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My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 03 2010 11:02pm
by Green Machine
After years of waiting for the technology I think it has finally arrived.I have had one brilliant ride after another through San Francisco, climbed many super steep hills, and have gone on many adventures just a month into owning this extreme green machine. Finally an electric vehicle which has fully changed my life. Although expensive i think the bike is worth every penny in the mobility it has afforded me. I have owned many other electric vehicles but nothing comes close to this in functionality and stealth....come to think of it...i have really owned ALOT of small electric vehicles.

My new ebike has been a dream. Thanks to Iliad and Mr. Electric (Nick) for helping me to build what i feel is almost a perfect ebike.

It was a gamble to start with quality downhill mountain bike. I narrowed my search to a classification of bike callled an "all mountain" bike, one step down from a full downhill bike which was designed to take to the top of the mountain on a chairlift. The key is in the front fork RC2 Van which in itself is worth over 1k and the top quality hyrdraulic disc brakes. I bought the bare bike used (no electric) for 2400, two years old in perfect shape, but to buy this bike new it would cost over 5k. Its a highly respected bike, a Turner RFX with high end components. The quality components really make a huge difference. And the total bike weight is the same as Nicks high power cycle which is a much scrawnier frame with only 4 inches of travel. The bike feels really solid...all the shifting and braking just feels perfect....other e-bikes i have rode are squeaky. This bike is silk smooth. I got 5k invested with the bike and the electric...but considering the bike itself would cost 5k new...i feel i skated. Of course i could have bought a motorcycle with this money....but i cannot emphasize the importance of the stealth factor enough..especially riding around in a big city....

The Bike has the 1k bmc with the 50 amp controller, and a lipo4 10ah pack that weighs 10 pounds. I have an extra pack for extra long rides. Sweet extras include a dc-dc converter custom wired by Iliad with an amazing led light system on the front and back which looks molded into the frame. Illiad does amazing work. Other Illiad touches include a cycle analyst modification to limit the controller, a cigarrette plug for charging my iphone, thicker phase wires going to the motor, and a custom wired alarm system (more on taht later) Nick designed a rack which really does a great job of lowering the center of gravity by riding just inches above the rear wheel, and rides along with the rear suspension.

As you can tell i am really Giddy about this bike...What makes the bike so good?

1. 35mph max speed (rarely use it...only when combatting traffic)
2. 30 mile range (maximum)...20 miles average in my conditions.
3. Stealth quiet and appearance (critical for riding EVERYWHERE plus a lot of fun blowing by real cyclists)
4. Super smooth ride (no jankiness here)
5. Ability to park outside of city restaurants and bars without getting stolen (alarm system)
6. Remote seat drop is really nice for when blasting down hills..esp offroad.
7 Full ability to ride offroad in Gnarly conditions. The suspension on this thing truly inspires confidence.
8. Super cool looking dork factor here.
9. Unreal hill climbing abilty...with pedal assist i can climb all but the steepest hills in SF without smoking motor.

Imagine the ability to ride across the golden gate bridge in the bike lane, to blast through at 30 mph golf courses at night, to blaze through the city at night from end to end way faster than i could do in a car. Basically it has made my neighborhood a lot smaller. I go to places on a whim that would normally be an ordeal to drive, pedal or walk. I am planning some crosss country camping trips this summer...etc etc.

This bike is the perfect cross between motorcycle and bicycle. Really i cant imagine it getting much better. To me it is a total vespa / moped replacement. I am really happy with my decision early on to spend the money on a great starter really made all the difference. Illiad and i agree this might be one of the best electric bikes every built. :)

Future upgrades:

1. Fancier motorcycle alarm system with gps tracking and ability to track rides and call me on phone if alarm is activated (more on that later)
2. Dropping the lipo4 for a smaller, lighter, and more powerful lipo....
3. smaller rear pack for even more stealth.
4. More bulletproof bmc motor.

Will Post more pics later if anyone is interested...
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Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 03 2010 11:15pm
by julesa
You get 30 miles range with a 10ah pack? What voltage are you running at?

