Welcome to Alterna Cycles

Thanks for stopping by the Alterna Cycles blog. Here we plan to document log and explore the process of building a new electric cycle. Our goal with the Alterna Cycle is to start from a position of Fun First. Everything we build should be a blast and empower the individual to find joy in a more efficient means of transportation, roosting, or just plain old two wheel riding pleasure. So how do we do this? Well our first attempt includes the following basic formula.

  1. A chassis which is playful, simple and turns all thrust into fun.
  2. A seating position allowing for dynamic rider input similar to that of a motorcycle.
  3. Enough Power to Roost; technically this is measured via the riders grin, no grin add more power or reduce traction.
  4. Enough Range to Roam; it’s not enough to get there you have to get home.

To accomplish these goals we have started with a simple package; a hardtail frame, a hub motor, reliable controller and high discharge batteries.  The hardtail frame is simple light and reduces the feeling of torque lost within many ebike frames during suspension effected weight transfer.  This means with our hardtail all forward thrust is transmitted to the tire instead of compressing the rear suspension, so the rider must hold on tight!  Attached to this simple frame is a fairing with a seating position extending forward and rearward of the traditional bicycle seat which allows the rider to shift their weight forward over the front into a turn and rearward while powering out of a turn, producing a lively and involved riding experience.  To power this experience we have started with a high power hub motor laced to a heavy duty bicycle wheel.  We hope putting the motors center of mass on the rear axle will allow the motor torque to translate into a handling experience where by motor power can adjust the attitude and line of the bike not unlike a well setup moto.  We understand this is a learning experience and could imagine power configurations which accomplish these goals through other means but we are starting with motors we know have a tested history and reliability, more on this to come.  To power this motor or others we are exploring two options which offer two solutions and different utility.  The first being a battery which is integrated into the fairing, the second a chassis mounted battery with some quick removal option for allowing the battery to have dual duty, both offer unique advantage and disadvantages which we hope to explore on Prototype 1.

So that is Alterna, a enthusiast oriented Electric Cycle which prioritizes and great transportation.  We would love hear what you think and are using this time developing Prototype 1 to get feedback which will help refine Prototype 2 and beyond.  Please checkout our survey and before to leave comments.

Checkout the Prototype 1 – Part 1 post for more information about the build.

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