My recumbent cargo bike

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » May 16 2017 3:44pm

Every two weeks I do a dumpster/recycling run. Today was the day. Always a scary ride. It is several miles on the only road from the interstate, into town. Narrow, windy, little or no shoulder, lots of school buses, tractor trailer rigs, harried commuters. In these shots, you can see my Grin Tech headlight and taillight, added after I got tired of replacing pen cells.
recyclingrun01.jpg
recyclingrun02.jpg
recyclingrun03.jpg

Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » May 27 2017 10:34am

Only 809 miles in the month since getting the bike back on the road. Lots of days raining, or threatening rain. Not much actual accumulation. Just enough to make it me stir crazy. I got in a ride yesterday, after 5 days of rain. Supposed to rain again this afternoon, but need to cut our field before then, so no ride. At least the mower is electric. :-)

Yesterday's ride to Farmville was pleasant...70's to low 80's, very windy, sunny all around, but with lots of billowing clouds, so sun was often covered. Mostly took it easy, keeping to bicycle speeds. Put on a few extra miles, as a bridge was being replaced near town. The detours added 5 miles each way. I went around the barriers, to check out the bridge work. They usually have a way across the creek for the workers. i have used those many times with my pedal bikes, and my mid-drive, which is light enough to carry if needed. They had a nice steel girder footbridge, even had railings. It would have been easy to cross with the cargo bike. But the footbridge had no ramps at the ends, and was a foot above ground level. No way I would attempt to lift this 130 pound bike up there, even one end at a time. Don't need to throw my back out, at my age. I got to check out side roads I wouldn't bother with otherwise, as they dump out onto a busy highway coming into town.

134.5 mi, 6:54.19, 19.6 av, 36.4 max, 2172.5 Wh, 16.0 Wh/mi, 11,753 mi so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Jun 21 2017 12:24pm

Yesterday was a really fun day. I rode up around Lake Anna, and had lunch at Anna Cabana. A pretty big crowd for a Tuesday, three pontoon boats full of retired lake residents. After lunch I stopped at One Life Cycles, one of the small local MC shops I like to frequent. These folks like my bikes more than bicycle shop folks. From there, I headed off down Monrovia Road, to Orange. I stopped at the Chevy dealer to talk about the Bolt's great crash test results, from the Insurance Institute over in Ruckersville.

http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-iih ... st-videos/

They bought the Bolt from his local Chevy dealer, before my dentist even got his test drive. He couldn't believe they would destroy a fully loaded Premier.

I then headed down to Montpelier, James Madison's old estate. Just past Montpelier, I turn up Jacksontown Road, to ride over the railroad tracks on one of our narrow plank bridges. I always stop, on top, to look down the tracks. This time, a train was just approaching the bridge. The engineer tooted his whistle at me, and I tooted back with my Air Zounds airhorn. This was a really long double stack of cargo containers. They just cleared the bottom of the bridge.
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108.145 mi, 4:59.47, 21.6 av, 34.9 max, 18.1 Wh/mi, 12,554 miles, so far

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footloose   10 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by footloose » Jun 21 2017 3:09pm

Sounds like a terrific day, and a great ride to enjoy the arrival of summer.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Jul 12 2017 5:08pm

July has been pretty warm and dry here. It was 86F, partly cloudy, and light wind when I left at 10:15 am today. I rode through Trevilians, up to Gordonsville, through the roundabout, and on up to Madison for lunch. I rode over to Orange to chat at the Chevy dealer. On my way to Louisa. I stopped at B & R Market at Hickory Creek and Oakland roads. The thermometer read 100F. I went in for a Dr. Pepper, and checked his digital indoor/outdoor. Same reading. When I got home at 4pm, our old mercury min/max still said 99F, but it had been 100F earlier.

86.359 mi, 4:02.40, 21.3 av, 36.6 max 17.2 Wh/mi, 13,092 miles so far
07-12-17.jpg
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Eighteen years ago, I did a 50 mile ride on my Frejus, on an identical 100F, July day. I remember a cop who went past me at least three times. I think he thought I was going to die. :-)

50.24, 3:30.18, 14.3 av, 34.0 max, 130 bpm av, 169 bpm max

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by markz » Jul 12 2017 5:40pm

I always wonder about my batteries in that kind of heat.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Jul 13 2017 3:01pm

I never see over 1C discharge rate on my packs, and I park in the shade at stops, which isn't an option for a car. :-)

The motor didn't get over 65.7C at any point.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Sep 02 2017 12:54pm

There is going to be a Drive Electric event up in Crozet, at a microbrewery, on September 10th. I wanted to check it out first, and Wednesday was the first nice day in a while, so...
Pro Re Nata Brewery.jpg
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I had to hang out at the bike shop there as well. They have one Bosch powered mid-drive bike for sale.
Crozet Bike Shop.jpg
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On the way home, I stopped for a V8 juice and Payday bar.
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Mid 70s, low humidity, light wind, perfect day.

