StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by neptronix » Aug 05 2019 1:51pm

That sucks. With as many flats as i get, i've learned that carrying a pump, tire iron, and tube for both wheels is a bare minimum requirement for leaving the house. I so hate the walk of shame/car ride of shame by now.

Best you can do to prevent pinch flats is to pump that tire up within 5PSI of the max PSI it will tolerate. Or get bigger tires... yeah, pinch flats suck.

I have a feeling you're going to love that yellow bike even without a motor. I've ridden a highracer like that... they're exactly the kind of bike you'd want for long joy rides. The only downside is their characteristic of even poorer low speed handling than my CLWB bike. You may find my trick of using wider handlebars instead of the given 'praying hamster' aero upright bars is key for improving the low speed handling. My cannondale was a nightmare to ride at low speeds with the stock bars.

If you add a motor, i'm real curious what your watts at various speeds is. I pull about 600-700 watts crusing at 30mph on the cannondale with a motorcycle tire before i started the aerodynamic improvements. I bet your bike takes 500 watts, and just gets better once you start adding fairings ( trust me, you will, it's a slippery slope :lol: )

Let us know how your big yellow bike treats you too.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 07 2019 3:31pm

I should have been running the tire pressure higher... Embarrassingly, I haven't found where I placed the CO2 inflator that I got for Christmas, for my intended repair on board kit. I was shying away from unbolting the motor and cutting zip ties just to repair flats, but after my recent work I suppose replacing the tube is faster than searching for the leak while still being trapped inside the bicycle frame. The dropouts seem to have stayed spread apart far enough now to make reassembly not difficult.

I did get the new tire and puncture resistant tube assembled. Either the non-uniform expansion of the tube or the tire itself is making a uniform seat on the bead difficult. Neppy, did you see my questions about the tube in my last post?

I actually visited a recumbent store the same day that I bought the recumbent. They had me try out the long wheelbase below, and I had a harder time with that than I did with the short wheelbase for some reason. After riding three recumbents in one day, my head still felt like it was moving when I went to sleep. Brain must have figured out what to do while I slept, because the next day I could ride it pretty naturally.

I'll have to get wattage readings at 10mph increments for my bikes. That seems like a good way to compare efficiency quickly. For now I plan to put the extra ebikeling 35mm motor on the Optima Lynx recumbent, and come up with an easy enough way to transfer my battery bag between the two bikes. This will require me to lace my first wheel, and I have to break my first chain to replace a broken link and extend the chain for my long legs. I have some other big plans that I'll reveal if it works :P

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by neptronix » Aug 07 2019 3:50pm

thundercamel wrote:
Aug 07 2019 3:31pm
I did get the new tire and puncture resistant tube assembled. Either the non-uniform expansion of the tube or the tire itself is making a uniform seat on the bead difficult. Neppy, did you see my questions about the tube in my last post?
Schwalbe tires often have this problem. The trick is to throw something like 5psi in the tire, and manipulate it into the right position by hand, THEN give it full pressure.
thundercamel wrote:
Aug 07 2019 3:31pm
I actually visited a recumbent store the same day that I bought the recumbent. They had me try out the long wheelbase below, and I had a harder time with that than I did with the short wheelbase for some reason. After riding three recumbents in one day, my head still felt like it was moving when I went to sleep. Brain must have figured out what to do while I slept, because the next day I could ride it pretty naturally.
You're so lucky to have a store like that to try things out. My entire state doesn't have one. I bought my recumbent based on internet reviews :shock:.

It's interesting that the bachetta didn't handle very well. I believe this may be due to the handlebar shape.

My recumbent superman position bar ends on the BMX handlebars are working out splendidly. Above 10mph, i'm in the superman position because it's not only faster, but more comfortable. It also takes very little motion to steer a lot. When the terrain gets tricky or the speed drops, i switch to the super wide handle bars for more control.

The end result is like a 2 speed steering gear ratio. Many recumbent bike designers chose one ratio that's a compromise of both, which i understand. But i like my solution a lot better. The 'compromise' bars on the cannondale made fine control of steering very difficult.

It does take a while to get used to the new way of piloting these machines. Maybe you could have got used to the bachetta, but a recumbent without rear suspension is a mistake anyway..
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 13 2019 10:45am

neptronix wrote:
Aug 07 2019 3:50pm
You're so lucky to have a store like that to try things out. My entire state doesn't have one. I bought my recumbent based on internet reviews :shock:.

