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Re: Stoked Urban Assault Xtracycle

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  • karpaydiem
    ... That s a long reply! Surly Instigator frame bought used off eBay. Front forks are White Brothers Downhill bought used off a Google search from a guy in
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 4, 2006
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      >Do you mind sharing detailed instructions?
      > Including where you got your parts?

      That's a long reply!

      Surly Instigator frame bought used off eBay.

      Front forks are White Brothers Downhill bought used off a Google
      search from a guy in Canada.

      Hope front brake and Magura Gustav rear bought online through Google
      searches. Different brands just to explore differences: both have
      proven to be very good stoppers.

      Handlebars are from here: http://tinyurl.com/p9le4 The HiRise bars
      shown are alloy but he has them also in steel which is what I got.

      Ergonomic grips have really helped my hands. http://tinyurl.com/ruoxo

      The 60T chainring is Sugino from www.cleverchimp.com who also sells
      the motor mount, motor, contoller, throttle, batteries and battery
      box. Todd was a great resource.

      The motor's freewheel is White Industries ENO Heavy Duty after a
      Shimano failed.

      The kickstand was homemade from a motorcycle junkyard after two
      aluminum stands failed. Haven't quite got the spring function dialed
      in: hence the bungee cord, which is working well enough.

      Gearing supplied by Rohloff from Sheldon Brown.

      I built up this machine to be as strong as I could after being almost
      killed by a fork crown failure. The forks, for example, are certainly
      overkill, but it's what it took for me to feel safe again.

      As I spent considerable money on this, I just kept repeating my
      mantra: "It's not a car. It's not a car. It's not a car." which seemed
      to help.

      That covers the basics. It was a fun project and even more fun to ride.

      Thanks for looking,
      Bill

      PS: Added some of the photos to this site.
    • karpaydiem
      Made it with my laser printer and a sheet protector.
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 4, 2006
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        Made it with my laser printer and a sheet protector.

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Derek" <derekjpearson@...> wrote:
        >
        > That is beautiful!!
        > I love the "what gas prices" sticker. Where did you pick that up at??
        >
        > Great great fun!
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "karpaydiem" <karpaydiem@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Posted some pics of my Stokemonkey rig here:
        > >
        > > http://tinyurl.com/qyr7k
        > >
        > > - Bill
        > >
        >
      • Ben Rosenthal
        What about the stoker handlebar?
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 4, 2006
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          What about the stoker handlebar?

          On 5 Jul 2006, at 0:06, karpaydiem wrote:

          >> Do you mind sharing detailed instructions?
          >> Including where you got your parts?
          >
          > That's a long reply!
          >
          > Surly Instigator frame bought used off eBay.
          >
          > Front forks are White Brothers Downhill bought used off a Google
          > search from a guy in Canada.
          >
          > Hope front brake and Magura Gustav rear bought online through Google
          > searches. Different brands just to explore differences: both have
          > proven to be very good stoppers.
          >
          > Handlebars are from here: http://tinyurl.com/p9le4 The HiRise bars
          > shown are alloy but he has them also in steel which is what I got.
          >
          > Ergonomic grips have really helped my hands. http://tinyurl.com/ruoxo
          >
          > The 60T chainring is Sugino from www.cleverchimp.com who also sells
          > the motor mount, motor, contoller, throttle, batteries and battery
          > box. Todd was a great resource.
          >
          > The motor's freewheel is White Industries ENO Heavy Duty after a
          > Shimano failed.
          >
          > The kickstand was homemade from a motorcycle junkyard after two
          > aluminum stands failed. Haven't quite got the spring function dialed
          > in: hence the bungee cord, which is working well enough.
          >
          > Gearing supplied by Rohloff from Sheldon Brown.
          >
          > I built up this machine to be as strong as I could after being almost
          > killed by a fork crown failure. The forks, for example, are certainly
          > overkill, but it's what it took for me to feel safe again.
          >
          > As I spent considerable money on this, I just kept repeating my
          > mantra: "It's not a car. It's not a car. It's not a car." which seemed
          > to help.
          >
          > That covers the basics. It was a fun project and even more fun to
          > ride.
          >
          > Thanks for looking,
          > Bill
          >
          > PS: Added some of the photos to this site.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • karpaydiem
          Found the tandem stem used on eBay. It says System 2 Components on the side. Then I just bought a cheap shortie alloy bar from my LBS, hacksawed it to the
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 4, 2006
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            Found the tandem stem used on eBay. It says "System 2 Components" on
            the side. Then I just bought a cheap shortie alloy bar from my LBS,
            hacksawed it to the length and voila.

            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > What about the stoker handlebar?
            >
          • katethelizard
            Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery? I d love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the box, and what goes
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 6, 2006
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              Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
              I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
              box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?