120.285 mi, 5:26.29, 22.1 av, 36.0 max, 2323.8 Wh, 19.0 Wh/mi, 13,668 miles, so far

Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Sep 17 2017 11:10am

I rode to Farmville, to Walker's Diner again, on Friday. As I arrived, I saw this brand new 90D Model S across the street.
New 90D Walkers Diner.jpg
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123.1mi, 5:18, 23.2 av, 36.7 max, 2289.6 Wh, 18.4 Wh/mi, 13,924 mile so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Sep 21 2017 1:19pm

Tuesday, 9am was a cool, windy, start for a ride up to Skyland

https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/historyc ... kyland.htm

on the Skyline Drive. I took my usual scenic route to Culpeper, and had lunch at Baby Jim's Snack Bar.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevystew/27592426132/

I took Rt. 522 north to Sperryville. On the way I saw a tiny loop road that I had to check out.
Fletcher's Mill Road.jpg
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There was a one lane bridge, and the road's namesake.
Fletcher's Mill.jpg
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I entered the Drive at Thornton Gap. It was another ten miles south on the Drive to my day's destination, and I had a lot of juice left. So I rode WOT all the way there, never dropping below 25 mph, and seeing 35 mph on the descents. I am afraid this was a poor decision, as I ticked off several drivers along the way. The speed limit is 35mph, which many like to exceed, and my speed made it difficult to pass. A guy in a Corvette flew around me and the car ahead at deadly speed into oncoming traffic. I did arrive alive at about 3:30pm.
Skyland charge stations.jpg
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90.2 mi, 4:34, 19.7 av, 35.2 max, 1950.2 Wh, 21.3 Wh/mi, 35.12 Ah

I checked in and rode to my room. I put the bike on the charger and took a shower, then walked the quarter mile trail up to The Tap Room. I had a beer and a hummus/veggie/pita platter on the deck, overlooking the Valley. I got a large coffee, and espresso brownie to go, for desert. I sat on my room's balcony, also overlooking the Valley, enjoying the food and the view. I wasted a bunch of time scrolling the the dozens of cable channels of crap, as usual, before giving up and going to bed. The next morning, I walked up to the snack bar, and got another coffee, orange juice, yogurt, and a chocolate croissant to eat on my balcony. The blackbirds were slope soaring as I ate, and I watched the fog slowly burn off of the Valley.
fog in the Valley.jpg
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I left at 9am again, and headed south towards Afton. This time I set the cruise control to 16.5 mph on the level. I saw a low as 15.0 mph on the climbs, and as high as 38 mph on the descents. This meant cars could easily pass most of the time, and I was going fast enough on the downhills to avoid slowing traffic too much. Ten miles on, I stopped at Big Meadows and took a picture of the charge stations there...only to delete it from my phone just now. I chatted with a couple there, about electric vehicles, for probably 15 minutes. At 57 miles in, I saw a bear cub on the side of the road. It quickly scurried down into the woods. A half mile on, I stopped and spoke to a park guy with a weed wacker. He said there were three cubs that he saw along there most days. I arrived at the snack bar for a hotdog with sauerkraut, and an orange soda. I met a cyclist waiting for his wife. He had ridden the 105 miles from Front Royal, with his wife driving sag. She was off in Waynesboro getting supplies. Somehow she had both their phones, and didn't know where he was. I let him use mine to try and contact her. Her phone didn't respond, but he was able to leave a message on his. I hope she checked it.

Stats for the Skyline Drive: 64.18 mi, 3:13.42, 19.8 av, 38.0 max, 964.30 Wh, 14.1 Wh/mi. 16.09 Ah, 6.7% regen

I took my usual route home...mostly Trans America/76 bike route.

The day's total stats: 128.314 mi, 5:54, 21.7 av, 38.0 max, 2217.6 Wh, 16.4 Wh/mi, 38.55 Ah, 14,143 miles, so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Jan 24 2018 10:14am

I was surprised to see how long it has been since I posted to my cargo bike thread. I've ridden it 1,100 miles since September, which is low for me, but the last month and a half have been crap for riding. This week, we appear to be back to our regularly scheduled, warmer than average weather. Yesterday I rode to Mineral, for lunch, and thought I would check out one out one of our local utility's two, 5 megawatt, newly installed PV installations. This one is 6.5 miles away. The other one 9 miles away. Both are up and running with zero fanfare!
Shannon Hill PV.jpg
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Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Apr 13 2018 8:48am

Winter here in central Virginia was total crap. Cold, and or rain...worst winter in a decade. I was 55 days off the bikes. There were about five decent days in there, but I had cold and/or flu for all of them. Six rides, on this bike, since 03/29...466 miles, 15,727 mi total, so far.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Apr 14 2018 4:54pm

From recent Montpelier trip.
Montpelier chargers.png

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by oldwahoo54 » Apr 15 2018 12:50pm

Hey Warren,

Can you recharge at these stations? If so, do you need a special connector, or do they have 110V outlets?

