EZip Trailz 1600-43,000 mile - 1-10 Year Report

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DrkAngel
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EZip Trailz 1600-43,000 mile - 1-10 Year Report

Post by DrkAngel » Dec 18, 2010 9:55 am

This is a compilation of 4 previous reports:
500 mile report
700 mile report
1000 mile report
1600 mile report

500 Mile report - 2008

I purchased my first E-Zip mountain bike 3 months ago from Walmart.com, $349 plus tax, shipping included, to local store. 1/2 to 1/4 the price of anything else I could find.

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I loved it, used it as an electric bike, used motor only, cruised at 16 - 18 mph on dozens of 3 - 4 mile trips. I always recharged after every trip. 2 hour charge time, with supplied charger. I purchased the optional 4amp charger and reduced recharge time to 1 hour. After 3 months, 2 -3 trips each day, battery capacity has finally degraded enough to make it an "electric assist" bicycle, I have to pedal some to maintain the same speed. Batteries are easily replaceable just haven't felt the need yet. OEM battery pack is pricey at $130, plus $20 shipping, from California.

A few pointers.

1. Sharp edges on the left hand shifting control. Skinned my thumb knuckle. File or sand all sharp edges, emery board works well.

2. Inflate tires to maximum pressure, it arrived with minimum inflation. Higher pressure gives much better speed & distance.

3. Fully charge battery pack. The bike uses "Sealed Lead Acid" battery. This type battery is permanently damaged, (capacity reduced), by deeply discharging, and by leaving in a discharged state. Use pedal more if speed decreases noticeably. Charge often and immediately after each use.

4. Keep an eye on the brakes, keep them adjusted up and check for wear. Slowing down from 18mph at every stop sign etc. takes its toll.

Things they don't tell you!

1. The motor is regulated to 18mph. Faster than 18mph it is all you pedaling, no motor assist, the motor turns but at a speed slower than the wheel.

2. The front brake disengages the electric motor. I found out the hard way, hopped off the bike at a crosswalk and released the left brake, the bike jumped forward, dragging me, because the throttle was partially engaged by my right hand.

3. The ON\OFF switch next to the throttle is not "non-functional" as some have claimed. This switch produces different modes. "ON" is electric bike, full all-time electric power. "OFF" is electric-assist bike, electric power only when pedaling, power assist begins 1 second after pedaling begins and continues 3 seconds after pedaling ends, recommended mode for all but the most lazy. Both modes are regulated by the throttle.

4. The main power switch is located at the rear of the rack, it switches between left & right battery packs, center position is off. Also, there is an auto shut off, if unused the power disables, you have to turn it "off" then back "ON".

Problems:
1. The first problem I noticed was a sloppy kickstand, after a couple hundred uses it seemed loose. When I disassembled it I saw that the detent pin was almost worn through. A couple weeks later it wore completely through and "stand" was useless. Disassembly is easy, highly recommend large "channel lock" Pliers. Press in the bushing-ring around the kickstand, this will relieve the tension holding the retention "pin" underneath the stand, if it doesn't drop out wiggle it out. The pin retains a spring & washer, if still in good shape, lubricate with heavy wheel bearing grease, if bad, drive out pin using nail set or heavy nail. I found a tight replacement pin at local hardware store 3/4" x 3/16" approx. Cutting a 16D common nail should also work.

2. The battery "rack" loosens up. Next time you're at the hardware store buy a small handful of 1/4" "split" lock washers, 2 cents each. Anything that loosens up add one of these and re tighten.

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3. The chain has de-linked 3 times, under "loaded" radical shifting, one side of a link has separated, pressed back together with pliers. Finally replaced with repair link, (Master link), no problems since.

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Will try to keep everyone updated.

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image


700 mile update! - 2008

Battery replacement

After 100++ charge-discharge cycles my batteries have finally given out, noticeably decreased speed after a couple miles. Battery pack comes apart easily, 5 screws, very tightly packed with 2-10ah batteries and several wires. Extreme care must be taken when reassembling pack, wire placement is slightly difficult-tricky, many wires and very little room. The most annoying problem was that the wire connectors were also soldered to the battery terminals, required a very powerful soldering iron and see-saw tension to remove. Being this late in the season I decided to take the cheap way out and replace with the cheap, and easily available 12v 7ah batteries. $30 for a pair, shipping included. Installed easily, lots of room, almost an inch shorter than the 10ah batteries. Top speed is slightly less, about 15-16mph on the level with a 200 pounder on-board, no pedaling, but worth it, for the price.

