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View Poll Results: would you ride it around town?
yes 30 60.00%
no 10 20.00%
wat 10 20.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2008, 02:08 PM   #1
shikataganai
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OMGHi2U my electric bike

August 24, 2012 update reflecting its v2.0 rebuild with a 9C 2806 hub motor and a 48V 35A regen-enabled Infineon controller:

Quote:
Maiden ride has been accomplished in grand fashion: 8.2 miles, 4.6 Ah, 27.8 Wh/mi. Max speed without pedaling, wide open throttle was around 27 mph on flat ground. With me pedaling along I could get it up to 30 mph. Comfortable cruising speed was more in the range of 23-25 mph while pedaling along, throttle part of the way open. Max indicated power from the battery to the controller (so less at the wheel due to motor inefficiency) was about 1600W at 27 mph. Max regen coming down from 25 mph was around 550W, decreasing as speed decreases. Overall I regened 6% of power input on my errand run today.

Original post below:

Quote:
i built myself an electric bike. why, pray tell, given that i'm still sound of mind and body, at least by most accounts? the answers are speed and convenience. the added power lets me add things that are useful but which i wouldn't put on a road bike, such as full fenders, a solid rear rack for panniers, and a heavy internally geared hub.

electric assist is the difference between a) cruising up a decent grade at 18 mph in street clothes and shoes with cargo, contributing moderate pedaling effort and b) busting one's butt in clipless pedals to ride a road bike up the same hill at 8-10 mph. top speed on the flat with me tucking like a goon and not pedaling is right around 25 mph.

it's really quite fun, and, with the racks and such, useful.

technical details (again from the original build):

Quote:
Novara Transfer bike from REI with a Nexus 7 rear hub
Crystalyte 407 front hub motor in a 26" wheel
36V-72V 20A pedal-first controller mated to a Crystalyte twist throttle
Cycle Analyst - Direct Plugin model
48V 12Ah LiFePO4 battery with battery management system (BMS)
Tubus Cargo tubular steel rear rack rated for 80 lbs iirc
Novara Safari waterproof panniers
the electric bits were all sourced from http://ebikes.ca/ . they ran about $1600 including shipping, with the majority of the cost ($900) being that fancy lithium battery. lithium isn't cheap! true story. the bike itself ran $510 on sale at REI, and came stock with the fenders, rack, and even a front wheel generator/light setup that i sold for $100, for a net cost of ~$2100.

i don't anticipate this being a financial windfall - i have a bus pass already, and previously was commuting the vast majority of the time on my road bike, the bus, or some combination thereof. however, i do think this will allow me to reduce gasoline usage even more, and it will allow me to make my commute to the hospital at all hours quicker and with less effort if i'm tired, and that's worth it to me. also note that my electricity is 100% renewable thanks to an opt-in program through seattle city light...

on the other hand, if you're hard core enough (or your city is flat enough!) to get by on a fixie, cross bike, or regular roadie without electricity, then bully for you.
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Last edited by shikataganai; 09-01-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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You spent $2110 on that?!?!
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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moar pics... where is the drive??
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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Man that is so cool! The way the motor is packed on the hub, suggests that it must have some pretty high torque. How long does the batteries last before it need to be recharged? How much weight do you think you added to the bike?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDT166 View Post
You spent $2110 on that?!?!
the battery alone was $900, as you no doubt read. decent bikes aren't cheap. decent electric stuff isn't cheap either.

of course, if you don't mind total crap (both on the bike and electric sides) that you'll no doubt leave in your garage once it dies, then walmart has an electric bike for $350. for that you get 1/3 the usable battery capacity, about 1/6 the power, and none of the niceties of a non-dept store bike.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8467096
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDT166 View Post
You spent $2110 on that?!?!
get a scooter/motorcycle if you're going to spend that kind of cash. That's just a waste.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:18 PM   #7
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Is it AWD?

Will it do a burnout?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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lucky..


you take it off any sweet jumps?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STR8OUT View Post
moar pics... where is the drive??
that's all i have at the moment. real camera is up north with the girl, and cell phone camera doesn't take good pics up close (doesn't really take good pics from afar, either ). the motor is within the front wheel's hub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpi View Post
Man that is so cool! The way the motor is packed on the hub, suggests that it must have some pretty high torque. How long does the batteries last before it need to be recharged? How much weight do you think you added to the bike?
yeah, the torque is quite high, as is power: i've seen 1300W peak so far on a steep hill. 1 hp = 750W for reference.. i have a home made torque arm in place: a 6" 10mm crescent wrench secured to the front axle flats and the fork using a cunning assortment of 2 hose clamps and a ziptie...



i use about 15-20 Watt-hours (Wh) per mile the way i ride, which includes pedaling, of course! the battery is a 48V 12Ah lithium. Wh = V * Ah, so the battery theoretically has 576 Wh. in reality i'll probably get 500 Wh out of it, so 20-25 miles is the range before recharging.

added weight is a lot, on the order of 35 extra lbs. you don't want to do this to a bike you like for being a bike, if that makes sense.

here's the power and torque curves for the motor in question (Crystalyte 407) hooked up to a 48V battery with a 35A controller:



that i'm seeing peaks higher than the graph indicates that i'm going over 35A, i think.

how to interpret the graph: to push a typical rider and bike along at 25 mph on flat ground takes 500W more or less, with aerodynamics (tucking), tire choice and pressure, and other factors making this a very ballpark figure. notice that this motor is just above 500W at that speed. this is why top speed on flat in a tuck is right around there.

