Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Aug 21 2010 2:24am

Picked up today from Freecycle, this treadmill may contribute significant parts to this build:
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Those aluminum side rails on it might be structural enough to use as cargopod rails on a version of this bike. Same with the crossmembers underneath.

I also kinda like the look of the front of the treadmill:
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It's just asking to be either a front headlight assembly or a taillight. It's pretty wide, though (same width as the treadmill), so taillight across the back of the cargo pods is more likely. I'm thinking some red plex behind the grillework, with CFLs behind each one. Warp Five, Scotty!

Behind the grilles now is the usual control and power board, as well as the incline motor and worm gear:
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and behind the board is the main motor
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which does not look the same as any of the others I've seen so far:
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and for a moment I thought I was unlucky enough to have found an induction motor treadmill (which I can't use for an ebike motor).
But it is a PM DC motor:
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for 1.5HP continuous duty, or 2HP peak. I like that it is not "treadmill duty" but actually rated continuous. That's helpful. :) Being 90VDC rather than 120VDC is also helpful, as is that it is a 5000RPM motor instead of 7000 or higher; less reduction to deal with.
As you see from the wire cutters in the pic above that one, it's also a wide motor (4"+), and not as long as some of the others. Wider means more torque capability, AFAIK, compared to the narrower ones I usually see.

The pulley and flywheel are also separate, on opposite shaft ends, which is another unusual feature that makes it easier to use. This one has a real fan on it's shaft, too, rather than just bladelike fins on the back of the flywheel.
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The flywheel is HUGE, over 1.5" thick and what might be 7 or 8" diameter, cast iron I think. Hate to think what that weighs. :(
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Uses an optical interrupter for tachometer.
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Motor mount is bolted on the casing, which makes it easier to mount than others that have thin front plates not suitable for mounting from, just welded-on boxes to bolt a pivot plate to.
Appears to have nice big comm bars and windings, too.
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FWIW, the only thing I found wrong with it was that some metal clips that probably were to help hold the front plastic grilles on were floating around inside it. Perhaps one of them was blocking something from turning, or shorting something out. Either way, they were knocked loose during transport (was pretty bumpy) and it worked when I got it home. I still haven't actually disassembled it yet, just taken the covers off to look inside, so the possibility still exists of trading the whole treadmill to someone else for something I might be able to use even more.

But I think I'd like to try that motor out, if I could get a high enough voltage pack to run it decently.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Aug 21 2010 4:58pm

A few minutes' research shows that Pacific Scientific was bought out but still has a site about their old motors. No specific info about this one, but it was probably a custom job for treadmills specifically. However, their PMDC motors were made using some type of patented "cogging reduction" design of magnets; I'm not sure what that is specifically but it is meant to reduce the cogging at very low speeds. That might be helpful to my purposes, depending on how I end up trying to use this motor.

I've been pondering controllers for it, and right now I don't have one that will go high enough voltage, but I do have 4110 FETs that I could replace the lower-voltage ones in the Curtis controller on CrazyBike2, and be able to use it up to 100V. I'd just need to make a stepdown regulator for the control board, which only runs up to 48V--that shouldn't be too difficult. I might also have to make a gate driver for the highside to boost the gate drive from the control baord.

Even the 2QDs should be modifiable to work on 100V, if I split off it's power section from it's control section (I already started to do this on one of them so I could use physically larger FETs than I had before, also 100V types, in TO264 I think it was, but only to be run at 48V). The 2QD is physically much smaller, even in my expanded version in the Jensen inverter casing, so it's more likely to be used on this. It's also theoretically easier to modify since I can just wire it up to the FETs offboard, and then just kick up the gate drive for the highside to the higher voltage as well.

