Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 14 2018 7:45am

Pretty much as the title says...

I think I may just need to accept the fact that a bike is a bike and it'll always have some disadvantage... Right now I'm loving my computer except for 2 things. 1) I wish I had more umph... My controller is shunted for around 29amps which gets me about 1500w to the wheel...im wishing for 2k+ because most of my commute is constant stop and go via stop signs and traffic lights...I'd like to accelerate faster than cars...
2) I wish I had a full suspension bike. Don't get me wrong I switched to a cheapo zoom suspension fork in the front and I'm loving it! It seems to be getting softer as I continue to ride so that's great!!! But man...some bumps are just too much for the hardtail and I've got a crap suspension seatpost that doesn't so much...

As I've been commuting for the past month to and from work now Ive realized how freaking awesome it is having an ebike. In Washington DC there's tons of bikers...having the ability to zoom around is amazing and stick with cars is great! I did have my first experience where I basically had to do a stoppie because the person in front of me turned into the bike lane to park...I bangged on her trunk and she was pissed. I let her know I was there and she was like...I didn't see you...yup. Just letting you know! It's not about me because I saw it coming, its about the next biker she cuts off that doesn't see it... This is basically teaching me to ride with traffic and not in bike lanes. That rear corner is too easy for people to not check...

So I'm at a cross road. Limited on funds..as we all are, I'd love to find some cheap Craigslist full suspension bike and convert it to an ebike but I also don't want an aluminum one where I'll end up on some video reel on YouTube of forks or bike breaking in half... Man Walmart has some cheap full suspension bikes but I'm sure the frame won't be up to the task of 2-3k watts... Maybe I just need to fess up to the fact that a full suspension bike won't really be worth it unless I spend $1k+ and I should just dump all my money into this trek 800 hardtail? I'd imagine a chrome-molly frame will last quite some time and it just may end up being my best bet for a good commuter...

For the controller, I've enabled regen and it's a generic 12fet controller. It's tiny and doesn't get very warm on my commute at all. I've added thermal paste and pads to the fets and so I think it's dumping the heat very well from the fets. Should I just go ahead and shunt mod it and call it a day? Ramp it up to say 35a? Even at 40A I'd only be pulling around 5a with my 13s8p battery...

Just a few Thoughts today. I need new vbrake pads already. I just burnt through these cheap ones I had on hand... Any tips on a hard compound vbrake or are the black generic ones the best?

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by ScooterMan101 » Aug 14 2018 8:55am

A larger controller that is rated for more amps and more volts will allow you to achieve what you want.
http://powervelocity.com/index.php?id_c ... r=category

For Commuting and faster speeds , it would be best to get a E-Bike Specific Frame.
the
Lighter ones on the market are the
Stealth P 7 frame ( used to be called something else when sold as a frame only ) But it is very expensive for a frame, do not know why they have such a high price tag but it is a good frame.
https://www.stealthelectricbikes.com/stealth-p-7/

Vector Light Frame is a better priced frame, but needs a few improvements , like a better swing arm that will also allow 27.5 and 29 inch wheels , and battery box/main frame that is accessible from the top instead of the bottom, with the cover on the bottom it is too difficult to take the batteries out after each ride. It needs to be redesigned so that the batteries can be taken out of the top part of the frame , that would also require a better seat post design, which by the way , was done on the San Andreas Quake frame from years ago.
http://www.cycleexif.com/mountain-cycle-san-andreas

http://www.vectorebike.com/uprgade.html

Then there is the EEB frame, a generic frame from China that is a copy of the Stealth Bomber , it is a real good priced frame , however it is very heavy , I would have to have a different weekend e-bike if I had a EEB frame for a Commuter.
https://em3ev.com/shop/eeb-full-suspension-ebike-frame/
https://em3ev.com/shop/eeb-full-suspens ... e-package/

Your other option is like you wrote , a used bike from craigslist , but there is also bicycle blue book . com
https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/

A Down Hill or All Mountain frame from around the 2010 year range will get you onto a frame that is a good bike for e-conversion.
But you can spend allot of time trying to find one that is ...
Your size
Priced reasonably
Not all beat up
Has a front fork that is worth servicing or rebuilding.
( you might have to buy a new fork , a DNM Fork and shock , should be good enough
for the street use / commuting )
My first conversion ...

