HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Frugal and Energy Efficient Living (Group) » A Synergetic Frugal Metam...

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 08:33 PM

A Synergetic Frugal Metamorphosis

I've posted both of the bikes I use and have used for a lot of my transportation here, the first one is my recumbent BikeE that I've had for about six years and the latest which is still on the front page of F&EEL is the folding electric I bought a little while back.

I finally realized that I disliked the riding position on the folding ebike to the point I was riding my non assisted bike in preference even though the ebike is much easier to climb hills with so being a handy soul I decided to combine the electric power system of the folding bike with the comfort of my recumbent.

There's really not much to say, I stripped the electric bike of the essentials, the rear power hub wheel, the electronic control system, the battery, the handlebar twist throttle and brake levers with cutoff switches built in. With a little hacking I managed to get it all to work very well. The bent is a couple of mph faster than the folder, fourteen or fifteen instead of twelve or thirteen on pure electric for two reasons, more aerodynamic riding position and much better tires, the knobby horrors on the folder wore like iron and pedaled about as hard, the ones I have on the bent are fat balloon tires that have very thin sidewalls and are made to soak up bumps while rolling very easily, Schwalbe Big Apple's if anyone is interested.

Here's my bent as it looked in 2011.

Here's the folding ebike I got for $100.

And here is the bent with the electric bits added, the combo is very sweet indeed, I'm stronger on the bent than a standard bike anyway, I push against seat back, so the setup goes up hills like a rocket compared to just leg power alone. The battery weight is nice and low and centered so it's actually hard to tell it's on the bike, the handling is a lot less twitchy at speed than the folder was and I can see better because I'm looking forward rather than down. The hardest part of riding the bent is starting off from a stop going uphill, you have to push hard on the pedal and get the other foot up quickly to continue with the pedaling motion, the electric power solves that problem entirely, it's great, I don't have to worry about shifting down for every stop.

And most of all it's comfortable.

A new seat cover and a repaint job in safety yellow is coming soon, I'll paint the battery and brackets the same color and cover up the electronics and virtually no one will know it's electric. The bike looks so different anyway people don't focus on the details of it well.

I paid $300 for the bent about six years ago and with the $100 I paid for the electric I now have a $400 EV that's comfortable and remarkably frugal, it costs me about a dime to recharge the battery and I can go more than a dozen miles now, closer to fifteen or so.

3 replies, 1898 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Synergetic Frugal Metamorphosis (Original post)
Fumesucker Apr 2013 OP
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #1
Curmudgeoness Apr 2013 #2
Shankapotomus Jul 2013 #3

Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 08:43 PM

1. very very cool

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 08:57 PM

2. Wish I was so handy.

Great idea, especially since you knew exactly what you needed to be comfortable.

To even have the nerve to try this is commendable. Kudos.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2013, 06:46 AM

3. I like the idea

of a recumbent with the seat height comparable to a car so drivers can see you.


I may have to rethink my future e-bike purchase based on your experience and success with the recumbent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread