Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Best e-assist and advice

Expand Messages
  • tda0818
    I agree with Patrick. If you know you need a new bike, start there. OTOH, another possible approach to doing this in phases would be to add e-assist to your
    Message 1 of 30 , Jul 2, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      I agree with Patrick. If you know you need a new bike, start there.

      OTOH, another possible approach to doing this in phases would be to
      add e-assist to your current bike. It would make things MUCH easier
      for you on those hills, and you could be getting accustomed to the
      e-assist feel while your bike fund refills. Then you could get the
      new bike and move the e-assist to it. Then add the Xtracycle.

      As for "best e-assist," I can only speak from my own experience. I
      own the eZee hub motor system, and have ridden a Bionx-equipped bike.
      The Bionx has a better form factor and nice regen modes, but for
      hilly rides and/or rides under load, I think the eZee, with its
      internal gearing, is the superior system. The Bionx I rode just
      wasn't torquey enough at hill-climbing, load-hauling speeds.

      -- urbino

      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick Barber/Holly McGuire"
      <patrick@...> wrote:
      >
      > i would start with a bike you like and that you feel comfortable
      > riding. (It'd be better for xtracycles if it were a 26"-wheeled
      > machine, so keep that in mind.)
      >
      > I would then try riding with the iBert and your own power and your
      > fabulous new bike. See how the hills, the distances, etc feel with
      that.
      >
      > If you want a Stokemonkey assist, you'll need to wait for the Xtra
      > anyway, so give yourself some time to see what a new bike feels like.
      > It can really make a lot of difference. You may not need an assist at
      > all.
      >
      > Another thing, when you try the bikes out, try them with the iBert and
      > kid attached, at least when you are down to making a decision. No
      > surprises that way.
      >
      > i don't know about the different assists so can't be much help there,
      > but that's how i would start out if i were you. The bike itself is the
      > most important component of this set-up.
      >
      > best
      >
      > patrick
      >
    • Mark Garvey
      On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 4:49 PM, Patrick Barber/Holly McGuire
      Message 2 of 30 , Jul 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 4:49 PM, Patrick Barber/Holly McGuire <patrick@...> wrote:
        i would start with a bike you like and that you feel comfortable
        riding. (It'd be better for xtracycles if it were a 26"-wheeled
        machine, so keep that in mind.)

        What he said!  OK, something you need to know as well.  I have a Mixte frame bike that I was given.  I fixed it up and gave it a test ride.  IT SUCKED!  It was AWFUL.  The seat was wrong, the bars were too close, the cranks were messed up... Arrrrrrgh!

        So I put a stem on it that was a bit taller and had more "throw" (that is what I call it anyway!) and rise. I put on a Brooks saddle and a touring bar that I like.  then I got a cheap triple crank from Nashbar that has 165mm crank arms on it and hooked everything up.  Voila!  the bike is really nice now!

        Try to figure out WHY your bike is uncomfortable.  a bike frame is pretty much a bike frame.  You can change components around.

        Also.  E-assist.  I KNOW that I am in the group who advocates E-assist.  Yeah, they are really really useful.  But mostly what they are good for is helping you go faster.  On average anyway.  But a bike with no assist is perfectly great as long as you have the gears and the patience to deal with a bike that has cargo aboard!

        I have a "new" bike.  an elderly Schwinn Typhoon.  single speed, coaster brake.   It is a marvelous bike!  The brake is none too powerful....but then, you aren't going to go fast on this sucker either!  I simply cruise along at the cadence where I am not straining, and if the hill gets too much, I get off and push!  

        so what is so wrong about pushing the bike???

        NOTHING!  Just ride it for a while.  Add an e-assist when you CAN!  don't worry (or as my scotts ancestors would say , "Dinna Fash yersel'  ")  Try to figure out WHY your bike is uncomfortable.  chances are that you can change things to suit yourself without spending a bunch of cash. 

        mark
      • Bruce Alan Wilson
        What s so wrong about pushing the bike? If I wanted to hike, I d hike; then I could swing my arms properly. Singlespeeds with coster brakes are all very well
        Message 3 of 30 , Jul 2, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Re: Best e-assist and advice

          What's so wrong about pushing the bike?

          If I wanted to hike, I'd hike; then I could swing my arms properly.  Singlespeeds with coster brakes are all very well and good for flatlanders, but those of us who live in mountain country find them worse than useless

          Bruce Alan Wilson

          "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

        • Mark Garvey
          On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:14 PM, Bruce Alan Wilson ... Hey Bruce! Oh, in principal I agree with you really. But in all respect, I
          Message 4 of 30 , Jul 3, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:14 PM, Bruce Alan Wilson <bawilson@...> wrote:

            What's so wrong about pushing the bike?

            If I wanted to hike, I'd hike; then I could swing my arms properly.  Singlespeeds with coster brakes are all very well and good for flatlanders, but those of us who live in mountain country find them worse than useless

            Bruce Alan Wilson

            Hey Bruce!  Oh, in principal I agree with you really.  But in all respect, I don't think of the bicycle as something "holy" really and that having to push the bike up a hill occasionally  simply is not something to be feared or dismissed.  If I have to, I will.

            Maybe it is part of my "bikes are not toys" idea.  a bike is a tool.  a very useful tool.  But it does not have "rules" in the way "toys" have.  when you play baseball, you don't use a basketball to play it and throw the ball or kick it, because then it is something else entirely, not baseball.  When I ride my bike, my intent is to go from where I am to where I want to be.  If a hill is too steep or my legs are tired, I can keep moving and push the bike.  "hiking" has nothing to do with it.  when I go on a hike, I might ride in a car to get somewhere, and I might have to use a boat to cross a stream or river, but that doesn't detract from the "hike".

            A bike is transportation.  I use the bike I want and let it go at that.  As far aas I am concerned,  (and you are free to believe a different way, like i said, this isn't religion) whatever it takes to get the bunny is fair game.

            mark
          • Victor Khong
            Although the BionX touts a Regen (regenerative) mode for the batteries, in reality the regen mode is not sufficient to make a meaningful difference in battery
            Message 5 of 30 , Jul 3, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Although the BionX touts a Regen (regenerative) mode for the batteries, in reality the regen mode is not sufficient to make a meaningful difference in battery power.

              If you have to deal with lots of hills, a geared hub motor or direct drive (chain sprocket) system is best.


              --- On Wed, 7/2/08, tda0818 <tda0818@...> wrote:
              From: tda0818 <tda0818@...>
              Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
              To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 4:13 PM

              I agree with Patrick. If you know you need a new bike, start there.

              OTOH, another possible approach to doing this in phases would be to
              add e-assist to your current bike. It would make things MUCH easier
              for you on those hills, and you could be getting accustomed to the
              e-assist feel while your bike fund refills. Then you could get the
              new bike and move the e-assist to it. Then add the Xtracycle.

              As for "best e-assist," I can only speak from my own experience. I
              own the eZee hub motor system, and have ridden a Bionx-equipped bike.
              The Bionx has a better form factor and nice regen modes, but for
              hilly rides and/or rides under load, I think the eZee, with its
              internal gearing, is the superior system. The Bionx I rode just
              wasn't torquey enough at hill-climbing, load-hauling speeds.

              -- urbino

              --- In rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com, "Patrick Barber/Holly McGuire"
              <patrick@... > wrote:
              >
              > i would start with a bike you like and that you feel comfortable
              > riding. (It'd be better for xtracycles if it were a 26"-wheeled
              > machine, so keep that in mind.)
              >
              > I would then try riding with the iBert and your own power and your
              > fabulous new bike. See how the hills, the distances, etc feel with
              that.
              >
              > If you want a Stokemonkey assist, you'll need to wait for the Xtra
              > anyway, so give yourself some time to see what a new bike feels like.
              > It can really make a lot of difference. You may not need an assist at
              > all.
              >
              > Another thing, when you try the bikes out, try them with the iBert and
              > kid attached, at least when you are down to making a decision. No
              > surprises that way.
              >
              > i don't know about the different assists so can't be much help there,
              > but that's how i would start out if i were you. The bike itself is the
              > most important component of this set-up.
              >
              > best
              >
              > patrick
              >


            • SammyPizzo
              Alright another Austinite to compare notes with. I have definitely been trying to move further and further away from the car. I use a cyclocross bike for
              Message 6 of 30 , Jul 3, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Alright another Austinite to compare notes with. I have definitely
                been trying to move further and further away from the car. I use a
                cyclocross bike for commuting to work and back. We have been using a
                hard tail mountain bike of fairly good quality for pulling a trailer
                for the young one. While looking int e-assist options, my wife a I
                stumbled across and I fell in love with the xtracycle. So in a very
                short time, purchased and built up the bike the older mountain bike.
                I love this bike and have zero regrets. Since I am also in a hilly
                area in Austin and dealing with the wonderful summer heat, I am to
                take the next step and add on a bionx e-assist system. It should be
                delivered next week. The day after I receive it, it will be built and
                ready to go. AT that point I can give you more feedback. Better yet,
                if you are interested, you could try out the bike both pre and post
                bionxing.

                So basically, I dont really have any real direct advice for you, but I
                could offer up my system so you have another sample point. Also, it
                would be great to meet another local X'r.

                By the way, how many people on the group live in the austin area?

                -Sammy

                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Courtney Power-Freeman"
                <powercourt@...> wrote:
                >
                > New here and am trying to find the best solution for our family. I am
                > trying to go carless as often as possible and love the idea of an
                > xtracycle with an e-assist. I have a 19 month old who has been riding
                > in her Safe-T-seat (http://www.ibertinc.com/) on my my bike but we
                > need a change. My bike is super uncomfortable, does not fit me, and
                > is horrible on hills where we live (Austin, TX). So, we are thinking
                > about what to do. Getting a new bike and putting an xtracycle plus
                > e-assist is TONS of money and we don't know how fiscally responsible
                > it is to just plunge right in like that. So, we were contemplating
                > the eZip iTrailz (only $450) and seeing how I like the electric bike
                > before we go all the way. But the eZip isn't very comfortable for me
                > either, so I would need to replace the saddle and handlebars. Is
                > there an in between option? Like getting the Trek bike I want and
                > adding an e-assist. Once I like that, I would like to add the
                > xtracycle. Is this an option? Which e-assist would be best for this?
                > Is this the right forum to be asking?
                >
                > Thanks and feel free to ask questions for more clarification.
                >
                > Courtney
                >
              • Courtney Power-Freeman
                Sammy Pizzo... I m assuming that s your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not, there s
                Message 7 of 30 , Jul 3, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Sammy Pizzo...
                  I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is
                  your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not,
                  there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young child.

