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Leed PBJ minimalist system

Old 11-21-16, 04:29 PM
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Leed PBJ minimalist system

My latest project with a goal to keep the bicycle light and nimble, but have enough power assist to help me over some hills on the way home. To keep added weight to a minimum, I chose the Leed PBJ package with a 250 watt front hub. Using the throttle button only when needed for a brief boost, the tiny battery stowed in the top-tube bag is enough for a couple of miles. It's a Trek Shift-1 upgraded with components from Craig's List donor bikes.



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Old 11-21-16, 04:48 PM
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Very nice, covert build. I like it,...
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Old 11-21-16, 07:42 PM
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Nice, I too like it, simple and it's an assist, not an over powered pretend E-Assist bike.
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Old 11-21-16, 07:53 PM
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Another feature; the battery is so light, you could carry an extra in a pack.
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Old 11-21-16, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Another feature; the battery is so light, you could carry an extra....
Or, two or three spares. The RC-size pack is made with Samsung cells. Leed is now using the higher capacity Panasonic cells in their larger packs. I've inquired about the possibility of the PBJ being built up with Panasonics. No word back, yet, about that.

Thanks for the positive comments, gentlemen. It's a fun bike to ride.
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Old 11-22-16, 05:32 PM
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Some photos of the setup.

Planet Bike “Lunchbox”. The top velcro tab keeps the flap closed while the zippers are open for cooling. The battery warms up on hills.




Electronics fit neatly inside.




Controller, isolated from battery heat with cardboard.




Battery




I ditched the OEM velcro band and positioned the throttle button to be accessible in any chainring gear with the index finger.


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Old 11-22-16, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
Some photos of the setup.

Planet Bike “Lunchbox”. The top velcro tab keeps the flap closed while the zippers are open for cooling. The battery warms up on hills.




Electronics fit neatly inside.




Controller, isolated from battery heat with cardboard.




Battery




I ditched the OEM velcro band and positioned the throttle button to be accessible in any chainring gear with the index finger.

That's a nice, minimalist ride. I was tempted to duplicate it for my Rivendell Appaloosa, but decided to pop for the 20-mile kit. It adds a couple more pounds, but it's easy to sail a long way from home down the hills I live in, then realize that climb back is gonna take all day!
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Old 11-22-16, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
...I was tempted to duplicate it for my Rivendell Appaloosa, but decided to pop for the 20-mile kit. It adds a couple more pounds, but it's easy to sail a long way from home down the hills I live in, then realize that climb back is gonna take all day!
My reason for keeping the bike as lightweight as possible is that a geared 250-watt hub has anemic power output. Experiences with other 250w hubs on hills showed that adding weight to the package can make the system heat up and bog. Having the motor clip two-thirds into a climb can spoil your whole day. For your application with multiple hills a 350 watt might be a better tool.
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Old 11-22-16, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
My reason for keeping the bike as lightweight as possible is that a geared 250-watt hub has anemic power output. Experiences with other 250w hubs on hills showed that adding weight to the package can make the system heat up and bog. Having the motor clip two-thirds into a climb can spoil your whole day. For your application with multiple hills a 350 watt might be a better tool.
We'll know soon enough 'cause I already ordered the 250 Leed kit. To clarify, it's one big hill down and back that can be approached from various angles, and I won't be doing any throttle-only riding. The intention is to keep my Riv as close to its original design as possible, with a bit of bailout assist for the really tough parts when I'm sick of it and just want to get home. I'm planning to purchase a ready-to-ride ebike in the near future which will be more of a true electric bike for a different type of riding.
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Old 12-17-16, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
My latest project with a goal to keep the bicycle light and nimble, but have enough power assist to help me over some hills on the way home. To keep added weight to a minimum, I chose the Leed PBJ package with a 250 watt front hub. Using the throttle button only when needed for a brief boost, the tiny battery stowed in the top-tube bag is enough for a couple of miles. It's a Trek Shift-1 upgraded with components from Craig's List donor bikes.


