Alright! A lot has happened in the last few weeks, and I have been lagging like crazy on getting to it all.
I’ve been on many rides in the past few weeks: – SoCal Super Squad Temecula Ride – Temecula, CA – Coronado After-Hours Ride – San Diego, CA – Downtown LA Ride- Los Angeles, CA – Suburban Assault Ride/Killer Klown – Santa Clarita, CA – #BayAreaSuperSquad Group Ride – San Mateo – SF Assault/Frank Group Ride – San Francisco – BaeSk8 2nd Annual Labor Day Sunrise – San Francisco
O_O So many rides, so much video. Oh and speaking of video I have a lot of video to go through and edit, and oh I do videos now!
Here is a video from the Temecula ride; I’m totally lagging on videos right now because I’m still getting used to incorporating 360 videos into my workflow.
I like to edit linearly as well as release videos linearly, so that the videos you see will always be in the order I rode them. I have the San Deigo video just about done and I am looking to upload that this week for you viewing pleasure.
A big shout out to my boy Jay Toreza for pushing me to do more than just blogging. Links to his social media:
Thanks to my friends and family supporting me through direct donations as well as t-shirt and sticker sales I met my modest goal for $500! I reached my personal donation goal on August 31st and immediately claimed my Great Cycling Challenge Jersey which came in on the 5th! The Jersey is very…flattering on my body, but nonetheless it’s the right size and it is awesome.
The challenge has officially started and so far I’ve done 85 out of 400 miles. I had originally pledged 200 miles but after looking at the group ride schedule for September I decided I could do better. As a team we’ve completed 177 out of 800 miles, so all in all about 25% of the way to the mile-goal after a week of riding.
So before you say…cool just another guy offering the same discount as all the other people WAIT.
I wasn’t originally going to sign up for the Super73 affiliate program, but with all that’s going on with the PEV-related non-profit I started I decided to join the program.
I’m now PROUDLY able to offer a $100 (USD) discount on ANY Super73 Bicycle. What make me different from the other people in the program? Well…half of the commission from the program will go DIRECTLY to the different charities and organizations that my local riding group supports.
We’re supporting a different charity every month, and for the month of September we decided to support The Great Cycle Challenge. This organization contributes towards fighting kids’ cancer. With the support of donors and sponsors, we’ve already raised half of our goal BEFORE THE CHALLENGE EVEN STARTS; our t-shirt and sticker sales have also added a good amount to the fundraising goal. More Info…
As a special bonus, if you purchase a Super73 using my link, you will also get a Super73BayArea shirt as well as one of our stickers! You will also get a personal shout out in one of my videos or podcasts that are currently in production!
Video shout out (I will notify you when your shout out will be on the internet)
What To Do:
1. Order a bike using my link (https://www.talkable.com/x/zSLr6w) 2. Reach out to me so I can verify your information (for t-shirt size) 3. Wait for your bike to arrive so you can join the next group ride!
If you are looking for other things to get like protective gear and accessories I put up a lot of information on all the gear that I currently use.
That’s all from me; hope to be riding with you soon!
This article isn’t meant to be a how-to which is why there won’t be many pictures nor will the pictures go into much detail; this article is meant to be informational only, so if you try to do this mod it’d best to ask someone that has in-depth knowledge about electrical systems.
Using batteries with different voltages and capacities can result in frying the electronics on your bike or worse. Working with batteries can be dangerous and may cause injuries such as burns (both electrical, chemical ), poisoning (from burning battery fumes and fried electronics), and more. You get the picture right?
That’s my warning and I am not responsible if you choose to ignore it 🙂
Let’s Get Started!
Since it looks like a lot of people are liking the 48V mod for the Super73 Z1 I decided to take another look at a dual battery mod on this bike. With a lot of people switching to a 48V setup, something I thought to myself was “What’s going to happen with all the 36V batteries?”
That’s when it hit me to run two stock batteries in parallel in order to achieve more rangw! I had a friend who picked up one of these batteries and when I told him my plan he agreed to let me do the mod on his bike.
Something to note about the Super73 Z1 is the limited range; other than the range this bike is a lot of fun! My friend obtained a stock Z1 battery from someone that did the 48V mod, and his plan was to swap batteries mid-ride. Taking off the seat isn’t difficult, and with enough practice you can do it everything in under 5 minutes, but it just didn’t seem practical enough for me.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Batteries of different capacities
It’s totally okay to run two batteries that have the same voltage even if they don’t have the same capacity. According to battery science (and personal experience), you wouldn’t be able to tap into the extra power of the higher capacity when the smaller battery runs out of juice. This is 99% true but the biggest issue is that the batteries would discharge at rate resulting in a voltage disparity.
