Nick's Black eTownie

nicobie

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Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
4,556
Location
Central Coast CA, USA
I've got to start this by thanking everyone here. I couldn't have built this without all the help and ideas you fine people have given me. A special thanks goes out to Vim and GGoodrum for turning me on to the Electra Townie. I feel it's about the perfect bike to convert to electric. Even though I've spent a ton of $ replacing almost all the components, It has turned out exactly what I wanted. I think the only original parts are the frame, bars and both derailleurs. Everything else has been swapped out (sometimes twice :mrgreen: )

This is how it looked with a 48v/20ah Ping and 6s/2p lipo in saddle bags. It handled OK but I really wanted the batteries in the frame. So far I have added a BMC-s motor with a Clite Analog 72v/35a controller, front disc brakes, 52 tooth front chain ring, Thudbuster seat post, Brooks saddle, CA with amp limit mod and bypass switch on the throttle. It has Big Apple 2.35 tires that I like alot (but would like alot more if they didn't have those reflective side walls). I went over the white wall strip with a magic marker so they don't show up in the day but still shine at night when in the light. I also put on one of Grin's tail lights that are switched when I pull the brake lever.

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Lots of wires!

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My first attempt at battery placement (18s/3p 5 ah, 25c zippys)

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Starting on the enclosure. It ended up being only 2.5" wide. Notice the brand new (but 10 year old) White Bros. DH fork I got off Pinkbike for $185 :mrgreen: .

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Almost enough room for the controller but I still need to install the key, on/off switch and Pre-charge button. I stuffed the enclosure with styrofoam so the batteries won't rattle around.

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With 2.5 Hook worms on a fat 24" rim and side cover on.

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This shows the torque arm (I have one on the other side too) and where I welded on tabs for the 165mm Avid discs.

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Here is the charging setup for the main batteries.

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I like this charging plug. It took a while to solder it up, but its water proof and twists on and off so the pins don't get screwed up.

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Here are my 2 - 4s/2p, 5ah aux batteries wrapped in Formica. They fit just right on the bottom of my rear rack. I run them until I use up 8 or 9 ah then take them out of the circuit and finish my trip on what's left of the main battery. I can go 20 miles on the flats before I have to unplug them. I figure my range at 30+ miles with no pedaling. That's at about 25 mph too. When combined with my main pack, I'm 92v hot off the charger. :twisted:

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Got the imitation carbon fiber on 8) , also tried out new front fender.


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As to how it performs, If I can keep the motor together, I couldn't be happier. The top speed is about 40 mph (2900w) and with the 24"rear rim, it gets there quick. :twisted: The controller runs cool no matter hard I thrash on it. The motor gets a bit warm in town with lots of starts and stops and the amp limiter bypassed. On the road running a steady 25 mph (900 kw) it stays cool to the touch when the outside temp is 65*f.

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for their ideas with a special thanx to AJ for inspiring me to to do my best and not cut too many corners.

If It wasn't raining, I'd be out riding it now. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Nick
 
FanTAStic! great build. Theres so many things to like about this. I like the Townie, and the frames are very similar on the Giant Suede and Trek Pure.

I very much like the DH fork with its front disc brake. Also, just from seeing these pics alone, I like your battery enclosure contruction methods.
 
excellent build,great battery enclosure.cant beat a brooks seat,i have the same one and just got in from a 2.5 hr ride,dont feel a thing. :D
 
Look awesome, you used fiberglass mold to make a box inside the bike's frame? and I like it very much!! What kind the front fender? I need one for my ebike to stop the water splash spray my face. :lol:
 
chroot said:
Look awesome, you used fiberglass mold to make a box inside the bike's frame? and I like it very much!! What kind the front fender? I need one for my ebike to stop the water splash spray my face. :lol:

The side covers are of aluminum (10 gauge, I think) covered with a $20 carbon fiber sticker. The fender is just a cheap one I found some where on the www. I like them because they come off without using tools.
 
Thanks for the kind words. I had a blast building it. About the only thing left is a direct mount stem for the bars and I have that coming for x-mas.


Zoot Katz said:
It doesn't even look like a Townie any more.

Hahahahahahaaa...

I think I'm going to send a link to this threat to Electra. A bike like this is what they should be selling. :mrgreen:

Nick
 
Top notch build Nico! One of the best for this year.
Things I like:
charge plug
auxiliary battery
carbon fiber (look) enclosure
white bro fork
DH rims
Brooks seat
useable rear rack/controller.

Let's see a pic of you on it, I wanna see the riding position.

Is that a steel frame?
 
etard said:
Top notch build Nico! One of the best for this year.
Things I like:
charge plug
auxiliary battery
carbon fiber (look) enclosure
white bro fork
DH rims
Brooks seat
useable rear rack/controller.

Let's see a pic of you on it, I wanna see the riding position.

Is that a steel frame?
+1

What is the wheelbase & the length from the bottom bracket center to the rear axle drop-out center, pretty please. :?: :D

Thanks! :mrgreen:

(Nice build, clean streamlined design, & excellent craftsmanship...)
 
Nick,

Nice job indeed very well done, we just need some videos to see how it goes :D

Good day!
Black Arrow
 
It has an aluminum frame. The main tubes are almost 1/8" thick. The bike as it is pictured weighs 88 lb.

As to the wheelbase. center to center, front axle to BB 23½", BB to rear drop out, 23½", total wheelbase, 47".

