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Design your ultimate commuter bike

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    I have a gates belt on my commuter along with a NuVinci transmission. I am very happy with both.

    I also recently added a hydraulic front brake. Again, I feel it was a good move.

    The only thing I really don't like is that it has an eccentric bottom bracket. That seems to negate any mid-drive arrangement.


      My basic plan is a Cannondale badboy2 for a bit of front
      ​​​​suspension on a relatively sleek bike. Bbshd and aero bars. I have a relatively carless commute on bike paths and am used to lying down somewhat while riding. 52v 13.5ah battery should cover the distance.
      Last edited by marcva; 08-06-2017, 06:02 PM.


        Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	5.4 KB ID:	50861
        Here my build for a customer, customer commutes from Den haag to Leiden in the Netherlands, about 50 km per day.
        The spec’s are: 61cm aluminum frame, front suspension, 160 disc brake,28” alu wheels with 37-622 tyres, 36 V Bafang mid engine, 36V 13 ah battery, gates belt,50 tooth front and 20 tooth rear sprocket, shimano 8 IGH, rollerbrake, alu mud gard’s, alu carrier, gel saddle, frame is anodized mat black, controller is tuned by myself.


          I am prepping this build right now, although I am adding a few more jobs to it: has to be a do-it-all bike: Must handle errands and Costco run/cargo duties. Right now I have an AWD commuter with 2 hubs, 2 batteries and linked brakes/PAS. I also have a rear-drive cargo bike. This next build is the One Bike To Rule Them All.

          1. Titanium frame
          2. Titanium bars, 760mm DH style and Ritchey 60mm, 30-degree stem
          3. No suspension (can't when you factor in the next item on the list)
          4. 2WD. BBSHD in the rear for the steep hills and a 750w geared hub (Bafang fat) in the front
          5. Origin8 alloy fork with two torque arms (motor will have momentary peaks of 35a with 7a continuous)
          6. Independent PAS for each motor.
          7. One 52v battery instead of two for more convenient charging and easy removal and carry-in to destination. But may go to twin parallel'd batteries. 25R cells. 65a BMS minimum continuous (60 if 2 in parallel). 1 battery system will be 24ah but if I go two it will be 40ah.
          8. Arisun Big Fatty tires. They seem impervious to flatting on city streets, and not much loss of rolling resistance over my Origin8 Supercell semi slicks.
          9. Full front to rear mud flaps for 100% coverage from water coming off the ground.
          10. Thudbuster
          11. Magura MT5E brakes with each lever synch'd to cut off both motors via splitter cables and adapters for the BBSHD yellow connectors.
          12. 203mm rotors front and rear.
          13. DT Champion spokes and 16mm brass nipples tied to 100mm double-wall rims. My current 80mm rims with hub motors on my current 2wd have 3k miles on them and are still perfectly true.
          14. Axiom Fatliner racks, front and rear. Custom mounting with double brackets.
          15. Dual front QR Niterider Lumina 700's. I prefer no wires and I can swap these lights across to any bike I happen to be riding - all have identical mounts installed.
          16. A blinkie white light to go with the always-on Niteriders.
          17. GoPro Hero 5 Session front camera. Cycliq rear cam w/blinkie light; centered and mounted on rack.
          18. Dual always-on 120 lm red ProVision taillights one on each rack stay.
          19. 42T Lekkie HD ring (for starters). 11-34 Shimano HG400-9 welded steel cluster (for starters). Shimano RD-M951 derailleur, SL-M590 shifter
          20. KMC 'E' 9-speed super duper chain.
          21. Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals (swiped from my cargo bike)
          22. Pletscher Multi-Flex kickstand
          23. Arisun Big Fatty 26x4.9 30tpi tires
          24. My butt's favorite saddle: Performance men's softail.
          25. Bell Super3R helmet.

          I have sourced a custom 25R battery/BMS sized to fit two different backpacks I own: 8"x3"x16". I don't want to use up part of my racks' carrying capacity on a heavy battery. However if after testing with an existing 20ah battery in a pack I either a) hate the backpack concept or b) it eats too much power and I need more capacity then I will use a 12x5.5x4 battery I already had built and add another just like it. One each to sit on front and back rack tops. Parallel them together and then figure out a way to secure them while I am away from the bike.

