Saturday 13 July 2013

The Electric Everest

It's looking good. Today I finished truing the wheel; it's *very nearly* true. Probably true enough; I'll know better when I test-ride. I can always do a bit more truing later. And I had an idea about the back rack, for panniers, which I need for carrying a spare battery, a few tools and water to drink. This bike doesn't have the lugs that the Haros have, so you can't bolt the back rack on like you can with those. But I googled around, and Ebayed about and came up with a back rack that I think will be fixable onto the Everest, perhaps with the help of a couple of P clamps.

Encouraged by that, I put the inner tube and tire (both thorn-resistant) onto the new wheel, and turned it aroundin the forks so that the bike would go forward (the way I had it, it woud have gone in reverse). Then I looked at the back wheel and decided that the tire looked very worn, and the inner tube wasn't thorn-resistant, so I did that as well, because I DO NOT want to have to fix a puncture, or have a blown-out tire, when I'm in the middle of nowhere, eight miles from anywhere. So I ordered two replacement tires and tubes from Ebay, and a bracket to take the PDA.

I can see why people accumulate so many bikes.

All this must sound seriously expensive, and if this were a car, we'd be looking at thousands of pounds. But it's a bike.

Motor - £80
Controller - £20
Batteries - I already have them. They're actually the most expensive part of an electric bike; about £200 for 250 watt-hours of power (24 volts, 10 amp-hours); I have three of these, and on long days, I get through 2 1/2 of them.
Two thorn resistant inner tubes - £20
Two thorn resistant tires - £22
Back rack - £19
Panniers - I already have them
PDA bracket - £10
Front brake caliper - £5
Spoke wrench - £2

Total £178, which is about two fill-ups of petrol, and I've converted an folding mountain bike that I haven't used for ages, into an electrically-assisted folding mountain bike which I will actually use, and I had a lot of fun while doing it. I just checked Ebay, a non-electric folding mountain bike (like the Everest when I started with it) is £150.

Still to do:

Install the front brake calliper when it arrives.
Install the back rack.
Sort out the handlebar controls - I need to add the throttle, the PDA holder and a voltmeter.
Run the wiring along the bike, waterproof with tape and secure with cable ties.
Test everything!

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