Hi from Tennessee

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Crank58, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Crank58

    Crank58 New Member

    I have intentions to build a powered recumbent within the next year; if work holds out. Never seen the design I have in mind done by anyone else, but maybe we can exchange some ideas.

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard.

    You've come to the right place; this forum is something like a public library of ideas.
    If you post some more detail of the design you have in mind, I'm sure you'll get feedback.

    See you around.
  3. TNtraveler

    TNtraveler New Member

    Hi Crank,
    I am in west tennessee. What part of the state are you in?
    Would love to see more on your design!
  4. Crank58

    Crank58 New Member

    Hi Tim,
    I'm in middle Tennessee, about a hour south of Nashville; work in Franklin. Since I have about a 105 mile round trip commute 3 or 4 days a week you can imagine I am sensitive to ideas to save fuel.

    My idea for a powered bike is basically what I call a mid drive hybrid. Long wheel base recumbents are, in my opinion, the most comfortable bikes on the market, but they have a long drive chain that often crosses idlers that are under the seat area. My plan is to replace this idler with a pair of freewheel mounted sprokets. One of these sprockets would have a normal length chain going to a normal rear wheel cog cassette; 9 or 10 speed. Thru the action of the freewheel pawls, the sprocket connected to the rear wheel cog set can be driven by either an electric motor or by the second sprocket mounted beside it, or by both at the same time. The second sprocket is of course connected by another chain to the crank set up front. What all this means is you can pedal this bike without having to spin the motor, or you can run the motor with out spinning the crank set, or you can combine the two however you want. A control signal can even be generated by the chain tensioner from the crank set drive that will apply a proportional assist by the electric motor. This could be set to make a 70 pound bike feel like a 15 pound bike, for instance. Also, the motor will be driving throught the same derailleur as the crankset so you would have gears to optimize the output from the motor.

    My final refinment to this design, and what makes it a true hybrid, is I plan to add a trailer. On the trailer I would have additional battery power as well as a small gas powered generator. This allows a bike to be designed at the lightest possible weight and have maybe 20 to 25 mile range with small light batteries and then if you have a long trip to make or a heavy load to pull up a big hill you just hook on the trailer. I think this setup could have almost unlimited range with the gas assist.
  5. TNtraveler

    TNtraveler New Member

    Hi Crank,

    I like your idea making it possible to peddle without turning the motor and the trailer generator would give a tremendous range!

    Do you ride a bike on that 105 mile round trip commute? My daily commute is about 60 miles but I dont think I could do that on a bike. I have a small compact car that I drive that gets 40 mpg and I wish it was 80! LOL

    Have you done any extended road trips on a motored bike? I was thinking of maybe riding a section of the Natches Trace this summer. Maybe the section near Nashville.

  6. Crank58

    Crank58 New Member

    Hi Tim,
    No, I don't ride a bike to work since I got this job; wish I could. I did commute occasionally to my former job, but that was only 8 miles each way. I am building a carrier so I can haul my bike on the back of my car. My thoughts there would be to drive to some point closer to work, park the car, and bike the rest of the way. Would be nice to get out and bike to lunch also. Then I would not have to feel guilty about having a desert.

    I have read on the "Bike Forum /commute" blog where some of those folks claim to commute up to 25 or 30 miles each way a couple of days a week but that's about the limit. I doubt that they live in the kind of hills we have around here.

    I, too, drive a small car; a Suzuki SX4. Its supposed to get 27MPG on the highway, but I found that by keeping my interstate speed around 60MPH and driving very carefully in town I can regularly get a combined mileage over 34MPG.

    I haven't done any touring but the concept appeals to me. We have a group of young folks, mostly just graduated from college, who come through our town every year on a cross country tour. They are raising money for an organization called "Bike and Build". They ride about 75 to 100 miles a day and stop at various towns to work with "Habitat for Humanity" and groups like that. Our town puts these kids up in a local college dorm and the mayor has a pool party at his house for them every year. It's interesting to hear their stories. Sounds like a great adventure.