Over the winter I plan on proper maintenance and upgrades.
1. Proper 10ah battery replacement.
2. Alternate 36 volt power supply. 3 thin 12v 10ah batteries secured inside the frame and connected to the terminals in the second battery pack slot. That way I'll be able to switch between legal 18mph mode and "'illegal", if I get caught, 36v 27mph mode.
3. All bearing, chain and motor lubrication.
4. If I get ambitious, Quality rear tire w/puncture resistant tube.
5. New front wheel with quality disk brake.

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image


1000 mile report - update

Finally hit the 1000 mile mark. Just in time, the cold & snow has settled into upstate New York. Time to hang up my bike till spring. No complaints except that I found out that @ 25 mph snowflakes hurt when they hit your eyeballs.

My major update, since my 700 mile update, is that I upgraded to 36 volt. All my reports use a carefully calibrated speedometer, tires inflated to maximum pressure (65 lb.+) and reflect a 200 lb. rider. The OEM 24v configuration motivated me at approximately 16 mph, 36v approx. 23 mph.

36 volt upgrade

Before committing to 36v I had to test, of course. My major concerns were flexibility and simplicity.

My first testbed:
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I found a toolbox that fit 3 12v 11ah batteries perfectly, Home Depot $5.99, yes, added a fusible link, for safety:
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Keeping flexibility as my main priority I staged refinements:
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36 volt benefits!

1. Love the speed increase!

2. Love the range increase, almost 50% further per charge.


36 volt detractions!

(2010 Note! Newer models require "controller" upgrade, for 36v")

1. Gearing prevents pedaling at much past 20 mph, the electric assist bike becomes a electric bike, pedals are only usable for getting started, partial throttle or going up steep hills.

2. The bike seemed to produce a worrisome noise, a harmonic oscillation at about 21 - 22 mph, sounds fine at slower and faster. Either it diminished or I got used to it, don't notice it now.

3. Exceeding 20 mph, without pedaling, violates the federal guidelines defining a, "bicycle", making it a motorized vehicle. I've considered installing a "set screw" regulating the throttle to the "legal" 20 mph.

4. 3 SLA batteries mounted on the rack make it "top heavy". I'm experimenting with alternate battery placement, much better weight balance.

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Making plans for next spring, will keep you informed.

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image


E-Zip 1600 mile report-update EZIP - 2009

Sorry, ... planned on making a 1500 mile report, but the weather has been too nice.

Background:


Purchased E-Zip Mountain Trailz in June of 2008.
Replaced batteries near 500 mile mark.
Went to 36 volt near 700 mile mark.
Approximately 1000 mile mark, replaced Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries with "home-made" Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery pack.
All statistics are based on a 200lb rider and tires at maximum 65lbs pressure.


Began this spring near the 1000 mile mark. Getting ready for spring I did a complete Lube job, oiled all moving parts and greased the gear-reduction components of the motor.

I'm very happy with the bike. Most impressive would seem to be that I have been running 36 volts, on a 24 volt system, with no modifications, for 900 miles, with no problems! As a rule, I "pedal assist" at startup and "getting up to speed" as well as "help" on hills. Typically, I cruise at near, the legal, 20mph and avoid "full throttle". When I installed a proper voltage meter, I was shocked at the power drain caused by full throttle.


Yes, upon occasion, 25mph+ spurts are necessary for, fun, passing cars, or flying by the, muscle-bound, Spandex-wearing, guy huffing & puffing along on the $1000 mountain bike.

I began experimenting with Li-ion cells during the winter. Purchased a 36-37 volt Li-ion charger, and began charge-discharge diagnostics with a 10.4ah, 40cell, pack. Charging was fairly equal between cells. 10ah, with Li-ion cells, is not sufficient for an E-Zip, had several failures due to both over heating and minimum low voltage reached during heavy throttle. Li-ion cells have protection fuses built-in, non-replaceable. When 1 cell fails, the current demand on the other 3 cells in the bank of cells, increase sharply, causing them to fail. Replaced cells several times.