It's the most comfortable bike I've ever pedaled. And to me, it handles like a dream and feels solid at higher speed.
 
Looks like room for 3 more packs to take the 15Ah up to 20Ah :)

Nicely done!

-Luke
 
nicobie said:
It's the most comfortable bike I've ever pedaled. And to me, it handles like a dream and feels solid at higher speed. (nicobie wrote elsewhere)..."Thudbuster seat post."
Just for comparison purposes, have you ridden many other types of bikes before?

Also, any comments on the Thudbuster? Is it worth it for the better ride? How "solid" does it feel underneath you, and what types of bumps or vibrations does it handle best or not so well?

Thanks again! :mrgreen:

Nice pics, and look forward to the video too... 8)
 
Over the years I have pretty much ridden every style bike. This is my second ebike, the first one was a cheap Walmart FS bike. It is just like dogman's green one. To be honest, with the batteries on the rear rack, it scared the shit out of me at 30mph. The components were crap, brakes would hardly stop it and it didn't take bumps very well. Even after I up-graded a lot of the parts it still felt unsafe.

The Townie is a whole different thing. Out of the box it felt solid. I liked how the longer wheelbase handled at speed. With the new fork it takes the bumps great (the original forks were fine too). Even though it doesn't have a rear suspension the seat post and Brooks sprung seat make for a plush ride ( the 2.5" hookworm @40 psi helps too :mrgreen: ).

As to the Thudbuster, I'll never own another hard tail without one. I have tried both models. The long travel (LT) does a good job. It has more travel than the ST. Both come with a variety of elastomers so you can adjust the hardness to whatever you want. I ended up with the ST model because I wanted more seat post length exposed so I could mount a rack to hold the aux batteries. That is also why I bought the sprung seat. The combo of the LT thudbuster with the weakest elastomer and the Brooks saddle turned out to be perfect for me.

I got most of my replacement components at half price. Be patient and eBay and pinkbike can save you a bundle. For example, the Thudbuster and Brooks saddle retail for over $300, I managed to get both for about $120.
 
nicobie said:
As to the Thudbuster, I'll never own another hard tail without one. I have tried both models. The long travel (LT) does a good job.
Awesome. 8) Would you prefer the LT with any seat if you had room to use it or still go with your ST/seat combo?

Did you buy the frame new or used? Price paid? If new, where?

Thanks! :mrgreen:
 
Great looking bike!!

Loving the batteries in the frame, looks a lot thinner than a lot of other folks have made it if that makes sense, the lines of the bike look great, I am only a little concerned by the power you are running on the BMC, 3KW is too much way too much, if you want it to last back it down to 1.6 KW and watch hard starts and hill climbs, just passing on my experience with these motors having had them for over 6 years now, sure they will run at higher power but they will break.

Good luck!

Knoxie
 
deVries said:
nicobie said:
As to the Thudbuster, I'll never own another hard tail without one. I have tried both models. The long travel (LT) does a good job.
Awesome. 8) Would you prefer the LT with any seat if you had room to use it or still go with your ST/seat combo?

That's a hard one to answer... Suspension wise, it's a push. But I really like the Brooks saddle

Did you buy the frame new or used? Price paid? If new, where?

I bought the whole bike (Electra Townie 21) on sale for about $400. I think that they are $500 now.
 
knoxie said:
Great looking bike!!

I am only a little concerned by the power you are running on the BMC, 3KW is too much way too much, if you want it to last back it down to 1.6 KW and watch hard starts and hill climbs

Knoxie

You are right about that! I did the amp limiting mod on my CA and mostly run it at 1500w. However I do have a switch on my throttle that bypasses the pot. :twisted: :twisted:

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Now that you've been riding this bike for awhile have you made any improvements =OR= could you suggest some idealized/theoretical improvements you've thought of?

I still consider this one of the best eBike road builds I've seen. 8)

Any suggestions for improvements in frame design/performance, wheel-rim-tires, motor-controller, brakes, or anything else you've thought of??? :?: :idea:

Thanks for the update. Great build. :mrgreen:
 
Thank you for the kind remarks.

It's a really nice setup and I guess I wouldn't have changed anything if I hadn't let a friend ride it with the amp limit switch off. :oops: He cooked the little BMC 600-S motor by pushing ~4kw through it while climbing a 4 mile hill.

I really like the longer Townie frame and it handles super at 40 + mph with the White Bros fork and 24" rear wheel. The combo of the fork with the Thudbuster and Brooks saddle plus 30 psi 2.5" Hookworms makes for a plush enough ride.

Since then I bought one of methods HT3025 Clyte motors but it smoked the windings within 1.5 miles (factory defect). But I must say that before it went poof It impressed me with its mid-range power. It went over 35mph and hadn't hit top speed right before it cooked itself. It had way more torque than the BMC with the same volts & amps. Right now I am waiting to get a sensored HT3525 as soon as somebody gets one I can buy.

Here is a couple more pics showing battery placement and disc brake tabs/brake light switch.

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Why can't Electra build a tamer version for the masses of what you should have inspired them to do?

I have an unassisted Giant Revive that employs the crank forward design the Townie uses. Love the bike and it is uber comfortable to ride. Giant had several versions. Mine is the 8 speed derailluer version. Would ride it much more if it either had a better hill climbing gear or a bit of assist for some of the steeper hills, where I normally end up walking it up the steep slopes, especially if I am carrying cargo.

Your bike is beautifully done and I can't begin to imagine the thrill of riding with that much power at your disposal.
 
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