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My econo-e-bike

E-HP

10 GW
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
6,976
Location
USA
Current Configuration (04-18-24) of my e-bike:
tsunami-jpg.351369


Motor:
Previous:
MXUS 1000W slow wind 9C clone, 26" generic rim
Current:
Leaf 1500W 5T, 24" Halo SAS rim

Controller:
Previous:
18 FET KT 30A Sine Wave
18 FET 7kW PowerVelocity controller
Current:
No name "80A" Sine Wave w/3-speed switch, cruise; shunt mod to 91A

Display:
Previous:
KT-LCD3
Current;
Cycle Analyst 3.2

Battery:
Previous:
14S8P 30A 20Ah, UPP hard cased triangle, generic cells
Current:
Series packs:
Pack A - 14S8P 40A/80A 28Ah, UPP hard cased triangle, Samsung 35E paralleled with (2 x 7S 5Ah 60C in series) Turnigy Heavy Duty Lipos
Pack B - 6S 24Ah 45C, (3 x 6S 15C 8Ah in parallel) Turnigy Graphene Lipos


Frame:
Previous;
Yokota chromoly
Current:
Cove Stiffee aluminum

Fork:
Previous:
Specialized 80mm travel
Fox Talas 160mm travel
Current:
Fox Vanilla 160mm travel

Brakes:
Previous:
Shimano side pull
Avid BB7
Current:
Tektro knockoff 4 piston hydraulic (Meroca M4), 203mm front, 203mm rear

Tires:
Previous:
Numerous
Slick road tire
Forté Tsali 26x2.2
Schwalbe Crazy Bobs 26x2.4
Goma TNT 26x2.4
Arrow Racing Prime Bite 24x2.75
Mongoose Fat Tire 24x2.8/3
CST Fringe front 24x2.8
Specialized Big Roller rear 24x2.8
Current:
Maxxis Hookworms 24x2.5

Seatpost:
Generic pogo stick suspension
Current:
Thudbuster LT

Seat:
WTB Rocket
WTB Pure
Current:
Cloud 9 medium


Planned upgrades:
Replace undersized breaker
Torque sensing BB
Hub heat sink mod


Thoughts on Initial Build:
12-29-18
I’m really loving my economy e-bike conversion. I wasn’t sure at the onset whether I’d like the e-bike thing, so I decided to go with an economy build, but decent enough to give it a good chance. I started with the least expensive (i.e. cheapest) 1000 watt, 48 volt, rear hub kit that I could find on e-bay. Actually it wasn’t the cheapest, since that one would have taken too long to deliver, but at $144, it was pretty cheap. The motor I received was a MXUS (XF 40 1000W 1610 0020 stamped on the side cover). Looked good, spokes were all tight, rim straight, etc. I knew I wanted the bike to be silent, so I bought an 18 FET sinewave KT controller, and KT-LCD3 display and chucked the kit controller. For the battery, I decided to go with something with decent capacity, and 52 volts for a little extra power; ordered a UPP 52 volt 20 Ah triangle pack in a hard plastic case (cheap Chinese cell version).

The donor bike was my first steel framed mountain bike, which I had upgraded about 25 years ago with a suspension fork (when they first started getting popular). The original brakes were cantilevers, but I upgraded to v-brakes when I converted the bike for street riding, after getting a full suspension mountain bike.

The parts arrived, and everything went together pretty easily. I only used the brake levers, throttle (switched out later) and PAS sensor from the original kit, and everything else went into my parts bin. I charged the battery for a couple of hours, not nearly to capacity, but since I was anxious to test it out, decided to head out for a short test ride, cables hanging all over and controller held in place with duct tape. My driveway slopes upwards to the street, and as I started to pedal up, I twisted the throttle, and the bike wheelied right way, but fortunately came down straight as I zipped out onto the street. Big smile; I could tell this was going to be fun!

I rode down the hill to a walking/biking trail for my first short ride. The bike got up to 24 mph on the flat paved trail, no pedaling. I was expecting more, given the 52 volt battery and upgraded controller, but wasn’t too disappointed. I ended up riding about 4 miles out, then back, smiling all of the way. Then I came to the hill up to my house. 5% grade at the bottom, 6% for the last 3 blocks. The bike zipped up the hill effortlessly.

