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Touring bike for Cross Country travel

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    Touring bike for Cross Country travel

    I don't think any off the shelf bikes will satisfy my design targets so I'm thinking of converting my Norco gravel grinder. It has good geometry and it seems to have places where I could attach panniers, etc. I already have good seat and pedals dialed in. However, if anyone has suggestions or feedback, I would love to hear from you. Goals:

    - 100 mile per day target, with pedal assist. Do not want to arrive at camp thrashed each day so something like 17-20 average mph would be great, allowing for a full day, but plenty of time to set up camp, sleep, etc.
    - would plan to bring 2nd battery
    - ideally, some solar assist - small panel to charge battery not in use, while moving. I would not expect full charge, this would be more in the insurance category
    - payload: bike, rider at about 155 pounds, gear (would focus on ultra=light as much as possible).

    Another thought is to start with a basic, well regarded touring bike frame. There's a long history of these so I think I could get out of the bike part fairly inexpensively.

    Overall thinking is that I could (potentially) make it to West Coast, from New England in a month.


    #2
    100 watt panel mounted on my bike gives thirty miles a day. Add a 160 watt trailer with tilting panel.
    recumbent. 1 kw battery.
    Doable project goals.
    trailer using panel as roof could be good.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Gr8fun View Post
      100 watt panel mounted on my bike gives thirty miles a day. Add a 160 watt trailer with tilting panel.
      recumbent. 1 kw battery.
      Doable project goals.
      trailer using panel as roof could be good.
      That's great, thank you. Yes, interesting. Some years ago, I had considered trailer. I will refamiliarize myself. Because of punctuation wasn't 't quite sure what you meant by "Recumbent. 1 kw battery?"

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        #4

        Comment


          #5
          Lost my caption.
          many changes since this picture. Not the way to do it. Death bike. Road tires suck. Need minimum of 1.8 inch tires (45) . braking. Grip in gravel. Crack in road follow. Paint line tracking. Wind instability. Comfort. Pinch flat and rim damage. You have assistance. The extra resistance of the wider tire is negligible when comoared to benefits. You have assistance, use it wisely.
          do not mount to handle bars. You want to steer. Hard mount to frame. You steer, not the panel. Current configuration is resistant to wind. And easily turned to all weather. All weather is susceptible to side winds.
          will post picture of trailer later. Trailer used for touring purpose. My daily driver is pictured.
          20 ah 52 volt battery. That is about 1 kw.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gr8fun View Post
            Lost my caption.
            My daily driver is pictured.
            20 ah 52 volt battery. That is about 1 kw.
            Too funny! I needed a laugh, thank you. OK, noted and thanks for the safety tips.

            Comment


              #7
              What is your average speed now?
              Batteries are rated in amp hour capacity, but a better judge of capacity is with watt hours. Nominal pack voltage × AH = WH.
              What watt hours tells you is how many watts the pack can output for 1 hour. 1000wh means you can use 1000w for an hour, 2000w for 1/2 hour or 500w for 2 hours, 250w for 4 hours. Distance is a matter of how much speed you can sustain at whatever watts the motor consumes.
              100 miles per day will require plenty of leg power.
              I watch a YouTube channel called "The Bicycle Touring Pro" and he says he likes to do about 100 km per day so roughly 62 miles on an acoustic bike. That I think is easily doable on an ebike. But I'm sure 100 miles is also doable. My longest e bike ride was 84 miles in 2 days and I'm nowhere near being a fit cyclist.
              To keep weight down you need batteries with high capacity cells. The higher the individual cell capacity the fewer cells you need for a given total capacity.

              What motor are you thinking of using, mid drive or hub?
              The biggest limitation with rear hub motors are, maintenance is a bit harder since the wheel is bolt on and not QR so it requires bulkier tools, and there is no simple conversion if your bike uses modern thru axles.
              But a bike with open dropouts should do fine. And if I were to try this I would install a 3x crankset if it doesn't already have one.
              The key will be to constantly monitor motor watts and pedal to keep them as low as possible. And again if it were me attempting this I would not install a throttle. It takes a lot of will power not to use.
              And another issue to contend with is rain. Most hub motors and mid drive motors can deal with rain, it's the battery and the hub motor controllers that can't. I don't know if there are any hub motor controllers that are rain proof, so some kind of sealed enclosure is needed but at the same time it needs to be air cooled.
              And I don't think most downtube batteries are completely weatherproof. Some are. But I see many posts on social media asking about what to do when your battery is full of water.

              Comment


                #8
                Have to admit some of the math is pushing it a bit in my head

                17-20mph isn't hard to do but doing it as an average speed is pretty fast and when I'm going that fast on average I'm not going to even be able to do 15Wh/km - more like 15-20Wh/km... but let's say 12.5 as a very optimistic goal on a very clean machine and 160km(~100mi) and you are at 2kWh! That's a battery that will weigh close to 10kg and if you are going to carry a spare now you've got ~20kg just in battery and that much weight will make 12.5Wh/km much less likely...

