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Re: [rootsradicals] bike powered cell phone charger

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  • Juergen Weichert
    My Xtracycle has a generator built in - in the form of a BionX electric assist system. Any time I want to I can set the system into regenerate mode and
    Message 1 of 26 , Jan 10 8:35 PM
      My Xtracycle has a generator built in - in the form of a BionX electric
      assist system. Any time I want to I can set the system into "regenerate"
      mode and charge the battery. Alternatively in a stationary application
      (stong stand with the rear wheel off the ground) I or anyone else can
      sit there for hours charging the battery off human power. Enough power
      for many cell-phones and laptops.

      :-)

      Juergen


      Ben Rosenthal wrote:
      >
      > Unfortunately from the wording of the story, it appears Motorola has
      > introduced an entire bicycle, rather than just a dynamo that one can
      > install on any bike and charge one's phone (or any other gadget). I
      > bought a Pedal & Power dynamo a couple years ago but haven't
      > installed it yet. Seems, though, that it would offer the same
      > functionality as this Moto accessory that hasn't been pictured very
      > clearly for us yet.
      >
      > - Ben
      >
      > On 10 Jan 2007, at 13:04, g_baka2002 wrote:
      >
      > > Just thought this would seem right at home hooked to a Xtracyle
      > > bike...
      > >
      > > Greg in MO
      > > **********
      > >
      > > Motorola's Bike Charger for Mobile Phones
      > >
      > > The big news of the day might've been that Apple had finally taken
      > > the wraps off their iPhone, but the greener gossip was to be found
      > > in the Motorola camp. This communications giant was unveiling a more
      > > modest gadget, yet of immediate utility to umpteen million folk, in
      > > what are termed `emerging markets'. Their particular do-dad is a
      > > battery charger for mobile phones that is powered simply by riding a
      > > bicycle. Motorola's CEO, Ed Zander rode a bike into his recent
      > > keynote speech to highlight the technology. He reckoned it would be
      > > of use to the multitudes of people needing communications, but still
      > > lacking in grid connected services. "Farmers in Senegal use the
      > > phone to monitor crop prices. Health workers in South Africa use
      > > their phones to locate records while dealing with patients," he
      > > said. And it seems that rural China is a prime market for Motorola,
      > > who suggested that in a country with 500 million commuting cyclists,
      > > there are also five million new mobile phone subscribers every
      > > month. India, Asia and Latin America are in their sights too.
      > >
      > >
      > > pictures at
      > > http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/motorolas_bike.php
      > <http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/motorolas_bike.php>
      >
      >
    • Michael Lemberger
      ... I think the Engadget article gives that impression, but it s not correct. Motorola not getting into the bicycle market:
      Message 2 of 26 , Jan 11 7:30 AM
        On Jan 10, 2007, Ben Rosenthal wrote:

        > Unfortunately from the wording of the story, it appears Motorola
        > has introduced an entire bicycle, rather than just a dynamo that
        > one can
        > install on any bike and charge one's phone (or any other gadget).

        I think the Engadget article gives that impression, but it's not
        correct. Motorola not getting into the bicycle market:

        <http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?
        id=3a80d1f4-6d3d-4d1d-9ff0-93de3b395108&k=17091>

        > [...] this Moto accessory that hasn't been pictured very clearly
        > for us yet.

        Entirely true, and I'm very curious to see what it actually looks
        like. Would it be a proprietary dynamo?

        A better idea might be to offer a module that plugs into a typical
        bicycle dynamo (the majority of which are 6v, 3W) that would convert
        its current to something a charger could use. Then put a switch on it
        so the rider could bypass the charger and run a light at night. Far
        simpler than possibly ending up with two dynamos on one bike. I'm not
        an electrical engineer, but I'm betting it would be possible. One has
        to wonder whether they talked to any bike people in the course of
        developing this product...

        Michael Lemberger
        Madison, WI
      • Paul Rychnovsky
        I think this has all been done before a few years ago, the system was called pedal and power and was made by Ikon Global of Sweden. It obviously didn t catch
        Message 3 of 26 , Jan 11 10:13 AM
           
           I think this has all been done before a few years ago, the system was called pedal and power and was made by Ikon Global of Sweden. It obviously didn't catch on because I think its out of production now. See http://www.modernoutpost.com/gear/details/ig_pedal_power.html & http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/03/pedal_power.php

        • Paul Rychnovsky
          If anyone is interested there is a company that still holds a stock of the Pedal and Power chargers at
          Message 4 of 26 , Jan 11 10:22 AM
          • Ben Rosenthal
            Right. That s the product I said I bought a couple years ago but haven t installed yet.
            Message 5 of 26 , Jan 11 10:55 AM
              Right. That's the product I said I bought a couple years ago but haven't installed yet.

              On Thursday, January 11, 2007, at 01:15PM, "Paul Rychnovsky" <riggo@...> wrote:
              >
              > I think this has all been done before a few years ago, the system was called pedal and power and was made by Ikon Global of Sweden. It obviously didn't catch on because I think its out of production now. See http://www.modernoutpost.com/gear/details/ig_pedal_power.html & http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/03/pedal_power.php
              >
              >----------------------------------------------------------------------
              >Click to replace your roof, new technology last longer and stronger
              >http://tags.bluebottle.com/fc/CAaCMPJmeRTiIGDtKoQemnb88JvIN0cI/
              >
              >
            • Tone
              Paul, You posted a link to a green-shopping web site in the UK, which you said still had some stock left of the Pedal & Power chargers, but when I followed
              Message 6 of 26 , Jan 19 12:04 PM

                Paul,

                            You posted a link to a green-shopping web site in the UK, which you said still had some stock left of the Pedal & Power chargers, but when I followed your link I could not find the Pedal & Power chargers anywhere on their site. Did you get the URL correct, or do you think the product is actually out of stock and they updated their site?

                _TONE_

                 

              • Tone
                Juergen, Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX electric assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle? _TONE_
                Message 7 of 26 , Jan 19 12:06 PM

                  Juergen,

                              Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX electric assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle?

                  _TONE_

                   

                • Juergen Weichert
                  Here is a link to the company, BionX www.bionx.ca A link to my own site: www.acclivity.ca I have some photos and will post them now. I will send the links in a
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jan 19 12:37 PM
                    Here is a link to the company, BionX www.bionx.ca

                    A link to my own site: www.acclivity.ca

                    I have some photos and will post them now. I will send the links in a
                    moment.

