My recumbent cargo bike

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Jan 26 2017 6:00pm

Yesterday, I rode to Farmville for the first time in almost two months. A beautiful, windy, sunny day. It had rained the day before, and the creek had overflowed its banks, and flooded the farm bottomland. You can't see the individual sparkles, like LEDs, off the ripples on the water. But trust me, they were spectacular.
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Ten miles from home, I stopped to get this shot. Not as neat as an old mechanical analog speedo. It just instantly changes from 9999 to 10000.
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Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Feb 18 2017 12:34pm

Last Sunday, I rode to Scottsville. The average high for that date was 46 °F. The record, set in 1951 was 70 °F. We hit 84 F.

It was 81 F at 1:30 when I left for Scottsville. Winds were steady in the mid-teens, gusting to 28 mph. I saw two roadies fighting the wind. I rode mostly into the wind there. As I left Scottsville, the sky was getting pretty dark. The first seven miles I stayed ahead of the rain. The next fifteen was in a pleasant shower, the last eight and a half was in the sun again, and by Ferncliff, the roads were totally dry. The temperature had dropped to 70 F by the time I got home at 5 pm. Hey, it's just weather...right.

63.1 mi, 2:34, 24.5, 34.3 max, 23.7 Wh/mile

Since then, I have been riding the mid-drive.

It has been way above average, almost every day, for all of 2017 here. Today is in the 70's again, so I went to charge up the bike after it sat for over five days. I figured I had the electricals pretty well rainproofed. All the connectors are filled with silicone grease, and covered on one way or another. The charge plug hangs out the top of my waterproofed battery bag. I put a red vinyl tube cap over it to keep out crap. It seemed a pretty snug fit. But when I pulled it off this morning, it was full of copper green water! There were enough minerals in the dirty rain water to allow a small current to flow, and the curved end of the AMP positive contact was gone. I replaced it, and the bike is on the charger now. No harm done, but I can imagine it could have gotten real interesting, with more contamination.
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Sorry for the poor focus.
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Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Feb 27 2017 6:24pm

On Thursday, I was on a 90 mile ride, still 30 miles from home, riding down a washboard gravel road, when it sounded like I hit a piece of metal. I didn't see anything, but the washboard seemed worse. About a mile further on I got back onto pavement, and noticed the bike seemed a bit bouncy, like long wave ripples in the pavement. I thought perhaps I was getting a rear flat, so I pulled over. The tire was fine, so I put the bike up on the center stand to look it over. Getting down on the ground, I saw that the vertical tube behind the battery pack had cracked, and separated, just below where the chainstays were attached.
framecrack.jpg
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When I had the frame modified to fit the battery, I knew the redesign wasn't ideal. Having the chainstays angled down from the dropouts all the way to the bottom of the battery platform would have been better, but I doubted the welder could have done that, and kept everything square. As I did it, he was able to make all the modifications, and attach the chainstays to the new vertical tube before actually cutting them to make room for the battery. As you can see, the front of the frame is well triangulated, as is the rear. But the rear triangle ties into the middle of the rear vertical tube, so any flexing of the big 2" top tube between the triangulated sections would show up in the middle of that vertical tube. It lasted over 10K miles, several hundred of those on dirt and gravel roads. In retrospect, rather than worrying about saving a few ounces by going with .060" wall bike tubing, I should have used .180" wall tubing to make up for the poor design. I called my wife, and had her bring a nylon cargo strap from the garage. I set the battery platform up on a log, to raise it the half inch it had sagged, and cinched up the battery platform to the 2" top tube, behind the seat. I tested it out, and all seemed secure. It was getting late, so I rode WOT, the 30 miles home, without incident. I dread completely disassembling the whole bike, down to the bare frame, but there is really no other option.

91.5 mi, 4:11, 21.8 av, 36.1 max, 20.3 Wh/mile, 10,944 miles, so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by striider » Mar 28 2017 7:51am

Bummer about the frame mishap! Hey, how is that rear disc brake conversion working for you? I am doing the same to my Rans V2 soon, as it is riding season again now here. Still trying to get RANS to reply to me for a replacement front 26" fork versus the 20" one that came stock, been waiting a year so far for a reply....nothing. Sent them another email tonight.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Wheazel » Mar 28 2017 8:45am

I would recommend that you do any other mods you might have had in mind at the same time.
Easier to justify a teardown then :) Seems to be a very nice ride. What is the wheelbase?

