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we are getting a new electric bicycle! Help us pick out which one!

 
pollinator
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Sorry it took me so long to get some photos. The main delivery bike can hold 440# of cargo and has on occasion. It has some other kind of bike trailer hook up but it also has two bolts that can be removed and a ball hitch is attached there. Hopefully this gives you a guide to the design. The place that bends the steel for him has a kind of design reference to say where to place the steel and then bend it so far. Then another guy welds it. If you want me to track that down, let me know.
Sorry some of the pix are dark and I put in two of bikes with the tow ball on the back. They work surprisingly well.

Good luck,

Jason
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Tow ball
Tow ball
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Delivery bike back
Delivery bike back
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Delivery bike bottom
Delivery bike bottom
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Delivery bike front
Delivery bike front
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Another tow ball
Another tow ball
 
master pollinator
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That's some brilliant built-in storage for a U-lock they implemented there, shown in photo 1. I typically have to store mine in a bag I'm carrying (which can be a literal pain) or I dangle it off the handlebars, which is a hassle, especially on bumpy roads.
 
Jason Learned
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Stephen B. Thomas wrote:That's some brilliant built-in storage for a U-lock they implemented there, shown in photo 1. I typically have to store mine in a bag I'm carrying (which can be a literal pain) or I dangle it off the handlebars, which is a hassle, especially on bumpy roads.



The guy you see in the background of pic 4 is my friend Cobic. He has been crazy about bikes for as long as I've known him and has been building and innovating that whole time too. He has built like 7 tandems I think? And countless cargo bikes. He even built a bicycle trailer that was a sauna, A Dutchman bought it.

I hope you can add that upgrade to your bike.

Jason
 
pollinator
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Here they are.. built and ready.. Caleb will likely test how well they commute to and from the lab.. in the middle of winter of course..

A warm thank you to those who made this possible..
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Jeff helped with the build and testing
Jeff helped with the build and testing
 
Jason Learned
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Dez Choi wrote:Here they are.. built and ready.. Caleb will likely test how well they commute to and from the lab.. in the middle of winter of course..

A warm thank you to those who made this possible..



Those look sturdy.

I hope they serve you guys really well, looking forward to the performance review.

Jason
 
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My own e-bike is not a specialist or heavy duty one, a BH Easymotion Max700; I got it second hand for $1000 (was about 3400 new). We added a kid-hauling bike trailer but I use it for other things too, like 30+ kg of organic veggies from the farm down the valley, or hauling 50L of water plus compost and tools up to one of my gardens on a hill. It does well. My main recommendation would be 'get the best battery you can afford' (most Ah). Running out of power before you're done for the day (or even home) sucks. Worth considering also whether you can plug it into a normal socket at destinations to recharge while eating a meal, etc. Mine requires a big charger which weighs at least a kilo. I could carry it in the trailer but that involves planning ahead and you never know how your day/tasks will unfold.
And someone mentioned mudguards. Yes, good idea. Ours doesn't have them and I have found it next to impossible to find ones that fit.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Kirk Patrick wrote:

Several people have sent me crypto, so I have become pretty good at it.  There are fees, but I tend to leave the crypto there and in time the value of the crypto is far more than the fees stuff.  



Id love to create a DAO and build a decentralized permaculture city! Have you ever thought of something like that? Its kind of like what youre doing up north. I think we could raise a few million and make it a reality!

Maybe Im just a crypto nut, but does that sound awesome to anyone else?

 
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Somehow this ebike company got left out, and I didn't find it in the many youtube reviews of cargo bikes.  It looks quite rugged and good for mountain life activities.
https://quietkat.com/
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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The two bikes at Wheaton Labs are the Rad Rover 6, right?

I'm doing a bit of research and resource-finding about them so I can learn more about what you all are using.

Any thoughts from those on-site about how the ebikes fare through the winter weather, conditions, and terrain?
 
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One is "rad" and one is "ecells".

So far, it seems that people prefer the "ecells" but i think that might be related to snow, ice and the ecells is "AWD".
 
paul wheaton
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This one just arrived!  Thanks to our anonymous benefactor!  This one is named "game B"

 
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Awesome!  So does that mean you have 3 there now?
 
paul wheaton
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Yes! 3!  The two were seeing very heavy use.  It was clear we wanted more.  It would be lovely to get one more.

 
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Dibs on one for the SKIP event (for me)...
 
paul wheaton
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We also have several trailers to pull behind the bicycles.  

I like the idea that we have lots of electric bicycles and a couple of "small electric trucks" (golf carts with a truck thing-a-ma-bob on the back).

 
David Huang
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Fabulous that another generous donor came through!  

Since this thread started I decided to get an ebike myself and did even more research for what might fit my particular needs.  Something that was critical for me was range.  The nearby "big city" is a 50 to 60 mile round trip from my homestead.  I wanted something that could handle that trip and hopefully be able to do it in at least mild winter weather too.  In the end what I landed on was the RipCurrent S by Juiced Bikes.  I believe it has one of the largest batteries out there for ebikes, a 52 volt 19.2ah one!  When riding with the lowest setting of electric assist on reasonably level ground (which is what I have) it is said to go 80 to 100 miles on a charge!  I've worked mine fairly hard one day to test it, often using it on the highest level of assist, putting on about 40 miles and the battery level said it was down to about half.  So it does seem like the 80 to 100 range is a real world figure.  There at Wheaton labs you probably don't need that sort of range, but the fat tires might be good and it seems to be a bike with higher quality parts than many other ebikes in the price range have.  It has dual hydraulic disk brakes which are nice.  The back rack is good and sturdy.  It came with fenders and the headlight is plenty bright enough to bike at night.

I happened to get a good discount with close out pricing on last years model so it ended up being about $2100 with tax and shipping.  Normal price is more.  They have other models at different prices too.  Anyway I've been quite happy with it so far, having put a couple hundred miles on it at this point.  If you can get another awesome donor for a 4th bike it might be worth considering.  Here's a link to what I got.  https://www.juicedbikes.com/products/new-ripcurrent-s?variant=39397984141376  Oh, if you all are able to get another ebike and want one from this company I'm pretty sure I can "refer" you which would get you a discount code for $100 off if you can't find other better discount codes to use.  It does seem like they play the mark up and then offer discount pricing game.  Still from my experience so far they are providing good value for the money.
Juiced-RipCurrent-S-1.JPG
My new ebike, the Juiced RipCurrent S. I did add the panniers but everything else came with the bike.
My new ebike, the Juiced RipCurrent S. I did add the panniers but everything else came with the bike.
Juiced-RipCurrent-S-2.JPG
Another view of my RipCurrent S.
Another view of my RipCurrent S.
 
David Huang
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Oh, it does look like Juiced still has some of the close outs like I got.  https://www.juicedbikes.com/products/ripcurrent-s
 
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Cautionary note: our Provincial Fire Association has put out a notice regarding the number of deadly fires in the past year that seem to be connected with charging Lithium batteries.

Two simple things to increase safety:

1. Make sure your charger and particularly the wires and connectors aren't showing any damage. Consider buying spares, so you're not tempted to use something you shouldn't when in a rush.

2. Set a timer and remove the charger as soon as the battery is full, or nearly full. Over-charged batteries are far more likely to cause a serious fire.

Like everything in life, shit can happen. Luckily the fire that was near here happened during "the big wet season" and only damaged a building. A crappy charger/wires seemed to take the blame.

You're statistically far more likely to die in a car accident than from a charger accident, but I'd prefer none of you die until old age takes you, so treating the batteries with respect qualifies as "a good thing" in my books!
 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:We also have several trailers to pull behind the bicycles.  

I like the idea that we have lots of electric bicycles and a couple of "small electric trucks" (golf carts with a truck thing-a-ma-bob on the back).



Any pictures of the trailers? How are the bike batteries holding up and how often do the batteries get charged?
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:Two simple things to increase safety:

1. Make sure your charger and particularly the wires and connectors aren't showing any damage. Consider buying spares, so you're not tempted to use something you shouldn't when in a rush.

2. Set a timer and remove the charger as soon as the battery is full, or nearly full. Over-charged batteries are far more likely to cause a serious fire.



I'm always skeptical of chargers. My experience is that ones without active cooling tend to get amazingly hot. Ones with active cooling could have a fan fail, or more likely jammed up with debris like grass, leaves, hair etc. I always set mine on steel or concrete away from combustibles. I've never been afraid to roll out extension cords, so putting everything out in the driveway or concrete pad out back is much less hassle than losing everything to a fire.

With number 2, that technically "shouldn't" be an issue, but we all know about should and shouldn't. Both the charger and the Battery Management System (BMS) have circuitry to stop overcharging. Then again, my experience charging individual cells (without a BMS) has not only shown that some chargers brands don't stop when they are supposed to, but even two of the same charger model have different internal resistances which stops charging at slightly different points.

It would probably be a good idea to check the voltage of the battery after the charger says it is fully charged at least once to make certain it isn't overcharging. In my case, I use so-called 36V batteries or 10 cells in series (10S). A fully charged Li-Ion cell is 4.2V or 42V for the 10S packs. If it were hitting 42.5V (4.25V per cell) or more, that would mean both the charger and the BMS were not operating properly, and in the case of a new bike could be turned in for warranty service or replacement. Different size packs will have different voltage ranges, and different battery chemistries such as LiFePo don't explode, but have other issues like charging at low temperatures. I'd imagine most of the information you need would be provided by the manufacturer. Unfortunately a lot of ebikes seem to have proprietary connectors and show power in bars or dots instead of a more precise voltage, so it may not be straightforward to perform this basic safety check.

In any event, that Rad bike looks great!
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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Here's Game-B fully tricked-out with a name label and accessories. :D





 
David Huang
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Looks like a sweet ride!
 
