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Old 06-12-2015, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
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Electric bicycle build (introducing "black & red")



I just did an 8 mile test ride to meet some friends (see photo) on my new electric bike, and I'm pretty pleased. I did not get a kit, I selected parts individually and converted a used road bike I was gifted 9 years ago but have too-rarely if ever ridden.

The purpose of the bike was to replace sitting-time burning gasoline with exercise-time avoiding gym fees. I also wanted the opportunity to begin getting direct hands-on experience with electric drive systems (via baby steps). So the bike has a 23 mile range (very optimistically), but all I need it 12 max on each leg of my commute. I expect to pedal much/most, except the toughest of the heart breaker hills around here.

At 44lbs it is lighter than the $7,000 #10 bike on this list of top ten lightest ebikes: https://www.electricbike.com/10-light-electric-bikes/

I spent about $1300 for the highest quality parts, and got only the features I wanted for my specific purposes:

500+ watt, 250 rpm, eZee geared hub motor on the front.
14 Ahr LiFePO4 battery mounted in back
CycleAnalyst dash
Half grip throttle on right side
26" wheel (front) with 1.5 inch tire (back wheel is the original 700c
Aluminum road bike frame and steel mountain bike forks

I made mistakes along the way, ruining the red OEM forks you see in the picture with poor filing of the dropouts. And I didn't know at first about the importance of torque arms. I could have badly injured myself if my first test ride had been too exuberant. Be careful, friends!

BTW, I'm calling it black & red ...

How do I set up a bike log signature on EM again?

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See my my car's mod thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape. My fuel economy goal is 55+ mpg while averaging posted speed limits. See my Honda manual transmission specs post too.


Last edited by California98Civic; 06-12-2015 at 01:55 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice. I eased into EVs via electric bike too, but not quite like yours. I have a Songi; it came complete. In some ways it is low-tech, with SLA batteries and a very pedal-unfriendly, more of a scooter-style frame and ergos. But the price was right and I like it.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just like any other vehicle bikes benefit from reducing air drag. Strangely enough the best gains seem to come from starting at the back and working forward. A wheel cover and tail box are inexpensive to make and effective in reducing drag.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
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Okay. I have fine tuning to do, but I love it. I bought the Cycle Analyst monitor for the motor control, which allows me to edit the motor controller parameters somewhat. I have to learn some. That is good. I have ridden approx 27 miles in the last few days, mostly pedalling, but climbing the bigger hills with the motor assisting, or doing all the work. It's great for that. I just rode 9 miles and used 1.6 amp hours, the Cycle Analyst says. This can really replace a car for most around town trips and for my commute on days where I am not the school bus, and when it does not rain. I have myself a hybrid (human/electric). Sweet.
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See my my car's mod thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape. My fuel economy goal is 55+ mpg while averaging posted speed limits. See my Honda manual transmission specs post too.

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Old 06-14-2015, 10:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice. I'm glad to see something like that come together.

I have started a project where I'll be putting a 1000W/48V kit on my wife's bike and building the 48V/24Ah LiPo battery pack myself out of new and used 18650 cells (I have about 180).

So far I've only obtained the kit and tested the capacity of all the 18650 cells (that took a couple weeks).

How much time do you have into it?
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
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F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
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Put a basket on it for grocery, shopping, and other errand runs and the car will nearly be obsolete.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 60.1 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar eBike custom built
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,390
Thanked 1,073 Times in 716 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Put a basket on it for grocery, shopping, and other errand runs and the car will nearly be obsolete.
Yeah. And if it could be a basket helping to form backing structure for a fairing, then it would be a double benefit. Maybe a bit like this:



Quote:
Originally Posted by S Keith View Post
...How much time do you have into it?
Wow. Your project is amazing. My time into this one reflects more my novice standing with this stuff than difficulty. A couple dozen hours I bet, with research included.
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See my my car's mod thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape. My fuel economy goal is 55+ mpg while averaging posted speed limits. See my Honda manual transmission specs post too.

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"Amazing" will only apply if I pull it off.

and it's on a girl's bike... :P

I've got at least a couple dozen hours in LiPo cell testing alone... tearing apart laptop batteries, trickle charging depleted cells and discharge testing... Many hours researching as well...

Your post inspired me a wee bit... discovered that a canal with associated walk/rideways goes almost directly to my work saving about 2 miles of auto surface street running... 11 miles is a very do-able distance.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If those are factory-built wheels, be sure to give all the spokes a half-turn (or more, if it's loose) before you start riding! I just pulled apart some old Varsity wheels this past week and the nipples were literally finger tight. Very scary. I laced in a front drum hub...

12 miles is quite a distance. I hope you have a grocery store closer to home! If you're looking to carry things, head to a bike shop and try out some rear panniers for that rack. You might be able to find a pair that doesn't hit your heels, and most will fold up and out of the air when not in use. I prefer putting things on a front rack/panniers, but your front end is probably pretty heavy already with that motor.
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Last edited by Sven7; 06-15-2015 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 60.1 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar eBike custom built
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,390
Thanked 1,073 Times in 716 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
If those are factory-built wheels, be sure to give all the spokes a half-turn (or more, if it's loose) before you start riding! I just pulled apart some old Varsity wheels this past week and the nipples were literally finger tight. Very scary. I laced in a front drum hub...

12 miles is quite a distance. I hope you have a grocery store closer to home! If you're looking to carry things, head to a bike shop and try out some rear panniers for that rack. You might be able to find a pair that doesn't hit your heels, and most will fold up and out of the air when not in use. I prefer putting things on a front rack/panniers, but your front end is probably pretty heavy already with that motor.
Thanks. I got the motor pre-laced into the wheel. I figured it was safer that way because I had never done it. If I ever build another, I'll learn to lace it myself. There actualy is a panier in the photo in post #1... it is hard to see because it is on the far side of the rack... "black and red" is its color. I have had it a few years. And it bumps my heel sometimes! But it's an easy adjustment... my 12 mile commute is to work... fortunately the supermarkets and autoparts stores and such are Ll just a mile or two. But this bike is meant to make it easy to replace my car on lots of commute days. That's partly in case of a car breakdown too.

Make my first trip to work today on the bike.... !

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See my my car's mod thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape. My fuel economy goal is 55+ mpg while averaging posted speed limits. See my Honda manual transmission specs post too.

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