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Re: Xtra with BionX assist - was Re: [rootsradicals] bike powered cell phone charge

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  • 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 1 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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      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 2 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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        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 3 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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          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 4 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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            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 5 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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              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 6 of 26 , Jan 23, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 26 , Jan 23, 2007
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                  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 8 of 26 , Jan 23, 2007
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                    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 9 of 26 , Jan 27, 2007
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                      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 10 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                        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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