Is anyone trying to solve charging on the road?

BBassett

Active Member
I appreciate your impassioned contributions to this forum, but some of the language in your post is pretty unnecessary and unhelpful IMO. I'm certainly not going to tell you to go screw yourself or go piss off, or any of those other things.

Anyway... 9 months ago, if I was buying/making the e-bike of my dreams it would have had a drop-style handlebar (as are common on road bikes). After years of riding on a flat handlebar, I decided to get more experience on a drop bar this spring/summer and was really enjoying it! But by the autumn I had developed tendonitis in part because of the switch to the drop bar. So now I'm back to riding a flat bar for the foreseeable future. That's a non-trivial switch, because you not only have to change the bars and swap to grips, but you also need to replace gears, brakes, levers, cables, housing, etc., at substantial total expense.

That handlebar change wasn't a lack of research on my part, it was a lack of experience with a drop bar. Initially I enjoyed the multiple hand positions and the superior aerodynamics, but my tendons weren't in agreement with the rest of my body.

And the bike I'm looking at has a 10mm elastomer-based vibration dampener in the rear end of the frame that I think will improve the ride quality, and can't be completely compensated for by any other system (a suspension seatpost or other vibration dampener can work with this system, so therefore would complement this rather than replace it).

So may I humbly suggest that you're falling into the trap of thinking that everything that's true of your situation is true of everyone's. That your ability to research and be certain of your wants/needs/desires is the equal of everyone else's. I think it was greater than many other people's.

I know what's right for me isn't right for everyone, my day job is to help people figure out what their cycling needs are and there are a dizzying array of different cycling needs out there. And sometimes people are certain of how they're going to use their bike, and sometimes they're not yet entirely certain and part of the joy is going to be figuring that out.

You said it yourself, you knew what you wanted this bike to primarily be for: touring. You then said it was a lack of focus and research on my part that I couldn't do the same. Except I was coming into this cold, I barely road my bicycle in 2017 or 2018. I first had to reconnect with my love of cycling. I had to establish what I was primarily going to use the bike for. Now that I've nailed that down, *now* I can select the perfect bike for my needs again as I've now caught up to where you are. I didn't need to come up to your level of focus and research, I had to come up to your level of certainty about how you were going to use the thing.

No telling anyone to "piss off" required.
It was a joke. Everything else I said wasn't. You keep wasting your money bike after bike... if you have at all.
 

GypsyTreker

Active Member
This thread has convinced me to just buy another battery, 20Ah, or maybe even 2.
That's the difference between a solution and a workable option. Solutions aren't even happening.
I find this forum identical to most I have explored. I rarely get answers but I do find solutions or direction. Everyone gets to make their pitch and eventually my knowledge base expands to understanding what I'm reading. I picked my first bikes because HarryS solved the controller issue on his like model ( We had tried a friends and did not like the 3 stage PAS) . His solution told me that my cheap eBike could be fixed or improved (controller/display) issue for around $100. Those are pieces of info I can use to make a decision.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
It was a joke. Everything else I said wasn't. You keep wasting your money bike after bike... if you have at all.
I'm genuinely curious, how was I supposed to "research" my way into knowing how my forearms would react after 6-9 months of riding a drop-bar bike? A few months in to that experiment I was loving it and would definitely have built up a drop bar bike, but 6-9 months into that experiment I would have built up a flat bar bike. That's a huge price difference, given how much drop bar levers and brakes cost.

So again, you had the luxury of knowing exactly how you were going to use the bike. Not everyone else has that luxury. To chastise people with less certainty than you about how they'll use the bike... well, that's not very neighbourly, let's put it that way.

Also, there's no "wasting [my] money" on different e-bikes. I own a bike shop. If I intend to own it for longer, or if I intend to modify it extensively, then I buy the bike at wholesale pricing (meaning I can probably sell it for at least as much as I paid when I'm finished with it). If I intend to keep it relatively stock, and if I intend to own it for a shorter period of time, then I get my shop to provide it to me as a demo bike (in which case the shop sells it as a used bike when I'm done with it, probably for at least as much as it cost the shop). Trying different production e-bikes from my suppliers is no net cost to me or to my shop, and it's a great way to be expert on different e-bikes. I provide demo e-bikes to my staff, and rotate them through different bikes, for the same reason: to make them expert on what we're selling.

The sooner I turn them over, in fact, the more likely it is to be cost-less to me and the shop, as then they're being sold as a used bike with fewer kilometres on them. I know that's not a normal situation, but you've been making statements that suggest your situation is relevant to every other person on the planet, and I'm providing my experience as an example of how that's not true. Not everyone is in your situation, with as much certainty as you had about how they were going to use the bike, and therefore what the ideal way to equip the bike is. Despite your assertion to the contrary, that's not a failure on their part. Sometimes they're coming back to cycling after an absence, or perhaps they want a new bike to do new and different things than they've done in the past. That introduces some understandable uncertainty about what would best answer their needs.
 
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BBassett

Active Member
I'm genuinely curious, how was I supposed to "research" my way into knowing how my forearms would react after 6-9 months of riding a drop-bar bike? A few months in to that experiment I was loving it and would definitely have built up a drop bar bike, but 6-9 months into that experiment I would have built up a flat bar bike. That's a huge price difference, given how much drop bar levers and brakes cost.

So again, you had the luxury of knowing exactly how you were going to use the bike. Not everyone else has that luxury. To chastise people with less certainty than you about how they'll use the bike... well, that's not very neighbourly, let's put it that way.

Also, there's no "wasting [my] money" on different e-bikes. I own a bike shop. If I intend to own it for longer, or if I intend to modify it extensively, then I buy the bike at wholesale pricing (meaning I can probably sell it for at least as much as I paid when I'm finished with it). If I intend to keep it relatively stock, and if I intend to own it for a shorter period of time, then I get my shop to provide it to me as a demo bike (in which case the shop sells it as a used bike when I'm done with it, probably for at least as much as it cost the shop). Trying different production e-bikes from my suppliers is no net cost to me or to my shop, and it's a great way to be expert on different e-bikes. I provide demo e-bikes to my staff, and rotate them through different bikes, for the same reason: to make them expert on what we're selling.

The sooner I turn them over, in fact, the more likely it is to be cost-less to me and the shop, as then they're being sold as a used bike with fewer kilometres on them. I know that's not a normal situation, but you've been making statements that suggest your situation is relevant to every other person on the planet, and I'm providing my experience as an example of how that's not true. Not everyone is in your situation, with as much certainty as you had about how they were going to use the bike, and therefore what the ideal way to equip the bike is. Despite your assertion to the contrary, that's not a failure on their part. Sometimes they're coming back to cycling after an absence, or perhaps they want a new bike to do new and different things than they've done in the past. That introduces some understandable uncertainty about what would best answer their needs.
Bars are simply a minor component of a bike... you bought all those bike because of their bars? No. All you're trying to do is support your actions and the lost money... it's not necessary. You do you. Buy as many ebike as you like, maybe, just maybe, sooner or later you will find something close to what you could have built the 1st time round even if simple refinements, like bars, were necessary. HEY!!!! Maybe you should lease, it's a bad deal with cars but at least you don't have to try and unload a used bike that you didn't like enough to keep.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Bars are simply a minor component of a bike... you bought all those bike because of their bars? No. All you're trying to do is support your actions and the lost money... it's not necessary. You do you. Buy as many ebike as you like, maybe, just maybe, sooner or later you will find something close to what you could have built the 1st time round even if simple refinements, like bars, were necessary. HEY!!!! Maybe you should lease, it's a bad deal with cars but at least you don't have to try and unload a used bike that you didn't like enough to keep.
Did you read my entire post? It seems like you may not have.

There was absolutely no lost money, as I have stated many times previously.

