Is anyone trying to solve charging on the road?

GypsyTreker

Active Member

21lbs is slightly more than my carry weight, with bike bags, tools, clothes, and camping gear.

So that little generator would basically double what I haul. I don't think so...
Do you carry your stuff on the bike? I am assuming this hypothetical is towed weight.
 

GypsyTreker

Active Member
Just for the record, if I were to go long distance touring the light weight panels (solar) would be the approach I would look at first.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Anti eBike folk would love these past few posts.....fossil fuel to fuel your zero emission eBike. LOL

I will say this, the Honda 1000 would be out of the question , it weighs way too much but 19.8 +6....not so bad .
And that's why I went with a 300W solar panel for touring, no fuel, no need to find fuel, no noise... except the music. But for car/truck camping a generator would be perfect... or an inverter on the vehicle.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member


Do you carry your stuff on the bike? I am assuming this hypothetical is towed weight.

All of that is carried in two rear panniers, a small handlebar bag, a tiny saddle bag (mostly tools and spare parts) and a tinier frame bag (multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit, and pliers).

Trailers are great because you can carry lots of stuff. Trailers also suck because you can carry lots of stuff. You might need a trailer if you are bike touring with small children or pets. Otherwise it is a luxury item. Trailers can also be a pain to maneuver and to find a decent place to park, this is especially true with single-wheel trailers that lack a built-in kickstand.

Pet peeve: if you are doing bicycle touring in Spring, Summer, or Fall in Europe or most of North America (northern Canada and Alaska are an exception) you should be able to basically live out of your bike with two rear panniers, a handlebar bag, and two or three of water bottles. Otherwise you are probably carrying Too Much Stuff You Don't Need and won't have as much fun. If you are happy and having fun carrying Lots Of Stuff, more power to you. I am of the philosophy that "one's possessions are one's burdens" -- and this is very true on any journey, with or without a bicycle.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
I carry that much weight in chains and locks in the city. Not a problem with nice box panniers and slinging some locks around the seat tube.
 

BBassett

Active Member
All of that is carried in two rear panniers, a small handlebar bag, a tiny saddle bag (mostly tools and spare parts) and a tinier frame bag (multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit, and pliers).

Trailers are great because you can carry lots of stuff. Trailers also suck because you can carry lots of stuff. You might need a trailer if you are bike touring with small children or pets. Otherwise it is a luxury item. Trailers can also be a pain to maneuver and to find a decent place to park, this is especially true with single-wheel trailers that lack a built-in kickstand.

Pet peeve: if you are doing bicycle touring in Spring, Summer, or Fall in Europe or most of North America (northern Canada and Alaska are an exception) you should be able to basically live out of your bike with two rear panniers, a handlebar bag, and two or three of water bottles. Otherwise you are probably carrying Too Much Stuff You Don't Need and won't have as much fun. If you are happy and having fun carrying Lots Of Stuff, more power to you. I am of the philosophy that "one's possessions are one's burdens" -- and this is very true on any journey, with or without a bicycle.
You're using traditional old-school touring philosophy where more gear = more exertion = less fun. That's less the case when using a motor. It's still true enough. A heavily loaded bike IS most definitely less fun to ride. It takes huge concentration, you travel slower (a bonus in my opinion when touring), it takes more power (electricity) to cover the same distance, physically more demanding (my forearms are as rock hard as when I was 16... different reasons), lots of infrastructure for bikes that can't be negotiated easily with 4 panniers let alone a trailer, can't access some remote areas fully loaded... and I can go on. You are absolutely right about being able to carry too much. I use a single wheel suspension trailer and there's a steep learning curve when loaded that I haven't even got close to mastering. Quite the opposite, she's making me her bitch. Lightly loaded I have to try and remember she's back there. But when I set-up a base camp and stay for days at a time and do day rides, it's nice to have "toys", "luxuries", "tools", "gear", whatever you want to it/them to make the stay more enjoyable and longer. It's nice to be able to wash clothes. It's nice to have the choice to sleep on the ground or in a hammock. It's nice to have a wood stove and a gas cook system. It's standard for me to have a FuGoo XL speaker and music available 24/7. It's nice to have far more clothing and shoe options than necessary to just ride stinky. It's wonderful to have a pressurized shower system to wash... everything, hair, body, acorns, bike, gear, dishes, bloody knees, everything. Speaking of bloody knees a REAL1st aid kit, fishing gear, slingshot, tent poles, hiking poles, 5 different pairs of gloves (that's part of the clothing I guess). So... riding 40 or 50 miles fully loaded isn't something to do on an empty stomach even on an ebike. It's not torture... well, maybe sometimes it is, and horrifying at times... but it's fun too. It tickles me when someone rides or walks up and I'm drinking a martini in a silicone martini glass and can offer them one and if they partake pull out a jar of olives and splash one. "A man can't really savor his martini without an olive, you know. Otherwise..." Or cook a fresh dough pizza in a solar oven. The candy comes when you find someplace to set-up and do long rides out of and have all those "burdens" to enjoy after the rides. I don't have a fan or AC but there have been times that I wished I had. It makes pit-stops at motels fewer and farther between... if that's what ya want. When I finally have to travel from base camp to base camp in a vehicle lugging my bike it will be easier, I will be able to take that generator, but I won't have access to a lot of the places that I do now.