Posts: 33
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It been a couple months, how are the 3 ebikes doing?  I am certain the are in much harder service there in the mountains then most bikes.  As I understand, you have

Ecell - 2 hub drive motors, 2 batteries and front and back suspension, 10 gears.
Rad Runner plus - 1 hub drive, front suspension 7 gears.
Rad Runner - 1 hub drive, front suspension and single speed.

How does the single speed do on your hills?  How do you like that mid trunk? I like the way it fits but I am getting older and don't think I want to lose the step through.

Is the Ecell worth the extra coin?  My understanding it has the second motor on demand, is the second motor needed / used very often?

Tom.


 
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Thomas Michael wrote:It been a couple months, how are the 3 ebikes doing?  I am certain the are in much harder service there in the mountains then most bikes.  As I understand, you have

Ecell - 2 hub drive motors, 2 batteries and front and back suspension, 10 gears.
Rad Rover plus - 1 hub drive, front suspension 7 gears.
Rad Rover - 1 hub drive, front suspension and single speed.

How does the single speed do on your hills?  How do you like that mid trunk? I like the way it fits but I am getting older and don't think I want to lose the step through.

Is the Ecell worth the extra coin?  My understanding it has the second motor on demand, is the second motor needed / used very often?

Tom.




I've been using the single speed consistently for the last month and it does ok on the hills, definitely needs some good pedalling to get up certain parts. The other 2 models are much better suited for the inclines.

I haven't utilized the mid trunk as of yet, opting for the basket for really no other reason than convenience. I do like having the option for future use cases and it will serve well in inclement weather or for more sensitive cargo. The top of the trunk also features a water bottle and cell phone holder, which come in handy.

All in all, I really enjoy riding it, there's a certain novelty to it's operation that hasn't worn off yet, very satisfying to just get on and zip away!
 
Thomas Michael
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Thanks for the update.  :)
 
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$$$ Quietkat is having a Labor Day discount for the next 32 hours $$$.  

One of their least expensive bikes is the Pioneer, rated for 325 lb load, and for the holiday it is priced at $1,799.  A pannier rack is available as an add on accessory, as are single or double wheeled trailers.  They also have a front rack accessory that can allegedly hold a chainsaw or string trimmer (or rifle, of course, as this brand bike is designed with hunters in mind.)

Here is a video with tips for loading and operating one of their other bikes with the double-wheeled trailer, hauling 125 pounds.
P.s. For the nomadic living types, some of the Quietkat bikes can be charged off grid via solar with these available solar panels.

Full disclosure, I'm a retail investor in the parent company of Quietkat.  Investors in the parent company -- whose stock ticker is VSTO -- may be eligible to receive discounts toward the purchase of certain products (like the Pioneer e-bike, or Camelbak) via the Stockperks app.
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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Thomas Michael wrote:It been a couple months, how are the 3 ebikes doing?


I can chip in on this, too. Maybe Caleb can speak on the eCell bike, as he consistently has the longest time on that machine.

I've ridden both the silver and green Rad ebikes, and enjoy them a lot. I've ridden them just up to Cooper Cabin, as well as other sites in Ant Village and over the Lab. There seem to be no noticeable issues with the throttle, battery life, and other electric components. I agree with Cory that there's some pedaling required to make it up the first rise to the Lab, but hey... It's a bicycle. That's what the pedals are for. Brakes seem to take a lot of wear, but with descending down rocky/gravel roads on a near-daily basis I suspect that's par for the course.

I haul my water and on occasion tools in that central storage container, on both ebikes. They latch closed with silicone or rubber pull-tabs that hook around metal hardware for a snug, water-resistant fit.
EDIT: If you're concerned about the step-through not being there, then I'd suggest you look into the rear seat-bag, which is an accessory we have on both the Rad bikes Game-B. I personally use a backpack most of the time when working, and that may be an option that works for you as well. The ebikes are heavy, and I think the kickstand is an essential. I completely understand the need/desire for the step-through space.

Personally, I have my "analog" bicycle here but I'm concerned about hitting rocks and stuff like that. The ebikes have rugged, knobby tires that make me feel confident I can handle the dirt and gravel roads in the area. I've seen them work well throughout Wheaton Labs land, and have a fair amount of experience with them in dodgy terrain. Never have gone fully off-road yet, and I don't imagine I will any time soon, but they might do well enough out there.

In the event you were you looking for advice, the only thing I might add is a bit regarding descents. When descending dirt or gravel roads, reduce assistance to 2 or less, so that you won't feel a "jerk" when you actually pedal on those surfaces. On the roadways around here, I typically turn assistance back down to 1, and then pedal with occasional throttle use if necessary. Once I'm back to the bottom of the hill, I bring it back up to full assistance. Also, Caleb and I have been discussing bicycle maintenance and we're hoping to implement a quarterly/seasonal tune-up into our scheduled tasks so that no one is riding around with weak brakes and/or low-air tires.

Personally speaking, I think the ebikes are a fantastic - and nearly essential - addition to our transport options out here, and I'm grateful there are folks out there able to provide them for us.
 
Uh oh, we're definitely being carded. Here, show him this tiny ad:
The Survival Podcast
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