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Old 10-13-2018, 11:48 AM   #51 (permalink)
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That's cool Neil and I'm happy you have an infrastructure you can use it on.
Here in Seattle, it would work OK on the interurban trail and a few others, but they need to revise the post spacing IMO to fit it through the barriers.

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Old 10-14-2018, 05:17 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Bronze bushings have very low coefficient of friction.

I wish I lived somewhere that this vehicle would be a practial alternative! I think it's cool.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:48 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
Good luck with it
But IMO it's butt-ugly

Soft side-doors with plastic "windows" ... seriously ?
They can be rolled up in the summer, and closed any time you need them.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:49 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
That's cool Neil and I'm happy you have an infrastructure you can use it on.
Here in Seattle, it would work OK on the interurban trail and a few others, but they need to revise the post spacing IMO to fit it through the barriers.
It is about 44" wide, so it will fit anywhere a bicycle will, essentially.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:33 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I went to the better.bike shop on Saturday, to see my PEBL, to have the pedals, seat, and handlebar adjusted. I installed the reflective stickers on it, and the speedometer (which I need to tweak to get it working), and a holder for my cellphone.

I can comfortably fit, with my bike helmet on, without having to lower the seat. I did take pictures, of course!







I added a slow moving vehicle decal - it is very reflective, so it will work at night!




This shows the new mirror in relation to the front wheel.




The view from the driver's seat:



They have made 3 evolutionary changes recently:

The rear fender is redesigned; and this is the 3rd iteration.
They are using new larger side view mirrors - they are larger, and better looking, I think.
They are now using pedals with toe clips.

The next change that has been added (but is not on mine) is a rain gutter for when you open the hatch.

I will be picking it up after a replacement battery arrives. The one they had for me was discharging way too quickly - I am glad they do a couple of test rides. I did get to drive it with a spare battery, and the new 1500watt mode is pretty peppy. They have tightened up the steering, since my original test ride. I will post more once I get it, and drive it.

I am really looking forward to getting over 1,100MPGe!
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:13 AM   #56 (permalink)
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We brought my better.bike PEBL home on Saturday! It was during a nor'easter; though a relatively mild one.



It is now home!



On Sunday, I went on my first trip - to help my brother prepare to move. My spouse took a picture and a couple of very brief videos:






My round trip was about 32-33 miles - I don't have the speedometer working yet, so I am estimating based on Google Maps. The battery is nominally 48V, and is 64Ah; so 3kWh. I started with it fully charged at 54.5V, and finished with it at 46.1V. As I understand it, it is fully discharged at ~42V. I mostly used the 1500w mode, which tops out at about 23MPH on flat ground.

I pedaled at some startups, and up the steeper slopes, to assist the motor, and reduce the electrical consumption. I had to tighten the motor drive chain, when I got home - it was quite loose. The chain is hopefully done stretching, and I tightened things up as much as I dared. I now know to bring two 7/16" wrenches with me.

I recharged it, and I don't know what the kWh's it used, because I couldn't locate my Kill-A-Watt meter.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:53 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Very cool Neil!

Can you tell us your impressions over those 32 miles? Thats a pretty good trip to take on a bike.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:16 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Sure - it is a new and different experience, and I will learn a lot more as time goes on. I had a fair bit of adrenaline at first, because I have been waiting for this, and this alters one's perception. The PEBL is not a quiet experience - as you can hear in the videos (I will make longer ones, soon), the motor and drive chain growl a fair bit, and it only gets quieter when coasting or pedaling.

It has regen (on either front or rear brakes) and this is good, but won't likely help extend the range very much. It coasts fairly well, even at "stock" tire pressure of 30PSI. The tires have a fair bit of "bobbing" and it allows some wobble. The steering is tight, and a bit touchy. They made a change in this since my test ride back in July 2017.

The ride is less harsh than a bicycle, but significantly different as well. If you need to span a pothole, you have to "place" it under one of your feet or the other; since the rear wheel is centered. The rear has suspension, so you are spared the jolts up your spine, but the body shell amplifies the sounds, and there is a fair bit of motion generated when you hit a bump with either / both of the front wheels (which have no suspension).

My morning ride was cool temps and it was raining, so I got fogging on the inside of the windows - hence the paper towels you see in the picture. I used to wiper periodically - I didn't need it that often. It has a low and high speed, and it works quite well, considering the flexibility of the windshield. I partially opened the door windows, and this helped a lot.

I have the pedals just about as far forward as possible, and I have raised the back legs on the seat almost 2" to raise the seat back more vertically. When pedaling my knees come close to the dash opening, but there is no issue here. I had my cellphone cord plugged into one of the two charging ports, and the cord brushed my left knee; so I may add a small hook to lift it up some. I have a nice aluminum bracket to hold my cellphone just to the left of the center of the handlebar. This leaves clearance and access to the various switches.

I drove most of the time at the 1500w setting, and this affected some drivers behind me - I am moving faster than most bikes, and at 44" (not counting the addition !" on each side for the mirrors), a LOT of drivers just followed behind me for a while before they passed. Some just stayed behind. I will try using only the 750w mode, and see if that seems to change drivers' actions. New England roads tend to be narrow, and curvy, with various hazards like downed twigs and small branches, and lots of autumn leaves. The right front tire threw up an awful lot of wet leaves and needles - I think mud flaps, or possibly wheel strakes are in order. The very next PEBL they are building now, HAS mudflaps.

My drive home was easier, because the rain had stopped and the windows were clear. It was cloudy, and the sun was dropping, so I could see my headlights - they are 18w each, and they are VERY bright. When I go out after dark, I will take a picture.

The biggest challenge with the PEBL (for me at 6'-4") is getting in and out. Because the pedals are in a well, and the floor is fairly high, it is my second foot squeezing by the door jamb that is the challenge. I am using it with the removable pedal well, so you can't put your feet on the ground. I can get in and out of the BACK seat much more easily, because the front seat tilts forward. And I fit relatively well, with the back of my head hitting the roof, and having to straddle the front seat.

The front seat is easily moved forward and back, with a large cam lever clamp on the right front seat leg. I am able to move the seat forward and still pedal, but it is most comfortable with it as far back as it can go; which is pretty close to the rear seat. The seat is mesh, and it is quite comfortable.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:50 PM   #59 (permalink)
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I commuted to work today, in my PEBL:



About 11 miles are on two different bike rail trails, and about 2 miles are on roads, and state roads. It was quite peaceful and quiet, overall. The PEBL is not a stealth vehicle - which works out to be a good thing. Several people were walking / running with headphones or earbuds, so they may not have heard me coming, but when I have ridden my bicycle on those trails, you can announce yourself ("Passing on your left!"), anyway.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:39 PM   #60 (permalink)
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I commuted to work in the PEBL for a second time, today.





I tightened the motor chain after I arrived - I hope it stops stretching at some point. Or, maybe something is slipping? I will find out.

It took about an hour an 10 minutes - at least 4 minutes from being stuck in traffic (!) - I was waiting to get to the access point of the second rail trail. Next time, I will go to the access point on the next road north, which is farther from Rt 119.

I am going to work on moving the Cg - by mounting the batteries under the floor as far forward as possible; right behind the pedal well. Because, I tipped it over last night as I was backing out of my driveway. The driveway slopes down to the street, and the street is a fairly steep hill. I turned so the rear wheel went up the hill, and it fell over onto the right side.

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