Monday, July 27, 2009

Torque Arms

In putting the bike together, I ran into a problem with the standard torque arms that come with the's front hub motor. There are two standard torque arms, one for each side of the motor. However, the angle that these torque arms cover doesn't fit the front fork angle of the Surly Instigator front fork. I needed to upgrade these torque arms to ones that have either an adjustable angle or come perfectly matched to the Surly Instigator fork. I didn't know how to measure the angle so am ordering these from Jason at He should have them next week. I need to finalize the rear battery rack situation soon since that will be the next holdup. I'm making good progress though.

Tire inflation and assembly

I put the bike roughly together last week just to see how it would look. I had a problem inflating the rear Schwalbe Big Apple with the 26" x 2.5" puncture resistant tube. The valve didn't stick up above the rim far enough to actually clamp a tire pump nozzle to it! I went looking for a Schrader valve extender or something similar to get me going.I went back to a great little bike shop called "City Bikes of Chevy Chase." There, I met Arsenio Bartolome who is a wonderfully helpful bike fanatic. I showed him the problem and his first idea was to order a bike tube with a longer valve. I told him that this was a 26" x 2.5" wide puncture resistant tube. I doubted that he could actually find a different tube with a longer valve!
He had an idea. There is a air hose right at the front door of the store. I had tried an air hose at the local gas station but the center of the air hose valve was too deeply set for it to actually turn on to inject air into the tire. The valve that Arsenio was using had a very shallow center valve actuator so he was able to inflate the tire!

I put the bike together and connected and ran all of the cables from the brake/shifter handle grips through the cable guides which are neatly covered with two rubber flanges. The cable guides route the mass of wiring through two openings in the main tube of the bike so that they are very neat looking and don't interfere with lifting the bike since the wires are internal to the frame. A very neat and helpful idea.

Here's the front opening and flange.

Here's the rear opening and flange.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Assembly started

I had a chance to bring the bike to my local bike shop (LBS) over the weekend to have the front headset and fork installed. I have to say that City Bikes of Chevy Chase is a very nice shop that has a great service bay. They have four techs there working full time and they were very nice to take my bike as soon as I walked in. Thanks guys!

Here's a picture of the bike on the first day of assembly. You can see the front hub motor mounted on the Surly Instigator front fork. I've got Schwalbe Big Apple 26" x 2.35" Balloonbike tires mounted front and rear. I couldn't quite inflate the rear tire because of the height of the double-wall rim. I haven't attached the brakes or the derailleurs either. I also need to mount the battery and connect up all the electronics. I did it quickly just to see how it would look. I think it looks kind of street ready!

More later.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


You will be glad to know that I passed my certification test and am now a certified Project Management Professional.

After ordering all the parts for my eBike, I forgot to order one, well actually two things for my e-Ride. Tires! I have been reading about many different models but chose some very unusual tires. They're called "Schwalbe Big Apple" tires. They are 26" x 2.35" and are a new tire type called "Balloonbike" tires. They are very large and have a puncture resistant Kevlar belt. There is also a very thoughtful reflective strip built into the tire.

The reasoning behind this tire is that it has a very soft compliant ride. My eBike won't have a suspension front fork and is a hardtail. With all of the additional weight of the motor and batteries and myself, I thought that a bit of a softer ride would be beneficial.

I have to fix my eGO which needs some new brushes before I can focus on assembling my new ride. The first thing I need is to mount the headset and front fork to the frame.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All Parts Are HERE!

Now that the last part, the rear wheel with cassette has arrived, I'm finally ready to put the bike together. I hope to be able to get to this by this weekend. I have one more test to go so wish me the best!