It does take a while to get used to the new way of piloting these machines. Maybe you could have got used to the bachetta, but a recumbent without rear suspension is a mistake anyway..
Indeed I am lucky in this area! I should give a shout out to the recumbent only bike shop, Amlings Cycle in Niles, IL. It was very nice there to try out a LWB and SWB recumbent. Thanks SolarEbike for the recommendation to test ride, and thanks recumbents.com for the dealer database that I used to find this shop! I also got to see some HP Velotechnik bikes, and they are SUPER nice!

The Optima Lynx I bought was however half the price of their cheapest current consignment offerings, which had no suspension. I do have some parts coming for both the Lynx and my upright bike, but what I wish I could find is a rear rack for the Lynx and a mesh seat that would fit.

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 19 2019 4:16pm

I'm on a suspension kick this weekend! I didn't originally plan to use this fork since it's 26" and not 700c, but it looked nice and the price was ok, so try it and see what happens. The ride to work this morning was much smoother! The shock has so little friction, you can feel it bounce as you pedal. Over some bumps, I could almost be tricked into thinking the bike has full suspension, just because there's enough travel (100mm) for my whole body to move with the suspension :D

While the cheap disc brake from Amazon seems to function alright and I can squeeze the cable as tight as I please, the pads provide only about a third of the friction as my rear rim brake. I did clean the oil off the rotor when I installed it. I did try bedding the pads in with some sequential stops, and got everything hot. I'm still going to use them for a while to see if they get better, but for now signs point to the pad material being junk. Now I just need to try swapping in the old handlebar from StefEbike onto my GenAssist bike, since it has a little sweep to it. My hands still go numb eventually.

As an anecdote, I can not believe how silly bicycle disc brakes are compared to automobile disc brakes! Why the hell did conical washers carry over from rim brakes, I have no idea. The pads only need to be parallel with the rotor! The six bolts for the rotor don't quite center the rotor on the axis of the hub. The caliper doesn't equalize pressure between the pads other than flexing the rotor, though some calipers have dual levers or hydraulic opposed pistons. The pieces are just far less designed/engineered to center themselves and sit in the exact spot that they need to be in.

On the recumbent side of things, the "big plans to reveal" I mentioned earlier is full suspension, and possibly converting to underseat steering. I did determine that the Optima Lynx has a 1"x5.5" threaded steerer tube. The frame's head tube has the accompanying standard 30mm inner diameter (40mm outer diameter), so drilling/milling to fit a 1-1/8" setup at a 34mm ID would take thickness from 5mm down to 3mm of aluminum, which doesn't sound like enough to me. The Spinner Grind 20" fork does mention being offered with a 1" threadless steerer tube, which I could make work, but the only one I found available was overseas, beat up, and air instead of coil springs which I prefer. I did find this "Zoom" fork new for an unbeatable $20 though, and got it to work! The crown race seat had a diameter of 27mm for some reason, so I used a bench grinder and hand file to get that down to the standard 26.5mm, and moved the fancy lower bearing and Deore XT brakes over from the old fork.

Plenty of recumbent people will worry about geometry changes, but it's fine. The old fork had a little bit of rake/offset/lead to it, and so does the new one. The new fork is taller than the old one, but Optima offered what looks to be the same frame with a 26" front wheel and called it an Orca. It only has 45mm of travel, and I could use some stiffer springs, but it rides better than the old fork! I also laced my first wheel with my spare motor, and have yet to true it.

Lynxx:
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Orca:
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Only a bit funny looking:
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First disc brake:
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Old rake:
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New rake:
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Modified race seat:
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Statoraded, sealed and laced:
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 19 2019 7:35pm

Aaaand my 700x38C rear tire went flat one mile from home. I'm wishing I had been more brave with my tire selection, and tried to fit 700x45C or even a 622x50 ETRTO. Pretty sure I felt the rim hit on what must have been some rough asphalt on the shoulder, even though I didn't see any hazzards.
Last edited by thundercamel on Aug 20 2019 8:40am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by neptronix » Aug 19 2019 8:01pm

That sucks. At least it was a short walk of shame.. :lol:
I have this roadbike collecting dust in my garage that maxes out at 700c x 28c. A majority of my flats were from pinch flats.

