Poor Man's RV

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 26 2019 2:46pm

Oh ... and while the focus of this thread is solar power and the fellow putting this trip together is spending far more than you want to, there are still good ideas and information to be had from reading what he's posting. Particularly since he is towing a trailer with a recumbent. The trailer carries solar panels.

Oops! Forgot to include the link.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 9#p1468139
Last edited by wturber on May 27 2019 12:47am, edited 1 time in total.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by markz » May 26 2019 11:17pm

This seems new from the Chinesium Import Biz near me....
Fat Recumbent - http://unclewiener.com/product/new-devi ... ike-tad01/
Other styles - https://bicycleman.com/about-recumbent-bikes/
More info - http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalC ... yBikes.htm

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by amberwolf » May 26 2019 11:29pm

Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:11pm
Also, belts don't last significantly longer than chains (sometimes not nearly as long) and they're much more expensive to replace.
Belts also require a frame that "opens" to get the belt on (or a frame designed around not having to). A chain doesn't, cuz the links can be opened to get it around any frame section. ;)

Either TRP Spyke/Spyre or Avid BB7 will stand your bike on its nose just like any other good strong brake. BB7 is extremely easy to adjust, and has excellent replacement pads availability.
The Avid BB7 disc with a 200mm rotor works fine stopping (or skidding the wheel) my SB Cruiser trike from 20MPH. THat's 300lbs of trike/etc, plus my 200lbs, plus a 130lb+ St Bernard in the back. ;)

Previously it took *two* rim brakes (custom jobbie on the fork) on the same wheel to get that stopping power, but that was partly from the fork itself twisting at the legs, taking away some of the braking power by not keeping the pads flat against the rim.

kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 3:47pm
The previous commenter "Electric Earth" had a good idea about the kids trailer. The ones I saw worked as a stroller too. Seems places would allow me to wheel it in, not all though. They do fold flat too so transporting it should be possible. I'll need to research this before I commit to panniers. With the stroller I could carry standard luggage and/or back packs inside it.
There's also various types of BOB trailer (you could make your own version that does whatever you want).

You can also make panniers that have their own wheels for taking inside--basically using luggage with wheels that has a "subframe" inside it, that you can then attach to the bike frame via a pannier-type frame, that makes them easy to take off but secure during riding.


Regarding tires/etc., you can more than double the tube thickness by taking "dead" tubes and cutting their valve stems off, then slitting them along the inner circumference, and placing them over the actual tube you'll use. More layers makes more thickness (I usually only use one, but on my heavy-duty trailer (for piano-sized cargo/multiple dogs/etc) I use two. You can also add the "slime strips" (whatever brand) on the outermost layer, between the tube assembly and the tire, for a bit more puncture resistance. I used to always use slime sealant, but it doesn't always stop the leaks when I have heavy cargo weights, or large bits of debris, so I started using the multilayer approach and it works better, stopping the punctures from happening in the first place, almost completely, and allowing me to patch it easily (unlike with slime, which as its' name implies, is a bit on the difficult side to clean up).


Any thoughts about a two motor setup and electrifying recumbents in general? I will be looking for successful builds using this style of bike to see what's possible.
You might look at my CrazyBike2 thread, starting from the end of the thread and working back (the early versions aren't what you're after). It uses 2WD with DD hubmotors now, but originally was a middrive kinda like Stokemonkey but using a powerchair motor). Switched because the frame couldn't handle the torque, and twisted causing chain derailment. Now it's stiff enough but havent' ever gone back to redesign for middrive; hubmotors just worked, but no real need for efficiency on hills /etc cuz Phoenix is pretty flat.


Keep in mind that 'bents in general are lower to the ground and less visible. It's why I went with semirecumbent for CB2, so it's not as low as it could be, but it's still lower than a standard bike. So it's lit up quite significantly (not as much as the SB Cruiser trike, and I'd retrofit it if I was still using it), and it's "big" to make it more likely to be seen. But I still had problems being seen in traffic with it sometimes (not so with SB Cruiser in it's present incarnation, so far).

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 28 2019 11:18am

wturber wrote:
May 26 2019 2:46pm
Oh ... and while the focus of this thread is solar power and the fellow putting this trip together is spending far more than you want to, there are still good ideas and information to be had from reading what he's posting. Particularly since he is towing a trailer with a recumbent. The trailer carries solar panels.

