Monday, January 29, 2018

E-bikin' 4

Re-reading my original E'bikin' post, I thought I should bring things up to date a little.

1. Fuses:  I emailed the good folks at Luna about whether or not the battery pack (henceforth "the pack") is overload protected by the charge controller. They assured me it is. So fuses aren't necessary. Which is kind of too bad, since I'd already gotten my hands on some marine DC breakers for quite a reasonable price (when you start pricing fuses that will handle 25 amps at 48v DC, the prices get shocking. Breakers at $12.50 each make more sense.)  I got mine here:, if you're building a pack that is not as well protected. I haven't used the breakers, but I'd happily deal with Great Lakes Skipper again.

2. Wheel life: So far, no problems with the wheels, knock on stainless-steel spokes. The brakes are adequate, but I'm still thinking about drum brakes and lacing my own wheels.

3. Lights: After some effort designing a box that would clamp onto my bike (which was not 100% successful) I 3d printed a switch box, patched a second output into the main pack's connector, and wired in one of these: And a 48v tail light from Luna that they don't sell anymore. Very happy with both. I don't ride at night, but dusk comes early in the winter, and I didn't want to get squashed. Also didn't want to blind oncoming drivers, so I went with roughly the same lumens as a car headlight. Since I put that kit together, Luna has added a whole bunch of 48-72 volt head and tail lights to their "Lights" section, so if you're lighting your own bike, you might not have to shop as much as I did.

4. Cranks: There is a distinct *clunk* coming out of the crank end of my drivetrain. Reading up, I found that the alloy that Bafang makes their cranks out of is pretty soft, (frequently described as "like chocolate" and assumed I had either a wallowed out connector or a stripped thread on the pedal. I //have// a set of cranks that Shimano made for their own ebikes (same length, same ends) but have not installed them. I need to investigate further, as I now thing it could just be the front ratchet engaging that I'm feeling.

5. Retightening, Oiling, etc.:  I've been hard at work on a book, which I hope to finish the primary writing of shortly, so I haven't had time to do much (any) maintenance on my bike.  I have a set of Luna's sockets for the job coming, and a brand new pair of (cheap) torque wrenches, so I can torque things up properly as part of the upcoming break-in maintenance. I have about 70 miles on the bike now. It's probably time. I should probably get some loc-tite too. I've read that it's a good idea to lube the BBS02's reduction gears, so I should investigate that too. Mine aren't noisy, especially, but I read that the lubrication on them can be dodgy from the factory, and they last a whole lot longer if they're properly lubed. 

6. According to the Denver Post, the advisory panel to Boulder County has recommended banning ebikes from most of their parks and open-space trails. I have heard, though not from an especially reliable source, that this is due to //noise.// Seriously? I don't hear that well, but my tires and breathing make more noise to me than my bike motor. Hopefully the county will reject that as ridiculous. One more reason not to live in Boulder.  I have no use for political extremists of any sort, including the environmental flavor.

That's my update. Now off to //ride// the bike and get to work.

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