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

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

Post by Voltron » Aug 15 2018 12:56am

Way to get back on topic... Lol.

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

Post by Chalo » Aug 15 2018 1:36am

Voltron wrote:
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.
The problem is that they already fit a pre-existing statutory definition that some riders choose to ignore. Call it what you like, but refusing to play by the rules isn't being part of a vanguard. It's just asking for trouble from the authorities and brewing resentment from those who follow the law.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Voltron » Aug 15 2018 1:43am

Just as in 1868 when bikes didn't fit into the existing statutory framework?

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

Post by lionman » Aug 15 2018 2:17am

Just make sure when you are on bike paths or in bike lanes, you stick to bike speeds, especially when there is anyone riding near you. Slow down to overtake cyclists and be courteous. That will atleast stop you from giving ebikes a bad impression with cyclists.

Personally I think it is stupid that they place speed restrictions on ebikes. What is wrong with speed limits like cars have? You can get cars that can do many time is the speed limit, they are still legal to drive as long as you don't speed.

I think modern, medium powered ebikes are a new class of vehicle that the law does not cater for. They could provide huge benefits in cities that suffer traffic congestions issues and will probably help with the health issues residents of these same cities are suffering from.

As for suspension frames. Pick up a used entry level dual suspension frame from a couple of years ago with disk brakes. it might be harder to mount the battery in the frame as the shock gets in the way. Depends on the design.

Alternatively, if you are going to go over a big pump, stand up on the pedals and use your legs as suspension.

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

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 15 2018 8:00am

So back on topic...

Let me ask this question. Is a cheap full suspension bike going to ride much better than a hardtail and front suspension fork? I think that's another part of my problem is not standing up even a little bit and expecting my bike to cruise over the bumps. Columbus circle around union Station towards the Capitol is awful and the road is stressed from all the heat and parked cars stuck in traffic all the time. That seems to be the worst on my commute.

I feel like if I had 72 volts and some more amps that I'd be more classified as a dirt bike than a bike...

I think I'm teetering more with the idea of a motorcycle than a bike. The speed is quite addicting and quite frankly not the best option for desiring a smoother ride just so I can go faster through the city. I could maybe justify 72v and full suspension and top speed if I had miles to commute on bike specific trails but on the city road, I think a lot of you are right with the hidden dangers in the concrete jungle. Speed will only give me less time to pay attention to something that might jump out, either a pedestrian or vehicle... Zipping around right now is awesome and I always remember to pedal and accelerate slowly around police at intersections...not that I'm breaking the law but that I don't want to attract unwanted attention to myself.

Back to my bike... I think I'm going to go forward with the shunt mod. It's going to take a ton of work to even get to the controller seeing as Ive buried it in my battery box in my frame right now and I think I soldered some wires directly to it so it's going to be a pain... If I can get upto 40A that should overly satisfy my torque and acceleration buttons... I may not even get to it this summer riding but I'll eventually get to it.

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

Post by Chalo » Aug 15 2018 9:40am

Voltron wrote:
Aug 15 2018 1:43am
Just as in 1868 when bikes didn't fit into the existing statutory framework?
Your motorcycle (moped, etc) does fit into an existing category. You just don't like that it's a category with more responsibilities attached than a bicycle has.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 15 2018 9:46am

The more your ride the easier it will be to use your legs to absorbs shocks. You'll build up a bit more leg strength and find it easier to lift that little extra bit to provide that cushion. That's assuming that you are putting in some moderate amount of pedal work right now.

Another thing you might consider is dropping your tire pressure down a tiny bit. Just don't go so far that you'll bottom tire hits against the rim and cause pinch flats. All that said, it is quite possible that given your local road conditions, a rear suspension is a very sensible idea. The problem will be the expense of getting a good one. I'd guess the downside of a poor rear suspension would be compromised handling.

Whether or not a "motorcycle" makes sense or not has a LOT to do with your particular local conditions and your commute distance. Last I checked, the national average commute time was 30 minutes. Are you inside or outside of that?

