Poor Man's RV

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
RunForTheHills   100 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by RunForTheHills » May 25 2019 3:01pm

I have never done bicycle touring, but it seems like panniers would be easier if you want to lock up the bike and take your belongings into a restaurant. It would also be easier if you had to put your bike on a bus bike rack or take the bike on a train.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » May 25 2019 3:11pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 24 2019 12:15pm
I would really like to go with an IGH belt drive for low maintenance and reliability but I can't find a definitive answer on this combination on a mid motor ebike for touring. This might be too cutting edge for my purposes but I don't want to miss out if it would be practical.
There's nothing "cutting edge" about that stuff; it's all been around longer than we have. It's uncommon because it has serious problems.

Belt drives only work right when they have static tension on them. Internal gear hubs only work right when they don't have static tension on them. They can't be reconciled. Combining the two beats up one or both components.

Also, belts don't last significantly longer than chains (sometimes not nearly as long) and they're much more expensive to replace.
[*]Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, only one rated to hold my fat ass.
[*]Brooks Saddle, my fat ass needs protecting
SR Suntour NCX suspension seatpost doesn't have a lot of travel, but the heavy spring version works for me, and I weigh about 100 pounds more than you do. I'd be concerned about its strength if I were extending it up near the maximum, but on my 68.5cm bike frame it's pretty much all the way down inside.

Brooks saddles can be very comfortable and can last a super long time, but they're not nearly the only good comfy saddles, and they are very expensive. When they get soaked, you have to refrain from riding them until they dry out, or they become ruined. For this reason alone, I'd consider something else for a cross-country touring rig. There are lots of options in saddles that are more weather-resistant and affordable than Brooks, but also every bit as comfortable or more so.

The latest saddle I've been quite happy with is the Cloud9 Metroline Airflow. It's generously sized but not huge, well-padded but not squishy. I can feel the benefit of its rubber suspension without noticing it working or moving (which is analogous to the stiff coil springs on a Brooks Flyer, B67, or B72). It has a grab handle on the back that would work to support a big seat bag if desired. And it's surprisingly inexpensive. There's no telling whether it would work for you without trying it, but it works for me.
[*]Hydraulic brakes, so does the rest of me.
You can get cable brakes that are every bit as strong and effective as disc or rim hydraulic brakes, but are serviceable on the road. Either TRP Spyke/Spyre or Avid BB7 will stand your bike on its nose just like any other good strong brake. BB7 is extremely easy to adjust, and has excellent replacement pads availability.

Hydraulic brakes tend to have problems you can only fix in a workshop setting, and many of their problems are "fixed" only by replacing the brake entirely. They're totally a play bike feature and not good for serious transportation.

Many if not most of the hydro braked bikes I see in the shop have leaks, contaminated pads, pistons that don't retract fully, levers that pull almost all the way to the bars before engaging, or other problems that you don't want to deal with on the road, in places that may not have a bike shop within a day's ride or more. To be fair, many if not most of the cable braked bikes that come into the shop have comparable brake problems, but almost all of those can be fixed with simple adjustments in a couple minutes with a single wrench or hex key.

I often take the slack out of a brake cable and center up the pads at no charge while attending to something else. Hydros? No way-- you have to pay, and you have to ask for it specifically. My inclination is to look the other way. Those things are a huge time-consuming can of worms, and they all demand something different when you bleed or service them.
[*]BBSHD Mid drive kit from Luna Cycle
  • Luna Cycle wolfpack v2 (52v Stealth Black - LG MJ1 13.5ah) x 2
BBSHD is a good system if you don't lug it down much slower than it wants to spin. For that reason I'd use a 48V battery for a slightly lower free RPM that's easier to pedal along with (and a reduced likelihood of popping the controller capacitors). My BBS02 gave me about 23 miles to empty with a 48V 13.5Ah Luna Shark pack. That's city riding with frequent stops and approximately 20mph cruise speed, with a cargo bike + me + cargo weight of 450-500 pounds.

If you tour with BBSHD, you'll need to bring extra chains, a chain checker, and a spare cassette or rear sprocket. The larger the sprockets you use to get the overall ratio you need, the better it will work and the longer it will last.
[*] Derailer
[*] Nuvinci N380 IGH
I don't have experience riding the N380, but I used-- and ruined-- two N171 hubs on my e-bike. They worked great for power transmission, and if I had only used a rim brake instead of a roller brake, then I'd probably still be using the first one I had. The braking force overcame the torque retention of the side cover, and did something not-good to the giblets of the hub. A friend of mine had the same problem with his. He's a normal sized guy, but he was using a disc brake.

NuVinci hubs were never user-serviceable or even shop-serviceable, so once they have problems they are lunched. There's no mothership anymore to send them to. So... cool system, but maybe not the best thing for disc brakes or riding unsupported into the middle of a big continent.
[*] Chain
[*] Belt
Chain is filthy and it requires lubrication. Still we use it because it's the best thing we've got for the job.