Oops! Forgot to include the link.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 9#p1468139
Great thread!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 28 2019 11:19am

markz wrote:
May 26 2019 11:17pm
This seems new from the Chinesium Import Biz near me....
Fat Recumbent - http://unclewiener.com/product/new-devi ... ike-tad01/
Other styles - https://bicycleman.com/about-recumbent-bikes/
More info - http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalC ... yBikes.htm
Wow! That fat tire recumbent looks sic!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 28 2019 11:45am

amberwolf wrote:
May 26 2019 11:29pm
Chalo wrote:
May 25 2019 3:11pm
Also, belts don't last significantly longer than chains (sometimes not nearly as long) and they're much more expensive to replace.
Belts also require a frame that "opens" to get the belt on (or a frame designed around not having to). A chain doesn't, cuz the links can be opened to get it around any frame section. ;)
I've decided against belts at this time. I will be watching as this technology develops. Such as this split belt https://www.veercycle.com/
Either TRP Spyke/Spyre or Avid BB7 will stand your bike on its nose just like any other good strong brake. BB7 is extremely easy to adjust, and has excellent replacement pads availability.
The Avid BB7 disc with a 200mm rotor works fine stopping (or skidding the wheel) my SB Cruiser trike from 20MPH. THat's 300lbs of trike/etc, plus my 200lbs, plus a 130lb+ St Bernard in the back. ;)

Previously it took *two* rim brakes (custom jobbie on the fork) on the same wheel to get that stopping power, but that was partly from the fork itself twisting at the legs, taking away some of the braking power by not keeping the pads flat against the rim.
The Avid BB7 seems very popular among builder. I will probably use this for my brakes. Also looking into regen possibilities.
kauaicycler wrote:
May 25 2019 3:47pm
The previous commenter "Electric Earth" had a good idea about the kids trailer. The ones I saw worked as a stroller too. Seems places would allow me to wheel it in, not all though. They do fold flat too so transporting it should be possible. I'll need to research this before I commit to panniers. With the stroller I could carry standard luggage and/or back packs inside it.
There's also various types of BOB trailer (you could make your own version that does whatever you want).

You can also make panniers that have their own wheels for taking inside--basically using luggage with wheels that has a "subframe" inside it, that you can then attach to the bike frame via a pannier-type frame, that makes them easy to take off but secure during riding.
I kind of like the idea of a kids/pet trailer. I saw a video of a guy using a BOB trailer; it got run over because the car didn't see it. Imagine what the driver would of thought if that was a kids trailer he hit :shock: .
Regarding tires/etc., you can more than double the tube thickness by taking "dead" tubes and cutting their valve stems off, then slitting them along the inner circumference, and placing them over the actual tube you'll use. More layers makes more thickness (I usually only use one, but on my heavy-duty trailer (for piano-sized cargo/multiple dogs/etc) I use two. You can also add the "slime strips" (whatever brand) on the outermost layer, between the tube assembly and the tire, for a bit more puncture resistance. I used to always use slime sealant, but it doesn't always stop the leaks when I have heavy cargo weights, or large bits of debris, so I started using the multilayer approach and it works better, stopping the punctures from happening in the first place, almost completely, and allowing me to patch it easily (unlike with slime, which as its' name implies, is a bit on the difficult side to clean up).
I love this tip!
Any thoughts about a two motor setup and electrifying recumbents in general? I will be looking for successful builds using this style of bike to see what's possible.
You might look at my CrazyBike2 thread, starting from the end of the thread and working back (the early versions aren't what you're after). It uses 2WD with DD hubmotors now, but originally was a middrive kinda like Stokemonkey but using a powerchair motor). Switched because the frame couldn't handle the torque, and twisted causing chain derailment. Now it's stiff enough but havent' ever gone back to redesign for middrive; hubmotors just worked, but no real need for efficiency on hills /etc cuz Phoenix is pretty flat.


Keep in mind that 'bents in general are lower to the ground and less visible. It's why I went with semirecumbent for CB2, so it's not as low as it could be, but it's still lower than a standard bike. So it's lit up quite significantly (not as much as the SB Cruiser trike, and I'd retrofit it if I was still using it), and it's "big" to make it more likely to be seen. But I still had problems being seen in traffic with it sometimes (not so with SB Cruiser in it's present incarnation, so far).
I'll check out your CB2 build.