Also, if you are used to doing a regular car commute, it may take some time to get out of the car "rat race" mentality of impatience and the desire to get there "now!!" So much of our experiences are influenced by expectations. I don't expect to get to work quickly on my e-bike. So the 50 minutes it takes me ends up being less stressful than the 25-30 it takes to drive my car. Well, to be honest that's not completely true. Years ago I started to work on de-stressing my drive by shifting my expectations - and leaving a 5-10 minutes early. But most people in cars are creating unnecessary stress for themselves. Are you still doing that (assuming you ever did.)

I'd also ask if you've done a proper exploration of alternative routes. Good alternative bicycle friendly routes can make all the difference in how enjoyable your commute is. My current 16 mile (one way) commute is about one and a half miles longer than my car commute to the same destination. But the longer route is well worth it because it gets me on bike paths for about 80% of the route, favors 30-35mph street speeds with just a few stretches in the 40-45mph range, and reduces my exposure to cars in general. It is also more scenic.
Last edited by wturber on Aug 16 2018 1:39pm, edited 1 time 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
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 15 2018 9:55am

Philaphlous wrote:
Aug 15 2018 8:00am
So back on topic...

Let me ask this question. Is a cheap full suspension bike going to ride much better than a hardtail and front suspension fork?
Well... maybe? If you're keeping your butt firmly planted regardless what you're riding over, you need to be looking at good suspension, not cheap suspension. Yes, a cheap rear suspended bike will ride softer most of the time than what you've got. But when it bottoms out, tops out, or flexes sideways at inopportune times, it could cause you to crash when you wouldn't have done so on a good suspension bike or even a hardtail.

Look for old but functional enthusiast level dual suspended MTBs if you need to keep things cheap. Unfashionable details like 3x8 drivetrain, rim brakes, and long handlebar stems are clues that such bikes are old enough that they should be bargain priced.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by wturber » Aug 15 2018 10:07am

Voltron wrote:
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.
In my 40 years driving I've observed that 5-10 mph over is typically tolerated. That's what most drivers are doing. That's typical on just about any street I've driven in just about any state. There maybe be exceptions, but I'm betting they are rare. 30 mph over is very atypical and generally not tolerated by LEO. In fact, 20 mph over the posted limit is criminal speeding in Arizona.

I think the "big stink" is easy to see. Many people don't want the bikes going 28 mph to begin with. Many don't think the should be allowed on the road at all. Our previous AZ rule was 20 mph. Mopeds are limited to 25 or 30 mph I think. Gas powered bicycles are still limited to 20 mph. Of course these limits vary by location, but I don't know of any place that is likely to be OK with 30 mph as the speed limit for e-bikes. So e-bikes zipping around at 35 mph are very likely to get some folks annoyed - and possibly annoyed enough to make a stink. Also, if most cars go 5-10 mph over the speed limit and if most non-residential streets have 30-45 mph speeds, you need to be going 35-50 mph to stay out in front of it, not just 35 mph. 35 mph is the low end of keeping up with traffic.

And I'll add that a difference of 5 mph at low speeds is a bigger difference than at higher speeds. And then there is the issue of whether a bicycle is built to deal with those kinds of speeds when the typical bike rider is expected to go 10-15 mph. Typical bicycles have higher centers of gravity and that put limits on their stopping distances. And further, they don't have the same kind of oversight for things like brakes and tire safety that vehicles that must be registered do. How do other drivers know the bike can stop safely?

Just about every day I go faster than 35 mph (legally) for a short distance because I ride down a couple steep hills. But If I were to spend more than half of my time at that kind of speed, I'd use a different kind of vehicle.
"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 15 2018 10:32am

Well, depending on where one is in the U.S., and across this big wide world, my medium powered electric bike could be arbitrarily be classified as a bike, a moped with functional pedals, a scooter, a motorcycle, or just ignored. The recent adoption of the 3 class system, and the expansion of fast pedelecs in Europe shows that the regulatory frameworks are still shifting around the world.

And back on topic again, getting a better suspension post can help a lot . I've got a Thudbuster that I love on one of my fast hardtails, that really takes the edge of those unexpected potholes.

Have you checked to see if there are any non profit bike kitchen to places in your area? They can be a surprising source of decent bikes depending on the local riding. Sometimes you can combo a mid level frame with a better used shock at that kinda place.

I scored this Kona frame and shock for $100, and used random parts for the rest at my local one... Sometimes you just gotta manifest by looking at Craigslist every morning with coffee, and volunteering at the local bike kitchen, and next thing you know bikes are falling into your lap.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by MadRhino » Aug 15 2018 10:41am

I go by the speed limits, not by ebike limit. Here Here we have some boulevards that are 90 kmh, main streets that are 40 or 50, residential are 30. 10 above is tolerated everywhere but school zones that are strictly 20 kmh.

Accelerating other users of the street is a sure safety measure. Being capable of a shorter braking distance is the most important safety. Being conscious of everyone’s position, speed and intentions, is your best survival attitude.

The police care more about how you behave, than performance of your bike.
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 Voltron » Aug 15 2018 10:54am

And re staying out ahead of the cars, nobody is saying get out in the highway and race cars at high speeds in a bicycle. But to out accelerate them at a light for safety, and to be able to stay in the gap between cars is a safety thing. I've paid my dues with years of pedaling dueling with the cars because I sincerely believe in reducing my impact, but I'm getting a little old to shake off getting run over like I used too.
Also, in my area we have a long stretch of bike path that is literally the shoulder of the 101 freeway, and it's not uncommon at all to have trucks sprinkled in the right two lanes doing 50 to 65, two people doing 60 in the fast lane, and everybody esle doing 70 to 90 weaving thru them. And the cops know if they actually pull somebody over there will be a massive lookie loo crash, so they pretty much just pullover the dangerous looking trucks.
Depending on your state, there are actually zero safety inspection required on cars.

And until the regulatory frameworks stabilizes, I'll pay my speeding ticket like any other vehicle.

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

Post by Voltron » Aug 15 2018 11:21am

Ironic too Wturbur, that your bike in your signature is totally illegal! Maybe not depending on where you live, but unless you have a throttle that won't engage unless pedaling, a speedometer, and have a hard cut off at 28mph, why then probably you're a scofflaw too! :D

Not to mention your over 1000 watts you rogue! :D

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

Post by dirt huffer » Aug 15 2018 12:09pm

markz wrote:
Aug 15 2018 12:52am
If money is an issue, then buy a used bicycle off of Craigslist or Pinkbike.com
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2298595/
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2413496/
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2253883/


That Giant in the last link is a good buy if you can swing the cash and it fits. Even that '99 Diamondback wouldn't be half bad. The suspension is pretty dated, but you're just looking for some squish for the pot holes so it will probably work fine. I'm sure those people selling those bikes are somewhat negotiable. Not a lot of people are shopping for old 26" mountain bikes.

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

Post by wturber » Aug 15 2018 12:49pm

Voltron wrote:
Aug 15 2018 11:21am
Ironic too Wturbur, that your bike in your signature is totally illegal! Maybe not depending on where you live, but unless you have a throttle that won't engage unless pedaling, a speedometer, and have a hard cut off at 28mph, why then probably you're a scofflaw too! :D
I updated it all prior to the law change on 08/03 to meet those requirements you listed. The KT LCD and controller has a lot of flexibility for making such changes.
Voltron wrote:
Aug 15 2018 11:21am
Not to mention your over 1000 watts you rogue! :D
The 750 watt regulation is ambiguous as worded. I have at least three interpretations that would result in my current configuration (which is now slightly less powerful than what my sig says) being legal.

That said, I regularly rode illegally prior to the law change here. My point isn't that we should obey the laws strictly. But we should be aware of them, be aware of why they are in place (good and bad reasons), and be prepared to deal with the consequences that breaking them may bring.
"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 markz » Aug 15 2018 10:29pm

dirt huffer wrote:
Aug 15 2018 12:09pm
Not a lot of people are shopping for old 26" mountain bikes.
For hub drives, 26" is ideal, but if you want more torque then a smaller wheel is good too which slows you down a bit. That is why a smaller Turn Count motor is better.

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

Post by dogman dan » Aug 16 2018 6:12am

I did 90% of my commuting on a decent mid level FS bike. ( five years worth, till I got sick) It had a decent marzocchi fork which eventually did wear out, but the rest of the bike is still alive and kicking, and is my higher powered off road bike today with a big rear motor.


Before that, I went through two cheapo zoom fork bikes in one year. So that tells me what to expect from FS bikes that Walmart sells. In both cases, what failed was the frame. No, they did not break, they just got weaker, and though others will argue its not possible, I swear they just softened up and got bendy. Cheapo metals in the frame is the culprit I think. On the second one, it was the steel part that got soft, and applying the breaks just spread the rear swing arm and did not press on the rim anymore.


One option not discussed here yet, is what I went to instead of a FS bike for street. I went to a longtail bike which did not need suspension so much, because of the positioning of the saddle farther from the rear wheel. The teeter totter effect of longtails allows the saddle to sit on the fulcrum, while each wheel rises over a bump. I can't stand a hard bump on the saddle because of crushed disks. That was why I went FS for a 30 miles a day ride to work. I ride this bike up to 40 mph, but to be honest, it rides most comfortable below 30 mph. For range alone, typically I cruise 18, at which speed I feel zero need for shocks. I have ridden longtails for 60 miles in a day, so that shows you how easy on the ass and spine they can be.


As long as you don't ride over speed bumps in parking lots at 30+ mph, you don't need FS. But if you spend what it takes to get a decent older one, you won't regret it when you do accidentally hit a huge pothole at 30 mph.


DONT get a wal bike with suspension. (bike shaped object) Hunt down a used bike that sold for at least $1500 when it was new, 6-10 years ago. Its frame wont let you down, unless you buy one that has been rode to death. Hunt down one with only moderate signs of wear. Get it in 26" rims. Even used, you may pay $500 for one, but its worth it. Its fork alone new is over $500.

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

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 16 2018 11:49am

Dan,

You've got some great info and personal experience on the forum here. Not great about your house and garage burning down but very informative... You've summed up pretty well my financial situation and made me realize the unlikelyhood of getting a FS bike....lol. I've full on decided to stick with the yard tail and invest in some good components to make the bike more enjoyable...and part of that problem is with me and how I ride it. Jamming the throttle every light/stopsign isn't the best method of transportation and neither is going top speed most of the time...thats going to come back and bite me in the butt... So I'm taking it a little easier now and actually enjoying point a to point b rather than racing from location to location... Im hoping to do a pretty decent bike ride this weekend with some trail riding..

One thing that's bothered me more than most is the front fork quill stem... It's this crazy high stem and it looks awful. I have a threaded stem but I've been able to adapt it to work with threadless too so I got a new 60mm threadless stem that is probably going to drop the bars a good 2-3 inches from where they are now. Not only will it look better but I'll ditch a ton of weight getting rid of that quill stem.

Now I just need to build my new battery box for the frame and do that shunt mod...

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

Post by markz » Aug 16 2018 12:08pm

Chalo wrote:
Aug 15 2018 9:55am
Look for old but functional enthusiast level dual suspended MTBs if you need to keep things cheap. Unfashionable details like 3x8 drivetrain, rim brakes, and long handlebar stems are clues that such bikes are old enough that they should be bargain priced.
dogman dan wrote:
Aug 16 2018 6:12am
DONT get a wal bike with suspension. (bike shaped object) Hunt down a used bike that sold for at least $1500 when it was new, 6-10 years ago. Its frame wont let you down, unless you buy one that has been rode to death. Hunt down one with only moderate signs of wear. Get it in 26" rims. Even used, you may pay $500 for one, but its worth it. Its fork alone new is over $500.
Yesssssssssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Chalo » Aug 16 2018 12:18pm

Philaphlous wrote:
Aug 16 2018 11:49am
You've summed up pretty well my financial situation and made me realize the unlikelyhood of getting a FS bike....lol. I've full on decided to stick with the yard tail and invest in some good components to make the bike more enjoyable...
Speaking of "yard tail", depending on your storage, parking, and bus transportation constraints, you might get a great benefit from a longtail conversion kit like the Xtracycle Free Radical.

That gadget attaches to pretty much any bike and adds 15 or more inches of wheelbase, with a huge increase in cargo capacity. However, an often overlooked side benefit is a major upgrade in ride quality and comfort. Your seat ends up much closer to the center of the wheelbase instead of being over the rear wheel. It makes a bigger difference than you'd think. The extension also adds some vertical flex that contributes to comfort.

Because it makes the bike something like a foot and a half longer, the Free Radical can complicate parking or indoor storage and usually makes the bike impossible to put on a bus bike rack.

While a new Free Radical costs as much as a new entry level bike, with some patience you might be able to find a sweet deal on a used one. And in that case, it might represent the best bang for a small number of bucks.

I built an e-bike for my friend Moni with an EV Warrior frame I salvaged and a used Xtracycle Free Radical that she bought for $200. It's become her first resort for regular transportation.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by billvon » Aug 16 2018 12:26pm

Philaphlous wrote:
Aug 15 2018 8:00am
Let me ask this question. Is a cheap full suspension bike going to ride much better than a hardtail and front suspension fork?
If you have a mid drive it's likely to ride better. With a rear drive . . . maybe. Unsuspended weight is the enemy of shock absorption, and so you won't get all the benefit. And you will also have to live with the lousy frame/suspension.

Don't overlook the role that tires/wheels/frame play in suspension, either. A frame has a fair amount of flex to begin with. Add some 2"
tires and you may get enough dampening on the hardtail.
--bill von

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

Post by MadRhino » Aug 16 2018 4:24pm

I have a pretty good 10 inch travel rear suspension with a 33 lbs hub. It is only a matter of proper tuning and shock size, but it is true that it is not so easy to tune a bicycle shock to control the rebound of a big hub, and it is much better achieved with a good old ‘spring, oil damper’ type shock.

Frame and wheel and tire are not making a suspension, even a suspended seatpost has a very short travel. All this is absobing vibrations but not any hit that is more than one inch.

I agree that no cheap new bike has a worthy suspension. Better buy an old DH bike if you want FS. Even expansive AM suspension components are weak for a hub motor build.
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 Philaphlous » Aug 17 2018 6:49am

Yea the long tail is out. Thats freaking huge and part of the whole reason why I love biking so much is that the bike is small...

So the handlebar drop is going to be more like 3-4 inches... Right now I ride so upright it makes sense that most of my weight is distributed to the seat so no wonder why I feel every bump. Dropping the bars with a new stem should definitely help.

In other news..im hoping to plastidip my bike black...lol. This deep shiny blue is Killin me. Stands out like a sore thumb and the blue Duct tape isn't helping either on my battery box... Once I figure out exactly how I want to do my battery box the bike should look much nicer. Plus I'm hoping to shed some weight with the new box since I'm using vinyl floor tiles right now.. Yea I know...cheap is my goal. Ha.

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

Post by Chalo » Aug 17 2018 5:12pm

Traffic laws are about getting along peacefully, about not letting some people impose their own notions about acceptable risk unilaterally upon others. They are a compromise, but they're definitely not dictated from on high. They're one of the few areas of law where public demand has done most of the design.

If it were up to me, no motor vehicle would exceed 20mph within the city limits.
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Re: Loving the ebike life but wishing for a full suspension bike...

Post by Philaphlous » Aug 17 2018 7:47pm

Yea it was kinda nuts earlier this week when some dude flew past me with out of state plates and I was Goin 33mph and he musta been going at least 45...in a 25. Your asking for bad things...

I'm hoping if all goes well to get at modding my controller this weekend. We shall see!

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