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Old 05-25-2012, 04:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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NP at all Stan, glad my babblin' could be of use





Well, it's been almost two weeks since I could ride this silly thing & lemme tell ya, it was a looooooong two weeks lol

I'd dropped my wheelset off at my local bike shop a while ago to have the new double wall alloy rims & stainless spokes laced up, but things had gotten a lil weird right from the get-go... First, the rims I'd received were not the advertised "26x2.00" - they're an actual 26x1.95 & very clearly labeled in fact;



...or rather were very clearly labeled as ofc I don't like stickers & promptly peeled 'em off.

No matter - it's a minor difference to say the least & they're still dang sweet rims for a mere $20 each & while the 'Pie comes with a deep V double wall, the Mongoose ofc didn't & I've long ago gotten tired of riding cheesy single wall alloys, particularly unnerving when it's the front heh

The front wheel build went as well as you'd expect, Zach had it laced up in a 4x, tuned & done before you could blink an eye - not a surprise as he's a pro & that one was by far the most mundane, "standard" wheel build I'd ever handed him. The 'Pie wheel build was another issue entirely, as there was a bit of a learning curve.

We knew the spokes are unusually short, that's obvious - but he figured correctly that he'd be able to find some in stainless w/rolled threads anyway, the hitch was we'd chatted a bit about a cross pattern for the 'Pie, done typically for additional rigidity & strength. He did the math (a lot of math) & ordered up the custom spokes & we waited for them to arrive.

When they arrived he quickly realized there was a problem, due to the very short spokes & the way the 'Pie is drilled it can only take a radial pattern, so the spokes we'd gotten were the wrong length. We chatted about it a bit & agreed that as the spokes are so short it's a really strong, rigid wheel even with just a radial pattern - so he figured the math again & ordered up another set of custom spokes... & we waited... again.

When they finally showed up he had the wheel built & ready for me that same day despite the fact it's hectic as heck there, it's the middle of spring rush after all. Overjoyed that I could get Mongo on the road again I immediately bailed outa work to go get it & here's the result;



Worth the wait? Definitely. Rollin' on a set of perfectly tuned wheels w/the fatty 2.125 semislicks I love so much, the ride is smooth as glass... well, when the road is anyway lol & I can stop worrying quite so much about every lil pothole that comes along FTW

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Old 05-29-2012, 03:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The weather simply awesome I've been out riding all over the place... this silent ebike thing is really addictive @.@

...but this also means I can give some feedback on the 48v 15ah LiFePO4 battery pack w/the 'Pie as I finally managed to pooch it out. Running a "worst case scenario" full tilt boogie all the time (100% throttle), breezy weather on twisty roads & hilly terrain with disabled regenerative braking, with no attempt made to coast, pedal assist or conserve power in any way & some stop n'go downtown riding & a lil bit of dirt trail thrown in for good measure I managed 27.9 miles... & more mixed feelings lol

I am completely satisfied with this range as it's more than enough for my local needs & it's absolutely perfect for it's intended use, the "tribrid" taddy project... but it does bring to light the downside of electrics, it becomes very clear why they're not so popular in a rural area like this one. While I'm conveniently located between a couple of small towns, each roughly 8 miles away (thus 16mi round trip) so I wouldn't normally come even close to my "point of no return" - being limited to no more than roughly 30 miles even commuting w/a recharge point (while at work or w/e) & given the investment, I can see why some would balk at the idea *shrug* I've no problem with it... but I also can see how this setup is somewhat limited, as a commuter or supplementary transport, my 100 mile weekend wanderabouts are still my gasbike's domain heh

As I suspected the little "battery level" lights on the 'Pie's throttle are completely useless lol, it's green till DEAD w/no fade or warning, the entire system just shuts down. Unplugging, waiting a mo' & plugging it back in again resets everything & now the level indicators will light red & yellow... and you'll get maybe another fifty feet before it all shuts down again, without even the yellow light going out first.

No surprise at all given the battery type & the limitations of such a simple gauge. Fortunately I figured I was using up my luck and was only a coupla miles from home at the time. At least now I know my range and can ride accordingly... I didn't take any vids this time, but other'n downtown & the lil bit of trails it's the same terrain as the vids I made before...



...and this morning's madness was more taddy component testing - while completely usable with Mongo, it's not exactly in line with the power conservation obsession most ebikers hold on high *shrug* so I'll prolly not use it to it's full potential w/Mongo...