Batteries in parallel constantly adjust to each other to maintain an average voltage. When the difference in voltage is high enough, the battery with a higher voltage will send current to the battery with a lower voltage in an attempt to balance things out; this current transfer creates a lot of heat and causes stress (and heat) on the battery discharge cable which is only meant to discharge power (not take it in).
This balancing act is also done on the undamaged side of the Battery Management System whose job is to keep the battery from from being overloaded.
In short to do this mod safely you need to make sure the voltages of the batteries are nearly identical when they are both charged and discharged.
Parts I Used
Stock Super73 Z1 Battery
I chose to use a stock battery because it just seemed easy: I knew it was 36V and I knew the designed capacity was more or less the same as the one in the seat. My friend also bought this 2nd hand battery on the cheap.
This is what would house the 2nd battery. I’ve never been a fan of this bag on my Super73 S1, but it is a tired and true bag and is used a lot people in the community. It was also the perfect size to accommodate the extra battery.
This cable can be used to split one battery into two Anderson connectors which would enable your battery to power the speed controller as well as an additional accessory like a light, or perhaps a USB port for your phone. I chose to use the cable in the opposite orientation so that I could connect the batteries in parallel.
I decided to do a parallel setup because I even though you can just unplug the seat battery and then plug in the 2nd one, this isn’t my style. There are also many benefits range that I will talk about later.
These two connectors were used to add a charging port for the battery using the existing wiring.
Rocker Switch With LED
There is an on/off button in the seat of the Z1 that lights up when pressed and also tells the battery/bms to turn on. I jumped these wires into a rocker switch, because without this switch there’d be no way to charge the battery.
When working with electrical components it’s important to insulate the connections. I used shrink wrap because it looks cleaner and provided additional strength to the wires I connected or joined together.
Electrical tape is just as good of an insulator but can be tricky with thin gauge wires like what come on batteries.
On To The Mod!
The first step in tackling this mod was to create the other end of the charging port so that my friend could use the charger that came with his bike to charge the 2nd battery. Alternatively you can buy a 2nd charger so long as it’s the same spec as the stock Z1.
The XT30 connectors I used came pre-assembled, so all I had to do was strip the bare end of the wires and then screw the wires into the 5.5mm female power connector.
After making the charge port on the 2nd battery I then snipped the 2 pairs of wires going to the switch. I stripped the end of the wires off each and then took the black wire, twisted it together with one of the yellow wires and the crimped on a female spade connector; I repeated the same thing with the remaining red and yellow wires
Next it was a matter of connecting the twisted pairs to the switch and make sure the LED light on the switch turned on.
I was feeling great at this point, so I plugged the charger into the charging port I made, and to my delight the light on the charger went from green to red indicating that the battery was now charging!
I put the battery in the Blackburn bag and then mounted the bag to the bike.
I charged both batteries all the way up and then measured the voltages using a multi meter. At this point I wanted an apples to apples comparison of the range.
The Maiden Voyage
It was my first time riding a Z1 for that long and I was having an absolute blast; I rode along a bike path that follows the San Andreas fault as well as two lakes. I turned on the Strava app to measure my distance and made sure to turn around when I reached 8 miles.
The fun came to an end when the battery went dead; I was able to ride 14.7 miles one one charge. Even though I was a little over a mile away from my car, it did not feel like a walk of shame in any way. I could only think about how happy I was going to make my friend if he could go 25-30 miles. I charged the seat battery back to full after I got home and then plugged the charger into the 2nd battery to double-check and make sure I was good to go for the REAL test.
It was the next day and I picked up my friend so that we could test out the dial battery mod. I showed him how to take off the seat. I connected the single-connector end of the Anderson Y-Cable to the speed controller. Next I connected both batteries to using the Anderson y-cable, and then reinstalled the seat.
Both batteries were switched on, the rear end of the bike was lifter, and then the the throttle was engaged. Success! The rear wheel started turning. I didn’t break the Z1 nor did anything spark or catch fire!
After making sure the connections were seated securely I tucked the power switch and charge port for the 2nd battery into the Blackburn bag. We loaded the bikes and went to the same trail I rode the day previous. I started Strava app on my phone, and then we started riding.
Some of you may be thinking: “Why would you only go 8 miles before turning around if you theoretically doubled the range?” To answer that, it was not because I doubted the mod, but because it was the safer option. This was a practical test in that if we could complete the 16 miles ride it would mean the mod worked (which it did).
We went on the ride and made it back to the car which was a little over 16 miles. The charge light indicator on the throttle stayed green through most of the ride and only dropped to yellow the last 2-3 miles of the ride. Not only that, but the battery didn’t go into overheat/protection like it did on my test ride! The battery had gone into overheat protection mode a few times during my first test.
