Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

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neptronix   100 GW

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Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 10 2019 2:04pm

Image

Planning to build up a lightweight bikeE for short city rides, recreational rides, or work commuting, as i have a larger recumbent which is intended for touring and serious distance.

It's likely to have a very wimpy mid drive or geared motor with a fused clutch. It's meant to be more of a bicycle than an ebike, whereas my big cannondale is basically a motorcycle that can be pedaled.

Top speed on this bad boy will be in the 25-30mph range. The bicycle will be a platform for recumbent experiments, due to it's shape lending to bolting on things with ease; and may later become a velomobile.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 10 2019 2:04pm

reserved
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 10 2019 2:05pm

reserved
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by Cowardlyduck » Aug 10 2019 7:17pm

Welcome to the BikeE club! :)

What kind of battery setup do you plan for it?
I found mounting mine on the rear tail as I did initially for a number of years somewhat ruined the handling leading to a number of unintended crashes and some complete flips off the back a few times. That's one of the main reasons I went with the internally mounted 18650 pack in the end. It completely fixed the handling problems putting a decent amount of weight back on the front wheel which was the source of most issues.

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 11 2019 11:02am

Cowardlyduck wrote:
Aug 10 2019 7:17pm
What kind of battery setup do you plan for it?
I found mounting mine on the rear tail as I did initially for a number of years somewhat ruined the handling leading to a number of unintended crashes and some complete flips off the back a few times. That's one of the main reasons I went with the internally mounted 18650 pack in the end. It completely fixed the handling problems putting a decent amount of weight back on the front wheel which was the source of most issues.
Glad you brought this up. I suspected this would be a problem when i realized my optimal sitting position was at the end of the seat's rearward travel :lol:. This is the downside of a 6 foot tall person riding a 'standard' size frame.. but i knew this going in, and wasn't too worried about it, otherwise i would have bought an XL frame.

I do also plan to use larger wheels, and the front may end up taller than the rear, so the wheelie problem could get even worse than yours.

I have a 17AH 48v shark pack, so mounting the battery gives me a few options:
1) Butted up against the seat's front nose. Just depending on whether the legs manage to dodge it during a full rotation, getting on/off the bike etc..
2) Right against the headtube. Again, depending on how the legs move. Of course this would be preferable for weight balance.
3) Somewhere on the bottom of the frame, depending on chain clearance. Probably just ahead of the seat, which wouldn't be great for weight balance, but it would work.

A custom internal frame battery pack like you have would be the holy grail, but this bike isn't that serious.. :mrgreen:

I was also thinking of building a custom mid drive which would be mounted on the front of the bike, so that would help with the weight balance problem too.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by sleepy_tired » Aug 11 2019 1:21pm

Bicycles are naturally rear-heavy and sometimes these recumbents have almost no weight on the front.

If you can find a nice big hill in your area it may be worth your time to figure out how well the bike handles at speed with different weights in different locations. I suspect that adding the battery directly over the front wheel might make a significant improvement.

Putting larger wheels is going to change handling as well. It'll increase trail which will probably make any handling situation worse. It's very difficult to predict how changes will impact handling, but with recumbents usually you only want very small amount of trail. Otherwise 'wheel flop' becomes a issue and you can actually lose a lot of stability... which is the opposite of what a naive understanding of trail will suggest.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 11 2019 5:19pm

sleepy_tired wrote:
Aug 11 2019 1:21pm
If you can find a nice big hill in your area it may be worth your time to figure out how well the bike handles at speed with different weights in different locations. I suspect that adding the battery directly over the front wheel might make a significant improvement.
I basically live in the middle of a rollercoaster, so that's no problem. A grade anywhere from -35% to +40% is available to me.
I think that instead of doing all this testing for best location; i should just mount the battery as forward as reasonable.
sleepy_tired wrote:
Aug 11 2019 1:21pm
Putting larger wheels is going to change handling as well. It'll increase trail which will probably make any handling situation worse. It's very difficult to predict how changes will impact handling, but with recumbents usually you only want very small amount of trail. Otherwise 'wheel flop' becomes a issue and you can actually lose a lot of stability... which is the opposite of what a naive understanding of trail will suggest.
Does that statement still apply if the amount of raise on both wheels is the same?

