CroBorg Super Commuter

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
cwah   10 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by cwah » Dec 01 2013 12:19am

Do people realise you have an electric bike?

What is your max speed?
Help me find my stolen electric brompton: http://bit.ly/1a0vbBC and Bosch Sinus B3 http://bit.ly/1eV0WQz

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 01 2013 12:24am

I generally keep the speed down to about 20-25.

It is hard to know what folks think. But when you are going up a steep grade at 20 they probably know something's up. This is a commuting machine, not a stealth bike. I've had CHP look it over carefully (motorcycle officer), but they just keep going.
Last edited by Alan B on Jan 20 2015 8:09am, edited 1 time in total.

cwah   10 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by cwah » Dec 01 2013 5:19am

I've noticed for my brompton a very strong difference between this set up:
Image

and this one:
Image

This first one is a VERY stealthy one. Most people don't notice it's electric until I use the motor. The second one is NOT stealthy at all, even with all light off and not using the motor, people immediately say something like "oh, an electric bike"

In both case, when I run at 30mph, of course they know something's wrong :mrgreen:

Was wondering if people were in the first or second case lol
Help me find my stolen electric brompton: http://bit.ly/1a0vbBC and Bosch Sinus B3 http://bit.ly/1eV0WQz

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 01 2013 8:01am

Image

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 02 2013 8:03pm

Balance Charged

It has been a long time, possibly more than a year since I balance charged the Borg pack. I bulk charge at home at 2 amps, and at work I bulk charge each 6S 25V section at 12 amps using three of the LED lighting CCCV supplies. So it is still bulk, but 6S in each string instead of 18S in one string.

A few days ago I first bulk charged to just over 4.0 volts. Then today the BC168 was set to 4.1V and 1.5A and run three times to finish off each section of the 18S 20AH pack. There was some variation, up to 400 mAH. So this is 0.4/20 or 2% imbalance. That is from the high to the low, most cell banks were about equal in the middle, so the effect on total pack capacity is about half that or 1%. So if things were juggled properly I might gain 1% total pack capacity. I think I'll leave well enough alone!

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 04 2013 1:14pm

Seven weeks from the fall, and the left foot is still not full strength. Must have done some real damage to the tendons. It is doing better than it was, for certain, but it still has twinges and weak moments.

Keep the rubber side down guys and gals, and wear good boots. Armor up!

The chain is not working well. it wants to derail often. Need to work on that Surly Singulator I bought awhile back and decide how to mount it. Stevil has some ideas, I need to do more research to see what will work. I have very short threads on the motor axle, just enough for the nut with the washers I'm already running.

It is cold and dark early, not the most fun for riding. Need to work on better lighting. Designed a new regulator that would allow running my vest from the main battery, avoiding the annoying second battery and charging, etc.

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =2&t=55700

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 17 2013 1:49pm

Another Great Day in the Saddle

It is good to ride again. Excellent. This is the first commute run I've made since the slip some 9 weeks ago today (Oct 15). Anyway, the weather has warmed up a bit, and today I tried out the Tourmaster jacket and pants and Bilt Tempest H2O motorcycle boots. It was nice to ride, today there was a lot of traffic, and a medical emergency that clogged the highway but didn't slow me much. I was a bit startled when a police car fired up siren and lights just some yards behind me, but he was responding to the emergency ahead, not interested in me. Though I was quite interested in all the cars diving into my bike lane to get out of his way. :) My private bike lane. No other bikes today. There are very few this time of year serious enough to commute in the morning.

The batteries seemed a bit less energetic than usual, probably the cold. They have been resting for weeks, maybe they need some exercise. The chain stayed on, but I really should improve the tension by figuring out a mount for the Surly Singulator. Stevil gave me some ideas, I need to look at what will work for this bike.

I could pedal fairly well in the motorcycle boots. I may be too warm in this suit but there are removable liners that should both reduce the heat buildup and give me more room, but right now it is cold enough that the liners were probably needed. I put the heated vest on but didn't plug it in, never felt the need to. The armor feels good, especially when I had to kneel to deal with the chain and fill the tires. My knee felt good, though the armor rubbing against it reminded me of the injury there. The foot felt okay, though there are some twinges there yet, and some weakness still. It will be a long time before I'll forget about them, I suspect.

Did I mention it is great to be riding again? I don't think I will ride every day this time of year, the weather is not that nice and the daylight is short. I need to work on better lights, though I have three LED headlights on the bike now that do a fair job. But I'm going to try to avoid riding in the dark anyway. I'm considering putting a motorcycle headlight on just for those really dark times when visibility is critical. I have a separate thread on those investigations, and on a PWM RMS regulator to run them from the bike battery.

I did have one SUV try to merge into me at a right turn. I should have tested the air horn then, but was busy braking, and getting out of his way, so it wasn't even a near miss. He saw me and backed off. I think he was embarrassed since he dropped back and didn't even try to pass me as I wound up the twisty hill through the park. I pulled over a bit later and let him by.
Last edited by Alan B on Dec 18 2013 12:31am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by richmpdx » Dec 17 2013 11:21pm

Alan,
Good to hear that you are back riding and that that the upgraded gear has worked out well. We have had a bunch of below freezing weather in Portland which has limited my riding, I give up on riding when water is frozen. 2 wheels are already meta stable and ice upsets the situation. But lately things have warmed a bit. I also try to limit riding after dark.
Rich

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by jkbrigman » Dec 24 2013 7:26pm

Alan - congratulations on the new "first ride", sorry to read about the fall and I hope it's well and past. Looking forward to more postings on the headlight, boots and armored clothing.
eRecumbent. 9C 2810, 6-FET,CA,18S3P LiPo, Kenda Kwest. 33mph max 12.8Wh/mi (22mph avg) Phat Bike Commuter HS3540, 6-FET, 18S3P LiPo, Schwalbe Marathon 47mph max 25 Wh/mi (28mph avg) Basic LiPo Charging Thread , Add Throttle to Multispeed Bike
dogman: "I bet if you just don't ride like a jerk, you can do whatever you want up to the speed where everybody looks at you like this. :shock: "
tomjasz: "Romans go full dork. They could give a hoot what 'Merkins do."

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Dec 24 2013 9:55pm

Thanks for the comments.

Have a great holiday.

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by joepah » Jan 02 2014 10:51pm

Hope you're feeling better.. Just bought this headlight... Quite bright, and judging by all the vehicles who now stop to let me pass, quite noticeable!

Cygolite Metro 500

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E1N ... UTF8&psc=1

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 02 2014 10:54pm

Nice USB rechargeable bike light, how long does the battery last on the high setting (500 lumens rated)?

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by joepah » Jan 03 2014 12:02am

Never ran it to discharge but the instructions say 90 minutes at full beam. Just a great bright white light.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 03 2014 6:03am

joepah wrote:Never ran it to discharge but the instructions say 90 minutes at full beam. Just a great bright white light.
OK. Hope it works well for you. It looks nice and small, designed for a non e-bike. Just the batteries for 2 of my 3 lights (containing 2-6 18650 lithium cells per) are each several times the size of that whole light. :)

For me another separate battery to charge is not desired (I need things that can run from the main battery), every day commuting with something like that is not fun - too many batteries to manage. I'm also looking for a DOT/SAE beam pattern which is not provided by any standard LED TIR optic. Right now I'm running three 900-1000 lumen 'rated' bike headlights, and the lighting level is marginal for seeing adequately along the dark highways with zero street lights at ebike speed. The actual light output is significantly below the "rated" value, and the non DOT/SAE patterns fail to put the lumens where they are needed the most. Also the rated runtimes are usually optimistic. A 90 minute light would just barely last one day's run for me, and with cold factored in it might not make one round trip at the high level.

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by spinningmagnets » Jan 03 2014 8:28am

Alan B put together such a nice looking build, and also took some good pics, so he is in two articles:

http://www.electricbike.com/greyborg/
http://www.electricbike.com/cromotor-mo ... ric-bikes/

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 03 2014 8:56am

Thanks for the links. Nice articles. 18 each 6s batteries in the frame is amazing, I was planning something like that but there wasn't room for the wires. I'm planning to do that but put the controller outside the panels for a 24S upgrade at some point.

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by joepah » Jan 03 2014 9:13pm

yeah i'm only running 24 mph at night and this light is more than adequate to light up the dark streets for me... However everyone knows what their eyes need... my biggest problem is to remember to bring my normal glasses when I go out at twilight...lol

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 03 2014 9:25pm

I'm getting new glasses, that may reduce the lumens needed. The current prescription is a bit long in the tooth. :)

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Cresh » Jan 16 2014 8:38am

Hi Alan, waaay back at the beginning of your build you installed a 6mm aluminum cone for your speed drive. I was just wondering if you measured the bottom bracket shell width? I'm trying to get the chain line on my Borg as straight as possible, but I don't think a 6mm cone will work...

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 16 2014 8:44am

I don't believe I measured the BB width. The 4mm cone would not reach the required torque. 1mm of chainline error would be very hard to notice, I would think. There is more than 1mm of variation in other dimensions.

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Cresh » Jan 17 2014 10:19pm

I emailed back and forth with Neil from cyclemonkey, and they now have all kinds of cone washers for the ATS and Schlumpf drives on their web store. I grabbed a couple for my build. The instructions for the ATS drive call for aluminum washers with a steel frame, so there is less of a chance of the drive slipping. Plus, pushing the drive side out a little improves the chain line.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by Alan B » Jan 17 2014 10:29pm

Good. They were out of 6mm washers when I needed them, so I made the aluminum one for my steel frame. :)

You were much more efficient to buy one, I was getting anxious to get my bike running and they were waiting for a foreign shipment that may or may not have contained the washers I needed. It cost me awhile on the lathe, and a chunk of aluminum whittled down to a washer. Reminds me of making toothpicks, one from each tree. :)

I haven't had any problems from the chainline, I do need to get a better tensioner going though. Better alignment is always good, but insufficient tension is still a problem.

Right now I'm getting over a bad cold, so even though the weather is lovely I'm not riding. Enjoy!

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter RIP

Post by Alan B » Mar 04 2014 12:02pm

Well, I checked the battery voltage this morning on the Borg, and it is sitting at 20V (instead of 65). :(

That little resistor in the controller has managed to kill a 20 amp hour 18S battery worth nearly $1,000.

That's why a master switch is important, this ebike doesn't have one yet.

When I get around to rebuilding this ebike, it will have one.

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izeman   10 GW

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by izeman » Mar 04 2014 5:42pm

oh man alan. you design them, build them, and haven't installed one on your bike yet? what a shame. i hate it when value is destroyed for nothing. it's like burning money :(
i hope you can save some cells at least.
i have a central on/off key switch that powers the head light as well. so i can't forget to turn off the bike as the light is bright enough to be seen even during the day. maybe that's a solution for you as well?!

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Re: CroBorg Commuter

Post by spinningmagnets » Mar 04 2014 5:49pm

When you re-do the electrical system, here's a tip from Teklektiks build:
Alan used a 50A magnetic marine breaker for the main power disconnect switch (Blue Sea model #7230). These types of breakers are very rugged and are intended for high-humidity/salt-air use. They are designed for up to 65V-DC and can handle interruption currents up to 7500A making them virtually indestructible in this application. “They start to trip at 62A and with a couple of controller shorts, the CycleAnalyst never recorded a spike greater than 180A before the breaker switched off”. This 50A breaker has worked flawlessly and tripped so quickly that the 50A Maxi fuses in the battery packs never popped. “For around $15, I cannot recommend this breaker more highly”.

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