Ok! Got my first real trip in today, and it started out like Gilligan's Island, and ended 3 hours later!
(Ok, I DIDN'T get marooned on an island, but the wind nearly blew me back to Portland on the return trip!)
I took a bigger chance than I should have, and paid a bit for it, I mean I test road the bike Saturday, rode to church Sunday, and did I think to top off the battery?! .... no
So anyway, I got down the road a mile or two with about 2 hours before closing (City Bikes, my favorite destination on a Sunday Afternoon!) and although it was pretty windy, it was nice out, and I thought, since later in the week is supposed to be so wet, I should go today and look at what they have for front pannier racks.
What I DIDN'T realize at the time going North, was that the "little wind" didn't seem so bad because it was a south wind, and was pushing me along!
So, I normally try to not use more than 8-9 AH's of my 12 AH pack for longevity of the LiPo (maximum charge cycles) and I was starting a 40+ mile trip with 3 AH's already used!
So I thought, ok, no biggie, save the power for the hills, but then I got the E-Bike grin going and you know the rest!
One thing that was pretty sweet, was that "wasted" no-load speed going up to 38.7 MPH? Well, it came in QUITE handy going down Linn at 35+ and being able to actually have the motor help!
I have never before had a buss stop along this bombing run down the hill, and this time I was able to get right back up to speed thanks to that "wasted" gearing.
Good thing I was in a hurry and took the elevator since I wouldn't have stopped to check the fender I put on to help keep clothing out of the gap between the hub motor and my saddle, but it turns out it was a REALLY good thing that I decided to use a plastic one, because my back-pack was pushing it down enough to cause the plastic to have slot cut through it on the edge of the hub!
So I trimmed it and away I went!
Well, since I was in a hurry, I thought I would show this motorcycle that I could move too on the 20MPH alley leaving the elevator, and I pulled him and kept ahead of his !?!!?!?! silly self for 2 of the 3 blocks much to his surprise, and of course this wouldn't do, so he had to pass me to save face!
About another 1/2 mile and I trimmed some more, took a short run with no noise problem solved!
Then it started to rain!
But it's ok, I remembered that I had a ski suit to wear (more of a shell, not heavily insulated) , and I figured that would be more than enough protection if it got serious, and fortunately for me, it was just a drizzle that never got serious, just enough to cool me down as I rode.
Being in a rush, I skipped the scenic route and rode on one of the busiest roads around 99E, so I didn't hear the tell tale sound of plastic being sawed again by the hub motor until about another mile or so, and at this point I just took the silly thing off.
I made it to City Bikes with about 19 miles on the clock, (had about 3 when I started, but I probably had at least 2 more the day before) and lucky for me, they had just about every front rack I had looked up on-line plus a few more!
Sadly, none of them fit the bill, too narrow, too flimsy, too whimpy to fit over my extra wide Big Dummie forks!
I was very pleasantly surprised at all the positive attention my bike got from the people at the shop, both workers and customers, everyone wanted to know everything about it! (I guess this shouldn't have surprised me too much since this is a shop primarily frequented by commuters, not "hipsters" or other bicycle purists) I am used to a slight attitude from most of the employees (I think it's just part of the "I'm tough, don't mess with me or try to tell me anything about bikes, cuz I've heard it all, and truthfully, many of them have) I seemed to have earned some respect.
SO .... I almost gave into the urge to buy some cheap used thing so I could ride with my back up straight, and then I realized that I could just put the fanny pack (this was what was actually touching down on the hub motor) on the rear rack, and being the blond that I am, I completely forgot this logical solution and headed to their second store in the hope there would be some rack at the "new stuff" store that would fit the bill.
The first time that the motor had worn through the fender, there was a nice polished edge to one side of the hub, and that was it since I was careful all the rest of the way to Portland, and it stayed that way.
I have to say I REALLY LIKE this set up!!
I rode it more at bicycle speeds (averaging about 15 MPH, and up to 28 going down hills on the bike path, just taking it easy using only the minimum power, about 3-4A) and I felt like Superman again, just like the first time I rode a E-Bike!
The gearing makes a ton of difference, however, after this trip, if I decide to stick with a hub motor, I would be better off with an 8 X 8, but that might change once I get my 6S Nano Techs in to allow me to run 14S, that might make all the difference. I would really like more grunt on the low end, and I wouldn't mind gearing that gave me more low than high, and I really don't need to go 40MPH down hill under power (waste of power on a long trip but wow it's fun!
My "not so windy" day was actually 15MPH and gusting up to 25MPH! Now that I was returning, I was having to burn precious AH's just to go on the flat!
Going back along the river sure didn't help, no cover, and half the time I could only manage about 7 - 9 MPH while pulling 2 - 3 Amps and pedaling moderately.
I started to realize that now it was MY batteries (legs going out) that were at stake as well, so now those AH's became even more precious!
I have concluded that a truly aerodynamic windshield is a top priority, even if it does look a little silly, and I saw somewhere in a post someone bought something for $40 or so, and that will have a huge effect on efficiency regardless of the fact that this bike won't go over 20-25 MPH most of the time.
Well, once I got to the half-way point to Oregon City, I was pretty beat!
I was about to climb the first big hill (2 miles about 7 - 10%) and I had forgot to pack a sandwich, so I reached into my emergency stash and ate all 4 granola bars!
The first hill wasn't so bad heading south, until I crested the hill, then the wind hit me full force! I barely could make more than 6 MPH on that steep grade and wind.
I have concluded that I need to double my battery capacity, as it is, I was able to get to the real hill with just 1 AH to spare, and it took most of my last AH going up this 2 mile monster, so I mostly tickled the throttle the rest of the way so that I wouldn't be pedaling against the DD & Nuvinci resistance (you know, I don't notice it usually, but this tired, it felt like riding on wet sand!
) and I managed to hit the garage having used exactly 9.02 AH's!
I am too tired to remember how to calculate Watt Hours, so maybe someone can refresh my memory, here are the stats:
45V (average voltage, started at 48 and ended at 44V)
12A average amperage
46 miles traveled
If I'm not mistaken (and my tired brain probably is) this comes to ***EDIT***9 watts/mile.
However, taking 1 hour going, 2 hours coming back (with 3-4 stops along the way both ways) I think the average speed must have been dropped to around 8 -10 MPH.