New updates to the Blue ICE

Apart from the water-cooled drum brakes, I’ve added some new things to the blue Sprint.

New Torque arm
The new torque arm that braces to the disk caliper mount. Its water-cut from 5/16″ (9.5mm) A36 steel plate and weights 144g. They cost $25 + shipping and can be ordered in this Endless-Sphere sales thread.
Since water-cutting thick and hard material doesn’t result in perfectly angled cutting edges, the slot is slightly under 10mm (I’ve measured it at 9.87mm) and doesn’t fit right away on the hub motor axle. So, it needs a little bit of work with a file. The holes for the brake mount are a bit smaller than 6mm and not perfectly circular, you need to drill them with a 6.2mm drill bit. Its also no stainless steel, hence a coat of paint is needed.

new torque arm, TRP Spyke and the MXUS CST from Grin Tech with HubSinks

The angle of the axle slot doesn’t fit the ICE Trike rear end, so I had to flip the torque arm and drilled a third hole for a M5 screw. Not sure if I will need the excess material. I might cut it off later. Since I ordered parts for a trailer yesterday, it might come in handy to mount the trailer hitch.

TRP Spyke
The AVID BB7 rear brake had to go and a double piston TRP Spyke took its place.
The Spyke is soo much easier to adjust properly, compared to the BB7.

MXUS 3006 RC (Grin Tech edition) with HubSink
Since the new 9Continent CST bite the dust after a mere 3,200km (entirely my fault), I decided to play save this time by adding 10ml of Statorade and HubSinks to the new MXUS 3006 RC from Grin Tech and connected the temperature sensor of the hub motor to the Cycle Analyst v3. Now, the Cycle Analyst reduces power if the motor temperature rises above a set value to prevent heat damage.

Boy, I had no idea that the motor stator can get so hot, so fast, while its still relatively ‘cool’ on the outside! Putting the hand on your motor to feel its temperature, tells you absolutely nothing about the temperature inside!

An other thing:
The dead 9Continent as well as the new MXUS 3006 RC have cassette adapters. Apart from the possibility to customize the cassette exactly to your needs, hub motors with cassette adapter are simply in an other league to mount to your cycle. When I think of all the headache and custom parts I had to build to properly fit the Bafang BPM or the old MXUS with 8-speed or 9-speed screw-on freewheels to my cycles… *sigh*

New tie rods
After using-up two sets of cheap rod ends in the Blue ICE, I finally made some new tie rods from polished 10mm stainless steel tubes to use IGUS igubal® KARM-08 MH rod ends.

The old tie rods made from M8 stainless steel threaded rod with metal rod ends weighted 344g, so apart from the vastly better look, there was a 158g weight saving.

tie rods light and pretty

I didn’t have a M8 left hand thread cutter at hand, so I’ve simply cut right hand threads into the tie rods. It’s slightly more cumbersome to set proper toe-in (you have to disconnect one rod end from the king pin for adjustment) compared to the original ICE Trikes tie rods with left hand and right hand thread, but you actually have to do adjust them only once when you change rod ends.
Here is the wheel alignment instruction video from ICE Trikes, btw.

Rohloff Lubmatic
Found a never used Rohloff Lubmatic. The Rohloff Lubmatic is a chain lubrication pump and was discontinued a couple of years ago.
Rohloff still sells their ‘Oil of Rohloff’ chain lube, though.

the Rohloff Lubmatic pump

The pump is a bit cumbersome to reach behind the seat, but it needs to be mounted vertical to work and don’t leak. Not actually a big deal, since I only have to reach back there once or twice a month. I’d call it a rather luxury solution.

the Rohloff Lubmatic ‘lube end’

Since the chain in the Blue ICE is pretty worn after more than 20,000km and needs to go soon, I used some cheap oil to get it going just a little bit further (its oily and messy now, but the new chain is already at hand, I’m just too lazy to put it in…)
I’ll probably use Rivolta S.K.D.16 N lube again. Sparsely used, it keeps the chain relatively clean and served me very well so far.

Talking about lazy:
Its sooo much easier to lube the chain with the Lubmatic! Simply reaching back and pulling the piston up one or two times (4 meters of chain!) is all that’s needed every couple of weeks.

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Water-Cooled Sturmey Archer Drum Brakes

I’m in the middle of running a test to water-cool my 90mm Sturmey Archer drum brakes.

A few people in the German recumbent forum use water-cooled drum brakes in their velomobiles, so it wasn’t my idea. Velomobilize in Austria already offers water cooled drum brakes for velomobiles.

Since I live in a fairly flat area, I’m not so much interested in actually cooling the brakes, but to clean-out the dust from the brake pads before it sticks to the pads and glaces over. That’s normally the point when the brake performance deteriorates.

test set-up with 60ml syringe

As you can see, the test set-up is pretty crude. The water goes from the syringe, through the silicon tubing, to both drum brakes. Despite its Jerry-rigged appearance, it works rather well.

A little squirt of about 20 ml of water is enough to wash-out the attrition from the brake pads and to restore brake performance. Maybe a second squirt is needed (while applying the brakes) and the brakes immediately work like new again.

At first, I was a little concerned that the dirty water coming out of the drum brakes will spray around and freckle in my face, but even going downhill at 50 or 60 km/h it doesn’t.

Next, I have to find a small tank and do a proper install. I’m planning to use a fuel tank for RC planes and a clyster ball as an air pump. You press the clyster ball, the pressured air goes into the sealed water tank and pumps the water trough the tubing into the drum brakes. Easy peasy.