Posted a few messages on the forum, asking about the top speed, since I had been reading a lot and watching YouTube video, so I was expecting to get 30 mph. Found out that my motor has a slower wind, but since 20 mph or so felt good, didn’t sweat it.
The issue I noticed right off was that the PAS, even on level 1, had the motor contributing more that I wanted. My single front chainring (I chucked the other two and the derailleur when I had converted the bike for street use) was 36T, with 13-34 cogs on the rear. I ordered a 40T and 46T so that I could dial in the bike for a comfortable cadence at 20 mph. 46T worked out perfectly, allowing me to pedal and keep the motor pulling 250 watts at 20 mph, and me making up the difference at level 1, with 46:13 gearing. I could either downshift or up the PAS level if I needed more motor on hills.

Now to what I love about my econo-e-bike setup. First, the range is great. By my calculations, with the above levels of contribution, the range should be about 80 miles. That’s assuming I consider the battery empty at 47 volts. This seems to be consistent with the real world, since I did a 48 mile ride and the battery settled to around 50.5 volts when I got home (charged to 57 volts at the start).

The second thing I really like is how the motor pulls off the line at an intersection. I apply a little throttle while pedaling lightly, since too much pedal and throttle and the front wheel gets light or pops off the ground. I usually forget to downshift for an intersection, but I can zip across the intersection starting in high gear without a problem.

The third thing I like is the regen. At first I was only using level 1 for regen, which works great for charging, but without much braking. But on level 2, it’s noticeable, and since I live on a hill and ride mostly on the hills, the extra braking power is great.

The fourth, and best thing I like about my bike is the hill climbing power. After several rides, I’ve found that it’s not the motor that is the limiting factor for my, but traction. On pavement, 15%-20% segments of road aren’t a problem. I pedal a lot, which I like, but the motor never has fallen short or let me down. Everything has stayed cool so far, too. Until I replaced my slicks with some 2.2 trail tires (not full on MTB knobbies), I wasn’t able to make it up 20% grade loose dirty/rutty trails, but after switching over, the bike made it up a 400ft section with a 25% grade. I didn’t think it would, but when I crested the hill, I was amazed and overjoyed. I love it. Of course the power is pegged at 2000 watts, the highest the display will read, under those conditions. I'm glad I opted for the 18 FET controller!

I’ve been climbing every hill I could find within a 15 mile radius of my house, on my side of the bay, which is probably all of them. There’s on mountain, 3800 ft, but that’s about 20 miles from my house, but a lot further, not using highways, by bike. Since all my rides start out basically at sea level, anywhere I go usually includes a climb. I love this economy e-bike!!!

This is the hill behind my house; actually the hillside. The top of the hill is about 700 ft elevation, but this is partway down at about 500 ft. I never cared to ride this trail when I was more into mountain biking, since there lots of real mountains to choose from, but it turned out to be a hidden gem, with some really steep trails, that the bike eat up.Hillside Natural Area.jpg
Google Maps

This doesn’t really qualify as a hill, but I rode 48 miles this day. This is a shot from Yerba Buena Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. This half of the Bay Bridge has a walking/biking path from my side to the island. My house is on the side of the hill in the far distance. This spot is only about 200 ft elevation, but I rode up over the top of the island, 250 ft, to go over to the other side of the island. Actually, Yerba Buena is a real island, and the other side, Treasure Island, is man-made, built for the 1939 World’s Fair. There still a Naval facility there, but they’re tearing up the island to build a multi-billion dollar housing complex for the rich. Unobstructed panoramic view of SF and both bridges from that side. I was still testing the 40T chainring on this ride...too small.
Yerba Buena Island.jpg

This is a funny little hill down the street. Funny because it just juts up above basically flat land all around it, down near the bay. I looked it up, and it something to do with the many geological plates in the area, cramming together to form a hill. There’s a lot of plates and faults here in earthquake country, and my house is very close to a major one (I have lots of disaster supplies in my backyard, ready for the BIG ONE). 300 ft at the top, riding up a few steep streets, and a nice steep single track trail down the other side. If you squint, you can see one of the towers of the Golden Gate. First ride with the 46T chainring. Perfectly dialed in now. econo 1.jpg
Here’s what the funny hill looks like from the inland side.
econo 2.jpg

This is the trail on the other side of the hill from my house. I ride downhill from my house and over a couple of miles to one of the trail heads. Then ride up about 1000 ft, take a loop trail back down, then back up another 600 ft or so to the top of the hill behind my house, so I can ride down to my house. This shot is from the top, above the 20% hill that I couldn’t make it up with my slicks. Still, there were plenty of 12%-17% segments that the bike had no problem with. The sinewave controller came in handy on this ride, since there were a couple of places on the trail where herds of cattle were hanging out. I rode between cows, about a foot on either side of me, and they just looked at me while chewing on grass. The e-bike is totally silent; the only noise was my huffing and puffing.
econo 3.jpg

This is the last hill I’ve found so far on my side of the bay. Similar to the other funny hill, this one also jut up near the shoreline, about 10 miles from my house. This was my first ride on my new knobbies. I told my wife I was going around the block a few times to test my tires, but then the e-bike just decided to go further on its own. Got home 35 miles later. This shot at the top of the hill is at 350 ft.
econo 4.jpg
I saw that there were a bunch of trails leading down from here, when looking at Google Maps before my ride. I decided to descend this trail, but didn’t realize there was a 25% drop off right where the bushes start. Even with the knobbies, the wheels were skidding and locking up. I decided that descending on anything steeper might be a little iffy, with the extra 30 lbs of e-bike and v-brakes. I stopped at the bluff in the background to reassess, when I saw that both trails that forked off were much steeper than the one I came down, so I turned around. I really didn’t think the bike would be successful going up, but the tires gripped and 400 feet later, I crested the steep section. Wow, I love this bike!
econo 5.jpg

After I got home, I checked what the grade was on those two trails. One was about 30%, but the steeper one was a 50% grade! I’ll leave those for another day, if I ever decide to put on some beefier tires.

I’m going to build another bike for offroad, with a mid-drive for better hill climbing, within the next year or so. I'm already acquiring parts. Of course there’s always trade-offs when building something more narrow in scope. But, right now I’m really enjoying this combination of long range, silent riding, and decent climbing that I have now.

Thanks for reading, and for all of the help I've received on this forum! :bigthumb:
 

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That is awesome. It sounds like you did your homework before ordering everything and it has really paid off and come together nicely. There is something to be said for a build with good bang your you buck in mind. It is definitely A great success story; thanks for sharing!
 
E-HP said:
I started with the least expensive (i.e. cheapest) 1000 watt, 48 volt, rear hub kit that I could find on e-bay. Actually it wasn’t the cheapest, since that one would have taken too long to deliver, but at $144, it was pretty cheap.

Can you offer a link? One of the reasons I haven't bought a no-name kit is because I assume it would be too fast a winding for my applications. The fact that yours is relatively slower, and effective at climbing, and cheap, makes me want to get one.
 
Here's the kit that I bought. I probably wasn't paying attention to the speed rating, which is why I was initially disappointed in the top speed. I may not have bought it, if I had looked more closely, but now I feel it was great luck, considering the terrain around my house :p . Ar least running it with a 52 volt pack gets me above 23 mph. I do pedal pretty hard though, but the motor provides great assistance, since I'm not as young or fit as I once was (and I'd never attempt these 20% hills using 46:34 as my lowest gearing). The rim converted to tubeless easily too.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/322440778491

This is the controller & display combo I got:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ebike-36V-48V-LCD3-Panel-Fat-Wheel-1500W-Controller-18MOSFET-45A-bicicleta-escob/162689545329?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 
E-HP,

To me, the real roadblock is always the price of the battery pack.

Got a link for what you have there?

Thanks. Great build for a new guy like me.
 
X2flier said:
E-HP,

To me, the real roadblock is always the price of the battery pack.

Got a link for what you have there?

Thanks. Great build for a new guy like me.

Yup, that's the hardest decision, since it's the bulk of the cost, and I wanted something I could live with for a while if I ended up liking e-biking, but didn't want to spend so much to regret if, if I didn't. Here's the pack I landed on, cheap Chinese cells, but good capacity, and performance on the first half of the charge is really good. Voltage will sag when pushed hard on the second half of the charge, but is hasn't let me down so far.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/U-P-P-Li-ion-Ebike-Triangle-Case-Batteries-52V-20Ah-30A-BMS-Brand-2500mah-Cells/253565577899?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Also, I added an external speed sensor to get a more accurate reading on my display. Wasn't expensive, but the little bits add up too, some necessary, some just nice to have (torque arms, current/watthour meter, lights, etc.). But, to put it into perspective, still way cheaper than shaving grams when I was really into mountain biking :shock: !!
https://www.ebay.com/itm/RisunMotor-Speed-Sensor-BZ-1-Metal-For-e-Bike-DIY-Conversion-Kit-Parts/173394901098?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 
E-HP said:
X2flier said:
E-HP,
To me, the real roadblock is always the price of the battery pack. Got a link for what you have there? Thanks. Great build for a new guy like me.
Yup, that's the hardest decision, since it's the bulk of the cost, and I wanted something I could live with
https://www.ebay.com/itm/U-P-P-Li-ion-Ebike-Triangle-Case-Batteries-52V-20Ah-30A-BMS-Brand-2500mah-Cells/253565577899?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
Also, I added an external speed sensor to get a more accurate reading on my display.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/RisunMotor-Speed-Sensor-BZ-1-Metal-For-e-Bike-DIY-Conversion-Kit-Parts/173394901098?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
E-HP,

Thanks again. That is a decent battery price, and your good experience is worthwhile to me.. I didn't want to go too cheap, but dollars count here. I still might go with a DIY (modular) pack; I'd hate to toss the entire pack if just one cell goes bad. Those interlocking spacers look like the right stuff, for me. Anyway, good to see your success.
 
My winter project is to move my motor kit to a new bike frame in order to convert to disc brakes. I finally got started today, and spent a few hours disassembling and assembling. I went with 203mm a floating rotor in the front and 180mm rear and Avid BB7 calipers.

The first issue I encountered was that my battery was a much tighter fit in the new frame triangle than I had anticipated. I must have made an error measuring, but the hard case of the battery is literally a press fit into the frame. There's a little bit of space on the lower two sides, which will be just enough for me to fabricate a bracket, anchoring to the bottle mounts. It will work, and actually looks better, but just luck that it fits (In the picture, nothing is holding the battery in but friction).

New Frame.jpg

The next issue is that I don't think my existing PAS sensor disc will fit on the larger diameter Race Face crank. I was actually going to switch to a dual hall sensor unit, but that one is even smaller so definitely won't fit. I'm going to have to remove the crank and bottom bracket, and switch over my cartridge bottom bracket and Shimano crank from the old frame. It would have been nice to retain the chain guides that the Race Face setup had though.

I still need to fabricate mounts for the rear rack, since the frame doesn't have mounts, and mount my controller under it. I think I'm going to fabricate a connector box to fit in the space under the rack in front of the controller so it's out of the way.

I decided just go with a Grin torque arm, but make an anchor using the disc brake mounts for now. I'm using 1/4" thick steel bar for the anchor and will drill and tap a 1/4-28 hole to receive the bolt that the torque arm comes with.

torque arm anchor.jpg

Still raining out, so as long as i get the wiring and the rest of the stuff done in the next week or so, I should be able to test it out the new setup and brakes next weekend.
 
Very interesting, thanks for the detailed post - looks like a setup that works really well for you. That's exactly the system I want to find (at a similar price) in Australia, I'll contact the seller again and ask if he'll ship to Australia.
 
Finished making the plate to anchor the Grin torque arm. Too about a half hour of grinding, then drilling the mounting holes, drilling and tapping the bolt hole for the torque arm, quick hit of black paint and it was done. I used my old generic torque arm on the other side and tensioned it opposite the direction that regen will twist the axle.

Torque Plate.jpg

That's my new DNP freewheel in the last pic. I bought it since I had originally planned to use the Race Face crank with its smaller chainrings, so the 11 tooth cog with a 39 tooth chainring would give me the same ratio as my old setup. Due to the problem with mounting the PAS sensor, I had to use my old cranks, so now I have 46/11 gearing. Probably a good thing, since I won't need to use the small cog most of the time, but have it when I want to go a little faster or contribute more human power.

