First build looking for critique / advice

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MrIcarus   1 µW

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First build looking for critique / advice

Post by MrIcarus » Apr 18 2016 3:24am

Hello all, this post is a bit long since I wanted to be as thorough as possible to keep from wasting your time with broad questions. I've decided to do a kit/conversion and have spent the last few weeks reading through this forum to come up with a good potential build in the hopes of getting the most useful critique/advice possible. Here's my desired specs, how I intend to use this bike, and the kit / battery I was thinking of going with:
  • - Desired max speed level ground: 30-32mph(~48kph) with pedaling.
    - Desired cruise speed level ground: ~25-28mph(42.6)
    - Want to install torque pedal-assist (want to keep that bike-feel, but gotta ride like superman!) with a throttle to override if I need the boost / am wiped out. I intend to be pedaling 99% of the time.
    - Desired range: Daily commuter, ~5mi(~8km) each way to/from work mostly side streets, but I'd like to be able to use it to get anywhere within an hour's (~15-20mi) ride, again overwhelmingly flat, and with me pedaling. I'm working towards eliminating my car use for anything that doesn't require distance freeway travel, because LA traffic is balls.
    - My weight: around 145lbs (65.77kgs)
    - Current wheel size: 700c ... I think. (print on tires is: 32-622 (700 x 32C - 28 x 1 5/8 x 1 1/4))
    - Brake type: Center-pull Rim
    - Terrain: Mostly flat, some gradual hills, the rare hill that hits 15% grade plus is often really short or can just be ridden around. This is the South Bay area of Los Angeles, California.
    - Motor: I'm really inclined towards geared for the ability to freewheel, extra torque for stop/go stop signs and clearing cars at lights, and the smaller profile (stealthy and I'll be carrying this up/down stairs to an apartment daily).
    - Budget: $2500
The bike that I'm looking to convert is my old steel-frame touring bike, a Windsor Tourist from around 2011. I took this bike from L.A. to Portland, OR and back with ~50lbs of gear on it, and rode it about casually and on shorter weekend tours. Unfortunately it's spent the last year and a half collecting dust, but since I just moved to be close to a swanky new job in the South Bay and just about everything (and everyone) I need is within ~15 miles, it's high time to go electric. :D

Photo of bike: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kkjy51muyexa ... .jpg?raw=1
Photo of brakes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rdj2976d5cwah ... .jpg?raw=1
Photo of chainring: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mcbeuoru8bx21 ... .jpg?raw=1

I'm hoping this bike is suitable for a conversion, as I'm not keen on buying an entirely new bike. Here's everything I've got so far: The current drop bars will be changed to flat bars with all the associated changes (trigger shifters, new derailleurs for rear, maybe a new stem if needed, cables, etc) and the front tire will be a Schwalbe Marathon Plus to match the rear.

Questions I know just enough to ask:
  • - Is 48V with the stock controller enough for what I'm trying to do? Is it worth trying for 52V or higher amps? If so, will the original controller (and motor!) be able to handle such a load or should I see about upgrading to something like the 36-72V, 40A C7240-NC? http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/ebike-parts/c ... 40-nc.html
    - Are the 20+Ah packs total overkill?
    - Is the frame safe/usable? I understand the points made about front suspensions (comfort, impact) but I'd like to avoid purchasing a whole new Mountain bike frame if possible.
    - I worked with the motor simulator at ebikes.ca a lot and figured the eZee 250rpm geared motor would be suitable for my needs, is this correct?
    - The current large chain ring is 50T, which I could never use when loaded and touring. But I understand that with a motor things really change. Is 50T with an 11T rear sprocket enough for me to be pedaling at the 25-30mph speeds I'm hoping for? Or should I look into installing a larger chain ring?
    - What option for the rear wheel (7, 8, or 9 speed freewheel, all 11-32T) would be best in terms of maintainability, etc? Does it matter?
    - Is it worth getting something like the Cycle Satiator to do 80% charges on the battery to increase lifespan?
Please let me know what you think of this setup and whether or not you think it will meet my needs or even be feasible, all critiques/advice you can give is priceless at this point. I tried to be as thorough as I could to keep from wasting your time with too many noob questions, so thank you for reading, and thanks for any help you can give!

