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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    [a] Van [down by the river]
    Posts
    1,405

    E-Bike Conversion Kit

    Anyone tried converting a regular bike?

    Only looking for some assist for specific sections of a ride when it gets a little steeper one bike trips with the little one when towing the trailer with him and a buncha gear.

    Don’t care about any sensors, just want an on/off thing I can flick on when trying to get up steep hills.

    Intrigued by front hub because I don’t have to fuck with my drivetrain, balances the weight, and I want it to be ‘swappable’ of sorts. As in, spend an hour or 2 before a bike trip to put it all on, then take it off when I’m done, which only happens a few times a year. Riding around town with him is fine, it’s mostly when we’re loaded up with gear going for multiple days.

    Anyone done this? Bad idea? For reference, bike is basically a steel CX bike that this would go on. Would also consider a fork swap if I needed to (if I needed a stronger front fork).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ECO
    Posts
    5,361
    https://geoo.com/

    I didn’t, but I threw a little into this company a few years ago. Still waiting and went with an ebike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    21,323
    seen a few home/ebay options. Most work poorly, hard/no parts after, and end up costing more then a cheap ebike to start with.

    Good kits cost $1500 CND.

    starting ebike costs $1800 CND

    for $300 more you get a whole bike, that works, with warranty, etc.

    but as a mechanic, I only see what is NOT working.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    18,035
    I converted a hybrid into an ebike for a commuter. I used a mid drive Bafang kit from Luna Cycle. It worked well.

    I wouldn't use a front hub motor (unbalanced, weird stress on fork). I tried a rear hub motor with a rack mount battery - weight was very far back, it used a replacement (shitty) wheel with motor built into the hub, and it had to be bolted into place, which made fixing a flat a PITA.

    Mid drive with a water bottle area mounted battery was well balanced, handled like a regular bike, just weighed a lot. Great commuter bike.

    FYI for a conversion: look for a metal frame with standard threaded BB, disc brakes to handle the weight and speed, rack and fender mounts are very helpful for urban bike use too. I used a $250 Schwinn with rigid fork, came with 8-speed Altus and Tektro cable discs.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    [a] Van [down by the river]
    Posts
    1,405
    weight is kind of already fucked when pulling the trailer loaded up. rear hub motor just feels like a bad idea.

    mid drive seems like the best way to go. but a BB swap is mildly more involved then a front wheel swap.

    already have enough bikes and given how little I'd ride it, not super interested in a full ebike. I don't need it to work well. just enough to help me on a few hills so I'm not having to push 500+ watts to get through the steepest parts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    21,323
    https://www.hlc.bike/ca/Catalog/Sear...cat=5637146718

    I'm sure you can find an ebay-china knock off of this?

    Also the front wheel drive Ebikes feel very similar to mid drive in my experience


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars
    Posts
    3,476
    If you're going to be towing don't get a hub motor. If you're set on a hub motor, front wheel drive sucks.

    Xiongda makes a 2 speed hub motor that is an exception when it comes to towing. The motor spins CW or CCW activating 2 sets of gears. Luna sold them, don't buy one from Luna, they change out the controls. If you buy straight from Xiongda it shifts automatically or you can change gears when you want with a selector button. Top speed is 20mph unless you do what I did and run a 36v motor at 48v. I have a 36v motor with 48v contols/battery that is 5 years old and still works.

    If you go mid drive BBS02 is great bang for your buck, although it's 750w rated it can pull 1400w. I have and old mt bike running one, when I pin it off a light it's hard to keep the front end down. If you get a BBS02 you'll probably want a Lekkie bling ring for chain line.

    BBSHD is heavier and a tiny bit more powerful.

    If you want a smooth ride that feels more like a bike and less like a motor bike, Tongsheng makes a 500w torque sensing mid drive. I've converted 3 bikes with this drive and it is smooth. It doesn't fly like my BBS02 but it has enough power to climb the steepest hills.

    For kits I've used Luna, they're ok but you can get the same stuff way cheaper from BTN bikes direct from China (half price). I bought 3 Tongsheng mid drives and 4 17.5AH 48V batteries for just under $3000CAD to my door last year. The single BBS02 with battery I ordered through Luna 5 years ago was $2000CAD delivered.

    If you get a mid drive make sure you order a shift sensor. They're not usually included in kits but they're essential for mid drives. When your shift cable moves they pause power so you don't destroy your drive train

    $0.05

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,371
    Beaver is spot on there.

    I have a Tongsheng and have been pretty happy with it. My first one met it's downfall because I like to tinker too much and opened it up when I should have left it all sealed up and just ridden it till it's death. After killing some internal parts (all parts are available for it to fix it I just didn't have the time or patience) I bought a second one. It's smooth and seamless and the only kit mid-drive that is torque sensing so it feels like the spendy Bosch/Yamaha/Shimano/Brose integrated units.

    How old is your little one? I'd suggest ditching the trailer soon as possible and getting into a kid seat on bike. It makes the pedaling with kiddo's much better. I found the trailer limiting and after moving kids to on bike it made things a bit easier.

    None of the kits are going to be a "on - off" quickie thing. Once on it's going to stay on. When not running you're going to feel considerable drag on any kit, so you'll end up pedaling at the lowest level.

    Also on battery you'll read lots of recommendations for "get the largest battery you can afford" and I did this...no longer agree with it. I don't commute 30+ km a day and just throttle my way the whole time. If I could go back I'd buy a pair of smaller water bottle sized batteries. The single small battery would make for a lighter bike for daily use and get charged daily then I'd have the second battery for any long trips when needed.

    Whole family riding together? We LOVE having two e-cargo bikes and it's replaced almost all our car trips around North Van year round.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    [a] Van [down by the river]
    Posts
    1,405
    Yeah the fuckery of it all for the slight use feels not worth it. A complete bike down the road might be the right answer.

    Whole family is riding. He's almost 2.5 but can ride a pedal bike (though he hasn't really figured out how to stop and kinda just falls over sometimes). He obviously wants to be like mom and dad so he's kinda over his run bike at this point.

    Also have a child seat for the back. but that means I'm carrying him and she's carrying the trailer or vice versa.

    considering one of those bikes or single wheel things with pedals you tow behind...

    back to the drawing board.

    thanks everyone.

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