                  I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the bike with
                  e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with your
                  xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?

                  For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                  getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                  current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                  MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and a
                  plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                  right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.

                  Thanks,
                  Courtney
                • njal555
                  Hi Courtney, I have done something similar to what you are proposing. I have a Trek mountain bike, have added swooped handle bars and a comfy seat, and have
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jul 4, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Courtney,

                    I have done something similar to what you are proposing. I have a
                    Trek mountain bike, have added "swooped" handle bars and a comfy seat,
                    and have added electric assist. (Have not yet gotten the free radical
                    kit.) I like my setup quite well, here in hilly Ithaca, NY. A few
                    remarks about my bike:

                    The top tube on the Trek (and most mtn bikes) is quite short. So,
                    wide and deep handle bars will not work -- they will hit you in the
                    stomach when you turn! I went with the Albatross bars from Rivendell.
                    I installed a sprung leather seat from Brooks, which is quite
                    comfortable so far.

                    My electric kit is made by Wilderness Energy. It has a 36v brushless
                    front hub motor, and lead acid (SLA) batteries. This is definitely a
                    "low end" kit. It costs a lot less than some of the other kits
                    discussed here, and you get what you pay for. The battery is quite
                    heavy (24 lbs), and the fit-and-finish of the kit is not great. I
                    would rate the installation as "difficult" -- you will need a well
                    equipped workshop and some small hardware that is not included to
                    install this. I had help from someone with experience. All of that
                    being said ... I am VERY happy with the result now that it is installed.

                    Njal


                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Courtney Power-Freeman"
                    <powercourt@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Sammy Pizzo...
                    > I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is
                    > your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not,
                    > there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young child.
                    >
                    > I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the bike with
                    > e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with your
                    > xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?
                    >
                    > For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                    > getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                    > current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                    > MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and a
                    > plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                    > right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    > Courtney
                    >
                  • Andrea Richards
                    Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with  investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I d reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jul 7, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with  investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I'd reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or craigslist would  be a  good start . The problem  with free bikes is a lot of the time they're not worth the repairs,  because it's a huffy,  next, or mongoose to start with . You can't polish a turd, to quote my Dad ( usually he was referring to my boyfriend  though , LOL)

                      --- On Thu, 7/3/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...> wrote:
                      From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...>
                      Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                      To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:36 PM

                      Sammy Pizzo...
                      I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is
                      your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not,
                      there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young child.

                      I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the bike with
                      e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with your
                      xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?

                      For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                      getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                      current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                      MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and a
                      plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                      right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.

                      Thanks,
                      Courtney


                    • zoot_katz
                      ... a ... Hi, A free bike is sometimes a good deal, if it fits or can be made to fit. The one attached to my Xtracycle was gifted four years after I d tuned it
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jul 7, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        >For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                        >getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                        >current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                        >MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and
                        a
                        >plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                        >right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.

                        Hi,

                        A free bike is sometimes a good deal, if it fits or can be made to
                        fit. The one attached to my Xtracycle was gifted four years after I'd
                        tuned it for a neighbour and asked for dibs if they ever wanted to
                        sell it. It's a late '80's Cro-Mo mixte-frame MTB. It's a pretty
                        frame.

                        The geometry of that era MTB makes for a good all-rounder for urban
                        use or a sturdy donor frame for an Xtracycle. Slick tires, lights,
                        rack and fenders makes it a "city-bike" supreme. I added a "North
                        Road" bend handlebar on a tall stem and a sprung Brooks leather
                        saddle like the classic English three-speeds to mine. I ride it lots
                        because it's my most comfortable (of eleven) bike.

                        Garage sales sometimes provide great finds for a bike that suits your
                        needs. Avoid aluminium frames and cheap Hi-Ten (high tensile steel)
                        tubing. Look for Cro-Mo (chrome molybdenum) tubing and forged "drop-
                        outs". They're the thick kind brazed into the tubes where the rear
                        wheel attaches. Eschew anything with stamped and tack welded drop-
                        outs.

                        A good front suspension fork is expensive, a cheap one can be
                        dangerous when it bottoms out. They can't be spread to accept a wider
                        hub motor axle. Steer clear of those.

                        The worst thing to do at this point is rush into a *-mart brand e-
                        bike. They're generally underpowered, full of proprietary components
                        and built to be disposable. They can be found cheaply at garage sales
                        too. Like disposable *mart brand bicycles they leave many purchasers
                        with a negative impression cycling and ebikes.

                        Unless your have mechanical skills and you're ready to spend some
                        time climbing a rather steep learning curve, go with a packaged kit
                        like the E-Zee kit. <http://www.ebikes.ca/ezee/>

                        Get comfortable on your new/used bike and the Xtracycle. Eventually
                        get a motor and battery that will suit your projected use and style
                        of riding to avoid "buyers' remorse". In the mean time ride as many e-
                        bike conversions as you can. I found the Stokemonkey is most "bike
                        like" of the ones I've tried. Battery placement, in relation to the
                        motor, is crucial to handling both on and off the bike/Xtracycle.

                        A link I found through this site lead me to a mother lode of valuable
                        e-bike information. Use the search function. Though many of the
                        posters are like the ultra-geek over-clockers of the chip world,
                        there's a wealth of information there for beginners, like me. <http://
                        www.endless-sphere.com/>

                        August 25 this year my Xtracycle is two years working. It got married
                        to the gift miste bike in May 2007. I have the motor and am still
                        figuring out how things will all fit together. The batteries I bought
                        won't be here until mid August. Hopefully I'll have thing figured out
                        by then. That will be about two years after I prophesied e-assit in
                        Xtracycle's future.

                        Frankly, if Vancouver was as flat as Chicago I don't think I'd bother
                        electrifying "le Bete".

                        What are your steepest grades? How much are you plan to pedal? Are
                        you willing and able to pedal home an extra ~35 lbs. of potentially
                        useless expensive gear?
                      • Jake Wilson
                        ... wrote: You can t polish a turd, ~~~One of my favorite quotes- You can t make a silk purse out of a sow s ear Jake Reddick Fla.
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jul 7, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Richards
                          <sometimesbystep2008@...> wrote:




                          You can't polish a turd,




                          ~~~One of my favorite quotes-


                          "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"




                          Jake
                          Reddick Fla.
                        • Courtney Power-Freeman
                          I have been promised a MTB from a friend and will get it within a week, hopefully, but I am already questioning turning that bike into my xtracycle. I ve been
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jul 8, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I have been promised a MTB from a friend and will get it within a
                            week, hopefully, but I am already questioning turning that bike into
                            my xtracycle. I've been pretty spoiled by my step through bike and
                            don't really want to do the swing leg over bit, especially because I
                            wear a fair amount of skirts. Plus, once the kiddo gets old enough to
                            be on the back of the xtra, I don't want to kick her in the head. I
                            just love my kiddo too much ;)

                            So, we are leaning towards getting me an upright new bicycle. A
                            little crazy, I know, but I think I'm worth it! I've looked at the
                            archives and Morgan recently was trying out different bikes like the
                            K2 and Townie. I think I want to go this route, too, and was
                            wondering if anyone has suggestions for a steel framed upright bike (I
                            think I read somewhere that Giant or Raleigh has one) or at least a
                            strong framed upright bike. Suggestions on any of these or others,
                            like a Breezer?

                            My husband is planning on taking a day or two off of work next week so
                            we can go testing the bikes. You see, I need someone to come with me
                            due to the fact that a loose 19 month old in a bike shop is never a
                            good idea for her or the bike owners.

                            As for hauling, I plan on hauling the kid all the time plus her stuff.
                            You know, baby stuff. Once we get the e-assist, we will be hauling
                            people and groceries and the usual "what you need your car for" stuff.
                            Never will I be carrying crazy amounts of cargo, though.

                            Victor and Mark: When looking for a bike, should I steer towards 7
                            gear bikes or are 21 ok for the e-assist? I know for a front hub
                            motor it doesn't matter, but what about the stokemonkey?

