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Car-free survival in Canberra - part two

Posted on May 05 2015

Car-free survival in Canberra - part two

Here's a better photo of the bike. The 20" (BMX sized) wheels keep the centre of gravity low and can support more weight than larger diameter wheels. The custom made steel frame is extra long to carry large cargo items and the cargo racks are part of the frame rather than bolt-on additions. This means the bike can carry enormous loads. 

What I'm trying to show in this photo is that when you turn the handlebars, the front rack stays in the same position. This means the steering will always be trouble-free even when you have heavy loads at the front.

This is probably the most complicated rear dropout this side of the tracks. It allows a hydraulic disc brake and best of all, a Rohloff internal gear hub with an amazing 14 gears. Anyone who's ridden an eZee Sprint will be familiar with the joy of using a Shimano 8-speed internal gear hub, the extra 6 gears on this hub are suitable for a bike that will sometimes be carrying a couple hundred kilos, and sometimes be cruising at over 30kph. 

 

On the front wheel we have an eZee electric hub motor. The metal connection is a torque armused to prevent the motor axle rotating in the fork dropouts. It's a very handy design by eZee and I'm yet to find a bike that it won't fit on to.

Cruising around on the electric cargo bike (desperately needs a name, any suggestions??) has been great. I used it to take a heap of tools to a house where I'm installing solar panels. The house is not too far from my place, but it's in a very hilly area and the owners of the house could see the potential of such a vehicle as soon as they had a test ride around the block. I've also used the bike to transport another bike to a friend's house 15km away and once I took a passenger who said it was just too comfortable sitting in the recycling crate. The low centre of gravity and the electric motor makes it easy to be the chauffeur as well. 

Unfortunately this bike was vandalised on Friday night. Aiko and I locked our bikes up at a bus stop and rode the bus into town for drinks. When we came back late at night the battery had been ripped out and left on the ground and both tubes were flat. Luckily Aiko's beautiful lowrider was unharmed. Ironically there is a bike security cage at this bus stop but although we had applied for access 2 weeks before we still haven't received anything. It appears the cage had been vandalised too because the swipe key had been ripped off and chucked on the ground. I hate to say it but probably the only deterrent for this kind of moronic behaviour in a place like that is a CCTV camera.

I will try to fix the bike today, I hope the battery is ok.

Hi Jeremy. What a cool bike!

Hi Jeremy. What a cool bike! We have an electric Bakfiets longhaul and just got a Workcycles Fr8 delivered. I've talked to Maurice about doing a conversion on the Fr8 and he said we could do it. We are in Perth so I'm just sizing up the bike to see if the Ezee conversion kit can be installed. If you have any conversion tips that would be great. The main issue is where to put the battery, preferably it will be behind the seat post but I'm not sure how easy that would be...

I hope you got the bike fixed ok. Cheers, Adam

Hi Adam, good to hear about

Hi Adam, good to hear about your electric cargo bikes. They really are handy, I've been carrying all sorts of things around. I haven't been able to update this blog for a while because of technical problems but I will put some photos up soon.

When doing an electric bike conversion on an unusual bike the best thing is patience. I had to convert mine in one evening, hence the inelegant (but workable) mounting of the battery. It is just a tie-down strap, a piece of rubber and a block of wood but it works fine and doesn't rattle around. Check with Maurice, there are different shaped batteries available, and various mounting options. Good luck!

And yes, I did manage to fix the bike, thankfully the battery only needed a new Andersen connector.

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