This is not my first
eBike; that is another story altogether.
This is however my first eBike using a kit
. In April 2009 I placed my awesome truck up on blocks and decided to go completely GREEN
. The blocking issue with riding my bike to work was the daunting 500 ft hill climb straight up out of the valley; I tried it maybe a handful of times over the course of 17 years, but there just was not an easy route to take.
But in that warm month of April I resolved that I could put my touring bike on the bus, take it to the top of the hill - and then ride home. By October it became clear to me that I would need to go much farther than 5 miles to interface with clients and I began researching. In November I ordered up roughly $1500 worth of kit, batteries, and parts to initiate
modification of an old 1991 Specialized Rockhopper with Rockshox
. This was a bike I bought new in Austin Texas, where real men eat real dirt for breakfast. For the life of me I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t imagine why Redmond Washington calls itself the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Biking capital of the WorldÃ¢â‚¬Â
; the city counsel who thought up that slogan obviously never went to Austin. And so it begins, the never-ending modification
I call Prototype-0, P0
for short, the First
Below are a couple of pictures that resemble what the original bike looked like; on the left is the basic unit (ignore the rear pack and handlebar ends), and on the right is a side view of the original-style Rockshox
In the year that I bought mine I believe Rockshox
had only been out one or two years, and adding this to my bike was about a $350 upgrade from stock. The whole unit out the door was (in my mind) about $850 for a good solid middle-of-the-pack mountain bike, and I definitely used it nearly every day that I lived in Texas. Moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1992 curtailed my riding severely because of the narrowness of the state and county byways, thus both my bikes rarely saw use. This all changed in 2009.
View of the Rockhopper in February 2010
Chilly Hilly version with the added trunk bag
My touring bike remains unmodified. However the Rockhopper has the following initial additions:
- 9 Continent 2806 hub mounted to a 26Ã¢â‚¬Â front rim (FWD)
- Brushless Motor Controller, 25A 6FET IRLB4030 Infineon
- Headlights and 12V source, 10Wx2
- Triangle bag
- 36V/4A Charger for LiFePO4
- Continental Contact Reflex tyre with liner and thorn-proof tube
- Headlight mount
- Bike Trunk bag
- Handlebar Mirror
- Blinky Red Taillights Qty-2
- Lots of wire and connectors.
Initial batteries were LiFePO4, one in the triangle bag and one on the rear rack, however these did not work out as planned as I was never able to get full advertised capacity. Instead I found a source for LiPo and I now have two configurations: Commuting 10S3P, and Touring 10S9P. More on this in a moment.
- Controller: All Power and Phase traces upgraded to 10AWG wire. Three 63V caps replaced with 100V. Battery wires upgraded from 12AWG to 10AWG. Added Terminal Post for programming. Shorted BK to GND for Regen. Currently adding a three-way switch for Speed presets, and a momentary switch for Manual Cruise Control. Presently running 24A on Rated/Battery current, and 60A on Phase, with Throttle defaulting to 110%.
- De-rated Charger from >43V to 41.1V
- Stock weight: ~28 lbs. After mods: ~46lbs + 8/24 lbs for batteries depending on configuration.
- In the Commuting mode I can go 24-30 miles on a charge over a very hilly urban route that is a mix of street and asphalt bike trail, averaging 29-30 mph on a flat WOT and hot, and 24-26 mph up a steep incline.
- Touring distances vary widely depending on how hilly the route. A week ago I only got 70 miles out of the 10S9P configuration but then there was a lot of hill climbing and the Rated/Phase was set to 30/75 which made for some awesome off-the-line performance.
P0 will continue to see more testing as I perfect my knowledge and experience which shall be applied to my next ebike Ã¢â‚¬â€œ P1