MB-1-E Part Thirteen: Electric Mountain Bike

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MB-1-E
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MB-1-E Part Thirteen: Electric Mountain Bike

The MB-1-E Test Flight.

This morning I made the final connections from the controller to the motor using 6ga welding cable, got the throttle wired up and checked all connections throughout the system. Went over the mechanical one more time and disconnected the charger.

I tried it out while still on the kickstand and everything worked just fine, so I threw a couple of wrenches and my supertool in my pocket and headed down the road.

I was pretty excited but tried to stay in an objective mode so I could figure out if everything was working as it should be. No strange noises and no immediate overheating, so I gave it some juice and it took right off.

I looked down at my spedometer and it wasn't working, so I went around the block and noticed the magnet from the pickup was gone. I put another small magnet in it's place and took off again. I noticed that it cut out for a fraction of a second when I gave it full throttle quickly, but as soon as I backed off slightly and wound up a little slower it reached full speed quickly.

I think the cut-out is the controller doing what it is supposed to do as I tried to draw too many amps at once from a standstill.
It's a 100A controller and with the weight of the batteries and me, I could have easily been overdoing it. Once I was moving along, it gave no indication of cutting out and performed flawlessly.

I stopped and checked the temperature of the controller and the motor and felt all wires and nothing was hot. The motor was warm to touch but not so I couldn't leave my hand on it comfortably. The controller wasn't cool but not really warm either.
The wires were not warm at all.

I went around the block once more then headed down to a gravel road about a mile from my house. The bike handled the gravel fine then I headed down a dirt trail that went through the woods.

The trail came out to a small paved drive and a dog started barking and heading my way. I gave it a little throttle and was soon way ahead of the dog. The drive came out to the main highway and I went along the gravel sholder with ease. I looked down and noticed I was doing 23.2 mph and it handled fine.

Headed toward home and went around the block one more time. I checked my gas tank when I got home and it was at 12.56 Volts. The motor was a little warmer than before, but not unreasonably hot. My chain had stretched out slightly so I tightened it up a little (not too tight) and looked everything over. I hooked up the charger and came in to write this.

I'll be riding it again after I have some lunch and see how it handles a nearby hill. I've got a 10:1 ratio right now and have a feeling that I'll be putting my other sprocket on the rear hub sometime soon to see if the difference is worth the trade off in range. (I currently have a 60T sprocket there and have a 72 tooth to try later).

It's definately a lot of fun to ride!
It'll take a little while to get used to and gain the confidence to venture farther. I noticed that it's not too difficult to pedal the bike without the motor since I have a freewheel built into the chain drive sprocket. I need to get a volt meter hooked up but couldn't wait to try it out today.
So far, so good!

Dave

MB-1-E
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Well, it was fun while it lasted! :?
My controller fried right after I posted the above.

The data sheet says "With both current and thermal limiting the unit is fully protected" ...
I guess electronics do fail sometimes, I already wrote to the dealer to see if I need to send it back to him or to the manufacturer for warranty.

Before I get another one from them, I'll get my ratio down to 12:1. I don't have a need for speed as much as a need to climb hills.

I can report some very good news though ...
... my backup system works fine ...
... although it almost overheated too ...
There are some good aspects to having pedal assist,
I made it home fine. :)

Dang, that controller took forever to get here by dogsled (Navitas is located in Canada). It may be a while before mine gets back to them then they send another back here. :(
I doubt I'll have any problem getting warranty on it, I really didn't think it should have fried quite so easy, I checked it several times and it didn't even seem hot.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

Dave B

MB-1-E
<a href="http://visforvoltage.org/book-page/996-mountain-bike-conversion-24v-3-4h... - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike</a>

chas_stevenson
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Dave,

Sounds like a sweet ride. I am glad to here you have had a success and hope you have many successful rides. Seems to me you went a long way with good performance all the while. I would only change the rear to the 72 tooth if you have lots of hills to ride or needed more range. 10:1 is a good starting ratio but then I like the speed. I am trying to get together the parts for a new bike too but still undecided on the base bike. My current bike tops out at 23 MPH so I don't want to have a race with you I am sure I would loose.

Keep those wheels turning,
Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

davew
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Congrats. Sounds like an excellent ride.

I'm curious. What are you going to do about weather proofing?

--
Full time ebiker
BionX and Wilderness Energy

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

Sturdly
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Sorry to hear about your BBQ.