Belts are comparatively clean. They wear out faster than you'd like, and they eat up sprockets when there's any dust, dirt, or sand involved. They require tension to work, which is hard on hub and bottom bracket bearings and murderous to freewheels and freehubs. It can be destructive to gearhubs, too. You have to have a splittable frame or a splittable belt to install them, which introduces a new point of failure. Fixed length belts limit your ability to fine tune your gear ratios. And they cost a bundle.
[*] Chainring teeth if chain?
  • 46
  • 44
  • 42
  • 40
  • 30
That's all a matter of what's on the other end of the chain, and how fast you need to go. Avoid 30t front sprockets or anything that moves the chainline outward. Stick to steel sprockets for maximum wear life. I used a 44t, then a 42t stock Bafang steel sprocket, with a 14-34t and then a 16-40t cassette that had been abbreviated to reduce the extremes of chainline.
[*] Since I'll be getting the Eggrider Bluetooth Displayhttps://eggrider.com/ do I need either of these?
  • Luna 500c Mini Full Color Display
  • Luna 750c Full Color Display
You'll need some kind of display, because that's the control interface for the BBSHD.
[*] Locks will be important since everything I own will be with me. I've done some research and understand the proper way to lock my bike.
Where, when, and how you lock your bike are all more important than what locks you use. Your bike can be damaged beyond repair if someone tries and fails to defeat your lock. I've seen it happen several times to customers' bikes. Pick a good immovable object, and lock in such a way that the bike is immobilized even if it's removed.

Consider reinforcing the mounting rails for your battery packs so that they can't easily be flexed down to release the batteries.
[*] I plan on implementing ghetto tubeless
I advise you not to do that. That's another play-bike feature that only makes sense if you're close to a workshop, or close to the truck you carry the bike with. You need an air compressor or a huge accumulator pump, you're going to make a mess when you have to deal with the sealant or get your tires seated, and the stuff turns into dumplings inside your tires. In the big picture, it is at least as time-consuming as replacing tubes if not more so. The only advantage I see is for the weekend warrior who can only fit in a day of mountain biking once or twice a month, and can afford messing around with tires at home more than he can afford to sacrifice precious riding time out on the trail.

If you get a tire cut that would require a boot to fix, with tubes you can boot the tire, patch or replace the tube, and go. With tubeless, you are stuck figuring out how to get a ride for you and your bike. And you have sticky crap all over you and your stuff.
[*] GPS or Smart Phone?
Smartphones have GPS, and phone, and online maps, and email. Unless you're getting waaay off the beaten track, I can't think of any reason to prefer a dedicated GPS.
[*] I doubt my bike will come with racks so any recommendations? I'm thinking front and rear panniers.
It depends on the bike. Tubus and Surly racks are sturdy and potentially repairable if they break. They cost more than run-of-the-mill aluminum racks.
Grin Ligo Batterieshttps://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/ligo-batteries.html seem required if I want to fly with my bike to Hawaii
You hope they'll let you bring them, you mean. But that's up to them, not you.
These can be configured for either 36v or 72v but the BBSHD kit from Luna Cycle says it's for 48v or 52v batteries. Is there a way I can use these batteries now (hacked controller? other controller?) or do I need to wait for them to come out with 48v or 52v options?
Maybe there's a firmware change that would allow the use of 36V batteries? I don't know. The motor would run at 75% speed with diminished torque and power. But 72V would exceed the physical limits of some of the controller components. In either case, it's not really the solution for you.
I would like to develop a relationship with a good bike shop in my area. Since I don't plan on buying a bike from them what is a good strategy to develop a relationship with them? I know they're in business to sell bikes but given the retail apocalypse do they focus more on the service side of their business now? What's the best way to support my local bike shop?
Solicit their help getting set up with accessories. Get routine service on the regular bike stuff from them. Bring some liquid refreshment or snacks, like when you really need to take up some of their time talking through stuff. Don't assume they want anything whatsoever to do with the electrical part of your bike-- but if you can deal with a shop that's e-bike friendly and capable, that's a bonus.

The Golden Rule applies to guerilla charging. Always ask, and respect the answer you get. Remember that when you're traveling on a bike, you're "some homeless dude"/hobo/tramp. That perception can work for you sometimes, but it will often work against you.
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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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » May 25 2019 3:20pm

donn wrote:
May 24 2019 2:40pm
If you're really looking forward to doing some hard core shop work, pick up an old Bike-E for $200 on craigslist,
Of all the uncountable bikes I've ridden in my life-- including many homemade bikes, chopper bikes, tallbikes, swing bikes, and weirder things-- the one that most wanted to crash and hurt me was a rental BikeE. I didn't actually let it crash, but fighting its tendency to do so ruined my whole weekend. It was hands down the suckiest two-wheeler I ever had the misfortune to ride.

I'm sure there are suitable recumbent bikes for the job the OP describes, but BikeE is not one of them.
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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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 25 2019 3:47pm

RunForTheHills wrote:
May 25 2019 3:01pm
I have never done bicycle touring, but it seems like panniers would be easier if you want to lock up the bike and take your belongings into a restaurant. It would also be easier if you had to put your bike on a bus bike rack or take the bike on a train.
That was my initial thought also. The previous commenter "Electric Earth" had a good idea about the kids trailer. The ones I saw worked as a stroller too. Seems places would allow me to wheel it in, not all though. They do fold flat too so transporting it should be possible. I'll need to research this before I commit to panniers. With the stroller I could carry standard luggage and/or back packs inside it.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 25 2019 4:30pm

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:11pm
kauaicycler wrote:
May 24 2019 12:15pm
I would really like to go with an IGH belt drive for low maintenance and reliability but I can't find a definitive answer on this combination on a mid motor ebike for touring. This might be too cutting edge for my purposes but I don't want to miss out if it would be practical.
There's nothing "cutting edge" about that stuff; it's all been around longer than we have. It's uncommon because it has serious problems.

