My ebikes antics over the years

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My ebikes antics over the years

Postby offgridQLD » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:34 am

I have been playing around with electric bikes for about 8 years now. I don't know what it is but I seem to have a habit of motorizing everything that comes into my possession. I found bikes to be a fun candidate.

E bike one was actually a snap decision eBay purchase when I was living in Melbourne. Most times I like to build things myself but this e bike was sold for under $100 less than I could gather materials for. I purchased the used e bike from a guy in Gelong who had imported it himself. He had way to many toys so some had to go.

The e bike was a Ezip made by Currie Technologies (a few years later they were actually sold in Kmart for about 6 months) Cheep Chinese Steel frame MTB with nasty rubbish components. Although the frame was over engineered. Over sized thick walled tubing and dam heavy. especially with 24v 12ah of Agm lead, A 25A Dc speed controller and a small Dc motor.The motor was a little MY1018 that has a reduction gearbox built into the motor case. It mounted just above the the rear axle on a a 5mm thick steel plate and drove the left side of the rear Hub through a sprocket and chain.The hub basically had a 7speed freewheel on the right and a single speed freewheel on the left. Enameling the bike to be peddled like normal without driving the motor. A hall-effect twist grip was used for the throttle .

This bike was fun (relative to what I had ridden at the time) Top speed about 25kmh with Lots of torque. It soon got boring though at 25kmh. I started doing research and found the same motor was actually sold in a 36v kit . It didn't take me long to open the speed controller cover and discover the caps were good for 50v. I started of purchasing another 12ah agm and trying the bike at 36v :D. It now had a top speed of around 35kmh and with 36v x 25A controller I had around 1000w hot off the charger. This felt good for a while but the need for speed had taken over and I wanted more. So another 12ah agm was purchased . I now had 48v and 1250w hot off the charger. This was good for about 40-45kmh and it felt real good :D .With that little My1810 screaming its guts out. The fun didn't last long as I had overlooked the fact that hot off the charger the battery's now exceeded the speed controllers 50v caps and the controller eventually let out the magic smoke.

In a moment of madness I actually hard wired a large switch to the handle bars to bypass the speed controller.This didn't last long as the contractors in the switch welded them self on. I had a runaway bike at 45kmh :( good thing I wasn't hurt and a lesson learned.

It was Time for a rethink and a new controller. I found the weight of the 48v of lead was an issue with balance to. So to ebay I went and purchased a new 48v 35A DC speed controller and 48v battery charger. I purchased a little one wheeled clip on boby trailer for the bike and towed the battery's behind the bike in that. I now had 50v x 35A - 1750w hot of the charger and a ton of torque. As the rides become longer and the hills I was powering up at 35kmh steeper. The single stock My1810 motor was getting real hot - toasty hot! I had to do something. My solution was to purchase another My1810 motor and extend the mounting plate to hold both motors. Extending the chain over both sprockets and wiring the motors in parallel. I was able to 1/2 the load on each motor. This dual motor setup could handle all the abuse could throw at it. It was a very reliable bike for a long time.
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One thing I didn't like about the bike was the Noise. The little My1810's had metal gears and when over vol ted they were making a real racket. I played around with different lubrication methods but nothing really helped. It was time for something different in the motor department.

I started researching AC hub motors and was impressed by the efficacy of AC. I purchased the largest most powerful and (dam heavy) AC in wheel hub motor I could get my hands on at the time.It was a crystalite 5304 Direct drive in wheel hub motor. I also purchased a powerful AC speed controller rated at 72v 50A 12 x 4110 fets and 100v caps :D
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This motor weighed just under 20kg and a I had to lace up a seriously strong rim and spokes to keep it all together.I fabricated large SS torque arms to stop it tearing its way out of my bikes rear dropouts.This motor was smooth, quiet and a torque monster :D (how ebikes should be). I added another two 12ah agm battery's to the boby trailer and I now had 3.6kw of power and 70kmh !! top speed hot of the charger :evil:

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This thing actually had to be driven with a little respect as it was getting dangerous. All that weight of motor and agm bricks and still the stock Izip china brand rim brakes to stop the thing. Rolling the throttle on to hard could get the you in trouble to. Great for rolling on the throttle and passing guys riding road bikes in full Lycra outfits :D The look on there faces as i waved pretending to peddle.that $6,000 carbon fiber bike wasn't much good to them now :lol:

This bike was ridden like this for about a year before some of the AGM's started to give up under the load.It was time to rethink the battery's. Around this time lifepo4 lithium battery's were just hitting the market. I few guys were taking chances with pouch style packs from ebay. Quality was hit and miss. C rating was 1 - 2c at best and BMS systems were very unreliable getting the nick name of (battery murdering systems). I got lucky and found a direct contact in china for cylindrical style 10ah cells from a company called headway. Rated at around 5c continuous and packaged with a beefy and relatively reliable BMS system and 5A charger. I purchased two 36v 20AH packs. This gave me the option of running 36v or 72v.

