Cargo Bike Conversion

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
iandusud
Posts: 80
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby iandusud » 11 Oct 2018, 3:58pm

Hi folks,

My wife and I are regular cyclists and I would really like to reduce our car usage, particularly for short local journeys. However when we do use the car locally it's because we need to carry more than our bikes can handle. I've therefore been thinking of a cargo bike with electric assistance. I have looked at what's available off the shelf and prices are prohibitively high. However s/h cargo bikes can be had for reasonable prices. What sort of conversion kit would be best suited to this? I can't see a front wheel motor being any good. Also would a road legal 250W motor be powerful enough to get up a steepish hill with a week's load of shopping? Another option would be a normal bike with a motor and a trailer but I tend to think a dedicated cargo bike might be better suited to our needs.

I appreciate your collective wisdom.

Ian

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SimonCelsa
Posts: 457
Joined: 6 Apr 2011, 10:19pm

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby SimonCelsa » 11 Oct 2018, 4:21pm

I fitted a Woosh XF07 front hub conversion http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?hubkits to a tandem & it gets up hills OK, not fast, but steady. All up weight around 180kg with the wife & little kiddie on board. I still put a fair bit of effort in myself but it will go up pretty much on it's own with the throttle only I'd imagine (maybe have to turn the cranks a bit to get the pedal assist if the hill's too steep for the throttle only). Therefore I'd imagine it would get you, the cargo bike & the weekly shop home without too much problem. There are better (more powerful) hub kits available from the same supplier. Woosh were very good to deal with.

kwackers
Posts: 11831
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby kwackers » 11 Oct 2018, 5:03pm

If you went for a mid drive motor then its ability to hill climb is limited by the gears.

I fitted a bafang mid drive 10,000 miles ago on mine, took a couple of hours one evening and most of that was removing the old stuck bottom bracket.
(Mine was from Woosh)

stodd
Posts: 33
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby stodd » 11 Oct 2018, 5:55pm

We've also got an XF07 on a tandem; also from Woosh. It does need low gears and quite a lot of help on what passes for a steep hill here (White's Hill, Owslebury, about 1 in 10?), but the help it gives just makes all the difference. We haven't had any issues from the front drive; and found Woosh very helpful.

Woosh are short of most controllers at the moment (36V hub kits are delayed again until 20-October. Factory sent the wrong parts, our apologies.) Their rear hub SWX02 is really powerful and is available; they suggested it for the tandem but couldn't supply in 700C wheel at the time.
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?hubkits#swx02-48v-kit

hemo
Posts: 245
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby hemo » 11 Oct 2018, 8:53pm

The Woosh 48v swx02 kit is 250w and marked on the casing as so. The advantage of 48v over 36v is the motor will have 33 more torque and speed if you wanted to have it. Also a 48v 12ah battery will have the same range as a 36v 16ah one as both will have similar watt hours.
The swx02 is marked as code 16 which means it is a slow wound 190rpm high torque it will manage maybe about 17mph, it will excel at load lugging and hill climbing.

iandusud
Posts: 80
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby iandusud » 13 Oct 2018, 9:02am

Thank you all for the replies - all really helpful. The 48V Woosh rear wheel kit looks particularly interesting. Is there any reason why this couldn't be used with for 12V motorcycle batteries wired in parallel to increase range as fitting/stowage wouldn't really be an issue on a cargo bike?

kwackers
Posts: 11831
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Cargo Bike Conversion

Postby kwackers » 13 Oct 2018, 9:44am

iandusud wrote:Thank you all for the replies - all really helpful. The 48V Woosh rear wheel kit looks particularly interesting. Is there any reason why this couldn't be used with for 12V motorcycle batteries wired in parallel to increase range as fitting/stowage wouldn't really be an issue on a cargo bike?

No reason at all, you'd need 4 in series to get your 48v.

Looking at the battery on my motorcycle that would give you around 12Ah for I'd estimate two to three times the weight and size.
That would only give you a similar range though, to increase the range you'd need another 4. That's 8 at £50 each.

The other consideration is they're not really designed to be continually charged and run near flat. They're meant to sit trickle charging at near full charge with the odd heavy pull for starting.
You might be better looking at deep cycle batteries which are designed for that sort of use.

Then you need 8 x 12v charger - although you might be able to find a specialised 48v lead acid charger (or make one, they're fairly simple).