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New set(s) of wheels; Bikes & other wheeled contraptions
Topic Started: May 1 2015, 02:05 PM (2,900 Views)
Stubby79
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Almost new. Cost more than twice what my Metro did! Here she is...

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Nuff said. B-)
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ZXTjato
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bass heads

Way to hot outside to live without my metro. But that is a sweet looking pice of kit
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bikeAmusPrime
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These are fun to ride and comfortable to tide aswell. I wish I had purchased one before I bought some of my stereo gear.
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Johnny Mullet
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Fear the Mullet

That is a sweet Bent! Looks fast!
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Stubby79
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Johnny Mullet
May 1 2015, 07:01 PM
That is a sweet Bent! Looks fast!
It probably is. But I'm not. Haven't really ridden a bike in years, and I'm 40+ lbs heavier than when I did last. Totally out of shape...but that's what this is for. Comfortable exercise, out doors. ^o)

It's rather quite a bit different from upright cycling. You can't stand on the pedals when you need torque...you have to 100% use your muscles. Needless to say that up steeper hills, I was in the lowest gear going at a walking pace. But at least you can do that without losing balance on this. :lol

It's got skinny tires that can be pumped up to 100 psi, and it's light (40lbs?), so it should be able to go fast when I get in better shape.

It's also collapsible. It folds down small enough that it should fit in the back of my Firefly (metro) without any bother. It fits in the back of our SUV without even laying the back seats down.

So :cheers to having a pleasant way of losing some weight.
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Stubby79
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Same model, different color, folded:
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Takes it from being 7' long down to about 4, and about 2' tall. It's 32" wide, so it fits through my 36" doors. Which is good, as I wouldn't dare lock something this valuable up outside.
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Stubby79
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Spent a bit setting it up to work for me better...installed the headrest, adjusted the brakes so the parking locks would hold better, replaced the crude metal shims on the clamping tube ends of the uprights by the front wheels with rubber so they hold much better, mover the water bottle cage (attached to said uprights) from the right side to the left, repositioned the mirrors so they stick in instead of out, and took the toe clips off the pedals.

I was wondering where I could put a bottle cage on it, only to find it already had one hiding there on the upright, so that's good. The mirrors are on those uprights and add 3" to either side, so it was too wide to go through even a 36" doorway without knocking them around. Now it fits through nicely. And the toe clips, which I liked the idea of at first, had to go...they made the pedal put all the pressure on the ball of each foot. That might be a good place for them on an upright, but when you're pushing horizontally, that's an awful lot of force that you have to put all the way through to the ends of your feet. My arches were hurting before the end of my ride yesterday, so I flipped the pedals over to reposition my feet. Of course, there are clips on the other side for using with cycling shoes, so it wasn't great, but it was better than the other way. Now I can position my feet so the pedals are just above my heels, which takes all the strain away from my arches and such, and my foot doesn't try to bend back when I apply a lot of force anymore. Maybe the toe clips aren't meant for people with big feet.

After, I still had a half hour to myself, so of course I went for an early morning ride. Pedaling was much better with my feet where I wanted them. Mirrors still work, I can see behind myself as well as off to either side -- not staring at my shoulders like might be expected. It was chill, since the sun wasn't quite up. Mesh seat = cold ass. Headrest = no neck strain = great! First thing in the morning on a weekend = no traffic = great for enjoying the sights. I haven't been out and about in such a way as to be able to appreciate how nice it is around here. Doubt I could enjoy them half as much on a regular bike. Certainly don't enjoy them driving past them in a car.

There was one particular, silly drawback...when I slowly & carefully came down off the sidewalk, a 3" drop or so, I bottomed it out! Road use only! Ha! :lol
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perfesser
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Elite Member - Former Metro owner

About 30 years ago I had a long wheelbase recumbent bicycle. I loved that bike! The handlebars were under the seat and the front wheel was way out there in front of the pedal crank. Not very maneuverable, but hellaciously comfortable for a long ride on bad country 2-lanes!!
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Stubby79
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I've not been riding her...well, at all, really. Excuses, excuses. But I haven't lost interest...

After much humming and hawing over how to make it an electric bike, I found this locally, barely used and at the right price:
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It's off a Currie electric bike. It's a gear-reduction, 450-watt brushed motor. I'm doing a mid-drive setup, so that I don't have to "wreck" the sweet 9-speed rear wheel setup. I'd love to have regen braking and all, but I don't specifically need it, considering I have dual disc front brakes...I can stop fast enough. And I'll probably save more battery power by operating the motor at it's most efficient speed range than I would get back from regenerative braking, which you would only get while going full speed with a hub motor. And this one too, but since I can change gears, it can be kept running at full speed.

A motor needs batteries. I have plenty of lead acid batteries kicking around, but they're...heavy. Especially if you want to carry enough to go any distance. So, low and behold, a few days after getting the motor, I found 20 amp-hour LiFePO4 pouch cells on Ebay (made by A123 Systems, the guys who make the uber high powered cells in DeWalt cordless tools) for ~$20 ea. Even for these "B-Grade" cells, that seemed a sweet deal to me. I bought enough to build 2 48-volt batteries. I've got two electric bikes and an electric cordless lawnmower that run on that voltage, so it seemed the smart choice.

Here's an idea of what these raw cells look like, alone...
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Of course, that one got damaged in shipping, but has since been replaced...

Assembling them in to a battery required patience...
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Many, many hours later, the battery is 95% assembled:
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I just need to encase it properly and it'll be done. More hours were "wasted" balancing the cells to one another.

