12 August 2014

Why is suspension better

Tallinn’s streets, as probably in lot of places in the world, aren’t best for smooth and comfortable ride and riding without suspension sometimes equals with torturing yourself. But you never know till you have tried it. So here’s little video where we compared with and without suspension bikes. Both bikes are same size cruiser bikes and test was made at 10 km/h speed:

Our vote goes for suspension, no matter if it’s more complicated or expensive – comfort is also important.

06 August 2014

Who or what is Särtsuratas

If you are interested in who or what is Särtsuratas, then here is short humor video about Särtsuratas:

29 July 2014

Range of Little Blue

In June Gabriel tested Little Blue’s range. With one charge he managed to ride ca 145 km. He didn’t do ecodriving, instead, average speed was 25 km/h and some sections even 40 km/h. Approximately 20 km was purely on electric power, with speed of 25-35 km/h. With ecodriving there is possibility to achieve 180-200 km range.

Little Blue is in everyday use and with two months Little Blue has covered more than 1500 km.

22 July 2014

Frames ready for new exiting Liberators

Blog readers probably remember that last year we bent tubes for 10 bikes:


First bike that got one, was Polly's:

In spring we received our second generation suspension parts:

Just a week ago, we welded together three frames that will be built into Liberators in August-September:

Here are some pictures of ready frames and their weld quality:



 

Building Liberator with common parts takes usually 1-2 months and bikes are made by order; every bike is as customer like it to be. Frame is same for every bike, but it’s buyer’s choice if he/she likes suspension or stiff version; cruiser or regular seating position; wheel (front or rear) or bb motor; small or big battery; fix or with gears; size of wheels; etc.
 
All this influences price of every Liberator. Simplest Liberator (without our custom made suspension system, with small engine and battery, etc) prices start from 2500€ (~3400$). Liberator with every option (full suspension, descent motor and 20 Ah battery, SA hubs, etc) will start at 4500€ (~6100$). If customer wants for example Rohloff hub or 40Ah battery or some expensive handmade details, then these will raise the price. At the same time customer can be pretty sure, that he/she wouldn’t see another Liberator in exact same configuration.
 
If interested in buying a Liberator, contact us either through blog or our FB page and tell us what your dream Liberator configuration could be and we can tell you the price and build time.

18 July 2014

Bafang / 8FUN BBS 36V 350W

On 10th of July Gabriel posted on Särtsuratas FB, that they have in cooperation with x-sport:
http://www.x-sport.ee/?p=22
installed one 350W motor to this bike:


 




























This bike got:
Bafang / 8FUN BBS 36V 350W motor
C965 display
36V 14Ah battery

On 15th I had a chance to do a quick ride. My goal was to test motor’s ability to go uphill. When I first lifted up this bike, I was surprised, because it didn’t feel much heavier than my current commuter – 15 year old Scott Taos without any electric assist.

At first I did couple uphill rides near the shop. There is maybe 70 m long and somewhere 6-7 meters high climb on gravel track.
With first assist level I had to do a bit of work, but nothing much. With 3rd level it was like riding on a level ground and with thumb throttle, there was no need to pedal, because bike climbed itself and with pretty fast speed. After those short climbs I went to test Trepi street rise. With that ride I already got used to this bike and tried different assist levels and speeds. On level ground there is enough assist with every level, just top speed with the same comfort is different.

As Trepi rise is paved, but not too smooth, I tried to make videos from all three assist levels and thumb throttle ride. With assist I tried to keep same comfort zone, so I wasn’t trying to get maximum from motor. Distance is somewhere 230-250 meters and rise 18 meters.
Unfortunately there is some issue with Photobucket and uploaded video quality is much lower, than original videos, but you can get an idea of the abilities of this small motor.
Assist level 1:
http://vid1162.photobucket.com/albums/q523/7Winter7/Liberator/2014-07-15_04_1_speed_uphill_zps07a688de.mp4

Assist level 2:
http://vid1162.photobucket.com/albums/q523/7Winter7/Liberator/2014-07-15_05_2_speed_uphill_zps568b883b.mp4

Assist level 3:
http://vid1162.photobucket.com/albums/q523/7Winter7/Liberator/2014-07-15_06_3_speed_uphill_zpsddf5f625.mp4

Thumb throttle:
http://vid1162.photobucket.com/albums/q523/7Winter7/Liberator/2014-07-15_07_full_throttle_uphill_zps2ebb49c4.mp4

When I returned the bike I was very impressed with its performance and didn’t believe that with that short test ride I had covered nearly 6 km. Thanks to electric assist it didn’t feel half of it, not to mention, that all those uphill rides where pure cruising.
Most likely, the same motor and display will be installed on couple of our next Liberators.
 
If you are local and thinking about electric assist for your bike ride I recommend this kit and suggest you to go and test this bike.
If you like the motor and you already have a bike; you can buy from us kit, starting at €780 (12Ah battery and installation for free if done in our laboratory).
If you like the bike I rode, then you can buy it from x-sport for €1590.
For more information contact us via this blog or Särtsuratas FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/S%C3%A4rtsuratas/475677072509113

12 July 2014

Tour d’ÖÖ

On 6th of June was Tour d’ÖÖ, part of Tallinn Bicycle Week:
http://tallinnbicycleweek.ee/
As Tour d’ÖÖ is probably biggest bicycle ride in Tallinn, then we decided that it would be great to cruise along. For some of us cruise started from our Laboratory and closer we got to city centre, more bicycles we saw. When we arrived at Freedom Square, view was spectacular – whole square was covered with cyclists and their bicycles. From Tour d’ÖÖ took part nearly 3000 cyclists.