Raged   1 kW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by Raged » Apr 18 2016 4:17am

- most 48v kits will happily do 52v as the caps are rated at 63v with high voltage cut off at 60v (just in case).
- 8km each way (16-20km round trip) you could easily do with a 5Ah battery pack, so you keep the lightness of the bike.
- longer distances you might want to get around with a 14Ah pack. If you go 20Ah then you'll never have battery anxiety.
- 50t chainring is perfectly fine
- Keep the dropbars and save some cash. You can mount the throttle on the hoods.
- As for number of gears... I've had bad experiences with 9 speed on a hub motor ( freewheel failures ), so you might want to stick to 7 speed or just match your current STI lever setup to make it simple.
- Dont worry about battery lifespan. Just buy a pre-built battery or if you go a custom battery pack, get a BMS and charge easily that way.
- Regarding suspension... it's all about personal preference, the roads you ride on and the total weight of the bike. If you're mainly on flat roads and bike is under 20kg you might get away without suspension if you have some semi fat tires. I ride full rigid for my commutes with a 28" tire. With random travels (aka exploring) I put on the 29ers with lower pressure.
Focus Black Forest 29er - MAC10T 14S Lipo - 50km/h, 50km range. (dead)http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 91&start=0
Cube Reaction 29er Cyclocross BBS02 http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=70549

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by dogman dan » Apr 18 2016 6:30am

You are on the right track, looking at the best ebike kit vendor in the world.

But your top speeds are going to be just a few mph lower than your stated desire.

Partly this is because you will find it hard to pedal much faster than 25 mph or so, and partly because on 48v, (charges to 54 or 58v) the motor will likely top out just under 30 mph. Do get the 11 t freewheel, so you can pedal effectively as fast as possible. You will definitely be able to cruise 25 mph for almost all of any ride, slowing down a lot more more only at the end of the batteries discharge.

Do get the 58v type "48v" battery, that is, a 14s (14 cells in series, what Luna is calling a 52v) battery rather than a 13s that charges to 54v. That way you'll get the most speed out of it. 20 ah is overkill for a 10 mile round trip, but you'll love some range on weekend rides. But you can double range by slowing down on those weekend rides. You might find a 15 ah pack all you'd ever really need. Able to go 30 miles, riding at 18-20 mph.

Don't sweat it that you won't quite reach 32 mph on the flat, 28 mph or so will be plenty. Cruising that fast is really quite a lot to handle, on unpredictable city street riding.

LewTwo   100 kW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by LewTwo » Apr 18 2016 6:50am

Raged wrote: Regarding suspension... it's all about personal preference, the roads you ride on and the total weight of the bike. If you're mainly on flat roads and bike is under 20kg you might get away without suspension if you have some semi fat tires. I ride full rigid for my commutes with a 28" tire. With random travels (aka exploring) I put on the 29ers with lower pressure.
If I may ask: What width and pressure.
I have been look at my old Miyata 610 frame and am guessing the widest tire I can fit is a 700 x 45mm. That Winsor looks similar.
The more I learn the more obvious the immensity of my ignorance becomes.
Weight Wennie E-Bike https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 3#p1173723
Shaft Drive Grocery Getter https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =6&t=90718
...and thanks to Justin!

MrIcarus   1 µW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by MrIcarus » Apr 18 2016 5:05pm

Thank you guys for your help! Cleared up a lot for me and gave me some real peace of mind. I'll be pulling the trigger on the purchase soon and will start posting the build as it goes

Raged   1 kW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by Raged » Apr 18 2016 6:02pm

LewTwo wrote:
Raged wrote: Regarding suspension... it's all about personal preference, the roads you ride on and the total weight of the bike. If you're mainly on flat roads and bike is under 20kg you might get away without suspension if you have some semi fat tires. I ride full rigid for my commutes with a 28" tire. With random travels (aka exploring) I put on the 29ers with lower pressure.
If I may ask: What width and pressure.
I have been look at my old Miyata 610 frame and am guessing the widest tire I can fit is a 700 x 45mm. That Winsor looks similar.
For road : 28x2" tire I run 55psi
For exploring : 29x2.2" @ 45psi

