Thursday, 11 August 2022

The Car-Replacement Bicycle (the bakfiets)

quote [ When we were moving back to Canada, we knew we'd need a car, but we couldn't afford one after the move. Thankfully, we found an electric bakfiets, and not only did it take the place of a car, it also saved us thousands of dollars in the process. ]

Kinda want one now. If I didn't have my cat I might just settle on a bike and a tent instead of my van.
[SFW] [people] [+2]
[by steele@10:48pmGMT]


ComposerNate said @ 5:12pm GMT on 12th Aug [Score:3]
I've been rebuilding my e-cargobike for six years, my family vehicle bought when my son was born and hobby upgraded since with a 1000w motor and 48v system, huge battery, new tent and lights and paint and floor, etc. For a birthday of mine, I had three women up front and my son on my lap, the five of us down the sidewalk from bar to home. When granitewitch visited, I tuk-tuked him around city. Hard recommend.

loading tall boxes
Jack Blue said @ 8:18pm GMT on 12th Aug
Are the three wheelers any good? How do they turn? I seriously want one. We live in... Kinda suburbia, but not an american suburban hellscape. There are busses and bikelines here. But we got rid of the car a bit back, and one of those bikes would dearly fill a niche for us.
ComposerNate said[1] @ 8:10am GMT on 13th Aug [Score:1 Insightful]
The two wheels up front means a larger box, can hold more weight and volume, came with two benches and seat belts to hold four children, I removed a bench and it seats my wife and son fine up front, he on her lap, both facing forward. Officially holding 150kg cargo, I've braced the floor, have carried more weight, but greater risk of tire damage. The handling takes some getting used to when cornering at speed, needing slow some or risk lifting one of the front wheels, doesn't bother me. No suspension in front, so better for passengers on smooth street rather than cobblestone.

The felt strips I added to front and sides means I can also lock on a bicycle or two to the outside of the box without scratching paint.
Paracetamol said @ 8:44am GMT on 13th Aug
Sharp turns are a thing! Especially on powered bikes.
Paracetamol said @ 8:42am GMT on 13th Aug
They're good and sturdy. We bought a second one with better brakes after 5.5 years and gave it to the neighbours who're still using it since 3.5 years.

We had 2 battery packs when the first one got less powerful. These are a little pricey, depending on your model. In general, even the cheaper bike frames are totally ok. Regular repairs add up, though – you need a dealer to help you there and make sure to have a plan B on how to evacuate flat tires (especially on the powered wheel). Adventurous people move these by regional train, even.
ComposerNate said @ 9:58am GMT on 18th Aug
My 48v battery is 40Ah so I just built it into the box under the bench, not to be swapped. I top it up two or three times a month, have not tested its km limit. A normal lithium battery is around 12Ah at 250€, I paid about 850€ for this 40Ah, should last me five years, possibly outliving the bicycle in which case I would make sure my next project is also 48v and bring it over. I've done all repairs myself, parts all generic replaceable Chinese from aliexpress and ebay, no need for dealer. All tires are "unplattbar" extra thicc so can catch metal chunks without them reaching the inner tube. By "evacuate flat tires" I assume you meant remove it, patch the tube, and replace. We rarely drive more than 3km from home, so can walk it if necessary, electric motor doing the pushing.
Paracetamol said @ 11:56am GMT on 18th Aug
Right, we had thick tires too, that helps. In my experience, a new battery lasted for around 2 hours before loosing power. Enough for a camping tour, if you can recharge at your destination.

There are special split tires you can insert from both sides if you can't unhinge your wheel.. never tested these though.
mechanical contrivance said @ 8:31pm GMT on 12th Aug

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