Ideas about a collab between cycle repair place and rLab?

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Frank in Woodcote

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Jul 31, 2022, 11:11:13 AMJul 31
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Hey all, I was chatting with one of the guys in the charity bicycle repair place across the way from us yesterday morning (they have a bicycle sale and repair thing on saturday mornings, I discovered).

Being one of the electronics people in Readings makerspace (we have an amazing pool of very skilled electronics designers for some unknown reason!), I asked what was their take on leccy bikes... to which the answer was that they don't know enough about getting them working again, so generally avoid. The most common problem is the battery pack cells get out of balance, a motor driver circuit fails or a sensor goes a bit wonky- then the bike is basically scrap. Usually stuff that we think is an easy repair.

Seems a shame. I don't mind giving "a bit" of time to help the guys out, but any ideas on how this could be made to work? It's all for a good cause anyway. They supply bikes to people who really need them, and generally don't have access to a car or 'easy' transport. Decent money from selling an 'e' bike could be split perhaps between then and us. I don't know. Just thinking aloud here.

Or, is it a case of training them up and passing on knowledge or actually doing the work? Thoughts?

-frank 👍🏻



Alex Gibson

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Jul 31, 2022, 11:52:11 AMJul 31
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I'm very interested in either getting an ebike or electrifying my hybrid/mountain bike.
I have also had good experience fixing tool and laptop batteries by replacing dead cells from donor batteries, success rates as high as 3 working Ryobi batteries from 4 dead ones.
Would be willing to be a customer for a dead ebike, perhaps earning a good discount by returning others fixed!

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Stuart Ward

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Aug 1, 2022, 4:34:37 PM (13 days ago) Aug 1
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Happy to help with this having done my ebike conversion earlier in the year.

Stuart

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Alex Gibson

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Aug 3, 2022, 12:23:26 PM (11 days ago) Aug 3
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Thanks Stuart!

What sort of kit did you buy? (Or homebrew parts)?

Cheers
Alex

Stuart Ward

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:14:53 AM (10 days ago) Aug 5
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Alex

It was a kit like this one, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353897868912?var=623272488027 350W motor, and I bought a battery separately. Brand name of mine is Volimart

Stuart

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Tom Allen

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Aug 6, 2022, 8:48:29 AM (9 days ago) Aug 6
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remember to put a "250W motor" sticker on there to keep it legal, also sold on ebay for exactly that reason ;)



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Alex Gibson

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Aug 6, 2022, 11:21:53 AM (8 days ago) Aug 6
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Great point Tom!  

(And sorry I didn't already make it over... Things happened)

Alex Gibson

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Aug 6, 2022, 11:25:23 AM (8 days ago) Aug 6
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That kit looks great Stuart, and a reasonable cost to dip my toe in the water!

I am sure a governor could be added to make it 250W for on road use... While leaving a little oomph and range for when needed.

Stuart Ward

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Aug 6, 2022, 11:35:14 AM (8 days ago) Aug 6
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The version I bought was a 250W motor version. Sorry I couldn't fine the exact same listing, I am sure you will find a suitable option with a bit of searching. The battery I bought was x-go, I think I got a bigger battery than I need, as I have yet to get it even half discharged, after riding over several days whit admittedly short trips. I have not taken it on a long trip as yet. Yes a sticker to indicate that it is a 250W would be useful. But I see plenty of much more powerful ebikes, mainly delervroo riders about that should not be legal. I find the 250 W plent to get up even quite steep hills.

Do we want to have an ebike evening sometime to chat and try out bikes?

Stuart

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Alex Gibson

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Aug 7, 2022, 2:46:22 AM (8 days ago) Aug 7
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That sounds like a great idea Stuart!  
I'd definitely want to come, and I suspect we have a few other ebike owners and Wannabees!

Stuart Ward

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Aug 13, 2022, 6:05:09 AM (2 days ago) Aug 13
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Who has the contacts at the Bike Kitchen to get them involved?

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Richard Ibbotson

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Aug 13, 2022, 6:41:41 AM (2 days ago) Aug 13
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I do agree that rLab support for the electrification of the Bicycle Kitchen(BK) is a great idea. It would be good to discuss with them how they see the demand. I guess it is going to grow quickly as e-bikes come out of warranty, enter the second user market, and begin to have battery and corrosion issues.

Not sure how we can best collaborate. RLab is a very different structure to the BK. RLab is member driven and BK objective driven. Stuart has the best experience due to the collaboration with the Restart Project on the Repair Cafe. Such collaboration demands significant effort from members involved.

I think at least we can help them get some tools in place for diagnosis and repairs. Maybe also advise on spares like connectors. Then of course we might help with training too.

I am not sure we are able to commit to things like bike or battery rebuilds, but it would be good to hear member inputs and discuss with BK.

Is there any online DIY e-bike repair FAQ or forum with service manuals yet?

Richard


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On 13 Aug 2022, at 11:05, Stuart Ward <stuart....@gmail.com> wrote:


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Andy Noyes

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Aug 13, 2022, 10:27:20 AM (2 days ago) Aug 13
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I used to volunteer with RBK back when it was in Jackson's and help with a few specialist repairs on electric bikes, bikes with electrically operated gears, and the occasional bit of welding on aluminium frames. But things like that came up very infrequently as they would mostly stick to more standard repairs which were quicker and easier to do and they had a huge pool of donated bikes to draw from.

I've not had any contact with them for a number of years now and I gather the leadership has completely changed,  but I think the main contact is Ray,  in...@readingbicyclekitchen.org
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