Friday, 31 October 2014

Rear bag

The weather is a little crazy right now, so it's very hard to judge what is good wear for the entire day. If I was going for a ride, that would be simpler but I'm leaving when it's dark in the morning and coming home late in the evening.

I've come to the conclusion I needed to add a secondary bag to the back of my bike, so that I can offload a jacket or sweater when needed.  It doesn't fit in my small utility bag in the front of my bike.  I'm not to keen about putting a bag on the back.. and I really don't want to carry around a backpack.

I've discovered Bushtaka as another resource for me getting those small odds and ends.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Crazy is what Crazy does

Sometimes I try other routes when going home, makes the ride a little different each time.  This time I ended up on some back streets with a lot of 1 ways and stop signs everywhere, near St.Pauls Chuch.

I think that's where the crazy people drive.  I'm dumb founded by people...

ZONE 1: I turned onto a 1 way street.  Realizing this, I decided to get off that road and move back into a two way street.  Moving from ZONE 1 to ZONE 2.  Blue mini-van see me, they were stopped, white car was stopped and I was cleared to go by the white car.

ZONE 2: Blue minivan comes up right behind me, I'm off to the far right side but stopped at the stop sign.  I don't have signal lights, as I'm a bicycle! I did use my hand gesture but the blue mini-van had no signal lights blinking that I could see.  So I turned right into ZONE 3.

ZONE 3: This is a very short road and there is a car parked on the side, so I have to go out a little bit but now the blue mini-van is hitting the gas and coming right up behind me quickly, felt like they were trying to run me over.  So the up coming stop sign I slow down but don't come to a complete stop as I want to get out of the way of this blue Mini-van.  I coast into ZONE 4, pulling over to let crazy driver go by.

ZONE 4: Person in the mini-van stops before the stop sign and whales down their horn, I look over and they are flipping me the finger.  I should of just let them take off but now I wanted to know why they were SO mad.  They pull forward to the stop sign and I have enough time to bring my bike around the mini-van to the drivers side window.  Asking what there problem was.  She starts screaming at me that I was driving on a one way street, and now just went through a stop sign. 

Which I then informed her she just tried to run me over with her mini-van!  She starts to swear and becomes completely in coherent.  I pull away as she is freaking out and I can't be bothered.  So I pull around and decide that I'm going to stop for a moment.  Where she pulls down her passenger side window screaming "ENJOY YOUR HOT DOG!" Which I didn't understand until I realized I'm stopped at a "French Fry Shop".

Crazy people are crazy.  I don't care how bad you conceive my driving is, there is no reason to use a vehicle to try and run someone over.  I think she just hates people on bikes.. I will never know.

Think I'm going to invest in a Camera as BigRedCylesdale mentioned in a previous comment.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Path Ediquite

Biking on paths is a lot different then when your on a bike path and I on my daily route to work 1/4 of the ride is on paths.  Normally, everything is fine and no one is on the path.  However this morning, there was someone walking their dog.

So I slow down from 21km to 10km, since passing dogs is VERY unpredictable.  I let the person slowly walk to a wider area of the path, slowing me down to 5km (barely moving), so now I have the space to pass the person, I nod my head and say "Good day" and go.

The person starts to yell and scream at me after I passed them "THANK YOU, SO VERY MUCH. YOUR WELCOME, YOUR WELCOME!!" in a very angry tone.

So am I to stop, thank the person that they let me pass? No.

So am I to speed pass them and hit them on the way through the pass? No.

So am I to slow down, pass them when it's safe and pass them at a slow speed? Yes.

So what was this persons problem?  

There is medication for people like this.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Some changes again...

In a quest for the perfect bike for me, I've changed a few things around.  First I moved the controller box that I created from the down tube to the side of the handle bar.  Not sure why I didn't think of this at the start, but when in bed and just about to pass out.. It hit me that I could put it there, totally out of my way.

Second is in preparation of biking in the winter.  I've come across a few places that talk about how to drive a bike in the winter and they said putting the wires/cables enclosed in a old rubber tube can help save the cables from winter exposure.  I'm not sure it will help that much but I moved my running wire from the controller to the front motor to sit behind the front fork and then enclosed it in a old rubber tube.  So now all my wires and most of my gear cables and hydraulic lines are encased in rubber.  It might help, it might not..