          I am waiting on the wheels to be made for me before I begin the build. Should get a call any day I hope. I also don't have the brakes yet - got a killer deal on new take-offs from a bike shop in Germany. They finally cleared customs a couple days ago. Will do a build thread when it starts.


          • calfee20
            calfee20 commented
            Editing a comment
            Talk to me about your 2WD. You must like it if you are building a second one. I thought it would be something a single track rider would want. I have been thinking about two motors but not necessarily a 2WD.

          • MoneyPit
            MoneyPit commented
            Editing a comment
            OK. I'll put it in a post below so I can add pics.

          This, right now, is my ultimate commuter bike. It started out life as a Sondors but only retains the frame and battery box of the original. I've done everything I want to it, and its perfect for the largely flat ground of Central California. I have also taken it to Monterey/Carmel CA where it handles steep San Francisco-grade hills just fine. But at some point soon I am going to be able to start living at home again so I wanted to take what I learned making a kickass flat land commuter and apply it to one that would kill it in steep terrain.

          First of all, why 2WD? My original intent was I am pouring on the miles (4050 between mid March and mid December of this year) and I want equipment that can take it over the long haul. I wanted motors operating well under their max and, ideally, don't even get warm. This config achieves that on a bike that can cruise at 30 mph on throttle should I choose to use it (generally I don't and use PAS and muscle so I get the benefits of exercise). And as I said... the motors don't get warm. Well just a little but certainly not hot. I have opened them up twice and regreased them and seen zero wear on the gears or anything else inside.

          An unexpected benefit was the bike - even at low power levels - behaves... effortlessly. Going 2WD provides balanced power that means everything ... well, comes easy. Hard to describe. But it is extremely sure footed. Sure you can be stupid and misuse it but thats true of any fast ebike.

          And undeniable is the performance benefit. I have run AWD Jeep SRTs both on drag strips and on laps at Laguna Seca and those behemoths run very, very well ... because AWD. All the things that make AWD good on a hot rod auto make it good on a bike. Launches in particular are breathtaking if you want them to be. If you don't detune wattage from the controller (and you should until you get used to the different handling) you can powerslide at will, but once you get the hang of having a powered front wheel you learn how not to scrub the rubber off and instead use the power to hook up and go.

          On this 'gen1' 2WD bike, each motor is the really beefy Bafang 750w version of their fat motor. Each motor has its own 35a peak, 17a continuous controller. Rear battery is a Luna Storm 17.5ah 25R, 52v battery with a 50a BMS (perfectly capable of running both motors at once). Front battery is a pair of 30Q mini cubes parallel'd to make a 12ah 52v battery. PAS uses custom splitter cables to send PAS signals to both motors. Brakes are Magura MT5e and also use custom cables to split the signals from each lever off to both motors. Throttles remain separate for granular control.

          As I said this bike is optimized for flat land. I opted to keep single-speed for simplicity's sake (flat land) and also because of issues associated with that particular hub motor and freewheel removal tools (you can't use them). Thats specific to the platform so not necessarily the choice you'd make on another, although I will say with 52v, 35a peak and 2WD I have about 4kw available and its just fine hauling ass up hills (even with the 60T front chainring that lets me pedal meaningfully up to about 32 mph). My concern with the geared hub motors in that environment is not performance but longevity doing that work day in and out. So gen2 will be AWD with a BBSHD in the rear.

          In the end you have a commuter bike with an abundance of power that always has additional power available on demand. AWD simply works better that RWD. Without exception.

          So is it all sunshine and roses? Depends. If you like to work on bikes, and you are a DIY type, yeah it is because the increased complexity of the bike - and its quite complex by comparison - is part of the fun. If you are a consumer... not so much I bet. But once you get everything dialed in (dual synch'd PAS with 10 power levels is a real treat) its nothing special. You just get used to the effortless performance. Also it ain't cheap. And it eats power. I have about 29.5ah on board, with my 230 lb self and probably 40 lbs of clothes and tools and bags and misc BS... I can get about 40 miles with that. The gen2 bike will tailor the battery to the max I can fit to it, knowing in advance what I need, rather than trying to scale it up after the fact like I did with this bike. I can go backpack, triangle or twin QR rack batteries depending on what I learn from testing it.

          Last month, after a ride in heavy rain, with the front rack on.

          60T front chainring. Singlespeed rear.

          Easy controls.
          Last edited by MoneyPit; 12-21-2017, 04:33 PM.