Long tail cargo bike build

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handbaked   100 W

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Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Nov 24 2018 6:02pm

note - I will update this first post, as and when more items are confirmed/thought of!

Hi

I have been mostly lingering in the shadows on this forum for a while, but now have decided to try and do a build thread. It will be slow moving and probably sporadic in updates and replies.

My aim from the start of my ebike-building frenzy, was to make a vehicle that could replace my car. My ever evolving workhorse bike, is now becoming a long tail. The plan:

*Steel MTB frame and xtracycle
*Long distance, comfort bike
*Able to carry large hauls
*Able to replace my car in the majority of instances
*Can carry 2 adults
*To use secondhand and high quality retro products in the build
*To have a top speed of around 30mph, with a regular, steady, 23-25mph.
*Be comfortable and able, for a 75 mile journey.

Hardware:
- GT Palomar steel frame
- fox float 80rl forks
- Xtracycle freeradical
- Atom lab rims 26"
- Xt front hub
- Hope M4 disc brakes front and back with 200mm Clark floating rotors
- Schwalbe Crazy Bob tyres 2.3"
- Brooks C17 saddle and Rinsten spring
- Race Face XC cranks
- nukeproof platform pedals

Electronics:
- Lyen controller
- Bafang CST rear hub motor
- DIY 18650 battery in hailong case. 48v, 14ah, held in main frame triangle. 1 permanently stored in a peli case pannier. 1 built from recycled packs I have previously made for other builds.
- Power Velocity Bluetooth dash
- Integrated front, back lights and indicators
- USB high speed charging - multi port
- GPS tracker

I will update the component list as and when things are added.

I have been running the CST rear hub motor at 52v (nominal) and 1300W for ages now. At least 6 months and had no issues. My concern with this long tail build is that I could have a lot of extra dead weight on-board, at the bottom of a hill, where I run the risk of burning out the motor. I will be fitting a temperature sensor to the motor and enabling automatic roll-back of power, when a threshold is reached. I will also be modifying the CST to be oil cooled with the intention of running 48v, with peaks of close to 2KW. I will know how high I can peak once I have seen how hot the CST becomes under load. The bike will initially be throttle only, that I will modulate with pedalling, so I can still put some human power in. I will possibly move to a torque sensing, bottom bracket setup at some point.

Below are some photos of the paint/powder coating removal of the frames. I'm using a cordless drill and wire brush attachment.

Image
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Next update.... At some point :-)

Cheers





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Last edited by handbaked on Nov 24 2018 6:02pm, edited 7 times in total.

handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Dec 02 2018 12:42pm

So I have been painstakingly removing powder coating from the GT Palomar frame, as well as the Xtracycle. Both were not in great condition, plus I love the scrapyard look so wanted raw steel. Below are pics of how far I have got today. I have removed the rear v brake lugs to make way for a possible 2nd battery. I also removed 3 cable guides up by the headtube (after pics were taken), as they were unnecessary and in the way for removing the paint from the headtube area.

Assembled you can see that the overall length of the bike is going to be considerable. Ample room for lots of stuff!

After a couple more sessions on the frames I should be in a position to clear lacquer them. Not quite sure how to do that just yet, DIY or take it to a car bodyshop. Not sure.

Image
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Smoke   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Smoke » Dec 02 2018 2:43pm

I've done clear paint over sanded steel sheet metal and the result was not great.

You might want to keep a plan B ready and maybe do a test spray of clear over a piece of sanded steel tube so if you don't like it you don't have to sand again.

The clear I used chipped easily and that allowed rust to grow under the paint.

Maybe things have changed but when I tried, clears were meant for painting over paint, not bare metal and missing the primer and base coat my clear wasn't happy.
Don't let me out.

handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Dec 02 2018 3:15pm

Thanks for the input. That doesn't sound too good. I am contacting some body shop car sprayers. See what they say.

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Dec 30 2018 6:36pm

I have managed to completely strip the old GT frame using only a wire brush. I used a set for a normal drill and another for a dremel. It has enabled me to remove every last bit, but do not underestimate how much time it takes and how much mess it makes! I have around 50% of the xtracycle still to do. The GT does look great though and during the stripping process I did think about how the build should look, in a lot more detail.

I have decided on a rat bike/post apocalptic/mad max/scrapyard/utilitarian vibe. To tie into this I have bought a pair of adjustable motorcycle handlebars. As well as street fighter 'fox eye' type front light (which I will fabricate a grill for). I am going to continue to use the old rock shox forks on my current workbike, but sticker bomb the lower legs and then lacquer over.

To the rear will be aluminium checkered plate/painted plywood runner boards and top deck. I managed to just pick up a pair of matching peli cases, which I will use for panniers.

That's about all for now. The focus is getting the xtracycle stripped. Then I can turn the man cave back into a usable space for electronics, as currently everything has dust sheets over it.