                    Juergen



                    Tone wrote:
                    >
                    > Juergen,
                    >
                    > Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX electric
                    > assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle?
                    >
                    > _/TONE/_
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Juergen Weichert
                    Hi Tone Here are some photos. The bike is a standard steel MTB, nothing special except equipped with Xtracycle of course. The assist system is a BionX PL-350.
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jan 19 12:53 PM
                      Hi Tone

                      Here are some photos. The bike is a standard steel MTB, nothing special
                      except equipped with Xtracycle of course. The assist system is a BionX
                      PL-350.

                      Bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3110.jpg
                      Bringing home Christmas tree: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_2931.jpg
                      Hauling groceries: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3013.jpg

                      Here are a couple I have equipped for others (donor bike is Electra Townie):
                      http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/ottlaunch-1.jpg
                      http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5631.JPG

                      Our previous Mayor taking one for a ride:
                      http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5668.JPG

                      Juergen


                      Tone wrote:
                      >
                      > Juergen,
                      >
                      > Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX electric
                      > assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle?
                      >
                      > _/TONE/_
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Paul Rychnovsky
                      Tone I must have purchased the last two! sorry :-( Paul ... From: Tone To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 8:04 PM Subject: RE:
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jan 19 12:55 PM
                        Tone
                        I must have purchased the last two! sorry :-(
                        Paul
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Tone
                        Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 8:04 PM
                        Subject: RE: [rootsradicals] Re: bike powered cell phone charger

                        Paul,

                                    You posted a link to a green-shopping web site in the UK, which you said still had some stock left of the Pedal & Power chargers, but when I followed your link I could not find the Pedal & Power chargers anywhere on their site. Did you get the URL correct, or do you think the product is actually out of stock and they updated their site?

                        _TONE_


                        No virus found in this incoming message.
                        Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                        Version: 7.5.432 / Virus Database: 268.17.1/640 - Release Date: 1/19/2007 16:46

                      • Tone
                        Juergen, I looked through those photos and links to the BionX site. You had mentioned you could prop up your back wheel on a strong center stand to pedal your
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jan 19 10:56 PM

                          Juergen,

                                      I looked through those photos and links to the BionX site. You had mentioned you could prop up your back wheel on a strong center stand to pedal your bike in a stationary position. I believe you said that could potentially result in the ability to charge up the BionX battery in order to power a cell phone, iPod, laptop, etc.

                                      When looking through the BionX web site there does not seem to be any specific mention of such a possible function, so I am wondering how you would go about charging up such devices with your BionX battery/system. Is there some sort of output outlet, like perhaps something like a car cigarette lighter? The site does mention how the system can be set to a generative setting, and how the system is smart enough to set itself automatically to a generative state while going downhill and braking, etc.

                                      Thanks for the links and info.

                          _TONE_

                           

                        • Ellen Stoune Duralia
                          Hi! Thanks for sharing the photos :) I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other electric assist kits? Thanks for the info, Ellen ...
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jan 20 7:17 AM
                            Re: Xtra with BionX assist - was  Re: [rootsradicals] bike powered cell phone charger Hi! Thanks for sharing the photos :)

                            I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other electric assist kits?

                            Thanks for the info,
                            Ellen

                            On 1/19/07 3:53 PM, "Juergen Weichert" <juergen@...> wrote:


                             
                             

                            Hi Tone

                            Here are some photos. The bike is a standard steel MTB, nothing special
                            except equipped with Xtracycle of course. The assist system is a BionX
                            PL-350.

                            Bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3110.jpg
                            Bringing home Christmas tree: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_2931.jpg
                            Hauling groceries: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3013.jpg

                            Here are a couple I have equipped for others (donor bike is Electra Townie):
                            http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/ottlaunch-1.jpg
                            http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5631.JPG

                            Our previous Mayor taking one for a ride:
                            http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5668.JPG

                            Juergen

                            Tone wrote:
                            >
                            > Juergen,
                            >
                            >             Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX electric
                            > assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle?
                            >
                            > _/TONE/_
                            >
                            >  
                            >
                            >  

                             
                                

                          • jparks781
                            ... Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle. My donor bike is a Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the Xtracycle in
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jan 20 6:11 PM
                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ellen wrote:
                              >
                              > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other electric
                              > assist kits?

                              Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle. My donor bike is a
                              Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the
                              Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and really
                              haven't put too many miles on it. My commute is about 10 - 15 miles
                              round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I don't
                              set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity to
                              spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.

                              I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine which
                              is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a bit of
                              focus on folders and electric bikes. (Also a bit on rail transport
                              policy etc. in the UK.) The review was positive and it described the
                              system well. The reason I felt I wanted to try it out was because it
                              is a modern motor / controller design, with regenerative capability.

                              I actually owned the Bionx system for over a year before installing
                              it. I was a little conflicted about it, because I didn't feel I
                              really needed it but I was very interested in the technology, but I
                              didn't want to use a motorized bike on the bike path which I used some
                              with my then 3-year-old in the Peapod on the back. Now he's on his
                              own two-wheeler and I certainly don't need the motor drive to keep up
                              with him on the bike path, so the Xtracycle was freed up to install
                              the Bionx system. Really I finally got around to it because of a
                              recommendation I got from an acquaintance in the bike advocacy network
                              here in Boston who said (from his experience) I wouldn't regret it and
                              really come to enjoy it. And he was right - it really is nice to
                              have. At first, I thought 'holy crap this thing is heavy, no way will
                              I be able to ride without the power assist on'. But the Xtracycle /
                              XO-3 was already a tank with all the junk I haul around in the
                              freeloaders all the time anyway, and the Bionx system isn't the most
                              at fault. I've even gotten on since the installation and ridden away
                              without remembering to turn the thing on. These days I mostly use it
                              to help me get up hills without slowing down to a crawl.

                              The regen works. But it is of only fractional benefit, so you don't
                              end up at the bottom of a hill that you've gone over with the same
                              power left in the battery that you had when you started. But it
                              really does work, and I really like the way I don't have to actually
                              make the rear brake pads touch the rim anymore under normal operation.
                              With the hall-effect switch mounted on the rear brake lever, as soon
                              as the lever is pulled in at all (just enough to take up some of the
                              tension in the brake cable) the full regen kicks in and you slow down.

