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2018 Surly ECR Bafang BBS02-B 750W/48V Mid-Drive Build

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    #16
    Oh what fun it is to take a new ride out for a spin. I'm going to just leave the ground down left crank arm on it. Pedals fine and cruises in 4th nicely with a 5th tailwind gear without power. Pedals light and is super maneuverable. She weighed in right at 44lbs. for this XL frame with slightly heavier than a Rohloff 2000g Sturmey-Archer RS-RK5 5-speed IGH (a Rohloff's weight is stated at 1860g). So about 12-13lbs. of that is BBS02B and IGH. Probably another extra pound over typical weight in the Thudbuster seatpost and ISM Urbaine saddle. IIRC a 2018 Surly ECR XL fully built bought off the show room floor is about 31-32lbs.

    I always like to get a "less battery" weight, because everyone runs different size and makeup batteries, so their weight can vary widely.

    I also like to ride my builds as a pedal bike for a week or two before attaching the battery to get the bugs out and everything retightened before powering up.
    2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
    2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
    2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

    Comment


      #17
      After an initial ~15 mile ride and another ~20 ride in pedal form, everything worked so smoothly I went ahead a installed the rear rack and battery bag to power it up.

      The Surly’s frame cable mounts are so nice. They have three concave cable rests on each mount. This makes for super clean wire mounting using one of the three cable locations on each mount and one zip tie through the mount, not around the frame tube. Wiring up the battery, display and speed/cadence sensor was a piece of cake. Maybe things are just a whole lot easier after several builds, but it sure was simple on this Surly frame.

      Powered up the display and noted everything was zeroed out. This puzzled me, because this motor had about 800 miles on it before the mosfets failed in the controller. The Chinese retailer sent a new controller out and I installed it after the motor had sat for several months while I sold off the bike I removed it from, then reinstalled it on this Surly ECR build. This brings up a question that I posted in the General section regarding if the user data is stored in the controller or the display. Have to wait for knowledgeable responses to know for sure, but I’m guessing the controller. It is possible that the display zeroed itself out after sitting so long, but unlikely in my opinion.

      Anyway, I went through all the color display settings and set it up just like my Soma B-Side BBS02B that has over 3,000 trouble free miles on it now. Took her out for a spin and my grin was wide and sweet!

      At level 5 of 9 (my normal go to setting) with speed limit cutoff set to 30mph it cruises right at about 20mph in 5th gear as the power reduces to zero assist. This is just what I hoped for and should give good range at 20mph. At 4 of 9 it assists up to about 18mph before the assist reduces to zero. At that setting I should get killer range because once I’m up to speed it uses little to no power. Putting a full charge on it now and will go for a long powered up test ride tomorrow to see how she performs. Can’t wait to get out on the bike trails with it...
      Last edited by Rider; 06-12-2018, 07:52 AM.
      2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
      2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
      2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

      Comment


        #18
        Did a 60 miler shakedown test ride after powering it up for the first time with the power levels set to 1-9, speed cutout at 30mph and tire size at 29” (guessing all the readings are a little low, as the Surly Extraterrestrial tires have a larger than normal 29” diameter). The ride went flawlessly. Cruises at about 20mph in 5th gear at 5 of 9 and the power slowly tapers off to zero assist just above that speed (no brick wall cutoff like the premanufactured torque sensor ebikes). Getting the settings just right for your planned speed and cadence is key to getting long range, as once you are up to your desired speed the motor uses very little watts. On this ride I kept my speed at about 20mph on the streets and riverbed bike trails. Once I hit the beach, I dropped my power setting to 4 of 9 and cruised at about 18mph. The data shows an average speed of 16.2mph including all stops. There was a good strong headwind for much of this ride, yet I started at 52.1 volts and ended at 44.5 volts.

        Took a couple pictures of the Surly triple cable mounts to show how you can use them for the main wire coming from the handlebars without having to run zip-ties around the top tube. Same for the lower left rear stay. The only place that requires zip-tie around the frame is the speed/cadence sensor, but it looks clean. I currently have three zip-ties around the seat tube, but those will eventually go inside a custom bolt-on full frame bag that uses the bottle mounts for attachment on the seat tube and down tube. Used a JANDD Mountaineering solid alloy rod rack and Topeak MTS strap-on bag that I already had to mount the battery for now.

