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Old 05-18-2015, 06:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2,000 MPGe eBike

Just a thread to review my electric assist bicycle build.

First of course .. How did I come up with that '2,000 MPGe' ?

When the electric assist is doing about ~90% of the work it consumes about ~14 wh / mile from the battery.

1 Gallon of gasoline has the chemical energy of about ~36 kwh .. of course it varies with % of Ethanol , temperature , additives , etc.

Conservative ~35kwh / 14wh = ~2,500 MPGe

But don't forget the losses from 'pump' (ie outlet).

2500 * ~90% Energy Efficient Charger = ~2,250 MPGe 'pumped'

And sense I only did ~10% of the work.
~2250 x 0.90 = ~2,025 MPGe ... and than I rounded down to 2,000 MPGe

Of course I could do 100% of the work myself .. and sometimes I do .. but , most of the time I fall in the middle ... 10% < Ian < 90%.

- - - - - - -

And second , before I get into the build details.

Why do it?

I know that every one of those steep hills I used to walk my bicycle up was something I remembered and discouraged me from even going on the next bicycle ride.

I know that at the end of the ride being exhausted , tired, etc .. was also something I would remember next time and was also discouraging me from going out again .. or even worse .. being exhausted and tired but still __ miles from the end of the bike ride.

Soo .. I know that the 'assistance' will (and has) encouraged me to get out more often .. any % > 0 is better than nothing.

If I'm going to spend money to get some exercise .. It seems to me spending it in this direction is better net effect than just paying a gym membership , or buying conventional home exercise equipment.

I'm a complete fair weather cyclist .. I want to enjoy it .. not make it a chore to be dreaded .. soo I avoid bicycling in the rain , very hot or very cold weather , etc.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is this the bike we saw at Mike's last summer ?

How 'bout some pics
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain driver View Post
Is this the bike we saw at Mike's last summer ?

How 'bout some pics
Yup ... Tweaked a bit over the winter ... Swapped external controller for a hub internal controller .. and added regenerative braking .. cleaned up wiring a bit too.

It's a patch work .. not a bike I just bought as one product somewhere.

Because there isn't allot of room OEM in the Insight .. or small apartments .. I went with a folding Aluminum framed bicycle as a base.

There are allot of options out there for folding bicycles .. But one of the other things I wanted to improve from previous bicycles was the whole bicycle chain thing .. I've had numerous problems with bicycle chains over the ears .. derail , not shift well , always the 1st thing to dust out .. and folded up a greasy chain just makes a mess on clothes and car interior.

So I went with a shaft drive instead of a conventional chain and with a 8 speed planetary gear in the rear wheel... Whole base bicycle is available from Rhode Island Dynamic Bicycle .. as the 'Side Kick 8'.

Image from Dynamic Site:


Between the shaft drive and the Shimano 8 speed rear sealed hub .. It's all sealed up out of the elements .. and solves all those problems I used to have with bicycle chains

Image bellow of it as the 1st version of this eBike folded up when I first put it together back in 2012 ... Prior to this last winter's upgrades / tweaks ... This wasn't my 1st eBike but , far better over all than earlier versions / models.

- - -
More to come.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looking forward to progress. Ive considered buying a ready made one, but most have half the weight capacity of the person it would carry around. Ive also entertained the idea of DIY, but it can easily cost you a few hundred to almost a grand when you start to piece it together.



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Old 05-18-2015, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very nice. Chainless shaft drive is very interesting.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looking forward to progress. Ive considered buying a ready made one, but most have half the weight capacity of the person it would carry around. Ive also entertained the idea of DIY, but it can easily cost you a few hundred to almost a grand when you start to piece it together.
Ready made or DIY is all personal choice.

DIY can be a chunk of time .. but for me that's fun time (ie a pro) .. to others that time would be a con.

DIY can potentially save $ .. especially the more 'custom' you make it.

For weight capacity .. You can always get one of those toe behind bicycle trailers for lots more weight caring capacity.

eBike's are never going to be as light or as Cheap $ ... as a regular bike .. no way around that .. motors and batteries have additional weight and $.

The rider would only care about the weight after the battery is empty .. prior to that the energy stored in the battery more than offsets it's own weight and more... effectively making it much easier to bicycle at any given speed or distance.

For example .. My eBike stuff ... Motor , control electronics, wiring , controls, meters, Batteries , racking , cases, etc ... all together added a bit over 25 Lbs of additional weight to the bicycle.

But with my 36v 12Ah LiFePO4 battery .. I can go 20-25 miles with me only doing 1/10 of the work ... or I could go 40-50 Miles with me only doing 1/2 the work... I feel that is plenty of range (with buffer) for me... Regenerative braking is tracking a ~5% increase in range using that when I need to brake instead of old school friction brakes.

You could reduce weight with less battery and/or less powerful motor .. etc ... just becomes a question of how much you want the EV side to be able to help / assist ... and how far you'd like to have for a good range with safety buffer... or some people have gone the other way ... heavier with more powerful motors for faster and larger battery energy storage capacity for longer assist ranges.