                              So would I do it again? Well, maybe. I'm getting a Big Dummy as soon
                              as they're available, and my plan is to put a Stokemonkey on it.
                              Because I really dig the Xtracycle concept and I want to support the
                              Clever Chimp who's gone out on his own now, self-employed with a
                              product specifically designed for the Xtracycle / Longtail market. If
                              I can convince my wife to use the bike instead of her car around
                              town, we'll keep the Xtracycle / XO-3 / Bionx for her, otherwise it'll
                              be for sale in June or July (I hope - Surly I'm counting on you...).
                              But the Bionx is a solid system and I have no complaints. I didn't
                              know about the Stokemonkey when I ordered the Bionx, and I didn't
                              consider any other assist kits- most that I'd seen in passing were old
                              technology, DC motors with brushes, no regen. Now that I've used the
                              regen, it's no longer a requirement for me on a bike like it will be
                              when I get around to converting a car to battery electric (someday?
                              don't hold your breath). I guess it's because the frictional losses
                              in the bike application are a greater proportion of the total load
                              than in the car application, and the speeds and weights are lower, so
                              there is less kinetic energy to be regained when slowing the vehicle.

                              Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                              than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                              committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market am I
                              jumping ship to the Stokemonkey. (well, then there's the name thing -
                              I'll be much happier on a big dummy with a stokemonkey than with
                              something that is supposed to make me think I'm the 6 million dollar man)

                              Joel
                            • Todd Fahrner
                              ... I m the Stokemonkey guy, so I didn t want to insert my opinions into this thread early, but Joel s reply is just so inviting. I think the Bionx is a very
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 21 1:22 PM
                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "jparks781" <joel.parks@...>
                                wrote:

                                > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Ellen wrote:
                                > >
                                > > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other
                                > > electric assist kits?

                                I'm the Stokemonkey guy, so I didn't want to insert my opinions into
                                this thread early, but Joel's reply is just so inviting. I think the
                                Bionx is a very good implementation of a very different design approach
                                than Stokemonkey took. I've ridden one briefly and found it impressive
                                in its own way. There's some functional overlap of course, but enough
                                difference that I don't think of it as a competing system. The two
                                systems meet different sets of needs/wants.

                                I think the Bionx approach is good for helping people of varying
                                fitness levels perform like reasonable athletes with less sweat, within
                                a certain modest range. Stokemonkey is made to help avid cyclists do
                                work that almost nobody attempts on a bike, regardless of their
                                condition. I think Bionx has better chances of getting non-bikers onto
                                bikes than Stokemonkey; Stokemonkey is made to keep bikers out of cars
                                when human power alone just won't cut it. Bionx is several pounds
                                lighter, mechanically simpler, and unlikely to intimidate anybody;
                                Stokemonkey is just way more capable at the expense of those other
                                things.

                                The main thing is torque. I can pretty much guarantee that if you can
                                strap it to your Xtracycle, Stokemonkey will let you get it up any
                                hill. I've gotten 480 lbs (gross) up a 31.5% block in San Francisco
                                (stairs instead of a sidewalk). I'm also sure that if you take the much
                                lesser maximum loaded climbing capacity of the Bionx (let's say it's
                                100 lbs cargo up a 5% grade at 8mph -- just making this up),
                                Stokemonkey will match that performance at a much higher level of
                                electrical efficiency. I'm confident that Stokemonkey's ability to use
                                all your bike's gears to keep efficiency high, in climbing and cargo
                                applications especially, far outweighs the range benefits of Bionx's
                                regenerative braking. (I see regenerative braking for assisted bicycles
                                as 95% marketing, 5% engineering genius.)

                                When people want to put Stokemonkey on non-cargo-capable bikes, I tell
                                them there's no way they need much of what Stokemonkey was designed to
                                do. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Bionx to them, however, if they
                                found their regular bike too much of a chore to ride 20 miles. I can
                                also see Bionx being a good match even with Xtracycles if you don't
                                intend to haul passengers or similar heavy loads in hills much, and if
                                you put a premium on ease of use for novice cyclists. Juergen's
                                outfitting a fleet of Xtracyclical Electra Townies for Ottawa's
                                lightbulb delivery program is a good example: I'd worry about screening
                                a random bunch of lightbulb delivery people against a list like this:
                                http://cleverchimp.com/products/stokemonkey/warnings/ . Personally I'd
                                be fine delivering poofy lightbulbs in flat country without
                                assistance... or maybe the headwinds were fierce and the schedule
                                tight?

                                > Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle. My donor bike is
                                > a Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed
                                > the Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and
                                > really haven't put too many miles on it. My commute is about 10 - 15
                                > miles round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I
                                > don't set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity
                                > to spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.

                                Note that Stokemonkey's smallest battery has a third more capacity,
                                nominally, than Bionx's. This isn't a dig; it's a reflection of Bionx's
                                emphasis on light weight and generally more modest level of power
                                assistance. If Bionx feels like plenty of help, and a bit too much
                                weight, then Stokemonkey is worse: heavier and overkill.

                                On the other hand, I recently sold Stokemonkey to a fellow whose
                                commute is 40 miles with 2000' of climbing each way. He does it on one
                                of my large batteries, recharging at work. He's clearly a strong
                                cyclist, so I won't cite this as typical (I'm going to wait a couple
                                months before I blog it). But I think it says a lot that the 40-lb
                                system more than pulls its weight over 80 miles and 4000' climbing
                                daily.

                                > I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine
                                > which is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a
                                > bit of focus on folders and electric bikes.

                                I'm angling to get Stokemonkey reviewed there, too. Pity it's too
                                powerful and lacking the speed restrictions necessary for UK or EU
                                legality as a bicycle.

                                > Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                                > than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                                > committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market am
                                > I jumping ship to the Stokemonkey.

                                I appreciate the support, but really you should consider whether it
                                meets your needs first! Recently an early customer resold his system
                                because it was basically overkill. He's car-free in Boston and found
                                happily that human power is enough for him.

                                > (well, then there's the name thing - I'll be much happier on a big
                                > dummy with a stokemonkey than with something that is supposed to make
                                > me think I'm the 6 million dollar man)

                                Speaking of names, I tagged an image on my blog with the initials for
                                Big Dummy Stokemonkey, and am drawing search engine traffic from porn
                                seekers in China:

                                http://image.cn.yahoo.com/searchdtl_v3.html?p=bdsm&sf=&sel=3&pid=yisou
                              • Ellen Stoune Duralia
                                Joel, thank you for your detailed response! And Todd, thank you for educating me on the benefits of the Stokemonkey when more hauling capacity is needed.
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 22 5:13 AM
                                  Re: Xtra with BionX assist - was  Re: [rootsradicals] bike powered cell phone charge Joel, thank you for your detailed response! And Todd, thank you for educating me on the benefits of the Stokemonkey when more hauling capacity is needed.