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 03 2010 11:23pm
by hydro-one
Well Done!!! Its all true! Its a dream!!!! I love my bike too , Its all about everything. . everything has to be just right and bam DREAMTIME.
You got some sweet forx man!!!!! I love my bomber 66rc on rockymountian switch 9c/turnigy60v. Make sure and put some drops of oil on the oil foam ring just inside the top seals on that fork(pry them out with a screwdriver ). Its supposed to be routine maintenence- wish I knew that b4 I damaged the stantion bushing which is lubricated by the sponge. The oil does not get up that high in the legs to oil that bushing!! Watch that and your fork will last a lifetime (of pleasure). do it every 20 hours.

Anyhow congradulations on your real nice build and lifestyle change. , now get out there and show it off!!!!!!!! and convert more people!!!



Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 03 2010 11:24pm
by Green Machine
48 volts...I average more like 20 miles but that is with pedal assisting and riding up many hills and riding pretty fast. (sf is pretty hilly)

So i estimate if i was riding just on flat ground and just pedal assisting a llittle i would easily get 30 miles...but that is just an estimate.

When i go on long rides i take 2 packs...and that will basically get me super far.

According to my cycle analysts, the packs are giving me a full 10ah (even 11 actually).

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 03 2010 11:35pm
by Green Machine
hydro-one wrote:Well Done!!! Its all true! Its a dream!!!! I love my bike too , Its all about everything. . everything has to be just right and bam DREAMTIME.
You got some sweet forx man!!!!! I love my bomber 66rc on rockymountian switch 9c/turnigy60v. Make sure and put some drops of oil on the oil foam ring just inside the top seals on that fork(pry them out with a screwdriver ). Its supposed to be routine maintenence- wish I knew that b4 I damaged the stantion bushing which is lubricated by the sponge. The oil does not get up that high in the legs to oil that bushing!! Watch that and your fork will last a lifetime (of pleasure). do it every 20 hours.

Anyhow congradulations on your real nice build and lifestyle change. , now get out there and show it off!!!!!!!! and convert more people!!!


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the advice and good wishes. Its nice to be around electic enthusiasts again...i use to be pretty active on the V is for Voltage forum..and this new bike has brought me back to life :)

You know my friends and i are all building bikes and its amazing the difference what the quality frame makes. We have built up a 600 dollar base bike, then a 1200 base bike (Nicks bike) and now a 5k base bike...i think there are really good deals around on used mountain bikes and its worth it to spend the money if you have it on the base bike...esp since the elecric components cost so much.

At first when i brought this bike to Illiad we both were kind of just seemed like such a shame to add 20lbs to such a bike...but in the end it was fully worth the gamble. I kept telling myself that you need high end components when going 35mph...even if mostly riding on the street. Turns out it was the right idea....the suspension is soooo plush. And i can go up city curbs no prob without even pulling up the front...the rims are so solid they will take anything (i heard this bike would put up with 10 foot drops) The suspension and hydraulic brakes really make me feels safer...and thats important...even if im not jumping off cliffs.

But then again i am in a love affair with this bike...Nick told me the other night that he likes his bike more....we all just love our bikes :D We are becoming like a motorcyle gang....right now there are 4 high end ebikes in our gang and a fifth one coming.

....and we are getting the word out :)

Here is a pic of 3 bikes on a Kurby Cove in SF....what a dream ride that was...In the pic is Illiad and Nick...this cove is not accesible by car or motorcycle and is a hell of a hike or a pedal...electric bikes make it super accessible....we are planning camping trip there...

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 04 2010 12:41am
by doc007
nice frame you have their!
I was wondering, what type of motor are you running?
Also, have you tried mounting your battery (maybe one) in the the center triangle? It looks like you have a decent amount of space in there. From what I've read this may increase your handling significantly by evening out the weight distribution and lowering the center of gravity.

Again, nice build!! (You might want to link this in the E-bike Photos and Videos section) I look forward to seeing more pics and perhaps some video of that motorized turner in action. Have you taken any drops with it?!

Last but not least, you might be able to get a neat gps alarm system going with a cheap prepaid motorola cell phone. I recall a few years ago seeing a DIY guide to setting this up.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 04 2010 1:01am
by Green Machine
This is a bmc 1000 with a 50amp controller....i really think this is motor of choice because of weight (10lbs), stealth factor (both appearance and silence), plus power and speed.

I know the battery in the triangle is quite the rage, but i am dead set against it because of 3 big factors:

#1 completely ruins it for me once its obvious this is an electric bike..i want this bike to appear to be a regular bike.

#2 appearance...i think it totally ruins the look of the bike to have a battery in the triangle. By the way notice i have the cycle analyst mounted under the seat instead of on the handlebars...and its only there when testing...usually its tucked away in the bag..why? Less wires more stealthiness better appearance....i guess appearance became a priority with this bike because it was so beautiful as a base bike we really didnt want to mess it up...

#3 On full suspension bikes including mine the triangle is really too small for a 10ah battery....and i think having full suspension on a 35mph bike is a real nicety..even rivaling the niceness of a balanced bike :D

I really dont mind the weight in the back..because for the most part i am doing street / hard pack trail riding and it feels fine...especially when i lower my retractable paniards and get the weight near the wheel line (i only do this when running 2 packs) the way the rear bag i am using is the topeak dxp which has retractable side paniards in its side pocket...really sweet. Unless i am riding serious off road stuff i dont see the inbalance in the bike being a big problem..and i am limited on how rough i can ride because i really feel the bmc motor will break if i hit anyting too hard.

The biggest problem i had with the weight imbalance actually was getting on and off the bike...when i kneeled the bike over...boy you could really feel that up high weight....I alleviated this by lowering the rack right above the rear wheel (it rides with the rear suspension)....those extra inches really helped with the "feel" of the bike when riding as well. Also to make getting on the bike even easier...i invested in a gravity dropper seat post so that i can quickly with the click of a lever drop the seat all the way with those two additions getting on the bike is not as annoying.

So my strategy to deal with the weight in the back is to simply lessen the weight...i am working on sourcing a 6.5 pound lithium ion battery instead of the lipo4....i know it is not as safe etc...but lessening the weight takes priority.

Did i mention stealth should be of utmost importance? if stealth wasnt important i would go with an electric motorcycle.

I like the idea of the motorola phone alarm system :) I just did a new thread on my research into alarm systems ... =3&t=17424

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 04 2010 6:35am
by dogman dan
VERY NICE BIKE! I finally had the blinders taken off my eyes when I finally got a good FS mtb last year. Not in the class of your bike, but to me real suspension was a real eye opener after cheap mongoose bikes. After getting a better bike for trail riding this year, the other mtb became avaliable for my electric commuter. Viva la difference a real frame made on the handling, even for just street riding. For starters, carrying up to 50 pounds on my rear panniers is not a big deal with a truly strong frame. Yesterday I was descending a steep mountian road full of hairpins at full speed easily with 30 pounds of battery and another 20 of water and tool kit aboard. So don't get bugged out about the guys insisting on a triangle mount battery. I doubt you even feel 10-15 pounds back there on a good bike. You'd have entirely different handling on some average bike.

Stealth matters. Not so much to me, because of where I live, but looking like a regular bike has huge advantages. A rear gearmotor is just about the ultimate in stealth. It just hides there between the cluster and the disk.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 04 2010 11:02am
by Green Machine
Nice point about the fake manufacturers claim.

Just edited my first post as to your recommendation.

30 miles maximum range ( i have never tested but i am sure this is possible)

20 mile average range with the conditions i ride in.

I almost always get 2 miles per amp hour.

I pedal assist a lot. But it is also very hilly here..and i ride pretty fast and i like to jump off road whenever there are a lot of factors.

I guess i would never have the patience to really test the range riding 17mph without pedaling through 30 miles of flats...but i estimate with some pedaling the battery could do it...but i am just estimating.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 04 2010 12:11pm
by dogman dan
Estimates are Er, guesstimates. Prove yer 30 mile range. We can be mean here at times. This aint the V.

15 miles at 30 mph is believable. Any range statement without the qualifying speed at, is meaningless.

If you meant 30 miles at 17 mph, then yeah, you should see at least that if you ever do the test. Half the reason you see all my threads in the review section was that so many false or vague claims were made by both retailers and owners. If I say I go 25 miles at 25 mph, it's because I did it. And repeated it.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 09 2010 8:16pm
by dandell1115
Your bike is awesome. Can you tell me the model and inside dimensions of the Topeak bag? I would like to get one for my Headway 48V10AH battery. It is 12.5x6.2x5.5" with the PCM attached, or 12.5x6.2x3.3 without it. I see you have a switch installed on it. Is this for the battery or the alarm system? Did you put holes in the bag for the wires, or just go through the zippers? Thanks.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 09 2010 10:24pm
by Green Machine
The bag is a topeak mtx can get if for like 70 bucks online. It is an amazing bag...but you need a rack that can support the side panniers.

