Thursday, 31 July 2014

Rattle and Humm

Being a Electric bike, it makes a lot of sounds that aren't normally found on non-electric bikes. The large sized hub motor causes the spokes to flex a little more then other bikes I've driven and the 500 Watt motor whine is acceptable, since the motor is behind me but when riding I have a subconsciously ease up on the motor (if I'm using it at all) to avoid the noise pollution.

But the bike is still making some rattle noise.  I opened up my controller case and placed some thin strips of foam around the seal of the casing.  Rattle noise is gone.  I'll have to trim the part that is sticking out at some point.

However the hum part I can't do anything about until I replace the tires.  The Spider tread is wearing out already, due to the long commutes on paved roads / paths I've been taking.

The bike feels better and more solid since the rattle went away.  Ah, its the little things.  Now I might be to quiet, since people can't hear me coming.

Next time I open up the back side I'll add some picture of what is going on inside of my little black box.  I'll be trimming the foam off, to give it a better look.  Ideally, I'm going to replace the foam with some black weather stripping.

Funny part was, I pulled out my old hybrid (non-motor) bike and it felt so.. light, flimsy, unstable, cheap, .. I could go on.  Guess I'm officially use to driving a big, solid bike now.  I couldn't imagine what a speed bike would feel like to me now.

Lessons Learned:

  • Know the sound of your bike, if it starts making a different sounds then you expect, then something has changed (could be for the good or for the bad, but mostly the bad).

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Tools for the road?

I'm not happy with this bag, it's a little too small and it doesn't come off easily.  I've been looking for a nice bag that clips onto the handle bars but all the bike shops have them sold out and I keep getting told new inventory will be coming in two weeks.  The only place that did have a clip on front bag was asking for $150!  Uh, no thanks.

Classic Leather man (Love this tool)

Tools I keep in my bag:

  1. Multitool Leatherman, this gives a knife, phillips screw driver, flat head screw driver, file and a can opener.
  2. 2x Wrenchs (One for the seat bolt and another for the tire bolts)
  3. Set of Allen keys for different sizes.
  4. Spare tube
  5. Small pump (emergency use only, thinking of putting in a C02 compressed gas one)
  6. 3x zap straps for emergency tie wrap issues.
Lessons Learned:
  • Share the weight load, keeping stuff on the front keeps the bike feeling a little more balanced.  Instead of putting everything in the back.
  • Don't pick up a tool kit bag, you will end up with more tools then you need.  Keeping things light and minimal is essential.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

305lbs and dropping.

I'm not trying to weight myself, as this isn't a diet.  It's a slight adjustment to my life style but about once a month I weigh myself.

I can't believe how much weight I've dropped in such little time.  I'm down to 305lbs and all my pants are super loose or just don't fit anymore. 

Eating better, biking back and fourth (44/km per day) to work has been really paying off and I'm having fun doing it.  I'm thinking that the weight loss won't continue to drop off this fast but I'll take what I can get.

I've been slowly trying to peel my kids away from their monitors and get them biking too.  When I go with them, I normally just leave the battery at home. I've become very use to going longer and longer with out using the motor, which is amazing.  My legs are much stronger and I'm having a lot more energy.   The other night after a long bike ride home, I ended up taking a nice long walk with my wife around West borrow area, window shopping and a nice meal in one of the little restaurants.  It's been a long while since I walked anywhere, with no real goal in mind.

Life is getting better!

I do have a bit of a self destructing pattern.  This is when I start feeling better about myself and then order a large meat lover pizza, 2L coke and down it with some kind of chocolate snack.  Not this time.. 

Lessons Learned:

  • Don't bored eat, when bored I take on an extra ride around town.
  • Eating better, makes the bike ride better.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Road Ettiquete

All to often I come across people who haven't the faintest clue as to what the hand gestures mean.  There's a bunch.  Common are stopping, Right turn, Left turn.. but I came across someone putting there hand down.  They weren't stopping and almost like they were asking me to back off.  I rode behind them for a while, wondering what the heck they were doing.

