From RevSpace
Jump to: navigation, search
Project Spacebike
Status In progress
Contact Mux
Last Update 2017-10-29

What the **** is this now

Bikes are kind of ubiquitous in the Netherlands. They're not just nice things to look at, they are also surprisingly practical in daily life. Combining these two ideas, it seems like a nice idea to make a bicycle that can be used by any member of Revspace for daily errands, and that also acts as advertising for the hackerspace.

Project requirements

The bicycle should:

  • Be immediately usable by anyone. No weird model, no modifications that make it hard to use, no recumbents.
  • Be convenient and inviting to use. No weird procedures to turn it on, not much the user can do wrong, easy to lock. It probably helps to make it electric.
  • Showcase all major competences of the hackerspace in an obvious and explicit way. When looking at it, it should be obvious you're looking at an ad for an awesome place for nerds. Non-technical people should be intrigued and not immediately appalled.
  • Be aesthetically/technically coherent
  • Be low-maintenance
  • Be reasonably cheap


This entire paragraph is subject to sweeping change

The concept I (mux) have for this bike, is to take a bike with the following properties:

  • A cheap, second hand but decent quality (ideally one of the big 4 brands) electric bike as a basis
  • For males (i.e. main frame triangle) so we can fit batteries and TFT displays in the triangle
  • Low seat height with toolless adjustable long (350mm?) seat post so anybody can ride it
  • Internal gear hub, closed chainguard/box and Rollerbrakes (so we don't have any maintenance on those)
  • Ideally an aluminum frame and exposed parts, so we don't have issues keeping it outside in the rain
  • Fixed, by default EMPTY (no electronics inside them) pannier bags.

And then of course the features:

  • As big as possible TFT screens and a raspberry pi (equivalent) showing random shit on those screens when it's parked and on (i.e. standing somewhere near stores)
  • Lots of LED strips. Note: These are not allowed to be on when riding.
  • Lots of sensors. Power, pedal power, air quality, speed, GPS, whatever
  • Ideally some kind of internet connection, or maybe a possibility to hitchhike on users' phone plans? This may be acceptably cheap for revspace to pay out of an advertising budget.

The bike!

We have bought an ANWB (2010-11 era) NiMH electric bike. It is gearless, 2x26" low aluminum frame, with an toolless adjustable long seatpost. So it's very simple, virtually maintenance free and (hopefully) pretty foolproof.

The motor is a 250W DC brushed motor. The bike runs on 24V, originally NiMH. At the moment, the battery has been fitted with a 6S4P li-ion battery (approx. 120Wh).

To-Do list

The spacebike needs to have a lot of work done. The work falls under three categories: must-haves, nice-to-haves and cool projects.


  • The bike 'cage' where it is stationed now should be made iButton-accessible
  • The handlebar handles are sticky. They have to be replaced
  • The battery is woefully underpowered, it needs better cells
  • Rear and front light should be upgraded to something that is automatic and doesn't run on separate batteries
  • The bell is annoyingly loose, should be replaced
  • Brakes should be adjusted to be a bit more responsive


  • The battery indicator is permanently on when the battery is in. That should be fixed to avoid undervoltage on the battery.
  • Front wheel can be outfitted with a rollerbrake instead of rim brake for reduced maintenance
  • The rear wheel uses a springy force sensor, it's a bit annoying that it has so much travel. Every wheel rotation it feels like the pedals don't 'connect' well.

Spacebike should be regarded as a community project; everyone can contribute something. That being said, projects need to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Your project should not cause dangerous situations. If it makes light and isn't a front or rear light, it should be OFF when the bike is moving (unless you have a very good reason to keep it on). The mounting position should not inhibit the rider or reduce carrying capacity.
  • Your project should be weatherproof, IP67.
  • If your project needs electricity, it needs to work on 24V +/- 10% with spikes up to 32V


  • Building a bigger battery. Currently, the bike's range is only about 10km.
  • Making the battery actually watertight and giving it a proper IP67 charging port
  • Making an iButton bike lock. That should be really cool :)
  • Building storage space on the back of the bike
  • Making 24V distribution all over the bike
  • Adding a phone holder and USB charger to the handlebars
  • Building a computer into the bike that can drive a set of screens and process sensor data.
  • Adding all kinds of sensors to the bike: light, rain, speed, GPS, tire pressure, voltage, power, whatever you can think of
  • Building a trailer for the bike