Introducing our family electric hybrid sports utility bicycles (historical)

Written by mgadmin

Introducing our family electric hybrid sports utility bicycles (EHSUBs)


The orange one:

•Nashbar Signature Cro-Mo steel frame + Nashbar Chro-Mo Fork + Freeradical kit
•Front Disc Brakes (rear are V)
•Crystalyte 406 Hub motor (rear), 35A controller
•Shimano Deore components
•36V Battery system, currently sealed lead acid, soon to be Li-FE-PO4 (lighter, greater cycle life, and environmentally friendly)

This bike was a de novo build done by us, using a combination of parts we ordered and parts we had around. The Nashbar frame is an excellent deal for the price, and can be found here while they last. The hub motor is from the people at Renaissance Bicycle Co., who are great people to work with if you like to tinker.

The 406 hub motor with 35A controller has enough umph to give a boost on all but the steepest hills around here. Above about a 7% grade with a loaded bike and batteries, the motor only makes up for its weight, but doesn’t add much power. But on any smaller hill, the assist is very noticeable, allowing the rider to maintain an 18mph pace up most of the hills here, even with daughter + groceries.

The pink one:

•This is a ’92 or ’93 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp frame + fork that I got at a police auction
• Nitto Albatross Bars (I love them!)
Freeradical kit approximatly 1 year old
•Currie USPD assist with “Super BMC” motor (750 W)
•35A Custom external controller
•48 V system combining a 24V NiMH pack and a 24V Lead Acid pack in series
•Cycle Analyst to tell me amps, watts, watt hours, watt hours per mile, average speed, and so on.

This is my (Morgan’s) project bike, and also the one I use as my main vehicle. It has evolved significantly. It originally started with a 24V Currie USPD set up on my Fat Chance as my commuter. I then decided my Fat Chance needed to be fixed up (click the link to see the pink polka dot machine!).So for a while I had a Gary Fisher Tassajara plus Freeradical plus Currie 24V USPD. The next change was replacing the Aluminum Fisher with the Chromoly Stump Jumper. The ride is more supple now. After some issues with my old wheel, such as cracking my original rim, I then built a new wheel using a Sun Mammoth Rim and DT Alpine III spokes. The USPD uses a spoke adapter plate that is hard on the spokes and the wheel, which caused the original problems I was having. With this new wheel, I have seen nary an issue so far. This wheel is bomber.

The final evolution in this setup was the purchase of the 36V/48V motor + controller from Evdeals, and the CycleAnalyst from Renaissance. I’ll just say that if I’m in a hurry or running late, this bike will get me there on time. Hills, headwinds, etc are not a problem! I just have to be careful sometimes not to blow the 25A fuse in my NiMH battery pack.

While some people bike plenty of miles per day without an electric assist, my life is still a bit too hectic for that. However, with the electric assist, I have replaced most car trips, average 20+ miles per day, and still get plenty of exercise.

According to my latest calculation based on monitoring power usage on the pink bike, I typically average about 20 watt-hours of usage per mile travelled (if I am conservative, this goes down to 15). Considering there is about 8KWh of usable energy in a gallon of gasoline, this is the equivalent of getting 400 miles per gallon. Cost-wise, it is even better. We pay $0.12/KWh, and assuming that the charger is only 70% efficient at energy transfer, the bike does 35 miles per KWh, or $0.003 cents per mile, which translates to 1,000 miles per gallon if gas is $3.00 per gallon!

Ok, enough blabbing, here are more pictures:IMG_5812IMG_5810IMG_5811

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