I finished off all of the mechanical stuff except mounting the rear rack, since I ordered some P clamps to attach it to the chainstays that will arrive tomorrow. Since I'm mounting my controller under the rack, I'm going to do all the electrical stuff tomorrow. Forecast is sunny this weekend, so I'm targeting a Sunday test ride.

EDIT: Test ride was great. Perfect weather for a leisurely ride. The new brakes are excellent and are getting noticeably more powerful as they break in. I need to tune the fork compression and rebound settings more and I had to increase the psi quite a bit to compensate for the extra weight of the bike, but other than that I only have a few clean up items (tidying up the wiring, install my suspension seat post, etc.). The only problem was on the way home I stopped at an intersection and was checking my mirror. I driver had stopped to let me cross, but when I finally noticed, I jammed across the street and unexpectedly wheelied to the other side. My rear tire hit the sharp curb hard and I thought to myself "I hope I didn't get a pinch flat"...luckily I saw a tire shop about a 1/2 mile later and got the helper to let me use the air hose, which was enough to get me home. Besides that, great ride!
 

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E-HP, just found this thread and spent some time reading through it. Very enjoyable to follow your experiment with entry level components and the proverbial steel frame old MTB we all have laying around. Your new bike is gorgeous, thanks for posting all the great pics.
 
Wolfeman said:
E-HP, just found this thread and spent some time reading through it. Very enjoyable to follow your experiment with entry level components and the proverbial steel frame old MTB we all have laying around. Your new bike is gorgeous, thanks for posting all the great pics.

Thanks Wolfeman! It just keeps getting better the more I get into it. But, I've been lucky to only have to one flat on my last ride. I guess second, since my conversion to tubeless didn't work well with these tires, and lost air after a couple of rides.

I just got back from my second short ride this morning. The first was after I replaced the tube that got the pinch flat with last ride. I tried patching it during the week but the patches didn't hold. After replacing the tube, I decided to do a short ride before putting some Stan's in the tube to handle the small punctures. Bad move, since I got a flat about 4 miles from home, so I got a lot of exercise walking back. A big hunk of glass was lodged in the tire, and the tire move in the rim while I was walking it, so the tube got several small punctures. Fortunately I could patch them and went out for another ride.

Anyway, another good thing about the new frame is that it has tons of clearance, so I'll be looking for sturdier and bigger (2.5) tires, since these have paper thin sidewalls and generally a pretty thin casing. I'm going to take my time researching, since I feel it will end up being a decent investment if I want good quality and puncture resistance.
 
Nice! I recently did something similar and moved my kit over from my Trek 4300 with no suspension and no disc brakes, to a used Kona I bought. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=61460
 

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Paderolis said:
Nice! I recently did something similar and moved my kit over from my Trek 4300 with no suspension and no disc brakes, to a used Kona I bought. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=61460

Thanks! Yup, very similar conversions; yours came out great. It's pretty nice having the stopping power that I didn't know I was missing; more confidence when riding :bigthumb:. So far I haven't felt any downside with going with big discs, and the BB7's work well. They're easier to feather than the old rim brakes, but I could see trying out hydraulics in the future.
 
Yes sir! The disc brakes were a nice upgrade, though I never really had any issues with my V brakes for the kind of riding I do. I bought a Trek Marlin 7 a little over a year ago and it came with hydraulic disc brakes, so it was my first bike with them. I recently acquired a Giant Escape 3 with a 350W mid drive motor already installed on it, it has rim brakes. They work fine, but I can definitely feel the difference in braking response vs. the Kona and Trek.
 
Cleaned up my wiring and added some graphics to my battery case using printable vinyl paper. Came out pretty good, but I have a couple of more designs I'm going to try since it's easy to just print off more. https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=99330&p=1455142#p1455142

Shark in the Hood.jpg

I'm replacing the rear rack next since this one does't fit right, and I want it mounted lower and more rearward. That will give me more room to replace the nylon bag where all the wiring is, with a box fabricated from kydex to neaten up the whole rear of the bike.