Belt drives only work right when they have static tension on them. Internal gear hubs only work right when they don't have static tension on them. They can't be reconciled. Combining the two beats up one or both components.

Also, belts don't last significantly longer than chains (sometimes not nearly as long) and they're much more expensive to replace.
Yeah, I've given up on IGH belt drives at this time.
[*]Cane Creek eeSilk seatpost, only one rated to hold my fat ass.
[*]Brooks Saddle, my fat ass needs protecting
SR Suntour NCX suspension seatpost doesn't have a lot of travel, but the heavy spring version works for me, and I weigh about 100 pounds more than you do. I'd be concerned about its strength if I were extending it up near the maximum, but on my 68.5cm bike frame it's pretty much all the way down inside.

Brooks saddles can be very comfortable and can last a super long time, but they're not nearly the only good comfy saddles, and they are very expensive. When they get soaked, you have to refrain from riding them until they dry out, or they become ruined. For this reason alone, I'd consider something else for a cross-country touring rig. There are lots of options in saddles that are more weather-resistant and affordable than Brooks, but also every bit as comfortable or more so.

The latest saddle I've been quite happy with is the Cloud9 Metroline Airflow. It's generously sized but not huge, well-padded but not squishy. I can feel the benefit of its rubber suspension without noticing it working or moving (which is analogous to the stiff coil springs on a Brooks Flyer, B67, or B72). It has a grab handle on the back that would work to support a big seat bag if desired. And it's surprisingly inexpensive. There's no telling whether it would work for you without trying it, but it works for me.
Great info! I'll be checkout the seatpost and saddle you recommend.
[*]Hydraulic brakes, so does the rest of me.
You can get cable brakes that are every bit as strong and effective as disc or rim hydraulic brakes, but are serviceable on the road. Either TRP Spyke/Spyre or Avid BB7 will stand your bike on its nose just like any other good strong brake. BB7 is extremely easy to adjust, and has excellent replacement pads availability.

Hydraulic brakes tend to have problems you can only fix in a workshop setting, and many of their problems are "fixed" only by replacing the brake entirely. They're totally a play bike feature and not good for serious transportation.

Many if not most of the hydro braked bikes I see in the shop have leaks, contaminated pads, pistons that don't retract fully, levers that pull almost all the way to the bars before engaging, or other problems that you don't want to deal with on the road, in places that may not have a bike shop within a day's ride or more. To be fair, many if not most of the cable braked bikes that come into the shop have comparable brake problems, but almost all of those can be fixed with simple adjustments in a couple minutes with a single wrench or hex key.

I often take the slack out of a brake cable and center up the pads at no charge while attending to something else. Hydros? No way-- you have to pay, and you have to ask for it specifically. My inclination is to look the other way. Those things are a huge time-consuming can of worms, and they all demand something different when you bleed or service them.
OK That makes sense. I'm familiar with rim brakes but at the load I'll be carrying I was worried I'd need more stopping power. I've heard the BB7 mentioned more than once so I'll be checking them out.
[*]BBSHD Mid drive kit from Luna Cycle
  • Luna Cycle wolfpack v2 (52v Stealth Black - LG MJ1 13.5ah) x 2
BBSHD is a good system if you don't lug it down much slower than it wants to spin. For that reason I'd use a 48V battery for a slightly lower free RPM that's easier to pedal along with (and a reduced likelihood of popping the controller capacitors). My BBS02 gave me about 23 miles to empty with a 48V 13.5Ah Luna Shark pack. That's city riding with frequent stops and approximately 20mph cruise speed, with a cargo bike + me + cargo weight of 450-500 pounds.

If you tour with BBSHD, you'll need to bring extra chains, a chain checker, and a spare cassette or rear sprocket. The larger the sprockets you use to get the overall ratio you need, the better it will work and the longer it will last.
Your range information is handy and your explanation of why you use a 48v battery is just what I needed to understand. The wolfpack had me here "Fully potted pack for the ultimate in waterproof, shockproof, and battery protection". Maybe someone has a 48v pack fully potted like this.

Great tip about carrying extra chain drive train parts.
[*] Derailer
[*] Nuvinci N380 IGH
I don't have experience riding the N380, but I used-- and ruined-- two N171 hubs on my e-bike. They worked great for power transmission, and if I had only used a rim brake instead of a roller brake, then I'd probably still be using the first one I had. The braking force overcame the torque retention of the side cover, and did something not-good to the giblets of the hub. A friend of mine had the same problem with his. He's a normal sized guy, but he was using a disc brake.

NuVinci hubs were never user-serviceable or even shop-serviceable, so once they have problems they are lunched. There's no mothership anymore to send them to. So... cool system, but maybe not the best thing for disc brakes or riding unsupported into the middle of a big continent.
I'm sticking with derailers and chains because of this.
[*] Chain
[*] Belt
Chain is filthy and it requires lubrication. Still we use it because it's the best thing we've got for the job.

