8/24/2006

The Video Is Done!

Not the highest quality movie I've made but here is the video review of the Mongoose Cruiser Electric Bicycle, featuring REAL live footage of the Bike in action! Sounds exciting ehh?

8/22/2006

2 Weeks of using the Electric Bike

Welp I think I found the perfect city riding time, 5:30AM, a bit early for most but well worth it. The streets are empty of both traffic and parked cars. I rarely had to come to a complete stop at lights and stop signs. It was nice and cool so I did some of the peddling. It was all good and fast. (I picked up one of those red LED safety lights that blink like crazy, very bright and highly recommended)

Heavy Load Test of the ebike

Took the Mongoose Cruiser out for a helluva run today, I had a huge 50lb load on my back in my duffle.(see picture, it's HUGE!) The bike was struggling, I think it could have made it on it’s own at a slower speed of course, but I helped out a lot just to get over hills and such, the motor did get hot to the touch but nothing major like a laptop battery. I probably shouldn’t give it this much weight often. Battery gauge finally went down past the top green light, ohh I never mentioned the battery gauge, it is 3 LED lights, the top two being green (good or full charge) and the bottom being amber (GET TO AN OUTLET SOON!). I guess the nice thing is that even if the battery dies you can revert to the old pedals and huff and puff the 90lb bike home. Recharge times seem to be at the stated 6-8 hours, I also hear there’s a 2 amp charger that drops that in half.

Electric Bicycle as a Daily commuter

This is my fourth full day of commuting by the LEV 100% of the time, again today was WINDY as heck, and I did a test run on 100% battery power, ie, no peddling at all. I got to my work and the meter was still reading a full battery (about 5 miles to work). On a side note; drive thru's will not let you order from a bicycle for "safety reasons", ya I know, a bunch of BS. So now I'd have to lock up each time I go in, which I am NOT going to do, so I have rerouted to tiny snackshops with windows I can see out of, point your bike into a corner so that someone has to actually back it out to steal it, it'll give you the time to get out there and whack um with a big stick, all in all probably better for me than fast food when I need a food fix. I'm averaging about 14mph on this thing, most will say that's slow, and in long straightaways it does seem so, I am also just under 200lbs with about 10-30lbs of packages on my back, so I am definetly in the upper weight range of this bike recommended specs. On congested city streets I rarely keep the motor on for more than a minute, it's all stop, go, dodge, cuss, dodge, screetch, go, peddle, "F$#@ YOU!", go, stop, "A DOG!". Ahh city life.

Above pics (click for a much larger view) from left to right, top to bottom; The handle bars are 25 inch but with brakes and all the final measurement is 31 inches tip to tip, I have 32 inch doors and it is tight, so if you have 36 inch doors your set. The batteries on/off switch and if you squint you can see my high tech battery lock, a zip tie. The other side of the battery where the charger and motor plug in. This is a spring loaded bolt that holds the battery down so it doesn't fly out when you hit those potholes. The 450 watt standard motor (this is a currie 450w 24v bike). A close up of the mini chain that connects the motor to the rear wheel.

The Mongoose Cruiser Electric Bike Trial run

IT RAINED yesterday, so I had to stick with the old gas guzzler, but today I get to do my first trial run as a commuter vehicle in the urban sprawl I call Chicago, I live and work about 5 miles apart, which for most would be a breeze, but here, the traffic congestion is horrid and sidestreets are slow. Basically I plan on using this bike to get to work on light days (I run a small internet biz called Tikizone ), light days are days when I have only a few online orders and I can drop them off at the post office on my way home using the ebike and a backpack.

OK so just finished the trial run, I didn't time it exactly so I cannot estimate the speed yet. But did it work? Yes. Did it do it all on it's own? no. I am at home a bit winded, a bit sweaty, I helped it a lot over bridges (the Damen one) and at startups at traffic lights. IT helped me a lot as it was very windy today and I'd be gasping for air as I type. I wish it went a bit faster. I did pass up a few bike people on 100% motor just to be a jerk :). I appreciate the noise the motor makes in this crowded city, but at night I may not as it draws attention from would be harrasment by drunks and bangers. So after all these tests the battery still read full charge, that's a good sign for endurance. The two parts I like most are the boost to your startups from stop signs/lights and on long straight aways you can kick in the motor and take a breather while not losing speed. The part I don't like is this cruiser has no gears, I REALLY miss gears, I could peddle a lot more efficiently with gears. That and the size weight issue, it's a good 8 inches longer and 3 times as heavy as my specialized Mountain bike. The size makes it awkward through double doors and in my tiny elevator.


8/16/2006

Test Ride

6 hours later.........
HOLY CRAP! this thing actually does go pretty fast, gets you up to speed with no problem, peddling just adds to it's power, YIKES i'm impressed and happy now. The motor makes a bit of noise, which may seem bad, it draws attention to you (good or bad) but it also helps pedestrians know your there. Granted I'd say it's around 15 mph as stated, but lets face it, on a bike that seems fast. (I did a little research and Lance Armstrong averages just over 20 mph).