I'm still too busy with other things to work on any of this beyond writing down the ideas, but at least the ideas keep coming.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by D-Man » Aug 22 2010 10:39pm

Interesting build. So where do you get all you parts and stuff? You meantioned Good Will. Then you said free cycle. Where's that at? I don't see much of anything around here. Nothing on the side of the road much. All I see is cans, bottles, plastic, 2x4's, old signs, dumped TV's. Nothing good. I think the local wrecking yard might have a pile of bikes in it, but it won't be free.
408 front hub
21000+ miles on many sla's.
5 tires worn out

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Aug 23 2010 2:04am

Even the stuff you list can be good for things. Cans and bottles can net you a tiny bit of cash when recycled, many places. Signs, well, depending on what they're made of they can be used for a lot of things. Old TVs are a good source of electronic parts to fix or build stuff from, including wire and connectors. Even plastic parts can be reused sometimes, or at least parts of them, especially on older square-cabinet units since you can essentially cut the case sides and top off and have large flat sheets of plastic ready for conversion into panels, boxes, covers, etc.

Freecycle is http://freecycle.org where you locate your city and sign up for the email list or web list, and then you can be sent or browse Offers and Wants from those in your area. Reply to those posts you can help with (either by taking or giving), and the poster can reply back to you if they pick you to take the item offered, or can use what you are offering. It's all free, meaning no trade, barter, or sale allowed. The idea is to use Freecycle for anything you might otherwise have thrown into a landfill that could possibly be reused by someone else. Here in the Phoenix area there are several groups I'm signed up for, so when I see Offers come up I can use, I reply, and sometimes they pick me to receive it. I've also given stuff away to those posting Wants. Mostly I go for the things that are offered as broken or non-working items, since I know I can either fix them or use them for parts for projects.

There are other thrift stores I get stuff from, and yard sales, plus friends that give me old stuff they arent' going to use anymore. Got a couple old weather stations that way today from a friend that just replaced his, and might use one (if I can fix it) on a bike for various measurements.

Roadside stuff is much rarer now, since so many people are picking up salvage, but there are still some really good finds now and then. Usually small stuff, not worth the time for salvage trucks to stop for.

Ebike-specific stuff I've been getting either cheaply or as donations from my blog readers and from ES members, now and then, and that helps tremendously in being able to experiment.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Sep 11 2010 6:44pm

Found a nice $3 set of "bleacher chairs" at the thrift store that will probably become the first generation sling seat:
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They fold up, and have this padded bottom piece that buckles around the bleacher bench; I don't want to use that for a seat (but it might become a headrest or something), and the thin tubes with plastic hinge points for the seat won't help me.
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So off come the pads, temporarily fold the thin tubes out of the way, and mock up a pic of two seat backs as one full seat:
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I'll probably bend the back 1/3 of the "seat" tubing upwards to whatever angle I want the seat back to be at relative to the seat, and then clamp the seat back to those with hose clamps, or slit the tubes and insert them into the seat back tubes, to make it a single unit.

Then I can bolt a wide U-shaped piece cut from the remaining seat back onto the new assembly so it can be fastened in place onto the bike and guarantee me clearance below the sling for bouncing and whatnot, so it can be my body's suspension (just like on CrazyBike2).

Making the bottom only 2/3 as "deep" front to back as it is now will leave my legs room to pedal but still support me well in the seat without sliding off. These things are narrower by a bit than CB2's seat, which is fine becuase I really had that one too wide anyway.

THis tubing is not qutie as stiff as the bedside toilet frame I made CB2's seat out of , but it should be stiff enough for this purpose, and actually the flexibility should provide greater suspension damping.

I wish they were a light color instead of dark blue, as that will get hot in the sun, but hey, for $3, it saves me a whole lot of work I thought I was going to have to do to make my seat. :)

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Oct 10 2010 1:29am

A little closer to getting this thing going today. I was on my way with a friend to a sci-fi social club meeting, and by chance we passed Build-A-Bike on the way there, so we stopped to check if they had anything useful on their used-parts shelf.

I found a cheapie dual-crown steel suspension fork for 26" wheels for $15, and a couple of really cheapie rear shocks/springs for $5 each.
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More than I really wanted to pay, since sometimes I can find a whole bike for those prices--but not lately. A friend with me couldn't talk them down, either, but it'd probably cost that much to ship one even if someone had one to part with for nothing but shipping. :) But I decided I could afford it, since Google sent me a check for Adsense earnings, which I figured I would not have earned enough to get for a few more years--I guess the Youtube videos of my old motor tests it now also includes must be more popular than the blog, because it was only after those got included that I quickly earned enough to go over the boundary to get a check.