Could you reduce the added trail by reversing the suspension fork, or maybe just reversing the stanchions themselves, which would make where the wheel sits go backwards by about half of the total vertical offset from the steering tube to where the axle sits..

Because maybe that would give me room to experiment with fork geometry to find what's best.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 11 2019 11:18pm

I've got the bike fully together, and must say that i really like how it rides. It's gentle even when you bang the poor 16 inch tire into a 2 inch dip, but you certainly feel it, but it's not the end of the world. One strange effect is that hits to the front wheel resonate across the frame. The bike could certainly use a suspension fork up there.

The bike is nimble and light, and the short ish CLWB wheelbase allows me to whip it around in the city pretty easily. In lower speed situations, it's much more confident. Another thing that helps is that the center of gravity is nice and low.

The stock front fork will take up to a 16 x 2.0 and the rear looks like it will take a 20 x 2.75.
The rear shock uses what looks like standardized shock hardware, so if you wanted to put 20" up front, you could raise the rear using a longer shock. So that's an option.

The stock brakes are powerful, especially the rear!
I would call the bike pretty fast, but haven't got a GPS verified top pedaling speed yet... so, more info later.

All in all, i like it and can't wait to get a kit on. :)
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by hypertoric_amplituhedron » Aug 12 2019 2:01am

From my frightening experiences in searching for the right weight balance on a recumbent, it was battery right below the seat that seemed to work best. To far forward or back, and it's really sketchy in bumpy and/or tight corners. That's what worked on my Bacchetta, but a long wheelbase may have other options ......
There are two types of people in this world.

1. Those who can extrapolate from missing information.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 10:12am

hypertoric_amplituhedron wrote:
Aug 12 2019 2:01am
From my frightening experiences in searching for the right weight balance on a recumbent, it was battery right below the seat that seemed to work best. To far forward or back, and it's really sketchy in bumpy and/or tight corners. That's what worked on my Bacchetta, but a long wheelbase may have other options ......
Does/did your Bacchetta have a geometry like this? IE a highracer...

Image

Because i've ridden a bike like that and can say that there's another ballgame of handling characteristics.

Y'all are probably right that i should at least experiment with battery positioning. Because of the frame's shape, i can slide things about. I need to head to the hardware store to find some appropriate bits..
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by hypertoric_amplituhedron » Aug 12 2019 3:06pm

Yes, it's this thing : viewtopic.php?f=6&t=99397&p=1464529#p1455391

It is fairly top-heavy, especially front-top, because of the bbshd. The low battery made it better, but it still has the offset. This is very noticeable in tight slow speed corners, like a quick maneuvering around something. The front wheel has a tendency to hop and skip sideways while rolling forward in these corners, which is scary as hell. Maybe a rear DD hubmotor is best, but I really like the mid drives.

The bikeE seems better suited for what I would want. I test rode one along with a similar Vision, at the REI I worked at. They feel great (Vision was nicer, not as awesome as your other cannondale bent). Even if I'm clipped in, and electric or not, keeping your legs up on a high racer is half of the workout, lol.

You could always use ratchet straps to hang the battery below the seat like I am. A square frame like that would keep it pretty stable I would think, better than my oval tube. Also, yeah, the seat clamps on that rig are known to be scary weak, even if they have the silly key ring slipped over the nylon. I imagine someone makes an alloy version by now.
There are two types of people in this world.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 3:38pm

Ah yeah, one of those. I bet you have the kind of whr/mi i could only dream of on my CLWBs. I do plan to throw fairings at both of mine to make up for the deficiency though. :mrgreen:

Yeah that is another ballgame entirely. The hop and skip of the wheels is a thing that naturally happens on bikes without suspension but also go fast. Maybe that characteristic would improve if you went with a 24" front wheel with a suspension fork ( yes, 24" suspension forks actually exist )

DD or geared motors are probs better. I'm not suprised that the 8 ( or more ) lbs you added to one end of the bike made it do goofy things.