                                  On 1/20/07 9:11 PM, "jparks781" <joel.parks@...> wrote:


                                   
                                   

                                  --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com> , Ellen wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other electric
                                  > assist kits?

                                  Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle.  My donor bike is a
                                  Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the
                                  Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and really
                                  haven't put too many miles on it.  My commute is about 10 - 15 miles
                                  round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I don't
                                  set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity to
                                  spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.  

                                  I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine which
                                  is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a bit of
                                  focus on folders and electric bikes.  (Also a bit on rail transport
                                  policy etc. in the UK.)  The review was positive and it described the
                                  system well.  The reason I felt I wanted to try it out was because it
                                  is a modern motor / controller design, with regenerative capability.

                                  I actually owned the Bionx system for over a year before installing
                                  it.  I was a little conflicted about it, because I didn't feel I
                                  really needed it but I was very interested in the technology, but I
                                  didn't want to use a motorized bike on the bike path which I used some
                                  with my then 3-year-old in the Peapod on the back.  Now he's on his
                                  own two-wheeler and I certainly don't need the motor drive to keep up
                                  with him on the bike path, so the Xtracycle was freed up to install
                                  the Bionx system.  Really I finally got around to it because of a
                                  recommendation I got from an acquaintance in the bike advocacy network
                                  here in Boston who said (from his experience) I wouldn't regret it and
                                  really come to enjoy it.  And he was right - it really is nice to
                                  have.  At first, I thought 'holy crap this thing is heavy, no way will
                                  I be able to ride without the power assist on'.  But the Xtracycle /
                                  XO-3 was already a tank with all the junk I haul around in the
                                  freeloaders all the time anyway, and the Bionx system isn't the most
                                  at fault.  I've even gotten on since the installation and ridden away
                                  without remembering to turn the thing on.  These days I mostly use it
                                  to help me get up hills without slowing down to a crawl.  

                                  The regen works.  But it is of only fractional benefit, so you don't
                                  end up at the bottom of a hill that you've gone over with the same
                                  power left in the battery that you had when you started.  But it
                                  really does work, and I really like the way I don't have to actually
                                  make the rear brake pads touch the rim anymore under normal operation.
                                   With the hall-effect switch mounted on the rear brake lever, as soon
                                  as the lever is pulled in at all (just enough to take up some of the
                                  tension in the brake cable) the full regen kicks in and you slow down.

                                  So would I do it again?  Well, maybe.  I'm getting a Big Dummy as soon
                                  as they're available, and my plan is to put a Stokemonkey on it.
                                  Because I really dig the Xtracycle concept and I want to support the
                                  Clever Chimp who's gone out on his own now, self-employed with a
                                  product specifically designed for the Xtracycle / Longtail market.  If
                                   I can convince my wife to use the bike instead of her car around
                                  town, we'll keep the Xtracycle / XO-3 / Bionx for her, otherwise it'll
                                  be for sale in June or July (I hope - Surly I'm counting on you...).
                                  But the Bionx is a solid system and I have no complaints.  I didn't
                                  know about the Stokemonkey when I ordered the Bionx, and I didn't
                                  consider any other assist kits- most that I'd seen in passing were old
                                  technology, DC motors with brushes, no regen.  Now that I've used the
                                  regen, it's no longer a requirement for me on a bike like it will be
                                  when I get around to converting a car to battery electric (someday?
                                  don't hold your breath).  I guess it's because the frictional losses
                                  in the bike application are a greater proportion of the total load
                                  than in the car application, and the speeds and weights are lower, so
                                  there is less kinetic energy to be regained when slowing the vehicle.

                                  Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                                  than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                                  committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market am I
                                  jumping ship to the Stokemonkey.  (well, then there's the name thing -
                                  I'll be much happier on a big dummy with a stokemonkey than with
                                  something that is supposed to make me think I'm the 6 million dollar man)

                                  Joel

                                   
                                      

                                • Juergen Weichert
                                  Hi Tone Yes - BionX have a trainer available. It is a stand that props up the rear wheel and supports the bike for indoor use. The best use of the stored
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 22 3:14 PM
                                    Hi Tone

                                    Yes - BionX have a trainer available. It is a stand that props up the
                                    rear wheel and supports the bike for indoor use.

                                    The best use of the stored energy would be to use the battery later to
                                    power your "outside" bike for riding. Alternatively you could order your
                                    battery pack with a DC/DC converter option. The output is available at
                                    6V or 12V on a small jack. This would allow you to tap into the battery
                                    reservoir to power small electronics as you suggest. They don't really
                                    advertise this option but it is available to dealers on special order. I
                                    will be ordering some of my batteries for 2007 with this option. It is
                                    also useful for powering lights on your bike so you don't have to carry
                                    multiple other battery packs. (short days - pretty dark in winter up here)

                                    Xtracycle content: I had my X in the shop recently to swap over to
                                    winter tires and install fenders. I REALLY miss it - especially when
                                    going for groceries.

                                    Car-Free content: I made it through the first three weeks of 2007 car
                                    free. Today I drove it for the first time in 2007. Thanks Xtracycle for
                                    helping make this possible! :-)

                                    Juergen



                                    Tone wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Juergen,
                                    >
                                    > I looked through those photos and links to the BionX site.
                                    > You had mentioned you could prop up your back wheel on a strong center
                                    > stand to pedal your bike in a stationary position. I believe you said
                                    > that could potentially result in the ability to charge up the BionX
                                    > battery in order to power a cell phone, iPod, laptop, etc.
                                    >

                                    > When looking through the BionX web site there does not
                                    > seem to be any specific mention of such a possible function, so I am
                                    > wondering how you would go about charging up such devices with your
                                    > BionX battery/system. Is there some sort of output outlet, like
                                    > perhaps something like a car cigarette lighter? The site does mention
                                    > how the system can be set to a generative setting, and how the system
                                    > is smart enough to set itself automatically to a generative state
                                    > while going downhill and braking, etc.
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for the links and info.
                                    >
                                    > _/TONE/_
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • Juergen Weichert
                                    Hi Ellen I have been experimenting with (and selling) electric assist units for several years now. I have ridden just about every assist system available on
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jan 22 3:21 PM
                                      Hi Ellen

                                      I have been experimenting with (and selling) electric assist units for
                                      several years now. I have ridden just about every assist system
                                      available on the market aside from Todd's clever and capable StokeMonkey
                                      and the Cyclone system. I find hub motors very nice because they are
                                      conceptually simple and easy to install. They require no additional
                                      gearing or external mechanical complexity and are virtually silent and
                                      invisible. There are some good ones available. In my opinion the BionX
                                      is the "best of breed" right now.