 

BBassett

Active Member
I carry that much weight in chains and locks in the city. Not a problem with nice box panniers and slinging some locks around the seat tube.
But hanging weight on the bike changes the physics, doesn't it? I never ride with just rear panniers it makes the bike unstable but I can put 50 lbs. on the front and feel perfectly comfortable... just different.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
Yep, if I wiggle the bars the back end wiggles. Also it's a step-thru, so that probably adds to the effect. Plus it's easy to wheelie with that weight set back.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
Do chargers have a surge factor when plugged in? If not I think the 800w would do fine.
I have noticed some time back that somebody had opted for plugging in the charger first, then the battery in order to prevent any arcing. However, the recommended way is to plug in the battery first, then the charger. I think the charger takes any brunt that way, instead of the battery taking it.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Yep, if I wiggle the bars the back end wiggles. Also it's a step-thru, so that probably adds to the effect. Plus it's easy to wheelie with that weight set back.
It can be a little disconcerting to feel the frame flexing like that. That's why I carry the weight on the front of the bike before anywhere else... besides the battery, motor, blue-tooth speaker, my big ass, pumps, umbrella, tripod, water, folding chair...
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I don't know. Traveling light and living in style at the same time is an art and a skill. And I've noticed it is much easier to keep gear organized and keep track of your gear when you have much less of it. And the massively reduced hassle when you have to get you, your bike, and your gear across a river, over a locked gate, or on and off a bus is an undeniable bonus -- your e-bike doesn't help you when you need to get over a fence.

There are always luxuries. Flip flops, 12-year-old MacAllans, headphones, and hot sauce are high on my list.

As for washing clothes, if you make good clothing choices you can wash it all in the field without too much trouble. For washing bodies there is this weird body wash stuff I found in Alaska that smells like really strong mouthwash but really does wonders on your stinky flesh, and you can always spot clean with baby wipes. Not the same as a shower but does wonders for your morale and works great on a cold soggy day. Honestly it is harder to stay clean and non-stinky on cold days than in warmer weather.

I think we Americans have really fallen into this trap that we have to buy and carry around all of this crap to have fun. I spent a cool two months of my life traveling in North Africa. I carried everything in a tiny daypack and an Italian Army Surplus motorcycle messenger bag that probably dated back to the Etruscans and was astonishingly ugly. Nobody was going to steal that.
 

BBassett

Active Member
I don't know. Traveling light and living in style at the same time is an art and a skill. And I've noticed it is much easier to keep gear organized and keep track of your gear when you have much less of it. And the massively reduced hassle when you have to get you, your bike, and your gear across a river, over a locked gate, or on and off a bus is an undeniable bonus -- your e-bike doesn't help you when you need to get over a fence.

There are always luxuries. Flip flops, 12-year-old MacAllans, headphones, and hot sauce are high on my list.

As for washing clothes, if you make good clothing choices you can wash it all in the field without too much trouble. For washing bodies there is this weird body wash stuff I found in Alaska that smells like really strong mouthwash but really does wonders on your stinky flesh, and you can always spot clean with baby wipes. Not the same as a shower but does wonders for your morale and works great on a cold soggy day. Honestly it is harder to stay clean and non-stinky on cold days than in warmer weather.

I think we Americans have really fallen into this trap that we have to buy and carry around all of this crap to have fun. I spent a cool two months of my life traveling in North Africa. I carried everything in a tiny daypack and an Italian Army Surplus motorcycle messenger bag that probably dated back to the Etruscans and was astonishingly ugly. Nobody was going to steal that.
LOL I lived out of a RATT Rig AN/GRC-122 shelter (very small) for 2/3rd of the year for years in the 80s and 90s. It teaches you how to organize very very well and to be more comfortable through that organization. It's way easier when you have 120V everywhere you go. So organization isn't a problem for me I was anal-retentive before I served over 20 years. Setting the bike up "perfect" is an on-going challenge so that I can do exactly what you are describing as minimal riding. I can go the night with just my bar-bags, no panniers, no trailer, and stay dry and warm enough. In that configuration she's pretty easy to go anywhere a standard bike can easily ride. More of a problem if I have to lift her over trees but still doable. Add full front panniers and it takes longer... add the rear panniers... add the trailer, and a river crossing becomes a task similar to what I picture settlers in wagon trains doing. But completely stripped down she rides anywhere I want to try to go. So go light for a night with bar-bags, or add the front panniers with a Cuben fiber tarp (TrailStar) and bivy and/or my Amok hammock and all the tools and spare parts to maintain a bike on the road. I don't carry the BaFang socket and torque wrench, you simply have to draw the line somewhere Add the rear panniers and I have a full kitchen with multiple stoves, a Rumpl blanket, more clothing and the majority of my toiletries. Add the trailer and I have everything to stay away as long as I have toilet paper and can feed myself. Good call on the headphones being a luxury. I try to have a dual purpose for everything I take with me but won't wear earbuds while I ride, It's dangerous. But I do love to do hikes and having music away from the bike.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Call it a hybrid, slap a "Prius" badge on it and don't look back!
Screw that! Shoe-horn the generator into the frame and put the baby battery on the back rack. That bike would take a while to get used to the weight distribution and the generator is going to take damage when he drops it.
 

GypsyTreker

Active Member
Perhaps if I was on a very extended bike tour with trailer, a small generator could be considered logistics. I mean it's an individuals determination of what is simple, for them. Solar still appeals to me because I'm familiar with it and it eliveates the need to carry fuel and oil. Keep in mind small generators require oil changes,often.