Oatnet's x5403/Norco A-line, and Front-Mount battery stuff

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Andje   10 kW

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Andje » Jan 06 2012 1:09pm

Interesting. I would respect your comments more if you offered some analysed reasoning as to why the location "sucks". It's not just a case of no where else; with a 30 pound hub motor on the back some balance to the weight distribution makes this option a viable one.
The fact is that a123 are heavier then lipo. I all ready HAVE a lipo backpack in an axio swift hardcase that is 100v15ah. It's been done. I would say that for myself, a 25 year old relatively in shape guy of 140lbs, a 30 lb backpack is a lot even after you get used to it. I can walk around campus all day with it on now, but it still makes your shoulders hurt, and it gave me a slight rash from the weight on my shoulders where the straps were for the first 6 months. I think it is a good solution up to about 1kw of power, even my 1.5kw is bordering on heavy, though physically you could prbly fit 15-20 lipo bricks were I currently only have 12 in my pack.
Moving with the backpack makes all the weight shift around on the bike, so it feels nice in terms of control since your centre of gravity stays the same. But in the end, at the speeds we are going we need usable range, and anything above 12-15 bricks of lipo is going to be too much for a backpack imho.
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Ypedal » Jan 06 2012 1:24pm

4 bricks ( 6S ) of lipo in a backpack is just right, 7 lbs, 100v 5ah, on a bike like my BMX where you dont plan to go far.. you just want to go fast.. long range rigs need bike mounted packs.

I'm going to have to test that handlbar mount thing you got going oatnet, it just seems " wrong " but i wont knock it until i try it ! :D
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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 06 2012 1:35pm

Garrick_s wrote:Grant it, I do understand why.....no room anywhere else.
And the Pelican boxes are great boxes for that application, but the location just sucks.
Please Oatnet, do not take this little rant personally. I love your work.
Thanks, don't worry, I hear this a lot, it is the misconception I am trying to change. I know looks different from the mainstream, but honestly, what sucks about it?

I'm always looking for a new angle, I've tried just about everything, but since I went front I've never gone back. :lol: I've done the backpack thing, a lot of people default to that when they recognize the challenge of mounting, but it is not a comfortable long-term solution for my long-range bikes. I've done rear mounted packs, and found that having all that mass in over the rear wheel makes the front wheel lift in sharp turns, with disasterous results. I've done center-mounted packs, and while a lot of people like it, I found pedaling awkward, and I have the knee scars to prove it. :D When I dabbled with a front-mounted pack, and experienced the superior handling it offers, I knew I was on to something.

When we convert bicycles to eBikes, we double, if not triple, its mass. Where you place that mass impacts the handling significantly. I define handling as how the bike responds to my steering inputs. Where do those inputs happen? They happen at the handlebars. If you put the mass at the handlebars, right between your hands, steering inputs affect the battery mass instantly.

However, if you put the mass in the middle or back of the frame, then your steering input has to translate through the the frame, and the frame acts as a lever that RESISTS your steering input- hence the problem with rear pack/front wheel lift in turns. Further, bicycle frames were not designed to support these loads, so they flex, oscillate, and just feel squishy to me by comparison.

Think about a motocross rider - they are crowding the handlebars, getting their weight over the front wheel, and it doesn't matter how the back end slides around or bounces. Think about where an extended range gas tank is mounted on a KTM - high, up front, as close to the handlebars as possible; of course, they don't have to worry about knees during pedaling so they can put it on the rider side.

The downsides I see: A front pack is lousy with a kickstand, even one of my double-leg kickstands, but the DH frames I have used on my last few builds don't have a place for a kickstand anyhow. If block-long wheelies are your idea of fun, this is not a good choice, although I can easily lift the front end on jumps, and frankly at higher power levels I welcome the help keeping the front wheel on the ground. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the snappier/faster handling, and learn how to leverage the mass to improve that handling. Luke also said he felt that having the mass impeded a series of rapid adjustments, I lack the refinement to feel that myself. I can see his point but I am suprised that the gyroscopic effect of the spinning front wheel is not more difficult overcome than rotating a mass around some bearings. In fact, I think I balance the mass against lean turn/angle to snap the bike from side to side in transitions, they seem much faster. Either way, I think Gensem's build, with the battery mounted to the headtube instead of the stanchions, is the next evolution of front-mount packs, because it decouples the front location from steering inputs.

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Garrick_s » Jan 06 2012 1:38pm

points taken. Thanks
As I mentioned, I have NO idea how much they weigh so it was just a theory for the backpack.

For your question as to how will that extra weight on the handlebars, negatively effects the steering?
There really is no question about it....it will effect your steering negatively.....it just will (no need for a physics degree on that).
By placing 30lbs at the HIGHEST point for C.O.G. on your bike (the handlebars) you will really notice this extra weight when making tight slow turns.
Just think about how touchy turning on a bicycle is already.....heck I can turn my bike with just body english.
Strap 30 lbs to the front fork and every movement you make would be amplified.
Grant it, the faster you go, the less the effect will be, but you will feel still it.

I ride Motorcross, so I know what you mean about putting your weight forward, but that weight is being distributed down thru the bike to offset gyroscopic effects as well as adding weight to the wheels for more traction. It is never DEAD weight sitting there in one spot.

When I'm ripping up a trail at 35mph+ and I am adjusting my trajectory around rocks and bumps and trail matter, that 30lbs lunch box on my handle bars would suck. But that's just me :mrgreen:

I see your points though and will keep it in mind on my next build. thanks for the input

G
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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 06 2012 1:54pm

Ypedal wrote:I'm going to have to test that handlbar mount thing you got going oatnet, it just seems " wrong " but i wont knock it until i try it ! :D
Thanks Y, I hope you do! I know you like to try everything new in this hobby you can get your hands on. Hey, now that you have a welder setup, you could even try Gensem's approach of welding a mount to the headtube. I think I hear one of those TF frames calling out to you "weld me, weld me" :lol:

I know it seems wrong, if I hadn't stumbled across it when trying a quick battery test, I don't know if I would have tried it. OTOH, think of all the delivery bikes over the last century, the heavier the load the more likely they were to have a front basket or bin.

The key is to not have any slop in your mount or the box contents.

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by waynebergman » Jan 06 2012 2:39pm

I am on board Oatnet. I will give her a try as well. I am sure you are on to something. My packs are a bit long and narrow for the ideal shape for a fork mount but I will work with what I got and see how it feels under pedal power as my bike is still a work in progress and not under power quite yet.
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Kepler » Jan 06 2012 3:13pm

dbaker wrote:Kepler,

Please remind me your pack voltage and capacity. IIRC you were running over 100V.What controller are you running?
125V hot off the charger. 114V nominal @3.8V per cell. Packs are configured 30S 3P. Capacity is 1890 Whrs theoretical. I go to 1500 Whrs only to ensure good life from the packs. Controller is the high voltage Lyen 18 FET (135V max). Modified traces. Modified shunt. Set up for 85A. Bike peaks to 10kW under hard acceleration. This setup has need used for the last 5000km.
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by johnrobholmes » Jan 06 2012 4:17pm

I personally like the weight on the forks. It makes the bike track well, it dampens the steering a bit, and it really rides smooth. Compared to a battery on a rear rack it is a total no brainer. The only downside to me is how hard it is to wheelie, but some people may see that as a plus!

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Garrick_s » Jan 06 2012 5:17pm

I'll be the first to admit I am wrong :oops: .....so I'm gonna look into this option as well on my next build.
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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 06 2012 5:29pm

Garrick_s wrote: By placing 30lbs at the HIGHEST point for C.O.G. on your bike (the handlebars) you will really notice this extra weight when making tight slow turns.
Just think about how touchy turning on a bicycle is already.....heck I can turn my bike with just body english.
Strap 30 lbs to the front fork and every movement you make would be amplified.
Grant it, the faster you go, the less the effect will be, but you will feel still it.
I ride Motorcross, so I know what you mean about putting your weight forward, but that weight is being distributed down thru the bike to offset gyroscopic effects as well as adding weight to the wheels for more traction. It is never DEAD weight sitting there in one spot.
I understand your skepticism, as this is something different. I like to think that each of the dozens and dozens and dozens of eBikes I have built in the past 5 years has been an improvement on its predecessor. The best I can say is that if it didn't work for me, I wouldn't be doing it again, let alone put it on my wife's bike. Anyhow, you talk about (2) effects. One is the ability to rotate the fork with 30lb additional mass, the other is the high COG.

Rotation: How much does the front end weigh on your motorcycle weigh? Add up the hub/wheel/tire/stanchion/triple-clamps/handlebars/mirrors/grips/brake/clutch levers/electronics, in most cases it will easily break the 30lbs equivalent. Mass is mass whether it is in a Pelican box or in the front end, they both rotate around the axis easily. Frankly, the gyroscopic effects are harder to overcome than the mass. People have been using front baskets for heavy loads for years, and after 5-6 front-pack builds I think rotation is a non-issue. However, Gensem's innovation separates the front mount from the steering, I hope that helps others who share your objection get past it.

High COG: Take a look at these KTM gas tanks. They mount the "dead weight" at the same height as one of my front-mounted packs, as close to the fork as they can cram it. You are correct, you feel the mass <5mph turns, where it feels exactly like a motorcycle, and it took me exactly (1) slow speed turn to adapt to it. At higher speeds, it is a marvel. The mass at high COG makes it lean over easily, and plants the front wheel so you can stop the lean at precisely the angle you want. This is the part of a front pack that I had to adapt to - I got a lot more lean with a lot less input, so I had to learn to use less input. The combination of fast handling and front wheel plant has me going through transitions much faster than I could before, and leaning faster and lower than I dreamed possible.

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 06 2012 5:48pm

Wayne, I hope you do try it. My first attempt was a long pack, intended to mount under the bicycle, but bungied to the front handlebars to test the pack. The slop of a loose mount made rotating the front end a little scary, but the balance just felt... right.

JRH, I'd love to see a picture of your front-mount setup! Yeah, I am one of those who sees a plus in less wheelies, although I can see how that would be a negative for a lot of others. You are correct, they are chassis weight mounts. I see them in a whole range of sizes, but the 1.25" version worked on my 32mm stanchions. These take a 1/4" bolt, the ones that take a 1/2" bolt are too big and heavy for my tastes. The vendor for these particular ones is Wehr's Machine Racing, here is the auction where you can buy them:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... 0344689577

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by johnrobholmes » Jan 06 2012 6:44pm

Ammo can mounting starts at the bottom of this page on my build http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... &start=120 If I rebuild a bike with fork mounted batteries I would certainly use a Pelican case this time, seems like a no brainer to shave weight.


I agree that steering at speed is much improved over a low battery mount. My one big gripe about forward mounted batteries is the in-air handling. Having the weight spread out so far increases the moment of inertia along the axial, when referencing at the wheels. AKA nose up and nose down is slower. At the same token this could be considered stabilizing, so there is obviously tastes and opinions of handling involved like any other bike. I personally love a bike with all the mass close to my ass, in-air and on ground handling is quickest this way. There is never a perfect bike though, so compromises must be made in consideration of the bike, terrain, and rider preferences.

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by gensem » Jan 06 2012 7:26pm

I just finished all my soldering and the pelican arrived...
Oatnet is going to be proud (ll take pics tmr)
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Alan B » Jan 06 2012 7:48pm

Another case to look at that is similar to Pelican but much less costly is Seahorse. The sizing is slightly different so sometimes one or the other is a better fit. For example a SE-300 case will just fit 1kwh of Lipo and costs $20 from case club.com.

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by neptronix » Jan 11 2012 9:19pm

Garrick_s wrote:I have seen it more and more lately here too.
Grant it, I do understand why.....no room anywhere else.
And the Pelican boxes are great boxes for that application, but the location just sucks.
Yeah i've been on this side of the fence until i built my 4KW magic pie 20" bike.
It's nearly thrown me on my ass about 3 times now from all the low end torque. That's after adjusting my bike so that i am leaning super forward on it like a motorcycle. I totally need weight on the front to counteract this wheelie force, and this is the way to some extra front weight.

I'm gonna have 18lbs of battery in the center triangle, but need to put an additional 18lbs of battery elsewhere.
A rear rack would work great... but... the wheelie problem would get worse.