Still, as the taddy is a tribrid & the 48v 15ah LiFePO4 packs have worked out so well I decided to go ahead & tinker up some more goodies, this time a power supply/charging dock tapping off my 48 to 12v converter. Already wired up to power my 12v DC LED head & taillight, it was a simple matter of buying a cheap car cigarette lighter adapter with 2 USB ports, busting it open to cut the dealie off the back & resolder better wires to it & sticking it back together again.

I added a main power switch so I can easily shut the whole thing down, but I used a flush face switch (scavenged out of a PC power supply) so it doesn't so easily shut itself down bouncing around in a pannier with w/e crap might be in there. As I had no pretty lil project box I just did a variant of the "duct tape pack" like the custom LiFePO4s have - but this time a "patented" cable tie pack method lol

It ain't pretty, but it was easy to make, safe & works a treat - and best yet I can charge any kind of small battery like for my GPS, camera or whatever, listen to tunes w/the MP3 player charging (the speakers are USB powered too) and I don't even hafta worry about the lame battery in my netbook any more, plug & play FTW;




There goes the thirty mile range heh...
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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wow, thanks for this thread. I am sitting here thinking about how I can get my brother in law's wheelchair powered with one of these in a custom trike.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for reading my babblin' skyking

They do offer wheelchair conversions;

wheelchair conversion kits & E-Wheelchair - Golden Motor Canada

However, at 400W/24V they obv don't have the preformance of the 48v/1000w ebike conversion - but using one or two of the ebike hubs could be problematic with a wheelchair as the ebike ones are double sided solid axles, an issue that thwarted my initial plans to make my tribrid tadpole a three wheel drive with electric front hubs & ICE rear drive, so I had to settle for 1WD... tho fortunately even the ebike hubs have a (factory disabled) reverse feature, somewhat needful with a trike or wheelchair.

...but you mentioned "a custom trike" as well & that opens up a whole range of additional possibilities, so many that all I can really say is "Do it, it'll be awesome!" lol

There have been a number of folks that after seeing the taddy, have asked me regarding custom electric trikes for those that are normally restricted to wheelchairs, as a trike could be far better suited for road & distance use... and there are some minor complications you are prolly aware of but I'll mention them anyway - the first being the type of disability, if they've no use of their legs a Delta trike (one wheel in front) can be extremely difficult for the individual to mount, as they're typically a converted bicycle or bicycle style & thus you'll need to be able to swing a leg up and over. This can be somewhat alleviated by using a step-through frame or "girl's bike" but it still requires quite a bit of mobility, then there's the fact that deltas are inherently unstable compared to a tadpole configuration.

A Tadpole trike (two wheels in front) can be easier to mount & far more stable, but they are usually (tho not always) a recumbent design & thus very prone & low to the ground, which can also present difficulty for those with limited mobility. The majority of readily available trikes both delta and tadpole are also intended to be primarily HPVs, so their pedal systems are usually intrinsic yet would just be in the way - the tadpoles normally have removable pedal booms, but some manner of foot/leg rest/restraint would have to be considered ofc, as the dreaded "leg suck" is an issue even for those with full mobility. The seemingly misnamed "clipless" pedals are the most common solution for that - but they too require at least some leg & foot functionality...

There's always alternatives & solutions and I don't mean to be discouraging in any way, I really think it's a great idea - there's defo ways around these issues and they're relatively minor anyway, I jus' thought I should bring them up for consideration "just in case" and that it may be best to go with your idea of a "custom" trike built expressly for this purpose

Here's yet another configuration option without any of the aforementioned issues... It's ofc not my vid & please forgive the "music" & truly unfortunate choice of names lol, the machine itself is still pretty freakin' sweet

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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He has a conversion device that puts one steerable front drive wheel on his conventional wheelchair. Old tech, and he never used it really.
I'd take the big magic pie, put it on a fork, weld up a custom thing ( that is my thing, custom). It would fit on his current chair as a front drive wheel.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a paraplegic friend who rides his trike all the time. It is a conventional design with one wheel in front, as is every one I've seen paraplegics use. The front wheel casters, with directional control maintained by differential turning of the rears. One could install a front hub motor if wanted, but you'd have to rig some sort of freehand throttle.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It would have handlebars and the front wheel would turn, with the throttle on the grip like on a bike.
The problem is getting enough weight on that front drive. The weight bias in a wheelchair is way back over the back wheels.
The weight of wheel and battery will help some, and I think he could scoot forward a couple of inches OK.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Craig Vetter has some information on his site on a trike design for those with leg injury. See the human power tab.