Couple pics in the post below.
Last edited by handbaked on Dec 30 2018 6:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Dec 30 2018 6:39pm

PicsImageImageImageImage

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Jan 08 2019 3:40pm

So I have been putting a lot of thought into the switches that I need on the handlebars. I think I have settled on the following:

https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/c4HlbKup

1x of these replacing half the clamp on both of my hope brake levers. Also then giving me extra mount points for wing mirrors/other things. These switches will be latching and for left and right indicators.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2649637391

This box with 3 toggle switches, providing a 3 speed switch (won't be used in motion, likely stay on the mid setting for most of the bikes use), lights on/off and lights high/low beam (unlikely to use anything but low beam, as I will be mostly commuting in London). This box will be mounted to the top side of the bars.

https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/Ah2zcOH

1 of these switches on one side for auto cruise

I have looked at tons of different options and think this will be in keeping with the scrap yard style.

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Jan 20 2019 2:10pm

Started making a grill for my front light. Undecided whether to paint black, leave raw so it rusts or leave raw and clear coat.

Image
Image

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handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Jan 20 2019 2:40pm

Approximately how it will look (excluding the headlight grille)Image

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Jan 23 2019 8:33pm

Progress on the front wheel build. Atom lab rims on XT hub. Sapim 2mm spokes.

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Image

Needs bit more tensioning, but getting there.

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 24 2019 5:57pm

So, I have received some cheap fox float 80 RL forks. However, I am heavily considering getting some springer type forks for this build. I love the way they look, am actually quite up for adding weight to the front of this build, to balance the handling. I am really after a low maintenance fork that is going to get rid of London road rumble with the odd pothole.

Does anyone have experience of running springer forks on an ebike? or at all for that matter? I am looking at these at the moment:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sunlite-Fork ... ctupt=true

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Hwy89 » Feb 25 2019 2:13am

If you put springer forks on the front end of a cargo bike you will need to figure out a way to make them adjustable. I have a Surly big Dummy and the first thing I learned when fully loading it was that the front needs to be a little heavier than the rear otherwise the handling gets a bit screwy. If you have suspension in thr front you will need to be able to adjust it for the weight you are placing up there.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Chalo » Feb 25 2019 3:01am

handbaked wrote:
Feb 24 2019 5:57pm
I am heavily considering getting some springer type forks for this build.
They're garbage. Don't waste your time.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 25 2019 4:39am

Chalo wrote:
handbaked wrote:
Feb 24 2019 5:57pm
I am heavily considering getting some springer type forks for this build.
They're garbage. Don't waste your time.
Is it something you have tried yourself or had experience with?

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handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 25 2019 4:41am

Hwy89 wrote:If you put springer forks on the front end of a cargo bike you will need to figure out a way to make them adjustable. I have a Surly big Dummy and the first thing I learned when fully loading it was that the front needs to be a little heavier than the rear otherwise the handling gets a bit screwy. If you have suspension in thr front you will need to be able to adjust it for the weight you are placing up there.
I wasn't intending on putting cargo on the front to be honest. My thinking though was that Springer forks weigh more than the likes of standard MTB suspension forks, so therefor would help to keep the front weighted down.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Chalo » Feb 25 2019 10:02am

handbaked wrote:
Feb 25 2019 4:39am
Chalo wrote:
handbaked wrote:
Feb 24 2019 5:57pm
I am heavily considering getting some springer type forks for this build.
They're garbage. Don't waste your time.
Is it something you have tried yourself or had experience with?
Yes. I own a bike with a springer fork, and I'm a longtime cycle mechanic. Those things are decorative items and toys, not functional suspension. They don't have any damping and they don't have bushings in the pivots. It's just raw punched holes in steel plates with ordinary bolts through them.

There may have been better made examples at one time (or not), but I've never seen one that was made to last.
Last edited by Chalo on Feb 25 2019 10:13am, edited 1 time in total.
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handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 25 2019 10:09am

Ok, thanks for the info. I was wondering whether the more expensive versions negate some issues due to having bushings and adjustability.

This one:

https://tspcyclefarm.it/en/custom-bicyc ... er-fork-en

Or this one:

http://store.ruff-cycles.com/ruff-cycle ... black.html

Im not doubting you are right tbh, just be good to know which forks you have and whether anyone has tried these 'better quality' versions.

Cheers.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Chalo » Feb 25 2019 10:18am

handbaked wrote:
Feb 25 2019 10:09am
Ok, thanks for the info. I was wondering whether the more expensive versions negate some issues due to having bushings and adjustability.

This one:

https://tspcyclefarm.it/en/custom-bicyc ... er-fork-en

Or this one:

http://store.ruff-cycles.com/ruff-cycle ... black.html

Im not doubting you are right tbh, just be good to know which forks you have and whether anyone has tried these 'better quality' versions.

Cheers.
There's no indication that either of those forks has pivot bushings. One of them mentions "Teflon sliding bushings", but that's on the spring bolts and not the pivots. And it's plastic sleeves. And there's still no damping in either one.

How would you propose to change the spring rate on either of those forks, since you'd be using it in a heavier application that it was ever intended for?

P.S. - there one I have on a loaner bike is the common swinging style with a single pivot above the wheel and a forward-facing spring.
Last edited by Chalo on Feb 25 2019 10:23am, edited 1 time in total.
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handbaked   100 W

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 25 2019 10:20am

Ah, I see. Fair enough, it's a shame they are not a good option, as I love how they look. :-) will stick with fox float 80 RL air forks then.

