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Sunday, November 8, 2009


So far, I've bent a couple of cheap rims (one aluminum and one steel) and one steel axle, because of potholes and such that couldnt' be avoided, due to the weight of this bike and no rear suspension. :(

I definitely need to come up with a suspension on this that leaves the rear wheel able to avoid such severe shocks. Something that suspends the cargo pods, and doesn't leave them on the pivoting part. The only one I can think of right now would put the rear axle directly onto a pair of plates mounted to the ends of some (unfortunately heavy) shocks I have, and some framework to give that a good pivot point. I don't think I could make it work well with only one side shocked, and there's not enough room to use only one of the shocks under the seat to the frame, totally outside the wheel diameter. Maybe if I passed it just under the sling of the seat but above the seat frame, but then my butt would be riding on the shock. No thanks. ;)

The big problem is that these pods need the stability of the rear triangle being fixed to the rest of the frame in order to carry the cargo I sometimes need to move around, so it is not going to work unless I leave that frame and build a totally new rear wheel frame that will still fit within the original triangle.

Or else, move the whole rear wheel back further (it's already a danged long bike!) and affix the pivot to the dropouts, with the shocks pushing against some tubing welded to the ex-seatpost. Physically it would work, but hte bike would be about a foot or so longer. Maybe nine feet total!

A question asked of me is why not move some weight forward?

I already have all the weight I can put forward as far as it will go, without putting it higher than I would like due to handling concerns, since anything forward of the handlebars has to go above where my legs and feet move for pedalling, and above and behind the front wheel for turning. It also has to be below (or to the side of) the steering tie rod just above the front top tube. That's really a pretty small volume.

The only possible thing I really considered doing is cutting the top tube of the front frame, bending it upward so it's join with the handlebar stem headtube would be a few inches higher and rewelding it (with some extra tube to fill in the gap). That would give me just enough space to put a fourth 12V 17Ah SLA in there to turn it into a 48V machine. But that's another 15 pounds of weight for not all that much gain.

If I made a small lockable metal box bolted between the front top and down tubes, I could store the several pounds of tools I always carry, and maybe the air pump, but that's negligible compared to the rest of the weight that is still back there (me plus any cargo I carry, which could be over 100 pounds of stuff sometimes).

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