              Thanks for sharing all this!

              Kate
            • Ben Rosenthal
              Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It s a battery box.
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 6, 2006
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                Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                battery box.

                On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:

                > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
                > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
                > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?
                >
                > Thanks for sharing all this!
                >
                > Kate
              • karpaydiem
                Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp.com developed these as a prototype. I don t know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the last time I checked,
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 9, 2006
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                  Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp.com developed these as a prototype. I
                  don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                  last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                  market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                  (Rubbermaid?) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.

                  The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                  high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                  is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                  from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                  36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                  bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                  the motor.

                  People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                  increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                  uncomfortable for shorter passengers.

                  I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                  theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                  much like anything that's well-made out of wood.


                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                  > battery box.
                  >
                  > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                  >
                  > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
                  > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
                  > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?
                  > >
                  > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                  > >
                  > > Kate
                  >
                • Ryano
                  Don t mean to bag you steed, but one other issue with this set-up is that it detracts from one important beauty of the xtracycle design - that
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 9, 2006
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                    Don't mean to bag you steed, but one other issue with this set-up is that it detracts from one important beauty of the xtracycle design - that passenger/luggage weight is reasonably low, giving you (the rider) more leverage to balance your passenger easily, even with a heavy load.   By sticking a battery under there, you raise them up higher, making the package less stable (not to mention you don't get as much exercise ;-)




                    On 10/07/06, karpaydiem <karpaydiem@...> wrote:

                    Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp.com developed these as a prototype. I
                    don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                    last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                    market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                    (Rubbermaid?) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.

                    The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                    high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                    is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                    from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                    36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                    bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                    the motor.

                    People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                    increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                    uncomfortable for shorter passengers.

                    I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                    theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                    much like anything that's well-made out of wood.



                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                    > battery box.
                    >
                    > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                    >
                    > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
                    > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
                    > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?
                    > >
                    > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                    > >
                    > > Kate
                    >


                  • Leifert, Jesse - BLS
                    I finally was able to see those pictures on the site. Awesome setup. Have you weighed it? It looks like a tank. I m pretty sure if you got into a fender
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 11, 2006
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                      Message
                      I finally was able to see those pictures on the site.  Awesome setup.
                       
                      Have you weighed it?  It looks like a tank.  I'm pretty sure if you got into a fender bender with anything smaller than a sedan, you'd probably come out the victor. :)
                       
                      More pictures of "The Woodie" would be awesome.
                       
                      J
                       
                       
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of karpaydiem
                      Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 2:03 AM
                      To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Stoked Urban Assault Xtracycle

                      Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp. com developed these as a prototype. I
                      don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                      last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                      market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                      (Rubbermaid? ) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.

                      The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                      high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                      is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                      from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                      36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                      bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                      the motor.

                      People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                      increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                      uncomfortable for shorter passengers.

                      I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                      theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                      much like anything that's well-made out of wood.

                      --- In rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com, Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@ ...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                      > battery box.
                      >
                      > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                      >
                      > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
                      > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
                      > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?
                      > >
                      > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                      > >
                      > > Kate
                      >

                    • Ben Rosenthal
                      That s especially funny to me, Jesse, because I ve for some years considered that someone driving a Geo Metro that gets hit by anything bigger than a bike
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 11, 2006
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                        Message
                        I finally was able to see those pictures on the site.  Awesome setup.
                         
                        Have you weighed it?  It looks like a tank.  I'm pretty sure if you got into a fender bender with anything smaller than a sedan, you'd probably come out the victor. :)
                         
                        More pictures of "The Woodie" would be awesome.
                         
                        J
                         
                         
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of karpaydiem
                        Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 2:03 AM
                        To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Stoked Urban Assault Xtracycle

                        Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp. com developed these as a prototype. I
                        don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                        last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                        market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                        (Rubbermaid? ) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.

                        The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                        high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                        is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                        from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                        36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                        bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                        the motor.

                        People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                        increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                        uncomfortable for shorter passengers.

                        I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                        theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                        much like anything that's well-made out of wood.

                        --- In rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com, Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@ ...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                        > battery box.
                        >
                        > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                        >
                        > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the battery?
                        > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to build the
                        > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people on top?
                        > >
                        > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                        > >
                        > > Kate
                        >

                      • Juergen Weichert
                        ... Paradoxically... A higher center of gravity on a bike makes it MORE stable when riding. This is why tall-bikes are so easy to ride and why low-racers fall
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 12, 2006
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                          Ryano wrote:
                          > Don't mean to bag you steed, but one other issue with this set-up is
                          > that it detracts from one important beauty of the xtracycle design -
                          > that passenger/luggage weight is reasonably low, giving you (the
                          > rider) more leverage to balance your passenger easily, even with a
                          > heavy load. By sticking a battery under there, you raise them up
                          > higher, making the package less stable (not to mention you don't get
                          > as much exercise ;-)

                          Paradoxically...

