Friday 24 January 2014

Bike maintenance

I replaced the back brake pads, the old ones were looking too worn. I also took the PDA mounting bracket off because it was loose and flopping about. I made a handlebar-thickener out of a floppy disk drive cable and replaced the holder, it's nice and tight now. 

I read about a problem that I haven't had. If you're using an front motor (I am) and you have aluminium front forks, then the torque from the motor can crack the place where the wheel is held in the fork. If that happens, you get a spectaculat face-plant, because you suddenly have no front wheel. If that happens at speed on tarmac, ouch. For me, it's more likely to happen at low speed on bumpy grass, but even so, ouch.

I've got steel front forks, and steel is much less likely to have that problem. Aluminium breaks, steel deforms (bends). Even so, I decided to install a torque arm, which I got on Ebay for £12.99. Call it insurance.

So when I tested the bike ... it didn't work. Aaarghhh! So I left it for a while, replaced a spacing ring that I'd left out next to the throttle, because I didn't think it was needed ... and it worked fine!

I've been reading in more depth about electric bikes. Apparently, the over-volting that I did (24 volts up to 29.6) is very minor. It might be possible to go to a lot more. And that means more oomph to get up some of the steep hills that I find myself facing. I'll read some more about this. I have the Forza that I couldn't sell for £200, which means it's worth less than £200, so a good candidate for experimentation.

I've offered to do a talk at the Kent Mega event about "How to build an electric bike for £250". They like the idea. If I do it, I'll illustrate the talk with a bike, to show how easily it all goes together, it's like making your own computer, you just buy the bits and plug them together.

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