                            Thanks,
                            Courtney

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "zoot_katz" <zootkatz@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > >For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                            > >getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                            > >current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                            > >MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and
                            > a
                            > >plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                            > >right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.
                            >
                            > Hi,
                            >
                            > A free bike is sometimes a good deal, if it fits or can be made to
                            > fit. The one attached to my Xtracycle was gifted four years after I'd
                            > tuned it for a neighbour and asked for dibs if they ever wanted to
                            > sell it. It's a late '80's Cro-Mo mixte-frame MTB. It's a pretty
                            > frame.
                            >
                            > The geometry of that era MTB makes for a good all-rounder for urban
                            > use or a sturdy donor frame for an Xtracycle. Slick tires, lights,
                            > rack and fenders makes it a "city-bike" supreme. I added a "North
                            > Road" bend handlebar on a tall stem and a sprung Brooks leather
                            > saddle like the classic English three-speeds to mine. I ride it lots
                            > because it's my most comfortable (of eleven) bike.
                            >
                            > Garage sales sometimes provide great finds for a bike that suits your
                            > needs. Avoid aluminium frames and cheap Hi-Ten (high tensile steel)
                            > tubing. Look for Cro-Mo (chrome molybdenum) tubing and forged "drop-
                            > outs". They're the thick kind brazed into the tubes where the rear
                            > wheel attaches. Eschew anything with stamped and tack welded drop-
                            > outs.
                            >
                            > A good front suspension fork is expensive, a cheap one can be
                            > dangerous when it bottoms out. They can't be spread to accept a wider
                            > hub motor axle. Steer clear of those.
                            >
                            > The worst thing to do at this point is rush into a *-mart brand e-
                            > bike. They're generally underpowered, full of proprietary components
                            > and built to be disposable. They can be found cheaply at garage sales
                            > too. Like disposable *mart brand bicycles they leave many purchasers
                            > with a negative impression cycling and ebikes.
                            >
                            > Unless your have mechanical skills and you're ready to spend some
                            > time climbing a rather steep learning curve, go with a packaged kit
                            > like the E-Zee kit. <http://www.ebikes.ca/ezee/>
                            >
                            > Get comfortable on your new/used bike and the Xtracycle. Eventually
                            > get a motor and battery that will suit your projected use and style
                            > of riding to avoid "buyers' remorse". In the mean time ride as many e-
                            > bike conversions as you can. I found the Stokemonkey is most "bike
                            > like" of the ones I've tried. Battery placement, in relation to the
                            > motor, is crucial to handling both on and off the bike/Xtracycle.
                            >
                            > A link I found through this site lead me to a mother lode of valuable
                            > e-bike information. Use the search function. Though many of the
                            > posters are like the ultra-geek over-clockers of the chip world,
                            > there's a wealth of information there for beginners, like me. <http://
                            > www.endless-sphere.com/>
                            >
                            > August 25 this year my Xtracycle is two years working. It got married
                            > to the gift miste bike in May 2007. I have the motor and am still
                            > figuring out how things will all fit together. The batteries I bought
                            > won't be here until mid August. Hopefully I'll have thing figured out
                            > by then. That will be about two years after I prophesied e-assit in
                            > Xtracycle's future.
                            >
                            > Frankly, if Vancouver was as flat as Chicago I don't think I'd bother
                            > electrifying "le Bete".
                            >
                            > What are your steepest grades? How much are you plan to pedal? Are
                            > you willing and able to pedal home an extra ~35 lbs. of potentially
                            > useless expensive gear?
                            >
                          • sometimesbystep2008
                            That s so true.I still have the Trek antelope I bought from a garage sale. 5 years ago. It s such a fun little beater. ... My ... and ... bike, ... I d ...
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jul 8, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              That's so true.I still have the Trek antelope I bought from a garage
                              sale. 5 years ago. It's such a fun little beater.

                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "zoot_katz" <zootkatz@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > >For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                              > >getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist.
                              My
                              > >current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                              > >MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up
                              and
                              > a
                              > >plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish
                              bike,
                              > >right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.
                              >
                              > Hi,
                              >
                              > A free bike is sometimes a good deal, if it fits or can be made to
                              > fit. The one attached to my Xtracycle was gifted four years after
                              I'd
                              > tuned it for a neighbour and asked for dibs if they ever wanted to
                              > sell it. It's a late '80's Cro-Mo mixte-frame MTB. It's a pretty
                              > frame.
                              >
                              > The geometry of that era MTB makes for a good all-rounder for urban
                              > use or a sturdy donor frame for an Xtracycle. Slick tires, lights,
                              > rack and fenders makes it a "city-bike" supreme. I added a "North
                              > Road" bend handlebar on a tall stem and a sprung Brooks leather
                              > saddle like the classic English three-speeds to mine. I ride it
                              lots
                              > because it's my most comfortable (of eleven) bike.
                              >
                              > Garage sales sometimes provide great finds for a bike that suits
                              your
                              > needs. Avoid aluminium frames and cheap Hi-Ten (high tensile steel)
                              > tubing. Look for Cro-Mo (chrome molybdenum) tubing and forged "drop-
                              > outs". They're the thick kind brazed into the tubes where the rear
                              > wheel attaches. Eschew anything with stamped and tack welded drop-
                              > outs.
                              >
                              > A good front suspension fork is expensive, a cheap one can be
                              > dangerous when it bottoms out. They can't be spread to accept a
                              wider
                              > hub motor axle. Steer clear of those.
                              >
                              > The worst thing to do at this point is rush into a *-mart brand e-
                              > bike. They're generally underpowered, full of proprietary
                              components
                              > and built to be disposable. They can be found cheaply at garage
                              sales
                              > too. Like disposable *mart brand bicycles they leave many
                              purchasers
                              > with a negative impression cycling and ebikes.
                              >
                              > Unless your have mechanical skills and you're ready to spend some
                              > time climbing a rather steep learning curve, go with a packaged kit
                              > like the E-Zee kit. <http://www.ebikes.ca/ezee/>
                              >
                              > Get comfortable on your new/used bike and the Xtracycle.
                              Eventually
                              > get a motor and battery that will suit your projected use and style
                              > of riding to avoid "buyers' remorse". In the mean time ride as many
                              e-
                              > bike conversions as you can. I found the Stokemonkey is most "bike
                              > like" of the ones I've tried. Battery placement, in relation to the
                              > motor, is crucial to handling both on and off the bike/Xtracycle.
                              >
                              > A link I found through this site lead me to a mother lode of
                              valuable
                              > e-bike information. Use the search function. Though many of the
                              > posters are like the ultra-geek over-clockers of the chip world,
                              > there's a wealth of information there for beginners, like me.
                              <http://
                              > www.endless-sphere.com/>
                              >
                              > August 25 this year my Xtracycle is two years working. It got
                              married
                              > to the gift miste bike in May 2007. I have the motor and am still
                              > figuring out how things will all fit together. The batteries I
                              bought
                              > won't be here until mid August. Hopefully I'll have thing figured
                              out
                              > by then. That will be about two years after I prophesied e-assit in
                              > Xtracycle's future.
                              >
                              > Frankly, if Vancouver was as flat as Chicago I don't think I'd
                              bother
                              > electrifying "le Bete".
                              >
                              > What are your steepest grades? How much are you plan to pedal? Are
                              > you willing and able to pedal home an extra ~35 lbs. of
                              potentially
                              > useless expensive gear?
                              >
                            • Victor Khong
                              Hi Courtney, If you use a chain drive such as Currie, Cyclone or Stokemonkey, I think a 21 speed gearset makes sense.  A chain drive drives your cranks
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jul 8, 2008
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi Courtney,

                                If you use a chain drive such as Currie, Cyclone or Stokemonkey, I think a 21 speed gearset makes sense.  A chain drive drives your cranks directly adding power to each stroke of your pedal effort (and even when you don't peddle).  7 speeds will generally limit the fastest you can go and the steepest incline you can climb.  Whereas with 21 speeds, you can pretty much go anywhere.  Points of consideration are:

                                1.  Are there lots of steep hills where I travel?  If yes, then get 21 speeds.
                                2.  Do I need all out speed for my travel?  If yes, then get 21 speeds.
                                3.  Do I only need a comfortable moderation of possible speeds on my bike?  If yes, then 7 speeds is fine.

                                Step through bikes are great for real world everyday use.  Ensure that it is a quality bike and as strong as it can be.  Moving away from a diamond frame design usually means the bike is less rigid.  Consider carefully where the battery can be placed to lower your center of gravity and reduce your polar moment of inertia.  The ideal location is somewhere behind your backside close to the ground. Ensure that the battery selection you make will fit within the fitting confines of your bicycle selection.

                                To the best of my knowledge Stokemonkey is not shipping.  So your best options are Cyclone or Currie.  


                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                WARNING: A long post on bicycle selection for an Xtracycle hauling a family
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                To understand my frame of reference and see a family hauling setup, see thread here:
                                http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=434383

                                When building a bike to haul kids, remember to use bar ends as foot pegs so the kids can brace themselves.  Swept back cruiser bars on a long stem also mean the kids can sit upright without having to lean forward.  This improves their comfort for longer duration rides and for everyday pleasure.

                                As you consider an e.assist, you should consider the following issues:

                                1. Hilly areas = chain drives such as Currie or Cyclone work better than hub motors.

                                2. Need speed? = chain drives such as Currie or Cyclone take advantage of full gearing on your bike
                                With hub motors, if you pedal faster than the hub can rotate at full throttle, you no longer gain the benefit from the electric assist.

                                3. Ease of maintenance? = generally speaking brushless hub motors require the least maintenance.

                                Do chain drives have any downsides?  Yes.  They are noisier than hub motors.  Hub motors generally hum and that's it. Chain drives are louder and you hear more ratcheting sounds from the tensioner and sprocket drive.  It sounds more mechanical.
                                If you want a quieter riding experience where you can have a family conversation, hub motors are better.

                                Downsides to hub motors?  There is a little drag from the hub motor when you are not running.  Chain drives freewheel when the motor is not used so there is no drag.  In the real world, you won't feel the additional drag from the hub motor when just peddling.  You essentially feel the weight of the battery choice you make far more than the drag of any hub motor.

                                If you decide to go with a hub motor, the question you should be asking about the difference between front and rear hub motors, is to ask which mount better addresses the:

                                1. Strength of the frame under load
                                2. Centre of gravity on the bike
                                3. Load on the axles (carrying groceries and passengers)
                                4. Ease of access for maintenance

                                In my personal opinion, the front hub motor mount is better because it distributes the weight of bike more evenly between the front and rear axles - especially when you put the battery at the rear. Imagine if you put the battery and motor in the rear, the bicycle will have such a rearward bias that it will negatively affect handling compared to a bike with the additional weight spread out between two axles.  I also recommend installing a quality front basket to the bike.  The additional weight of the basket stabilizes the front and makes it handy to put a jacket, snacks, camera, cellphone and other easy to access items when you don't need to strap down the saddle bags.  It is also the easiest way to carry a jug of milk with passengers!  Depending on the type of basket you get, you can even strap straw mats and other occasional use items to have with you on the bike.

                                The rear axle is also uneven due to the cogwheel set. If you are peddling while the motor is turning, it only adds to the uneven torque exerted on the axle. If you have a front motor mount, this is less of an issue.  The majority of hub motors today will advertise as 500W or 600W - some with peak watts as high as 1000W. Efficiency can be expressed in either speed or distance (range). For maximum range, you will want to using it as pedal assist or pedelec. This means peddling along with the bike and turning on the throttle when under a headwind, under load, up a difficult incline or to maintain a higher cruising speed. This will greatly multiply your range.