Finally, on a nice long stretch there with no other bicycles coming the other direction, I pulled up and asked him "Why he kept on gesturing that he was stopping?" Answer "I was telling you to pass me." So I just had to inform him there are proper hands signs for things.. asking me to pass him, was unnecessarily required, I don't need people to tell him how fast to bike.. If I want to pass and it's safe to do so, I will.  

Looking around, I found this place (No Me At Athlete), which gives description of more handle gestures that I've never thought of. Not sure if these are the official hand gestures.

Lessons Learned:
  • Not everyone knows proper hand gestures

Friday, 25 July 2014

Morning breakfast routine

After talking with a few people about my morning rides into work, I realized there was a common element that I've never seen discussed.  What to have for breakfast, before the morning ride.  For me, if I eat anything (eggs, toast, etc.) for breakfast and then bike into work, about half way there I have to pull over and puke a little, sometimes a lot..   So when talking to other people, I've found out that the same thing happens to them too.

To eliminate my upchuck situation, I've naturally turned to protein shakes for breakfast and I've never had a problem.  Discussing with them, they too moved to a protein shake for breakfast..  Seems logical enough but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I've since gotten a little creative and moved into a higher quality BlenTec blender.  Giving me in essence a salad drink for breakfast.

Lessons Learned:
  • When making protein shakes in the BlenTec, keep your hands on the lid at all times!  If not, prepare for a mess.
  • Don't be afraid to discuss odd items with people, you sometimes find out your not alone.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Rant: Bike to Work Month!

Last May, it was Bike to work month. The idea was that people who don't normally bike to work, give it a shot.  Do it for the month and you might just find yourself doing it even more.  Sounds great?

Here in the city of Ottawa, the bike police decided to do an inspection on the bike path looking for people who didn't have a bell on their bike and then proceeded to ticket them.  No warning, just an out right ticket.  I would say, most of the people who got the ticket.. were people who pulled out their bikes from the garage and were trying the whole bike to work thing out.. and it left a very sour taste in their mouths.

Yes, it's their responsibility to review the rules.. but how is this encouraging people to bike if police are fining people for no bells?  Warnings, I can totally understand... *sigh*

Lessons Learned:
  • When you see a few men dressed in Navy blue, go another direction. I have nothing to hide but I also don't want the hassle.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pulled over by the police!

So after driving over 2000km on the bike, it happened.  I got pulled over by the police officer who wanted know more about the bike.  Specification for ebikes are pretty clear here in Ottawa.

Thankfully, I was smart enough to print off a specifications sheet of what the bike is.  It follows all the laws.  So I thought I would share this accidental tip for other ebike riders out there.

As of today, the rules for Ottawa (city I live in) are located here. Funny part is, it specifies what the minimum size wheel is but not the max, so I am fine.  The trick is, you have to check the web site out often.  Back in 2008, City council held a meeting in December.  One of the line items were for a by-law that removed the classification of a ebike to a moped if the ebike had any kind of fairings (making the bike a slight arrow dynamic.) This simple rule, killed all the ebike "moped" styles instantly.  I'm not sure when it happened but the rule disappeared off the website.

Lessons Learned:
  • Spec sheet of the bike should be carried on you, if your an ebike rider.
  • Read the rules periodically, they change.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Before riding...

I've come across a few people who talk about what you should do, before going riding.  Typically, it's
  • Fill up your water bottle
  • Check your tire pressure
  • Check your chain
  • Check, check, check..
But as a side effect to my biking at regular times, I've found myself becoming "regular" and my body has learned to empty itself before my morning 6am ride to work and before going home 3:30-4pm and I think taking the extra few moment to ensure everything is "out" is excellent.  There aren't to many washrooms on my bike ride into work other then mother natures leafs as toilet paper.  Which doesn't works to well... speaking from experience.

Lessons Learned:

  • Listen to your body.  It's telling you things..

Monday, 21 July 2014

Electric Bike Shaming

So this happens to me, about every 10th person I talk to.  They see that I'm stopped and come over and ask me few of the typical questions.
First Question: "What is that?" I normally go on about the fat bikes, history of them, where they came from, etc.. Basically spilling out stuff I came across on Google.  Am I historically correct? No idea. But I am surprised, since fat bikes have been around for a little while but I guess with mine being all black, it gets a bit more attention. *shug* Then they ask the typical second question.