One other bad design quirk is that in order to remove the battery to carry it over to the charger you need to remove the seat, I thought this wouldn't bother me at first but now it really gets on my nerves, I guess I'll run an extension cord over to the bike so I no longer have to remove the battery for charging

Assembling the Electric bike 2

So I just aligned the brakes, the back was a breeze, the front is a horrid mess. You see, the front tire isn't straight! My god, it shifts a good 1/4 to 1/2 inches in a rotation! There by rubbing against a brake pad every single rotation, after messing with it for an hour I found an acceptable position for it and I will just have to live with it until the pad itself wears down so that there is no more rubbing. BOOOO! Even after all the bad experiences, I'm still excited to try out the electric engine :)

Here is a short video of the Faulty tire .....

Assembling the Mongoose Cruiser 1

Assembly is fairly easy for those familiar with tools and basics of screw, nut assembly type tasks. BUT If you do not understand these basics, you WILL be lost, the user guide is pretty worthless for out of the box assembly and I am basically doing an ad lib assembly. Why do they (currie) not include a simple step by step assembly guide???

My Battery box is all scratched up too :(

Things are looking down overall for this review.

The Electric Bicycle Arrives

IT Arrived!!!!

First Thing to do is get that battery charged up!

Yankinging it out of it's carriage and plugging it in is a breeze, the battery weighs a bit less than I expected, while the steel bike is considerably heavier than expected, it's like an old 70's schwinn. For those not in the know, this Bike comes partially assembled and does require a bit of competence to assemble. Unpacking the bike was a bit disappointing, as it just seemed all the parts were thrown into a box. Infact many of the bike pieces were scratched, I am not a picky man, but this should not happen. Also the fenders were banged up pretty well, I had to manually "adjust" the dents out of them with sheer force. Note to Currie, the manufacturer, GET A BETTER SYSTEM FOR SHIPPING!

8/15/2006

In the Beginning - A Review of The Currie Mongoose Cruiser LEV

At the beginning of the month I decided to go green, not 100% green, but I'm cutting back on some of my oil consumption, mostly because of expense, partly because of politics.

So I scowered the interweb and found all sorts of electric vehicles for way too much money. I then began to narrow in on some specifics, you see, I live in Chicago, a pretty congested tightly packed place. I rarely need to go further than 10 miles one way. So I looked more, and found ebike's, electric bicycles or LEV's (light electric vehicles). Sure they are limited in many ways, but those ways sort of enhance the draw for me. Electric bikes in general (and by law) don't go over 20mph, officially making them bicycles. Why is this important? NO registration, NO insurance, NO Tags, NO City sticker. Yes you don't have a constant out of pocket expense with an ebike. Many other LEV's look like scooters, but here, in Chicago, If I were to drive something that looks like a scooter (or moped) I would constantly be pulled overby the 5-o (police for you youngins :)) and questioned as to why I had no license plates. That would get annoying fast, so I again narrowed down to an LEV that looked more like a standard bicycle. What I arrived at wasn't some fancy thousand dollar mountain bike, it was a $300 (from target) electric powered bicycle that so far seems to be well worth the effort I have put into researching these fine electric vehicles, I can't imagine what may come out in a few years!

This blog will have continual posts as to My going electric life.......
Here is a cut and paste of the description and specs from thesuperkids.com

2006 Mongoose Electric Cruiser bike in stock!! All new for 2006! You can get either a Long Range 36 Volt or the Standard 24 Volt system. The Long Range 36v Cruiser comes in deep red, and the 24 Volt Mongoose Crusier comes in a Blue. This is the Long Range Electric Cruiser Bike you have been waiting for. Perfect for beaches, parks, recreation and long commutes.

The Mongoose Cruiser is powered by either a 24v or 36V - 450 Watt Motor. It sits on 26" wheels and comes with a sweet oldschool Springer suspension fork.

This Mongoose Electric Bicycle by Currie is quiet, efficient, non-plluting form of transportation is designed for smooth riding comfort.

• New comfort style design for use on streets, bike paths and improved trails
• Smooth riding front Springer suspension fork and seatpost
• Average 18-25 mile range with nominal pedaling
• Fully recharges in 3-4 hours with standard charger
• Maximum speed 18+ mph

Features:
  • Propulsion System: Patented Electro Drive all-weather direct chain drive with built-in bolt-on mounting plate, motor and speed specific gearing
  • Motor: Exclusive 450 Watt Rare Earth Magnet Brush Motor 24-36 volt brush motor with external electronic controller that includes low voltage battery protection, motor overheat protection, peak amperage protection, stall protection, maximum speed protection, brake inhibit and pedal torque enabler.
  • Throttle: Handlebar mounted on-demand variable twist throttle
  • Power Source: Dual 12-volt sealed recyclable lead acid batteries in a lock-on frame mounted battery pack
  • 8/14/2006


    ALOHA TO ALL!