I am aware of the crappy seat setup on this bike. There's two eye popping structural deficits with the seat that give me pause. It's likely that i will cut into the 'sweet seat's rear rails and convert to flute tubes so that i can lean back more, and distribute the weight away from the wimpy rails. This will give me 6 points of frame contact rather than 4. But that's down the road.

You're right that i could just strap the battery on temporarily, probably even with zip ties, thanks to the frame's shape.
Yup, that is exactly why i bought this goofy looking thing :mrgreen:
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 3:53pm

So i've been thinking about this bike's front wheel and realized it could use an upgrade, just like the cannondale. I do believe i found the parts to do it.

Gameplan: 20" stiff chromoly fork up front, and the tire will range from 20" x 1.5" to 18" x 1.5", all depending on how the bike handles the front being raised. 20"-ish wheels should be enough of an improvement in ride quality that i'd be confident taking 'er up to 30mph on most roads. Fine enough.

A taller rear shock and big rear tire will be used to lift the rear, to get the bike's geometry to as close as stock as we can get.

The front fork is 1 1/4, which is an oddball size for recumbents. So like the cannondale, i need to convert it to a 1 1/8 as well using some sort of headset adapter. Not sure which part to use, but i know people have done this before.

But what about the big handlebar tube? well, rans sells one with an inner diameter of 1 1/8 inches, and outer diameter close enough to 1 1/4 in. that you can use 1 1/4in clamps. These parts were confirmed to work together by a call to rans, who is very helpful over the phone :thumb:

So i'd need one of these..

Image

http://shop.ransbikes.com/product-p/bphb0035.htm

Paired with one each of these clamps..

http://shop.ransbikes.com/product-p/mscp0212.htm
http://shop.ransbikes.com/product-p/bscp0130a.htm

And then i imagine a yuuuuuuuuuge threaded rod could be used to get the tension right on the headset.

Actually one big plus of doing this conversion is that the stock BikeE handlebar tube is chromoly and easily 2-3lbs. The bikeE also has some shims and tensioners that make the headtube go on. So there's the ability to drop a couple pounds off the front, making room for the battery weight. :idea:
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by Cowardlyduck » Aug 12 2019 6:19pm

Regarding the BikeE seat sliders, yeah they are not great stock, but there are replacements parts out there. I can't find the source any more, but a while back I found an online store selling all sorts of parts for BikeE and other recumbents including complete replacement seat backs which I was very tempted by, but the prices are not cheap.

Here's a few other sources of BikeE info I've bookmarked over the years:

http://tachyonlabs.com/my-bikee-recumbe ... .html#Mods

http://poleary.proboards.com/board/3


***Edit***

Found the source:
https://store.bicycleman.com/collections/bike-e-parts
Now watch your wallet drain as you discover all the awesome parts you can get for these bikes. :P

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by Drunkskunk » Aug 12 2019 7:53pm

That looks like a fun project.

Way back in the day, I had a sketch of a recumbent based on an Ebike design. It looked like that, only with a longer rear swing arm and the tail of the frame clipped. OK, so also I wanted to fit a new-at-the-time 36" Unicycle wheel to the rear, and keep the 16" front. :roll:
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 11:41pm

Drunkskunk wrote:
Aug 12 2019 7:53pm
That looks like a fun project.

Way back in the day, I had a sketch of a recumbent based on an Ebike design. It looked like that, only with a longer rear swing arm and the tail of the frame clipped. OK, so also I wanted to fit a new-at-the-time 36" Unicycle wheel to the rear, and keep the 16" front. :roll:
36" unicycle wheel might remove the need for suspension, but that would look interesting :lol:

What you're talking about seems to be along the lines of this.. what do you think of it?

