Help me save this bike!

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Abneycat
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Help me save this bike!

--Introduction, skip if you must--

Hello! First, a brief introduction. I've been an avid cyclist for years, but just passed by a store in Eau Claire about a month ago which had electric bike conversion kits. I've never really heard of them or seen them before, but it was very interesting. Being in university and *really* tight on money, but deeming it a good investment (which it is, or was.. used it a lot and would love to continue doing so!) Did some research on the kits (apparently not enough), and ended up purchasing a Crystalyte Roadrunner front drive kit.

There were some big problems though. I wanted more range than 25km, and the salesman told me that the standard kit wouldn't do it, but the extended kit would, although it was really heavy.

So then he told me about this 48v battery they could make, which would weigh only a little more than the standard but get much more range. I didn't really know much about this particular battery as i'd only researched the others, but that sounded alright. The only thing is, the next day he brought out the battery and it weighed just as much, if not more than the extended.

Its now 3 weeks later. On the first day of using the kit I blew the rear tube on my bike and had to replace it. A week later I crushed the rear bike rack which has a 150lb weight rating. Now, the bag holding the batteries is ripping at the velcro straps.

I'm not sure what to do anymore. I can't find any stronger racks, nor afford to constantly replace parts (not to mention the waste), and I think that this system is just too heavy for the aggressiveness of my riding, although the speed is great and the range is as well.

I'm at end with the project though, and about to go in and give away the batteries and such so that I can buy a smaller lithium pack.

--Can you help answer these?--

I realize that the 37v lithium packs won't go as fast as the 48v SLA pack, but:

Both are 10ah. Will the lithium being only 37v reduce my maximum range, or just mean that it'll take the bike longer to go the same distance?

I'm worried about how I ride the bike. The project was made with being able to switch out the front hub for actual XC riding when wanted, but i'm used to aggressive riding. Will the hub motor stand up to going off curbs, over speedbumps, and down stairs or should I tone down riding?

And, i'm looking to get a new bike next year. I know that the front hub puts more strain on the fork, but is suspension possible if a better fork is used like a Rox Shox Recon 351?

Any help would be really appreciated.

On a bright note, this thing has my girlfriend hooked too and we'll both be riding them around next year!

spike
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Re: Help me save this bike!

i can help you with your tub problom go to wallmart in the bike setion thy have airless tubs there salled rubber

Sturdly
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Re: Help me save this bike!

1. Range will be reduced by about 20% or so. 48V 10AH battery has 480 watt hours of energy a 37V 10AH has 370.

2.Top speed will be reduced also. How much I can't say as I do not have experience with hub motor wheels.

3. Best to cool it with the urban assault stuff as replacing rims and spokes can get spendy. You can't just buy a new wheel if you waste one. You will have to get another laced to your motor. Better to have the motor on the rear if you are planning on stairs and curb hopping.

4. If you keep the SLA's take a look at the MB1-E blog. Some good ideas on battery placement. Think balance and center of gravity.

Fechter
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Re: Help me save this bike!

At a lower voltage, you won't go as fast, but your range might be the same or even increased because you're going slower. Wind resistance eats up a lot of power.

The spokes and rim will be prone to failure if you pound it. The spokes are also prone to coming loose, especially on a new wheel. Check and re-tighen the spokes frequently until everything gets seated in.

Lithium batteries will deliver a higher percentage of their rated capacity than lead-acid batteries. WAY lighter too. These will both help your range.

Gman
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Re: Help me save this bike!

`Abneycat,
Welcome to the V is for Voltage Community, I feel like I've already lived in Eau Claire. I helped a friend from
Ann Arbor, MI trace his family, and they were one of the first families to settle in Eau Claire. They operated The McLellan Stage station at Foster, it served the area from the early 1850s until 1871 when the railroad arrived.

Peace Out,
Gman

What is your vision for the future our growing community?

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

Abneycat
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Re: Help me save this bike!

Thanks so much for the swift replies. The one big hope is that the lithium pack will at least allow the bike to go from Westhills to Riley Park and back (thats about a 70 minute ride) I'm going to go in tomorrow and explain that the power system isn't meeting my needs.

I'm not at all expecting them to be taking back the batteries or the pack now that the batteries are used and the packs getting ripped, but it'd be no good to just let them go to waste. If they don't take them, which they probably wont (they might not have sold me what I needed, but i've been wearing it out through the riding), does anyone know of something that could be done with them?

Oh! one more thing. My girlfriend quite likes the front drive hub and she didn't like how the weight distribution on the bike was with the rear drive, so next year she'll probably take my roadrunner and i'll get a new kit.

Are there any rear hubs which are really designed to be able to take more punishment, or should I just really accept that its not going to take the same riding as a normal hub?

Project goal: Make an electric fly. Without wings.

reikiman
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Re: Help me save this bike!

An alternate to consider is http://www.xtracycle.com -- they make a frame extension that is a very sturdy cargo unit large enough to hold 4 bags of groceries and more. It will very easily hold those batteries.

- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/

Abneycat
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Re: Help me save this bike!

I've hit a dead end for this year probably. They took the batteries and pack back fully, I was very lucky. The guys at Power in Motion (Calgary, AB) are great.

The thing is, I can't afford this stuff right now. I don't think that the basic lithium has the range that I want, and the comparable pack is $700. They have 4 packs:

Crystalyte, 37v/8.5aH, complete pack for $575
They have 3 ones they make themselves which are:
37v/8.2aH for $430, doesn't have a proper fitting pack and weighs more.
37v/10aH for $535, no proper fitting pack.
48v/10aH (comparable to my SLA pack) for $700.

From what I understand, the only one which will provide the same range as the 48v/10aH SLA pack is the Lithium of the same stats?

This might just have to wait until next year, because I don't want to spend $430 on a pack only to find it doesn't suit my needs.

Project goal: Make an electric fly. Without wings.

Abneycat
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Re: Help me save this bike!

Okay, update! So, for this year the project is hooped. The store took the batteries back at least, they're really good guys.

I have another bike which could possibly work for the project, its a 2000 or 2001 Fuji 2 Diamond. Higher end bike, full suspension with a Manitou Magnum front fork and comprised entirely of 7005 aluminum on the frame. I don't want to put the front hub in this bike as the fork is too thin and would need to be bent outwards. I see people putting hubs in full suspension bikes, but do they work well even with an aluminum tail?

Also, my girlfriends bike has a suspension fork, but its entirely steel. Is that sufficient for a front hub? She doesn't go stomping around like I do at all.

Project goal: Make an electric fly. Without wings.

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