Do you have a sense of the actual mileage you get with that battery? I was holding out to buy a shareroller friction drive but I think the developer has given up. I want something super light as well and I like the idea of being able to have spare batteries. Leeds told me any other their batteries can be used with the PBJ so the option to upgrade to a larger capacity later exists. But I'd want to start out light. On flats, using it sporadically with pedaling, what sort of distance do you think it would get? thanks...
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Old 12-17-16, 11:17 AM
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The battery has 120 watt hours (wh) and weighs one pound while the motor weighs seven pounds. "Normally", 15-25 wh per mile is a good rule of thumb, but pedaling gingerly, 170 pound rider, no wind, minimal hills, you could use 10 and realize 12 miles range (obviously, the range is "infinity" if you don't use the battery). I'm somewhat of a weight weenie too, but why not add a pound or two and double or triple the range? Check out Chas58's build (here or on ES if you want a super light bike).
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Old 12-17-16, 01:02 PM
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Oops! Noticed they have a smaller battery (2.6 ah X 24V = about 60wh); divide everything above by "2".
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Old 12-17-16, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Do you have a sense of the actual mileage you get with that battery? ...I want something super light as well and I like the idea of being able to have spare batteries. Leeds told me any other their batteries can be used with the PBJ so the option to upgrade to a larger capacity later exists. But I'd want to start out light. On flats, using it sporadically with pedaling, what sort of distance do you think it would get? thanks...
To clarify, the “PBJ” is just a battery which is one of seven https://tinyurl.com/j26g6f7 that Leed offers for their 250-watt hub system.

Leed apparently tests on level ground and says, “All of our estimated electric bicycle battery distances are measured WITH pedaling, so I always tell customers if they won’t be pedaling, they should plan on about 40% less performance.” Leed claims the range of the PBJ to be 4 to 5 miles which would be 2.4 to 3 miles without pedaling on level ground. I’ve tested the PBJ, with pedaling, and can get about 2.75 miles of range per charge over a route that includes about 1 mile of 4% grade and 3/4 mile of 7% grade.

If you plan to ride on flats, using it “sporadically" with pedaling, I would expect the PBJ range to easily exceed 5 miles. The wild card is how much you actually press the little power button. Leed’s next step up in battery size is their 2.75lb Samsung 5.2ah which is 1.8 lbs heavier than the PBJ and has double the range. With my project, I rationalized that if the tiny PBJ didn't work out, I’d keep it as a ‘get me over the last hill’ backup and buy the 5.2ah for my main power source. But, for errands within a 5 mile radius of home the PBJ seems to be perfect for my use.

Fwiw, when considering multiple batteries be aware that swapping frame-hung packs can be a fiddle and the plug connectors are not really designed for that kind of repetitive duty. If the resulting wiring maintenance would not be enjoyed, it might be wiser to get a single battery sized to fit your need.
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Old 12-17-16, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
To clarify, the “PBJ” is just a battery which is one of seven https://tinyurl.com/j26g6f7 that Leed offers for their 250-watt hub system.


Fwiw, when considering multiple batteries be aware that swapping frame-hung packs can be a fiddle and the plug connectors are not really designed for that kind of repetitive duty. If the resulting wiring maintenance would not be enjoyed, it might be wiser to get a single battery sized to fit your need.
Hmm, my plan was to only mount the motor wheel likely once a week when I ride with my adult son (to keep up). Otherwise I prefer to ride with my traditional wheel (and bike weight). I would leave the wiring on the bike and just remove battery and wheel. Are you suggesting the wiring might not stand up to this sort of use? Good thing to know before I buy.
As for batteries, I would start small I think, and then do what you suggest if/when I need more range. My interest in keeping the weight down is I have to carry the bike up stairs to public transit.
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Old 12-17-16, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Hmm, my plan was to only mount the motor wheel likely once a week when I ride with my adult son (to keep up). Otherwise I prefer to ride with my traditional wheel (and bike weight). I would leave the wiring on the bike and just remove battery and wheel. Are you suggesting the wiring might not stand up to this sort of use? Good thing to know before I buy.
As for batteries, I would start small I think, and then do what you suggest if/when I need more range. My interest in keeping the weight down is I have to carry the bike up stairs to public transit.
Yes, after having installed my Leed 30k kit, I think the connection at the motor end wouldn't stand up to repeated disconnects. But to be honest, the kit is so light and low power that I'm not sure you'll be tempted to pull it. In your situation I would keep it on that bike and have another stupid-light pedal-only for non-assisted rides. The interesting question will be which you choose most often ;-)
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Old 12-17-16, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Yes, after having installed my Leed 30k kit, I think the connection at the motor end wouldn't stand up to repeated disconnects. But to be honest, the kit is so light and low power that I'm not sure you'll be tempted to pull it. In your situation I would keep it on that bike and have another stupid-light pedal-only for non-assisted rides. The interesting question will be which you choose most often ;-)
I owned an e-bike before when I first "returned" to riding and eventually sold it. It was great but I ride 100% for exercise so it became unnecessary. The only reason I'm considering adding power now is because my son and I ride together a couple times a month and he gets tired of waiting for me (he=24mph, me=14mph). I love my Bike Friday as is and don't want to encumber it permanently with a motor; just want to be able to pop something off and on a couple times a month. This may not be it, though.
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Old 12-17-16, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I owned an e-bike before when I first "returned" to riding and eventually sold it. It was great but I ride 100% for exercise so it became unnecessary. The only reason I'm considering adding power now is because my son and I ride together a couple times a month and he gets tired of waiting for me (he=24mph, me=14mph). I love my Bike Friday as is and don't want to encumber it permanently with a motor; just want to be able to pop something off and on a couple times a month. This may not be it, though.