I took the opportunity to upgrade the Bike frame with very high quality but secondhand triple clamp down hill suspension fork and front disk brake. New front wheel, rear brakes and quality tiers front and back. The little bobby trailer was becoming a pain to tow. It made it difficult to turn around in tight spaces, Drew attention to my over powered e bike and a host of other issues.

I decided to mount just one 36v-20ah lithium pack into the frame of the bike. This got the weight in the center of the frame between my legs. I was finding that lithium battery's didn't suffer from voltage sag and held around 40v for most of there discharge capacity. This was good for 40kmh. A happy medium between speed, safety and battery size. This configuration was kept for a few years and thousands of KM. I had around 60km range from the 750 whr pack with some very light peddle assist. Although I usually most rides were around the 20km mark with little to no peddling. I also purchased a little e bike cycle computer called a cycle analyst. Its basically a digital LCD back lit display you mount to your handle bars. It has a wire that runs down to your battery's and a small shunt. Another wire to the front wheel like a traditional bike speedometer. It can show pack voltage, AH in-out, Whr- KM, Max min Amps,. Great for checking up on how many Ah you have consumed from your pack. You can also program it to over ride your throttle signal and limit speed, Max Amp's and a host of other features.

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This bike was nice I could climb any hill peddling or not. I was pushing around 2000w max into the hub 10 x the legal limit in AU . I did program the cycle analyst to 200w so I had the option to switch to legal mode or 200w mode. I found keeping a low profile and stealthy look to the bike. Along with not riding it like a idiot I drew little to no attention. I could still use the boby trailer now just to tow cargo around when need be. My daughter rode with me on this bike in a child seat form 1yo until around 4yo. It was a very practical ebike and had come a long way over the years.

Next up is ebike Two the ultimate ebike project.....
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby Tracker » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:18 am

.
Great story - Sounds like a fun and interesting ride.. ;)
..
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Re: My ebike antics over the years

Postby offgridQLD » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:36 pm

Ebike two,

After many years of riding ebike one. One accident that slightly bent the front forks, broke one brake lever and the seat. I did repair the bike some what . Soon after a small amount of water got into the speed controller (getting around during the Brisbane floods , e bike was great as you couldn't drive a car) So my ebike one was out of action.

By now battery's and motors had come a long way. Lifpo4 lithium was now old school . Lithium cobalt packs used in RC model's were now very popular. With C rating as high as 90c !! and fantastic energy density and price. Little packs the size of a kids lunch box could deliver 1200wh and over 600Amps - realistically 200 amps peeks due to cable size . But for the cells them self its a walk in the park.

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Some of the out runner style model 3d plane motors were getting bigger and bigger. Enough to power an electric bike and were rated at 6000w.Some could handle bursts of over 10,000w. All in a motor package the size of a coke can!

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This kind of hi tech hi powered motor-battery combo deserved a better platform than my 6 1/2 year old china MTB. I had always wanted a Recumbent tadpole trike and found one 2nd hand in like new condition on ebay for a great price. I now had my platform.

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I purchased a 80/100 out runner motor for $100 Hk model shop. Rated at 6000w at 48v. Its about the size of a coffee cup.They are designed to turn a prop at a fixed speed . The little senser less model model speed controllers go although rated at high amps go POP and let out the smoke trying to start the motors from low speeds pushing a human weight!!!!. I wanted to use my repaired Ebike speed controller with 12 4110 fets and large 100v caps. It its designed to hand the surge Amps you get with a ebike. The problem was mine was designed to run with Hall sensors mounted in the hub motor. I had to pull the out runner motor apart and install hall sensors internally to make it work from my e bike controller.Not to hard but fiddly work.

Mounting three hall sensors inside motor
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The trike's rear hub was replaced with a beefy DH MTB hub that has left hand disk brake ISO mounting flange. A large aluminum toothed belt sprocket was bolted to where the disk brake would normally mount.