        Surprisingly I had zero riding fatigue on this ride with the initial build positioning in my hands, feet, and bum. This is the most comfortable bike geometry I have ridden; partly because this frame is sized right for my 6'2" body and the geometry I'm sure. The SQlab 411 inner bar ends are absolutely wonderful! They were used for the majority of the ride in some way. Most of the time my thumb and fore finger wrap around them and my palm is on the bend in the Trailhead bars like they are designed to be used. I also found myself resting my palm on the bend of the Trailhead bars and simply extending my thumb over the top of the bar up against the inner bar ends. I’m really glad I bought these to test them out; they’re keepers!

        For what it is worth, I tried out the cheaper Jones Loop H-Bars for a time and found them very comfortable, but over time I determined that the 45* sweep was too much for best overall multiple uses. On top of that, the SG bars flexed way too much for me. This was especially apparent when I was making a right corner at 20mph on the street in my neighbor, when another bike rider popped out from behind a 6’ fence on the sidewalk from my right. He panicked and rolled right out into the street in front of me, as I got on my Shimano XT brakes super hard. The SG Jones bars turned into noodles while the XT brakes did their job like no other brakes I have used. I (and he) got really luck I just caught his rear wheel behind his rear axle. He almost went down, stumbling off his bike, but holding on to one grip. I stayed up to pedal on and circled back. Things would have been much worse for him if I didn’t have Shimano XT brakes or hit him anywhere in front of his rear axle. Shimano XT brakes 10+! Jones SG Loop H-Bar 5. Sold off the Jones SG after that. Hopefully the more expensive models don’t have the flexing issue. The new Surly Moloko steel bars look promising, although at twice the weight, but the Fouriers Trailhead 7050 alloy bars with comfort bend are currently the handlebar for me.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Rider; 06-13-2018, 10:16 AM.
        2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
        2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
        2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

        Comment


          #19
          Second shakedown ride included some dirt trails and climbing. Rode about 7 miles from my house to a local trailhead and did the 11-12 mile loop, then rode back to my home for a about 26 miles total. The good vibes continue on this big wheeled monster eSurly. The gearing handled the trails well with 4th being the highest gear when in the dirt. 1st gear climbed the short steep hills that tests my lungs ever time even with the electric assist; I still have to work hard when climbing, it's not a free ride. I aired down the tires a bit just by feel. The tires and Thudbuster absorbed the bumps and hits well. The worst section was some large roots in the middle of a climb. That always takes some extra skill on a hardtail compared to a full squishy, but I rocked through it in 1st with good balance and this responsive frame geometry that handles technical areas wonderfully.

          A couple things came up on this ride. The first I noticed when at a stop light on the way home. In glancing down at the motor it appeard to be covered in hot gooey bubble gum. Thought I must have ran over a blob of someone's disgarded chew (damn it!). It was gooey and sticky when I touched it with my finger. After the initial anger wore off, as I rode on I thought to myself maybe I can put some ice on it tomorrow and it would flake off easily like people do when they get gum in their hair.

          The next morning I also noticed a drippy white patch on my rear tire at the rim bead. These tires were installed with Finish Line's new "Life of the Tire" tubeless sealant and it appeared to do its' job on a rim leak (possibly when I hit those big roots on the climb, who knows?). Looking back at the motor gum, it seemed to brush off with my hand for the most part now that it was dry. Maybe the dirt layer all over my bike from the dusty trails didn't allow it to stick well (?).

          Then it stuck me. Maybe that gum is sealant! I inspected the front tire and sure enough I found a whitish patch that could be the sealant doing its' job on a puncher or the rest of the gum left on the tire. After further inspection, I think it is tire sealant and the stuff on my motor was deposited when it came squiring out as the puncher sealed itself. I'm new to the tubeless game and really hope this new lifetime sealant works well, because I would hate to dismount tires and replace the non-lifetime sealant every 3-6 months. What a PITA! Despite all the negative reviews of this new Finish Line sealant, I have to say it appears to have worked for me this time around.