                                      They are made in Canada, are light weight while providing sufficient
                                      assist (not "overpowered") and have excellent warranty and dealer
                                      support. They now also have several models available to suit most
                                      performance and budget levels.

                                      Feel free to contact me off-list for more details if you like. I don't
                                      mind posting more here but would like to remain considerate of this
                                      list's threshold for "commercial" content. Others might like to chime in
                                      though if there are more questions to share.

                                      Juergen



                                      Ellen Stoune Duralia wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi! Thanks for sharing the photos :)
                                      >
                                      > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other
                                      > electric assist kits?
                                      >
                                      > Thanks for the info,
                                      > Ellen
                                      >
                                      > On 1/19/07 3:53 PM, "Juergen Weichert" <juergen@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Hi Tone
                                      >
                                      > Here are some photos. The bike is a standard steel MTB, nothing
                                      > special
                                      > except equipped with Xtracycle of course. The assist system is a
                                      > BionX
                                      > PL-350.
                                      >
                                      > Bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3110.jpg
                                      > <http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3110.jpg>
                                      > Bringing home Christmas tree:
                                      > http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_2931.jpg
                                      > <http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_2931.jpg>
                                      > Hauling groceries: http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3013.jpg
                                      > <http://www.acclivity.ca/xtracycle/IMG_3013.jpg>
                                      >
                                      > Here are a couple I have equipped for others (donor bike is
                                      > Electra Townie):
                                      > http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/ottlaunch-1.jpg
                                      > <http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/ottlaunch-1.jpg>
                                      > http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5631.JPG
                                      > <http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5631.JPG>
                                      >
                                      > Our previous Mayor taking one for a ride:
                                      > http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5668.JPG
                                      > <http://www.onechange.org/changes/showimg.php?file=/ottawalaunch/DSCN5668.JPG>
                                      >
                                      > Juergen
                                      >
                                      > Tone wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Juergen,
                                      > >
                                      > > Do you have any photos and/or links of the BionX
                                      > electric
                                      > > assist system you said you have on your Xtracycle?
                                      > >
                                      > > _/TONE/_
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Juergen Weichert
                                      I just remembered I have this video to share. Here is an enthusiastic fellow who has just taken delivery of his BionX PL-350 equipped Xtracycle bike:
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jan 22 4:50 PM
                                        I just remembered I have this video to share. Here is an enthusiastic
                                        fellow who has just taken delivery of his BionX PL-350 equipped
                                        Xtracycle bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv

                                        Juergen



                                        Ellen Stoune Duralia wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Joel, thank you for your detailed response! And Todd, thank you for
                                        > educating me on the benefits of the Stokemonkey when more hauling
                                        > capacity is needed.
                                        >
                                        > On 1/20/07 9:11 PM, "jparks781" <joel.parks@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                        > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com> , Ellen wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other
                                        > electric
                                        > > assist kits?
                                        >
                                        > Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle. My donor bike is a
                                        > Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the
                                        > Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and really
                                        > haven't put too many miles on it. My commute is about 10 - 15 miles
                                        > round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I don't
                                        > set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity to
                                        > spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.
                                        >
                                        > I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine which
                                        > is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a bit of
                                        > focus on folders and electric bikes. (Also a bit on rail transport
                                        > policy etc. in the UK.) The review was positive and it described the
                                        > system well. The reason I felt I wanted to try it out was because it
                                        > is a modern motor / controller design, with regenerative capability.
                                        >
                                        > I actually owned the Bionx system for over a year before installing
                                        > it. I was a little conflicted about it, because I didn't feel I
                                        > really needed it but I was very interested in the technology, but I
                                        > didn't want to use a motorized bike on the bike path which I used some
                                        > with my then 3-year-old in the Peapod on the back. Now he's on his
                                        > own two-wheeler and I certainly don't need the motor drive to keep up
                                        > with him on the bike path, so the Xtracycle was freed up to install
                                        > the Bionx system. Really I finally got around to it because of a
                                        > recommendation I got from an acquaintance in the bike advocacy network
                                        > here in Boston who said (from his experience) I wouldn't regret it and
                                        > really come to enjoy it. And he was right - it really is nice to
                                        > have. At first, I thought 'holy crap this thing is heavy, no way will
                                        > I be able to ride without the power assist on'. But the Xtracycle /
                                        > XO-3 was already a tank with all the junk I haul around in the
                                        > freeloaders all the time anyway, and the Bionx system isn't the most
                                        > at fault. I've even gotten on since the installation and ridden away
                                        > without remembering to turn the thing on. These days I mostly use it
                                        > to help me get up hills without slowing down to a crawl.
                                        >
                                        > The regen works. But it is of only fractional benefit, so you don't
                                        > end up at the bottom of a hill that you've gone over with the same
                                        > power left in the battery that you had when you started. But it
                                        > really does work, and I really like the way I don't have to actually
                                        > make the rear brake pads touch the rim anymore under normal operation.
                                        > With the hall-effect switch mounted on the rear brake lever, as soon
                                        > as the lever is pulled in at all (just enough to take up some of the
                                        > tension in the brake cable) the full regen kicks in and you slow down.
                                        >
                                        > So would I do it again? Well, maybe. I'm getting a Big Dummy as soon
                                        > as they're available, and my plan is to put a Stokemonkey on it.
                                        > Because I really dig the Xtracycle concept and I want to support the
                                        > Clever Chimp who's gone out on his own now, self-employed with a
                                        > product specifically designed for the Xtracycle / Longtail market. If
                                        > I can convince my wife to use the bike instead of her car around
                                        > town, we'll keep the Xtracycle / XO-3 / Bionx for her, otherwise it'll
                                        > be for sale in June or July (I hope - Surly I'm counting on you...).
                                        > But the Bionx is a solid system and I have no complaints. I didn't
                                        > know about the Stokemonkey when I ordered the Bionx, and I didn't
                                        > consider any other assist kits- most that I'd seen in passing were old
                                        > technology, DC motors with brushes, no regen. Now that I've used the
                                        > regen, it's no longer a requirement for me on a bike like it will be
                                        > when I get around to converting a car to battery electric (someday?
                                        > don't hold your breath). I guess it's because the frictional losses
                                        > in the bike application are a greater proportion of the total load
                                        > than in the car application, and the speeds and weights are lower, so
                                        > there is less kinetic energy to be regained when slowing the vehicle.
                                        >
                                        > Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                                        > than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                                        > committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market am I
                                        > jumping ship to the Stokemonkey. (well, then there's the name thing -
                                        > I'll be much happier on a big dummy with a stokemonkey than with
                                        > something that is supposed to make me think I'm the 6 million
                                        > dollar man)
                                        >
                                        > Joel
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                      • Tone
                                        Juergen, I think what you last said was what I wanted to hear. I already have a trainer stand, so I would not have to order the BionX trainer. I suspect it
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jan 22 4:56 PM

