was an old bike catalog mail order operation. The couple who started Performance copied them. They both added brick and mortar stores, and then moved online. Performance bought out Nashbar, then the original owners sold out to vulture capitalists from the northeast. Ultimately, Performance/Nashbar went bankrupt. A bike shop in California bought the URL, and their customer lists.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » Jun 02 2019 4:48pm

Warren wrote:
Jun 02 2019 10:18am
Chalo wrote:
Jun 02 2019 4:06am
Plus the dignity of a biped.
The real reason for the rejection of recumbents comes out. Lying back is seen as as a sign of submission.
It's actually a sign of a car driver.

I don't mind reclining to watch TV or lie in bed. But when I'm moving through space, I prefer to have a more active body position that gives me much better situational awareness, pedal power, and command over my bike's dynamic weight distribution.

If I spent all day in the saddle, my priorities would probably shuffle around a bit. I have a hard time imagining how much they'd have to change for me to think it was worth it to ride a bike I couldn't unload to ride over a bump, and from which I couldn't see over a car or a mailbox.
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: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 4:52pm

donn wrote:
Jun 02 2019 2:07pm
Which seems like it would take average speeds near the 30mph range, to do that.
No. Life is about the journey, not the destination.

I averaged 21.2 mph for 4 hours and 36 minutes. We have lots of big hills which I usually climb in the mid-teens to save battery. The descents all see mid 30's.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 5:01pm

Chalo wrote:
Jun 02 2019 4:48pm

But when I'm moving through space, I prefer to have a more active body position that gives me much better situational awareness, pedal power, and command over my bike's dynamic weight distribution.

If I spent all day in the saddle, my priorities would probably shuffle around a bit. I have a hard time imagining how much they'd have to change for me to think it was worth it to ride a bike I couldn't unload to ride over a bump, and from which I couldn't see over a car or a mailbox.
I like riding for miles with my hands on my knees pumping the pedals. I don't feel safe doing that on my upright bikes. I lift off the seat for bumps easier than you can on an upright. Just push my shoulders into the seatback and straighten my knees. I pass roadies all the time with their heads lower than mine, and their eyes are rotated to the top of their sockets, while I am looking straight ahead.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Warren » Jun 02 2019 5:03pm

But stick with the 1890's. We will all be back there soon enough.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » Jun 02 2019 5:11pm

Warren wrote:
Jun 02 2019 5:03pm
But stick with the 1890's. We will all be back there soon enough.
It's true that the basic layout of a bicycle hasn't been improved upon since then, though many things have been tried. All the other layouts that were experimented with were found to be lacking in important ways. Sorry about that.
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: Poor Man's RV

Post by neptronix » Jun 02 2019 5:41pm

I love my semi recumbent. Before i electrified it, i was riding it on our local bike trail and passed a group of guys training for some bicycle race, wearing sponsored lycra and riding these maybe $10k carbon fiber bikes. And i have arthritis in my knees, hips, and feet.

I passed them at about 22mph, and they were doing maybe 20.
prototype-short.jpg
I also passed everyone else on the bike path.
I also regularly pass everyone pedaling with the bike in ebike form, with it's extra ~20lbs of weight.. and a motorcycle tire that creates all kinds of extra friction. The damn thing is still faster.

I have ridden upright bikes for 20 years and have only put perhaps 200 miles on this bike. I already feel like an idiot for not trying one earlier.

In my opinion, it is a superior machine because of it's aerodynamic advantage. You can use a smaller motor and a smaller battery to go the same speed and distance. Therefore, if you can find a cheap used semi recumbent, it is the best base for a cheap electric bike. And for semi recumbents, you can still be seen by car drivers, so imho it is not less safe than a regular bike.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by monster » Jun 02 2019 5:58pm

Have you looked at the sun trip ebikes? This is exactly what you are thinking about. An ebike you can cross continents in. The are some in the build thread section.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » Jun 02 2019 6:17pm

neptronix wrote:
Jun 02 2019 5:41pm
I love my semi recumbent.
Not too different from my Limbo. There are plenty of things I like about mine, but I'm envious of the suspended rear rack. Anyway, as I've been saying, rear suspension makes a big difference here, and the few current production recumbents with that feature are usually short wheelbase. I don't know, I can't say I've ever ridden a short wheelbase recumbent, but it doesn't seem to me like the right direction for an electric.

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