In general ... given the human pedal power capacity ... Any eBike that can sustain about 250Watts of assist will be able to do about ~1/2 the work for you , at the same bicycle speeds ... any eBike that can sustain about 400-500 Watts gets into the rage of you only needing to do 1/10 the work at the same bicycle speeds... over 500 Watts is just for faster than normal bicycle speeds.

As for the additional cost ... just depends on what you are comparing it to.

For the $ I can't buy a car and fuel it for trip to the store and back for even remotely as low cost $ as the eBike can do the same trip ... 2,000 MPGe is crazy low cost $ per mile.

For the $ year after year cumulative adding cost to go to a gym .. I also can't remotely compete with how low cost $ the eBike can do the same (but more fun) exercise.

Compared to just a 100% pure bicycle .. sure that beats the eBike ... if you use it as often for those same trips ... I am honest with myself and know I wouldn't make those trips via bicycle if I was 100% bicycle... in nice weather I've even eBike commuted .. also something I honestly never would be motivated enough to do with a 100% pure bicycle.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain driver View Post
Very nice. Chainless shaft drive is very interesting.
Thanks.

I had considered one other possible path to achieve similar to shaft drive effects ... a all electrical connection ... ie generator at pedal .. and just electrical connections ... but , in the end I went with the shaft.

In case of electrical failure or empty battery .. I still have a functional shaft drive bicycle.

And .. The pedal to wheel efficiency is better with the shaft than electrical option .. at bicycle speeds.

I've toyed with the idea of a pedal generator in my Insight .. but that's pretty complicated for such a small benefit ... I realistically only sustain about ~100Watts of human pedal power for any extended period of time... to move a bicycle that works .. to move about ~2,000 pounds that's a tiny drop in the bucket.

The shaft has worked beautifully / flawlessly / cleanly / etc ... I acknowledge it is a like 2 lbs or so heavier than a conventional bicycle chain drive ... but it is WAY worth it to me for all the pros I get out of it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like to have data .. so I opted for the Cycle Analyst meter / instrumentation.
Link

Works wonderfully.

I also got and like the optional Cycle Lumenator Link ... that easily plugs into the Cycle Analyst , so I don't have to run an additional power line to it .. I often avoid riding at night and such ... but it's nice to have it should I want it ... The full power 10W 1,000 Lumens is like car head light ... But thankfully has variable lower power brightness settings .. and the built in DC-DC converter gives it a nice wide input range 15V to 100V.

I use one of the 12 LED EctroLights Link usually set of flashing mode for the rear facing light... It also has the nice DC-DC included.

This way all my lights , meters, etc ... all feed off of the one central battery ... makes it more convenient to charge just one thing.

- - - - -

The 'normal' Cycle Analyst is fine for eBike ... but I also have 2nd Cycle Analyst they customized many years ago for up to ~40kw .. ~200v and ~200A , with GPS , and data logging to a SD memory card .. But that's eventually for a non-eBike project in the future ... I think they now offer customized units up to a max of something like ~350v and ~400A (~140kw).
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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AH HA, data acquisition!!! Reminds me of the time I put a bicycle odometer on my manual sport wheelchair and logged data on speed, miles traveled, estimated calories burned, etc, etc, etc. That was fun.

Yeah, Ive been meaning to get something street legal as a back up for fun like a moped gas or electric or an ebike with a 400 lb weight limit. I was close to buying a lithium moped in 07 so I could charge it indoors, but it would take 10 thousand miles to break even on the cost.



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Old 05-20-2015, 06:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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but it would take 10 thousand miles to break even on the cost.
While this is always a good aspect to consider .. as a responsible / rational person .. not all things in life have a good 'pay back' ... virtually no one goes to the movies expecting to get paid $ back at the end .. no matter how long the movie , no matter how many movies you go to .. etc .. etc .. the entertainment value is not usually part of people's 'pay back' analysis .. but it should be.

Also .. remember .. something that is $ better .. even if it takes the long run to get there .. is still financially better.

As for a ~400 Lbs rider weight capacity .. That is not 'normal' for most bicycles .. so one should look for one specifically rated for that .. but there are some that are not significantly more expensive than a regular bicycle... $580 Link

A complete pre-made kit that should take about ~10 minutes to install might cost around ~$1,000 ... could be pieced / DIY for less than 1/2 that .. if one enjoys the DIY project , because it will eat many many hours.

Even at ~$1,600 ... that really isn't 'bad' compared to all that you get for that.
YMCA gym membership is about ~$600 per year every year.

An eBike that helps to do useful 'trips' .. groceries , etc ... is better in my mind than just a gym membership .. I get more back from taking the trips .. even if they cost the same.

At the extremely high 1-2 thousand MPGe it cost for fuel .. that beats just about any other powered / fueled vehicle.

Even the easy pre-made kit should break even in about 2 to 3 years ... which is effectively about a ~25% interest rate from a financial PoV.

But .. it isn't free (time or money) .. and $ does grow on trees yet .. and there are only soo many hours in a day .. soo it is also completely understandable if someone chooses to spend their time / money $ on something else.
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