So now I have a front suspension fork that will take a hub motor if I need to do it that way (or want a backup motor).
I could see that it was the right diameter for the Trek frame, but I wasn't totally sure it would be tall enough. Fortunately, it is:
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It is just a spring/elastomer shock, like the one on CrazyBike2 and DayGlo Avenger, but since it's for the front that should be fine for now. I've gotten by fine with just that kind with those two heavy bikes so far, in the front, so I may never need anything better than that even on this newer one (although I want better, it doesn't mean it's necessary :)).
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It's called a "Hill Assault", "Pacific Professional Series".
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It had all the hardware with it, and has studs for the V-brake type of rim brakes. Doesnt ahve disc mounts but since it's steel I can fix that. :) Not lots of travel, but a bit more than DGA's, and definitely more than CB2's. Not sure if it's 60mm or 80mm, as I can't really compress it very well by hand (which is a good thing). A little heavier than the forks on DGA and CB2 but not by that much. Guess I'll find out how good it is after I build the rest of the bike. :lol:

One thought I had is that if I end up really needing a front adjustable shock *and* a powerful hubmotor, I could combine the Manitou fork and this one. Take this one's steel dropout tubes and slide them over the ends of the alloy Manitou fork (although I would have to cut off the Manitou's actual dropouts to do that, and the little disc-mount-plate stubs). I don't know for sure if they are even large enough for that, but they look like htey might be. Maybe. If not, I could slit the back or front of them, expand the diameter a bit, then slide them on and clamp them down with hose clamps, and weld a piece across the gap, then remove the clamps.

Rather not do that, but it's an option.



The rear shocks are complete as well, including the nylon bushings and bolts to mount them. One has an 850lbs/in spring,
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and the other a 750lbs/in spring.
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There was a third one there with a 550lb/in spring, but I figure if I am going to put heavy cargo in this bike, then if I use these on it (which I probably won't; I have another idea for them) then it's going to need high-rate springs.

I haven't taken the springs off to see if the dampers still work, but even if they dont' I can probably rebuild them easily enough.

They are "Lujan suspension" brand, model 400A (750lbs/in) and 400B (850lbs/in). I don't know if the A and B are for the spring rate or for something in the damper.

Anyhow, I am now a bit closer to getting this bike working, since I have a front fork with suspension that I can dedicate to it, that I dont' think will just come apart first time I hit a bump with it. :lol: And options on the rear suspension should my idea for the Manitou fail to work.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Dec 22 2010 8:31pm

Been awhile since I had any updates for this project, as I have been trying to get the trike working (but am now stalled until I design and make a pivot for tilting), amongst other things like some fixes/updates to CB2 itself, and the Vpower pack project.

Not much to add just yet, but now I have a better seat that should take little work to implement:
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They're a tiny bit wider than the bleacher-back seats I picked up before (one of which is now the top of CB2's seat, and one of which you can see in the foreground right of the pic), and are complete seats rather than just backs. They are almost exactly the same size as the seat I already have on CB2, which I'm pretty comfortable with:
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To make them into seats for the bikes, I need to make an angled tubing piece that replaces the hinge pivots currently joining seat and back, so the seat frame becomes a solid piece and is stiffer. Then I'll need to make a T-piece that joins the seat frame to the front U bar underneath it so that it will be very stiff for a mounting point, and add a second U-bar at the rear of the seat frame.

I can't weld them on, though, because that would melt or set fire to the seat webbing itself. :) So I have some more pondering to do.


Also have a few other things, some of which may be useful for the middrive:
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 07#p345907
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Jan 20 2011 12:55am

Another possible frame to use for the front of this bike, with the Trek as the rear; a Nishiki aluminum frame from LI-ghtcycle:
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Fred had to be the first to inspect it, the others hung back for some reason, and Nana was too lazy:
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Using my trusty super-accurate "Excelsior Improved Spring Balance scale, made by Sargent & Co. USA", I determined that the Nishiki frame only weighs a bit less than 4lbs, and that's including the axle and nuts holding the rear dropouts apart for shipping. The steel trek frame is more than 5lbs, closer to 6. I didn't weigh the fork but it feels almost as heavy as the Nishiki frame.
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The green trek frame is the same one I already had here in this thread before, just used for a comparison. The black forks are steel Trek forks LIghtcycle sent with the frame; they are nice and stiff and should work even with hubmotors. Using a FUsin geared motor I think I could go with no torque arms, though a 9C or similar would probably need them. Interestingly, the Nishiki frame will sit balanced as you see in the pic, but the Trek (and every other frame I have, AFAICR) will fall forward onto it's headset end if balanced like that.