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I then made up some templates and tig welded a small length of ss 2 inch tubing standing off the main frame just behind my seat. This was used to mount a reduction drive with built in slipper clutch. this was necessary to get a nice final drive speed for the rear wheel. The out runner motor spun at 7000rpm.I used a gates carbon fiber impregnated toothed belt to drive the rear wheel. Smooth, and very very strong.the final small drive pulley also had a sprag style freewheel built in.

Templates for new SS motor mount tube.
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Working out ideal motor/reduction drive position
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Complete drive line installed on the trike
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old 36v-20ah lithium lifepo4 vs new RC lipo cobalt 60v-10ah pack 1/2 the weight and 10 times the c rating!.
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The drive line including motor was around 4kg and could handle 6000w!!! I needed some battery's capable of powering the motor. I used 6 x 5ah 5s lipo packs in a 3s - 2p configuration . Total voltage hot off the charger is around 60v and at 2p configuration with 50c discharge rating for each pack they are good for bursts of 500amps :twisted: :lol: On paper anyhow real world 200amp bursts(6,000w) are no prob at all but cable rating becomes the limiting factor.

This bike had some Balls!!! I was pushing around 3kw into the motor but because the battery's were only 4kg and motor package around the same the power to weight was great. The little 20" trike wheel gave me wheel spinning tire smoking torque. Real push in the back feeling when you hit the throttle. Efficiency was also great when driven carefully.Not to mention it just looked and sounded great.I was only running it at 1/2 its potential power output to ;)

What I didn't like. I wanted to to pump three more KW into the motor but I started to have a lot of issues with electrical noise messing with my hall signal at anything above 60v-50A. This issue and another one the high pitched jet engine noise of the motor (that was thrilling to start with) become overwhelming on long trips. Also drawing attention to the over powered trike.

It was time for stage two.I loved the light weight of the RC motor setup and free wheeling ability. So I could peddle it like a normal bike. The old heavy hub motor from the old e bike that didn't have free wheeling you were fighting the coging resistance of the motor magnets when not under power. That heavy motor wasn't a option in this elegant trike frame. I started to look into small 2- 3kg internally geared AC rear hub motors. Most were just to small to handle the kind of power I wanted to push into them . That and the nylon gears where a reliability issue especially when over powered. Bafang put out a new version of there geared hub motors that were much bigger and could handle a lot more power but still only 4kg. At $150 there a nice package. I purchased one in a code 9 winding high speed winding (due to the small 20" wheel) I Laced it into a nice stong 20" rim.

The new hub was great and handled the 3000w no problem. Top speed of around 50kmh and its got some real punch off the line due to the 20" wheel. Its not as quiet as the old Direct drive hub but its way quieter than the RC motor. I have ridden several 100km long rides combining peddling and motor assist.

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I am happy with this final configuration though I might one day go back to my rear tooth drive sprocket and no reduction drive but a lower speed (lower KV rating) larger motor driving a larger sprag free wheel pulley. i would mount this to a custom built trike with full suspension. But I have way to many project on the go so it could be some time.

I will add more info on chargers and solar charging. Along with videos of all the bikes when I get access to my other hard drive over the weekend.

Until I get some video's of mine up. Here is three u tube videos of one serious ebike. This shows what can be done with 90c lipo coupled to a motor and controller that can handle the power. :D .

testing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UL_FxpKc0wasQ&v=_FxpKc0wasQ&feature=player_detailpage

on the street
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=ULSk_bmSRog-c&v=Sk_bmSRog-c&feature=player_detailpage

racing motorbikes with i
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leLZZK4llYE&feature=player_embedded



Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:19 pm

Sounds like you have a bit of a beast there Kurt! Not that it is of interest to you :lol: but they have recently upped the max allowed to 250W for electric bikes, but I think it can only be available if you are pedalling...otherwise really it's just an electric motor bike.

I do plenty of 80-100km (and some a lot longer) rides on my MTB, but I have to pedal all the way ;)
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby zzsstt » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:43 pm

Those recumbants can be dangerous on the roads. We almost had an accident when a recumbant was approaching a single lane bridge from one side, and was in a dip completely hidden from view, whilst we approached from the other side. He suddenly "emerged" from the dip on his end of the bridge, right in front of us.

The dip is nowhere near deep enough to hide a car, or even an upright bicycle, but on his little recumbant he vanished entirely, and either didn't realise this or was sticking to his "right of way". A right of way isn't important when you're squashed!

I'm guessing he's had similar things happen to him a few times, because now he has a tall flag on his bike so people can see him. I love the concept of a recumbant, but the lack of "see and be seen" must be a worry?
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby offgridQLD » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:09 pm

I'm guessing he's had similar things happen to him a few times, because now he has a tall flag on his bike so people can see him. I love the concept of a recumbent, but the lack of "see and be seen" must be a worry?


The situation you explain is a very unique one and I see how in that particular situation your at a disadvantage low to the ground.

I have never had any safety issues.

99.9% of the time I don't see any safety issue over a normal bike. In fact cars give me a HUGE berth when overtaking compared to a normal bike. Because your riding something different you stand out i guess. If you do crash a trike and fall off. You don't end up doing any superman impressions over the handle bars as your only 10cm off the ground. You can brake very very well due to dual disk brakes up front and a better weight balance than a stand up bike. Only wheel traction determines final stopping distance .

I have powerful LED lights up front and the same on the rear but flashing. I don't use a flag. Initially the bike was used to ride from my city house to the CBD 10km each way and usually on bike paths.Now its just a weekend bike around the local area from one country town to another. We do have some one way bridges but nothing with a dip in the middle.

Kurt
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby offgridQLD » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:49 pm

Video of my trike riding from the end of our dirt road back to our house single lane old loggers road. 50 - 60kph most of the way, recoded from Iphone in rear trunk bag camera facing rear.Top speed inst that high but throttle response is very snappy off the line. The go cart felling is something different you just don't get from a normal bike.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-AYNluLQSQ&feature=player_detailpage


You can more or less just point the trike at anything and hit the throttle and you shoot up and over it at speed.

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Kurt
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby Tracker » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:17 pm

offgridQLD wrote:The situation you explain is a very unique one and I see how in that particular situation your at a disadvantage low to the ground..... I have never had any safety issues.

I must admit that when I saw the image of the trike, it was a case of WOW, but what a Death Seat when used on roads..
Would be GREAT in Canberra or in the country..
..
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby offgridQLD » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:58 pm

I must admit that when I saw the image of the trike, it was a case of WOW, but what a Death Seat when used on roads..
Would be GREAT in Canberra or in the country..


I have ridden my trike on many group rides in and around the CBD and the one comment I get from the other riders on normal bikes is. I cant believe how much room the cars give you yet they give us no room at all. The trikes width is no wider than the handle bars of a Mountain bike yet people overtake like your 3m wide :D .

Yes if your stupid and ride to the side of a car in there blind spot and unless your doing something illegal that can only happen on multiple lane roads that i avoid on both stand up and recumbent. Given I can keep up with city traffic speeds I find people just treat be like another car or motor bike. I ride it just like I drive my cars. Never trust anyone on the road, Anticipate peoples mistakes , In general drive defensively and avoid unnecessary risks. I try and keep my own riding predictable to.

I feel comfortable riding it any place I would on a normal Bike. What I am getting at there are a lot of roads I would avoid on a traditional bike.

Kurt
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Re: My ebikes antics over the years

Postby zzsstt » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:07 am

Tracker wrote:Would be GREAT in Canberra or in the country..


The issue in the country, similar to that which I described previously, is that an undulating road can "hide" a low vehicle like a recumbant. Most sensible people would never overtake when they can't actually see the bitumen - i.e. when there is a crest and you don't know whether the road drops 50mm or 20 m on the other side. I play a game with my kids, to guess whether there is a car "hiding in the hole" when we can't see the road (I figure if they are aware of the issue when they start to drive on the road they might be safer drivers?!), and sometimes we have "found" a semi trailer coming the other way on an apparently empty road.

The problem with a recumbant is that it can "hide" in a fairly minimal dip, where the locals know that the dip isn't large enough to hide a car and therefore regard it as a safe overtaking area - resulting in the recumbant facing a car at 100kmh+. We have several such sections of undulating but straight road local to us, and I have watched many people abort overtaking maneuvres as a car suddenly becomes visible in the dip. My concern with a recumbant is that it will become visible far later in the maneuvre, when the two cars are next to each other and the overtaking car is at maximum speed......

I think the recumbant concept is great, and I've loved tricycles since a friend of mine used to race them when we were younger - I'd be leaning my bicycle around a bend whilst he hung off the inside of his trike with his knee hooked on the crossbar - it looked so cool! But a recumbant just can't be seen - it is hidden by cars, fences and dips in the road. I had a guy ranting and cursing at me in Sydney because my (low) trailer that he hadn't seen left him stuck on the wrong side of the road after a crazy overtake in heavy traffic - the idiot tried to zip past a couple of cars waiting to turn left, and hoped to pull in to the "gap" behind me me....where my trailer was! I would imagine that he would have simply forced a recumbant off the road in his attempts to get back in lane!
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