                Solar? 100W panel is big enough to eat a whole lot more into the already optimistic 12.5Wh/km and even if you were actually getting 100W it would still take 20hrs to charge just one of the batteries

                I made a little spreadsheet to illustrate (attached, feel free to plug away) - the green are data you enter, yellow are the calculation outputs

                [ATTACH]n128862[/ATTACH]

                Click image for larger version

Name:	calc.png
Views:	338
Size:	11.5 KB
ID:	128863

                Comment


                  #9
                  Your calculations are actually a bit optimistic. I get about 400 wh per day from the 100 watt panel. Inefficiencies of shadows, in ability to align to sun passing clouds etc. All reduce best case.
                  that said, this is 400 watt hours that i do not have to locate an available plug or wait while i am tied to the umbilical.
                  the panel and wiring weighs about the same as a 4oo wh battery. And about the same price. Arguably the panel is actually a bit aero.

                  now we add a trailer with a 160 watt panel, . now we talk of 1 kwh per day. With that 1 kwh precharged battery, you now have the 2 kwh needed.
                  should you not find a place to plug in, then you will need to pedal the next day or accept a slower time.

                  Comment


                  • AZguy
                    AZguy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yeah I'm thinking wind drag too... at the "desired"speeds it gets really high

                  #10
                  What i found intriguing was the race from lyon france to shanghai china. Bikes were limited to 1kwh battery. NO plug in. All solar, human power. Last years scheduled race was cancelled due to covid.
                  most were trikes with panels overhead and on trailers. No escort vehicles. On your own. Tent food etc. Supplied by participant. Other designs. Wind and heat in the gobi desert was a problem... As was rain in europe.
                  over 100 miles per day was common.
                  Looks like 300 to 400 watts in panels was common.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    AZguy. Desired speed is difficult. Possibly the difference between 18 and 20 mph could be ten miles in range (100 mile target)
                    ideally if you could keep wind at your back and downhill all the way, great things could be accomplished.
                    In trying to reduce wind resistance , without modeling and a wind tunnel, i have been using different configurations for maximum speed. For example my bbso2 mtn bike will do 32 to 33 mph. The bbs02 recumbent, 33 to 34. Recumbent with panel, 35 plus.
                    When i have unexpectedly used too much electricity it has been the simple things like dragging brakes, underinflated tires panniers cargo weight fighting a headwind, racing the roadies.
                    Unavoidable things that destroy mileage are common.
                    very few things give unexpected increases.

                    i did see yesterday a 150 watt folding panel transportable solar suitcase with a boost mppt for under 350$. For ebike use. Adjustible.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Thanks so much for all the great feedback. None of this is a surprise to me and it gives much to consider. I do like the experimentation aspect. I have a folding suitcase panel for my teardrop trailer and that does very well in a stationary setting. I have investigated flexible panels as well. Perhaps I should have stated the goal/question a different way - for instance: what could I estimate as a daily average mileage assuming a payload of maybe 250 pounds (rider - 155, bike and stuff); 7-8 hours on bike and pedaling at no greater than 50% of potential (if 100% of potential is completely unaided, non-electric bike). Or some such set of targets. The point being to arrive at camp without being completely hosed. It seems to me that if I was on a regular bike, doing 12 mph average that a 50-60 mile per day average ought to be very do-able. Throw electric into the mix and that has to be good for what? Another 25 miles a day, or a shorter day? And a more refreshed end state? And maybe a good target setup for minimized resistance is a trike/recumbent with trailer.

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                        #13
                        This is an adventure. Expect to be surprised everyday. The people who have the most experience in. Cross country trekking are also the least published.
                        the homeless. If you are to survive, they may be your best resource. Guerilla camping. Guerilla charging.
                        solar on a bike. "Sun trip" is the google question. Going to europe and primarily france on this. German and swedish.
                        There are many weight to energy use calculations. Solar calculations. Watch out for wind resistance. It isn't until you are on the road that you. Will know.
                        be prepared for lots of thumbs up. Questions. Honks. Smiles. And an occasional coal roll from a diesel pick up.

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                          #14
                          Monetize your adventure. You are promoting solar. Qualify leads for solar installations. Pays very good.
                          Blog your trip. Spare change with pay pal. Other platforms. Accept bitcoin donations.
                          you tube. Sedentary dreamers are looking for guidance.
                          do not copy me. My bike works well. But you would only have a copy. Do your own.
                          no license no registration no insurance no gasoline. No oil changes. Disconnect for freedom.

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Originally posted by Gr8fun View Post
                            Monetize your adventure. You are promoting solar. Qualify leads for solar installations. Pays very good.
                            Blog your trip. Spare change with pay pal. Other platforms. Accept bitcoin donations.
                            you tube. Sedentary dreamers are looking for guidance.
                            do not copy me. My bike works well. But you would only have a copy. Do your own.
                            no license no registration no insurance no gasoline. No oil changes. Disconnect for freedom.
                            Great ideas and thanks fort the inspiring words. I'm with you and I agree. Much appreciated.

                            Comment

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