                                The type of battery that determines range per charge and not whether the motor is a front or rear hub. For maximum range per charge, you will want to get LiFePO4 - Lithium Ion Phosphate. There is an ebay seller called Ping in China who has a good reputation making custom LiFePO4 packs for e.riders at good prices.  He has warned us that there will be no more batteries shipping out of China until the Olympics are over.  Be warned they are not cheap. If you do not need ultimate range (meaning you have localized riding activity), sealed lead acid is more cost efficient for miles-travelled especially when you treat it correctly.  Always charge it after every use and trickle charge it when not in use.

                                Goto: http://www.ebikes.ca/batteries.shtml
                                Read about batteries and use the rules there to estimate the type of riding and distance you plan to travel. To simplify:

                                a. Volts = how fast you can go or speed. It also means how quick you can get there. Many motors and controllers can run one step higher than their official capacity (24V run at 36V, 36V run at 48V). If you plan to run 36V at 72V, you will mostly likely need a new controller (old one will fry) and a new charger that will charge at the new voltage of your battery pack). The faster you go, the better brakes, tires, condition the bike better be in for your safety.  For a family hauler, I do not recommend anything more than 36V.  36V is plenty fast when you are hauling 2 passengers at the back and coming to a stop safely under emergency braking conditions (say someone pulls out in front of you) will be a challenge.

                                b. Amp. Hours (Ah) = range. This is how long the battery pack can sustain an constant draw of electricity. High volts but low Ah means you can go very fast but your range is will be less. The key to a good commuting experience is a sustained average speed not peak speed. This factor will come into play if you are not able to recharge at the destination before the return trip home.

                                In choosing your batteries, you want the Volts that you intend to run matched with more Ah that you calculate from the ebikes.ca page. More Ah is always better than less Ah. This ensures you won't have the battery die on you with your type of use.

                                Another good reference is www.batteryuniversity.com. Read and understand the difference performance characteristics of battery types so you understand the risk and reward each type brings.








                                --- On Tue, 7/8/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...> wrote:

                                    From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...>
                                    Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                    To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                    Date: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 11:56 AM

                                    I have been promised a MTB from a friend and will get it within a
                                    week, hopefully, but I am already questioning turning that bike into
                                    my xtracycle. I've been pretty spoiled by my step through bike and
                                    don't really want to do the swing leg over bit, especially because I
                                    wear a fair amount of skirts. Plus, once the kiddo gets old enough to
                                    be on the back of the xtra, I don't want to kick her in the head. I
                                    just love my kiddo too much ;)

                                    So, we are leaning towards getting me an upright new bicycle. A
                                    little crazy, I know, but I think I'm worth it! I've looked at the
                                    archives and Morgan recently was trying out different bikes like the
                                    K2 and Townie. I think I want to go this route, too, and was
                                    wondering if anyone has suggestions for a steel framed upright bike (I
                                    think I read somewhere that Giant or Raleigh has one) or at least a
                                    strong framed upright bike. Suggestions on any of these or others,
                                    like a Breezer?

                                    My husband is planning on taking a day or two off of work next week so
                                    we can go testing the bikes. You see, I need someone to come with me
                                    due to the fact that a loose 19 month old in a bike shop is never a
                                    good idea for her or the bike owners.

                                    As for hauling, I plan on hauling the kid all the time plus her stuff.
                                    You know, baby stuff. Once we get the e-assist, we will be hauling
                                    people and groceries and the usual "what you need your car for" stuff.
                                    Never will I be carrying crazy amounts of cargo, though.

                                    Victor and Mark: When looking for a bike, should I steer towards 7
                                    gear bikes or are 21 ok for the e-assist? I know for a front hub
                                    motor it doesn't matter, but what about the stokemonkey?

                                    Thanks,
                                    Courtney

                                   

                              • Mark Garvey
                                Actually, I have THREE freebie bikes currently in my collection , a fourth that was technically free and a fifth that was a found (rescued!) bike! One is a
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jul 8, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Actually, I have THREE "freebie" bikes currently in my "collection", a fourth that was technically free and a fifth that was a found (rescued!) bike!  One is a BCA "tourister" from teh 1980's that is being repainted, two others are Schwinn multi speed bikes of various vintages, another is a Schwinn from early 1960's (single speed/coaster brake!) and the last one is my Jamis Durango Sport which I got from Freecycle and is the host bike for the X right now.  . the others were simply donated to me or found in some way.  I discovered a very nice Schwinn upright touring bike in a dumpster in Iowa city in the spring (harvest time for Dumpster divers around here!) when I was  helping my youngest daughter move.  I had to true a wheel and install new cables but other than that it was great!   I handed it off to a friend.  So Freecycle bikes are not always crap.   I DID get one really old, odd 4 speed derailleur bike that I can't place accurately...looks like a 1950's or VERY early 60's bike!  But has a bent seat stay.  I am going to try to fix that!

                                  mark

                                  On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 6:44 PM, Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...> wrote:
                                  Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with  investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I'd reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or craigslist would  be a  good start . The problem  with free bikes is a lot of the time they're not worth the repairs,  because it's a huffy,  next, or mongoose to start with . You can't polish a turd, to quote my Dad ( usually he was referring to my boyfriend  though , LOL)

                                  --- On Thu, 7/3/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...> wrote:
                                  From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...>

                                  Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                  To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:36 PM


                                  Sammy Pizzo...
                                  I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is
                                  your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not,
                                  there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young child.

                                  I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the bike with
                                  e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with your
                                  xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?

                                  For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                                  getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                                  current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                                  MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and a
                                  plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                                  right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.

                                  Thanks,
                                  Courtney





                                  --
                                  Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. –Desmond Tutu
                                • Morgan
                                  Hi, Thanks for your long and thoughful post. It has some very useful information. However, I would disagree with the negative assessment of hub motors versus
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi,

                                    Thanks for your long and thoughful post. It has some very useful information.

                                    However, I would disagree with the negative assessment of hub motors versus chain
                                    drives. Hub motors have come a long ways in the past few years, and now the best ones
                                    are internally geared, which makes them lighter weight than the old kind, and more
                                    importantly for Xtracycle use, higher torque.

                                    There are several other advantages to a hub motor. One is that they are very easy to
                                    install. You simply pop off your old wheel, put in the new one, zip tie the wires along the
                                    frame, and find a place for the battery and throttle. A related advantage is the low
                                    maintenance on a hub motor.

                                    Chain drives certainly have their place (in fact, I own a Currie USPD which is chain driven).
                                    I am sure the Stokemonkey is very nice (though I have never been able to get my hands on
                                    one). However, I just want to point out that hub motors are a viable way to go also, and
                                    do not have such strong disadvantages as implied here.

                                    Regarding how far you can go, there is an easier way than the page you cited from
                                    Renaissance (those guys are friends of ours).

                                    Simply do this. If you plan to be pedaling a lot, or have light hills/little headwind, plan on
                                    using about 10 watt hours per mile. If you plan to use the electric a lot, or have bigger
                                    hills/headwind, then plan on using 20-25 watt hours per mile.

                                    Then, to determine how far a battery will take you, simply multiply its nominal voltage by
                                    its nominal amp hour rating (and if you are using lead acids, subtract 30%, for all others,
                                    subtract about 10%), and then divide that number by the numbers above to see what your
                                    range might be.

                                    So, for e.g., a 36V 10AH LiFEPO4 battery has about 390 watt hours of energy (since the
                                    nominal voltage is more like 39 through most of the discharge). Then, subtract 10%
                                    (because it is bad for any battery to fully discharge it), bringing it to about 350 watt hours.

                                    Then, divide that by 10 watt hours per mile, and you see that under moderate/light usage,
                                    you'll get 35 miles. Under heavier usage, you'll get around 15-17 miles range. If this is
                                    not enough, you can easily get a larger battery, or put 2 of them together in parallel for
                                    long trips, or get a higher voltage battery.

                                    One other note, lots of electric bikes (like the Schwinn, and BionX) advertise up to 50 mile
                                    range. While it is not necessarily false advertising, it just isn't realistic with a 10 amp hour
                                    battery. That assumes flat ground, no headwind, and the rider pedaling the whole time.
                                    Maybe a few people will get that range under a few circumstances, but I certainly never
                                    do.