  
On square we found other Liberator’s and it was first time, when four Liberators where together – white, red and black, blue and green. Additionally couple other electric bicycles. Getting from square to street took a while.
 
Several thousand cyclists on street is huge crowd and cruise was more like stop and walking with bicycle, so Liberator’s height was perfect for this kind of ride. We could just sit on our bikes and in need just push ourselves on. But we got to ride too and in general it was great experience to ride with all those cyclists. After cruise we, as most of other cyclists, gathered in Telliskivi Loomelinnak to enjoy evening events.
 

10 July 2014

Little cruise on 4th of June

On 4th of June TTK University of Applied Sciences organized test day for electric cars. As it took place in different towns, but start and finish was in Tallinn, then we decided to do little Liberaors cruise and go to see those electric cars in the evening. I was lucky to have opportunity to ride with Little Blue. It was my first test drive on streets and I have only good words about new suspension and amazingly quiet BBS mid-drive.

It was very comfortable to ride over small bumps on the road and low curbes without any need to lift my bottom from the seat. Unevenness of the road was like ironed out, it was really smooth ride. At the same time it felt stiff on turns and corners.

Bafang BBS mid-drive suites well for Liberator. It is REALLY quiet; it has wide assist range and enough power to move Liberator in every situation. Low assist level was very useful when we had to go through crowded sections or just wanted to enjoy scenery. I didn’t have to worry about too fast accelerations, I just cruised at suitable minimum speed. But on free roads, with maximum assist, it was joy to accelerate and ride without effort.

I enjoyed that small Liberators cruise and as Liberators got so much attention, electric cars stayed in background for us. Our cruise was approximately 30 km that evening and I loved every km of it. After cruise it was really hard to leave Little Blue and drive home with my regular bike.




01 July 2014

"Budget" Liberator

In the beginning of 2014 Klaus put together one very simple Liberator. First picture of some of its components was firstly shown on Liberator facebook page “Särtsuratas” last summer:
 In January it already looked more like a bicycle:
In the beginning of April, "Budget" Liberator was finished. It has Bafang/8FUN 350W 36V motor and 10 Ah 36V battery. Max speed is appr. 40km/h and max range is 60km. Bicycle is pretty light and thanks to that very easy to drive without electricity too.


 

26 June 2014

Behind new suspension design

Idea was to achieve maximum with minimal energy and material consumption. It’s more economical and ecological to design details that are interchangeable. With that there’s saving in time and material. Unfortunately it’s hard to make all details like that, but you always have to give your best, like we did.
With openings and fixing solutions we tried to foresee possible future solutions. Both suspension and frame are similar in that - LEGO is the keyword. You design and calculate a bit longer and try to think everything through, to have more opportunities with fewer problems and remakes later.
Most of the outer parts of suspension are interchangeable between right and left side. You could also use either smooth or “waffle” side outside, depending on your preference. Or, you can simply just turn them around whenever you like, it doesn’t influence performance of suspension system.
We have installed Bafang / 8FUN BBS mid-drive motors to traditional bicycles, tricycles and Liberators for a year now and we like those kits. So we designed front fork and stem in the way, that they hide all the wiring and connectors of the kit, to give Liberator cleaner look. This design is useful with other motors and kits too.
Design of rear suspension cleaned rear of the frame and gives more spacious look to it. At the same time making rear wheel look more futuristic. It’s also perfect base to design different racks and fenders to give Liberator even more personal and unique look.
As we all like varieties and change, it’s much nicer and sensible to update and improve your existing bike, then buy a new one. Little Blue is a good example of that. With new suspension, we have travelled nearly a 1000 km in less then a month with Little Blue and we just love the performance of new suspension.

18 June 2014

We wanted to upgrade Liberator’s front and rear suspension, so at the end of 2013 lot, and I mean A LOT of time was spent behind screen and final drawings were ready in middle of December:

As you can’t mount drawings to Liberator, process of finding proper maker continued. But to see how the system works, we made one rear test set and how it worked, you can see in this video:
New suspension test

Time went by and finally parts arrived in middle of May:
By the end of May Little Blue was first Liberator to have new suspension installed. You could even say, that Little Blue got its makeover. Beside new and improved suspension, Little Blue got new Bafang BBS02 48V mid-drive motor, 30Ah battery, new tires, saddle and handlebar. Pictures of building process:
 


Although new suspension doesn’t look as old-school as first version, but it performs better and gives Liberator more modern look. All components work very well and we are satisfied with result. Freshly rebuilt Little Blue first time out in the sun:





Couple pictures of first rides:


Blog's updates

We hope, that from now on there will be more news and updates in blog and questions and discussions are welcome. Last post was in January, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any progress with Liberator. First update will follow this post soon.

29 January 2014

Der Hammer

New Project. Construction has begun, and I hope to get ready for 2014 -2015 . The new concept of the battery bus, ultra capacitors, pedal generator, and much more. Hypothetical mileage 400 +. 2x MAC (BMC) tuned engine. and much much more: