EDIT: FOR SALE! midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

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midwest mayhem
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Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 12, 2014 11:21 am

Hey all,

I've been browsing my local Craigslist for some time now looking for a suitable bike to make electric. I already have a Crystalyte HS 3540 motor, Lyen 18 FET controller, and 2 Zephyr BMS boards so I am already pretty well invested in this project. I was planning on using 30 Headway LiFePO4 cells to make 96V (not sure of Ah yet).

Anyway, this bike showed up on CL, and looks like a good deal for $500 (MSRP $1800): http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... model=Bear. It's barely been ridden and described as "like new." My only concern is that the full suspension won't give me enough room to mount batteries. It still looks big enough to me just looking at it, but I wanted to get your all's opinion. I know the general pros and cons of the different suspension types but the frame is 19" I believe and I think I could make it work, I just want some more opinions because I don't really have anyone else to ask. I'm checking the bike out today and most likely will have to decide fairly quickly

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Thanks!
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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by mlt34 » Jun 12, 2014 11:32 am

I'd buy it, but you're right that you will be seriously limited in battery space. That's the only problem with downhill bikes and thats why so many guys go with RC lipo packs. 100V of headways is going to take up a LOT of room. You also can't go with a normal rear rack because of the rear suspension. You could possibly mount a seat tube rack, though that's a lot of weight to put on the cantilever. Think hard about how you plan to do your batteries before you fork over any cash.
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
Then I wrote the book (literally) on building custom lithium batteries.
I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by 80for20 » Jun 12, 2014 11:49 am

I'll second the "thinking hard" piece ... And I'd add "measure hard". I picked up an extra large Giant Anthem and then found out I was a touch shy on getting one of cellman's full sized triangle batteries to fit.

Off topic, and as an aside, if anyone is interested in an XL sized Giant Anthem they can fire me a PM and I can flip pictures and dimensions.

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by mlt34 » Jun 12, 2014 12:07 pm

My first ebike was a trek hard tail that just fit in the triangle a Ping 48V15AH with a shove and a prayer. You don't want to be a half inch on the wrong side of the frame ;-)
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
Then I wrote the book (literally) on building custom lithium batteries.
I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by motomech » Jun 12, 2014 12:29 pm

If it is as nice as the seller says it is, it would be a ganga at $500.
It is very much like the Stinky of the same period and many here have converted the Stinky.
Yeah, I would forget the Headways and go with the Turnigy 4S 5Ah hardcases from Hobby King. They are in stock now and it would be easy to mount them in that frame.
You will need to do custom drop-outs, but with motor, that would be the case on most any model.
Stock suspension componets on that model are fine for the street and moderate off-roading, but if you really want to boogy on the trails, you might want to look at something newer. Loaded up with batteries and depending on your weight and riding style, it wouldn't be too hard to start bottoming out the suspension.
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=83430
'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100C 201 12S LiPoly elifebike 9-FET 17A controller. 20 MPH.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 8#p1237928

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by Drunkskunk » Jun 12, 2014 12:39 pm

Grab it!

Battery fit will be a problem, but less of a problem than most other full suspension bikes. You will likely have to go extra wide in the triangle, doubling or tripling them up. you may also have to go with some on a handlebar mounted case.
Don't even think of a rear rack on a Kona, as their geometry doesn't let them balance well, and the bike will handle very poorly with even an empty rear rack on them.

Odd trivia, The Kona Bear is now the Kona Dawg. They got in a trademark dispute and almost immediately changed the bike's name the first year it was released. only the graphics changed. The Bear/Dawg is the lighter weight sibling of the Stinky. 2 inches less wheel travel stock, but also about 7 lbs lighter weight.. Technically it's an XC bike, not a DH like the Stinky. But being a Kona, it's so over built it's going to be stronger than most any other XC/allmountian bike you could get

You'll find a lot of Kona conversions on the forum to get ideas from. They are a pretty epic ride once you get them balanced.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Monster Bike:https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=38667

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 12, 2014 5:57 pm

Checked it out today, I traced the usable part of the triangle onto some cardboard to take home and analyze (to see if batteries could fit). The bike itself looked practically new, and rode very well. The fork is a marzocchi bomber 2002 - I don't know if the axle is a 20mm axle though? Or how thick the stanchions are. But I think it should be sturdy enough for 35-40 mph (any thoughts???)

Based on my traces, allowing for about 1/4" of material to make the box, I should be able to fit 30 headway cells (around 40mm in diameter) with extra space left over. I can also get the bike with a nice set of clip pedals and matching shimano shoes all for $400.

I think the bike could work and it's a great price for the quality. Opinions? I was going to go back tomorrow or Saturday with the cash if I'm gonna get it.


Here are pictures of the trace of the triangle and batteries with dimensions:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1YjyQ ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1YjyQ ... sp=sharing
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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 12, 2014 9:13 pm

Got the images to work:
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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by motomech » Jun 12, 2014 10:54 pm

I have those fork on my 2002 Rocky Mountain, they are great, very strong.

How much is that bunch of Headways going to weigh?

"It is not about how much you can fit in the frame, but how much you really need and how it will handle in the mountain. When you do a short 10 miles ride in the trails, lots of batteries means a bad handling penalty that you will be happy to let at home. Building modular is the best way to achieve both performance and handling. Being able to take off or adding batteries in an instant, is one of the best qualities that a mountain ride can have."

MadRhino

Lipo Hardcase, the best off-road battery by far.
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=83430
'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100C 201 12S LiPoly elifebike 9-FET 17A controller. 20 MPH.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 8#p1237928

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 13, 2014 12:28 am

I am looking to ride mainly streets. Also, why can't you use a rear rack on a Kona if you get one that travels with the suspension? I'm most likely going to purchase the bike tomorrow unless I hear any strong dissenting opinions before then.
Check out my first build!

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by motomech » Jun 13, 2014 1:27 am

No matter what battery you use, you might find Kfong's very detailed build interesting;

"Motobecane DS Fantom, BMC 600W torque and now Lipo build"

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... hilit=kona

He also has a stinky.
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/20Ah Multistar Lipo rear 5Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, 2.4 Holly Rollers run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-48A
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=83430
'07 GT Idive 4 4.0, Q100C 201 12S LiPoly elifebike 9-FET 17A controller. 20 MPH.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 8#p1237928

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Re: Need quick advice on donor bike purchase (full susp.)

Post by mlt34 » Jun 13, 2014 3:47 am

youreakirk wrote:I am looking to ride mainly streets. Also, why can't you use a rear rack on a Kona if you get one that travels with the suspension? I'm most likely going to purchase the bike tomorrow unless I hear any strong dissenting opinions before then.
The problem is that not only does it put the weight far to the rear, but it also puts it up really high. That means you've got a center of gravity thats biased way high and back. Causes weird handling issues, especially once you get going fast and take a turn. If you get used to it, it will just end up feeling 'normal' for you, but it isn't very optimal. It'd be like running around with a kid sitting on your shoulders. You could do it, but you'd perform better if he was riding piggy back.

well that's the weirdest analogy I've made today…. :?
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
Then I wrote the book (literally) on building custom lithium batteries.
I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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EDIT: FOR SALE! midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 21, 2014 11:00 am

EDIT: Bike is now for sale at https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =9&t=75975

Hey all,

Just wanted to say thanks to the endless-sphere community and forums for providing all the information I needed to get this project going, it's really incredible the amount of quality advice on here.

I converted an electric car last year (my senior year of high school) and got it running alright but started spending too much time fixing the actual car (bad brakes, lots of rust, other things...) before I could get it registered. I realized I should've started with a better car to begin with and that for the same amount of money, I could go further and faster on an ebike. So I parted out the car, sold everything, and dove headfirst into this project.

I'm using a 2002 Kona Bear (http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... model=Bear) as the base, with a 19" full suspension frame. I'm planning on cramming 30 15 Ah Headway LiFePO4 cells in the triangle for 96 volts nominally. I'm planning on using this bike instead of a car so that's why I'm trying to invest in quality components, because with my last project I realized with this electric stuff it seems like you get what you pay for.

Mainly planning on street riding with brief excursions on fields and light trails.

So far I've acquired a Crystalyte HS 3540, Lyen 18 FET controller, CA V3, a generic throttle, and 2 Zephyr 4.4 BMS boards. I'm currently in the process of modifying the hub motor and soldering the BMS boards.

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Got this barely ridden bike off CL for $400. Might upgrade to a bigger axle (20mm) eventually even though it's a bomber fork, it's 9mm QR currently I believe.

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Simulator gives approx. 45 mph top speed, not pushing past 45 A.

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Also estimates 32 mile range at 30 mph.

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How I plan to fit all the batteries in...

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$$$ :(

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Installing a 10k thermistor for temp sensing, also planning on upgrading phase wires/fixing the wire cut issue but I don't know if I'll have room. They currently look pretty skinny, especially compared to the 12g wires on the Lyen controller. I was planning on drilling vent holes later if I need to, but would you guys recommend I just do it now while I have it all apart? I have access to an incredible machine shop and electronics lab this summer. Also, how does one go about safely enlarging the hollow axle to fit thicker wires? I'm a (learning) mechanical engineer so I'm concerned about the structural integrity after taking material away from the axle.

