Intro: The Family Bike
This project is not yet finished, but it's done for now. It has been over three years of working on it in many small amounts of time.
The ingredients are an old Schwinn tandem, a generic BMX, some chain link fence top rail, metal conduit, steel mesh and an unknown amount of assorted bits and pieces of this, that and who knows what from my collection of scrap and junk.
All the tires and the two 26 inch wheels are from Worksman cycles.
The front wheel has a drum brake, the rear wheel has a three speed hub with a coaster brake. The "sidecar" wheel is a 20 inch super-duper 48 spoke, triple wall rim BMX wheel and has V brakes.
The power assist is a 24 volt 3/4 hp gearmotor from an old floor scrubber I got to take home from work. 165 rpm was nice for using bicycle chain and sprockets I had laying around. Motor speed is controlled by 40 amp 24 volt motor speed controller and twist throttle. The cycleanalyst lets me keep an eye on the watts, amps, amp/hours, volts, and speed in real time. And at the end of the trip I can check the watt-hour-miles.
Two 55ah AGM batteries power all that plus nice bright LEDs inside of vintage bike lights.
Most of the cables and wires are threaded through the frame tubes.
It has more than met my needs of hauling my family and goods on local trips or my self to work when I am late or lazy. So far the top speed is barely over 20 mph (flying solo), which is fast for something big, heavy and lacking suspension.
The most I have carried at once is three adults, two kids, a toddler and a dog. With that load the top speed was barely over 12 mph, which seems to be the sweet cruising speed.
Having five gears to choose from on the powered wheel makes it quite versatile. It is nice to be able to carry people and or whatever at a relaxed cruising speed, or go faster with a lighter load and still keep the watt meter under a thousand. The controller seems to be limited to just under 1100 watts.
The needle on the fun meter however is always buried to the right.