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by torker » Mar 28 2017 10:59am

I have a couple questions too.. :)

Are you the same Warren that used to frequent bentrider? Did you set records at Battle mountain in a velo?

On the bike What amphrs is that pack. Also what size is the rear wheel? Is it a crown? I just checked back in after a couple yrs. with no riding/building..

Is that a sine wave controller? Thanks Warren.. Dave
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

Giant Rincon w rear 9C 6*10 10s Lipo 30+ amps
Specialized FSR Comp 9C 6*10 15s x 50A 3300 W :)
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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Mar 28 2017 1:59pm

I just found this shot on my phone, from that fateful ride.
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The frame is back from the welder with a foot of 1/8" wall tubing up through the bottom. Wire brush, sandpaper, and rattle can red paint waiting for me to find some ambition. :-)

The wheelbase is 74", as I recall. All the specs are here.

http://www.evalbum.com/5173

The Avid BB-7 is working great. I am about halfway through the first set of stock brake pads. The brakes get far less use on this bike than on my pedal bikes, as I use regen for all but the last few feet of a stop, and just a tap of regen before entering fast curves.

If I was going to do anything now, I would make a new frame from scratch. It would be all bolted together, like my mid-drive. I'd use 2" x 5" x .125" x 54" for the main tube, 1 1/2" x 3" x .125" x 18" for the chainstays. I'd put a hole through the top front corner of the big tube for this bottom bracket.

https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Threadle ... B016QRQTU0

It would require a 3/8" thick aluminum spacer ring on either side to bring it out to ~68 mm width. Twelve inches back, C-C, I'd put a hole going through vertically, for a press in 1 1/8" threadless headset. With an 1 1/8" headset, I could buy a fork with disc brake tabs, and save wear on the rim of my carbon front wheel. The rear chainstays would be flush with the bottom of the main tube, and overlapping by 6". There would be two 6 mm bolts, on 3" spacing, holding the chainstays on. There would be 2" aluminum spacers, on either side, between the chainstays and main tube, to get the ~ 150 mm spacing for the motor. The dropouts would be 1 1/4" x 2 3/4" x 7" bars of aluminum. They would slide 4" up into the chainstays, and have threaded 4 mm holes, on 2" centers, for holding them in the chainstays. At the outer ends there would be a 14 mm hole in each one, for the motor axle. The motor torque would be handled by 8 mm flat point set screws. A hole would be drilled and tapped up the end of the dropout, through the hole, and into the opposite side. This allows a setscrew on either side of the hole, extending out to touch the axle flats. The inner one is set to touch the axle before final assembly. The outer, second one is tightened down after assembly. I used a smaller version of this setup for the torque arm on my mid-drive hub motor. Tabs would be added to theses blocks for hanging the rear derailleur, and brake caliper. Once installed on the axle with those big nuts, I wouldn't need to carry a 22 mm wrench for fixing flats. A hex wrench, for the 4 mm button head bolts, would allow the wheel, derailleur, and brake assembly to come off in one piece. The wheelbase would be just under 60", with the seat and battery right in the center of the wheelbase. The weight of the rear hub motor would put the weight distribution at about 45/55 front/rear.

There would be aluminum spacers/tubes inside the main frame and chainstays, to take compressive loads at the bottom bracket, headset, and chainstay bolts. It wouldn't be very pretty, but it would be simple and cheap, and could be anodized to help the looks.


Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Mar 29 2017 8:44am

torker,

Sorry. I missed the question about which Warren I am. You are thinking of E-S member Warren Beauchamp. I spent years watching supermen, like him, racing recumbents at IHPVA events in the mid-west. I always dreamed of being that fast. Now I am. :-)

The really sad thing is that these guys were inventing the world's most efficient vehicle decades ago. Now there is very little interest in two wheel recumbents, just when they make perfect sense with electric assist. Pedaling an upright at 20-30 mph, and trying to stay in an aero position is a joke. It is the most comfortable, and natural thing in the world, on a recumbent.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Chalo » Mar 29 2017 9:07am

Warren wrote:Now there is very little interest in two wheel recumbents, just when they make perfect sense with electric assist.
This much is true. That recumbent bicycles' rider position interferes with effective pedaling was always the most vexing of their several major problems, and e-assist ameliorates that problem. However, e-assist does nothing to address recumbent bikes' ungainly handling qualities, inferior structural characteristics, challenges in walking/parking/storing, or a recumbent rider's inability to stand up when encountering bumps or holes.