                                    Morgan

                                    --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Victor Khong <victorkhong@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi Courtney,
                                    >
                                    > If you use a chain drive such as Currie, Cyclone or Stokemonkey, I think a 21 speed
                                    gearset makes sense.  A chain drive drives your cranks directly adding power to each
                                    stroke of your pedal effort (and even when you don't peddle).  7 speeds will generally limit
                                    the fastest you can go and the steepest incline you can climb.  Whereas with 21 speeds,
                                    you can pretty much go anywhere.  Points of consideration are:
                                    >
                                    > 1.  Are there lots of steep hills where I travel?  If yes, then get 21 speeds.
                                    > 2.  Do I need all out speed for my travel?  If yes, then get 21 speeds.
                                    > 3.  Do I only need a comfortable moderation of possible speeds on my bike?  If yes, then
                                    7 speeds is fine.
                                    >
                                    > Step through bikes are great for real world everyday use.  Ensure that it is a quality bike
                                    and as strong as it can be.  Moving away from a diamond frame design usually means the
                                    bike is less rigid.  Consider carefully where the battery can be placed to lower your center
                                    of gravity and reduce your polar moment of inertia.  The ideal location is somewhere
                                    behind your backside close to the ground. Ensure that the battery selection you make will
                                    fit within the fitting confines of your bicycle selection.
                                    >
                                    > To the best of my knowledge Stokemonkey is not shipping.  So your best options are
                                    Cyclone or Currie.  
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    ---------------------
                                    > WARNING: A long post on bicycle selection for an Xtracycle hauling a family
                                    > -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    ---------------------
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > To understand my frame of reference and see a family hauling setup, see thread here:
                                    > http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=434383
                                    >
                                    > When building a bike to haul kids, remember to use bar ends as foot pegs so the kids
                                    can brace themselves.  Swept back cruiser bars on a long stem also mean the kids can sit
                                    upright without having to lean forward.  This improves their comfort for longer duration
                                    rides and for everyday pleasure.
                                    >
                                    > As you consider an e.assist, you should consider the following issues:
                                    >
                                    > 1. Hilly areas = chain drives such as Currie or Cyclone work better than hub motors.
                                    >
                                    > 2. Need speed? = chain drives such as Currie or Cyclone take advantage of full gearing
                                    on your bike
                                    > With hub motors, if you pedal faster than the hub can rotate at full throttle, you no
                                    longer gain the benefit from the electric assist.
                                    >
                                    > 3. Ease of maintenance? = generally speaking brushless hub motors require the least
                                    maintenance.
                                    >
                                    > Do chain drives have any downsides?  Yes.  They are noisier than hub motors.  Hub
                                    motors generally hum and that's it. Chain drives are louder and you hear more ratcheting
                                    sounds from the tensioner and sprocket drive.  It sounds more mechanical.
                                    > If you want a quieter riding experience where you can have a family conversation, hub
                                    motors are better.
                                    >
                                    > Downsides to hub motors?  There is a little drag from the hub motor when you are not
                                    running.  Chain drives freewheel when the motor is not used so there is no drag.  In the
                                    real world, you won't feel the additional drag from the hub motor when just peddling.  You
                                    essentially feel the weight of the battery choice you make far more than the drag of any
                                    hub motor.
                                    >
                                    > If you decide to go with a hub motor, the question you should be asking about the
                                    difference between front and rear hub motors, is to ask which mount better addresses the:
                                    >
                                    > 1. Strength of the frame under load
                                    > 2. Centre of gravity on the bike
                                    > 3. Load on the axles (carrying groceries and passengers)
                                    > 4. Ease of access for maintenance
                                    >
                                    > In my personal opinion, the front hub motor mount is better because it distributes the
                                    weight of bike more evenly between the front and rear axles - especially when you put the
                                    battery at the rear. Imagine if you put the battery and motor in the rear, the bicycle will
                                    have such a rearward bias that it will negatively affect handling compared to a bike with
                                    the additional weight spread out between two axles.  I also recommend installing a quality
                                    front basket to the bike.  The additional weight of the basket stabilizes the front and
                                    makes it handy to put a jacket, snacks, camera, cellphone and other easy to access items
                                    when you don't need to strap down the saddle bags.  It is also the easiest way to carry a
                                    jug of milk with passengers!  Depending on the type of basket you get, you can even strap
                                    straw mats and other occasional use items to have with you on the bike.
                                    >
                                    > The rear axle is also uneven due to the cogwheel set. If you are peddling while the
                                    motor is turning, it only adds to the uneven torque exerted on the axle. If you have a front
                                    motor mount, this is less of an issue.  The majority of hub motors today will advertise as
                                    500W or 600W - some with peak watts as high as 1000W. Efficiency can be expressed in
                                    either speed or distance (range). For maximum range, you will want to using it as pedal
                                    assist or pedelec. This means peddling along with the bike and turning on the throttle
                                    when under a headwind, under load, up a difficult incline or to maintain a higher cruising
                                    speed. This will greatly multiply your range.
                                    >
                                    > The type of battery that determines range per charge and not whether the motor is a
                                    front or rear hub. For maximum range per charge, you will want to get LiFePO4 - Lithium
                                    Ion Phosphate. There is an ebay seller called Ping in China who has a good reputation
                                    making custom LiFePO4 packs for e.riders at good prices.  He has warned us that there
                                    will be no more batteries shipping out of China until the Olympics are over.  Be warned
                                    they are not cheap. If you do not need ultimate range (meaning you have localized riding
                                    activity), sealed lead acid is more cost efficient for miles-travelled especially when you
                                    treat it correctly.  Always charge it after every use and trickle charge it when not in use.
                                    >
                                    > Goto: http://www.ebikes.ca/batteries.shtml
                                    > Read about batteries and use the rules there to estimate the type of riding and distance
                                    you plan to travel. To simplify:
                                    >
                                    > a. Volts = how fast you can go or speed. It also means how quick you can get there.
                                    Many motors and controllers can run one step higher than their official capacity (24V run
                                    at 36V, 36V run at 48V). If you plan to run 36V at 72V, you will mostly likely need a new
                                    controller (old one will fry) and a new charger that will charge at the new voltage of your
                                    battery pack). The faster you go, the better brakes, tires, condition the bike better be in
                                    for your safety.  For a family hauler, I do not recommend anything more than 36V.  36V is
                                    plenty fast when you are hauling 2 passengers at the back and coming to a stop safely
                                    under emergency braking conditions (say someone pulls out in front of you) will be a
                                    challenge.
                                    >
                                    > b. Amp. Hours (Ah) = range. This is how long the battery pack can sustain an constant
                                    draw of electricity. High volts but low Ah means you can go very fast but your range is will
                                    be less. The key to a good commuting experience is a sustained average speed not peak
                                    speed. This factor will come into play if you are not able to recharge at the destination
                                    before the return trip home.
                                    >
                                    > In choosing your batteries, you want the Volts that you intend to run matched with more
                                    Ah that you calculate from the ebikes.ca page. More Ah is always better than less Ah. This
                                    ensures you won't have the battery die on you with your type of use.
                                    >
                                    > Another good reference is www.batteryuniversity.com. Read and understand the
                                    difference performance characteristics of battery types so you understand the risk and
                                    reward each type brings.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- On Tue, 7/8/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >     From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...>
                                    >     Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                    >     To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                    >     Date: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 11:56 AM
                                    >
                                    >     I have been promised a MTB from a friend and will get it within a
                                    >     week, hopefully, but I am already questioning turning that bike into
                                    >     my xtracycle. I've been pretty spoiled by my step through bike and
                                    >     don't really want to do the swing leg over bit, especially because I
                                    >     wear a fair amount of skirts. Plus, once the kiddo gets old enough to
                                    >     be on the back of the xtra, I don't want to kick her in the head. I
                                    >     just love my kiddo too much ;)
                                    >
                                    >     So, we are leaning towards getting me an upright new bicycle. A
                                    >     little crazy, I know, but I think I'm worth it! I've looked at the
                                    >     archives and Morgan recently was trying out different bikes like the
                                    >     K2 and Townie. I think I want to go this route, too, and was
                                    >     wondering if anyone has suggestions for a steel framed upright bike (I
                                    >     think I read somewhere that Giant or Raleigh has one) or at least a
                                    >     strong framed upright bike. Suggestions on any of these or others,
                                    >     like a Breezer?
                                    >
                                    >     My husband is planning on taking a day or two off of work next week so
                                    >     we can go testing the bikes. You see, I need someone to come with me
                                    >     due to the fact that a loose 19 month old in a bike shop is never a
                                    >     good idea for her or the bike owners.
                                    >
                                    >     As for hauling, I plan on hauling the kid all the time plus her stuff.
                                    >     You know, baby stuff. Once we get the e-assist, we will be hauling
                                    >     people and groceries and the usual "what you need your car for" stuff.
                                    >     Never will I be carrying crazy amounts of cargo, though.
                                    >
                                    >     Victor and Mark: When looking for a bike, should I steer towards 7
                                    >     gear bikes or are 21 ok for the e-assist? I know for a front hub
                                    >     motor it doesn't matter, but what about the stokemonkey?
                                    >
                                    >     Thanks,
                                    >     Courtney
                                    >
                                    >    
                                    >
                                  • Courtney Power-Freeman
                                    Morgan and Victor~ Than you both so much for your thoughtful and rich replies! A couple of questions for the both of you: 1. If I go the hub motor route and
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Morgan and Victor~
                                      Than you both so much for your thoughtful and rich replies! A couple
                                      of questions for the both of you:

                                      1. If I go the hub motor route and put one on my reg bike first and
                                      then get the xtracycle later (not available until after Aug. 29th), do
                                      you recommend a certain model over another?

                                      2.Victor, I now you have an WE and Morgan, I thin you like the eZee,
                                      right? There's a big price difference and I am a frugal mama. Is
                                      there a better life expectancy with an xtracycle for one model over
                                      another?

                                      3. Morgan, front hub or back hub recs?

                                      Thanks,
                                      Courtney
                                    • Victor Khong
                                      Courtney,   a geared brushless hub motor gives you the best of both worlds.  You get low maintenance, less noise than a chain drive while preserving the
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Courtney,   a geared brushless hub motor gives you the best of both worlds.  You get low maintenance, less noise than a chain drive while preserving the torque of the chain drive.  The gears in the brushless hub will eventually wear out and need replacement.

                                        AFAIK, there is no significant problems with the longevity of electric motors.  Issues arise when people hot-rod their setups, mistreat their batteries, run controllers at a higher voltage than their intended design and so forth.  Assuming, you did not receive a bad component to begin with, the kits are robust.  You are more likely to have rust issues and stress cracks in the Xtracycle frame than you are with an electric kit running at its intended design.

                                        I like front mounted hub kits for their ability to balance the weight of the bicycle up front.  I like hub kits because they have less fitting constraints than chain drives which require specified clearances.  They also have less chain slip and chain breaking incidents which potentially encumber a daily ridden bicycle.    They are also quieter which preserves an important part of the riding experience for my personal priorities.

                                        As to choosing between the Wilderness Energy or Ezee hub. You need to accurately assess your primary riding conditions.  If you need climbing power for long hills or constantly ride in strong winds, Ezee.  The extra money you pay for the Ezee kit will be worth it.  If you don't have long hills and only have the occasional winds to contend with, then the Wilderness Energy kit if fine.  Put the savings towards  an additional charger  so you can charge at destinations to preserve battery life.  Avoiding sulphination in SLAs and charging frequently allow you to maximize the life of SLAs without the much higher cost of LiFePO.  Maintenance of SLAs is easy.  Just plug and ride EVERY time.  Yes, its heavier, but from my experience, you use your vehicle as a pedal assist without draining your batteries to the very bottom, the additional weight of SLAs is not significant.  By the sounds of your budget, I think SLAs is a good choice for your needs  - as they are mine.