Illia of sf cycles did a bang up job on the customization of this bag...i cant say enough...

A picture is worth a bunch of let me document this bag...first there are two switches:
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The top switch is the on and off switch for the bike.

The bottom switch is connected to the dc/dc converter. IT has 3 positions. The center position is off, the down position is lights on accessories on, the up position is lights off, accessories on. The accessories are the 12 volt jack (iphone charger) and the alarm. The alarm has a back up battery so having the switch on the outside is not a security fact flicking one of those switches while the alarm is active, will set off the alarm.

Here is a glance at the 2 plastic boxes inside the bag containing the dc/dc convertor and the alarm:
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You see the extra wires of the controller under the bicycle seat, the controller is on the top of the bag for cooling (in this pick top of bag is peeled back with battery thats my wallet at bottom.The two plastic boxes you see contain dc/dc converter and alarm.

Here is a pic of the bike with the bag so that you can see how i got the 50 amp controller installed:
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Here is with side pannier open..this pannier is huge...enough to fit a battery and a six pack... :D notice green pedals and green crank sticker.
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Its worthy to note that in this configuration you see here i call the "dirty configuration" because the CA is on the handlebars..when in my clean configuration, the CA is quickly unscrewed from the handlebars and is tucked away in this side pannier in an inner pocket.

Here is a pic of that compartment which you can see the 12v charging port:
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View from bike in "clean wires or CA! Notice the green xo carbon shifters, and avid elixir carbon brakes....yowsers. The lever on the right above the shifters is the seat drop lever...with that lever i drop 4 inches for high speed riding and comfort.
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Back to the bag...Here is 10lb lipo4 battery in bag...note the extra long connector cable..this is highly recommended since the wire slack inside the cable doesnt hurt you and makes switching out battery a cinch.
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By the way the lighting system on this bike is simply monstrous...4 super bright leds..about a thousand lumens each...when this bike rides at night its really something (i ride at night off road a lot)
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Here is a shot of led lights when turned off...they blend with frame and you barely notice them:
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One thing i should mention is the entire pack has a quick disconnect...great for parking bike you can take battery with you.

I have my bag permanently mounted because of the alarm system...also it gave me the "clean" stealthy look i was looking for since wires and controller are permanently attached and hidden within bag.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 09 2010 11:11pm
by Drunkskunk
Really Nice Bike.

I've found DH make really good Ebikes. The geometry, better brakes, and long travel suspension handle the extra weight and speed better. I've been riding a Kona DH for a couple years now and it's never let me down. Its nice to have a bike more capable than I am. With my first bike, I would have to avoid some areas or situations because the bike couldn't handle it. but with a DH, the limiting factor is often my own capabilities, not the bikes.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 12:20am
by doc007
interesting set-up. Can you provide some more details on your light set-up? Is it drilled into the frame?

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 12:38am
by Green Machine
]Lights are on a custom bracket made by Ilia that is screwed into the frame where the bike's "turner" logo was screwed in no new screw holes. We started with one looked super clean and was pretty bright...I then decided to go with 4 because i do a lot of night drawback to the lights is they have no lens so they are not very focused...with 4 lights i can ride a darkened trail at night no problem...with 1 it was a little "shady"...4 lights is a little over the top...super super bright...but the effect this bike has whizzing through sf streets silently at night...its like a ufo...

There is also a single LED light wired to the back of topeak bag ...this light is standard red tail light fixture...ilia just removed the guts of the thing and placed the bright led..the bike glows red from the back.

The best part of the light system is it is as close as built into the frame as we could external light fixture to take from the look of the bike or to be stolen when parked and locked (w alarm set)

Here is the bike before it got the 4 light upgrade with a single LED:
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Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 5:30am
by dogman dan
Despite my razzing you about range, I continue to be very impressed with how well put together the whole bike is. No detail too small for you to have improved.

Again, that's really nice work there! :D :D :D :D

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 10:18am
by Green Machine
dogman wrote:Despite my razzing you about range, I continue to be very impressed with how well put together the whole bike is. No detail too small for you to have improved.

Again, that's really nice work there! :D :D :D :D
Thanks Dogman...from you that is pretty big.

I really appreciate your tip on the source for the 11 tooth freewheel for the back...

