27 October 2014

Allow us to introduce: Liberator Insane

Beside Liberator Chilly, in our laboratory is coming together our new Liberator, called Insane. In technical terms Insane is somewhere 90% identical to Chilly – having same frame, suspension, motor, battery, etc. Main differences, which firstly come in mind, are in:

1.  Wheel size. Insane has 24” front and 26” rear wheel.
2. Brakes. Chilly has disc brakes, Insane Sturmey Archer drum brakes.
3. Handlebar. Chilly has low and wide handlebar that gives stealth look, Insane in the other hand has medium size “ape hanger”. I haven’t had chance to ride with Insane, but sitting position feels much more convenient.
4. Mudguards. Insane has mudguards with our own rear connections. Those connections are designed in a way that you could connect via them mudguards, rear rack, etc.
5. Lights. Although both bikes have LED lights running on battery, then shapes are chosen to match bike’s design.
Other minor differences come from color scheme :)

Both Liberators should be finished this week. Currently we are waiting for custom made kickstands. After installing them we can stow away cables, do some last touches and then bikes could hit the road :)

Here are some pictures (made with cell phone) of both bikes that I took on Saturday.

15 October 2014

Handcrafted aluminum mudguard by Klaus, Vol. 1

Klaus is in mojo with building his Liberator Jägermeister and he is currently finishing rear mudguard.

At first he was trying to find solution using different “donors” and prefabricated details, but at one point he understood, that it’s not the right way. So he decided to make mudguard from scratch to meet his needs.

I’ll add pictures of the building process, starting with model, rolling, making the curves, welding and finishing. He used special 2 mm aluminum that stretched nicely with bends, but in final form is strong and stable. Klaus’s goal was to make this mudguard in top quality, and he managed that. Powder coating is going straight on; there will be no messing with filler.

Weight of mudguard is 1,6 kg what seems to be reasonable, considering how big it is. And as it’s handcrafted, then price of this mudguard reaches around 500€, if anyone is interested. There is possibility to make other shapes too and price would depend on shape, size and complexity.

Two things that are certain – when riding in rain, back will stay clean and this bicycle starts to look more like a motorcycle :)

Vol.2 will be about finished and installed mudguard and first impressions of it.

Here are pictures of building process and how it looks on Liberator Jägermeister.

04 October 2014

Chilly cruise on chilly evening

Couple days ago I did little ride with Chilly. On flat ground 350W mid-drive motor is good for cruising. With thumb-throttle only I got speed up to 33 km/h and with pedaling 36 km/h. Don’t forget, this bike is heavy.

And suspension … It’s hard to find right words to explain or describe it. Probably on next ride with my regular bike, I’ll hurt my butt as I’ll forget to lift it from saddle on side curbs and potholes :) Chilly’s suspension smoothed smaller curbstones so that I heard, but didn’t feel riding over them. Even riding on old town’s cobblestone streets was okay.

I made some photos and now overlooking them it seems that I’ve just photoshoped the background on them :)

I also made videos:

After spending nighthours to upload those  pictures and two videos with slow wi-fi internet and finding in the morning that uploaded video quality is very poor, I decided, that I'll upload those two and other videos I made from this cruise, when I find a way to upload them in right resolution. Hopefully it doesn't take very long.

26 September 2014

Progress of Klaus’s new Liberator “Jäägermeister”

Klaus is building his new Liberator, this time Jäägermeister.
Designing process took some time and at the end of January visions formed into renders:

Final design of the Jäägermeister will be a little different from standard Liberator.
Frame is a bit wider and longer to fit 20” 100 mm rear wheel with big brake disc and mudguard.
Motor will be 1 kW hub motor, which could be overloaded to 4 kW, with 1:5 ratios.
Hub motors typically have problems with cooling, so we rebuilt engine with bringing under the winding part out of the motor and connected directly with radiator. Hopefully it improves cooling.
We also removed from engine “freeride” clutch and installed “screw” clutch. It’s useful in case of empty battery or technical failure and you have to continue your ride with just pedaling. Then you just turn the “screw” and release motor from drive train. It also allows using recuperative brake system what you usually can’t use with free ride clutch hub motors.
Pictures from May:

If all this engine modification works, we find out on testing and if it does, then we use same system on Der Hammer, only that bike will have two motors:

First pictures of bike on wheels in the beginning of June:

It took a while, but yesterday, on 25th of September, Klaus finally had a chance to do first test ride with Jäägermeeister. It’s far from finished, but desire to ride was bigger than fear about not having brakes :)

Klaus first expressions after test ride:
“What can I say, there were no brakes, controller needs adjusting. Test track was short, so it didn’t give real feel, but compared to my old bike, that had direct-drive, new bike has much better acceleration. Built-in lock didn’t brake on first rides and even under load allowed some off-roading. Seems that there is also hope for descent top speed. It’s hard to add something else, as bike is still too raw. But those first tests are times to live and carry on for, it makes your knees tremble and heart beat faster, like on old motorcycle times … “

So I hope Klaus got great motivation burst to carry on, and hopefully soon we can write and share pictures and impressions of finished bike :)