There's not really a lot of size difference:
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The Nishiki is just tall enough that I could not use it as a replacement frame for DayGlo Avenger's aluminum frame (which I considered until I verified that); the top of the seattube would end up at the bottom of DGA's actual seat springs, so while I could use a standard seatpost on it, I couldn't use the suspension post I currently have on DGA (needed because of the hardtail).

But as long as I don't need to weld to it or cut anything on it, I can use it as the front of one of these cargo bikes similar to CrazyBike2. It's lighter than the front frame I used on CB2, even though it's larger and stiffer.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 20 2011 2:20am

WHile waiting for my crazy sister to clear her stuff out today (multiple-months-extended-deadline in one minute and she is still not even trying), I worked out a few other possible combinations for the new bike, none of which I'm perfectly happy with, but the last of which might work.
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It's the Trek930 front frame, with an old BMX as the mid/rear, and the swingarm off a crappy steel FS Y-frame for rear suspension. Front suspension is the disc sus fork off a very heavy Murray crappy steel bike. Some ex-retail aisle-signholders for the cargopod top rack bar and side seat supports. "beach seat" for the new 'bent seat/chair.

Motor (Icecube57's GM/9C) goes in the Trek dropouts. Pedals on the Trek BB. Chainline not yet fully worked out, but should go from pedals to a jackshaft in the BMX, motor to same jackshaft, freewheel of jackshaft setup so motor doesn't spin pedals (ok if pedals spin motor). From jackshaft to rear hub, which is a 3-speed Sachs IGH with coaster brake. Jackshaft *might* include ability to shift gears for the motor more than just the 3 on the IGH.

Rear will be a 26" rather than 24" like it is now, probably, and if I can make it fit, 26" in front. Frame is significantly lower to the ground than CrazyBike2's, so this will put me and the bike back at about the same height off ground that CB2 is, which is about the same height as the average car driver would be at.

Since motor is at the rear of the triangle, there's still room for at least some battery in the rest of the triangle. More battery can go in the front triangle, but as much weight as possible I'd like to keep in the center and low, on the axle-line.

Everything is steel, so I can weld it all together.

Steering will still be remote, but I will likely go with a steering setup mostly copied from a trike design posted elsewhere on ES, where a headstock setup was bolted to a seatpost rather than how I welded stuff up on CB2's seatpost/headstock setup, whcih has proved problematic in a few ways since then (incluidng one complete failure earlier this year, which woudlnt' have happened if I'd had the other setup). Same handlebars as on CB2, but I'll have to build new controls as I don't have anymore scooter bar controls, and haven't run across any MC or scooter stuff in a long while.


Bike will be about 6-8" longer than CB2, almost 8' exactly from tire edge to tire edge. Positioning of things along the frrame is different, though, putting the seat a bit farther forward and the cargo pods a bit farther forward, too, so that they are as much completely forward of the rear axle as I can get them. That should let me put a rack over the rear wheel that is level with the tops of the pods, so I can use the entire top surface as an extra cargo rack for big stuff. Can't do that with CB2, as the pods are below the level of the rear tire top. I just have to figure out the swingarm clearances at full droop/bump.


Swingarm itself is held to the BMX dropouts by a scooter axle, using a long 1/2" drive socket instead of the original hollow bolt-together pins. Two more sockets on either side of it that are larger diameter than the long socket will keep the whole thing from sliding around on the axle, pinching it between the dropouts so it doesn't wiggle. Rear spring will need to be doubled-up, due to weight when laoded with cargo, and will be butted up against a bracket welded across the top of the BMX rear triange to seatpost.


Lots of things might change as I work this out. With luck, I'll have it finished and tested to bring to the DeathRace in just under a month, assuming everything works as planned.


