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Bakfiets earns its flames!

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    I'm going to complain for a minute:

    I have literally no room to work on things at all where I live. I'm crammed into a bike-shed, with just enough room to squeeze between my bakfiets and the next scoot-mobile. I always end up rushing through things--in order to avoid being in everyone else's way--so even if I end up with okay results, it's never quite as good as I want. What I wish I had, was an indoor space where I could work--preferably undisturbed--by people or mosquitoes.

    Okay. I'm not sure I feel any better, but there you have it.

    Now--in spite of whine-worthy working conditions, I'm going to need to go into action. There is much on my list of things I want to do:

    For the front two wheels:

    Install the new lockable e-bike brake handles I just got from Uncle Ali; replace both wheels outer brake cables; replace both inner brake cables, utilizing the Elvedes universal cable-splitter I got from my local vendor; adjust my front brakes to match one another, and to work with their parking brake. Then, pull the front-wheels off, bring them up to my room (and my cheap-ass but workable truing stand) and dish them about 3/8" or so, to better align them with their fenders. Once that's done, those larger tires can be mounted, then back on the bike the wheels go.

    For the back wheel:

    Install the other new lockable e-bike brake handle; replace the outer brake cables; adjust the rear drum brake; check condition of rear sprocket, check shifter-cable adjustment, and spoke tension.

    For the electrics:

    One at a time, I need to plug the display into each front-wheel's controller, and see if I can alter the settings (assuming--and hoping--the controllers will be able to remember my changes--and that they're not dependent on the screen itself--so my changes remain after I've unplugged the display).

    If that works, I want to experiment with my throttle signals. Try some stuff. Post here what happens.

    To supplement the electronics stuff, I have a lot of wiring coming up.

    Without the energy from the wheel-hub generators, I've got no lights at all. I'm tempted to experiment with the lights I have--which were all made for +/- 6 VAC--from the wheel-hub generators. But how picky will they be in reality? They're very inexpensive LED bicycle lights, but I don't think running similar DC voltages through them will cause any harm. My "brake-tech" rear-lamp won't do its thing anymore. It'd have to have that A/C signal--measuring that pulse-rate--in order to have its brake-light function. I'm going to keep those lights, even if I can't make them work with DC voltage.

    I have also vague plans to one day make a trailer for the bakfiets. If I put my old wheels underneath it, I'll be able to self-illuminate my trailer same as I used to do with the bakfiets.

    Mean-time, I have ordered new 12V LED floodlights, and I've already got turn-signals. Taillights are needed too, but I do want a brake-light function--at least for the center-rack light behind me--so I will try to figure out how to do that too.

    As if that's not enough to do, I also just got a package in the mail--something purely for my kids' enjoyment--a waterproof Bluetooth sound system (intended for motorcycles). Also I need to wire up a USB charger for my smart-phone (which serves as my navigation aid as well as dashboard for my Cyclone and my BMS). Fortunately, these items came all ready to go--heavy-duty wiring, waterproof connections, in-line blade terminals (also waterproof) and nice ring-terminals on the ends of the wires--ready to screw right onto distribution-buss-bars.

    More to follow...

    Last edited by tklop; 07-10-2018, 04:21 AM.


      Small report; probably not very interesting:

      For my front-motors, I didn't want to have to use a display. So, I ordered my two front-motor's controllers with jumpers which take the place of the display for my front-motors' controllers.

      However, I wanted to be able to adjust them--so, I ordered a single display that I could just use as a programming device.

      Today, I tested out if it'd work or not. I wasn't sure if the controllers would "remember" the display's settings. I've gotten the impression reading various entries here, that in some systems, the display does all the "thinking and remembering" -- and in those systems, it sounds to me as if the controllers are just basically follow-along devices for the screens. So, I hoped my plans would work, but I wasn't going to be sure until I tried.

      To adjust the controller's settings, I first unplugged the jumper, plugged in the display, then powered it up. Following YouTube guidance for the relatively generic display, I set the wheel-size, then just scrolled through all the defaults, until I reached the setting to limit amperage--which I set to 50%. Then, I powered everything off again, removed the display, replaced the jumper, and moved on to the other front-wheel controller. Interestingly, the settings didn't require modification for the second controller--perhaps the screen sent them in automatically upon connection, but just to be sure, I still scrolled through each menu, and clicked the "okay" button to (re)register each of the selections in the menus. Then, I powered it off again, removed the display, plugged the jumper back in, then put the display back into the toolbox.

      Result: The controllers accepted and remembered the modifications I made to the settings, and did not care that the display had been removed.

      The front-motors do not do funky things involving speed-governing anymore. Gone too, is the asymmetrical pulling, even at max speed, cruise control or not. It's gone. My max speed (front-motors alone--real-world) is now +/- 28 KPH, and now seems more dependent on the motors' own limitations. It just seems they reach max RPM, and hold there. Smoothly, evenly. No more cycling on and off as speeds rise and fall--just steady. And yes, I realize for many of you that the pace is not crazy-fast--but that's exactly what I ordered. These motors were wound for higher torque, lower speeds after all. Plus, I've got them on 20 inch wheels, so they'd be faster on 26's or larger too.

      Though I've turned the amperage down, the motors aren't weakened noticeably. I may in fact need to reduce that number further. But for now, even with all three motors on max-throttle, I'm now remaining under the continuous 50A my BMS is designed to be delivering. I like soft settings, because they let me know that if ever there's an emergency situation and I need to really mash the throttles, that I'm going to get the absolute most my system can safely give me--and that I'm not going to start either a BMS or motor-controller fire.

      That's reassuring.

      I keep saying this. But it's really remarkable. Compared to before--with the Cyclone 4KW by itself--the machine rides so nicely now with its three-motor system, that it's hard to effectively describe. Though obviously like any other three-wheeled conveyance, it remains extremely prone to tipping over, for the most part, it's cornering has become a lot more stable. Still, corners which are "banked" the wrong way, or places where one must ride "along" a slope--those are still sketchy. But overall, the improvement is so profound, that I'm now completely convinced that this front-heavy beast-of-a-machine has truly come into its own with AWD.

      More to follow, I'm sure.

      Last edited by tklop; 07-12-2018, 02:04 PM. Reason: for clarity


        My biggest drawback is the added battery drain--when it comes to the tri-motor.

        I think the advantages gained in stability and performance made AWD well worth doing, but it may mean an even bolder choice for my next battery (or maybe just set up a second one--as a range-extender).

        Also, I am planning next month to order another set of these hub-motors, but with disc-brakes. They should be enough for what I have, but I'm also running with more weight and power than an "average" bakfiets of my type. I'll restring the roller-brake versions--one into my city-bike's front-wheel; one into the front wheel of my ex's Giant Mio (mamafiets). I'll probably just order new batteries for them too, but I've thought about just taking apart my current one (it's still pretty new after all), and use it to power both bikes (my 16s 3p can turn into 3 each; 16s, or one 16s, and one 16s 2p).

        And now--I'm also beginning to wonder which forum I ought to be posting in... The beast began it's e-bike life as a Cyclone conversion--so I am hoping that as long as it's still got the mid-drive working on the rear-frame--it's cool to stay here...

        Maybe more. Maybe later!



        • calfee20
          calfee20 commented
          Editing a comment
          I would leave it here. You have such an interesting bike that you should consider posting to endless sphere. I have really been enjoying reading about your build....calfee