Image
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 12 2019 11:58pm

Holy shit guys, the Bike E is a riot to ride!
bike-e-adjusted.jpg
bike-e-adjusted.jpg (219.55 KiB) Viewed 740 times
I've got some aero oriented handlebars on it, and attached the original rear bag. Although, the bag has sort of a strange fit on the bike. However, the bag has the carrying capacity of a small toolbox, so that's pretty rad.
bikee-bag.jpg
bikee-bag.jpg (140.46 KiB) Viewed 740 times
One thing i'm mystified about is whether this should be setup this way. I do have a couple small spare pieces - mind you, the bike started as a pile of parts, 100% seperated, all in a bag, with no instructions.
chaingrind.jpg
chaingrind.jpg (168.34 KiB) Viewed 740 times
There was a mystery clunk coming from the front end that was pretty concerning. I thought maybe it was coming from the steering mechanism, which is awfully complex. But no, it was coming from these cables.
mystery-clunk1.jpg
mystery-clunk1.jpg (161.11 KiB) Viewed 740 times
Here is my ghetto fix for the mystery clunk. I also added a zip tie for i think the rear brake(?) line that ran along the shifter line.
mystery-clunk2.jpg
mystery-clunk2.jpg (165.58 KiB) Viewed 740 times
All in all, the bike is a complete hoot to ride! i'd say that the handling is a little poorer than the cannondale, but not by much. The ride is awfully similar, it's just that things that happen ( like broken pavement on sidewalks ) at the front end are certainly noticeable, but suprisingly not super uncomfortable.

With the 1.95 hookworm up front and a 2.0 schwalbe out back, i took to the streets and discovered the joy of the bikeE. I like it's shorter turning radius and smaller size, it's notably more manageable in the city than the cannondale. It also corners pretty dang fast, and i think that's due to the lower center of gravity on this bike vs. the larger cannondale.

The bike is fast; i mean REAL fast. I peaked at 24.4mph, a new human powered record for me. Overall it felt like i could sustain 18-20mph for long periods of time. It is noticeably faster than the cannondale and i think a good reason for that is the smaller aerodynamic profile, lower weight, and lower chain friction losses due to the lack of a mid drive.

I had a serious joyride - all grins - on the damn thing. It got plenty of random thumbs up from pedestrians and a dude on a scooter downtown. I blew past some roadies up a slight hill. I have to say i'm SUPER impressed at how comfortable and fast this bike is, and i haven't even got it fully dialed in yet.
high score.png
high score.png (200.74 KiB) Viewed 740 times
Also, the braking on this thing is good.. better than the cannondale if you can believe it ( in this wheel size, v brakes are better )

Overall i think i like this better than the cannondale for it's sprightly handling. The cannondale is better for fast speeds, so yes, this is just the right bike for a light efficient build. :)
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by sleepy_tired » Aug 13 2019 1:17am

Does that statement still apply if the amount of raise on both wheels is the same?
Yes, a little bit. Imagine a line going through the middle of the head tube until it touches the ground. That's the angle the steering rotates on. Mark that point on the concrete. Then mark the center of the tire patch. The difference between the two points is the trail.

So if you put a taller tire and keep the angles exactly the same then that will increase the trail. Simply because you are raising everything up and making those lines longer.

How the trail impacts steering is spooky magic to me. I know the 'caster wheel effect' were it's thought the tire patch 'pulls' the tire behind the center of rotation and keeps the wheel straight. But gravity and weight matters.

If you look at most conventional bikes and you put a lot of weight on the front the handle bars should self-center as long as you don't move the handle bars very much. The way the angles work is that as long as you just change the angle a bit then it'll lift up the front of the bike very slightly. But if you move the handle bars too much then it'll pass over a 'hump' and then sort of 'fall down' and the wheel will then try to rapidly move all the way by itself. This is called 'flop'. Some flop is considered desirable, but too much makes the bike a handful.


...

On 20 inch BMX bikes they have two general style of forks they like using...

https://p.vitalbmx.com/photos/forums/20 ... 126059.jpg

Long offset and short offset. The short offset makes tricks easier and bar spins and such things for Park-style BMX. The long offset is seen as increasing stability for racing-style BMXs. Well.. the short offset has more trail. The long offset has less trail.

But if you go and talk to a MTB guy they will tell you over and over again how downhill bikes have a lot of trail to make them stable at speed.

Both viewpoints are probably correct. It's complicated.


The deal with recumbents is that they have very steep head tubes. This is to point the handle bars towards the laid-back rider to reduce the 'rudder' effect. So they tend to suffer a lot of 'flop'. If you get too much trail, or otherwise mess up the head angle, then you can lose that self-centering action completely. Then the bike will want to steer left or right all the time and you will need to apply constant steering correction.