Second Question: "Isn't it hard to pedal?" 
Second Answer: "Yes, on take off it's a bit harder to pedal.  I have to make a conscious effort to stop in a low gear to make the next take off a little easier.  This is an electric bike.."

Then I wait for the reaction, it can either be four reaction:

1. The Awe look: When someone looks overly surprised because they never heard of an electric bike, ever. They look at me as if I invented it... which I obviously didn't.  They ask if I built the bike and I always respond with "I put it together and put some custom tweaks in it, beyond what the supplier gave me."

2. The Duh look: When someone looks at you, like you have two heads. Obviously it's electric.  These people have normally have been exposed to electric bikes but I'm guessing the 250 watt, cheap quality battery kind.. which can leave a bad taste in anyone's mind.

3. The Intrigued look: When someone genuinely seem interested and is thinking this might be for them.  These are my favorite, as I might be able to convince them to start riding a bike again. Electric or not, it's good all the same.

4. The Disgusted look: When someone ends the conversation with "Oh, your a cheater!" or "Oh, your a lazy rider".  These people I have no patience for, they are typically riders of super carbon fiber bikes, spent a mini-fortune on gear, are in perfect shape and are ideal for super thin tires. 

I'm not knocking the Uber bikers here, they aren't all like that by far. Just they are the ones who want me to feel Ashamed for riding ebike.  Due to this shaming, I've tried to put a group of electric bike riders together in my area.  Which is far and few between and none of them are interested.

I did come across a older couple, I'm guessing in there mid 50's who had a pair of electric bikes.. and they were biking together.  Which was cool.  Which then got me thinking of my wife and how I could pair my old two ebikes together to make one "good" one for her.  But I'll leave that for tomorrow...

Lessons Learned:

  • Don't care what haters think, I'm getting a work out and I know it.  I feel it.
  • Not everyone is going to like what your doing.
  • Haters are going to hate.  Find the people that support you and keep them near.

Friday, 18 July 2014

What the heck was that?!

Okay, so I'm not the fastest person on the bike path or roads but I'm not the slowest either.  I've come to the conclusion that a mirror on a bike is essential to have now.  Some people are passing me at double my speed, no warning (whistle, bell chime, or "On your left").  To be safe on the roads/paths I need to be aware of what is coming at me from behind.

When riding in traffic I move out the mirror ever so slightly, so I can see if a car is going to drive really close to me, trying to cut you off.  I'm sure I've had a few people intentionally try to squeeze me off the road.

This style of mirror was perfect for me, just hangs out far enough I can see around my larger sized body.  I don't need one on my right. The left does all the work.  And besides I don't want to look to much like a motor bike... ESH!

Lessons Learned:

  • Don't just worry about your own driving, be aware of everyone elses driving too.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Ergonomics Vs. Speed (drag)

After driving for long periods of time on my bike, my right hand starts to go numb.  I'm simply putting to much pressure on my hands vs. my seat vs. my legs.  So it's time I started to look at the Ergonomics of my bike, since speed isn't an issue. After looking at possible solutions, this simple extender was the best solution I could come up with.  I lifted the bar up about 3cm and the numbing stopped for the most part.

The install was pretty easy, I have to admit.  Compared to the old stems I worked with when I was younger.  Ah, innovation.. It's a wonderful thing. 

I'm still contemplating about shorting the stem and move it up closer, but then I would be sitting near up right on the bike.  Causing my body to drag or catch the cross wind easily.  I think I can live with this configuration.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Adjust the bike to your body size, don't let your body adjust to the bike..
  2. Be mindful of your posture at all times when riding.  After I hit a big bump or stop, I always have to readjust my body back onto the seat correctly.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tubeless time?

I've found many mixed reviews on why people switch from tube to tubeless tires.  Fat tires makes an ideal tubeless configuration but I can't get myself to take that leap.  I might wait until the Spring when I get the Surly slicks in.  Then I'll see about doing the job.

What I can't find is "WHY" people have switched to a tubeless install.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Slicks or Not to Slick, that is my question...

