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Canondale "Super V-lectric" build

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    Fantastic application of mechanical and electrical technology Mister Jose'
    Center Of Gravity ?
    I think it will be nice and LOW
    Last edited by Mike_V; 04-25-2020, 09:44 PM. Reason: name & spelling


      Appreciate the feedback, Mike.

      Yep, keeping mass low on the frame was in the plan.

      The motor placement is great on this frame as it can rotate way up, but it is still about 1/2" lower than the BB. I almost wish I had gone the Mini Cyclone route to really tuck the motor up high, but I'm thinking that when I start using the "V-lectric" for my summer commuting to work that thought will vanish.

      On another note, when I was riding regularly, the little fella was carrying 265lb of my frame. I am down to 250 now, and want to hit more around 240. I figure if at 265 the bike was just fine hauling me around, then at 240 the motor/battery weight is a non-issue for the suspension. I'll still be a clydesdale, but haul-assing clydesdale thanks to all the tasty torque on tap.

      I was originally going to just have a single stack battery on top of the seat post tube, and carry a spare. The more learned about how voltage and amperage balance out, I became convinced I had to build-in as much capacity as possible, given the space I was working with. The L-shape seemed the best way to get there.

      Feels like I am almost there now. I ordered a battery cutoff from Luna. When that gets here, I add it to my battery case design, and can button it all up.

      When this bad boy is on the road, I will figure out what to do about a portable charger. If I can find a really small 3A power supply, I can print up a case that could hold it, and another one of the voltage converters I use now.

      Last edited by DaHose; 04-26-2020, 02:49 PM.


        VEE Battery
        Such a fantastic creation, you'll push your tires leaning into the curves, like a V twin.


          Hi everyone,

          I have another installment of my project progress. The next item on the list was deciding how to encase the battery. I used the 1/8" ABS sheet I cut and put it together using 8-32 hurricane nuts, with stainless hardware. I needed some unusual spacers to make everything work since the hurricane nuts had a tall neck. I used my nifty little 3D printer to make washers that were 1mm thick, with a shoulder to hold the washer in place. The center is big enough to fit around the neck of the hurricane nut, and spaces the washer up enough so the screw can pull it all together without the washer bottoming out on the neck of the hurricane nut. You can see how the hurricane nuts portrude from the ABS sheet in the pic below. Cutting off the corner was necessary so I could fit it to the aluminum angle that holds the pieces to gether. It all worked out great!

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          With the basic case ready, I needed to finish the battery itself. I re-did the main load/charge connector wiring to use an XT60 connector inside. That is so I can remove the top cap for dis-assembly. I also ran a pair of wires to the far back, so I can add a separate charge connector.

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          To finish wrapping the battery. I started by using some smaller wrap to hold the ABS protective side skins on, then finished by wrapping a 320mm tube on. I used my seal-a-meal to seal one end. Now the entirety of the lower section, up to the middle of the top section is water tight.

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          With the battery ready to go into the case I made, I wrapped it in padding, and put into the case.

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          At this point pictures were less of a priority than trying to finish and go for a test ride ...... aaaaaaannnnnddddddd HERE IS THE MAIDEN VOYAGE!!!!!!! I started in my biggest rear gear, and it would instantly wheelie. Had to shift to the middle cog, and then things worked out much better.

          You can see in the last frames of the video that I 3D printed a top cap, and also that the battery turned out pretty friggin huge. That resulted in a problem turning my bars lock-to-lock. So it was back to the drawing board, to re-think the whole thing. Rather than completely scrap what I had so far, I decided that if I put the case on a diet, I could modify the top and rear cap designs to make for a more compact package. This is where I am at now.

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          The middle section has to be taller due to the extra parallel pack on top of the battery, but the end that will be nearest the rider is a full 2" shorter. The new rear cap I am designing will enclose the rear completely. I hope to have the two end caps printed in the next couple of days, and I will make a better post dedicated to showing off the final battery build.

          Last edited by DaHose; 3 weeks ago.


            Well tonight it all finally came together. I have completed my build of the Super V-Lectric 1000, and I have the pictures to prove it!

            First off, if we look down into the top of the battery, there is some space inside for me to use an XT60 connector. I add some dense foam to fill in the empty space when it’s all put together.

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            The reason for the XT60 in the top, is so I can quickly remove the whole top cap, where the cutoff switch is located.

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            I am using the cutoff I bought from Luna for now, but I have a more robust unit on the way. I plan to install a digital temp. gauge as well, which could require a re-design. I plan to wait until I have both parts to make that decision.