I have zero clue if this will be a big deal or not with your bike. But if you want to maintain the existing handling then it's worth doing some measurements and keep in mind what you are doing with the mods.

I am guessing that you don't want to change the trail by more then a quarter inch in either direction. If the fork is specifically designed for the bikeE to allow a standard-sized tire then it probably has the necessary angles. If not and you do see the trail getting long then probably putting a fatter tire on the rear or otherwise raising the rear a inch or two would bring it back into alignment.

Of course the theory means nothing compared to actual testing. There is always the possibility that mods can actually improve things.

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 13 2019 10:49am

If i'm understanding you correctly, i need to make sure the trail doesn't grow or change too much.
This makes me think that a BMX fork with a super short offset would maintain the original trail... hm?

Image

I think that even if the super short offset fork *still* added too much trail, you could flip it around.

So i hunted for some former experience, and i'm so lucky bent rider online and random webpages still exist..

This guy did a front suspension fork and 20 inch wheel.

https://www.plunk.org/eben/Albums/BikeE/

Image

Image
So, how does it ride? Pretty well, actually. Here's the bad:
Fork flop. When the bike is stopped, the handlebars really want to go either right or left. It's not really noticable to me when moving, however.
Lighter front end. Lifting the front end by 4+ inches makes the front end lighter on the steepest uphills, making me lean forward sooner to keep the front wheel from lifting. I wouldn't want to make this change if I didn't have an XL length frame, or if I was any taller. Lowering the handlebars by a few inches helped this a lot - for mountain bike riding you want a more upright posture anyway.
And the good:
Having 2.5" of travel on the front fork is great! That, plus the larger front wheel, make this bike handle all the bumps on the trail much better.
Going down hill at speed the bike feels much more stable than with the 16" front wheel.
The crank had to be bent outwards and he had to use a super wide bottom bracket for the cranks to clear the suspension fork. This is something i didn't consider before ordering a suspension fork. :oops: I am not down to hobble my pedaling ability.

This will be a huge problem that needs solving on the cannondale. But since i'm OK with a no suspension frontend on this bike, i don't even wanna think about that for now.

This other fella from bent rider online had major wheel flop with a low offset fork, until he went in the other direction and added significantly more offset than the 16" fork. What it looks like is that the offset on this fork is proportional ( if not a little more than OE ) to the added length of the fork.

Image

https://www.bentrideronline.com/message ... 180&page=6
Beauty may of course be in the eyes of the creator, but I'm happy with the end result. Unlike with my original low trail fork the handling is absolutely fine and the bike retains most of its slow speed manoevreablity with better handling at speed. And speed is definitely improved... it rolls much more easily, and on my test ride I was up to 20 mph on the flat without really trying. The bike with the original 16" front wheel felt like I was riding through treacle most of the time and reaching 20 mph was only really possible downhill.

I am on the shorter side, pretty lightweight, and this is an XL frame so I've managed to get away without any unicycle moments - taller, heavier riders on shorter frames might not be so lucky!

So what am i gonna do?

I'd look up the rans fork, if their website was working as of writing :mrgreen:
But i think the rans is made of aluminum, which would be a huge step back for smoothing out the bumps.

However, what i'm thinking is that i could pick up a light weight ( preferred so that it has some give ) steel 20" disc fork and bribe a local machine shop to bend the tubes for me. It could take a couple rounds of bending, throwing the fork on the bike, and giving it a spin. This is something i should do after electrifying the bike, so that i can quickly hit the top speed of 30mph during testing.

The 16 x 2.0" front tire is comfortable/safe enough for now.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 13 2019 3:05pm

OK... with a 16 x 2.125 tire on the front OE rim, i have about 5mm left on each side.
So i ordered up a BMX oriented 16 x 2.25", and if i need to put a tiny divot in the fork to get the thing to fit, so be it.

Going from a 1.5" to a 1.95" gave me a significant comfort increase, so i think adding another 0.3" will make an impact.