I've been driving the bike on Urban roads and bike paths for about 1500km now and I can already see the wear on the tires.  The spider tires are going to wear out a lot faster then I anticipated, I'm sure I'll get to winter with them on but I don't think I'll be using them in the spring.  I need to go down to my newest and favorite bike shop sometime soon and order some Black Floyd tires from Surly tires. 

I'm a firm believer of the right tool for the right job and in this case, these tires are designed for Urban driving and not just for riding on sand and gavel. I must say, I am driving this bike everywhere.. Going to work everyday and when Saturday comes around, I still want to go for a bike ride!

Here's a review of the tires.  Not overly informative but you get to see the tires in action.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

PAS (Power Assised System)

I've yet found a nice version of PAS.  This bike is set to 31.5km at max speed, if I had the throttle turned all the way.  I don't ever driving the throttle turned all the way, unless I have to.

So with the PAS on, as soon as I start pedaling the bike.. it tries to take off and get to 31.5km instantly, which means the bike motor is working crazy hard for no good reason and I'm not getting any kind of work out.  Which sucks..  So now, I am always holding the half thumb throttle open a little bit.. to give that little boost.  It's a big bike, you need a little boost to keep it going.

Due to my hand needing to be on the handle bars at all time, my right hand has been going numb.  My rides are anywhere between 50-1hr, so it's time to look into doing something about it.  The stem needs to be raised from the default low size.

I'm down another 10lbs and I'm still very much enjoying my ride to work! Actually looking forward to waking up and going for the ride.

My ideal controller would have.

1- Multiple modes (no PAS, only throttle control)
2- Different settings of PAS, like 5km assist and 10km assist and 15k assist.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Cheap controllers == Cheap settings
Link for more about PAS, click here.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Urban Rider

Shrader (Car tire valve)
Riding the bike has had its challenges.  Someone left the bottom of a beer bottle on the bike path, I failed to miss it.  So now I have a flat.  I didn't anticipate a flat tire already and it's the start of summer.  Calling around, most places don't carry fat tires and if they do.... they don't have tubes in stock.  I kept calling around and I finally found a place that had some, not only did they have some.. they had spares!

Presta Valve
So I ended up putting a Surley fat tube in the back.  First challenge, it went from a (I think it's called shader valve) to a Presta Valve (bottom valve). So none of my pumps had the adapter, so off to Canadian tire.  I ended up picking up a new bike pump, this time with a pressure gauge on it, since the PSI is so low.

After I got the tube in, I tightened that screw on the Presta valve right tight to the frame of the rim.  And off I went.. for a few days.  Then the tire started to get low.  So I pumped it up.  2 days later, the tire is flat again.  So I pumped it up.  1 day later, the tire is flat. So I pumped it up.. but this was starting to get annoying.  So I went back to the bike shop where I got the tube installed and inquired if the new "presta" valve were a little leaker then the older style..    The employee looked at me like I had two heads.. but then answered the question.  (which was no..)

So after buying a longer steam for the handle bars, I left the store and would you believe it.. My tire was FLAT.. and well, on the ground.

I waltz back into the store and asked if they had time to look at the bike, as the for mentioned tire issue just appeared again.  The clerk looked at the clock and said he didn't have any time.. then I convinced him to at least pump up the tire with his compressor, which should get me home at least.. Still had another 30km to go.  Going to the store was really out of my way.

So the clerk tried to put air in my tire and he discovered that my valve had ripped right off from the tube.  I mean, right off!  So no matter how much air.. it's going to go flat, fast.  The clerk took pitty on me and decided to work on the bike after all. Which I was VERY thankful for.  (Plug Tall Tree Cycles is an amazing store with very helpful people)

And off I went, this time I left the nut loose so it could go up and down a bit, when I hit a pot hole..  I'm still filling up the new tube every two/three days but I think the presta valve on the replacement, replacement, tube is warped.  I bought another tube from ebay (again Surley) and I'm hoping to have some time to get them to put that one in... Each time, costing me about $40.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Always have a spare tube.
  2. Always check the pressure of the tire before riding.
  3. Don't tighten the nut on the Presta valve, give it some slack.
  4. The motor should have a quick release connector from the bike, other wise it's a major pain to do your own tube replacements.  With no quick disconnect, the job is a two person job.. one to hold the tire in place and the other to do the actual tire replacement.

