This isn’t an electrical bike, however cargobikes are among the best platforms for constructing an ebike. They’ve all the time been costly, and this new contender is probably the most reasonably priced one I’ve seen up to now.
I can’t consider one occasion once I wrote a few non-electric bicycle for electricbike.com earlier than this. We’ve written from time to time on manufacturing unit turn-key ebikes (Bafang Extremely, TQ-Clear Cellular, and so on) and we now have undoubtedly written about kits (BBS02, BBSHD, TSDZ2, and so forth), so the informal reader could be forgiven for questioning what our focus is.
If I discover a new ebike that I feel our readers can be focused on, I examine to see what info is on the market about it. First, I need to see if there’s even sufficient information out there to make it value writing about, but in addition…to see if different web-magazines have already written a few given mannequin. I’ve a full-time job, so why spend a few of my spare time writing about one thing that already has ten articles about it on the market?
So…I’m writing about this new cargo-bike as a result of it’s the most reasonably priced longtail cargo-bike so as to add a package to.
Kits are promoting properly, however there’s a shocking lack of promoting about them (in comparison with the media push for manufacturing unit ebikes). For me, there are two large advantages to a package. First, they let you select the bike body in a method and measurement that matches you, and which additionally matches the job you propose to offer your ebike (most manufacturing unit ebikes have a restricted number of frames). Secondly, utilizing a package can save a builder a LOT of cash, together with offering a a lot larger quantity of efficiency (the overwhelming majority of manufacturing unit ebikes are costly and weak).
So, you’ve determined to get a package (my most-ridden ebike makes use of a stealthy 52V BBSHD package @ 1500W, from Luna Cycles in Southern California), and now…you’ll want to select a body to place it on. For those who like off-road driving, then clearly, you’ll select a full suspension body for taking jumps (though many off-roaders nonetheless like a hard-tail downhill body with a long-suspension fork). Many ebikes experience on streets (like me), and I don’t actually wish to go tremendous quick. I typically cruise at 20-MPH and typically peak at 30-MPH to keep away from getting killed by a Three,000-lb automotive with a texting driver.
My medium-speeds and my upright posture signifies that I don’t actually “want” a suspension fork, however I do have Three-inch mid-fat tires and a suspension seat-post, to clean issues out. The aluminum-frame Electra Lux Fats 7D that I typically journey is a stretch cruiser, however…it’s about $700, and the brand new Envoy is simply about $500.
There are dozens of specs about this specific mannequin, however just a few that I really feel are necessary to us. The body is aluminum to save lots of weight, and many purchasers recognize that type of factor once we’re speaking a few bike-frame that’s this massive. The fork is made from metal for power, and this body is available in two sizes.
The entrance gear-set within the backside bracket is a Three-speed derailleur. That’s excellent news, as a result of meaning the chain-stays of this body are set far sufficient again that an ebike package with a big chainring will match (if you’d like).
The inventory body can match tires which might be 2.Four-inches vast, which permits the favored Hookworms, Loopy Bobs, and CST Cyclops (for the road). The entrance brake is simply a primary 160mm diameter disc brake. That’s sufficient for an unpowered cargobike, however I like to recommend an improve for electrifying it (click on right here).
Because the Envoy comes with disc brakes from the manufacturing unit, it’s straightforward to improve them. You may think about swapping to hydraulic calipers so as to add extra clamping pressure, or including the adapter that strikes the caliper farther out so you possibly can swap-in a bigger 180mm or 203mm disc.
The seatpost on the bigger measurement of body (two sizes of body) is 31.6mm in diameter, and my greatest recommendation for the primary accent is to get a suspension seat-post, you gained’t remorse it. I additionally advocate a left-side mirror, however in fact there are a dozen different accent selections you’ll have to make, based mostly on what you may be doing together with your specific ebike…
The gear-set on the rear wheel is an Eight-speed freehub cassette. In the event you determine to make use of a strong mid-drive, you might solely want Eight-speeds, so the entrance derailleur could possibly be eliminated to de-clutter it a bit.
The cargo-bags are the primary purpose to get a cargobike. They add a degree of comfort that the majority riders might not respect till they’ve one to test-ride for some time.
Within the pic above, my grandson is on a toddler seat I constructed, however…extra grandkids need to journey, so I’ll want a seat on the again. Meaning I’ll be driving a cargo bike quickly. I don’t know what present toddler seats will bolt to the rear of the Envoy cargo-system, however I’l be wanting into that.
In fact they’re handy for stowing a pair luggage of groceries, however I additionally recognize utilizing them for storing my helmet and gloves (together with a primary device set), so I by no means need to go on the lookout for them when it’s time to journey.
