The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

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The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:45 pm

Continued from viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6000

Well first impressions are that it is indeed Chinese. Heavy frame which IMO is over the top. I regularly carry 20-30kg on a Hybrid made of alloy and have never had a problem with the frame handling the weight, so I think E bike engineers should reconsider what frames these things are going on. Having said that, I will be ditching the front suspension forks, not necessary and loose a lot of energy. Also will be ditching the knobby tyres for slicks for the same reason.

All the nuts and bolts were tight, a wheel reflector fell off, no great loss, the headlight wont turn off, no great loss and the supplied computer is a bit dodgy, so that will go as well. Its only a cheapie and the functions are not easy to use.

The front wheel with disc brake I dont like, brake is a bit loose but easily fixed. Ill get a light weight standard rim and new forks.

The back wheel looks a bastard to change the tyre on. I will have to have practice removing and replacing it over the weekend to prevent murphys law coming into play.

I rode it for 30 min yesterday, just locally. The computer played up so I lost the stats from that. Lets just say 15k on the flat with no wind. It was averaging about 25kph and 30 with me pedaling. There seems to be a lot of resistance when I pedal. Motor off, theres definatley resistance that prevents maximum output.

There is a red switch on the LHS of the handle bars. I think its a kill switch, but Im not sure.

The throttle is a bit uncomfortable. I think this is because the handle bars are a bit narrow and too low. I cant budge them. I will get the bike shop to change them and also fit the supplied pack rack. It should go on with a few bends and washers spacing it out, but its not really designed for this back wheel I think. With the extra nuts and bolts and wires and spacing, its not a simple job to fit a rack.

So until it is set up properly, I cant tell how comfortable the ride is. I noticed a dreadful rattle of the battery box going over bumps, so will have to add a bit of foam or rubber to make it more secure.

Today I went for a bit of a ride, the battery died after abt 25k, add yesterdays 15 for 40k life span. I was told the battery had been fully charged, and the lights indicated this, but wont know until I recharge a few times the true life of each charge. It cruized at abt 25kph I found that due to this resistance in the motor, its really only worthwhile putting another 5 k on this to make 30kph. So I pedaled the 25k home. The resistance was again noticeable going down hill. I should have been going 50 but had to pedal hard to get to 40 and the bike immediately slows when you stop pedaling, defying the laws of physics!

Battery seemed to run full for 90% of the riding, only noticed the slowing for the last 10% of the time I reckon. So the battery and controller would seem to be getting the maximum out of the battery.

For $999.00 lil Aussie ones, it seems OK so far. I have no steep hills to climb, so should be OK. Getting to work without needing a shower was the aim of the exercise and I think it should cope.

I drained the battery totally and its now on charge, more tests tomorrow.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:58 am

Come to think of it, I cant see how the back wheel can come off. The cable that enters the axle is tied to the frame. How on earth does it disconnect from the back wheel to allow the tyre to be changed??????? There looks like there is a cable covered by a flexy spring, but I cant see a connector??

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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby Timbo » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:17 am

[quote="mickk"]Come to think of it, I cant see how the back wheel can come off. The cable that enters the axle is tied to the frame. How on earth does it disconnect from the back wheel to allow the tyre to be changed??????? There looks like there is a cable covered by a flexy spring, but I cant see a connector??

That's normal. Your best bet is to arrange things so that you have a small amount of excess cable at the wheel hub secured with a zip tie - just enough so that the wheel can drop out so you can work on it. That way if you need to change a tyre you only have to cut one cable tie, not all of them.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby nutsandvolts » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:19 am

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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:07 am

Cant see how it can be done. The cable is attached to the axle and the cable is attached to the frame, it aint going anywhere that I can see.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby nutsandvolts » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:13 am

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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:17 am

Ok I see, but I will have to remove all the cable ties, thats not very user friendly. There could easily be a plug connection to allow the back wheel to be removed with ease. I will look at getting someone to add one. I get rid of these tyres, I get another 5kph easily in my experience.

AHA I will replace with Velcro ties!

The battery has charged after 5.5 hours, manual states "may take up to 6 hours for the first 3 charges" so that sounds like it went well.

The battery indicator lights look very bright now, but it is dark. :) I havent seen them in the dark before.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby deecanio » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:03 am

Hi Mick,

can you get a photo of the bike up so we can see the back wheel?
sounds like the guys have advised well as (ever) if you dont have a connection near the rear wheel suggest you put one in for exactly the reasons mentioned (tyre change/wheel off)

Cheers,

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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:52 pm

Hi,

Great report on the bike!

Interesting you found the riding position uncomfortable, a few others have commented on greenewheels narrow handle bars but I have found them fine for me and my riding position - but then my previous bikes were similar so it might be what I'm used to, or just lucky my body size fits the default layout of the bike.

I have yet to fully flatten the battery with a range test, if the weather is good tomorrow I might give it a go.

My headlight switch crapped out as well, and Joe wasn't throwing in the bike computer but I suspect it's all a part of some cheap bundle of 50c bike accessories he gets with each bike anyway. I now have some good headlights and red flashies and a bike computer from torpedo7 and I'm set up for night riding.

With the speed the fastest I have hit is 46 km/h.. but yeah I generally cruise with pedalling at 26 - 32 km/h.

I quite like the spongy suspension forks, I know they aren't exactly top shelf but they soak up a bit of impact going down kerbs and as I have never used them before they are a bit of a new toy for me. Ditto the disc brakes, which are fiddly to adjust just right but I think I have got the knack now.

I noticed that back rattle you mentioned when going over jolts, I thought it was the mudguard.. but I might try a square of some non slip spongy plastic matting from the $2 shop at the bottom of the battery bay and see if it helps.

The riding habit I've got with the bike is to ride with the throttle on full all the time, except when stopping or slowing down.. I do sometimes get a slightly sore hand from that so a cruise control would be nice - the switch on the other side is to disable the throttle while still leaving the pedal assist mode on, maybe needed to be legal in some countries?

Tires: yeah I wouldnt have a clue how to get the back wheel off.. I will run with the supplied knobbly tires for now though I am mainly riding on the road.. I think the first time I get a flat I will just get the bike to a bike shop and get "Schwalbe Marathon Plus" tires put on it (as mentioned by Mark_A_W on this forum for maximum durability).. might have to get some advice from you guys on how to get that back wheel off though? Also maybe Joe from Greenewheels has some hints as well.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:16 am

Well today I changed the front tyre for Vittori slick of some kind thats sposed to be kevlar. 1.6 instead of the supplied 1.75. I also bought a tube that weighs a ton, 5 times thicker than usual and has leak sealing slime in it! It was $20 but I just love the idea of the slime. (http://www.slime.com) for the back tyre which I will change tomorrow if I can find a top slick for the rear. I also put another computer on it. I agree the disc brake is a bit fiddly. To align it correctly, you have to offset the forks slightly, so have to make doubly sure the quick release is tight enough.

I am so used to riding 700c that the change to 26' is going to make me sore until I can adjust headstem, sort all the angles out. I think I might need another seat that can move further back as well.

Now the best news is that I managed to get the pack rack on. I hadnt been able to decode the supplied .doc instructions but Joe gave me a link to a reader and when I had a look at the supplied photos and instructions it went on fine.

I put the battery back on charge as the first few times about 12 hours is best they say in the instructions.

I think the basket of goodies is a good idea. Ive been in sales and its amazing how people will switch product for a freebie. I would ditch the computer for a head/tail light combo instead. The rack is ok, the basket also a nice touch. As musch as they make you look like an old lady, they are handy to have permanently attached for the odd loaf of bread on the way home when you dont have panniers on. Lock looks fine, it will go into the box with all the other locks. Havent tried the pump, looks like it will work twice, but you cant tell with these things. I taped it onto the frame in its holder for emergencies.

I need a good tail light for springvale road and thats about it I think, for the time being.

Tomorrow it gets a good test!
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:15 pm

Second day after recharging the totally flat battery for 12 hours.

Set out on a dummy run to work. 22k of crosswinds, certainly no tail wind. Stopped about 20 times in the 55 minutes it took, so call it av of 22kph. Pedaled along most of the time. So riding to work on battery only will be an option without a problem.

Took the scenic route home, the battery went from full to 2/3 at the 35k mark. The first 13k home was into a head wind, no pedaling as I wanted to max out the battery. 5 k of gravel into a head wind brought the total to 40ktotal and the battery dropped to 1/3 at 40k. One hill in this part about 1k long with medium gradient.

Continued to ramble about to end the battery, which indeed died at the 50k mark, almost to the centremetre.

During this ride the change to a slick on the front was noticeable, less resistance and certainly less noise. I picked up another slick for the rear, but wont change that for a week, so I will have some data to compare.

No rattles from the newly installed pack rack.

I was stopped twice by people asking about the bike and a a lot of looks. I will take off most of the stickers and just leave the .com ones on it. I dont wanna be a tourist attraction.

Overall, no complaints. 50k on a full charge, cant complain. Thats enough to get me to and from work without pedaling at all in good conditions.

Ive added changing the bearings to the list of things to do. The supplied bearings feel a bit rough in the front rim and I expect the same in the rear. Changing to good sealed bearings from the race cage will add another few percent.

I am confident that changing tyres and bearings will give me 12-15% less resistance overall. Once I fix up my riding position and change the front forks, I reckon the total improvements will be in the order of 20%.

Oh I almost forgot, the handle of the battery box broke, not surprising given its quality and the weight it is expected to carry. No dramas, I will replace with a metal one or go without as its not really necessary to have one.

I can see these toys might be addictive. My minds racing with ideas like all of you more experienced DYI blokes. I want 1000w and 72v and I reckon it would be possible to insert batteries into every inch of the frame! Should be able to build a beast that can do 150k @ 50kph easy!

EDIT I rotated the throttle slightly so using it is at a more natural angle which was better. I just swapped the seat for one that moves back an inch further and will see how that goes tomorrow.
Last edited by mickk on Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby nutsandvolts » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:49 pm

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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:03 am

mickk wrote:Set out on a dummy run to work. 22k of crosswinds, certainly no tail wind. Stopped about 20 times in the 55 minutes it took, so call it av of 22kph. Pedaled along most of the time. So riding to work on battery only will be an option without a problem.

I rode the entire 11km to work without pedalling and it worked fine, very relaxing.. a few uphill sections I slowed down to 13km/h, but most of it was done at 24-25 with a few gentle downhill sections done closer to 30. All in all a cruisy and workable way to travel.
The only thing is I FROZE from the wind, so pedalled the way pack to keep warm. But could be a viable way to do it when summer comes and it starts getting stinking hot.

mickk wrote:Oh I almost forgot, the handle of the battery box broke, not surprising given its quality and the weight it is expected to carry. No dramas, I will replace with a metal one or go without as its not really necessary to have one.


Mine snapped off about 2 days after I got it. don't know why they bothered as the plastic obviously isn't strong enough to carry the weight of the batteries. I have been removing the pack fine without it so it hasn't bothered me.

mickk wrote:I can see these toys might be addictive. My minds racing with ideas like all of you more experienced DYI blokes. I want 1000w and 72v and I reckon it would be possible to insert batteries into every inch of the frame! Should be able to build a beast that can do 150k @ 50kph easy!


Same here.. though I might keep the greenewheels mostly "stock" and get a hub motor and a cheap mountain bike that it suits to make another one from scratch.. starting after Xmas sometime if I still have the bug.
wobbling around on first new bike for quite a few years.. this one has a motor on it.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:08 am

46.15km ride today in 1hr 55min, so abt 23kph ave. Almost identical conditions to yesterday but a bit more of a h/w on the way home, but didnt go below abt 22kph. When I wasnt at the lights, it settled on abt 27kph.

Battery went down to 2/3 at the 35k mark again, made it home with the min indicator on and abt 5 k to spare I reckon.

I have worked out a great route, its 3k longer, but I avoided a lot of traffic, but it was building industry RDO, so tomorrow will be a better indication of traffic. Went up the patto river & carrum watersports area, past the eastern shit farm, over dandy creek, up perry road, round the back of parkmore shops, out onto corrigan road for the last few k. I doubt 100 cars passed me as perry road is through farmland and the eastlink should have taken away all the traffic. If I was on springy road, 100 cars a minute would have passed me.

The only annoyance is if I could push a bigger gear, I know I could sit on 40. I might look into getting a bigger chain ring. I dont know what size it is, Ill have to count the teeth. Feels like 50 and no more. 54 would be good, 56 better! but compatibility will be a challenge.

those of you not in Australia, apologies for the local terms.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby dazzassj6 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:58 am

hey you're right mick, the tires and suspension does slow it down.

Thats why to maximise what i did, was to pump the tires up to 65psi, and also tighten the suspension. You know that knob on the front suspension on the right hand side? yeh that one, twist it clockwise to tighten, and you should feel ur bike will go a bit faster and more efficient.

As for Zog, yeh i was thinking to leaving this as stock but it way too slow! i need speed! Yeh my 24v lifepo4 ping battery aswell as the ecrazyman controller is coming soon! so i will make another thread to show you guys how i did it. :D but im thinking its gonna be a bitch to change all the different connectors from the stock parts to match the new controller!
Project 1: 48v 500w Golden motor upgrade on Express Green E wheels upgraded to 48v 10ah Ping battery Flat speed: 44km/hr Pedal assist: 49.9km/hr Uphill speed: 40km/hr

Project 2: A female Kmart mountain bike 26" wheels mounted with a 500w cyclone with a 24v 20ah 13C Lifepo4. Flat speed 30km/hr pedal: 35km/h

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6669
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:41 pm

Well I said mostly stock..

I have also run out of gears sometimes, I only use 4,5 and 6 so a different chainring might help me better here? Also the comments on the tires seem to ring true as I am almost all on the road or pavement, the Schwalbe Marathon Plus or similar kevlar tyres look the business, as being stopped by a puncture will be the biggest slowdown of all!

I wound up the suspension on the fork as an experiment but it is now a bit too rigid, I'll drop it down to find the comfy setting.

mickk: funny part of my usual route takes me along Corrigan Rd as well - I'll keep an eye out!
wobbling around on first new bike for quite a few years.. this one has a motor on it.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:16 am

If youre smart enough to know what those things are, youre smart enough to fit em!

Thanks for the suspension tip, will do.

Due to "operator error" no stats for today, but I did get it to sit on abt 30kph on the flat with a slight tail wind. Hit 40 something going down a hill. It might be my imagination, but the "running in" of the battery may lead to a different performance to "new" battery. Its hard to explain, but I think it is faster than the first day I used it. Either that, or the motor just hates any kind of headwind.

BTW, sitting on the packrack is possible to streamline the position. I havent tried it yet, just hovered above it. It seems strong enough to hold a part of me, but having ridden bikes for nearly 40 years, better to be safe than sorry.

Im also wondering, how dangerous would profile bars be during pedal assist?
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:16 am

zog wrote:Well I said mostly stock..
mickk: funny part of my usual route takes me along Corrigan Rd as well - I'll keep an eye out!


Im on there around 7.40- 8.00AM and about 5.35- 5.50.

but I have changed to finishing at 5 not 5.30 duh dh, so umm abt 5.05-5.20 in the arvo.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:20 am

Fourth day of riding to work was a bit more interesting.

I have broken the ride into roughly 3 x 8k stages.

Today stage 1, into a strong northerly, stage 2 and 3 into a cross n/w headwind. Averaged abt 23kph. Home was a cross tail wind, av abp 29kph. Regularly on 35, hit 45 down the hill that I get up at 25.
The bike loves even a slight tail wind. it seems to react better to a tail wind pushing it than to me pedaling it, maybe thats the way the gears work. Any assistance not through pedaling meets freewheel effect, not felt in the hub???

There is also a knack to pedaling it. Sometimes pushing is not worth it. There is definately a sweet spot between pedaling and batterty.

I will be changing the pedals as well I have decided. They will not be up to 46-50 k per day after day. The handle bars were a bit loose today, but I think I did not check them looking at the bolts, my fault.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:48 am

A strong headwind today going to work. However pedaling along with the throttle on full, we managed to maintain 25kph without breaking a sweat, even with long pants on, boots, a Tshirt and a fluoro top. Theres no shame n looking like a dick head in peak hour traffic if it keeps you alive. I pass about 5 trees in 24k with flowers nailed to them. All silent tributes to idiots that ran off the road speeding and died.

I recharged at work, took about 4 hours to go green.

Changing the back tyre and pedals tomorrow. So end of week one, 240k on the clock, so far so good. I will get it up to 1000k in the first month of use.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:13 am

yeah was an insane headwind today, this is where the motor really showed its advantage it just kept pushing me along, despite wind gusts that almost made me lose my balance when I was stopped at lights. I could feel the gusts while riding but was able to compensate for them and keep whirring away.

Although I keep to service roads (and pavement along Blackburn Rd) I keep my $7 high-vis vest on.. sticking out like a sore thumb is good in this kind of environment, especially with people driving around this area like they are in the Blues Bothers
- see this pic from top end of Corrigan Rd last week (nobody hurt):
Image

I just hit 500 km on the odometer.. everything fine with the bike, might need to do one of the periodic minor tweaks on the front disc brakes, but thats it.

Another cheapskate safety measure is I got some $14 bunnings safety glasses for riding at night.. sunglasses no good then and enough twigs and stones and bugs hit me in the face that I'm happy I have them on, as well as stopping my eyes tearing up from the wind (the look also provides entertainment for my wife and workmates, added bonus!).
wobbling around on first new bike for quite a few years.. this one has a motor on it.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:28 am

I just did a range test as well, rode up and down the eastlink bike trail.
From a full charge went to completely flat (as in, lift the rear wheel and hit the throttle and no movement). Got pretty much exactly 50 km! Was not skimping on using the throttle or the electrics either, very windy conditions to push against.
wobbling around on first new bike for quite a few years.. this one has a motor on it.
http://blog2.zog.net.au/category/electric-bikes/greenewheels/
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:39 am

Great report and yes those clear or even better orange glasses do work. You should never ride without glasses on. I know a bloke that lost an eye as a result of a bug hitting him at combined speed of 110kph, ruptured the eyeball, thanks for coming, all over red rover.

Today was INSANE

Without a doubt the windiest conditions I have ever experienced in my life.

Kicked in at dawn and by the time I left for work at 7.15, I was met by a sustained crosswind of 100kp. It was roaring through the Dandenong Valley and on the embankment of the patto river, I had a good 30 degree lean happening to just stay upright as the back tyre was constantly pushed sideways. Was blown of Perry Rd once.

Coming home I set a new speed record, caused through a combination of terror and haste. Blown off the road 4 times, with trouble controlling a massive lean to counteract the wind. Hit the Patto again and it had to be sustained at 120kph. I actually had to stop a few times and at one stage considered abandoning the ride.

A massive black sheet extending from the city to Dandenong, possible snow out the back of Frankston, they were definately snow clouds, but I expect it was being torn apart by the wind. Copped some hard sleet to the face, a few flangs to my west in the darkest patch, a rainbow to the east, just a magnificent sky out this way with some patterns of cloud that I am struggling to name.

Ive never seen trees bend so far without breaking, just lucky they were on the lee side of me. Luckily I beat the rain.

Its calm in comparison here, but out in that valley, its simply dangerous conditions.

A gust of 105k in St. Kilda, -4 chill factor at Tulla and -19 in the alps.

Averaged about 25 each way tho, full throttle, pedaling like buggery. Leaning like one of those old bare back riders rounding the bend in a bush horse race.

If I could have had just a touch of this wind as a tail wind, would have averaged 30 easily.

I took the charger to work, gave it 4 hours and it was still on red, so that shows how much juice I needed to use to get to work.. Without motor, today would have been hard to go over 10kph, extraodinary winds, just amazing.

Cant fault the bikes performance in what have to be conditions greater than any you could create in a test lab. To be honest, Im impressed with the performance so far. If it performs like this for the next 3 weeks, I will be giving this machine a huge rap.

I only managed to change the pedals on the weekend, kinda busy, but a noticeable smoothness in pedaling with some decent pedals. Good bearings make a huge difference.

I forgot to add, if I had been on the racing bike that weighs 7kg, I would have been killed, blown into traffic sideways.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby zog » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:24 am

yeah the wind was mad! I went to the bank after lunch and had to walk (bracing and holding it tightly) the bike over a bridge over monash freeway, I started riding over and a gust hit me side on pushing me towards the edge. Any exposed location like that directly in the wind and control would be nigh on impossible.
wobbling around on first new bike for quite a few years.. this one has a motor on it.
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Re: The ongoing tales of a fool and his E bike

Postby mickk » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:39 am

Finished the week riding through a thunderstorm, had to stop twice as the hail was really hurting my face, coming in at a 45 degree angle at a combined speed of 90kph was not fun. Finished off covered in mud but no blood. Hosed the bike off.

I recharged the battery a few times at work this week, the half way point so to speak. There is a noticeable increase in speed on the way home if I do this. Im off to work out the 500k averages, I reckon off the top of my head, the first week was abt 27kph and the second week 30kph.

Pic courtesy of Altitude on the weather forum. You can see why it hurt, not huge but hard. I gave up when I was getting about 10 of those a second in the face.

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mickk
100 mW
100 mW
 
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