            The battery top cap fits very nicely, and the controls look really clean. The main output connector is an XT90.

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            The battery bottom cap has a more complex shape that seals off the top, and tucks into the inside of the battery. It also holds the XT60 charge connector.

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            Here you can see that I will need to use a bit of sealant to make the fit water tight.

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            The battery won’t be able to completely submerge without worry, but rain falling on it should not be able to get in. The battery inside is totally sealed into a case as well, so I feel really good about water resistance.

            Here are a couple shots of the full battery. The second shot lets you see the bike name on the top cap, and that is a US Marine Corps logo (Eagle, Globe & Anchor) on the end of the bottom cap. I plan to fill in the logos with enamel paint.

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            Now on to the bike!

            Here you can see the battery tray pieces I made. There is an upper tray that mounts using two stainless clamps around the main tube. The lower tray just uses the water bottle bosses to mount.

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            The entire motor, and battery mount assembly is a combination of bolted and some riveted joints that allows me to easily/completely take everything off if I want. Every part of this build was meant to be bolt on, so I could remove everything and go back to pedal power. I figured who knows, maybe I will want to transfer the parts to another frame some day, so prepare for that possibility.

            Here you can see that I found some great metal buckles to hold things together. The Velcro straps loop through the top part of the buckle, and attach to themselves. Mounting the battery, and adjusting the straps is really easy.

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            I could have just used the Velcro straps, but I think the metal buckles are better for two reasons. First, they look cool, but more important is that they hold rock solid, and you just squeeze to release. With both buckles on the same side, I can really quickly yank off the battery in an emergency, and I can easily do it blind. I consider the buckles an important safety feature given how scary it can be if something goes wrong with a high power lithium pack.



              I can only put 10 pictures in each post, so here is a good look at the whole bike, with battery mounted.

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              I originally purchased my kit at the end of last year (my family lets me pick my christmas gifts ), so its taken me about 6 months to complete the whole project. The motor mounting, and bike assembly went pretty quick. It was figuring out the battery, and assembling it all that really took a long time.

              One thing I started thinking more about is the size of the battery pack. I built it as a 16S6P because many members of the forum talked about how much they regretted building a small pack their first time around. Mainly because they started riding their ebike everywhere, and immediately wanted way more range. So I went with a high capacity build. While I have a lot of range, the pack is pretty big/heavy, and I wonder how it will ride in the hills.

              Now that I understand what I am doing I'm thinking of designing a second pack that is 16S3P. It will end up having WAY less range, but will be much smaller, and half the weight. The really cool thing is that I will be able to design it from scratch to be 3D printed, which should really help make the construction really compact. We'll see how that goes.

              For now, I am extremely happy with how it has turned out, and can’t wait to get out on the trails with my buddy who's Specialized Ebike inspired the whole project. I need to get my wheels trued, and then I will take the Super V-lectric out to see how long it takes me to get to work on the local bike trail, which goes right to the college where I work.

              Last edited by DaHose; 2 weeks ago.


                I think I should quickly add that there are two mechanical upgrades shown in the picture above which I did not detail.

                First , I added a PNW dropper seat post. It works great, and when set properly for my full pedal stroke, it drops the saddle still well above the end of the battery, while also clearing the suspension nicely.

                Second, I thought my air shock was failing, and all my reading indicated that a coil shock might be better for my build as it handles small bumps better. The main disadvantages I could find about using a coil shock were higher weight, and less convenient adjustment for load. Well, with this build low weight parts aren't really a topic of concern, and once dialed-in the load won't vary much. I also realized that with the upgraded swingarm, my 1999 frame could actually handle a little more suspension travel and still be around a 68 degree head angle. I looked around for a shock I could use to test my idea, and the DNM shock that comes stock on a SurRon seemed to fit the bill. I picked up a 210mmX61mm RCP2 with a 550lb spring for $119. I figured it would be an inexpensive way to verify the size and spring weight are correct. If the spring feels right, then I could reuse that with a higher quality shock of the same length, or go shorter if need be. First impressions are that the length is right, and the shock is suprisingly good. When I am at speed, it really soaks up hits like railroad crossings, and heavily potholed pavement without the initial harshness I used to feel in my air shock. Right now sag on that 550lb spring is at about 32%, and it really should be closer to 25%. I'll play with my preload and see if I can't get that number better. If not, I guess I will need about a 50 lb heavier spring.