I read a horror story about a front bikeE fork collapsing from swbluto here on the forum. Turns out he hit a 3"-4" pothole at 19mph. But this was a super early model from 1993.

Image

Looking at this, the way the fork folded is pretty interesting. This looks completely unlike the fork on my bike, and may actually be weaker. I cannot find any information on the first year bikeE's and this fork. So maybe i'm getting worried over nothing and maxing out the tire will be plenty sturdy.


Tonight i will give 'er another ride and adjust session. I've installed superman bars, took some tension out of the top of the seat so i can lean back further, and installed a smidge taller tire, so it'll be interesting to see how much faster the bike is.


I have an idea for a mid drive system that uses the original seat rails from the bike to hold a hub up next to the cranks, then chain drives the cranks directly. The 3lbs Xiongda YTW-06 dual reduction gear hub i have should be perfect for this. But ideally i'd like the tiny bafang because the bafang dual reduction hubs have MUCH better freewheeling.

I'll use the original seat sliders for the mid drive setup, and replace the current known weak ones with these bad bois:
https://store.bicycleman.com/products/b ... at-sliders

Perhaps this seat slider mid drive and the battery mount could be one composite piece. It could either hang below, or above the tube. I need to head to the hardware store to see if i can get some nice 'U' shaped metal to form the foundation.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Cowardlyduck   100 MW

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by Cowardlyduck » Aug 13 2019 6:03pm

Hey Nep, not sure if you missed it above, but I posted a few links to the best sources of BikeE stuff I've found to date:
Here's a few other sources of BikeE info I've bookmarked over the years:

http://tachyonlabs.com/my-bikee-recumbe ... .html#Mods

http://poleary.proboards.com/board/3
You should check those out for more ideas.

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 13 2019 8:39pm

Ah yeah i'd already been there, and meant to say thanks for the link anyway ;)

You are right about front wheelies. :( i got them to happen under pedal power and i'm a bit distraught over it. But i can prevent it from getting worse. Here are the things affecting the front rear balance:

- i had the seat adjusted all the way back, but found out that the optimal seating position is actually 1/2 inch forward.
- i have a front tire that is 0.625 inches larger in diameter than stock.
- i have adjusted the seat strap tension to allow my upper back to sink rearwards into the chair for better aero.
- the seat tilt is set to maximum backwards.

+ the front tire is 1lbs heavier than stock.
+ um.... that's it!

I do believe that when i put the ezee in the rear with the 2.5" tire, i will negate the front tire's raise enough. That and having a shark pack mounted as forward as possible should prevent the wheelies.

I may end up having to tilt the seat forward :/
beforemotor.jpg
beforemotor.jpg (331.16 KiB) Viewed 660 times
Looking at the bike, and where my body weight sits, i suppose it's no surprise i manage to wheelie it on pedal power. The only person i can blame is myself. :mrgreen:

Can you see the bag in a bag in that picture? it's some oddball recumbent bag i snagged at the bike collective for 15 bucks. It fits the back of the BikeE better than the 'trunk' bag that bikeE designed. So it's going to replace it. I really like the idea of a clean looking storage solution.

I also have a 17 inch laptop that i haul to a workspace and the bag fits said laptop bag perfectly so that's a massive win.
24inch-rear.jpg
24inch-rear.jpg (229.77 KiB) Viewed 660 times
Also for kicks, i put a 24 inch wheel on there to assess how much extra space i have for larger tires. I'm quite convinced that one of those 22 inch BMX wheel + tire combos would fit. The idea of running 22" out back with a tire in a tire configuration, and 18" up front, keeping the original geometry is super appealing.

I was totally unaware of this but there's an IS post mount on the rear chromoly swingarm. So yeah, that opens up the 22 inch wheel goodness.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I picked up some bits at the hardware store to make a front mount for the battery and may have a kit on this thing by tonight. More later.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by neptronix » Aug 14 2019 11:17am

"battery mounting should be easy" - famous last words, said before i test fitted a hailong 'shark pack' in various locations.
battery-mounting.jpg
battery-mounting.jpg (205.89 KiB) Viewed 630 times
There is no happy ending here. The case adds a lot of width. I'd guess there's an extra 10-20mm of width added on to the 18650 cell's width.