          The other issue is the chainring clearance. I used an thin 1/8" aluminum single speed cassette spacer with the inner bumps filed down a little for a snug fit over the BBS02B slide in BB casing. It appears the motor housing and chainring are a little bit closer to the frame than it was when I assembled it. Maybe that thin aluminum washer wasn't the best choice for that application; it may have compressed some (?). I used what I had at the time. I will procure a proper BB thick alloy spacer or SS one in the future. Right now I will monitor this closely and double check the BB nut for good torque. (ADDED 8/5/18: Been trying to remember to add this. It turns out the spacer I used was fine and nothing has loosened up at all. I think it was just the dirt that made it look like the clearances had changed. I now have 500+ miles on this build and only retightened the rear axle nuts once and the crank arm bolts whenever I remember to check them - they always seems to loosen a bit over time even with blue thread lock, but never back out to the point of being loose).

          All in all this bike rocks my world. Researching full frame bag options now and a possible move of the battery to inside it, mounted on a bracket that attaches to the seatpost and down tube water bottle bosses...
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Rider; 08-05-2018, 02:20 PM.
          2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
          2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
          2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

          Comment


          • Rider
            Rider commented
            Editing a comment
            It turns out my first thoughts were right. I wanted to pick all the goo out of the tire tread to see if anything was stuck into the tire. I didn't find anything and the goo had a nice apple scent to it, so it must be discarded gum on hot pavement that I ran over and not sealant. Some people are pigs!

          #20
          Thanks for a great article Rider. I’ll be revisiting it often in the near future as I,m eyeing off something similar for my next build project.

          Comment


          • Rider
            Rider commented
            Editing a comment
            Happy to help. Sharing information we all learn is what "grassroots" sports/hobbies is all about. I look forward to reading your build.

          #21
          Today while swapping tires on my Soma B-Side again, I measured their width once installed on the specific ID rim used. While I was at it I also measured the Surly Extraterrestrial 29" X 2.5" tire on this bike mounted to Velocity Dually i39 rims. They measured over 2.6"!

          2.4" to 2.6" seems to be the width many MTB riders are zeroing in on as what they think has the best overall ride feel and control.
          2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
          2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
          2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

          Comment


            #22
            Picked up a MooseTreks full frame medium frame bag and it fits the Sulry ECR XL frame perfectly. This relatively cheap frame bag appears to be very well made and has dual zippers and a two-pocket separator if desired. Hoping to put my huge 21Ah/1008Wh battery in it. Here's the bag on the frame and the battery inside it. Starting the fabricate a simple aluminum support for the weight of the battery that mounts to the water bottle attachment points (cardboard piece in pictures).
            Last edited by Rider; 06-22-2018, 08:42 PM.
            2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
            2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
            2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

            Comment


              #23
              Went to Home Depot and bought a 2" wide X 1/8" thick X 3' long piece of aluminum for $10. Cut it to length for the bracket and dilled one hole. Made the bends, then mounted it and marked the second hole for drilling. Trimmed the ends, rounded the corners, filed and sanded it smooth for painting. Test fitted the final piece designed to support the weight of the battery on this flat plate under the frame bag. This should work great for my current 3.25" X 6" X 8" battery pack and any future triangle shaped battery pack as well. Painted it gloss black like the frame so it won't stand out.
              2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
              2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
              2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

              Comment


                #24
                After completing that outside the frame bag bracket, I thought it would be even better to make a bracket that can be mounted inside the bag that holds the battery in place with the left over aluminum material, uses the water bottle mounts through frame bag button holes I can do on a sewing machine and have the battery held securely in place with zip-ties. This will be a nice stealthy setup, hiding the battery and all the wires up the seat tube completely inside the frame bag (more larger button hole slits for the wires at the rear top and bottom will be needed).

                This is the design I came up with. I started with the pictured cardboard design, but ended up only using two water bottle mounts and running the aluminum all the way up and over the top of the battery to hold it in place. The thick white lines are where I will strap it with zip-ties. I may make a side-to-side centering bracket that attaches to the bottom of this bracket that will hold a vertical zip-tie too. I really like the way this inside-the-bag bracket came out. The aluminum is really easy to bend and shape.
                Last edited by Rider; 06-22-2018, 09:11 PM.
                2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                Comment


                  #25
                  Another wonderful 40 mile ride this morning. Oh what a pleasure this bike is to ride. I want to just keep on riding more and more miles...