Yeah the semi-recumbents look better to me. The idea of keeping my feet up kinda bothers me. The higher height is a plus for visibility. I also plan on lots of lights and other visibility aids.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by markz » May 28 2019 5:10pm

Drivers of automobiles do not think!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Electric Earth » May 29 2019 4:57am

This thread is really building up, and it's late, so I didn't have time to read it all. I'll just add my opinion on a couple of things from page two, where I made it to for tonight. As for the trailer, personally, I'd say the kids trailer with the push handle option is more appealing to me than a Bob. I'd prefer the stability, the ability to wheel it around in a grocery store, ease of accessing stuff since many have a waterproof layer on top that just velcro open and you can reach inside for whatever you need, etc. It also saves you leaving panniers on a bike, or a Bob attached to the bike. They come with 20" wheels, and I'd think you could fit a high volume 2"+ tire on them. That should give you some shock absorption. It'll also keep your bike from being a behemoth and difficult to deal with when you're not moving.

That said, I'm basing all of this off of you hauling a large load. Personally, I tour light and aim for closer to 20lbs of gear. I just kind of get the feeling you're going to be double that. If you're aiming for light, I'd vote for panniers.

I'll also just mention with regards to rack welding, I wouldn't bother considering that. In my opinion, it's easier to find a new rack than someone who can competently weld your thin tubed rack back together if it breaks. In my opinion, if a rack breaks and you can't replace it in that town, find yourself an auto parts store or major box store and get a fiber glass kit. wrap the hell out of the broken spot, soak it down with resin, let it dry, and ride on until you get a new rack. And I don't have any basis for my guess, but I'd be surprised if it didn't cost more to have someone weld up a broken rack than to just buy a new one.

I'll second the seat opinion on Brooks not being a great choice. I guess I just assumed you already liked a Brooks. But if you're not already attached to one, I'd go for something else. Personally, I've tried a Brooks and it was probably the worst seat I've ever tried, and they're the highest maintenance bike seat you can buy. You'll generally find that people who love Brooks love to mention it. Most people don't use them. I think reading around on touring and vintage bike forums makes them seem more common and popular than they are. I bet they'll become less popular in the near future. It seems to me that the baby boomers are the main group putting them on vintage and touring bikes right now. They're the ones who grew up with Brooks being a cool, high-end bike seat. Most everyone I know who rides a Brooks won't be biking in another 15-20 years. I'm not sure there will be many on the roads after that.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 29 2019 8:33am

Electric Earth wrote:
May 29 2019 4:57am
This thread is really building up, and it's late, so I didn't have time to read it all. I'll just add my opinion on a couple of things from page two, where I made it to for tonight. As for the trailer, personally, I'd say the kids trailer with the push handle option is more appealing to me than a Bob. I'd prefer the stability, the ability to wheel it around in a grocery store, ease of accessing stuff since many have a waterproof layer on top that just velcro open and you can reach inside for whatever you need, etc. It also saves you leaving panniers on a bike, or a Bob attached to the bike. They come with 20" wheels, and I'd think you could fit a high volume 2"+ tire on them. That should give you some shock absorption. It'll also keep your bike from being a behemoth and difficult to deal with when you're not moving.

That said, I'm basing all of this off of you hauling a large load. Personally, I tour light and aim for closer to 20lbs of gear. I just kind of get the feeling you're going to be double that. If you're aiming for light, I'd vote for panniers.

I'll also just mention with regards to rack welding, I wouldn't bother considering that. In my opinion, it's easier to find a new rack than someone who can competently weld your thin tubed rack back together if it breaks. In my opinion, if a rack breaks and you can't replace it in that town, find yourself an auto parts store or major box store and get a fiber glass kit. wrap the hell out of the broken spot, soak it down with resin, let it dry, and ride on until you get a new rack. And I don't have any basis for my guess, but I'd be surprised if it didn't cost more to have someone weld up a broken rack than to just buy a new one.

I'll second the seat opinion on Brooks not being a great choice. I guess I just assumed you already liked a Brooks. But if you're not already attached to one, I'd go for something else. Personally, I've tried a Brooks and it was probably the worst seat I've ever tried, and they're the highest maintenance bike seat you can buy. You'll generally find that people who love Brooks love to mention it. Most people don't use them. I think reading around on touring and vintage bike forums makes them seem more common and popular than they are. I bet they'll become less popular in the near future. It seems to me that the baby boomers are the main group putting them on vintage and touring bikes right now. They're the ones who grew up with Brooks being a cool, high-end bike seat. Most everyone I know who rides a Brooks won't be biking in another 15-20 years. I'm not sure there will be many on the roads after that.
The response to this thread is very encouraging! Great community, lot's of good advice.

I decided to search Letgo for pet trailers and found one I think I can get for free! I don't even have a bike yet but at least I can get an idea of what I can take. I'm loving the kids/pet trailer idea! I decided a pet trailer could do the job for less and doesn't include all the extras like suspension.

Good point about repairable racks and great tip on how to emergency repair them.

Another idea from this post I'm looking at is getting a recumbent or semi-recumbent. That would eliminate the brooks saddle as well as specialized clothing. I've never ridden one so of course I'll have to try it first but it appeals to me on many levels.

Speaking of Letgo I also found a Giant Revive semi recumbent for $243.00, weird price. I don't have the money yet to get one but I goggled it and found a posting about someone adding a bafang mid drive to it here https://electricbikeblog.com/electric-b ... nt-revive/. From the pictures I saw the bike has multiple adjustment points for seat, handlebars etc, it doesn't look very durable, and the bbs01 motor in the build I saw hung too low. I also didn't like the 16'' wheels. I liked the upright position though. Any thoughts on this bike for touring?

Thanks for your comments, very informative.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 29 2019 8:37am

markz wrote:
May 28 2019 5:10pm
Drivers of automobiles do not think!
Drivers are the scariest part of this whole idea. Riding a bike in traffic was scary enough 40 years ago but smart phones terrify me! I plan on making myself as visible as possible. Lots of lights reflectors and any other visibility aids I can think of.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 29 2019 9:28am

kauaicycler wrote:
May 29 2019 8:37am
markz wrote:
May 28 2019 5:10pm
Drivers of automobiles do not think!
Drivers are the scariest part of this whole idea. Riding a bike in traffic was scary enough 40 years ago but smart phones terrify me! I plan on making myself as visible as possible. Lots of lights reflectors and any other visibility aids I can think of.
Commit to wearing fluorescent shirts. When I started commuting, I wore white because it is understood that the human eye is inclined to notice bright objects. But while riding I began to notice how I'd notice bike riders from quickly at long distances who were wearing fluorescent greens, yellow, oranges and pinks. They'd just pop out against the background. So I switched. I now pretty much only ride with such colors. If going to the store, I put one of these on. I have a workers shirt with reflector stripes I use for night riding.

I have some cotton tees and long sleeve tees, but I mostly use synthetic pullover athletic shirts made of "wicking" fabrics. They hold their color very well. The cotton fabrics seem to fade after a wash or two. I use them as an overshirt or by themselves when it is hot. I also have fluorescent green and hunter orange pullovers and a water resistant light jacket/windbreaker in fluorescent green.

I've also read that there is a study that concluded that fluorescent colored shoes increase recognition as a bicycle substantially. The combination of visibility and the circular motion apparently triggers recognition very well.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 29 2019 10:50am

wturber wrote:
May 29 2019 9:28am
kauaicycler wrote:
May 29 2019 8:37am
markz wrote:
May 28 2019 5:10pm
Drivers of automobiles do not think!
Drivers are the scariest part of this whole idea. Riding a bike in traffic was scary enough 40 years ago but smart phones terrify me! I plan on making myself as visible as possible. Lots of lights reflectors and any other visibility aids I can think of.
Commit to wearing fluorescent shirts. When I started commuting, I wore white because it is understood that the human eye is inclined to notice bright objects. But while riding I began to notice how I'd notice bike riders from quickly at long distances who were wearing fluorescent greens, yellow, oranges and pinks. They'd just pop out against the background. So I switched. I now pretty much only ride with such colors. If going to the store, I put one of these on. I have a workers shirt with reflector stripes I use for night riding.

I have some cotton tees and long sleeve tees, but I mostly use synthetic pullover athletic shirts made of "wicking" fabrics. They hold their color very well. The cotton fabrics seem to fade after a wash or two. I use them as an overshirt or by themselves when it is hot. I also have fluorescent green and hunter orange pullovers and a water resistant light jacket/windbreaker in fluorescent green.

I've also read that there is a study that concluded that fluorescent colored shoes increase recognition as a bicycle substantially. The combination of visibility and the circular motion apparently triggers recognition very well.
I was thinking that some of the vests construction workers use could be a good idea. I love the idea of fluorescent colored shoes! I've seen people use flags, lights, reflectors and even pool noodles.

My wardrobe is in need of a massive upgrade, most of my clothes were hand-me downs or thrift store purchases and they are all showing their ages now. I'm definitely getting wicking fabrics. I'm hoping to avoid cycling specific clothing since I'll be carrying all of my clothing, I want clothing that blends in well when I'm off my bike. That's one of the things I like about the recumbent bike.

