Electrified BikeE for Comfort and Range

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Post by Alan B » Mar 04 2012 6:55pm

Wiring Harness

The Wiring Harness is taking shape. I decided to make another run to the hardware store to get a tubing flaring tool so I could flare the other end of the crimp sleeves. That way wires from both directions can safely be used in the crimp sleeve. Otherwise the sleeve has an edge toward the wires on one side since they are made for wires all entering from the other flared side.

Hydraulic Crimp Tool

The Hydraulic Crimp Tool is doing a superb job. It takes quite a few strokes to operate it, but the resulting crimp is very solid. I needed to take one apart, so I tried to squeeze it at 90 degrees to get it to release but it did not. Finally had to cut the wire, the crimp would not release. Really solid! You can pull on the wires hard, they don't budge.

It is really nice to not have to struggle to get the wires into the crimp sleeve. With two #10's and one #12 there is enough room to easily get things in, and we are within the design range of this sleeve. It will hold three #10's so it is not quite full, but close.

Photos coming soon!

Back to it!
Last edited by Alan B on Mar 05 2012 2:05am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Post by Alan B » Mar 05 2012 12:35am

Wiring Harnesses Completed

Image

The two batteries are nearly done. A little finish work with foam and tape to dress the wiring, plus make and install the balance extensions for getting the balance leads out to the charger, seal these tubes up and mount them on the bikeE! :)

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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Post by Alan B » Mar 05 2012 12:37am

Here is the business end showing the power leads and the Methods HVCLVC boards:

Image

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Re: ebikeE Recumbent Testing - it's alive!

Post by Alan B » Mar 05 2012 2:02am

Hydraulic Crimp Tool

Image

Crimp Sleeve, completed samples above, standard unused sleeve, and modified with flare on both ends:

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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Post by Alan B » Mar 06 2012 1:31am

Batteries are ready. Made adapter cables for balancing, organized the wiring, attached the HVCLVC boards, and closed up the batteries.

These are ready for mounting on the bikeE.

A storm is coming in tonite, no good riding weather till wednesday. With a bit of effort and luck we'll be ready for a commute test run on Wed or Thur.

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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Post by ryan » Mar 06 2012 12:57pm

The weather's gone. I want video of that beast on the road! Looks like a lot of fun.
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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Post by Alan B » Mar 06 2012 1:45pm

Even though it did not rain, the wind was pretty heavy this morning, and the bike is not quite ready to try it today, but I did consider it.

Weather for the rest of the week looks nice. Resume the countdown. :)

Tonite I'll get those batteries mounted and jury rig a red rear blinker and a backpack for carrying a few things. I'll need to carry a charger, forgot to pre-position one. I might be able to make the round trip on one charge, but I don't want to push it.

Other than that I think we're good to go.

Tomorrow will be the goal for a first commute run with it.

Video huh. Have to work on that. Need to charge the GoPro and figure out the upload software.

We're getting close... :shock:

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Re: ebikeE with Vinyl Tube Battery

Post by Alan B » Mar 07 2012 11:35am

Did it!

Made the commute run to work. 13 miles, 384 watt hours. 29 watt hours per mile. 45 minutes. Not bad. Lots of uphill on this run, will take less to return home.

Image

bikeE balance charging

Had one problem with chain coming off front chainring. :(

It takes more work to pilot a recumbent. At least for me. Need better sun protection for seeing well. No suspension wasn't much of a problem, was a bit rough in spots. I slowed down more than I would on a suspended mountain bike.

Weight balance with batteries along the frame seems excellent. Can't really tell they are there except when picking up the bike. Each tube is 24" long and weighs about 10 pounds and contains 6S 24AH. They are connected in series under the seat so it is 50V fully charged to the controller. Controller is set up for 20 amps so this is a California legal 1000 watts. Top speed observed was 25 mph on the level. On the steeper hills it requires some pedal input.

I was advised to limit power to a conservative 1500 watts on this BMC V4, and the controller was set for 18S hence we are missing some power. Will have to fix that. :mrgreen:

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 07 2012 4:39pm

Charger put back 8.6 amp hours into 12S pack.

The tough part is to come. Climbing out of here on the way home starts with 11% for a couple hundred yards. This power level is not going to zoom up that without some pedal input. Hope the motor doesn't get too hot. We shall see. :)

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by ddk » Mar 07 2012 4:48pm

Alan B wrote:...The tough part is to come. Climbing out of here on the way home starts with 11% for a couple hundred yards. This power level is not going to zoom up that without some pedal input. ...
why I chose to use 2 motors
No. one for cruzin'
No.two to assist No.1 on hills
ymmv
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by mr.electric » Mar 07 2012 4:56pm

Congrats on another nice ebike. Looks like a nice long range machine.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by ryan » Mar 07 2012 5:15pm

Great work, Alan. How are you going to "finish" the gutters so they don't, um, look like gutters?
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 07 2012 5:22pm

Thanks for the comments.

Two motors would be nice, but I think I'll crank this one up a few dB and see how it goes.

Those white tubes are definitely distracting. I am thinking perhaps some Krylon Fusion, and I've ordered vetwrap in blue and teal.

Any suggestions?

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by lester12483 » Mar 07 2012 6:15pm

Looks good!

I have always liked those bike e recumbents. They kinda look futuristic.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 07 2012 9:53pm

Home commute complete. Another safe trip. Consumed about 5.2 amp hours, considerably less than the trip in. About 250 watt hours. So this trip was under 20 watt hours per mile, which is excellent! A round trip would consume about 700 watt hours which is just over what the mountain bike with 9C takes to just do the inbound trip.

This morning I was following a pair of road bike riders down a slight grade and I noticed that with the three of us just rolling I was overtaking them. Even a bikeE recumbent seems to be more efficient than a road bike when the riders are upright. Amazing!

On the 11% gradient part of the ride home at the start I made 8 to 10 mph with moderate pedaling. Most of the rest of the trip was full throttle non pedaling. On the downhill it rolls well, accelerating up to 30+ mph on the 5-6% grades. On the flats and slight uphills it does 25 mph, I may have set the CA for 25 max, so that may be limiting it.

Image

A question for those experienced with recumbents. Is the stability of the bikeE similar to other bents? Can I do anything to improve it? Or is it just my perception?? Everything seems to be tight. The headset had some play, but I adjusted that out. It seems a bit annoying. Maybe I will get used to it.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by amberwolf » Mar 08 2012 2:10am

What specifically are you referrring to by "stability"?

With CrazyBike2, I can change the lowest speed at which it becomes less stable by changing the fork lenght or the size of the front or rear wheels, thus changing the angle of the headtube/rake/etc.

So, if this is the problem you have, you can do the same to change that.

If the problem is instability at higher speeds, lower the front end (or raise the back). If at lower speeds, raise it (or lower the back). At least, this works for CrazyBike2.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 08 2012 8:32am

I suppose it is higher speed stability that I'm hoping to improve. Low speed instability probably goes with the territory, and we don't spend much time there.

It is not easy to make the types of changes you suggest on this bike. The front wheel is about as small as it can be, and the rear about as large as it can be. I could move the battery mass if that would help. Is the best place to carry weight right under the seat? or ??

We have heard comments that the bikeE is less stable at speed than other recumbents, and that it is okay compared to others. Being new to this type of bike I'm not sure if it is just my perception, or if this is normal for bents. I don't want to hack up this nice bike, but I'm wondering if it is as stable as it can or should be.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 08 2012 9:56am

Recumbent Stability

http://www.easystreetrecumbents.com/bik ... ningToRide

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index ... 27023.html

One thing that strikes me from reading about recumbent stability is that I need to adjust my seat forward a bit and add a lumbar support to get better connected with the seat. And ride it more. :)

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Maiden Run and Stability

Post by jkbrigman » Mar 08 2012 12:40pm

Alan - congratulations on your successful first commute run, and congratulations on the efficient Wh/mile numbers!!!

I agree with everything your references said about riding a recumbent - it's definitely more of a challenge compared to an upright bike, you have to be on it continuously.

Turning a recumbent is trickier. On my SWB, I have the pedal clearance problem they mention. I'll lean for speed just to make the turn work at all. Then I pedal or increase power coming out of the turn, as the bike will want to fall into the center of the turn.

Starting off, I always "pedal off", I can't push off with the foot on the ground. That makes gearing vital, so I've not considered, yet, getting rid of my front derailleur, although that would be a nice thing for freeing up space on the handlebars.

To improve balance, I always slide down in the seat. I'm not sure if that's possible on the BikeE, but I'm sure what they talk about in your reference - pushing back in the seat, relaxing the shoulders and keeping a light touch on the handlebars, all hold true. Definitely true on the SWB.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by www.recumbents.com » Mar 08 2012 12:58pm

Hi Alan,

Yeah, the Bike-E is not known for stability. The "compact long wheelbase" format in general is not great in that respect. The little bitty 16" front wheel doesn't help there either. It's fine for low speed but eventually you will want to upgrade. My full suspension SWB handles great, and a LWB should work well too.

-Warren.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by docnjoj » Mar 08 2012 1:41pm

www.recumbents.com wrote:Hi Alan,

Yeah, the Bike-E is not known for stability. The "compact long wheelbase" format in general is not great in that respect. The little bitty 16" front wheel doesn't help there either. It's fine for low speed but eventually you will want to upgrade. My full suspension SWB handles great, and a LWB should work well too.

-Warren.
Yep what Warren says. My wife had several accidents on her Bike-e and finally we had to get her a trike. The long wheelbase recumbents are less twitchy and really smooth at higher speeds. The Bike-e not so much. It is a great around town bike but the little front wheel can lock up easy with good brakes that I installed, even with the front hub. Needless to say that trikes solve this problem, but of course create others.
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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by Alan B » Mar 09 2012 4:30pm

Thanks for the comments. I don't know how much is the bikeE and how much is me, but apparently there are better recumbents of which there is no doubt. But I'm not going to change the bike at this point.

Before I ride this bikeE to work (or a long distance) again I am going to make some of these changes based on the experience I have gained:

1) Reduce the battery pack by 1/3, this will remove 6 pounds from the bike and still give me enough range for a round trip to work. This bike is light, the BMC is light, I want to keep the whole system light. This will still be 12S 16 amp hours or about 700 watt hours and about 30 miles of range.

2) Keep warmer, either by riding in warmer weather or some other measure, perhaps wearing different clothing or pedaling more. I got too cold on this ride in the morning.

3) Control the sun in my eyes better. This was a problem and was/could be dangerous. Perhaps polaroid sunglasses would be adequate.

4) Move the seat forward a bit (which requires a shorter battery).

5) Make the battery packs look better, paint them, improve the mounting, etc.

6) Adjust power level from 1kw to 1.5kw. (20 amps to 30 amps). (Possibly try the Crystalyte analog controller).

7) Add lumbar support to seatback.
Last edited by Alan B on Mar 11 2012 12:49am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by docnjoj » Mar 09 2012 4:46pm

I alsays found the Bike-e not easy to ride. One can get used to it, but get on a LWB recumbent like the Easyrider or an older Burley and it is a world of difference.
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E-bike stable at our house

Steintrike Mad Max full suspension trike rear Cute 100H going on: Whoops, Cute wheel broke but I fixed it.
Sun USX delta trike EbikeKit small geared front wheel sort of front suspension for wife

Agniusm/A123 AMP 20 36 volts on the Steini has been taken off.
2x16000 Multisport from HK now gone as they died after 2 years
New Luna 10S bottle battery 13.6AH now on mine
Relatively New 10S4Px2 for wife's bike giving 20ah @ 40 volts home made Panasonic from Tumich. BMS's rule.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Mar 09 2012 7:32pm

I've tried a bike-e and I would say it is about the same as a Sun EZ1 (20/16) compact LWB. I have a larger 26/20 LWB Sun EZ-Sport as well. The EZ-1 demands a fair amount of attention to hold a perfectly straight line on the road, especially when accelerating from a standing stop. I'm running a front hubmotor on it. It is a bit lower down than the Bike-E, and of the two I found I preferred the EZ1 for its steel springiness and general comfort. Definitely not a long distance machine though. The 26/20 is much better for long distance and general stability. So I think your impression of the bike-e is not a facet of that particular bike vs the 20/16 form factor.

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Re: ebikeE maiden Commute run

Post by StudEbiker » Mar 09 2012 9:42pm

The more time you spend on it, the more you will get it. Keep a light touch on the handlebars and the thing seems to do fine for me. When I first got mine and was just using it pedaling I had a hard time going straight. I have a nice flat asphalt basketball court in front of my place and when I just had it pedal powered I took it over to the court and just rode it around practicing turns and stops and just getting a feel for it. I'm glad I did that. There as no worries about traffic or any obstacles so it was safe and all I had to concentrate on was just getting a feel for it. It didn't take long doing that until when I got on the MTB it felt weird to be on the MTB. Keep riding and it gets easier. I really enjoy it now. It feels like I'm in an airplane now and my e-bike grin is wide and tall. :D

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