I agree with you that bars are cheap, but as stated previously, drop bar gears and brakes are not. It can easily cost $1000+ CAD for a good set of modern drop bar gears and hydraulic disc brakes, with a good bar, good bar tape, cables, etc., all-in. The moment you say "drop bar" and "hydraulic brakes" in the same sentence the price can double (and I wouldn't choose to ride an e-bike without hydraulic brakes). And that's before the additional cost of switching to a flat bar with flat bar components. To dismiss it just as a cheap bar swap... well, that's not a "well researched" response, IMO.

I normally respect your contribution to this forum, and am genuinely confused as to the insults you're throwing around. It's unnecessary, and it's based on assumptions that simply aren't as universal as you think they are. My situation doesn't apply to every poster here. And neither does yours. It's important that we all remember that and try to meet people where they are, without insults.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Bars are simply a minor component of a bike... you bought all those bike because of their bars? [...]
Oh, and to explicitly answer this question, yes I absolutely did. The iZip E3 Moda and the Raleigh Tamland iE are very similar bikes from the same company, but one is set up like a flat bar hybrid and the other is set up as a drop bar gravel bike. I costed it out, but it was actually cheaper to sell the iZip and buy the Raleigh than it was to swap the iZip to a drop bar. As I mentioned previously, drop bar shifters are very expensive to start with, and that's doubly so when hydraulic road disc brakes are added to the equation.

You would be correct to say that bars are a minor component of a flat bar bike, but you'd be mistaken to say that bars w/shifters and hydraulic disc brakes are a minor component of a drop bar bike. They're an extremely significant component of a drop bar bike.
 
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Mass Deduction

Active Member
[...] All you're trying to do is support your actions and the lost money... it's not necessary. You do you. Buy as many ebike as you like, maybe, just maybe, sooner or later you will find something close to what you could have built the 1st time round even if simple refinements, like bars, were necessary.
This statement appears to also be based upon another misunderstanding. You seem to think that the frame would not change for me between a flat bar bike and a drop bar bike. That's false. Flat bar bikes and drop bar bikes typically have very different geometries, and for good reason. Your assumption here is based upon the idea of starting with the perfect frame and building it up. But the perfect frame for a flat bar and the perfect frame for a drop bar are not typically the same frame.

I sometimes consider swapping between the two, but it's rarely the ideal solution. Ideally the length of the frame would change if you were speccing a drop bar vs. a flat bar, as the drop bar puts you in a more forward position.

And that's what this all boils down to. Your assumption is based on every other person on the planet having as much certainty as you as to A) how they're going to use the bike, and B) how they want to interact with the bike. But you seem quite unwilling to accept that not everyone has as much certainty about these things as you do. Some people haven't ridden a bike in years. Some people are interested in trying new things that they've rarely, or perhaps never, done on a bike before. There are all sorts of good reasons why someone may be unable to be as certain as you.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Oh, and to explicitly answer this question, yes I absolutely did. The iZip E3 Moda and the Raleigh Tamland iE are very similar bikes from the same company, but one is set up like a flat bar hybrid and the other is set up as a drop bar gravel bike. I costed it out, but it was actually cheaper to sell the iZip and buy the Raleigh than it was to swap the iZip to a drop bar. As I mentioned previously, drop bar shifters are very expensive to start with, and that's doubly so when hydraulic road disc brakes are added to the equation.

You would be correct to say that bars are a minor component of a flat bar bike, but you'd be mistaken to say that bars w/shifters and hydraulic disc brakes are a minor component of a drop bar bike. They're an extremely significant component of a drop bar bike.
While this protracted "back-n-forth" has been going on for the last couple days now I have logged over 80 (very wet) miles on my one and only ebike... the one with over 10K miles, how 'bout you? I'm just a firm believer in doing things with thought, research, and as much common sense as I can muster... you go ahead and do it your way. When and If you ever get it right I'll be out riding, come and find me and we'll see what your 20+ years of bike experience paid for this round.