So it was time to test it. I attached it in place of the sad little lead-acid batteries on my lawn mower:
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Well, what can I say? It's like my lawnmower is on steroids and crack at the same time! :rocker I mowed my whole lawn in one go, instead of having to charge it half way through, and the battery didn't break a sweat. And it didn't bog down in the slightest, no matter what I put it up against.

Of course, this battery supposedly holds twice as many amp-hours as the lead-acids, but in actual practice will last 3 to 4 times as long per charge, due to how inefficient lead acid batteries become under heavy load. It's only a little bit bigger than the 4 lead-acid batteries it's replacing (about 1" taller, basically the same dimensions otherwise), and, at just over 20lbs, weighs a couple of pounds less. It holds 1Kw-hour worth of electricity. Should be plenty for my electric bike purposes! :drivin :D

Next, I'm on to mounting the motor...

What about exercise? Well, I'll still get that. I just won't be stuck going at a speed that I can maintain on my own, unless I want to, of course. I'll keep pedaling, so I can go farther and faster then I could on battery alone. That's one thing I don't like about my other single-speed electric bikes...once you get going, the pedals become useless...
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idmetro
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Looking forward to your riding report.
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myredvert
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myredvert

Quote:
 
made by A123 Systems,
Several years back I had looked into some of their battery systems for a few different experimental aircraft designs I was working on. Their products seemed pretty impressive. :thumb
Edited by myredvert, Jul 2 2015, 02:57 PM.
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Stubby79
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Progress...photo dump...
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I wasted half of my morning trying to get proper bicycle tire "Slime"...no go. One of the bike shops says they'd put it in for $8 a tire, but they didn't sell it by the bottles. Oh well. I stuffed the regular, tubeless kind in...better than nothing. Getting it in to tubes with Presta valves is...fun. :rasp

Figured out how I'd mount the motor...picked up a second muffler clamp while I was out (a spare one came with my Firefly!). The flat ends on the muffler clams permit me to mount a plate to the bottom of them, as shown. Note the extra set of holes in the plate, since I didn't take the additional width of the nuts in to consideration when drilling the first set. :banghead Could have started over with a fresh plate, but didn't feel like cutting another one. I'll cover the holes if they bother me...

After mounting the plate, mounting the motor to it was as simple as flipping the trike over, holding the motor in line where it needed to be -- that is to say, straight and far enough over to ensure the two chains don't rub each other -- marking the holes and drilling them out. Test fitted the motor, as shown, confirmed clearances...then disassemble to paint the bare metal parts.

Oh, I did have to add some thin washers behind the large sprocket to allow the chains to clear each other. Photo shows that the millimeter or so was enough...

I'll be putting some 1/8" thick rubber around the tube before clamping it down, and maybe something else too, so I don't crush it. Won't have to be insanely tight or anything, rubber will help keep it from moving, and I plan on adding some lateral support. You can see the arm sticking out from the motor's bracket where it's meant to have said support. I have all the other major components needed to wire it in after, care of fleabay. I think I spent about $25 between a speed controller and a thumb throttle. :lol

On an unfortunate side note, I notices a patch of rubber missing from my right front tire...the tire itself is a lot more worn than the left. I'd not noticed it before(and it's hard to miss), so I'm guessing I caused the missing patch when I was testing out the brakes at the end of my last ride. And I'm assuming the tire shows a lot more wear because the PO was unknowingly applying the right brake a lot harder than the left...comes down to the difference if grip from being right-handed, most likely. That and someone who cycles regularly would know to apply the right (rear) more than the front, if they don't want to go flying over the handlebars...so I'm in the market for a new tire, already! :'(

PS: yes, I am aware that I'll be forced to pedal when the motor is going this way, but I'm not forking over $200 for a freewheel crank set, thank you very much. I'll buy a hub motor before spending that much on one of those...
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Stubby79
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:shake :stoner :beer
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Stubby79
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8 hours killing myself for a half block ride... :die
F*ck you, Murphy! :banghead
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Stubby79
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Well! This thing sure has luck...bad and good. I was going to take her for a ride this morning, with the motor chain removed for now, and low and behold, it had a flat tire. Yup. The one that was worn/missing a patch of rubber...well, it had worn through the nylon somewhere else on the tire, and under the 100psi I put in the tire, it had (slowly?) torn itself apart. And, of course, without the tire to hold it in, the inner ture couldn't hold against 100psi, so it popped itself. No sign of the tire Slime I put in it. I'm kinda glad for that...I don't have to clean it off.

Well, I knew I'd be replacing the tire, but I had hoped to get a ride or tow out of it first. So, off to the bicycle shop, expecting to have to order one. Bike are popular is this silly city I live in, so, hey, we have some pretty decent bike shops. We went through what they had visibly in stock, and they didn't have a matching tire. I didn't really expect them to. So he sits down at his computer to look it up...he's there for w couple of minutes, me standing on the other side of the counter, twiddling my thumbs.

I got bored and started looking around...and low and behold, I spot some more 20" tires that we hadn't checked, hanging up high....and I can read the label of the first one. It's my exact tire, size brand and all...and I can see the price. $21.99. Wowee! That's considerably cheaper than I found them on the internet for. He looks them up after, and apparently they're not available at the moment. So I bought them out of all three of them. For less than I would have paid for 2 on ebay. The regular price is $30 or so US, so, like $5000 in Canadian pesos. :lol

So, terrible luck (blowing out the tire, no ride today) turned in to good luck (finding three exact matching tires for dirt cheap). It's cursed...in a good way? I'll probably go for a ride, get mowed down by a big truck, but end up winning the lottery with the ticket I bough out of boredom while sitting in traction in the hospital. :doh

Oh well. I'll be glad for it in the long run...

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