Lessons Learned: 

  • The down tube should never have anything on it, it's a great place to mount the bike and get off the bike from.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

If it's not one thing...

It's another.  So while peddling up a steep hill, I heard a nasty crunch sound from my crank area. I'm guessing the bearing in the crank just exploded!  I've had peddles break on me in the past, which sucks but no where near this..  So now I am down a crank.  Time to hit the bike shop again, shell out some cash. 

Think I'll take advantage of this and try to get a larger sprocket.

-- Edit --
Brought the bike to the bike shop (Velozophie) and the rebuilt the bearing by "repacking" them, greasing it all up and put it all back together. Ya.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Gear: Winter Biking Gloves

I've looked around for a while, for a pair of biking gloves that looks like it would hold up some wind and keep my fingers warm, all while still providing some padding to the palm of my hands.  And I can't find anything I like, in my hand size.

So I came up with this little combo.  I was somewhat happy with the results but I think once it get's to -10c, this won't cut it anymore.

Left = Nylon glove to break the wind
Center = Traditional biking glove
Right = The two combined together

Monday, 20 October 2014

-1 C and my first go at winter gear = FAIL!

Okay, so it wasn't a complete FAIL, more like some adjustments need to be made.  The Balaclava that I have looks like this one (1) which worked for keeping my head and eat warm but I was unable to suck in enough air through my mouth to keep me going, with out exposing my nose.  I ended up puking a little bit due to the lack of oxygen or to the fact that I was riding at 4:30am.  So now I am going on the hunt for a mask that covers my head, covers my nose and lets me breath though my mouth.  Also, with this balaclava on, my sunglasses fog up instantly the moment I stop moving.

I'll look for something like (2) balaclava but I know I will just end up with (3) style of balaclava.  Sometimes the traditional ones work the best.

My toes were a bit cold but that's due to me foolishly forgetting to wear my boots and wore my sneakers!  It's a learning curve.

I also decided to take the route I was planning on taking in the winter, due to the bike paths won't be shoved and I came across a pile of new construction, which is clearly not designed around people walking or biking around.  Scott St is a mess.  I may have to take Summer Set St, which to me freaks me out.  I always feel like if I am going to get "Doored", that's the road it going to happen on.

Lessons Learned:

  • Take your time going out the door, you will miss something. Always.

Friday, 17 October 2014

48v conhistomotor controller

I'm using the Conhistomotor controller for the 48v model of motor, it's the largest one I've had to deal with but it's then most I've had the privilege of struggling with.  I think if they can change the PAS from 60%, 70%, 80% assistance to 10%, 30%, 60% would be MUCH better and more widely accepted.

Here is the size of the controller board.  It takes up the entire casing.  I do like the rubber nipples at the end of the controller to prevent wire chafing.

 I took the controller apart to see if there was a way to reduce it's heat sink size.  There was not.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I've gone tubeless!

So I found a shop in Hull that had a little sign in the window saying they sold "STANs" which is an adhesive fluid that allows you to run your tire with no tubes!  Asking the price, they quoted me $25 per tire.. that's the cost of a replacement tube alone.  So I went for it and it's been fantastic ever since. I'm taking more trails then ever before!

The trick is, you have to get the STANs replaced every six months or so, so I've read.  Or you can just add more fluid once in a while, to fill out anything that might be getting thin.  In order to get the tire to install on my 26" rims I had to buy a 24" tire and stretch it over my rims, split the tube in the center, clean out the talcom powder from inside of the tube and let the rubber hang over the side.

Once the rubber was on, put a little pressure on the tube to force the walls to extend out to the lip of the rim and then gave it a shot of air.  Boom, sealed!

The Ghetto is the addition of the inner tube vs just packing the rim and hoping the seal is good enough for the lip to connect with the rim.

Lessons Learned:

  • Let the experts do the work. I watched, learned and assisted.
  • The experts were able to do the job in 1hr vs me, which would of taken a few days, I am sure of it.  I would of made it way more complicated then it needed to be.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Doing something right

After biking in, I noticed my heart was pumping hard, legs were a bit sore, was out of breath...  Yes, I am doing something right.  I can already feel that my legs are almost back to where they were before the rear motor gave out.  It's amazing how fast one can loose so much progress in such a short period of time.