The battery has over-heat protection that prevents the bike from turning the motor when the battery gets too hot. Heat is the number one killer of batteries and to protect the battery from overheating and potentially melting/burning, the BMS urns off the battery until the BMS is reset or until the battery cools down. This is common if you’re you throttle for a long time or when you’re throttling up a long and steep incline.
The batteries didn’t overheat because the load/heat the batteries were producing were being divided among two batteries. This is not only good for the longevity of the battery, but for the performance as well.
If you’ve ever gone long distances on an eBike, you may have noticed that around 50% battery life the acceleration and speed of the bike decreases a bit. Slower acceleration and lower top speed are all symptoms of your battery getting hot and becoming less efficient. A battery at 50% has to work much harder which generates heat which increases the risk of battery failure and to compensate for that the speed controller may cap the performance in an attempt to lower the battery temps.
In short the batteries stayed at the right temp for the speed controller to say hey we’re not getting too hot so we don’t have to cap the performance!
All together my friend spent around $300 dollars which effectively doubled his range. I think the cost-benefit of this mod is much better than doing a 48V mod (in terms of range).
I mentioned at the beginning that this is version 1 of this mod; the next version of the mod will be to add a digital volt meter since the battery indicator lights are inaccurate and in my opinion useless; I also plan to perform a little nip-tuck on the wires and maybe incorporate the battery switch and charge port into the bag opposed to having them loose in the Blackburn bag.
The 3rd and final version of this mod will include speed-hacking his controller, so that he can go a bit faster. A lot of people have performed the speed hack to their controller to many degrees of success/
Aside from learning more about battery science, but most of all I was happy that I was able to enable my friend because now he’s able to ride longer which opens up the amount of places he can go on his bike!
If you have any questions about this mod comment below, shoot an email to email@example.com, or shoot me a DM on instagram (super73nomad).
It just so happened that the ride was on my birthday okay? I totally didn’t plan it because it was my birthday. We had about 15 people join the ride and boy was it cool! We had a good mix of eBike including Super73s, Jucied, and even a custom build.
Nobody got hurt, everyone was able to complete the ride, and I got to meet a lot of new members of the #BayAreaSuperSquad which is the local group of riders that own Super73 eBikes in the bay area.
I totally forgot to grab my bag of SD cards before going to the ride, so I wasn’t able to record any of the ride. Luckily I was saved by my friends Jay and Moze, Chris, and Kevin.
Check out each of their videos, and don’t forget to click like, subscribe, and ring the bell so you get notifications when they post more ride videos.
Our next group ride is scheduled for Saturday, September 5th. I will be updating the group ride info page this week, and will start circulating the official Facebook events page not too soon after that.
Heads up we’re going to move around the bay and the next ride will be a ring around San Mateo.
But before buying a new crankset and chainring it’s important to know what those numbers actually mean.
Crankset length is basically how long your pedal arms are. Getting a longer crankset will allow you to pedal a bit harder which is bad because you will notice an increase in how hard you have to pedal, but it’s good because you’re assisting your motors more meaning less stress on the motor which prolongs battery life and CAN SLIGHTLY increase range.
Other pros to a longer crankset is that on Super73 bikes that don’t have an adjustable seat, you can get a crank length that better suits your height. One thing to pay attention to with crankset length is how close your pedals will be to the ground.
A longer chainset on a bike as low as the S1 or the Z1 mean that when you lean the pedals will be closer to scrape on the ground. I am switching from a 145mm crankset to a 155mm crankset, so I am increasing the length of the pedal arms by 1.5cm (a very subtle amount).
Common crankset lengths are 160, 165, and 170. A lot of modders in the community often go with a 165mm cranklength because it is readily available and from asking around hasn’t really affected their ability to lean the bike when turning.
Chainring tooth count
Much like crankset length, chainring tooth count affects the amount of effort it take to propel your bike. Increasing your tooth count will increase the amount of force you have to use to turn the pedals, but it also increases acceleration while decreasing the amount effort the motor uses to start up.
On flat ground switching to a larger chainring is barely noticeable especially. Where you’ll notice the biggest difference is starting from a stop on an incline. This can require a bit of effort even with a motor (especially considering my ebike is 70lbs with an additional 215lbs on top); Like I mentioned earlier a larger chainring will require a bit more effort to start on a hill, but at the same time allow your pedaling to dramatically reduce the amount of power the motor has to use to get up the hill.
Chainring tooth shape/profile
A lot of thought goes into the design of all bike parts and the teeth on a chainring are no exception. The shape of the teeth as well as the material that they’re made from affect pedal efficiency, component longevity, pedaling noise, part comparability, etc. My ebike is a moped-style bike and is base of BMW and mini bikes, so I tend to lean towards those style parts rather than other types of bikes.