Are there any hills where you ride ;D ? If I were you I would change to the 72t.

You probably will have plenty of time as that trans border stuff can take forever.

As an aside we used the Dow 3145 RTV MIL-A-46146 as an adhesive and insulator.

MB-1-E
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Hi Chas & Dave,

The controller is a minor setback, but the system in general proved to work even better than I had hoped. A timing belt and sprockets (that I have ordered) will give me a 10.57:1 ratio using my 60T sprocket. With a 72T sprocket at the hub I get a 12.68:1 ratio. I do have steep hills to climb here, my test run on a steep gravel road did my controller in as noted in my post above.
I think if I were on flat land with little hills the 10:1 would be perfect.

As for weather proofing, the controller is completely potted so fully weatherproof other than the connections. I have heatshrink over each of those.
The motor is fairly well sealed but I could use a small amount of RTV to seal the case ends if needed.
I think I'll place a rectangular piece of acrylic over the battery terminals and wires and just seal it using some industrial duct tape.

I plan on keeping the bike inside when I'm not riding, so I doubt I'll subject it to long periods in heavy downpours. I really don't think the weather is going to present much of a problem.

If it's too wet, I may have some problems with my center pull brakes, so that would probably be my limiting factor. The toothed timing belt will keep the belt from slipping due to wet weather.

This is my first ebike so I'm sure it will evolve and become more refined in time. The part I was concerned about (the drive train) was rock solid and I'm glad I incorporated a freewheel sprocket, it allows me to get up to speed and coast quite easily. I'm a happy camper ... just need a new controller.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

Dave B

MB-1-E
<a href="http://visforvoltage.org/book-page/996-mountain-bike-conversion-24v-3-4h... - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike</a>

MB-1-E
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

Hi Sturdly,

Yup, I'm gearin' down.
As you well know :D , I'm in a valley in the Cascade Range ... the river is straight down and the hills are straight up. Does Seattle have any hills? :D }:)

I knew I had the possibility of cooking or shearing something but I know now that 10:1 just ain't gonna cut it here. I had to put it to the test to know. Of course I had to try it when it's 90 degrees out and the hill I (nearly) climbed was a gravel road from the Wind River (under High Bridge) to Carson (about a 400 ft elevation change in maybe half a mile or less).

My ultimate goal is to be able to make it up Carson Ridge behind my house ... that's even a job for my 4WD Toyota ... but a heck of a view when you get up there. I can see Rainer, St. Helens, Adams, Hood and Mt. Jefferson from there.

I'd better save up for a 200A controller for that trip though. ;)

Thanks to you all for the encouraging words! It helps to know that others are going through the same types of things! (I knew this would be a fun project ... but never realized quite how much fun ... :D )

Dave

Oh, Sturdly ... Thanks for the RTV info. I'll get some for my switch and maybe over the controller connections as well. And, I should have put that heatsink on, I sure as heck will next time! :D
The controller is mostly all heatsink itself, but more is obviously better in this case. I can screw it on and I have some Artic Silver to smear on where it contacts.

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

Dave B

MB-1-E
<a href="http://visforvoltage.org/book-page/996-mountain-bike-conversion-24v-3-4h... - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike</a>

Gman
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

`
You know we were all with you on that first ride, and feel the same way you do. It's been a long journey, and we've been following you all the way.
Dust yourself off, and get back in the race soon.

Peace Out,
Gman

Now that we have clarified our beliefs, your invited to join us as we begin building on them to define our Community Mission Statement

Peace Out, <img src="http://tinyurl.com/ysafbn">
Gman

MB-1-E
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Re: Electric Mountain Bike

NP there Gman ...
I've got the fever bad now, that was the best 8 miles I've ever done on a bike, bar none!

I sure was pleased to find that it's so quiet.
What a blast!
I don't remember where I read it, but it was like havin' Lance Armstrong doing the pedaling for me.

Yup, I'm hooked ...
I'm glad you could all ride along, vicariously. :)

She'll be back on the road soon.

Dave

MB-1-E
Electric - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike
Icon Photo of lighning striking Eiffel Tower Jun 3, 1902, taken by MG Loppe'

Dave B

MB-1-E
<a href="http://visforvoltage.org/book-page/996-mountain-bike-conversion-24v-3-4h... - Bridgestone MB-1 Mountain Bike</a>

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