Belts are comparatively clean. They wear out faster than you'd like, and they eat up sprockets when there's any dust, dirt, or sand involved. They require tension to work, which is hard on hub and bottom bracket bearings and murderous to freewheels and freehubs. It can be destructive to gearhubs, too. You have to have a splittable frame or a splittable belt to install them, which introduces a new point of failure. Fixed length belts limit your ability to fine tune your gear ratios. And they cost a bundle.
Chain it is!
[*] Chainring teeth if chain?
  • 46
  • 44
  • 42
  • 40
  • 30
That's all a matter of what's on the other end of the chain, and how fast you need to go. Avoid 30t front sprockets or anything that moves the chainline outward. Stick to steel sprockets for maximum wear life. I used a 44t, then a 42t stock Bafang steel sprocket, with a 14-34t and then a 16-40t cassette that had been abbreviated to reduce the extremes of chainline.
OK so I'll have to figure this out when I get the donor bike.
[*] Since I'll be getting the Eggrider Bluetooth Displayhttps://eggrider.com/ do I need either of these?
  • Luna 500c Mini Full Color Display
  • Luna 750c Full Color Display
You'll need some kind of display, because that's the control interface for the BBSHD.
The way I understand it the Eggrider is a display. In the video they show a really small display plus the ability to use your phone to change motor settings among other features. I'm just not clear if it replaces the Luna ones.
[*] Locks will be important since everything I own will be with me. I've done some research and understand the proper way to lock my bike.
Where, when, and how you lock your bike are all more important than what locks you use. Your bike can be damaged beyond repair if someone tries and fails to defeat your lock. I've seen it happen several times to customers' bikes. Pick a good immovable object, and lock in such a way that the bike is immobilized even if it's removed.

Consider reinforcing the mounting rails for your battery packs so that they can't easily be flexed down to release the batteries.
I like the tip about reinforcing the mounting rails.
[*] I plan on implementing ghetto tubeless
I advise you not to do that. That's another play-bike feature that only makes sense if you're close to a workshop, or close to the truck you carry the bike with. You need an air compressor or a huge accumulator pump, you're going to make a mess when you have to deal with the sealant or get your tires seated, and the stuff turns into dumplings inside your tires. In the big picture, it is at least as time-consuming as replacing tubes if not more so. The only advantage I see is for the weekend warrior who can only fit in a day of mountain biking once or twice a month, and can afford messing around with tires at home more than he can afford to sacrifice precious riding time out on the trail.

If you get a tire cut that would require a boot to fix, with tubes you can boot the tire, patch or replace the tube, and go. With tubeless, you are stuck figuring out how to get a ride for you and your bike. And you have sticky crap all over you and your stuff.
Yeah I forgot about the need to carry sealant and what a mess it can make and the tools needed to fix a flat. I'll save the ghetto tubeless for when I'm not touring.
[*] GPS or Smart Phone?
Smartphones have GPS, and phone, and online maps, and email. Unless you're getting waaay off the beaten track, I can't think of any reason to prefer a dedicated GPS.
That's what I was thinking.
[*] I doubt my bike will come with racks so any recommendations? I'm thinking front and rear panniers.
It depends on the bike. Tubus and Surly racks are sturdy and potentially repairable if they break. They cost more than run-of-the-mill aluminum racks.
I like the idea of them being repairable, I wouldn't of thought of that.
Grin Ligo Batterieshttps://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/ligo-batteries.html seem required if I want to fly with my bike to Hawaii
You hope they'll let you bring them, you mean. But that's up to them, not you.
I don't think they're ready for me yet.
These can be configured for either 36v or 72v but the BBSHD kit from Luna Cycle says it's for 48v or 52v batteries. Is there a way I can use these batteries now (hacked controller? other controller?) or do I need to wait for them to come out with 48v or 52v options?
Maybe there's a firmware change that would allow the use of 36V batteries? I don't know. The motor would run at 75% speed with diminished torque and power. But 72V would exceed the physical limits of some of the controller components. In either case, it's not really the solution for you.
Agreed!
I would like to develop a relationship with a good bike shop in my area. Since I don't plan on buying a bike from them what is a good strategy to develop a relationship with them? I know they're in business to sell bikes but given the retail apocalypse do they focus more on the service side of their business now? What's the best way to support my local bike shop?
Solicit their help getting set up with accessories. Get routine service on the regular bike stuff from them. Bring some liquid refreshment or snacks, like when you really need to take up some of their time talking through stuff. Don't assume they want anything whatsoever to do with the electrical part of your bike-- but if you can deal with a shop that's e-bike friendly and capable, that's a bonus.

The Golden Rule applies to guerilla charging. Always ask, and respect the answer you get. Remember that when you're traveling on a bike, you're "some homeless dude"/hobo/tramp. That perception can work for you sometimes, but it will often work against you.
Great tip about the bike shop! I will bring snacks and drinks when I visit them.

I didn't think of it this way but very true "some homeless dude"/hobo/tramp is what I'll be.

Your advise has been spot on I really appreciate the time it took to give such a well thought out and informative comment.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 25 2019 4:34pm

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:20pm
donn wrote:
May 24 2019 2:40pm
If you're really looking forward to doing some hard core shop work, pick up an old Bike-E for $200 on craigslist,
Of all the uncountable bikes I've ridden in my life-- including many homemade bikes, chopper bikes, tallbikes, swing bikes, and weirder things-- the one that most wanted to crash and hurt me was a rental BikeE. I didn't actually let it crash, but fighting its tendency to do so ruined my whole weekend. It was hands down the suckiest two-wheeler I ever had the misfortune to ride.

I'm sure there are suitable recumbent bikes for the job the OP describes, but BikeE is not one of them.
Good to know. I'm not sure about a recumbent but I'm going to ride one to see what it's like. It looks awkward but I've read some good things about them in general.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Chalo » May 25 2019 4:44pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 4:34pm
Good to know. I'm not sure about a recumbent but I'm going to ride one to see what it's like. It looks awkward but I've read some good things about them in general.
Tour Easy is a venerable and much-copied design with long term credibility. If I wanted to tour on a 'bent, I'd examine that design first and learn from it. It seems to have been vetted and personalized more than any other type.
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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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 25 2019 4:51pm

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 4:44pm
kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 4:34pm
Good to know. I'm not sure about a recumbent but I'm going to ride one to see what it's like. It looks awkward but I've read some good things about them in general.
Tour Easy is a venerable and much-copied design with long term credibility. If I wanted to tour on a 'bent, I'd examine that design first and learn from it. It seems to have been vetted and personalized more than any other type.
Yeah that looks cool. This one looks like it copied that design https://bicycleman.com/burley-long-wheelbase-47/

Don't the long chains bother you. It seems so fragile. I'm not sure why I think of it that way but I do.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » May 25 2019 8:30pm

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:20pm
I'm sure there are suitable recumbent bikes for the job the OP describes, but BikeE is not one of them.
Right. In the part you clipped off my post, I explained how people have made it into one. Tour Easy is a fine recumbent bicycle, and there are people who've put electric motors on them, but I don't see it as a good electric platform. My favorite in that category is the venerable Avatar 2000/Ryan Vanguard/Longbikes Slipstream lineage, which unlike the Tour Easy is still going, also fine recumbent bicycles but not ideal for motors. There are lots more; RANS makes good stuff, I'm using an old Burley Limbo, a little like the one mentioned above but the Limbo had rear suspension.
kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 1:19pm
Getting on a motorcycle and just going does appeal to my lazy nature.
Well ... I haven't tried to ride across the country on a motorcycle, at all, maybe 300 miles away is as far as I ever went. It isn't a lot of work, but it can be kind of grueling. And it has its dangers. Things happen real fast and you're going to be hurt when you go down. Many of the accidents are the same thing you get on a bicycle, people turning onto you and stuff like that, but then many are just the motorcycle alone and no other vehicle involved. There's such a thing as good motorcycle apparel, and it can be hot and uncomfortable and cost more than the motorcycle. New riders are at much higher risk, and that doesn't just mean the first week. So sure, it has its merits, but I'm not sure I'd pick it as either easy or safe.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by markz » May 25 2019 11:43pm

One would want a quality bicycle that is easy to ride, durable and will last a long while. Quality brand name bicycles would be in order, like Specialized, Rockey Mountain, Giant, Trek, Kona. But there are the long wheel base type bicycles that can hold more gear, like the Xtracycle. Then there is the Xtracycle Leap, an addon to a regular style bicycle. I remember Justin installed the kit onto his bike to go across Canada. Would add a ton more cargo holding capacity for tents, tarps, food, water, clothing and such.

Check this out out! Its massively long! Looks like a solid sturdy rear rack. Small rear wheel so it doesnt protrude above the top of the rack, neat! Might be too long for back country riding or single track. I would look for something similar, with a shorter wheelbase.
https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycl ... unner-10e/

This Kona Ute looks like the perfect length. Regular sitting position, a little longer then normal bicycle wheelbase, but the rack looks sturdy!
Big Picture: http://cargocycling.org/wp-content/uplo ... /ute-1.jpg
Article: http://cargocycling.org/2009/08/kona-ut ... arket.html
^Sorry that was not really a good article. Just came with the search engine pic.
I would say find a frame similar to that, and install your own electric bicycle kit. From www.em3ev.com the MAC 1500W, with Sinewave controller, Cycle Analyst and one of their batteries.

Fabricate your own frame.
http://www.steves-workshop.co.uk/vehicl ... eindex.htm

Compact Cargo is the key term to look for, found this.
Yuba Boda Boda - https://www.hbl.org/shop/yuba-boda-boda ... argo-bike/
http://rs.130928.mrsite.com/images/thum ... 55375.jpeg

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 4:44pm
Tour Easy is a venerable and much-copied design with long term credibility.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 8:39am

donn wrote:
May 25 2019 8:30pm
Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:20pm
I'm sure there are suitable recumbent bikes for the job the OP describes, but BikeE is not one of them.
Right. In the part you clipped off my post, I explained how people have made it into one. Tour Easy is a fine recumbent bicycle, and there are people who've put electric motors on them, but I don't see it as a good electric platform. My favorite in that category is the venerable Avatar 2000/Ryan Vanguard/Longbikes Slipstream lineage, which unlike the Tour Easy is still going, also fine recumbent bicycles but not ideal for motors. There are lots more; RANS makes good stuff, I'm using an old Burley Limbo, a little like the one mentioned above but the Limbo had rear suspension.
I'm now seriously considering a recumbent. They may be a little harder to find as a suitable donor bike but the comfort factor is important. It eliminates a lot of the decisions I need to make such as seats and seatposts, handlebars, gloves, cycling clothing etc. I would love to rent one to see how I like riding it but I can't find any rentals near me. I see a few for sale on craigslist so I guess I could test drive some of those but the style choices are limited.

In general it looks like a mid drive would be difficult to install on a recumbent. I read about a two motor setup with a geared hub in back and a dd hub in front. I could have the dd for speed and regen braking and the geared hub for hills. I can't remember where I saw the article and if both motors ran together or one at a time.

