Electric Bikes – final build post

I have had a hard week, but a good week, finishing off the bikes. Firstly, while I was waiting for Lynn’s replacement controller to arrive, I decided to convert the second battery to a “saddle pack”. This was more straightforward the second time, all the dimensions and techniques were sorted out. It still took about 4 or 5 days elapsed time, fitting it in around shop work, but the results are worth it. These batteries sit low on the rack, and also sit well forward, in fact as far forward on the racks as they will go. This means that on my bike the battery is partially under my seat, and on Lynn’s immediately behind it. As she sits much more towards the centre of the bike, it still feels good. There are a couple of photos showing the internals of the batteries, don’t forget there are another 4 cells underneath each of the two outer cells! The two batteries are different in that the positive and negative terminals are reversed, otherwise they are pretty similar.

Today, three parcels arrived, the most important being the controller for Lynn’s bike. This is a replacement for the faulty one that Elifebike supplied. As I modified the first one, I didn’t think it was worth trying to get a free replacement, especially considering the postage is more than the value of the controller. It took an hour or so to change the various plugs etc to suit our bike setup, but it worked first time! So that is the electric bike side of the job finished, for both bikes. I haven’t discharged either battery enough yet to check the charger properly yet, but here’s hoping.

The other two parcels were the bike stands I ordered. These are centre stands with twin legs, but both legs fold to the same side. I noticed these on several e-bikes made in the USA and Europe, and they seem to be used for the stability and strength required to support an electric bike, without the complexity of trying to get a normal centre stand to play nicely with derailleur systems etc.. They are ESGE stands by Pletcscher of Switzerland. Fitting is interesting in the space just behind the bottom bracket, which is already full of derailleur brackets, pedal assist systems, mudguards and 700c wheels with 42mm tyres on! But the fittings are solid, and the giant bikes have special brackets which seem designed to hold them in exactly the right place. Once on, they are as solid as a rock. They are easy to use, and seem to be quite stable too.

Here are two pictures of the completed bikes, with rear wheel hub motors, pedal assist, throttles, and controllers in the Aero Wedge bags behind the saddles, and of course the 36V, 15AH (540WH) home made batteries, using Headway cells and fittings, with a 30-60 amp 12S Battery management system. Eventually we will sign write the battery boxes in a reflective vinyl, but we also have plans for canvas like covers for the batteries, that will cover the whole thing including the fittings and electrical connections with what will look like panniers.

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