For some time I have been pondering what it would be like to convert my extrabike into an Extrabike and today my friend and I dropped a slightly used Crystalyte hub motor kit into “Stretch”. My friend Brian is a bit of a genius when it comes to these things and the system was pretty much plug and play… it only took us a few hours to do this.
All in all, we were very pleased with how clean an install it was.
When I rolled into the shop Stretch curbed out at 50 pounds and rolled out with another 50 pounds of motor and batteries, the controller is tucked under the rear deck where it will stay clean and dry.
It essentially turned my RWD pickup truck into an AWD and anyone who has ridden a pickup in the winter here knows what that can be like and how a FWD or AWD is the superior vehicle.
Evan at 100 pounds it is not a hard bike to pedal on the flats, (if you are blessed with two good legs) and it has a stump pulling low gear and with the rear wheel being un-weighted as it is, keeping that rear wheel spinning is much easier than with a standard bike.
But then there are hills and headwinds and at this time of year those hills are packed with snow which can make the going just a little harder and this is where the FWD really seems to shine… I was really slogging away on the ride down and on the way back doubled back to see how the twice as heavy and now powered bike would handle that snow covered 10 – 12% grade I have to climb every time I head south.
Lets just say… dayum.
The only weakness, besides that which I feel in my left leg, is that the gel lead acid batteries might not function as well in colder weather and to that end will be talking to a guy about re-cycing some used Prius battery cells to build a 36 V Nimh power supply. I might even build two so that I can switch back and forth and double the range.
Will be putting the Extrabike to the test this week to check the range… it’s performance on winter roads was rather outstanding today.