                                        --- On Thu, 7/10/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...> wrote:
                                        From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@...>
                                        Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                        To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 8:21 AM

                                        Morgan and Victor~
                                        Than you both so much for your thoughtful and rich replies! A couple
                                        of questions for the both of you:

                                        1. If I go the hub motor route and put one on my reg bike first and
                                        then get the xtracycle later (not available until after Aug. 29th), do
                                        you recommend a certain model over another?

                                        2.Victor, I now you have an WE and Morgan, I thin you like the eZee,
                                        right? There's a big price difference and I am a frugal mama. Is
                                        there a better life expectancy with an xtracycle for one model over
                                        another?

                                        3. Morgan, front hub or back hub recs?

                                        Thanks,
                                        Courtney


                                      • P Hinton
                                        Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c Mongoose frame. The stickers on the frame say Chro-Mo which I hope means what I think it means. I ve
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c Mongoose frame. The stickers on the frame say "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I think it means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about Mongoose and I know they are inexpensive but I'd like to know exactly what type of issues the cheap frames have. I'm also thinking of e-assisting this bike for winter time use. I can honestly say that I've never had any issue with it, not even a flat tire even though I've put a modest amount of miles on it over the years. (80 to 100 per week during 6 months of the year) Anything that you know I should be concerned about? Appreciate the feedback. grace 

                                          --- On Mon, 7/7/08, Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...> wrote:
                                          From: Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...>
                                          Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                          To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                          Date: Monday, July 7, 2008, 6:44 PM

                                          Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with  investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I'd reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or craigslist would  be a  good start . The problem  with free bikes is a lot of the time they're not worth the repairs,  because it's a huffy,  next, or mongoose to start with . You can't polish a turd, to quote my Dad ( usually he was referring to my boyfriend  though , LOL)

                                          --- On Thu, 7/3/08, Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@hotmail. com> wrote:
                                          From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@hotmail. com>
                                          Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                          To: rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:36 PM

                                          Sammy Pizzo...
                                          I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my fellow Austinite? Is
                                          your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If not,
                                          there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young child.

                                          I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the bike with
                                          e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with your
                                          xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?

                                          For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking into
                                          getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an assist. My
                                          current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to take the
                                          MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar set-up and a
                                          plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a hybrid-ish bike,
                                          right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.

                                          Thanks,
                                          Courtney



                                        • kwikfile08
                                          Morgan, Thanks for the formula and real world perspective. As always In the seat experience is way better than theory. I am doing the math already... Carl
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Morgan,

                                            Thanks for the formula and real world perspective. As always "In the seat" experience is
                                            way better than theory. I am doing the math already...

                                            Carl


                                            >
                                            > So, for e.g., a 36V 10AH LiFEPO4 battery has about 390 watt hours of energy (since the
                                            > nominal voltage is more like 39 through most of the discharge). Then, subtract 10%
                                            > (because it is bad for any battery to fully discharge it), bringing it to about 350 watt
                                            hours.
                                            >
                                            > Then, divide that by 10 watt hours per mile, and you see that under moderate/light
                                            usage,
                                            > you'll get 35 miles. Under heavier usage, you'll get around 15-17 miles range. If this is
                                            > not enough, you can easily get a larger battery, or put 2 of them together in parallel for
                                            > long trips, or get a higher voltage battery.
                                            >

                                            >
                                          • Morgan
                                            Hi Courtney, responses are below. ... do ... I think this doesn t really make a difference. Most of the motors (except Stokemonkey) are designed to work
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jul 10, 2008
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Hi Courtney, responses are below.

                                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Courtney Power-Freeman" <powercourt@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Morgan and Victor~
                                              > Than you both so much for your thoughtful and rich replies! A couple
                                              > of questions for the both of you:

                                              > 1. If I go the hub motor route and put one on my reg bike first and
                                              > then get the xtracycle later (not available until after Aug. 29th), do
                                              > you recommend a certain model over another? 
                                              >

                                              I think this doesn't really make a difference.  Most of the motors (except Stokemonkey) are designed to work without the Xtracycle.  The only difference for an Xtracycle configuration is that you need somewhat longer wires, but most come with those (or can be ordered, as in the case of the BionX).

                                              > 2.Victor, I now you have an WE and Morgan, I thin you like the eZee,
                                              > right? There's a big price difference and I am a frugal mama. Is
                                              > there a better life expectancy with an xtracycle for one model over
                                              > another?
                                              >

                                              We actually got approved as a WE dealer, but after not having our phone calls returned and reading about some user experiences, we have not further pursued those as an option. 

                                              We are also a dealer for the Crystalytes, which are a similar to or slightly higher grade/cost kit as the Wilderness Energy (but less than the eZee and BionX).  They are a decent setup.  But they are heavier, the finish is not as nice, the attention to waterproofing is not as good, etc.  It is a case where you get what you pay for.  That said, a family member of mine has the Crystalyte 406 motor on her Xtracycle, and she likes it, it has worked well for her.  

                                              Now, regarding batteries.  These are a very large component of the cost of any kit, and as such, need to be cared for (no matter which chemistry you get).  You can certainly go with lead acids if you want the cheapest short-term route.  I did that for many many years.  But now that I have moved onto a lighter, longer lived battery, I would never, ever go back.  The lead acids have to be replaced about every 2 years even if you treat them well (i.e. charging them on both ends of your ride).  Sometimes less if you ride all the time or in cold weather.  And they are twice the weight of other batteries.  They are cheap to buy, but the frequent replacement will slowly eat up some money and some patience.  It's entirely up to you whether you want that - it is a workable solution for some.  

                                              Nickel chemistries are a good in-between option, less costly than lithium, but lighter weight and longer lived than lead acid.  If treated well they can last 2-3 times longer than lead acid.

                                              The Lithium chemistries are most expensive, but also longest lived.  Even lithium manganese appears to hold up pretty well for ebike use (~500 cycles), and LiFEPO4 theoretically has a lifespan of 1500 cycles or more (if treated well), which is 7 times the lifespan of lead acid (at half the weight).   So, over the long haul, going with LiFEPO4 actually is cheaper (e.g. see our FAQ ) than lead acid (or any other option).  But it is a big upfront cost.  Plus, the technology is still changing/improving, making these even better.  Just don't expect them to get cheaper, given the weakening dollar and rising materials costs.

                                              (One note about lead acid, lead prices have also been shooting up rapidly, if those continue, lead acid replacements may not be so cheap in the future).



                                              > 3. Morgan, front hub or back hub recs?
                                              >

                                              This really depends on the bike and rider.  I like the front hubs for the weight balance issues Victor mentions, and for the simplicity of installation.  On the other hand, the front hubs do affect the feel of your steering.  Especially if you put a heavier motor on the front, like a Crystalyte or WE, I think the steering feels "heavy".  It is usable, but heavy.  The eZee is a bit lighter and so more tolerable, but you will still notice some difference.  A rear hub motor won't affect the feel of the bike handling at all, unless you have heavy batteries mounted up high.  On balance, for internally geared hub motors I slightly prefer fronts, and non-geared motors, slightly prefer rears.  But it is really personal preference. One other note is that most rear hub motors can only accept a 7 or 8 speed freewheel within the space constraints of standard mountain dropouts (135 mm).  The BionX is the only rear motor I know of that works with a 9 speed configuration.  So, if your bike has 9 speed, you would need to downgrade your components for 7/8 speed (shifter and maybe chain, plus a freewheel on the hub motor).

                                              Good luck with the decision.
                                              Morgan

                                              > Thanks,
                                              > Courtney
                                              >
                                            • Andrea Richards
                                              Sorry P Hinton, I hope I didn t offend you. I went through a string of Mart bikes and never had one last more than 6 months 1.I forget what the problem
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jul 11, 2008
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Sorry P Hinton, I hope I didn't offend you.
                                                I went through a string of "Mart" bikes and never had one last more than 6 months
                                                1.I forget what the problem was but some thing inside the rear wheel was really bad, and would not stay in correctly. (this was the mongoose)
                                                2. Next Powerclimber (shudder) the pedal snapped right off in traffic without warning - causing me to crash in front of a Minivan -I don't know who was more terrified, me or the driver.

                                                After that incident I was fed up and bought and rehabbed a cute little vintage Taiwanese Centurion - my first look at how a good bike handles. I like bikes that are built to last and the Box store bikes are actually designed not to to stand up to long periods of daily riding.