Below are two of the other configurations I pondered. The Y-frame would be cut off at the point it overlaps the other frame, and welded to it there. That's pretty heavy, so I went with the BMX thing instead. Simpler and less frame-chopping, and weighs less. Should be as strong or stronger, too.
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I might yet use the red Nishiki frame from Li-ghtcycle as the front of the bike, as it gives a lot mroe triangle space. But it also chagnes some geometry and prevents me from doing any welding-together of the bike halves, forcing me to come up with bolt-together stuff that wont' come loose or wiggle under the power of the chain drive.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by liveforphysics » Mar 20 2011 5:37am

Have you had a pooch acting badly my friend? I see what looks like a muzzle of some sort.
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 20 2011 3:28pm

liveforphysics wrote:Have you had a pooch acting badly my friend? I see what looks like a muzzle of some sort.
Yeah, thanks to my crazy sister stirring them up, Nana (with the muzzle in taht pic) and Bonnie, who already didn't get along with each other cuz they both want to be in charge, began fighting.

There's a few posts here and there mentioning/describing some of the problems over the last year or so, maybe more, I think. Some of them also describe the injuries I got separating them (almost always from Bonnie, as she is usually so terrified of what's going on that she lashes out at anything/anyone even those trying to help).

Fred, the littlest black one, likes to take the side of whoever's "winning", so usually she will join in any fight. At first she attacked Nana, but now it's always Bonnie. So the first thing I always have to do is yank Fred off and lock her away from the rest, then get Nana and Bonnie apart. The other two don't show any inclination to join, thankfully.

But because of it, Nana had to wear a muzzle whenever she was around Bonnie or Fred. Earlier this year or end of last (can't remember), she decided that despite the muzzle she'd try for Bonnie, and managed to get hold of her scruff a little, starting the whole usual crap again.

Because of that, I can't even trust the muzzle will help, now, so I simply always keep them separated. I tried to do it by putting Nana in the back bedroom, but she destroyed the door (there's pics of that around here somewhere, if the server didn't eat them) and got out, even after armoring it and the wall around it with 3/4" plywood and some aluminum server case lids.

So now, Bonnie stays in my bedroom, where she is fine being by herself. Fred can't stay in there cuz she'll eat things, so she stays in the Kennel Trailer. Doesn't like it but doesnt' try to get out.

Loki, Nana, and Hachi all stayed in the rest of the house, where they generally stay out of trouble, until recently, again thanks to my crazy sister. She was doing something yesterday, screaming and yelling at the air, really nastily, and Loki and Nana suddenly got into it for no particular reason, while I was working on the bike above. They were very easy to separate and no one was hurt, but Loki now growls at Nana, which is the same thing Bonnie does that sets her off, so now I have to keep *them* apart, too.

So...I have another Kennel in my bedroom that's even bigger than the one on the Kennel Trailer, and it is where Nana sleeps when all the rest of us are in the bedroom. It keeps her from being depressed from not being able to be in the same room with me at night; she seems happy enough just being able to be in there even if she can't lay on the bed with us all like she used to (which I miss, too).

Now Loki stays in that kennel when I have to go to work/etc., (since he'll also destroy things in the bedroom, but wont' dig out of the kennel), with Bonnie just in the room. Fred still in the Kennel Trailer, and Hachi and Nana loose in the house.


I'd just put Nana in the kennel when I'm gone, but A) it wouldn't be fair to her to lock her up 90% of the time that way, and B) if she did get out for some reason she'd be locked in a room with Bonnie, and that could be very bad. I can't drag the kennel in and out of the room every day, so shuffling the dogs around works out better and easier.


All this is a big reason why I can't find anyone to trust to feed the dogs and let them out for potty break when I am gone for a day, making it tough to do the race thing. (although that might be worked out if timing is right on leaving and coming back; I'd just have some messes to clean up).


And that is the state of the disunity at the moment. ;)

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by grindz145 » Mar 20 2011 8:20pm

angle aluminum and hose clamps are how I get around welding too:) I think with just a little bit of welding you could make that super lagitt though. Should be wicked fun. Wish I could suspend my xtracycle...

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 21 2011 12:40am

You could suspend it, but it will take some modification of the Xtracycle unit and/or a further extension of it to the rear.