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by Chalo » Feb 25 2019 10:24am

handbaked wrote:
Feb 25 2019 10:20am
Ah, I see. Fair enough, it's a shame they are not a good option, as I love how they look. :-) will stick with fox float 80 RL air forks then.
If there's a custom cycle club in your area, maybe you can find someone who has one so you can suss it out.
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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by amberwolf » Feb 26 2019 2:28am

If you *really* want springers, you *could* build a set (or modify some) so that they *do* actually function as you need them to. :)

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Feb 26 2019 4:36am

amberwolf wrote:If you *really* want springers, you *could* build a set (or modify some) so that they *do* actually function as you need them to. :)
That's true. Is it something you have done?

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Mar 05 2019 6:37pm

so I have been buying the odd bit here and there while I work out all the different elements. I arranged some of the frame work outside to do some more visualising, so these are below. the runner boards will sit on top of 18mm black painted/varnished plywood. they will be slightly shaped in one way or another.

Image
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I have also been getting used to digikeys free scheme-it browser based schematics drawing program. Its pretty good for working out wiring looms on more complicated builds (like this one!). Trying to work out which cables need to run where is somewhat challenging on my brain!

I have bought all the elements for clear coating raw, brushed steel. I have been informed to wipe down all the framework with silicon remover, then mix 2 parts clear coat to 1 part hardener, adding 5-10% acrylic thinner. I know nothing about spray painting so hoping the advice from the seller is correct. I plan to spray the bike in a couple of weeks.

Image


I am also planning on using aluminium composite, triangle panels shown with the red triangle in the picture below. behind those panels will be some electronics, such as the controller, DC adapter, on board charger and possibly DVR system!


Image

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by amberwolf » Mar 05 2019 10:43pm

handbaked wrote:
Feb 26 2019 4:36am
amberwolf wrote:If you *really* want springers, you *could* build a set (or modify some) so that they *do* actually function as you need them to. :)
That's true. Is it something you have done?
No, but it can't be any harder than building the SB Cruiser trike itself, or CrazyBike2. :lol:

I've designed the basics of a completely different "fork" that would give me more adjustable front suspension, and let me use some nicer shocks (taht I could swap out as needed), but I haven't made detailed plans or tried building it yet, because I don't have the "tree" clamps needed for it and building those is not in my toolset at the moment. (some time back, I had setup to buy some from a member here, but he sold them to someone else while I was asking him for a correction or confirmation to his paypal address :roll: ). (I also havent' had the time to do it)

These "forks" would actually be the four-bar-link "rear triangle" off a lightweight FS bike frame, mounted bakcwards (dropouts leading) and the shockmount/etc off the main frame, attached to a steerer and stanchions made to fit whatever clamps I can get (clamps instead of welding to the others so I can adjust ride height, etc. as needed). Part of the reason is so I could put a powerful motor up front, without worrying about little bitty dropouts holding it in place--would be easy to have big clamping torque plates instead. The motor wouldn't have to be a hub, either, it could be a frame-mounted motor on the "triangle"; then I can have a motor *and* an IGH with a drum brake in it, for instance.


If you're curious, I have some sketches / etc. somewhere in one of the trike build or design discussion threads, probably in the old Delta Tripper thread at the end of it.

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Re: Long tail cargo bike build

Post by handbaked » Mar 06 2019 7:37pm

amberwolf wrote:
handbaked wrote:
Feb 26 2019 4:36am
amberwolf wrote:If you *really* want springers, you *could* build a set (or modify some) so that they *do* actually function as you need them to. :)
That's true. Is it something you have done?
No, but it can't be any harder than building the SB Cruiser trike itself, or CrazyBike2. Image

I've designed the basics of a completely different "fork" that would give me more adjustable front suspension, and let me use some nicer shocks (taht I could swap out as needed), but I haven't made detailed plans or tried building it yet, because I don't have the "tree" clamps needed for it and building those is not in my toolset at the moment. (some time back, I had setup to buy some from a member here, but he sold them to someone else while I was asking him for a correction or confirmation to his paypal address :roll: ). (I also havent' had the time to do it)

These "forks" would actually be the four-bar-link "rear triangle" off a lightweight FS bike frame, mounted bakcwards (dropouts leading) and the shockmount/etc off the main frame, attached to a steerer and stanchions made to fit whatever clamps I can get (clamps instead of welding to the others so I can adjust ride height, etc. as needed). Part of the reason is so I could put a powerful motor up front, without worrying about little bitty dropouts holding it in place--would be easy to have big clamping torque plates instead. The motor wouldn't have to be a hub, either, it could be a frame-mounted motor on the "triangle"; then I can have a motor *and* an IGH with a drum brake in it, for instance.


If you're curious, I have some sketches / etc. somewhere in one of the trike build or design discussion threads, probably in the old Delta Tripper thread at the end of it.
Certainly sounds interesting. More than I'm willing to do this time round, maybe a future modification!

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