Probably not a bad choice if you weigh 140lbs. But jesus, if we aren't riding the margins a little thin with such a small amount of air..

It's a shame that the optima has such a funky headtube size. Any chance that the top of the fork is gonna hit the chain in any situation? on my CLWB, a suspension fork would hit the cranks... :x
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 19 2019 9:08pm

Indeed, at least it was a short walk of shame! When I bought this bike many moons ago, I figured the 700c tires must be fast. Not only was it always more friction than my wife's 26" bike, and like you say the margins were thin for bumps.

I pulled the lower chain tube forward a few inches, because it rests on the fork yoke now. It makes the chain into a nice curve, instead of the angle that was there before. You can see more detail if you'd like by opening the image as a new tab.

I had almost bought the same model of bike-e with rear suspension an hour from my house. It was listed on Craigslist for $100, but was already sold by the time they called me back. Could a 20" springer fork possibly fit?

I think the Lynx will be worth it for $280, since I got the front fork swapped out. I'm looking forward to the next steps :) If I had a big budget, I'd be taking the unorthodox FWD route that SolarEbike did so I could use an internal geared hub with a high speed ratio and less frequent adjustments required.
Last edited by thundercamel on Aug 20 2019 8:38am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 19 2019 9:41pm

There's a good sized puncture right in the center of the tube. As usual, I can't find any evidence in the tire. Guess it's not a pinch flat, and it's an easy repair without even removing the wheel.

With the 26" front tire, I now have to wait for this tire to wear down, then replace it with the old front and wait for that to wear down before I can buy a different model :P Looks like it's wearing faster than I expected right in the center though.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by wturber » Aug 20 2019 8:54am

thundercamel wrote:
Aug 19 2019 4:16pm


While the cheap disc brake from Amazon seems to function alright and I can squeeze the cable as tight as I please, the pads provide only about a third of the friction as my rear rim brake. I did clean the oil off the rotor when I installed it. I did try bedding the pads in with some sequential stops, and got everything hot. I'm still going to use them for a while to see if they get better, but for now signs point to the pad material being junk. Now I just need to try swapping in the old handlebar from StefEbike onto my GenAssist bike, since it has a little sweep to it. My hands still go numb eventually.
Wow. $20 for a complete brake set?!?!?! I'm betting the pads are a big part of the problem. Heck, I pay $8 for cheap brake pads.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FP ... UTF8&psc=1. Though they seem to work OK other than the squealing they are now doing after using them about half up.
Last edited by wturber on Aug 20 2019 10:31am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by wturber » Aug 20 2019 8:57am

thundercamel wrote:
Aug 19 2019 4:16pm

As an anecdote, I can not believe how silly bicycle disc brakes are compared to automobile disc brakes! Why the hell did conical washers carry over from rim brakes, I have no idea. The pads only need to be parallel with the rotor! The six bolts for the rotor don't quite center the rotor on the axis of the hub. The caliper doesn't equalize pressure between the pads other than flexing the rotor, though some calipers have dual levers or hydraulic opposed pistons. The pieces are just far less designed/engineered to center themselves and sit in the exact spot that they need to be in.
They are $20 brakes after all. Frankly, you are lucky that they don't fall off of the bike. :lol: I have no conical washers on the Shimano brakes that I have. My rotors center up fine. That said, only one pad moves and the brakes do rely on rotor flexing as well. But when set up correctly, they don't ever seem to drag.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by E-HP » Aug 20 2019 9:10am

wturber wrote:
Aug 20 2019 8:57am
thundercamel wrote:
Aug 19 2019 4:16pm

As an anecdote, I can not believe how silly bicycle disc brakes are compared to automobile disc brakes! Why the hell did conical washers carry over from rim brakes, I have no idea. The pads only need to be parallel with the rotor! The six bolts for the rotor don't quite center the rotor on the axis of the hub. The caliper doesn't equalize pressure between the pads other than flexing the rotor, though some calipers have dual levers or hydraulic opposed pistons. The pieces are just far less designed/engineered to center themselves and sit in the exact spot that they need to be in.
They are $20 brakes after all. Frankly, you are lucky that they don't fall off of the bike. :lol: I have no conical washers on the Shimano brakes that I have. My rotors center up fine. That said, only one pad moves and the brakes do rely on rotor flexing as well. But when set up correctly, they don't ever seem to drag.
I have some of those calipers in my parts box where they belong. The BB7s are nice for mechanical calipers; two finger stopping power.