The battery mounting will be changed to get rid of the velcro straps and zip ties holding it in place now. That way, except for the shark (or flames), it will be hard to tell it's an e-bike at all... :D

Shark attacking the hills...
Shark Hill.jpg

I'm getting addicted to the torque the bike has fresh off of the charger. I keep thinking that if I had that available all the time, I couldn't ask for more. I guess that means going up to a 60 volt pack, or even 72. I see that UPP makes batteries with higher voltages in the same form factor, so I'll see how long I can defer that upgrade (which will include replacing the controller). Of course the next pack will be made of quality cells too.

EDIT: The shark was cool, but I'm more of a flames kind of guy. They've been printed up and cut to size...
 
You should absolutely go for more battery, it is so fun! Rolling on the throttle with 72V+ is a total rush. Hot off the charger at 83V, my bike is more like a electric dirt bike, spins the back tire on gravel and goes blowing up hills like they're not even there.

The only side effect of more battery is more weight, and the temptation to feel that rush of acceleration eats through a charge. 8)
 
Wolfeman said:
You should absolutely go for more battery, it is so fun! Rolling on the throttle with 72V+ is a total rush. Hot off the charger at 83V, my bike is more like a electric dirt bike, spins the back tire on gravel and goes blowing up hills like they're not even there.

The only side effect of more battery is more weight, and the temptation to feel that rush of acceleration eats through a charge. 8)

Careful, I won't take much convincing at this point :p . I'm just trying to figure out a solution where I can still use my existing pack for regular or long distance pedal assist riding, but being able to slap in a hot rod pack for fun :flame: . I'd like it to be the same physical size, so it will need to have better quality cells. The controller just needs to flexible enough, and limit the current when I use my existing pack.

Got my flames on now! My new rack arrives tomorrow, so I can start getting the rear section cleaned up.

Flame on.jpg

I reversed my handlebar stem last night (after this pic) to drop my bars about 1 1/2", which feels a lot better.
 
Looks great. Amazing how well the battery fits in the frame, like it was made for that frame. Being tight will help keep it in place as you bounce around on the trails.

You have some nice riding areas there it looks like. I'm on the other side of the bay in Marin. It's nice and green now, but won't stay that way for long.

Img_1013A.jpg
 

Your battery looks as custom a fit as possible! Trails are OK here but mainly really convenient for me. My next trip over to your side of the bay will likely be on my regular mountain bike. I haven’t ridden Mt Tam in 5 or 6 years, but have a lot more time now (kids out of the house).

For my ebike, I’ve been researching how the ebike climate is at China Camp, so I can ride some ups and downs, instead of a sustained climb (maybe Mt Tam later, after adding Statorade). It would be great to have some first hand insights. Have you ridden there without a hassle?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
I think ebikes are not allowed on Mt.Tam. I ride up the back side of China Camp (Scettrini Fire Road). It's outside the park and so steep you hardly see other bikes. On the regular trails, I think ebikes are permitted, but I haven't checked recently. Last time I was there some lycra guy came speeding down the hill, locked up his wheel and made a 20' skid mark and told me my bike wasn't allowed. That was with my A2B Metro.

I just avoid the places where the jerks ride. There are plenty of nice roads closer to home but most of them are quite steep.
 
fechter said:
I think ebikes are not allowed on Mt.Tam. I ride up the back side of China Camp (Scettrini Fire Road). It's outside the park and so steep you hardly see other bikes. On the regular trails, I think ebikes are permitted, but I haven't checked recently. Last time I was there some lycra guy came speeding down the hill, locked up his wheel and made a 20' skid mark and told me my bike wasn't allowed. That was with my A2B Metro.

I just avoid the places where the jerks ride. There are plenty of nice roads closer to home but most of them are quite steep.

Ya, avoiding the jerks sounds like a good idea. That road looks pretty good on Google Maps. About what it's like over the hill from my house. I barely see anyone on most of my offroad rides, sometimes hikers, but I just make sure I'm polite, and nobody even notices I'm on an ebike.


I finally avoided planting my lazy butt on the couch after work tonight. Thick cloud cover, but the air at the ground level was crystal clear, and no wind. Put on my jacket and went for a night ride. I needed to readjust my headlight after making the changes to my stem anyway.