Just like they have advantages, 'bents have disadvantages too. For most people, most of the time, the problems are a bigger deal than the benefits.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Mar 29 2017 3:23pm

Chalo,

You sound like Donald Trump. You once rode a BikeE rental. You are sure this makes you an expert on all things recumbent. You do understand that the vast majority of people don't ride upright bikes at all, because they are ungodly uncomfortable for more than a few blocks? Uprights are perfect for riding technical single track, or winding through crowds of pedestrians at 3 mph. For actual transportation, on roads, they don't compare. I will grant you they hang on the back of an SUV better than a recumbent. That is where most of them get most of their miles too.

Expand your mind.

http://www.elmtreedental.com/AR-Recumbent-2013.html

http://www.velonews.com/2010/06/news/ra ... try_122319

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Chalo » Mar 30 2017 1:56am

I rode an Infinity LWB too. I'd have ridden more of them if they were a tenth as size versatile as uprights.

Anyway, I've also seen lots of other recumbent riders coping with the various ways in which they don't meet the practical standards set by normal bikes.

If your special needs demand them, it's nice that there are 'bents to serve you. For folks of normal capabilities, there are normal bikes.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Wheazel » Mar 30 2017 2:34am

I have to agree with both sides here. My recumbent experience is not that big, I own a Challenge Jester low racer since many years and have test ridden a higher recumbent.
My conclusions are as follows:

The lowracer is completely life threatening dangerous in urban areas. You are low enough to disappear behind cars and the platform is twitchy and a handful to ride.
Very sensitive to gravel and sand. Requires good roads.
It is however nice for long countryside trips or training, and you will not get tired the same way you would on a normal bike. Can be good to have a headrest as you are laying down basically and still want to look ahead. The gains in speed for given power input are exciting as well.

The higher recumbent I tried seemed much more useable and could be used in urban areas no problem. You will be visible and the platform is less twitchy thanks to the increased riding height.
It is super comfortable and works for most riding situations. The only riding I would prefer an upright for comfort reasons are when roads get bad, and there are a lot of obstacles.
I find maneuvering a recumbent is more tricky than a standard bike.

When I was sketching on how to build my long wheelbase cargobike, I was going over a lot of options including recumbent designs.
However for the visibility and upright position + a low and clean cargo area I went with a long john layout.
I can see your reference to riding a Goldwing. The long wheelbase + full suspension of my cargobike makes it very different to standard bicycles.
I am sure I would appreciate long trips even more with a recumbent seating position. For short trips I think the current design is a better compromise.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by torker » Mar 30 2017 6:21am

I built 2 recumbents and owned a Sun Easyrider. My Tour Easy clone I built was the most comfortable bike ever. I sold it to a guy that owned 2 bents and he loved my TE clone the best.

Chalo may be right you can't stand up for the bumps. And they are big. So.. really that is how you answer peoples posts ...
Anyway , recumbents have suspension too. The link Warren provided had a guy racing and winning off road with a LWB full suss. recumbent. They are not for everyone just like leather Brooks saddles on an upwrong are not for my skinny arse.. haha that is a joke ;)
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

Giant Rincon w rear 9C 6*10 10s Lipo 30+ amps
Specialized FSR Comp 9C 6*10 15s x 50A 3300 W :)
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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Jost » Mar 30 2017 7:44am

Hard to wheelie to get over the bump. I have a short wheel base front wheel drive recumbent that is sprung in the rear but not the front.

I've purchased a radrover as my entry into e bikes. I use it to commute, run errands, as well as up the trail road (watching great horned owl chicks these days). It get's the job done.

The recumbent is much more comfortable for cruising and is my "sunday drive" bike since the rover is the utility vehicle. The reason I joined this forum is to learn more about these systems so I can put a hub drive on the rear. I'm fairly active in sports as well and the old legs just don't have it for long weekend cruise with all the other activities. Will fix that with some hub help.

I like both bikes but they support basically different missions........

Jim

ps and just because I ride an upright for more miles doesn't mean that recumbents don't rule!!! :mrgreen:

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Mar 30 2017 8:18am

Chalo,

"For folks of normal capabilities, there are normal bikes."

Most normal folks own at least one upright bicycle...exercise equipment too. But normal folks don't ride bicycles. Weirdos ride bicycles. My buddy has a black belt in taekwondo. He breaks boards with his body for fun. He will ride his upright roadbike with me for an hour for cross training, but he jumps off at the end saying, "Now that is torture!"