I've seen a lot of mention of merino wool for traveling. Any experience or thoughts on that for cycling/touring/living?

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by RunForTheHills » May 29 2019 11:07am

Even fluorescent shirts and reflective vests won't help with the phone zombies. Despite it being against the law, there are still many people that drive while reading their phones and texting. You just have to ride defensively and assume that every driver is out to get you.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 29 2019 11:15am

RunForTheHills wrote:
May 29 2019 11:07am
Even fluorescent shirts and reflective vests won't help with the phone zombies. Despite it being against the law, there are still many people that drive while reading their phones and texting. You just have to ride defensively and assume that every driver is out to get you.
I thought it was bad enough just changing radio stations, phones are a whole new level. Accidents for cars are bad enough but the most vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists are being murdered in outrageous numbers. They maybe classified as accidents but since they willing look at their phones and they know the risks it seems more like premeditated murder. :cry:

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by www.recumbents.com » May 29 2019 12:21pm

+1 on the Xtracycle. It's a bolt on so it would be easier to pack up and ship. I'm a recumbent cyclist but think that for a trip like this I'd go for a steel hardtail MTB with good front suspension fork, Xtracycle, and a rear hubmotor. A recumbent bike is tough in the mountains and expensive to ship. A rear hubmotor will be quiet and hidden behind your bags and crap which will keep it discreet. Also you can do regen. A mid drive is good too but they make some noise and no regen. For cross country you should plan on being able to do 100 miles a day.

Warren

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 29 2019 12:36pm

www.recumbents.com wrote:
May 29 2019 12:21pm
+1 on the Xtracycle. It's a bolt on so it would be easier to pack up and ship. I'm a recumbent cyclist but think that for a trip like this I'd go for a steel hardtail MTB with good front suspension fork, Xtracycle, and a rear hubmotor. A recumbent bike is tough in the mountains and expensive to ship. A rear hubmotor will be quiet and hidden behind your bags and crap which will keep it discreet. Also you can do regen. A mid drive is good too but they make some noise and no regen. For cross country you should plan on being able to do 100 miles a day.

Warren
Good input from someone that rides a recumbent. So two wheel recumbents are hard and expensive to pack up and ship? I eliminated a trike from the list because I knew those would be hard to ship.

I was really hoping an e-recumbent would make it easy to climb mountains and hills. Would a two motor setup make it easier to get up the mountains? I do like the idea of regen, especially for braking.

If I don't go with a recumbent I will definitely look into Xtracycle or the new $500.00 mongoose envoy cargo bike. I assume both of those would be easier/cheaper to ship.

Great advice! I'm so glad I posted here!

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by billvon » May 29 2019 1:48pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 29 2019 12:36pm
Good input from someone that rides a recumbent. So two wheel recumbents are hard and expensive to pack up and ship?
Depends on the recumbent. A Longbike would be hard to ship because it's long. A Haluzak Horizon would be pretty easy because it disassembles into easy to pack shapes.
I was really hoping an e-recumbent would make it easy to climb mountains and hills.
In general, recumbents do best on flats - lower drag. They are not quite as good climbing under human power.
--bill von

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 29 2019 5:02pm

RunForTheHills wrote:
May 29 2019 11:07am
Even fluorescent shirts and reflective vests won't help with the phone zombies. Despite it being against the law, there are still many people that drive while reading their phones and texting. You just have to ride defensively and assume that every driver is out to get you.
Nothing is foolproof. You must ride as though you are invisible. But "in fact" being more visible does help. Fluorescent cloths and moving fluorescent clothes will be seen more easily in the periphery than will regular colors.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by wturber » May 29 2019 5:06pm

kauaicycler wrote:
May 29 2019 11:15am
I thought it was bad enough just changing radio stations, phones are a whole new level. Accidents for cars are bad enough but the most vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists are being murdered in outrageous numbers. They maybe classified as accidents but since they willing look at their phones and they know the risks it seems more like premeditated murder. :cry:
In Arizona it is apparently negligent homicide. In this case the manslaughter charges were abandoned in exchange for a guilty plea of negligent homicide.
https://www.fhtimes.com/news/local_news ... 8446b.html
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by markz » May 29 2019 5:17pm

They always go overboard, then get the less and easy fish... less time for the effort, less cost.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » May 29 2019 5:30pm

billvon wrote:
May 29 2019 1:48pm
Depends on the recumbent.
Yes. Another packable option is a variation on Linear's folding Limo model. With a 20 inch rear wheel, a foldable seat, and the luggage to put it in. Claimed 1st time packing time, 7 ½ minutes. It's new and not listed for sale on their site, but there are a few out traveling around. The 20 inch rear wheel would be good news for an electric motor, but no rear suspension, so never mind.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by amberwolf » May 29 2019 5:36pm

Definitely ride as if you can't be seen.

Lights, bright colors, size, etc., all do actually help, but don't assume it's working. :/

FWIW, in my experience so far, for those drivers actually looking at the road and environment around them, size makes more difference than anything else, probably because they're afraid hitting me would hurt their car. ;)

On my (relatively) regular bikes, even DayGlo Avenger painted in dayglo orange and yellow, along with a similarly-painted trailer, and me wearing dayglo colored clothing including "crash gear" painted with dayglo colors, I'd get passed close enough for my mirrors to get hit sometimes. Once on that bike I was hit in the back of the helmet by a truck mirror, though I'm pretty sure he intentionally did it because of the path he chose to drive and where he went after that.

Even my Delta Tripper trike, which was very small, and visually small as well, this kind of thing was more likely to happen.

The bigger bikes like CrazyBike2, and the SB Cruiser trike, however, have had much less close passes or other similar incidents.


I still don't rely on that...because around here even other cars and trucks are invisible to drivers that don't have eyes on the road or aren't paying attention to what their eyes are showing them.




Regarding packable bikes...you can build one that disassembles in whatever way you like. ;)

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by Electric Earth » May 29 2019 7:34pm

Well as this drifts towards being less about the bike and more about the ride in general, I'll also offer a few things from my touring experience...

As for the synthetic clothes, I personally would not use synthetics for shirts. You'll likely be biking more than one day in that shirt, and biking all day. Synthetics Stink after a day of sweating in them. It's like there's some sort of magical force woven into the fabrics to breed the smell. They're great for day rides, but not so good for extended periods of time where you won't be washing your clothes constantly. Even if you have enough with you to never wear one twice(good luck with that bulk and weight), you'll have a bag full of dirty, smelly shirts, stuffed into a bag with no air flow... As mentioned, depending on how well groomed you stay, some might think you're just a hobo/homeless person. That smell also won't help you when you ask someone if you can charge the bike while you eat lunch. Personally, I wear a merino wool t-shirt as a base layer, or only layer when it's hot out. They have the opposite magic in them. You can wear one for a week and it won't smell. It's crazy. Wool is also moisture wicking and maintains your body temperature well. I got mine from planetx bike website in the UK. They're cheap, made for cycling, and hold up pretty well in my experience. I wore one on a 1,000mi tour down the west coast, only washing it about once per week. It never smelled and I still have it today. And as for special clothes, I personally wear none unless you count the merino t-shirt. I wear cargo shorts, boxer-briefs, and flip flops when I tour. Shoes and a wind breaker if it's cold, and rain gear if it's raining. The special cycling clothes are optional. I do wear synthetics for shorts because they dry faster, and I find they don't get smelly the way a shirt directly on my body does.

As for traffic, if I were doing this trip, I'd skip the road as much as possible anyway. There are plenty of major bike trails between the coasts. You can just ride for Miles on many trails without having to deal with any car traffic. When you do have to deal with traffic, remember that a large light is more visible and less irritating to drivers than a tiny, but intensely bright light. The U.S. has their cycle lighting situation all wrong. Here for some reason the companies sell lights that are as bright as the sun, all of that light emitting from one tiny LED focal point, and in strobe light flash mode. Those aren't even legal in other parts of the world like Europe. A short bit of reading will reveal that studies show flashing lights to be difficult for drivers to track and judge distance from. You want a solid light to avoid getting hit. Light surface area is what gets noticed, not one tiny bright light. And the headlight should have an appropriate beam cut-off lens. Any bright light just blasting out into the eyes of other drivers isn't safe for you or them. Most decent quality lights will have a cut-off lens. I actually got my light off of amazon for less than $20. It's fairly bright and has a cut-off. Often times nice lights from overseas are rated in "lux" rather than lumens. Lumens are kind of a pointless measurement for a headlight, since it tells you nothing about the lens and the focus of the light. Lux tells you how much light there is within a square meter of space(or something like that).