                          A higher center of gravity on a bike makes it MORE stable when riding.
                          This is why tall-bikes are so easy to ride and why low-racers fall and
                          over so quickly.

                          A high center of gravity makes a bike harder to load and unload, as well
                          as usually more difficult to move around when NOT riding. Once in motion
                          the story changes.

                          http://vic.gedris.org/pics/2002-11-16/MD-2002-11-16-029.html
                          http://tricolour.net/photos/2003/07/13/11-20-54.html

                          Juergen
                        • karpaydiem
                          In my experience, Ryano, your theory doesn t prove out. I can haul passengers with as much ease as when I had the stock Snapdeck in place. And with the hills
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 13, 2006
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                            In my experience, Ryano, your theory doesn't prove out. I can haul
                            passengers with as much ease as when I had the stock Snapdeck in
                            place. And with the hills of San Francisco, I get plenty of exercise
                            as I routinely haul about 30 lbs. of stuff for my job between 25 and
                            40 miles a day. A pedalled stock Xtracycle bike certainly has its
                            place, but it doesn't meet my needs. YMMV.

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ryano <ryantokyo@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Don't mean to bag you steed, but one other issue with this set-up is
                            that it
                            > detracts from one important beauty of the xtracycle design - that
                            > passenger/luggage weight is reasonably low, giving you (the rider) more
                            > leverage to balance your passenger easily, even with a heavy load. By
                            > sticking a battery under there, you raise them up higher, making the
                            package
                            > less stable (not to mention you don't get as much exercise ;-)
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On 10/07/06, karpaydiem <karpaydiem@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp.com developed these as a prototype. I
                            > > don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                            > > last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                            > > market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                            > > (Rubbermaid?) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.
                            > >
                            > > The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                            > > high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                            > > is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                            > > from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                            > > 36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                            > > bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                            > > the motor.
                            > >
                            > > People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                            > > increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                            > > uncomfortable for shorter passengers.
                            > >
                            > > I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                            > > theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                            > > much like anything that's well-made out of wood.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            <rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>,
                            > > Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@>
                            > > wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                            > > > battery box.
                            > > >
                            > > > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the
                            battery?
                            > > > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to
                            build the
                            > > > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people
                            on top?
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Kate
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • BlueFrogPrpleDog@aol.com
                            I did some reading on that Stoke Monkey at the cleverchimp.com web site and I think it s really neat that it s designed so that you are constantly pedaling
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 14, 2006
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                              I did some reading on that Stoke Monkey at the cleverchimp.com web site and
                              I think it's really neat that it's designed so that you are constantly
                              pedaling and must constantly pedal and that the battery really only kicks in to
                              help with tough hills and so forth... am I correct? So, technically, you can go
                              at your own power at will and then let the battery kick in when you need it
                              most? Is this correct? This is fascinating to me because it could be a
                              great answer for folks with bad knees who still love touring! Plus, it's
                              fascinating to me because I'm not as young as I once was and when my FreeRad is
                              fully loaded, and my youngest is on the snap deck, and we're pulling a loaded
                              trailer (plus my huge butt alone) and we come upon a hill that is sandy, I'm
                              struggling! I've never been able to master gears too well. Am I correct? Is
                              the Stoke Monkey designed to just give you that extra umph when you need it
                              most?

                              In a message dated 7/14/2006 2:38:21 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                              karpaydiem@... writes:
                              In my experience, Ryano, your theory doesn't prove out. I can haul
                              passengers with as much ease as when I had the stock Snapdeck in
                              place. And with the hills of San Francisco, I get plenty of exercise
                              as I routinely haul about 30 lbs. of stuff for my job between 25 and
                              40 miles a day. A pedalled stock Xtracycle bike certainly has its
                              place, but it doesn't meet my needs. YMMV.