You want to carry this line on further then message me privately so I can talk... more freely.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
OK, here's a more specific question regarding cell degradation wrt storage voltage:
If a battery is kept at a good temperature and monitored daily, what is the optimal voltage to keep it at...and on what basis is it considered optimal?
Is this correct?
Battery University
There is virtually no self-discharge below about 4.0V at 20C (68F); storing at 3.7V yields amazing longevity for most Li-ion systems. Finding the exact 40–50 percent SoC level to store Li-ion is not that important. At 40 percent charge, most Li-ion has an OCV of 3.82V/cell at room temperature. To get the correct reading after a charge or discharge, rest the battery for 90 minutes before taking the reading. If this is not practical, overshoot the discharge voltage by 50mV or go 50mV higher on charge. This means discharging to 3.77V/cell or charging to 3.87V/cell at a C-rate of 1C or less. The rubber band effect will settle the voltage at roughly 3.82V. Figure 1 shows the typical discharge voltage of a Li-ion battery.





Discharge OCV



Figure 1: Discharge voltage as a function of state-of-charge. Battery SoC is reflected in OCV. Lithium manganese oxide reads 3.82V at 40% SoC (25°C), and about 3.70V at 30% (shipping requirement). Temperature and previous charge and discharge activities affect the reading. Allow the battery to rest for 90 minutes before taking the reading.



Li-ion cannot dip below 2V/cell for any length of time. Copper shunts form inside the cells that can lead to elevated self-discharge or a partial electrical short. (See BU-802b: Elevated Self-discharge.) If recharged, the cells might become unstable, causing excessive heat or showing other anomalies. Li-ion batteries that have been under stress may function normally but are more sensitive to mechanical abuse. Liability for incorrect handling should go to the user and not the battery manufacturer.
 
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Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Hard to argue science, well I take that back... There’s good science and the brightest seem to concur with battery university.

I’ve got a few GA, PF, 30Q, and HG2 cells for lights, my configured power banks, and flashlights. I keep putting off some testing as one or two of each has been sitting at their original shipping voltage and never used. 3 are from 2016.

I sometimes think having a minimalist (beater)battery, mediocre BMS but safe, all on a budget gives me my errand needs. I’m thinking even smaller next. 3p being enough for my MXUS DD. Pocket battery pack, well almost... I tried one of the little pretty decent 2p pack is disappointing. I tend to run up the heat. Great size and weight but it’s degrading much quicker than any other pack.

My travel, long ride, Sunday best, battery gets careful maintenance all tracked by Satiator and logged. My first EM3ev pack from 2014 has been well cared for and this past season showed no obvious loss of performance.

Ihave found myself going backwards for power and really like the speeds and range I get with a 36v 17Ah pack. programmable controllers and motors designed for a range of battery sizes is a concept I like.

I’m convinced a proper build with good protection from heat, 50% storage if I must, D-Powercore BT monitoring, a LVC as high as I can manage without inconvenience, 80% as often again if convenient, otherwise 90%. Im thinking I ought to pound out 6,000-8,000 miles. I’m good with that.

and you? What makes good management from your experience or opinion?

I say this with a giant grin, but sometimes these battery discussions remind me of sitting at the VA hospital surrounded by fellow prostate sufferers. Preoccupation with all things anal.

I was befuddled, totally confused, and overly worried about my batteries starting off. I’ve been reading a lot lately regarding battery build quality. In my mind, without question the best build one can afford will never be wasted dollars.

For me Bosch is an example of sticker shock, but a careful looks seems to reveal they just do it right.
I recently picked up new recycled cells from their QC rejected packs. Problems seem to not be repaired, the entire pack is rejected.

Bosch battery maintenance procedures are damn reliable. Jeebus, I sound the fanboy.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
and you? What makes good management from your experience or opinion?
I can't tell yet because the literature I've read is simplified to a point where more questions are raised than answered. For example; if self discharge is negligible below 4.0 V, then for high value, there's no worries as long as you don't keep the batteries above that. Keeping low value is different and maybe worse...that's what I'm thinking about now

Also...I don't know how much cell imbalances degrade the overall battery function or capacity, but if bringing the battery to 100% and keeping the charger on for overnight balances the cells, and if they promptly go out of balance again, and therefore "need" re-balancing by that procedure, perhaps weekly, and if a cell loses a sizable % to self discharge at 100%, and if self discharge means damage, not just temporary loss from that cycle, then maybe doing the rebalancing 50 times a year might be very taxing on a battery. I don't know the characteristics of
that vs charging to minimum balancing start point...and so on.