Chainring shape also plays a large role in how you pedal your bike. 99.9% of the time (don’t quote me) you’ll see circle chainrings because they are probably the easiest to engineer and manufacture, but there are also oval ones that are supposed to increase the amount of torque on pedal’s downstoke. I was turned onto oval chainrings by a recommended video on YouTube that does mainly mountain biking. I really want to try this down the road, but for now I’m going to stick to the traditional circle
BCD, Bottom Brackets, & Crankset Assembly
What is BCD?
Really Quick, BCD is the diameter of the holes used to join a crankset to a chainring. A 110BCD crankset requires a 110BCD chainring otherwise you won’t be pedaling anywhere fast.
Different types of bottom brackets
The bottom bracket on your bike determines how the crankset attaches to the bike. Your bottom bracket also contains the shaft connecting the two pedal arms as well as houses the bearing that spin the pedals. There are many types like threaded, press fit, , and tapered, but for now we’re going to focus on what’s known as a square-tapered bottom bracket. This is what’s used on my ebike and what I’m used to working on.
(write more Matt…I know you were getting tired around this point)
What to pay attention to when buying and installing parts
After figuring out what kind of bottom bracket you have, you can then start looking at parts. When choosing a crankset and chainring, it’s important to have matching BCD as well as making sure the number of holes used to put the two parts together is the same. There are countless numbers of manufacturers and some of them use 4 holes to attach a crankset to a chainring, some use 5 holes, and others may even press fit or thread their crankset to their chainrings. The moral of the story is to make sure you have matching BCD for the crankset and chainring.
Just as important as making sure you order the right parts, the hardware you need to join them is just as important. There is hardware specifically made for putting the two parts together and making sure the hardware is the correct diameter and length is important. On a single speed bike it is generally safe to get long hardware (common lengths 4,5,6,7mm), but on multi-speed bikes and ebikes you may need to get shorter hardware in order to assemble the multiple chainrings. That’s a talk for another day.
Weather you’re increasing or decreasing the amount of teeth on your chainring you will most likely end up having to shorten or lengthen your bike chain. Having the correct length chain is just as important or even MORE important that keeping your bike chain clean and lubricated. No matter how clean, dirty, expensive, or light your chain is, if you don’t have the proper length chain you’ll either be snapping them or frequently re-attching the chain when it slips off the chainring (basically a bad time).
I’ve noticed that a lot of people with the same bike as me end up going with a 165-175mm crankset and a 46t chainring. After reading what they had to say about speed, hill stars, and effort required to pedal I went with a 155mm crankset with a 44t chainring, 110BCD with a square-taper. I use my ebike for both commuting and for going on group rides, so I felt like this combination was a happy medium that would make both more enjoyable.
Pedaling on my bike becomes a bit useless when I hit 16mph. At that speed I’m like a hamster running on a wheel and my pedaling does nothing to assist the bike go faster (pedaling is really only to keep the motor on). Once I install my larger chainring, I hope to be able to fully support the motor up to 28-21mph and still have a good amount of resistance while pedaling. This in turn should make my commute easier and at the same time reduce the amount of stress on my motor and battery.
Parts I Used
I’m not go into detail about the brands I chose, just know that these are the parts I used because they were available, work on my bike, and didn’t cause my wallet to catch fire.
I’ve never been one to pay to have stuff done on my car, in my backyard, or to my bike unless it was something I wasn’t confident I could do myself. If you can afford to have these parts installed make sure you take it to a person or shop that you trust.
There are also a lot of name brand tools that everyone knows and loves, but there are also a lot of generic brand tools that work just as well (and a lot more that don’t). Get what you can afford and if it works for you then it works for you otherwise consider buying a more more quality tool.
In Conclusion (I know right this is a long article)
Your mileage may vary (literally), and your never ever have to agree with me, but something I tend to mention a lot or try to express is that you shouldn’t always get things that everyone says is the best because What works for one person or even many people may not work for you. Get what you can afford, what works for you, and what suits your riding style and riding preferences.
With that said this was really really fun to talk about!
Not too much to say, but I Just put in an order for the first batch of our group t-shits.
Sizes available are medium, large, and extra large. 2nd batch will include small sizes, and we’ll eventually have options like sleeveless and long sleeves.
This will be in stock on August 14th.
Purchasing A T-Shirt
Like I mentioned above I only ordered 15 shirts to start, so if the size you need is not available I will reach out and will let you know when I’ll be ordering more or refund your money.
If you’re going to pick up a shirt from me at a ride please reach out to me right after you make the purchase and I will refund the shipping cost. Otherwise i’ll ship it to you OR just bring a $20 to the ride or Venmo me at the ride.
I’ve pledged to ride 200 miles during the month of September to help raise awareness and to fight kids’ cancer. You can show your support by clicking the poster and joining the team and contributing miles to the cause, or if you would prefer you can give a donation.