I noticed that if the casing was minimal ( an 18650 vape is used to illustrate ), and the chainring was located on the outside ring position rather than the center, and the inner chain guard was removed, then i could pull off the front battery mount.
battery---wideness.jpg
battery---wideness.jpg (158.11 KiB) Viewed 630 times
However, the taylor spatial frame on my right leg would smack the chain/chainring when mounted up front, so for the time being, this can't work.
battery---nofront.jpg
battery---nofront.jpg (142.54 KiB) Viewed 630 times
I'm considering my options.

1) I pull the case off, hit it with an angle grinder, bolt thinner side plates on, and then i have a pack that's narrow enough to clear the crankset and chain. Unless it's got a super wide BMS or something else inside that gets in the way.
2) I install a schlumpf / ATS speed drive / patterson metro /etc and reduce the chainring size significantly, giving me an extra inch or two to mount the hailong closer to the handlebar tube. This would remove ~2lbs from the back of the bike and add it to the front of the frame, which is great and all, but comes at a price. This also dorks up the goal of high efficiency because planetary gear reduction drives have a friction penalty. Also, with no front suspension and a tiny wheel, the battery gets to
3) I do a super complicated and heavy upside down mount.
4) Totally custom battery pack that's mounted on the sides or along the top tube, but remains very narrow.
5) internal pack like cowardlyducks' won't work because there isn't even space to mount 2 18650's side by side.

I am concerned about mounting the battery on the front because the front wheel is not suspended and transmits a lot of vibration to the front of the frame. The handlebars provide some isolation for the rider, but surely the front of the frame is getting rocked about.

If i didn't have rear suspension, the pack could be located where the swingarm is, missing the chain. However there is no way in hell i'd ride a bike like this without suspension.

I'm going to take a break on this bike and give the cannondale some love. When i get the device off my leg, i will re-evaluate. This will remain a pedal bike and will be used as a platform for testing aerodynamics mods. The current gearing on the bike goes up to 30mph, so i figure it's ideal for experimenting.

Here's the "solution" that maxarya came up with on their Ray 2 E. :lol:

Image
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

User avatar
Cowardlyduck   100 MW

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Posts: 2619
Joined: Jun 26 2011 8:41pm
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by Cowardlyduck » Aug 14 2019 6:12pm

neptronix wrote:
Aug 14 2019 11:17am
5) internal pack like cowardlyducks' won't work because there isn't even space to mount 2 18650's side by side.
Correct, 2 18650's won't fit side by side. Our frames are the same width.
To make it work, I had to stagger the cells reducing the overall width to less than the internal width of the frame including padding/heatshrink.
It was a challenge for sure, but one I will repeat when the current pack dies as it's definitely been worth it. I've already got over 250 cycles on this pack so will probably be replacing it in the next few years.


In your case you could still do this, but would need to split the pack (possibly twice) to make it fit in front/behind the shock mounts.

It's a lot of work, but I would argue that it's worth it in the long run. It probably took me around 40-50 hours total, but I've had many years of use out of it already, no more crashes since installing it and no need to remove it either.

So anyway, I think you should seriously consider an internal battery cause it would solve all your issues...and also cause I want to see someone else try it. :)

Cheers
Custom made 18650/21700 battery packs

Modified Stealth Fighter - Force air cooled motor @ 6KW, Adaptto Mini-E. 49AH, 52V 18650 - 2.5Kwhr
Cowardlyducks - Stealth Fighter Videos

BikeE recumbent commuter - 9C, 6Fet Grinfineon, internal 17AH, 52V, + on-board solar.

Ebike Garage - My YouTube Ebike ramblings.

High Power LiPo wiring harnesses - 4P - XT90, HXT4mm, 5.5mm. 200Amp+ capable. Global shipping.

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Lightweight efficiency oriented BikeE conversion

Post by amberwolf » Aug 14 2019 7:23pm

What about offsetting the pack to the left to clear the chain? If it will still clear your legs and cranks, it won't change the handling significantly, and the change it does make you'll easily and quickly get used to.

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