                                          Juergen,

                                                      I think what you last said was what I wanted to hear. I already have a trainer stand, so I would not have to order the BionX trainer. I suspect it would not matter though because ideally my intent would not involve pre-charging the BionX battery… either by plugging it into an outlet or riding the bike on a trainer beforehand. What I am primarily interested in for using a battery and on-board charging system is to charge up the battery while riding, so I can have power to charge up electronic devices while touring, etc.

                                                      What you just brought up about ordering a battery pack with a DC/DC converter option sounds like what I would be interested in. Although why is it a DC/DC converter? I would think you would only need a converter for AC/DC or DC/AC. Was that a typo?

                                                      Anyway, if I understand the BionX system I would think I could keep the settings in a regenerative mode most of the time while riding to ensure a fully charged battery when stopped/camped for the night, which is when I would be using a laptop, cell phone, lamp, etc. I think I read somewhere on the BionX site there were up to four regenerative modes. I believe I recall up to four regenerative modes because I remember reading something about a security feature, which puts the BionX system into the fourth (and obviously most difficult to pedal) mode after two strokes of the pedal when the command console has not been established properly.

                                                      If I am misunderstanding the system please let me know, and thanks Juergen.

                                          _TONE_

                                           

                                        • Ellen Stoune Duralia
                                          Uh oh ­ technical gremlins must be afoot. The link does not work :( ... Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Xtra with BionX assist Uh oh technical gremlins must be afoot.
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jan 23 6:38 AM
                                            Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Xtra with BionX assist Uh oh – technical gremlins must be afoot. The link does not work :(

                                            On 1/22/07 7:50 PM, "Juergen Weichert" <juergen@...> wrote:


                                             
                                             

                                            I just remembered I have this video to share. Here is an enthusiastic
                                            fellow who has just taken delivery of his BionX PL-350 equipped
                                            Xtracycle bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv

                                            Juergen

                                            Ellen Stoune Duralia wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Joel, thank you for your detailed response! And Todd, thank you for
                                            > educating me on the benefits of the Stokemonkey when more hauling
                                            > capacity is needed.
                                            >
                                            > On 1/20/07 9:11 PM, "jparks781" <joel.parks@... <mailto:joel.parks%40verizon.net> > wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >      
                                            >      
                                            >
                                            >     --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            >     <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            >     <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com> , Ellen wrote:
                                            >     >
                                            >     > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other
                                            >     electric
                                            >     > assist kits?
                                            >
                                            >     Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle.  My donor bike is a
                                            >     Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the
                                            >     Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and really
                                            >     haven't put too many miles on it.  My commute is about 10 - 15 miles
                                            >     round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I don't
                                            >     set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity to
                                            >     spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.  
                                            >
                                            >     I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine which
                                            >     is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a bit of
                                            >     focus on folders and electric bikes.  (Also a bit on rail transport
                                            >     policy etc. in the UK.)  The review was positive and it described the
                                            >     system well.  The reason I felt I wanted to try it out was because it
                                            >     is a modern motor / controller design, with regenerative capability.
                                            >
                                            >     I actually owned the Bionx system for over a year before installing
                                            >     it.  I was a little conflicted about it, because I didn't feel I
                                            >     really needed it but I was very interested in the technology, but I
                                            >     didn't want to use a motorized bike on the bike path which I used some
                                            >     with my then 3-year-old in the Peapod on the back.  Now he's on his
                                            >     own two-wheeler and I certainly don't need the motor drive to keep up
                                            >     with him on the bike path, so the Xtracycle was freed up to install
                                            >     the Bionx system.  Really I finally got around to it because of a
                                            >     recommendation I got from an acquaintance in the bike advocacy network
                                            >     here in Boston who said (from his experience) I wouldn't regret it and
                                            >     really come to enjoy it.  And he was right - it really is nice to
                                            >     have.  At first, I thought 'holy crap this thing is heavy, no way will
                                            >     I be able to ride without the power assist on'.  But the Xtracycle /
                                            >     XO-3 was already a tank with all the junk I haul around in the
                                            >     freeloaders all the time anyway, and the Bionx system isn't the most
                                            >     at fault.  I've even gotten on since the installation and ridden away
                                            >     without remembering to turn the thing on.  These days I mostly use it
                                            >     to help me get up hills without slowing down to a crawl.  
                                            >
                                            >     The regen works.  But it is of only fractional benefit, so you don't
                                            >     end up at the bottom of a hill that you've gone over with the same
                                            >     power left in the battery that you had when you started.  But it
                                            >     really does work, and I really like the way I don't have to actually
                                            >     make the rear brake pads touch the rim anymore under normal operation.
                                            >      With the hall-effect switch mounted on the rear brake lever, as soon
                                            >     as the lever is pulled in at all (just enough to take up some of the
                                            >     tension in the brake cable) the full regen kicks in and you slow down.
                                            >
                                            >     So would I do it again?  Well, maybe.  I'm getting a Big Dummy as soon
                                            >     as they're available, and my plan is to put a Stokemonkey on it.
                                            >     Because I really dig the Xtracycle concept and I want to support the
                                            >     Clever Chimp who's gone out on his own now, self-employed with a
                                            >     product specifically designed for the Xtracycle / Longtail market.  If
                                            >      I can convince my wife to use the bike instead of her car around
                                            >     town, we'll keep the Xtracycle / XO-3 / Bionx for her, otherwise it'll
                                            >     be for sale in June or July (I hope - Surly I'm counting on you...).
                                            >     But the Bionx is a solid system and I have no complaints.  I didn't
                                            >     know about the Stokemonkey when I ordered the Bionx, and I didn't
                                            >     consider any other assist kits- most that I'd seen in passing were old
                                            >     technology, DC motors with brushes, no regen.  Now that I've used the
                                            >     regen, it's no longer a requirement for me on a bike like it will be
                                            >     when I get around to converting a car to battery electric (someday?
                                            >     don't hold your breath).  I guess it's because the frictional losses
                                            >     in the bike application are a greater proportion of the total load
                                            >     than in the car application, and the speeds and weights are lower, so
                                            >     there is less kinetic energy to be regained when slowing the vehicle.
                                            >
                                            >     Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                                            >     than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                                            >     committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market am I
                                            >     jumping ship to the Stokemonkey.  (well, then there's the name thing -
                                            >     I'll be much happier on a big dummy with a stokemonkey than with
                                            >     something that is supposed to make me think I'm the 6 million
                                            >     dollar man)
                                            >
                                            >     Joel
                                            >
                                            >      
                                            >