I'm not going to be off-roading but I expect some gravel roads. There will also be a lot of sand in the areas I'll be at and where I live now. Can a fat tire recumbent work in these situations? If/when I ride in sand my bike wont be loaded for touring. Some of the back roads on Kauai have pretty steep grades as well as a couple of friends driveways. I need to be able to go up these fully loaded.

Any thoughts about a two motor setup and electrifying recumbents in general? I will be looking for successful builds using this style of bike to see what's possible.
kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 1:19pm
Getting on a motorcycle and just going does appeal to my lazy nature.
Well ... I haven't tried to ride across the country on a motorcycle, at all, maybe 300 miles away is as far as I ever went. It isn't a lot of work, but it can be kind of grueling. And it has its dangers. Things happen real fast and you're going to be hurt when you go down. Many of the accidents are the same thing you get on a bicycle, people turning onto you and stuff like that, but then many are just the motorcycle alone and no other vehicle involved. There's such a thing as good motorcycle apparel, and it can be hot and uncomfortable and cost more than the motorcycle. New riders are at much higher risk, and that doesn't just mean the first week. So sure, it has its merits, but I'm not sure I'd pick it as either easy or safe.
Great points! Motorcycles do suffer the same visibility problems with motorists. The added speed does pose it's own safety issues, that and my lack of experience. So I wonder if the advantage of extra speed for keeping up with traffic is offset by the danger of extra speed in general. If a car doesn't see me going 60mph on a motorcycle or 30mph on a bicycle which one is more deadly? Maybe I don't understand how speed can actually keep me safer.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 9:08am

markz wrote:
May 25 2019 11:43pm
One would want a quality bicycle that is easy to ride, durable and will last a long while. Quality brand name bicycles would be in order, like Specialized, Rockey Mountain, Giant, Trek, Kona. But there are the long wheel base type bicycles that can hold more gear, like the Xtracycle. Then there is the Xtracycle Leap, an addon to a regular style bicycle. I remember Justin installed the kit onto his bike to go across Canada. Would add a ton more cargo holding capacity for tents, tarps, food, water, clothing and such.

Check this out out! Its massively long! Looks like a solid sturdy rear rack. Small rear wheel so it doesnt protrude above the top of the rack, neat! Might be too long for back country riding or single track. I would look for something similar, with a shorter wheelbase.
https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycl ... unner-10e/

This Kona Ute looks like the perfect length. Regular sitting position, a little longer then normal bicycle wheelbase, but the rack looks sturdy!
Big Picture: http://cargocycling.org/wp-content/uplo ... /ute-1.jpg
Article: http://cargocycling.org/2009/08/kona-ut ... arket.html
^Sorry that was not really a good article. Just came with the search engine pic.
I would say find a frame similar to that, and install your own electric bicycle kit. From www.em3ev.com the MAC 1500W, with Sinewave controller, Cycle Analyst and one of their batteries.

Fabricate your own frame.
http://www.steves-workshop.co.uk/vehicl ... eindex.htm

Compact Cargo is the key term to look for, found this.
Yuba Boda Boda - https://www.hbl.org/shop/yuba-boda-boda ... argo-bike/
http://rs.130928.mrsite.com/images/thum ... 55375.jpeg

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 4:44pm
Tour Easy is a venerable and much-copied design with long term credibility.
I'm kinda leaning towards a recumbent pulling a kids trailer instead of loading my bike up. Seeing as I haven't ridden one yet, I haven't decided. As far as cargo bikes go they seem to be hard to find and expensive but I did find this https://www.electricbike.com/mongoose-envoy-cargobike/. It looks promising but I don't think it's available here in the US yet.

If I do go the recumbent route I think a hub motor (or two) would be better then a mid drive. I'm curious why you recommended the MAC in particular and hub drives in general.

Thanks!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 26 2019 10:24am

I haven't had a chance to read any more than the first half of your thread. It made me immediately think of this bike. If I were going on such a long tour, I'd be seriously considering somthing like what this fellow did.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=78828

Also consider extending a regular bike frame using an Xtracycle. Justin went across Canada on such a thing.
"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 » May 26 2019 10:32am

kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 8:39am
In general it looks like a mid drive would be difficult to install on a recumbent. I read about a two motor setup with a geared hub in back and a dd hub in front. I could have the dd for speed and regen braking and the geared hub for hills.
Interesting idea, I guess ... kind of complicated. There isn't much weight on the front, but it's very bad to lose traction up there, so you don't want something applying a lot of torque there, especially on an uncertain surface. I use a moderately large direct drive rear hub, on 26" wheel. I don't believe there's any real hill problem at all with this, but I have to admit, there's a weight and drag penalty that makes it no fun at all without power. You can't really tell at this level of detail, you need to look at specific grades and distances, specific loads and the specific motor and voltage to know what's going to work and what's going to fail - and I might be wrong, but I think there would be very big extra credit for figuring that out with two different motors in tandem. I guess you could look at the torque curve and guess at a for-working-purposes load split between the two, something like that.

There are people who ride recumbents in all kinds of terrain, but they really are most at home on the road. All the assets turn into liabilities off pavement. Given the problems flying this stuff to the islands, you might consider leaving the touring bike behind, or what's let of it after the cross country trip. Though from what I remember of the route between towns on Kauai, that's some serious road riding there.

