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The "Bonanza Bulldozer" Dual PhaseRunner 2WD Makeover

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    The "Bonanza Bulldozer" Dual PhaseRunner 2WD Makeover

    The time has come to do a "makeover" on my oldest ebike - an REI Novara 2000 Bonanza AL Mountain Bike. Eric Luna may recall this bike from the Marin ES trip he organized where Luke brought his freshly built Deathbike (finished in the van enroute) to the mountaintop and I recorded the "Deathbike Launch" video that went viral on my new Nikon D90 DSLR. But that's another story...

    There's a 25 plus page thread over on ES about this bike https://endless-sphere.com/forums/vi...hp?f=3&t=21390, but a quick recap follows with some new perspectives.

    I chose this bike for my first ebike (since it was sitting around) and put a Nine Continents direct drive motor on the rear wheel, a 66 volt stack of Lipo bricks that Homeland Security would probably be interested in, a Lyen 12 FET controller and a Magura throttle, front disc and rear rim brakes and made it into a commuter for my 26 mile (round trip) commute with 1800 feet of climbing.





    So Eric et al organize this ES group ride in Marin and I head over there to meet this eclectic bunch from ES for the first time, we have been interacting on ES for months but most of us have never physically met before. For the last part of the ride Eric asks for volunteers to carry some of the beer to the hilltop where we are gathering, and as I have saddlebags that fold out from the Topeak trunk bag I take some onboard.

    The last bit of the ride is a steep dirt fire road. You know the type, made for bulldozers up the ridgelines without much regard for gradient. A few of us are "racing" to the top so we take off and are soon out of sight from the main group. My 9C with 66V is doing pretty well, with hard pedaling, but I soon fall behind the leaders who have faster winds in smaller wheels, riding in this rough terrain with loose material, bushes narrowing the path, and water rutting making the going difficult. At one point I'm now by myself, having fallen behind the faster group, and I lose traction in the rough and tip over, taking a minor fall with some damage to the bike but one of those beers gets a pinhole leak and my saddlebags will smell like beer for months.

    It is so steep I cannot get going again, each time I add my pedaling to the motor the rear wheel spins out. I push it a few yards to a less steep spot and get going again and ride to the top, still all by myself as the group following has still not caught up, and the rest of the speedy bunch is long gone.

    At the top everyone gathered and we enjoyed snacks, what was left of the beer and great discussions and reviews of everyone's ebike gear. My 9C was HOT. Hours later it was STILL HOT. I'm sure it was close to melting when I reached the top. At least one other 9C did melt on an unwise second run up. That hill was too steep for a 9C in a 26" wheel.

    That day I learned that the 9C that I had carefully chosen after hundreds of simulator runs was not really well suited to steep dirt climbing. On my commute run I had up to 15% gradients on pavement, and with pedaling it would do that at 10-15 mph. The motor was just about right to "flatten" the hill, and then you could pedal it to level speeds. So it was okay for the commute, just barely. But it was inadequate for steep rough dirt climbing. My next build would have a double wide stator Cromotor which totally fixes the hill climbing ability, but at a great weight cost. And that's another story...

    I decided right then that I wanted to make a 2WD of the Bonanza but other ebikes and life in general got in the way. Then last July I took early retirement and bought the front motor wheel and restarted the 2WD Bonanza Makeover. I was going to put a pair of Lyen controllers on it (and trying to figure out where they would fit), and then Justin's new sinewave Field Oriented Controller project went into beta and I decided to put two of these FOC controllers onto the bike.

    The battery was six Turnigy 6S bricks in series parallel, and the wiring was conservative. Which means more copper than most use. It was a mess (shown above) that never quite got covered up, the batteries were getting old and I wanted a bit more capacity. Then Luna came out with a 72 volt triangle pack. Purrfect!

    So now this bike is converging. It is up and running, still lots to do but it goes up 14% at about 25 mph, almost double what it did previously. I removed the front suspension fork in favor of a solid chrome moly steel Surly unit to handle the torque of the BMC geared front motor. So, like a bulldozer, it rides a bit rough but it goes pretty much wherever you point it.




    Last edited by Alan B; 09-06-2016, 02:37 PM. Reason: minor fixups
    Alan B

    #2
    That's totally cool man.
    It looks pretty stealth.
    How are those tires - a little rough?

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks. Those are Schwalbe Smart Sam's, a street/dirt combo tire recommended by the folks on ES Facebook. Due to the overlapping blocks down the centerline they are fairly smooth on pavement. I don't have any dirt time on them yet. They seem pretty quiet, as is the whole bike - the only noise is a slight gear noise from the BMC, and some traction noise from the front tire from the high torque BMC trying to spin the front tire at high throttle. I need to balance the torque from the motors yet and the BMC will be tuned down a bit, and the 9C will get some Field Weakening to speed it up a touch.

      With the trap controller I would get some grumbling and whining from the 9C but not with the Sinewave FOC PhaseRunners. The motor is silent when driven by them. The field in the motor rotates smoothly instead of in 60 degree jumps.
      Alan B

      Comment


        #4
        I have been following this build from the beginning, but I am just realizing that this was your commuter bike for a time. How many years did this bike serve as your commuter bike?

        This bike looks like it was built to climb. Are you going to take it back to that steep dirt hill mentioned above for a rematch?

        I would also like to see a video of this on, say, a flat paved street to see the acceleration of this AWD bike.
        Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-01-2016, 12:26 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          First Bonanza commute run September 21, 2011; First Borg commute run July 11, 2012, so less than a year including a winter, and I don't ride in the wet.

          It would be interesting to visit that hill again, you up for it?

          I need to get it tuned up a bit, right now at full charge the BMC may trip out on hard acceleration. That didn't happen on storage charge voltage, but it is pulling too hard at hot off the charger voltage.

          Alan B

          Comment


            #6
            Hmmm, I'm already starting to wonder how this bike would be with a Leaf 1000 or 1500 in the rear to replace the old 9C. :)

            They have a cassette spline on those, would be nice.. Wonder what will fit in 135mm?
            Alan B

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Alan B View Post
              First Bonanza commute run September 21, 2011; First Borg commute run July 11, 2012, so less than a year including a winter, and I don't ride in the wet.

              It would be interesting to visit that hill again, you up for it?

              I need to get it tuned up a bit, right now at full charge the BMC may trip out on hard acceleration. That didn't happen on storage charge voltage, but it is pulling too hard at hot off the charger voltage.
              I am definitely up for it on any Sunday. I would have to bring a 3-speed because I can't close the rear door of the van with a 5-speed in it.

              This Bonanza Bulldozer would make a great commuter ebike because one motor (or controller) could have a problem and you could continue on with the other motor.

              Comment


                #8
                Added a pair of heatsinks to protect and cool the dual PhaseRunners. This view also shows the external shunt which allows measuring the total current fed into both PhaseRunners. In this photo there's no CA connected to it.

                . Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by Alan B; 09-07-2016, 05:44 AM.
                Alan B

                Comment


                  #9
                  Alan, if you are in the market for a 1500W model, I have recently been playing with the Edge 1500. Worth considering.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yes, I've been reading the ES thread as well as your article. Nice motor. According to my calculations it requires more current than the PhaseRunner can handle in the available windings. My 6x10 (10 turn) 9C is a high voltage low current motor and produces more torque at 50A phase current than most motors, so it is hard to improve on. The PhaseRunners are excellent controllers but are limited in current.
                    Alan B

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This chart shows a few motors and several of my ebikes. The 2WD thrust is quite impressive, it exceeds the thrust from the CroBorg and the RidgeRunner. The current limit of the controllers does affect the available performance from the motors. When current limited the high turn count motors provide the most thrust, however the top speed is limited. A tradeoff.
                      Last edited by Alan B; 09-08-2016, 04:08 AM.
                      Alan B

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Setup bike with dual Cycle Analyst V2 displays on sale at Luna, one for each motor.

                        Increased the bandwidth of the PLL loop and the BMC gearmotor overcurrent trips stopped. Balanced the torque with 1/3 front power and 2/3 rear power. It still climbs well, though I have reduced power a bit.

                        Took a longer test ride today with no issues. Very smooth and strong. The throttle ramps are a bit long so it isn't abrupt, but it has a lot of power. At the moment I'm limiting total battery current to 46 amps of the rated 50 (with the Luna 72V pack). The slow throttle ramps are easy on the BMC clutch and helpful to the rider when dealing with front wheel spinout.

                        This is probably my only ebike that will wear out front tires faster than rear. With the high torque motor there, and the rearward weight shift when accelerating, that front tire wants to slip a little. I will probably want an easy adjustment for front torque to adapt it to the surface.

                        Alan B

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I am going on a ride tomorrow (Sunday, 9/11) with Alan and this bike. If anybody is in the Bay Area and wants to join us, PM Alan or myself.

                          I will make a video of the ride, and post the YouTube link here.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Quite a ride today. It is still a challenge to ride up the poor quality steep dirt road, but this Bonanza Bulldozer goes up quite well. :)
                            Alan B

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Here is some video from my camera from the ride: https://youtu.be/vQ2MDYVgkPw

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