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Über Genius
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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #22
I'm 100% sure that what you want to make is already made and being sold. I like the idea very much! I know that you are a budget-minded family man that likes to do-it-yourself, I'm sure that you will have no problem cobbling together the parts to make your own creation. :)
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #23
One thought: If you make the driving wheel the front wheel, instead of the rear, then you won't have the problem of runaway power that causes you to crash into cars and walls. Just pop a wheelie and your motive force disappears.
 

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I think your end result is right, but for the wrong reasons. They do need it to be smoother, yes.

But wide tires help with smoothness, just like fatbike tires. The problem isn't that they're wide (in most cases, though I suppose there may be lines a bike tire can cut that a onewheel cannot).

The trails have to be smooth because the wheels are such small diameter, not because they're so fat.

Just like how covered wagons had giant wheels so they wouldn't get stuck.

Same reason you can take a onewheel offroad and can't take an electric longboard. Onewheel wheels are bigger. Just not as big as bike tires.
The diameter of those one wheelers can't really go up because the center of gravity would start going way up, so wide and smooth with lower pressure in the tires is all they can do. The trails are already wide enough for em, but the problem is in a 2' wide trail there are often 4" round stumps sticking straight out of the ground like 4-6" or so. If they had narrower tires they could easily dodge those things, but as wide as they are they can't get around them and nothing but is rolling over those stumps. Unicyclists are out there from time to time and do about 0 trail maintenance because nothing is in there way. Mountain bike guys do just enough so they can go as fast as they like, and seem to be fine letting the one wheelers do the final smoothness pass.

I know a good bit about big diameter stuff, 1000 miles or so on my 29x3.0 hardtail(meaning front suspension only) bike, and have no problem dodging stumps. The huge diameter, tubeless tires at 11-12psi, and staying loose would allow me to blast at about any speed up/down the trails of all kinds to keep up with my full suspension friends. The main downside is on longer rides i'm BEAT and they are pretty fresh and feeling good at the end. I recently got a modern full suspension bike with 27.5x2.8 clearance, though i'm usually on 2.6's, and i sorely miss the volume/rollover of the 29x.30's, but i'm loving the rooty sections where i can almost pedal through while seated. I recently got one of these shock air pressure data loggers to share with my local buddies, the amount of tech that comes out is insane to me. ShockWiz
 

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Über Genius
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I'm 100% sure that what you want to make is already made and being sold. I like the idea very much! I know that you are a budget-minded family man that likes to do-it-yourself, I'm sure that you will have no problem cobbling together the parts to make your own creation. :)
Just say it! I'm cheap!
Although my neighbors, last night, probably wouldn't think so. 4 hours of solid money burning to celebrate a day off of work.

Back to the subject.
I like to build. Part of why I like to build is the learning along the way. Cobbling a trike together isn't the hard part. Neither is adding a second, or third, battery to increase the range. The problem part for me is figuring out what speed controller to purchase.

You can buy an electric trike for as low as $775 out the door. It's not going to like me riding it though. I buy my clothes from the big and tall selection, if you get my drift.

On the trie battery thing.
It would be awesome to have 2 batteries for the normal ride and a third as a reserve when the first two, in parallel went dry. A battery should carry a rider for about 25 miles so that's a pretty long day on a stand up trike.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #26
The diameter of those one wheelers can't really go up because the center of gravity would start going way up, so wide and smooth with lower pressure in the tires is all they can do. The trails are already wide enough for em, but the problem is in a 2' wide trail there are often 4" round stumps sticking straight out of the ground like 4-6" or so. If they had narrower tires they could easily dodge those things, but as wide as they are they can't get around them and nothing but is rolling over those stumps. Unicyclists are out there from time to time and do about 0 trail maintenance because nothing is in there way. Mountain bike guys do just enough so they can go as fast as they like, and seem to be fine letting the one wheelers do the final smoothness pass.

I know a good bit about big diameter stuff, 1000 miles or so on my 29x3.0 hardtail(meaning front suspension only) bike, and have no problem dodging stumps. The huge diameter, tubeless tires at 11-12psi, and staying loose would allow me to blast at about any speed up/down the trails of all kinds to keep up with my full suspension friends. The main downside is on longer rides i'm BEAT and they are pretty fresh and feeling good at the end. I recently got a modern full suspension bike with 27.5x2.8 clearance, though i'm usually on 2.6's, and i sorely miss the volume/rollover of the 29x.30's, but i'm loving the rooty sections where i can almost pedal through while seated. I recently got one of these shock air pressure data loggers to share with my local buddies, the amount of tech that comes out is insane to me. ShockWiz
I mountain biked quite aggressively for 30 years here in New Jersey until my primary riding partner suddenly died and I developed arthritis in my wrist. I raced road bikes in high school and won the State championships. I worked as a bicycle mechanic off and on for 6 years. My current bike is a GT with iDrive and it's tricked out to be just about the lightest full suspension race mountain bike you can make at 23lbs. So, I know a little about bikes.

You simply don't need fat tires, unless you drive in soft sand. Period. Soft sand requires surface area so that you don't sink into the sand. It's all about super light wheels, especially at the outside diameter, when it comes to racing. There's an old saying that goes: "You can have the heaviest road bike ever made(a Schwinn Varsity) and put the lightest wheels ever made on it and you can go out and WIN bicycle races, but if you put the wheels from a Schwinn Varsity on the lightest bike ever made you will come in last every time." My bike has super light 1.5" 26" tires, superlight kevlar tire liners, and the lightest tubes you can buy. I kicked the azz of almost everyone. :)

427956
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Just say it! I'm cheap!
Although my neighbors, last night, probably wouldn't think so. 4 hours of solid money burning to celebrate a day off of work.