700c/28" and 29er all share the same rim. The only difference is the clearance available for the tire. Obviously with the larger 29er frame I can use all tire sizes.
Focus Black Forest 29er - MAC10T 14S Lipo - 50km/h, 50km range. (dead)http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 91&start=0
Cube Reaction 29er Cyclocross BBS02 http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=70549

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llile   1 kW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by llile » Apr 18 2016 9:57pm

Try to get better brakes. If you can trade up to hydraulic disk brakes, do it. Rim brakes don't cut it if you are going way fast. I didn't notice if you'll have regen or not, but it makes little difference. For me (YMMV) regen is worth about 2%, not significant. Some guys in hilly country get a lot more out of it.

Cycle Analyst is a real plus. I have one bike with, and one without - always wondering when I'll run out of juice on the second bike.

Gear way up. I have a 7 speed internal hub on the rear, and I am only using the top three speeds. I have 54 on the front chainring, an intermediate shaft hacked out of an old 3-speed that gears up about 12%, then a 14 rear cog, but I am still hardly able to keep up with top speeds of 35 mph. I'm on a recumbent so I have room for that long complicated chain path.

A lot of people just run a fixed 52 or 54:13 and stay in high gear all the time, if they've got a peppy motor and few hills. Actually works well. Do the math and measure your own cadence at a comfortable pace, then figure out your gearing.

Set the bike up for comfort. Lose the drop handlebars - get a big cushy seat and upright bars, you don't have to lean over any more. Weight no longer matters - heavy durable components are now needed. For example some guys beef up their kickstand or even get one of those two-footed kickstands that prop the whole bike up. Get a big beefy lock, too - a New York Lock and a Kryptonite U-lock both- you are riding around with a bike worth two bricks of marijuana on the street - lock it up like you mean it.

I run Marathon Plus tires and slime. Thousands of miles without a flat. You wear out more tires with an E-bike, get used to it.

Cycle satiator is the best charger out there - that being said it isn't the most cost effective. Oversize your battery and it will last a long time with any good charger. Try not to bang down against the low voltage dropout, and you'll treat the battery nice.

Yes, get torque arms. I very nearly tore the wires out of the first motor I installed, without torque arms.

Dunno what the E-bike simulator says, but 20AH packs sound about right - I have 40 AH and regularly go 40 miles with it. E-bike simulator said I'd be getting 65 WH/Mile but I really get about 70-80 WH/Mile, so fudge the simulator numbers up for real world stop-and-go. If you have to carry the bike, consider a way to separate the pack from teh bike easily. Batteries are heavy. I have a little british folding bike with a 10 AH battery and the batt feels like a bag of bricks on the bike.

LewTwo   100 kW

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by LewTwo » Apr 19 2016 3:58pm

There is some sage advice above.

I am in the midst of my third build and wondering if I should just abandon the idea in light of what I have learned in the past year that I have been collecting the parts. My concept was to build two bikes: one as light as I could primarily for pleasure, short trips and use with our bus system which as bike racks on the front of each bus. The other a somewhat heavier beast with a bigger battery, motor, steel frame and wider tires for utility trips such as getting groceries (I no longer drive a cage).

Now bear in mind that I never go trail riding or stump jumping ... would be a difficult challenge even if I wanted to because I am in the middle of Houston. However the street department here seem to adhere to the following rule:
"There shall be no stretch of pavement longer than 24 feet without a crack, bump, pothole or other significant surface deformity."
Although the featherweight is a total joy to ride on smooth pavement I am quite happy it can not normally manage to get over about 15 miles per hour. I rode it up to Home Despot last week to get a small container of touchup paint. By the time I had returned both the paint and I were well shaken.

I like the aesthetics of a classic horizontal top tube double diamond road frame. The utility bike was to be built from an old Miyata 27 inch road frame (very similar to your Winsor). I have stripped the frame, sanded it down and applied multiple layers of bright blue enamel (appears to be Park Blue). I am going to try and stuff some 45mm wide tires in Miyata frame but I have not a lot of faith in the outcome (had to order that size from the UK). At this point I considering scrapping the project and starting over with something that can at least mount wider tires (hookworms come to mind) and good suspension seat post like a Cane Creek 3G Thudbuster.