                  Thinking about getting an additional 17.5Ah battery, so I have batteries for both of my bikes or I can put both batteries on the ECR for a whooping 38.5Ah of MEGA RANGE! Guessing about 130-150 mile range.

                  Luna's 17.5 Ah triangle pack appears to be a perfect fit for the lower section of the MooseTreks medium frame bag; all fitting below the Velcro bag splitter. That leaves the entire top section for separated completely useable storage space.
                  Last edited by Rider; 06-24-2018, 02:18 PM.
                  2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                  2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                  2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                  Comment


                    #26
                    Great article Rider. You’ve really taken this build to a whole new level. I’m currently on holiday with my wife and we’ve been out riding coastal tracks together on our Giant Anthems. The idea of an extra long range MTB is really appealing and your build project is providing inspiration.

                    Comment


                    • Rider
                      Rider commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks Hard Tail. The Surly ECR or Trek Stache 5 were the two bikes I narrowed my search down to 2-3 years ago when I got back into biking. I decided on the Trek Stache 5 (carbon fork full hard) for it's playfulness and belt drive ability down the road, but by the time I went to buy all the XL's were sold out. Then Trek in all their wisdom decided to put a cheap suspension fork on the next batch of Stache 5's and I was SOL. I ended up with the Soma B-Side V.2 Belt Drive version and was very happy with that, but really wanted a 29+ belt drive bike.

                      Trek now makes the 1120 with a carbon fork, awesome flat black and orange racked off-road touring bike that is close to the Stache, but doesn't sell a frame, fork & racks frameset package. The BB is PF92 and curved down tube at the BB as well, so another issue to deal with when adding a BBS02B. In addition that bike is Boost and wouldn't take my existing custom wheelset. The Surly ECR with its' Gnot-Boost rear drops and 100mm front fork with attachments everywhere was a perfect fit.

                      Now three bikes into the sport and having gone full electric assist on all of them, I'm glad I returned to the Surly ECR and a XL frame size before it gets modified in some way that makes adding a BBS02B difficult. This is a true comfortable 29+ touring bike.

                    #27
                    Scored a pair of massive Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals on eBay for a song from an inventory liquidator. They said they were used, but clearly are brand new; probably an out-of-box display pair. Not sure I believe all the marketing hype on their website, but I know having full front-to-back arch support will allow me to ride in more walkable shoes, or even sandals or hiking boots if desired. The last three rides I've been using their foot position on my AEST Ti spindle flats. After dropping the seatpost and moving the seat forward a bit I'm getting use to this style of pedaling. Now that the Catalyst pedals are here I can't wait to try them out in tennis court shoes. These things are HUGE (Trump would love them! They are bigger than his hands - lol). That's a 6" ruler in the photo. The width is the same as my AEST pedals, but the length, OMG!

                    Now that Pedaling Innovations is in the market, watch the trails for hairy Bigfoot's on MTB's...
                    Last edited by Rider; 06-25-2018, 01:47 PM.
                    2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                    2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                    2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                    Comment


                    • Rider
                      Rider commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oops! Posted in wrong place (deleted).
                      Last edited by Rider; 06-29-2018, 06:32 AM.

                    • calfee20
                      calfee20 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      those may be good for my size 15 feet.

                    #28
                    First ride impressions on the Catalyst pedals can be summed up best with “out of saddle stability.” That’s the big improvement that I noticed with these pedals. I found myself varying my foot position from front to back (changing the spindle location under my foot) with cadence. Slow cadence is doable with the pedal manufacturers stated foot position, but when I wind up the cadence, I have to move my foot back putting the spindle closer to the traditional foot position slightly behind the ball of my foot for best fast rotation. You can power across the top of rotation, down and through well with shoes that grip and slow cadence power does seem to be improved.

                    I rode with my Fila tennis court shoes with a fine/tight zigzag tread that holds your foot on the spikes in position well. The soles gripped the pedal great with that tread and my feet were super comfortable, plus walking around in normal shoes was a pleasure. They seemed to help when powering up bike trail street underpasses also, but the HUGE platform really shines with massive stability factor when you come out of the saddle. This is apparent when coasting down hill and stomp pedaling up hill. It feels like you can control the bike through the pedals, and seems to allow a better balance between handlebar and foot control when out of the saddle.

                    After just one ride I can say I do like them, but it is clear that my foot will not remain in the manufacturers stated position on the pedal at all times; the obvious being fast cadence pedaling. I would never put these on a road bike for that reason. Despite claims to the contrary, IMHO clipless do allow beter power for sprints and fast cadence pedaling (I believe that has been proven out in analytical testing). These will be great for off-road touring and will increase slow cadence power in that environment.

                    Tennis shoe, hiking boot and sandal riding, oh my! Life on the road just got easier.
                    Last edited by Rider; 06-30-2018, 08:20 AM.
                    2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                    2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                    2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                    Comment


                    • Rider
                      Rider commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Only complaint so far is the length of the spindle from pedal to crank. You can see the difference between the AEST and the Catalyst in the picture above. Although the pedals themselves are the same width, the AEST are about 1/8” further from the crank itself. That ~1/8” less spacing from the crank to the pedal is causing a few shoe hits/rubs on the crank arms. IMHO they’d be wise to add a small amount of length to the spindle.

                      NOTE: I just discovered pedal extenders. Adding some would solve this issue, but the shortest I’ve found are 20mm which is more than I need for better clearance. For those that want to center the pedals, you can add a pedal extender to the left side only and accomplish that without changing the left crank arm, if the crank arm already clears the left lower stay.
                      Last edited by Rider; 06-29-2018, 06:34 AM.

                    • Rider
                      Rider commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm now considering converting the Soma B-Side into a matching bike for a "better half" to ride in the future. May have to swap the L-T Thudbuster for a S-T to get the seat low enough and maybe a Soma Clarence 670mm handlebar with SQlab Inner Bar Ends instead of Fouriers Trailhead 720mm. The Schwalbe Super Moto-X 2.4/2.8 tire combo already on it should be fine. If I go Rohloff on each at some point, the B-Side can keep the Gates CDX Belt Drive too. Just have to find a "better half" that enjoys riding and might want to do a few weekend B&B tours and/or overnights in the Sierra's... Damn this hobby is fun and addicting!

                    #29
                    Got the MooseTreks medium frame bag all setup with slit Velcro patches on the rear top and bottom that are covered by a simple piece of dual-sided Velcro that attaches everywhere the wire isn't. Used Shoe-Goo to attached "SURLY 4130 STEEL" patches to each side. The lower section holds a Luna 48V 17.5Ah Panasonic GA Triangle Battery Pack. I put 1/4 stick-on soft rubber padding (that came on a new refrigerator that I saved) on the back, bottom and long angled up area to add protection against the frame contact points. Removed the SURLY ECR and XL stickers from the frame (that's all they are on a Surly, stickers without clear coat), because the frame bag covered most of them anyway. IMHO it looks better all shiny clean black.

                    Finally, I removed the rear rack for now and picked up a pair of KEEN Newport H2 sandals for hot weather riding. The KEEN's are wide and get even move heel hits on the crank arms, so I ordered up a pair of Ti pedal extenders to hopefully solve that annoying issue.

                    She's ready to ride.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Rider; 07-07-2018, 11:52 AM.
                    2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                    2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                    2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                    Comment


                    • max_volt
                      max_volt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Shoo-goo is my go-to adhesive. AKA e-6000, shoo-goo marine, shoo-goo craft as far as I know it's all the same formula.

                    #30
                    35+ mile Queen Mary run and still have 4.7V left in the tank with the Luna 17.5Ah Panasonic GA Triangle Pack. Such a comfortable ride, aaahhh... Sandals, shorts and fresh ocean air!
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Rider; 07-08-2018, 02:52 PM.
                    2018 Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...id-drive-build
                    2013 Niner Jet 9: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...lectric-assist
                    2016 Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...v-custom-build

                    Comment

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