As for traveling with the bike, It's gonna be expensive in the U.S. Our country has a natural dislike of cyclists, and are run by corporations. Airlines elsewhere will often fly bikes for free. Here, you're looking at $150, minimum, for a regular bike, if you can fit it in the smallest size bike box. Add another $100 for a lot of regular bikes that don't fit into the small bike box. Recumbent? Cargo bike? I hope you have a forgiving bank account... My Guess is that it would be cheaper to have a regular bike to box up and pay to ship a trailer separately as "sports equipment" or something, compared to shipping a recumbent or cargo. It's definitely something to look into if money is a concern.

Bikeforums.net has a touring sub-forum. It's a great resource for touring information and gear advice. Just don't mention the ebike part. For some reason many of them hate ebikes. Chances are your thread will get derailed from the questions you have, and become just people bickering about ebike touring not being "real" bike touring, and you may as well get a real RV, etc, etc.

You can also search lots of routes across the U.S. on bikeforums. Or ask for advice on routes. Many people there have ridden across and can advise on the best roads to take, etc. Maybe let them know you'd rather avoid hills if possible. Some people actually enjoy riding up mountain passes, etc. I personally don't enjoy riding up a steep hill all day. I'm guessing you and your ebike won't either.

Your biggest issue will likely be water when crossing the southwestern part of the country. The rest of it is all just figuring it out as you go, and you said you have time. A hot day in the desert and no water will kill you, though. It can be a very real threat when touring in some areas. Luckily you'll have plenty of experience by the time you get to that part of the country. Don't let it worry you too much, but do make sure you're prepared.

I'd aim for 30-50mi/day. 50mi/day is a pretty standard rate for bike touring. As long as you can find a campground or town every 30mi, no need to do the 50 unless you feel like it. *shrug*

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by kauaicycler » May 30 2019 9:40am

Electric Earth wrote:
May 29 2019 7:34pm
Well as this drifts towards being less about the bike and more about the ride in general, I'll also offer a few things from my touring experience...

As for the synthetic clothes, I personally would not use synthetics for shirts. You'll likely be biking more than one day in that shirt, and biking all day. Synthetics Stink after a day of sweating in them. It's like there's some sort of magical force woven into the fabrics to breed the smell. They're great for day rides, but not so good for extended periods of time where you won't be washing your clothes constantly. Even if you have enough with you to never wear one twice(good luck with that bulk and weight), you'll have a bag full of dirty, smelly shirts, stuffed into a bag with no air flow... As mentioned, depending on how well groomed you stay, some might think you're just a hobo/homeless person. That smell also won't help you when you ask someone if you can charge the bike while you eat lunch. Personally, I wear a merino wool t-shirt as a base layer, or only layer when it's hot out. They have the opposite magic in them. You can wear one for a week and it won't smell. It's crazy. Wool is also moisture wicking and maintains your body temperature well. I got mine from planetx bike website in the UK. They're cheap, made for cycling, and hold up pretty well in my experience. I wore one on a 1,000mi tour down the west coast, only washing it about once per week. It never smelled and I still have it today. And as for special clothes, I personally wear none unless you count the merino t-shirt. I wear cargo shorts, boxer-briefs, and flip flops when I tour. Shoes and a wind breaker if it's cold, and rain gear if it's raining. The special cycling clothes are optional. I do wear synthetics for shorts because they dry faster, and I find they don't get smelly the way a shirt directly on my body does.
I came across merino wool for traveling and I was wondering if it would be good for my trip. When I first moved to Kauai I used to hitch-hike to work. At first I carried a nylon wind breaker for the light sprinkles I might encounter. The wind breaker would get so hot that I would sweat. I took a wool sweater with me one day and the wool kept me dry and it was very breathable. I thought merino wool might work like this too for cycling. I'll check out the planetx bike website. Fluorescent merino wool sounds like the perfect choice if they have it. I have no intention of looking like the hobo/homeless person I really am. :wink:. I've worn flip-flops almost exclusively for the last 40 years. In Hawaii they're called slippahs and can be worn even to the most formal events. I don't think I could wear shoes all day. I read somewhere that they make sandals that clip into pedals, any thoughts on that from your perspective?
As for traffic, if I were doing this trip, I'd skip the road as much as possible anyway. There are plenty of major bike trails between the coasts. You can just ride for Miles on many trails without having to deal with any car traffic. When you do have to deal with traffic, remember that a large light is more visible and less irritating to drivers than a tiny, but intensely bright light. The U.S. has their cycle lighting situation all wrong. Here for some reason the companies sell lights that are as bright as the sun, all of that light emitting from one tiny LED focal point, and in strobe light flash mode. Those aren't even legal in other parts of the world like Europe. A short bit of reading will reveal that studies show flashing lights to be difficult for drivers to track and judge distance from. You want a solid light to avoid getting hit. Light surface area is what gets noticed, not one tiny bright light. And the headlight should have an appropriate beam cut-off lens. Any bright light just blasting out into the eyes of other drivers isn't safe for you or them. Most decent quality lights will have a cut-off lens. I actually got my light off of amazon for less than $20. It's fairly bright and has a cut-off. Often times nice lights from overseas are rated in "lux" rather than lumens. Lumens are kind of a pointless measurement for a headlight, since it tells you nothing about the lens and the focus of the light. Lux tells you how much light there is within a square meter of space(or something like that).
I plan on taking the Southern Tier Bike Route which I assume is optimized for cyclists. I will be keeping my eye on Google Maps for any opportunities to get away from traffic and hills. I once drove thru Mississippi from north to south on the Nachez Trace Parkway. It was awesome no trucks or commercial vehicles, basically you're driving thru a park. It was safer, quiet and beautiful, I'll be looking for roads like that too.