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 20 2019 1:35pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 20 2019 8:57am
They are $20 brakes after all. Frankly, you are lucky that they don't fall off of the bike. :lol: I have no conical washers on the Shimano brakes that I have. My rotors center up fine. That said, only one pad moves and the brakes do rely on rotor flexing as well. But when set up correctly, they don't ever seem to drag.
Ha! It seems to me like all of the disc brakes that offer IS mount adapters including the Avid BB7 come with conical washers (which I believe are actually spherical, lol). The pads are round, and actually have a section cut out for the spring, but other than that I haven't looked too closely at replacements yet.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by E-HP » Aug 20 2019 4:22pm

BB7 stopping power is impressive. I have mine set so they don’t even contact the rotor until at least 1/3 of the lever travel, but can still lock up both wheels in a panic stop. Tested yesterday when a driver pulled out from a side street without looking left. I lowered my weight on the bike, grabbed both levers and have my bike stopped and feet on the ground about 4ft from his drivers door.


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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 21 2019 4:12pm

Sounds like a good endorsement. I will probably end up buying them someday, but right now I've already spent too much on bikes, and still have to get the recumbent motorized.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by neptronix » Aug 21 2019 4:29pm

thundercamel wrote:
Aug 21 2019 4:12pm
Sounds like a good endorsement. I will probably end up buying them someday, but right now I've already spent too much on bikes, and still have to get the recumbent motorized.
I know the feeling. Now you know why i'm scavenging for coroplast and building fairings this month :lol:
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by E-HP » Aug 21 2019 5:22pm

thundercamel wrote:
Aug 19 2019 4:16pm
Only a bit funny looking:
Image
I compared your pictures with your last fork and this one, and I actually think it looks better; looks like it means business. It sort of reminds me of a horse rearing on its back legs...
horse.jpg
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 23 2019 12:22pm

:lol: My biking friend once tried my bike out without adjusting the seat or anything. He described it "as if it were designed to let you pedal in a bolt upright standing position. A worst case scenario for aerodynamics." :P Only a couple of my friends are as tall as I am, and he's not one of them.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 27 2019 2:51pm

Oh yeah! First motorized recumbent test was successful last night! Hearing the motor right behind your head is pretty wild. I grew up on the lake, so it reminds me of a 2-stroke v6 outboard coming up on a plane :o

This bike is totally an experiment to me, and the only goal I'm really hoping for is more comfort on 40 mile rides. It might be good over bumps because it has full suspension... It might be good at high speeds since it's more aerodynamic... Well the same setup that does 33mph without pedaling on my upright bike got up to around 40mph on the recumbent (I'm still calibrating the wheel diameter for the speedometer). That means the aero drag only qualifies as "Semi Recumbent" on the motor simulator.

Like Neptronix predicted, the steering is very touchy, especially above 25mph. It's hard to even contribute pedaling power at high speeds, because it wiggles with my cadence. A wider handlebar isn't a clear solution, because the angled steering acts more like a tiller. Hopefully the $20 suspension fork is rigid enough in holding the wheel straight. I have parts for a wider front tire on the way as well.

I tried to buy skinny enough re-usable zip ties, but they're still too wide for the LunaCycle bag eyelets. I can swap the bag between bikes in about 10 minutes, which isn't too bad. I didn't really want to have it getting dirty down low, but it's good for weight distribution, and looks hilarious having a battery sack swinging left and right :shock:

The wheel I assembled had no problems, throttle feels good, and display is in your face. Time to try a longer trip now!

Skip to 3:05


Please ignore the messy basement. Needs another purge.
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I have been considering making a simple underseat steering setup like this since the start. This Dragon model looks a bit higher than the Lynx, and the Lynx offered USS with a linkage to the non-suspension fork.
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Some clearance for USS here:
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Not so much clearance here... I don't hate the current steering, and it does give a place for the display to go.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Aug 29 2019 10:46am

Had a wonderful 20 mile second test ride on the trails yesterday with my son and my biking buddy Justin. The recumbent is good! I'm still working on some more front end stability though.