I pondered how to suspend a wheel within a box frame for cargo pods on the sides and rack across top of them, more than a year ago I think. One of these threads ought to have some sketches of the various ideas I had, assuming they survived the attachment failure problem recently. Either this thread, the ARTOO thread, or CrazyBIke2, most likely.

If I remember where the sketches went (they're just pencil on paper) I can rescan them in, or if I have time I can redraw them better in Paint or something, so you can more clearly see the ideas.

The best of the ideas involves 4 vertical springs on front and rear of the axle on each side of the rear wheel. Each spring would just be a MTB rear shock, so not a lot of travel, but with four springs it should respond better to the kind of weight put on a cargo bike. IF the springs aren't sufficient, there are some powerchair suspension springs that are similar diameter and length but much higher loading, that can be used to replace the coil springs on the damper shocks.

The dropouts would be removed from the Xtracycle, and reinstalled onto the bottom end of the springs via a bar, probably square tubing in my case. It may require spreading the Xtracycle frame some, depending on the width of your rear wheel. If it is narrow enough (by removing spacers, etc), then the shocks and all will still fit. To prevent lateral movement or twisting, the bar would be mounted on a vertical post that it would slide up and down on like a freely moving piston; this bar would be part of the Xtracycle frame from then on.

I haven't yet tried this suspension, but it should work in theory.

Another idea essentially installs a swingarm below the Xtracycle frame, using the dropouts themselves as the top mounts for a pair of MTB shocks, verttically mounted, with new dropouts part of the swingarm, essentially raising the entire back end of the bike by however much the travel of the shocks would be (so that it does not allow the tire to hit the bottom of teh Xtracycle rack at full bump). The pivot would be wherever it is possible or convenient to do this, and/or wherever works best for the effectiveness of the shocks.

An advantage of this method is that it requires no permanent mod to the XC, as you can probably clamp on everything needed, inclding the pivots for the swingarm.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by sami-b » Mar 21 2011 4:00am

I'v alway wondered what the point is whit that type of bike? :p are they comfortable? fast?
seams strange tho have the front tyre so far away
glhf
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 21 2011 4:16am

sami-b wrote:I'v alway wondered what the point is whit that type of bike? :p are they comfortable? fast?
seams strange tho have the front tyre so far away
glhf
The tire has to be far enough forward to not have "toe strike", meaning that when pedalling the toes sticking out forward don't hit the tire as you turn. ;)

In my case it's actually got a few inches more than it needs, but that is because this bike was not completely custom built, but rather built from existing bikes that were "close enough" to give me the fit I was after, with minimal modification.

The main reason for this type of bike, for me, is it's comfort. Instead of having a hard saddle up my butt, vibrating with every lttle bump in the road, I have a comfy lawnchair-type seat suspending me above the bike, so that not a lot of the road vibration comes thru the seat itself. No more "numb-ass" after a long ride. :lol:

The second reason is that it's easier to deal with cargo on this bike than a taller, regular one, though ideally it needs to be a bit longer in the back, with suspension. That's where this bike project:
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 20&start=0
comes in, to try to work out the problems with CrazyBike2 and make a replacement for it.

It's also definitely less power usage vs air resistance than an upright bike, partly because it's lower, but more because I'm leaning back rather than completely upright. Somewhere in this thread or in DayGlo Avenger
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 70&start=0
I did a comparison; I dont' recall the exact results but CB2 takes less power at higher speed (20MPH) than DGA at the same speed. It takes more power to *get* to that speed because it's twice as heavy as DGA, but once at speed it takes less due to aero factors, as wind resistance really eats power the faster you go.


Another reason I like CB2 better is it's more fun to ride; without the cargo pods, I can lean it way farther over (significantly past 45 degrees based on pics of the Undead Race) than I could DGA or any other upright I have ridden, at much higher turn speeds, and not feel like I'm gonna skid out and crash. (or actually do so).