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 1#p1077497

It's 2018 already, lets get some real , improved e-bike / e-velomobile / e-motorcycle designs .

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by 2old » Aug 14 2018 10:15am

The DC area should have plenty of used FS bikes on Craigslist, but all the good ones will have aluminum (or carbon) frames. Find a good bike for probably $400 - $700 and just make sure you have two good torque arms if using regen.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by ElementX » Aug 14 2018 11:31am

I'm working with limited funds myself, so I feel your pain. I have a few bikes I'm planning to sell so i can get a better frame to build up too. Full suspension is softer on the butt, but finding a good place to fit battery packs is more challenging than the ride comfort problem lol.

For best value/bang for your buck, the Motobecane Fantom series bikes can't be beat it you're looking to buy new. Wal-Mart has a cheap similar-looking clone called the Genesis V2100 for $149. Sure all the components are junk, but the frame is probably decent.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mot ... 08NEW2.htm
Image

https://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Genesis-V ... irect=true

Image

Here's an interesting downhill test.
https://youtu.be/1A6bKUCcDW0

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 14 2018 11:39am

Thanks element...

I think since funds are limited...my best bet is to just accept what I've got and pour money into upgrading it rather than trying to get something new... Ive heard these trek bikes will last forever. I've quickly worn down my vbrakes so getting an ebike compound vbrake pad is what's needed...ive found those.. I need to mod the controller with just a little bit of solder to increase the amperage... And last I need to create the holder for my power analyzer.. Ive got a decent one but never found a good way to mount it till now.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by dirt huffer » Aug 14 2018 11:47am

You can get a great deal if you know what to look for. Get an older Giant Anthem or Trance or even Reign... also older Trek Remedy or Trek EX. Most years came with large oversize tubing - very strong. Anything Rock Shox, Fox, Marzochi, Manitou will be way stronger and better than RST or Zoom suspension forks.

Also, dont rule out going up a size for a bike frame. I've rode a size large for 15 years but recently built up a Giant Trance XL and put a 30mm stem on it and it fits me perfectly. I really like shorter stems with wider handlebars as they give you more control of the bike.

30mm stem

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 14 2018 12:15pm

Well I've seen there is a decent amount of bikes in my area on Craigslist. I'll keep an eye out and maybe pick one up as a project bike... But in the immediate my best bet is to work on the bike I've got... Ive got a wood/vinyl/duck tape battery frame box that's honestly embarrassing to have on my bike and I need to redo that... Im thinking I'll keep the wood. Add some aluminum strips for support and create a pvc skin using the clear desk protectors that are like 1.5mm thick and vinyl wrap them for my new battery box. That should look a heck of alot nicer...im still debating the fiberglass route too but not sure..

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by MadRhino » Aug 14 2018 12:37pm

You don’t want an alu bike because you are afraid it will break under you ?

And now you ride a Zoom fork, he

The best FS bikes ever made are alu. You know, those riding 60 mph on rough downhill and taking drops the height of a house. Now they are carbon. Older, overbuilt Dh racing bikes can be found cheap during the winter. Then you will wish for 10+ kw.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by dirt huffer » Aug 14 2018 12:48pm

Anyone still carrying on the idea that aluminum or carbon fiber cannot withstand abuse needs to watch this. 8)


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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 14 2018 2:19pm

MadRhino wrote:
Aug 14 2018 12:37pm

The best FS bikes ever made are alu. You know, those riding 60 mph on rough downhill and taking drops the height of a house. Now they are carbon. Older, overbuilt Dh racing bikes can be found cheap during the winter. Then you will wish for 10+ kw.
It seems like he's bought into the "all aluminum frame bikes will eventually break myth." While technically, this is true, what the myth leaves out is that "eventually" is very likely well beyond your personal life expectancy given a quality bike frame from a reputable maker.

I would also like to add that yes, if you are going to operate at car speeds and faster, please do stay out of the bike lane. That would be better for both you and for cyclists.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 14 2018 2:43pm

dirt huffer wrote:
Aug 14 2018 12:48pm
Anyone still carrying on the idea that aluminum or carbon fiber cannot withstand abuse needs to watch this. 8)
I think that sorta misses the core cause of the myth. That myth centers around the fact that unlike steel, aluminum has no fatigue limit. So the (misplaced) concern is that the aluminum bike is going to fall apart unexpectedly at some point given the lack of said fatigue limit.
It is a misplaced concern for at least three reasons.