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Soldering 30 cell circuits on these will be fun!

I think that's it for this first post. Thanks for checking it out y'all!


p.s. I originally had this post https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... ar#p906795 but made a new user account.
Last edited by midwest mayhem on Jan 31, 2016 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Jul 04, 2014 4:09 pm

I'm almost done with the Zephyr BMS units, just have to finish the last two banks. I tested the control circuit and first bank of cell circuits and it passed!

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Almost done!

Now onto the motor modifications... I'm leaning towards fabricating a custom axle. As I understand it the simplest mod is to make the axle thicker on the wire side so it can accept a larger bearing, have a larger cutout and run thicker wires? I made a very quick and dirty (not at all to scale) mock up of my idea in SW:

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The red area is to be machined thicker (3/4"?) and a bearing with a larger ID used?

I'm also not sure whether or not to drill vent holes or oil cool. I'm assuming I'll need some kind of cooling given a 45 amp controller * 96 volts = 4.32 kW nominally. Not that I plan to run it that high all the time, but short bits of it would be fun. Would air cooling and thick wires be enough to run this setup? Shooting for 30-35mph comfortable cruising speed.
Check out my first build!

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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by Tench » Jul 04, 2014 5:37 pm

With the power you are planning to run it would be a good idea to change the axle now before it breaks!
Whether you need additional cooling will depend on how much prolonged current you feed it, a sensor and V3 with the roll back setup will protect you in the short term and let you know if more cooling is required.

The bearing you need is the 6203 3/4" 2RS. this has the same O/D and thickness but with the I/D increased from 17mm to 3/4" (19.05mm) and is also sealed so you can loose the wire cutting seals. The bigger bearing will allow you to have a larger wire channel. I have made quite a few of these now with most people also opting for an increase in thread size to M14 x 1.5mm which adds further strength in the weakest area.

Here is a selection all using 6203 3/4" bearings, top one is H40xx series with 3/4" unf thread, middle is H35xx series with M14 thread and the bottom one is H35xx series with no threads to fit in axle clamps. Top 2 are made in EN24T steel, botton one is Titanium.

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Project one https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... ilit=tench
Project Two https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=37489
The uk's first Stealth Bomber

There is a box inside your head, inside amongst others are the words "Wont fit" stop looking for answers in the box, there are no answers only excuses.

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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Sep 16, 2014 7:14 pm

Thanks for the info Tench - I think in order to get the build running ASAP, I'll hold on making a new axle until I open the hub up again (probably to drill vent holes). I did machine out a larger channel with a ball end nose mill which should be a stronger profile for its size, and polished the whole thing to maximize what strength it has left.

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Hit up the waterjet at my local community college (shout out to everyone at STLCC Flo Valley) and made some custom dropouts with set screws tapped in the sides to press the axle in firmly. Right now they completely surround the axle, I might cut out the profile however so I could remove the wheel (to fix flat, etc.) without having to take of the hose clamps that will hold the drop outs on.

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Finally upgraded the phase wires to 12 AWG (one is actually 14 AWG, couldn't fit the cover on with 3 12 AWG wires :/). Also installed a thermistor for temp sensing with the CA V3.

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Got these things in finally! Now it's time to fit everything on the frame and make it work... any suggestions for quick battery boxes to make? I want to get everything on the bike soon so I can test out different configurations of components, and I have a lot of things to attach to the frame...

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Pretty much have all the components now, hopefully the next post will be a video of the first run...
Check out my first build!

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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Nov 17, 2014 9:57 pm

Painfully close to having a working e bike! I've bench tested everything and it seems to work, I'm now in the process of mounting components to the bike.

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Got the 15Ah 30s Headway LiFePO4 pack assembled! Purchased from Headway Headquarters - had good customer service and haven't really tested the batteries all the way yet, but so far I'm satisfied.


Flip-flopped a lot on what to make the battery box out of - it's a super tight fit, so I didn't really have room for wood or plastic/acrylic. Never worked with sheet metal but took some measurements and gave it a go - turned out pretty well I thought.

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Cut out some galvanized sheet metal with the plasma cutter (tried to avoid breathing the toxic fumes).

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Flat sheet cut and marked for bending.

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After a few bends (did them all without a press brake - just a table, hammer, vise/clamps, and angle iron).

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Makeshift sheet metal bender.

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subirimagenes
Starting to look like a box.

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Box! Used blind rivets to fasten together.