Plus, if I do crash or skid, I can walk away from it a lot easier than any upright bike. It's also not really possible under normal circumstances to do an endover on CB2 like you could on an upright, like say if you locked up the front wheel on an upright going fast enough, you'd go over the bars and faceplant. On CB2 it'd just skid instead, becuase it doesnt' have the leverage to flip the bike like that since it's so long and my wieght is so far back on it.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 26 2011 3:33am

I might get one of these from a friend:
2011-03-25 21.14.12.jpg
2011-03-25 21.14.12.jpg (54.13 KiB) Viewed 3217 times
Out of the Harbor Freight clearance table, they're leaf springs off of (probably) one of their small trailer kits. One has three leaves and one has two, otherwise identical in appearance.

They appear in the pic to be about two feet long. If I can rig up a way to bolt the swingarm from a few posts above to CrazyBike2's rear dropouts as I am pondering doing to this one, I can test the leaf spring as a rear suspension on it instead of the dual-spring I was considering. If it works on CB2 then I can build this bike around that idea, which will require modification of the frame idea above, due to the length of the leaf spring.

Using CB2 to test it, it'd be something like this:
leaf spring idea1.PNG
leaf spring idea1.PNG (6.18 KiB) Viewed 3229 times
where the green is the leaf, red is the added rear triangle, and black is existing CB2.

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by Harold in CR » Mar 26 2011 7:07am

In your drawing, how do you figure the leaf springs will flex ?? One end has to slide as the leaf flexes. You have the leaf as moving in length instead of up-down ??

Its tough to go by a drawing, though ??
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 26 2011 2:26pm

Well, based on the way the trailer kits I've seen these on appear to work, the L-shaped end is fixed via bracket to the frame so it doesnt' move, and the axle is attached via a pivot mountint point to the white pivot point on the other end of the leaf, with the "swingarm" pivot of the axle mounted somewhere between them on the frame. So it appears that it compresses/bends the leaves in order to absorb shock motion.

I am probably misunderstanding how they are originally mounted, and if so, then my pictured setup will not work, and I'll have to figure out how they *actually* are mounted, and do it that way if it's possible.

My pictured version would be just like it looks, with the L-shaped end under the seat, clamped via U-bolt/plate to the bottom of the square tubing there, butted against the seat tube so it can't move forward under compression. Then the white pivot point on the other end of the swingarm is mounted to the shock mounting point on the swingarm. The swingarm's pivot point is mounted to the dropouts of the main frame.

That would put the load from the wheel up in an arc into the leaf, compressing it against the frame, theoretically pushing the arc of the leaf down to bend under load/shock.

If that wont' work, I'm not sure how to utilize it. :?

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by Harold in CR » Mar 26 2011 8:55pm

One end of a leaf spring has to move. The spring action is in the center of the spring.

With what you have, there is not a lot of travel in the swingarm. You would need to mount the leaves so that the swingarm pushed down on the ends.

As I said earlier, this is a drawing, and, the actual design MIGHT work, but, I can't see it doing anything the way it is drawn.

In one of MichaelPogues renderings, he uses Carbon Fibre leaves. You might look into his thread and see what I mean. IF you can do something similar, you would have a good suspension.

Maybe I am just not seeing what you are ??? ???
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2011 1:05am

Apparently I need to learn more about leaf springs and how they work; I thought they worked by bowing in the middle, based on what I thought I remembered from trucks in shop class more than two decades ago, but that's not what happens based on your description (which is probably right, since I have never actually used leaf springs before).

I'll do some reading up and figure out how I *should* use them, and see if it'll fit. ;)

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2011 1:27am

I did some more fitting and pondering today, while moving and reorganizing stuff in the house so I can actually find things again.

I discovered that the original "good idea" isn't, really, as it would force the seat to be too high and too far forward:
DSC04072.JPG
DSC04072.JPG (53.45 KiB) Viewed 2969 times
Note taht in the mockup, the motor ends up a couple of inches away from the middle downtube, but in reality it'd be a couple millimeters away, with the headtube/seatpost angle being matched instead of messed up.

So, since there's no way to join the headtube and seattube (for strength) without moving the blue frame down and forward, which then fills the space the motor would be in, it means the motor can't be in the dropouts, and I have to make dropouts for it. Either below the green triangle like this:
DSC04073.JPG
DSC04073.JPG (53.26 KiB) Viewed 2969 times
or below the blue triangle.

Note that in the latter mockup, the headtube would align directly with the seatpost, so I'd basically cut off the blue frame's headtube and fishmouth the top/downtubes of the blue frame so that I could weld them directly to the back of the seatpost there. Actually just a bit higher, after cutting out the crossbar on teh top of the green triangle.

If I could manage it, I'd ideally like to align the toptube of the blue and green frames, to pass their line straight back and down under the seat, and have the seat mount directly to the top of them. That depends on ground clearances for the stuff along the bottom (pedals, motor, chain) at full bump of the suspension, at it's lowest point of travel (most compressed). Might not be able to, and end up with what you see in the mockup.

If I do manage it, the seat will be tilted back more (which I want), with it's base/back joint still in about the same place it is now. I may have to bend the front edge of the seat downward to clear my legs for pedalling, though.

The square silver rails would be to mount the cargo pods on, and also to provide support for the seat. I'd probably also have to add lower rails like CB2 has, to keep them from hitting the swingarm when loaded, but the lower rails won't have any rear-end support, and will have to extend beyond the rear wheel so I can put a cross-brace on all four rails to keep them spread apart back there under loads.

I also wish the rails could go higher, above the top of the tire, but they can't and still stay inline with the rest of the frame top (which I want), so the pods will not bolt straight across them, but at an angle across the top so the pod tops will clear the tire top thoroughly at full bump, so I can still have cargo up top. :)


Some pics of the rest of the room, which I've just barely started moving the bike stuff into:
DSC04076.JPG
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DSC04075.JPG
DSC04075.JPG (72.68 KiB) Viewed 2969 times
DSC04074.JPG
DSC04074.JPG (65.49 KiB) Viewed 2969 times

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2011 1:51am

I found this page:
http://www.afcoracing.com/tech_pages/leaf.shtml
that gives me some better idea of my misconceptions, primarily thru the diagrams like these:
leaf_6.gif
leaf_6.gif (14.99 KiB) Viewed 2969 times
A few other quickly-googled sources essentially show that what I thought I wanted to do is just about exactly opposite of how leaf springs are supposed to be used.

I wanted to put the load on the ends and let the middle be compressed archways.

What really should happen is the load should be on one end and the center of the arch, pushing up in that center against the one end and forcing the arch to straighten out towards the other end (whcih should be free to slide, as Harold in CR said).

I still want to try it out like I diagrammed it, just to see how badly it doesn't work. :lol: Gotta wait till I get the spring, and then see if it will even fit in the space available. ;)

EDIT: oh, and I also have this project idea thread:
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... 84&start=0
which Spinningmagnets posted that Michael Plogue idea pic to, as well, and people pointed out that the way I was doing it then was wrong, too. I just forgot. Oh, well. :oops:

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by Harold in CR » Mar 27 2011 7:52am

Your only misconception is, You are trying to use a Swing FRAME, not a swingARM. If you can envision cutting off the upper tubes of your swingFRAME, then you have lots of possibilities to use those leaves.

Your FRAME wants to move in a radius. This is why coils are used, for the push-pull effect, on the upper part of the swing frame. You need an up-down movement. You would have to beef up the lower tube section, and add uprights to attach the eyes in the leaves, to the swingARM you have now created. The further back, toward the wheel, the better y;our leaves will work. Removing the upper part of that swing frame, will allow room for more "Stuff", like Batteries.

You have a welder. Just make a swingARM and attach that to your BIKE FRAME. I don't see any problem making that work.

Sorry to rain on your parade. I'm in awe of your designs using gathered goodies. 8)
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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by amberwolf » Mar 27 2011 1:45pm

OK, now that makes sense, I think. I'll have to draw up some ideas to see if I understand it right, but it sounds like the way I drew up a bike once before:

I might still be using them wrong in this application, but maybe it's closer to what you mean?
CurvyBikeSketchFull2.JPG
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CurvyBikeSketchFull1.JPG
CurvyBikeSketchFull1.JPG (57.93 KiB) Viewed 2961 times

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Re: Amberwolf's Bolt-Together Semi-Recumbent Cargo Bike

Post by Harold in CR » Mar 27 2011 5:33pm

Top sketch much better. Bottom sketch, I don't see any springs, unless they are very short. IF you shorten them, they get stiffer really quick.
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