I ride most of the time with the battery switched off and don’t notice the weight at all. The PBJ package adds only around 7 pounds.

The Leed 250w is a 15-17mph system with 26” wheels. Ask Leed if they offer Bafang’s higher rpm motor to compensate for the loss of top speed with smaller wheels.

Instead of you working so hard to keep up with your son, maybe he should adjust his pace [or get a Friday] so he can keep up with you.
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Old 12-18-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
I ride most of the time with the battery switched off and don’t notice the weight at all. The PBJ package adds only around 7 pounds.

The Leed 250w is a 15-17mph system with 26” wheels. Ask Leed if they offer Bafang’s higher rpm motor to compensate for the loss of top speed with smaller wheels.

Instead of you working so hard to keep up with your son, maybe he should adjust his pace [or get a Friday] so he can keep up with you.
For me, 7 more pounds would make hefting it up Bart stairs much more difficult so I would not want to leave it set up all the time. And, at 67, I'm happy my adult son is willing to ride with me and hang out with me at all, so I don't mind making an adjustment =). I really wanted the ShareRoller (because it can just simply be popped off into my backpack for carrying) but doesn't seem like he's coming out with version 4.
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Old 12-18-16, 12:33 PM
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EBike specialty backpacks with compartments to carry batteries are available. Or just use any backpack. Pretty easy to remove the battery and carry it if the bike is too heavy. Also eBikes with "walking setting" on the controller to help you up stairs. Interesting subject on this PBJ, but if I want to spend any money for an eBike, I want something other than a push button throttle and what seems like a flashlight battery pack. To each his own!
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Old 12-18-16, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I really wanted the ShareRoller (because it can just simply be popped off into my backpack for carrying) but doesn't seem like he's coming out with version 4.
I was hoping for a release of a new Shareroller. That's horrible news,...
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Old 12-18-16, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I owned an e-bike before when I first "returned" to riding and eventually sold it. It was great but I ride 100% for exercise so it became unnecessary. The only reason I'm considering adding power now is because my son and I ride together a couple times a month and he gets tired of waiting for me (he=24mph, me=14mph). I love my Bike Friday as is and don't want to encumber it permanently with a motor; just want to be able to pop something off and on a couple times a month. This may not be it, though.
My apologies, it just dawned on me that you don't need to disconnect anything. Just run battery and wires up to a handlebar bag, and pull everything off with the wheel when you're not using the motor.

Btw, be prepared for some filing on the dropouts. I've installed a front motor on a Bike Friday and Rivendell, and they were both a struggle to fit in the forks.
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Old 12-18-16, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
I was hoping for a release of a new Shareroller. That's horrible news,...
Last thing he said was "november",,,, but I am still hoping. Or that someone else will come out with a snap-on, snap off e bike device. The Shareroller inventor has been silent since last August :-(
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Old 12-18-16, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
The battery has 120 watt hours (wh) and weighs one pound while the motor weighs seven pounds. "Normally", 15-25 wh per mile is a good rule of thumb, but pedaling gingerly, 170 pound rider, no wind, minimal hills, you could use 10 and realize 12 miles range (obviously, the range is "infinity" if you don't use the battery). I'm somewhat of a weight weenie too, but why not add a pound or two and double or triple the range? Check out Chas58's build (here or on ES if you want a super light bike).
+1, Keeping it as light as possible is great. But, the battery is the last thing I would skimp on... JMO
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Old 12-18-16, 03:06 PM
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Just a reminder that this thread is titled "Leed PBJ minimalist system". Other options will certainly provide more, but for some situations less can be more.
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Old 12-18-16, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by slomoshun View Post
Just a reminder that this thread is titled "Leed PBJ minimalist system". Other options will certainly provide more, but for some situations less can be more.
What did it cost to stay minimal with LEED? I bet you could get cheaper with a couple of Dewalt batteries and a friction drive hobby motor, if minimalist includes money. I've seen guys take a motor off a used scooter and get on the road for $100.
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