Cargo Bike Electric

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
gucu
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Cargo Bike Electric

Postby gucu » 14 Oct 2017, 11:36am

Hi

We are about to go off-grid as a family and I want to complete the transformation by taking a step towards going car-less. I want to buy a cargo bike. It will be used mostly by me to go to work but I will also use it to go shopping and other places. We have a very good train system and so I will be using that to move the bike around Cornwall. I am thinking of a 3 wheeler and having it fitted with electric. The family will come out with me but it will be cycling their own bikes.

When it comes to options there is now almost to many to choose from:
1. Does it generally mean the more you pay the better the bike?
2. Should I buy a 3 wheeler for carrying shopping. I am thinking a family shop of about 5 large shopping bags
3. Should it be fitted with electric from the start or can I retro fit
4. I am hoping for 1000w + - Cornwall is full of hills!

Many thanks for all the help.

Rich

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gaz
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby gaz » 14 Oct 2017, 2:57pm

Welcome to the forum.

gucu wrote:We have a very good train system and so I will be using that to move the bike around Cornwall.

There may very well be a good train system in Cornwall, I'm not so sure that Great Western will welcome a cargo bike onto their trains: https://www.gwr.com/your-journey/journe ... ard/cycles

Whilst some train staff will turn a blind eye and some train operators have more flexible policies, few (if any) officially provide for the carriage of a cycle other than a conventional upright solo bicycle or folder.

I still admire your plan.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Oct 2017, 8:46am

250w is your legal max - it gearing is your friend, get a BB drive for hills.

Try not doing the shopping for the month in one hitbut drop in on the way home more often? (Or get deliveries?)
A trailer is also good for those 'once or twice a week/month' trips from home.


There are many ways to skin a cat, so have a think about what you do, and if how much money you won't be spending on a car...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Oct 2017, 9:53am

MY experience was that my wife is disabled, but can cycle short distances on a modified recumbent trike.

So we can cycle in to town, but do little when we got there.

As t the time we used a small dismantleable electric scooter for local trips in the car

So I looked at a cargo option and ended up with a Christiania trike. I could carry the scooter for use when we got into town, giving us a range of new opportunities

It is perfectly rideable "au naturel" however as I was carrying a 60 kg basic load most of the time I decided to go for an electric motor.

As above you will only be fitting 250W as this is the legal limit for a trike.

(Anything else would be a private retro-fit, so is manageable, but will render your bike illegal fo use on. the roads)

The best thing was that it quickly became a "Car replacement" for local shopping. DIY shops, bilk supermarket and other buys that would be impossible by bike become easy and enjoyable.

This is me at the Abbey Garden Centre in Tichfield..........

Image


Do however be aware that thrives like this require a different riding style, and are difficult to store

The iPlod was something that I came across when researching and added in reflective writing to aid visibility... I cannot credit the original idea.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Oct 2017, 10:03am

Motors work differently according to voltage and torque.

One motor will be better on a hill than another.

This site may be of help

gucu
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby gucu » 15 Oct 2017, 10:27am

Thanks guys for all the useful advice.

I get the point about the rail. It is somewhat easier as the train operators are more relaxed. But point taken on board - maybe up the battery capacities to get a longer ride and forget the train.

Thanks for the advice regarding the trailer. I will be using the bike for getting to and from work and doing deliveries. I still like the idea of a trike though.

I love your reply re using the trike Cunobelin. Amazing and reassures me that it is possible. Thanks. I can buy a secondhand Christiania for around £1100 and retro fit electric for around £500. Or I can buy a brand new custom made bike for £300. Obviously the quality will be different. Is it better to spend the money and get the best please?

And thanks for the advice re the engine. I was assuming 1000w meant power! I'll take a look at the page - I'm still tempted to go 1000w and hope the police don't check!

Any other advice about engines would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Oct 2017, 10:47am

How old are the kids?

The Trikes can easily carry a couple of kids, and provide a lot of opportunities for "ownership"

The kids can paint and decorate the trike to make it their own. I have also seen one made into a mobile blackboard. The kids were given chalks and decorated the trike for each journey

gucu
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby gucu » 15 Oct 2017, 10:52am

That is an excellent suggestion. I love the chalkboard - it is just the thing my kids would love. They are 8 and 12. The old year old will want to ride - the 12 year old will relax and enjoy the ride.