By the way recent upgrades since the first post about this bike and the marin headlands ride include:

1. 48 tooth front ring sprocket for higher gearing. This improved the higher gears a lot but it is still not high is still difficult to pedal assist this bike at 35 mph. Since the bike is totally stealth, and i live in a city full of bicycle riders...its one of the greatest thrills to pass spandex clad racing bike riders silently, and PEDALING LIKE fact i am trying to get in shape so at top speed i always am pedal assisting this bike. So future upgrades include either an even larger front sprocket ring (52 teeth) or a 11 tooth rear freewheel which dogman pointed out can be bought at ebikes-ca. For sure i am doing 11 tooth rear, and might do 52 teeth in front if that is not enough.

2. avid elixir carbon hydraulic brakes. I am planning to write a review on these brakes. I noticed right away at the speeds i ride hydraulic brakes are a real need rather than a nicety. I had good hydraulic brakes before (avid juicy 7s) but its amazing how much of a difference i feel between theses two brake set ups. I can lock either wheel with one finger at any speed...most importantly the modulation on these new breaks is a big improvement. They feel like motorcycle brakes. And finally they dont sqeak like the juicy 7s are notororious for. Plus the carbon on these looks super cool and black.

3. Carbon sram xo shifters...i liked these because they are a perfect shade of green and they have a real nice ratchety feel.

4. Longer chain...this was a used bike and the previous owner had a chain on it that was 3 inches too short that really screwed up the shifting. Now it shifts like butter.

5.Gravitydropper seat is so nice to be able to drop the seat for getting on and off the bike, and depending on how hard i am pedaling or going down hill, it is super sweet to drop down into a lower profile. I should right a review on this..since this alone really improves the ebike experience for a little bit of $.

5. Numerous wiring upgrades that Illia did, documented in my previous posts...a lot of detailed work that even with a camera is hard to document. Most of it was just like hiding the wires for all those LED lights etc, running the wires from the motor so that you dont see it...a lot of time was spent just on hiding all wires outside of the bag. Lengthened ca wire so it now can sit on handlebars when on testing mode (it was not easy/safe to see CA riding at high speed when it was mounted under seat)

There are future upgrades coming in the next few weeks....but i am really nit picking because riding this bike is getting pretty close to "perfect"....i feel really lucky when i ride it...and i ride it nearly daily so i pretty much glow lucky all the time :)

1. Top of the line scorpio rlink alarm system. I will be one of the first 10 people in the country to receive this brand new system..and am talking with the technicians at the company, apparently the owner of the company is really excited to see one of these systems used on an ebike. I should have it next week and will document. This will really improve the functionality of the bike.

2. HIgher mention before. I think pedaling an ebike like this is a must for "street credibility", for stealth, and for getting in shape. I like to treat the electric components as just a way i can ride much faster, but i still like to pedal this thing like a bike. I want the gearing to be perfect.

3. painting controller black...right now controller is one of few eye soars on this bike as it sits silver.

4. Lighter and smaller LIPO pack...on the way. I cant wait. 6.7 pounds and 6x6x2, and twice the amperage of old battery. I have decided to keep the battery in rear pack, and just get the lightest weighted pack i can find....i am totally fine with the rear mounted battery...stealth stealth stealth.

5. Kickstand...not having a kickstand at times is a real bitch. I am looking at a fold up stand for the bike that tucks away in bag when not in use...i think putting a regular kickstand on a bike like this would be a sin...but it really needs something. You can tell by earlier photographs how hard it is just to photo this thing without some kind of stand. Oh and i ordered a parking stand for around the house and for photoing :)

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 10:56am
by Green Machine
Forgot to mention one more upgrade :)

We realized the other night we need some kind of skiing goggles. Riding at the speeds we are riding at our eyes get bugs in them and get irritated...especially when riding through golden gate park at night.

So i am in the market for some kind of goggles.

Having beers last night (after a phenomenal blast through the golden gate park on off road trails), we figured out we might be inventing some kind of new sport...because since when does a cyclist have the need for goggles? And we really need goggles...we are seeing the golden gate park like i am sure it has never been experienced pretty good speeds and at night...if we were on motorcycles we would be in jail by now.

We are really having a lot of fun on these bikes...and there is another bike on the way (my friend is having Illia build)....

