Saturday, November 28, 2009

I can get up the hills!!!

Well today was the big day! My last task was to mount the battery and this was fairly easy. I simply placed it in the cargo box under the kids seat. To make it sit flat however I had to drill a small hole in the floor for the fuse holder on the bottom side of the battery to sit in. I used some heavy duty velcro to secure it in place and recycled some of the packaging from the Ezee carton to wedge it in place -

Eventually I will lower the seat so that it fits snugly over the top of the battery. This will enable the kids to sit lower in the box and fit under the rain cover and I may also be able to put some holes in the seat to enable quick access to the on/off switch and charging port (ie I wont have to unlock and remove the top of the seat as pictured above to charge it or turn it off).

One final check of all the connections and bolts and off I went! Some video of the first few runs follows. The hill is about a 3.5% grade according to Google Earth and without a motor from the standing start at the bottom I have to gear it down pretty low and do it at about 5-10km/h. Total weight of me, the bike, the motor and battery is about 135kg.

After these few runs I checked the motor to ensure everything was holding on as it should and it all looked good. Took the five year old for a spin (another 21kg!) and was still very impressed with the uphill assist with no noticeable difference in speeds.

Out of ten I would have to give this kit an eleven! The power comes on smoothly and stops as soon as I let go of the throttle. Using it on the uphills I am encouraged to also pedal to keep the speed up and reduce the load on the motor and this probably gives me a better workout then spinning up the hill in a very low gear!

Big thanks to Justin and everyone at Renaissance Bikes. I was often amazed at the speedy responses to my questions during the installation!


  1. Might I say this is a superb effort! I was planning to get a Christiania bike in Melbourne and do much the same thing, but am still tossing up between a hub motor or elation/cyclone type setup. Your setup seems far more elegant, though it seems a shame to throw away a perfectly good nexus hub and coaster brakes. Anything you'd do differently the second time around?

  2. Hi David. Thanks for the feedback. The only thing I would do differently would be to have done it sooner! Have done quite a bit of riding now and it works great. Just have to be careful with wiring and keeping it out of the way of moving parts as my recent post will attest to. I would also get the 14AH battery upgrade but alas it was not available when I purchased mine.

    You are right about the nexus and coaster brakes. Mine are still sitting in a box - I could try selling them I guess. Or maybe Peter will sell you a Christiania without a back wheel for cheaper lol!

    Hey was checking out your link to the Reelights. I see they now have a version with wires that would work on the Christiania's rear wheel and luggage rack. Might grab one of those! I'd love something for the front as well but bit hard to mount the generator with no forks on the front wheel and light mounting also bit of an issue...

  3. Yes, perhaps they could benefit from having a spare wheel around for servicing!

    Yes, the new Reelights are great (but then I would say that, seeing as I sell them!). They don't seem quite as bright as the hub mounted ones for some reason, but they're much better than a coin cell light.