Back to the subject.
I like to build. Part of why I like to build is the learning along the way. Cobbling a trike together isn't the hard part. Neither is adding a second, or third, battery to increase the range. The problem part for me is figuring out what speed controller to purchase.

You can buy an electric trike for as low as $775 out the door. It's not going to like me riding it though. I buy my clothes from the big and tall selection, if you get my drift.

On the trie battery thing.
It would be awesome to have 2 batteries for the normal ride and a third as a reserve when the first two, in parallel went dry. A battery should carry a rider for about 25 miles so that's a pretty long day on a stand up trike.
I really, really, wish I could help you more, but I've just been out of the loop of current bike and self-powered battery technology for a long time. The whole battery thing is evolving so rapidly that you just can't keep up with it. What is state-of-the-art today is old school tomorrow. I am absolutely astounded that they have to check the bikes of all of the contestants in the Tour De France to make sure that they don't have hidden batteries and motors in their bikes. Those dudes ride 200 miles a day sometimes for 26 days! I can't believe that they can make batteries and motors and drive mechanisms that can be hidden inside the tubing of the bikes and be light enough to be worthwhile in the hardest bike race in the world. Granted, they are probably only using hidden electric motors in the race segments that climb those god-awful mountain stages, that really decide the race and which eliminate most of the riders.

I would suggest going to a really good bicycle shop near you and start talking a little turkey with the guys there. They sell electric bikes, they are up on all of the latest tech and there's lots of bike people who are on a budget and do DIY projects like you are proposing. You might find out that you can buy a used electric bike, maybe even a used 3-wheeler(often sold to old people who never use them or drop dead), and adapt it to your project or supplant your project because it's already perfect. Totally from scratch is not the way to go. :)
 

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I mountain biked quite aggressively for 30 years here in New Jersey until my primary riding partner suddenly died and I developed arthritis in my wrist. I raced road bikes in high school and won the State championships. I worked as a bicycle mechanic off and on for 6 years. My current bike is a GT with iDrive and it's tricked out to be just about the lightest full suspension race mountain bike you can make at 23lbs. So, I know a little about bikes.
That era of mountain bikes is still fun, I had an old Gary Fisher Sugar that I recently gave away to a friend to get him rolling. It was also low 20 something pound range as i converted to single front gear, tubeless tires, had a super light SID fork like you, and no frills. Depending on your skill, fitness, the speeds you want to go, and the trails you want to do, these bikes are still just fine for lots of folks. To be clear though, any modern bike is going to be better in every way thanks to hydraulic disc brakes, dropper post, thru axles, and tubeless tires among other things, hell even clutches built into the rear mech make chain slap a thing of the past. I urge you to rent one at your local shop, or one local to a trail system you used to frequent, and enjoy the goodness that is modern tech. Make sure you pony up for one with lightweight wheels though to get the full experience, as everything else will be awesome no matter what. If you're a little out of shape these days and have trails that allow them, the electric assist bikes for rent are super fun as well.

Mountain bikes have made insane leaps in tech since in the last 15 years, the angles have changed, materials are out of this world, and tire tech is up there with dirt bikes. Road bikes don't change much as UCI doesn't really allow bikes to change, so the only huge upgrades are electronic shifting and lower maintenance hydraulic brakes that most folks probably don't need. Any road bike with indexed shifting that fits you can reasonably keep up in group rides. Short of trials riding, there is no chance you'll be able to go as fast on trails with any 26" bike compared to a modern one. My 29x3.0 bike was carbon frame with carbon wheels, sub 25lbs, and felt like a BMX bike on steroids.

The gear range is insane these days, most decent cassettes are like 10-50 gear range, so with a 38 or so front ring alone you are set. Only one mech to adjust, and it has a clutch built in to prevent your chain from slapping around or doing anything terrible. Through axles are like strut tower bars for bike frames and make things way more predictable, quick release axles are all but gone except on lower end price point focused bikes. Hydraulic brakes are super easy to modulate and trouble free, like literally 1000's of miles before you have to change pads, no cable stretch to adjust out, just awesome. Dropper posts allow you to raise/lower the seat post at will, so no more climbing to the top of trail and setting your seat down, you can set it down for every single obstacle that would normally cause you to worry about getting seat rammed. All of that tech is great, but the biggest change maker these days is modern wheel and tire tech. You've got super light wheels with lifetime warranties these days because they are all so good, the companies are trying to out do each other to stop people from buying straight out of China cheap ones with no warranty. Tires are now light and strong, still supple at the right pressures, and no longer require tubes(though you can install a spare tube to get you home just in case you shred a tire so bad you can't get it to seal on the trail.) In the last few thousand miles of off road riding I think i've had maybe 5 flats that required me to stop and deal with them. Usually tubeless sealant just does all the work and you never know it's there. I did 100 miles one weekend in the cactus country desert and had no flats thanks to tubeless, though when I got home and did my routine maintenance I was bone dry on sealant and the tire was polka dotted when viewed from the inside. You can now run tires so low that they become part of the suspension, and not worry about snake bite flats.

Sorry for the dense rant, I'm super into bikes. Hopefully this doesn't come off as antagonistic or anything, your credentials just lead me to believe that you might be interested in all the new tech and info. Here's my beloved hardtail trying to keep up with the full suspension crowd in Bentonville, Arkansas, a town that has been revitalized with mountain bike tourism thanks to big money from Walmart heirs.
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The only pic I have of me on my newer full suspension is my recent crash, where when my brother asked how badly I was hurt and if I needed immediate assistance or if he could take a picture real quick, I responded with a shrug and a one finger salute. My ribs still hurt from time to time a few months later... As the hospitals get more packed day by day here I've been sticking to road and gravel rides, or much more tame trails to stay as safe as I can.
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