I am finishing up a cheap and easy fairing design for my city bike that would fit the Mongoose. Based on a piece of 24 x 48 plastic, it would take a person less than 2 hrs to complete and mount.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well... it's been awhile (soz folks, been busy jus' cruising & havin' fun) and despite my intent, my plan to just use this as a temporary test platform for a weekend or two - it's now fall, the temperature is starting to plummet and somehow about three thousand miles have rolled past already, a coupla thou less than my usual summer average due to the limitations of an ebike it's true, but still enough to have gotten me from coast to coast with the only issues encountered being a wonky throttle (easily fixed), one flat tire & having to remember to periodically lube the chain & cables...

...not too shabby considering I only threw this thing together on a whim lol

So the time has come to strip it down & stick a two smoker in there, to make it the winter beater commuter the Mongoose was meant to be... right?

...right?

...

Um... right?

Maybe not lol - after much deliberation, and I do mean a lot of arguing with myself I've decided what the heck, might as well kick it to a whole new level of testing and abuse, to leave it as is and actually try and use an ebike in some of the worst conditions for such imaginable - a Maine winter with it's sub-zero temperatures and worse yet, a near constant immersion in the devil's brew of rock salt and calcium chloride we use on the roads around here.

Bad enough on it's own, but take an aluminum frame & add a high electric current to the already existing issues of galvanic electrolysis and dissimilar metal corrosion and it's a recipe for an electrochemical bath of doom... certain death for the humble ebike right?

Maybe... probably... almost certainly actually...

...then again there's only one way to find out lol and TBH, much as I do like the in-frame two smokers I just don't feel like building another. I figure I've gotten my money's worth outa this hub & the batteries are where the investment is in any case, they should be well protected & safe from harm tucked away in the panniers - or at least I hope so lol

So I've gone ahead and ordered a buncha toys to "winterize" Mongo, some knobby tires to replace the semi-slicks & no, they're not studded - I've found lotsa lil but tall lugs works well enough in the ice & snow to make the $100+ investment in studded bicycle tires not really worth it, nor the effort of making my own. Some fenders that may not look as "cool" as the 'Topeak Defender' fenders that are on it now - but while I think the Topeaks defo look sweet, they don't actually work very well save to keep just some of the crap outa my face, for winter use I need a bit more, so I got the kinda dorky but very effective mud flaps as well.

I've gotten a set of replacement panniers too - Mongo has been runnin' around with the batteries in a set of M-Wave Double Day Tripper panniers, but I've really been less than impressed with them overall. They're a lil smaller than I expected when I got 'em but that's not the issue - the problem I have w/them is they're already falling apart... tho I s'pose "already" is comparative considering the mileage, price & use lol - w/e the case may be I need new ones so I'm gonna give the Avenirs below a whirl. Other'n the usual use for panniers, groceries, tools and w/e else eventually accumulates in what are essentially "guy purses" (laugh - it's true), mine not only need to hold & support the batteries, for winter use I'll need to create some sorta smash guard for the batteries, to protect them from the inevitable impact & slide damage - riding in the winter isn't a case of "if" but when ya crash lol *shrug* happens, hopefully not too frequently heh

Though it may well prove to be a can of wishful thinking, I grabbed some marine grade anti-corrosive for both the electrical connections & general surface use. The stuff actually works pretty dang good for it's intended use (salt water boating) so I'm hoping it'll help stave off the worst of the corrosive effects. I'll need some di-electric grease gloop gobbed here & there, but I've already got some somewhere in my shop... I think, if not the hardware store will help me out I'm sure.

...and I finally ordered a center stand, which is not really part of the winterization list so much as jus' a dealie-yo I've kept forgetting to order since I built the silly thing *shrug* Side (kick) stand or center - neither one works very well in ice & snow, but kick stands don't work very well at all w/such a competitively heavy, tall bike as this lol, we'll skip right over how long I've spaced getting one or why heh;

Kenda K837 Dart Tire 26" x 2.10" Wire Black Wall
Kenda K816 Aggressive MTB Tire, 26" x 2.10" Black Wall;


Planet Bike Mud Flap Set for ATB Fenders
Planet Bike Full ATB Front and Rear Bicycle Fender Set (60mm Wide);


Avenir Metro III Panniers (2, 165 ci);


CRC Industries 06026 Corrosion Inhibitor;


Acclaim Double Black Kickstand;


...and now I wait for the blasted brown truck again as I sit and wonder still - am I blithely consigning my trusty steed to a horrible, untimely death... or can an ebike manage a malicious Maine winter?

I guess we'll see...
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Love your eMTB, looks like a pleasure to ride and by the sounds of your long tests it is.
You mentioned corrosion issues with it which made me think of the corrosion issues boats have and that their sacrificially zinc Anodes could protect your bike,from corroding as well.

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