Converting the Donky Bike Cargo-bike to become e-Powered.

Trevor George

Finding my (electric) wheels
#1
Success !!
. . . I think this "might" be a world first . . a CycloTricity-powered Electric Donky Bike compact Cargo-bike, and it's an absolute beauty to ride, so I can't wait to load it up with my Bristol Buskers amplifier and other bits. Luckily, I have loads of nuts & bolts, washers, bits of wood, aluminium strip etc, in my garage, so it's a little over-engineered, as I didn't want that heavy battery dropping off while riding over Bristol cobble-stones. If I had access to a welder, I could have made it more compact, as a thin steel-sheet becomes a piece of 5mm ply to cope with the stresses.

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This was the neatest place I could find to locate the CycloTricity battery on the frame of the Donky Bike, but it wasn't the easiest place to mount, as it's underslung, but I didn't want it above the crossbar, as it would reduce the ease of stepping-over for my wife and daughters when they use it, and would also make the bike a little top-heavy. The control box is fitted in front of the steerer-tube, as I want to make a custom lockable 'carry-box' to fit in that triangle behind, to carry my sandwiches and the bike lock . . (oh . . and my prescription tablets to stop me doing even crazier conversions).

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Because the CycloTricity battery is underslung, it had to be supported with aluminium strips around the frame (which I will tidy up). Also on the bottom of the battery base-plate I fixed it to a long piece of 5mm ply which wraps around the sides of the crossbar, and is secured with cable-ties at this prototype stage, to prevent the heavy battery sliding down the sloping tube.

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I tried 'Photoshopping' various CycloTricity battery positions, and although this looked feasible, and would have been the simplest way to attach to the Donky Bike, it would have made the bike even more top-heavy and have made it more awkward to do an elegant step-through to get on board. When I carry tall items on the rear rack, even I have to do a step-through.
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The original handlebars on the Donky Bike were 27 inches wide, which I felt uncomfortable with when riding on 'shared' paths, as my hands were stuck out wide. I've now fitted a pair of 20 inch wide ones (as I prefer riding with slim bars anyway) and that means on crowded shared-paths I can now ride through the narrow gap between lamp-posts and the road to bypass those walking and not inconvenience them. There's lots of convenient ''slim'' passing points like this around on the shared-paths in Bristol.

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Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,167
120
64
West Wales
#2
Nice job Trevor. Low slung battery looks to be a good idea balace wise. Might suggest a mud flap on the front mudguard to protect the battery from spray.

Are things so bad in Bristol these days that you have to lock your sandwiches away?o_O
 

Trevor George

Finding my (electric) wheels
#3
Thanks Ben . . . I like the idea of giving the battery a bit more protection, even though there's a 5mm ply-board below it to protect if from stones ;)
Even in this bitter-cold weather I'm out on it regularly trying to do the three-cycle (discharge / fully charge) conditioning of the new battery.
I enjoy riding this Donky Bike so much, especially for Cargo-carrying with big plastic boxes cable-tied on front and back, that I'm going to sell my e-Mountain Bike and stick with this beastie, and upgrade it from a 3-speed Nexus hub, to an 8-speeder, (heat required to widen the rear forks) ;)
 

SHAN

De-registered
Oct 13, 2017
308
6
59
Scotland
#4
That is very neat and utility at the same time. How does it perform laden ?
Thank you.
 

Trevor George

Finding my (electric) wheels
#5
How does it perform laden?
I haven't carried much weight on the - Donky Bike - so far, just my Busking Amp and bits of gear (about 25Kg) and bags of shopping (around 30Kg), and as yet I still haven't used it on any significant hills. It seems to accelerate away from a standstill (with no pedalling) quicker than my previous - Cyclotricity hub-motors - but maybe that's because of gradual improvements in the efficiency of their hub-motors.
At some stage when the weather gets warmer I'm going to do a video about it, in a similar way I did with my - Electric Dog Scooter - conversion, so I hope that will be a help to potential converters, and an incentive for the - Donky Bike manufacturers - to start producing it again in 2018 :)
 
Apr 24, 2013
170
31
#7
This is two years old, and I've never seen it before! There is a cargo bike section on the forum now. Perhaps this could be moved there. Clever design, the Donky Bike.