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Oh ... forgot to mention that I own a small computer shop, piles of "bad" notebook batteries have accumulated over the years, typically 6-8 good cells are salvageable from each battery. Each cell individually tested with special 3.6 volt charger.

I did finally put out the $$$ for a PCB module, (Protect & Charge Board, or similar?), it equalizes charge between cells, hence all the wires, and regulates output, with additional low-voltage cut-off. This module retails for $80 and since I have plenty of batteries I made the module "quick-change", using cables from "bad" computer power supplies.

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Finally decided that the 36v 20.8ah, 80 cell pack was the perfect size, smaller and, almost 1/2 the weight of the stock E-Zip battery pack with 3 times the power. Several test runs give 20 mile + range at 18mph without pedaling, except to start. With moderate pedaling should have range of 30-40 miles.

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I started out using padded cardboard boxes to hold batteries but finally found some padded, water resistant, lunch-cooler bags that work perfectly. (Walmart $4)
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One picture is worth a 1000 words!
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Will "fill-in" this post with more info as I have time, and find pictures.

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Last edited by DrkAngel on Dec 11, 2017 11:27 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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TylerDurden
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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by TylerDurden » Dec 18, 2010 10:37 am

Nice writeup.

Suggest safe LiCo charging practices... esp. clear area of combustibles. LiCo can "vent with flame" if BMS/charger fails to terminate or balance properly. Stuff happens. Search ES and google for "thermal runaway".
Have a Nice Day,

TD

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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by DrkAngel » Dec 18, 2010 11:00 am

Li-ion ... Li-po Danger! ???





Yes, BMS - PCB - PCM highly recommended!
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - November 2015

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

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LI-ghtcycle
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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by LI-ghtcycle » Dec 18, 2010 2:17 pm

Nawwwwwwwwwww .... just wear the same suit Y-Pedal Wears! :mrgreen:

I always wondered why he wore it! :shock: :oops: :P :twisted:
Thank you Justin_Le for your selfless act of kindness! We all are in your debt.
Back on track E-Bronco! Now with Cro Motor Mid-Drive Goodness!
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=44997

Vision R40 w/3000w MXUS as mid-drive, NuVinci N171B rear wheel as transmission, Silent yet powerful, running 72v 11.6 ah (20s 18650 Li-Ion) to climb hills, tow trailer with zero pedaling when needed!

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 28&t=75247[/size]

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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by neptronix » Dec 18, 2010 3:58 pm

bahaha...

That's funny about your bike, i have the same one but it was labeled a mongoose, with a different battery mounting setup and a longer wheelbase. I didn't know that the eZip came in that red-blue design.

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My first major build: 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by maydaverave » Dec 18, 2010 4:25 pm

Nice review. E-zips are surprisingly durable it seems, good to know that the 24v currie motor can last at 36volts as I just put my 36v battery on a ezip 500 scooter.
e-bikekit 50v 9.2ah cellman pack

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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by neptronix » Dec 18, 2010 5:03 pm

DrkAngel wrote:Li-ion ... Li-po Danger! ???



Yes, BMS - PCB - PCM highly recommended!
Nothing beats a LiPo fire for theatrics!!!
I'm shocked that the lipo cell takes over 5 volts before exploding in a violent manner. That is actually quite impressive ( though not necessarily anything that would happen in regular usage )
My first major build: 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The wheelie machine: 20" Rear Magic Pie II on a Trek 4300 MTB

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."- Chinese Proverb

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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by grindz145 » Dec 18, 2010 9:58 pm

Great Report! With a 20Ah 36V pack you're probably OK at only about a 1C discharge rate. A LiMn would be ALOT safer but with a good Battery Management System there's no reason why that won't work out for you. At 1C LiCo will probably only be good for 300 cycle max though, and you'll start to see a performance decrease before that...

I really enjoy seeing how long these things will last and the lineage of an ES Ebike :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: EZip Mountain Trailz 1600 mile - 1Year - Report

Post by DrkAngel » Dec 18, 2010 11:34 pm

More to come, when I have time.

1600 - 8000 mile EZip reports.