Last edited by shikataganai; 05-10-2008 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannac View Post
get a scooter/motorcycle if you're going to spend that kind of cash. That's just a waste.
there are several reasons why i didn't get a scooter or motorcycle:

- no license requirements or registration fees
- less riding gear
- can park legally anywhere a bike can
- can stash the bike on the bus bike racks to take advantage of seattle's good public transit system
- no gas bill! (high up front cost, but cost per mile is miniscule if you don't count battery costs: $0.001/mile so far by my calculations)

and, very important to me personally:

- not spewing out emissions. motorcycles and mopeds, especially 2-stroke ones, are horrible in this regard. sure, they might have low CO2, but all the smog-forming (and asthma causing) pollutants are an order of magnitude higher than a car, let alone an electric vehicle. i'm in the NW, remember, so my power is largely hydroelectric.

Quote:
Originally Posted by O2wrx View Post
Is it AWD?

Will it do a burnout?
it is technically AWD. my legs power the back, electricity up front.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
the battery alone was $900, as you no doubt read. decent bikes aren't cheap. decent electric stuff isn't cheap either.

of course, if you don't mind total crap (both on the bike and electric sides) that you'll no doubt leave in your garage once it dies, then walmart has an electric bike for $350. for that you get 1/3 the usable battery capacity, about 1/6 the power, and none of the niceties of a non-dept store bike.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8467096
I would get one of these and pocket $500.

Portland
Tricross
XRs
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:36 PM   #12
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDT166 View Post
I would get one of these and pocket $500.

Portland
Tricross
XRs
you're missing the point. i already have a nice road bike that i have been commuting on for the last 7 years (see below). this electric bike is a whole different ballgame, a vehicle in between a bike and anything powered by gas.

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Old 05-09-2008, 02:44 PM   #13
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so how does that battery recharge? please excuse my noob question.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:49 PM   #14
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2K1 Carbon Blue View Post
so how does that battery recharge? please excuse my noob question.
not a bad question. i turn the controller off, unplug the battery, and then bring it inside with me to steal electricity from any free outlet (or non-free if at my house ). the charger is about as big as a laptop's power brick.

the battery is a big brick inside the rack trunk, btw, not the black thing on the downtube. that's the motor controller on the downtube. if you look closely in front of the rack trunk you can see the red Anderson Powerpole connector of the battery sticking out into the air...

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Old 05-09-2008, 02:52 PM   #15
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So, what happens when you roll over something slick (manhole, paint, greasy puddle) while trying to put 1300W of power to the ground with a wrong-wheel-drive bicycle?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
So, what happens when you roll over something slick (manhole, paint, greasy puddle) while trying to put 1300W of power to the ground with a wrong-wheel-drive bicycle?
picture the Iraqi Drift Team video clip
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:58 PM   #17
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
So, what happens when you roll over something slick (manhole, paint, greasy puddle) while trying to put 1300W of power to the ground with a wrong-wheel-drive bicycle?
the tire slips, duh. bicyclists and motorcyclists have to be wary of the road surface just as part of riding. it's not a big deal, especially since i'm typically only drawing 100-400W of power.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:00 PM   #18
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:04 PM   #19
hkerekes
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Default hahahaha

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Originally Posted by Satan View Post

















































I thought of that at first but was too lazy to find some pictures.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:15 PM   #20
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That is a really neat project, it's very obvious that you really got the details down. Good work, awesome tinkering. Have you considered submitting details to something like MAKE magazine?

As for the naysayers, $2K isn't really all that money in bike-land, and this one provides a hell of a lot of functionality for daily use. Not to mention the electric motor and battery likely require minimal amounts of maintenance and upkeep compared to an internal combustion engine.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #21
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonallenross View Post
That is a really neat project, it's very obvious that you really got the details down. Good work, awesome tinkering. Have you considered submitting details to something like MAKE magazine?

As for the naysayers, $2K isn't really all that money in bike-land, and this one provides a hell of a lot of functionality for daily use. Not to mention the electric motor and battery likely require minimal amounts of maintenance and upkeep compared to an internal combustion engine.
thanks. someone gets it!

there are actually a lot of similar rides by users on endless-sphere.com/forums . mine is one of the cleaner ones since i actually have decent taste in bikes to begin with, and because i started out with LiFePO4 instead of mucking around with SLA junk.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:35 PM   #22
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That's pretty cool! I wouldn't personally spend that kind of money on something like that, but I'm not in to bikes (I'd rather ride a Ruckus). Good work!
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
the torque is quite high, as is power: i've seen 1300W peak so far on a steep hill. 1 hp = 750W for reference..

[...]

here's the power and torque curves for the motor in question (Crystalyte 407) hooked up to a 48V battery with a 35A controller:



that i'm seeing peaks higher than the graph indicates that i'm going over 35A, i think.

how to interpret the graph: to push a typical rider and bike along at 25 mph on flat ground takes 500W more or less, with aerodynamics (tucking), tire choice and pressure, and other factors making this a very ballpark figure. notice that this motor is just above 500W at that speed. this is why top speed on flat in a tuck is right around there.
i thought about this last night and realized my error. although i'm seeing 1300W (1400W yesterday even) drawn off the battery, that's not the power i'm getting on the road. this occurred on a steep hill where i was under 10 mph even with full assist and me pedaling like a maniac.

at those speeds my non-geared hub motor (some have internal gearing and behave differently) is about 40% efficient. thus i was getting maybe 600W to the ground, and was dissipating 800W as heat.

i'll still gladly take 600W up hills, though, not to mention the peak of ~850W to the ground around 17 mph. it's a kick.



ok, time to ride it some more: heading off across town to the hardware store to get metal. going to try to fabricate a holder for the battery that'll mount along the downtube, to get the 18 lbs of lithium more central and much lower than on the rear rack...
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #24
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cool fabrication...congrats to you...good luck with it
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:14 AM   #25
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thats awesome keep it up. im far to fat for such action 6'5 320
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