Update 2018-08-16
After testing the water-cooling with the syringe for a week, I did install the RC-fuel tank and the clyster ball ‘air pump’ yesterday. The clyster ball is zip-tied under right hand side of the seat, the tank is on the left. I just have to grab under the seat and pump 1-2 times. Works even better than imagined. Photos follow tomorrow (I hope).

Update 2018-08-19
Some images:
clyster ball air pump

the water tank (RC plane fuel tank)

As you can see by the dirt on the hub, there is quite some crud washed out of the drum brake hub by the water.

drum brake plates with RC hydraulic nipple

Found these little M3 nipples for RC hydraulics at Ebay. The hollow M3 screw is pretty fragile and I’ve already broke one when tightening it slightly too hard. My other drum brake plate sets will get these nipples with a bigger M5 screw.

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Customising a cheap 15FET Motor Controller

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Several Ebay vendors offer cheap 12FET, 15FET and 18FET motor controllers for electric mopeds. Aside from the obvious price advantage, compared to the usual, programmable, ‘Infineon’ motor controllers, some of these controllers work sensored and sensorless. Upsides: -dirt cheap (around … Continue reading

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100km/h Electric Mobility Scooter

Couldn’t stop laughing watching it…

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The Black ICE is back on commuter duty

After a mere 86 weeks of maintenance and updates, my old black Sprint is finally back on the road. Lets say, it took ‘slightly’ longer than anticipated.

She got a 2-speed Patterson drive, new XT 9-speed derailleur, a new 15 FET controller, ‘updated’ front wheels, new fenders and basically every other worn part replaced.

Two weeks commuting in foul weather and she already looks like a mess again.

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Tony Seba: Clean Disruption – Energy & Transportation

Food for thought…

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New Fender for ‘Nasty’

I’ve finally managed to order a new rear fender for the Vortex. Well, actually its a SKS front fender.

The old fender was a tiny bit too short and its silver color didn’t quite fit as well.

I think it looks much prettier with the black fender. The little ‘spoiler’ on the slightly longer fender doesn’t block the rear light anymore, either.

The only thing left to ‘finish’ Nasty, are changing the currently mounted old Trice kingpins to ICE kingpins. While the Trice kingpins work, they are designed for 1″ screw-in headsets and current ICE trikes, like the Vortex, use 1″ FSA Orbit-X headsets.

Well, to actually finish the trike, I should spend the used Vortex front frame a new powder coating. Its original white powder coating looks rather ratty. Since I haven’t decided on the colour yet, that will probably take some time. The most obvious choice would be black, though.

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Drum Brake Renovation

The drum brakes on the Blue ICE started acting up after a mere 8.650km of heavy use.

Braking performance was still good, but the left brake was starting to get stuck. That’s normally a sure sign that the brake pads are at the end of their life. If this happens, you can extend their service life by putting some shims under the little hardened steel ‘shoes’ that sit between the brake pads and the brake lever shaft (see image 2).

Since both of my prefered ‘drum brake vendors’ where closed for Summer holidays, I’ve cannibalized the new brake plates from the Black ICE (at this rate, the Black ICE is probably back on the road in Summer 2047 *sigh*).

Yesterday, I took a closer look at the old brakes. Since I’ve already put 0.5mm shims into the ‘brake shoes’ some 2,500km ago, I didn’t have high hopes, though.
As it turned out, the brake pad diameter was still quite similar to new (88.5mm) and they only needed a thorough cleaning and lubrication.

This is when you run into some trouble with the Sturmey Archer drum brakes. They (understandably) choose easy production and assembly over maintainance when they used these Starlock lock rings on the axles. They are virtually impossible to remove undamaged and the big one for the 11mm diameter bolt are pretty hard to come by.

Comparison between customised bolt with Seeger clip ring (left) vs original Starlock ring.

I had some Seeger clip rings and a couple of 0.1mm shim rings at hand. The only thing missing was a notch for the clip ring in one of the bolts. A metal saw fixed the missing notches. I’ve used a couple of 12mm washers as guide to saw the notch around the bolt. The shim rings allowed to adjust the axial play of the brake pads on the bolt.

I’ve put the brakes back into the trike and did an extended test ride. All good and the brakes feel like new again.

Update August 27, 2017:
The renovated brakes don’t play ball. They do brake, but the hand force necessary to make them behave is quite high after about 100km. While its normal that they need a new braking-in period to settle, the dust that’s wearing-off the brake pads shouldn’t stick to them. I cleaned the brake pads with brake cleaner, maybe that’s the problem (that didn’t work too well before, but I forgot).
Today I’ve used acetone for cleaning. Lets hope that’s working better…

Update September 2, 2017
Cleaning the brake pads with acetone did the trick.
Note to self: Never use brake cleaner again!

Now, I’m thinking about water-cooled drum brakes. Stay tuned… 😉

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Blue ICE got a Nose

Since this summer is fairly wet, I’ve mounted the KingCycle nose fairing to the Blue ICE.

The nose fairing looks quite nice with the white Ortlieb X-Press panniers.

The mirrors mounted to the fairing offer a perfect rear view.

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EM3EV Battery Factory Tour

I always like to recommend EM3EV, since Paul has a very good reputation at Endless-Sphere and is known for his great customer service.

Check-out this video about how EM3EV designs and produces their batteries. The next time I need new batteries for my trikes, I have to order from Paul. That is a completely different level of battery design and build quality, compared to my current batteries.

(the camera man/moderator guy is pretty annoying, though)

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