Need to find out what the water break away is for fat bikes/motor bikes to ensure my rear fender is actually doing something.

Here is my guess so far but I could be TOTALLY wrong.

Friday, 10 October 2014

And it's done.

 The bike is back to being 100% functional.  The motor has been moved to the front of the bike instead of the back and I've completed a few test rides and even taken it as far as driving to work again.  The bike feels a lot more natural and hard peddling doesn't feel like I'm putting a pile of torque on back end tire.

I've removed the controller off the back all together, giving the back end that much lighter. I've put some weather stripping around the controller to allow it to breath but this should keep the controller safe from the cold winds of winter.  Next, will be cutting of old tubes to encase the wiring harness.

The motor is a little more obvious then when it was in the back but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Updates to the bike

Last time I drove in the rain, my entire back was one long strip of mud.  From my helmet, to my neck, etc.. I expect to get dirty when driving a bike like this but it was a little excessive.  I finally decided to add a rear fender to the back side of the bike.  I haven't tested it to see if it captures the break away water or not but I am sure I'll find out shortly! I had to screw it into the rack as the real estate on my seat post is a premium, due to my short legs!

As for the controller I moved it from the bag to a custom center tube device that give it plenty of breath and out of my way. It's a simple pray painted electrical elbow that I cut the guts out of with a steel saw, sanded and painted flat black. I put on new pedals too as the last ones cause my feet to slip off when they got wet.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Lungs are burning!

So I took the plunge and drove the bike all the way into work for the first time since the rear motor died a horrible death.  I've been driving around a borrowed mountain bike for a while but no super long rides (10-30min) and not the 1hr-2hr rides and my lungs are burning so bad.  With about two weeks off the bike, my endurance dropped significantly. I was shocked!

I feel like this is the first time I've driven into work on a bike, even though I've been doing it all summer long.  However, I had regained that "joy" when I came into work that I was missing..  Fresh air does wonders to my mood.

With the motor on the front, the bike feels a lot more balanced and lighter... It's strange but true.

Lessons Learned:

  • Don't stop biking.. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

It's alive!

After a false start of having everything put together, the motor was mis-firing and faulting like crazy. The wheel couldn't even take off on it's own and needed a slight push to get it going.  Once the bike hit about 25km then the motor started to behave.  Reviewing all the wiring on the bike it all looked good but still wasn't working.  So in a desperate attempt I cut all my connections and redid all my splices again.

I worked into the late night, with only a white LED porch light to light up the area in which I decided to work at but I've completed my first drive around the block and the bike works.

So I ended up moving the controller into the front bag, insulated by some foam from the bag.  Moving the controller to the front handle bars ended up making the bike feel unsafe and I actually crashed when trying to get off the bike last night.  Glad no one saw me do that!  But the bike is alive and kicking.  Time to drive it around a bit tomorrow before bring it into work.

I think I'm going to mount some rear saddle bags in the back or just ditch the rear rack and put a nice long fender on the back side.  Over all I'm glad this is working again!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Controller move from the rear to the front

 I've talked about what is under my rear black box for a while and this re-do of the bike gave me the opprotunity to show what is under the hood (to a point) the controller creates a lot of heat, so the box itself is a simple heat sink with a mess of wires of the controller coming out.  The wire hole is cocked with a sealant to prevent water from getting in, in the event that water somehow gets into the box itself.  

Then to stop the rattle noise I put a layer of industrial Velcro to the bottom, to prevent it from moving around. I didn't want to put more screws in.. As that leads to sharper objects that can rub against the wires.

Each wire reads a different sensor from the bike, such as breaks engaged (disconnects the power from the motor), if I am using PAS, the speed at which I am travelling, etc.  The main ones are the Yellow, Blue and Green.  These are the power and halo effects sensors.  The little red box is a simple shunt fuse I added in as a per-caution.

Lessons Learned: 

  • With a controller like this, take the time and map out which colour connects to which.  Both sides of the connector don't match up to each other and many of the connectors are the simple male/female two prongs.