Thanks.

jk49
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby jk49 » 17 Oct 2017, 9:03am

At the risk of repeating the same piece of advice, the pedelecs forum has some very knowledgeable people who seem very happy to help.
Your requirements maybe slightly outside their normal remit(solos non cargo etc), so the other place to try might be endless sphere. This is a US based forum, having different priorities, legalities to the European fora, but there are people moving big cargo bikes electrically, and indeed big people!
It can get a bit esoteric over there, but they also seem a friendly lot.
HTH

jk49
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby jk49 » 17 Oct 2017, 9:05am

Ps
have you considered an electric driven trailer that you could hitch to a standard bike?

ThePinkOne
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby ThePinkOne » 21 Oct 2017, 4:03pm

I am in the process of "electrifying" my Big Dummy cargo bike...... (only recently resumed buiding then finished building it following some challenging life events during past 12 months, least painful of which was redundancy, but that is another story). It has a dynamo front so I didn't want a front-hub drive. So....

Plan A: The "Stokemonkey" kit from GRIN http://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/stoke.html and shown installed here http://cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... y-big.html but decided not to as it's a 500W motor so not legal (on road or "in any other place the public has access") here, and is also costly with the current £:$ rates.

Plan B: I tried a CycloTricity rear-wheel kit with cassette from Electric Bike Conversions (Andy is very helpful), but in spite of the specs saying it would work, in real life it not fit. Although the BD rear drop-outs are 135mm, the general configuration of the rear triangle on a BD is non-standard, so it not fit as other bits of frame in the way.

Plan C: this is what I am currently building. I exchanged the rear Cyclotricity motor wheel for a disc-brake compatible front-wheel motor, 26-inch wheel version (rest of kit is identical). I bought a set of the BD motor brackets for a Stokemonkey kit from GRIN. I bought a tandem crankset from SJS, a single-speed cog designed for a flip-flop hub and for the rest (chain, brake cable yoke etc), ratched in my bits box. The new motor fits the brackets, and in fact I reckon the brushless StokeMonkey kit uses a front hub Bafang motor which is basically the same as the Cyclotricity one anyway, just I have the 250W version. I have worked out the gearing for the motor/chainset drive cogs so I should get most power at slower speeds and a cadence that suits me, i.e. OK for the hilly bits where I need it. This effort at converting is now part-way done and proceeding OK.

A few lessons come from this, one big one being that if you are converting an existing cargo bike, it's a bit "non-standard" and might need a bit of trial and error.

I am hoping I will get an end result that doesn't ride too differently to the non-powered BD, and which can be "unconverted" or upgraded in future- things I wouldn't get with a cargo bike which came electrified. I also wanted to make the most of the motor, and may have a bit more tweaking of the drive ratios to optimise it- I have not yet found any site which gives the optimal rpm/torque/power inputs for the motor I have (although there is some info on doing stuff with the controllers).

I suppose I could have got a standard crank motor kit (that is Plan D :lol: ) but that means losing the existing drive-train and reduce performance when not using the electricity to push me along.

I am sure the knowledgeable regulars on here will identify where I will have more problems, I am very much still learning- e-bikes is all new to me. But it's an interesting little project.

TPO

gucu
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby gucu » 21 Oct 2017, 5:11pm

Wow - that is full on. Sorry to hear about your redundancy - hope that works out for you. As someone who had cancer in 2015 and is now struggling through more mystifying illness I understand the difficulties things like this cause us. I am shortly to be bereft of money if I don't get back to work.

More on the trike though. I have been looking at sourcing a bike to get things going and found this bike on ebay for £275. Homemade! What do you think please? What sort of questions should I be asking about frame construction or at that rate just go for it.

Image

I am thinking that at this rate I could electrify and 'play' with the concept and then if I enjoy, update the bike later.

Rich

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squeaker
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby squeaker » 22 Oct 2017, 10:53am

Cunobelin wrote:This is me at the Abbey Garden Centre in Tichfield..........
conveniently located opposite the Fisherman's Rest pub :lol:
"42"

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Oct 2017, 1:22pm

squeaker wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:This is me at the Abbey Garden Centre in Tichfield..........
conveniently located opposite the Fisherman's Rest pub :lol:


The rider need refuelling as well!!

Vorpal
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Re: Cargo Bike Electric

Postby Vorpal » 22 Oct 2017, 1:30pm

There are some electric cargo bikes available near me as loaners for a token fee. I've seen plenty of people with them, and all the ones I've spoken to seem really happy with them. I will see if I can find out what kind they are.
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