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Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Jul 31 2019 12:08am
by dequinox
I acquired a giant frame a while back (probably over 2 years ago, $15), with the intent of incorporating it into some sort of cargo-bike build. It's steel or chromo, and is rather large (maybe 20" seat tube).

Well today I spotted this little gem:
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So I went, I saw, I haggled down to $140 (the bag is wrecked...let's face it). Now it hangs from my shop ceiling alongside the frame:
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Now, what to do with it...

Option 1: I have a 1000W rear ebay/amazon kit I got used for $80.00, so there's that.
Option 2: Attempt to salvage parts from the HI-V (my first build) and cobble together a freewheeling crank mid-drive.
Option 3: Legit stokemonkey, or stokemonkey-see, stokemonkey-do copycat setup.

I'm open to opinions, and I know a few of the pros/cons of each option. For example stokemonkey means you have to pedal, there's not a freewheeling option as I understand it. The hub motor will lack torque enough to clear some of our nastier hills around Eugene. The salvage operation is going to mean a lot of custom work... and will probably creep in cost.

With any of the above options, I'll be stripping the paint off both and giving them a unified color scheme, which I haven't figured out completely yet. Powder coating for sure, since I'm lucky enough to have the access.

Now I need to decide on a fork also... I can cobble together the rest of the parts easily enough, but this frame has a particularly long head tube. I have a 700C fork, but would need to splice it with an extender and weld it. I've also considered that a suspension fork of semi-decent quality would be ideal... and 26" wheels would be best for now since I'm going V-brake until I upgrade to discs.

Thoughts???

Re: Giant Xtracycle Build Log (Stokemonk-ish?)

Posted: Aug 05 2019 12:34pm
by dequinox
OK next issue. Steer-tube size and headset selection:

I have a 7in dimension from top bearing race to the bottom. The ID of the frame head tube is about 1.3", give or take about .030".
How do I tell what steer tube diameter to use? It seems to me this would technically fit a 1 1/8" steer tube, but I'm not sure to tell whether these existing pressed races will accept a 1 1/8 sized tube. I'm considering just buying a fork like this.

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Re: Giant Frame w/ Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 05 2019 5:53pm
by Drunkskunk
Looks like a potentially cool build.

The headset should be for a 1 1/8th. The outside of the press fit part of the bearing cup/inside of the head tube should measure 34mm, 1.34".
If it was for a 1" fork size, it would be 30.2mm, 1.19"

Re: Giant Frame w/ Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 05 2019 10:14pm
by dequinox
Thank you, now that's helpful. I was trying to do some reading on it, kept getting distracted by... You know... Work. 😁

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 08 2019 11:38am
by dequinox
Last night I cobbled together the frame and freeradical (FR from now on), just to get a feel for the size of it. It's a '92 Giant Sedona frame, the free radical (FR), and I'll be robbing components off my first build from 2009. The fork was close, but the steer tube was not long enough. Beyond that, I'll be doing thrifty shopping on ebay and at our non-profit LBS, the C.A.T. in Eugene, OR.

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I'll be ordering a fork off ebay soon. I may have found a good match, a Surly 700C fork with a disc brake mount. I do want to go disc on this build just for the sheer weight of a cargo rig, let alone the ebike components.

I'll be stripping the frame like I said earlier, and going with a close to army green and black motif for the color. Kind of like the motorcycle below:
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More to come. I'm trying to solve a "color problem" on my other build, the Giant Simple Cruiser, before putting any significant effort into this one.

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 13 2019 9:50am
by dequinox
Ok I'm up a fork, and it's on the way. I found one on ebay, and managed $62 for it. I am sure there may have been cheaper options, but I'm ok with it since it has the disc bosses and a fairly long steer tube. Hopefully it's a good fit for this build.
I'll re-coat it green along with the rest of the frame.

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So far we have:
-$15 frame
-$62 fork
-$140 free radical
-$20 xtracycle wood deck
-$80 rear 1000W motor kit 26"
-Salvaged: Handlebars, maybe gooseneck, front wheel & tire (700c, I'll see how it works with the rear 26" kit), rear tire, seat & post, head set (including bearing races, I need to change the ones on the frame to thread-less).

$317 into it so far.

I'm going to have a family member help with custom panniers to copy the original xtracycle freeloaders to an extent.

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 20 2019 10:10am
by dequinox
Got my fork in, and the dropouts are a little strange, but I think this is on purpose:
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Pieced it together for a gander at the overall look:
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Noticed the xtracycle dropouts are a little tight for this hub motor, but I think I can stretch the frame a little. The chain would have a hard time up against the frame like this. I'll probably need spacers or something. Also there is a weld repair I hadn't seen when I bought it, just to the right of that boss if you look close:
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The disc brake side looks ok. I don't think there will be any issues there.
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I ordered a 160 mm Rujoi mechanical disc brake set from amazon. I've never used disc brakes before, so we'll see if these are adequate. Keep in mind that is all I'm shooting for here is "adequate". I'm not looking to build the heaviest hauler, or the fastest, or best riding etc etc... just adequate and decent looking. I'll be doing the slightly-more-forest-green olive drab frame components with matte black components/accessories.

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Aug 29 2019 12:48pm
by dequinox
I received some disc brakes from Amazon yesterday, and they arrived slightly broken, so I'll have to return and get a new set. However things are moving along nicely... I way over-paid for a set of t-nuts and bolts to attach the free radical to the bike frame ($27 with shipping... holy ****).
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I've made a tool to change out the bearing races to a thread-less set by watching a bike maintenance video or two. I'm going to steal the headset off my first build's frame and put it on this one.
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No further updates really. This will be a kinda slow project.

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Sep 05 2019 11:07pm
by dequinox
Well the replacement set of disc brakes showed up with chips in it's adjustment wheel too. I'm just going to live with it for now and leave a bad, but accurate, review once I've felt how they work.

I managed to score another 26" front kit with a tired old lifepo4 battery locally for $50, and some built but never used 18650 cells for $25. That will be for some other project though, like my wife's cruiser, for which I've been meaning to build a battery for 2 years!

Stripping down the frames of parts tonight and will haul them in for sandblasting either tomorrow or early next week. I've settled on a liquid paint that we use at my place of employ, just need to get someone to paint it for me as my spray skills i do not trust...

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Sep 05 2019 11:23pm
by amberwolf
dequinox wrote:
Sep 05 2019 11:07pm
Well the replacement set of disc brakes showed up with chips in it's adjustment wheel too.
Are the "chips" identical to the first one?

If so, it is likely they are actually defects in the mold, when they copied the adjustment wheel of whichever brand they attempted to counterfeit/clone (looks sorta like the Avid BB series).

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Sep 06 2019 12:23am
by dequinox
Essentially yes, but there's fewer of them. I might try to mix and match to get a good set then send back the crap. I haven't returned the original to an Amazon drop site yet. :mrgreen:

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Jan 22 2020 5:40pm
by dequinox
So I've got most of this frame stripped down and blasted, getting ready to paint it.

On another note, I'm developing a couple different 3d-printable 18650 cell holders. Just for fun, here's a preview. I didn't want to start a whole new thread on it until I've done some testing.

The first is for arranging "doubles", that is cells that are already welded in pairs. It has a lid and bottom with some head room for wiring, fuses, or whatever:
18650 8P Doubles Pack.JPG
18650 8P Doubles Pack.JPG (89.12 KiB) Viewed 947 times
The second I'm a little more excited about. It's a modular pack similar to N.E.S.E., but without the need for proprietary parts. It's still under development, and could be optimized a bit:
NHC 18650 Module.JPG
NHC 18650 Module.JPG (84.85 KiB) Viewed 947 times

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Jan 22 2020 11:36pm
by goatman
im still learning about batteries, your p group has 1 positive connector/tab on the left side, the bus bar I guess.
would the amps being pulled to the left degrade the most left cell of the p group quicker than the most right cell of the p group, I don't know the answer, im curious. or is that just a tab for the bms?

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Jan 22 2020 11:50pm
by dequinox
This design allows for the "bus bar" to stick out both ends, and allows nickel strip of varying thicknesses if someone wanted to do higher amp discharging. I don't have any data on what the discharge capacity of this design is yet... I just began printing the first one tonight. You can see it in progress here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uBpoiRwxLG81HKK36

There's no physics-based reason I'm aware of that one cell would be "worn down" from being on the end though. Current flow just doesn't work quite like that to my knowledge. Maybe one of the electrical engineers on here could correct me if I screwed up on that statement: :kff:

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Mar 20 2020 8:37am
by dequinox
Fiiiinally got my frame and free radical painted. The frame is painted an olive drab with a touch of forest green in it. I've powder coated the free radical and fork black texture. Came out quite nice. I'll have to post the photo later today, as i cannot seem to get my phone to downsize the pic enough to upload it here.

In the meantime, a Google photos link:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LT2BwUnodNVLGq9i7

Re: Xtracycle Build Log

Posted: Mar 25 2020 11:35am
by dequinox
Ok, I managed to put together the painted bike frame and Xtracycle sub-frame... I'm liking the look so far! I'm waiting on a headset and a bottom bracket to come in, then I'll put the fork and crank on.
Painted xtracycle.JPG
Painted xtracycle.JPG (137.17 KiB) Viewed 131 times