Do I sell these?

A common question is, where does one buy it?  Or how do I get one?  I never have a good answer for it..  But I am always willing to offer to make one for someone.  $3000 and I'll make you one.  It's lots of parts from lots of different places.

The other day I went back to a shop where I got my tire replaced (I ran over a nail this time,  Tubeless or not, I think I would of been done in.) the Velo / Bike shop is a tiny place and any work he the owner does, everyone can see from the street.  This lead to the me going back to the shop, looking if there was anything that could help me with my ride.  I'm honestly not to happy with my bag I put on the front.

When I got there, the owner was very happy to see me.  He mentioned that after he worked on my bike, there were people coming into the store asking about where did that "fat tire black bike come from." etc.  He took a guess at 3k and I confirmed he was right.  But no one was "that" interested in a bike like that for that much money. Guess I just see a bigger picture.

The way I look at it is:
  1. No more gas, cost me about $2 to recharge the battery, many times less as the battery barely ever goes below 80%
  2. I was thinking of getting a second car and now I am not.  Winter, I'll be driving this until I can't anymore.. and then I'll be taking the bus.  If I can bike until end of October-Mid November, I'll be very happy.
  3. No gym membership required.
Lessons Learned:
  • I should have some business cards made up.
  • Take time and enjoy the ride, here's an example of how the end of my trip normally ends.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Modifications for my needs

Here a list of some modifications / tweaks that needed to be done, after receiving the bike.
  1. The bike frame is so large, that the cuppler that holds the U lock in place couldn't fit anywhere else. I got the ABUS longest U lock rated at 9.  After putting the lock on the front spoke, I thought it looked pretty cool.
  2. Daves Mud Shovel! This little mud deflector has been amazing when dealing with rain / puddles.  Its so wide, that it takes the break off spray from the tire perfectly.  I ordered it from Ebay.  I only got the front one since I'm kind of short and the back one connected to the seat post.  It's already holding the controller box back saddle.  So I skipped out on the back one "for now".
  3. The default seat was terrible. I tried for about a week with it and I ended up going and getting a nice rear spring one and added the gel seat cover.  SO MUCH BETTER.
  4. Added in a bell. Not a big deal right? Well that handle bar is busy and it goes from small on the outside to a larger size in the middle.  Added in the bell was a bigger challenge then I originally thought it would be. I ended up gluing the bell onto the handle bars as, there was no way the bell would be able to screw in.
  5. This will be another post, but by default this part wasn't put together very well.  The controller was inside, but just bouncing around on the inside.  When I opened it up.. I laughed.
  6. When the bike came to me, the arms were on the inside.  After 20km of driving you can see the wear on the wall of the rear tire. I had to move the arms out, bend the metal a little and then it worked much better.
  7. The default pedals were cheap! After riding about 100km, I broke one of the pedals.  So I took the pedals off my 2nd gen ebike and it's been fine since.  I'm thinking of getting those straps for the pedals that stop my feet from sliding.  When these pedals get wet, my feet slip... ALOT.
Lessons Learned:
  • Get a proper bike lock, at first I only had a cheap lock.. and I would get paranoid someone was going to come by and snip the lock and walk away with my bike.  Getting a high quality bike lock, gives a peace of mind and allows me to not check on the bike every hour, to ensure it's still there.
  • Bells are a legal requirement, even though my bike equipped with a horn. A very high pitched girly horn.  I STILL have to have a bell by law.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Taming the Controller

This is only for the Conhisto motor controller. If you have something else, this won't work for you. I couldn't really find anything online about this, so I had to do my own deductions when it comes to the advanced parameters.

Holding the S+ and the S- for a few seconds, you get the following options. P01 - P08.  I contacted the OEM of the controller and their .PDF for the controller was so limited.
Here's what I've decoded:

P01 is wheel size (this is required to correctly figure out how fast your going)
P02 is the number of magnets in your motor for speed interpretation
P03 is Backlight
P04 is KM vs M
P05 is Voltage
P06 is sleep time for the display (set it to zero)
P07 is max speed
P08 is where it gets its speed signal from for the display

I've set the controller to be at P07 at 19, which after doing some quick calculations is the speed in miles, even though I have P04 in KM. This limits the bike to the legal 32km.