I didn't commute much over the winter. Had to stop riding for 6 weeks around Oct. 1 following a medical procedure, then the weather was mostly crappy until early April.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Aug 17 2018 8:33am

oldwahoo54 wrote:
Apr 15 2018 12:50pm
Can you recharge at these stations?
Sorry. I haven't been checking in much these days.

No, I can't charge at the 240 volt, EVSE sites. I can ride this cargo bike at 17-18 mph, for 12 hours, and go over 200 miles on a charge. If I had a 240 volt, 3 kW onboard charger, I could ride at 25-30 mph for 2 hours, charge for an hour, ride for 2 hours, charge for an hour, etc., and cover the same distance in 11 hours. I have ridden this bike at WOT for an hour and a half. I'd rather ride at bicycle speeds and sightsee, and not have to spend all my time looking for stuff in the road.

I just looked. I have only ridden this bike 2k miles since that last post, and 600 miles on the mid-drive.

Don't ever buy an electric car. It will turn you into a fat, lazy, bourgie pig!
Last edited by Warren on Aug 17 2018 8:55am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Wolfeman » Aug 17 2018 8:43am

Awesome topic thread Warren. Just read through it for the first time. I love how you were selling off your bikes because of "old", and found something totally new and enjoyable. Your bike looks like the ultimate long distance cruiser that allows you to wander to places you've never been. Thanks for posting.
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Warren   100 kW

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » Dec 20 2018 4:24pm

I rode to Batesville for lunch Monday...a lovely 98.7 mile ride through horsey country.
Batesville lunch.jpg
Yesterday, I rode to Bremo Bluff before dinner, to check out the huge decommissioning project going on at the power plant there....57.6 miles.

https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/loca ... 8f303.html

Like every place in Virginia, it is loaded with history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremo_Bluff,_Virginia
Bremo Bluff.jpg
20,071 miles, so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by rowbiker » Dec 20 2018 5:13pm

Looks like this coming winter might be better than what you had last winter. Even up here in MN (Twin Cities) with snow on the ground we've gotten in some nice December rides. You probably don't bother with studded tires down there!

How many more miles before you're willing to say that the mid-drive is the way to go, vs a hubbie, for instance? I'm currently "using up" a spare BionX rear hub drive in a Rans Rocket (dual 20" wheels) recumbent. Since I'm not likely to get a new battery, or other replacement parts from them since they're completely bankrupted, I'm just getting what miles I can and then start anew. I am committed to the recumbent platform, but other than that pretty up everything is up for grabs. Generally I prefer the Bachetta high racer models with 26" wheels, but I'm open. I have several prototypes of other bikes I'm working on and like CAv3's and Phaserunners, but the main drive components are still in flux. I probably do more urban biking than your open road touring, but I do both, and like you, I like long distance comfort!

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by donn » Dec 20 2018 9:47pm

I'm using a moderately hefty DD rear hub on my Burley Limbo. Which I bought for the purpose, after initially installing the hub on a Ryan Vanguard - rear suspension is a good thing when routinely traveling over 15mph.

While I was combing the shrubbery for a Limbo or similar, I saw one on SF craigslist with a mid-drive (Bafang I think.) With the battery hanging from the steering mast. Both seemed weird to me - the motor way out in front, the battery way up on top. But it occurred to me that a recumbent would be a fine platform for a "real" mid-drive - between the cranks and the rear wheel.

Clamp the drive to the frame where the chain idler usually is. Put two chainrings on it, to the front and to the back, and put a freewheel/pawl mechanism between them to make them independent when the motor is outpulling the cranks. There'd need to be some kind of chain tensioner if you want more than one chainring in the front. The whole thing would be otherwise pretty self contained, the battery probably would end up right there too.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by rowbiker » Dec 21 2018 10:21am

Thanks Donn -- good info. I agree the weight distribution on the bike is important, as is keeping the drive train as simple as possible. Excess maintenance requirements definitely are a burden, especially if you actually put miles on the bike. Suspension is getting more important the older I get (which I am).

The other requirement for my e-rides is regen. I don't so much care about recovering the braking energy as I simply love electric braking. Even the fact of brakes lasting forever is simply a bonus. I have a little red button that gets rid of speed when you don't want it.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by donn » Dec 21 2018 3:05pm

Oh yeah, I love regen braking, which on my setup comes on with the right brake lever. There is something very appealing about it, but I can't figure out what it would be, other than the charge recovery. Well, it's smooth and effortless, can't complain about that.