Nearly every one of my friends who has heard my stories (riding to the top of Mount Tam and back to my house etc) and ridden my bike wants matter what it costs it changes your life so much here in the city you have to have one..way better (and cheaper) than motorcycle the way we ride em...we have 4 bmc powered bikes in my neighborhood right now..and your not going to believe this new bike... here is the starting bike:
8 inches of travel (mine only has 6) xo components, juicy 7 hydraulic brakes, low profile (the bike has low center of gravity), way more comfortable for some reason than my bike, super plush suspension (we ride them at the plushest settings), and all this and it only weighs as a starting bike 37 pounds ( mine weighed around 33 pounds) all that extra suspension etc only costs 4 pounds. Oh and it has huge rims big enough for 3 inch wide tires...this thing is going to be amazing. Price for starting bike 3k used on ebay...a bargain...the previous owner had 7k into this thing and its just 3 years buy just the frame on this bike right now is 2.7k....i have convinced all my friends is the key is to starting with a great bike...and great bikes can be gotten now for super cheap cuz of economy.

Ilia is excited about this new bike...we are having some fun on it just as a bike...we no longer have the guilt complexes of "ruining" such a nice bike...because of the experiment that paid off on my bike of starting with high end downhill bike...we are upping the ante...and there is no doubt to any of us this new bike as an electric is going to be the shiat...with every bike build we are learning more and getting better. Even Iliad is thinking of getting high end downhill bike now...and he is usually big extracycle thinking guy... The way we ride, at the speeds we ride it is not wasted to start with top end bike...we know that now for sure...stay tuned for bike #5...

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 4:10pm
by dbackmtb
That Ellsworth is cool but I much prefer your bike for stealth factor. That Ellsworth is too Optibikeish certain to draw attention. EGM, how is your rack attached near the axle?

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 4:44pm
by doc007
extremegreenmachine wrote:Forgot to mention one more upgrade :)

We realized the other night we need some kind of skiing goggles.

here is the starting bike:
...stay tuned for bike #5...
Thanks for the details on the lighting. That's some slick wiring!

As for the goggles you might want to consider motocross goggles. They might provide a little better ventilation in the heat than ski goggles. A forum member "GCinDC" uses a set and swears by the goggles. He might have some suggestions on what to look for if you are in the market.

As for the Ellesworth. That is a sweet bike! If you could post pics of the build process, that would be AWESOME!

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 10 2010 5:37pm
by dogman dan
I know what you mean about goggles. I wear coke bottle bottom prescription glasses, so I go for a small lens. This then sucks for windy activities.

At night, I put cheapie clear safety glasses on over the spectacles. They have the wrap around feature you need, but still fit over the specs. In daylight, I often wear a pair of mountianeering glasses. The kind with the leather side pieces, and lots of UV filter. Julbo's is the brand I'm wearing, and boy are they great riding glasses. Ski goggles are only an option in winter, just way way way too hot to wear them while it's over 100F here.

Anyway, there are some nice relatively cheap wrap around safety glasses for those without spectacles allready. Designed for keeping the sawdust and metal shavings out of your eyes, they work good for riding motorcycles and such. Cheap enough to abuse.

On the gearing, 48-11 ought to get you pretty comfy pedaling at 30, and with a fast cadence, to 35 mph. My commuter now has 46-11, and it's just right at 28 mph or so.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 11 2010 12:13am
by Drunkskunk
Ditto on the Safety glasses for night riding. I discovered the need for them on my old MG rodester. it had a windscreen only 3 inches tall, so I needed some kind of eye protection at night. The cops frowned on my sunglasses at 2 A.M. :twisted: I tried goggles and other a few other things, but the kind of shop safety glasses that look like clear sunglasses and wrap around the sides worked best.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 11 2010 10:07am
by Green Machine
Someone asked about the rack...i am glad you asked cuz i forgot to mention this. The rack system i am really happy with. This was a mr.electric innovation that he also did on his full suspension bike, and it is close to an ideal set up. Before this mod I had an arm that extended from the seat post..high-power cycles style. IT really really sucked. I think this is how the trend for triangle batteries started which i am against because of the ugly non stealth look. The pack extended from the seatpost was way too high, and even then would occasionally rub on the rear tire when the rear suspension contracted, and was not an ideal set up because of my side paniers. Mostly the center of gravity was way too high...a real bitch to get on and off the bike, and you could feel the pack when you rode, and it was what we call "Jankey"...meaning it made a lot of noise and looked could see the controller on the bottem was fighting "Jankiness" that made this bike turn out so good by the way...Jankey is a bad thing in an electric bike. On a starting bike this expensive..any type of squeaking or rattling or rubbing does no justice to the bike...also any ugly decisions and the bike is ruined..for example LED turn signals and a handlebar switch and literally cyclists would get mad that we did that to a "Turner"....names like turner and ellsworth are almost sacred in the mountain bike world. They are some of the last USA made great frames and have real credence to real bikers...that makes it extra important that we disguise what we have done to these bikes.

