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MB-1-E Part Twenty One: Progress Report
Submitted by MB-1-E on Fri, 08/03/2007 - 15:31
No major changes lately but I've been doing quite a lot of riding and put some miles on the MB-1-E.
I've found that unless I'm going up extremely steep, long inclines, I've been getting some (IMO) great range lately.
In order to put the bike through it's paces, I've been mostly just riding and not doing much pedal assist.
In daily rides with some hills and maintaining an average speed of 14-15 mph, I seem to have no problem going 15-18 miles without drawing my batteries down below 1/2 charge.
With some pedal assist, my range seems to increase dramatically, as would be expected.
I think, perhaps, that my batteries are working better than they did initially. I seem to be getting a lot more out of them now than in my first 5-10 rides.
I've also changed my charging method slightly.
I have two 6V 220Ah AGM SLA batteries in series that I use for our RV and initially switched my Iota 15A charger between charging the RV batteries then putting it on my bike batteries when I got back from a ride, leaving the charger on the bike a day or so then swapping back to the RV batteries.
Lately, I've just been leaving the RV batteries on the charger all the time and I've been using jumper cables to go from the RV batteries to the bike batteries. I don't know what the long term effect will be but I don't think it should be a problem unless I discharge the bike batteries too low. The RV batteries are always at a constant 13.6 volts and that is what my (8ea - 9Ah AGM) bike batteries like to be charged at. I have been keeping an eye on the temperature (just by feel) of the bike batteries and they do warm very slightly during charge this way but it's barely distinguishable. If anyone knows of a reason that this would be harmful, let me know but so far it seems to be working very well and tends to charge the bike batts up a little faster than just the charger.
It's also much more convenient than swapping all the time.
The #35 chain and sprockets seem to be holding up well and I've found that the chain doesn't like to have much slack at all or it will slip off the larger sprocket when I apply throttle quickly. I've been running it tighter than I had originally and it seems to act much better like this.
The synchronous drive belt is great! Besides my switch to the 200A AllTrax controller, the new belt drive has shown the best improvement in performance of any of the changes that I've made to this bike.
I still have a number of safety and cosmetic changes that I'll be making but sure am happy with the way it moves down the road and gives me a range that is better than I had even hoped for.
I'll be using pedal assist more now and enjoying riding a little slower (15 mph) and should be able to go on nearly as long a ride as I want to. Any longer rides and I'm ready to get off the bike anyway.
I do dream of making another electric bike some day.
I'd definitely go with suspension front and rear and would likely place a jackshaft between the crank and the rear sprockets so that I could incorporate the bikes gearing. A freewheel on both the jackshaft's driven sprockets would still allow pedal assist or solely motor power without driving the crank. I think this would increase both range and speed and allow the bike to traverse nearly any grade without quickly depelting the batteries.
DeWalts would be nice but they are still too expensive for me ... maybe by the time I get around to this creation the cost of Li-Ions or another technology will be more affordable.