Front mount may not look good or seem as ideal for handling.. but i think that oatnet is on to something here, especially in situations where you're dealing with a very powerful motor, or a dual suspension bike that has no room in the center triangle, and forget a rear rack..
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 12 2012 11:24am

neptronix wrote:Front mount may not look good or seem as ideal for handling.. but i think that oatnet is on to something here
The improvement in handling will surprise you. :D

You don't like the looks? After a lot of positive feedback, I was really suprised when pvorlicek told me he found my earlier 'Ammo Can' front mount ugly - I really liked the industrial look of that box, even though it weighed 3-4 times as much as the Pelican. I guess it is one of those things where you really get it, or you don't.

-JD

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by ohzee » Jan 12 2012 11:43am

I think that looks great. does it seem like when breaking the rear ever wants to life up or that just something you adjust to ?
Still nice looking ride.

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 12 2012 12:42pm

ohzee wrote:I think that looks great. does it seem like when breaking the rear ever wants to life up or that just something you adjust to ?
Still nice looking ride.
Thanks!

When I first tried it, I was concerned that I was going to be doing stoppies, lifting the back end. However, in thousands of miles, and a few dozen panic stops, I have not had that problem at all. In fact, since the front battery takes the sag out of the front suspension, there is less dive on a panic stop, so I actually rotate forward less. The rear wheel stays planted, dunno if it is the weight of the hub motor or my mass on the bike.

OTOH, I remember one panic stop on a NON-FRONT-MOUNT eBike, where a lady, not looking, suddenly snapped her phone shut and pushed her baby carriage onto the clearly marked bike path, and paused to put her phone away. I wasn't going very fast, but it was right in front of me. After braking as hard as I could (it wasn't enough), I hopped off the pedals to Fred Flintstone it, the instant before the front wheel hit the carriage. As soon as I came off the pedals with the brakes still locked up, the wheels stopped skidding, but the back end of the bike lifted and started to flip. I managed to roll the bike to one side, so as we flipped we didn't land on the carriage, but next to it. After saving the baby from her inclination to push it into moving traffic, the mother gave me a stony hostile glare like it was my fault. I guess the morals of the story are that people are stupid, and be careful any bike can flip.

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by teklektik » Jan 12 2012 2:26pm

oatnet wrote:
neptronix wrote:Front mount may not look good...
...I really liked the industrial look of that box, ... I guess it is one of those things where you really get it, or you don't.
Last summer I was looking at a front mounted booster pack to increase range and discovered that an Igloo 9 can cooler bag was a good fit for a 16S1P Headway pack. It needs a little DIY internal boxing for strength but it's well stitched, stealthy, and of course, comes in your choice of colors :wink: . This part of the build was mocked up but got postponed so no pictures. My plan has been to mount it using saddle clamps http://www.dxengineering.com/products.asp?ID=14 through the nylon bag and into the internal box (open topped - access through zippered cooler bag top). I've used these clamps in another part of the build to mount plate to tube and they worked out well.

Anyway - these bags come in 6,9, and 12 can sizes and have a nice squarish design with three-sided zippered tops. They might work out as camouflage for folks looking for a softer look at the cost of some extra box fabrication.
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by hillzofvalp » Jan 13 2012 12:31am

None of the above has to do with the thread topic! Give me more Cromotor showdown please!

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 13 2012 12:05pm

hillzofvalp wrote:None of the above has to do with the thread topic! Give me more Cromotor showdown please!
Funny, usually it is the OP who complains about tangents! :lol:

This is a build thread for the bikes that will be used to compare the two motors. A feature of these builds is front mount battery pack, so discussing it is on-topic AFAIC. I would love to be running a 5403 against a 13kv CroMotor today, but unfortunately neither motor has been landed in the USA yet, and given the vaugeness of Chinese vendors, it could be months before either one arrives, let alone gets laced up.

I got the disk adaptor for the dropouts from Magudaman, it looks great but all the disk motors I have, have wires coming out the axle, so I can't test it. I bolted it on, and it looks like it is correct. I also got the 9" rotors from Zero, I need to install one of them. Since my seatpost-rack controller mount idea is a fail (interferes with rear wheel!) I'm waiting to see if Magudaman will take on the project to build a controller mount. Until I know for sure the controller will work in my new location, I can't really run wires, and it is hard to get motivated to finish the first frame just to run an x5305. If I had the CroMotor or the 5403, I'd probably just duct-tape the controller on. :lol:

-JD
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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by BATFINK » Jan 19 2012 7:51pm

Awesome build, I'm definitely going to do a front mounted battery box, I'm building an old school Norco VPS1 full suspension ebike from frame upwards too. Just a couple of questions for you that would help me out, could you please show exactly how you mounted the pelican box and what you used to do it?
I notice you have one brake lever installed, are you going to use a hydraulic disc brake on the rear brake as well and if so how will you implement a power cutoff if you are forced to use a disc brake lever? And lastly what sort of throttle will you use? thanks

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by waynebergman » Jan 19 2012 9:42pm

Oatnet, I like the look of that hard tail with the curved down tube. What make and model is that frame please? Looks like lots of room up in the front triangle of that one...........too bad its not a full suspension. Looks like it could be a nice candidate for a rear swing arm addition.

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by Andje » Jan 19 2012 10:04pm

how will you implement a power cutoff if you are forced to use a disc brake lever? And lastly what sort of throttle will you use
Any brake lever can be converted; simply get an on/off hall sensor and wire the sensor signal to your e-brake input. Glue a small rare earth magnet to the underside of the moving lever, so when it is closed it will be flush with the top edge of the hall (glued to the non moving post). Presto, a digital on off switch triggered by braking with hydro levers.
There is also an in-line solution that cuts your hydro line and installs a digital fitting to trigger the controller.
Finally, there are a couple solutions to triggering two hydros with one lever. The easiest is to remove the bleed valve from the front brake, replace it with another hydro cable that goes to the back so as to run the calipers in series.
There is also one company that i found that will do a two brake from one hydro lever arrangement; it is meant for tadpole trikes, but you can get two left hand calipers instead and add a hall sensor for ebrake as well.
http://www.hygia.com.tw/liveshop/index. ... duct_id=82
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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Cromotor vs 54xx - Fight!

Post by oatnet » Jan 20 2012 4:36pm

BATFINK wrote:Awesome build, I'm definitely going to do a front mounted battery box, I'm building an old school Norco VPS1 full suspension ebike from frame upwards too. Just a couple of questions for you that would help me out, could you please show exactly how you mounted the pelican box and what you used to do it?
I notice you have one brake lever installed, are you going to use a hydraulic disc brake on the rear brake as well and if so how will you implement a power cutoff if you are forced to use a disc brake lever? And lastly what sort of throttle will you use? thanks
Thanks Batfink! The pelican and ammo can front-mounts are bolted to weight clamps, that clamp to the stanchions of a double-crown fork. Here is a link to a bunch of pictures of the box:
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 30#p470443

Here is where I got the weight clamp:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... 0344689577

I haven't decided on throttle yet. I have a couple of spare Magura throttles, which are the gold standard, but then I can't use the Ergon grips that are part of my standard build, so I want to use a thumb throttle. POT throttles like the magura can short open, Hall throttles like the xlyte are cheap and can jam. There is a good chance I'll modify a Tidalforce thumb throttle and use that instead.

The front brake does most of the work on a bike, so sometimes I just use regen on the rear brake. For this build, i'll try to use a matching 6-pot Gatorbrake on the rear, with an 8" disk. However, sometimes the side covers are not machined to tolerances that rub on a hydraulic disk, so I might have to fall back to a mechanical disk like an Avid BB7.

I have an emergency cutoff on the handlebars for runaways, but I don't worry so much about cutting off power when I use the brake. I don't have much issue letting off the throttle when braking, and if I forgot it would just be out some brake pad, watt-hours, and thermal load shedding. Other folks have done as Andje suggested.
waynebergman wrote:Oatnet, I like the look of that hard tail with the curved down tube. What make and model is that frame please? Looks like lots of room up in the front triangle of that one...........too bad its not a full suspension. Looks like it could be a nice candidate for a rear swing arm addition.
Thanks Wayne! That frame is from a TidalForce IO Cruiser (side picture below), and it is my all-time favorite hardtail frame, just because it fits me so well. I bought several TF bikes just to get another one of these frames. One day I might put a recumpence drive unit on one of them, there is a ton of space behind the downtube for it - but I have too many projects in the pipeline to go there right now.

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