Today we set out to test the capacity of our batteries as well as the mechanics of our vehicle using a bicycle indoor trainer. A lot of folks have mentioned a setup like this before and bounced the idea back and forth, so heres a little data that might help save you or your team some time and money.
The trainer we used was a Cyclops indoor trainer, which is set up for a road bicycle. Because of the difference in the wheel size, initially when the wheels are inserted in the trainer they do not touch the load bearing wheel on the back of the trainer. Luckily, the frame of the Blue Sky Design sits comfortably on the axle supports of the trainer, and with some tie downs we were able to snug the car up tight to the trainer.
Our initial tests seemed to work well, we ran for about ten minutes with a light load on the rear tire, using about 10 amps. When we were comfortable enough to run the full test, we inserted the batteries and began running the car. For instrumentation we used the BatMan meter.
In order to carry a load on the motor of approximately 30 amps continuously we ended up using the fastest gears we had as well as tightening down the tension on the trainer quite a bit.
Result: 20 minutes into testing we had ruined a brand new tire.
Recommendation: Because of the heat associated with using a trainer on the rear tire as well as the heat from the trainer itself, we do not recommend using or purchasing a standard bicycle trainer for testing the cars. The test is fairly dangers because of the risk of blowing a tire as well as the risk of ruining an expensive trainer.
Video can be found here
Tire after 20 minutes of testing: