What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Sunder   100 MW

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What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Sunder » Feb 01 2015 6:59pm

I have to admit guys, I'm in the pipe dreaming phase again, but with my commuter now being fully relied upon to get me to work, I can no longer tinker with it, and I'm itching to tinker.

My dad has a farm that has no sealed roads (no roads at all in fact.) The terrain is largely similar to this:

Image

Image

In other words, everything from loose sand, to hard rocks, big hills, brush, grass. Pretty unforgiving.

My wife wants to spend more time there with the boys (currently 2 and new born) and I was thinking of getting an electric bike initially only for me - but eventually for the boys - kinda like a trail bike, only much, much safer, as I'll limit it to 20km/h. (Probably less until they're 10 or so).

I'm just wondering if a standard mountain bike would do terrain like that, or I'd need a DH bike? Maybe balloon tyres?

What would you recommend in terms of motor? I'd want a very high torque, low speed motor, as mud and sand would be very common.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by spinningmagnets » Feb 01 2015 7:09pm

Many common frames will accept the CST-Cyclops 2.4 inch wide tires. Some will even accept the 3.8-inch Surly Nate. The steep hills suggest a mid drive through the gears, the best right now is the Lightning Rods small block. In the interests of full disclosure, I bought the first one...and there is currently a one month waiting list.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by MadRhino » Feb 01 2015 7:36pm

What kind of rider, is what you should ask.

I see NP building a bike for this terrain, but few riders who will ride it in the wild and avoid a few crashes every time. If you make a bike trail it is different, especially if you make it to ride down and not up those big rocks. The better you make the trail, the faster and safer you can ride it.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Sunder » Feb 01 2015 7:37pm

spinningmagnets wrote:Many common frames will accept the CST-Cyclops 2.4 inch wide tires. Some will even accept the 3.8-inch Surly Nate. The steep hills suggest a mid drive through the gears, the best right now is the Lightning Rods small block. In the interests of full disclosure, I bought the first one...and there is currently a one month waiting list.
Is this it?

http://www.lightningrodev.com/kits/index.html

4kw of power? Damn that would be impressive. And being off road use only, no need for subtlety.

Based on the rest of your post, is the key issue really only the width of the tyres?
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Sunder » Feb 01 2015 7:40pm

MadRhino wrote:What kind of rider, is what you should ask.

I see NP building a bike for this terrain, but few riders who will ride it in the wild and avoid a few crashes every time. If you make a bike trail it is different, especially if you make it to ride down and not up those big rocks. The better you make the trail, the faster and safer you can ride it.
Making a bike trail would be out of the question. There's 55 Acres of land, with probably only 2-3 acres farmed or even flat enough to farm without some serious terraforming.

I'm not thinking of making this a thrill ride. There are some great places on the "farm" where you have spectacular views of the river, and some nice lagoons where we could picnic. If we (as a family) can get there in a 20 minute ride instead of a 1 hour walk, it would be like our own private national park.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by MadRhino » Feb 01 2015 7:59pm

Then you need to be very careful with the rocky incline sections. Those big rocks are very dangerous to ride uphill, a crash can hurt you real bad even when you ride them slowly. This is trial domain, it does require skills and training. Making some 10 miles of bike trails on 50 acres is not as big a task as it seems. Most of it will be to select the best places to pass and clearing some obstacles off the way. After riding the same course repeatedly for some time, the trail does pack and becomes much easier to ride.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by friendly1uk » Feb 01 2015 8:47pm

Only mid drive has the gear selections needed for such a climb.

I think balloon tyres offer air suspension with very short travel. Good for ironing out road surface imperfections. Most I have seen have treads that target concrete and lightweight construction for comfortable commuter use.
That slope looks like you want tough knobbly tyres to lock on the hard corners of exposed rock and sink through soft stuff to find it. Any comfort may have to come from suspension or trick seat posts.

Speaking of posts, I just built my friend a balloon tyred bike. His double parallelogram post is now redundant. It's off his last bike. Which had full suspension, this post and a sprung seat. Now he just has Big Apples and it's better. For street.

If you go out for the day, by the time you get home, you have gone neither up, nor down. I would say cross country. If faced with going up that slope, I wouldn't want to be on a dh bike. Standing on the pedals would put the handlebars to close for my liking. Though dh geo does make a comfy mc on the flat.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by spinningmagnets » Feb 01 2015 8:52pm

Yeah, thats the one.
_________________________________________________
The drawbacks with a mid drive "through the gears" is that:

More expensive

LRs is fairly quiet, but still louder than a DD hub with a sine wave controller (Raptor with a Cromotor?)

Cro can have 72V / 80A dumped into it because it bypasses the bicycle components. A mid drive has to be limited to somewhere under 3kW, or the bicycle components wear out very rapidly.

_________________________________________
Benefits?

Entire system weighs less, and its weight is centralized instead of hanging out at the rear wheel on jumps and technical crawling. Try to load a Cro-hub bike into a pickup truck bed. Doable, but nothing like the LR bike.

Uses much less amps because you can shift the gears that the motor is using, bike is crawling slow, but motor is singing way up at it best RPMs.

Same performance with less peak amps also means LiPo is not a requirement. EM3EV.com has non-LiPo packs that provide 40A continuous while staying cool. (Samsung 25R). I do own some LiPo, but I use em3ev pack for my regular ride. I charge indoors, and still sleep like a drunken dog.

___________________________________________
Tires

The fatter the better for sandy, muddy, unstable terrain. Some builders feel the 4-inch fat tires are too cartoonish to use, but even just a 3-inch tire is MUCH better than a 2-inch. Of course, tire width will affect which frame you can use, carry a small tape measure when looking at frames?

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Sunder » Feb 01 2015 9:12pm

MadRhino wrote:Then you need to be very careful with the rocky incline sections. Those big rocks are very dangerous to ride uphill, a crash can hurt you real bad even when you ride them slowly. This is trial domain, it does require skills and training. Making some 10 miles of bike trails on 50 acres is not as big a task as it seems. Most of it will be to select the best places to pass and clearing some obstacles off the way. After riding the same course repeatedly for some time, the trail does pack and becomes much easier to ride.
Might have to plot some courses to some of the more desired destinations and see what I can do with a 4WD. I might have to try it the first couple of times with full motorcycle jeans - possibly even knee and elbow pads.
friendly1uk wrote:Only mid drive has the gear selections needed for such a climb.

I think balloon tyres offer air suspension with very short travel. Good for ironing out road surface imperfections. Most I have seen have treads that target concrete and lightweight construction for comfortable commuter use.
That slope looks like you want tough knobbly tyres to lock on the hard corners of exposed rock and sink through soft stuff to find it. Any comfort may have to come from suspension or trick seat posts.
So it seems the consensus is definitely mid drive. Re tyres, I've got a clean slate, so 3" knobblies isn't out of the question as long as I plan well.

I was thinking at first around a $1000-$1200 budget ex-battery (since I have 16Ah of 12S lipo). For that kind of budget, the Lightning Rod would put a lot of strain on the rest of the budget, but it certainly looks nice. Problem is BBS02 isn't all that much cheaper.

spinningmagnets wrote:Yeah, thats the one.
_________________________________________________
The drawbacks with a mid drive "through the gears" is that:

More expensive
Yeah - it's probably stretching my budget to get this, but I've got months to plan and do this. We're not going back to the farm until the baby is a few months old.

I probably don't need that many watts since I want a fairly low speed, so I might see if I can find a cheaper kit with lower performance.

spinningmagnets wrote:___________________________________________
Tires

The fatter the better for sandy, muddy, unstable terrain. Some builders feel the 4-inch fat tires are too cartoonish to use, but even just a 3-inch tire is MUCH better than a 2-inch. Of course, tire width will affect which frame you can use, carry a small tape measure when looking at frames?
For this bike practicality is everything. No legality concerns, no "street cred" concerns. Only the kangaroos and 8 out of 10 of the world's most venomous creatures will really see me ride this bike. So 3" minimum it is, 4" if it's not impractical to get. Got it.

May be time to start some window (browser window) shopping tonight.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Alan B » Feb 01 2015 9:13pm

Electric ATV

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by hydro-one » Feb 01 2015 9:32pm

cyclops tires would get u killed riding trails or bush.....if they are anything like a hookworm ;) i reccomend a strong xc or all mountain bicycle with a middrive (ive never owned one) thorugh the gears. (no need for cromotor and small wheel here, kids ). stick with maxxis minion dh 2.7 tires and some bigger rims like a mavic 321 or 729. should be fine,!
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Sunder » Feb 01 2015 11:26pm

Alan B wrote:Electric ATV
Would love to - Where do I get a base frame to modify without a massive amount of custom adaptation though?
hydro-one wrote:cyclops tires would get u killed riding trails or bush...
What are cyclops tyres? A quick google only reveals the brand cyclops, so I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by waynebergman » Feb 01 2015 11:32pm

I would think you will need fat tires that so you can run low air pressures and for sure mid drive. This looks like a great place to ride but you are going to be going slow and you will need traction and a drive train that will not over heat putting around that area at slow speeds.There are some nice store bought electric trials bikes out there but big dollars. For the money you are wanting to spend I would get the best used gas trials bike you can based on the photo's you have shown here. Motoped makes a cool frame with super fat tires,pedals and options for fitting small gas motors on them that some have also swapped over to electric. Even though these motoped bike frames are good value I think they are still more expensive than what you are wanting to spend. Good luck, it looks like a very nice place to ride.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by spinningmagnets » Feb 02 2015 12:08am

Brain fart...Cyclops 2.4-inch tires are popular around here, but they are for the street.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Dauntless » Feb 02 2015 12:22am

Image
Sunder wrote:
Alan B wrote:Electric ATV
Would love to - Where do I get a base frame to modify without a massive amount of custom adaptation though?
Well, that IS a tough question to answer. . .

Image

For one thing you could use a mountain bike and put the trike axle kit on the back, the front might require a little more thought so you could steer it. But I' can't imagine you'd be happy until you had something like this. I don't think there is such a thing as an easy way on this.
4x4bike.jpg
4x4bike.jpg (110.66 KiB) Viewed 2972 times
Maybe you'd settle for a trike rear on a Tadpole.

Image

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by MadRhino » Feb 02 2015 3:46am

friendly1uk wrote:Only mid drive has the gear selections needed for such a climb...
Wanna bet ?

I see nothing there that could kill any of my hub builds. Then, believe me 20 Kw DD does climb so mad that you let off before the bike does. Climbing a 3 ft vertical rock does require a lot of power, but most of all a willing rider who knows how. That is something to play with, might be fun to fly over DH sometimes, but not the kind of obstacle you want in the climbing sections of your trail.

Tires for that: Big, soft gum block knobs, and very low pressure.
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 02 2015 7:49am

The picture with the 4x4's on it is extreme, but a good rear hub direct drive dirt bike build will definitely do that terrain. I mean something based on a good FS bike, not a cheap box store mongoose, and a solid 3000w or more motor. The problem does become not, can the bike do it? but can you hang on and stay right side up! No doubt a mid drive is a great plan too. I just mean to say a good DD build can do a lot, possibly more than your off road riding skill can initially handle.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfwdkfNZ7RQ

About the middle of that video, I climb some 15 degree hill, getting stopped dead when it steepens to 20 degrees. The end shows it can be possible to build rideable trail in big rocks.

15 degrees can be done, but try to build trail that climbs at more like 15% whenever possible. Or if steeper, try to make roller coasters that allow the bike to coast up short steep bits on momentum.

As Mad rhino points out, the effort of building a trail up that hill by a better route than the 4x4's are using is well worth that effort. Built right, a trail will need very little annual maintenance, other than riding it a bit to keep it packed hard.

I built about 12 miles of trail in the last 5 years near my house. Just take it 100 feet at a time, keep the tools handy where you left off last ride. Do a lot of scouting, pre riding routes if possible before actually cutting trail. Think hard about what water will do when it rains.

Those trails, and the fun your kids will have on them in the future is a great legacy to leave them. A short, 1 mile loop to start with can be built in a weekend to get things going. Then work on extending it to the real hills. Build your trail to be fun to ride, vs particular goals like getting to the top or getting to a spot the shortest way.

Bear in mind you are building trail for the kids to ride, so find the routes that will be safer to crash on for the first 2-3 miles for sure. When the kids get old enough for harder trail, wearing armor of course, get them an Oset. http://www.osetbikes.com/

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by GreenRoad » Feb 02 2015 8:08am

I think you need fat tyres and a lot of torque.....
A hub motor should be only work for a while - but then he gets overheating - because if the roation is to low - the power loses are high.
I you want to use an Hub motor - you should use a 17" with motorbike tyres - or min. 20" Bike tyres - that you geting a higher rpm for the motor.

I depands if you always drive up a such terrain or only sometimes...

The better solution (my opinion) is to use an middle drive motor - an an rear Gearbox, that you could choose the right gear, to get higher rpm from the motor.
Depending on the speed you need about min. 4KW- to having fun to drive at such terrain.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 02 2015 8:51am

Of course, a hubbie is going to get warm. Personally, 40 min of that kind of riding, and I'm pretty done, before the motor is. That's from before I got sick too. This is not easy riding. I don't mean a hub motor bike will be the best, just that if you build your trails right, it will handle them fine. Even just an ordinary Mac 10t bike can do a lot.

Build that trail for the kids, and a hubbie can handle it. I never meant build trails straight up the grade like in the picture of the 4x4s' on a power line cut. Build it so others can actually pedal up it too. Build good singletrack for MTB's. Your land, you don't have to take the beeline, like the power line did.

Build something for off road, but put your effort into the trail, not the bike initially.

Re the tire, it need not be a full on fat tire bike. I run through some wicked stuff with a 2.5" rear, and 2.3" front. Enough float for when the trails are dry, and sections of it are like powdered sugar.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by dnmun » Feb 02 2015 2:15pm

you should be prepared for a fall also. plan to be inverted off the top of the most prominent incline and be inverted and still attached to the bike when your head strikes the ground first.

expect the total distance from launch off the hill to point of impact to be about 12' in the kind of profile in that picture.

some of the jeep guys who roll their jeeps get trapped between the roll bar and the ground on impact with serious consequences.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 03 2015 7:42am

Exactly why you don't build the trails straight up or straight down a hill like that. Descending anything steeper than 15 (27%) degrees is scary as hell. Especially if the landing will be rocks if you go over the bars.

Got the land, build nice single track trails on it, that a fit biker could pedal up. 15% is the max grade to shoot for, though steeper sections can exist as the terrain demands. You won't fall 12 feet if you go over the bars on a 15% grade, and will be able to handle the descents. Non bikers can enjoy a walk on such trail as well!

As I said before, start with some nearly flat trail, that the kids can grow into. More like a little loop, so you can watch them ride the whole thing. Build them some little jumps on it when they are ready. Save the hilly stuff for next year, or even later. You have years for the kids to grow so no need to build black diamond trail yet.

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by AussieJester » Feb 03 2015 9:10am

My partner s father has 3500acres i visit every other weekend to go shooting iHave purchased a ATV to use there as a shooting platform
if iHad the $$ i would electrify it suffices to say, it's unboggable on all terrain...and has mega room for batteries ... Forget two wheels 4 are very handy on a farm imho too cart goods...and passanges...

Kim

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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by MadRhino » Feb 03 2015 1:21pm

AussieJester wrote: ...Forget two wheels 4 are very handy on a farm imho too cart goods...and passanges...

Kim
I have 4 wheels to work. Real fun is having 2, and riding on 1 a fair part of the course. :twisted:
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by Hillhater » Feb 03 2015 6:37pm

It's going to be a few years before a 2 yr old can handle a bike on that terrain , and near impossible to build a bike suitable for both adult and child to use comfortably and safely.
If you want a 2 wheeled machine, convert a small ICE trials bike ( simple, rugged, brushed Agni etc).....there are several such conversions detailed on ES. Off road, so no regs to restrict you & no need for pedals.
A Motoped type bike would be nice, but cost a bunch.
Get a smaller. ( pit bike ?) sized electric trials bike for junior when he is ready, then you can ride together ( safer)
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Re: What kind of bike goes over this type of terrain?

Post by friendly1uk » Feb 03 2015 7:13pm

MadRhino wrote:
friendly1uk wrote:Only mid drive has the gear selections needed for such a climb...
Wanna bet ?

I see nothing there that could kill any of my hub builds. Then, believe me 20 Kw DD does climb so mad that you let off before the bike does. Climbing a 3 ft vertical rock does require a lot of power, but most of all a willing rider who knows how. That is something to play with, might be fun to fly over DH sometimes, but not the kind of obstacle you want in the climbing sections of your trail.

Tires for that: Big, soft gum block knobs, and very low pressure.
Yes, a motorbike would be more suitable but he wants an e-bike.
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