I don't normally go any faster then 25km anyways, because after 25km the motor is going faster then I can pedal.. and that's not my goal.  I want the work out.  So I keep telling myself.

Lessons Learned:
  1. P02 is an important setting.  When playing around with this (trying to figure out what it does) I set the magnets way to low and when I started going faster (10Km +) the motor went to fault.  Which locked the back wheel for a half a second, causing my way to tight valve to rip from my rim and causing me to have a flat.
  2. When playing with the settings, write down what the OEM has pre-defined.  If anything, you can always change it back to those settings.
Note: PAS = Settings are 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100%, of what the motor is capable of vs. what the max speed is set to.  So when I set the max speed of 19km and I use PAS 60%, the bike shoots up to 35km!  There really should be a way to adjust each setting.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

3rd Ebike (Phat Boy)

So after looking around, I stumbled across a youtube video showing someone on a pedal only fat bike, riding around on snow.  I knew the moment I saw it, that's the direction I had to go!  I'm not an environmentalist, nor do I drink the "Green" kool-aid.  I just wanted to keep with an Ebike for exercise. 

So I found this bike online.  Yes, it was ordered from China but doesn't really everything electronic come there anyways.  Specifically from AliExpress.  I was very nervous about ordering from there but the price could not be matched.  Local shops offered just a Fat bike at the same cost and there wasn't even a motor on it.  I figured, if anything I could replace the cheap Chinese parts with high quality parts and it turns out I was right.


To attempt to show the thickness, here's a picture of it with my hand on the tire.  It's as thick as my hand and it's pretty impressive.  Originally I thought the spider design would be a bit noisy for the Urban driving I would be doing, but it gives off a nice hum.
The controller was a bit harder to understand since there was absolutely no manuals on how this thing worked.  By default, it worked fine but the parameters were set crazy high.  On my first riding, the bike on motor alone went up to 55km!  Which makes it illegal here in Canada to be riding on the bike path..  I'll post another article on how to tame the beast.. Which is btw, it's legal now.
I keep the tires at 25psi but it rated at 30psi.  There are no shocks on this setup but with the bike tires and the -5psi the ride is pretty comfortable.  Best part is, I've hit a few big pot holes and the bike shakes but the tube doesn't burst!  So now I finally have a big bike for a big guy, which in turn gives me a big work out.

Detail link FAT BIKE SPECS
General Specifications:
  • 500Watt motor
  • 48v Lithium Ion battery (Water Bottle style)
  • 26x4" tires
  • PAS (still awful)
  • Controller is programmable (somewhat)
Lessons Learned:
  1. Check out the parts of the bike and assemble immediately. Ali express only offers a 15 day "dispute" with the clients.
  2. Tighten every single screw, nut, etc.. I lost a few after my first go.  I was way to excited to do a full inspection, I wanted to see what I could do with it!
  3. When getting parts from China, be patient and be prepared for extra "Administrative" fees.  Over all with duty, tax, administrative fees the bike cost about $2500. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

2nd Ebike

Down to 320lbs before this bike died.  So working out, is working out!  Fresh air, exercise and I'm not eating like a rabbit.

So, the next edition I went with a Kit that I purchased from Ebay.  Front wheel system for a hybrid mountain bike.  Came with the controller, hub motor already on the spokes, throttle.  No battery and no PAS.

The motor was a 350Watt motor and it worked for 6 months.  The flat tires stopped happening as much and I could get the ebike speed up to 25km-30km and could do the 25km distance.  Changing from the back to the front, was a bit of a learning curve and I would highly recommend a front hub motor for any ebike conversion.   They don't make the kits anymore, but when I bought it.. The hub motor looked similar to this.

From Phat Tire Bike Guy

The battery I found online from a person who Bionix motor died, Lithium Ion battery. The bike was a Supercycle $150 model.

The setup was a bit unsafe, I have to admit.  The battery just sat in the cradle and was only protected by Gorilla tape.  I don't think I ever took a picture of it.  I still have the bike, so I'll try to post a few things of it.. that remains.  It's mostly a part bike now, since I blew the motor.