Reference:
Hookworms http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JFNT7UM
Cane Creek 3G Thudbuster http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000T3BYH6
Miyata 610 https://christov10.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... g-bicycle/ (not my bike but same model)
Image
The more I learn the more obvious the immensity of my ignorance becomes.
Weight Wennie E-Bike https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 3#p1173723
Shaft Drive Grocery Getter https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =6&t=90718
...and thanks to Justin!

DRMousseau   100 W

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Re: First build looking for critique / advice

Post by DRMousseau » May 02 2016 1:56pm

SO,... THIS is my first post, and mostly because I was sorta in these same shoes jus a couple months ago. (although I've been lurking here and there for MANY months!!!)

Until about 5yrs ago, I rode a bike a lot,... mostly of necessity, it's economical! Now retired, I live year around in a motorhome on a SS budget and have a need for some economical "auxiliary" transportation. Something to run to the store, explore about, and in general, something to enjoy. Strongly considered one last motorbike,... jus never thought it would be a modified bicycle of the "silent" specie. But it was not without a lot of consideration,... and a few minor errors. Mind you that my "garage" is nothing more than a large stowage bunk in the basement of my cozy "upstairs apartment on wheels"

It started with a new 7-speed, 29'er beach cruiser, a cheap "big box" purchase I made in Feb. A horrible choice, and I will be scratch building a custom design from the ground up later this summer when I have access to my son-in-laws shop. Since then, nearly everything has been replaced save for the frame, fenders, BB and drive, oh,... and the seat base and handlebar base. I will restore it later and sell it in better condition than I got it!!! UGH!

Currently,....
1500W 48V Leafbike 700c rear wheel kit (updated 3mm phase wires)
40A controller 12mosfet (standard)
KT-LCD3 display
Twist throttle, PAS, brake levers, etc.
52V LunaCycle Panasonic PF 11.5ah
w/variable 300w charger

Far more than expected, and everything I had hoped for!!! I quickly converted to Avid bb7 160mm disk brakes (new build will have 180's at least, and I may consider hydraulics), necessitating the need for new front disk forks and front disk hub wheel assy (cheap tires and tubes were replaced and Big Apple is now on rear Leaf assy) with rear caliper mount modifications. Brakes are good, especially with regen braking activating hard when over 10-12mph. But even below that, the original rim brakes were LESS than poor!!! Ya gotta stop,... and the faster your goin', the quicker you should be able to stop!!! Regen may not be much for restorin' your charge, but it is DANG nice for braking effort and reduced wear.

I've left motorcycles at the light, only to have them catch up beside me and yell. "DANG! Your doin' ner 40 miles an hour on that!!!"
"Never underestimate an old man on a motorbike,... even if it looks like a bicycle!"
Yes!!! It WILL lift the front wheel if I'm not careful. And easily exceed city speed limits. Actual max speed, 38.7mph I believe. And about 12mi per charge of balls out hell raisin' and showin' off!!! And motor nor battery ever overheats in any way. Although I have a 7-speed freewheel is mounted,... I rarely, if ever, drop the gears. I mostly pedal for exercise and to avert critical glances,... jus an old man on a bicycle.

For the most part, I charge to 90% and never allow battery to reach min discharge BMS shut-off (controller is set to higher min shut-off). And I regulate the controller to 20A output and max speed to 20mph to keep me out of trouble,... yep, jus an old man on a bicycle. With such settings, I can typically see 30mi of cruising range per charge with overall ave. speed of about 16-17mph. Much as I had expected after reviewing sim data and more than adequate for me. I may or may not use the same battery for new build, but won't likely exceed 20ah 14s, and probably include a CA3. It took quite a bit to figure out that LCD-3 and surely the CA3 is much better.

Your needs and desires are FAR different than mine,... as are your budget and choices of equipment. But I don't think you'll be disappointed in any way. Except for those roads,.... if ya think those are bad, then avoid the sidewalk. Even at low pedal speeds, they are THEE WORST!!!

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