All of the little narrow cross streets in my neighborhood are hilly, so a lot of fun to ride up and down, crisscrossing back and forth making my way up the hill. They're all the same, about 8% up then down, or down then up, or sometimes like a stair step, but then you go up a block, and cross over again. On my ebike, it's like riding a roller coaster. I only climbed about 275 feet in elevation from my house, just enough to get a really nice view of the lights, but there's always a bunch of spots where you get a panoramic view. It's also cool using the regen on the downhill parts then just hitting the throttle and pedaling up and getting a little exercise. Perfectly clear, 56 degrees, and had so much fun with a short 6 mile ride.

Got my light adjusted so the center of the beam hits the pavement about 150 feet out, and the top of the center beam is at about 200 feet. The sign at the fork in the road is 400 feet away, so the outer beam extends at least that far.

View attachment 6

I think the light seems to give off a decent beam. It has 4 XML LEDs, and runs off the main battery, so I'm contemplating changing the driver to increase the brightness. I think it should be able to at least double based on some of the flashlights I've modded. That should make it better for night trail riding, but I'll try it stock first. I haven't opened it up yet, but because it can take such a wide voltage range, I think it may have a regulator circuit and LED driver circuit, which might complicate things.

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EDIT 4/10 - I installed my new rack and it's sturdy and adapted nicely to the frame. I also got my Crazy Bob tires installed and love them so far. the sidewalls are so much more substantial than my other tires or any of the MTB tires I've used. I could tell right away that I'd have some improved cornering, which turned out to be day and night.

The last couple of clean up items are fabricating the connection box; using my old seat bag right now but it's way too bulky. Bought a couple of sheets of ABS for the job; made a cardboard pattern and some Photoshop work to see how it will look, so just need to do some cuts and then bends with a heat gun. The last thing I'll tackle it the battery mount...

rack bag.jpg
View attachment 4

EDIT 4/12 - Weather turned nice, so fabricating the box can wait. Rode down to the beach, well maybe picture of a beach, sort of...

Ocean Blue.jpg



EDIT 4/14 - Charging my battery while finishing my taxes. My plan is to deliver them to the post office by e-bike (e-filing). I realized a downside of the new battery graphics, when looking at it charging in the backyard via my IP camera...

Charging.jpg

EDIT 4/23 - Off the ebike for a little bit. Crashed it on the weekend and leg needs to heal. Nothing on the bike except ground pedal, ground kickstand, and ground bar end mirror.

Switched out the cheap 5 magnet PAS with a compact dual hall unit for a much cleaner look during the down time.

PAS.jpg

EDIT 5/2/19 - Back on the bike finally. Leg is still healing, but antibiotics killed the infection. It's easier to ride it to the train station than walking and driving is a hassle, plus they just installed these stainless steel bike lockers so no security concerns. Good deal for 3 cents a hour parking. Feels good to be riding again.

EDIT 5/5/19 - Started working on my wire connector box this weekend. This is my first time working with ABS and I thought it would be fairly simple to heat it with a heat gun to bend it. Didn't go as planned, so I put it in the oven and heated it to 210 or so, still would bend well. Tried again with the heat gun and got it working. Apparently there is a narrow temp range where it becomes pliable without melting, but once you hit that temp, it bends easily.

EDIT 5/19/19 - Weird weather, raining hard in May. I decided to work more on my connections box, made good process. I need to do a little modifications to the rear rack mounts to spread them out slightly to fit the box more easily.


box.jpg
 
Finally finished the connection box today, taking advantage of the extra day off from the holiday.

I had to make a bracket to widen the mounting points for the rack, to make clearance for the box. After that, it went together with minor modifications.

Hot glued the breaker to the bottom and drilled a hole in the side to access the lever. The box takes up a lot less room than the old bag, but is easier to access when the top is off, so way easier to work with the connections. Plus, I angled the front sides inward, so my legs wont hit it, like with the bag. I'm still deciding what graphics I'll end up with.

box f.jpg
box e.jpg
 
The box is nice. That's one part that seems to be missing from most kits. I did something similar with an off the shelf rectangular box. Not only does it look nicer, but it protects the connectors from rain, getting pulled out, etc.
 
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