                                                The punchline to this is after I said that, someone listed a Trek on freecycle- I've got my fingers crossed for a new project :D



                                                --- On Thu, 7/10/08, P Hinton <gracesten@...> wrote:

                                                > From: P Hinton <gracesten@...>
                                                > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 5:03 PM
                                                > Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c
                                                > Mongoose frame. The stickers on the frame say
                                                > "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I think it
                                                > means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about
                                                > Mongoose and I know they are inexpensive but I'd like
                                                > to know exactly what type of issues the cheap frames have.
                                                > I'm also thinking of e-assisting this bike for winter
                                                > time use. I can honestly say that I've never had any
                                                > issue with it, not even a flat tire even though I've
                                                > put a modest amount of miles on it over the years. (80 to
                                                > 100 per week during 6 months of the year) Anything that you
                                                > know I should be concerned about? Appreciate the
                                                > feedback. grace 
                                                >
                                                > --- On Mon, 7/7/08, Andrea Richards
                                                > <sometimesbystep2008@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > From: Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...>
                                                > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Date: Monday, July 7, 2008, 6:44 PM
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with 
                                                > investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I'd
                                                > reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or
                                                > craigslist would  be a  good start . The problem  with
                                                > free bikes is a lot of the time they're not worth the
                                                > repairs,  because it's a huffy,  next, or mongoose to
                                                > start with . You can't polish a turd, to quote my Dad (
                                                > usually he was referring to my boyfriend  though , LOL)
                                                >
                                                > --- On Thu, 7/3/08, Courtney Power-Freeman
                                                > <powercourt@hotmail. com> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@hotmail.
                                                > com>
                                                > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                > To: rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                                > Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:36 PM
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Sammy Pizzo...
                                                > I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my
                                                > fellow Austinite? Is
                                                > your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If
                                                > not,
                                                > there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young
                                                > child.
                                                >
                                                > I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the
                                                > bike with
                                                > e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with
                                                > your
                                                > xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?
                                                >
                                                > For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking
                                                > into
                                                > getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an
                                                > assist. My
                                                > current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to
                                                > take the
                                                > MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar
                                                > set-up and a
                                                > plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a
                                                > hybrid-ish bike,
                                                > right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.
                                                >
                                                > Thanks,
                                                > Courtney
                                              • P Hinton
                                                ... From: Andrea Richards Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com Date:
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jul 11, 2008
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  ...not offended at all. I admit I have grown attached to the "ol' girl" after so much time but if she left me stranded in -15F temps, I'd get over it pretty quickly! (live in Minneapolis, or Mpls as the locals call it) Just looking to see how far I can extend my riding calendar..safely! ...really not interested in frostbite. I've never had issues with the rear wheel but based on your feedback, I checked to see if I had "shallow" drop outs. That could pose a problem if I used a rear wheel e-motor...appreciate the reply! grace   

                                                  --- On Fri, 7/11/08, Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...> wrote:
                                                  From: Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008@...>
                                                  Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                  To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Date: Friday, July 11, 2008, 4:22 PM


                                                  Sorry P Hinton, I hope I didn't offend you.
                                                  I went through a string of "Mart" bikes and never had one last more than 6 months
                                                  1.I forget what the problem was but some thing inside the rear wheel was really bad, and would not stay in correctly. (this was the mongoose)
                                                  2. Next Powerclimber (shudder) the pedal snapped right off in traffic without warning - causing me to crash in front of a Minivan -I don't know who was more terrified, me or the driver.

                                                  After that incident I was fed up and bought and rehabbed a cute little vintage Taiwanese Centurion - my first look at how a good bike handles. I like bikes that are built to last and the Box store bikes are actually designed not to to stand up to long periods of daily riding.

                                                  The punchline to this is after I said that, someone listed a Trek on freecycle- I've got my fingers crossed for a new project :D

                                                  --- On Thu, 7/10/08, P Hinton <gracesten@yahoo. com> wrote:

                                                  > From: P Hinton <gracesten@yahoo. com>
                                                  > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                  > To: rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  > Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 5:03 PM
                                                  > Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c
                                                  > Mongoose frame. The stickers on the frame say
                                                  > "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I think it
                                                  > means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about
                                                  > Mongoose and I know they are inexpensive but I'd like
                                                  > to know exactly what type of issues the cheap frames have.
                                                  > I'm also thinking of e-assisting this bike for winter
                                                  > time use. I can honestly say that I've never had any
                                                  > issue with it, not even a flat tire even though I've
                                                  > put a modest amount of miles on it over the years. (80 to
                                                  > 100 per week during 6 months of the year) Anything that you
                                                  > know I should be concerned about? Appreciate the
                                                  > feedback. grace 
                                                  >
                                                  > --- On Mon, 7/7/08, Andrea Richards
                                                  > <sometimesbystep2008 @...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > From: Andrea Richards <sometimesbystep2008 @...>
                                                  > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                  > To: rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  > Date: Monday, July 7, 2008, 6:44 PM
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Freecycle   works  for a free bike but  with 
                                                  > investing that much in an assist and  parts,  I'd
                                                  > reccomend starting with a nice frame. Police auctions or
                                                  > craigslist would  be a  good start . The problem  with
                                                  > free bikes is a lot of the time they're not worth the
                                                  > repairs,  because it's a huffy,  next, or mongoose to
                                                  > start with . You can't polish a turd, to quote my Dad (
                                                  > usually he was referring to my boyfriend  though , LOL)
                                                  >
                                                  > --- On Thu, 7/3/08, Courtney Power-Freeman
                                                  > <powercourt@ hotmail. com> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > From: Courtney Power-Freeman <powercourt@ hotmail.
                                                  > com>
                                                  > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                  > To: rootsradicals@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  > Date: Thursday, July 3, 2008, 10:36 PM
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Sammy Pizzo...
                                                  > I'm assuming that's your full name, right, my
                                                  > fellow Austinite? Is
                                                  > your young one Piper? If so, I know your wife and child! If
                                                  > not,
                                                  > there's another Pizzo family in Austin with a young
                                                  > child.
                                                  >
                                                  > I would love to take you up on your offer once you get the
                                                  > bike with
                                                  > e-assist up and running, please. Do you use a trailer with
                                                  > your
                                                  > xtracycle or do you have a bike seat?
                                                  >
                                                  > For everyone else...thanks for your advice. We are looking
                                                  > into
                                                  > getting a free mountain bike and sprucing it up to add an
                                                  > assist. My
                                                  > current bike is a one speed, small lady. I really want to
                                                  > take the
                                                  > MTB and give it a nice swoopy (is this a word?) handlebar
                                                  > set-up and a
                                                  > plush cruiser seat. This would make the bike into a
                                                  > hybrid-ish bike,
                                                  > right? As you can tell, I am new at this game.
                                                  >
                                                  > Thanks,
                                                  > Courtney


                                                • Cara Lin Bridgman
                                                  Some biker somewhere snow-covered like Minnesota and probably on this list buys the cheapest bikes for his wintertime commute. When the salt and rust kills
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Jul 13, 2008
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Some biker somewhere snow-covered like Minnesota and probably on this
                                                    list buys the cheapest bikes for his wintertime commute. When the salt
                                                    and rust kills it, he goes to the yard sales to pick up another US$10.00
                                                    bike for his winter commute. He may go through one every year or so.
                                                    He saves his good bike for his commute during the rest of the year.
                                                    This does look like a cost-effective way of coping with the elements.

                                                    CL
                                                  • phaedrus
                                                    ... From what I ve seen, the cheaper bikes tend to have bearings that die quicker, wheels that go out of true easier, and derailleurs that get out of whack
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Jul 14, 2008
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 7:03 PM, P Hinton <gracesten@...> wrote:
                                                      > Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c Mongoose frame. The
                                                      > stickers on the frame say "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I think it
                                                      > means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about Mongoose and I know they are
                                                      > inexpensive but I'd like to know exactly what type of issues the cheap
                                                      > frames have.

                                                      From what I've seen, the cheaper bikes tend to have bearings that die
                                                      quicker, wheels that go out of true easier, and derailleurs that get
                                                      out of whack easily and are hard to get dialed right back in.

                                                      If its riding fine, its riding fine so I wouldn't worry too much about
                                                      it. When it starts to have problems, I'd either learn to wrench it
                                                      yourself or replace it - its really not worth the money to have a pro
                                                      work on it especially because its actually harder for them to get
                                                      working well than a better bike would be.

                                                      However, as far as riding it through the winter, you should be fine.
                                                      The worst thing will probably be that you'll be pedaling harder than
                                                      you might otherwise have to (which will keep you warm) and the normal
                                                      problems derailleurs have as they get crud in them may be somewhat
                                                      amplified.

                                                      Especially considering that the wise tend to ride a bit slower on
                                                      potentially icy surfaces, I think its fairly unlikely that the types
                                                      of problems cheap bikes have will leave you stranded barring a flat or
                                                      a snapped chain which can happen on any bike.

                                                      Some recommendations from a year round Mpls rider:
                                                      * Clean it up good in the fall. Oil stuff, clean and fingernail
                                                      polish any nicks, etc.

                                                      * Use some of that left over citronella kerosene you might have around
                                                      and regularly put some on a rag and wipe the chain down and then
                                                      re-lube the chain. You might want to keep the lube inside as it gets
                                                      hard to apply in sub zero weather. A rusted gunky chain wears out
                                                      quicker, rides slower and breaks easier. Be prepared that unless
                                                      you're really on top of it and/or have a non-rusting chain, you might
                                                      need a new chain come spring.

                                                      * Keep the bike cold. If you're going to bring it in someplace warm,
                                                      clean it up. The ice and salt won't do much until they're given the
                                                      chance to warm up, but if the bike goes hot-cold-hot-cold, you'll have
                                                      more rust problems and more adjustment problems.

                                                      * Bookmark and read http://www.icebike.org/. The first thing to get
                                                      (after you've got your exposed skin covered) is either claw gloves or
                                                      pogies. Wool is your friend.

                                                      * Consider studded tires.

                                                      - phaedrus, minneapolis
                                                      (Oh yeah, if its snowing, the low load on the rear tire can be a pain
                                                      because it spins out easy. During storms, I'd throw a couple bags of
                                                      salt in the freeloaders to get some more weight back there.)
                                                    • P Hinton
                                                      Thank you so much for your reply and the icebike.org..going directly to favorites! I m definitely in the market for pogies. Was looking at the Hakkapeliitta
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Jul 19, 2008
                                                      • 0 Attachment

                                                        Thank you so much for your reply and the icebike.org..going directly to favorites! I'm definitely in the market for pogies. Was looking at the Hakkapeliitta W106 http://www.suomityres.fi/w106.html which come in a 700x35c and thinking of just riding in my uggs (never used clips or straps on my pedals, claustrophobic!) Not worried about pants or upper body wear but really worried about my ears/nose falling off or being blinded by fogged glasses.

                                                         

                                                        I rode to work starting in April and was really comfortable with a small cap under my helmet that covered my ears and the excellent Nike "Storm-Fit" rain jacket with the sealed seams. I could just add a couple more layers for winter as long as my hands, feet and head/face stay warm. grace

                                                        --- On Mon, 7/14/08, phaedrus <rphaedrus@...> wrote:

                                                        From: phaedrus <rphaedrus@...>
                                                        Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                        To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Date: Monday, July 14, 2008, 11:42 AM

                                                        On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 7:03 PM, P Hinton <gracesten@yahoo. com> wrote:
                                                        > Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c Mongoose frame. The
                                                        > stickers on the frame say "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I think it
                                                        > means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about Mongoose and I know they are
                                                        > inexpensive but I'd like to know exactly what type of issues the cheap
                                                        > frames have.