When I was tracking down a Burley Limbo I could use for this, someone in the Bay area was selling one with a crank drive, and the battery apparently mounted on the steering mast. It doesn't make sense to me, but I didn't inquire. People do put them on recumbent tricycles, a similar configuration.

The weight is on the rear wheel. I started with my old Ryan Vanguard - then got the Limbo with rear suspension, and that's a lot better. I love riding the Ryan on its own, but not with a motor. On a recumbent with a motor, I would insist on rear suspension. That reduces the already slim choices to practically nothing. There are a few recumbents in current production with suspension, but I believe they're all short wheelbase. [ Or that tandem conversion, linked to above, which moves the rear wheel and centers the load better; I can't guess how that feels to ride, but the shock won't be as bad. ] I love riding a recumbent bicycle, but high variability and low availability means it may take a couple years and a couple bike acquisitions to zero in on something that works for you.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 11:32am

wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 10:24am
I haven't had a chance to read any more than the first half of your thread. It made me immediately think of this bike. If I were going on such a long tour, I'd be seriously considering somthing like what this fellow did.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=78828

Also consider extending a regular bike frame using an Xtracycle. Justin went across Canada on such a thing.
Nice ride! I like the idea of converting a tandem to a cargo. I'm currently thinking about pulling a kids trailer instead of loading up my bike.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 11:56am

donn wrote:
May 26 2019 10:32am
kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 8:39am
In general it looks like a mid drive would be difficult to install on a recumbent. I read about a two motor setup with a geared hub in back and a dd hub in front. I could have the dd for speed and regen braking and the geared hub for hills.
Interesting idea, I guess ... kind of complicated. There isn't much weight on the front, but it's very bad to lose traction up there, so you don't want something applying a lot of torque there, especially on an uncertain surface. I use a moderately large direct drive rear hub, on 26" wheel. I don't believe there's any real hill problem at all with this, but I have to admit, there's a weight and drag penalty that makes it no fun at all without power. You can't really tell at this level of detail, you need to look at specific grades and distances, specific loads and the specific motor and voltage to know what's going to work and what's going to fail - and I might be wrong, but I think there would be very big extra credit for figuring that out with two different motors in tandem. I guess you could look at the torque curve and guess at a for-working-purposes load split between the two, something like that.

There are people who ride recumbents in all kinds of terrain, but they really are most at home on the road. All the assets turn into liabilities off pavement. Given the problems flying this stuff to the islands, you might consider leaving the touring bike behind, or what's let of it after the cross country trip. Though from what I remember of the route between towns on Kauai, that's some serious road riding there.

When I was tracking down a Burley Limbo I could use for this, someone in the Bay area was selling one with a crank drive, and the battery apparently mounted on the steering mast. It doesn't make sense to me, but I didn't inquire. People do put them on recumbent tricycles, a similar configuration.

The weight is on the rear wheel. I started with my old Ryan Vanguard - then got the Limbo with rear suspension, and that's a lot better. I love riding the Ryan on its own, but not with a motor. On a recumbent with a motor, I would insist on rear suspension. That reduces the already slim choices to practically nothing. There are a few recumbents in current production with suspension, but I believe they're all short wheelbase. [ Or that tandem conversion, linked to above, which moves the rear wheel and centers the load better; I can't guess how that feels to ride, but the shock won't be as bad. ] I love riding a recumbent bicycle, but high variability and low availability means it may take a couple years and a couple bike acquisitions to zero in on something that works for you.
Great info! I really don't want to break new ground and make things over complicated. I'm a fan of K.I.S.S. but the be prepared boy scout side of me wants to know all of the options.

I had a feeling that recumbents wouldn't be good for off road.

Your comments about suspension is interesting, I hadn't thought about that on recumbents. On a mountain bike I was looking at a hard tail with front suspension and a thudbuster style post suspension. I haven't spent much time researching recumbents as the idea didn't occur to me until I started this thread. I assume you would of mentioned it but are there any after market suspension I can add such as a front fork and a seat springs kinda thing? I guess that would depend on the type of steering the recumbent has?

Thanks for your great comment!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » May 26 2019 1:21pm

It should be fairly easy to swap in a fork with shocks, but it's a lower priority - the geometry and weight distribution make the front less of an issue (where on a mountain bike, front suspension is more important than rear, I guess.) Rear can be done, there was an after-market bolt-on "Shockster" that has been used, I think primarily on some Tour Easy type designs, sort of makes a floating pair of seatstays. A suspended seat is an interesting idea, but not a full solution, unless maybe you hang your luggage on the seat too.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 1:55pm

donn wrote:
May 26 2019 1:21pm
It should be fairly easy to swap in a fork with shocks, but it's a lower priority - the geometry and weight distribution make the front less of an issue (where on a mountain bike, front suspension is more important than rear, I guess.) Rear can be done, there was an after-market bolt-on "Shockster" that has been used, I think primarily on some Tour Easy type designs, sort of makes a floating pair of seatstays. A suspended seat is an interesting idea, but not a full solution, unless maybe you hang your luggage on the seat too.
Good to know about the Shockster. I'm currently thinking about pulling a trailer instead of loading the bike down. In lieu of suspension what do you think of fat tires for comfort?

