electric bike with sidecar all in one

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gdinim   1 mW

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electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by gdinim » Jul 29 2020 7:41pm

Necessity is the mother of invention, trite but no less true. I live on a small island in the straight of Georgia on the West Coast of Canada.. The road surface is very poor, there is no two meters of the pavements that are alike, The narrow roads are very twisty, up and down with average grades of 12% and with only 5 or 6 of short level stretches in a 50km road network. E bikes work very hard here.
I am a senior, I have an active rural lifestyle which demands a significant hauling capacity and I did not find anything electric on the market that allowed me to get around Cortes Island , with buckets of seaweed, or a few 8 foot 2”x4”, or a 60lbs propane tank or my spinning wheel with a chair and tub of roving.
I spent months on the internet looking at hundreds of set ups and designs, this is what I imagined, designed and fabricated over 2 years to meet my needs.
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The front wheel motor is an eZee 48V 25A geared motor, the rear motor is a Grin tech Gmac10 48V 25 A clutchless geared motor capable of regen.
The battery is a 48V 57.5Ah with BMS that I built using Vruzend caps, in my view the best way to assemble a battery. The complete battery weights 50lbs
the frame is made of 6061T6 marine grade aluminum alloy 2x2x1/8. I used aluminum because of the weight factor and because I could easily fabricate aluminum. The entire rig weights about 180bls.
I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, there is no suspension

My range on Cortes with no pedaling and from 53V to 46V is 60k at an easy 30k between hills. On flat ground my range would be closer 90k. My range when I use the battery between 80% and 30% is half that range.
I have carried 60 lbs up a 15% grade without pedaling and I can carry a large loads. On the flat I could carry 100lbs+
I have ridden over a 150km so far, the rig rides beautifully and easily it corners well and is extremely maneuverable. It requires some adaptation because it does not ride like a bicycle, but that happens very quickly.
I believe it is a very practical and flexible design

Pat Eaton   10 W

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by Pat Eaton » Jul 29 2020 9:57pm

I like it. Well done!

gdinim   1 mW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by gdinim » Jul 29 2020 10:09pm

Thank you. I am very pleased with it.

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by amberwolf » Jul 30 2020 12:51am

I like the setup. Some of it inspires an idea for my own cargo needs.

Pardon the questions below, if you have the time.

There's also suggestions for the future if you find the need for them (I can never seem to leave "well enough" alone. ;) :oops: )
gdinim wrote:
Jul 29 2020 7:41pm
or a few 8 foot 2”x4”
Is this one of the main reasons for using a sidecar-type setup, vs a trike?

I'm still working on a design for a new version of the SB Cruiser trike, and I presently have to secure long cargo like boards/etc to the top of the canopy frame. (the heaviest/bulkiest thing up there so far was a queen-sized 10" thick foam mattress, folded in half and tied down with ratchet straps, don't think it could take more than that). Bigger stuff has to go on a trailer.


The battery is a 48V 57.5Ah with BMS that I built using Vruzend caps, in my view the best way to assemble a battery. The complete battery weights 50lbs

My range on Cortes with no pedaling and from 53V to 46V is 60k at an easy 30k between hills. On flat ground my range would be closer 90k. My range when I use the battery between 80% and 30% is half that range.
How well is the Vruzend performing for you?

In a few (or several) years, when this pack is aging enough to need support or replacing, you might consider EV type cells, like used Nissan Leaf modules, or EIG cells, which just bolt together, and can easily support the loads you're after.

I'm using well-used EIG cells in 14s2p on the SB Cruiser trike, and used 14s1p on CrazyBike2. The 14s2p is 40Ah, about 35lbs, and if I had a more efficient motor system and better aerodynamics or went slower than the 20MPH I typically cruise at, I'd probably get at least 40-50 miles (80km), maybe more, out of it, but I get about 30 miles (48km) as it is. Making it 3p would give another half again that much range, but also add that much weight.

I have carried 60 lbs up a 15% grade without pedaling and I can carry a large loads. On the flat I could carry 100lbs+
If speed isn't a consideration, and you ever need to carry larger loads up hills, you could go with smaller diameter wheels, which effectively lower the gearing of the motor. 20" rims would allow you to use relatively wide 16" moped tires, which could be useful in some terrain. The side effect is it wont' be as good a ride over bumpy terrain as the larger diameter wheels.

If you kept the deck at the same height, it would give you larger flat cargo space, too, since you wouldn't need the wheel well/fender boxes.

Alternately, if a lower deck would still clear evertyhign on trails you need to, you can lower the trike for potentially better stability with taller heavy loads up top, if that's ever an issue.

I have ridden over a 150km so far, the rig rides beautifully and easily it corners well and is extremely maneuverable. It requires some adaptation because it does not ride like a bicycle, but that happens very quickly.
I believe it is a very practical and flexible design
It certainly seems to be. I may build something like it just to see how it works here in the city, vs the more typical delta trike I've got in SB Cruiser. I may have to build it as a *left* sidecar design, however, as almost all of my turns are righthand turns, and I often enough have to take them at speed due to impatient drivers behind me.

gdinim   1 mW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by gdinim » Jul 30 2020 10:10am

The ability to carry long loads, the greater simplicity of having a rear wheel motor with no differential set up or chain offset and having the drive wheels in line for greater traction control is the reason I built a side car rather than a trike.

The battery is now S13 P23, I started with a 36V (s10 p30) which proved underpowered for the local hills, so I reconfigured the battery to 48V and upgraded the motors, it would have been a nightmare to reconfigure the battery if I had not use Vruzend caps. Anyone who wants the possibility to reconfigure battery geometry or power is better off using the Vruzend caps. They are also consistently improving their product, I have a lot of respect for their dedication to do your own electric mobility.

20" wheels are too small for our terrain and the size motors that I used.

I can take most turns right or left at around 20km/h, I do not find that with my configuration right or left makes much difference, the bike is narrow enough, the speeds are not high enough and the steering rake is steep enough to make the bike very responsive.

I do hope that this design will be improved upon.
Thank you for your attention

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weezthejuice   100 µW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by weezthejuice » Jul 30 2020 2:08pm

This is really cool. Have you had any passengers in the sidecar? Those almost look like little benches for a passel of critters to tag along.

Do the motors operate on independent throttles, or have you figured out some combined control scheme? Did you make your own disc brake mount and rotors too? I can't see very well from the photos.

How necessary do you think it was to fabricate the entire bike from scratch, rather than fabricate just the sidecar component to attach to a factory bike?

Very nice design.

gdinim   1 mW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by gdinim » Jul 30 2020 3:43pm

I have an aluminum box that fits between the wheel wells, with a little foam padding that can be used as a seat. It keeps a person's weight in the center line of the side car and it allows the passenger to hold the railing of each wheel well. For a child I would want to install a couple seats with harnesses. In a flat area, I could easily carry a passenger, alas too many hills on Cortes island for that.
trunk sml.jpg
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I bought all my wiring and electronics from Grin Tech in Vancouver i think that they are one of the prime innovator in the e-tech field. The throttle operates both motors simultaneously.
I made my own brake mounts, the other parts are off the shelf. The following picture is with the 36V motor which I replaced with a 48V
front break sml.jpg
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I considered attaching a side car to a regular bike frame, however most bikes are a few inches too short to give me the load capacity that I wanted and it was more interesting to start from scratch because I could design to my needs with virtually no compromise with someone else's frame design and I could get the strength that I needed

2old   100 kW

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Re: electric bike with sidecar all in one

Post by 2old » Jul 31 2020 12:39pm

Excellent concept and execution.

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