Electric bikes – back again

It has been a long time between posts, and a long time between rides. The battery saga from Christmas just went on and on, faulty cells, faulty BMS, more faulty cells, it all got a bit dispiriting, and cells and BMS took for ages to come, including a battle with Chinese new year, raising a dispute on Paypal, online retailers refusing to honour orders until the dispute was removed, refunds and re-orders!

Eventually the bits and pieces arrived, and I started building the new batteries. Then the business got in the way, and I just didn’t have the time or energy to finish them off! Easter came along, Lynn and I went for a walk along the Queen Charlotte track in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, and on the last day, while having a burger while waiting for the ferry to Wellington, I picked up my rucksack and damaged a muscle in my neck. It is still not perfect, but today, 4 weeks on, I rode the e-bike for the first time in several weeks! It is still great, and I still love it, and so long as I wear my merino buff to keep my neck warm, it feels good.

I also finished off the new battery build. Instead of using the same cases, I have built the batteries into a pair of panniers. These are hard plastic panniers, which in a previous life were used by NZ Post cycling posties to carry mail. Ironically, they are no longer required, as the new postie bikes are e-bike capable, so need different panniers!

I have made up a new “sling” across the top of the rack which is bolted to the panniers, to replace the rather worn and battered item that came with them. Likewise I have made some temporary lids out of plastic banner material. These will be upgraded to waterproof nylon canvas when I get round to it. One pannier(the right) has 6 cells in it, with linking wires across the rack into the second pannier, where the second 6 cells, the BMS, power plug and charging port are located. A high ampage power lead and 45amp Anderson connectors, and a seven core cable with multi-pin connectors link the power and BMS sides of the system up.

The batteries are slung a lot lower now, down near the centre of the wheel, so the bike should handle a lot better, and it looks a little more like a normal bike, and has a bit of storage space too, the batteries only take up half of each pannier. The wires across the top of the rack are enclosed within the webbing used as the sling, and are partially hidden under the controller bag which is under the seat. The pictures also show the mudguards, which were put on since the last photo from sometime last year

Next job, duplicate the batteries for use on Lynn’s bike. Lynn currently has an RSI problem with her thumb, and is in a plastic splint that makes riding a bike impossible, and has been for a couple of months, so she is not on the bike at the moment either! So we both missed a fair portion of the summer riding again! Still the weather is good now, so lots of good rides for me during the late autumn weather.


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  1. […] Why do I want dual batteries? Firstly, the 13Ah battery supplied with the kit, while only 2 Ah less than the self build Headway battery I was using, is getting a bit frustrating, and secondly I have an excellent 36v 12 cell 15Ah LiFePO4 headway cell battery sitting on a bench not doing much. I could re-purpose the cells, but being able to use them to increase my bike from 430Wh to 1008Wh is quite attractive. THese two batteries are an interesting combination. The 13aH Lekkie, is made from 18650 cells, some sort of LiPo (Lithium Polymer) probably, each cell being about 3.6 to 3.9 volts. 4 or 5 are grouped in parallel to give the 13 amps and 10 groups connected in series to give the nominal 36v. The other is made of 40132 Headway cells, each 15aH, with a voltage range of 3.0 to 3.6v. 12 are connected in parallel to give the 36v nominal. The former weighs 3Kg and sits very neatly on the downtube, the latter is 8Kg and sits in a pair of plastic panniers on the rear rack! http://www.signsofsuccess.co.nz/batteries/ and http://www.signsofsuccess.co.nz/electric-bikes-back-again/ […]

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