                                             
                                                

                                          • Juergen Weichert
                                            I think there was a bit of server trouble last night. Try it again: http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv Juergen
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jan 23 9:27 AM
                                              I think there was a bit of server trouble last night. Try it again:
                                              http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv
                                              <http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv>


                                              Juergen

                                              (On one part there is a bit where you can hear a humming that sounds
                                              like a motor - this motor is virtually silent but in this case the bit
                                              of vibration transmitted through the Xtracycle to the snap deck that
                                              acted as a sound board, amplifying the vibration into a humming sound.
                                              Generally when I ride mine I hear nothing.)




                                              Ellen Stoune Duralia wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Uh oh – technical gremlins must be afoot. The link does not work :(
                                              >
                                              > On 1/22/07 7:50 PM, "Juergen Weichert" <juergen@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I just remembered I have this video to share. Here is an enthusiastic
                                              > fellow who has just taken delivery of his BionX PL-350 equipped
                                              > Xtracycle bike: http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv
                                              > <http://www.acclivity.ca/video/DB2006.wmv>
                                              >
                                              > Juergen
                                              >
                                              > Ellen Stoune Duralia wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > > Joel, thank you for your detailed response! And Todd, thank you for
                                              > > educating me on the benefits of the Stokemonkey when more hauling
                                              > > capacity is needed.
                                              > >
                                              > > On 1/20/07 9:11 PM, "jparks781" <joel.parks@...
                                              > <mailto:joel.parks%40verizon.net>
                                              > <mailto:joel.parks%40verizon.net> > wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                                              > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                              > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                              > > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                              > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                              > > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>
                                              > <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com> , Ellen wrote:
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I am curious, what made you choose the BionX system over other
                                              > > electric
                                              > > > assist kits?
                                              > >
                                              > > Ellen, I also have a Bionx system on an Xtracycle. My donor bike is a
                                              > > Bridgestone XO-3 that is a bit too small for me, and I installed the
                                              > > Xtracycle in fall of 2001. I installed the Bionx last fall and really
                                              > > haven't put too many miles on it. My commute is about 10 - 15 miles
                                              > > round trip (depending on the route I choose) and as long as I don't
                                              > > set the thing to full blast for the whole ride I have capacity to
                                              > > spare, and that's with the 24V NiMH battery version that I've got.
                                              > >
                                              > > I bought the Bionx because of a review I read in A-to-B magazine
                                              > which
                                              > > is a great little magazine published in the UK that has quite a
                                              > bit of
                                              > > focus on folders and electric bikes. (Also a bit on rail transport
                                              > > policy etc. in the UK.) The review was positive and it described the
                                              > > system well. The reason I felt I wanted to try it out was because it
                                              > > is a modern motor / controller design, with regenerative capability.
                                              > >
                                              > > I actually owned the Bionx system for over a year before installing
                                              > > it. I was a little conflicted about it, because I didn't feel I
                                              > > really needed it but I was very interested in the technology, but I
                                              > > didn't want to use a motorized bike on the bike path which I used
                                              > some
                                              > > with my then 3-year-old in the Peapod on the back. Now he's on his
                                              > > own two-wheeler and I certainly don't need the motor drive to keep up
                                              > > with him on the bike path, so the Xtracycle was freed up to install
                                              > > the Bionx system. Really I finally got around to it because of a
                                              > > recommendation I got from an acquaintance in the bike advocacy
                                              > network
                                              > > here in Boston who said (from his experience) I wouldn't regret
                                              > it and
                                              > > really come to enjoy it. And he was right - it really is nice to
                                              > > have. At first, I thought 'holy crap this thing is heavy, no way will
                                              > > I be able to ride without the power assist on'. But the Xtracycle /
                                              > > XO-3 was already a tank with all the junk I haul around in the
                                              > > freeloaders all the time anyway, and the Bionx system isn't the most
                                              > > at fault. I've even gotten on since the installation and ridden away
                                              > > without remembering to turn the thing on. These days I mostly use it
                                              > > to help me get up hills without slowing down to a crawl.
                                              > >
                                              > > The regen works. But it is of only fractional benefit, so you don't
                                              > > end up at the bottom of a hill that you've gone over with the same
                                              > > power left in the battery that you had when you started. But it
                                              > > really does work, and I really like the way I don't have to actually
                                              > > make the rear brake pads touch the rim anymore under normal
                                              > operation.
                                              > > With the hall-effect switch mounted on the rear brake lever, as soon
                                              > > as the lever is pulled in at all (just enough to take up some of the
                                              > > tension in the brake cable) the full regen kicks in and you slow
                                              > down.
                                              > >
                                              > > So would I do it again? Well, maybe. I'm getting a Big Dummy as soon
                                              > > as they're available, and my plan is to put a Stokemonkey on it.
                                              > > Because I really dig the Xtracycle concept and I want to support the
                                              > > Clever Chimp who's gone out on his own now, self-employed with a
                                              > > product specifically designed for the Xtracycle / Longtail market. If
                                              > > I can convince my wife to use the bike instead of her car around
                                              > > town, we'll keep the Xtracycle / XO-3 / Bionx for her, otherwise
                                              > it'll
                                              > > be for sale in June or July (I hope - Surly I'm counting on you...).
                                              > > But the Bionx is a solid system and I have no complaints. I didn't
                                              > > know about the Stokemonkey when I ordered the Bionx, and I didn't
                                              > > consider any other assist kits- most that I'd seen in passing
                                              > were old
                                              > > technology, DC motors with brushes, no regen. Now that I've used the
                                              > > regen, it's no longer a requirement for me on a bike like it will be
                                              > > when I get around to converting a car to battery electric (someday?
                                              > > don't hold your breath). I guess it's because the frictional losses
                                              > > in the bike application are a greater proportion of the total load
                                              > > than in the car application, and the speeds and weights are lower, so
                                              > > there is less kinetic energy to be regained when slowing the vehicle.
                                              > >
                                              > > Anyway, I'd say if you're considering the Bionx for anything other
                                              > > than a Xtracycle, it'd be my top pick; only because Todd is so
                                              > > committed to making such a great product for the Xtracycle market
                                              > am I
                                              > > jumping ship to the Stokemonkey. (well, then there's the name thing -
                                              > > I'll be much happier on a big dummy with a stokemonkey than with
                                              > > something that is supposed to make me think I'm the 6 million
                                              > > dollar man)
                                              > >
                                              > > Joel
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                            • Juergen Weichert
                                              Don t forget that the energy to charge the battery has to come from somewhere - in this case YOU are the generating station! This means that when riding in
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jan 23 9:41 AM
                                                Don't forget that the energy to charge the battery has to come from
                                                somewhere - in this case YOU are the generating station! This means that
                                                when riding in "regen" mode (charging the battery) it will take you MORE
                                                effort to ride and that extra bit of effort is what charges the battery.
                                                I usually only use regen mode while descending hills or stopping. You
                                                can select one of four progressively harder regen modes (harder = more
                                                charging) for hill descents or training. Also, there is a magnetic
                                                switch on the brake lever that activated regen when braking. If properly
                                                adjusted you can have the regen come on before your brake pads start
                                                touching, thus saving a lot of brake wear.