Blowing the motor was my fault, as the battery I got was for a 750 watt hub motor, so I really pushed this 350w really hard.  The trick was to use the battery for the first 5min of the drive and then start to pedal.  That way the motor was really being pushed at a 450w.  But I once connected the battery and was pushing on the throttle with the hand break on.. Trying to find my wallet in my backpack.  Once I found it, I looked down and saw steam pouring out the side of the hub motor and the motor never worked again.   Cooked!

Lessons Learned:
  1. If you over charge your motor, do it right.
  2. Front wheel configuration made for a smooth ride.  Since I was pushing the bike at a higher speed then what it was designed to do, the back tire warped easily.  But it was easily replaceable since the motor was on the front!
  3. Mount the battery so it can't move. I wiped out once (got cut off by a car) and the battery turned into a flying brick.  Glad no one got hurt (other then me).
  4. When buying a kit online, ensure the battery comes with it.  It's the most expensive part of the ebike.  Finding one that matches and connects properly can be a challenge.  When in doubt, I made all the connecters into Anderson connectors.

From Phat Tire Bike Guy

1st EBike - Daily Commuter

My first Ebike that helped me get out and about while exercising was a cute little folding ebike I got from another town that a friend of mine works at.  Gave me a great deal on it as it was his demo model.  It had about 500km on it buy the time I got it.  All I had to pay for was the battery.

  • The ebike had a 36V 8AH Lithium-ion battery and not leadacid, nor NiMH battery.
  • The motor was 250w (400w peak) motor comes from Bafang (fun8) a world famous Chinese motor manufacture.
  • The controller is hidden under the battery rest. It frame was pretty strong, had front suspensions, dual disc brakes. It is 22kg with battery.  
  • I have no clue what the fastest speed I achieved on this, but I'm sure it was near 20km-25km
  • The distance I was doing was about 20km from home to work.

From Phat Tire Bike Guy

Lessons Learned:
  1. Don't ever buy the demo bike.  No one knows what anyone has done to it..  Pay the extra and get it new.  So you have no surprises!  It's worth the extra dollars.
  2. Small tires don't handle pot holes with my kind of weight.  I know this seems like a given but at the time of purchase, this was the last thing on my mind.  I changed the rear tube almost monthly and the local bike shop had a deal for $20 cash, they would put a new tube in and include the install.
  3. The handle bars on this bike didn't fold, so folding was only partial space saver.  But once folded, the bike was a pain to move and place into a car.
  4. The battery connector wasn't a very firm connection and the cable had a tendency to simply fall out while driving.  I had to rig a simple elastic band to keep the cable from falling out. 
  5. The PAS (Power Assist) is not for exercise.  It makes the motor move faster then the pedals and it can't be changed.
  6. The pedals were a little to long for the size of the tire and I've hit the ground a few times while going around a corner.. Making the bike jump and almost causing me to flip.

Intro and why

Intro: Okay, so I've been thinking of making a journal of my rides and lessons learned from my experiences.  I've always loved to ride bikes (never could run) but riding a bike to almost all my jobs has been a near impossible task.  Until I came across a ebike and my world changed. I'm not here to save the environment or save gas.  I'm here to have fun, work out and enjoy life.

Little about me:
A- I live in Ottawa.  It's the Capital of Canada and it's a very spread out city. 

B- I'm 38 and I am a fat guy, weighing in at 340lbs at the height of 5"5.  I'm okay with how I look as thankfully, I've had no health problems.  No cholesterol issues, blood pressure if fine, etc. 

C- I'm a husband, father of two and I have a successful career. (At least I think so) But I am not going to talk about my job, other then the fact I bike to work.

Why: So I can remember my lessons learned about being a fat guy trying to get some exercise. It's a challenge and going to the gym is not my idea of fun.  I've been to a lot of gyms and most of the time I am judged by everyone with some disguising looks thrown my way, which mostly happens when I'm in work out clothing and working up a sweat!

I needed to do something, lifting weights at home wasn't working.. taking long walks wasn't working.  Yes, I've changed my diet a few times to adjust for living and eating better.  I've tried to live like a rabbit and it only lasts for a week or two.. then it's down hill.

So I'm going to post a few more posts today.