In a perfect world I could afford one of these https://www.backcountryecycles.com/coll ... ntain-bike

Just found this https://youtu.be/rfwI5fSg7ek I'll be carrying a sleeping pad anyway.
Last edited by kauaicycler on May 26 2019 2:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » May 26 2019 2:03pm

Your research has gone beyond my experience. For what it's worth, I believe Lightfoot is well thought of. On fat tires, they're popular in the electric motor world, but my guess is more in urban situations. Where it's a long way to the next charge, the cost in rolling resistance might be too much. Of course my 1.75 Marathon Plus might be a fat tire to some, but I'm talking about really fat.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 26 2019 2:10pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 11:32am
wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 10:24am
I haven't had a chance to read any more than the first half of your thread. It made me immediately think of this bike. If I were going on such a long tour, I'd be seriously considering somthing like what this fellow did.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=78828

Also consider extending a regular bike frame using an Xtracycle. Justin went across Canada on such a thing.
Nice ride! I like the idea of converting a tandem to a cargo. I'm currently thinking about pulling a kids trailer instead of loading up my bike.
I suggest reading the posts made by the guy with the converted tandem to get an idea of how it works in real life. I'd also suggest reading Justin's and just about anybody else's posts who have ridden on long treks. i think it informs as to what really matters.
"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 kauaicycler » May 26 2019 2:16pm

donn wrote:
May 26 2019 2:03pm
Your research has gone beyond my experience. For what it's worth, I believe Lightfoot is well thought of. On fat tires, they're popular in the electric motor world, but my guess is more in urban situations. Where it's a long way to the next charge, the cost in rolling resistance might be too much. Of course my 1.75 Marathon Plus might be a fat tire to some, but I'm talking about really fat.
Just found this https://youtu.be/rfwI5fSg7ek I'll be carrying a sleeping pad anyway.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 26 2019 2:24pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 9:08am


I'm kinda leaning towards a recumbent pulling a kids trailer instead of loading my bike up. Seeing as I haven't ridden one yet, I haven't decided. As far as cargo bikes go they seem to be hard to find and expensive but I did find this https://www.electricbike.com/mongoose-envoy-cargobike/. It looks promising but I don't think it's available here in the US yet.

If I do go the recumbent route I think a hub motor (or two) would be better then a mid drive. I'm curious why you recommended the MAC in particular and hub drives in general.

Thanks!
If I went with a longtail like in the link you posted, I'd consider using a StokeMonkey as a motor or rolling my own pseudo stoke monkey wish some other (probably direct drive) hub motor.

Image

Note: with long frames where you are seated toward the middle of the bike have less need for suspension due to frame flex and because being the leverage from being away from the wheel reduces the vertical shock that gets to you.

Also, if you want to to DIY, there are lots of articles and videos on the web that show various ways for extending a standard mountain bike frame so that it is either a longtail and/or cargo bike.
"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 kauaicycler » May 26 2019 2:25pm

wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 2:10pm
kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 11:32am
wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 10:24am
I haven't had a chance to read any more than the first half of your thread. It made me immediately think of this bike. If I were going on such a long tour, I'd be seriously considering somthing like what this fellow did.

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=78828

Also consider extending a regular bike frame using an Xtracycle. Justin went across Canada on such a thing.
Nice ride! I like the idea of converting a tandem to a cargo. I'm currently thinking about pulling a kids trailer instead of loading up my bike.
I suggest reading the posts made by the guy with the converted tandem to get an idea of how it works in real life. I'd also suggest reading Justin's and just about anybody else's posts who have ridden on long treks. i think it informs as to what really matters.
I don't think I'll be converting a tandem, I think it's a great idea but it looks like more work then I'm willing to do and for me it's probably overkill. I only saw one of Justin's posts about his treks, I'll look for more. I've seen a few others touring blogs but most of them are for bikes, although a lot of the advice is still relevant. I currently like the idea of a kids trailer vs panniers but any bike I get is going to need to be able to add panniers later so I can change my mind.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 26 2019 2:31pm

wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 2:24pm
kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 9:08am


I'm kinda leaning towards a recumbent pulling a kids trailer instead of loading my bike up. Seeing as I haven't ridden one yet, I haven't decided. As far as cargo bikes go they seem to be hard to find and expensive but I did find this https://www.electricbike.com/mongoose-envoy-cargobike/. It looks promising but I don't think it's available here in the US yet.

If I do go the recumbent route I think a hub motor (or two) would be better then a mid drive. I'm curious why you recommended the MAC in particular and hub drives in general.

Thanks!
If I went with a longtail like in the link you posted, I'd consider using a StokeMonkey as a motor or rolling my own pseudo stoke monkey wish some other (probably direct drive) hub motor.

Image

Note: with long frames where you are seated toward the middle of the bike have less need for suspension due to frame flex and because being the leverage from being away from the wheel reduces the vertical shock that gets to you.

Also, if you want to to DIY, there are lots of articles and videos on the web that show various ways for extending a standard mountain bike frame so that it is either a longtail and/or cargo bike.
Thanks for explaining why a long frame is desirable for touring. I haven't decided on a cargo vs s recumbent yet. It will depend on what's available when I start this project in a couple of months.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 26 2019 2:43pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 26 2019 2:31pm

Thanks for explaining why a long frame is desirable for touring. I haven't decided on a cargo vs s recumbent yet. It will depend on what's available when I start this project in a couple of months.
Here's the thread about Justin's journey.

viewtopic.php?t=5652

His bike is fairly unique in that he converted a conventional bike to a cargo bike with an Xtracycle but then made the seat more like a recumbent. I'm not suggesting this is the way to go, but it might be good food for thought.
"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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