                                                The DC/DC converter item was not a typo. Your battery is DC (either 24V
                                                or 36V depending on system) and your lights are typically 6V or 12V DC -
                                                so you have to convert from DC to a lower DC voltage.

                                                The built-in DC/DC converter is typically meant for use while riding. I
                                                will find out today how well it works while the battery is off the bike,
                                                like when charging/powering other things while camping.

                                                The security feature is built in to the system. When parking (continue
                                                to use your regular lock) you can set the security system. Before moving
                                                the bike again you have to enter your (programmable) PIN to deactivate
                                                it. If the bike is moved without entering the PIN then an alarm will
                                                sound and the system will automatically go to -4 (maximum) regenerative
                                                mode. In -4 regen it is really hard to ride - like going up a steep
                                                hill. If someone really wants to ride off on your bike they can, but
                                                slowly. They will likely get pretty pooped and will have to ditch the
                                                bike to make their getaway. The alarm isn't very loud though as it just
                                                uses the little built-in speaker that makes the system noises. Nice
                                                feature to have though as it adds functionality without adding weight -
                                                it uses what already exists on the system (regen, computer, beeper).

                                                You can also use one of the lighter regen settings when riding with
                                                friends/family who are not as fast or energetic. You can all ride
                                                together but you can select the regen level that gives you the workout
                                                that you desire. I was co-teaching a winter cycling course once and kept
                                                my system in -1 or -2 most of the time while riding along with the
                                                students as the pace is generally slow to moderate. I stayed nice and
                                                warm because of the extra effort required. If you want a good workout
                                                while riding along with your children in the neighborhood, just select
                                                -4 regen and a really low gear, and work up a sweat at a walking pace! :-)

                                                Juergen




                                                Tone wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Juergen,
                                                >
                                                > I think what you last said was what I wanted to hear. I already have a
                                                > trainer stand, so I would not have to order the BionX trainer. I
                                                > suspect it would not matter though because ideally my intent would not
                                                > involve pre-charging the BionX battery… either by plugging it into an
                                                > outlet or riding the bike on a trainer beforehand. What I am primarily
                                                > interested in for using a battery and on-board charging system is to
                                                > charge up the battery while riding, so I can have power to charge up
                                                > electronic devices while touring, etc.
                                                >
                                                > What you just brought up about ordering a battery pack with a DC/DC
                                                > converter option sounds like what I would be interested in. Although
                                                > why is it a DC/DC converter? I would think you would only need a
                                                > converter for AC/DC or DC/AC. Was that a typo?
                                                >
                                                > Anyway, if I understand the BionX system I would think I could keep
                                                > the settings in a regenerative mode most of the time while riding to
                                                > ensure a fully charged battery when stopped/camped for the night,
                                                > which is when I would be using a laptop, cell phone, lamp, etc. I
                                                > think I read somewhere on the BionX site there were up to four
                                                > regenerative modes. I believe I recall up to four regenerative modes
                                                > because I remember reading something about a security feature, which
                                                > puts the BionX system into the fourth (and obviously most difficult to
                                                > pedal) mode after two strokes of the pedal when the command console
                                                > has not been established properly.
                                                >
                                                > If I am misunderstanding the system please let me know, and thanks
                                                > Juergen.
                                                >
                                                > _/TONE/_
                                                >
                                                >
                                              • Tone
                                                Juergen, I forgot to ask, what kind of power output outlet does the BionX battery have, or perhaps I should also ask what kind of power outlet the DC converter
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jan 27 4:14 AM
                                                  Juergen,
                                                  I forgot to ask, what kind of power output outlet does the BionX
                                                  battery have, or perhaps I should also ask what kind of power outlet the
                                                  DC converter have? Does it have some sort of car cigarette lighter
                                                  connection or something?
                                                  _TONE_
                                                • Juergen Weichert
                                                  Hi Tone The DC/DC converter uses an outlet that accepts these kind of plugs: http://www.switchcraft.com/products/capc-5.html Juergen
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
                                                    Hi Tone

                                                    The DC/DC converter uses an outlet that accepts these kind of plugs:
                                                    http://www.switchcraft.com/products/capc-5.html

                                                    Juergen



                                                    Tone wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Juergen,
                                                    > I forgot to ask, what kind of power output outlet does the BionX
                                                    > battery have, or perhaps I should also ask what kind of power outlet the
                                                    > DC converter have? Does it have some sort of car cigarette lighter
                                                    > connection or something?
                                                    > _TONE_
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
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