Step by step 16T upgrade. W/parts and tools acquisition.
Parts and method of Li-ion salvage and build.
Availability of 11-28T, 11-32T, 11-34T 7spd freewheels.
etc.

And ... Mathematical evidence that faster is safer, bicycle!

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - November 2015

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

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Re: EZip Trailz 43,000 mile - 10 Year - Report

Post by DrkAngel » Dec 10, 2017 11:39 pm

EZip Trailz 43,000+ mile - 10 Year - Report
Been 10 years and 5 various eZips, most still functional!
2008 eZip Mountain Trailz - 3500+ miles retired for spare parts
2008 eZip Mountain Trailz - 6000+ miles "Snow Beast" - Studded tires, geared low x 36V for slogging through snow
2008 eZip Trailz 10,500+ miles, geared for 21mph cruising - w\PA near 25mph
2009 eZip Trailz LS - 12,000+ miles "Comfort Cruiser" (refurbished & new 25.9V 26.4Ah battery) - sold to neighbor
2013 eZip Trailz LS - 11,000+ miles "New Comfort Cruiser"- fendered w\all purpose tires, big comfy low seat and 19mph cruising

Sadly,the eZip line was retired in 2014.
The more deluxe iZip line is still produced but they converted to hub and mid-drive drive-train.
So, gone is the $300-$400 complete eBike.
Good news is, if you are lucky, there are a good supply setting in garages just waiting for a new Lithium battery.

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - November 2015

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki

User avatar
DrkAngel
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Re: EZip Trailz 43,000 mile - 10 Year - Report

Post by DrkAngel » Jan 10, 2018 9:03 am

DrkAngel wrote:
Dec 10, 2017 11:39 pm
EZip Trailz 43,000+ mile - 10 Year - Report
Been 10 years and 5 various eZips, most still functional!
2008 eZip Mountain Trailz - 3500+ miles retired for spare parts
2008 eZip Mountain Trailz - 6000+ miles "Snow Beast" - Studded tires, geared low x 36V for slogging through snow
2008 eZip Trailz 10,500+ miles, geared for 21mph cruising - w\PA near 25mph
2009 eZip Trailz LS - 12,000+ miles "Comfort Cruiser" (refurbished & new 25.9V 26.4Ah battery) - sold to neighbor
2013 eZip Trailz LS - 11,000+ miles "New Comfort Cruiser"- fendered w\all purpose tires, big comfy low seat and 19mph cruising

Sadly,the eZip line was retired in 2014.
The more deluxe iZip line is still produced but they converted to hub and mid-drive drive-train.
So, gone is the $300-$400 complete eBike.
Good news is, if you are lucky, there are a good supply setting in garages just waiting for a new Lithium battery.
Oops! forgot about:
2014 eZip eco-ride 2 - 2000+ miles Deluxe eZip w\alloy frame and hubs, disc capable fork. Fixed every major flaw from previous models. But holes too small for nipples, forcing poor angles at rim and causing SS spokes to break at rim. So, will disassemble and re-drill 4 wheels, (2 eco-ride 2's), 1 rescue bike and 1 like new.

Image EZIP ENGINEERING 101 Image
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely, sobers us again.

I enjoy enlightening ... and enlivening the spirit of the innovators.

New & Improved - Acronym Definitions

Index - Homemade Battery Packs - Updated - November 2015

EBike Toolbox - Bargains! $

Endless Sphere Wiki

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Re: EZip Trailz 1600-43,000 mile - 1-10 Year Report

Post by Paderolis » Jan 10, 2018 3:10 pm

Wow, nice write up! I still have my 2013 model but it's sitting in my back yard. I actually looked it over around Christmas time and didn't notice any rust on it! It has a 36 volt controller too, but it I wound up converting my 2010 Trek 4300 with a YesCom 48V 1000W RHM. The issue with me was, with the 36 volt controller I lost pedal assist, so I had to use the throttle to make the motor work. I would always over push the motor and cause it to shut down. When I had the 24V setup, the motor never shut off but it felt too slow. The 36V felt great, but would shut off. I use pedal assist only on my Trek, the throttle is installed put not plugged in. I can usually do my commute from work comfortably in assist level 2-3 of 5. I'll dial it up to beat a traffic light countdown when necessary. I almost wish I could give you my eZip Trailz, I know you would put it to good use!

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