Electric bikes – more thoughts

Last week I went to my first call out from the shop on the bike – the customer was quite amused by it! At the weekend, Lynn and I did a 27km round trip to Porirua, with a detour on the way back to try some of the steeper hills in Whitby. These were : Omapere Street from the Waitangirua side, Mercury Way, and Ayton Drive (coming back over from the Crows nest). Lynn with her significantly lower weight had no problems, sailing up them all in relatively high gears at 12-15kph, whereas I was having to push quite hard up the last two at least, and I was down to 9kph on Mercury, and 10kph on Ayton. I haven’t found a hill yet I have to get off and walk on!

With Lynn’s lighter weight, the bike is 50% of her weight, but in my case it is only 30%. This makes the handling difference interesting. I barely notice the extra weight at the back, whereas Lynn feels the back end trying to carry on a bit at corners, a sort of very mild oversteer, especially on muddy roads etc. but the extra weight does make it less likely to skip or hop about.

One thing I have learnt is to check nuts and bolts regularly, especially in the racks which hold the batteries. The batteries are a fairly heavy 8kg, concentrated in a small volume, so when the bike bounces and bumps over rough roads and tracks it can jiggle the bolts loose. I have replaced some of the bolts supplied with something more appropriate, and locking washers and some loctite may be applied when I am happy that the bikes have settled down properly.

I also have a slight wheel alignment problem, associated with the dropouts I modified to handle the heavier axles in the electric motors. I need to to some very fine work with a file just to even them up. A job for when I am not tired!

Posted in Electric Bikes

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