New member from the Seattle area.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by TheCrystalSkull, May 6, 2013.

  1. TheCrystalSkull

    TheCrystalSkull New Member

    Hey there! I've seen some pretty neat machines on this forum over the course of the last year, since being bitten by the motoring bug. I mostly do electrics, easier to get away with them where I'm at. Not to say I don't like gassers, mind. I was a mechanic on German cars for ten years or so, then switched into Landscaping; long story. Got back into bicycling a recently when somebody kindly gave me a decent old Schwinn cruiser of indeterminate age and model. Rebuilt it and rode it all around the Seattle trails. I was looking for a headlight that didn't suck and wound up on one of those scooter parts websites and it hit me. I needed to build a powered bike.

    I converted a gravity bike I was working on into an electric and that's pretty much how it got started. That bike was ugly, rickety and slow and twisted. But it was a start. I decided I needed to start with a fresh frame, so I found blueprints for an old Harley and scaled it down...

    First I built this:

    Which became this:
    Then this:

    It was heavy, with lead-acid batteries, a 500w motor and extras. Probably only 20 miles range and broke drive train parts every 15. At this point, I want to convert it to gas and keep the pedal action, finish building the forks and I think it will be pretty fun then.

    The other bike I am presently working on is based on an old Schwinn heavyweight, it's being made into a cafe racer of sorts. It's electric, mid-drive (I don't like the idea of motors in my wheels...) and I'm shooting for a 200+ mile range at an average speed of 25mph.

    P5030032.jpg P5030042.jpg

    The only original part is the frame, and I've only widened the rear drop-out width to accommodate a multi-speed downhill hub and will be welding tabs for the brake caliper. I'll post up a more detailed build in the appropriate place.

    Anyways, I'd like to meet up other Pacific NW motor-bikers, and all that.

    Happy motoring!

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. Nice rides there. When you can buy a ready to ride electric bike with a 50 mile range under $700 then I might consider one. With electric nobody will bother you and that's worth something.
  3. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Have you thought about using a direct drive front hub motor as a propulsion generator only? That should increase your range a lot.
  4. TheCrystalSkull

    TheCrystalSkull New Member

    I can dig that perspective, and they're getting closer to meeting that price point, still a ways out though. With all the rail-trails and bike-friendly parks in the Seattle metro (gas motors aren't allowed), it makes sense for me to have at least one electric. As for getting bothered, I haven't been hassled yet, but I do have a lot of interaction with random people almost every time I ride; Most of the time it's positive or at least inquisitive, but occasionally less so.
    At full tilt, my bike is far from silent, it sounds like a small, cracked-out, sport bike when I'm blasting through gears. I thought I'd miss the sound of an engine, but it has it's own noise that I enjoy.

    @LR Jerry
    As for using a hub motor as a generator, that's not really a sound idea (rolling resistance, conversion losses, increased unsprung weight, overall system complexity). I'd rather just put that money into more batteries and a more efficient/powerful parts. Getting more range out of my bike will largely be matter of increasing capacity, increasing voltage and making sure the rolling stock isn't wasting power. I don't run a tensioner on my reduction set mostly because that has been shown to waste a hundred watts or so, which is good chunk of my pedal effort. I may add another motor to my gearbox to increase torque and decrease current draw on each individual motor, but it'd probably be better to just go with a larger motor.

    I'm no e-evangelist though, electric's what I like for some stuff, and the gas for other things.
    Last edited: May 6, 2013