I had a few hours to spare so I put together the second bike for my wife. Lynn is only 1.53m tall, and has a comfort bike with 700C wheels like mine. This has thrown up all sorts of problems. For example:
- the pannier rack which went so easily onto my bike, needed a whole different method of fitting, as the wheel stays are at a much lower angle to mine.
- my bike has a nice frame diamond to put the controller and wiring in, hers is a lady’s frame with a very slim diamond between the lower bar for the step through and the normal lower tube – nothing fits in the diamond without some customisation, but the step through tube is high enough that nothing can be mounted on top without getting in the way when she stands astride the bike! I feel a custom aluminium box to fill the space in the down tubes coming on.
- The brake and gear levers are all closer to the handlebars (to suit smaller hands) which makes putting controls on to the bars much harder! Where I could get away with a thumb throttle, there was no way to use one on hers, and we had to use a full twist grip unit, working backwards! Her handlebars were also cluttered with a bell and a reflector, as well as the CatsEye computer, only the latter will make the cut in the final build!
- the battery pack which almost slots under my seat actually rises a little higher than her seat, and while this does not affect the ride position, it does make it difficult to swing her leg over the seat while getting on and off, and the C of G of the battery is proportionally much higher. As the battery is close to 9kg, this makes a big difference. Re-designed batteries for her bike will be a “near future” project.
None of this is insurmountable, and I persevered and got the bike ready for a trial run. As the new PAS sensors I had ordered had not arrived, it was a throttle only experience, but enough for her to realise that this could be quite fun!
As well as the PAS sensors, I also ordered two LED control units, these fit on the handlebars and show the battery state and allow the rider to control the amount of assistance given while pedaling. The wiring is very simple, they work with the PAS ad the throttle and they are waiting to be fitted right now. They will look good, and while it means changing some of the wiring quite a lot, it will simplify the wiring. I just need to make sure I document the final wiring diagram.Existing switches used to control assistance will be re-purposed to be throttle on/off switches.
Unfortunately, so much else is going on that the whole bike thing is on hold until after Easter, when we return from walking the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds. Anzac day is looking good to get both bikes rideable!