1) There is no guarantee that the steel frame bike is designed within that material's fatigue limits for operation as an ebike (or as a regular bicycle).

2) Aluminum bikes from reputable companies are engineered with the lack of fatigue limit in mind. In other words, they are "overbuilt" to compensate. That's one reason they tend to be so robust and stiff.

3) Frame failures generally occur due to defects in design and/or workmanship. Examples might be steel heat treatment compromized by welding and/or brazing or stess risers not properly accounted for. The other major cause is outright damage from collisions hard knocks etc. that are not properly repaired.

The bottom line is that any bike frame can break. So the "trick" is to buy a good quality frame, take care of it, and inspect it for any signs of damage and/or failure.
Last edited by wturber on Aug 14 2018 5:35pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 14 2018 5:13pm

Philaphlous wrote:
Aug 14 2018 7:45am
1) I wish I had more umph... My controller is shunted for around 29amps which gets me about 1500w to the wheel...im wishing for 2k+ because most of my commute is constant stop and go via stop signs and traffic lights...I'd like to accelerate faster than cars...
2) I wish I had a full suspension bike.
So... you want a motorcycle. There's a simple solution for that.

If you decide to stick with a bicycle, Kool Stop "salmon" or "e-bike" compound brake pads should be radically better than what you've had so far.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 9:13pm

Yes, just stay away from 20+ year old lightweight cross country race bikes of the day. Those are the one that will crack.

And ignore Chalo on this topic, despite his expertise in other areas... He's missing the point that medium power electric bikes like you want are the solution to inner city congestion and pollution. For any commuter that wants to get out of their car and give the atmosphere a break, there is no other real solution.
Pedaling and under 500 watt bikes are too slow and sweaty for serious distance unless you want to spend an hour plus a day just getting to work. The added safety of beating the cars away from lights is huge. Otherwise you get in the cycle of getting passed by 10 cars at a green, then repassing them on the way to the next red light, ad nauseum.
And any bike that didn't already come with hydraulic disc brakes has a high likelihood of either being too old, or not downhillish enough, and no rim pad, pink or not, can take the wear from daily medium speed commuting.
The original poster pointed out he's in stop and go red light traffic with cars, and looking to get out of the bike lane. It doesn't take much discipline to slow down around normal bikers. But we shouldn't let that stop us from being able to keep up with cars in the city when needed.
My philosophy is as soon as they use remote control governors on cars so that they cannot drive above the posted speed limit ever in the city, I'll consider turning down my watts a bit.

But again, some people feel if you're at the point of wanting suspension and better brakes, you should drive a moto. But many don't feel that way.



*medium power in my book is under 2500 watts

*medium speed and distance is 35mph and 15 miles each way. That's only 7 miles an hour over the 28 mph stock bikes can go in my state, but it makes a huge difference in staying in the bubble between cars. Regulations will catch up with reality eventually.
Last edited by Voltron on Aug 14 2018 9:30pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 9:23pm

And for a little discussion of the effects of rim brakes on ones wheels.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=95626

If you scroll down there's some good pics.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 14 2018 9:43pm

For a dozen years, I rode 850-1100cc 4-cylinder motorcycles for my main transportation. They were awesome. It was a mild nuisance to keep up my license, registration, insurance, and inspection. But it was more of a nuisance and expense to just keep the things roadworthy and in good safe condition.

If a motorcycle is what you want, get a motorcycle. Be safe, be legal, don't find yourself held at fault anytime anything goes wrong because you decided to cheese out.

Or ride your legal e-bike and save a lot of expense and stress. Are pedal cyclists so much more badass than anyone here that they don't need to be faster than cars at the light? Maybe. But I think some of us can exercise similar emotional maturity.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 9:54pm

Well, after your years of contributing to global warming by putting around, I'm glad you're ready to enjoy your golden years slowing down and enjoying the wide open spaces of Texas.

I don't know why you equate wanting to keep up with cars with showing off and penis envy.

But for anybody in a high density city like DC, slowing down and smelling the roses is going to get you crushed to death. The passing cars isn't about penis size for me, it's about taking on cars on their own terms while fighting to do something for the planet. And a motorcycle in high density city traffic where you can't split lanes is a slow as a car, and in many cases just as polluting.

I still can't get my head around why you think a mild bump in speed is reason to switch from a low impact noiseless 50lb vehicle that also gets you exercise and jumping to a 400-500lb pollution machine with the power, suspension and brakes to go 100mph, to then drive it around at 30 or less in gridlock, and then have to find a place to park it, eating up massive amounts of city spaces on roads and parking structures. If it means lightly exceeding a regulation put in place by a bureaucrat that never got out of his car in his whole life, I can live with that level of civil disobedience.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 14 2018 10:30pm

Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 9:13pm
<snip>

*medium speed and distance is 35mph and 15 miles each way. That's only 7 miles an hour over the 28 mph stock bikes can go in my state, but it makes a huge difference in staying in the bubble between cars. Regulations will catch up with reality eventually.
If history is an indication, then regulations will catch up and become more restrictive. Keep in mind that mopeds have typically been limited to 25-30 mph top speeds, require registration, and aren't allowed to use bike lanes. It seems like our electric power puts us in a favorable light where enough people are willing to give us greater leeway than mopeds get even though we are operating at similar speeds. But how far do we really think that can go?

Now I suppose it is possible that we are on the brink of some kind of transportation revolution and all kinds of new regulations and ways of looking at transportation are just around the corner. But I look at and talk to the average person, then look at the actual road systems and how they are designed, and I'm pretty skeptical. I think it far more likely that operating e-bikes at car-like speeds will get them treated as motorcycles than it is that doing so will lead to or assist in some new transportation revolution. Right now we are largely "under the radar."
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 9:13pm
But again, some people feel if you're at the point of wanting suspension and better brakes, you should drive a moto. But many don't feel that way.
The suspension and brakes aren't the point at all from where I sit. The point is the speed. Of course it is a fuzzy line where we cross over from being more like a bicycle to being more like a motorcycle. But for me, shooting to out accelerate the typical passenger commuter at a stop light pushes you over that line - regardless of the good reasons a person might have for wanting to do that. Low powered motorcycles and scooters have been around for a long time. And they don't typically (ever?) receive "bicycle" status.

Typical speeds of 35 mph and greater are very un-bicycle like IMO. Heck, I routinely pass regular cyclists when I'm doing 25-28 mph - and that's downhill (where they have half a chance of keeping up) and that also includes the vast majority of enthusiast roadies. I can take any time estimate from Google Maps for bike travel and cut it almost in half and get a pretty good estimate of how long that trip will take me on my e-bike. I'm running a Class 3 bike and it is almost twice as fast as a typical bicycle. A person could argue that this is already pushing the boundaries of being "like a bicycle". There are reasons that there is currently no such thing as a Class 4 e-bike.
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Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 10:49pm

I still see it as an act of mild civil disobedience against a system thats been corrupted by the malignant manipulations of Big Oil.

100 years ago you would be arrested for having a drink.. And that changed.
50 years ago you would get arrested for using the wrong water fountain. That changed too.
5 years ago you would have gotten arrested for smoking a little pot. Depending on how advanced your state is, that changed too.

All of those changed because the old systems weren't working for people anymore, until mass disobedience of the law made it obvious it needed to change.

Nobody is saying 35+ is bikelike, and no sensible person wants to do that on a bike path. It's for when you want to live your life less vulnerable to every car driver whizzing past oblivious to the effect they're having on basic liveability.

And I'm enough of an American, that in the interests of life, liberty from slavery from the oil companies, and the pursuit of happiness, using good judgment as a conscientious adult to evaluate the negative effects on bystanders, I'm going to do battle with those pollution spewing machines on a daily basis, without a single guilty thought.

And again, when nearly every single car and motorcycle in America can do twice the legal speed limit anywhere in the country, as soon as they pass legislation to limit cars to 60 hp, gear limited to 65mph at max redline, with remote control speed limits in slow speed areas, then I'll start slowing down too

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 14 2018 11:33pm

There are electric motorcycles, you know. They are legal, and designed to go as fast as they go safely and comfortably. That's a greener and more economical alternative to the loud stinkers I drove for years. And it isn't trying to pass itself off as a bicycle.

But if you're going to ride a bicycle, ride a bicycle. Don't sponge off of 150 years of righteous struggle when what you're actually riding is a motorcycle/scooter/moped. We have different rules for those for good reasons.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 14 2018 11:42pm

Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm

100 years ago you would be arrested for having a drink.. And that changed.
And to be more precise, it reverted back to what it had been for ... well ... pretty much forever.
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
50 years ago you would get arrested for using the wrong water fountain. That changed too.
That one's more complicated, but it was a tiny part of a trend and change that had been going on for about a century or more.
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
5 years ago you would have gotten arrested for smoking a little pot. Depending on how advanced you state is, that changed too.
Again. A change that was part of a clear trend. The public largely agreed as far back as the '80s. Also all of the changes above had either a clear majority or a very large minority backing them.
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
And all of those changed because the old systems weren't working for people anymore, until mass disobedience of the law made it obvious it needed to change.
That's a pretty simplistic description IMO. But let's say you are right. I see no such mass dissatisfaction with the automobile looming on the horizon. At best we have a subtle shifting in priorities and preferences. That's why I don't think rapid change is likely. Slow niche change seems more likely. What is it now, just 10 states embrace the new e-bike class system?
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
And nobody is saying 35+ is bikelike, and no sensible person wants to do that on a bike path. It's for when you want to live your life less vulnerable to every car driver whizzing past oblivious to the effect they're having on basic liveability.
Right. So you then are agreeing then that 35+ is more motorcycle-like - which is pretty much what Chalo said and I only hinted at.
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
And I'm enough of an American, that in the interests of life, liberty from slavery from the oil companies, and the pursuit of happiness, using good judgment as a conscientious adult to evaluate the negative effects on bystanders, I'm going to do battle with those pollution spewing machines on a daily basis, without a single guilty thought.
All rather beside the point. The point was simply that what the OP is looking for is essentially a low powered motorcycle. And that's fine. Most states are going to ask you to register and insure that and get a license to operate it. Is that unreasonable?
Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 10:49pm
And again, when nearly every single car and motorcycle in America can do twice the legal speed limit anywhere in the country, as soon as they pass legislation to limit cars to 60 hp, gear limited to 65mph at max redline, with remote control speed limits in slow speed areas, then I'll start slowing down too
I'm in 100% agreement with you that the rules limiting wattage make little sense. IMO, speed and perhaps weight regulations are pretty sufficient for determining vehicle classes. They cite car drivers for speeding, not for excessive horsepower capability. E-bikers should expect similar treatment when they significantly exceed the speed laws. For instance, I shouldn't be surprised if a cop pulls me over on my e-bike for doing 35 mph without pedaling (assuming I'm not going down a steep hill) and tells me I'm operating illegally without proper license, insurance and registration ... for a motorcycle.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 11:45pm

I don't see what kind of sponging is going on while I ride in the traffic lanes with the cars... And exactly what kind of struggle for bicycle rights was going on in 1868?

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 14 2018 11:54pm

And cars in my area typically drive 10 to 30 miles over the speed limit with the mass to crush and maim anything fleshy in their path.... it's hard to see the big stink about going 7 miles an hour over the bike limit in a road full of cars.

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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 15 2018 12:04am

Voltron wrote:
Aug 14 2018 11:45pm
And exactly what kind of struggle for bicycle rights was going on in 1868?
Early cyclists had to struggle to assert their rights to the roads among dangerous, barely controllable animal-drawn carts and the human jackasses who accused bikes of spooking their animals and endangering peds (which was actually what the animal carts were doing). There were some pretty stupid speed and access restrictions on bicycles early on. It only became a critical issue in the 1880s as cycle became much more popular and common.

I'd prefer to see uniform speed and access restrictions that work the same for everybody and ensure some measure of public safety, e.g. 20mph maximum powered speed within city limits, regardless of vehicle. Maybe 10mph for vehicles over 1000 pounds.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 15 2018 12:19am

It's ironic that you just described what's going on fast ebikes. Stupid speed and access restrictions amid overhyped fears of public safety and human jackasses claiming they're a huge problem.

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 6135
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by markz » Aug 15 2018 12:52am


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