                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ryano <ryantokyo@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Don't mean to bag you steed, but one other issue with this set-up is
                              that it
                              > detracts from one important beauty of the xtracycle design - that
                              > passenger/luggage weight is reasonably low, giving you (the rider) more
                              > leverage to balance your passenger easily, even with a heavy load. By
                              > sticking a battery under there, you raise them up higher, making the
                              package
                              > less stable (not to mention you don't get as much exercise ;-)
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > On 10/07/06, karpaydiem <karpaydiem@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Yeah, Todd at www.cleverchimp.com developed these as a prototype. I
                              > > don't know if he will offer them as an option in the future, but the
                              > > last time I checked, he felt they were too expensive for much of a
                              > > market. Just too darned much hand work in them. Sure, somebody
                              > > (Rubbermaid?) could mold them out of plastic, but wood is prettier.
                              > >
                              > > The box, affectionately dubbed, "The Woodie" is made of steam-bent
                              > > high quality marine plywood, veneered with quarter-sawn oak. The lid
                              > > is held in place with a lockable latch and embedded magnets keep it
                              > > from rattling. Mine houses two li-poly batteries, the controller, a
                              > > 36VDC to 12VDC converter, fuses, connectors, wires, and, on the
                              > > bottom, two female Neutrik connectors into which I plug the lead from
                              > > the motor.
                              > >
                              > > People and cargo can go on top, the same as the stock Snapdeck. The
                              > > increased height of about 4 inches makes reaching the Footsies
                              > > uncomfortable for shorter passengers.
                              > >
                              > > I like the box because it secures the batteries and controller from
                              > > theft and weather and it frees the bags for cargo. Besides, I pretty
                              > > much like anything that's well-made out of wood.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                              <rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>,
                              > > Ben Rosenthal <earthsaver@>
                              > > wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Said that Clever Chimp sold it as an available accessory. It's a
                              > > > battery box.
                              > > >
                              > > > On 6 Jul 2006, at 17:51, katethelizard wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > > Beautifunky setup! What about the box on the snapdeck and the
                              battery?
                              > > > > I'd love to know where you got the plastic (looks like) to
                              build the
                              > > > > box, and what goes on inside it, and can it carry cargo/people
                              on top?
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Thanks for sharing all this!
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Kate
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >






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                            • todd fahrner
                              ... You must pedal in time with the motor whenever you engage it, yes. You can, of course, coast as usual, but there s no powered coasting. The assist
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jul 14, 2006
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                                On Jul 14, 2006, at 5:44 AM, BlueFrogPrpleDog@... wrote:

                                > I did some reading on that Stoke Monkey at the cleverchimp.com web
                                > site and
                                > I think it's really neat that it's designed so that you are
                                > constantly
                                > pedaling and must constantly pedal and that the battery really
                                > only kicks in to
                                > help with tough hills and so forth... am I correct?

                                You must pedal in time with the motor whenever you engage it, yes.
                                You can, of course, coast as usual, but there's no "powered
                                coasting." The assist doesn't "kick in" of its own accord: you turn
                                the throttle to get help whenever you want/need it. The rest of the
                                time, it's just dead weight on the bike, with no effect on normal
                                pedaling efficiency or technique.

                                > So, technically, you can go
                                > at your own power at will and then let the battery kick in when
                                > you need it
                                > most? Is this correct?

                                You control when and how much help the motor provides. You can use it
                                continually if you want, or spread it out over a long day; it's up to
                                you.

                                > This is fascinating to me because it could be a
                                > great answer for folks with bad knees who still love touring!
                                > Plus, it's
                                > fascinating to me because I'm not as young as I once was and when
                                > my FreeRad is
                                > fully loaded, and my youngest is on the snap deck, and we're
                                > pulling a loaded
                                > trailer (plus my huge butt alone) and we come upon a hill that is
                                > sandy, I'm
                                > struggling! I've never been able to master gears too well. Am I
                                > correct? Is
                                > the Stoke Monkey designed to just give you that extra umph when
                                > you need it
                                > most?

                                I designed it to let me haul my family around San Francisco hills
                                without destroying my sketchy knees. It works that way, yes. But you
                                can also use it to go fast, with little or no load, and arrive
                                without being covered in sweat.

                                I'm not sure I'd recommend it for touring, at least not for what I
                                understand by touring (multiple-day treks, camping, long days, no
                                hurry). It takes a lot of discipline not to use the motor semi-
                                continuously. For this reason I think it is somewhat at odds with the
                                ethos of most recreational riding, where your own strength and pain
                                tolerance limits the pace in a way that's ultimately enjoyable, and
                                that makes you stronger. Beyond a certain range, the added weight and
                                bulk of the system becomes a liability. I wouldn't want to plan my
                                tour around recharging opportunities, though I could see it for fast
                                solo "credit card" touring, maybe.

                                I think it shines brightest for utility trips up to a couple hours,
                                where you need to cover more ground or carry more stuff than you
                                could really enjoy without help, or a car. I definitely wouldn't
                                recommend Stokemonkey for your only bike, because it's overkill for a
                                lot of riding that could be enjoyed more simply on a regular bike,
                                and while it's fun, it's fun in a different way than regular riding,
                                and you'd miss the old fun. Part of that old fun is social -- riding
                                with others -- and Stokemonkey puts you in a different headspace than
                                unassisted riders; either you go too fast for them, or you hardly
                                work at all just matching their pace.

                                --
                                Todd Fahrner
                                Instigator, Cleverchimp LLC
                                http://cleverchimp.com/
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