"The science" in the type of article I posted tells me less than I thought it did!

From this thread I already worked out that I'm not going to pursue solar or gas generator or seeding trip routes. That leaves (aside from tending to the usual a-bike endeavors re: friction reduction) buying more batteries and caring for them and carrying them, as my option for extending my range.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I won’t ever buy a battery without balance BMS. Those great deals from UPP and their competition will provide a better BMS for an up-charge, but the buyer has to be savvy enough to create specifications. My newest factory build will balance at 90%. BMS balances during charging (when charging and when at >50% charge) and therefore doesn’t require a full charge in order to balance.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
[...]
Also...I don't know how much cell imbalances degrade the overall battery function or capacity, but if bringing the battery to 100% and keeping the charger on for overnight balances the cells, and if they promptly go out of balance again, and therefore "need" re-balancing by that procedure, perhaps weekly, and if a cell loses a sizable % to self discharge at 100%, and if self discharge means damage, not just temporary loss from that cycle, then maybe doing the rebalancing 50 times a year might be very taxing on a battery. I don't know the characteristics of
that vs charging to minimum balancing start point...and so on.

"The science" in the type of article I posted tells me less than I thought it did!

From this thread I already worked out that I'm not going to pursue solar or gas generator or seeding trip routes. That leaves (aside from tending to the usual a-bike endeavors re: friction reduction) buying more batteries and caring for them and carrying them, as my option for extending my range.
Presuming a good quality battery and charger, I'm not so worried about rebalancing. My typical procedure is:

- wait 30+ minutes after a ride before putting the battery on charge

- charge it up to 70% with the slowest charger I have (using a timer to cut the power automatically)

- when going on a short ride, head out with the battery at 70%; for longer rides, top it up to 100% shortly before leaving

The above procedure lets the battery come up to room temperature (and let's the battery chemistry calm down) before it goes on charge. It keeps it in a good storage state in case the next ride is a ways off (such as if the weather gets bad). For longer rides, topping it up to 100% right before the ride reduces the amount of time the charge level is above 80%.

Using a slow charger is also good for the battery, though there is a limit below which going even slower has little to no value, and I'm told that break point is when the amp rate of the charger is 25% of the Ah rating of the battery. So (for example) for a 14 Ah battery there's value in dropping down to as low as a 3.5A charger, but no additional value in going lower than that.

I typically do not drain the battery below 20%, and rarely charge it above 80%. With a good quality battery and charger, I believe that the cells will come out of balance very slowly, and if I'm only charging up to 70% then individual cells would rarely be below 60% or above 80%. Rebalancing will occasionally happen due to longer rides that require charging to 100% and/or draining below 20%, so I believe that there's no need for me to do it "just 'cause".

TLDR: Charging to 70% is probably safe in-between rebalances, and no point balancing on purpose if your riding behaviour will force occasional rebalances.
 
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Handlebars

Active Member
Wellllll, before getting on this thread I had left my battery to "balance" charge overnight and then plugged in again for a bit more. I had been seeing very large dips , as in 10% usage shown from full within a couple of kilometers. Previously I had measured voltage after charging and had seen it being not completely full, even after full charge plus leaving it plugged in for an hour or 2 extra. Once I left on on a long balance charge and saw it more full, but still .1V short ..so not all the way. This time after leaving it on overnight, I unplugged and left it for a couple of hours and then "balanced" it some more. I thought I had much better mileage last night, and today I was very surprised when I compared it to my usual 1.5 k one way ride.
Today even though it's frozen outside, I got to my usual spot where I had seen up to 10% dip at worst, and I had 0 % dip. On returning home I had used from 83% down to 79%. It might still go up a bit after resting and warming up, since the battery is cold.
I'm going to adopt the practice of long and repeated "balancing" once a week.
 
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