Half of what is sold in a typical bike shop is the latest ergonomic grips, padded shorts, padded gloves, Bag Balm, dozens of different seats, and professional "fittings". Yeah, upright bikes are perfect. The only bike that most people have ridden is a semi-recumbent, slack angled, foot forward, Dutch roadster, or beach cruiser, or ape hanger hybrid style bike. Fewer than 1% ever end up with a semi-prone roadbike, because they require lying on your genitals, and holding your upper body up with your arms to go fast.

I know several doctors. Most tell you to never get on a bicycle. I know two who ride recumbents. They say sliding along the ground at 20 mph, dissipating your enertia through skin abrasions is a very bad idea, but superior to dissipating it against a mailbox, or tree. And, of course, before you get to that you have to fall off the bike. They suggest that falling off a chair is much better than falling off a stepladder.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Chalo » Mar 30 2017 11:04am

Warren wrote:Most normal folks own at least one upright bicycle...exercise equipment too. But normal folks don't ride bicycles. Weirdos ride bicycles.
Don't know what that's about, but right now I'm hosting a street band festival that involves more than two hundred musicians, most of them from out of town. We asked people if they wanted us to line up a bike to ride for transportation here-- you know, a normal bike-- and we have provided about 90 bikes to meet their requests. Most of the out of town visitors opted in. Granted, they are street musicians and not feckless weenies.

I went joy riding down to and around the lake for a couple of hours yesterday with my house guests from Brazil. Most of them don't ride at home-- stone paved streets too rough and steep, bad traffic-- but no complaints or apparent difficulties here. It was a fine circuit of the Hike and Bike Trail loop that featured enough fresh surface washouts to bring down pretty much any two wheeled 'bent.

As for a 'bent buff saying normal cyclists are weirdos...??? I guess this is Weird Austin and that's my perspective, but I reckon most folks would have no difficulties identifying the weirdo if you let them choose between a person on a bike and a beardy old dude on a bent.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Mar 30 2017 4:03pm

It takes a weirdo to know a weirdo. I am definitely one, and you, street musicians, and Austin, Texas fit the model. :-)

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by markz » Mar 30 2017 7:04pm

This is where ebikes come in, for us lazy fucks who hate hills and are too lazy to pedal.

Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Apr 01 2017 8:50am

markz,

"This is where ebikes come in, for us lazy fucks who hate hills and are too lazy to pedal."

Yeah. I have tried not pedaling for a mile or two, but I just feel like another old fool riding a moped along the edge of the road. We have lots of those around here...usually with a brown paper bag of refreshments under their arm. As soon as I start pedaling I am Fausto Coppi flying up Alpe d' Huez.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by torker » Apr 01 2017 10:07am

I like to pedal.. I just don't want to work very hard lol And the Kansas wind can be brutal.. :shock:
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

Giant Rincon w rear 9C 6*10 10s Lipo 30+ amps
Specialized FSR Comp 9C 6*10 15s x 50A 3300 W :)
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Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Apr 03 2017 9:31pm

I thought I'd add this link just for Chalo. :-)

http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... hp?t=89895

His commute video is my favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAgTMAT ... e=youtu.be

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by markz » Apr 04 2017 12:52am

Warren wrote:usually with a brown paper bag of refreshments under their arm.
More like a Slurpee Slushy "Mix" Cup in the cage.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Apr 29 2017 8:18am

My cargo bike was in pieces for ten weeks. I put it back together Thursday, and did a shakedown ride Friday. It hit 87 F, not a record. I rode to Gordonsville for lunch, and on to Madison for ice cream and coffee, and went past the spot, near Montpelier, where I had discovered the crack in the frame. I stopped by the Chevy dealer, in Orange, to see if they had gotten a Bolt yet, no luck. I rode back through Gordonsville again on my way home. Stopped to chat with guys at the little motorcycle shop there. Arrived home with a big EV grin.

104.7 mi, 5:03, 20.7 mph av, 36.8 max, 1835.7 Wh, 17.3 Wh/mi, 11,049 miles so far

Looks like we will set a new temp record today at the climate march....seems appropriate. :-(

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » May 16 2017 3:30pm

Out riding the other day, and came over a hill to see acres of clearcut devastation...always depressing. There were the remains of a tiny old house, and this boat with a busted transom, full of trash. What popped into my head was, "A rising tide lifts all boats." I couldn't stop laughing.
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