What I always wonder about, with DD hub options, is the non-regenerative "cogging" drag, when there's no power. I think mine really isn't too bad, barely noticeable. If I hold the wheel off the ground and give it a push, it carries on under its own momentum, but there's obviously some drag. I might be able to get it to spin all the way around if I pushed hard enough. Are all DD hubs about the same? If not, is there some way to know what you're getting?

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by wturber » Dec 21 2018 3:44pm

donn wrote:
Dec 21 2018 3:05pm
Are all DD hubs about the same? If not, is there some way to know what you're getting?
My understanding is that motors with thinner lamination have less cogging drag.

How bad the cogging affects non-powered pedaling is, I think, hard to evaluate subjectively. My bike probably has an extra 40 lbs added to it for batteries and the motor. Additionally, I've double-stuffed my tire so its rotational mass and rolling resistance are not both pretty high. Now add to all this the fact that I'm routinely cruising around using 300-900 watts of battery power. It is no wonder that the subjective experience of pedaling the bike with human bean power alone isn't very satisfactory. So at this point in time, I pretty much don't worry about it. If the motor system dies for some reason, I'll just drop into a low gear and take my time...
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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » May 02 2019 10:28am

After a cold, rainy winter, spring finally arrived, and I started piling on the miles again. At 21K miles, one of the cartridge bearings in my 23 year old Aerospoke carbon front wheel seized up, and ate the hub bore and hollow aluminum axle. The company has gone out of business twice over the years, and appears to be gone. Couldn't find any NOS parts. I replaced it with a nice, but draggy, 36 spoke MTB wheel.
Last edited by Warren on May 02 2019 10:40am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by Warren » May 02 2019 10:40am

This week, the Skyline Drive finally opened up, a month late due to horrible November ice storm damage. I decided, as my battery capacity has dropped from 53 Ah usable, three and a half years ago, to 42 Ah usable today, if I was going to do my dreamed of Skyline Drive trip, this was the year.

Monday 04/29/19
Left home 9:20 am, 52 F, cloudy, breezy. Arrived at Lewis Mountain cabin at 4:30 pm, still cool and cloudy. Saw a Chevy Bolt at Afton. Saw no large animals, and three cars, the 47.5 miles to cabin!!

106.7 mi, 5:43, 18.6 mph av, 35.9 mph max, 19.0 Wh/mi, 37.34 Ah

Tuesday 04/30/19
Left Lewis Mountain cabin 8:45 am, 54 F, partly cloudy, breezy. Sun came out within the hour, and it quickly heated up. Many screaming descents to and from Front Royal. Saw several black bears, a doe, hawks, many SUV's, some carrying bicycles, some bicycles actually being ridden. Motorcycles outnumbered bicycles 20 to 1. One Tesla Model 3 at Skyland breakfast stop...nice young couple from Ontario. Back to cabin at 5:30 pm, in time to get food and beer again before camp store closed at 6 pm.

117.7 mi, 5:57, 19.7 mph av, 36.2 mph max, 18.2 Wh/mi, 39.14 Ah

Wednesday 05/01/19
Left cabin 9:45 am waiting for fog to lift. Sunny and clear the 22 miles to Swift Run Gap. Socked-in fog for 20 of the remaining 26 miles to the south entrance. Glasses were unusable, so rested on the tip of my nose. Thankfully, met no cars in the fog. Did all descents on regen brake, staying below 20 mph. Eerie riding in a white glowing bubble. When passing under trees, the road was wet, and it rained condensation down my neck. Last 6 miles fog was clearing, looking like smoke blowing across the road. Was 75-80 F and sunny from Afton to home.

106.4 mi, 5:05, 20.8 mph av, 36.3 mph max, 17.0 Wh/mi, 32.95 Ah

Trees are weeks behind lower elevations...mostly just buds. November ice storm damage everywhere you look. Crews still working on cleanup.

I am no photographer, so don't even try for landscape shots. Mine never look anything like the actual view. Check Google for scenic shots of the Skyline Drive. :-)
Skyline Drive trip 1.jpg
Skyline Drive trip 2.jpg
Skyline Drive trip 3.jpg
Skyline Drive trip 4.jpg
7,917 Ah, 22,784 miles, so far

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Re: My recumbent cargo bike

Post by rowbiker » May 02 2019 4:32pm

Hey Warren -- nice travelogue! It looks like using more regen braking during your fog ride significantly improved your watt hours per mile. This matches nicely with my experience, but your 'sampling rate' of 100+ miles makes for better data. Nice top end speeds, btw -- that's the nice road hugging stability of a LWB recumbent (and I imagine decent road surfaces).

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