Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Ozzzz   100 W

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Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 22 2016 4:06am

Well! done and dusted! What an epic..

In August I caught the Empire Builder to Whitefish Montana, rode nth to the Canadian border turned around and rode to El Paso on the Mexican border, much of the time climbing or descending some of the 60000 vert. meters on dirt backroads along the US Rocky Mtns,

I was on a Norco fat bike that i modified with a Mac 12T 10T hub mtr and a Luna Shark Pack @ 48v.
Dramas/maintenance/repairs- nil! The setup worked flawlessly (if finding a charge did get a bit challenging).

Happy to add comment, some folks here helped with advice and indeed the inspiration to think it might be possible started here.

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Last edited by Ozzzz on Dec 24 2016 9:35pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by drew12345 » Oct 22 2016 11:19am

Congrats! I hope to do some adventures like this in future. Any other pics of your journey? How did you plan your route?

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by liveforphysics » Oct 22 2016 3:15pm

Well done sir!!
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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by dogman dan » Oct 23 2016 6:43am

Badass! Too bad you didn't stop by my place on the way. I'm 40 miles from El Paso. You just proved that a 12t wind can handle some serious dirt ride.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by The fingers » Oct 23 2016 9:46am

Epic accomplishment! 8)
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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ykick » Oct 23 2016 10:41am

I wanna be you!

Great ride...
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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by MikeSSS » Oct 23 2016 12:50pm

You Sir, are my hero.

Also you proved the concept of 12T on a rigid frame, with suspension fork and suspension seatpost and fat tires...as a great adventure bike combination.

Well done!

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Marin » Oct 23 2016 2:12pm

wow nice ride thanks for posting
Marin ex-rental hybrid with 48v bionx...sold
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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by craneplaneguy » Oct 23 2016 3:28pm

I'm familiar with the western states part of your ride, good choice! Friendly people ( few of them of any kind also) and the best scenary in the lower 48. Well done sir!

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 23 2016 4:08pm

The people are very friendly. I didn't expect folks to be offering their homes/yards/food/water..
Planning is easy enough, there is a designated route and map set (that I roughly followed as far as NM), great for working out destinations, campsites.. power sources.. along the way.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes ... ike-route/

Spectacular scenery and always changing. Your country, what is left of the wilderness and wildlife, it's truly awesome.

I'll add a couple of pics for inspiration when I get the chance.. bit hard to narrow down :)



The fatty was a plush ride.. little motor was a good mix of torque and speed. Limited by battery (despite/after ditching the solar panels) i'd usually plan the climbs around its use, greatly extending the distance. Found, with the assistance, I could get a 50-60 mile day easily enough after a coupl'a weeks of practice though 20-25a/h would have been easier managed for charge points over the shark. I was unfit, not a regular cyclist (since BMX days).. my knees have little cartilage left and i'm (now) the wrong side of 50- Anyone can do this! :)


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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Warren » Oct 23 2016 4:20pm

Congratulations! Electric assist is the only way I'd consider it. But I know a retired guy my age, who only started bicycling six years ago. He did it on pedal power only. He is now at 45K miles, completely blowing away my electric assist miles. Nature ain't fair!

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 23 2016 4:31pm

Thanks Warren.

Yeah, I cant physically stand up to pedal or push too hard up hill, there were a lot of places I would have needed too, greatly extending the time needed/walking.

tbh though, I did feel a bit tethered to the battery at times, trying to land in places with power each night (rather than sit around in day time). I'd still do the same though, it was reassuring, probably safer. I had a few days sick, sore, hung-over lol. and could still make miles.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Lurkin » Oct 23 2016 5:14pm

Ebike touring is definitely something I would like to do in the future. Would be awesome to see a more detailed story of your voyage, including sights seen and your equipment listing!

Well done, looks like fun! 8)

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Warren » Oct 23 2016 5:18pm

Electric-assist bicycles are the best thing to happen in my lifetime. Most of what I've seen, and experienced has been a wash at best. The bicycle was the best thing to come out of the Industrial Revolution, and electric assist is the best thing to come out of the Electronics Revolution.

I have been thinking of doing the Skyline Drive yet this year. If that goes well, I'd like to do the rest of the Blue Ridge Parkway next spring. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by footloose » Oct 24 2016 5:02pm

Sounds like a really terrific experience! If it wasn't getting on towards snow season I'd be tempted to leave the boss a note, tell my wife I might be home for Christmas, grab the bike and leave today. Two months on the road? Credit card touring or hard core camping? Thoughts on what you should have left behind or should have taken? Places you particularly liked or didn't? Anything you would set up differently with bike? Suggestions? Details please!

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 25 2016 2:52am

I'd like to give a proper account, I just cant hardly be arsed. Having to get back into work and lifes complexity is kinda deflating :(
I'll try, it may be in dribs and drabs.

Pretty much all camping, maybe 90% of nights. Sometimes i'd pay for established camping or even motels if it was necessary to get a charge but the best part of bike-packing was wild camping, wherever I/we ended up.
GD1.jpg

Sometimes creative spots under bridges. In this horse trailer :) .. (i came face to face with a large bear this night):
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I would/did consider a lighter bike, maybe a 29er with 3" tires? hard to say.. a bigger battery makes the efficiency less crucial. The fatty was definitely comfortable. I had no issues going from zero riding to 3/4/5hrs a day.

I would probably think again abt a trailer and solar panels, maybe not for US states but more remote tours.

I'd definitely get around to tubeless setup.

Something that did work well was a controller bracket/housing, waterbottle holder, tank bag mount, with 12v outlet.. 'thingy'.. I made to clear the headstem.. by cutting/drilling a piece of rectangular 2x4" plastic drain downpipe:
gd controller.png
Everywhere was worth while. The roads (that I ended up taking) through Yellowstone and most of Wyoming are crap for cyclists.
I expected the scenery to run out into New Mexico but if anything it got better!

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by neptronix » Oct 25 2016 4:04am

That's amazing!!!

I'm jealous of your ability to do this.. i'm still busting my ass 60 hours a week right now trying to get to a point where i can take a month or two off to do something this cool.. until then, i will have to live vicariously through people like you :mrgreen:
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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 25 2016 5:22am

no worries, be my guest!


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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by footloose » Oct 25 2016 12:56pm

Ozzzz wrote:... face to face with a large bear...
Probably less dangerous than everyday urban traffic, but still :shock:

Pretty amazing you did the trip with a little 48v shark pack.
Interesting what can be done if you conserve power a bit and watch for places to top up.
Sounds like you tried solar panels, ditched them as not practical in this case?

Did you travel mainly alone or with company?

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Oct 25 2016 2:26pm

Ha yeah, bears add a new dimension to wild & camping.

I figured around 600W of panel would have been needed to keep it to 3/4hrs charge and worth while. Pretty heavy/bulky in any configuration. 20a/h battery would have covered the distance between a lot of small towns etc. Most others seemed to be moving 60-80 miles a day under leg power so some form of services is generally available.

I had company for a few weeks, otherwize solo. There are a few people on the route each day though. Especially in mid summer you get to know who else is on the ride. I'd imagine its the same on the other big cross country trails.

* I should mention, while its in mind. I said I had no issues with the motor, it's true. I did end up using just the throttle. The on off switch and the 3 speed switches are just rubbish. I ended up taping them on/set positions. The retailer really needs to upgrade these, they let down the system.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Dec 24 2016 8:49pm

dogman dan wrote:Badass! Too bad you didn't stop by my place on the way. I'm 40 miles from El Paso. You just proved that a 12t wind can handle some serious dirt ride.
Just a correction. I didn't bother with the CA3 display, just a cycle computer.
Discussions with another member have me questioning the wind of this motor.
I bought two, a 10T and 12T. Around 35klm/hr flat speed, this may have been the 10T (?).

Anyhow..

I mis-timed my flight out with too big a safety margin. Rather than be anchored down in El Paso I spent a week around Las Cruces, in a motel and a few days camping behind the mtns just east of there (met some nice folks and went for a few walks around). tbh I was kinda spooked in town, riding in I stopped at maccas and had to wrestle my bike back of a drunk aggressive young guy. The first night was like an episode of COPS right outside my motel room (Century21) lots of them, guns drawn, mayhem and drama. Was kind of a shock after so many quiet nights camping. Then I eye witnessed two seperate T bone accidents over the first 3 days... the second one the driver was looking right at my bike, our eyes met as he just accelerated his family out onto the 185 without even looking :shock:

Lovely countryside, great riding that desert country. Would have been nice to find a friendly face in town :)

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by dogman dan » Dec 25 2016 7:06am

Holy crap,, you stayed on Picacho street. That would scare me too. Every decent size town has a skid row, and you found ours.

I'll never forget a wind surfing trip, where I found the skid row hotel in Corpus Christi. Next night we found a much better room.

Anybody else doing the divide, at least PM me and ask where to get a safer room on this end.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Dec 25 2016 9:32am

haha, I cheaped out on the hotel. The showdown was kinda exciting once i'd ducked behind the bricks for all the hot heads and guns drawn:




The GD/ CDT goes through a bit further west (slacked out on the NM section.. though I suspect a lot do for wet weather or hard to organise transport from Antelope Wells):
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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by dogman dan » Dec 28 2016 7:28am

Yeah,, that last bit through the Gila is pretty damn gnarly trail, and you can't do anything wheeled in the wilderness area. So that route does not precisely follow the divide every inch.

Any part of NM is a pretty hard ride, in summer temps. But a very nice ride to just follow the Rio Grande through NM. Bit by bit, I've done it from El Paso to Santa Fe. The old pre interstate highway is a nice bike route.

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Re: Great Divide, 2700miles on a Mac powered Fatty

Post by Ozzzz » Dec 28 2016 4:34pm

The route mostly follows gravel roads as close as possible, crossing many times, but rarely on the CD.

I pulled off the interstate at Socorro and used the old hwys. Hardly any cars, great riding, especially around Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Had lunch and did a walk around while getting a top up charge at the visitor centre :)

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