This body makes use of a 68mm vast backside bracket, with a standard Shimano-style of cartridge. This implies there must be no drawback utilizing the favored BBS02, BBSHD, and TSDZ2 (amongst others). The TSDZ2 is maxed-out at 750W in case you are utilizing a 52V battery, however it has a really clean torque-sensor, should you like that sort of factor.
Many mid drive motors have a poor heat-shedding path, so we now have advisable prior to now that inside the choices obtainable…it is best to increase the volts, and decrease the heat-causing amps. The BBS02 can use 52V, and in that configuration, it has been efficiently run at 1,000W. There’s nothing flawed with utilizing solely 48V on the TSDZ2 or BBS02, however…each little bit helps.
Nevertheless…when you worth my opinion, my favourite drive is the one which I journey probably the most, the 52V BBSHD at 1500W. I additionally advocate a smaller chainring as the most effective improve. Doing that does decrease the top-speed, however it additionally improves the hill-climbing torque, which is essential on a fully-loaded cargo-bike. The inventory chainring has 52 tooth (the heavy metal “Frisbee of demise” seen above), however I went utterly within the different path with an aluminum 30T. In fact, there are additionally a number of different sizes for any efficiency vary that matches your wants.
However…what if you’d like the POWER of 2600W (52V X 50A)…or extra? At these energy ranges, chains and sprockets on a mid drive may work, however they’ll undoubtedly put on out quicker than with regular pedaling masses. Not solely that, however there are only a few mid drives that may survive 2600W+ of warmth. Meaning for top energy, you may need to contemplate a direct drive (DD) hubmotor.
The preferred DD hubmotors have a stator diameter of 205mm. If it was bigger than that, then the spokes must be shorter, which might trigger some issues with breakage as a result of excessive spoke angles (hitting potholes on a hardtail). Probably the most applicable DD motors at energy ranges between 2600W-3500W have a 35mm vast stator, just like the Leafbike 1500W and the MXUS 1500W.
For these motors, I like to recommend a 6-speed megarange freewheel, though a 7-speed ought to match.
DD hubmotors can take these sudden and excessive energy masses with out injury. Nevertheless, when you have dedicated your self to a plan that makes use of a DD hubmotor, you’ll be able to improve the hill-climbing capacity and decrease the motor warmth and controller warmth by swapping to a smaller diameter rim. The smallest bicycle rim diameter that doesn’t have too excessive of a spoke-nipple angle is a 24-inch rim. Even then, that’s the max when utilizing bicycle rims and spokes. Nevertheless…should you swap to a moped rim, you’ve got a number of stronger choices.
Moped rims are measured like motorbike rims. A 26-inch bicycle rim is roughly the identical diameter as a 19-inch moped rim. However for this dialogue, I need to level out that a 16-inch moped rim is identical as a 20-inch bicycle rim. Not solely that, however moped TIRES are very heavy-duty (very immune to flats), and in addition very reasonably priced. In the event you swap to a smaller moped wheel, the highest velocity would go down a proportionate quantity, however it can additionally assist the hill-climbing capacity of the system, and it’ll permit the motor to run cooler, even when it’s beneath a heavy load. You possibly can learn extra about moped rims and tires from our article (click on right here).
Moped rims are heavier and stronger than bicycle rims, however the purpose they can help you go to such a small diameter is as a result of the spoke holes are angled, in contrast to bicycle rim spoke holes. Nevertheless, remember that moped rims haven’t any allowance to make use of rim brakes.
If this concept appeals to you, and you’ll be decreasing the peak of the tire from 26-inches to 20-inches (a 6-inch distinction), then the axle mounts must be lowered Three-inches. Which will initially appear to be an enormous headache, nevertheless it doesn’t should be. Highly effective hubmotors want two robust torque-arms, so the design of the torque arm can be the factor that lowers the axle peak.
Remember that decreasing the axle-height additionally means you should create a brand new mount location for the brake caliper. Though, this may be off-set or delayed through the use of a regenerative braking controller (and you may correctly mount the caliper later). “Regen” doesn’t harvest very many watts again into the battery pack (when slowing down, or on a downhill), nevertheless it DOES drive the motor to behave like a really helpful magnetic brake.
Here’s a fast 2-minute video with the Envoy
There are many clients who can pay additional to get a cargobike that has a factory-installed electrical drive system, like Yuba, Luna, Rad Energy, Juiced, and others…however…if you wish to add an electrical package to an reasonably priced longtail cargobike, the $500 Mongoose Envoy must be one in every of your top-three choices for consideration.
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Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, March 2019