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Test fitting - not too awkward to ride, pedals don't clip the box either.

Only issue with the sheet metal box is insulating the cells from the box - a short caused by the box touching different cell terminals would be really bad. It's a tight fit for the battery into the box and the box into the frame, so I'm currently thinking of a thin sheet of plastic on either side of the battery, in between the bus bars and the box. I'll also be painting (maybe plastidipping?) everything later on.

Assembling the Zephyr BMS has been the hardest part of the project so far. I didn't really have much experience with this level of DIY electronics before, so I had a lot to learn. Lots of very tiny solder joints, crimping, botching crimps, cursing, etc. Also had to figure out how to daisy chain the two PCB's together to connect the cell circuits and HVC/LVC circuit lines.

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Lots of soldering.

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Balance leads attached - took forever to find the right tool to crimp the Molex Mini Fit Jr connectors - doing it with a needle nose pliers, they wouldn't clip into the housings.

Video of the bench test:


Videos of Zephyr BMS charging with two 54v Meanwell LED power supplies.





Maybe I'll be riding it next post!
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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 06, 2015 9:23 pm

Long overdue for a post. A lot of stuff has happened since the last one. While transporting the BMS from college to home for winter break (a while ago, I know) something "happened" to the BMS that caused it to stop functioning. I spent a lot of time trying to diagnose the issue, which I'm saying was caused by static electricity but idk, on the Zephyr thread (https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... t=850#wrap). I ended up buying a 30s BMS from Headway Headquarters that is working, but I don't know if it actually balances the cells. It cuts off discharge when cells go too low and has overcharge cutoff but after several charge/discharge cycles it doesn't seem to be bringing my cells (some of which were partially discharged by the broken Zephyr) closer in balance. But I can charge my pack now and that's good!

After testing my bike for one of the first times (less than 10 miles on the build) I blew a FET(s) on my new Lyen controller. I resoldered them, and recently blew another phase a week ago (but not the one I replaced!). So I would not recommend using Lyen controllers based on my personal experience, as it was a controller rated for 120v and 45A and I was running it at 96v and 35A when failure occurred both times (wasn't pushing hard on either ride).

I've built another sheet metal top for my battery box and used it to house the Meanwell chargers and new BMS. I mounted the Hella master power keyswitch to it as well, and wrapped the whole thing in trash bag material for until-I-find-a-better-solution waterproofing. Also hooked up a handlebar switch to the controller that I flip before the master power to precharge the controller caps and act as another kill switch.

Put on 26x2.5 maxxis hookworm tires on and Topeak Defender fenders, and bought ebrakes from ebikes.ca (though I want to upgrade the fork and switch to hydro's, but that's for later haha). Finally hooked up the temp sensor as well and it works with the CA V3 well.

Bike handles hills and accelerates well; don't really know the full range yet but it could be upwards of 30 miles at a reasonable clip. I'm able to keep up with traffic around town, and I definitely have the EV grin. It's heavy but that's the price for LiFePO4 I guess.

Here's a pic of it sans fenders.

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Be back soon hopefully with performance stats!
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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Jun 07, 2015 6:55 pm

Preliminary performance is ~45mph max speed (don't have much business going that fast with my current setup, but I think I could crack 50 if I disabled motor temp controls) and ~35 mile range in city driving, keeping up with traffic. The limiting factor in my two 15 mile rides today was motor temperature, not power or range. The motor didn't take long to get above 100C and had trouble cooling below 110C while in use, which throttled the max current a lot, especially noticeable on hills. I suspect air cooling would make a large difference, but I will hold off on that for a while as I want to put a new, thicker axle in, upgrade a phase wire, and electrically insulate the interior at the same time.

Future plans also include upgrading to a DH fork with 20mm thru axle and some big hydro disc brakes, as well as lights and maybe a horn.
Check out my first build!

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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by thepronghorn » Jun 10, 2015 12:05 am

Hey it was cool seeing you today! Nice build and good writeup. You're much better than me at taking pictures of the build process.

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Re: midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » Jan 31, 2016 10:06 pm

Check out my first build!

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Re: EDIT: FOR SALE! midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by Racenut286 » Mar 28, 2016 11:05 pm

Hi If you want to find a 30s BMS for you battery go to Bestechpower BMS in china. They're the best in the Business and they have what you are looking for.

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Re: EDIT: FOR SALE! midwest mayhem's full suspension LiFePO4

Post by midwest mayhem » May 02, 2016 9:27 pm

Only items still available are Headways, Meanwell power supplys, and two 48v BMS's
Check out my first build!

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