So what we ended up doing is buying a standard explorer topeak rack and modifying it a little bit. We changed a few screws to be longer to screw in the rack above the drop outs, and then made a bracket out of sheet metal to attach the rack higher up on the rear suspension. SO basically the rack rides an inch above the tire, and bounces with the rear suspension tighlty. This is ideal. The center is gravity is way lower. The explorer rack is made for side panniers so it works real gives my bike a touring look which took the hard edge off the downhill mtb look, and it doesnt even make noise or rub when i go off curbs etc. It is a really solid set up, and can even carry two batter packs (20+ pounds) with no problems. I have had over 30 pounds on this rack before with no problem. The old rack would slip around and was an overall nuisance once you even put 20lbs in it...i dont know how why high-power cycles uses that set up. Also this set up works better than a rack we tried made for full suspension bikes which was Jankey as hell...this design is simple and effective.

Here is a pic of how we attached the bottom of the rack...the little silver locking bolt is what is holding it on...dont let the wire coming out of the axle confuse you..thats the power to the hub motor wires but we well disguised it so well it looks like part of the metal of the rack...and that was the full intention. You can barely see it, but on the outside of the rack there are two tubes that run to nowhere..on both sides of the lock bolt. That is simply the mounting point for the bottom of the makes activating the panniers a 15 second non hassle job...super sweet.
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In this next photo you can see the top bracket we made which is white. It is up high on the silver triangle, right before it attaches to the black swingarm going to the suspension. Actually in this photo you can see both mounting points. You can also see the marathon supreme tires (forgot to mention those)..Also notice how the rack makes it possible to totally disguise the wires feeding into the motor...the wires are wrapped together in a black rap and are well disguised with the rack straight up and into the topeak bag up disguised as we could get em...
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Finally here is a picture of the entire bike so you can see how the rack actually adds to the look of the bike. Without the rack, the bike looks a little bit too hard core..booming down mountains image. I had a lady stop on the sidewalk one day when my bike was just a bike and said my bike looked "fierce". I think with the bag it softens the bike a bit...makes it look more like a city/touring bike. The bike still looks bad ass...but a softer bad ass...which is good.

One of the key design ideas on the Ellsworth is we are going to use a much smaller bag...a topeak bag identical to design of mine but half the size. We can use this bag because of the new smaller lipo batteries....I might switch to that bag as well, just because it is so small it us much more stealth and sleek looking:
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Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 11 2010 1:38pm
by dogman dan
It depends on whether you want the weight sprung or unsprung. Raging debates happen on that subject.

Here's how I did sprung weight. Yes, the braces I put on the rack are jankey, but thats just New Mexico style here. But it does carry 50 pounds reasonably well. Axxiom seatpost pannier rack, with braces to the seatpost bottom. It does make the seat height permanent. I works ok only because the frame itself is so strong.
Axxiom pannier rack and supports.jpg
Axxiom pannier rack and supports.jpg (106.2 KiB) Viewed 3364 times
If I hit a big enough bump, I do get a bit of a rub on the rubber fender attacthed to the supporting tubes. This is a street bike now, so it only happens if I fly off curbs. Not worth raising it another inch to eliminate it. Heavy stuff carries in the side panniers. 15 pound ping in the box on top.

Re: My Dream Bike

Posted: Apr 11 2010 1:55pm
by Green Machine
I agree jankey is ok if your just riding on the street.

Hey dogman..that tool box looks like it weighs as much as my entire new lip pack(6.5 pounds) :D Why not do a leather sac or something? You know now that ping aint catching on fire.

Can anyone give me an example of a nice sprung rack for off road riding?

Does sprung mean it has some kind of shock installed? Because we were thinking of installing some kind of spring on the custom rack we are cnc ing for the Ellsworth..