Justin doubles as a kickstand:
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Sep 03 2019 3:43pm

This was a great holiday weekend for me! I tracked down the front end problem on the recumbent to be the steering headset bearings just needing an extra tightening after everything settled in. It feels great now, and I can naturally balance and pedal as quickly as I want. I went with the Super Moto-X tire for the front, as it seems to be the widest 20" tire available, has good durability, and hopefully decent off-road grip. It's pretty wild to me how far I can lean the bike over through the pavement curves now! The gravel curves aren't bad so far while keeping it within reason.

I've had similar success on my upright bike with the new suspension fork as well! Riding the same trail as the recumbent two days earlier, I can for the first time feel confident enough through the curves where pedal strikes are now an issue on my bike! My son enjoyed the extra cushioning on his front mounted bike seat as well :)

This second wheel I've ever laced went even better than the first (with the motor).
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Big upgrade from 1.3" to 2.4" :)
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Now I need to work on the seat cushion.
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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Sep 10 2019 11:08am

E-HP wrote:
Aug 21 2019 5:22pm
thundercamel wrote:
Aug 19 2019 4:16pm
Only a bit funny looking:
Image
I compared your pictures with your last fork and this one, and I actually think it looks better; looks like it means business. It sort of reminds me of a horse rearing on its back legs...

Image
I've thought up a name for my bike (with your help). The Prancing Pony :lol: since The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie.

Image

The cheapest disc brake on earth wasn't getting any better, and I was attracted to a slightly less cheap option:
Tektro HD-M290 Hydraulic Disc Brake with 160mm Rotor
Instead of $20 for a pair of calipers and discs, this is $35 for a dual-piston caliper, lever and disc, and the feel of hydraulic is very nice. I only wish it had a longer 3 or 4 finger lever to help reach past the throttle and shifter. Tektro does make lots of models, but nothing else is available for <$50. The Avid BB7 is $54 for just a caliper, and mostly working on cars in my life I'm just not big on the single piston/lever design. I don't even like caliper sliding pins to distribute pad pressure on cars, and prefer opposed piston calipers :) While I don't have a Avid BB7 equipped bike to compare against, the stopping power of the included A10.11 "Metal Ceramic" pads does feel stronger than any bicycle I've ridden before.

Once I had half the handlebar cleared out for installation, I realized this would be a good time to swap in StefEbike's old handlebar. As you can see in the picture, it has a bit more raise, and a bit more sweep to it. Twas a bit of a pain to align every single accessory again, but I must be getting better at it. On the test ride everything felt perfect first try! Just the light needs to be aimed a little left and higher. I need a long ride to see if my hands still go numb.

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Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by E-HP » Sep 10 2019 10:28pm

thundercamel wrote:
Sep 10 2019 11:08am
The cheapest disc brake on earth wasn't getting any better, and I was attracted to a slightly less cheap option:
Tektro HD-M290 Hydraulic Disc Brake with 160mm Rotor
Instead of $20 for a pair of calipers and discs, this is $35 for a dual-piston caliper, lever and disc, and the feel of hydraulic is very nice. I only wish it had a longer 3 or 4 finger lever to help reach past the throttle and shifter.
Looking good. And nice to have the stopping power. Bars are hard to get perfect. I may have over corrected on my last swap, but way better than before. I'll give it a few hundred miles to see.

I had to rearrange stuff when I switched to my shorty levers. I decided brakes were more important that a bell or my up/down display buttons.

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thundercamel   100 W

100 W
Posts: 223
Joined: Jul 23 2018 2:58pm
Location: Round Lake, Illinois

Re: StefEbike for my wonderful disabled wife

Post by thundercamel » Sep 11 2019 8:47am

I may have over corrected on the StefEbike with the North Road Handlebar, and might try this Mid-Rise Handlebar sometime. I always thought that replacing the grip shifters with trigger/index shifters would make more room for throttle and brakes, but the trigger brifters that came with my recumbent pull right down to the bar, requiring me to leave as much space clear as the grip shifters anyway.
My Ebike builds - Existing bikes, affordable motor kits, self built 14s6p batteries - Now with more recumbent!

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