                                                        From what I've seen, the cheaper bikes tend to have bearings that die
                                                        quicker, wheels that go out of true easier, and derailleurs that get
                                                        out of whack easily and are hard to get dialed right back in.

                                                        If its riding fine, its riding fine so I wouldn't worry too much about
                                                        it. When it starts to have problems, I'd either learn to wrench it
                                                        yourself or replace it - its really not worth the money to have a pro
                                                        work on it especially because its actually harder for them to get
                                                        working well than a better bike would be.

                                                        However, as far as riding it through the winter, you should be fine.
                                                        The worst thing will probably be that you'll be pedaling harder than
                                                        you might otherwise have to (which will keep you warm) and the normal
                                                        problems derailleurs have as they get crud in them may be somewhat
                                                        amplified.

                                                        Especially considering that the wise tend to ride a bit slower on
                                                        potentially icy surfaces, I think its fairly unlikely that the types
                                                        of problems cheap bikes have will leave you stranded barring a flat or
                                                        a snapped chain which can happen on any bike.

                                                        Some recommendations from a year round Mpls rider:
                                                        * Clean it up good in the fall. Oil stuff, clean and fingernail
                                                        polish any nicks, etc.

                                                        * Use some of that left over citronella kerosene you might have around
                                                        and regularly put some on a rag and wipe the chain down and then
                                                        re-lube the chain. You might want to keep the lube inside as it gets
                                                        hard to apply in sub zero weather. A rusted gunky chain wears out
                                                        quicker, rides slower and breaks easier. Be prepared that unless
                                                        you're really on top of it and/or have a non-rusting chain, you might
                                                        need a new chain come spring.

                                                        * Keep the bike cold. If you're going to bring it in someplace warm,
                                                        clean it up. The ice and salt won't do much until they're given the
                                                        chance to warm up, but if the bike goes hot-cold-hot- cold, you'll have
                                                        more rust problems and more adjustment problems.

                                                        * Bookmark and read http://www.icebike. org/. The first thing to get
                                                        (after you've got your exposed skin covered) is either claw gloves or
                                                        pogies. Wool is your friend.

                                                        * Consider studded tires.

                                                        - phaedrus, minneapolis
                                                        (Oh yeah, if its snowing, the low load on the rear tire can be a pain
                                                        because it spins out easy. During storms, I'd throw a couple bags of
                                                        salt in the freeloaders to get some more weight back there.)


                                                      • Anne Littlebird
                                                        I rode in my uggs this winter just fine. Really cold days I was in an Inuit fur parka and fur clothes. Very toasty and the ride was just fine. Added a nachaq
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Jul 19, 2008
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          I rode in my uggs this winter just fine. Really cold days I was in an
                                                          Inuit fur parka and fur clothes. Very toasty and the ride was just fine.
                                                          Added a nachaq which is a knitted hood under my fur hat to keep ears and
                                                          nose warm. I love riding in the winter.

                                                          96 degrees today - I stayed in - I over heat really easily.

                                                          Anne



                                                          P Hinton wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > Thank you so much for your reply and the icebike.org..going directly
                                                          > to favorites! I'm definitely in the market for pogies. Was looking at
                                                          > the Hakkapeliitta W106 http://www.suomityres.fi/w106.html
                                                          > <http://www.suomityres.fi/w106.html> which come in a 700x35c and
                                                          > thinking of just riding in my uggs (never used clips or straps on my
                                                          > pedals, claustrophobic!) Not worried about pants or upper body wear
                                                          > but really worried about my ears/nose falling off or being blinded by
                                                          > fogged glasses.
                                                          >
                                                          > I rode to work starting in April and was really comfortable with a
                                                          > small cap under my helmet that covered my ears and the excellent Nike
                                                          > "Storm-Fit" rain jacket with the sealed seams. I could just add a
                                                          > couple more layers for winter as long as my hands, feet and head/face
                                                          > stay warm. grace
                                                          >
                                                          > --- On *Mon, 7/14/08, phaedrus /<rphaedrus@...>/* wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > From: phaedrus <rphaedrus@...>
                                                          > Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Best e-assist and advice
                                                          > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                                          > Date: Monday, July 14, 2008, 11:42 AM
                                                          >
                                                          > On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 7:03 PM, P Hinton <gracesten@yahoo. com
                                                          > <mailto:gracesten%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
                                                          > > Andrea - I have my xtracycle attached to a 1995 700c Mongoose
                                                          > frame. The
                                                          > > stickers on the frame say "Chro-Mo" which I hope means what I
                                                          > think it
                                                          > > means. I've heard some talk disparagingly about Mongoose and I
                                                          > know they are
                                                          > > inexpensive but I'd like to know exactly what type of issues the
                                                          > cheap
                                                          > > frames have.
                                                          >
                                                          > From what I've seen, the cheaper bikes tend to have bearings that die
                                                          > quicker, wheels that go out of true easier, and derailleurs that get
                                                          > out of whack easily and are hard to get dialed right back in.
                                                          >
                                                          > If its riding fine, its riding fine so I wouldn't worry too much about
                                                          > it. When it starts to have problems, I'd either learn to wrench it
                                                          > yourself or replace it - its really not worth the money to have a pro
                                                          > work on it especially because its actually harder for them to get
                                                          > working well than a better bike would be.
                                                          >
                                                          > However, as far as riding it through the winter, you should be fine.
                                                          > The worst thing will probably be that you'll be pedaling harder than
                                                          > you might otherwise have to (which will keep you warm) and the normal
                                                          > problems derailleurs have as they get crud in them may be somewhat
                                                          > amplified.
                                                          >
                                                          > Especially considering that the wise tend to ride a bit slower on
                                                          > potentially icy surfaces, I think its fairly unlikely that the types
                                                          > of problems cheap bikes have will leave you stranded barring a flat or
                                                          > a snapped chain which can happen on any bike.
                                                          >
                                                          > Some recommendations from a year round Mpls rider:
                                                          > * Clean it up good in the fall. Oil stuff, clean and fingernail
                                                          > polish any nicks, etc.
                                                          >
                                                          > * Use some of that left over citronella kerosene you might have around
                                                          > and regularly put some on a rag and wipe the chain down and then
                                                          > re-lube the chain. You might want to keep the lube inside as it gets
                                                          > hard to apply in sub zero weather. A rusted gunky chain wears out
                                                          > quicker, rides slower and breaks easier. Be prepared that unless
                                                          > you're really on top of it and/or have a non-rusting chain, you might
                                                          > need a new chain come spring.
                                                          >
                                                          > * Keep the bike cold. If you're going to bring it in someplace warm,
                                                          > clean it up. The ice and salt won't do much until they're given the
                                                          > chance to warm up, but if the bike goes hot-cold-hot- cold, you'll
                                                          > have
                                                          > more rust problems and more adjustment problems.
                                                          >
                                                          > * Bookmark and read http://www.icebike org/.
                                                          > <http://www.icebike.org/.> The first thing to get
                                                          > (after you've got your exposed skin covered) is either claw gloves or
                                                          > pogies. Wool is your friend.
                                                          >
                                                          > * Consider studded tires.
                                                          >
                                                          > - phaedrus, minneapolis
                                                          > (Oh yeah, if its snowing, the low load on the rear tire can be a pain
                                                          > because it spins out easy. During storms, I'd throw a couple bags of
                                                          > salt in the freeloaders to get some more weight back there.)
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                        • Dave Lloyd
                                                          ... I think my coldest this last winter here in STL was about 5 above. This was also the snowiest and iciest winter I can remember for a long, long time. The
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Jul 19, 2008
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 7:58 PM, P Hinton <gracesten@...> wrote:
                                                            > Thank you so much for your reply and the icebike.org..going directly to
                                                            > favorites! I'm definitely in the market for pogies. Was looking at the
                                                            > Hakkapeliitta W106 http://www.suomityres.fi/w106.html which come in a
                                                            > 700x35c and thinking of just riding in my uggs (never used clips or straps
                                                            > on my pedals, claustrophobic!) Not worried about pants or upper body wear
                                                            > but really worried about my ears/nose falling off or being blinded by fogged
                                                            > glasses.

                                                            I think my coldest this last winter here in STL was about 5 above.
                                                            This was also the snowiest and iciest winter I can remember for a
                                                            long, long time. The only thing that kept me off the bike was the two
                                                            times we got 8" of snow. If it's up to the bottom bracket, not much
                                                            point in trying to get through it.

                                                            I'd recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires. To me the two big
                                                            advantages over the W106 were kevlar puncture protection and a
                                                            reflective sidewall (It also has a dynamo strip, but I found that when
                                                            the weather got really cold my sidewall dynamo froze up, so fat lot of
                                                            good the dynamo strip did). You can inflate the 700x35s up to 85PSI,
                                                            which is great for the times the roads are clear. As far as traction
                                                            goes, the worst stuff was the 3" of sleet we got. Sort of like trying
                                                            to bike on a combination of beach sand a zillions of tiny frozen ball
                                                            bearings. That turned my 35 minute commute into something more like
                                                            1:20. All the other times the tires were perfect. I could stand on
                                                            the pedals up a solid sheet of ice and have no slipping whatsoever
                                                            (what to do when you put your foot down to stop is a whole 'nother
                                                            ball of wax, though).

                                                            As far as the kevlar puncture protection, a few weeks ago I noticed a
                                                            nick in one of the Marathon Winters now hanging up in my basement.
                                                            Sure enough, there was about a 1/4" long slice in the tread. It went
                                                            all the way through the rubber but stopped at the kevlar (easy to see
                                                            since it's a mustard color). Nothing made it through the other side.
                                                            Flats suck, but flats in the frozen tundra suck worse.

                                                            --
                                                            --dlloyd
                                                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.