The points about the headlights are great! I would of just gone for the brightest and smallest.
As for traveling with the bike, It's gonna be expensive in the U.S. Our country has a natural dislike of cyclists, and are run by corporations. Airlines elsewhere will often fly bikes for free. Here, you're looking at $150, minimum, for a regular bike, if you can fit it in the smallest size bike box. Add another $100 for a lot of regular bikes that don't fit into the small bike box. Recumbent? Cargo bike? I hope you have a forgiving bank account... My Guess is that it would be cheaper to have a regular bike to box up and pay to ship a trailer separately as "sports equipment" or something, compared to shipping a recumbent or cargo. It's definitely something to look into if money is a concern.
I'll need to devote more time in researching this. It looks like no matter what I do I'm going to have shipping concerns. Any ebike sturdy enough for touring is going to be problematic. Someone pointed me to this site https://www.shipbikes.com/ as a resource.
Bikeforums.net has a touring sub-forum. It's a great resource for touring information and gear advice. Just don't mention the ebike part. For some reason many of them hate ebikes. Chances are your thread will get derailed from the questions you have, and become just people bickering about ebike touring not being "real" bike touring, and you may as well get a real RV, etc, etc.

You can also search lots of routes across the U.S. on bikeforums. Or ask for advice on routes. Many people there have ridden across and can advise on the best roads to take, etc. Maybe let them know you'd rather avoid hills if possible. Some people actually enjoy riding up mountain passes, etc. I personally don't enjoy riding up a steep hill all day. I'm guessing you and your ebike won't either.
I understand some bike touring guys will consider what I'm doing cheating. If it wasn't for an ebike I wouldn't even consider this. So I consider it leveling the playing field so more people can participate. Anyone that doesn't see the advantage to that is not living in reality. More people mean more bikes, trails, routes, etc... etc... Not to mention it's the Eco-friendly way to travel.

I plan on taking advice from the people that have gone before. My route is pretty well known with lots of travelers so I should get some good advice. Of course some people like hills :shock: I'll definitely specify I'm not one.
Your biggest issue will likely be water when crossing the southwestern part of the country. The rest of it is all just figuring it out as you go, and you said you have time. A hot day in the desert and no water will kill you, though. It can be a very real threat when touring in some areas. Luckily you'll have plenty of experience by the time you get to that part of the country. Don't let it worry you too much, but do make sure you're prepared.
I'm a practical man and I have nothing to prove. If I get there and I don't feel capable or I'm just too lazy there is nothing stopping me from getting on a train or bus, provided I can fit my bike. :lol:
I'd aim for 30-50mi/day. 50mi/day is a pretty standard rate for bike touring. As long as you can find a campground or town every 30mi, no need to do the 50 unless you feel like it. *shrug*
That seems like a reasonable goal given my objective. Other people have suggested a 100mi/day but I'm in no hurry and I have no desire to push myself too hard.

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Re: Poor Man's RV

Post by donn » May 30 2019 10:02am

kauaicycler wrote:
May 30 2019 9:40am
Other people have suggested a 100mi/day but I'm in no hurry and I have no desire to push myself too hard.
Or your battery. Of course batteries come in different sizes, but it's a lot easier to have a 50 mile range, than 100. You might look at some sample routes while you're thinking about all this, and look at what you're up against in the western US. I haven't checked, might be fine, just thinking it's an important part of the picture.

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